President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to spread love and hope this season in their Christmas messages on Dec. 24.
"As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ with fervent prayer, let us also welcome this occasion with stronger faith and hope, especially as our nation continues to recover from the effects of Typhoon Odette and the COVID-19 pandemic," the President said in a statement.
Duterte also urged Filipinos to help each other heal and rebuild during the holidays.
"There is a time and season for everything, and Christmas is a time for peace. Let us continue to help each other to heal and rebuild our lives. This will lead us to open our hearts and our homes, especially those who are most in need so that they, too, may have joy and hope while we all work together towards better days ahead."
The President also said that he'll be working on Christmas and promised a cash grant of P5,000 for each family affected by Typhoon Odette.
In her Christmas message, Robredo acknowledged the hardships Filipinos faced because of the pandemic and the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette. She urged Filipinos to hold on to each other for hope despite this.
“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,” the VP said.
“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,” she added.
“So this Christmas, as a nation coming together, let us fervently give thanks for any blessings we receive. 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," the presidential aspirant concluded.