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Happy New Year Samarnons!

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    2014 started as a year of hope and celebration. For many, it was a year of healing and forgiveness. For us, the people of Samar, it was a year of heavy challenges as we faced Mother Nature’s ruthlessness. So ruthless that we had to endure her wrath until the last days of the year.

    Today is a bittersweet time for all Samarnons as we bid goodbye to 2014. We are all grieving from the lives and hard-earned possessions that Typhoon Seniang took. Many of us ask how we can celebrate the coming of a new year after losing so much. How can we move on from tragedy after tragedy? In one of my moments of prayer, this quote came to mind, “Weep not, my child, for I am with you until the end and I will be with you in the new beginning.”

    My fellow-Samarnons, there is only one answer to our questions and the answer is God. Let us draw hope and strength from Him. Let this last day of the year be a day of reflection and prayer.

    Tonight, during the last hours of 2014, I invite everyone to offer solemn prayers to the victims of Typhoon Seniang and their families. Let us ask the Lord to open His gates to those who perished and console the hearts of the ones they left behind. Let us also pray for one another, that our hearts be cleansed from grieving and be filled with love instead.

    Let us never lose sight of our Samarnon spirit. Despite the challenges and adversities, we always rise up at the end because that is who we are.

    Tomorrow, let us welcome the new year with renewed hope. Let us celebrate the beginning of 2015 with healed hearts and our heads held high.

    Have a Solemn and Hopeful New Year, my fellow-Samarnons!

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