Stop the killings. Stop defending what is indefensible. “Narco state”?
Who in his right mind is buying that? While the drug addiction is a social menace (everywhere) that must be addressed, the drug-use statistics foisted on us are dubious. And—people aren’t flies you swat into bits. Killing users (especially the poor) doesn’t curb the drug use; it merely leads to rampant abuse by cops and vigilantes.
Bring back the rule and culture of decency (yes, even in governance). Filipinos are not barbaric, and no one has the right to make us seem so.
How did we go from being Asia’s Rising Tiger to being a wasteland portrayed so graphically on the global stage? Time was when the administration had economic growth targets; today, the target is in the number of people being killed daily.
The dining table should stop being a war zone. At no time have Filipinos been so wracked with arguments about their state of affairs.
Divide and rule—a tactic as old as time.
Trolls find more decent jobs elsewhere. We wish.
The national leadership succeeds in poverty alleviation, economic and social growth, upliftment in the Filipino’s quality of life—an agenda beyond the war on drugs. For our sake, our elected leaders must succeed.
One curbs one’s homicidal urge to run over motorcycles and bikes who dart out of nowhere to cut into your lane. The urge is very strong. And the buses… let’s not even go there.
Rid one’s space of clutter—from top to bottom, sideways—a lifetime accumulation of clutter. That includes social media. We wish we could differentiate trash from information, the truth from what’s fake.
Health. Mental, not only physical. We pray that elected leaders be blessed with mental health.
Time, including “me” time. Time is most perishable, so let’s use it with a sense of accountability to man and to God. Before you know it, six years will be over.
A reason to be hopeful
By Cheche V. Moral
My Net-A-Porter shoe wish list may stretch the length of Edsa, but my true New Year’s wish consists of only one thing: that 2016 was all just a bad dream, and I’ll wake up on New Year’s Day to find that none of the year’s s–t shows around the world really happened.
I know, I know. Kaya nga wish.
But dear Santa, if you’re reading this old child’s letter, please give me a reason to be upbeat and hopeful about the new year.
It’s easy to not read the news and stay away from social media—it can be done, I did it for three months in 2016—just so one can avoid all the bad news and gore, and being roped into all the idiocy and negativity. But that won’t make what’s actually happening untrue.
The world needs peace, and I need peace of mind. Never have I felt anxiety about my safety in this country until this year. Living here has its day-to-day headaches and heartaches as it is, without us worrying about when we could potentially be killed in a crossfire or a case of mistaken identity.
Never have I truly considered moving to another country until now—except that the entire planet seems to be in an unending loop of what astrologers call a Mercury retrograde. Where in the world can one actually seek refuge, where you won’t be bombed or discriminated against?
When you’re front row and center in a daily s–t show, you tend to take stock of your life, look past your frivolous wants, and realize just what’s important. Those studded Alexander Wang loafers are the bomb, and those Gianvito Rossi cut-out pumps are to die for (puns intended), but—heavens!—how will I ever get to wear them if I get shot while walking my dogs at night?
Good health for all
By Vangie Baga-Reyes
My 2016 was marked by health scares. Lots of them. I have never been so anxious about my health. I had major surgeries one after the other. I used to think nothing would ever make me sick, because I was quite an athletic person.
But things happen when you least expect them—and they always happen for a reason. At the end of the day, you realize what matters most to you—your family, health and your relationship with God.
For 2017, I wish for good health for myself, family and friends—even those I haven’t met, who are in hospitals already battling all sorts of illnesses—and their families and the Filipino people.
We always hear the phrase, “Health is wealth.” It’s so damn true. There’s nothing in life more valuable than good health. A healthy person can and will always enjoy the pleasure of being with their loved ones, of being of service to others and to God.
Courage and kindness
By Raoul J. Chee Kee
So many people have been saying that 2016 is one of the worst, if not the worst year, in recent history. They then proceed to tick off the reasons it sucks. I listen to them and nod in commiseration, but I can only look back on it with gratitude.
It’s the year I moved into my own condo unit after over a decade of renting, the year I willingly agreed to pay an interior designer to make my space livable, the year I took out a big bank loan even if I hate owing money and always pay my credit card bills in full.
There was really much to be thankful for. With the coming of the New Year, there is much to be hopeful for.
One thing—okay, the only thing—I remember from freshman Philo class at the Ateneo was the “orderedness of the universe,” how everything is in its proper place at all times. What’s happening in the country and all over the world may seem screwed up, but we should just soldier on and try to be more considerate of others.
Cinderella’s mother put it best: Have courage and be kind.
By Alya B. Honasan
I know it’s a cliché, world peace and all that (and the Miss Universe pageant is happening, too, despite asinine attempts to derail it), but never have we needed it more, on every single front.
From drug addicts killing their relatives, married couples and siblings destroying each other in public, to political parties going nonstop at each others’ throats and world powers bombing innocent civilians (yes, United States of America and Russia, we’re on to both of you)—it’s been physically and spiritually exhausting.
I have been blessed with all I really need, and I run on gratitude nowadays. But how I wish now for even just a little more peace on earth. Less “unfriending,” judging, blanket labeling and ranting on social media over politics (yes, that includes my own knee-jerk reactions, so help me God). More endeavors that are good for the environment and enriching for the soul.
