In twenty, or even just one year from now (or one week or day at our current rate), we may look back at 2016 as one of the most consequential years in recent history, not only for the Philippines, but globally as well. When I say consequential, it can run in either direction—for the better or borderline catastrophe. The two consequential newsmakers and leaders that come to mind are President Duterte and President-Elect Donald Trump—two very polarizing figures with an unwavering agenda for change.

President Duterte’s term will undoubtedly have enormous, long-lasting effects on the Philippines. The war on drugs is not simply a matter of human rights, but also a matter of human and economic development for the nation. The cleansing of drugs in our country should result in a disciplined, progressive society similar to developed sovereignties such as Singapore and Japan. And I’m sure we can all agree that a crime and poverty free society (which are both connected to drugs) is something we must strive to achieve. There have been numerous occasions while driving throughout Metro-Manila where I’ve seen kids and adults aimlessly walking or begging for money while holding and sniffing an empty bottle of water—it makes your heart hurt—you wish, pray, and hope something can really be done once and for all to help our people. We now have such a leader, President Duterte who is sternly tackling this head on regardless of consistent international and domestic criticism. Just recently in December, The New York Times place the Philippines’ drug war on their front page. Needless to say, this story was trending globally. Whether or not you believe that “the ends justify the means,” or simply “not like this,” the results and impact are profound and we aren’t left ambivalent.

As of this issue, Donald Trump is still President-elect. Every single word, tweet, and action by Trump sparks a collection of human emotions ranging from outrage to optimism. That is why in this issue, we take an in-depth look at President Duterte’s infrastructure goals and what a Trump administration will mean for our country and the overseas Filipino community—two very critical topics that will shape our great nation beyond generations.

Yet, if you’re at all anxious and stressed about 2017, don’t be. Be hopeful and continue to live life to its fullest because frankly put, regardless of who is President of your country, the amazing things in life are never in jeopardy. That is why we’ve gathered a collection of twenty-four stunning images to push, ignite, and inspire you to go out of your comfort zones and live a little. Take risks, take chances, surprise yourself. Create moments—generate memories for yourself and those that matter to you most.

2017—year of the YOU, because no matter what, it’s going to be ok.

Roger Oriel
Roger Oriel

Roger Oriel is the Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of the Asian Journal Media Group.

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