2018: The year that was, Mindanao in pictures

Hundreds of devotees accompany the “callejeron “ or the image of the Black Nazarene on its way to the Nazareno parish church on 9 January 2018. The annual procession has drawn thousands of devotees every year since the image was brought to Cagayan de Oro in 2010. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
The wreckage of S/V Katerina, the 18-meter long Camper & Nicholson abandoned by its Australian passengers at the height of Tropical Storm “Urduja,” was brought to Surigao City, here photographed on 21 January 2018. It was found beached in Loreto, Dinagat Island after its passengers, all accomplished sailors, were rescued by fishermen in the waters off Siargao Island. S/V Katerina was registered in Sydney and was on its way to its new owner in Subic, Zambales. One of its passengers – 73-year-old Anthony “Johnny” Mahoney – perished. MindaNews photo by ROEL N. CATOTO
Kidapawan City earned a Guinness World Record when 15,000 residents and participants from neighboring towns danced to the tune of “Despacito” for the Largest Samba Dance ever on 12 February 2018, the 20th anniversary of the conversion of Kidapawan into a city. Two lanes of the six-lane highway were closed to traffic from 6 to 10 a.m. as locals flocked to participate in the street dance. MindaNews photo by JULES BENITEZ
A resident wades through flood water in the streets of Alegria, Surigao del Norte as Typhoon “Basyang” bashes the Caraga Region on 13 February 2018. Photo courtesy of PONTIOUS GOGO
Fireworks silhouette the Bell Church in Barangay Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City during the celebration of the Chinese New Year on 16 Feb 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
(L-R): Davao Oriental Gov. Nelson Dayanghing, Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Baustista, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Davao del Norte Gov. Anthony del Rosario, and Compostela Valley Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy gather in Davao City as they announce the creation of the new regional party in the Davao Region, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP). MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV
A SWAT operator holds his position in front of a shop display inside a mall during the Southern Storm Exercise – an anti-terror simulation drill – in Davao City on 28 February 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
More and more of Mindanao’s power sources now come from coal-fired plants – like the 540MW GNPower in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte photographed on 2 March 2018 – triggering concern among officials and residents as renewable energy sources, like hydro, are aging and need rehabilitation. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A delegation from the Moro National Liberation Front joins the Parada Dabawenyo during the 81st Araw ng Davao on 16 March 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
A cowboy falls from the back of an untamed bull during the bull riding portion of the Kaamulan rodeo competition in Malaybalay City on 22 March 2018. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
Fr. Amado “Picx” Picardal (right) and veteran triathlete Franklin Peñalosa at the Mandulog Bridge in Iligan City on 29 March 2018, nearing the end of the priest’s 1,500-km journey from Baclaran in Metro Manila for his “Bike for Life and Peace” advocacy. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
ARMM officials offer a prayer during groundbreaking rites of the future BPO (business process outsourcing) building inside the compound of the Provincial Capitol in Buluan, Maguindanao on 1 March 2018. It is expected to cater to companies from Arab countries. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA
A sign posted on a tree in Marawi City warns of unexploded ordnance, including 500-pound aerial bombs, as a resident checks on salvageable items from what remains of her old house on 5 April 2018. The Task Force Bangon Marawi allowed residents to visit their homes to get their personal belongings and to retrieve their possessions at Marawi’s Main Affected Areas. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) jointly conduct UXO (unexploded ordnance) workshop with children of Marawi City at an evacuation center in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur on 19 April 2018 to prevent kids from becoming victims of UXO explosions when they finally return to their homes. The military claims that hundreds of UXOs inside the Main Affected Area of Marawi are still not accounted for. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA
Mindanao shines once more as Ateneo de Davao University law graduate Camille B. Remoroza placed third in the bar examination. She is photographed here with her father, Rogelio, during a press conference at the ADDU on 26 April 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
A jobseeker answers questions fielded by an interviewer during a job fair sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment in Cagayan de Oro City on Labor Day, 1 May 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Members of the demolition crew dismantle houses, many of them owned by Maranaos, in Salmonan, Davao City on 7 May 2018. Displaced residents complained they were given not enough time to relocate. Mindanews photo
A Maranao religious carries copies of the Koran he unearthed from amidst the rubble in the Main Affected Area of Marawi City when the military allowed residents to visit what was left of their houses and erstwhile business shops on 8 May 2018, months after it was liberated from ISIS-inspired gunmen who laid siege on the city for five months. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Maranaos do repair works on the minaret of a mosque in Barangay Mapandi, Marawi City on 8 May 2018. Majority of the mosques, buildings and houses in Marawi’s downtown area were damaged after the five-month fighting between government troops and the ISIS-inspired Maute Group. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
Motorists wade through the flooded portion of the highway at Laverna Hills, a known flood-prone area in Davao City, on 29 May 2018. The highway was closed to traffic for about four hours due to the flooding. Mindanews photo
A child helps release a newly-hatched Olive Ridley turtle at the pawikan hatchery in Maitum, Sarangani during World Environment Day, 5 June 2018, MindaNews photo by BONG SARMIENTO
Priests pray over newly installed Tandag Bishop Raul Bautista Dael during his ordination at the St. Agustine Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City on 8 June 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Militant farmers and lumads burn the flags of the People’s Republic of China and the United States during an Independence Day protest rally at the Press Freedom Park in Cagayan de Oro City on 12 June 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Members of Bangsamoro civil society from Mindanao and Manila and Manila-based peace advocacy groups gather at the EDSA Shrine in Quezon City for an interfaith rally on 11 July 2018 to urge the Bicameral Conference Committee meeting in nearby Crowne Plaza hotel to come up with a final version of the proposed Bangsamoro law that is compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The CAB was signed by government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March 2014. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS
