POSTSCRIPT / December 22, 2019 / Sunday


Opinion Columnist

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None beats a Pinoy, the eternal optimist

NOTHING beats the Filipino, the eternal optimist who insists, even as he thirsts, that the half-empty glass will soon be full.

The latest survey has shown again that nine in 10 Filipinos welcome the New Year with optimism in the midst of the trying times and nearly half of whom see a “more prosperous” holiday season despite the absence of clear signs of the hoped-for prosperity.

A nationwide survey conducted Dec. 3-8 by Pulse Asia found 93 percent of 1,200 adult respondents saying they face the coming year with hope – 90-98 percent in all geographic areas and 91-97 percent across all economic classes.

Pulse Asia observed: “During the period December 2018 to December 2019, hopefulness becomes more pronounced among those in Class E (+15 percentage points) while indecision on the matter in the same socio-economic grouping eased (-15 percentage points)”.

Languishing in a dark cellar, there is not much one can do except to keep hoping and looking for a way to get out into the sunlight. May awa ang Dios. To the less spiritual, bahala na si Batman.

The polling firm said this month’s survey results are essentially the same as those in December 2018. This means, to this blasé observer, that the fatalistic Filipino has not changed much in his outlook on matters that seem beyond his limited control.

The only significant changes in public opinion on the survey matter from December 2018 and December 2019, according to Pulse Asia, are:

The drop in the percentage of Visayans who say the holiday season will be more prosperous for them and their families (-25 percentage points); increase in the percentage of those in the Visayas who expect their holiday celebration this year to be the same as the one they had a year ago (+21 percentage points); and decline in the percentage of Mindanawons who see no change in their holiday celebration year-on-year (-12 percentage points).

 Pope reminds envoys of human rights

AT THE Vatican, Pope Francis reminded ambassadors presenting their credentials to the Holy See to promote and protect human rights and dignity, which are growing concerns in places where oppression and abuse abound.

The world is getting smaller, meanwhile, for human rights violators and perpetuators of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. They could soon be denied entry and their assets frozen in the European Union, United States and other countries.

Pope Francis reminded incoming ambassadors on Thursday about human rights and dignity when they presented their letters of credence in the Clementine Hall. The envoys came from Seychelles, Mali, Andorra, Kenya, Latvia and Niger.

Francis told them: “The Catholic Church is committed to cooperating with every responsible partner in promoting the good of each person and of all peoples.”

His “prayerful hope,” he said, is that their mission “will contribute not only to the consolidation of the good relations existing between your nations and the Holy See, but also to the building of a more just and peaceful world in which human life, dignity and rights are respected and enhanced.”

Excerpts from the Pope’s remarks: “Our meeting today takes place as Christians throughout the world prepare to celebrate the birth of the one whom we address as the Prince of Peace. In fact, peace is the aspiration of the entire human family. It is a journey of hope, encompassing dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion.

“In a world sadly marked by civil, regional and international conflicts, social divisions and inequalities, it is essential to undertake a constructive and creative dialogue based on honesty and truth, with the aim of fostering greater fraternal solidarity among individuals and within the global community.

“For her part, the Catholic Church is committed to cooperating with every responsible partner in promoting the good of each person and of all peoples. It is my prayerful hope that your mission will contribute… also to the building of a more just and peaceful world in which human life, dignity and rights are respected and enhanced.

“The path to peace begins with openness to reconciliation, ‘which entails renouncing our desire to dominate others and learning to see one another as persons, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters.’ Only when we set aside indifference and fear can a genuine climate of mutual respect grow and flourish. This, in turn, leads to the development of a culture of inclusion, a more just economic system and various opportunities for the participation of all in social and political life.

“Your presence here is a sign of the resolution of the nations you represent and of the international community as a whole to address the situations of injustice, discrimination, poverty and inequality that afflict our world and threaten the hopes and aspirations of coming generations.

“Increasingly, we see that the path to peace is blocked also by a lack of respect for our common home and particularly by the abusive exploitation of natural resources viewed only as a source of immediate profit, without consideration of the cost to local communities or to nature itself.

“A commitment to responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources is urgently demanded at every level, from family education, to social and civic life, and to political and economic decision-making. The common good and that of the home in which we dwell demand cooperative efforts to advance the flourishing of life and the integral development of every member of our human family.”

(First published in the Philippine STAR of December 22, 2019)

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