Menagerie Feature

IN RETROSPECT: The rollercoaster that was 2016

The last few days of every year are usually met with the same mundane routine: Christmas zips into New Year’s Eve, people rush around traveling or attending parties, and, when asked, ‘How was your year?’ an indifferent ‘Meh, uneventful’ would probably be the reply. 

Last year proved to be different. There’s no denying that 2016 rocked the world with a whirlwind of unexpected events. Now, as 2017 unfolds, a look back on the most unforgettable moments of the past year is definitely in order. 


Changing the political landscape

Last year brought in someone new to take the seat of president. Rodrigo Duterte, having stirred much controversy with a lot of expletive-laden remarks and his connections with Bongbong Marcos, still managed to win the 2016 Philippine elections by a landslide. 

Halfway across the world, America dealt with a similar kind of presidential drama when Donald Trump, an American business tycoon who spent much of his campaign using racial slurs, toeing the line of white supremacy, inevitably won over his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by a very close count. 

The United Kingdom had their own share of world-changing decisions, as they collectively voted to leave the European Union on June 2016. Upon its declaration, the UK’s stock market plummeted, putting the British pound at its lowest at P61.25 for £1. 

Furthermore, European goods and services became more expensive as Brexit meant that the UK would stick to its own currency and would not trade in Euros. Brexit also put the United Kingdom at a crossroads: No one’s sure how it may impact the country and the world itself. Such a momentous decision may either move the economy forward or foreshadow a series of bad
political decisions.


The ones we lost

While this is not unlike many of the past years, 2016 was still met with a number of devastating deaths—from Hollywood legends such as Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher, literary giants Harper Lee and Umberto Eco, and music icons Prince and David Bowie. One of the internet’s most viral memes last year was even based off a death, though this time of a Cincinnati Zoo gorilla named Harambe. 

The Philippines was not spared from last year’s death streak, as it took presidential candidate and former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago with it. With all the lows 2016 brought, these were probably among the biggest tragedies. 


How 2016 Rocked the World_Brian Tenedero_colored


On a lighter note

Not everything in 2016 was tragic or highly controversial. Pop culture, mainly online, assaulted the world with everything from viral trends to reaction posts of last year’s many milestones. Last year was met with the rise (and almost immediate fall) of Pokémon GO, one of the first mobile games that utilized augmented reality. It lost its novelty quickly, however, as there was nothing much left to do after conquering a gym for a mere fifteen seconds, and catching Pidgeys and Rattatas.

On a completely different note, Toblerone left netizens furious with the sudden change in their classic triangular design, now suddenly with large gaps between the triangle sections of the chocolate. 

Moreover, Leonardo DiCaprio—after years of being nominated for Best Actor in several movies only to lose to another candidate—finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor last 2016 for his performance in The Revenant. Social media website 9GAG celebrated the long-overdue recognition of its king, and to restore some faith in humanity, DiCaprio even stressed the importance of caring for the environment in his acceptance speech.


Reeling in the breakthroughs

The science world definitely did not take a break last year. Physics teachers will have to correct their lectures in the coming years because Einstein’s theory of relativity has been proven, alongside the existence of gravitational waves. 2016 also marks the year physicists began directly interacting with antimatter, which could prove to exponentially deepen our understanding of how the world works.

Environmental issues also came to the forefront last year. Due to the efforts of zoologists and nature conservations, giant pandas are no longer endangered and tiger populations are increasing for the first time in nearly a century. Also, in an effort towards clean energy, Portugal managed to cover the entire country’s electrical usage with only solar and hydro power for a whopping
four days. 


A winning year for sports

Every Olympic season is met with a certain degree of hype and last year’s games at Rio de Janeiro were no exception. The games put the spotlight on several athletes who proved themselves worthy to join the pantheon of Olympian legends. 

At center stage was American gymnast Simone Biles. With her signature move, “The Biles”, under her belt, Simone bagged four gold medals at the Olympic Games. While those ensured her a spot among other sports cons in the public eye, Biles goes a step further by also impressing with her now iconic line, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I’m the first Simone Biles.”

2016 was also a good year for Lasallian sports fans, with the UAAP season bringing in plenty of wins to celebrate from the different DLSU sports teams. The most celebrated of these would probably be the Green Archer’s championship game against the ADMU Blue Eagles, earning them the championship title for the first time since 2013.

The last year came with one surprise after another—some good, some not so much. When it comes down to it, however, 2016 was just another year that has passed. Whether it was a fulfilling one or a cursed one should no longer be the topic of arguments. Now, it’s time to learn from our slip-ups, continue our successes, and jump into 2017 and welcome its odds with
open arms.

Nadine Macalalad

By Nadine Macalalad

Nicole Wong

By Nicole Wong

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