A very merry and blessed Christmas, dear reader

Published December 20, 2020, 9:35 AM

by Deedee Siytangco


Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it white. 

Bing Crosby

Welcome the only reason we celebrate Christmas—the birth of baby Jesus! Forget the frills, and trimmings, look up at the sky and see the star, the light that will spare us from the darkness of evil and the dreaded Covid-19!

The year is dedicated to Mary’s spouse and protector of Jesus, St. Joseph. Let us call on him for all needs and may he protect us, as he did his little family.

Sen. Richard Gordon with wife Kate and family

We continue with good wishes and new year resolutions from friends like Senator Richard Gordon. He has been with the Philippines National Red Cross (PNRC) since 1967, its chairman for 15 years. And he is credited for having upgraded and updated the PNRC to international standards and attracted a host of willing volunteers.

He gives credit it to his team at PNRC and to his wife Kate, who he claims does not grumble that he is away most of the time, especially whenever natural disasters strikes the country.

The senator still has infectious enthusiasm for any job he undertakes. He was one of the country’s more active and innovative tourism secretaries who focused on local tourism spots such as Intramuros. He does not make resolutions anymore, whether personal or for the country. His not-so-secret frustrations about the state of affairs of the country he traces to Manuel L. Quezon’s “curse.” He said, recalling Quezon’s quote, “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however a bad Filipino government might be, we can always change it. “

Cheers, Senator!

Mica Tan of MFT Conglomerate and husband Carlos Cancio

“My wish for everyone is to continue to G.I.V.E.” declared Mica Tan, president and CEO of MFT Group of Companies. This conglomerate is a strategic partner to legacy corporations. It provides shared services in several areas, such as finance, marketing,operations, business development, succession, corporate restructuring, and legal services. They operate in the country, the US, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. G.I.V.E., according to her stands for Grit, Integrity, Value, and Excellence. “Most of all, I wish everyone good health and a listening heart for silent prayer in knowing what to do,” she said.

Bob Zozobrado  with his children  Jose Miguel, Juan Carlos and Ana Beatriz shooting the breeze at a seaside restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The chairman of the Pacific Travel Association and a member of the board of Trustees of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, columnist Bob Zozobrado feels the loss of local and foreign tourists in the country. “I pray for 2021 to bring us back to our pre-Covid lives and that everybody, especially my family and I, will be safe from this dreaded virus so that we will continue enjoy this beautiful world that God has given us,” he said. “I also hope that our countrymen won’t take long in conquering their fear of traveling so that our tourism industry will bounce back faster than expected.”

Frank Evaristo and his children on a rare night out.

His friend, multi-faceted businessman and civic leader Frank Evaristo, is hoping for “a much brighter new year and that the country will overcome the pandemic virus so that our lives can swing back to normalcy.” Frank leads the annual Alak Lakad fundraising program for out-of-school youth, which was founded by Estefania Aldaba Lim. He is also active in the Rotary, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Lions, and other civic organizations. “I hope for my family to get closer to each other and bond more, and that we stay healthy and well. My son Jun-Jun suffered a stroke, but he has recovered. I wish for everything to just get better in my family,” he said.

Business-wise, it’s not going too well with the small and medium groups, noted Frank. “We had hoped the SMEs would start to get better but I know it will be back to normal soon,” he said. “With hope, by the fourth quarter of next year, we should have some semblance of normalcy.”

Louie, Mico, and Maureen Ferrer

Louie Ferrer, director for infrastructure of Megawide Corporation,wants to try to get more time for his family’s favorite pastimes.“Cooking and singing together are two of my family’s favorite pastimes,” he said. “Next year we hope to make more time for our family. This pandemic has taught me a very important lesson. Value time and make the most out of it.” He also sincerely hopes 2021 will bring a more positive turn for all Filipino families, including those affected in the travel and tourism sectors. “A vaccine will help our economy recover faster, but its widespread effects will only be felt is it is made accessible for everyone, not just a few,” he said. “My hope is for the much-needed public projects, between all key players, to be our focus. I hope we can leave behind the thinking that you have to pull someone down in order for you to rise.”