Dec 22, 2020
President & CEO Christmas Message
Challenges, Gratefulness, and Hope
We have finally come to the end of 2020, a year that we will all surely remember.
“Where were you when the lockdown was announced?”
That is a question to which each and every one of us will have a very clear and specific answer, not just in our country, but indeed throughout the entire world.
I had barely warmed my seat here in PNOC EC as your new President and CEO when the Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared in the middle of March. We had so many plans and programs ready. We were all eager to get going and tackle all of the projects we had lined up. We wanted to get out there and get the job done, for ourselves, for our people, and for our country.
But a disease the likes of which we have never encountered in the modern era changed all that, and disrupted the lives of everyone on the planet.
Some of us may have even lost loved ones or friends to the pandemic. Some of us might have lost businesses and livelihoods. Some of us were probably gravely affected in heart and soul, in mind and spirit, trying to figure out how this disease suddenly overtook and overwhelmed so many lives.
Here in PNOC EC, we adjusted to the “new normal” as best we could.
In spite of limits on the number of people who could report to work, in spite of connectivity, network, and other technical difficulties during online meetings, in spite of the very real danger of exposure to COVID 19 for those of us reporting regularly to the office, we soldiered on, to try and get all of our commitments done – swiftly, properly, effectively – given the new normal.
During my message in our last Online Flag Ceremony for 2020, I mentioned all of the Officers and Departments who I think truly went above and beyond the call of duty in the new normal. They all delivered what I asked of them in spite of the tremendous new challenges of today’s working environment.
In spite of all the challenges, the dire tidings, the uncertainties, the fear, I think it is still important for all of us to count our blessings.
In the face of all the bad news this past year, there is still much for which we can all be grateful.
First, there is the grace of Family and Loved Ones. If you look around your house, and you still see familiar faces, and you can still give them a hug, or a kiss, or even a pat on the shoulder, that is already a grace beyond all measure.
If you are able to video call on Messenger, or get together on Zoom, or any of the other apps and platforms, with Family and Loved Ones who you cannot visit personally, that is also a grace beyond measure.
Maybe the Noche Buena table won’t be as full this year as in previous years. Maybe the annual Christmas family reunions will be either incomplete, or will not push through at all. Maybe the traditional unwrapping of Christmas presents won’t be as fun.
But for as long as we still have Family and Loved Ones, then we are still truly blessed.
Second, for us here in PNOC EC, there is the grace of work. I am sure almost all of us, must know someone who lost their job, or their livelihood, during the pandemic. It seems the economic and social displacement has been talked about endlessly.
Given the tough situation of a lot of people, we are indeed most fortunate in our Company that we still remain gainfully employed.
I am personally even more grateful that we have all pitched in with all of the donations we have made to various Units of the Armed Forces, Local Governments, and Charitable Organizations, as a Company.
Third, and most important of all, there is the grace of Life itself.
In PNOC EC we lost two of our service people, their departure coming very suddenly, surprising all of us. We all know that there have also been many other people who were lost to COVID 19.
That we are all still very much whole, hale, and hearty, in spite of everything, is to my mind, the greatest gift of all.
Sabi nga nating mga Pilipino, “HABANG MAY BUHAY, MAY PAGASA!”
And here perhaps is the greatest of all the graces: HOPE!
In spite of every bad thing – volcanic eruptions, pandemics, typhoons, economic and human losses – for as long as we LIVE, BELIEVE, and PRAY, there will always be HOPE.
We have somehow gotten through one of the worst times in recent history. We have made the best of what we had in very tough times. We have endured losses as individuals and as one humanity.
And yet here we all are, for the most part still alive and kicking, still fighting the good fight, still making the most of whatever grace God bestows.
We’ve taken some of the strongest blows and rolled with them. We may have been knocked down, but we were never knocked out. We may have experienced turbulence, but we still came out straight and level, as we pilots say.
That is why I look forward to 2021. I know it will be a better year for all of us – personally and professionally.
Sabi nga ng mga kabataan ngayon, “Kapit lang!”
MALIGAYANG PASKO, MANIGONG BAGONG TAON, TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!