2016 in a nutshell: Wit, Heartbreak, Uncertainty, Fight for Facts, and a Comeback

From my personal experiences down to my family; to the entire society, worldwide web, social media, technology and the events that left the people’s jaw dropping. This has been 2016. There have been a lot of tears, challenges, difficulties, and a time to retrace and an opportunity to correct the mistakes. It marked a huge dent to my heart and to most of the others as well. Take a look back of what went right and wrong this year.

Wit

This year saw a huge number of memes, statements and social media posts that drew laughter from thousands if not, millions of netizens worldwide. From the political scene down to the face of fictional characters that are matched with complimenting words that can effortlessly giggle anyone. This includes witty political punchlines from Ethel Booba, various Twitter hugot. Plus, hundreds of memes from the Prehistoric Spongebob, Mr. Krabs, the slain gorilla Harambe, Pepe, Bad Kermit, confused math girl, Obama & Biden, Melania Trump copying, 2016 U.S. election undecided voter Ken Bone, and here at home, the iconic Karen Davila and Alma Moreno interview (popularly known as #AlDav) and much more. There are also body hyping Fetty Wap, Trumpets, Juju on that Beat, and Mannequin challenges which took the video streaming platform a storm.

She started a new love team with Karen Davila that's sweeping the nation: #AlDav.

Twitter: @deenov

In entertainment, this year also marked the rebirth of quality Filipino movies in the Metro Manila Film Festival as this year’s entries were dominated by Independent films and the powerhouse actors & actresses the Philippines has to offer in the film industry. This pivot drew a mixed reaction from different platforms but one thing’s for sure: “YES! NO MORE VICE OR VIC.” On a more serious note, the fiasco between the MMFF and non-MMFF entries both shown in theaters is troubling. These theater owners should be ashamed of themselves because of prioritizing earnings from non-MMFF films over giving a space to all of this year’s entries. I hope this won’t happen again next year.

I couldn’t agree more.

Heartbreak

This was one of the if not, the saddest year so far. Aside from leaving MaSci  at the end of my Junior High School studies, this was the year Estelito “Lolo Itoy” Tributo, and the most shocking one, Tito Rene Tributo, left us.

2016 gave a ton of heartbreak to fans, supporters and a number of innocent people. A number of popular artists, singers, authors, athletes, and actors bid farewell this year. Most notable are David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, and the last were the mother & child powerhouse Carrie Fisher, who was known as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” series and Debbie Reynolds who first made a step into fame through “Singin’ in the Rain.” Philippine senator and former 2016 Philippine Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a multi-awarded lawmaker who authored numerous laws that shaped and improved the welfare of the country and helped destroying corruption, also failed to defeat lung cancer.

Aside from high profile deaths, there are also people who have been longing for peace in Syria, most especially in Aleppo. Thousands of innocent people affected and worse, shot and killed as the fight between ISIS forces who are hungry of territorial ownership and forces such as from the United States, Russia, and Turkey. This crisis triggered the people to flee from their homes but some people still consider staying because it is their only home.

This was also the year of terror here in the Philippines and across the world. A night market in Davao has turned into a bloodbath due to a huge explosion; Manila was spared as an improvised explosive device (IED) in the U.S. embassy was recovered and the suspects involved were arrested. There are also various terror attacks in Europe, particularly in Brussels, Turkey, Israel, New York, and a lot more that injured and/or claimed lives of many, leaving their families grieving. Aside from terror, violent dispersals were also present this year, including the protests in the U.S. embassy where both the police and the protesters gone wrong. In Kidapawan, where the farmers who were seeking help from the local government due to the drought which are affecting their crops. Three protesters were dead, and 116 were injured from both sides. Each dispersal earned criticism from different groups which are mostly critical against the police.

In the tech world, Twitter has discontinued their six-second video sharing platform Vine in their effort to trim their costs and manpower. But now, it’s not yet really gone as it will be included soon as Twitter’s sister app as Vine Camera. Recently, CyanogenMod, a highly popular open source Android-based operating system, has been discontinued by Cyanogen Inc. after releasing the final versions of the CM 13.0, however, even if the developers have seized the project, they will relaunch under a brand new name LineageOS. A group also said they would be “forking” the OS and will be continuing its development.

Uncertainty

Businessman Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States will go down as one of the biggest political upset in history. The Clinton camp fought hard , yet their message wasn’t effectively delivered, the Democratic National Committee didn’t make the best of the opportunity, marred by accusations of being biased against then Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and Independent Senator from Vermont. This conclusion of the fiesty U.S. presidential race as a lot of spicy exchanges from the campaigns, primary debates, conventions, down to the final debates between the Republican and Democratic standard-bearer conquered the headlines. It has been a race like no other which gave ratings boost for the big three U.S. cable news networks CNN, Fox News and MSNBC . Now, as the transition of power continues, whether it’s smooth or not, the future of the country is still in the hands of the preceding commander-in-chief and the people of the United States.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which is already running for six months have generated a number of surrenders, alleged murders, and deaths under investigation, which others call as the alleged extrajudicial killings. The President on his campaign in the 2016 election promised to scrap the drug problem within three to six months of his presidency, but the situation is different from his hometown Davao City, it has been more complicated. Now, he promised the war on drugs to last ‘until the very last drug lord is killed’. The President was criticized by the United Nations, the outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, and the biggest one, Sen. Leila de Lima on the alleged EJK’s. He fought back, firing a chunk of bad words, and foul remarks against his critics. Of course, this is what the President is, and he will never change his attitude and the way he speaks as what he said on the various local media interviews on December 29.

