The year in photos

From little-known figures and small triumphs to bold-faced names and sprawling victories, these photographs provide a glimpse at a year decidedly marked by social and political upheaval.


Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — There might be little worth in summing up a year that has seen quite an upheaval or dismissed by some as "The worst year ever." There might even be less in imagining that the next year will be better than this one, for what is a “new” year but an arbitrary marker of time, which nonetheless flows on and on and knows no beginning or end? In this year’s “Time Travel,”  James Gleick even reminds us: “We know that the past is gone: it is finished, done, signed, sealed, and delivered. Our access to it is compromised, limited by memories and physical evidence.”

So why look back? 2017 is, without the rose-colored glasses, a mere continuation of 2016. To be more accurate about it, the next day is a mere continuation of what came before it. But there lies the rub: to know how one thing is a “continuation” of the other, it is essential to keep track. To make sense of things that happen — sometimes all at once, it seems, in this wired and information-saturated world — we need markers. “Things change, and time is how we keep track,” says Gleick.

Before the year leaves that mark, here is a selection of photographs that provide a small glimpse to the year that was.


year in photos vp debate Photo by JL JAVIER

Vice presidential candidates Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Gringo Honasan, Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Leni Robredo, and Sen. Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV onstage during the only official vice presidential face-off of PiliPinas Debates on April 10, 2016 at the University of Sto. Tomas.

year in photos jadine Photo by JL JAVIER

Fans and news crews gathered around Nadine Lustre and James Reid — known as the love team "Jadine" during the premiere of their film "This Time" at SM Megamall, May 3, 2016.

year in photos geraldine roman Photo by REGINE DAVID

Congresswoman Geraldine Roman, wearing her signature pearls, photographed for the second cover of CNN Philippines Life. She is the first transgender politician to be elected in the Philippines.

year in photos bong bong Photo by JL JAVIER

Several days after election day, Sen. Bongbong Marcos sat down for an interview with Pinky Webb, CNN Philippines senior anchor and correspondent, and talked about the alleged discrepancies in the unofficial vice-presidential tally.

year in photos cannes Photo by JL JAVIER

Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Jaclyn Jose, carrying her trophy, with “Ma’ Rosa” director Brilliante Mendoza during the homecoming dinner for the film's cast and crew on May 26, 2016.

year in photos pride parade 2016.jpeg Photo by SAM LEE

A scene during the Metro Manila Pride festival at the Lapu-Lapu monument in Rizal Park on June 26, 2016, which was attended by 4,000 people. This year's presidential elections raised anew the issues of LGBTQ discrimination and same-sex marriage and unions.

year in photo elda rotor Photo by JL JAVIER

Penguin Classics publisher Elda Rotor at the Penguin Random House office in New York. She is responsible for introducing more Filipino literary classics in the prestigious roster of the publishing company's world literature editions. In 2017, Nick Joaquin's “The Woman With Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic” and his play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino” will join the Penguin Classics lineup, in time for the author’s birth centennial on May.

year in photos pnoy Photo by JL JAVIER

A few days before the May 2016 presidential elections, Noynoy Aquino looked back at his term in an interview with CNN Philippines’ chief correspondent, Pia Hontiveros.

fashion show Photo by JL JAVIER

Senator Sonny Angara peeked into the crowd moments before stepping out for “Fashion Harmony,” a charity fashion show “for the benefit of abandoned and abused children, elderly, and victims of calamities.” held on Aug. 10, 2016.

year in photos aldub Photo by JL JAVIER

Behind the scenes before their guesting for CNN Philippines’ “Real Talk,” Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards’ love team, “AlDub,” gave onlookers a healthy dose of real-life kilig.

year in photos mds Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

Once dubbed “The Iron Lady of Asia,” former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago reflected on her glittering legacy in politics. She passed away on Sept. 29, 2016 after a battle with lung cancer.

year in photos escolta Photo by DON JAUCIAN

Artist Derek Tumala called attention to the state of Manila architecture by conjuring ghostly images on the facades of some of Escolta’s iconic buildings using guerrilla video mapping. This year saw a bit of an Escolta revival in many areas from food and architecture to history and local craftsmanship.

year in photos lav diaz Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

It’s been a big year for Lav Diaz, helming two films that made waves in the international scene, when he won the Alfred Bauer Silver Bear Prize for "Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis," a sprawling eight-hour black-and-white drama, at the Berlin Film Festival, and the Golden Lion for "Ang Babaeng Humayo," at the 73rd Venice Film Festival.

czar fashion ball.jpg Photo by CZAR KRISTOFF

Backstage at the Philippine Fashion Ball, where youth culture was in full display courtesy of young designers such as Proudrace and Randolf.

year in photos ronaldo bato dela rosa Photo by JL JAVIER

PNP Chief Ronald “Bato Dela Rosa” addressed the policemen present in CNN Philippines’ Town Hall on Oct. 7, 2016 where he declared, before the forum: “We are winning the war on drugs!”

year in photos star magic Photo by JL JAVIER

Actors and real-life sweethearts Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil paused for photographs at the red carpet of the Star Magic Ball on Oct. 22, 2016.

geloy.jpg Photo by GELOY CONCEPCION

Youth protesters raised fists and hand-made placards to express outrage over the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. They gathered in the EDSA People Power Monument on Bonifacio Day.

Duterte Youth Rally Photo by GELOY CONCEPCION

A few steps away from the People Power Monument, Darlene Shane Sampang (left) and Grace Go (right) stood in front of Gate 4 of Camp Aguinaldo to support the decision to bury former President Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.

year in photos martha atienza Photo by JL JAVIER

Artist Martha Atienza photographed during the opening of the Singapore Biennale at the Singapore Art Museum. She is one of the five artists shortlisted for the Asian edition of the prestigious Benesse Prize.

year in photos robredo Photo by JL JAVIER

In an interview with CNN Philippines at the Quezon City Reception House, Vice President Leni Robredo explained how she decided to resign from President Duterte’s Cabinet, after being asked to desist from attending meetings.

SBQ-13.jpg Photo by JL JAVIER

The team behind the Metro Manila Film Festival entry "Sunday Beauty Queen," including director Baby Ruth Villarama (in red) assists Hazel Perdido, one of the OFWs featured in the film, try on a dress made by fashion designer Martin Bautista (left). On Dec. 29, 2016, the film made history as it became the first documentary to win the festival's Best Picture award.

rodrigo duterte Photo by JAKE VERZOSA

First on CNN Philippines, and near the tail end of 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte sits down for a one-on-one with senior anchor and correspondent Pinky Webb. His initial words: “Can I cross my legs during the interview?”