Google Is Not Everything…

Leave a Door Open for a Blessing

Jhanessty Vaye Bautista | Maui High School, Class of 2024

Do you believe in good luck? Many people worldwide have different things they do to increase the likelihood of having a good year. These things are as specific as doing different actions during a particular day and time.

My family’s good luck charm was limited to wearing polka dots on New Year’s Eve. Polka dots are essential because their circular shape symbolizes prosperity. I’ve indulged in numerous superstitions, however, to bring luck in the new year.

Such superstitions include but aren’t limited to wearing the color red, jumping when the clock strikes 12, having 12 round fruits on the table and so on. Each act represents a different way to bring good luck in a specific way. It may sound unbelievable but the magic of these superstitions has positively affected many people’s lives.

Carla Mae Agrade

For example, Carla Mae Agrade, Ginger Hill, Cherish Navarro and Cassandra Navarro all practice the superstition of jumping between 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and midnight on New Year’s Day. This superstition is said to help people get taller in the upcoming year. This superstition is a hit or miss for this group of people. Ginger believes “it’s just a fun coincidence and not totally logically possible.” Carla and Cassandra have tried it for years but unfortunately have not had any luck in the height department. Luckily, Cherish has grown to an astounding five feet and five inches. Cherish and Cassandra are sisters; while Cassandra is the oldest, she’s the shortest in her family.

Ginger Hill

Besides hoping to grow in the new year, Carla and Ginger are looking forward to the end of their Senior year. Cherish and Cassandra both wish to be one step closer to getting their license. Cherish says, “My goal is to get my driver’s permit and be a better version of myself,” while Cassandra says she hopes “to finally get my driver’s license as I have been holding it off and to at least buy one item off my wish list.”

Judy Marie Dela Cruz

Judy Marie Dela Cruz and Cassandra May Bio practice the superstition of displaying twelve round fruits on the table on New Year’s Eve. “Each fruit represents a month of the upcoming year and it’s believed to bring prosperity, happiness, good health and money. It’s such a vibrant and meaningful way to welcome the new year!” Judy exclaims. Cassandra believes in this superstition since she grew up hearing it. “In my personal experience, I do have a good year whenever my family follows this superstition,” she explains. In the new year, Cassandra wishes to find balance in her life. She also hopes to travel more in the upcoming year.

Cassandra Mae Bio

Judy, on the other hand, has mixed feelings about these superstitions. She explains, “Sometimes, there are certain years when we feel truly blessed, while others may not be as fortunate. It’s natural to have some uncertainty about it. Superstitions can be a fun part of our traditions, even if we’re not entirely sure about their actual impact. As long as it brings joy and positivity to our celebrations, that’s what matters.” Judy looks forward to leaving Maui in the new year. “It’s tough to see Lahaina change after the fire, especially knowing it may never be the same again. My family and friends being affected by the fire and the trauma I experienced is something that will always stay with me. Taking some time away from the island seems like the next step for me to find that much-needed sense of relief. I will return to the island someday, to settle down and have my own family,” she expresses.

The Lahaina fire was unexpected—a devastating event causing great sadness among the islands. We carry the effects of this event with us every day—some people more than others. Ending the new year, it’s important to remember what happened, honor all the people affected, honor the people who helped and offer love and respect to everyone.

Chelsea Navarro practices the superstition of leaving her door open on New Year’s Eve. Not all day but when the clock strikes midnight. It represents an opening for blessings and good luck in the new year. Chelsea will practice this tradition on New Year’s Eve as it brings her and her family good luck every year. As she enters 2024, Chelsea hopes to have a healthy and prosperous year and to spend it with her family.

As we enter the new year, we should all leave a door open, literally or figuratively. The new year welcomes us with new blessings and positive memories. After the eventful year we’ve all had, I’m excited for us to start anew. Remember to take in all that happened this year—to remember the bad and the good. Remember to be kind to everyone and to love like there’s no tomorrow. Take risks and embrace change. Maligayang bagong taon (Happy New Year) to all!

Google® Is Not Everything is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jhanessty Vaye Bautista, a Senior at Maui High School. She is a President of Maui High’s Key Club, vice president of Maui High’s Filipino Cultural Club, Executive Secretary of Maui High’s Student Government, and a member of the National Honor Society and Creative Media Club. Jhanessty is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on graphic design and entrepreneurship. In her free time, she reads books of all genres, sketches outlines for her new graphics project, sings karaoke alone or with a group of her close family and friends, and loves anything involving the popular video game Minecraft Bee. She is the daughter of Vanessa and Jhon Boy Bautista.