Issue of January 7, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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There is so much to look forward to

At the start of every year, we always have high hopes for a better tomorrow. For which reason, we greet each other a prosperous New Year. Yet, we do not know what the future holds. We rely on speculations and conjectures on what to look forward to, hoping and wishing that what is in store for us and our loved ones is only the best. Many among us make resolutions and plan on how to improve our lives. Still, as the year dwindles, we go back to our old ways.

Religion plays an important role on how we shape our future. We let God guide our daily lives. Still, there are those who rely on other forms of medium like astrology or numerology or similar forms of beliefs to chart their future. Hence, names like Nostradamus come into contention every start of the year. According to historians, he is a prophet who has foreseen the happening of World War II, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the rise of China as a world power, the 9-11 bombing of the World Trade Center in the United States of America, and even the election of Rodrigo Roa Duterte as President of the Philippines, among others. It is said that his quatrains coincide with all the major events of world history. Really?

The problem with people believing in the so-called prophecies of Nostradamus is that they are guided by a blind belief that what he says is true. They force upon themselves and their followers an interpretation that will suit an event that recently happened. Whether or not he is a prophet in the mold of those proven as such in the Bible, is highly debatable. There are historical accounts that his quatrains are actually messages, ciphers and instructions intended to manipulate the enemies of his state.

This 2018, the following are linked by the Internet to be prophecies of Nostradamus. First, Mount Visuvius in Italy will explode after several centuries of being dormant.

Second, the explosion will trigger a series of earthquakes and catastrophes that will affect several countries, most notably those within the area of the so-called “ring of fire,” the Philippines included.

Third, World War III will happen.

Fourth, there will be a world crisis that will result in the economic collapse of the most powerful nations on Earth.

If one looks into these “prophecies,” they are eerily similar to what were published last year, the year before and other years before that. There is constancy. Thankfully, none of what were foreseen happened. Hopefully, this year, it will falter again. What happens next is certain. Those asserting to the authority of Nostradamus as a prophet will make a lame excuse that they have made an error regarding the time frame when his omens will occur. Surely, they explode, if it will not happen this year, it will next year.

The problem with believing these kinds of predictions is that it provides too much disturbance, distortion and destruction. Disturbance because it centers its topic only on the negative. Who would want to hear about World War III, or the destruction of the world, or the extinction of the human race? Only end time believers who probably have lost every reason to live will be pre-occupied with such future events. Distortion because it changes our expectations. Everyone will stop striving to improve himself or herself if there is but an iota of truth that tomorrow may never come. Destruction because who interpret the visions of Nostradamus have a very bleak concept of what will happen.

As we start the year, let us not be fooled by those who only foresee a dark future for the world, using self-proclaimed “prophets” like Nostradamus as their guide. Despite all the drudgery and challenges that confront us, it is still a beautiful world where the days ahead have so much promise and reward. Indeed, for the year 2018, there is so much to look forward to.

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