A personal perspective and retrospection of the year that was

In life, the greatest well-taught experiences come packaged in seemingly very ordinary encounters but surreptitiously tagged with lessons learned the hard way…through mistakes, failures, oversights, and disappointments.
As the year 2016 draws to an end, I couldn’t help but reminisce and gather those not-so-distant events that have had major impact on me. Looking back at the twelve months only generated a sentimental journey to a time that involved all sorts of emotions, excitement, surprises, anticipation, and disgust.
One cannot help but get sentimental each time old memories come flashing back. For sentimental people living in their past incredibly sustains their quixotic association with the days to come. Every day in the past year has a story during times we lived it through…major events that impacted us and the people we shared it with…times that spawned emotions that made us either enjoy or regret.
We often say: “The good old days…” but we often overlook and fail to consider that we, too, have gone old together with the passing time. We could forget what hurt us in the past but never the lessons it had taught us.
According to a prolific writer: “The future is Stardust because you can dream it…the present is Clay that you can mold… but the past is Stone that you can’t change or reshape.” It is without saying that no man is rich enough to buy back his past…therefore, life should be lived with virtue and uprightness so not to look back with regret.
Living life is like driving a car.  One cannot drive safely forward on the road of life when he constantly looks at the rear view mirror. And that in every crossroad on the path that leads to the future is a warning sign that stops us, makes us look around, and listen conscientiously …before we resume and arrive soundly at our destination.
We can never get away from where we’ve been. Yesterday will always be a part of our life tomorrow. Nobody escapes the past. Accomplishments will only cover up the ugliness of what we’ve been through… facing reality with restitution and compassion will expunge the negativity and bitterness of bygone years…for life is not to be lived with just intention (genuinely or otherwise) but with optimistic actions.
Looking back and living in the past could be as relaxing as lolling in a rocking chair but never going nowhere. We cannot compare the present with the past even in similar situations for each day is different and we live each day differently…depending on what influences and induces us.
We should always remember that the past is like a baggage securely strapped at our back…we could feel its weight though we don’t see it. But one should never stop in taking strides and lay down the baggage for the trepidation of exhaustion…for fear is merely a product of negative energy called doubt. Instead of taking a lull and contemplate one has to carry on with the journey and adeptly face the future with hope and certainty.
For me, nothing is wrong with dwelling in the past but just don’t let the past to be a basis for the future. We might be wrong or had wronged others in some ways or had committed mistakes in our pursuit of success but these should not hinder our decreed choice to struggle. According to Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde: “Even every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
I am, by nature, schmaltzy… an avid nostalgic believer. I may be labeled too sentimental but I never care. Nostalgia (etymology: Greek “nostos” meaning to return home and “algos” meaning pain or suffering), for others, is an illness that makes us forget that today is, in itself, tomorrow’s own nostalgia. But, for some reasons, my nostalgic personality is what actually keeps me capacitating and itinerant.
There comes a time in our life when we chose to turn back the pages instead of writing another book or simply closing it totally just to break away from its haunting past. I may sound preachy but I guess it is a personal preference that we have to respect. If it is from doing so that others feel contented and fulfilled, then so be it.
The 365 days of 2016 have taught me that the secret of true happiness is the acceptance of reality and being true to myself. And that money, ‘though immensely needed amid its paucity, isn’t the root of all evil but fear is. Admittedly, when enveloped with fear, my judgment becomes unpredictably erratic and non-conclusive. Defying the fear factor offers me an unambiguous and an equivocal opinion.
2016 maybe gone but we could never just heave or discard it away. It will just be one among the strongest elements of my future. There may be some blunders and slip-ups within the past year but having had counted my blessings more than gave me a fulfilled 2016.
And why shouldn’t I be thankful? Aside from my main career as a fashion designer, the good old year profoundly gave me the opportunity to extensively travel (from Istanbul to Israel and Jordan, revisited the Sin City (Las Vegas) twice, successfully directed more than twenty entertainment concerts (special mention of Vince Gesmundo of VYNZ-NY for having me as his house director), community events (PACCAL, PAFCOM & Fiesta in America), and had written 49 articles for my weekly column (On the PEP Front) in Asian Journal (thanks to my publisher Roger Oriel and my editor Momar G. Visaya.
I couldn’t overpoweringly thank enough those people and friends who made all these great achievements possible: my family, entertainment producers, Fil-Am Community organizations, the world-class talents that participated in the shows, and those who, in a way or the other, firmly believed in what I could capably deliver.
The advent of the New Year (2017) offers a dawning of a new hope. I’m dauntlessly blazing broader trails with brighter horizons that I may be able to meet tomorrow’s promising new frontier.
For the rest of my life I will forever be guided by India’s greatest classical Sanskrit writer, poet, and dramatist Kalidasa’s famous poem, “A Salutation To The Dawn.”
Look to this day for it is life…the very life of life
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope
Look well, therefore, to this day
Such is the salutation to the dawn.
With this note, I am wishing everybody a Prosperous New Year… and here’s a grand toast to our good health, wealth, and prosperity!
For comments and suggestion, please email to: gemini0646@yahoo.com.

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