by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

2012 is about to end. In a few days time, the world will be welcoming another year- another year to hope, to change, and to live. As 2013 fast approaches, people are now preparing for another long list of plans and probably, another long list of New Year’s resolution.

Brief Background

According to Wikipedia, New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects or a reforming of a habit. What makes it different from an ordinary resolution is that it is made in anticipation to New Year, and that it symbolizes new beginnings.

The tradition of New Year’s resolution came out from various places in the world. Spiritually speaking, it originally started as mere promises to the gods. For the Babylonians, they vow to their gods every start of the year. The same goes for the Romans who swear to their god Janus, from whom the month January is named. Praying before the end of the year and making resolutions had been the custom of the Christians. While for the Jews, they repent for their wrongdoings for the whole year and ask for forgiveness.

Usefulness and Impracticality


Despite the various origins of New Year’s Resolution, a single idea is being implied: the concept of self-improvement, or simply, change. But the question is, do people still believe that having New Year’s resolution can really motivate a person to accomplish something?

Shawn Jan Lazar, 18, is one who thinks that New Year’s resolution can be effective. He said that the notion of welcoming a new year influences a person to change and improve. “Oo naniniwala ako kasi nakatupad na ‘ko ng isa. Kasi para bang na-i-inspire ako na dahil new year eh gusto kong magkaroon ng pagbabago or improvement, or may gusto akong ma-achieve na goal. Dahil bagong taon eh, gusto mo may mabago rin sa’yo.” he said.

Charlynne Domingo, 18, also believes in having New Year’s resolution. She said, “Oo, naniniwala ako kasi ‘yon ang nag-e-encourage sa ‘kin para mag-move forward and para harapin pagbabago sa life ko. Kumbaga kahit hindi matupad ‘yong mga ‘yon, nag-step forward ka naman papalapit sa goal mo, nag-try ka pa rin.”

Having the same thoughts as Lazar and Domingo, Rose Ann Sabandal, 19, shared, “Yes because it's the best way to have a goal that I want to achieve for the whole year. I always keep in my mind that it's a goal, and I should strive for it.”

However for Mharizz Martin, 17, New Year resolutions are rarely accomplished and are made just for formality, “Hindi na kasi hindi naman nasusunod. Parang formality lang ‘yong mga resolutions.”


Bottom Line

As time goes by, the nature of New Year Resolution had been altered and became almost limitless. From the desire to improve in the moral, social, intellectual and emotional aspect, the idea has gone far yet shallow to just improving and changing physically. But still, whatever goals or plans are set, the main idea is upheld- to change.

The real thing is, whether New Year or not, whether New Year’s resolution or ordinary resolution, a person has the freedom to create his personal goals. There are no schedules or limits on when a person can change.

For Mirian De Ocampo, “Mahirap kasi tuparin kapag may naka-set na resolution. What I believe is that you do every good thing you can and use every opportunity to do good deeds, and not limiting yourself to just New Year’s resolution.”

The same goes for Sheryl Singca, 34, who said, “Kahit anong oras pwede ka naman magbago, nasa tao lang yan kung gusto niya matupad.”

“Kung gusto mo talagang mangyari at mabago ang isang bagay, kailangan pong magsikap tsaka self-discipline,” is the statement of Martin.

For Lazar, “Nasa tao rin ’yon. Kung determined talaga siyang matupad ‘yong mga new year resolutions niya, edi ok, successful, effective.”

Other Traditions

Aside from round fruits, sticky foods, and fireworks, th use are still other traditions used in welcoming a new year.

Rose Ann Sabandal, 19, from Plaridel, said, “We wear polka dotted shirts or dresses because they symbolize money, at dapat may malalim kang bulsa na puno ng money bills and coins tapos jingle it at the stroke of midnight for good luck.”

Kristine Garcia, 19 from Plaridel shared, “I wear polka dotted clothes kasi pampaswerte raw, and we stay awake to greet the coming of the New Year.”

Moreover, Llanes do the jump at exactly 12am, believing that it will make her taller. “Tumatalon ako pag 12am na kasi sabi nila tatangkad daw. Eh gusto ko tumangkad,” said Llanes funnily.

For Domingo, “Nagpapasabog kami ng barya around the house pagtungtong ng 12 to attract daw more blessings.”

The thing is, It does not matter whether we welcome new year with various traditions or Chinese influences, what really matters is that we welcome it with gratitude, happiness and optimism.

“Wala namang mawawala kung susundin natin ‘yong mga tradisyon na ‘yan. Ang importante naman eh Masaya tayo sa pagpasok ng bagong taon,” said Llanes.

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