Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Christmas wishes

I wasn’t sure what to write about until I realized that Christmas was fast approaching. Well, I have a few wishes for this season. Before I turn a year older in April, let me take this opportunity to renew my life.

Each year I would wish for material gifts during Christmas. I thought these were enough for happiness, but I have realized that real happiness can’t be provided by new clothes, high-tech gadgets, fat bank accounts, and the other tangible and earthly things that we enjoy.  Now I want to be rid of the glitz of material things and embrace a better version of myself.

I guess it’s high time I wished for something that would make my life better and more meaningful next year. Perhaps some of these wishes are yours, too. I wish I could…

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Dwell on peace. I believe this encompasses everything. At peace, I will be a wellspring of positivity. Real peace comes from knowing that we are at peace with ourselves amid pressure and violence. In this seemingly fractured nation, what we need is a tight grip on our quest for peace, but it can only be possible if we have peace within us. In order to share peace with the world, we must start within ourselves. Peace be with you all.

Love again despite the ache. Isn’t it beautiful to have someone in your life who accepts you for who you are and what you have become? Someone who makes you feel alive again after a few heartbreaks in the past? I have experienced unrequited love, but this doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on love. They say that love is beautiful the second time around, that when the second time comes, there’s no turning back. It’s now our time to allow love’s magic to overrule our being. Let’s love, for we are genetically engineered to fall in love, but remember to love for the sake of loving and not for what we can get out of the relationship.  Getting hurt in the process of loving is normal; our pain measures how much we’ve loved.

Dream big. I am a dreamer; that’s why I never let my dreams slip through my fingers. This year I had shattered dreams and a broken spirit, but I learned from all my experiences. Our world is a battlefield of dreams where each of us is entitled to dream. When dreaming, let’s always wear courage as our “badge.” Life will throw big punches at us, but we must be sufficiently courageous to face the odds. When we fail, let’s pause awhile and bounce back higher. When we’re tired, let’s rest for a moment but never quit. Quitting is never an option.

Teach more and touch lives. Teaching is my first love. I teach to touch lives, and that’s essentially what I’ve learned from my eight years of teaching. There are moments that I get jaded with my students’ behavior, but it doesn’t dampen my passion to teach. I wish for strong loyalty to my profession so I can inspire more lives.  As God’s creations, we are cut out to radiate goodness to other people. Our little acts of kindness can light up a village.

Smile often, frown less. Many things have happened to me in the past few months. I thought I wouldn’t be able to etch a smile. As I went on my journey, I found smiling a balm to my woes and frustrations. There’s the saying, “Use your smile to change the world, but never let the world change your smile.” Whenever the world seems too harsh, let’s never forget to smile. Frowning can never do good to us, and it will just leave us with a heavy heart—and unwanted wrinkles!

Go out and make friends. I used to confine myself to only a particular group of people. I never reached out and made friends with others. But things went differently when I joined an NGO in Iloilo City. I was able to broaden my horizon, and I promised to make more friends in the coming years. Life starts when we open up to others. We shouldn’t be too dependent on others, but let’s find ways to gain more friends. The world offers a cornucopia of opportunities for us to grow and nourish our social life.

Let go and be happy. I wish to let go of my past. There were bad things and people in the past that block my capacity to be happy, so I want to let go of them. I would like the past to be just a distant memory. I deserve to be happy. When we always dwell on our past, we fail to see the beautiful things in store for us. What we can do now is mend our broken soul, let go and move forward. Everyone deserves to be happy!

Be with people, and not be too imposing. What I’ve learned is that people will hate you or love you for no apparent reason. I want to be with people, but I should be with those who accept me no matter what happens. When we impose ourselves on

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others, we become a monster inside. We will end up feigning our true personality just to please them. We begin to behave differently and realize that we’re not showing our true selves. Real friends will stick with us and accept us for who and what we are. So, be with those who love you through thick and thin. Remember, we can’t please everyone!

Grow more in love with family. It is from my family that I gather strength and inspiration. But I valued them less this year. I wish I could have more time with my parents and siblings. Though we don’t live together, I would like to reconnect with them even in my hectic schedule. The family is the sunshine that lightens up our day. When we encounter trials in our journey toward our aspirations, our family members comfort us. They give us the pat on the back when we do something great. They offer their shoulder to lean on when things go wrong. They help solve our problems. They are the ones who love us despite our imperfections and shortcomings.

Pray more, worry less. God is our Creator and Redeemer. Even though we’ve fallen short of His expectations, He still forgives and loves us in countless ways. He has been our great Provider and bestows on us innumerable blessings in life. I fervently pray for His divine intervention, that I will be able to live up to His teachings this Christmas and the years to come.

Before Dec. 25, I wish for happiness and longevity that I could be more inspired to live this life more meaningfully each day. I wish these thoughts had wings to reach the heavens.

Let me renew my life so I will be welcoming Christ with renewed heart and spirit. Merry Christmas!

Vicente Gulmatico Bilan, 29, is a grade school teacher at Phinma-University of Iloilo.

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