Although 2021 continues to be full of challenges due to the ongoing global pandemic, these Filipinos in Australia are still thankful for this year.
They are most grateful for the time they have spent with their whole family, blessed with good health as well as being employed amidst of the pandemic. Unlike the more than 870,000 Australians who have lost their jobs since COVID-19 began in early 2020.
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- During the pandemic, more people have valued more the simple things they have in life.
- Family, friends, and good health are just the most valuable blessings in 2021.
- 2021 is seen as the start of Australia's economic recovery.
As the world continue to grapple the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is hope in 2021.
For those who had been spared from what could be the worst impact of the coronavirus infections, they would know how life is more valuable.
In Australia, 2,210 people had died since the pandemic started and over 5.42 million worldwide who have lost their lives due to COVID-19. For this same reason, that these Filipino-Australians are grateful for the life they continue to breath and the loved ones too.
'Thankful for the valuable things - family, life, health'
Hunter region General Practitioner Dr Kathleen Esplanada is full of gratitude for the time she has spent well with her young family.
She is also thankful for the Telehealth system where in she was able to provide telephone consultation with her patients in particular during the June to October strict lockdown in New South Wales.
It gave her the opportunity to provide necessary medical support to all her patients during the COVID cases peak period.
"Given that it's a very challenging year because of the COVID virus, I think in general, we try to value the simple things in life, especially family, friends and optimal health," points the Cessnock GP.
"I've been very thankful too for everyone who have vaccinated against COVID-19. I think if people did not marched up to have the vaccination we would not be experiencing the freedom that we have now."
'Thankful for the precious time with family'
Apart from acquiring their new café business, Myra Montarde is thankful for giving birth to their fourth child in mid 2021.
During the hard lockdowns in NSW, she was able to spend quality time with her new born boy and her whole family.
She also got to concentrate on pursuing their new business while spending time at home.
'Thankful for the ability to provide for my family'
Aged care worker Nesa Smith is thankful for the year that was that despite working fulltime and at risk of getting infected, she was able to get through 2021 without getting sick at all. She feels blesses thinking that working in an aged care facility is putting her at risk to COVID-19 everyday.
Unlike the over 870,000 Australians who had lost their jobs due to the impact of the pandemic, Nesa was able to provide for her families need.
As the bread winner of the family, she was able to support her family back in the Philippines who mostly rely on her for their basic needs.
'Thankful for continuous employment'
Just like Mrs Smith, Central Coast architectural draftsman Jig Geminiano has continuous employment in 2021 even during the hard lockdowns in NSW.
“I'm thankful that despite of what is happening around the world, I still have my job and continue to work with my company. I don't know how I will survive all the finances if I lose my job. Living alone in Australia becomes more challenging with the ongoing pandemic," says the Central Coast resident.
'Thankful for community cooperation'
For Filipino Food Movement Australia (FFMA) President Anna Manlulo, together with FFMA members and other Filipino small business owners in Sydney, they are thankful for they have kept on promoting for the Filipino businesses across Australia despite the challenges during lockdown and coronavirus restrictions. They hope to continue to advocate for Filipino businesses to prosper and bring world-class Filipino cuisine across Australia.
"We look forward to getting back to our campaigns and projects, face-to-face cooking classes and more Mabuhay Nights."
"We still want to focus on uplifting the Filipino-Australian chefs' profiles. We will be partnering with a lot of organisations and community members so we can continue to do what we love to do - to elevate Filipino cuisine in Australia," stresses Anna Manlulo.
'Thankful for the community's innovation'
Community leader from the Philippine Community Council of New South Wales, Cesar Bartolome, is well aware how the pandemic has changed the way people do their works and as a government employee himself, he is thankful that despite the challenges of 2021 we were able to find ways to continue our jobs whether home or in the office."
2021 may be full of challenges, but there are still many reasons for us to be thankful - in particular the life and the people we value. With whatever challenges the new year throw at us, may we find the strength to face these trials and overcome them. If uncertainty and doubt kick in, keep in mind to seek help - reach out to your partner, a family member or friends or even the community - there will always be someone willing to help.
As we face a new beginning, may we have the courage to keep on holding on and to never give up.
Happy New Year to all - may 2022 be a more prosperous and healthy year!