What’s on your bucket list for the Year of the Rabbit?

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
What�s on your bucket list for the Year of the Rabbit?
Rep. Richard and Mayor Lucy Gomez.

How wonderful it is, that, despite our different cultures and ethnicities, we get to welcome two New Year celebrations in one month. Oh, the word “new” itself is already invigorating, like the scent of a new leather bag, a pair of shoes or even a new buttery-soft, leather massage chair! Imagine the opportunity to ring out the old and ring in the new twice in just three weeks!

After the New Year of the Gregorian calendar, we celebrate Chinese New Year on Jan. 22 to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, hoping as any would that with it hops along hordes of luck! The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.

According to online sources, “The Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded and ingenious.” I remember there was a time when little toy rabbits were popular as bag chains, perhaps for the luck they bring.

One shouldn’t just depend on luck in striving for one’s best life — luck being just as important as motivation, hard work and prayers. But it doesn’t hurt to be lucky. As the late child actress and diplomat Shirley Temple is quoted to have said, “Good luck needs no explanation.”

And yet, we plan. “Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality,” according to Eliyahu Goldratt.

And so I asked four important personalities what’s on their bucket list for 2023, the Year of the Water Rabbit. It could be anyone’s year!

Husband, father & Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez

1. To fly a helicopter or an airplane.

2. Own a beautiful sports car… maybe a Porsche.

3. Take a flight to outer space, up to the moon.

4. Go to the South Pole. I’ve been to the North Pole already. The South Pole seems very different from the pictures I’ve seen.

5. To become a leader of this country — not naturally a president — a significant leader. Someone who can change lives of people, who will bring our country to greater heights. To really make things happen.

Wife, mother & Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres Gomez

1. To finish the waterfront development in Ormoc.

2.  To revisit Hong Kong.  I really miss Hong Kong. For this year, Hong Kong is calling me. I love Hong Kong. My simplest joy would be to get a room with a view of the harbor, so it’s my last view at night and my first view in the morning.

3. I’d want to go back to Paris also. I don’t like a trip where I have everything pre-planned, so I really like to go to a place and stay there for a length of time. When I say length of time, it should be at least a week, not like a rushed three days that you have to pack everything in. I feel like so much is lost with trying to rush to the next activity. I remember one time, in Paris, and it was very late at night. We wanted a place to eat, but the ones we knew of were already fully booked or closed. But the treasure of any place is the concierge in your hotel, they know of all the best places. He pointed us to a restaurant, maybe just a few blocks from our hotel. It was a magical night. That restaurant turned out to be so good, the bread was good, the butter was good.

4. To learn how to make tomato jam. I remember one Christmas, my cousin gave me a jar of tomato jam. I never really appreciated tomato jam, and apparently it was very good. She got the recipe from our lola. And from that time on, I really loved tomato jam. And it’s easy to grow tomatoes in our yard.

5. To make agriculture sexy again in Ormoc. A lot of people think, we really are an agricultural city, but if you interview the farmers of old, they did not encourage their children anymore to take up agriculture. They felt that the bigger cities were better, more opportunities there. I think that the pandemic did a reset, and it showed us the wealth of the resources that we have available in the province. Because as long as you have land and you know how to plant, you’d have something to eat. But there is a very wide gap between the people who grow food there and what they do with all the excess. We grow a lot of fruit-bearing trees in our yard, but we have an overabundance of fruits and I hate to see anything go to waste. So we have this biochar where we compost, and that’s what we give back to the earth for our fruit-bearing trees. So we’re really developing or strengthening our agriculture office. I want the people there to learn how to make fruit jam.

Martin Andanar

Former Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, husband, father & gourmet

1. Spend more time with my family.

2. Become physically fit again.

3. Travel to Spain and learn more Spanish dishes.

4. Open a café and boutique hotel.

5. Take an executive media or management course in London or Boston.

Tootsy Angara

Tootsy Angara, wife, mother and “a Baguio girl at heart”

1. Launch my first fashion initiative — a successful Cordillera line for Kaayo, wherein proceeds will go to implementing a comprehensive reading program in the Cordillera for elementary school children.

2. Spend more time with nature and do more water sports and more adventurous (not dangerous) activities with the family.

3. Explore Iceland’s stunning and diverse natural environments.

4. Visit Turkey’s most beautiful landscapes, heritage sites, marvelous mosques, and one of the seven wonders in the world

5. Africa — I know it’s not a single bucket list destination, but a continent rich with diversity, adventure, heritage, color and, of course, incredible wildlife.


So, what’s on your bucket list?

Kung Hei Fat Choy, everyone!

(You may e-mail me at [email protected]. Follow me on Instagram @joanneraeramirez.)

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