Hindsight is 20/20: Stories that capture a year of chaos


What you need to know

Yes, we know. You’d rather forget about 2020.

But as in every tough experience, 2020 provides all of us fond and painful memories to keep, lessons to treasure, and yes, a wish for things to become better. 2020 is also about 20/20 – better clarity in vision for the future after emerging from possibly one of the worst years ever.

As we navigate our way to 2021, Rappler compiles on this page the stories, articles, images, and important headlines that shook, angered, awed, and inspired us. We also look ahead and spot trends, offer predictions for 2021, forecasts, and analyses.

Bookmark and refresh this page to look to the past, and get a glimpse of the future and the fun stuff as we close 2020 and enter a new year.

Latest updates

Ah, memories of 2020: Why it’s important to remember our COVID holidays, good or bad

In Charles Dickens’ famous 1843 ghost story, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.

However, we do not need supernatural powers or a ghostly escort to travel in time to holidays past, present and future, at least not in our minds.

The ability to remember our past and imagine our future relies on the uniquely human gifts psychologists call retrospective and prospective memory. Read the full story here.

Amanda BarnierThe Conversation

2020’s best music: Albums that made the worst year ever a little better

These are tough, unprecedented times, and while we can no longer stick to all our old habits, some things thankfully remain constant.

The year 2020 started with confusion and frustration, and later avalanched into fatigue and anger. Yet the time just whizzed by, even as we spent months isolating at home. In the middle of the mayhem, it has been difficult to stay sane; much more to keep safe.

As the world slowed to a standstill, many trades were caught in existential crises – music included, of course. Nightclubs – especially those havens of the underground and independent scene – were forced to shutter down, some even permanently. Live concerts and festivals started to seem like relics of an old world, then a good number started to pivot more to livestreaming, online radio, and the like.  Read the full story here.

Paolo Abad

The OPM songs that marked and made 2020

The pandemic hit the music industry hard in 2020 – but the music carried us through it still, chronicling days that got stranger and stranger, and offering much-needed comfort or distraction when times got especially tough. 

Whether it was a song that made us dance, a track that captured our collective rage, or soothed our collective anxiety, Filipino artists came through.

As the rollercoaster year finally comes to an end, we look back at the music made by Filipino artists that helped us make sense of – or just get through – a truly confusing time. Read the full story here.

Amanda T. Lago

[OPINION] A scandalous end to a scandal-filled year

The VIP vaccine scandal has shocked the public into learning that the operative policy of the Duterte gang when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination is: it's every man for himself. 

Screw the absence of FDA authorization of a vaccine before it can be used in the country. Screw the prioritization by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) of frontline health workers, seniors, and the poor.

Despite faint denials, it's likely the president has also had himself vaccinated. 

Walden Bello

A year of blursdays: How coronavirus distorted our sense of time in 2020

Does it feel like 2020 went on forever? Did lockdown drag, and can you even remember how you spent your time when you weren’t living under coronavirus restrictions? You are not alone. For many, 2020 has been the year in which the constancy of time was lost to the upheaval of coronavirus.

Read the rest here.


2020: The year in showbiz kalat

With cancelled films and TV series, lock-in tapings, the ban on live shows, the shutdown of media giant ABS-CBN, and major network and management transfers, the entertainment landscape looks drastically different in 2020.

But through all the changes, celebrities continued, for better or worse, to get into all sorts of sticky situations – which may just be inevitable for human beings who live in the public eye.

In a truly 2020 twist, celebrity scandals strangely gave us a sense of normalcy, as we tried to stay sane in quarantine and plodded through a health crisis that exposed incompetencies, injustice, and corruption. Read the full story here.


2020: A year in food trends

2020 wasn't just a year of engagements, plantitas, and babies – the year also birthed quirky, new food trends for us to try.

Local businesses and home bakers went HAM for these creations, and so did hungry, locked-down customers, causing a few of these trends to blow up, stick, and even stay. Here we look back at the popular food trends that took the quarantined world – and our social media feeds – by storm. Read the full story here.