Robredo urges Filipinos: Hold on tightly to hope this Christmas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 24 2021 11:44 AM

Vice President Leni Robredo visits Sitio Tampakan, Barangay Uno in Bais City, Negros Oriental to distribute relief goods on Tuesday. Residents of Bais City were emotional as they appealed for help, 4 days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, the strongest typhoon that hit the Philippines this year. OVP/Handout 
Vice President Leni Robredo visits Sitio Tampakan, Barangay Uno in Bais City, Negros Oriental to distribute relief goods on Tuesday. Residents of Bais City were emotional as they appealed for help, 4 days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, the strongest typhoon that hit the Philippines this year. OVP/Handout 

MANILA— Vice President Leni Robredo on Christmas Eve urged Filipinos to "hold on tightly to hope" as the Philippines grappled with the coronavirus crisis and destructive Typhoon Odette.

Robredo said many Filipinos have just begun trying to starting over from the pandemic's challenges when Typhoon Odette left a wide trail of devastation late last week. 

"There will be those among us who will celebrate Christmas without the presence of their loved ones," said the Vice President, who visited several typhoon-ravaged areas this week.
 
Despite these challenges, she said Filipinos continue to wrap presents, however small, and set the table even if get-togethers are humbler. 

"We hang lanterns and lights so that those around us feel the message Christmas brings: That hope is found in togetherness, in opening oneself to one’s fellow human beings, in letting them feel that they are not alone, that we always have someone beside us, whether in times of trial or along the path towards our dreams," Robredo said. 

"This is the lesson that Christ Himself brings: He was born in a manger and walked in the slippers of the common man. He was one with the entire depth of our experience. He took on human form to let us feel His divine love for humankind," she continued. 

She urged Filipinos to "fervently give thanks for any blessings we receive" this Christmas. 

"Let us hug those we love more tightly, in the same way we hold on tightly to hope: Hope we bring to our fellow human beings every time we show our love for them, and the hope they bring us every time we accept their love. Let us recognize how we are bound by the single color of our dreams; the single color of love, which is the color of Christmas," Robredo said. 

Christmas Day is a regular holiday in the Philippines, where about 8 in 10 are Catholics. 

The disaster agency on Christmas Eve reported the death toll from typhoon Odette has topped 300, while around a hundred areas remained without power. 

Earlier this week, the Philippines found its third imported case of the omicron COVID-19 variant linked to a surge in coronavirus cases in some countries. 

Government has maintained looser curbs until the end of the year, as average daily infections have dropped sharply from a September peak of more than 18,500.

— With a report from Reuters

Watch more News on iWantTFC