Christmas wishes in a free world

By Alex P. Vidal

“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.”—Voltaire

WE wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

This must be the most popular line in any Christmas song that we, in the Christian world, have learned to memorize since we were little kids.

Thus, each year we make Christmas wishes in the hope we can help improve our lives, the lives of our family and friends, and make drastic changes in society and the environment.

—We wish people around the world will finally get rid of COVID-19 in 2022; we thought it would leave us alone in 2021 after terrorizing us in 2020;

—We wish there will be no more pandemic variants; Delta and Omicron should be the last. Scientists monitor all variants but may classify certain ones as  variants being monitored, variants of interest, variants of concern and variants of high consequence. Some variants spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths;

—We wish there will be no more super typhoons like “Odette” before, during, and beyond 2022 (but this is wishful thinking);

—We wish there will be political and economic stability in the Philippines;

—We wish there will be a peaceful and successful election on May 9, 2022 and only the best and the most qualified candidates will win;

—We wish our world leaders will address with utmost importance and priority the issues and problems on climate change, unemployment, wars on terrorism, poverty, human trafficking, illegal drugs, bigotry and violence against women and children, racism and labor exploitation.


SEXUAL-HEALTH CHECKLIST. 1. Lift weights 3x a week. Not only will we gain muscle, sexual satisfaction will follow as well. 2. Open our minds. Increasingly, women are doing just that in their sex practices. Don’t let her leave us behind. 3. Presence, transcendence, and authenticity trump lust in the good-sex game. 4. Expand our social networks. 5. Emotional connection-even with casual partners-means better sex.


D IS FOR DIET. Vitamin D supplements may be the newest weight-loss pills. When University of Minnesota researchers measured blood levels of the sunshine vitamin in 38 overweight people, they found that when the subject went on a low-calorie diet, those with higher levels of vitamin D lost more weight than those with lower levels.


WHEN SOMEBODY ATTACKS US AND WE CAN’T DEFEND OURSELVES, we shouldn’t scream. It tightens our throat and tires us out. Instead, we must yell when in danger. A yell comes from the diaphragm, experts say, creating a louder sound with less effort.


TIP-OFF TO A THREAT. If a stranger stops us on the street, let’s watch his feet: Normal–his torso points toward us, but his feet angle the way he’d been walking. Aggressive–he faces us dead-on, with one foot behind the other–a fighter’s stance. Source: “What everybody is saying” author Joe Navarro.


A BETTER BEDTIME. Let’s resolve to help our kid clock more quality snooze time. It could benefit our child’s mood in a big way: In a recent Columbia University Medical Center study, teenagers whose parents let them stay up until midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to be depressed and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts than kids who hit the sack at 10 P.M. or earlier.


FOR LADIES: HOW TO TURN DOWN YOUR GUY WHEN YOU ARE TIRED. If he’s in the mood but you’re not, let him know he still makes you hot with a sexy kiss and a straightforward “I’m so exhausted, I may conk out on top of you. Let’s do it tomorrow.” Source: Dr. Yvonne Thomas.


SAVING OUR PLANET 1: Let’s be a paper doll by always recycling paper. Each time paper is recycled, the individual cellulose fibers become shorter. On average, a fiber can be recycled seven times before it is too short to combine with other fibers.

SAVING OUR PLANET 2. Let’s get behind glass by not throwing away glass jars–let’s use them TO STORE FOOD in our home and to keep things airtight. Let’s recycle both the glass jars and the metal lids when we can no longer use them.

SAVING OUR PLANET 3: In the can, let’s always recycle food and drink cans. Recycling aluminum requires only 5 percent of the energy it takes to process the original from the earth’s crust. One-third of aluminum is currently reused, but it should be more.

SAVING OUR PLANET 4: Let’s look for the arrows by choosing recycled when it comes to fruit and vegetable packaging. Many supermarkets are catching on now–they’re starting to realize that the consumer wishes to reduce their stacks of garbage, and are offering recycled and recyclable packaging. Let’s look for the universally recognized recycle symbol.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)