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Happy 2018 to all our readers! The past year was a very good year for the country, and 2018 promises to be an even better year.

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The Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day every fourth Thursday of November. It is a holiday that allows them to express their gratitude for a good life with their family and the community. We do not have a Thanksgiving holiday in the Philippines but I think the New Year celebration comes close because it is the time when we reflect on our blessings for the year and look forward to a new year.

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In the Philippines, there are many signs Christmas is approaching. You begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio as early as October.

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Work and the future

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My recent visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco and what is emerging to be the next Silicon Valley in the US, Seattle in Washington state opened my eyes to the enormous possibilities of the future. It reminded me that change happens very fast and consequently we, as individuals and as a society, need to understand how these new technologies might transform the way we work and the way we live our lives.

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Coffee and the future

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The word “future” in the title of this article should come with a caveat because many of the things I wanted to talk about are actually happening – in various stages of gestation – in the present. Changes in technology and communications are so fast the future seems to be just around the corner.

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I wrote in my column last week on the importance of hosting the 31st ASEAN Summit amidst our transition from a foreign policy of fear to one which is assertive of our interest as a sovereign nation and an equal partner to the world. For this reason, the theme chosen for this year’s ASEAN is very appropriate, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

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