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Welcoming 2021 (Part 1)

BEFORE I begin, allow me to first greet everyone a blessed Feast Day of the Black Nazarene. As we look forward to what this New Year brings, let me share with you some helpful reminders on how we could possibly live each day of 2021. Remember that a truly meaningful life is not simply adding DAYS to LIFE but LIFE to DAYS. So, as we prepare ourselves to welcome another year ahead, let us be constantly reminded to fill each day and month of 2021 with the same vigor, hope and courage we had this New Year’s Eve.

JANUARY is derived from the Latin etymology “Januarius” from the Roman God “Janus”. Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. Well, since January signals the start of the New Year it opens the gates and doorways of a new beginning. Use this month as the start of a brighter tomorrow. Remember to learn from the mistakes of the past and press on towards the greater achievements of the future.

In FEBRUARY we celebrate Valentine’s Day. In this month we are reminded that Love and Friendship are the two most important things in our lives. Love gives us the motivation to live each day. Use this month to show how you appreciate those who are close to your heart. Don’t wait to express this love because you may never know when death may come. When this month dawns upon us just be guided by my favorite dialogue from the film, “Shall We Dance”. It goes like this … “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet … I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in love, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things … all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’”.

MARCH, the third month in our calendar, was originally the first month of the year. It was considered as the time to resume war. March is regarded as the month of Mars (Roman God of War). Similarly, since March is also associated as the Graduation Month (before our COVID-19 pandemic) this signals the start of another “battle” in the life of a student. After celebrating the victory of accomplishing all the intellectual, emotional and financial struggles of one’s academic life, we look forward to face the challenges of one’s new life at work. So, as we celebrate the small victories of this month, let us be ready to face another chapter in one’s professional life.

As we celebrate Easter Sunday and our “Day of Valor” (Araw ng Kagitingan) in APRIL, let us be reminded that great triumphs come after great struggles. That for every Good Friday there will always be an Easter Sunday, and at the end of each struggle we will always celebrate the VALOR and BRAVERY we exhibited all throughout our journey in life. We are all heroes in our own respective lives because each and every day is a battle for survival, and let this month of April remind us that in every challenge we face we will always come out victorious if we believe in ourselves and constantly seek the grace of God.

The name of the month of MAY is derived from the French word “Mai”. Maia is the goddess of spring. She is supposed to be the daughter of Faunus, one of the oldest Roman deities and the wife of Vulcan. The word “Maia” means, the “great one”. In the Philippines besides celebrating Labor Day, we also dedicate this month to Mary through our floral offerings (Flores de Mayo) and Santacruzan. A Santacruzan is a religious-historical beauty pageant held in many cities, towns and even small villages throughout the Philippines during the month of May. One of the most colorful May-time festivals in the Philippines which depict the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. Let this month therefore be a reminder to us that our best offering to God is not just what is exterior to us (flowers) but what is innate to us as well (gift of self) … For where your treasure is there your heart will also be. By the way, don’t forget to kiss and greet your Moms a Happy Mother’s Day on this month.

JUNE is regarded as Juno’s month. Juno is the goddess of the Roman pantheon. She symbolizes marriage and the welfare of women. For us in the Philippines, June is Freedom Month for we celebrate our Independence Day (Araw ng Kasarinlan). I guess combining these two facts; we can say that this month is a reminder to celebrate our sense of nationalism towards our Motherland … ang ating INANG BAYAN. Let this month be our way to show our loyalty and devotion to our country; especially a sense of national consciousness exalting our nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of our culture and interests as opposed to those of other foreign lands … and this can be concretely done through our educational (academic) undertakings (as propounded in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere) which likewise starts during this month.

Well, we are halfway through our 2012 Monthly Guide. Next week we will ponder on the last six months. Till next week … Happy New Year to All!


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