WE (presumably) are still feeling the buzz here at the Baguio Chronicle offices. Christmas is over, and we are just nestling into the new year, fresh off the holiday high.
This week marks yet another anniversary issue of the Baguio Chronicle. We are getting older and older, and after the first few, the years begin to blend into one another. Time folds forward. Healing ensues. The wounds of the year begin to throb less, even the fresh ones, in the blur.
And what wounds we have sustained. The growing pains of the country on every level, the economic woes, down to the personal crises that we individually bear. The weight of bonds, the weight of society, the weight of the wrinkles on our brows. You’re gonna carry that weight.
Nevertheless, we have made it to the close of yet another year. Another cycle around the sun, another 365 iterations of the world’s constant revolution.
Point is, it’s been long.
If I were to think back to when I first joined up with the Chronicle, I never would have expected then that I would have lasted this long. I remember being wholly unsure of my career prospects in those times – I still am – but I also recall doubting that I would ever even make it to this point. Alive, I mean. The brain was far less kind and far more harmful then.
In those times, I was far less stable – mentally and financially – and while both are still true to this day to some extent, I can now with hindsight say that I have in ways become better.
Growth is an interesting, often imperceptible thing. It creeps up on you and outside of drastic, pivotal moments we will hardly ever notice it. It is all too easy for the moments to blur together into a singular pastiche of routine and monotony.
So it feels entirely appropriate here at the close of the year to look back on the growth of ourselves, and those around us.
The Baguio Chronicle has undergone plenty of growth this year. We have expanded the rosters that comprise our little team, we have forged partnerships with others in the quest to continue providing the truth, we have launched the fact checking efforts as part of a collective of like-minded fact-based groups, and we’ve even properly expanded to the Internet. This year has seen setbacks and steps forward alike.
On a personal level, much as I struggle to accept it, I have made steps forward. It is all too easy for me to not acknowledge what little I achieve, and even easier to downplay what little I do acknowledge. Perhaps the few concrete traces of achievement – grants, publishes, and such – would help the self better be kind to the self.
In a way, this is a simple call for self-reflection. Take a look upon the year in retrospect and see what has been achieved – on a personal level, and on bigger slices of society. These will not justify the flaws or faults, and I do not intend for this self-reflection to give way to ego. I only feel that it is important to objectively look upon the past and acknowledge – and learn from – the strides made, even though it is often one step forward and two steps back.
We step into a new year with many struggles awaiting. Onions are gold. Everything is expensive, but reflection is free. Reflect, and face the coming years with if not a cautious optimism, then a staunch realism.
Look back in thought, and then face forward. It is time to advance.