Where Will You Take 2017?

A Dream

A year ago, I dreamed about traveling not just in the Philippines, but the whole world. A huge feat, I thought. And yet, I still put it on the list of my ultimate dreams. 117 countries in total and, logistically speaking, it will take years for me to do it. I continued on dreaming… but then, 2016 happened.

In the busy street of Mong Kok, Hong Kong.

The Past Year

A lot of people, especially in social media, are dubbing 2016 as the decade’s year of the devil. The civil war in Syria became more damaging and has already displaced thousands of people. It also took so many innocent lives. Effects of Climate Change are manifesting clearly more than ever. Summary killings in the Philippines made human rights advocates cry for justice. New viruses were discovered. Terrorists attack, left and right. Brilliant minds of Science passed away and talented artists have taken their final bows.

Mideast Syria Airstrikes
In this frame grab taken from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), a child sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike, in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Syrian opposition activists reported airstrikes on the al-Qaterji neighborhood in Aleppo late Wednesday. (Aleppo Media Center via AP)

My personal life was not smooth sailing either. 2016 was a crappy year for my professional career and my personal goals were quite messed up due to unforeseen circumstances. For a while, I drowned myself to depression and wallowed on my failures.

2016 is shitty they say. 2016 sucks, they say. I agree, but not totally.

Appreciate the Good Things

True, unspeakable and despicable things have happened last year. But is that all that has happened? Or the wildfire of negativity in social media is clouding all the good things that have happened in 2016. Yes, good things also happened.

In the same year, The Paris Agreement, the biggest and fastest treaty to mitigate the effects of Climate Change, has been put to motion. Ebola has been totally eradicated in Liberia which means there are no more known cases of the virus in West Africa. Some endangered species are also having a comeback, from pandas to wild tigers. And above all, we’ve seen Germany, Canada, among others, take in refugees from the Syrian Civil War that shows if people are in need, humanity still positively responds.

Pandas’ numbers have risen to thousands in China. Finally removed from the endangered list and moving them to list of vulnerable species. Photo by Reuters/China Daily

I thought nothing good happened to me in 2016 either until I looked back and my experiences proved me wrong. For the past year, I became much closer to accomplishing my dreams. I have been to six different countries, and more or less 40 travel destinations. I have marveled at how fine snow is for the first time, saw Mickey Mouse and Lion King in person, spent a great time with my colleagues and friends in Kaohsiung, and admired Singapore’s outstanding architecture. Harv has been finally launched, too. On top of all, I’ve met new colorful individuals while maintaining the bonds that I have with my loved ones and friends.


This Year, We Take Control

We were taken to a whirlwind of events and we may have lost control of 2016. But this year, we ought to be different. Because this year 2017 is all about us taking control, us being in-charge. The title of this blog speaks a lot about my sentiments about this coming new year: Where will you take 2017?


2017 will not be the one to take us anywhere it wants. Instead, we will take it to where we want it to be. This new year is a year of redemption, a year of following our heart’s desires and fulfilling our dreams. This year 2017 will be one full of great memories and experiences. This year, 2017, we are owning it.

Every one of us, you and me, has the reigns on how we want this year to be. We have the sole power to influence it and to make it better for ourselves, for others, and for the world. That power, regardless how small of a spark it is, is too special a light, enough to brighten the world. The universe sees and hears it, and heeds to the strongest emotions that lie within ourselves. Let it hear what you want this year, and it will happen. Fill your heart with positivity and you’ll see changes not just within yourself but with everyone around you. Light up your soul and your world will be filled with brightness as well. Believe, and it will happen.

Where will you take your 2017?

I’ll take mine to my dreams. I have 111 more countries to explore, thousands of lessons to learn, millions of memories to make, and one world to change.

That is where I am taking 2017.