BRIMMING WITH one plot twist after another, this year might simply go down in history as one that left people “shookt.” Now that 2016 is coming to its final tick on the clock, the Flame offers a rundown of some of the noteworthy events that made 2016 a year to remember.
Political plot twists
Profanity and rhetoric, fierce approach in issues, and colorful personalities won the hearts of the masses in the presidential elections in the Philippines, and the United States. President Rodrigo Duterte and President-elect Donald Trump seem to never run out of ways to shock the world with controversial statements, promises, and decisions, and their terms in the office are far from being over.
An unworthy interment
The nation was caught off-guard when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of late Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last November. The surprise burial took place 10 days after the high court’s decision, even though petitioners had until the week after to file for a motion for reconsideration. Millennials from different universities—including the “big four”—stood up and rallied in the streets condemning the hero’s burial of the dictator.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago dies at 71
Former senator and presidential aspirant Miriam Defensor-Santiago has always been a crowd favorite. From her witty pick-up lines to bold stances in pressing issues, the “Iron Lady of Asia” ignited a fire of inspiration in the hearts of the Filipino masses. So the country joined her family in mourning when the legend lost two fights this year: the presidential elections and her battle with lung cancer.
Justice for Harambe
A massive public outcry over the death of Harambe, a gorilla in an Ohio zoo, filled social media last May. The western lowland gorilla was shot by Cincinnati Zoo officials after it grabbed and dragged a four-year-old boy who fell into its moat. While some celebrate the child’s rescue, animal rights activists mourn the loss of a part of an endangered species, who died a day after its 17th birthday.
Lifting the banner high
This year’s Rio Olympics offered national athletes another chance to bring pride to their countries. Filipino Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, for instance, brought home a silver—the country’s first Olympic medal in two decades—in the women’s 53-kg weight division.
Long-awaited game app
Both kids and adults voluntarily moved away from their computer screens and stepped outdoors, for a change, when Niantic and Nintendo launched Pokemon Go last July. In the virtual game, players embark on a journey as trainers by exploring their city to find nearby Pokemon “gyms” and “pokestops,” and, ultimately, to catch ‘em all.
Strange new TV craze
Sci-fi fanatics across the globe were knocked off their seats as Eleven graced their television screens in the debut season of Stranger Things. The award-winning series set in the 80s features secret government operations, supernatural monsters, and a horrifying parallel dimension.
‘Tis the Season for Quality Films
The Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) decided, for the first time, to exhibit an indie film line-up this year. The organizers shoved the mainstream movie entries away, and chose eight compelling and relevant films for the Filipino consumers this holiday season. Although a lot of backlash came from known producers and artists saying Christmas season is not the time for this genre of movies, MMFF remained firm in its decision to let Filipinos enjoy quality films that tackle LGBT awareness, love, religion, and other societal problems.
It was an eventful year for the realms of politics, sports, pop-culture, and entertainment. And while some are convinced that 2016 was nothing but a train wreck, others see it as just another year filled with both wins and mishaps; and positive attitude makes all the difference. Let the lessons learned from the past year guide everyone into making the best out of the exciting new chapter of 2017. F AARON THOMAS L. DE GUIA