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Thursday, April 18, 2024

The meltdown of March 2024’s madness

8 min readAfter the tiptoeing months of January and February, March arrived like a supernova, with maximalist flare-ups seemingly at its devious hands.
Profile picture of Zulaikha PalmaProfile picture of Francesca Maria Dela Cruz

Published 17 days ago on April 01, 2024

by Zulaikha Palma, Francesca Maria Dela Cruz

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Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb

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After the tiptoeing months of January and February, March arrived like a supernova, with maximalist flare-ups seemingly at its devious hands.

From victories of self-expression to cruelty in all shapes and forms, everything was a melting hodgepodge under the glaring sun, which riled our hearts up in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

1. Red light district brawl between Thai and Filipino transwomen

Screenshot of X user @/anthraxxx781

Screenshot of X user @/anthraxxx781

A group of around 20 Filipino transwomen and 4 Thai transwomen exchanged blows in Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 4 after the Filipino tourists hurled insults against the Thai transwomen. The police were unable to fully calm the tension as a mob of over a hundred Thai transwomen waited and attacked the Filipinos as they were being escorted to their hotel, who claimed the whole hostility was a “turf war.”

There is allegedly bad blood between the transgender community of Thailand and the Philippines. The Philippine Embassy of Bangkok reported that the Filipino transwomen are tourists; however, the Bangkok police are investigating their immigration status to verify if they were illegal immigrants.

Video of the fight trended all over social media on March 5, 2024. Because of the incident, the Department of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to Filipinos to avoid the area in the meantime.

2. Oscars 2024: 'Oppenheimer' sweeps the night with 7 wins

Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

The 96th Academy Awards ceremony unfurled its red carpet, offering a dazzling display of groundbreaking wins, surprising snubs, and unforgettable moments.

The 2024 Oscars, held on March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, saw Oppenheimer emerge as the night's biggest winner, securing victories in the major categories such as best director, best actor, and best picture, among its 13 nominations. Meanwhile, "Barbie," the other half of the box-office hit Barbenheimer craze, secured eight nominations but clinched only one win for best original song–for Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For.

Poor Things also left its mark, winning accolades for hair and makeup, production design, and costume design. Emma Stone surprised many with her best actress win, edging out Lily Gladstone, who made history as the first Native American nominee in the best actress prize for her performance in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon.

Having clinched victories at the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, BAFTA, and SAG Awards, Da'Vine Joy Randolph sealed her awards season domination with a resounding win, claiming the title of Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Mary Lamb in The Holdovers.

Rising above superheroic highs and career-threatening lows, Robert Downey Jr. also marked a milestone with his first-ever Oscar win in the best supporting actor category. Meanwhile, his fellow Oppenheimer co-star Cillian Murphy continued his winning streak, winning the best actor award.

The ceremony offered a blend of laughter and emotion, highlighted by Ryan Gosling's electrifying performance of I'm Just Ken, which transformed the stage into a vibrant sea of pink; and the heartwarming appearance of Messi, the beloved dog from Anatomy of A Fall, captivating the internet with a viral video of him gleefully clapping his paws in the audience.

3. Stronger than ever: TOMWEB comeback

Artwork by Lianna Ortega/TomasinoWeb

Artwork by Lianna Ortega/TomasinoWeb

The dark days are over for TomasinoWeb as it resumed operations on March 11 with its new adviser, journalism instructor Nathaniel Melican.

The student organization’s press freedom and freedom of expression were curtailed after the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) ordered TomasinoWeb to put down a photo of two College of Information and Computing Sciences (CICS) students photographed going into a 7-Eleven store.

Concerned media practitioners, Thomasians, UST alumni, and many others in the public rallied round the organization, and Kabataan Party-List Rep. Raoul Manuel filed House Resolution No. 1633, which sought a congressional investigation on the threats hurled against TomasinoWeb.

4. Princess of Wales’ Gone Girl Fiasco

Photo from Yahoo! News

Photo from Yahoo! News

When people began to notice Kate Middleton’s absence from royal duties since Christmas last year, the internet broke. Conspiracists and gossip fanatics proposed a slew of frankly comedic theories—Kate’s Amy Dunne era, BBL procedure recovery, body doubles, and Prince William cheating against the Duchess of Cambridge—as reasons why the Princess of Wales ‘mysteriously’ vanished.

Despite the announcement of her abdominal procedure on Jan. 17 and her break from royal duties until Easter of this year, people were stuck in their own delusions of drama, even conjuring the Princess of Wales tragedy narrative linking Princess Diana to the entirety of her 4-month break.

All rumors came to a halt, however, when the princess announced her cancer diagnosis and preventive chemotherapy on March 22. People have now shifted to overwhelming sympathy and wishes of a smooth recovery for the future queen. However, it appears that speculation surrounding her video appearances, fueled by AI, will continue to fuel drama indefinitely.

5. DepEd probes teacher in viral scolding video

Photo from InquirerPop

Photo from InquirerPop

"Ugaling Iskwater!"

These were the words uttered by a teacher as she scolded her students live on TikTok.

