MANILA, Philippines – Like any other year, 2018 was filled with shocking, groundbreaking, and inspiring stories.
With so much news that happened – sometimes with many developments occurring on the same day – it might be hard to look back on the year that was.
So, how do you measure a roller-coaster year? Let us go with the stories that were most read and most reacted on by Rappler readers.
Here is a weekly review of Rappler's top stories published in 2018. These are the ones with the most page views, and the most validated votes in the Rappler Mood Meter per calendar week.
Each row's background color reflects the dominant mood of that story. You may click on the headline to read that story. You may also switch between the "Most Read" and "Most Mood Votes" lists by clicking on either button below.
The TRAIN Law, the first of a series of tax reform measures, took effect in 2018, and readers cared the most about how it would affect their daily lives.
Also in January, readers took note of then presidential aide Christopher Lawrence Go's alleged involvement in the purchase of Philippine Navy frigates, as well as the revocation of Rappler's registration by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The debut of presidential granddaughter Isabelle Duterte also made headlines.
A number of feuds also erupted in February, like Malacañang Palace versus then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio vs then House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and presidential son Paolo Duterte against Kris Aquino.
In March, the Binibining Pilipinas crowned the country's bets in upcoming international beauty pageants, including Catriona Gray for Miss Universe.
Meanwhile, readers reacted strongly to the promotion of a Department of Justice prosecutor who had cleared suspects in high-profile drug cases.
In April, Kris Aquino made the news once again, this time in reaction to a feature on her ex-husband James Yap by broadcaster Korina Sanchez.
May was a roller-coaster month, led by the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Supreme Court chief justice, then came the death of former Senate President Edgardo Angara. Readers kept their eyes glued on the results of the University of the Philippines (UP) admission test. They were likewise enraged about the killing of a priest in Cagayan province after Sunday Mass.
Closing the first half of 2018 was a flurry of reactions on Duterte kissing an overseas Filipino worker on the lips during his speech in South Korea, and him calling God "stupid" in another speech back home. There was also a report on hidden-camera videos showing the Chinese coast guard taking the catch of Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal.
Meanwhile, many readers were inspired by the story about Senior Inspector Rene Balmaceda, the first openly transgender cop in the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The 3rd quarter of 2018 saw readers tuning in the most to announcements of class and work suspensions due to monsoon rains and tropical storms, especially during Typhoon Ompong in September.
In July, President Duterte delivered his 3rd State of the Nation Address, and readers pored over Rappler's point-by-point summary of his speech. Meanwhile, a normal flag ceremony in Tanauan City, Batangas, ended in tragedy as an assassin shot and killed Mayor Antonio Halili.
In August, government officials sounded off on then-communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson's attempts to help in the federalism campaign.
September was headlined by President Duterte's revocation of the amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and the opposition senator's subsequent arrest. Duterte's speeches also continued to spark controversies – like when he tried to explain the cause of rape cases in Davao City, and when he joked about "pushing" a government auditor in Ilocos Norte down a flight of stairs.
It was lotto frenzy in October, as the Ultra Lotto 6/58 jackpot exceeded P1 billion. Two winners eventually claimed the bounty.
The following month, the news were mostly about the guilty verdict on former first lady and current Ilocos Norte congresswoman Imelda Marcos for graft, PNP's bid to change the plot of the TV show Ang Probinsyano, and a viral video of an indie movie kiss.
Finally, in December, Catriona Gray became Miss Universe 2018, and the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles won their 2nd UAAP men's basketball championship. Their opponents, the UP Fighting Maroons, made history themselves after reaching the UAAP finals for the first time in over 3 decades.
Ateneo figured in another news item that month, about a junior high school student bully caught on camera beating up a fellow student in a restroom. The offending student was eventually dismissed from Ateneo. – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.