4 New Year’s Resolutions for Manilenyos

The new year marks a fresh start, and it serves as a powerful trigger to actually do something and commit to a change in the way we live our lives. As Manilenyos, we are faced daily with several things that need to change, and we could use this time to maybe finally do something to resolve them.

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Here are a few ideas on new year’s resolutions for us Manilenyos. It’s four simple things that we can do, to make our city – and our country – a little bit better for 2019:

Stop littering

Trash is a perennial problem that we Manilenyos face everyday. We know that trash is one of the main reasons why our streets get flooded with the slightest rain. But why, despite this, do we still think it’s okay to just throw trash around?

It really starts with something as simple as picking up after yourself, and throwing your trash in the right place.

If every single one of us practices that mindset, our city would be a cleaner and more beautiful place to live in. Call out each other – not just on social media, but in real life as well.

2018 was a landmark year for the environmental efforts in the country. From the Boracay clean up, to the bill on the ban of single-use plastics being passed nationwide, to the clean up and rehabilitation efforts of the Pasig river – everything is being set up for a better and cleaner environment for us.

We have to do our part in making sure that all these resolutions continue, because at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to live in a clean and trash-free country?

Obey traffic rules

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) made news in 2018 for being tougher on the implementation of traffic rules. They were relentless in their implementation under the leadership of MMDA Task Force Operations Commander Edison “Bong” Nebrija.

What is interesting to note is how Nebrija stands his ground. He’s patient as he explains the reason why they’re doing it, and is unfazed with death threats for just doing his job.

The MMDA also recently raised the penalties for traffic violations, to further discourage those who think that breaking traffic rules is okay.

Traffic rules are in place to protect us, and make sure that everything flows in an efficient and organized way. It’s time to stop breaking the law because we think we can get away with it.

Obey traffic lights, obey speed limits, and don’t counterflow even if there’s a line of cars in front of you. Accidents and reckless driving make our congested streets even more unbearable, so we must all resolve to do our part to make it slightly better.

Give local art a chance

In our country, a lot of people think that foreign art is superior to local art. Some Filipinos think that all local forms of art is “bakya” or “pang-masa”.

However, Filipinos are a very artistic people, and good art is something that we have always been producing – we just have to know where to find it.

This phenomenon can be clearly seen in Filipino films. Despite the continued existence of local cookie-cutter films that rely on star-power in order to get viewers, a lot of lesser-known Filipino films were released last year, but were either only given a short run in major cinemas, or not shown at all.  

Good films are slowly getting into the mainstream, and they need our support. There are a lot of film festivals in the metro that have proven to be a reliable source of quality films, like Cinemalaya, QCinema International Festival, or Cinema One Originals. They showcase films filled with stories and artistry that not only entertain, but in the end can be enriching.

This goes beyond films – local music, literature, or other forms of art, also deserve our attention. They need to be placed in the limelight. Give local art a chance this year, and you’d be surprised how life-changing it may be.

Keep yourself informed about current events

With the internet literally in our pockets, information is always at hand. Learning about something is just a Google search away.

This means that there’s less of an excuse to be uninformed about current events. Being involved in the issues that our society faces starts with knowledge, and a good resolution for the coming year would be to stay informed.

Don’t know what federalism is, or how charter change works? There are articles online that explain it in the context of what is happening in the Philippines. What exactly can we expect with the TRAIN law in place, or what are the new developments brought by the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” project – these are things that we need to be aware of, as they affect our daily lives.


The effectivity of a new year’s resolution lies not in just the decision to do something. It’s committing to the action of resolution, to the constant pursuit of improving one’s self.

Change is a constant thing. It doesn’t just happen once a year. But take this fresh start to do something. It begins with us, and hopefully these changes will lead to a better life for all.

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