We are just a few weeks away from bidding 2020 goodbye. Many started 2020 full of hope and life- only to be met with a year of surprises and struggles. So without further adieu, I count down the Top Five Stories in the country this 2020.
1. Nothing can be bigger in scale, impact, damage and even, learnings than the COVID-19 pandemic
The massive effect of the virus here and around the world was something no one really saw coming : sickness, death, economic destruction, lockdown, restriction in travel, so on and so forth. And what’s worse is- even if there’s hope already in sight for us via the vaccines, matter remains that the end is nowhere in sight. And you can ask the nations now being hit by the second wave.
2. The havoc caused by Typhoons Ulysses and Rolly
The wrath brought by Rolly’s winds and Ulysses’ rains hit at a time when everyone’s still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ulysses triggered severe flooding in parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, submerging villages and displacing scores of families. The typhoon came while the country the was still reeling from the effects of Super Typhoon Rolly, the world’s strongest storm this year.
3. The closure of ABS-CBN
After serving the Filipino for decades, the country’s biggest network was shut down after failing to secure a new franchise from Congress. With the closure, many jobs were lost, and many artists, personalities, even, had to scout for new projects outside their network while some had to launch their own You Tube channels. Whether it was politically motivated or not, the shutdown of ABS-CBN proved historic.
4. The Taal Volcano eruption
I remember how I bought masks for my officemates who lived in the South–all because the prices of masks in their area spiked and masks were so hard to come by. Little did I know that those masks would become the saving grace of our nation- and the entire world in the next few months due to the pandemic (had I known, I would’ve stashed a box or two before their prices reached 1000 pesos for 50 pcs during lockdown. All that is behind us now, as prices are now dropping because of oversupply). The eruption crippled Tagaytay’s livelihood and tourism- as well as those of Batangas and Laguna and every place within Taal’s reach for weeks.
5. The PhilHealth scam
This actually is news we did not need. Imagine our health system being riddled with problems brought forth by COVID-19- then we find out that a syndicate inside PhilHealth was able to run off with P15 billion in funds! To prey on contributors’ hard earned money by people whose job is to help us is incomprehensible.