Rabbits are gentle in nature. They are known for timidity–calmly assessing any situation before resorting to a peaceful end.
Last year was the year of the rabbit. But it wasn’t exactly the most harmonious we’ve had since.
Real life fairytale
April 29, 2011 saw one of the grandest, fanciest weddings in the history of weddings. Prince William and Kate Middleton made their vows at Westminster’s Abbey with the rest of the world celebrating along with them. The happy couple is now rumored to be expecting twins.
As classic fairytales go, the girl gets her Prince Charming, and the evil witch (or– in this case–just the scruffy bad guy) gets busted. A few days after the royal wedding, Americans cheered in relief at the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden, head of terrorist group Al-Qaeda and hide-and-seek world champ. On May 2, US forces raided Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan where he was shot in the chest and head. A day after Bin Laden was pronounced dead, the world’s most wanted terrorist was buried at sea (a la Megatron) following Islamic burial tradition. For the Americans and the rest of the world, they had this to say: “Counter-terrorists win.”
Biggest events that never were
While political humor in some animated TV series might have predicted Bin Laden’s capture one way or another, there were “professional” seers that went about announcing their predictions about world events, with Judgment day being a high-value topic. If there’s anything bigger than an epic fail, that would be Harold Camping who predicted–twice–that the world would end in 2011. He first predicted doomsday to occur on May 21. That never happened. Thus, Camping postponed his apocalypse to October 21. That never happened, too. What happened, though, was that he made it to Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Failed Predictions” list.
If anything, though, the only thing close to the Rapture in terms of threat to mankind was Rebecca Black. The 14-year old pop “singer” shot to fame because of her auto-tune prowess in the catchy (admit it, it is catchy) song, Friday. Now famous for teaching Youtube viewers the proper order of the days of the week, Black has gone from internet sensation to worldwide phenomenon–in a way. She did a cameo for Katy Perry’s chart topping ‘Last Friday Night’ music video. Chick must really have some sort of dedication to Fridays.
Some of the biggest trends didn’t necessarily have to include ear-splitting tunes like Black’s, but physical dexterity. The year made way for planking, owling, horsemanning, and batmanning–potentially creative ways to protest/resolve the passage of the RH bill. Other than being the usual viral craze, today they’ve become a revolutionary statement. After budget cuts for state colleges and universities were implemented, students flocked to the streets to protest. But instead of ticking off police through noise barrage, they expressed their sentiments by planking. A congressman filed a bill against it, seeing planking as a form of public nuisance. The proposal was, however, planked.
Beginning of the end
While we’ve still got one more Twilight movie left to revel in Taylor Lautner’s glorious abs, The Golden Trio–Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson– were all very emotional at the London premiere of the final film in the massively acclaimed Harry Potter franchise. Over the course of a weekend, Deathly Hallows Part 2 garnered $476 in ticket sales across the globe, breaking records beyond comparison, and proving that even after a decade later, the magic of Harry Potter lives on in the hearts of everyone–wizard and muggle alike.
Although it was a relief to see Lord Voldemort die in the last Harry Potter film, it wasn’t the same reception when the world heard news of some of our idols’ passing. This year, the world lost perhaps one of the most celebrated innovators in the history of modern technology: Steve Jobs, the man that made the famous Apple insignia a symbol of quality and pure genius. In August, Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO due to his medical condition (he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003). On October 6th, at the age of 56, Steve Jobs was finally laid to rest.
Pinoys on the rise
Lots of Filipinos also made the news this year. Beautiful Pinays made waves in different international beauty pageants last year. From 2010’s “major major” win by Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup with her bombastic yet graceful “tsunami walk” won 3rd runner up in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant. Following suit was Gwendolyn Ruais, who represented the Philippines in Miss World and bagged 1st runner up. In another sphere of beauty, the Puerto Princessa Underground River was named one of the provisional seven wonders of nature.
Filipinos also won their own battles at home, especially regarding concerns of government corruption. After news of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s alleged plan to escape the country, the authorities were hard on keeping her from leaving when she appealed to seek medical treatment abroad for cervical spondylosis. This November, Arroyo was arrested for vote fraud in the 2007 elections. The government seemed really bent on delivering justice and installing order, though we’re still keeping our fingers crossed on the long-standing Spratlys debacle and the Bangsamoro dispute.
On the sporting arena
The Philippines can’t seem to have enough of basketball last year. Shortly after the NBA lockout, eight NBA superstars spearheaded by Kobe Bryant were imported to play in the Philippines against our very own players. In boxing, Manny Pacquiao once again proved that he is the one to beat when he won against Juan Manuel Marquez in their third face-off. While team Marquez was whining about how their boxer should’ve won, team Pacquiao burst into celebration. The same thing, however, couldn’t be said to the fancy and well celebrated Philippine Azkals whose hopes for the World Cup died after losing to foreign opponents. Like them, team RP fell short in improving its medal tally in the 26th South East Asian games in Indonesia, bringing only 36 golds and settling for a sixth-place finish.
Closer to home
Quite the newsmaker was our very own university, opening the year with a new president, Fr. Roberto C. Yap, and a new college, the College of Computer Studies. The Wednesday scheme was implemented, and it being a wash day, gave the students a chance to strut their stuff (with matching colorful Ray-Ban wayfarers, nevermind if they’re from Night Cafe) especially in the newest campus hotspot: the Magis Student Complex.
Earlier this year, the big bad wolf threatened close to home. The German Doctors Hospital had to temporarily stop operations after receiving an extortion attempt by an unidentified group. Good thing all that tension was drowned by this year’s heated college intramural (well, aside from the three flyover constructions around the city). Just when students thought the Eagles would score their seventh winning streak, the Warriors gave the Eagles a taste of their own medicine, winning by a large margin in the medal tally.
The campus commotion didn’t stop there as the XU Festival Days 2011 started a little earlier, highlighting heroic leadership which was put to test when ‘Sendong’- triggered flash floods hit the city on Dec 17. Heroes emerged among people and XU even opened its arms for the victims and initiated relief efforts, underlining the true essence of Christmas.