Looking back on the events that transpired this year, no matter how great the impact on us individually or as a country, be it a favorable experience or not, we can definitely say that these events taught us so many lessons we may never forget as time passes by. VoicePoints then brings you in retrospect of the important events in the Philippines this year.
The beginning of the year 2017 was filled with major events which not only brought the Philippines on a spotlight but created an opportunity to show to the whole world that the country is not only known for alluring and smart candidates but also for its equally breath-taking scenic spots. One of the most prestigious beauty pageants – the 65th Miss Universe competition commenced in 15 January this year. The 86 candidates were given the chance to visit some of the magnificent places in the country such as Cebu, Davao, Vigan, and Baguio. We may not be able to achieve a back-to-back victory as Miss Philippine’s candidate Maxine Medina landed only on the Top 6 and Miss Iris Mittenaere of France was crowned as the winner on the coronation night in 30 January, still this historic event brought pride and joy as well as unity of every Filipinos.
In 1 February, the New People’s Army announced withdrawal on its unilateral ceasefire with the government followed by President Duterte’s announcement in 4 February that the government is terminating the said ceasefire after soldiers were killed by members of the rebel group. This brought yet another uncertainty of achieving peace between the government and the NPA.
For the K-Pop fans, this month became the most-awaited month in the history of K-Pop fandom in the Philippines as the first K-Pop show of the year was held in 2 March at the Mall of Asia Arena. The 2017 Global Peace Concert ‘One K in Manila’ featured famous K-Pop groups and artists like AOA, BTOB, CN Blue, SHInee, PSY, B.A.P., and B1A4. The concert was meant to seek global support for unification and was launched by the One-K Global Campaign Organizing Committee which consists of 850 domestic NGO’s including Action for Korea United (AKU).
Moreover, this month is a lucky month also for SSS pensioners as the Social Security System announced the approved increase of pension worth P1000 which started in 3 March.
This month has been recorded with three significant earthquakes which affected the provinces of Batangas, Sarangani and Lanao Del Sur. These earthquakes and aftershocks caused severe damages on these infrastructures as well as evacuation of the people in the affected area. However, times like these bring out the genuine love, care and generosity of our kababayans in helping the victims of calamities.
In April 26-29, ten leaders of the ASEAN member states gathered in Manila for the 30th ASEAN Summit with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”. These Heads of States discussed the implementation of ASEAN Vision 2025 and the external relations as well as future direction of the association.
This month is considered as the saddest month for this year as our fellow Filipinos in Marawi were affected by the war between the government troops and the ISIS-inspired Maute group headed by Isnilon Hapilon. In 23 May, a joint operation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Phiippine National Police was launched to capture the said leader of the Maute group. Mindanao was then declared under Martial Law for 60 days by the President on the same day as the clash intensifies. However, the clash lasted longer causing many lives lost and destroying millions of properties, forcing the locals to evacuate and leave their homes.
As the nation is still sympathizing and grieving with the increasing number of death toll in the Marawi siege, in 2 June, another tragic incident happened in Resorts World Manila after a high-roller gambler who had millions of debts fired shots to casino properties and set fire to casino tables and gambling machines. There are 67 people injured and 38 fatalities consisting of 13 employees, 24 guests and the perpetrator identified as Jessie Carlos. The victims died from suffocation and smoke inhalation.
On the sixth day of this month, an earthquake with 6.5 magnitude shock Leyte causing power interruptions in the region with 4 death and 100 injury recorded. On the same date, the Supreme Court ruled that President Duterte can declare Martial Law in the whole country.
The Martial law in Mindanao was extended until 31 December 2017 during the special joint session of the Congress of the Philippines with the vote 261 against 18 last 22 July.
A nationwide ban on public smoking was implemented by the President under the Philippine Executive Order 26.
All petition filed against the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani were all dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The outbreak of H5N6 Avian influenza or bird flu in Central Luzon that caused a major panic in the area wherein over 37,000 birds died and 116,000 were infected recorded last 11 August.
The death of the 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos transpired last 16 August that caused an uproar and criticism about the government’s way of fighting the war against drugs.
During this month, around 1,200 Philippines National Police officers were fired in Caloocan due to the alleged criminal actions that were being reported.
The 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the late president Ferdinand Marcos was celebrated last 21 September. President Duterte declared this day to be a nationwide protest or also known as the National Day of Protest in the country.
The leader of Abu Sayyaf, Isnilon Hapilon, and the leader of the Maute group, Omar Maute, were reportedly killed last 16 October and President Duterte announced the liberation of the Marawi against the terrorists in 17 October. The battle for Marawi was officially declared over on the 23rd of the month ending the war against the militant groups and terrorists.
The 31st ASEAN Summit last 10-12 November and the 12th East Asia Summit last 13-14 November were hosted by our country.
A tragic way to welcome the holiday season for the families of the 38 mall workers that died during the mall fire in Davao last 24 December.
On the 27th of this month, President Duterte lead the turning over of over 800 temporary shelters for the Marawi evacuees who were victims of the ISIS-inspired terrorism in Mindanao.
A lot of lives were lost, many properties were destroyed, a lot of changes happened in our political system and in our lives, and we, Filipinos, withstood all the challenges 2017 offered.
It has been a bumpy ride and the year is about to end. VoicePoints Editorial Board wishes you a happy and prosperous new year.
About the Authors:
Mark Anthony delos Santos is Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication graduate from the University of Northern Philippines. He fell in love in writing, particularly poetry, at a young age. He is interested in music, calligraphy, film making, photography and archaeology. Mark loves poetry, movies and arts. He is currently working in a business process outsourcing company. Mark is the VoicePoints Vice President for Content Strategy.
Karen Ann Tadeo graduated with the degree Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Management Accounting at the University of Northern Philippines. She led their college’s official student publication as the Editor-in-Chief from 2014 to 2015. She is currently working in a local bank in its branch in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. Karen is an ambivert, a bookworm, chocoholic and coffee addict. Karen dreams of publishing a book and inspire others to be the best they can be. Karen is one of the Bureau Chiefs of VoicePoints.
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