Let’s get back in 2019 before midnight when everyone’s busy buzzing for the New Year’s countdown. It’s December 31st and elderlies are preparing for Media Noche. Many are at home with their families, but most are at the public fireworks display in their city, and some are outside attending a year-end concert with their favorite bands and artists.
All of us seem to have brighter plans and bigger goals to achieve by 2020 -we even say that 2020 will be our best year so we have put in advance our planners the possibilities of tomorrow.
And hum bum! Here comes January 2020 real quick. Now, it’s December 2020 and it feels like a decade.
The year may be a growing pain for many of us but there are still streaks of sunshine worthy of revisiting and taking strength from. Each month has so many stories to tell, this is the perfect time to fill your cups, sit down, cause in this article we’ll bring you back the bittersweet memories we have shared apart in the new normal.
Nobody expected that January’s calmness had so much to tell. Two days after the New Year, the tranquillity was shaken when a bushfire lit in New South Wales and Australia which prompted the residents of the cities to evacuate. Over 140 million animals were affected, one billion mammals were reportedly dead, 100 species were in need to undergo emergency adoptions, and tens of millions of NSW acres of land burned out.
On January 3 after the wildfire, Iranian General Qasem Soleiman was assassinated by the US military via drone strike. The horrifying death of Soleiman draws tension between the US and Iran which many have concluded that the US defensive action would lead to World War III. Consecutive protests were gathered in Iran during this day.
On January 7, the World Health Organization in China was first to disclose that there’s a virus called 2019-nCov now known as COVID-19 which study showed that it attacks the human respiratory system. The virus is believed to have started in a wet market in Wuhan, China.
On January 8, following the death of Solieman, Iranians launched more than a dozen missiles that attacked the two American military bases in Iraq. However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zafir defended that the attack was just a “proportionate measure of self-defense,” citing the UN Charter under Article 51 that they have the right to launch a protecting measure from those armed forces who likewise attacked their citizens and senior officials. There were no deaths reported during the incident but many American troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.
On January 8, another horrible human error had killed all the 176 passengers on board a Ukrainian flight as the plane crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran. The mishap was claimed by Iran saying the plane was unintentionally shut down due to a mistaken threat.
On January 12, Taal Volcano erupted again after 42 years. Many Filipinos were evacuated. A total of 335 volcanic earthquakes were recorded.
On January 16, the controversial impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began. He was impeached under the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This was started when a whistleblower complained about in-the-know the US President asking a favor to President Volodymyr Zelensky about his presidential rival Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden.
On January 23, Wuhan China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak announced its unprecedented lockdown. Over 11 million residents and tourists were affected as the city’s transportation was shut down. This was when people in Wuhan experienced a week of quarantine where there were food shortages, and hospitals were congested with many patients. What scares many people at this time, is that the said virus has no cure.’
On January 26, NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers were found dead as their private helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. Many fans and loved ones pay tribute to their legendary’s loss.
On January 30, the first coronavirus case in the Philippines was reported in Dumaguete city. She is a 38-year-old woman who has travel history from Wuhan, China. The incident follows 29 patients from various parts of the country who were under investigation.
2020 is an election year in the United States and many of us were trying to get our noses into the US issue because we all know how the news in the US could affect the world. Even though much of our attention was focused on the virus. By February, the virus has already made its way in China yet many of us in the Philippines seem to be out of fear because of the unfamiliarity of the threat but soon it becomes clearer what it has become.
On February 5, Donald Trump is acquitted to be the third US President to be impeached. This marks a historic day in US Presidential history. Trump was acquitted 52-48 in vote counts for abuse of power, and 53-47 in vote counts for obstruction of Congress.
On February 11, The World Health Organization chose the official name of the coronavirus disease as COVID-19. The name was chosen for being pronounceable and relatable to the disease, WHO said.
In March, everything seems to be feeling blue. The halls, streets, and roads leave empty spaces. Grocery stores have run out of hygiene stocks such as face masks and alcohol, and restaurants are starting to turn their window sign into “Sorry We’re Closed” as early as 6 pm. In silence, people are dying alone in hospitals. No exact numbers of fatalities have been recorded because of everyone’s grind for medication. Global markets have slowly shuddered. Tourism industries no longer accept flights and ship leaves. Many passengers were trapped in vain calling for a place to port. Life in March seems to be deserted foreseeing the shadow of the pandemic.
