For those who believe in Chinese zodiac signs, 2022 which is the Year of the Water Tiger, promises to be a dynamic year, and one filled with adventure and opportunities. The tiger is a symbol of strength, tenacity, boldness, and energy.
While I had stopped making New Year’s resolutions as I always found it difficult to carry them out, I still continue to have expectations for the year -among them, a continuing effort to respond to the needs of thousands of communities devastated by Typhoon Odette. We earnestly hope that Congress would enact legislation that would create “coastal greenbelts” across the country as proposed by Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment and marine scientist, Jurgene Primavera who noted the need to move from disaster response to resilience. This is needed in a country that is yearly blighted by 20 storms, she noted, citing a study which stated that a greenbelt 100 meter wide would absorb or reduce wave energy up to 60 percent.
The other challenge is that of addressing the needs of those suffering from the stresses experienced during the pandemic. During the past two years of going through varying alert levels and health protocols, I must have gone out of my residence only 10 times – for important errands like medical and banking concerns. I have relied on delivery service much of the time. This was why my sister, a senior like myself, was overjoyed when her daughter took us on our first out-of-Manila visit to Antipolo. I guess this is what happens when one is deprived for quite some time of the right to freedom of movement.
A good friend, writer and food critic Felice Sta. Maria who recently gifted me with a much appreciated native cacao drink had invited me to join their Group – “Happiness Ambassadors” who, she notes, “resolve to bring good cheer to others, especially those affected by “pandemic fatigue.”
The anticipation of facing a new political era has also brought a moment of reflection – an epiphany of sorts, especially after the launch of our candidates for national leadership. The feeling is a mixture of hope as well as fear and trepidation as it is not only a “changing of the guard (which could mean continuation of the same or a 180 degree turn) but also because we are today facing a world which has not only been turned upside down by COVID-19 but is continually being challenged by new ideologies, and disruptive technologies.
Neo-liberalism had not fulfilled people’s expectations of justice and equality as it had only succeeded in widening disparities by creating political and economic dynasties.
A majority of the electorate in the coming May election will consist of first time voters who have little awareness of what happened during Martial Law and the EDSA Revolution. These millennials are digitally literate and their motivations and expectations are shaped by the opportunities presented by digital technology and the fourth industrial revolution.
Unlike some who predict, based on initial surveys, the outcome of the presidential election is a foregone conclusion, we, however beg to differ as we believe the situation is still fluid. There is a strong possibility that some of our key players may still witness their own “epiphanies,” shift alliances or allegiances.
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