I wish for more success in saving endangered animals, anti-plastic and anti-pollution laws that are properly implemented, protection of natural parks and abused creatures, and a home for every stray animal—even if they’re “just” native dogs and cats.
I wish for a more simple life. Less stuff, and more time to spend with people I love—and with myself, as well. While we’re at it, how about a first step towards finally kicking cancer’s butt for good?
Of course I wonder about the future. But I still believe that if we all take care of our own few square meters of space in the world—and remain accountable to our Higher Power—I think we’ll be all right.
Change of heart
By Anne A. Jambora
I wish for love to triumph over hate; for people not to lose their humanity; for kindness to transcend courtesy.
The year has been quite challenging for me, both physically and mentally. I had a heart failure that mysteriously, though thankfully, went away. And I finally mustered the courage to see a shrink after many years of being called crazy in the most unflattering way.
In those moments of darkness I realized how gestures of unconditional love, kindness and understanding can change even the most jaded of hearts. That’s when I learned that, while I may have been battling the demons on my own, someone has been holding my hand throughout the entire journey.
Kindness, instead of courtesy. If we can show we are capable of feeling compassion and love, maybe we can change the world, one person at a time.
God-fearing politicians–and spaghetti Bolognese
By Catherine Yamsuan
Learned Cabinet men with enough balls and willing to risk their positions just to give the President sensible advice.
Police officers who really know right from wrong.
God-fearing lawyers and politicians.
Political supporters, not fanatics.
Philanthropists without agendas.
More beauty queens with brains.
Genuine acting, the dissolution of love teams and another Golden Age of Philippine cinema.
Really good shoes.
Good lingerie for the well-endowed.
Authentic spaghetti Bolognese.
Chilly winds during the ’ber months.
Fleshy ripe yellow mangoes.
Firm noodles in clear hot soup.
Olympic gold medals for Pinoy athletes.
Relevant activities for senior citizens.
Children’s welfare in legislation.
Access to health services.
More public schools and better-trained teachers.
Local employment for OFWs.
The end of “endo”
Death to all trolls!
Good things in the right doses
By Ruel S. De Vera
Breathless would be the best way to describe 2016, a super-duper busy year that had us zipping here and there, buried in this or that. We were amazed to get our fix of Harry Potter and Star Wars.
It’s always extraordinary to have an eventful year, but 2016, with its high highs and low lows, tells us it is possible to have a year that is too eventful. This was true on the macro and the micro.
We will always be thankful for the places we discover and the people we meet, but as we ease into 2017, we wish for rest and relaxation for everyone. We wish for everyone to be all right. We still look forward to good things and new things, but in the right doses, at the right time, at the right pace. This is so we can actually take the time to pause and appreciate every blessing we’re given, to be grateful to the fullest extent possible.
By Gibbs Cadiz
It’s been a year marked by toxic levels of doubt and anxiety, so my only wish for myself and for others in 2017 is clarity: That it becomes clearer to us, for instance, the cost of all the leeway, excuses and bending over backwards we’ve been doing endlessly to justify the #change that has happened to our country.
That, perhaps, all these may end up more a case of cutting our nose to spite our face, the mirage of a promised makeover consigning us instead to a worse fate—the end goal not anywhere clear in this brutal so-called war, but the sacrifices so far in terms of lost lives, damaged institutions and zombiefied sensibilities already far exceeding what any society calling itself civilized can bear.
Clarity—that in an age marked by confusion and uncertainty (often deliberately stoked), we choose to stand by the fundamentals we all aspire for as individuals and as citizens: freedom, liberty, justice, tolerance, truth, among others. A less ruthless way of life that, in the face of the easy allure of the demagogue, goads us to live by the better angels of our nature.
Herdthink is easy; clarity is hard. May we have more of it in 2017 and beyond.
More stability–and tattoos
By Pam Pastor
I wish for the Mental Health Act to be passed so more people can get the help they need.
I wish for peace—online and off it—for everyone. There’s just too much poison in the world.
And for myself, a more stable 2017, filled with love and adventure and good decisions and more tattoos.
Truth, not trolls
By Lito B. Zulueta
It is no surprise that Duterte and Trump have triumphed in the elections of 2016; their notoriety has been largely created and fueled by the social media that batten on people’s penchant for sex and violence, notorious behavior, hate speech and crass celebrityhood.
All of this violates news media’s canons of good taste, but the press has long ago ceded its role of truth-seeking and proper information handling to social media. Nowadays the news media don’t cover the news; they cover social media. They don’t cover the truth; they cover “trendings” and trolls.
The same mercenary attitude characterizes television’s coverage in real time of President Duterte’s vicious afternoon soliloquies in which he gets to harangue and verbally murder everyone except himself.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas has not been responsible with the self-serving freedom accorded it to regulate itself; it has not remotely come up with guidelines to prevent itself from becoming a vehicle of abusive presidential speech.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board and the National Telecommunications Commission have not penalized Duterte and broadcast stations for foul speech on air. The news media as a whole have allowed Duterte to literally get away with murder by allowing him to seethe, bluster and cry slaughter while refusing questions from the press and leaving journalists to content themselves with the gibberish and inanities of Andanar, Panelo and Abello (“APA”—Tagalog for waffle).
News or social, the media are an accomplice to genocide.