The video rapidly gained popularity on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) and depicted the teacher recording herself inside a classroom, venting her frustration with her students. The teacher's video was broadcast in a TikTok livestream, with real-time comments flashing on the screen. She was seen angrily reprimanding her students for their behavior while making derogatory remarks against them.

On March 19, The Department of Education (DepEd) revealed that the woman was teaching in a public school. According to DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Bringas, the agency gave the teacher 72 hours to respond to a show cause order as part of the due process. The teacher was also issued a memorandum by the school's principal requesting an explanation for her actions.

While the offense has yet to be identified by the department, Bringas pointed out that according to DepEd Order Number 49, titled "Professionalism in the Implementation and Delivery of Basic Education Programs and Services," teachers are prohibited from going live on social media

6. Killua’s Tragedy

Photo from Inquirer.net

Photo from Inquirer.net

The world mourned the loss of an angel on March 17, 2024 when Killua, the three-year-old golden retriever in Camarines Sur, was mauled to death by Anthony Solares, after claiming that the dog was being ‘aggressive’ and that his behavior was merely an act of ‘self-defense.’

Killua’s fur mom, Vina Rachelle Arazas, circulated the tragic incident on social media. Killua had escaped from his gated home, which may have caused fear and anxious behavior. However, Solares claimed that his violence was also in fear that Killua might harm his child.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) reported that Killua tested positive for rabies. However, this does not excuse the unwarranted brutality against animals. Citizens continue to demand justice for the dog as PAWS and Arazas filed charges of violation of the Animal Welfare Act and the Anti-Rabies Act against Solares.

7. House OKs final reading of RBH7 on economic cha-cha

Photo by Michael Varcas/Philippine Star

Photo by Michael Varcas/Philippine Star

The political ballroom seemed poised to sustain its rhythmic cha-cha as a resolution outlining proposed amendments to the Constitution received the green light from legislators.

On March 20, amid a flurry of legislative activity, the House Committee of the Whole endorsed Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 (RBH 7). This resolution aims to reshape the economic landscape by advocating for increased foreign ownership in vital industries. With 288 legislators in favor, 8 against, and two abstentions, lawmakers aligned with the administration signaled their support for this proposed economic Charter change (Cha-cha).

Speaker Martin Romualdez described the proposed removal of Constitutional limitations on foreign ownership in specific sectors as the "last piece of the puzzle" in the administration's investment strategy under President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"These changes, if ratified by our people in a plebiscite, will greatly boost these measures, including our President's investment missions abroad, which have generated actual investments and pledges in the billions of dollars and created thousands of jobs," Romualdez stated.

RBH 7 underwent "exhaustive plenary deliberations" over two weeks, during which House members interrogated both opponents and proponents of cha-cha. This occurred before the legislature’s Holy Week break, scheduled from March 23 to April 28. Romualdez called on the Senate to pass its version of RBH 7 promptly to facilitate the referendum necessary for amending the Constitution.

8. Mass withdrawals rock CSC elections; calls for reform and system overhaul

Artwork by Miguel Angelo Sumalinog/TomasinoWeb

Artwork by Miguel Angelo Sumalinog/TomasinoWeb

In a surprising turn of events, six of the seven candidates contending for positions in the imminent Central Student Council (CSC) elections withdrew from the race on March 20. Their decision stemmed from their perception of a "system resistant to reform," which they believed would hinder their ability to serve effectively.

In a joint statement, Timothy John Santiago, John Matthew Enriquez, Hannah Patricia Calara, Hanah Lauren de Leon, Josh Kenn Viray, and Francine Tuazon called on the University and its officials to urgently investigate and address issues hurled against it.

"We find ourselves compelled to take a principled stand against participating in a system resistant to reform," the joint statement read.

The candidates' resignation comes amid concerns over campus media censorship, red-tagging, suppression of students’ democratic rights, student welfare, and frustrations with bureaucracy.

Two days following the mass withdrawal, the lone contender, Stephen Aseron, who was running for auditor, also withdrew from the race, following the other six. This left the CSC elections without any candidate running for any position.

In a statement, Aseron expressed that their decision to withdraw from the UST Central Student Council Elections was “a consequence of a repressive system.” He highlighted the administration's tendency to render student leaders powerless, relegating them to mere event organizers, instead of empowering them as representatives to advocate for the student body

9. Beauty Wonderland with Watson’s BeautyCon

Photo from Rappler.com

Photo from Rappler.com

Watsons gave us a dream beauty and lifestyle shopping spree with their free-admission Beauty Convention 2024 titled A Journey on Beauty, last March 20 to March 23 at SMX Halls 1 and 2, with various freebies, promos, and even topnotch celebrities schooling us on their beauty regimens.

In partnership with SM and Look at Me!, the first-ever BeautyCon showcased 130 brands, rainging from Filipino-owned ones such as VICE Cosmetics, ISSY Cosmetics, and BLK; and a wide array of cult favorites across the world: Japan’s Hada Labo and Shiseido; South Korea’s It Girl lippies from Rom&nd; and skincare classics such as Belo Cosmetics, Laneige, and even luxury french brand Lancôme.

