“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Change is always challenged.  Have you ever heard this saying? If you haven’t and this is a revelation to you, embrace it! Because it is a fact. If you don’t believe me, try to remember when you once started a diet, didn’t all the billboards on EDSA magically change into giant pictures of food? Or when you finally enrolled in a gym, didn’t your schedule get tighter? These simple things we can chuckle at, but in reality, the past year or so has been a daily challenge, a real battle for survival.

The overbearing fear of getting sick, the helpless feeling of financial ruin from all sides of the commerce eco system.  The fate of all man-kind.

COVID 19 has everyone thinking, Nostradamus, Armageddon, all end of days scenarios has crossed our mind’s especially during our lockdown idleness. So many thoughts and theories flooding our minds trying to grasp an end – game scenario. Theories varying from what really is the origin of the dreaded virus, was it from a bowl of bat tinola, a pangolin sisig, or the population control program of the anti-Christ Gates-Fauci tandem- COVID is here and here and is still a wrecking havoc to us emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Sadly, the pandemic is not our only worry, our beloved country faces more challenges, our very land is being conquered by ill – meaning neighbors and the one sitting on Malacanang’s throne has thrown up his arms in defeat and has all but rolled out the red carpet for our invaders.

The Machismo of 5 years ago with fairy tale Jet-Ski stories are but a sad and frustrating memory. This sad reality, along with millions of starving brothers and sisters are too much to take. But before you stop reading this doom and gloom piece, there is hope—and that hope is inside of each and every one of us, believe it!

2020 was the beginning, this year is the year of survival. Tough as it may seem, we can do this. How? Let me let you in on a little secret- the Filipino has the strongest and most resilient spirit. Read along, here are some examples:

“All of the houses in my village were destroyed in a snap,” says Analita Garcela, captain of the upland village in Leyte- one of the hardest hit places by the storm of the century- Yolanda. She continues by saying, “it was devastating but we had no choice but to move forward. People in my community worked hard to recover and I must say we are on the right track.”

The teacher Stanley Butalid who crosses dangerous rivers and walks 2 kilometers after just to bring the class modules to his students, Why? Because he realizes that many mothers and fathers cannot read nor write, thus he gives of himself to make sure the children have a better shot at life.

Elisabeth Miranda, the teacher from the mountainous area of Occidental Mindoro who crosses not one, not two, but five rivers to reach her students. And that’s not all, she walks two hours after the treacherous crossing. The dedication, the courage is so much greater than the obstacle. Amazing!

More importantly, the last hero in this list is… YOU! The reader who, despite of the Fear, the uncertainty, the situation, you’re still here, you have made it this far. You will make it. And, the reason YOU are here is to be the burden bearer for the next guy. The Filipino has the DNA of heroes. YOU reader, were born to make a difference in this world, and what better time to make your light shine than in the darkness of today?

2020 was the year of Fear, 2021 is the year of survival. 2022 is the year of breakthrough. 2022 is such an exciting year, Covid will be all but beaten and there is a crucial election for us. I, implore every Filipino to stand firm, do the right thing, remember the past 6 years and beyond and vote for a decent, honest, nationalistic President, one who places the Filipino above the interests of others. My prayer is everyone will remember the old adage, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

We are Filipinos, through collective action, we are indestructible, unbeatable, strong and resilient as ever. The challenges are hard, but think of all we have overcome and will overcome as a people. Nothing, not a global pandemic, not a global superpower will be able to defeat us and our spirit. We have conquered and we are more than conquerors. Our destiny is at hand.

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