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DepEd chief to teachers, students: Hope, peace, joy, love despite tragedies

December 19, 2013 10:57am

Despite the tragedies caused by various calamities this year, teachers and students should mark this Christmas with hope, peace, joy and love, Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro said.

Luistro, in his Christmas message, said these four virtues are even more relevant as many Filipinos are tempted to despair and become hopeless.

"It is easy to succumb to hopelessness and despair during these times. Yet it is precisely for these conditions that the message of Christmas becomes more relevant to us: The message of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE," he said.

He noted many Filipinos this year are reeling from "devastating blows" from floods, insurgency, earthquakes and a super typhoon.

Such natural and manmade calamities had caused great losses to life and property and the DepEd had been among those directly affected, he added.

Last September, followers of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari tried to occupy Zamboanga City but were eventually repelled.

In October, a magnitude-7.2 quake devastated Central Visayas. In November, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) battered Visayas and Southern Luzon, killing more than 6,000.

"A number of our students, staff, teachers and administrators, together with their families, comprise some of the victims and survivors. Even our school facilities were not spared," Luistro said.

Yet, he said they hope in the goodness and generosity of benefactors "who have come quickly to our aid."

"Hope that in our better understanding of these events, we are able to establish better systems and processes to prevent the same mistakes from repeating themselves. We hope that as a new year approaches, new life should sprout from the rubble, bathed in the warmth of a rising sun, the light of God’s mercy and compassion for our troubled people," Luistro said.

"With this renewed hope, I wish you peace. Peace in the faith that all will be well. Peace in our hearts, in our homes, our communities and the whole country," he added.

Luistro also wished joy "that is deep and full, grounded in the peace you find within and around you."

"Yes, we are confronted today by the pain and difficulties of tragedy, but we have the choice to transform the darkness into light, despair into hope, confusion into peace, sadness into joy, indifference into love. As one family, we reach out to one another, leaving no one behind. And there’s no better time to do so but this season of Christmas," he said. — LBG, GMA News
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