Our Contemporary World
Adrian Paul A. Payumo
World events that impacted my life before I was born:
USSR, USA, and Space Exploration (1957–1991)
This conflict started when World War II ended in the mid-20th century. It was a battle between two powers — the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union. They did not fight about land or power but about who had more advanced technology. They also boasted their immense military firepower and extended political-economic systems. However, because of USA’s nuclear warfare against Japan which marked the end of World War II, the USSR was threatened of what could happen.
The “Space Race” then commenced when the USSR launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik. This surprised and threatened USA due to the immense capabilities of USSR nuclear warfare. That is why a year after the Sputnik was created, USA’s first satellite, Explorer I, was launched, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was born. After that, the next remarkable legacy for space exploration was when the first man was able to land on the moon. USA was the first to succeed in sending human beings which was the Apollo 11 team, although the Soviet Union was the first to send a probe on the moon. The breakout of space exploration launched a lot of improvements in technology, especially in communication. This event in history sparked a lot of inventions that made the life of humans today easier and society more advanced.
That is why due to this event, I can say that it has impacted my life maybe not directly, but it surely made mine and others’ lives more convenient because of the technological advancements we have now. Space exploration was really an interesting topic to me ever since I was a child because our universe is so vast, and the fact that we have not explored everything means that there are a lot more discoveries awaiting to be uncovered. This had led to my decision of being a Chemical Engineer so that one day, I could get to work in NASA or help contribute to space exploration.
Country in Jail (1972–1981)
The declaration of Martial Law by Ferdinand Marcos was a time of corruption, terror, and death. With the stories I have been hearing from my parents and other adults and with what I learned in school, I am very thankful that I was not born during this period. All the pain that the people have experienced due to the strict and unruly enforcement of the laws, it really was not a safe time to live in because even the government has bad intentions towards its people. Due to the corruption circling during this time, our country was drowning in debt from the World Bank. Zarate stated that “Under the Marcos regime, the country’s foreign debt skyrocketed from $599 million in 1966 to $26.7 billion in 1986” and he added, “We are so deep in debt that we have been paying the Marcos debt for the past 30 years since the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2016). Although even if this event has already passed and the Marcos regime ended with the EDSA People Power, it still left corruption in the government. Until this day, there are many corrupt officials governing our country. A sad reality is that us, Filipinos, must face that every day, the tax we pay just goes to the pockets of those corrupt officials.
A world event that had a great impact before can still impact a lot today as history is repeating itself with what is happening. However, this is also true with the revolutions that have happened before. “Revolutions” are also happening today because with every conflict the country faces, there are people who would want to fight for the change — making a stand with what they think is wrong so the government can see and hear what the people want to happen. As a student, I must be vigilante with what is happening because it also impacts me since I am a citizen of this country, and I want to be able to be governed by officials with great intentions. I was not born in this period, but I was born with what it has left, and it is still continuously proliferating so I hope one day, this problem can be finally addressed.
World events that impacted my life when I was born:
“Yes We Can”, “Forward” (2009–2017)
In the year 2009, Barrack Obama was elected over John McCain and became the first African American President. This election was symbolic in a way that it challenged race inequality in America. He served as the 44th president from 2009 to 2017. Former President Barrack Obama has made a lot of changes in the USA and helped a lot around the world. He also served as a model challenging racism. This event impacted me because I was born there in the United States. I would also want their president to be someone who can really lead the country and make it better. One of the most notable accomplishments he made was the Affordable Care Act that helped a lot of people to have better healthcare which benefited the poor the most. Another is rescuing the economy of the United States where he signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid the most severe downturn since the Great Depression. This also made a growth in employment because as of October 2016, the economy has added 15.5 million new jobs. I also support the stand against racial inequality especially since I am Filipino and I have a lot of relatives staying there. We are considered to be part of the “minority” but when he was in power, he helped those minority groups have a voice.
Fish out of Water (August 13, 2016)
He is an Olympic swimmer that represented the USA with the nickname “flying fish,” and he is no other than Michael Phelps. He got the nickname because of how fast and how graceful he is underwater, and I guess his trademark swim is always a butterfly event. He lives up to the title because he is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 23 golds, three silvers, and two bronzes, not to mention the swimming records he has broken in the past few years. This inspired a lot of swimmers out there to become like him or even better than him in the future, just like me who was a swimmer before. I had been watching his swims starting from the Beijing Olympics until his retirement in Rio. His work ethic pushed me everyday to become better in everything I do, not just in swimming but in academics and in other activities as well. Swimming taught me to have balance because without it, you cannot get things done. Other than balance, it also showed me qualities of being motivated, disciplined, inspired, determined, and courageous, especially when you really want something no matter the challenges you may face. The goal I have now is graduating and becoming a successful Chemical engineer. Swimming is a sport I love and has taught me a lot in the past few years. Because of this sport, it has made me stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.
World events that will have an impact on my future:
The Pandemic that made the world stop
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped the world because everything must be shutdown to minimize the spread of the virus. This virus started in Wuhan, China and has now spread across the world with over a million cases and thousands of deaths. With this, everyone had to be quarantined starting from 1 week and now has reached up to 6 months. This world event has affected a lot of businesses, companies, establishments, etc. to close due to the precautionary measures the government is implementing, affecting their sales. It took a toll on our mental health due to constant fear of having the virus. Being at home for prolonged periods of time as I realized is not healthy because there is only so much you can do at home; it actually starts to feel lonely sometimes. The government was not prepared as well with this global crisis and is evident in how precautionary measures were not implemented right away. Hopefully, everything can go well already next year.
New Life, “New Normal”
Due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus, it started the “New Normal” because everything must be online. Schools started implementing online classes to continue the education of students. Everything can also be bought online and delivered onto our doorsteps. Work from home is also happening because if the companies will not implement this, they will lose income and will have to let go of a lot of employees. This happened to a lot of airline companies. I will not be surprised if the “fashion trend” will have to revolve around the face masks and shields because who knows when this pandemic will stop. I guess continued online mode will still be implemented after this pandemic depending on your work and your course. Online class as an engineer is difficult because we do not have laboratory classes or if we do, it is online which makes it hard to visualize. The biggest thing that is happening right now is that no one is harming wildlife and I guess through this, it is a chance for technology to improve more so that we could adapt into this “New Normal”.