Press Release
December 24, 2012


This Christmas feels like deja vu: we mourn once again for another thousand victims of a year-ender megastorm. For the 65 years that we have been recording our weather, Typhoon Pablo may be the second deadliest storm to date, after Typhoon Uring, which killed more than 5,000 people in 1991.

This Christmas Eve, while many of us gather around a table with a warm meal, let us pause for a moment of silence to give our respects to our countrymen in Mindanao. That while we celebrate this night with the laughter and joy of our family and friends, many in Mindanao weep and have to bury their dead. To them, it is a painful season.

May our silence be solemn and true, so that even for just a moment, we also grieve. But then, let this grief be replaced with hope. That despite all the irreversible damage to families and futures, there is still something to look forward to. For there is still tomorrow, and we still have each other. Many may have lost a part of their kin, but they still have us, the whole Filipino family.

We are not alone in looking forward to this tiny spark of hope. Other nations have come to share our grief, and we are very grateful. Let us thank all the local, national, and international governments and non-governmental organizations. Let us also thank the various institutions, corporations, and organizations that have lent us a helping hand.

Some of them are the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Save the Children Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, the Catholic Church, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and the Philippine National Police.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) never failed to make their presence felt as they themselves spend their Christmas holidays with the victims of the Typhoon.

To the many groups, families, and individuals who have showed their support by giving aid or soliciting aid, may God bless all of you and all of us, and keep us determined in drawing strength from each other, especially this holiday season.

May we all continue to share our blessings and inner strength to those who may find it difficult to comprehend the meaning of Christmas in such challenging times. May the true value of Christmas show itself in our kindred spirit as a Filipino family and as a Filipino nation. May we all have the courage to hope and smile once again.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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