President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday encouraged Filipinos to remain optimistic despite the challenges that confronted the country this year, like the Taal Volcano eruption, coronavirus pandemic, and the successive typhoons in the latter part of the year.
“May we all have a meaningful celebration and let us be hopeful of better days ahead. Maligayang Pasko sa ating lahat (Merry Christmas to everyone),” Duterte said in his message on Christmas Day.
The President made the call as he acknowledged that 2020 has been a tough year.
“This year has been difficult for all (of) us. So many lives lost, countless families separated, even great economies collapsed, and yet we are still waiting for a vaccine against the disease,” he said.
Duterte, however, told his countrymen not to lose hope and instead look forward to new opportunities.
The Christmas season, he said, should serve as a reminder that there is always hope.
“When we find ourselves on the verge of despair and hopelessness, let us turn to the narrative of the birth of Christ, which came in the night and happened in the most obscure and humblest of places – in a manger. It reminds us that we should always have hope, even in darkness, poverty, and suffering,” Duterte added.
He said Filipinos should find inspiration from Jesus Christ who, as the child in the manger, “brought light to the town of Bethlehem and to the whole of humanity.”
“May that light bring love and cheer to everyone, not only to our families and friends, but also to our front-liners, those who lost loved ones, and those who are most in need,” he said.
Duterte is currently in his official residence in Davao City to celebrate Christmas with his family.
It is the fifth time Duterte is spending Christmas in his hometown since he became president in 2016.This year’s Christmas celebration is different from the previous years as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has restricted the people’s movement. SOVEREIGNPH