End 2016 with a bang, embrace 2017 with hope


As I See It


As the year ends, we are left with many things to do in punctuating our life’s activities for 2016 and preparing for the coming year 2017. I would say, let’s end the year with a positive note and look forward to 2017 as a year of hope!

For positive events and developments in our life, let’s cherish them and let them shine to light our activities for the coming year. For our negative experiences, let’s not forget them but remember them as reminders for us to do better and to amend our lives.

December is the time to connect and reconnect with families, not only up to the 4th degree of consanguinity but up to our distant relatives, to our friends, and to the community whom we are already part as our extended family. Our new Milpitas Mayor Richard Tran made it clear that residents of Milpitas are his family during his inaugural speech on December 13, 2016, just like our termed-out mayor Jose Esteves did during his 12 year-term as mayor.
My family has extended up to my memberships in organizations. I joined the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley led by President Benjie Fernandez in gift-giving to preschoolers of the Head Start of the Santa Clara County at its center located at the 11-acre campus of the San Jose Job Corps Center in San Jose. The event was coordinated by former WBL Coordinator and now IT Manager Allan Navarro.

The following day, December 17, 2016, my wife Delia and I joined the officers and members of the Pilipino American Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS) in their Christmas party at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Majestic Way Elementary School in San Jose led by officers Michael Dalupo, Michael Tayag, Terry Vallen, Sarah Gonzalez, Evangeline Sangalang, Mara Ibarra, and Dude Carpio.

Then on December 18, 2016 at the Philippine National Bank-RCI at Seafood City in Milpitas, I joined the youngest-ever elected city of Milpitas council member Anthony Tran, State Assembly member Ash Kalra, and county commissioners Evangeline Sangalang and Erlinda Reyes in celebrating its Christmas mix and greet.

On December 21, 2016 at the Gymnasium, we held the Christmas party for teachers and staff of San Jose Job Corps Center led by Deputy Center Director Chris Allen, Career Development Director Philip George, and IT Manager Allan Navarro.

We attended Christmas dinner on December 23, 2017 at the house of John and Tiffany Aquino of Hayward, California with Bruce and Emerald Hearns, relatives and friends. Of course during the Christmas Eve, we had our midnight dinner and exchange of gifts with my family at our house in Milpitas – my wife and I were joined by our children: May and his boyfriend Steve; Jayson; and Paul. With us in spirit were our daughter Tweety and her fiancé Jonathan who are in Las Vegas; my eldest child Gigi and her husband Eric who are in Sydney, Australia; and my son Jojo & his wife Alvi with their daughters Kayla and Bibay, who are in Jacksonville, Florida.

On the 25th, we had our Estioko Christmas party and gathering at the house of Simo and Jeng Estioko-Castillo in San Jose. My brother Romy and his wife Ermina was with us and also in attendance were 2nd-3rd-4th generation relatives. I called our eldest living sibling Ret. District Supervisor Aida Estioko-Juan on Christmas day at her residence in Las Villas, Catablan, and Urdaneta City and greeted her Merry Christmas!

The year 2016 was great for me and for my family. It was excellent… considering that I was able to keep my house; maintain my job; provided food on the table; kept the family together; and my wife and I were able to travel to Seattle, Washington; Jacksonville, Florida; and to the Philippines, among others. It was a great year!

For year 2017, I hope I will have more opportunities to come as the New Year is about to roll and usher another year for us. I am optimistic the New Year will give us better options, wider chances, more opportunities, and a lot of positive challenges. It’s these challenges that propel us to make resolutions to make sure we hurdle those challenges. But… most New Year’s Resolutions fail! Despite this, we do it anyway!

A study made in 2007, conducted by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people, showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. Well, if that is the case, why is there still a need for a New Year’s resolution? With almost everybody breaking their promises immediately after making them, and after jumping when the clock strikes 12 midnight of December 31, 2016 during the countdown, the issue now is: Do we still have to make a New Year’s resolution for 2017? With the rate of failure so high, do we still have to make one?

Most people say yes because making a New Year’s resolution is crucial to our life. If we make one, we set a goal which we aspire to attain. On the other hand, if we don’t… there’s no goal, at all, in our life as we navigate another year.

So, to make our life for 2017 more meaningful, let us set up a goal – make a New Year’s resolution!

According to tradition, we make our New Year’s resolution promising to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, big or small! The tradition dates back to religious origins, but the concept, regardless of origins, is geared towards reflecting upon self-improvement every year. This, to me, is the reason why we resolve to do something at the start of the New Year.

The most important in one’s list should be to keep the family together. If your family is one, united, and well-connected – maintain it by all means! If there’s a lot of disconnections, dysfunctions, and misunderstandings – pick up the pieces and put them together because the family is the main concern of Christmas and the holiday season. So with that, let’s make and nourish this year’s resolution to greater heights. Make the family the center of our heart, the center of our life, the center of our existence. In fact, make it the center of everything we do in life!

By the way, the same study showed that the most common reasons for participants failing their New Year’s resolution are setting unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% didn’t keep track of their progress, and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents, the study further showed, claimed they made too many resolutions.

To be successful, the study mentioned there’s better chances of achieving one’s resolutions when we engage in goal setting (a system where small measurable goals are being set; such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”); when we make our goals public and get support from our friends; and when we talk with a counselor about setting goals and new year resolutions.

So, the issue is setting realistic goals. If only we can set up realistic goals, things that are attainable and easier to comply… we may have a better success rate in accomplishing our resolutions.

If we can make our New Year’s goals and can commit to these resolutions, our life will even be more meaningful… it will have a direction, there is a goal we can aim for and look forward to.

So, goodbye 2016 and end it with a bang, Then let’s welcome 2017 and embrace the New Year with hope! (For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).