The 10 Craziest Things That Happened in 2017

Only in the Philippines!

The year 2017 had its good moments, but there were also days that can’t possibly be categorized as anything other than “dumpster fire.” Politically, socially, and economically, this year was totally absurd, and we all had front-row seats to that roller coaster ride. Here are some of the things we collectively squinted our eyes at this year:

1| The chicken ceremony.

To dissuade public fear regarding a potential bird flu epidemic, the DOH held a ceremonial eating of chicken and eggs, which was broadcast on national television. We appreciated the gesture, we really did, but this was hilarious by all accounts.


2| The MRT limb removal.

Last November 14, a woman lost her right arm after a freak accident at the Ayala station of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line. Train accidents happen globally, but this one took the cake because the victim, Angeline Fernando, had fallen into the tracks...and nobody bothered to help her until it was too late. Bystander effect, confirmed. (Thankfully, her severed arm was successfully reattached.)


3|The Distracted Driving Act.

In an effort to reduce accidents on the road, the government proposed a new law that aimed to remove visual distractions from a motorist’s typical line of sight. Filipinos everywhere reacted with confusion and bewilderment—how about phones used strictly for Waze? How about dashcams? In the end, the Senate resolved to review the, uh, the distracted Distracted Driving Act.


4| The billboard coffee date invitation.

Eccentric CEO Xian Gaza, who is a longtime fan of actress Erich Gonzales, asked her out on a date in the most excessive and disingenuous way: via a billboard in Manila City. Many were turned off by his arrogance and entitlement, and the actress herself politely rejected his offer. Later on, allegations that he was a scammer surfaced. Uh...we’re still not sure what to make of this.



5| The Duterte reptilian.

Freddie Aguilar’s sister, Marlene, posted something on Facebook that would make even dinosaurs turn in their graves: She posited a wild theory that the real Rodrigo Duterte was long dead, and that the current “President” is actually a “reptoid alien.” Trust us—we wish we were making this up.


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6| The ASEAN spelling error.

The Philippines hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit, so naturally, we wanted to show our foreign guests that trademark Pinoy hospitality. The problem? The welcome banners and tarpaulins that lined our roads spelled “Philippines” wrong. We can’t even spell our own country right?


7| The new Loch Ness Monster?

An unidentified ocean creature was found washed up in Maasin, a city in Southern Leyte last September 21. It measured up at 10 meters long and one meter wide, and it was already in the process of decomposition when it was found. To this day, experts have not figured out what in the heck it is, though one comparative anatomist suspects it's a gray whale




8| The jailhouse possession.

In a provincial jail in Cotabato City, several female inmates were believed to have been “possessed” by malevolent spirits. Screaming and crying noises were heard, and some inmates even fainted. After the affected inmates were isolated and prayed for by a pastor, they eventually calmed down.



9| The unicorn rainbow cloud.

Now for some positive news: A rare “unicorn rainbow cloud” was spotted by residents of Sto. Tomas, Batangas last June, adding an extra kick of color to a cloudy day.


10 |The return of the “My Way” curse.

According to a December 29 report by ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol, a Tondo barangay chairman was killed by suspects riding in tandem after the former belted out his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” at a barangay party. If you’ll recall, the “My Way” killings are an unexplained phenomenon, in which Filipinos have been killed after singing the song at karaoke gatherings. We thought we’d seen the last of this in 2010, but it appears the curse is still in effect.


BONUS: The Kanin Backpack

This happened in 2016, but it’s too good not to include: Quezon City authorities were baffled by a seemingly unsuspecting black backpack that had been left behind along Commonwealth Avenue. Smoke was coming out of the backpack, which triggered bystanders to call the police. They later found that the bag was filled with nothing but cooked rice. It wasn’t even in a Tupperware. We sure love our kanin.

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Chandra Pepino
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