By: Ben Emata

Millions of revelers around the globe paraded in streets to greet the advent of the new year. So nice to see, so noisy from small kids to young adults, people on TV screen, laughing, dancing, hugging, singing, eating and all sorts of joyous festivities ever available.

Fireworks from the United States, Germany, London, Russia, Canada, the Philippines lighted the dark skies
while music settled the background scenes everywhere. Being alive on such occasion, is really a cause for merrymaking and be extremely happy. It is not new year everyday and for more reason we celebrate it even more.

Even the fighting rebels and soldiers in Mindanao
declared a ceasefire for them to celebrated Christmas day in their homes and subsequently joined the noise of the new year. Here we see how love among us exist even in the battlefields.

As usual deaths were registered in the Philippines when live bullets were fired by some irresponsible people that included government authorities. Officers are still investigating the matter as hospitals went on with its readiness to treat victims of the celebration.

I see their laughters for a couple of hours and afte that are the sour reality of the same problems, hardships and difficulties in life that surrounded us for many years. Hunger in many places dominated the joyful hours of the new year. In some parts of the world were sounds of guns and bombs as terrorists did their job to win battles.

As church bells rang to announce the new year, some people prayed for world peace after which food were served for the celebration. Others jusr went out to explode giant firecrackers, whistle bombs, etc. while others had to be rushed to the hospitals for injuries. Some Filipinos prefer to buy small firebombs than rice during the season.

As the world was noisy with the celebration, I was at the River Rock Casino in Santa Rosa. California, enjoying with the thousands of latest slot machines.
Of course with free soda, coffee and crackers that could last the players up to 48 hours playing none stop. When sleepy, I get to the garage and have time inside the car. Northern, California has about eight large casinos with live bands playing continuously.
Some casinos offered top celebrities to entertain the gamblers while many are either losing money in card games or the machines.

Some years ago, I indulged in ballroom dancing and I attended formal black and white affairs. Later, I found out that dancing involved so much movements and more use of energy. I switched to casino games which most Filipino Americans preferred. It needs walking slowly around the premises, dollar bills and off you go into the fantasy of nowhere. Around the casinos are giant TV screens that features boxing bouts, movies, etc. In short an assorted enjoyments are available to all and certainly no reason to be unhappy.

I imagined same things in our country, same problems, and all sorts of failures and heartaches. Our population is skyrocketing while millions have no jobs, no shelters and many of our public officials are luxuriously touring around the globe at government expense.

The change that was said was forthcoming was actually the killings everyday of poor drug addicts while the rich are alive and laughing in their mansions. The country will definitely be the same unless behavior and lifestyle of some people are changed. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service, author of three books.

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