2020 in the Philippines: A Year-end special

2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone, especially for the Filipinos. This year isn't just about record-breaking disasters in the country, but also witnessing a major broadcasting company that has been shut down by the Government right before the eyes of the World.

Here are the 5 most notable events in the Philippines that happened in 2020: 

 1. Taal Volcano Eruption (January 2020)

Probably the most unexpected disaster of the year, the Taal Volcano eruption started 2020 with a bang. In just a matter of hours starting in the afternoon (Philippine Time), the said volcano spews out its ashes all over Batangas province where the volcano is located, including nearby provinces and parts of Metro Manila.

39 deaths were recorded during the eruption where a man was found dead on the Taal Volcano Island.

2. COVID-19 Lockdowns (March-December 2020)

COVID-19 has affected almost everyone in the world. But lockdowns in the Philippines were already a bit late when there is already a confirmed community transmission of the said disease. Starting on the 16th of March, the whole country was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). There was an exodus of people in Metro Manila wishing to go home to their respective provinces before the implementation of the said quarantine.

Two months after, some areas in the country were downgraded to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and later, Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), to revive the economy of the Philippines.

3. ABS-CBN Shutdown and Franchise Renewal (May-July 2020)

In an unexpected turn of events, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN Corporation on May 5th due to its expired franchise. Its Free-to-Air Analog and Digital Channels including its main frequency, Channel 2, and even its FM and AM Radio operations including its flagship AM Radio station DZMM were included in the said order.

The network did shutdown its transmitters as ordered by NTC except for its Digital Channels namely CineMo!, Yey!, and KBO. These channels were also available in selected areas whose transmitters are owned by AMCARA Broadcasting Network through a block time agreement but was issued an alias Cease and Desist Order by the NTC and the Office of the Solicitor General one month later.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives started its hearing on a new franchise for ABS-CBN in June. But a month later, upon hearings on the various issues against the network, the Congress decided to be in favor of not to grant a franchise for ABS-CBN through a vote of 70-11.

4. Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses  (October-November 2020)

Aside from record-breaking statistics, both of these cyclones are the most destructive for this year. Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) was the first cyclone to make landfall in the Bicol Region as a Super Typhoon after several years. Flash floods occurred in the said region and communication lines were cut-off for a few days. Houses were also damaged in Albay due to the lahar flow from Mayon Volcano caused by this typhoon.

On the other hand, Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) brought a lot of rainfall in Luzon. This caused the Marikina River in Metro Manila to overflow, and it even broke the record of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009 in terms of water level. It even caused flooding in the Cagayan Valley Region as its nearby dam overflowed.

5. Christmas Day Earthquakes (December 2020)

This would be the most unexpected event of the year as series of earthquakes occurred in the country on Christmas Day. A Magnitude 6.3 earthquake has rocked Metro Manila and nearby provinces in the morning. Aftershocks were recorded throughout the day.

A few hours later, a Magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck along the waters of Mindanao. Another earthquake of the same magnitude was located in the Quezon Province in the afternoon.

2020 has been a challenging year for the Philippines - from disasters to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and even political issues. Let us hope that 2021 would be a better year than what we had experienced.