Press Release
December 30, 2009

Villar's New Year's Day Message

Over the past year, we as a people and as a country confronted numerous challenges. But as the New Year starts, we move on with the resilient spirit that we Filipinos are known for, confident in our own strength and capabilities, and of course with continued faith in God. After all, every new year is a symbol of hope.

In 2009, like the rest of the world, the Philippines suffered significant economic and financial setbacks, many of our countrymen lost their jobs and livelihood, a number of businesses suffered profits losses or even closed shop. Thus the urgent need for a stronger and more stable economy became more evident and crucial.

For many however, 2009 will be remembered for the series of natural calamities and disasters that struck our nation�from super typhoons to landslides and volcanic eruptions. Bicolanos are in fact still filled with anxiety as Mayon Volcano continues its activities. Most of the typhoons wreaked havoc during the last quarter of 2009, the combined destructive forces of Ondoy and Pepeng brought Metro Manila and nearby provinces flooded.

Despite these catastrophes and calamities however, the Filipino people managed to unite and uplift each other. The tremendous show of support from people from all walks of life is really heartening to witness. Truly, we can say that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. Personally, I would like to thank the thousands of volunteers who helped the Tulong Villar relief operations in helping typhoon victims.

We Filipinos are not the type to wallow in misery and pessimism. We always see a silver lining behind dark clouds. Indeed, 2009 also witnessed many triumphs and successes that are worth celebrating. The acknowledged pound-for-pound fighter in the world alone, Manny Pacquiao, whom I am proud to note, has joined the Nacionalista Party, has brought so much victory for the Filipino people. Other boxers and athletes also brought home glory in their own rights. Filipino artists, from actors to directors, also shined in many film festivals worldwide. Of course, we also have in our midst, 'heroes' such as Efren Peñaflorida and other regular people out there doing extraordinary acts of kindness to others.

So, as we celebrate the New Year, we look with renewed hope to the year ahead and what it has in store for us. Let us continue to hope and strive for a better life and a better country. I join all of you in realizing all your cherished hopes and dreams--food on the table, jobs, shelter, education, good governance, and most of all peace.

Being an election year, 2010 will bring opportunities for change and reforms. I enjoin every Filipino to use that opportunity wisely and to the best of their abilities. Cynthia and I send our best wishes for a happy New Year. May God bless you, your families, and, the entire Philippines.

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