SNIPPETS OF LIFE IN SYDNEY: A Bittersweet and Surreal 2022

mindanawon abroad

SYDNEY, Australia (MindaNews / 23 December) – I cannot remember the last time I wrote under this column for Mindanews. Here I am today embracing a life changing event, a bittersweet and surreal event to help reflect on the year that was. 

Friends lost their loved ones during the pandemic, businesses closed down, friends and acquaintances became unemployed, we were isolated, quarantined, vaccinated and some got stranded for a year or two or more. Another Marcos is now president of the Philippines, Joma died, 345 million from 135M since 2019 face acute food insecurity across the globe, the Ukraine War threatens world peace, there’s environmental degradation and disasters caused by extreme weather changes, and most recently Argentina won the FIFA World Cup. The year is almost ending and life goes on wherever and under whatever circumstances we all have.

I survived three years of pandemic and challenges from all fronts and ended the year as a lady of leisure. 

I started with great hope after presenting two projects that I have managed during reaccreditation of my previous workplace, and was recognized for that contribution and for bringing one project back to the government funding pool. Midyear, I contemplated moving on and indeed I did. I thought it was the job where I will retire in a few years’ time. I had the opportunity to visit my second home thinking the job will work out, sadly, it was not meant to be. I literally “jumped from the frying pan into the fire.” Now I understand the truth behind that saying. Still, I look at it as a blessing in disguise, a year-end bonus of being able to reflect and set my direction for 2023. 

Now is the time to thank my Family and Friends, everyone who saw me through the most difficult times. You all know who you are. I am profoundly grateful to the one person who, I never thought would be my teacher, fulfilling a friend’s prediction, stood by me. 

I now appreciate more the people and environments I have experienced, value the strategic thinkers, the communities and the partners, recognize their efforts and treasure the journey that we took. Most of all, I have learned who my real friends are. 

With CHRISTmas day being two days away, here is a watercolor artwork created by an 11-year old Noellin titled “Emmanuel” —  God is with us. I embellished it with think bubbles, a “PEACE” woodwork — a present from a dear friend, a nativity scene purchased from an Egyptian vendor and a Satin Pothos — a birthday present from my Dear Mum.

May this CHRISTmas season bring peace and love in our lives. Malipayong Pasko sa atong tanan.

(Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Eleanor Trinchera of Kidapawan City is now based in Sydney.)