September 30, 2023

Life can only get better. One year older means one year wiser. As 2019 comes to a close, there are several things that we will surely miss. It was a fruitful year for the Philippines. Not only did the government improve the condition of our lives; it also reduced the incidence of poverty among us. Our people are more confident about their chances. Their outlook for the future is bright. The year that we saw our country emerge as an upcoming dragon in the region. In the field of sports, our athletes excelled beyond their limit, giving pride, glory, and honor to the Filipino people. The recently concluded South East Asian Games proved that we can be the best in the region. If this show of excellence is an indication of how good we are developing as a nation then, we are on the right direction.
President Rodrigo Duterte is still cursing the opposition and remains steadfast in consigning drug addicts and drug lords to their graves, with no signs of letting up. Human rights groups remain in hot pursuit against the President while Vice President Leni Robredo continues to coy the government in what she allegedly found about its drug program, although she has reportedly delayed the release of her so-called “report.”
Isko Moreno is cleaning up Manila whereas our very own Mayor Benjamin Magalong has shown that he, too, has the political will to put changes in prospective. Well, these personalities will be around in 2020. They will add color and spice to the landscape that will shape the future of our country. With them around, the thrill and excitement of what happens next will continue to titillate us. Oh, we love politics and each time our politicians open their mouths, it is fiesta time. It shall be no different in 2020 as in fact, it can only get more intense.
The year 2019 saw the Philippines land in the record books as the number one importer of rice. This is a dubious distinction because the country was once the primary producer of rice in Asia. We had the best agriculturists who were able to patent innovative and scientific ways of producing rice. Other countries sent their farmers here to study at agricultural state universities so that they can learn the latest researches about rice production. These students learned well and are now out-producing, out-maneuvering and out-thinking our farmers. Currently, to feed the more than 145 million Filipinos, we can no longer rely on our own production. Our government has to import. While the importation of rice made the price cheaper and more affordable, this scheme is killing the rice industry. Luckily, there are programs installed to remedy this situation. The rice tariffication is about to be reinstated and if Duterte will not dilly-dally on his promise to subsidize the agricultural sector, rice will become more expensive but, it will uplift the burden of our farmers.
Nobody knows the actual state of the President’s health. He is frank to admit that he is suffering from fatigue and is bearing the long-drawn effect of his vices when he was much younger and stronger. His critics continue to speculate that he is having kidney issues owing to the darkening of his skin. However, every time they say that he is weakening and dying, he springs forth like a phoenix. With light feet he revels the people by making speeches that are more comical than real. Whatever his condition is, there seems to be no slowing down the President. For sure, he will be around until his term ends. Hurray! Duterte remains the best alternative that we have at this time.
There are predictions being made by self-proclaimed prophets that 2020 will be a bleak year for the country. They claim there will be typhoons and earthquakes that will afflict the country. They are betting their money that the “big one” that is due to hit Metro Manila will happen. And, the prospect of having a rebellion against the government is looming large in the horizon. Aw c’mon! These predictions have been said at the beginning of each and every year. It was made last year. It was made the year before and all years before that. It never happened. It is no different for 2020. It is part of the normal cycle for the New Year.
You see, these predictions are good only for tabloid’s frontpage and if it is not eerie, it will not sell. Besides, who among these prophets is bold enough to admit to his mistake? A prominent one said that he saved the province by harkening to God to stop the earthquake. He said that he can do it again but might as well not meddle with nature anymore because he does not want to magnify his power. Heck, he cannot even stop the scandals and corruption right in his very own backyard. So when a sage says that the end of the world is happening this year, you’d be a fool to believe it.
There is a song that was popularized in the 1950’s entitled “Que sera sera” which literally means “whatever will be, will be.” For 2020 it will be “whatever will be, will be” since we do not know what will happen. Still, we hold the future in our hands. We shape it and we dictate our destiny. Hence, as long as we have a positive outlook and the correct attitude to face all the challenges that will confront us, we will be fine. We might not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.
Happy New Year to all!