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It is not official, but today is September 1



E CARTOON Feb 03, 2019Suddenly, it’s  September.  All  this  time, we were worried about the typhoon  that was  slashing through Northern  Luzon, at the same time  thankful  for the rains that have ended the rationing of water in many parts of Metro  Manila. We were debating about the intrusion of foreign vessels in our territorial waters. We were wondering  how a  mayor sentenced to nine life terms for rape and murder of  four people  could be preparing to leave prison after serving only 25 years of his  prison terms.

But today is September 1, the beginning of the four “ber” months at  the end of the calendar year.  And somehow, many  people of this lone Christian  nation  in Asia  see   it as the beginning of the Christmas season. Officially, in Church  liturgy, that season is yet to begin with the  first of the four Advent Sundays on December  1, while most  people identify with  the  first Simbang  Gabi on December 16.

But those seem so far into the future, so many months away. It’s   now September, and that to many people is  a  turning  point, a new beginning  in their lives and that of the nation and  the world. And  so,  sometime today, we will hear  Chr istmas carols and our own songs about Pasko in the Philippines  on radio.  In a few more days, we will see some homes begin to set up their  Christmas  trees  and  their parols.

This year  2019 has not been as difficult for us as 2018,  when market prices soared  to great  heights. The national government   suffered in the first three months without a National Budget for 2019, because  Congress was deeply divided over billions of pesos believed to be “pork barrel.”

Many people will  long  remember the problems  that they faced  this year – the  water rationing as Angat Dam  reduced  Metro Manila’s water supply, the  zooming of dengue, measles, and  leptospirosis cases,  the  floods  that came with the  typhoon season,

This  year  was also an election  year – 12 new senators and all of the nation’s governors,  mayors, and other local officials.  In Mindanao,  there was the  historic establishment  of the Bangsamoro  Autonomous  Region of Muslim  Mindanao, beginning a  process  that  hopefully will finally bring  peace to Mindanao.

The year is  far  from over. There are still  four  months to go and we can expect  so  many more events of great  significance to take place. But today, we will  begin  hearing  Christmas carols . There is nothing official about  it.  It is just  a special day  for  many of those of us  who are ready to grasp at every opportunity to see  the brighter side of things  in  a  world  too often  marked  by sadness, pain,  and suffering.




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