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A Time to Hope

Ninety two percent of Filipinos are hopeful for the New Year, 2023, according to Pulse Asia’s survey. Last year, definitely, was bleak to say the least because of Covid-19, however, as the year ended, full recovery was the other “good news” in the City of Naga’s Tourism industry.

Except for a few countries, including China, most of the world eased travel restrictions. We are not out of the woods yet, thus, complacency should guide our adherence to minimum health protocols. Although, facial masks are optional, some people prefer to wear them, specifically, in public-enclosed-spaces.

War and peace, the perennial global phenomenon, marked by the Russia vs. Ukraine row is a despondent developing narrative. Economic issues such as; hike in fuel prices, increased inflation rates, and, ballooning in affordability of products and services. Moreover, need we say, steep onion prices?

Those are just a few of the setbacks for the year 2022.

We should like to learn as always, and move forward, and be ready for the new opportunities that 2023 has for all of us. Travel for business and leisure is one thing, and connecting to family and friends is another, these were taken for granted that only because of the pandemic we have come to realize yet again that physical presence is the Real McCoy.

In the book of Saint Pope John Paul II’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope. He prayed that the brethren should ask Our Father to shower us with the grace of faith. Faith is the virtue that is at the end of the bridge that we cross from hope. Faith is believing that whatever we need, God will give which we, fondly, call as Divine Providence.

When the Infant Jesus was born, the triumph of hope illuminated the world. Any human baby born in this time is also a symbolism for hope. To be simply put, another new life. Thus, a new beginning, a new opportunity, a new wish, a new dream, and, a new prayer, essentially, a new hope springs eternal.

An infinite joy is at hand, a time for rejoicing, claiming the Gift of Salvation, owning the Begotten Promise. A fruitful year to all of us, as the fruition of God’s Love gives us a special canopy from all the sufferings that the world endures.

Resolutions after reflections may be transformed into plans and goals. Seize the year 2023. This year could be yours if you choose to succeed. There are no limits. Break the backward chains. Free yourself from myopic thinking. Spread your wings and soar into expanded horizons. Embrace positivity and leave negativity behind.

Being at home for so long, this year, it is time to explore. It is time to make the myriad dreams of our hearts’ desire into realities. Optimism is free.

Meanwhile, closer to home, another good news: people who had been away for so long discovered the urban development of Magsaysay Avenue District, in the City of Naga and Pili, indeed, there is nowhere else to go but even higher. New restaurants like Pomodoro, Graceland, Chow King, McDonald’s, Mama Sarah’s Lettuce Garden sprouted in the former while, Shakey’s and Bigg’s Diner, etc. mushroomed in San Agustin, Pili. Again, these are pleasant news to all. Why? To cite an example, how about much needed employment opportunities?

By the same token, hotels such as The Litton Hotel, El Sancho Pancho Hotel, and a few more have sprung up and dotted the two cities which are wonderful additions to the vitality and excitement of the cityscape. An increasing plethora of options for locals and tourists alike. Business is good.

Hence, one may really take up anything to their heart’s content, further studies is another opportunity. If you haven’t finished your schooling, you may do so. There are many inspiring stories featured in the Media of success stories of older people receiving their diplomas.

Being abreast with current events, there were blizzards that immobilized the air transportation system in some parts of the United States of America and, coincidentally, “technical glitches” paralyzed the entire air transportation system of the Philippines just recently.

Passengers were complaining about sleeping in the airport etc. Perhaps, we may like to recall that our ancestors traveled months on a ship from Asia to Europe. Our ancestors were tougher maybe. Or probably, we were born in different eras that called for different measures.

We may surmise that in order to succeed in any endeavor, we may like to always be ready for a storm, a challenge, or a test coming our way. In life there are easy times and there are difficult times. From our training as Scouts, again the motto is always be ready.

When matters become complicated it may be time to go back to the basics. Someone once wrote that everything you need to know you learned them from Kindergarten. Manners, generally, are easy. Greetings for example goes a long way. A greeting of “Good morning!” brightens anyone’s day. A smile, a nod, a pat on the back, are non-verbal communication tools that foster camaraderie and friendship.

In contrast, table manners, specifically, need a little time to acquire as they vary from culture to culture. Chopsticks and western utensils both need knowledge and practice to facilitate comfort. In simple terms, manners are, basically, making the people around you feel comfortable with you. There is peace, calmness, and stillness. But above all, love.

Furthermore, if you cannot say anything nice it is better to hold your tongue. Humility and kindness are always appreciated in any culture. And, never mistake innocence with naivete and vice versa. Otherwise, you might be eating your very own words in the future.

Taken from It’s a Wonderful Life… “Dear Reader, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for reading, Love, your writer.” (Edited) The movie was inspired by the book, The Greatest Gift.

The greatest gift, penultimately, is being part of creation. Because God who is Love gave us life. A chance to experience goodness, as He declared that everything He made is good. And, at the end of the day, what matters most is seeing Him in the afterlife when we offer what we have done with our talents, our capabilities, our sufferings, our atonement for our sins, essentially, our very lives. There are numerous gifts to be grateful for which cannot be written here. To conclude everything in three words— gratitude-to-God.

Plus a bonus, remember, our Best Friend is our Lord Jesus Christ. God gave as the greatest gift of all, ultimately, His Son. May we always do everything for His Greater Glory not only in 2023 but all the years of our lives. Let His Light shine on your face and reflect His face to our brothers and sisters.


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