For Better or Worse: Awesome Moments of 2012

When in Manila, the year 2012 has seen humanity’s many triumphs and defeats. It’s only fitting that we take a look back at the best and even the worst moments now that the year has just ended, so we learn from the mistakes and we celebrate our achievements.


While other year-end lists count down the best movies and most beautiful people (possibly not in this website!), my list of awesome moments includes those that I’ll forever remember. So below’s my top 12 for 2012!


12. Least Awesome MomentCybercrime Controversy

Let’s start the list with something that can potentially leave a bad taste in your mouth. (What can I say, I’m cruel like that.)


We Filipinos have spent countless enraged hours on the Internet making memes and essentially bullying Senator Sotto online for his plagiarism. We’ve all rallied against the hastily made Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. And public outcry has successfully suspended the law in the Philippines, which should make us proud not only as netizens… right?


Although it’s yet another proof of “People Power”, how most of us handled the whole controversial situation makes the whole Cybercrime issue my least awesome moment of 2012.



 Filipinos Protesting

Certainly, Filipinos don’t have to be so vulgar.
(Image taken from Yahoo PH) 


11. Best Viral Video Gangnam Style

Who would have thunk that a South Korean singer-songwriter would eventually become an international sensation? PSY’s contribution to the year 2012 is an addictive dance song whose popularity reminds me a lot of the Spanish dance hit Macarena. The award-winning K-pop sensation wouldn’t have made it without his incredibly hilarious video, though. The number of views on Youtube would have made Justin Bieber cry.


 PSY Gangnam Style Views


I know everyone’s already seen it. But for posterity’s sake, LET’S WATCH IT AGAIN!


10. Great Moments in Sports 



(Image from GQ) 


Early in the year, a Knicks benchwarmer named Jeremy Lin became a worldwide sensation in just two weeks. He made a 25-point game against the Nets on Feb. 4, had 38 points against the Lakers, and went with the Houston Rockets’ $25M deal early this year. Linsanity’s phenomenal rise to fame has the typical David-vs-Goliath underscoring theme that everyone loves. I myself love to root for the underdog, so Jeremy Lin should definitely be on this list, along with…



Nonito Donaire from

(Image from


The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire Jr. ESPN has recently declared him “Boxer of the Year” with his exceptional wins against Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce.



9. Worst Side of Filipinos Cyberbullying

What do Claudine Barretto, Robert Carabuena, John Paul Encinas and Paula Jamie Salvosa have in common? Well, they’re Filipino citizens who just happened to choose to have a nervous breakdown in 2012, when the world is already capable of spreading gossip quicker than anyone can say “Amalayer?!”


I’m not one who likes calling people out, but 2012 saw the Filipino nation as a bunch of online bullies who were happy at other people’s misery. Yes, it’s true that Claudine Barretto reduced a young ground attendant to nothing when she berated the hapless girl. It’s true that Carabuena made awful remarks at a traffic enforcer. I agree that Encinas was at fault when he shouted at a restaurant clerk. And it’s true that Paula Jamie Salvosa used a funny accent when she talked to a lady guard at a train station. 


But do you think they had it coming? I know how getting bullied feels, and I have bullied people too. But somehow it never involved ruining people’s lives permanently.



Pot calling kettle black

Or well, I may just be a pot calling the kettle black…
(Image taken from



8. Funniest Memes

If there’s anything the Filipinos should be known for, it’s their sense of humor. 2012 saw the Internet abuzz with memes about almost every trending topic under the sun. Here are a few of my favorite ones:



Angelica Meme - Sunugin ang mga alipin








German Moreno walang tulugan

From Best BAYO What’s Your Mix Ad Campaign Spoofs and Parodies that are 100% Witty



7. Most Addictive Apps to Connect the Whole World

The year 2012 saw a remarkable revolution in technology, one of the most notable being in mobile games. From Words with Friends to Draw Something and spin-offs of successful games in the past like Zombie Run and Angry Birds Space, people around the world downloaded these apps and wasted a chunk of their time tapping the screens of their smartphones. 




“It’s not a caterpillar. It’s a field!”



It’s also nice to mention that a Filipino-made app, MRTtrackr, was also released in 2012. Although not as popular or addictive, MRTtrackr deserves a mention here. How’s that for a little Filipino pride?



6. Most Impressive Feat

Red Bull may have sponsored his memorable skydive, but Felix Baumgartner will forever be in the annals of history as the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power. 2012 saw Baumgartner jumping  128,000 feet above the New Mexican desert and landing safe and sound.




Pictured: Step 3 on how to get a lifetime supply of free beer
(Image taken from Wikimedia) 



5. Most Interesting Ad Campaign

In an effort to boost tourism prospects, DOT launched a campaign in 2012. The campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” sparked controversy with its slogan being a lot similar to Switzerland’s tourism slogan in the 50s. The campaign also spawned a handful of memes.



going-upstairs-more-fun-in-the-philippines from








swimming more fun in the philippines from




Surely the Department of Tourism knew that their campaign would go viral!



4. Most Hilarious Turn of Events

The little known painting by Spanish painter Elías García Martínez became an Internet sensation thanks to the artistic prowess of an octogenarian named Cecilia Gimenez. Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) originally depicted Jesus crowned with thorns, but an unfortunate ‘restoration’ of the fresco turned it into a funny-looking hairy monkey that inspired several memes and Halloween costumes.  




 From this…
(Image taken from Wikipedia) 



 Ecco-Homo-Cecilia-Gimenez this!
(Image taken from Wikipedia) 



Ecce Homo taken from Reddit

And this!
(Image taken from Reddit) 



Ecce Homo Cake

 And even this! It’s a birthday cake, if anyone’s wondering.
(Image taken from Reddit)  




The painting’s worldwide reception was a bit unexpected, too: Tourists flocked to see the mural painting, the church charged tourists to see it, and even Gimenez wanted in on the profits! She was, after all, the one responsible for making Ecce Homo a worldwide sensation in 2012. The new version also seemed to hold greater artistic significance nowadays that contemporary art range from indistinct globs of paint to highly detailed abstractions, so good on you, Señora Gimenez, for successfully ruining a painting and causing me to crack up every time I see it.



3. Best TV Shows

In 2012, two of the best shows on television surprised and shocked the world. The second season of the Game of Thrones showcased the great acting skill of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, and the third season of the Walking Dead offered the delightfully gory and desolate world of the living and the undead. 




Daenerys ate a heart in Season 1, so I definitely looked forward to Season 2!
(Image from


Both shows were based on books, too, by the way, so 2012 was a great year for writers!



2. Most Memorable Song – Call Me Maybe

Song stuck in your head yet? OK, let’s just watch a couple of the viral videos then:






Interested in watching the other versions? May I suggest the Chatroulette Version and the one featuring the hottest Abercrombie & Fitch models? You’re welcome.



1. Most Awesome Moment

Right before the Christmas holidays of 2012, the entire world saw the Philippines making progress through the congressional approval of the highly controversial RH bill. 


For me,  guaranteeing universal access to contraceptive methods, sexual education and maternal care promises a new beginning for the Filipino people. 2012 should be always remembered best for the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.


purple-ribbon-rh-bill1 from




There you have it, my list of awesome moments that will best describe the wacky year of 2012. How about you folks? What’s your top 12? Do you think 2013 will bring even more glorious moments, When in Manila?




For Better or Worse: Awesome Moments of 2012