The president also drew mixed reactions from pro & anti-Marcos supporters on his stance on the Heroes’ Cemetery burial of Former President Ferdinand Marcos, which lead to the Supreme Court allowing the former dictator’s burial after a 9-5-1 vote. The surprise hero’s burial for the late president shook the nation in every angle. The country has been more divided than ever with clashes and protests off the streets and online. Vice President Leni Robredo since then began to be the voice of the opposition. This December, she resigned from Duterte’s cabinet after being ordered by the president not to attend future cabinet meetings. Duterte admitted on one of the interviews he had on December 29 that he and Robredo has a problem.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 would have been this year’s smartphone of the year except for its flaws. Not just a simple flaw, but a troubling one. Multiple reports of the unit exploding while plugged in or not triggered the current largest smartphone brand to escalate recalls a few weeks before Apple introduced the headphone jack-free and water resistant iPhone 7 series. The supplied batteries and its placement inside the units are to be blamed for the fiasco. But unfortunately, the flagship was discontinued and the company suffered a $5.3 billion loss. The company has since then warned the remaining users of the flagship to return their devices or they will be forcing an update from capping the battery charge percentage of the phone down to bricking the phone itself. After multiple bans across many airports and airlines, now we have this headline:

Right now, the company is working closely on their upcoming flagship, most probably the S8 which could make or break the fans’ and customers’ trust and urged intensive security throughout the workplace to minimize leaks. But preliminary rumors show a 4K screen, Always On Display (AOD) from the Note 7, 6/8GB RAM, fingerprint scanner embedded onto the screen, f/1.4 main camera ranging between 18-24MP with 8MP front shooter, Snapdragon 830 in the U.S. while a whopping 3GHz Exynos 8895 processor on other regions, edge-to-edge screen, and a February/March release.

Fight for Facts

This year was also the year of many Senate and House probes from Mamasapano, Kidapawan dispersal, war on drugs, down to Sen. Leila de Lima’s case. It was the year when the Filipino people need to know the truth about how the government and its people, both previous and current took action. It doesn’t matter how long the session will last during the day.

Popular Duterte supporter Mocha Uson drew flak from netizens as she continued to share non-factual articles and her own views that support the current Philippine president. The former sexy star turned Philippine Star columnist and MMFF ambassadress (who even didn’t know some of the names of the 2016 MMFF film entries as what her Facebook said) earned lots of negativity from posting negative remarks against the so-called “yellows” and the current Vice President Leni Robredo for being allegedly nonexistent during the Typhoon Nina recovery efforts in the Bicol region (where she is coordinating with her team since before the storm hits while she is on vacation).

In the United States, top cable news outlets such as CNN & MSNBC cut through Trump’s words through fact-checking on their on-screen chyrons. These drew both laughs and applause from the viewers and newsers themselves. Bloomberg also had a live fact-checking during the final debates. But aside from those on-screen frenzy, networks have been watching Trump’s remarks in 140 characters or less via his Twitter account, which has been controversial since the beginning of the 2016 race.

Comeback

One of the best things to happen this year is Bruno Mars’ comeback after a 4-year break. With a smash hit album ’24k Magic’ that is kicking the charts right now. His album still delivers the same 90’s vibe “Uptown Funk” brought in 2014. The no-autotune needed voice captured my emotions and challenged my vocal chords as I try to master them. Some of the songs that are clearly making the mark under his album were ‘Too Good to Say Goodbye’ (which is the new ‘When I Was Your Man’ IMHO),  ‘Versace on the Floor’, and ‘Calling All My Lovelies’. But as one of the millions of solid hooligans, I can say all of the songs in this album are solidly jolly, catchy, emotional, and so old-school which gave me more idea on how 80’s and 90’s music are characterized. We hooligans across the world are really happy of his comeback and we’re proud to say “GUESS WHO’S BACK AGAIN?”

Aside from Bruno’s comeback, Finnish startup HMD Global, owned by former Nokia executives, who bought the rights to revive the brand who once dominated the mobile phone industry before failing for a couple of times, announced Nokia’s comeback in the mobile phone business next year. This time their devices will be running on Android. We can remember that last 2014, the Finnish tech company released their very first full-fledged Android Lollipop tablet, the N1. This year, they have also launched a few next generation feature phones.

Resulta ng larawan para sa nokia android

Nokia E1 concept running Android 6.0 Marshmallow/From YouTube

Also, some of the freed Chibok schoolgirls went back home to their respective families just in time for Christmas. A bit of heartbreak can be felt as some of the other family members waiting thought that their daughter was one of the several girls who will be back with them. About 200 of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls who were taken by the Boko Haram terror group are still missing.

Here’s to better possibilities in 2017

2016 may be a terrible year for others, including me. There have been lots of dwindles, emotional earthquake, and a bit of hope, which should not be minimized. Admit it, we have learned lots of things that we should stick into our minds once the new year rings in. The challenges we have faced this year could just be a test of strength. Right now, we should be optimistic on how 2017 will shape us and the world we’re living in. Here’s to hoping for the best but we should always be ready in case of any mishaps. This is James, not your average news junkie, wishing you all a prosperous, productive, healthy, and happy new year!

Sources: 1, 2. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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