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Southern Leyteños face 2023 with hope

The SLT Team gathered some thoughts from our readers, leaders and other influencers to share what they are reflecting on and their wishes for the coming year.

Dr. Levi Tan, Cardiologist, Living Hope Hospital
God still sits on His throne. He is in control of everything. The past 2 years was quite a challenge for all of us but full of valuable reminders. May those experiences teach us important lessons and make us aware that this fragile life is a preparation of the perfect life. No one knows about tomorrow except the One Who sits on the throne. “Prepare to meet thy God” is the cry of prophet Amos. It continues to echo even more this time as people realize no one is prepared after all when catastrophe happens. As we recover from the devastation of the past few years let the recent celebration of Christ’s birth bring hope to all. I am reminded of Jesus comforting words, “do not worry about tomorrow, each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt 6:34). Living one day at a time is my 2023 stride. May God bless us all

Nacional Verano Mercado
Mayor, City of Maasin; Chairman, Board of Directors, Philippine Red Cross-Southern Leyte Chapter.
On a personal level, I’ve had a New Year resolution planned and thought out for a while now. It’s very important and that we have to be healthy all year round. I plan to exercise more and eat better. In terms of the city, I anticipate bringing a lot of effort to bring Maasin City a notch higher by getting projects done both new and rehabilitation works. I am hoping to get Maasinhons together and move the city in a positive direction.
Christopherson M. Yap, Representative, Second District of Southern Leyte.
As a congressman in the province, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Let’s embrace the new beginnings and opportunities that the year 2023 brings. Let us work together towards progress and development for our community. Let us also strive to be better versions of ourselves and make a positive impact on those around us.
Let’s make 2023 a year filled with hope, prosperity, and abundance for all.
Glindo Mira. Gentleman Farmer and owner of Sir G Integrated Farm.
My message is for the farmers who were severely affected by climate change to stand up and keep moving. Please understand that adversity can energize those who have survivor mentality, while giving rage to those with a victim mentality.
Accept, focus and deal with it. Remember your mission for others to provide food and contribute to end hunger.
Ben Sobong Malayang
Former University President, Silliman University
To be more resolute in keeping faith on our people and on our God.
Roger Gaviola Mercado
Former Lone District Representative of Southern Leyte, Congress of the Philippines
Moving towards the concreting of all barangay roads in our Province of Southern Leyte! For those in remote places to have access using the farm to market roads. Happy New Year to All!
Amelia Mancera, Miss Maasin City 2007; Lead Convenor, G-Watch Southern Leyte
I want to eat healthier foods, continue living an active life through outdoor activities, live a simpler life by keeping only the things I need, travel more, do more community engagements, plant more native trees and hopefully, settle down and start a family with my boyfriend, Justin.
Dr. Romeo Dax Roa, Provincial Medical Center Chief, SOYMPH.
May this year be kinder than the last. May it allow us to push ahead with all the needed programs, to be more prosperous. If there are untoward events, may we be better prepared. May people be much respectful and loving to others.
Jonas Plasabas Maco, Administrative Officer, Philippine Red Cross- Southern Leyte Chapter
Personal. Continue to be the inspiration of the young generation of today to be more useful and responsible to our society and create more successors to lead the organization.
Family. Spend More Quality Time with Wife and Kids by Doing more family outings and/or family activities that would contribute not only towards the improvement of our interpersonal bond but more importantly towards the development of my kids’ mental, social, and physical growth and development.
Community. Sustainable Partnership, More engagement and Convergence in order to improve and sustain organizational performance and impactful service to society
Dindo Alaras, Head Officer, DYSL Radio Station
Spend more time with family & friends. Live life to the fullest and make our remaining years meaningful to most people.

Jose Ramil Galia Golo. Vice Mayor, Sogod, Southern Leyte.
As we look at the past events of this year, we also look forward to what the future will bring to us. As local legislators of this locality, we are bound to bring the voice of each and every Sogodnon to be heard during deliberations of vital issues towards the passage of our local ordinances and resolutions.
As we face 2023, we should remain confident and hopeful. Being your public servants, we assure everyone that we will always strive and endeavor to attain a dynamic, service-oriented and perceptive Sanggunian Bayan in order to deliver the basic services and a better life for all our people in the Municipality of Sogod.
Adonis Talabo, Professional Electronics Engineer; ASEAN Engineer; COO -Global Artifex Technologies Inc.;
Board of Regent, PSR, Southern Leyte State University.

