Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
10 January 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III recognized the show of generosity and commitment of the members of the diplomatic community in the Philippines during the traditional New Year Vin D’Honneur in Malacañan Palace.

In his message during the ceremonial toast, President Aquino expressed his gratitude to all the nations, as well as to fellow Filipinos, who rendered help during the calamities that hit the country.

“The Filipino people remember who their friends are. Filipinos never forget an instance of kindness, and will constantly look for ways to repay those who stood by them in the most difficult times. In our language, we call this ‘utang na loob’,” the President said.

In reply, Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto cited the Filipinos’ resilience, strength of character and their faith when faced with tragedies like the Cebu and Bohol earthquake and the super typhoon Yolanda.

“The whole world wished to help, to console, and to rebuild. And just as in previous calamities, you, Mister President, paved the way for local and international solidarity. Inspiring episodes of heroism and fraternal love in Samar, Leyte and the neighboring islands are being written in the pages of history,” he said.

The event was also attended by Cabinet members, senators, representatives, heads of international and local organizations, and other top government officials in the country.

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