Press Release
December 24, 2011


The holidays of 2011 come with some very significant challenges.

Typhoon Sendong devasted 75 villages in Northern Mindanao, taking more than 1,000 lives in its wake. Christmas will not be the same for them.

The year is coming to a close with our economy pegged to grow by only 3.5 percent, less than half of last year's figure. The prospects for any rebound are only dimmed by the uncertainties present in the global economy.

We are also anticipating an impeachment trial that will further politicize a political system already marred by intrigue and mistrust.

While we go through the merriment of the season, let us reflect on how we will respond to each of these challenges. For sure, they will not be easy but neither will they be solved without careful thought and open dialogue.

Also, in these tragic times, may we fortunate ones express solidarity with our devastated countrymen. Let us show our unity with those who lost much by not only making donations, but also by having a less extravagant but more solemn celebration. Let us share not only our material blessings, but also our time, compassion and encouragement. Let us not forget their needs long after the holidays are over.

May all of us be bearers of hope and love in these uncertain times--a love we share with others in order to spread the promise of hope.

Christmas time is spent with family and loved ones, where things are unified and made whole again. Let this also be so for our country.

My family and I wish everyone love, grace and good tidings this season. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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