Darwin John Moises and Michelle Mendez-Palmares

MICHELLE (M): Happy New Decade! For those who hit the ground running this 2010, good for you! And if you joined the Sinulog Run, congratulations! However, there are still some who are still stuck or trying to get out of their vacation/holiday mood. If you’re one of them, don’t worry. Take it one day at a time. There’s no point in rushing things when you can’t savor the moments. Slowly but surely is always a good way to go.

Whatever your pace is, just remember to look forward, keep moving, and step out in faith.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

Darwin John (DJ): And it’s OK to march to a different beat. Stepping in faith also means being true to what you think is right. Even if others do not necessarily share your points of view.

Yeah, majority rules but let’s not also under estimate the power of stupidity in large numbers. Discern well. Then move as needed.

M: It’s hard to get back into the groove of things when things are unsettled by occasions or situations. The long holidays, although a welcome interruption usually disrupts our work schedule. And after we’ve gone back to the daily grind, the Sinulog celebration comes around and our schedules are unsettled once more. Plus there’s the traffic which is horrendous. But that’s part of life. We have fast days as well as slow days. Variety is the spice of life.

DJ: Some people are just overwhelmed by its challenge they’re beginning to think this world is another planet’s hell! Sure, life at times has its way of moving "the ends" just when you’re about to make both ends meet. But if one has a good sense of reason and purpose, then he or she can keep going even when the going is tough. And knowing when to stop is also key.

Sometimes we reach a point when we’re already teaching a pig to sing. Then we find ourselves with a wasted time and a very annoyed pig! Remember the serenity prayer? To pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change we can and the all-important wisdom to know the difference.

M: This year, we can decide to step out of our comfort zones and move forward. The first thing we can do is to fight our fears, whatever it is or they are. We have to decide to finally confront our fears because they can hold us back and cripple us.

Fear of rejection, of disappointments, of failure we have experienced at one time or another. But we cannot forever allow these to hinder our growth and our success. Life is what we make it and we cannot make a life if we do not step up and step out. We can fail miserably if we try but at least we have done something. And we can learn from our mistakes.

DJ: Oh well if all things fail, we still can serve as a warning to others! But seriously, nothing is in vain. If we keep ourselves rooted in faith, things always fall into place. Sure we make mistakes. And sometimes they’re like toothpaste in which once they’re out from the tube, it’s hard to get them back in.

Easier said than done, but it’s important to speed up the curve from despair to acceptance of its consequence, not to mention its lesson. Mistakes happen. But they also make us wiser.

M: Before the end of 2009, I stepped out of my comfort zone. In that same week, I asked forgiveness from someone I had hurt and tried parasailing.

Asking forgiveness is more difficult than parasailing, take it from me. Actually, I don’t have a fear of heights but I was a bit scared that I would land on water and a shark would bite my butt.

Nothing of that sort happened as the shark was probably more scared of my butt! What did happen was that I was freed from the shark of unforgiveness.

Stepping out in faith may be just a small step to start this New Year right. But to paraphrase Neil Armstrong, “one small step for you, is a giant leap for a better, stronger you.”

DJ: So let’s welcome the new year and usher in the Sinulog festivities!

Life will never be perfect. And even if we find our progress similar to that of the Sinulog dance —two steps forward, one step backward—let’s stay positive. Keep moving. In time, you will get there. Pit Senyor!