Whispering Hope

By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy

This is the title of a popular song of yesteryears usually sung during Christmas time to usher the New Year. I have not yet heard it sung anymore, for what reasons I don’t know but perhaps it was inundated by newer songs and even pop songs. Or is it because the hope that the lyrics evoke are no longer the kind that people crave for?

I was reminded of this song when I read that over 90% of Filipinos have high hopes for the New Year, but in another report, less than half say their hopes for 2019 had not come true.

What does this show but that Filipinos are people of hope but also easily lost that hope when confronted by “tempest” of the time? However, the optimism that is expressed at the start of the year and had faded at the end of that year, continues to whisper that somehow something new will happen and improve people’s lives.

It is said that of all the virtues in the Pandora’s Box only Hope remained. Those who had studied Greek and Roman mythology know this story well but for those unfortunate enough to have missed this story, let me just described what happened. Pandora was given a box with instructions from the gods never to open it. A woman’s curiosity could not be controlled. She disobeyed and opened the box. Out flew all the ills and evils of the world. She was so frightened that she closed it immediately that one virtue failed to come out. It was Hope, the only virtue left for mankind.

So, despite all human sufferings and the evils that plague this world, we need not despair because there remains Hope, whispering as it seems into our consciousness and telling us something better can come. In many ways, the Hope for a better tomorrow that Filipinos expressed in the annual surveys confirms the message of Pandora’s box.

The story written before the age of the Prophets, it is akin to the story of Adam and Eve. The disobedience of Eve opened the gates of hell for all but there was a promise of a Messiah and we had hope for redemption. Thus, in earlier days, Whispering Hope, written and sang by Jim Reeves, was part of the songs of Christmas time and the New Year.

Here are the lyrics of Whispering Hope:


“Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is done, hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone.

The refrain runs thus: Whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

“If in the dusk of the twilight dimmed be the region afar, will not the deepening darkness Brightin’ the glittering star? Then when the night is upon us, why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day.”

The song opens the gates, the opportunities for us to look at the new dawn not with fear or hesitation but with a belief that things will be better than it was. While we find the surveys at the end of the year dismaying, the survey results for the New Year is filled with optimism. It is truly said, Filipinos are optimistic and resilient.

This sense is important for our psychological well being because once hope is gone, out of Pandora’s box as it were, our lives will be miserable indeed. Hope keeps us going even in darkness because we can expect the light of day once dawn is upon us.

As in the Catholic doctrine of salvation, whether we are saved or not does not depend on God but on ourselves that we kneel humbly before Him. As Pandora or Eve’s disobedience caused the fall of man, in Hope, the Christ promised by God, we find salvation. Indeed, Christ’s birth is the Hope that mankind waited for centuries and His resurrection after his death is the Hope, the light after the dark night.

It is heartwarming to know that Filipinos believe that not all is lost. Hope is always whispering and giving us the light in the middle of darkness. Everything depends on us.

Be filled with hope for the New Year!