Celebrities and brand ambassadors such as Heart Evangelista, Michelle Dee, Francine Diaz, Catriona Gray, and Morisette gleamed on the stage with glitz and glamor.

10. Struck with heatwave; DOST-PAGASA announces start of Summer

Photo from newsinfo.Inquirer.net

Photo from newsinfo.Inquirer.net

Are you feeling like you’re in a cauldron with oozing hot smoke, or are you craving for a plunge in a cool pool? Do not fret, for the Philippines had a headstart on summer like no other on March 22, as announced by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

With the highest heat index this year so far recorded this March, PAGASA said that the temperature may reach the extreme danger zone category from April to May. Despite the Philippines only having dry and wet seasons, summer has felt like the Philippines’ very own, as PAGASA’s daily temperature reports jump drastically fast from 40 Celsius to 43 Celsius in just three days in the NCR.

PAGASA advised people to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and to remember to hydrate, with concerned climate-sensitive sectors to keep a close check on the weather.

11. Marina Summers shines as runner-up in ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World’ finale

Photo from Marina Summers/Instagram

Photo from Marina Summers/Instagram

“I will always and forever be, your Filipina Winnah”

Filipina drag sensation Marina Summers made her mark on the global stage, finishing as one of the runners-up in the electrifying finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs The World season 2. Representing the Philippines with pride, Marina stood out as one of the four finalists in a fierce competition that captivated audiences worldwide.

The results were revealed during the final episode aired on Friday, March 29 in the UK (Saturday, March 30 in Manila), where the final four contestants engaged in an epic lip sync battle.

Marina Summers faced off against contestant Hannah Conda in a lip-sync showdown to the tune of I’m Outta Love by Anastacia. Despite her fierce performance, Hannah emerged victorious, bringing Marina's journey on the show to a close as fourth runner-up.

In a heartfelt message to her supporters, Marina expressed her gratitude in an X (formerly known as Twitter) post, saying, "Maraming salamat, world. We fought hard on this one."

Marina's participation in the global franchise makes her the first drag queen from the Philippines to achieve such a milestone. Her journey began with a standout performance in Drag Race Philippines Season 1, where she finished as the first runner-up.

12. Yellow belter vs. black belter: taekwondo newbie hospitalized after intense sparring session

Photo from The Daily Tribune

Photo from The Daily Tribune

A 17-year-old female taekwondo athlete found herself in hospital after an intense sparring session that turned dangerously physical.

The victim, identified as a yellow belter, was allegedly paired with a male black belter who was taller and heavier. During the sparring match, the male opponent reportedly delivered several punches and kicks, resulting in the young athlete sustaining bruises under her eye and a swollen face.

Based on reports, the victim expressed the severity of her injuries, stating, "Muntikan na po ako mamatay dahil sa bugbog," highlighting the gravity of the situation. She also mentioned feeling overpowered and unable to defend herself against her much heavier and more experienced opponent.

She said that after the incident, she now struggles to stand up at times and is still unable to attend school. The incident has raised concerns about athlete safety and the responsibilities of coaches and trainers in ensuring the well-being of their students.

With everything that transpired this month, we are left in a dizzying whirlpool of anticipation and apprehension, arming ourselves for the tumultuous ride the rest of the year promises to be. March has brought with it a barrage of both uplifting and challenging headlines, serving as a stark reminder that this is just the beginning, urging us to brace ourselves for the events yet to unfold.

March Round Up

Politics

Animal Cruelty

Royalty

LGBTQIA+ community

Oscars

Summer

Viral

Profile picture of Zulaikha Palma

Zulaikha Palma

Blogs Writer

Zulaikha Palma is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. As a journalism major with a passion for writing, she sets out on a journey to enrich her skills and infuse her words with life. Although she is new to the writing scene, she strives to craft pieces that resonate with hearts and minds alike. A cinema enthusiast at heart, she immerses herself in a variety of film genres, relishing horror, musicals, and indie, coming-of-age films. Among her cinematic favorites are La La Land (2016), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Roman Holiday (1953), and Lady Bird (2017). When free time comes knocking, she curates film reviews and conjures video edits of her favorite movies, TV shows, and actors. She also enjoys cooking her favorite dishes, cuddling with her cats, and listening to music by Taylor Swift, TV Girl, Sufjan Stevens, and Phoebe Bridgers.

Profile picture of Francesca Maria Dela Cruz

Francesca Maria Dela Cruz

Blogs Writer

Francesca Maria Dela Cruz is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. As your local girly-girl, she’s a writer who delights in topics that touch the heart—whether it's on identity, beauty or love, her emotions are the ink to her whims. She also adores anything vintage; so sending a message about thrifting milkmaid tops, finding rococo-style decorations or even deep-diving about female figures, then she’ll probably think you’re cupid. If she doesn't reply, she’s most likely sleeping and cuddling her bunny, Georgie. Give her a little leeway because she’s the type to write her messages on her notes app first.

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