President Rodrigo Duterte urged all Filipinos to share their blessings, especially with the less fortunate, in his Christmas message today.
“As we remember the true meaning of this solemn festivity, may we emulate Christ’s empathy and kindness by opening our hearts and extending our hands to everyone, especially those who are less fortunate, and sharing with them the bounty and blessings we have received in the past year,” he said in a statement.
He also encouraged to “reflect on the importance of family” and to perform “small acts of benevolence.”
Vice President Leni Robredo gave a similar message.
She urged the public to remember and reach out to those in need, including the victims of natural disasters.
“Sa ating pagdiriwang, patuloy sana nating alalahanin, akayin, at yakapin ang mga naulila, mga kapatid nating nangangailangan, nagugutom, mga walang masilungan, at nasalanta ng mga sakuna,” she said in a statement.
[Translation: In our celebrations, let us continue to remember, guide and embrace our fellowmen who have been abandoned, who are in need, who are hungry and have no place to go and those who have been victims of catastrophes.]
Earlier this month, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit Davao del Sur, killing at least one person. A typhoon is also currently bringing string rains to parts of eastern Visayas and Luzon.
Robredo urged everyone to have hope in any circumstance.
“Magkakaiba man ang ating pinagmulan, pananampalataya, at mga paniniwala, iisang mukha lang sana ang makita natin sa ating patuloy na pakikisalamuha—ang mukha ng pagkakaisa at pag-asa, sa hirap man o ginhawa,” she added.
[Translation: Though we may have come from different places, religions and beliefs, I hope that we face only one future in our relationships — a future of unity and hope whether in pain or in comfort.]