2019 was a pretty eventful year in the Philippine Showbiz industry. Controversies sparked, couples broke up, and a few have left us far too soon. At the same time, we rejoiced over new beginnings with marriages and pregnancies, enjoyed many local films, and fell in love with new faces. Here is a roundup of the biggest Pinoy celebrity news of the year:
44. The rise of YouTube vlogger Mimiyuuuh
Our local jeje girl, Mimiyuuuh, has now become a household name ever since she went viral for her “Dalagang Pilipina” video. Within the six months since she started vlogging on her YouTube channel, she has amassed a following of nearly 2 million on YouTube and 659,000 on Instagram—all of whom love her for her entertaining video content. Now, she is a celebrity endorser for many brands, a luxury fashion icon, and a voice option for Waze!
43. Zephanie Dimaranan wins first Idol Philippines
Zephanie Dimaranan was crowned the first Idol Philippines winner on July 28, 2019, besting competitors Lucas Garcia and Lance Busa. At 16 years old, Zephanie has joined a few singing contests prior to Idol Philippines but only now emerged victorious. Her most memorable performances were “Paraiso”, “Lipad ng Pangarap”, and “Maghintay Ka Lamang.”
42. Tawag ng Tanghalan Ultimate Resbak panel of judges get slammed for controversial score
Filipino netizens weren’t too happy with the results of It’s Showtime’s “Tawag ng Tanghalan Ultimate Resbak” scores that led to the elimination of Mariane Osabel of Mindanao on September 11. Though Mariane was a fan favorite, she was beaten by competitor Mariko Ledesma who earned a score of 50% from the judges. Meanwhile, Mariane only received a score of 16.5%.
Many complained about the dubiously low score and demanded an explanation from the panel of judges who comprised of K Brosas, Louie Ocampo, Karylle, Dulce, and Jaya. It even led to “JusticeForMariane” and “TNTUltimateResbakan” to trend on Twitter. The judges defended their decision but Mariko eventually withdrew from the competition.
41. Angel Locsin is engaged
On June 29, Angel Locsin revealed on Instagram that she is engaged to marry Neil Arce, a movie producer. They have been together for more than a year but have been friends for a long time. It has not been made known when the two plan on getting married.
40. Joyce Pring confirms relationship and gets engaged with Juancho Triviño
After months of courtship, Joyce Pring and Juancho Triviño officially became a couple in late May 2019. Only a few months after that, they’re engaged to be married. Joyce revealed their secret engagement in November through an Instagram post and shared that she has been preparing day and night for their intimate garden ceremony to be held early next year.
39. Baron Geisler marries non-showbiz girlfriend
On September 13, actor Baron Geisler married his psychologist girlfriend Jamie Marie Evangelista in a simple civil ceremony. They have been together for a year since Baron met her in Cebu where he stayed for rehabilitation.
38. Vhong Navarro marries longtime girlfriend
Vhong Navarro surprised fans and followers with an unannounced wedding ceremony with his longtime partner Tanya Bautista held in Kyoto, Japan on November 28. According to reports, he and Tanya have been together for 11 years.
37. Ryza Cenon becomes “self-engaged”
After Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame coined the term”self-partnered” to describe her happily single status, Ryza Cenon made headlines for announcing on Instagram that she was now “engaged” to herself. Rocking a beautiful diamond ring on her hand, she wrote on her post: “I said YES! to give my full commitment to love myself before I give my heart to a person. And when the right one comes, I’ll transfer this ring to my other hand and accept the right one to the perfect hand. I’m engaged with myself.”
36. Angel Locsin named Asia’s Hero of Philanthropy by Forbes Magazine
A hero both on-cam and off-cam, Angel Locsin was recognized by Forbes Magazine in its Heroes of Philanthropy list. The annual list includes billionaires, entrepreneurs, and celebrities across the region who are “committed to solving some of the most pressing issues facing the Asia-Pacific.”
Angel was commended for donating PHP 1 million and distributing truckloads of relief supplies to affected residents during the earthquakes in Mindanao last October as well as all of her other philanthropic work over the decade.
35. Alex Diaz comes out
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After being exposed for making an “indecent proposal” to his fitness coach, rising actor Alex Diaz comes out in an emotional social media post wherein he apologized for his actions which he claimed were “the effect of the unhealthy and toxic suppression of all of who I am as a human being.”
“Never again will I be shackled by the fear of what might be said about who I am for fear of losing my career and instead, I will seek help, heal, and champion change, acceptance, and representation for the bisexual community and/or anyone who is met with prejudice in our society,” he wrote on his Instagram post.
34. Mikey Bustos comes out
Another celebrity who made headlines for coming out is well-known YouTuber Mikey Bustos who rose to fame for his entertaining videos speaking in a stereotypical Filipino accent. He revealed the news on his Instagram account where he posted a photo of him and his manager RJ, who turns out to be his boyfriend, watching the sunset on the beach. He captioned the photo “Freedom” with a rainbow flag.
He then posted another photo with the message: “Life is sweet! Thank you for the outpouring of support, guys. [RJ] and I see all your messages and never in our wildest dreams would have imagined the amount of support coming in from all corners of cyberspace, media, and the world! Figuring out how to navigate life in the most authentic and positive way has been such a long +37-year journey for me, and at this moment, I feel I’ve reached some kind of karmic jackpot! It’s 2019 (as my dad put it when I came out to him a few weeks ago), and a great time to be alive. LGBT.”
33. Richard Gomez makes headlines for a yellow phallic painting
Richard Gomez has once again gone viral for his art piece depicting male genitalia titled “OOOOHH” after it was displayed at the ManilArt Exhibition last October. According to reports, it originally went up for sale in last year’s Art Fair Philippines for PHP 196,000.
32. Pepe Smith dies
Pinoy rock legend Pepe Smith passed away on January 28. He was 71 years old. The sad news was shared by his daughter, Daisy Smith-Owen, on Facebook. It’s unclear what ailment he died from, though he suffered two strokes in 2017 which affected his singing and speech.
31. Catriona Gray and Clint Bondad break up
Freshly crowned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray confirmed in an interview on Tonight With Boy Abunda on February 25 that she and boyfriend Clint Bondad were no longer together, breaking the hearts of fans everywhere. According to her, they have already been going through problems prior to the pageant and they “weren’t on speaking terms so much.” She also explained that they “outgrew” each other as the reason for their split.