We don’t celebrate it here in the Philippines, but it’s an occasion that can be appreciated for its nature: thankfulness. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot to be thankful this year — more than 10 storms have passed my country (two of which were particularly devastating to us since they came in succession), rendering our already poor society to shreds; tons of political instability and nepotism continually in the works (the most recent of which was the horrifying massacre in Maguindanao); economic crises rippled from the current global decline; and everyday brouhahas that pretty much make you wonder why you work so hard yet receive so little for your efforts (most recent of which was having my desk burglarized by petty thieves). What’s there to be thankful for, really?

I can make a longer list, but going through what i just wrote pretty much bummed me out already. So what now? As much as i hate to be thankful, i want to be. I HAVE to be. Why? As one person once mentioned to me, listing the things you aren’t happy about makes you remember and appreciate the ones that do. So, here’s my list on things i am thankful for this year:

health A lot of people take this for granted, and this may not be as important to some as it is to me, but i am thankful for my health, as well as my family and loved ones’. With the high cost of medicines and health care, i am thankful that nobody i know had to undergo a major surgery, operation or anything of the sort.
family. As much as i love to bicker and argue with my family members, i am forever thankful that they are my family.
friends People come and go, but true friends will always be there for you no matter what. I am truly thankful for my friends —time and distance may hinder our get-togethers, but these gals and guys are just fantastic! 😀 I am so thrilled and happy to have them in my life.
celebrations It’s hard to be positive in a year that’s been peppered with so many bad things, but i am thankful for the good ones that did happen — birthdays of dear friends and family, small reunions of people i haven’t met in a while, meeting my personal heroes and people whose work i admire — these may not be much, but they do add up to why i should — and i am — thankful this year. They remind me of life’s little surprises, unexpected joys and yes, comfort in the familiar.

Being thankful may sound selfish right about now to some who are reading this, but if there’s one thing that being thankful reminds us of, it’s hope. In the face of tragedy i saw people becoming heroes, coldness giving way to warmth and understanding, people making an effort to think beyond themselves and their needs. I am thankful for that. By making this list i thought about all the bad things that happened (or are happening) but i also saw the goodness that is in every person—how adversity makes one realize his humanity, that in itself is a miracle. So thank you, for these small miracles.

On a more serious note(as if that wasn’t serious enough), i would like to ask everyone who reads this to please, pray for the sould of those who were cruelly and brutally slaughtered on Monday’s massacre. Today our president asked for a day of mourning, but i think it should be a day of justice — let us pray that those people responsible for this heinous act will be brought to swift justice.

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