Aquino's Chinese New Year toast: To a 'strong, resilient, vibrant country'

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III extended his greetings to the Chinese-Filipino community, which was celebrating the Lunar New Year – the Year of the Fire Monkey – on Monday, February 8, which was also his 56th birthday.

Acknowledging how the community's "dynamic heritage" had added "depth and vibrancy to our Republic's history," he also wished that their "talents and perspectives" will continue to contribute toward "a truly progressive and inclusive Philippines for all of our people."

The President himself is of Chinese descent.

Below is the full text of President Aquino's greetings:

I join the Chinese-Filipino community in celebrating the Lunar New Year. 

The dynamic heritage of Chinese-Filipinos adds depth and vibrancy to our Republic's history. Your contributions are as far reaching as they are varied; your unique culture has become part of our collective identity as Filipinos. Thus, the government is one with you in celebrating the Lunar New Year – one of the most significant events in the Chinese calendar. May this event enrich, highlight, and promote the qualities, values, and ideals that make your community a treasured component of our nation; may it embody the harmony and hope signaled by the turn of the year. 

The strong, resilient, and vibrant country that we are today is powered by our multifaceted milieu. Let us rejoice in the stable environment that has allowed us to harness this multiplicity of talents and perspectives towards our resurgence, and continue to foster it as a foundation of a truly progressive and inclusive Philippines for all of our people. 

I wish you happiness, prosperity, and good health for the coming year.

Rappler.com