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Thank You 2023, Hopeful and Stronger for 2024


By: Veronica Leighton


As we greet the new year 2024, we are proud to say that our pride and joy, Via Times Newsmagazine, still remains the stalwart chronicler in our community in sharing with the others our cultures, traditions and dreams, besides the special messages and news items from within our community.

We finished 2023 with a big bang, and there will always be, of course, some great continuity with our aspirations, dreams, and goals in life. Please read and enjoy the beautiful photos of our Christmas celebration onVeronica’s Vibes on page 5.

Let me share with you a portion of my thanksgiving/christmas message that I delivered at our Christmas party on December 22nd, reminiscing about the bittersweet memories of those four years of our gains and losses amidst the Covid pandemic, Just prior Covid, we were voted and awarded the most prestigious “best print newsmagazine in America” by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas under the Office of the President of the Philippines; we’ve also celebrated the historical silver anniversary of the Chicago Filipino American Hall of Fame attended by some dignitaries from all over with more than 700 guests in attendance; not counting the fact of receiving a personal accolade and receiving an award as an Outstanding Alumna from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America; we had bitter memories when Covid pandemic had hit us, seeing many deaths, tears, and illnesses around us, There was sweetness despite the bitterness when we were awarded a couple of grants from a major foundation as an outstanding magazine for our great coverages and feature stories of Covid; 2021 turned out to be quite a distressing and disheartening situation in my life when my beloved husband, my partner, my friend, and my humorist, passed away.

Things just turned out to be worse when the latest tragedy in my life happened just a couple of months ago when I fell victim to stroke, the no. 5 debilitating disease in America, Being alone, sad and old is a difficult stage and process in life, in my particular case, battling the ups and downs of my business and personal life on my own. But having my loving son bobby (and his wife Christy) and grandchildren Maya and Christian to take care of me these days turn out to be precious gift in life.

I thank God for saving my life and helping me gain strength and willpower to live. Now am still here in front of you still enjoying life’s thrilling rides and excitement in our beloved community, looking forward to a future of good health and full recovery.”

Please enjoy reading, as usual, your favorite columnists’ articles, many of which have different, wonderful, and, at times, soul-searching greetings for the new year. ##


My loving family, from left, son Bobby, grandson Christian, Lola Veronica, granddaughter Maya and Christy Leighton (daughter-in-law).

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