2015 has been another colorful year for the Philippines. From scandals, security threats, land and sea disputes, police encounters and traffic nightmares to pride and honors, and victorious celebrations, the country was marked by interesting and shocking stories this year.
And as 2015 nears its end, Nite Writer will look back on the hottest and most talked about news in the country this year. Here are the 15 top news items of 2015.
15. MMFF 2015 Scandal
While MMFF has always been controversial, the 2015 edition became more scandalous with the inclusion of social media in the picture. From ticket swapping to disqualification of Honor Thy Father from the Best Picture category, MMFF 2015 was highly criticized by the netizens for its unpopular decision.
14. Paris Attack
After the attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters earlier this year, another Islamic terrorist group has brought terror to Paris killing hundreds of people. Last November 14 ISIS owned responsibility of the Paris attack which killed and injured hundred. The attack was highly
13. PH vs China at the UN arbitration
The battle for the West Philippine Sea continues. The Philippines scored China as the International Arbitral Tribulal granted PH’s petition to hear its case against China with regards to the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea. The Court in Hague unanimously decided in favor of the Philippines to hear the arbitration case against China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea.
12. Pacquiao – Mayweather fight
The most anticipated fight of the century has happened. Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally accepted the offer to fight the People’s Champ Manny Pacquaio. While many have expected Manny will finally break the o-loss card of Mayweather, it didn’t happen. The May 2015 fight has been dubbed as the lousiest fight ever as Mayweather keeps on running the ring to evade Pacman’s offense thus securing his win and retaining his clean slate. Talks of rematch immediately surfaced after the bout, but Mayweather declined and resorted to an early retirement from boxing.
It was a rainy evening of September 8 when EDSA became the biggest parking lot in Manila if not the Philippines. While many are already attuned to the worst EDSA traffic, that one night became an apocalypse type for the Metro Manila commuters. Cars and PUVs were barely moving, with the traffic jam queuing all the way from the north to the south of the Metro. Netizens were in unison in calling that day their longest travel time in Manila because they left at their respective offices on September 8 and reached home the other day September 9.
10. It’s Showtime’s Pastillas
Noontime show competition has never been this hot. With the rise of the phenomenal AlDub which left It’s Showtime hanging on the ropes, they’ve found and introduced the girl behind the viral video “How to Make Pastillas”. While it cannot be denied that the aim is to counter the continued rise of Eat BUlaga courtesy of AlDub, Pastillas Girl became It’s Showtime’s life support. They may have gotten many bashers because of her and its segment, It’s Showtime was able to hurdle the storm and steadily regaining their former supporters back.
9. Tanim Bala
Syndicated or isolated case, anyhow, the Tanim Bala issue has brought paranoia to the country especially the frequent flyers. When news broke out about bullets being seized from luggages of passengers in Manila Airports, the Philippines and NAIA was put again under the microscope of international community. Even UN advised their people to use preventive measures against the tanim bala scam. While Malacanang downplays the incidents as mere isolated cases, the NBI investigation proved there was indeed syndicate operating in NAIA which are responsible for the tani bala scam.
Read: #TanimBala Philippine bullet scam sparks anger and social media activism
Read: Watch: ‘Tanim-bala’ spawns funny video too
Read: ‘Tanim bala’ scam: NBI recommends charges against airport officials
8. INC scandal
It started with a youtube video calling for help. INC’s Angel Manalo took to Youtube to call for help in what he called as an illegal detention case. Angel the brother of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo said they are being held against their will inside the INC compound in Quezon City. The incident then brought out the corruption issues inside the organization. Ministers who came out to support Ka Angel and mother Ka Teny, were dismissed by the INC’s powerful Sangguian which led to what has been called as the INC Crisis. And that crisis has brought thousands of their member to EDSA paralyzing traffic for several days. With cases filed by former minister Isaias Samson Jr. at the DOJ, INC leaders called on their members to occupy EDSA and demand for the separation of church and state. The protest rally angered many commuters who were inconvenience due to traffic paralysis.
7. Effects of APEC
After 19 years, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit is back in the country, but this time in Manila. while many understand the benefits from this annual economic meet, the decision to hold the summit in the Metro was totally unacceptable. With the current traffic situation in the metro, organizing a big event with high security concerns is nothing short of a nightmare. And the result, enormous traffic and irate commuters who cannot go to work without walking and without being late. A pregnant woman even gave birth to her child at the sidewalk because there were no vehicles that can immediately transport her to the nearest hospital.
