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New year, new hope for all

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Time really flies especially those who have been active and busy for whatever purpose in life, business, livelihood, entertainment, sports and health or personal matters. In a couple of days, we will watch as 2017 comes to a close and stand by with  great expectation about the New Year and what it brings to us, our nations, our Mother Earth and great Universe many of whose traits and ways we humans cannot still fathom and comprehend.


For our Mother Land, the Philippines, the year closes with good strides in all aspects of life -- jobs, reforms, governance, agriculture and many others -- but temporarily dampened by two successive weather disturbances during the Christmas holidays – typhoons Urduja and Vinta – which dumped unexpected volume of rain triggering massive floods and landslides that destroyed lives, crops, properties and infrastructures running to billions of pesos in the Visayas and Mindanao. Typhoon Vinta alone caused the death of 240 people with scores missing in many areas in Mindanao, including Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte. EvenPope Francis offered prayers for the victims of Typhoon Vinta in his weekly blessing at the St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. "Merciful Lord, take in the souls of the dead and comfort those who are suffering as a result of this calamity. Let's pray for these people," the Pontiff prayed. If for any consolation, the destructions wrought by the typhoons on crops did not massively dent the gains in the country’s agricultural production as Luzon, the Philippines’ rice granary, was spared by the typhoons as farmers started to plant rice.


The country closes the year as Mr. Duterte’s popularity soars in the wake of reforms in government, fight against corruption, the intensified drugs campaign, more infrastructures in the planning board and the availability of more jobs and business opportunities, among others. US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim, taking note of the gains in the country, expressed though that the Philippines could do more owing to its people’s great potentials and that the United States, which hosts 4.5 million Filipinos and still increasing, was willing to partner with the country in many ways. At the same time, the envoy encouraged Filipino businessmen to explore more opportunities in the US.


Happy New Year to one and all. The management and staff of the Philippines Today fervently anticipate with joy and hopes for better life for all of us the coming of 2018 as we leave 2017 behind.


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