A reason for hope and happiness

By Joshua Corcuera

Time flies so fast as we welcome a new year once more. Despite the struggles and challenges that we faced last year, there are reasons to be optimistic and joyful this 2023.

First and foremost, it seems that we are in a normal society already. Did we hear any remarkable news about the pandemic or COVID-19 last 2022? To be honest, there appears to be just a few, if any, bad news about the pandemic last year. Unlike in 2020 and 2021 where surges of the illness caused anxiety and resulted in lockdowns which led to economic hardship, the year 2022 is definitely much better than the years that preceded it.

Now, as a huge majority of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19, it is reasonable to believe that 2023 will be even better and safer than 2022. For this reason alone, we can be hopeful for the year ahead. As the outside world becomes safe, we can go back to work and to school regularly, we can have a good time in parks, museums, malls, and other recreational areas with our family and friends, and so on.

As a matter of fact, there were numerous events last year where huge crowds gathered yet no COVID-19 surge occurred. For instance, the election campaign saw tens of thousands to even more than a hundred thousand people gathering in campaign rallies of various candidates. Furthermore, there were several concerts where enormous crowds attended. Despite all of these, we never heard of anything serious about COVID-19 which is a sign that we are probably back to normal—a reason to be happy and hopeful.

Of course, the coming year would present us with numerous challenges which we should be prepared for. As usual, devastating storms during the second half of the year are likely to hit the country and are something that we must be ready for at all times. Further, the problem of unusually high inflation is not yet over, and prices of goods and services have skyrocketed recently.

Speaking of inflation, we cannot deny the fact that working hard is no longer sufficient to make ends meet for most Filipinos at present. Even if we try to lessen our expenses or to get rid of spending for our wants, the cost of basic commodities and necessities remain high in general. As an example, a kilogram of onions cost as much as PhP 600 in many markets already.

Though most of us, if not all, desire to be optimistic, we should not be surprised by the struggles that we need to deal with for the coming year. After all, there is no perfect year. As we have seen in previous years, we likewise faced several problems from COVID-19 to inflation, from storms to earthquakes. Yet, we still stand today; if we managed to overcome our past problems, then we should not be afraid of the problems we are about to face.

Therefore, as we welcome the new year with optimism and happiness, let us come prepared as well in surmounting the challenges that lie ahead, and hope that we would have greater victories and stories of success to celebrate for 2023. Happy new year to everyone!