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We’ll always remember 2016 as a tough year. But underneath the tumultuous, heartbreaking, and unforgiving veneer are tiny spots of goodness, reminders of hope, and moments of laughter.

As we move forward to 2017, we look back and say thanks to all the good things this year has given us. Hopefully, they’ll come aplenty in the coming year.

good-things

1. Geraldine Roman becomes the first transgender lawmaker in the Philippines. Despite all the ugly and backward sexism our politicians have managed to display these past few months, Geraldine Roman getting elected as a representative of the first district of Bataan is a demonstration that not all progress has been slurped back into the dark ages. She is the first openly transgender woman in Congress who has been campaigning for better LGBT rights in the country.

2. Metro Manila Film Festival 2016. Come on: Who didn’t enjoy any of the movies in this year’s fest? There was a movie for every taste, all of them beautifully done, and all of them pulsating with love for cinema. We loved that a documentary about OFWs not only found its place in the roster of entries but won the most important award.

READ: 10 things about the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016

3. Leo finally won the Oscars. For years, we anxiously waited for this moment to arrive, and for years we came home broken hearted. When we saw Leo getting eaten by a bear in The Revenant, we knew he had to win. And he finally did, thank heavens.

4. The world rejoiced our ube. In 2016, our ube became the entire world’s jam. They went crazy over our beloved, paying as much as $100 for an ube donut sprinkled with gold dust. Insane.

5. Knowing Baby Scarlet. In May 2016, Dra Vicky Belo and Hayden Kho surprised us by revealing they had a 1-year-old baby daughter named Scarlet Snow, conceived via in vitro. It was when the dust shock had settled down, that Baby Scarlet proved to be such a joy. Her Tiger Stare, her pacute look, pretty much everything became the talk of the town.

READ: 9 Super cute videos of Scarlet Snow Belo sure to cheer you up

6. Duterte’s Kitchen. This soup kitchen coming into existence may be the most tangent beautiful thing that came from such a divisive political climate. “Dutertards” proved they weren’t just hateful keyboard warriors—they were, actually, generous “partners in change” willing to do their part in making this country better. From serving  lugaw to street children, Duterte’s Kitchen now serves proper meals to hungry adults as well.

MORE POSITIVITY TO CARRY US THROUGH:

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