6. Third Miss Universe crown for the Philippines
Just before the year ends, Philippines was gifted with its 3rd Miss Universe crown courtesy of Miss Universe Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Wutzbach has brought honor to the country after giving the Philippines its 3rd Miss Universe title after 42 long years. Since 2010 the Philippines has been anticipating to get that illusive crown and Pia was the luckiest girl to get that honor. But her win was not spared of controversy and funfare when the Miss Universe 2015 host Steve Harvey mistakenly crowned the 1st runner up Miss Colombia as the new Miss Universe. Minutes later Harvey took the stage to apologize, correct his mistake and gave the title to the rightful owner Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach. Pia now joined the league of Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran as Miss Universe winners from the Philippines.
The political teleserye of the year, Duterteserye. For a country that needs tough and decisive leaders, many Pinoys are anchoring their hope to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte who is famous for his works in Davao City emerged as one of the top contenders for the Presidency in the coming 2016 election even prior to his presidential bid announcement. Some are calling it as a political strategy for someone who do not have deep treasure chest and wide political machinery. Before Duterte finally threw his hats off the presidential derby in 2016, the Mayor was firm in denying he will seek the post in Malacanang. He even held 2 presscons only to ask his supporters to stop encouraging him to run because he will not and he will never. While many took his words as the truth many sees his body language otherwise. While he keeps on denying he will run, Duterte went around the country for several speaking engagement about his advocacy on Federalism. A leaked video of his political ads also came out, giving his supporters bright hope that Duterte will change mind and run.
At the last day of filling of Certificate of Candidacy, supporters were all out in the COMELEC office but no Duterte came, instead he filed his COC for Davao Mayor which convinced many that he will really not run. But for his loyal supporters, they are still hoping for the Dec 2015 deadline of substitition after a party mate Martin Dino filed his COC for president. And they were not mistaken. After the SET ruled in favor of Sen. Grace Poe, Duterte immediately announced he’s ready to join the Presidential elections in 2016 and that he will file his COC for president as substiture for Dino. What a great media exposure. He didn’t have to pay for political ads but he gets free publicity. A great plot really for a teleserye.
4. The Miracle of MJ Veloso
United prayers really work match with collective efforts. Mary Jane Veloso is the proof that collective efforts match with prayer can really save life. Hours before her execution, many already lost hope that MJ will be saved. While the government have done everything (including back door options) to save Veloso from execution, Indonesia President Joko Widodo stand firm with his decision to proceed with the verdict.
3. Mamasapano Encounter
This probably is the worst nightware of the Aquino administration. 44 SAF commandos killed in a clash with the MILF in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. What supposed to be a legitimate police operation to capture Malaysian terrorist Marwan, was tainted by controversies as key people were kept out of the loop. While the SAF troop was successful in neutralizing Marwan as evident by the DNA release by the FBI taken from his finger, the death of the 44 hounded PNoy and his administration. His non-appearance in the arrival honors was also highly criticized cementing claims of his insensitivity. Several Senate and Congressional investigations were held to shed light and it resulted from the resignation of then PNP chief Alan Purisima and dismissal of SAF chief Getulio Napenas.
2. The birth of the AlDub Phenomenon
A new phenomenon has infected not only the country but many parts of the world; aldub Phenomenon. It started from an accidental split screen teasing on Eat Bulaga’s Problem Solving segment. Fron then on, Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza has been a worldwide household name.
Taking social media by storm, the Kalyeserye tandem breaks twitter records paving for international media to take notice.Even foreign celebrities weren’t spared as they too joined the fray of netizens hashtaging AlDub hashtags. And on October 24 when the “Tamang Panahon” event was held in the jam packed Philippine Arena, AlDub broke twitter records after posting 41 million tweets beating FIFA world cups’ 35.6 million.
1. Pope Francis in Manila
The most blessed day for the country, his holiness Pope Francis came to bless us and remind us the value of mercy and compassion. When the year started, Philippines was blessed to welcome Pope Francis in the country. Pope Francis’s main aim was to visit and condole with the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban.
True to his humble personality, Pope Francis showed every Filipino how a powerful person can be as humble as anyone of us. Pope Francis celebrated mass in Tacloban despite the threat of Typhoon Amang which made him more endearing to every Filipino. His last mass at the Quirino Grandstand also set the record as one of the biggest religious gatherings in the world with 6 million people in attendance.
2015 may not be the brightest for the country, but its still one memorable and notable year especially for the news junkies. But the coming year will be the most important year to watch out for especially with the 2016 Philippine elections. 2016 will definitely news worthy filled year with the campaign season kicking off in the 1st quarter. Be assured that Nite Writer will continue to monitor and cover every important happenings inside and out.