World stories that mattered in 2017


Posted at Dec 27 2017 10:44 AM | Updated as of Dec 27 2017 10:53 AM

Before we bid 2017 goodbye, here's a look at some of the stories that shook the world, and stories that mattered to Filipinos here and abroad.

Mass shooting in the US

This year saw several shooting incidents in different parts of the United States, the deadliest of which was the October 2 shooting in Las Vegas, where a lone gunman killed over 50 people and injured more than 500 after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival.

A few months prior, on June 12, 29-year-old Omar Mateen ran amok in a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.

In November 5, a gunman dressed in black tactical gear massacred at least 26 worshipers and wounded 20 others at a white-steepled church in Texas.

A US study in October said as many as three million people in the US carried a loaded handgun daily, while nine million do so at least once a month.

Jim Young, Reuters

Blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

A total of 22 people were killed and more than 50 injured during an explosion at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester in May 22.

Many of those who attended the concert were children.

British police have identified the man suspected of carrying out the massacre as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Manchester to parents of Libyan origin.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for what it called revenge against "Crusaders," but there appeared to be contradictions in its account of the operation.

Dave Hogan, One Love Manchester/via AFP

Tower inferno: London's Grenfell Tower fire

At least 80 people were killed in a massive fire that hit Grenfell Tower in London in June.

The 24-storey social housing block, home to a poor, multi-ethnic community, was destroyed in an inferno that started in a fourth-floor apartment in the middle of the night.

READ: Firefighters search for bodies in London tower inferno

Grenfell Tower was part of a deprived housing estate in Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest boroughs in London, and the disaster has prompted a national debate about social inequalities and the neglect of poor communities.

Natalie Oxford, AFP Photo

Fire and rain: California wildfires, Hurricane Irma

In September, residents in the Caribbean and in Florida were hit by Hurricane Irma.

Irma claimed the lives of at least 81 people from the Caribbean Islands, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and caused about $25 billion in insured losses.

Meanwhile, a California wildfire became the state's third-largest on record, destroying more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in Southern California communities since erupting on December 4.

More than 8,000 personnel using nearly 1,000 engines and 32 helicopters fought the blaze that has become the seventh most destructive in the state's history.

Thomas B. Shea, AFP

Sea collision: USS Fitzgerald accident in Japan

A U.S. Navy vessel collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan in July, leading to the death of seven American seamen.

On June 17, USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel at about 2:30 a.m. local time (1730 GMT), some 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, a rare incident on a busy waterway.

The commander of the ship was relieved of duty, while several other sailors faced punishment over the incident.

Among those being disciplined from the crew of the USS Fitzgerald are its commanding officer, executive officer and senior enlisted sailor, who will all be relieved of their duties aboard the ship.


OFWs on death row: Jakatia Pawa and Jennifer Dalquez

Filipinos living or working abroad had their fair share of triumphs and defeat this year.

In January, the Philippines was rattled with the execution of Jakatia Pawa in Kuwait for murder. Her execution came as a surprise for her family and even the Philippine government which has exerted all efforts in the hopes of saving the OFW from death row.

Pawa was sentenced to death after she was implicated in the murder of her employer's 22-year old daughter in 2007.

She is survived by her two teenage children.

While the country mourned the death of Pawa, it received good news in June when another OFW, Jennifer Dalquez, detained in the United Arab Emirates, had been acquitted of murder.

Angie de Silva, ABS-CBN News

Swept away: Raymond Cabalfin Jr.

What seemed to be an exciting adventure for a group of friends turned tragic with the death of Filipino-American Raymond Cabalfin Jr. in May.

Cabalfin was swept away by the American River's currents in California after jumping into it near Clark's Pool in Auburn.

A dramatic video showed the last time Cabalfin was seen alive.

Raymond Cablafin facebook page

Fatal mistake: Pinay nurse in London gets suspended sentence

Filipina nurse Lea Ledesma was given a suspended sentence of 18-months in England for administering the wrong unit of blood to an elderly patient.

Ledesma was working as an intensive care unit nurse at the University College Hospital when she administered type AB blood to a patient with type O blood on May 7, 2014.

The 76-year old patient died later that evening.

Ana Arevalo, AFP /File

Staying for good: OFW mom comes home after almost 2 decades in Hong Kong

The story of 61-year Teresita Alcanzare is all too similar to the lives of many overseas Filipino workers who left their families behind in pursuit of better jobs.

The single mother to seven children worked hard in Hong Kong, a job she held on for almost 20 years.

But all her hard work and the time spent away from family were not for naught as her children grew up the way she had hope they would.

In fact, to celebrate her homecoming, her children pitched in to fund her Asian tour--something that she always dreamed of.

"Iniwan ko sila mga bata pa pero ngayon lahat may lisensya at titulo na may magagandang buhay at may magandang trabaho. Iyon ang pinakamasarap na pakiramdam na puwedeng maramdaman ng isang ina, 'yong makita silang successful," she said.

Hans Alcanzare Facebook page

Read our 2017 Yearend specials