Christmas in the Philippines

Duterte’s 2021 Christmas message: Unite to spread love, compassion

Bea Cupin
Duterte’s 2021 Christmas message: Unite to spread love, compassion

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte distributes relief packs to families affected by Typhoon Odette in Tisa, Cebu City on December 23, 2021.

Malacau00f1ang Photo

'Let us continue to help each other to heal and rebuild our lives,' says the President in the aftermath of a typhoon that ravages parts of the Visayas and Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte called on Filipinos to “be united in spreading love, compassion, and happiness” in his 2021 Christmas message. 

“There is a time and season for everything, and Christmas is a time for peace,” said Duterte in a taped message released Christmas eve on Friday, December 24. 

The President also highlighted the struggles of Filipinos who are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, which ravaged different parts of the country, particularly provinces and cities in the Visayas and Mindanao. 

“Let us continue to help each other to heal and rebuild our lives,” he said, as he called on Filipinos to spread love, compassion, and happiness to their “families, friends, and even those whom we need to reach out to.” 

“This will lead us to open our hearts and our homes, especially for those who are most in need so that they, too, may have joy and hope while we all work together towards better days ahead,” he added. 

From December 16 to 17, Typhoon Odette made landfalls in the country, leaving a path of devastation. Many parts of the Philippines, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, are still without power as a result of the typhoon. 

More than 870,000 families have been affected by Odette, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. More than 629,000 remain displaced due to the typhoon. 

At least 326 died because of Odette, according to the government’s latest numbers. 

A Social Weather Stations survey held before Odette made landfall indicated that more Filipinos were expecting a “happy” Christmas in 2021, compared to last year. – Rappler.com

Bea Cupin

Bea is a journalist.