Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Since the first memes were born in the early days of the internet, they’ve come and gone in droves, evolving and changing with the times, reflecting current events or distracting us from them. Whether they’ve helped quell our collective anger over social and political issues, ignited further debates, or just made us laugh over something stupid, memes have become an essential part of our online experience.
Before the coming year births brand new memes, let’s look back at some of the most memorable ones of 2018.
Judy Ann's Kitchen
When Buzzfeed Philippines shared a video entitled “When You’re the Friend Who Can’t Be Trusted in the Kitchen,” one thing was made clear: Judy Ann’s Kitchen is a comedy goldmine. The video contained an assortment of Juday’s funniest and most relatable missteps on her cooking series.
Not that we take any pleasure in Juday’s cooking blunders — she’s really an amazing cook — but seeing her disarming charm and relatable humor come out when she messes up makes the show all the more entertaining. It’s the stuff memes are made of.
Liza Soberano’s ups and downs
When celebrities become memes it’s usually for one of two reason: either you’re adored or heavily criticized. Interestingly, Liza Soberano has experienced both over the course of one year. In the first quarter of the year, she tried to prove her heritage by tweeting that her love for sinigang is “as pinoy as pinoy can get” in attempt to defend herself from the criticism that someone as mestiza as herself should not have been cast in a T.V. drama set in pre-colonial Philippines. This did not go well with most people on Twitter, resulting in a surplus of tweets mocking her and even a parody sinigang account requesting to be moved from this narrative, Taylor Swift style.
But in an unprecedented comeback, a recent video of Soberano where she calmly guesses that the creature she’s holding in a “what’s in the box” challenge is a cockroach gained a lot of traction. Her nonchalance at holding something most people would shriek at the sight of is baffling and for many, quite endearing.
Jameson Blake’s “shout out” tweet
Hashtags’ member Jameson Blake probably didn’t think much about his now deleted tweet offering graphic designers a “shout out” in exchange for their services, but his sentiments opened a can of worms with regards to the challenges faced by those in the creative industry — specifically that they’re often undermined and underpaid.
Many called him out for perpetuating the idea that graphic design and similar work can be paid off by the promise of exposure and not real money. As a response, a few designers decided to take on Blake’s request, albeit in the most tongue-in-cheek way.
The proposed 2019 SEA Games logo
Before Blake’s issue had died down, another design-related debacle spread across the internet: the proposed 2019 SEA Games logo. Most people online were unimpressed, to say the least. The logo, which Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Chair Alan Peter Cayetano describes as consisting of 11 circles “representing the 11 countries bound together in the shape of the Philippines,” was maligned online and turn into a variety of hilarious memes.
Some people mentioned the Jameson Blake issue, saying that perhaps the team behind the logo design had only offered their graphic designer a shoutout. Eventually, even brands joined in on the fun, taking advantage of the moment to post memes on their social media pages.
The outrage over the logo also sparked several designers to propose their own improved designs.
Expensive siling labuyo
When word got out that the price of siling labuyo shot up from ₱150 per kilo in February to ₱1,000 in September, many online were up in arms. The price hike happened following a typhoon in Benguet that had caused most vegetables coming from the province to become more expensive, as well as the spike in our overall inflation rate.
The issue was further exacerbated when Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s response to the negative reaction online was to tell people to plant their own sili instead. As a result, many have deemed the sili comparable to cash in value.
Traversing the EDSA footbridges
“Stairway to heaven” and “Mt. EDSA” are just two of the many nicknames social media users have dubbed the controversial footbridges along EDSA. The footbridge in EDSA-Kamuning was called out online for its dizzying height and placement above the MRT tracks, which MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said was constructed to avoid the recurrence of pedestrian-related accidents in the area. For many concerned citizens, the footbridge doesn’t just pose a danger, it also discourages PWDs, pregnant women, and the elderly from using it.
Marian Rivera’s “Unfaithful” cover
Nobody really knows when or how Marian Rivera’s cover of Rihanna’s “Unfaithful” began making rounds online again, but sometimes that’s just the way the internet works. She performed the song alongside Glaiza de Castro and Rafael Rosell in an episode of Party Pilipinas back in 2013, but the video (and different mashups and karaoke versions) only resurfaced about a month ago. Rivera essentially plows through the song despite seeming unsure of most of its lyrics.
Tony Labrusca and Angel Aquino’s kiss in “Glorious”
For all the intrigue and drama present in the trailer to Angel Aquino and Tony Labrusca’s film, “Glorious,” one thing swept the internet away — that kiss. It’s come to stand for the things we thirst for the most and the things that we can’t seem to escape from. It’s even been meme-ified to explain the types of people each sign just can’t help falling for, or the very least, having a drunken makeout session with.
ADMU versus U.P. or Bobbie versus the rest of her siblings in “Four Sisters and a Wedding”
U.P.’s placing in the UAAP men’s basketball finals this year was history making — the UP Fighting Maroons hadn’t had a chance at the finals for 32 years. In the midst of all the trash talking that ensued during their two games against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, some pretty interesting memes surfaced, including comparisons to the Cathy Garcia-Molina classic “Four Sisters and a Wedding.”
As it turns out, eagle-eyed fans of the film noticed that out of the four sisters, Bobbie “Bakit kasalanan ko?” Salazar (Bea Alonzo) is the only one who graduated from Ateneo while the rest of her siblings are U.P. graduates.
Dexter’s Filipino accent
There were a bunch of memes this year that poked fun at the Filipino accent, such as the memes that followed the spread of the “you’re road” video, a clip from a T.V. show called “90 Day Fiance,” which sparked discussions online over the implications of laughing at heavily accented and broken English and why we continue to take pride in being adept at the language of our colonizers.
“Omg I love your Filipino accent say something for me!”
— . (@elnathanw_) November 12, 2018
Despite these discussions being had on and offline, another accent meme made rounds online, this time playing on that one episode from the 90s cartoon “Dexter’s Lab” where Dexter could not stop saying “omelette du fromage.” But this time, instead of laughing at one particular person, the meme makes light of the unique ways we’ve come to pronounce English words and phrases.