A Conversation with Pope Francis • The Filipino-Malaysian Connection • Last Year’s Most Read Stories • Street Food in Manila

Allow me to personally greet you a Happy New Year. Both our editors are on vacation, so this gives me the perfect opportunity to personally thank you for being a loyal reader. I know you have many reading choices, so we are especially grateful for your following, comments and feedback.

It’s the first working week of the New Year, and despite resolutions and promises, it is difficult to erase bad habits. We can at least try. It is said that goals should be set one at a time -- the simpler, the easier to achieve. But let us take you back shortly to 2014 to highlight our ten most popular stories. You may want to read these stories again.

Pope Francis will be in Manila mid-January and travelers are being warned to stay away from visiting. He has redefined certain traditional concepts of the Catholic Church, but much more needs to be done. Contributing writer, Marilen Danguilan, presents thought provoking questions to the popular pope in a wishful interview. I would also like to hear what his responses might be.

Our Southern California writer, Anthony Maddela, introduces us to two new faces in ABC Family’s “The Fosters” – Filipina Ashley Argota and Jordan Rodrigues, an Australian with Malaysian descent. Together they “rock.”

Our Video of the Week features National Geographic’s take on Manila’s street food. I must confess, I have never tried balut and I don’t think I ever will, but for everyone who has, I applaud your courage!

Happy reading. May you have a year of hope, compassion and love.