With Christmas Day come and gone, it’s a mad dash to the end of the year, and before we know it, 2012 will be greeting us with the traditional bang of noisemakers and fireworks. As always, many start looking back at the year that was. Year-ender stories can be found in newspapers, and web sites, and I’m no exception. So, for the next few posts I can manage between now and December 31, 2011, I’ll be looking back on the year 2011, and all of the memorable details this year has wrought.
It’s been a mostly down year as far as blogging goes, as work and family kept me busy enough that collecting my thoughts and jotting them down was a Herculean task; in fact, for the first time, I’m looking at a year with less than a hundred posts. Looking back on the year 2011, there are a number of posts I would’ve liked to have written about, but was unable to do so. Some of the events or issues that I would have liked to have focused on, but didn’t include, in no particular order:
1. The NBA lockout
Actually, I was prepared to write about this topic; I even managed to do quite a bit of research. Unfortunately, I got overtaken by work, and by the fact that the owners and the players managed to get their act together and come to terms. While the terms aren’t satisfactory for everybody, they’re still substantially better than what a lot of people are getting in the US. If I had written about this issue, I would’ve scored both sides for their greed and insensitivity to economic realities.
2. The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill
While I have written about this issue in the past, I’ve remained silent on it in recent times since it’s a sensitive issue, and I don’t want to get into trouble writing about my beliefs on the matter. What I do know is that both the pro- and anti- sides of the RH Bill have painted themselves into ideological corners, and no middle ground is possible.
3. The Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill
I’m disappointed that the President has not prioritized this bill as urgent, to enable transparency in government. However, I realize that no freedom is absolute, and any FOI bill has to have safeguards in order to make sure that the information obtained through it is used responsibly. It’s one of the issues that I have to read up on, though.
4. Komikon 2011
Last November 19, 2011, the second Komikon for the year was held in Pasig, and it was a heavily attended event. I wasn’t able to write about my experiences that day due to lack of time, but since Komikon’s not really a time-specific event, maybe I can still write about it in the near future (assuming I can still remember everything that happened that day.).
5. Re-consecration of the High School Chapel
The Ateneo de Manila High School Chapel underwent major renovations over the past year, prompting the Jesuits to move the altar out of it. When the Chapel was ready to be used again, the very first Mass held there included the re-consecration of the altar, an event that I don’t think many of us have the chance to attend. It was an indelible point of High School history, and, I don’t know about the rest of the community, but I was very glad to have been there.
6. Ani Mo, Ani Ko, Alay ng Ateneo 2011 (AMAKANA 2011)
Every other year, the High School holds Ani Mo, Ani Ko, which is a celebration of the myriad talents of the students, as well as some of the teachers. It is a two-day event, with one day marked for literary, artistic and musical events, and the other for the Fun Run and Fun Laro events. After all was said and done, everybody who was involved in the event was tired but fulfilled and happy nonetheless, as the whole event was an explosion of talent and camaraderie.
7. The rise of the Azkals
I’m not much of a football fan, but I am amazed how the Azkals snared the hearts of the Filipinos and raised the sport of football (soccer) to a level of obsession in Filipinos approaching that of basketball and boxing.
8. The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games debacle
Another victim of time lack, my thoughts on the SEA Games debacle, wherein we finished with one of the lowest gold medal totals our country has garnered in the years competing, would have been that of anger towards the politicization of our athletic program, and the lack of a true grassroots sports development program.
9. Writing about opinion columnists
Reading the newspapers on a daily basis, I’ve come to identify some of the various biases and foci that opinion columnists have in their writing. Some are extremely skewed in their writing; few are truly objective and clear in their analysis of issues. This is actually a topic I’ve been playing around with for the past few years. What I would’ve liked to have done is do a write-up of each of the columnists, and analyze their biases, their focus on particular topics, and so forth. Maybe next year will be the year that I do this.
10. The Arab Spring
25 years ago, we Filipinos took it upon ourselves to oust an oppressive regime from power. From there, a number of countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, shook off their own chains of oppression, and embraced freedom. This year, a number of countries in the Arab region have experienced similar uprisings. In some countries, such as Egypt and Libya, the ages-old dictators were toppled. In others, such as Syria, the oppression continues, as the leaders use every tool at their disposal to crush the opposition. The situation is still very volatile, and is likely to continue into the next year.