By By Pablo A. Tariman
THE YEAR THAT WAS
posted 16 days ago  ·  
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Pablo Tariman, pianist Cecile Licad and model Ping Valencia toast to the coming year after seven year end concerts.

This is the time of the year when you reflect on the passing year and wonder what the new year would be like.

You survive a year of deadlines, a year of doing concerts, a year when kith and friends move on and you figure out what will hold for the future.

This is the year you change status from sexagenarian to septuagenarian and indeed you always figure out how far you can still go on your new decade.

You keep coming back to the island of your birth, you keep on bumping into old friends and school mates now sporting autumn look.  Pretty soon, you will be reduced to a relic of the past as the new generation takes over.

You will insist your generation was the more spontaneous one and the more natural one not yet dependent on expensive gadgets and other symbols of the millennial lifestyle.

But as they say, you accept things as they come and you are resigned to fate when you hear of friends and relatives living a few more good years.

When their names surface in the obituary page of the national and local papers, you realize you are nothing but part of a cycle of life that begins and ends as it should without fanfare.

And so, you learn to appreciate what you have and not apologizing for what you don’t have.

You can sense that a party host is reduced to impatience when you come in a taxi and asking for same when you leave the gathering.

You rue that he expects you to own a car after being seen with the rich and famous that frequent that subdivision year in and year out. He is always telling you about this and that project, you can see your articles blown up in the living room without your bylines and you can see that his life is a series of plotting one achievement after another. After all, it takes more than wealth to be in that subdivision. You wonder why he still insists on inviting you when he can sense you are restless and bored trying to enjoy a celebration meant for family members.

Because you realize people prefer to lead simple lives, others prefer to live on big symbols of achievements and success and still others prefer to lead quiet lives minus the hoopla of popularity gauged by impressive figures of following in social media.

In the end, you realize you are happier as a nonconformist, you are happier taking a tricycle than hitching a ride on a brand-new car, you like walking from the airport to a nearby inn with a pool while cars with tinted windows with passengers in sunglasses pass you by.

As the year ends, I like recalling happy faces of people giving your artists standing ovation from Catanduanes to Iloilo to Baguio and Roxas City.

For me, it is a simple but more meaningful sense of triumph for the human spirit.

You hold on to those images as the year ends.

Because they represent what you aim for and the little values you still hold dear.

You justify your poverty by reasserting the saying that “man does not live by bread alone.”

In the end, you realize life can be fulfilling and indeed truly meaningful without the trappings of material success.

On this note, I say Happy New Year to one and all.


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