The year’s headlines in pictures

/ 04:33 AM December 09, 2019

Every day for almost a year, Inquirer editors sift through photographs sent in from the field, looking for that striking element, that perfect composition, that unusual gesture or expression that distills the many subtext of a moment or the day’s headlines.

These are some of those pictures, as selected by Inquirer photo section chief Rem Zamora.


1 A HOUSE SITS THROUGH IT  A bypass and diversion road in Batangas, which is part of a 10-kilometer toll road from Batangas City to the town of Bauan traversing the municipality of San Pascual, is “interrupted” by a house. The surreal scene illustrates the wasteful haste with which contractors proceed with government road projects even if right-of-way issues have yet to be resolved.

2 BLESS THE BEASTS At Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City, World Wildlife Day (March 3) is marked by the discovery of 1,500 live turtles secured with duct tape and found in the abandoned luggage of a Filipino passenger who arrived from Hong Kong. Trading in wildlife is illegal.  —RICHARD A. REYES

3 IMAGINED METROPOLIS Thousands of cardboard houses that sit on a specially built frame resembling a satellite dish is one of the artworks on exhibit at the College of St. Benilde in May. Made by volunteers from the idea of artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, the artwork is a metaphor for the tragedy of homelessness. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

4 IS HE OR ISN’T HE? Well and healthy, that is. Speculations on President Duterte’s state of health kept people buzzing anew after he was seen using a cane during his state visit to Japan in October, an infirmity that a Palace official attributed to the motorcycle accident he had inside Malacañang’s compound on Oct. 16. It didn’t help that Mr. Duterte cut short his Japan visit on Oct. 22 due to “unbearable back pain,” again due to the motorcycle fall, his officials said. —JOAN BONDOC

5 EARLY BIRD ON ELECTION DAY A member of Baguio City’s Muslim community, the child that she could not leave alone at home sitting beside her, turns up early at the Baguio Central School precinct to exercise her right to vote. —EV ESPIRITU

6 TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY Senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc comforts a tearful volunteer at the Liberal Party headquarters in Quezon City a day after the May 2019 midterm elections. Gutoc and fellow Otso Diretso candidate Erin Tañada have conceded their loss. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

7 PERJURED WITNESS Peter Joemel Advincula aka Bikoy reads his statement at the multipurpose hall of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.Within days his testimony swung wildly from accusing the Duterte administration of high crime to accusing the opposition of masterminding an ouster plot. —EDWIN BACASMAS

8 PHILHEALTH BENEFICIARY Antonio Rogelio Cabillan, assisted by his wife, Judith Daramay, waits to be called for his peritoneal dialysis session at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City. In between sessions, the couple is staying at an outdoor waiting area in the hospital compound to save on transport expenses. —LYN RILLON

9 TEACHER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE Grade 9 teacher Solita Daz,working on starvation wages, pores over her lesson plan in the 20-square-meter home that she shares with her husband and son on the fourth floor of a small building in Tondo, Manila. —RICHARD A. REYES

10 MAKING DO Two Grade 2 sections of Rosauro Almario Elementary School in Tondo, Manila, share a room divided by a blackboard at the opening of classes on June 3. The Department of Education welcomed some 28 million students in public and private schools despite the perennial shortage of classrooms. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

11 MAN AND HIS BOAT Junel Insigne, captain of the FB Gem-Ver, checks out the damage on his craft, which was rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea in June. Abandoned in the icy waters, Insigne and his 21-man crew floated for three hours until a Vietnamese ship came to their rescue. —RICHARD A. REYES

12 READ OUR LIPS Activists assemble at Rizal Park to protest the hit-and-run incident at sea involving a Chinese ship and the FB Gem-Ver. In a speech a day earlier marking the anniversary of the Philippine Navy, President Duterte downplayed the matter as just “a little maritime accident.” —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

13 END OF SUMMER A worker at a salt farm in Dasol, Pangasinan, hauls his precious sun-dried harvest. —WILLIE LOMIBAO

14 ONE MORE TIME Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, having been denied entry into Hong Kong where he was to attend a business meeting, is met at Ninoy Aquino International Airport by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who was likewise turned back months ago when she flew to the former Crown Colony to take her grandchildren to Disneyland. The two former officials have earlier filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping in the International Criminal Court for China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea. —RICHARD A. REYES

15 FREE RIDE FOR STUDENTS Starting July 1, students get to ride the LRT 2, MRT 3 and Philippine National Railways trains for free in the early morning and midafter noon. They crowd the Legarda Station for the freebie. —RICHARD A. REYES

