June 21, 2024

Last Sunday’s Feast of the Epiphany officially ended the Christmas season.
When we were young, my siblings and I would place our well-polished shoes by the doorsteps on the eve of the “Three Kings”, expecting they would slip their gifts (always in paper money) inside our shoes together with a note of advice to be a better person in the new year than in the past.
We kept this tradition when our daughters Carla and Chantal were growing up and I know that for a few years after their motherhood, they observed this tradition with their sons.
Now that the Christmas season is over, most everyone has raised their hopes for a better year and for a more comfortable and affordable life praying for a much lower price of onions.
In the homily of a priest, he commented that the price of onions now is much higher and more expensive than a kilo of chicken, such that onions are now kept in safety deposit boxes (a hyperbole, of course).
Others pray for prices of fuel to stabilize. A taxi driver commented that fuel prices are now being monitored by his fellow drivers as if they are in the stock market so that they would know when to buy and when not to.
An employee hopes for a raise in his salary and a substantial bonus that can provide for savings for family needs and eventually have a home of his own.
A corporate man prays for a promotion that can give time and allowance for a family vacation.
Barangay officials seek to become regular government employees this year. Other government officials hope to get higher salaries.
I asked a flower vendor her wish/es for this year. She started by answering that she was grateful to God that not one member of her family got infected with the Covid-19, and was very thankful that the Lord has provided for their daily needs though at times, they would experience a hand to mouth existence. She said God knows and will provide for their needs. She has kept the faith so she did not have to make new year’s resolutions.
As I walked away, I noted that it was only the flower vendor who gave thanks to God for providing for their needs last year and the previous decades. Others could only wish for a better life and a more affordable price of onions.

The Apache spirit lives on under the watch of newly installed chief Jonathan A. Vergara.
He just recently entered into a bilateral memorandum of agreement with the Baguio Water District designating the Apaches as an adaptor in the utility’s “Adopt a watershed” program. It will be a challenging task for the Apaches which shall include the clearing, cleaning, and planting of pine trees in the watershed designated by BWD.
Another ongoing project is the blood-letting at People’s Park in collaboration with the Philippine Red Cross, with partners like the Rotary Clubs in Baguio.
The annual Apaches golf tournament that will be held this March is already being planned, hoping it can match, if not surpass, the funds generated last year.
Chief Jonathan and wellness advocate Danny Quinto are also planning a wellness and longevity summit to be held in our city on March 31.
The summit intends to increase awareness on natural, traditional, and integrative health methods. Eight topnotch doctors in the country who are well-known in the field of integrative medicine and naturopaths, two of whom are alumni of the Baguio City High School, namely Marian Alonzo and Ferdinand Brawner will speak during the summit.