[PHOTO -2013 VIN D’HONNEUR - President Benigno S. Aquino III (left) offers a toast as he hosts the 2013 Vin d’Honneur at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang on January 11, 2013. Joining the President are Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto (right), Head of the Diplomatic Corps; and Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario (second from left). The Vin d’Honneur is an annual New Year’s reception hosted by the President in honor of the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Government Officials, and the Business Community. (Richard V. Viñas)]

MANILA, JANUARY 11, 2012 (MANILA BULLETIN) The year 2012 may have been a “difficult year to match” in terms of the achievements in governance but President Benigno S. Aquino III assured the international community at the Vin d’ Honneur yesterday that the country will continue treading the straight path and yield more positive results for 2013.

In a toast at the Vin d’ Honneur held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañang Palace yesterday, President Aquino said the year 2012 “ was a good year for the Filipino people.”

“We saw economic growth surpass expectations. We witnessed the signing of a peace deal and the restoration of public confidence in our judiciary,” the President noted.

“[The year] 2012 will be a difficult year to match. Given all that we have achieved in the previous year, we have plenty of reason to greet 2013 with optimism – that the path we have chosen to tread in the last two and a half years will continue to yield positive results for our nation and our region,” he said.

President Aquino thanked the international community for its renewed confidence in investing in the Philippines and in giving the country a helping hand during times of disasters in 2012.

“We thank the members of the international community, who have continually demonstrated their solidarity with our countrymen, especially during times of calamity and disaster,” Aquino said.

“We thank those who have placed their trust in the collective capabilities of our people, those who have invested and continue to find reasons to invest in our nation,” he said.

“Finally, to the countries that have welcomed Filipinos abroad and to those who continue to work with the Philippine government towards our mutual development and advantage, I extend not only my gratitude, but a pledge to deepen our partnership for equitable prosperity,” he added.

For his part, Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, Papal Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, lauded the Philippine government for its efforts towards peace last year, noting the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in October 2012.


He said that though the country had been beset by natural disasters in 2012, such as the monsoon rains and typhoon “Pablo,” the year 2013 “offers hope” and that the diplomatic corps wishes the country well in the year 2013.

The term Vin d’Honneur comes from the French practice, which means “wine of honor” and traditionally takes place at the end of inaugurations, speeches, and ceremonies that marks the social life of the French provinces.

In the Philippines, it has become a diplomatic event that features a toast exchanged between the President of the Philippines and the Papal Nuncio, who is the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

The New Year’s Day Vin d’Honneur is the first of two Vin d’Honneur receptions to be held annually. The second Vin d’Honneur is annually held on June 12, the anniversary of Philippine Independence.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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