2012 in photos: Tragedy, triumph, and ridiculously photogenic people

Rappler Social Media Team
#Start2013Right and look back at the photographs that captured the crazy year that was 2012


MANILA, Philippines – 2012 was crazy for both local and world news and we’ve got the photos to prove it. #Start2013Right and look back at the photographs that captured the year.

Here’s a heads up: We can’t blame you if you wouldn’t know which emotion to click on the Mood Meter. Photos do say a thousand words, after all.

Tragedy and disaster 

One of the biggest stories in 2012 was the death of Interior and Local department secretary Jesse Robredo. Robredo passed away on August 18, 2012 when his plane crashed off Masbate province. Filipinos from all over grieved his untimely demise–from Nagauenos who loved him dearly to Filipinos who hadn’t even known Robredo. 

2012 was also the year of superstorms and typhoons both here and abroad. Among the most devastating were Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha), which hit parts of Mindanao in the Philippines and Superstorm Sandy in the United States. 

SANDY'S DEVASTATION. A toy doll is viewed on the remains of homes December 4, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Breezy Point, home to many New York City firefighters and police, lost 111 homes in a fast moving fire during Superstorm Sandy with many more homes severely damaged from flooding. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

"TABANGI KAMI DINHI." A resident stands next to a sign near a school serving as an evacuation center for victims of Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) in the town of Maparat in Compostela Valley province on December 8, 2012. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

As of publishing, hundreds of thousands of Pablo survivors remain homeless and hungry. Find out how you can help through Rappler’s #TextToHelp campaign.  


Social media and campaigns  

Barack Obama made history in 2008 as the first Black US president. In 2012, he made political history again as the first American president to be re-elected during an economic slump. (One of the first problems he had to face as a re-elected president: the ‘fiscal crisis.’) 

But what really blows our mind is Obama’s (and his team’s) masterful use of social media. His first tweet (and photo) after his victory made social media history by being the most retweeted and liked post on Twitter.  


Here’s another, more recent, photo released by the Obama’s team. Nothing big going on here, just 3 of America’s most powerful people goofing around. 

OOPS. Just what was happening? Photographer Pete Souza fills us in: "This is one of those rare instances where my presence indirectly became a part of this reaction from those pictured in the photograph. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had just accidentally dropped all of her briefing papers onto the Oval Office rug and she, the President and Vice President all reacted in a way that indicated that surely I wouldn't get a photo of that to embarrass her." Photo from the Barack Obama Flickr stream.

Back in the Philippines, social media was a witness to very heated debates on what was then the Reproductive Health Bill. In December, Congress and Malacanang did what legislators and Presidents from the last 14 years couldn’t do: turn it into a law.

It narrowly passed the House of Representatives on 2nd reading. Malacanang promptly certified the bill as urgent and few days after, both chambers of Congress passed the bill on 3rd and final reading. A few days before Christmas, President Benigno Aquino III signed the bill into law. (Read: RH law: The long and rough road)

The debate was especially taxing for the bill’s sponsors. In the months leading to its passage, they decried what they called “dirty tactics” from anti-RH bill legislators. So we can only imagine the kind of relief Senator Pia Cayetano and Representative Edcel Lagman felt when the bill was finally signed into law. 

What's the Mood Meter for this one? Photo from the Pia Cayetano Facebook page.

They’re not politicians but this young Hollywood super couple knows how to make the most out of their celebrity status. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were enjoying lunch when they realized paparazzi were lurking outside. What’s a celebrity to do?

GOOD GAL EMMA, GOOD GUY ANDREW. What's a celeb to do when you're hounded by paparazzi? Use the media exposure to promote charities, of course. Photo from E!Online.

The photo made its rounds on social media. How could you not share this photo? Thank you, Andrew and Emma, for giving us hope.

Not all social media campaigns are clear-cut. We’re still not sure how we should feel about this Undas gimmick by a local funeral home: 

Photo from @matlearns2twit via Twitter.


The year of ridiculously photogenic people

Who can forget Janine Tugonon, the Philippines’ bet for the 2012 Miss Universe competition? Janine did not come home with the crown (she was 1st runner-up. Not too bad!) but she captured our hearts and attention with that energizing smile and unforgettable walk. 

Remember this guy from our first photo wRap ever? He’s Rafael Nunes, a former model turned homeless guy turned internet celebrity turned poster boy for the pitfalls of drug abuse. He’s more popularly known on the Internet as “ridiculously photogenic homeless guy.”

Image from Reddit.com

And of course, the guy who started it all: Ridiculouly Photogenic Guy aka Zeddie Little. (Click here to see the photo that started it all.) 

Photo taken from KnowYourMeme.com. Original photo by Will King

Zeddie Little’s photo gave birth to a bunch of other “photogenic” memes. Among them, “Ridiculously Photogenic Syrian Rebel” and “Ridiculously Photogenic Surgery Girl.”  

"Ridiculously Photogenic Syrian Rebel." Image from Reddit.com.

Animals can be ridiculously photogenic too, as proven by Ridiculously Photogenic Corgi

Image from WeKnowMemes.com


All sorts of cute go viral

The corgi above is really just a way for us to introduce another theme in photos that defined 2012: ANIMALS! Domesticated, wild, baby, adult–all kinds, really.

BuzzFeed and CuteOverload also compiled list of the best (and cutest) animals of 2012. We’ll let the photos do the talking: 

EASTER BO. Here's a recently-released photo of Bo, the Obama family's dog. Here Bo is being videotaped for the Easter Egg Roll. Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

BABY PANDAS! 7 were born in China, another one in Japan. We can't get enough of them. Discovery News photos.

Hello says this baby sloth. This has got to be the cutest (and slowest) photobomb ever. Yup, that's a baby sloth photobombing those students. Screenshot from The Telegraph website

This seal says hello too. Another gem from The Telegraph. They seem to like cute animals too, don't they?

One day this baby lion went visited the BuzzFeed because why not? We at Rappler are planning our own fuzzy creature visit. Our bosses just don't know it yet.

Read about BuzzFeed’s cuddly visitors here

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Rappler social media team has a thing for cute and cuddly creatures. This might be why: one study posits that viewing photos of baby animals can increase productivity and improve focus. It makes sense to us! Should we start a special section for cute animals? 

And that’s a wRap for 2012 in photos. Did we miss out on any memorable photo from last year? Leave a comment below and let us know! -Bea Cupin, Rappler.com

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