And just like that, 2022 is coming to a close. If you put things in perspective, the year that was feels like a tiny box crammed with all things interesting, exciting, shocking, and hopeful—despite being larger than life! Ultimately, these events shaped the world today.
2023 is knocking at the door. But before we let 2023 in with a New Year countdown, let’s take the time to look back and reflect on the top 2022 events. We can all find some lessons we can use moving forward.
Top 2022 Events That Shocked the World
Globally, front pages have been rife with uncomfortable news, with a few standouts that challenged the status quo. Here are some things that happened in 2022 that sent shock waves around the world.
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
Earlier this year, Russia invaded Ukraine. This move is a major upturn in the ongoing Russo-Ukranian war, which started in 2014. Both countries sustained a significant number of deaths and financial losses.
The war displaced more than around eight million Ukrainians and spurred a massive emigration, which included more than seven million people.
The invasion also had massive effects on the rest of the world. For one, it affected the food supply, owing to the fact that Ukraine accounts for 50% of the world’s sunflower oil supply, 10% of the worldwide grain supply, and 13% the of global corn supply. There were also oil and gas shortages, as a lot of countries decreased their dependence on Russia when it comes to such fuels.
As a result, various markets reacted with oil and gas price hikes.
Nearly halfway through 2022, there was a global outbreak of monkeypox, a viral disease whose symptoms include fever, flu, swollen lymph nodes, body aches, and rashes with lesions. While the disease is endemic to West or Central Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said most confirmed cases included those who traveled to countries in Europe or North America. Nevertheless, WHO categorizes the global risk of the disease as moderate.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) detected the country’s first confirmed case of monkeypox in July. The health bureau assured the public that monkeypox symptoms are mild and rarely fatal.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Passing
Photo: @theroyalfamily (Instagram)
September 8 was a gloomy day all over the United Kingdom and the world. Queen Elizabeth II’s passing was a shock, as she was an enduring symbol not only of the monarchy but also diplomacy. The UK's longest-reigning monarch died at Balmoral Castle at the age of 96.
Operations London Bridge and Unicorn were set in motion to initiate the state funeral arrangements. Charles III, the Queen’s eldest son, succeeded her.
Women’s Protests in Iran
Still in September, the world saw waves of protests and demonstrations in Iran and all over the world following the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Iranian woman died in Tehran, Iran’s capital, after she was arrested by the country’s morality police for not properly wearing the hijab. Her death sparked not only protests but also conversations on women’s rights.
To show their defiance, Iranian women cut their hair and burned their hijabs. Hollywood celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Olivia Colman, also showed support for the protests.
Top 2022 Events That Shaped the Philippines
A lot of 2022 happenings in the Philippines undoubtedly changed the course of many people’s lives. Here are some of the most memorable historical events in 2022:
2022 Presidential Elections
Photo: @cnnphilippines (Instagram)
Held on May 9, 2022, the 2022 Presidential Elections decided the country’s 17th president and 15th vice president. Ultimately, Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte were respectively elected as president and vice president. Both came from UniTeam, an alliance of four prominent political parties.
The newly elected leaders are expected to tackle some of the country’s biggest challenges. These include reviving the economy, which was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and dealing with existing issues, such as foreign debts, inflation, poverty, climate change, and transportation crises, among others.
Inflation Rate at an All-Time High
The country is currently facing soaring inflation, which means a decrease in people's purchasing power. According to reports, the Philippines’ inflation data for November rose to 8%. This is the country’s fastest inflation in 14 years.
Details from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) indicated that this event was driven by rising food prices. Factors behind this event include typhoons that created interruptions in crop production.
The Weakening of the Peso
The depreciation of the peso is alarming to many, especially when its value against the US dollar neared ₱60. Like inflation, this also meant a decline in Filipinos’ purchasing power. This is because the country buys imported products, such as oil, in dollars.
With that, the prices of other commodities also increased. Authorities, however, said the weakening of the peso is expected since the country had been recording higher inflation.
Thankfully, the value of the peso rebounded during the past few weeks. As of this writing, US$1 is equivalent to ₱55.56.
