AQUINO: CALAMITIES TEST OUR SPIRIT

On the eve of Christmas, President Benigno Aquino III exhorted the nation to “show the light and hope of Christ” in the wake of back-to-back calamities that, he said, tested the limits of millions of Filipinos this year. In his traditional Christmas message, the President said this year’s Christmas should be a “reminder of how God so loved the world.” President Aquino said that this year, Filipinos showed they could serve as an inspiration to others through their efforts to recover from great tragedies. He was referring to the series of disasters, both manmade and natural, that affected millions of Filipinos, triggering humanitarian emergencies that depleted the resources of government.

ALSO:  Papal Nuncio spends Christmas with ‘Yolanda’ survivors

Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, arrived in Tacloban City in Leyte on Tuesday morning to visit and spend Christmas with the typhoon survivors. Pinto, representative of Pope Francis, was welcomed by local priests when he arrived at the Tacloban City Airport around 9 a.m., Inquirer Radio 990AM said. Palo Archbishop John Du, in a statement, said they were worried about where the papal nuncio will sleep but Pinto was quoted saying, “I will sleep wherever you sleep.” On Christmas Day, Pinto will preside over a 10 a.m. mass at the Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban City before heading to Manila.

ALSO: Papal nuncio arrives in Tacloban, heads for evacuation center

The representative of Pope Francis arrived at the Tacloban City airport about 9 a.m., radio dzBB's Rodil Vega reported. Local priests were on hand to welcome the papal nuncio. The dzBB report said the papal nuncio was to visit one of the evacuation centers in the area to visit the evacuees. Pinto came to the country at the behest of the Pope, who wanted one of his constituents to keep beleaguered typhoon victims company during the holidays.

Video- New York Empire State Christmas Lights

On December 20, 2013, the Empire State Building kicked off the first of its five Christmas light shows by illuminating its world-famous LED tower lights in holiday hues. Over 15,000 channels of the building's LEDs were synchronized to holiday-themed music that was broadcasted on Clear Channel New York's radio station 106.7 Lite fm. Tonight's song selection included "Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives and "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses. Internationally-acclaimed lighting designer Marc Brickman choreographed the show. 


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Aquino: ‘Calamities test our spirit’


President cites Filipinos’ inspiring resiliency

TACLOBAN CITY, DECEMBER 25, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Michael Lim Ubac - On the eve of Christmas, President Benigno Aquino III exhorted the nation to “show the light and hope of Christ” in the wake of back-to-back calamities that, he said, tested the limits of millions of Filipinos this year.

In his traditional Christmas message, the President said this year’s Christmas should be a “reminder of how God so loved the world.”

Saying Christmas reminded everyone of what Christianity is all about, Mr. Aquino said that God showed love when He offered “His only begotten Son for the salvation of everyone.”

“This Christmas, let us keep alive the flame of Christ’s love. Let us serve as a source of hope for our fellow Filipinos,” he said.

The President, who visited disaster-stricken areas in Visayas and Mindanao on Sunday, also pointed to the resilience that Filipinos all over the world are known for.

“Like the Star of Bethlehem that served as an inspiration for the Three Kings, our fellow Filipinos affected by recent tragedies gave us inspiration and hope,” he said, noting that tragedies failed to break the spirit of the survivors.

Most expect happy Christmas

Despite the deadly disasters, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) on said that its nationwide survey earlier this month found that 62 percent of Filipinos expected a happy Christmas—down slightly from 64 percent in 2012 and 2011.

Those expecting a sad Christmas in 2013 stood at only nine percent, the same level as last year, according to the survey results.

The SWS said that in the Visayas, which bore the brunt of the disasters, the number of people expecting a sad Christmas rose to 11 percent this year from 7 percent last year. It did not give a reason for the increase. Those in the central islands expecting a happy Christmas fell to 57 percent this year from 66 percent last year.


President Benigno Aquino 3rd greets a girl who waited for him in Zamboanga City. The President on Sunday inspected the bunkhouses for internally displaced persons at the city’s Joachin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex. Malacañang photo

Inspiration to others

President Aquino said that this year, Filipinos showed they could serve as an inspiration to others through their efforts to recover from great tragedies.

He was referring to the series of disasters, both manmade and natural, that affected millions of Filipinos, triggering humanitarian emergencies that depleted the resources of government.

