Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chain of Thoughts: 2013 Highlights

Per usual of my yearly reviews, this one is late as well...  

The year 2013, for me, is defined by the following:
→ After three years, went travelling with my family again.
→ “Selfies” and “throwbacks.”  Maybe such practices had already been done prior, but it was in this year that these terms and doings had full-blown, extensive cultural popularity. 
→ Hashtags has been around since Twitter’s boom.  But doing hashtags become more popular and widespread after Facebook integrated hashtags to work in their site. 
→ Psy attempted to replicate the success of “Gangnam Style” with “Gentleman.”  It’s just as catchy, but the “newness” factor is gone, so it’s not that impactful.  
 Psy never got Wolverine to dance it with him this time. 
→ Ylvis led the world in obsessing about what sound a fox makes.  (But everyone who had seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox would have already known that a fox does clicks and whistles.) 
→ Smart Gilas – the Philippines’ men’s basketball team – failed to win the gold during FIBA Asia championship.  But, still, there is a silver lining: as silver medalists, the Philippines finally qualified for the World Cup (this 2014)!  And sweeter still is that Gilas earned the qualifying win over South Korea, the consistent bane of the Philippines in past years’ basketball competitions.  Here’s a quote from one article I read about the context of that basketball match, which perfectly articulates the sentiment: “When it comes to bringing tears to the eyes of Filipino fans, the most dramatic Koreanovelas have nothing on the South Korean national basketball team. South Korea has been responsible for the most pain for the Philippine team when it comes to international basketball. The Philippines has not won against South Korea in a high-level basketball match since the 1985 Asian Basketball Championship.”  Yes. That’s so true. I haven't gotten over the Philippines' bitter loss to South Korea in the 2002 Asian Games; I was watching it live and felt a sharp, numbing heartache when the Koreans got the win after a buzzer-beating gamewinner.  That’s why that I was so ecstatic of Gilas’ victory over Korea.  
 #LabanGilas #Puso #Espanya
→ After Inquirer failed to stand up for Pol Medina, Jr. but instead made him the scapegoat of the whole fracas with St. Scholastica, the Pugad Baboy creator rightfully resigned.  He would then take his cartoon strip to the media web site, Rappler, wherein the strip took on a different formatting: each strip would have three different punchlines and readers can vote which they like the best.  Good job, Pol.    
Pol hit a nerve.  Hmmm.  Implying… guilt?
→ I’m surprised that all it took for Inquirer to drop Pol Medina was this one time.  Pol was merely doing what he has been doing for years: making cartoons.  Cartoons have historically been an honored medium of articulating and spreading thoughts and opinions on issues about society and politics by the use of cleverness and humor.  That's what cartoons are, and Inquirer should have known better.   Heck, in the past, I've read harsher and more cringe-worthy Pugad Baboy strips than this controversial lesbian jibing at St. Scholastica.  So why now?
→ Courtesy of a deodorant brand, there’s going to be a first Filipino in space.  And it’s not me.  I’m envious.  Going up there, seeing the glory of outer space, has been a fantasy of mine since my toddler years. 
→ People were recruited to start a colony on Mars?!  (Hmmm.  Tempting.  There’s a good possibility I’ll choose to go if given the chance.)  Among all of the year’s news, this was what gave me the sweetest thrill.  At last, humanity’s interplanetary expansion is happening. 
→ In my years as a Laker fan, the last season was the worst I’ve ever had.  Everything fell apart. 
And the worst thing that happened was Kobe Bryant’s Achilles injury.  T_T
→ Kobe did have a Wolverine moment and returned from his Achilles injury during this ongoing season.  He played a few games but a knee injury has sidelined him again, hence, we haven’t really had the chance yet to see if Kobe can still play in an elite level consistently.  
→ I have no problem with Dwight Howard’s departure.  I was actually apathetic whether he would stay or not.  But what appalled me a lot was how the Lakers basically begged Howard to stay through billboards.  That’s not the Lakers I know!  Dr. Jerry Buss has made the Lakers into the NBA‘s cream of the crop.  The Lakers is a proud organization that doesn’t bow to anyone.  They do not beg.  Heck, the Lakers didn’t do that to Kobe Bryant, why then do it to someone like Howard?    It baffled and outraged me.  This is a disturbing indication of where this organization is possibly going post-Jerry Buss.
