MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Christmas Eve urged Filipinos to draw strength from one another as the COVID-19 pandemic persisted.
Robredo urged the public to connect with their loved ones and reminisce the times they experienced joy and difficulties this year.
"Humugot ng lakas mula sa isa’t isa. Binago man ng pandemya ang paraan natin ng pagdiriwang, hindi maaaring mabawasan ang kabuluhan ng araw na ito, dahil walang pandemya o sakunang kayang umampat sa pagdaloy ng pag-ibig ng Maykapal," she said in her message.
(Let's draw strength from one another. While the pandemic changed how we celebrate Christmas, it cannot diminish the importance of this day because no pandemic or disaster can overcome God's love.)
"Walang dilim na kayang magligaw sa atin, dahil tayo mismo ang liwanag ng bawat isa. Tuloy ang bayanihan. Tuloy ang pag-asa. Tuloy ang pag-ibig. Muli, maligayang Pasko sa lahat ng Pilipino, saan mang sulok ng mundo."
(No darkness can lead us astray because we're each other's light. Bayanihan will continue, hope and love will persist. Again, merry Christmas to Filipinos in all corners of the world.)
Filipinos can rely on each other as they follow God's example in treating one another with respect and dignity, Robredo said.
The Vice President cited instances of Filipinos volunteering and donating during response and relief operations as a series of typhoons lashed the country this year, supporting health care workers, and following health protocols.
"Ito nga mismo ang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayong araw: Ang katotohanan na sa ngalan ng pag-ibig, pinili ng Panginoong makipamuhay sa atin. Pinili niyang makiisa sa buong lalim ng karanasan ng sangkatauhan. Pinili niyang magkatawang-tao at magpakatao; na makipagkapwa at maging kapwa," she said.
(This is what we're celebrating today: The truth that in the name of love, God chose to live among us. He chose to be with us in the human experience. He chose to become and act human, he chose to treat others with dignity and respect.)
A record-low proportion of Filipinos at 50 percent expect their Christmas this year to be joyous, according to a recent Social Weather Stations survey.
In a Pulse Asia survey, some 91 percent of adult Filipinos said they would welcome the New Year with hope despite the pandemic.
The Philippines as of Wednesday reported around 464,000 COVID-19 cases, with 24,984 active infections.
Courtesy of the Office of the Vice President