The top entertainment newsmakers of 2018

Alexa Villano
The top entertainment newsmakers of 2018
Weddings, babies, and pageants dominate the headlines here and abroad in 2018

MANILA, Philippines – It was a busy 2018 for both local and international showbiz.  

In 2018, a couple remained mum about their relationship, Kris Aquino continued to make headlines, the Philippines won Miss Universe, and a legendary comics creator died

Here’s a roundup of some of the top entertainment newsmakers of 2018.

1. The Philippines wins its 4th Miss Universe crown. Filipino-Australian beauty queen Catriona Gray became the country’s 4th Miss Universe titleholder, besting 93 candidates in Bangkok, Thailand last December 17. Gray joins the ranks of Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran, and Pia Wurtzbach. (Miss Universe 2018: The Philippines’ Catriona Gray)

Long before her win, Gray had been one of the most popular candidates, having competed in Miss World 2016 where she placed in the top 5. She then joined Binibining Pilipinas two years later and won the Miss Universe Philippines title.

QUEEN. Catriona Gray leads the list of the 2018 entertainment newsmakers. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Other beauty queens such as Miss Asia Pacific International 2018 Sharifa Akeel, Miss Eco International Cynthia Thomalla, and Miss Multinational Sophia Senoron also brought honor to the country after winning their respective pageants. (READ: The year in pageants: Philippines’ highs and lows)

2. John Lloyd Cruz and Ellen Adarna. The couple, whose romance continues to be the topic of local entertainment news, has kept everyone guessing, despite reports they welcomed a son in June. The two never really confirmed this, even after a photo of Ellen holding a baby surfaced online. 

Ellen also faces charges after she accused a teenager of taking her photo without permission. The mother of the teen, identified as Myrna Santos, wrote a letter demanding Ellen to apologize. Ellen had insisted the teenager was a paparazzi.

SILENCE. Despite the reports about them, John Lloyd Cruz and Ellen Adarna continue to keep the public guessing about their lives. Screenshot from Ellen Adarna's Instagram

3. Long live Stan Lee! Marvel creator and cartoonist Stan Lee, 95, died last November due to heart and respiratory failure. The man known for heroes such as Captain America, X-Men, Avengers, Iron Man, and the Hulk, to name a few, was honored by the actors who brought his characters to life. (READ: ‘Excelsior’: Stars pay tribute to Stan Lee)

LEGEND. Stan Lee dies at age 95. File photo from Facebook/Stan Lee

4. Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo Movement. Cases of sexual harassment continue to make headlines worldwide. Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, as well as other personalities such as Bill Cosby, Geoffrey Rush, Morgan Freeman, and Supreme Court nominee later judge Brett Kavanaugh face accusations of sexual harassment. 

This year also saw ABS-CBN reporter Gretchen Fullido file a sexual harassment complaint against ABS-CBN executives. Included in the complaint was journalist Ces Drilon, and ABS-CBN reporter Marie Lozano, whom she said “besmirched her reputation.”

TRIAL. Harvey Weinstein continues to face trial for sexual assault and harassment allegations. File photo by Steven Hirsch-Pool via Getty Images/AFP

5. Kris Aquino. Last year, Kris Aquino returned as an entrepreneur and a social media star. This year, she showed the country she’s here to stay as she confirmed her participation in the movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s book Crazy Rich Asians. Although her role as Princess Intan was brief, she made sure to make a statement, wearing a yellow gown by designer Michael Cinco, and attending the movie’s Hollywood premiere.

But things got a bit rocky during the last months of 2018. In October, Kris announced she has been diagnosed with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria, an autoimmune disease. She also filed complaints against her former business partner and manager Nicko Falcis, whom she accused of theft for using funds from her company, and his brother Jesus Falcis, for cyber libel.

