2020: Year In Pictures
2020 was supposed to represent good vision, but the year turned into mishaps and tragedies. It was a year that defined our lives and how the experience changed all of us.
It started with a volcanic eruption in January. The Philippines' second most active volcano spewed ash and lava that displaced thousands of people and left many establishments within its vicinity closed for weeks.
Then came the spread of COVID-19 that was first detected in China’s Wuhan province. It was a race against time as governments around the world struggled to contain it. The world almost stood still as different countries enforced strict lockdowns, but despite that the virus still spread, an unprecedented global catastrophe nobody had seen coming.
The Philippines was the first country outside of China to have reported a death from the new coronavirus disease. In mid-March the Philippine government imposed measures to contain the virus. Several months later, cases and deaths due to the disease began rising.
Up to now, the government is still struggling to curb the spread of the virus that had crippled the economy and left millions of people jobless.
In May, a government regulatory agency declared a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN that forced most of the TV network’s operations off air, depriving millions of Filipinos of critical information amid the pandemic.
Fast forward to early July, the inevitable happened as Philippine Congress voted to reject a new franchise for ABS-CBN. This was followed by protests and motorcades in front of the network’s headquarters and the Philippine Congress.
In September, the government received flak for pursuing the controversial ₱389M renovation project to revive the polluted Manila Bay amid the situation against COVID-19. People flocked to the new tourist attraction dubbed as ‘Manila Bay Sands’ where a portion of the baywalk area was covered with artificial white sand made of crushed dolomite rocks.
A government official described the project as a panacea to the public’s mental health amid these trying times. But critics would have none of it as the public faced more pressing issues.
In October, the newly created distance learning system kicked off even as both students and parents were caught unprepared by the new approach.
Also in October, the burial of three-month-old baby River went viral after authorities first prevented his detained mother from visiting the child sick of pneumonia and allowing her later to attend the wake and burial with strict security protocols on display.
In November, the world’s strongest typhoon this year, Rolly, started a series of typhoon that lashed out the country, ending with Ulysses in the north.
As the year shuddered to a close, a family in Tarlac province became a victim of a policeman when a mother and her son were killed point-blank, the full horror recorded and played back on social media.
Despite the unfortunate events and mishaps that took place, there are still things to be grateful for and look forward to in the coming year if only because we survived.
Things remain uncertain as we welcome the coming year but we cling to the hope that as circumstances change so will the people experiencing this change.