As the Philippines went through the world’s longest quarantine and struggled against COVID-19 amidst a politically charged pre-election year, these twelve good news stories received the most love on GoodNewsPilipinas.com.
Filipino Pride stories brought the readers to us for the stories behind the headlines about athletes, pageants, schools, singers, innovators, humanitarians, and more, in an apparent search for whatever can keep the spirit afloat in the rollercoaster year that was.
For sure, Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world with their stories of success in overcoming hindrances, racism, and politicking did not disappoint in shining the light and showing the way for us to get through difficult times. We were happy to deliver their good news.
Here are the 12 Good News Stories on GoodNewsPilipinas.com That Kept Filipino Pride Stay Afloat in Turbulent 2021:
12: LIST: 5 Philippine universities with best masters programs in Eduniversal Ranking
The first of the three education stories that ranked in our top 12 best-of list gave tips to students looking for the best Philippine universities to take up advanced studies, affirming the Pinoy value for continued learning even amidst the health crisis.
11: 1st Asian, Filipino Grandmaster Eugene Torre enters World Chess Hall of Fame
The five sports stories dominating our 2021 bests are heralded by this piece of news about chess icon Eugene Torre marking another first for the Philippines.
10: Olympics Results: Pole vaulter Obiena, Boxer Petecio in finals, Paalam in quarters
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to this year gave the country its first-ever Olympic Gold medal won by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, two silvers – one from Carlo Paalam – and a bronze from the national boxing team. Aside from these medal-winning stories, the journey of the first Tokyo Olympics qualifier, pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena gained a lot of attention from readers.
9: Sofia Frank is 1st Filipina to book slot to Junior Skating Worlds in 8 years
Filipino diaspora has resulted in many children of Pinoy descent who shine in various fields and Sofia Tongko Frank has amazingly decided to represent her mother’s homeland in the sport she loves. The teenage skating phenom earned the tropical country’s first qualification in eight years at the upcoming World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
8: Ateneo alumna Shawntel Nicole Nieto is 1st Filipino recipient of Diana Award
Former Ateneo Lady Eagle badminton player Shawntel Nicole Martinez Nieto showed her Pinoy Bayanihan spirit as she made world history as the first-ever Filipino recipient of the Diana Award in honor of the Princess of Wales. The young humanitarian’s example was praised as she moved to feed thousands of people in her hometown in Rizal province when the COVID-19 lockdown left many Filipinos jobless and unable to provide for their families.
7: Philippines’ children and youth choir wins top prizes in World Peace Festival
The young singers of Mandaue in Cebu showed the veterans their excellent talents as they embraced the indigenous culture and won the gold award along with the runner-up Grand Prix prize at the World Peace Choral Festival in Vienna, Austria.
6: EJ Obiena breaks Philippines’ pole vault record anew with silver in Poland
Filipino pole vault champion EJ Obiena reset the Philippine national record twice while competing against world champions before participating in the Tokyo Olympics. The only Asian in the world’s top 10 pole vaulters once again reset the record for the 3rd time right after the Olympics, proudly brandishing the Philippine flag as he continued to prove the value of his sport while displaying his Pinoy spirit against all odds.
5: Philippine high school students win historic 1st gold in World Debate Championships
Philippine Science High School student Robert Nelson Leung picked up the Overall Best Speaker in the 2021 World Schools Debate Championships and bragging rights for clinching the first major win for the country. The Pisay student was joined by three other high schoolers who bagged best speaker awards against students from 75 other countries.
4: LIST: 6 Philippine universities in GreenMetric World University Rankings
Here’s another list of the best Philippine universities, this time the greenest or the most environmentally-friendly schools whose natural environs would make studying so refreshing. Being ranked among the best green universities in the world is no mean feat.
3: Filipino inventor Kyxz Mendiola breaks world record for farthest flight by hoverboard
Readers’ imaginations were oh so tickled pink with the possibilities as a result of this floating feat of Kyxz Mendiola, sending the story to the 3rd top rank of the year’s good news. The flying electric car inventor rode his hoverboard over Subic Bay and edged out the previous record holder.
2: Wesley So wins historic 2nd Grand Chess Tour championship
Filipino-born Grandmaster Wesley So showed grit and determination as he won a historic second championship title against the game’s best champions at the Grand Chess Tour over-the-board tournament held in different locations across the globe. Filipinos around the world celebrated So’s achievement and gave the story the 2nd best rank, valuing how the chess champion has maintained his links to his homeland despite now representing the United States where his talents have been given the well-deserved chance to shine.
1: Filipino student Kennedy Gasper designed Miss Universe Nigeria’s winning national costume
Winning in the Miss Universe pageant is not just about the crown as Filipino fashion student Kennedy Gasper proved. The Central Luzon State University student delivered a win for the pageant-loving Philippines in the 2021 Miss Universe with his design of the national costume of Nigeria’s representative, Maristella Okpala. The elaborate costume included a 3-foot tribal mask and a colorful cape inspired by the Mmanwa masquerade.
Gasper first made waves in the 69th Miss Universe pageant held in May also this year after his designs were discovered by Miss Cameroon on social media and eventually designed her national costume.
Bonus stories: Filipinos were also eager about two other articles on GoodNewsPilipinas.com, a guide on how to check the voter status for the 2022 elections and how to track the delivery of the new Philippine ID.
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