ROYAL WELCOME. Kris Aquino and son Bimby arrive during the premiere of 'Crazy Rich Asians.' File photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

6. Gone too soon. Local showbiz mourned the deaths of a number of personalities this year. Director Maryo J delos Reyes, fashion designer Pitoy Moreno, veteran actors Bernardo Bernardo and Spanky Manikan, singer Rico J Puno, Iskul Bukol actress Mely Tagasa, Hotdog singer Rene Garcia, and former young actor Teejay Cruz, son of actor Tirso Cruz III, were among those who passed away in 2018.

MACHO GUWAPITO. Rico J Puno dies at the age of 65. File photo from Facebook/Rico J.Puno

7. Rising stars of 2018. The year 2018 also saw a number of young stars making waves in showbiz. Tony Labrusca, who starred alongside Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla in La Luna Sangre and featured in a series of McDonald’s commercials, became an actor to watch out for after his roles in the Eddie Garcia movie ML and the now viral trailer of Glorious, the movie wherein he had steamy and intimate scenes with Angel Aquino.

Other stars who caught people’s attention include Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa, who is part of the afternoon show Los Bastardos, Marco Gumabao, Barbie Imperial from Araw Gabi, and Yam Concepcion from Halik.

GOOD START. Tony Labrusca is slowly climbing the ladder to be a good actor in the future. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

8. JohsLia and the love teams. The year also saw the continuing dominance of love teams on television and movies. Leading 2018 was the tandem of Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto, who did a movie with Kris Aquino and starred in their own teleserye Ngayon at Kailanman.

Other love teams such as Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, Loisa Andalio and Ronnie Alonte, Iñigo Pascual and Maris Racal, and Kisses Delavin and Donny Pangilinan also continue to make fans kilig.

The 3 big love teams of today, KathNiel, LizQuen, and JaDine, are still on top, with hits such as KathNiel’s movie The Hows of Us, LizQuen’s television show Bagani, and JaDine’s movie Never Not Love You. 

BIG YEAR. Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto's tandem makes it big in 2018. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

9. Celebrity baby boom continues. This year, a number of celebrities welcomed their bundles of joy. There’s Ellen Adarna and John Lloyd Cruz’s rumored baby, Saab Magalona and Jim Baccaro’s son Pancho, James Yap and Michela Cazzola’s daughter Francesca, Isabelle Daza and Adrien Semblat’s son Baltie, Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez’s son Kai, Jolina Magdangal’s daughter Vika, and Iya Villania’s son Leon, among others.

SECOND CHILD. James Yap and girlfriend Michaela Cazzola welcome daughter Francesca. Screenshot from James Yap's Instagram

10. Celebrity weddings dominate 2018. The year also saw a number of personalities getting married. Among those who said “I do” are Christian Bautista and Kat Ramnani, Maxene Magalona and Robby Mananquil, Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle, Aljur Abrenica and Kylie Padillla, Joey de Leon and longtime partner Eileen Macapagal, Coleen Garcia and Billy Crawford, and Rachelle Ann Go and Martin Spies.

'I DO.' Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle marry in Palawan after getting engaged in 2017. Screenshot from Noel Ferrer's Instagram

11. Anne Curtis’ year in movies. Anne Curtis returned to movies this year, promoting not one, not two, but 3 films: Buy Bust, Sid and Aya, and the Metro Manila Film Festival entry Aurora.

RETURN TO THE MOVIES. Anne Curtis makes a return to the movies in 2018. File photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

12. Kelsey Merritt in Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. The Philippines finally found a representative in the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show through Filipino-American model Kelsey Merritt. She joined the likes of Adriana Lima, Kendall Jenner, and Behati Prinsloo, and walked in the show held in New York. (IN PHOTOS: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2018)

PH REPRESENT. Filipino-American model Kelsey Merritt is the first Filipino to walk for the Victoria's Secret Fashion show. Screenshot from Kelsey Merrit's Instagram

Other newsmakers this year include the ABS-CBN Ball (formerly known as the Star Magic Ball), Sarah Geronimo’s emotional moment in Las Vegas, and the visits of international stars such as Cole Sprouse and the cast of Aquaman, led by Jason Momoa– Rappler.com 

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.