16 OVERFLOW OF SUFFERING A hallway of the Philippine General Hospital teems with patients unable to get into the temporary emergency room due to an ongoing large-scale renovation. Officials have urged the people to seek treatment elsewhere because of limited space, but still the ailing poor converge on the country’s premier public hospital. —RICHARD A. REYES

17 DEADLY DENGUE The numbers stricken by the dengue virus have been so large that early in August, even the chapel at the pediatric ward of the General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital in Trece Martires, Cavite, has been commandeered to house its young patients. —LYN RILLON

18 SACRED COWS A provincial bus exits its company’s terminal in Cubao, Quezon City, on the lane designated for city bus stops on Edsa. Provincial buses continue to crowd Edsa even during the supposed dry run banning them from the primary avenue following a judge’s order halting its implementation. LYN RILLON

19 THIS LAND IS OURS As their forebears have done, the Dumagat traverse the Kaliwa-Agos River in Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, Quezon, as part of their daily routines. The government is planning to dam the Kaliwa River to make it into an alternative water source for Metro Manila, but the project will mean inundating what the Dumagat consider their ancestral domain. —RICHARD A. REYES

20 HIS OWN CLOUD For this man, happiness is vaping (or using an electronic cigarette). —RICHARD A. REYES

21 EVERYONE WELCOME Mandaluyong City Hall shows the way with its public gender-neutral restroom that was launched in June. Earlier, a transgender woman was not only barred from using the women’s restroom in a mall in Cubao, Quezon City, but also arrested and brought to a police station. —JAM STA. ROSA

22 AGAINST ARMED PRESENCE Students at the University of the Philippines Diliman, backed by members of the faculty and of the community,walk out of their classes in a “Day of Walkout and Action” on Aug. 20. They are protesting a government proposal to allow and maintain police and military presence in schools nationwide, which they deem a threat to academic freedom. —LEO M. SABANGAN II

23 REMEMBERING NINOY Members of the August Twenty-One Movement commemorate Ninoy Aquino’s assassination with flowers laid on the spot where he was felled at the airport that now bears his name. The killing of the former senator upon his return from self-exile in the United States on Aug. 21, 1983, is widely considered the beginning of the end of the Marcos dictatorship. —RICHARD A. REYES

24 HAIL AND FAREWELL Friends, colleagues and admirers view the remains of dreamer, environmentalist and philanthropist Gina Lopez at the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City. —RICHARD A. REYES

ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE Convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez is all dressed up to leave the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City. Despite a number of life sentences, the former mayor of Calauan, Laguna, was to have been released on purported good behavior, but a vehement public outcry got in theway. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

26 HOW DID IT HAPPEN? The mothers of murdered students Aileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez attend the Senate inquiry into the controversial release of heinous crime convicts on the basis of good conduct time allowance. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

27 ON THE SPOT The family members of ex-mayor Antonio Sanchez—(from left) son Allan, daughter Ave Marie, and wife Elvira—testify that they had been assured of his eligibility for release in an earlier talk with Bureau of Corrections Director Nicanor Faeldon (leftmost). —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

28 FOR RELOCATION Its base damaged during a road-clearing operation of the Department of Public Works and Highways, a monument of the assassinated former senator Ninoy Aquino at the corner of Quezon and Timog Avenues is taken down for transfer to a better place. NINO JESUS ORBETA

29 LESSON FROM THE PAST In observance of National Teachers Month in September, a Light Rail Transit 1 train shows passengers what the Philippine indigenous script known as “baybayin” is like. —JAM STA. ROSA

30 WATER WOES The taps went dry in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, as the dry months drained La Mesa dam, resulting in long lines of residents waiting for water ration from firetrucks. —EDWIN BACASMAS

31 TO CALM A DOG Rescued dog Xander appears to listen as Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)volunteer Alice Sarmiento reads to him. PAWS is implementing Project CALM(Comforting Animals through Literary Movement) to soothe the fears of shelter animals by reading aloud to them. —LYN RILLON

32 PAPER WORK Policemen sign affidavits at the start of the Department of Justice’s preliminary investigation of rogue cops accused of pilfering and selling crystal meth seized during an antidrug operation in Pampanga province in 2013. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

33 SAFE LANDING Philippine Air Force trainees kiss the runway of Loakan Airport in Baguio City in a traditional ritual for pilots who land on a new place for the first time. EV ESPIRITU

34 HEARTBREAK HOTEL A 6.5-magnitude earthquake produced this harrowing tableau of Eva’s Hotel in Kidapawan City. No one was injured as the building has been off-limits since sustaining damage from earlier tremors. WILLIAMOR MAGBANUA

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