President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday called on Filipinos to "embrace this coming year's uncertainty with a glimmer of hope" despite several natural and man-made calamities that devastated the Philippines in 2017.
"I remain hopeful that our resilience will enable us to overcome and rise above these challenges as one nation," Duterte said in his New Year's message released on the eve of 2018.
Weeks before the New Year, hundreds were killed while thousands were left homeless after back-to-back tropical cyclones Urduja and Vinta barreled through parts of Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao.
A few days before Christmas, at least 38 people were killed in a mall fire in Duterte's hometown Davao City, while 20 others died in a vehicular accident in Agoo, La Union.
Duterte also hopes that Filipinos will "foster solidarity" at a time when "corruption, criminality, illegal drugs and terrorism have impeded our (the Philippines') progress in the past year."
Senator Grace Poe echoed the president's call for "renewed hope" in 2018 amid rebuilding efforts in battle-torn Marawi City.
"Amid the crisis in Marawi, typhoons, earthquakes and other natural and man-made calamities, we remained united and resilient as a nation and turned the corner relying on each other's strength. We face the year 2018 with a renewed hope that we shall rise above everything that will come our way," Poe's New Year's message read.
But the Liberal Party said Filipinos should "brace ourselves this coming year".
Unresolved issues including "Sen. Leila de Lima’s arrest on made-up charges in February, the declaration of martial law in Mindanao in May, and the killing of Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Kulot de Guzman, and other boys in August" will spill over next year, the Liberal Party said in a statement.
"How will the lies be promoted in 2018? By circumventing, if not actually violating, the country’s fundamental law through Cha-cha or federalism or martial law so that some politicians can try to rule longer than allowed and that we the people won’t be allowed to choose our leaders," the LP's statement read.
Liberal Party President Francis Pangilinan also appealed to parents not to condone a "culture of violence" among children.
"Toy guns are a fad again. Some children who may have received toy guns for Christmas are going around their neighborhoods playing war games, hurting themselves and bystanders and passers-by alike," Pangilinan said in a separate statement.
"Let’s strive to make 2018 kinder for ourselves and our children... Magpursigi tayong maging mas magiliw," Pangilinan said in his New Year's message.
Sen. Leila de Lima, one of the president's staunchest critics, also prayed for justice for the victims of the government's war on illegal drugs and solidarity for the Filipino people.
"Samahan ninyo po sana akong manalangin para sa mas maaliwalas na bukas para sa lahat, hustisya para sa mga biktima, kaligtasan para sa mga naiwan, at pagdadamayan ng mga Pilipino saanmang sulok ng mundo," De Lima said in a statement.