In September, followers of Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari attacked parts of Zamboanga City, but they were eventually repulsed by government troops after a three-week battle.

In October, a 7.2-magnitude quake devastated Central and Western Visayas, killing more than 200 people in Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor provinces.

Last month, Supertyphoon “Yolanda” barreled through the Visayas, bringing strong winds and a storm surge that flattened communities and killed more than 6,000 people.

In the case of quake-affected towns in Bohol, Mr. Aquino noted that Boholanos showed fellow Filipinos “what is possible.”

Lesson from God

“This is one of the most important lessons from God: Do your best, God will do the rest,” he said.

The President made special mention of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), saying they have also shown that they could be united with their families, even if they are thousands of miles away.

He acknowledged that the year had been a particularly “difficult time” for many OFWs who had to spend Christmas away from their loved ones.

“Despite this, we celebrate Christmas as one people, regardless of where we are” and even during tragedies, he said.

The President, whose bouts of coughing interrupted his speeches the past weeks, will continue to work through the holidays except on Dec. 27, when he will take a one-day off upon the advice of Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

Ona has been urging the President to take a much-needed rest amid the seemingly endless problems of the country and other concerns of the presidency that are evidently taking a toll on the health of the President.

Papal Nuncio spends Christmas with ‘Yolanda’ survivors By Kristine Angeli Sabillo INQUIRER.net 12:04 pm | Tuesday, December 24th, 2013



MANILA, Philippines – Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, Papal Nuncio (photo) to the Philippines, arrived in Tacloban City in Leyte on Tuesday morning to visit and spend Christmas with the typhoon survivors.

Pinto, representative of Pope Francis, was welcomed by local priests when he arrived at the Tacloban City Airport around 9 a.m., Inquirer Radio 990AM said.

The papal nuncio will first visit an evacuation center in the city to see first-hand the situation of families affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last month.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Pinto will attend a gathering of the clergy before leading the midnight mass at the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration in Palo.

Palo Archbishop John Du, in a statement, said they were worried about where the papal nuncio will sleep but Pinto was quoted saying, “I will sleep wherever you sleep.”

On Christmas Day, Pinto will preside over a 10 a.m. mass at the Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban City before heading to Manila.

FROM GMA NEWS TV

Papal nuncio arrives in Tacloban, heads for evacuation center December 24, 2013 9:42am 200 26 0 268

 
A photo posted by dzBB's Vega on Twitter showed the papal nuncio getting off the plane at Tacloban Airport.

(Updated 3:07 p.m.) Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto arrived in Tacloban City in Leyte province Tuesday morning to show solidarity with people affected by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The representative of Pope Francis arrived at the Tacloban City airport about 9 a.m., radio dzBB's Rodil Vega reported.

Local priests were on hand to welcome the papal nuncio. The dzBB report said the papal nuncio was to visit one of the evacuation centers in the area to visit the evacuees.

Pinto came to the country at the behest of the Pope, who wanted one of his constituents to keep beleaguered typhoon victims company during the holidays.

A report by Saleema Refran on GMA News TV's Balitanghali said Pinto first assessed the damage dealt to the Sto. Niño Parish Church. He then proceeded to the Kapangian Elementary School, where he blessed constituents while handing out relief packs.

 
Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, dumating na sa Tacloban City Airport. | via @Rodveg72 @dzbb 8:31 PM - 23 Dec 2013

VIDEOS CHRISTMAS 2013:

NEW YORK EMPIRE STATE BUILDING LIGHTS UP ON CHRISTMAS
 
Published on Dec 20, 2013: On December 20, 2013, the Empire State Building kicked off the first of its five Christmas light shows by illuminating its world-famous LED tower lights in holiday hues. Over 15,000 channels of the building's LEDs were synchronized to holiday-themed music that was broadcasted on Clear Channel New York's radio station 106.7 Lite fm. Tonight's song selection included "Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives and "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses. Internationally-acclaimed lighting designer Marc Brickman choreographed the show.

Following each of the four live shows, fans from around the world can watch the official videos on the Empire State Building's YouTube channel. Worldwide internet activity will determine the selection of the Empire State Building's and Clear Channel's Christmas Eve grand finale show on December 24, at 7 p.m. EST. Activity includes, but is not limited to, Facebook likes, shares and comments, Twitter favorites and retweets, and YouTube views. To keep up with future light shows, be sure to subscribe to our channel.


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