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Yes, I’m trying to channel Luke Skywalker today, thank you very much.

While Episode 4 of the space operatic saga is not exactly my favorite in the series (Episode 5 is the ultimate choice for me), I’d probably say it’s my second favorite. If only for Han Solo’s devilish charms, Princess Leia’s damsel-but-not-in-distress manner, Ben Kenobi’s cryptic ways, and of course, Luke’s heroics (his “I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you” line always gets to me. It’s just so darn audacious! Very fearless. Quite a Gryffindor, that one.), Star Wars: A New Hope is just my cup of tea when it comes to bravery, and friendships, and having a fresh start.

Since it’s the start of the new year, what better way to brave this new beginning than by imagining how 2012 pre-figures itself at the very dawn of its life? I didn’t do the usual farewell and taking stock of the year that was (despite it being the Year of the Rabbit, my year) because I’d really rather look forward to this new one. I mean, sure, thanks to 2011. It was a fabulous year and all but the tail-end was not quite how we all hoped it would be (the victims of the flooding down south still haunt my very being. Sometimes I feel it’s vainglorious to feel wonderful when thousands of people are suffering. It’s difficult to be thankful, especially if what you’re being thankful for is being spared of something that didn’t spare a thousand other unfortunate folks).

live from Baghdad, Bulacan with a wannabe Christiane Amanpour and her sister

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, yes, after a night of revelry here in my hometown (can you say, Baghdad, Bulacan?). I must have had a good sleep after all the eating and the Facebook-ing/plurk-ing, not to mention catching a few old episodes of Alias, because me waking up with a smile on my face is a rare treat. I must have had a nice dream, too. I don’t want to go into specifics but let’s just say it was a welcome fantasy to a reality-addled morning brain of mine. 🙂

The last time I felt this hopeful at the start of a new year was back in 2007. That was five years ago now. And the hope was not wasted for it was such a special, epic year. Truly one for the books. I travelled to three different countries, two of which were 100% free of charge (thanks to the Group Study Exchange Program of the Rotary), while the other was partially subsidized by the University. That was the year I learned how to sing in Portuguese, crossed a wide boulevard (think Roxas) in nothing but my two piece swimsuit and an orange Thai sarong, drank German beer and wine five times a day for a week (thank you, Jurgen), drank tap water straight from the Alps, visited Shakespeare’s Globe, saw Van Goghs, da Vincis, Michelangelos, Rafaellos, Rembrandts, and Monets at the National Gallery, not to mention lots and lots of Dalis at the Tate Modern, did the whole Templar pilgrimage, practically knelt and wept in front of the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum, and was asked by some stranger for a kiss while I was staring at Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne at the National Gallery.

It was also the same year JKRowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, so yes, 2007 was just so grand in scale it would be very difficult, practically unthinkable to beat it in terms of grandeur.

But wait. Like I’ve said earlier, I woke up channeling Luke Skywalker this morning. Remember the smile on my face? Yep. That’s a sign. That’s my new hope.

I expect grand things to happen this year. In fact, I am so certain 2012 will be so mythical I will not even stop at hoping. I’m already believing it. And yes, I am going to act on it.  2012 will surely be a blockbuster of a year for me.

The coming months will be crazy in terms of workload, but the summer months will be amazing. The rainy season will surely bring me lots of luck and the -ber months will be filled with amazing stories to experience and to share with others.

Our Hero on the brink of a new adventure

So while I don’t have the luxury to stare at two suns outside of my home unlike our young hero Luke, I am quite certain the new day, this new day will bring forth a thousandfold hope for me and for you my dear reader. Let’s make it happen.

I can’t wait.

— Frankie