The jumble that was January, 2020  

Published January 31, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

To say that the first month of this decade was eventful would be saying the least. To an extent, it is an understatement, most especially for those who have been directly affected. We definitely welcomed the decade with a bang, and if there is anything the past few weeks have just proven, it is how much can happen in such a short span of time, and how life-changing a matter of days can be. The events that have transpired have made my faith stronger, if anything, because in the end, really, it is all we have to cling to, especially in moments when we have no choice but to cease control. Here is a look back at the month that has been, and some tidbits of thoughts I have to share.

The month began with the assassination of Iran’s Soleimani, followed shortly by the crash of a Ukranian plane, which, suffice it to say, caused panic amidst many throughout the globe. Not long after, and much nearer to home, the Taal volcano spewed ash and as of the time I am writing this, we are still in the midst of a prolonged period of uncertainty, and still waiting to see the final outcome. Meanwhile, many have been displaced and disaster relief has been ongoing. A lot of lives have had to take a curve ball, and what caught everyone in a state of shock is definitely still most alarming to many, given the unknown possibilities this can cause. Moreover, just the thought of the damage that has been done, and the rebuilding that needs to take place is debilitating and devastating to say the very least. But as someone who has seen and believes in the determination and resilience of the Filipino people, I have no doubt that the spirit of bayanihan will once again take over, and even as they tread along what can perhaps be called their darkest of days, our kababayans who have been affected, will find it in themselves to smile through.

On to another corner of the globe, where the decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to take a step back as working royals, and start life anew on their own terms caught everyone around the world in a state of utmost surprise, and for others, disbelief. To say that the world has been very critical of this move is perhaps the biggest understatement, and whatever your feelings toward their decision may be, what is incontestable is the fact that they have defied and given up their roles in an institution so revered that others can only ever dream of being a part of. As the couple yearns for more freedom and normalcy, it seems like the publics cry for why rings louder. What is to come? We are left to wait and see.

And then for some news that left me giddy – the photos and video clips of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston as the former swooned over his ex-wife, and as they met backstage with some physical contact at the recent Screen Actors Guild Awards where they both won trophies. Proof, that a photo speaks a thousand words and that time is capable of healing wounds. What set sail a thousand ships for hopeless romantics and fans, however, in my opinion is the unspoken words behind the photograph. It comes to show that despite how public a matter can become, there will always be a significant portion of it left solely between two people (and/or those involved). And that part of it left unexplained is what will always enchant us, the audience. In the same way, for instance, that we will never know for certain (despite all assumptions, theories, and all that which we can research) why the Mona Lisa is half smiling.

Of course, we cannot forget about the corona virus that began in Wuhan, China, and has spread throughout the country, leaving a lot of neighboring countries and more around the globe in a state of concern. Travel plans have changed for some, face masks have been selling out, and as I write this, I would like to remind everyone to be vigilant about their health. Prevention is better than cure, and small ways, such as taking precautionary measures of wearing a mask in crowded places, or even as simple as regularly sanitizing one’s hands and washing them helps more than you think.

And just as I was about to submit this article, thinking that January has met its quota, the devastating news of Kobe Bryant’s and his daughter’s death in a helicopter crash took the world by storm. Shocking, to say the least, and heartbreaking – for basketball and non-basketball fans (like myself) alike. An eye-opener once again that life is short, and is all in God’s hands. Let us take it as a reminder to never take time for granted, to always let our loved ones know how much they mean to us, and not to wait until tomorrow to do so. Time, my friends, is really of the essence.

What a ride and non-stop shocker January, 2020, has been, and we can only hope that things turn for the better now. If I look back at the month that has been and all that has transpired on a public level, I realize that one is only capable of controlling very little on the grander scheme of things. For the most part, a lot is out of our hands. While we must be accountable for all our actions, the only certainty one may argue is that there will always be a consequence – whether it is a reward, or a punishment. Perhaps, if the only constant in this world is change, the only certainty is uncertainty.