Alecs Ongcal

2013 was a year of ups and downs. A short recap would include our UAAP victories in the Season 76 Basketball Championships and Season 75 Women’s Volleyball Championships, DLSU Chorale and LSDC-Street showcasing Philippine talent in international waters, Filipina beauties making a name for the country in four international pageants and Pacquiao winning against Rios on one side of the scale, and political scandals, wars in Zamboanga and Sabah, earthquakes and massive typhoons on the other. Together, they balance out an exciting, crazy year. With 2013 having so much to talk about, it’s hard to imagine how 2014 could top that. Certainly some surprises will push through, but for now, here’s a list of things set to happen this year to get you pumping and ready for 2014:



The Philippines has had its share of the international spotlight for the past few years, especially with Broadway musicals being staged in Manila. These legendary shows, such as Cinderella, Mamma Mia!, Cats and Phantom of the Opera, were all staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Thus, there is no doubt that this year’s staging of Wicked shouldn’t happen anyplace else. Ever since producers announced the Manila leg of Wicked last August 2013, theater lovers snapped up precious tickets, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.


UAAP Seasons 76 and 77

After the emotional rollercoaster that the Lasallian community experienced during the first half of the UAAP Season 76, DLSU holds a comfortable lead in the General Championship race, with a slew of varsity teams landing in the top 3 of various sporting events. Hoping to extend the lead for the University is the Lady Spikers, who are undefeated this season after they came away as the 3-peat champions last season, among other sports teams. Of course, after a brief summer break, Season 77 will start in the middle of the year, where all eyes will undoubtedly be on the DLSU Green Archers as they plot their title defense.


FIFA World Cup

Sun, samba and soccer are the three things that represent the hottest party of the year happening in Brazil. Soccer, mostly known in the world as football, might be a perennial bridesmaid to basketball in the Philippines, but there is no denying that the event football aficionados worldwide have been waiting for is here. The month-long event, which kicks off on June 12, involves 32 nations competing against each other to win the coveted World Cup trophy, along with bragging rights that come with the victory. Even those unfamiliar with the sport might derive inspiration from seeing the supreme skills of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Winter Olympics

Filipinos usually take notice of the Olympics only once every four years. However, Olympic events actually occur once every two years, with the Summer and Winter editions alternating between each other. Despite not having a winter season, the Philippines was actually the first country in the tropics to participate in the Winter Olympics back in 1972.

2014 marks only the fourth participation of the country, after 1988 and 1992, as there is inadequate support for athletes, on top of the challenges of training in a cold climate. Still, there is no doubt that all eyes will be on Filipino figure skater Michael Christian Martinez when he glides and slides for the country in Sochi, Russia this February.


Movies to watch out for

Sequels abound this upcoming year, with Captain America, Katniss, Bilbo, Hiccup, Wolverine and Peter Parker making a comeback. It’s certainly going to be an exciting return with Captain America: the Winter Soldier, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, How to Train Your Dragon 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spiderman 2. We are also seeing movie adaptations of heart-wrenching, riveting stories like The Book Thief, Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. Time to prepare your senses – and your wallet!


H&M coming to Manila

Attention fashionistas, the wait is over. The mecca of affordable fast-fashion products is finally coming to the Philippines. After months of speculation, Swedish retail giant H&M confirmed the opening of a flagship store in Manila. While many H&M fans collectively rejoice for the momentous occasion, the same cannot be said for fashion snobs who cringe at the thought of people wearing identical clothes. Love it or hate it, H&M will open its first store in SM Megamall this year.


St. La Salle Hall’s new facade

The place where the North and South Conservatories once stood is now reduced to piles of concrete as its demolition took place towards the end of 2013. For 15 years, the façade of the St. La Salle hall was obstructed by the Conservatories which was, at the time, a necessary building in campus. With the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall serving the purpose of the Conservatories, the landscaping and reconstruction of the façade will be the revival of what it once had in its heyday.


The Philippine Arena

Featured on National Geographic and Discovery Channel, the Arena was dubbed as the World’s Largest Indoor Dome and a man-made marvel. Able to seat 50,000 people, it’s double the size of the largest domes in the US and Europe. However, its real benefit is that it’s also quake-proof, making it a much-needed shelter in times of calamity. Definitely a landmark to behold and be proud of!


Books and music festivals

2014 is a big year for music festivals. The highly anticipated 7107 International Music Festival is happening this February: a two-day music festival featuring artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Empire of the Sun. Need we say more? Also in February: the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival, a five-day festival full of sand, sun, jazz and art. If music festivals aren’t your thing, don’t worry! 2014 is also a big year for book sequels. Blood of Olympus, the last book of the Heroes of Olympus series will be released in October, while City of Heavenly Fire, the sixth installment of the Mortal Instrument Series, comes out this May.


The unexpected

This early in the year, we know of many things that we can look forward to in the upcoming months. Still, in the same way that 2013 had so many unpredictable events, we believe this year will be equally full of surprises. Therefore, as little by little 2014 rolls out, there are only two things we can expect: surprises – and no matter what these may be, Lasallians and the Filipino people will rise above and make the most of it.

Though we can’t fully predict what will happen this 2014, with these things to look forward to, it’ll surely be a year to remember. Who knows? We may win UAAP again, the Philippines may once again take the crown in Miss Universe, it may snow in Boracay (it has snowed in Egypt – anything is possible) and we may get another heap of surprises – although, hopefully not another natural disaster. Here’s to an awesome 2014!


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