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New Year's Message
SPECIAL TO THE MANILA BULLETIN
by former President Fidel V. Ramos
29 December 2008 (for the 01 January 2009-New Year's Message)
NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE: MOBILIZING NATIONAL PRIDE
Recalling the 112th Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal's martyrdom at Bagumbayan last 30 December, it is especially fitting to start the New Year with the mobilization of the Filipino spirit of patriotism and national pride in the face of the daunting challenges before the nation. No less than the total application of unity of purpose, solidarity in values and teamwork in nation-building can effectively address the combination of political fragmentation, economic decline and social animosities forecast for the Philippines by experts and analysts for the year 2009.
A unique Christmas card I received in December 2007 from an esteemed friend, Court of Appeals Justice Magdangal M. de Leon who is also acknowledged musical artist and poet, provides an inspiring message for the gloomy year ahead which I wish to share with our Kababayans here at home and abroad in its entirety:
"I am Filipino.
"My country is a land of incredible beauty, natural wealth and splendor.
"I inherited a glorious past, and I honor the noble heroes who have sacrificed their lives so that I may enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy.
"I have my talents and skills and abilities, and stand on equal footing with any citizen of another country.
"I have a firm belief in my own strengths and creativity, and in my capacity to achieve greatness.
"I have a strong sense of my identity and self-worth as a Filipino, and I feel good about myself.
"I am proud to be a Filipino, and I am confident to stand before the world, because I have something unique to offer for the enrichment of world culture.
"I recognize the men and women whose achievements have dignified and exalted my people.
"I love my country, and I am willing to serve, support and defend it when necessary.
"I am doing my best to fulfill my responsibilities as a morally-upright and law-abiding citizen of the land.
"I am filled with hope, courage, determination, and true grit to overcome any obstacle on my journey towards self-realization.
"With God's help, and in unity with my countrymen, I am always ready to work, to preserve and to sacrifice for the common good, to make the nation strong, self-reliant, dynamic, prosperous and progressive, secure in its place in the community of nations.
"Dakila ang ating lahi, Dakila ang ating bansa."
(Signed Magdangal M. de Leon)
As Filipinos, let us love our country more by doing all we can to fight poverty and keep the nation secure.
May the Good Lord bless with success our collective efforts to overcome challenge and crisis for a brighter New Year. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!
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