PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Filipinos continued to be blessed despite facing some challenges over the past years due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Saturday, December 3, 2022, Marcos led the lighting of a giant Christmas tree in Malacañang which was attended by his family and other government officials as well as children.

“I always have believed that Christmas is really for the children and so we have made, done everything that we can to make sure that every child, every Filipino child has a Christmas,” Marcos said during his short remark.

“And that is something that I think is a good goal for us this Christmas, since we have been blessed, all of us, despite all of the challenges we have faced, here we are, we have all been blessed,” he added.

Marcos said this year’s Christmas celebration brings a different feeling following a few years of restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic that limits the movement of the people.

“So tatlong taon na tayo hindi nakapag-Pasko na Pasko na kagaya ng Pasko ng Pilipino. Dahil iba talaga ang pagdiriwang ng Pasko pag nasa Pilipinas ka. Wala ka ng makikita na kahit saan sa buong mundo na mas masaya na tao kapag nagka-Pasko at lalong lalo na para sa mga bata,” he said.

Marcos earlier ordered the lifting of the mandatory wearing of face masks in both open and enclosed spaces.

The government also further loosened the border control in the country which attracted more tourists both from here and abroad helping the tourism sector, one of the most badly affected by the pandemic, to recover. (SunStar Philippines)