Don’t fall prey to September 2022’s blows
By Sophia Katherine Sarmiento
As the breeze gives way to a new season of ‘ber months’ this September, a multitude of events cascaded down the clouds with a glimpse of what’s to come for the future. From tragic moments that will come down in history to unremarkable and victorious achievements, the weariness of the weather as well as the experience will surely pay off.
But as the gust of wind takes us away to the month’s highlights and events that challenged the country upfront, it’s still better to keep a wise mind and an open eye to judge what happened in front of us rightfully; to relish the good moments that shocked or excited us to the core, and to be continually aware of the journey ahead.
1. Queen Elizabeth II passes away at 96, her son Charles III proclaimed as the new king
On Thursday, Sept. 8, the news stunned the world when the late Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 in her Scottish home in Balmoral Castle, United Kingdom.
As a symbol of strength among the people in the UK, her reign became well-known for political and territorial affairs and as the longstanding monarch to ever grace the country since 1952 when she took upon her duties to the throne at the age of 25. Operation London Bridge commenced a few hours before the former queen died, where news outlets in the UK and all over the world aired their grievances and documentaries that featured the queen and her golden legacy, including a ten-day succession planning with her funeral.
The Queen’s son, King Charles III ascended the throne on Saturday, Sept. 10, in the wake of renewing the people’s hope through his official proclamation of being the new ruler of the British monarch by the Accession Council. His son, Prince Williams was proclaimed to be the new Prince of Wales with his children in succession for the throne with his wife, Kate Middleton, as the Princess of Wales. Respected tradition comes a long way, but a new leaf is now turned over for future days.
2. Voluntary face masks now implemented in non crowded areas
After two straight years of strict enforcement in the wearing of face masks, Executive Order №3 was now signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. allowing the voluntary use of face masks outdoors, as announced by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles last Sept. 12.
This is in compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) protocol that face masks are now voluntary in “open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas” but are still mandatory to be worn indoors, in public transportation, and in areas that are not compliant with physical distancing. Immunocompromised individuals are also strongly urged to continue wearing masks and to get vaccinated along with this protocol.
Along with this, the University has also allowed the optional use of face masks in the outdoor vicinity of the campus on Sept. 13 following the previous announcement. With continued efforts in decreasing the threat of COVID-19 transmission within our country, safety and protection must still be observed in order to avoid compromising the health not only of oneself but also of others.
3. President Marcos holds bilateral dialogue with Pres. Biden after speech in 77th session of UNGA
In lieu of diplomatic and political affairs, the bilateral meeting between the Philippines and the United States was held on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly session last Sept. 22, in New York City, where presidents of both countries were present for the in-person meeting.
The discussion between Marcos Jr. and Biden revolved around the US-PH alliance and relationship, which emphasized the US’ “ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines.” Additionally, the territorial issue involving the South China Sea was also raised, along with expanding “bilateral cooperation” in numerous sectors such as climate change and infrastructure development between the two countries.
While the controversial issue of human rights under Marcos Jr.’s presidency still seems to be underway, his initial General Assembly speech before the United Nations tackled several agendas; mainly his cooperation with the UN’s ideals, and the urgency toward climate action.
4. DepEd’s Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy now strictly implemented
Representation matters, even inside academic institutions.
Last Sept. 2, the Department of Education (DepEd) reiterated and allowed ‘strict implementation of its DepEd Order №32, S. 2017 detailing the free expression of LGBTQ+ students and faculty members in conformity with their gender identities.
Miss Trans Global 2020 and LGBTQ+ advocate Mel Habijan posted on Facebook the memorandum corresponding to DepEd’s Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy and her positive remarks towards the news of inclusion in academic institutions from elementary to high school which she has fought for years to get the measure officially implemented. This corresponded to onsite classes of students and for the prevention of gender-based violence within the school vicinity.
While the SOGIE bill is still pending, LGBTQ+ members deem this policy as a win and a stepping stone towards inclusivity and representation. Tradition might have gone a long way for academic institutions to flourish until now, but respect is integral and goes beyond in a community that values representation and free expression; even if it meant battling against heteronormative principles and instruction.
5. Super Typhoon Karding brings distress to Luzon and provincial areas
As the stormy month of September comes close to an end, Super Typhoon Karding (international name Noru) made a landfall on Quezon and within Central Luzon last Sept. 25, bringing distraught to several communities. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) classified the typhoon as a ‘period of explosive intensification’ from being a tropical cyclone to a super typhoon.
The events that deeply followed were an increase in the death toll and affected communities. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also reported at most nine fatalities from the rampage of the super typhoon, including the five Bulacan rescuers who were reported as fatalities from the rescue efforts.
Super Typhoon Karding exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, Sept. 26 leaving a calamitous impact on lives and various shelters. It was also earlier this month that typhoons Henry and Inday were sighted around the first few weeks of September.
6. A draft of concerts from our favorite K-Pop groups and artists
September might’ve just been warmly greeted by our favorite K-Pop groups and idols as they held their concerts in Manila for the latter half of the year.
The very first group to rock the stage in Manila was NCT 127 for their very first heartstopping solo concert ‘NEO CITY: THE LINK’ in the Philippines at the SM Mall of Asia Arena (MOA). The group performed their fan favorites including ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Lemonade’ along with the cheers and screams of NCTzens that filled the arena last Sept. 4. Next in line for their concert-firsts in Manila was (G)-IDLE for their 2022 world tour: ‘Just Me ()I-DLE’ which took its spot in the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City last Sept. 11, and featured their hit songs such as Oh My God and LATATA.