Early in the 2013-2014 season, the Lakers’ box scores were like this.  Awesome rotation. 
→ The Lakers had been doing okay at keeping afloat at the start of the season.   They weren’t title contenders, but they were a lot of fun to watch when everything was clicking.  Everyone was contributing something.  The minute distribution and line-up rotation were delightfully effective.  The Lakers were adopting an eclectic identity.  I was excited.  Then injuries ate them up again.  And started losing a lot.  Now, getting into the playoffs is questionable for the Lakers.    
→ Philippines dominated the international beauty pageant scene.
When she was on Starstruck, she was my bet. 
It was an election year.  Same old story.  Tons of unworthy candidates won.  Sensible candidates were routed.  Majority of Filipino voters are fools. 
→ Again, Philippine politics is only good for one thing: entertainment.  And no matter how we pretend we care, as long as the political circus keeps us entertained, we will be too distracted to kindle change.      
→ Janet Lim Napoles.  Pork Barrel Scam.  Sexy, Tanda, Pogi.  “Di ko po alam.
The most annoying face of 2013.  This or Miley Cyrus’
→ Three extensively horrible catastrophes (outside of those induced by the politicians) hit the country.  First, Islamic terrorists turned Zamboanga into an urban war zone for weeks.  Second, a destructive earthquake ravaged Bohol.  Third, and worst, was the massive devastation brought about by the horrifying wrath of typhoon Yolanda (which my hometown, thank God, was spared from) on Tacloban and the entire Samar/Leyte area.  Still, the Filipino people are known for their resilient spirit.  Filipinos will surely bounce back.     
→ To a degree, Manny Pacquiao bounced back from his disappointing 2012 matches.  He was not able to knock out his opponent, but a win is a win.  Pac-Man’s full return to boxing glory is just around the corner.  The next opponent is Timothy Bradley, who was unfairly decided upon by judges as the winner over Pac-Man in their 2012 bout.  Now, winning that one (this coming April 2014) is where real vindication starts.  (And since Mayweather is too big a coward to fight, maybe Pac-Man should try to avenge his loss from Marquez next)       
God bless you, Manny.  And through your triumphs, may God’s glory be magnified.
→ Everything got addicted to “Candy Crush.”   I did not attempt to try it in fear of being a junkie, too.  
→ The Rock, the greatest wrestler ever, found enough time from his Hollywood career to become champion again!  Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), he lost the tile to John Cena in Wrestlemania. Still, he will always be the “People’s Champion.”  In addition, he is also a “Hollywood Champion” since he was named as the top grossing actor of 2013 (with $1.3 billion dollars earned!).   
→ WWE, finally, after several years of having the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship, decided to have just one championship again.  In the unification match, WWE Champion Randy Orton overcame World Heavyweight Champion John Cena to become the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion.    
Randy Orton.  Ultimate champion.  
→ It was a fantastic year for comics, movies, and TV shows.  Lots of awesome stuff. 
→ Superior Spider-Man reigned in 2013 – which provoked me to write at lengths on.  (Thank God, Peter Parker is really returning this coming April)
→ The Avengers had its Golden Anniversary.  In commemoration, Daniel Acuña assembled almost all of the legendary superhero team’s official and honorary members from its 50-year history in an epic poster.  
→ I have this accumulation of books still unread.   It’s just that whenever I see a book that looks interesting, I often give in to the urge of purchasing it for my collection, with the idea that a future opportunity will come for me to finish it.  (That “future opportunity” rarely arrives.)  I call this growing pile of books to read “the Pile.”  And the Pile just keeps on growing taller.  It seems that with every book I finish, two more books are added to the pile.  The year’s notable additions (which I also get to finish reading) to the pile were “The Gun seller” by Hugh Laurie (Yes, that Hugh Laurie, the awesome Dr. House himself), “Odd Hours” by Dean Koontz, “Pirate Latitudes” by Michael Crichton, “Krispos Rising” and “Between the Rivers” by Harry Turtledove, “Warrior” by Donald E. McQuinn, and “The Silmarillion” by J.R.R. Tolkien.
→ This happened:
First time I got this badass hairstyle.
→ And last but not the least, 2013 was the start of my attempt to “reboot.”  Still initializing… (Hoping that the rebooting process culminates successfully this 2014.)  

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