Velez: Looking back on 2019


THE year ended just like how it began. An explosion in Cotabato City and a storm striking the country.

The year began with a buzz about a film that warned people to close their eyes because of an unseen horror. We end with an eclipse that hurts our eyes.

Let’s look back at the rest of 2019 with bright cautious eyes.

The Senate election was all about Budots and how one anti-Marcos veteran gave her the biggest irony in life: the vote-counting machine counted her vote for Imee. Who else raged against the counting machine?

The election was also about Inday Sara. Her quote that honesty is not an issue in elections. Her quips against the opposition party as a “depressing black hole”. Is she a king-maker? Her senate lineup swept the election, but her bet for House Speakership lost to a bigger power-broker, a cauldron over-pricer who turned a good sports event into his political platform.

Matteo Gudicalli told people to “stop talking smack” and join the army like he did to show love for country. The rest of the country asked the army and the president to defend the seas from Chinese Navy to show what patriotism is all about.

This year’s Sona had two Mindanao cloth on the podium, because the Senate President and House Speaker are no longer Mindanaoans.

Pay-out was the buzz word for all who wanted quick-cash via Kapa, Rigen, and whatever spinoffs. The crackdown also cracked the once solid Davao.

The Kadayawan was also shaken when a group wore G-strings won first prize in the indigenous dance competition. They said this was creativity. The Lumad and the advocates cried inauthenticity.

Washed out: 3,500 families from a flood that struck Mintal, Calinan and Talomo.

DepEd wants to teach students on how to detect fake news. But DepEd closed down Lumad schools based on what the military claims that these schools recruit students for rebels. Perhaps, DepEd has to practice what they preach.

Earthquakes in October struck down a condo in Davao City and a hotel in Kidapawan. Another quake collapsed a store in Padada. Also struck was Davao’s condo dreams. Something also struck Quiboloy who believes he has power to stop or start quakes via remote control.

Solid Duterte, until Mayor Sara said she wants Martial Law lifted in Davao City and be excluded from peace talks too.

Mindanawons gone this year: Senator Nene Pimentel. Poet Tita Lacambra Ayala. Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador. House Speaker Prospero Nograles. Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez. MILF Vice Chair Ghazali Jaafar. MinDa chair Abul Alonto. Talaingod chieftain Kaylo Bontulan. Photojournalist Tatay Rene Lumawag.

On the 10th anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre, considered the worst journalist and election crime, the trial of the decade ends with a guilty verdict on members of the clan. Some are acquitted and some are in hiding.

Mindanawons represent, winning medals in boxing, sambo, kurash, athletics, obstacle course racing, judo, jiu jitsu, taekwando, weightlifting and other events in Southeast Asian Games. We win as one.

That’s how 2019 looks. Now we look on to what’s to come on 2020.


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