Another concert that fans eyed on was the joint concert between ATEEZ, iKON, and GOT7’s Youngjae for the Manila show ‘K-Pop Masterz Ep. 2’ held last Sept. 23 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This was also the first time ATEEZ performed for a Filipino audience since their debut back in 2018; while it would be a second for both iKON and Youngjae as all groups performed their best songs to their audience.
7. Filipinos commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Martial Law Declaration
Never forget, never again.
Being a crucial moment in history, the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law was once again held last Sept. 21 where art exhibits, performances, films, and commemorative talks were showcased. Activists and various progressive groups took to the streets their protests as well as programs for remembrance of the past, and certain universities also took it upon social media and their stints to honor the dreaded past.
UST maintained its silence on the anniversary of Martial Law, while other universities such as the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, and Ateneo De Manila University have commemorated the event in their own ways; including Ateneo’s ‘bloody fountain’ which turned the fountain outside their Rizal Library a shade of red.
Pivotal moments in history like this must always be remembered, while disguised purveyors of historical distortion should be taken with a grain of salt before choosing to believe what’s definitely wrong rather than the utmost truth.
8. Eraserheads reunion concert is finally happening
Contrary to the ongoing speculation and teasing if the band was ever going to make a comeback through a reunion concert, the answer was finally brought to fans and listeners alike by posts of its members on their Instagram accounts, featuring an inverted letter E that gave away its cryptic message on Sept. 17.
Ely Buendia, in his Instagram post–along with the rest of the members Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala,and Marcus Adoro, shared the official poster for their reunion concert dubbed, ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ last Sept. 19. The event will take place by the end of the year on Dec. 22, 2022 at SMDC Festival Grounds, Paranaque City.
Buendia originally teased the possibility of an Eraserheads reunion back in September of 2021. But now that the tables have turned and everyone is now excited for their reunion, issues resurface against their bandmate Adoro, regarding allegations of domestic violence and abuse from Syd Hartha, his daughter, and ex-partner Barbara Ruaro. This sprang attempts to boycott the member on social media upon joining the reunion show, even as Adoro tries to reconcile with them through an open letter he penned just recently.
9. Historic museum in UST ‘goes Namjooning’
The BTS-inspired exhibit, ‘UST Goes Namjooning: Capturing Moments on Campus’, featured numerous surprises just by its opening day last Sept. 13 at the Main Building. From interactive games, standees, and merchandise to a brightly-colored freedom wall, it became a great place–not just for fans, but to everyone who craves a much-needed break.
The term ‘Namjoon-ing’ was inspired from and popularized by BTS’ RM as his way of taking time for himself, making trips to the museum, and admiring art. This was merely integrated within the exhibit’s wholesome purpose, which also allowed for the University’s museum to showcase its history and heritage as well. The interactive exhibit will be open until Oct. 21 and free for students of the University to witness.
10. EJ Obiena wins gold and beats Duplantis in Diamond League
Proudly representing the country’s flag on numerous world stages, pole vaulter and Thomasian Ernest John Obiena snagged his golden victory over world record-holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden; finally ending Duplantis’ current winning streak in the Wanda Diamond League last Sept. 2 at Brussels, Belgium.
There was great triumph when Obiena cleared 5.91m in his third vault attempt while having 5.61m in his first. Duplantis finished second, while American vaulter Chris Nilsen placed third with 5.71m. The desired victory added up to Obiena’s gold streak in previous consecutive tournaments in both Germany and Switzerland last August. As more Filipino athletes jump into the scene of international sporting events, there is reserved respect for Filipinos like them in representing our country.
11. Alex Eala, 17, is the first Filipino to win a singles Grand Slam tournament
Continuing with the streak of sports prodigies, Filipino tennis player and 17-year-old Alex Eala exhibited peak performance at the US Open winning a juniors singles grand slam circuit in Flushing Meadows, New York last Sept. 11.
She beat World Junior №3 Lucie Havlickova of Czech Republic, 6–2, 6–4, which created a historic mark for Philippine sports. Currently ranked at 291 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Singles, Eala is the first ever Filipino to win a championship in a tennis grand slam juniors singles tournament, and multiple junior doubles grand slam titles. With an unremarkable feat similar to this, there is truly great pride in allowing Filipinos’ potential in sports to shine immensely through, even on an international level.
12. Philippine Peso hits an all-time low of P58.99
With a previous record-low of the Philippine Peso at P57.00 last Sept. 7, a new all-time low was registered at P58.98 against the US dollar just a few days ago.
As the local currency continues to spiral in a downward trend against the US dollar, the latter continues to be a strongly developing currency even as the global inflation rate rises. In line with this, the Philippine peso has a possibility that it will continue its depreciation value–and several analysts have figured that it can reach P60 in a matter of days.
September may have been a month filled with erratic winds and turbulent rides, but it will truly be a month to always remember. And just like rainy seasons that come and go, there’s always a sliver of sunlight that will filter through the heavy clouds of the month.
And for sure, the journey will still remain intact as we head deeper into the chilly Christmas season within the country.