The end of another year is the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the past 365 days. It should be an easy task that involves getting a cup of hot choco with your favorite Christmas playlist in the background while going back to all the wonderful memories you made this year. 2016 wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, though. It’s pretty obvious that this year has been a pain in everyone’s bums.
In an effort to keep things light, we rounded up 10 people, brands, and games that made the year somewhat bearable. Here’s to hoping that we see more of them in 2017: We might need them after what we went through this year.
Casey Neistat for inspiring the YouTube community to make better content
To say that Casey Neistat changed the YouTube game this year is an understatement. He made 214 high-quality vlogs (with drone shots and timelapses!) for more than a year. The community definitely felt the pressure and they, too, followed his lead. Although some failed after just a week, his content still inspired both new and OG YouTubers. He definitely inspired us. — Maine Manalansan
Gift suggestion: A reality TV show deal because he seems like he needs the challenge.
Leonardo DiCaprio for finally winning an Oscar.
Leo winning an Oscar has been a meme for the longest time. But this year, after getting into a fight with a bear in The Revenant, he finally won Best Actor at The Academy Awards. Whether this is his best work or not doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that we all lived long enough to see the guy win. We’re pretty sure the Internet had something to do with this. — MM
Gift suggestion: A podcast with Al Gore so they can save the world together.
Geraldine Roman for becoming the country’s first transgender congresswoman.
One of the best things that happened to Philippines (note: not just this 2016) is Congresswoman Geraldine Roman’s win last elections. From breaking the glass ceiling to tirelessly pushing for the anti-discrimination bill, “Mom,” as her supporters would fondly call her, represents the progress that this country is capable of achieving. Keep on fighting the good fight, we, your #EqualityBabies, will be fighting with you til the end. — Ina Jacobe
Gift suggestion: For the Anti-Discrimination Bill on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity to finally pass as a law, followed by a rainbow themed fiesta to celebrate this win for the LGBT community.
Stranger Things for being something we never knew we needed.
The immeasurable amount of Stranger Things …things (parties, costumes, playlists, etc.) this year is a bit overwhelming but expected. It was easy to obsess with given its adorable kids cast, great soundtrack, and loads of pop-culture references. After binge-watching the short first season, the thirst for more episodes was so real that people had to resort to reading conspiracy theories about the storyline. Everyone wants to know if Barb is still alive. We need answers, and we need them soon. — IJ
Gift suggestion: A great production team because we want the story to develop more without them overdoing it because of the hype.
Carly Rae Jepsen for blessing us with a follow-up to “Emotion”, “Emotion: Side B”.
If by this point you only know Carly Rae Jepsen as “that chick with bangs who sang Call Me Maybe,” then we’re sorry for you. Last year, she slayed with the 80s synth pop album “Emotion”. This year, she blessed us all with “Emotion: Side B”, an EP filled with more 80s-inspired gems that could very well provide the soundtrack for our lives. This year, Carly proved that she is the queen of everything (check her Instagram comments for proof). Though both “Emotion” and “Side B” were critically acclaimed, Carly still hasn’t gotten the mainstream recognition that she deserves. — Gaby Gloria
Gift suggestion: A Grammy nomination because she was snubbed again.
Millennials for taking a stand.
2016 saw millennials take their opinions from the screen to the streets. Older generations were surprised as members of the very generation that they previously thought of as apathetic were out in thousands, marching in protest against former President Marcos’ surprise burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (locally) and Donald Trump’s election (internationally). These actions showed everyone that we care about other things too, and not just the issues that directly affect us. — GG
Gift suggestion: Something that they’ve been fighting for.
Hidilyn Diaz for representing women and the Philippines.
Gift suggestion: A hug, and a gym location in Metro Manila for her to train aspiring weightlifters like her.
Who says a woman can’t be strong? 2016 was a year where people stayed #woke for breaking stereotypes and conventional gender roles. Not only did Hidilyn break the Philippines’ 20-year drought of Olympic medals by bringing home a silver medal for weightlifting, she is also the first Filipina to ever bring home an Olympic medal. Four feet and 11 inches tall, weighing in 53 kilograms, she is living proof that women can be just as strong as men. — Belle Toledo
Float Swimwear for promoting body positivity.
Gift suggestion: More physical stores all around the Philippines so more people can buy their products.
Float Swimwear has always been a favorite local swimwear brand since it was launched last 2015. People rave about their designs (everything always seems to be well thought of, flattering and cute af), their price point, and their fabric quality. Earlier this year, they released an editorial that showcased a handful of their designs in a variety of sizes, particularly plus-size. This was a step forward for the brand, having promoted self-love and body positivity. With majority of swimwear brands just focusing on one body type, this move felt like the tides were changing (for the better) and we can’t wait to ride on that wave — in our Float Swimwear suits, of course. — Coco Maceren
Pokémon Go for existing, and, well, getting people to walk outside.
Gift suggestion: Even more Pokémon versions (perhaps Pokémon based on local monsters?) so that fans and users can continue their journey to become the very best that no one ever was.
Pokémon Go was the latest craze that got everyone off their seats and out in the open with their phones in hand, acting like Ash, Brock, or Misty catching and hatching Pokémon. Barkadas would come together and go on a trip around the country (some even internationally) finding different kinds of Pokémon. Lure parties were done in a variety of parks, malls, and even hospitals in the metro to attract users to come together and catch Pokémon . What resulted was an interesting way for everyone to discover areas of the city that you wouldn’t think of visiting. — CM
Metro Manila Film Festival for showing indie movies some love this year.
Gift suggestion: A whole new roster of up and coming directors and screenwriters to work with. We can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with next year.
2016 was a good year for local cinema. The Philippines continued to make its mark internationally, with Lav Diaz taking home a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Jaclyn Jose winning best actress at Cannes, to mention a few. The Metro Manila Film Festival jurors turned heads as well by announcing their lineup for this year with none of the big movie franchises like Enteng Kabisote and Mano Po present. Instead, a well-curated list of indie films will dominate the theaters. Although their run is cut to 10 days instead of the usual 14, we’re still grateful for the the change. With these events taking place, the future looks even brighter for local cinema. — BT