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Wishes for 2018

by Francis N. Tolentino

There is great reason to rejoice today, for every New Year is a new beginning, and every new beginning ought to be welcomed with joy and optimism. With much faith and hope in what lies for us as 2018 unfolds, Filipinos greet the New Year with the usual and unwavering spirits of jubilation and sharing.

I have expressed my Christmas wishes for the country and the Filipino people in this column. I have asked for Marawi’s immediate recovery, for happiness for OFW families, for genuine peace in Mindanao, for bountiful harvests for Filipino farmers, for greater intellectual capacity for our youth, for optimum health and happiness for our senior citizens, for lesser natural calamities and greater resilience for the people, and for continuing wisdom for President Rodrigo Duterte in order for him to righteously steer this country in the right direction.

For the year that has just began, I pray for the same blessings to come upon the Philippines, yet perhaps this time, more intensely asking for the country’s deliverance from calamities and disasters, for our farmers to be steadily and abundantly blessed with even greater yields, and for divine guidance to always come upon and remain with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Only a few days before Christmas, Mindanao was ravaged by severe tropical storm Vinta which left several areas in the region flooded, families displaced, and lives and properties destroyed. Disasters and tragedies such as these take great tolls, not only from the government but more so from the people. Imagine the grief that enveloped those who lost their homes or even more tragic, those who lost their loved ones at a time when there is supposedly only room for happiness and celebration. While we can prepare and intensify resilience, it is an even greater blessing if we can all be spared from the pain and struggle brought about by catastrophes and disasters.

Secondly, I wish for abundant yields for our farmers. We rely heavily upon their hands and their hardwork for sustenance on our tables. May they always be favored with adequate rain and sun, with enriched soil, with protection from plant diseases as well as from natural calamities so that they can provide nourishment for us. I implore as well the concerned national government agencies to lend greater support for our farmers by offering them opportunities for capacity building and modernization of their processes and equipment.

Finally, I invoke the grace of the Lord Almighty to keep President Rodrigo Duterte in good health and always under His divine guidance.To lead a country that is as challenged as ours is a taxing task that entails the leader to be both wise and compassionate. May he be guarded and guided by the Holy Spirit at all times. May he always find comfort and inspiration in knowing that he leads with God and the Filipino people just a few steps back.

Let us welcome the New Year as one nation with prayers for deeper faith and higher hopes. May 2018 bring more splendid days for every Filipino.

Have the happiest New Year everyone!