Eugenio Lopez IIIIf there is a phrase which for me characterizes 2016, it is this—momentous and stunning change.
This intentionally differentiates the change I refer to from the kind change we have come to accept but continue to struggle with. For instance, I do not refer to the unceasing and even revolutionary developments the internet spawns in the form of new business. Yes, we continue to be amazed at these changes but the truth is, we have become accustomed to them and even expect them to a certain degree.
The change I categorize as momentous and stunning are changes that pollsters and seasoned pundits could not even come close to forecasting.
Take Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit. No one could have predicted a referendum would finally determine Britain would separate itself from 43 years of political and economic treaties and agreements. While there were advocates of the “Leave” vote, no one thought it would actually pass.
When I say momentous and stunning change, I also refer to the results of the Philippine and US presidential elections. For better or worse, nontraditional, unconventional, highly outspoken and polarizing candidates, who started out as dark horses, handily won both elections in the end.
As I see it, the Brexit vote as well as the results of the Philippine and US presidential elections are indications there are large segments of global society who feel their voices are not heard.
The impact of globalization has marginalized vast swaths of people who have correspondingly voted their displeasure at the polls.
Through the Brexit vote and the presidential candidates they voted into office, people made their plea for help heard. Equally resounding, they made an unequivocal statement they would no longer silently accept their state of life. They have placed their hopes in the untried and untested because the familiar and long established did not work for them.
It is both saddening and sobering to know there are countless people who feel they have been left behind.
In the Philippine context, this is not surprising at all. We do know there are millions who languish in poverty.
In the opening mass of ABSCBN’s management conference held last November, Fr. Tito Caluag spoke about our mission of being in the service of the Filipino. He said our mission remains the same, but the context within which we must realize that mission is radically different.
Our context today demands velocity and broad-based efforts that reach the edges of Philippine society. In the service of the Filipino means in the service of all Filipinos. And service means service that results in tangible and real improvement in the lives of every Filipino.
We must work for the time when all Filipinos can celebrate Christmas with their family sharing a meal prepared with love in the tender warmth of a home they own. We must work for the time when this family get-together rejoicing the birth of our Lord does not happen only on Christmas day, but can happen every day of the year for each of our Filipino brethren.
Merry Christmas, my dearest Kapamilya. Thank you for your service to the Filipino this 2016. Without a doubt, lives have changed because of you.
EUGENIO LOPEZ III Chairman, ABS-CBN