MILF supporters wave Bangsamoro flaglets during the Bangsamoro Consultative Assembly to discuss Republic Act 11054 (the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) inside Camp Darapanan in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on 29 July 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
Mindanao’s King of Ultra Running, PO1 Jonathan Pido, is all smiles when photographed in Marilog, Davao City at 10:44 a.m. on 11 August 2018, on his way to winning the 400km Ultramaraton from Marawi to Davao City. Pido also won the 300km Ultra from Butuan to Davao City in 2017. MindaNews photo by GG BUENO
Volunteer linemen from the Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative install solar panels with lamps, donated by the United States Agency for International Development, at the Site 2 Evacuation Center in Marawi on 12 August 2018. MindaNews photo by GIGI BUENO
Journalists, hogtied and blindfolded, are herded by armed men in this kidnapping simulation during the media safety training course at the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City on 2 September 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
The Commission on Elections starts a two-day voters registration on 11 September 2018 inside Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao for members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Most of them are first-time registrants who will cast their vote in the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro law in January 2019. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA
Young Maranao women join the Dagan Iligan Diyandi Festival Run on 16 September 2018, one of the activites lined up as Iligan City prepares for its fiesta celebration on Sept. 29 in honor St. Michael the Archangel. Many Maranaos sought refuge in Iligan after the five-month siege by ISIS-inspired gunmen. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Farm workers load 50-kilo boxes of assorted vegetables into a truck in Barangay Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon on 20 September 2018. The Department of Agriculture shipped 20 tons of assorted vegetables to Manila to stabilize the rising prices after farms in Baguio City and Northern Luzon were battered by super typhoon Ompong. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Militant groups in Davao City mark the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by then president Ferdinand E Marcos with a rally at the Freedom Park on 21 September 2018. The protesters accused President Rodrigo Duterte of having followed the footsteps of Mr. Marcos. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim reads along with students of the Amai Pakpak Elementary School in Marawi City on 16 October 2018. The US pledged $25 million for the rehabilitation of Marawi residents affected by the fighting. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Meranaw leader Agakhan Sharief airs the desire of Marawi City residents who are still living with their relatives or in evacuation centers to return home a year after the end of the five-month battle between government forces and ISIS-inspired militants in a rally in the city on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. Sharief was cited for his efforts in saving hundreds of civilians trapped during the fighting. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte files his candidacy for vice mayor of Davao City on 17 October 2018 at the COMELEC Office in Magsaysay Park, Davao City. Accompanying him is his sister, Mayor Sara Duterte, who is seeking reelection as city mayor. Baste is running unopposed. Former Vice Mayor Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte is also running as representative of the first congressional district of Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
Sen. JV Ejercito, Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo del Rosario and Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra (in hard hats) lead the groundbreaking ceremonies for the rehabilitation of the city on 30 October 2018. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
(L-R) Davao City Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag, Mindanao Development Authority Chair Abul Khayr Alonto, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua unveil the marker of the newly inaugurated Consulate General of China in Davao City on 28 October 2018. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
Students of the Makilala National High School in North Cotabato join an earthquake drill on 15 November 2018. The drill was evaluated by the Makilala Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, who gave its nod on the school’s preparedness. MindaNews photo by GEONARRI O. SOLMERANO
Mindanao journalists sign a petition for Congress to enact a law ending the practice of requiring journalists to sign as witnesses to the inventory of contraband and other items seized during anti-illegal drug operations. The signing took place during the National Media Forum themed “Freedom for Media, Freedom for All” in Davao City on 17 November 2018. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Families and relatives of the 33 journalists killed in the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre burn giant portraits of the principal suspects during a visit on 18 November 2018, days prior to its ninth anniversary. They protested that not one of the suspects were brought to justice after nine long years. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Army soldiers and MILF fighters play games to promote the ratification of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Baloi City, Lanao del Norte on 4 December 2018. The BOL will be subjected to a plebiscite on January 2019. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Supporters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front gather inside the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao complex in Cotabato City to formally launch their campaign for the Bangsamoro organic law on 10 December 2018. Republic Act 11054 will be subjected to a plebiscite on January 2019. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO
Poinsettia, a flower used as a Christmas symbol, sells for 350 to 1,350 pesos depending on the length at the Puentespina Orchid Garden along Bulcan Street in Agdao, Davao City on 20 December 2018. MindaNews photo by GG BUENO
MILF Chair Al Haj Ebrahim Murad and other top MILF leaders visit the Main Affected Area (MAA) in Marawi City on 22 December 2018 to survey the extent of damage. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO