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Viral Stories of 2020: What We Can't Stop Talking About

It's been a long year.
by Clara Rosales
Dec 22, 2020
Photo/s: Angkas/Twitter

You would know by now that 2020 has been a wild ride filled with unexpected twists and turns. It's days aways from ending and while the promise of a fresh start awaits, a revisit of the events that stood out during the past year is in order. Here, we list down several moments that took the internet by storm.

These viral videos, events, and trends defined 2020:

Ostrich on the loose

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Months-long pandemic quarantines established a warped sense of reality for many, but an ostrich running free in a gated subdivision in Quezon City one August afternoon had everyone truly questioning if we were in an alternate universe. The viral video got people blinking twice, prompting questions on its origins, its owners, and condition, and most of all, why it was out in the first place. Here's what happened to the ostrich.

Manila Bay's Dolomite sands

dolomite sands manila bay
Jerome Ascaño
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In an effort to bring beach views closer to a Metro Manila population forced to stay at home during a pandemic, the government dumped crushed dolomite from Cebu onto Manila Bay to mimic Boracay. While some marveled at its beauty, others criticized it as mere aesthetics and that it does nothing to solve the bay's pollution problem. It also brought up safety concerns and sourcing issues.

Army general tags Liza Soberano

Instagram/Liza Soberano
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Actress Liza Soberano was called out online last October for her dealings with party-list Gabriela. Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade claimed he was only warning her and asked her to exercise discernment before engaging with the organization. The ordeal sparked a heated debate online over the culture of men telling women what they should do. Actress Angel Locsin even jumped in.

Who is Jeff Ortega?

Ilocos Norte tourism official Jeff Ortega took the top spot on Twitter trends after a video of him introducing Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. as 'vice president' made rounds on social media. The slip-up garnered a word of caution from the Department of Tourism and reignited an online fued between Vice President Leni Robredo's and Marcos' supporters.

Where is ABS-CBN during Super Typhoon Rolly?

Charism Sayat, Agence France-Presse
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Deprived of a franchise, broadcast giant ABS-CBN shuttered its regional network but still pursued limited coverage of developments and relief during Super Typhoon Rolly, which devastated the Bicol Region and Southern Luzon. The gaps in information saw folks on the internet lamenting the loss of the network's franchise and clamoring for its return.

Yes to academic freeze

Courtesy of Mac Duguiang, Jr.
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Still reeling from the aftermath of both Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses, students took to Twitter to call for an academic break. On top of a pandemic, students had to adapt to the new distance learning setup that persisted even as storms toppled power lines and chased people to their roofs. Statements and protests emerged, bringing about action from academic institutions. At one point, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to defund the University of the Philippines.

How to be like Tiffany Uy

Facebook/Tiffy Uy
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Biology major Tiffany Uy made headlines in 2015 for graduating valedictorian from the University of the Philippines – Diliman with a 1.004, the highest general weighted average since World War II. In 2020, she made headlines again for placing fifth overall in the Physician Licensure Exam. She also graduated class valedictorian from the UP College of Medicine. The internet has only one thing to say: "Sana all."

Enter the RC Cola commercial universe

Quirky ads get you talking for a few days, but there are bizarre ones that leave you stunned and speechless. When soda brand RC Cola dropped the bomb that is their nonsensical commercial, it garnered thousands of shares and views, setting the internet off on the search for the meaning behind the 90-second ad featuring a mom, a son, and bottles of fizzy drinks. We got to the bottom of it and found answers for you.

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As if that wasn't crazy enough, RC Cola even followed it up with a sequel just as outlandish.

Plantation Bay shareholder says sorry

Facebook/Plantation Bay

This posh resort in Cebu City was talk of the town after its resident shareholder, Manny Gonzalez, responded to a complaint posted on Tripadvisor. In the writeup, a mother said her autistic son was "squealing with delight" by the pool but was asked by resort management to hush. She labelled the experience "discriminating." Advocacy groups and Twitter users called for #BoycottPlantationBay as it handled the matter poorly, and without consideration for the child's needs. Here's what happened after the apology.

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Foodpanda riders get pranked

One week before Christmas, a total of 16 riders from food delivery service foodpanda arrived at the same address in Manila in whatappeared to be a prank. Resident Rome Vladimir Agito Cuevas didn't order anything, and the swarm of riders on his street was just as confused. Each order was worth P1,700 to P1,900 and Cuevas ended up paying for four of them, with neighbors buying the rest. The original post was flooded with shares and comments after it reached news accounts.

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Daylight shooting puts police under spotlight


A video of an off-duty policeman shooting an elderly woman and her son in Tarlac in broad daylight went viral and exploded into an online discourse on police brutality. "MY FATHER IS A POLICEMAN" trended at the top spot after a young girl was heard saying it as events in the video unfolded. #StopTheKillingsPH, #JusticeForSonyaGregorio and TRIGGER WARNING also trended.

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