Through the years we have defined and described this season so many ways. We have created this time of the year as a joyous and festive celebration. That is of course true, for there is no greater joy than the day the Savior was born. It is of course a season to celebrate because the Salvation of man and its story will now come into fruition.
But just like how different individuals are, Christmas is also observed in the hearts of men differently. Some enjoy Christmas for the avalanche of gifts. Some are just thankful for being alive. Some muse because of the variety of food to eat. Some just say a prayer to continue to survive. But there is a unifying factor in why Christmas is special – it is the coming of the child who will make every man equal in the story of salvation.
No matter what sweeps our hearts in this season of Christ’s birth, we have a lot to be thankful for.
The PPS has a lot to be thankful for.
We remain a resilient Society. A group of people called upon to help deliver healthcare services to the young and tasked to preserve a future they all deserve.
We remain a strong Society. A group of professionals who when called to action go beyond their duties and take the extra mile to do their best in everything they have put their minds into.
We remain a courageous Society. A group of determined professionals who take principles positions on issues that require both conviction and competence.
We remain a determined Society. A group of specialized doctors who weathered the resurgence of diseases in outbreak proportions – measles, dengue and now polio. We rally behind the government in its earnest efforts to curb the spread of these diseases protecting every child to the best of our abilities.
Christmas is a time of hope. A time to look beyond what is here. A time to aspire for a better future.
Christmas is a time of love. A time to share what we have been blessed. A time to wish others the blessings they deserve.
Christmas is a time of peace. A time to pray for each other’s solace. A time to bring happiness to every single man we can.
Some find joy in Christmas because it reminds them of their youths. Some shed tears during Christmas because it witnessed the loss of people and properties they once cared for. Some find exuberance during Christmas because the sight, the sound and the smell of the cool breeze brings them unspeakable happiness. Some find sadness in Christmas because of the indifference and confusion the occasion brings.
No matter what makes us happy or sad in this season of Nativity, we have a lot to look forward to.
The PPS has a lot to look forward to.
We remain a formidable Society. A group of experts who know what they are doing and who are willing to teach others how to do it well.
We remain a vibrant Society. A group of colorful individuals coming from all spectrum of the human form, bearing individuality that spells diversity and welcoming everyone with an inclusivity that knows no distinction.
We remain a vigilant Society. A group of dedicated physicians who look after each other, who put the interest of the Filipino child above self and who respects the ideals for which the PPS was envisioned and established.
And as we join our families a few days from now to be one in the celebration of Christmas, let us not forget to find Christ in this season because He is the reason and He is the season itself.
It is only in finding Christ in the letters of the word Christmas can living be appreciated as a precious gift, that prayers answered or not are heard, that tears of loss have the promise of joy and that sadness will one day be rewarded with genuine happiness.
Merry Christmas to all of you.
Delivered by the PPS President , Salvacion R. Gatchalian , MD , during the Annual Christmas Party of the Philippine Pediatric Society December 11, 2019 at Novotel Manila Araneta City.