The Philippines, once known as "the sick man of Asia", posted the second strongest annual economic growth in Asia of 7.1 percent in the third quarter, lagging only China and outpacing the 6.2 percent expansion of Southeast Asia's biggest economy, Indonesia. This was from a Reuters report by Rosemarie Francisco. "There is no denying it, the Philippines is having a fantastic year despite strong global headwinds," HSBC said in a note to investors. There is good news all around. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Elsewhere, Filipinos have been showing the world what they can do. Singer Bruno Mars is relentless with his chartbusting hits. Janine Marie Tugonon proved that Filipinas are world class beauties - with brains!, winning 1st runner up at the recent Miss Universe Beauty Pageant held in Las Vegas - where, of course, she should have won. Her answer was a clear winner compared to Miss USA's mediocre answer. Filipina beauties have been making it to the Top 5 of every international Beauty Pageants for the last 10 years or so. The guys do equally well. Andrew Wolfe won 1st runner up at the Mr. World Male Pageant held in London. And June Macasaet took the champ's trophy at the Manhunt International 2012. Nonito Donaire, Philippines' other boxing superstar, won his championship belt in boxing. Sure, Manny Pacquiao suffered his first loss in a long time, but look how he picked himself up. This Superstar pugilist shows how inspirations are made when he moved on as fast as he got knocked down cold in the ring - and this underlines the resilience of the Filipino spirit. Pacquiao's loss may have been devastating (and almost personal) for his countrymen, but he has moved on - and so have we. In time, the victims of Typhoon Pablo will rise from the tragedy of calamity.
Here are a few photos from some of the places I frequent in Metro Manila. Though I don't carry my "usual" camera with me, thank heavens for phone cams. You have to pardon the quality, but here's wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas, everyone. May we not forget the blessings we've received this year, and may we be grateful for them. May God bless all the kind souls and the broken hearted, the innocent minds, the physically and emotionally sick and the lost souls, including those who continue to suffer. God bless all of us. Lastly, let's not forget to share what we have! Only then can we truly be blessed.
This is the Eye in the Manila Sky!
|Power Plant Mall at the Rockwell Center in Makati|
|Power Plant Mall|
|Power Plant Mall|
|Edsa Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong City|
|Identifiable Floating Objects at the Shangrila|
|Edsa Shangrila Mall|
|Rustan's glittery wonderland tree. This photo doesn't give justice to its beauty.|
|Thousands of toys and gift ideas gathered at the activity hall of Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.|
|At a garden between Greenbelt 3 and 5.|
|A white tree in Greenbelt 5.|
|An angel playing with balls in Greenbelt 3.|
|Odd, but beautiful Christmas Trees at the Calvin Klein shop.|
|Between Greenbelt 4 and 5|
|Palm trees bathed in lights at Greenbelt 3. Watching movies here.|
|Blue, but nonetheless Happy Christmas at the lobby of Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City|