On March 16, Malacañang ordered the entire Luzon to Enhance Community Quarantine to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
On March 25, Earlier in March Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel was tested positive for coronavirus. The day after knowing that one person in the senate acquires the disease half of the senate officials have isolated themselves. However, Pimentel finds it isn’t a sufficient reason to self-quarantine and later went shopping in BGC and even accompanied his pregnant wife to a hospital. Many netizens, artists, and even the Makati Medical Center denounced the senator as reckless in action.
The threat was far from over. At the beginning of April, coronavirus hits 1 million cases and by the end of the month, over 62,000 deaths have been recorded worldwide.
On April 9, It marks the 100 days after the New Year. However, it feels like it’s been a decade already.
In May, the new normal becomes a new lifestyle. This month the world prepares to get back its knees and resume the grind from daily activities. But this time, with matching face masks, disinfectants, and social distancing. Even ECQ is lifted in some areas, health protocols are strictly implemented. For most Filipinos, fast-food chains will become a whole lot different, and work-from-home setup becomes the norm for many working classes.
Despite the ongoing cases of coronavirus, Filipinos who spend 70% of their time at home become preoccupied and become the most updated creatures on social media. Filipinos become the top certified users of the video-sharing app TikTok to address the economic impact of tourism in the country.
On May 8, Kim Chui’s ‘Bawal Lumabas’ Facebook Live statement brought her frame and traverse in different levels of ‘katatawanan’ for many Pinoys.
On May 12, PNP Chief Major General Debold Sinas celebrated his birthday despite a ban on the mass gathering. The mañanita or the early birthday serenade of Sinas went viral after many people didn’t control their temper expressing there would be no double standards on imposing the rule.
On May 25, Due to the increased attention of activists, celebrities, and lawmakers, social attention draws back the death of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery who has been shot while jogging in a neighborhood in Georgia in February. After the Arbery’s case roared another killing of a Black man named George Floyd. Floyd’s killing was caught on video that rested on social media for many weeks. Tension is added when protesters call for action even before the streets are left barren.
The word Black Lives Matter echoed in all parts of the world, calling to end racial discrimination, justice, police accountability, and reform.
It’s half of the year yet demonstration of Black Lives Matter continues to unite billions of people across the globe. On the record, the Philippines has over 650,000 people who were tested for the virus and more than 46,000 who turned out to be positive in the last week of June. The result beat the 600,000 UP OCTA group of researchers’ projection about the virus case in the country.
On June 21, remarks the longest day of the year.
Last week of June, many churches in the country reopened. However, many religions had already adapted the virtual preach to avoid being contracted by the virus.
Despite the massive upheaval, for many others, it’s been a lot different experience in technology. Society at large needs to provide a better way of doing things. It seems like 2020 is an open gate for a more digital world. Although this convenience has driven due to necessity, many people become successful in modifying their jobs but for many working classes July isn’t the month for everyone to embrace.
On July 3, President Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill Act of 2020 in Law. The issue gained a massive backlash and criticism on social media because citizens have divided understanding about the law.
On July 11, one of the Philippines media giant ABS-CBN lost its claim after the congress made the decision to shut down the network. This has resulted in increasing the number of unemployment in the country since about 11, 000 employees were affected by the decision. The controversial franchise renewal becomes the many topics of press freedom and expression.
From a recent PSA report, 4.6 Million people are jobless in July because of the pandemic.
Mournful August. Two-thirds of the death population were from the emerging disease. On the flipside, what is more painful is to alleviate the sense that many TV personalities we admire have lost this month
On August 16, Philippine video creator Emman Nimedez lost his battle of blood cancer.
On August 20, Drag Race Queen Chi Chi Devayne passed away due to suspected heart and kidney failure.
On August 29, Marvel Superhero Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman died of cancer.
