The rise of women power and the Internet

Three decades is a long time. And in the span of 30 calendar changes, many things have happened in the way we live and the things around us.

One of the most significant things to emerge these past 30 years is the birth of the Internet. The Internet is the game changer that allowed us to make the leap into the next millennium, when almost anything and everything can be accessed with a flick of a finger on a smart gadget (like hailing a taxicab from your mobile device.)

Another important thing that developed during this period was the emergence of Woman (or Girl) Power. Women didn’t have to be wannabe Spice Girls to prove their power and influence in the existing worldview—whether it’s in politics, the workplace, or in the home. 

Yes, women were all crazy about padded shoulders and off-the-shoulder blouses, bell bottom jeans and skinny pants, big hairs and bobs. But they were also re-electing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the so-called Iron Lady, and mounting Women’s Marches in protest against the most powerful man in the world.

We have tried new hobbies, developed new interests, said goodbye to things that were previously cool to make way for much cooler stuff. But at the end of the day, the last three decades were nothing short of interesting—perks, quirks and remarkable events in between.

These are some of the most notable Lifestyle milestones that happened in the past 30 years.

THE 1980s

The 80s signaled the start of the computer age, following the launch of Microsoft and Apple and the birth of the World Wide Web. With the introduction of IBM PC, personal computers became an integral part of the people’s lives. In the same era, English physicist invented the Bulletin Boards, the predecessor of the Internet. Cellular mobile phones were slowly changing how people communicated with one another.

Former British  PM Margaret Thatcher
Women power ruled, as Margaret Thatcher is reelected as British Prime Minister for the third time, Sally Ride became the first woman in space, Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino woman president, and Lady Diana Spencer was crowned the Princess of Wales after marrying Prince Charles.

Fashion in the 80s was all about floppy shirts, back-combed hair and big hairdos, and padded shoulders, among others. The videocasette recorder (VCR) was your best friend because it allowed you to record your favorite TV shows and watch them to your heart’s content.

THE 1990s

Computer technology continued to develop exponentially. Search engine Google and online auction website Ebay were founded during this era. Intel introduced Pentium microprocessor 

Author J.K. Rowling published her first Harry Potter book, which marked the start of the muggles’ fascination with the Boy Who Lives, He Who Must Not Be Named, wizards, magical beasts, and what have you. 

Princess Diana
 One of the biggest news to break on the web was the death of Princess Diana, who was killed at the age of 37 in a car accident at a Paris tunnel along with then-beau Dodi Fayed and their driver. Thousand mourned and turned up for her funeral at the Westminster Abbey. She was survived by her two sons, Princes William and Harry.

THE 2000s

This era has seen the rise of social media, with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube  changing the way the world engaged and interacted with one another. The Philippines, one of the most actively involved in this new genre, is named “Social Media Capital of the World,” as studies show Filipinos using social media platforms for more than 53 hours a week. 

The Philippine art community, including the living National Artists, protested against the proclamation of the new awardees. The controversy erupted when then President Gloria Arroyo dropped Ramon Santos and added four other individuals namely Cecille Guidote-Alvarez, Carlo Caparas, Francisco Manosa and Pitoy Moreno to the list of shortlisted nominees. Specific protests were raised for Guidote-Alvarez who shouldn’t be nominated since she was then the executive director of NCCA, and for Caparas who was unqualified for nominations for both Visual Arts and Film categories.

2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida 
Filipino social worker and teacher Efren Penaflorida was named CNN’s “Hero of the Year” in 2009 for bringing education to poor children through his pushcart classroom and giving them alternative to gang membership.

Fifty years after it last participated in 1964, the Philippines returned to the Venice Art Biennale in 2015. The Philippine Pavilion featured the restored version of the 1950 classic film “Genghis Khan,” presented alongside artworks by visual artists Mariano Montelibano III and Jose Tence Ruiz. The following year, in 2016, the Philippines participated in the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale with the exhibit “Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City,” curated by the team of architects Leandro Locsin Jr., Surdarshan Khadka, Jr. and Juan Paolo dela Cruz.

The Underground River in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
Madrid Fusion, one of the biggest culinary events in the world, came to Manila in 2015, bringing together the most influential and avant-garde chefs from Spain, the Philippines and Asia for a series of events revolving progressive gastronomy, new culinary technology and latest food trends.

Palawan’s Puerto Princesa Underground River was named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World; while Vigan, Ilocos Sur has been selected as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities.

Margarita Fores
Filipino chef Margarita Fores was voted 2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef by over 300 industry experts in the region. The award recognizes exceptional female chefs who have earned the respect and admiration of those in the industry. Fores is the chef behind Cibo, Grace Park and Lus.

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach
For this decade, it is the reign of the Filipino beauty queens. Pia Wurtzbach took home the crown at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, becoming the third Filipino to win the coveted title, and the first for more than four decades. Her victory made headlines when pageant host Steve Harvey misread the result card and initially announced Miss Colombia’s Ariadna Gutierrez.

This year, 2017, the Philippines once again played host to the Miss Universe pageant. The country first hosted the prestigious pageant in 1994, with actress Charlene Gonzales as representative.

Miss World 2013 Megan Young
In 2013, Megan Young became the first Filipina to ever won the coveted Miss World title, besting over 120 beauty contestants from around the world in the pageant finale held in Bali, Indonesia. In the same year, Mutya Datul was crowned Miss Supranational, while Bea Rose Santiago won the Philippines’ fifth Miss International crown. Ariella Arida continued the winning streak of the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant, following the footsteps of Janine Tugonon who won first runner-up in 2012, Shamcey Supsup, 3rd runner-up in 2011, and Maria Venus Raj, 4th runner-up in 2010.

Topics: Manila Standard , 30th Anniversary , women power , Internet
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