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2024: Happy New Day!

By JOANNE RAE M. RAMIREZ, The Philippine STAR Published Jan 05, 2024 5:00 am

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, I kissed my husband “Happy New Year” after we gazed at the fireworks outside our window, thanks to one village racing against the other to be the first and to be the best, with their fireworks display. They didn’t disappoint.

For dinner, Ed grilled the best Wagyu steak in the world and made his trademark Caesar Salad with his secret dressing. My contribution, I guess, was setting the table. My language of love.

After sharing a bottle of Moet with us, our son Chino drove off to be with his girlfriend, and Ed and I spent New Year’s Eve just as we had spent our first New Year’s Eve as husband and wife—with just the two of us.

‘The magic isn’t in a year. It is in a day. An hour. In a minute. Look forward to each new day and less to new years.’ — JmStorm

Chino always likes to remind us with a laugh that on New Year’s Eve 2022, we virtually shooed him and his girlfriend out of the house by unknowingly but constantly telling them, “You might be late for your party.” It turns out they had no party, by choice, but well, since the Momma was asking them to—they went to look for one. (I swear I wasn’t shooing them away, peksman!)

The fireworks were a lullaby when I called it a day—a year?—way past Cinderella did. And everything felt right with the world.

It was by choice for us to “stay in”—preferring to be off-season celebrators. Like we stay cocooned in Metro Manila during Holy Week, enjoying the serenity and quiet and avoiding the rush and crush of travelers on the highways and skyways, ports and airports. It might have been age creeping in on us to be choosing some quiet—but then my mother Sonia, who turns 85 next week, was partying at a posh country club with my sisters! 

I started the new year feeling truly grateful to be alive and well, with all the needs and virtually all the wants (well, virtually) on my list ticked off. Maybe it was the bubbly that was making me feel so content?

My year was filled with socials and parties, and even if I enjoy socializing and meeting people, it was good to stay home, relaxed in my pajamas, not needing to tuck in my holiday tummy or to put on makeup or blow dry my hair. In our home’s cocoon, we welcomed 2024. The fireworks were a lullaby when I called it a day—a year?—way past Cinderella did. 

And everything felt right with the world.


According to author Hal Borland, “Year’s End is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

There were 365 days between 2023 and 2024, and also just a second in between them. We celebrate each day in between two New Year’s Eves and should be inspired that there is midnight every night so we can welcome a new day.

Embracing the joy of new beginnings as we welcome the New Year with open hearts and hopeful spirits.

“The magic isn’t in a year,” says JmStorm, an “unlikely” writer according to his website. “It is in a day. An hour. In a minute. Look forward to each new day and less to new years.”

There is some liberation in not succumbing to the pressure of celebrating a holiday the traditional way, without feeling sorry for oneself. Or if one had no choice because circumstances forced him or her to be alone on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day or any other special day, then just watch Netflix. Your fireworks could come tomorrow, or the day after. Or every day thereafter.

Come to think of it, every day is the beginning of a new year. There are eight billion people on this planet, and in every one of the 365 days of the year, in every hour of the 24 hours of a day, someone is celebrating a birthday, a new day, a wedding, a promotion, a championship.

Also, there is still Chinese New Year forthcoming.

Happy New Day, everyone!