SINGKIT - Doreen G. Yu - The Philippine Star

We woke up to a thick blanket of haze thrown over the metropolis, the hangover from the previous night’s revelry. Despite bans and warnings about injuries from firecrackers – including amputations, like that of the four-year-old boy who lost all his fingers on the right hand – 2023 transitioned into 2024 with quite a big bang, and then some.

Fireworks and firecrackers started way before midnight and lasted till way past midnight. From my 19th floor balcony we were treated to a panoramic, sensurround display. We took videos and forwarded them to our relatives in America and Australia – para mainggit sila (so they’ll be envious).

By 10 a.m. the next day I still could not see the Makati skyline. Even the sun had a hard time piercing through the haze, a gray-toned day that was suffocatingly warm and muggy. Not the greatest start to a new year, but to be given a new day and a new year is surely something to be grateful for.

Which leads me to continuing a resolution – if you can call it that – I started sometime ago – to wake up each morning, look out the window and praise God, whether the sky is blue with puffs of white clouds or gray with ominous dark rain clouds. An attitude of gratitude effectively sets the tone for the day, and I’m saying this not as a platitude but as an exercise of affirmation that literally allows me to start the day on a good note.

Unlike making a resolution to go on a diet (the best time to do so is tomorrow, right?) or to start exercising, this is very doable – no pain or sacrifice involved. I have, however, made some concrete resolutions for the year; for starters I will re-read Rizal’s Noli and Fili, hopefully finish both within the month (I do not read at night now as this strains my eyes), and thereafter choose two books to read each month.

I’m thinking of taking up knitting, inspired by a beautiful white knit parol made by the women of Benguet through the Knitting Expedition cooperative. In fact, a friend gave me knitting needles and a skein of yarn, with instructions, from the Knitting Expedition to get me started. I’m rather intimidated, I must admit, but I hope to get to it soon…before Chinese New Year perhaps?

When I was doing STARweek magazine some years ago, I’d have my columnist, the late Maurice Arcache, ask the celebrities and palanggas who populated his column to state their resolutions at the start of the year, and go back to them at the end of the year to find out how they’ve done in terms of fulfilling those resolutions. Surprisingly, or not, the compliance rate wasn’t very good; there were some who even insisted they didn’t make any such resolution!

Here’s the deal: I’ll get back to you in 12 months to report on how I’ve done. Meanwhile, wish me luck and Happy New Year!

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