Duterte: May light of Christmas ‘fill us with hope, courage’ amid the pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday conveyed his wishes for Filipinos to find hope and courage this Christmas season despite the persistent health crisis brought by COVID-19.
In a taped Christmas message, the Chief Executive said: “I wish all the Filipino Christians around the world a blessed and meaningful Christmas. May the light that the season brings fill us with hope and courage as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I hope and pray the Yuletide celebration will inspire us to realize our dreams and aspirations for our beloved country, the Philippines,” he added.
Duterte also encouraged Christians to share the blessing of Jesus’ nativity.
“We have been blessed much by the birth of Christ. Let us share this blessing with others. Maligayang Pasko sa ating lahat (Merry Christmas to all of us),” he said.
He also called on Filipinos to welcome Christmas “with stronger faith and hope,” especially as the country recovers from the impact of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) and the pandemic.
“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ with fervent prayer, let us also welcome this occasion with stronger faith and hope, especially as our nation continues to recover from the effects of the Typhoon Odette and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a separate statement.
“May we all be united in spreading love, compassion, and happiness to our families and friends, and even those whom we need to reach out to,” he also said.
Duterte also noted that “Christmas is a time for peace.”
“There is a time and season for everything, and Christmas is a time for peace. Let us continue to help each other to heal and rebuild our lives. This will lead us to open our hearts and our homes, especially for those who are most in need so that they, too, may have joy and hope while we all work together towards better days ahead,” he said.
Duterte on Thursday said that he will not take Christmas and New Year breaks to provide assistance to survivors and victims of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), which weather experts say was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines this year.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines set the National Day of Prayer for people affected by Odette on December 25 and 26.