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Top PH entertainment stories in 2018

By: and

Updated

The year 2018 has been roller-coaster ride for Philippine show business, with Filipinos seeing a spate of headline-grabbing happenings, from award-winning highs to uh-oh lows.

Just before 2019 comes, Bulletin Entertainment hops on time machine in journey spanning the last 12 months.

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Pinoy pride

One of the most celebrated events this year was Catriona Gray’s victory at the Miss Universe 2018 pageant. She is the fourth Filipina to win the crown.

Ma. Athisa Manalo finished first runner-up in the 2018 Miss International pageant.

Then there’s Kelsey Merritt, the first Pinay model to work the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. And do you remember Maymay Entrata slaying the runway at the Arab Fashion Week 2018 in Dubai? The Kapamilya actress who was personally invited by Furne One, together with fashion PR Josh Yugen, was Amato Couture’s muse for its Pre-Fall 2019 collection—a first for any Filipina to have done so.

A Filipino-American producer received his second Emmy Award this year. He is Marc Anthony Nicolas, the man behind “The Talk.” He won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Talk Show” in entertainment, besting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Kelly and Ryan,” “The Real,” and “The View.”

Thespian Rachelle Anne Go was named best actress at BroadwayWorld UK.

Singers Morissette Amon and Sarah Geronimo wowed at the 2018 Asia Song Festival held in Busan, South Korea, and at the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Music Festival, respectively.

Rachel Gabreza, Jay Kent and Micah Jane successfully raised the Philippine flag in the international stage throughout the year, having clinched three major awards in the prestigious Euro Talent Festival (ETF).

Rachel won the Grand Prix at London’s Stars of the Albion 2018, while Jay Kent took home the same award at Europop singing contest 2018 held in Berlin, Germany.Micah clinched the Grand Prix in the 2018 Arpeggio International singing competition in Valletta, Malta.

KZ Tandingan conquered the global stage by joining the Chinese singing competition “Singer 2018.” Her performances quickly became hits, including her versions of “Rolling In The Deep,” “Say Something,” “Real Gone,” “Royals,” “See You Again,” and “Anak.”

ABS-CBN drama anthology “Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK)” made history in December by bagging the Best Single Drama/Telemovie at the inaugural Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA) Grand Dinner at the Capitol Theatre.

Treb Monteras’ critically-acclaimed Filipino film “Respeto” reaped numerous awards abroad too. Starring Filipino hip-hop artist Abra, the movie bagged the Jury Best Film award in the Youth Days category of the 31stExground Filmfest in Wiesbaden, Germany. Apart from the trophy, it took home a cash prize of 2,500 euros.

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The film also won an award from the International Film Festival of India, where director Monteras received the Centenary Award for the Best Debut Film of a Director.

Early this year, “Respeto” was awarded the Best Feature Film in the Teen Section at the 36th Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski in Quebec, Canada, then bagged the Silver Tiger Uncaged Award at the New York Asian Film Festival; and Best film, Director, and the Audience Choice Award at the 16th Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival in the Mediterranean island-nation.

Anne Curtis was lone Filipino actor to have bagged the Variety Asian Star: Up Next Award at the 3rd International Film Festival & Awards (IFFAM). The actress was also blessed this year with several movies projects, namely , “Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story),” “BuyBust,” and “Aurora.”

The action thriller “BuyBust” premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) early this year.

What’s the biggest-selling Filipino movie in 2018 outside festivals? “The Hows Of Us” by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.

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Rap group Ex Battalion, normally shortened to Ex B, rose to fame in early 2018 with their song “Hayaan Mo Sila.” Former member John Roa released his first single as a solo artist before his departure from his old label. Rapper Shanti Dope also ascended “Nadarang,” “Shantidope,” and “MAU” being played, well, everywhere.

Indie folk/folk pop band Ben&Ben made headline this year along with Moira dela Torre who released numerous tracks — “Tagpuan,” “Tagu-taguan,” “Titibo-tibo” and “Sundo,” all hits.

IV of Spades composed of Blaster Silonga, Badjao De Castro and Zild Benitez trended with the song “Mundo.” Their former lead vocalist and guitarist, Unique Salonga, released his debut single, “Midnight Sky.” He would later launch his debut album, “Grandma,” and hold his first solo concert at Kia Theatre.

New artists who also made waves in 2018 are Janine Teñoso, Karencitta, This Band, Because, and indie band December Avenue.

Ryan Cayabyab was declared National Artist for Music.

Regine Velasquez surprised her fans by coming home to ABS-CBN after more than two decades of being a Kapuso artist.

The buzz

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) called out the three-year-old series of Coco Martin, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” for its alleged “unfair” portrayal of police officers. Though ABS-CBN and Coco reiterated the show is “purely fictitious,” and sans intention of smearing the reputation of anyone, both still apologized and it was accepted.

