Binibining Pilipinas

Insta-2013: The year in 15 seconds

Paterno Esmaquel II
From soundbites on corruption to messages of hope, watch the Philippines' best 15-second clips this year

MANILA, Philippines – This year, Instagram has allowed users to share their stories in 15-second video clips.

Rappler takes its cue from this and, for this yearender, presents 10 of the Philippines’ most important stories the Instagram way.

From soundbites on corruption to messages of hope, we bring you the year in 15 seconds. This is Insta-2013.

1. Aquino shames officials: ‘Kapal ng mukha’

In his 4th State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III slams officials of the Bureau of Customs for their “kapal ng mukha” (shamelessness) in stealing public funds.

Weeks later, Aquino faces public outrage over his own pork barrel.

Read more in this report by Carmela Fonbuena: Aquino shames customs bureau.

2. Napoles to senators: ‘Hindi ko alam’

Testifying on the pork barrel scam, Janet Lim Napoles raises hopes she will spill the beans on corrupt officials.

But as Natashya Gutierrez reports, it’s “like getting blood from stone.”

Watch more: Napoles deflects senators’ questions. 

3. Brillantes threatens to resign, walks out

Fed up with Supreme Court decisions against the poll body, Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes Jr threatens to resign less than a month before elections. He becomes teary eyed when pressed for more, then walks out of an ambush interview.

Read more in this report: Teary-eyed Brillantes to offer resignation.

4. Estrada vs Lim: Face-to-face mudslinging

Deposed president Joseph Estrada makes a political comeback, and challenges then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim in the race to lead the city. The campaign trail gets dirty.

Watch more in this report by Ayee Macaraig: Estrada vs Lim: Who’s the better candidate?

5. Aquino on Tacloban: ‘Daanin sa asim ng sikmura’

In Guiuan, Eastern Samar, President Benigno Aquino III chides towns and cities that failed to prepare for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). He doesn’t name Tacloban City, but alludes to the place that suffered the highest number of casualties.

Read more on Rappler: Aquino praises Guiuan execs, chides others.

6. Romualdez on Aquino: ‘Will we insult the dead?’

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez hits back a day after President Benigno Aquino III, who comes from a rival political family, criticizes Tacloban City.

Watch more in this report: Aquino, Romualdez trade barbs over Haiyan.

7. LeBron James praises ‘passionate’ Filipinos

For the first time, basketball superstar LeBron James visits Manila. The 28-year-old player calls the Philippines “a great culture.”

Natashya Gutierrez tells us more in this video report: #WitnessHistory: LeBron visits Manila.

8. Megan Young: Education ‘my number 1 priority’

A 23-year-old actress, Megan Young wins the first Miss World crown for the Philippines. In an interview with Rappler before her victory, the beauty queen tells the youth: Study.

Watch her one-on-one interview with G Töngi: #AskMegan: Miss World PH 2013 Megan Young.

9. Pacquiao on victory: ‘For typhoon victims’

In a make-or-break match, Manny Pacquiao defeats the younger Brandon Rios in Macau. He offers this match to victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), who counted on him.

For more, watch Natashya Gutierrez’s report from Macau: Pacquiao beats Rios in unanimous decision.

10. Pope Francis: ‘Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!’

For the first time, the world hears Pope Francis speak in English. And it’s for the Philippines.

Watch more in this report: Pope Francis, Cardinal Tagle appeal for mercy.

And we’ll hear more of these soundbites in 2014. For now, we wish everyone a year of happiness – definitely, for more than 15 seconds. Happy New Year! –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at