Beat you laugh many times and get LSS with ‘It Really Hurts’ dance craze popularized by Mimiyuuuh, didn’t you? Three months before the year is over, and September is making its way to be remembered. This time, people are starting to imagine what it would be this Christmastime when the vaccine is not yet to arrive and we are counting the days we can be together with our loved ones this holiday season. Despite the challenge, many Filipinos have become adaptive to plants. And the word “plantitos” and “plantitas” became a trend to those becoming certified plant lovers in the pandemic time.
On September 3, An earthquake struck a magnitude 6.3 in Davao Region.
On September 4, Another Filipino Youtube vlogger Llyod Cadena died after suffering cardiac arrest.
On September 23, PhiVolcs recorded another magnitude 4.9 earthquake in Legaspi, Albay, and Bicol.
Tadan! Who would have thought that it’s October! It seems like the economy didn’t hit a long-time crisis when Apple brand launched its iPhone 12. Sadly, this should have been the time that we will indulge the essence of Oktoberfest but we couldn’t.
On October 5, over 24 million students’ back to school, but this time off campus. No more backpacks, no more lines at school gates, no more lates, no more traffic jams and school uniforms. This means lessons are delivered through online or modular.
On October 15, undoubtedly Boys Love Series hit the Philippines during lockdown. BL has established good reviews because of its convincing stories.
On October 25, Mateo Rabiya was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2020.
On October 25, Typhoon Quinta made landfall in parts of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Western and Central Visayas. Death toll rises to 16 after typhoon Quinta leaves the country.
On October 29, the beautification of Manila Bay gave another level of talks on social media on where you can overhear people’s intervention saying “Dolomite lang sakalam.”
Yes we are closer to the end, but wait!
It was waking up from nightmare to nightmare as successive typhoons Quita, Rolly, and Ulysses left massive destruction in PH.
On November 1, The most powerful typhoon Rolly yet in 2020 just battered parts of the Bicol Region as signal # raise to 5. Death climbs to 24 and damages P5.76 Billion in infrastructures.
On November 8, Behind the gripped historic pandemic and social turmoil, the US election became successful. Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump during the 2020 Presidential election where Biden crossed the winning threshold of 270 electoral votes.
On November 12, Another traumatic Typhoon like Ondoy named Ulysses entered the Philippines. Most affected areas were in the province of Isabela and Cagayan, Bicol Region, Areas in Metro Manila, and parts in Central Luzon. Thousands of homes submerged, residents are climbing onto roofs waiting for rescues, communication becomes unreachable, and what’s worse when people are growling and screaming for rescue in the middle of darkness. A total of 73 deaths were recorded during this massive onslaught.
On November 15, Strong magnitude 6.0 struck near Cagayan de Oro.
As of this writing, DOH reported a total of 462,815 COVID-19 cases in the country. Active cases are 24,375, total recoveries to 429,419, and death toll to 9,021.
Despite all the things that happened to us, may it be the natural disasters, technology changes, divisions of morale, and reverberation of illness and death, many Filipino still hope for better days in the coming year. The conclusion is based on the newly conducted survey by pollster Pulse Asia saying ‘91% of the Filipinos are still optimistic.’
Then, recently, we were stunned by the video documentation of the Gregorios death at the hands of law enforcement. This video, along with others, exposed the destructive and devastating system in our society that never seems to heal.
We are learning the lesson of 2020 the hard way but the harder it gets the more we learn. AloneTogether has become normalized as we stay at home away from one another. If there are responsible people we should thank this year it is to ourselves. From all the silent battles we have fought alone or together, thanks to our life-giver we have surpassed it.
As holidays are approaching, we have time to put our knees together, kneel, bow, thank and glorify because we have embraced all the shortcomings of being vulnerable and fragile during the days. It was never the mistake of anyone that this year would be so hard. We’re like dough and 2020 is the hardest rolling pin, which shapes us in so many ways. This year’s struggle no one forgets. As we look to the door of 2021 without the naivety of 2020 we can now arm ourselves with understanding and knowledge we learn as the year ends.
Photo Credit: www.pna.gov.ph, instagram.com/chinitaprincess, facebook.com/LloydCafeCadena, instagram.com/chadwickboseman, Vanessa Bryant Official Instagram Account