As we celebrate new year 2023, let me express my gratefulness to all people that surround me. To my family, relatives, colleagues and friends for the warm welcome as we settle back in our home town in Sogod, Southern Leyte.
To my friends in Qatar, where we lived for 12 years, thank you also for your well wishes as we are to re-integrate here in the Philippines.
As the former SLSU President said to my wife “Going back home is not easy, there will be many obstacles that you will soon face.” But she added “We have to embrace it gracefully as it is part of the re-integration process”. From those words of wisdom, I was able to immediately reflect and relate what she said. Yes there are many challenges since living abroad for 12 years become our comfort zone.
In order to face those challenges gracefully, we need to continue to focus on our goals and continue to do what you love to do with greater purpose. This not only for me and former OFWs, but for all of us.
Year 2022 is such a wonderful year, yet full of challenges. Look back and learn from it.
Finally, my family and I wish a happy and prosperous new year to all Southern Leyteños, sa lahat ng mga OFWs, at sa buong sambayanang Pilipino.
Mabuhay ang Southern Leyte Times at ang mga Southern Leyteños!
Reverend Zuriel Tiempo, President, The College of Maasin.
New Year is about new beginnings! And Life is about new beginnings. The past were just memories we cannot undo…today are challenges we need to struggle, and tomorrow is hope that rest in the sustaining grace of GOD.
Remember the words from Prophet Jeremiah: “those who trust and whose confidence is on GOD…are like a tree planted by the river…whose roots reach the waters…it doesn’t fear during dry seasons…it’s leaves are green…and bear fruits” (17:7-8).
Genis Murallos, Superintendent, Schools Division of Southern Leyte. The province of Southern Leyte has stood up once again a year after Super Typhoon Odette and after going through the Covid-19 pandemic. This is another show of resilience by every Southern Leyteño. Let me express my gratitude to our DepEd community who responded during these challenging times. The support we received from our alumni, parents, humanitarian actors, and local communities this year has been touching and inspiring.
Our school leaders and teachers have worked tirelessly to develop and implement ways to support our learners and help sustain their academic progress. The Regional and Schools Division Offices of Regions V and VIII came to our aid after STY Odette. Humanitarian actors across the province actively participated in community support and reconstruction.
UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, All Hands and Hearts, Fundlife, to name a few, played a central role in helping us build a strong base for education and putting in place sustainable solutions that guarantee our learners access to continued learning. They helped us to implement blended learning delivery, pilot limited face to face classes and eventually conducted limited face to face classes to almost 100% of schools. They also helped us put transitional learning spaces and repair classrooms to ensure a 100% in-person classes.
This year has also brought us together new ways, strengthened relationships, and united us in our dedication to our learners and our educational mission. The Lord has been faithful in the past and I believe He will be with us this new year as we continue serving our learners – the future of this great province.
Oriel M. Carillo and Phoebe M. Amago, Southern Leyteño International officers based in Chicago, Illinois.
For many of us, continue to be healthy – physical, emotional, social, psychological, mental, and spiritual lifestyle. And for some of us who are sick, to get healed by God’s grace.
Bernardina de los Santos Gamatero. Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish Church woman elder, Phil-Am, Quezon City.
I pray that the new year will bring about changes that impact our existence and the world we live in for: peace nationally & internationally; leaders, who put the well-being of constituents on top of their agenda; ample food supply for everyone; mitigation of the negative effects of climate change; covid-19 pandemic to turn endemic; health personally, of relatives and friends to remain rosy.
Jessi R. Quilantang. Maasin Maternity Children’s Hospital.
Amidst the different challenges that each of us are confronted with daily in this troubled world, may the New Year bring us the comfort of knowing that we have a loving, gracious, merciful and forgiving Heavenly Father; the Almighty God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is always there to share His kind of peace and joy when we are ready to accept His invitation to each one of us.
Bonifacio Basco Ramos. Ret. Lt. General, Philippine Army.
The challenges of our immediate past portrayed the specter of disaster, death and destruction, and treasured properties damaged and gone. Despite the hardships and untold miseries, we faced them all with our individual and collective strength and resilience as a people – helping each other up from the ruins, surviving and still smiling.
As we face the New Year, let us brace ourselves with even more resolve to face whatever challenges are lying ahead, ever confident in ourselves and anchored on our strong faith in God’s divine providence.
Gloria Markines Reyes. President, Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce; Editor-inChief, Southern Leyte Times; Board Director-Treasurer, Philippine Red Cross-Southern Leyte; Grandmother.
Life is good to you if you are good to life. Do your best, hope for the best and expect nothing. If something good happens with what you do, that is already a gift. So be thankful.
If others do bad things to you just continue to do good to them. And as the Bible says, if someone throws a stone at you, throw back some bread to them! These thoughts are easy to say, but for real they are difficult to follow. With practice, lots of heartache and maturity, one can master the art of dealing with difficult people and impassable situations.
To our beloved entrepreneurs – keep that fire burning and pray, the business climate will be better in 2023.
To our Red Cross volunteers, officers and members – this world is a better place because of you; keep motivated.
To our SLT readers – this newspaper, a watchdog of the people, will continue to uphold its integrity of delivering a balanced and fair news that make the community informed.

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