Typhoons Hitting the Country
While the Philippines is no stranger to typhoons, the country still takes a beating from these disasters. Karding and Paeng, two of the strongest typhoons this year, can be considered among the top 2022 happenings.
Supertyphoon Karding battered Luzon in September, leaving 12 deaths and five missing people in its wake. On the other hand, Severe Tropical Storm Paeng devastated the whole country, causing 154 deaths and 35 missing person cases.
Top 2022 Events That Brightened Up the Year
Despite its uncomfortable—often tragic—twists and turns, 2022 still gave us reason to believe that things would get better. Here are the top 2022 events in the Philippines that made us smile and hope.
The Opening of the Borders of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan
While not as historically significant, the opening of borders in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan is one of the most notable events of 2022, according to many jet-setters.
The South Korean Embassy in the Philippines started processing all types of tourist visas on June 1, 2022. In the same month, Japan opened its doors to Filipino tourists, granted that they book a guided tour with an accredited Japan-based operator. This restriction was lifted in October, allowing Filipinos to go on independent tours.
Taiwan, on the other hand, eased entry restrictions last October. Tourists won’t have to undergo quarantine once they enter the country. On top of that, Taiwan reinstated its visa-free program for Filipinos staying in the country for a maximum of 14 days. The said program will run until July 31, 2023.
As huge K-Drama fans, Filipinos definitely enjoyed some of the newest imports, including “All of Us are Dead” and “Extraordinary Attorney Woo,” from the Land of the Morning Calm.
“All of Us are Dead” tells the story of a group of high school students trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Trapped within the walls of their school, the characters must find a way out and get to safety.
Meanwhile, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” follows the professional and personal life of Attorney Woo, a young autistic lawyer. The story focuses on how she navigates her workplace and deals with romantic feelings from a colleague who has fallen in love with her.
If you’ve yet to ride the K-Drama train, now’s the time to join the craze, as both shows are available on Netflix.
Pop Star Comebacks Photo: @badgalriri (Instagram)
Among the most exciting events of 2022 happened in the music world. This year saw the comebacks of two pop royalties: Beyoncé and Rihanna.
In June, Beyoncé released her chart-topping track, “Break My Soul,” from her album “Renaissance.” The said album was critically acclaimed by various publications, such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and National Public Radio (NPR).
Meanwhile, singer, cosmetics mogul, and actress Rihanna made a comeback with a new song entitled “Lift Me Up” after a six-year hiatus. The ballad is part of the official soundtrack of the Marvel film “Black Panther.”
Dolly De Leon’s Golden Globes Nomination
If you’ve been watching Pinoy soap operas and movies for a long time, you’ve probably seen the same actress who always plays various bit parts. You know her face, but you may not remember her name. Chances are, she’s Dolly de Leon.
Dolly de Leon is now under the global spotlight for her scene-stealing role in the black comedy “Triangle of Sadness.” The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and is expected to win more at other festivals and awards shows.
Recently, de Leon was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes. Earlier, she won the same award at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Prior to these recognitions, de Leon won Best Supporting Actress at the 2022 FAMAS Awards and Luna Awards for the local film “Verdict.”
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To say that 2022 was both momentous and action-packed is an understatement. The past year did more than shock us—it also made us laugh and cry.
These 2022 events are a mixed bag of disappointments and pleasant surprises. But in the midst of all these, we learned how to hope again. Along the way, we picked up lessons that made us wiser, braver, and stronger as we face the new year.
Happy New Year, everyone!
-  The Consequences of the War in Ukraine Will be Far-Reaching (World Economic Forum, 2022)
-  2022 Mpox (Monkeypox) Outbreak Global Trends
-  Philippines’ Inflation Soars to 14-Year High, Fueling Expectations of More Rate Hikes (CNBC, 2022)
-  Weakening of Peso’s Purchasing Power Continues in October – PSA (CNN Philippines, 2022)
-  Filipinos Urged to Visit Visa-Free, No-Quarantine Taiwan (Philippine News Agency, 2022)