By Joshua Corcuera
As we bid farewell to 2021, we welcome 2022 with optimism and hope—hope that the future will be better for all of us. Interestingly, we are capable of making 2022 and the years to come better as we are about to enter an election year.
This year is definitely better than 2020. Vaccines against COVID-19 were made available and tens of millions of Filipinos received their shot. We felt more secure and, as a consequence, free from distressing lockdowns. Restrictions were loosened, albeit they still remain in effect to some extent. More and more people can go out to work, to socialize, to breathe fresh air, to enjoy the pleasures offered by the outside world. Things started to go back to normal, at least here in Metro Manila. Though some restrictions still exist, such as face-to-face classes for instance, such prohibitions would not last for long.
Soon, when the pandemic is finally defeated worldwide, we can go outside without restrictions, without the need for masks and distancing, we can go back to schools and to offices and to places of recreation. These and more are largely thanks to COVID-19 vaccines which were made widely available early this year. To this, we could be grateful for 2021 for we could enter 2022 with much optimism and a sense of hope.
Sure, there is still an uphill battle as several variants emerge such as Delta and just recently, Omicron. However, we gain strength with our little victories—little victories that, when accumulated, would give us confidence in surmounting the struggles and challenges that lie ahead of us. 2021 is not like 2020, a devastating year where we mostly felt defeated, pessimistic, and covered with despair. 2021 is a year of breakthrough, of recovery, of hope.
We will enter 2022 with much hope and optimism compared to the time when we welcomed 2021. And the coming year is a year that can make or break our destiny. We will enter an election year—a polarizing election indeed as various candidates present themselves as someone the nation needs. With our right to vote and choose who will lead us, we should enjoy and take advantage of the freedom that is promised in our Constitution. We should be aware of what is happening around us, the pertinent issues that prevent our nation from moving forward, and the background of the people who ask us to vote for them.
Hopefully, in the end, we will reject those with sinister intentions and choose leaders who have a genuine intention in serving our nation and the people. Aside from this good intention is the need to choose leaders who find ways to lift the masses—those who have contributed significantly to the nation, despite being attacked with disinformation, despite their funds and resources being limited. More importantly, we need leaders who are bright and possess integrity—those who persevered to gain crucial knowledge in their studies, those who did not lie for their personal gain. And if we truly want change, basically we need new names. After all, what would we expect from old ones? But that’s a decision the Filipino people, not me alone, would make.
2021 is a relatively good year, 2022 could be even better—if we want to. As we enter an election year, vote wisely so that we can end the year in a positive mood and continue to do so for the years to come.