Speech of President Aquino, Eugenio Lopez Jr. Communications Center

Speech
of
His Excellency BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
During the dedication of the Eugenio Lopez Jr. Communications Center, and the launch of ABS-CBN Christmas Theme for 2010
[November 4, 2010, ABS-CBN compound, Quezon City]
Magandang gabi po sa lahat. Maupo ho tayo.
Mr. Gabby Lopez; Tito Manolo; Tito Oscar; Ms. Gina Lopez; Ms. Charo Santos-Concio; Mayor Herbert Bautista; Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte Almurong; ABS-CBN officials, advertisers and clients; honored guests; mga minamahal kong kababayan:
Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.
Let me begin by commending the hardworking men and women behind the ABS-CBN Corporation for arranging these special occasions of your network—the dedication of the Eugenio Lopez Jr. Communications Center, the launching of ABS-CBN Corporation’s Christmas Theme for this year, and the Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2010.
Through the years, your annual Christmas theme, along with its special presentations and programs, has warmed the hearts of millions of Filipinos at home and abroad. More than just entertainment, it encapsulates the heart of our culture and the joy of being Filipino. It is a yearly gift every Kapamilya looks forward to in this special season. I am sure that this year’s theme will again uplift the Christmas celebration of every Pinoy family.
The Philippines is known to have “The Longest Christmas” in the world. People may ask, why? Well, besides being a generally happy and festive country, we have a lot of reasons to celebrate and thank the Lord for, especially on His birthday. We are a country endowed with beautiful islands and a rich culture. We are a nation gifted with beautiful and talented people—blessed with a love centered on God and family.
Sa nalalapit na Pasko, siguradong muli na namang magsasama-sama at magsasalu-salo ang mga pamilyang Pilipino kasali ang tema ninyo para sa taong ito.
On a personal level, your network has always been a home for my own family. Besides having my very quiet sister Kris on board, and now my pamangkin Bimby, your network inspires great memories for my parents.
I will take this chance to commend your special documentary, “The Last Journey of Ninoy,” on the life of both my father and mother. Your masterful depiction of their story demonstrated the inspiration they brought to the nation. Through your network, the essence of their lives and the principles they lived and died for were instilled in the hearts and minds of this generation. As more history unfolds day by day, I hope you continue to pass on great stories such as theirs in the years to come.
ABS-CBN truly carries an enormous capacity to influence viewers more so, since communication has a great responsibility in our nation’s sustainable development. With the perceived credibility of media as a source of information, it has a crucial role in raising public awareness and molding public opinion, especially on issues of development and more importantly accountability. For this reason, encouraging the participation of the people in national decision-making is eminently notable.
Napakagandang halimbawa nito, ang programa ninyong “Bayan mo, Ipatrol mo. Ako ang Simula.” Sa ganitong klaseng proyekto, nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga Pilipinong makiisa sa paglilingkod sa bayan sa pamamagitan ng masusing pagmamatyag sa gobyerno.
Tulad ng nabanggit ko sa aking SONA: humakbang tayo mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Imbes na magreklamo, maging bahagi po tayo sana ng solusyon.
Inaanyayahan ko kayo; kaya nating itaas ang antas ng diskurso sa ating mga programa. Bilang paggalang at pagkilala sa ating mga karapatan at responsibilidad, maiiwasan natin ang pagtuon lang ng pansin sa mga personalidad. Sa paraang ito, mabibigyan natin ng lakas ang ating mga kababayan na maging aktibong bahagi ng talakayan ukol sa mga isyung kinakaharap ng ating bansa. Sa ganitong paraan, sa pagrespeto sa isa’t-isa, sa pagtuloy ng masinsinang dayalogo at pagtutok sa mga isyu, mas maayos tayong makakapagtutulungan sa paghahanap ng mga solusyong lulutas sa mga problema ng bayan.
Companies such as yours also play a vital part in fulfilling our administration’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in poverty reduction and the improvement of people’s lives. We need to further strengthen public-private partnerships, and it is in your business’ Corporate Social Responsibility programs where government efforts could be supplemented in order to fill the gaps especially in hard to reach areas.
Let me acknowledge at this point, the outstanding efforts of Ms. Gina Lopez, the Chief of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, both for the steady progress of the commission and for conducting successful events such as the recent “Run for Pasig River.”
As a directly affected resident, I have seen how your leadership is having a direct impact on many lives. You have dared to dream that the impossible dream becomes a reality.
Allow me to personally thank the ABS-CBN Corporation, along with your different foundations, for being a partner, a Kapamilya, in ensuring progress in our country. May this center remain committed in producing programs through your brilliant artists, workers and leaders that will continue to enlighten today and tomorrow’s Filipinos.
We can laugh, even cry together. Most of all, let us use the air waves to be better informed and to always challenge others to aspire for better quality, increased responsibility, and true humility in the face of the tremendous power an audience gives us.
To those whom a lot has been given, a lot is expected. Be the active and driven partner as we transform our society for the benefit of all Filipinos.
To the Lopezes, the Filipino people are grateful for your invaluable contributions to our nation. Let us never forget that Manong Geny Lopez was jailed by the dictatorship for choosing to be steadfast in providing the services needed by a silenced people.
This legacy is very much alive. Your continuing commitment to bring new technology and to constantly raise standards not only reflects your love for country but also your determination to push this country forward.
Time and again, and more often than not, collectively you have chosen to sacrifice comfort to do that which is right.
May God continue to guide and bless all of you as you continually opt to serve others before self.
Ating ipagbunyi ang tunay na diwa ng Pasko. Habang papalapit ang kaarawan ni Hesus, patuloy sana nating paalabin sa ating mga puso ang pagkakaisa upang mapanatili sa tuwid na landas ang ating bayan, at gawing maningning ang buhay ng mga kapamilya nating Pilipino.
At bago po ako magtapos, karamihan po sa mga anak ni Tito Geny nakilala ko po sa Fort Bonifacio na sa panahon na napakadilim ng aming mga buhay talagang kadamay  na po namin sila. At sigurado po ako sa mga darating na araw ‘pag tayo po’y tinawag na ng Diyos mula dito sa mundong ito, kasama ko pa rin silang magsasabing ‘di hamak mas maganda ang iniwan natin kaysa sa ating tinatag.
Magandang gabi po. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.