So Much to Celebrate …

So Much to Celebrate …

and Look Forward to a Better and Brighter Future

2022 turned out to be a good year for many reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be in our rear-view mirror. Election denier candidates supported by the biggest denier of all, Trump, were soundly defeated during the mid-term elections. The anticipated red wave by the Republican Party did not pan out—and democracy prevailed instead. We thank the wise voters for making the right choices during a critical mid-term election. Now, we can look forward to a better future for all of us in the USA. But make no mistake, extremism is still an existential threat to our democratic process. We need to always stay on guard for the sake of preserving our democracy.

For my fellow Filipino Americans, there is so much to celebrate. In the recently held November 2022 mid-term elections—a historic number of Filipino Americans were elected to public offices for local, state and federal level positions. According to a recent press release from the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), there were forty-four Filipino Americans newly elected. This is a historic achievement of which we can all be happy and proud.

These Filipino American public officials offer a unique type of public service and leadership, rooted in their deep love and respect for their families, culture and communities. The highest-ranking Filipino American elected official is U.S. Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, who has served this district since 1993. The highest-ranking elected state official is Rob Bonta, Attorney General of the State of California, which is home to more than 500,000 Filipinos. These achievements by so many Filipino American public officials are accomplishments to be celebrated and, we hope, will serve to inspire more of us to seek public office in order to be of service to the greater good.

As we enter the New Year with great anticipation, let us all be reminded the strength of our community is grounded in our unity, as we help, encourage, and lift each other up. For many of us, making our traditional New Year’s resolutions is centered on ourselves like losing weight, saving and making more money, traveling, exercising more, eating healthier and so much more. Predictably, setting unreasonable resolutions will likely fail in the first month. Most people blame their failure to fulfill their resolutions on a lack of time and discipline, motivation or even blame it on their partners. And many of these resolutions are repeated year after year.

If we are to make New Year’s resolutions this year, let it be God and Gospel-centered resolutions, focusing more on others and not about us. The following Bible verses should remind us of the goodness of God as we enter the New Year, as is found in Jeremiah 29:11–13, “For I know the plans for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek with all your heart.” These verses happen to be some of my favorites—to know that God’s plan for our lives is so much better and more rewarding than our plan.

Here are some ideas that you may want to consider as your New Year’s resolutions, and watch how God will bless you:

• Let us do things that are pleasing to God;
• Do the work of our Lord;
• Always walk by faith;
• Rejoice in the Lord;
• Let’s give thanks for everything, and even our challenges;
• Let Christ be exalted in everything we do and for His Glory;
• Be humble always;
• Seek God’s wisdom;
• Always extend forgiveness, even to those who may have wronged us; and
• Be a peacemaker.

We at The Fil-Am Voice are grateful for your continued support and patronage, so we can continue to deliver stories and articles that reflect the uniqueness of our community. We hope and pray you and your ‘ohana experience an abundance of peace and blessings during this coming year. May you and your family be filled with joy and renewed hope in 2023 and beyond. Let’s all reflect on and be thankful for the many blessings this past year.