2021 was the year we all looked forward to, hoping to leave 2020 and all its tragedies behind. It was meant to be the year of new hope, rebuilding and healing.
While sometimes it was difficult to see the silver linings, challenges became more bearable and the future began looking better when people started to rally around each other. The community pantries that started popping up organically, random acts of kindness that went viral on social media, stories of survival powered by crowdsourcing and the most powerful prayer brigades on Zoom reminded us once again of humanity at its finest. In the rare moments when even business rivals chose to work together to bring aid to our fellowmen, unity became our strongest asset. Watching the bayanihan spirit unfold before our eyes was nothing short of amazing.
We have been isolated from each other by the pandemic, but we kept finding ways to be there for one another. We have drawn strength not just from family and friends but sometimes from strangers who were brave enough to share their stories, both heartbreaking and inspiring. We have drawn courage from people who, day in and day out, risked their own lives so we may be safer and healthier. We have drawn hope from people who continued to entertain us, make us laugh, make us feel and make us dream despite all the challenges we continued to face. And we have drawn motivation from people who kept on fighting and beating the odds during the most difficult days. In the same way, ABS-CBN continues to find new platforms to reach each Filipino who relies on us for news and entertainment. It is never easy, but if it is worth doing, it is worth fighting for.
Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” The darkest of days are not over yet, but we are slowly seeing the light. It is in the kindness of strangers, it is in the generosity of the community, it is in the selflessness of our frontliners where this light emanates from. It is up to us to share our own light with our family, our friends and our neighbors. It is in the smallest of deeds borne out of genuine love and compassion that make the best gifts. And it is in knowing that there is always someone who will reach out when we call, offer a shoulder to lean on and extend a hand to hold, we remain hopeful and strong. Wala nang pangako na mas mahalaga at mas matimbang pa sa mga salitang, “andito tayo para sa isa’t isa.” Mga salitang arawaraw nating pinapatunayan sa ating mga kilos at gawa.
Love and faith have never been on full display as it has been the last few months. May we continue to be kind to one another, be a source of inspiration and continue to commit our lives to honoring the true reason for Christmas. Let us allow ourselves to feel the Christmas spirit once again with joy in our lives and peace in our hearts by being there for those who need us the most.
May we all look forward to 2022 as it brings in another year of opportunities to unite, rebuild and heal and, more importantly, be in the service of the Filipino.
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon, Kapamilya! - MARK L. LOPEZ