It’s been one hell of a year, 2016. We’re tempted to list all the horrible heartbreaks that 2016 caused but that’s too easy.
Besides, if there was anything that this horrific year assured of happening, it was our growing up. And grown-ups don’t go the easy way out. They just get drunk—just kidding.
And so below, all the lessons we’ve picked up from when the excrement hit the fan over and over again.
So long 2016! See you never!
1. The universe doesn’t owe you anything—definitely not your holidays. This year, both Christmas and New Year are both on a Sunday. Such is our luck this year that the two holidays most everyone looks forward to both fall on a Sunday. Cue collective groaning. Thankfully however, the government declared Dec 26 and Jan 2 special non-working holidays. We learned to suck it, be patient, and perhaps, you’ll get your reward and it will catch on.
2. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. In June, Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston got together, almost too publicly if we may. And then they traveled the world together, met each other’s parents, and then three months later in September, called it quits. Many doubted the relationship, sure it was just a PR stunt, while more folks passively waited for it to end because we all know how a failed relationship fuels Taylor’s music. Whether or not the relation was real, lesson learned: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
3. It time we try and become heroes ourselves. Too many cool people died this year. Harper Lee, Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Sen. Miriam Santiago—should we go on? 2016 was beset with death after death of too many cool people. Just this morning, we woke up to Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s founding editor, dying at the age of 66. It’s sad the loss of a lot of our heroes so our take-away is for us to try and emulate them.
4. Just say no. What was supposed to be a celebratory finale to a great mighty run of the Close-up Summer Forever music fest turned tragic when five people died because of drugs. What else is there to say really except: Just say no!
5. You can produce the likes of Shakespeare and still commit a facepalm moment. We mean: Brexit. In June, it shocked the world that Britain has voted out of the European Union. None of their reasons for doing so explained why anybody would choose to isolate themselves from others.
6. If you’re going to start something, have a plan ready. We have the ongoing drug war to thank for this lesson. Yes it is a good initiative. But, no the way they’re going about it terribly. The prisons are packed, drug rehab facilities are nowhere near prepared. There have been over 5,000 drug war related deaths, with several stray bullets killing children. We think the government should’ve thought in stages: After step 1, establish step 2, and then step 3 and so on.
7. You can’t stop trying. Ah, how the world mourned when Hilary lost to Trump, continuing the bad political streak continued to November. The whole world was a little too eager to see the United States of America elect its first female president. Everybody saw it coming: how could the most qualified nominee lose to the most unqualified person? Right? Wrong. Hilary lost, and the world mourned.
8. Don’t join the police force if you’re easily frazzled. Anti-US Protestors stormed the US Embassy on October 19. It wasn’t exactly the most peaceful of protests and the Manila Police District said they adapted maximum policy. But toward the end of the rally, the MPD broke out their tear gas, a member of their unit got on a police van and plowed through the crowd. He later explained himself saying he feared for his life. Stop that, we saw you roll your eyes. Remember the lesson.
9. Keep vigilant; stay woke! November 8, 2016 will go down in history as the worst day ever, the biggest reason being: Former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was allowed burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Ten days later, his family sneakily buried him. It felt like double the betrayal, a reopening of wounds that were not fully healed to begin with. It ignited three rallies, with millennials, witty placards in tow, leading the way. .
10. Don’t engage, always verify, and the report button is your friend. The proliferation of trolls and fake news is truly the worst! Months leading to the May Elections saw the uptick on fake news sites and trolls on social media spewing nonsensical and angry comments, keeping hatred—and stupidity—alive. A news story criticizing the President will see hell almost always seeming to break lose, with the comments section looking like a toilet bowl after a diarrhea attack. It’s gross, it’s insane, and quite frankly, it’s not worth your time.
Illustration: Madel Crudo