Who can forget the American romantic comedy-drama film “Crazy Rich Asians?” Remember, it had Kris Aquino doing a cameo as Princess Intan, a Malay princess.

The film directed by Jon M. Chu, from a screenplay by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Nico Santos, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh. The movie is about an American professor who travels to meet her boyfriend’s family, only to discover they are among the richest in Singapore.

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Kris’ close friend, Vice Ganda, is also hot topic with fans constantly “noticing” his closeness to basketball player Calvin Abueva. Well, that’s all there is to it as both say they are just friends.

It was also this year that Vice and his fans broke the world record for the largest gathering of people applying lipstick at the same time. A total of 6,900 people were officially recognized to have taken part.

Loving and letting go

Love is in the air in 2018.

Kim Chiu finally admitted her relationship with actor Xian Lim.

Kathryn and Daniel did the same, relating they have been together for five years now.

Of course, there were breakups.

One of the most “shocking” and “intriguing” was that of Romnick Sarmenta and Harlene Bautista. The two were married for 19 years when they parted ways.

In July, Rhian Ramos split with businessman boyfriend of two years, Jason Choachuy.

The breakup of Paul Salas and Barbie Imperial caught the attention of many due to some controversies and “accusations.”

Sam Concepcion and Kiana Valenciano called it quits as a couple. The two had been together for more than a year. The reason behind the breakup was not disclosed.

Another “controversial” goodbye was between Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador.

The ex-couple caught the attention of many people when she accused Elmo of “physically hurting her.” He has not given a statement on the issue up to now.

Weddings

Maxene Magalona and Rob Mananquil had an intimate church wedding last February.

Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia exchanged “I Do’s” in April.

The Filipina singer-thespian Rachelle Ann Go married boyfriend, New York-based-businessman Martin Spies, that month too.

Actors Kylie Padilla and Aljur Abrenica are now man and wife, 12 months after getting engaged. They have a child, Alas, born last August.

The newly married couple had their nuptial at Villa Milagros in Rizal. The ceremony was attended by family, close friends, as well as some celebrities like Gabbi Garcia, Khalil Ramos, Mikee Quintos, and Rita Daniela, to name a few.

Christian Bautista tied the knot with Kat Ramnani last November at the Luhur Chapel on Uluwatu Temple Cliff in Bali, Indonesia.

Among celebrities who attended the wedding were Erik Santos, Sam Concepcion, Carlo Orosa, and Cris Villonco, as well as Indonesian singer Bunga Citra Lestari, to name a few.

Lotlot de leon recently married Lebanese fiancé, businessman Fadi El Soury at private garden El Jardin de Zaida in San Juan, Batangas.

Iza Calzado is now Mrs. Wintle.

The 36-year-old actress exchanged “I Do’s” last Dec. 19 with boyfriend Filipino-British businessman Ben Wintle at Club Paradise in Coron, Palawan.

Present at the event were Iza’s former co-star on the Kapuso fantaserye “Encantadia,” Diana Zubiri, Sunshine Dizon, and Karylle Yuzon.

Bundles of joy

The year also marked the arrival of oh-so adorable celebrity babies.

Comedian Pokwang welcomed her first child with American boyfriend Lee O’ Brien on Jan. 18.

On Feb. 8, Saab Magalona gave birth to a baby boy.

Sarah Lahbati welcomed her second child with Richard Gutierrez, named Kai, last March 21.

On May 28, Jolina Magdangal took to Instagram to announce that she has given birth to a healthy baby girl whom she named Vika. On the same day, Cristalle Belo-Pitt welcomed first baby with husband Justin Pitt. They named him Hunter.

TV host and model Bianca Gonzalez gave birth to her second daughter with husband, basketball player JC Intal last Oct .29.

Actor JC de Vera revealed on social media that he is father to two-month-old Baby Lana Athena on July 5.

Celebrity couple Isabel Oli and John Prats couldn’t contain their happiness in welcoming their second child, Daniel Freedom last Nov. 25

Should we add John Lloyd Cruz and Ellen Adarna to this list? Rumored to have a baby, nothing is confirmed nor denied to this day about it.

Death

Philippine music industry mourned the passing of Hotdog lead guitarist Rene Garcia last Sept. 2. He died due to cardiac arrest. He was 65.

The industry also mourned the passing of veteran singer Rico J Puno. He died Oct. 30 due to congestive heart failure.

Nonong de Andres, an actor who was frequently cast in horror films, died Nov. 6

Former actor TJ Cruz, son of screen veteran Tirso Cruz III, passed away Nov. 21 after a months-long battle with cancer.

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