2019: A year in showbiz kalat

2019: A year in showbiz kalat
Or the year that made us all wish we still had 'The Buzz'

MANILA, Philippines – 2019 was a lot of things – not least of which a year where the private drama of public figures was brought out in the open one way or another, distracting us from our own personal kalat.

Whether it was a siblings’ spat at their own father’s funeral, a dramatic falling out that turned into a legal battle between boss and employee, or an ill-timed tone deaf post on social media, each scandalous showbiz moment reminded the world that no matter how perfect these stars look on screens, billboards, or Instagram, they are, at the end of the day, just messy humans like the rest of us.

Here are just some of the most makalat celebrity moments of 2019:

Kris Aquino v Nicko Falcis

This mess began in late 2018, but with two especially fiery parties involved, the messy tale took many legal twists and turns before it was resolved a year later.

After being on the receiving end of qualified theft complaints in 7 cities from Kris Aquino in 2018, her former business manager Nicko Falcis came out swinging in 2019 as he submitted his counter-affidavit on the theft charges and filed a grave threats case against Kris in January.

What followed was a rollercoaster ride of wins and losses for both camps. In February, Kris’ theft complaints against Nicko were junked by the Makati and Pasig prosecutors, but the Taguig court OKed the charges, and ordered Nicko’s arrest in March. At the same time, Kris withdrew her theft complaint against Nicko in Mandaluyong. In April, the Quezon City court dismissed Nicko’s grave threats case against Kris.

Through all this of course, Kris, and Nicko’s outspoken brother Jesus Falcis, would publish their own shady posts against each other on social media.

In October, however, the issue seemed to be put to rest as Kris’ legal team released a statement saying that the two parties “have fairly settled all financial issues and amicably worked out all personal differences.”

Kalat rating: 12/10, Kris Aquino definitely met her match

Tony Labrusca’s airport outburst

The Glorious actor started the year on the wrong side of public sentiment – he had an outburst at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) immigration desk after only being given a 30-day stay after landing in Manila. 

The Bureau of Immigration released a statement (but withheld Tony’s name) shortly after the incident, saying that the celebrity, an American passport holder, shouted expletives and was furious at immigration for giving him a hard time.

Tony later apologized for losing his temper, but denied that he had called airport officials stupid, or bragged about being a celebrity.

Kalat rating: 7/10, we all have our bad days especially after long-haul flights

Yeng Constantino and “doctor shaming”

In July, singer Yeng Constantino’s Siargao getaway turned stressful when her husband Yan Asuncion got into an accident while cliff diving in the tourist hotspot’s Sugba Lagoon. After being transferred between two hospitals and waiting for hours to get appropriate care, an enraged Yeng did as many disgruntled people do, and aired her frustrations on social media and on her vlog.


Yeng decried the lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in Siargao – a concern that many tourists before her (including broadcaster Karen Davila) had already raised in the past.

The singer, however, took her rant a step too far, and named the doctor who attended to her husband, saying that the doctor lacked compassion and urgency. That was where netizens drew the line, calling Yeng out for “doctor shaming.”

The singer later apologized to the doctor and medical staff, saying that her rants came from a place of “high emotions” when she thought her husband’s life was in danger. She then said she would do her best to be more responsible with her posts.

Kalat rating: 8/10, we get you Yeng, but maybe don’t mention names of non-public figures who were only trying to help?

The ghost of Gerald Anderson

Ghosting became a hot topic in August, when rumors of a breakup between Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo came to a head after Bea said in an interview that Gerald, her boyfriend of several years “just started not talking” to her.

The explosive news came after Bea had shared cryptic posts on social media implying that she had been betrayed. This led her followers to go down an Instagam rabbit-hole – where they found that Bea had liked a stolen shot of Gerald and his Between Maybes co-star Julia Barretto walking together outside a party they had both attended.

The “like” – which may very well have been innocuous – led netizens to speculate that Gerald had cheated on Bea with Julia. At the time, Julia had just broken up with her boyfriend and love team partner Joshua Garcia – making people even more sure of their speculations.

PRE-GHOSTING. Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo attend the ABS-CBN Ball together in 2018. Photo by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

Bea’s fans rallied against Julia, but the young actress did not take it sitting down (she is, after all, a Barretto). On Instagram, Julia posted a throwback photo of her and Bea, back when Julia was just a child. In her caption, Julia denied being involved in Bea and Gerald’s breakup. She also dragged Bea for allegedly “bullying” her, saying that by “liking” the photos of her and Gerald, Bea “put malice into the minds of many” and led her fans to “destroy” Julia for Bea.

The issue was so big, even other celebrities got involved. Julia’s own aunt and the Philippines’ unparalleled queen of petty Gretchen Barretto sent Bea flowers and claimed that Julia hired a ghost writer for her Instagram post.

Kris Aquino also weighed in – defending Julia, expressing support for Bea, and calling Gerald out for not breaking up with Bea properly. Now, we know it’s a scandal worthy of The Buzz when Kris Aquino becomes the voice of reason.

The issue eventually died down, and Bea, Julia, and Gerald all attended the ABS-CBN Ball months after the controversy without dates for the first time in years.

Kalat rating: 12/10, the Star Magic control room is still in recovery mode

The Barretto family drama

No list of 2019 showbiz kalat would be complete without arguably the biggest celebrity scandal of the year: the dormant feud among the Barretto sisters erupting once again.

At the start of the year, it seemed that the family would be whole again when estranged sisters Gretchen and Claudine finally reconciling in February.

TOGETHER AGAIN. Sisters Claudine and Gretchen Barretto reunite after years of being estranged. Screenshot from Instagram.com/claubarretto

The olive branch, however, would not extend to their other sister Marjorie, with whom they’ve also had a historically strained relationship. (TIMELINE: The Barretto family feud)

The tension between Marjorie, Gretchen, and Claudine exploded when Gretchen attended the wake of their father Miguel Barretto, who died in October. Gretchen, who was not with the family when Miguel was hospitalized, turned up at the wake on the same night that President Rodrigo Duterte attended. He encouraged Gretchen and Marjorie to shake hands – but Marjorie refused because she felt that Gretchen was being insincere.

View this post on Instagram

There are very disturbing news going around right now. All these years, I have kept my peace and I always chose to ignore all the LIES that my sisters spread about me and my children. But nothing can get lower than this. Giving false statements to the press, and twisting stories about what really happened in my Father’s wake is by far the most epic one. They have tried so hard over the years to destroy my name, I have nothing to lose anymore at this point.I love my family very much, they are my core. I am all for reconciliation. We were hoping for that all those 16 days that my Father was fighting for his life in the hospital.It would have been nice if she made her peace in the quiet of my Fathers room. With no cameras. Don’t be fooled by the statements of my sisters, they are leaving out a very important detail of what really caused pain and tension in the wake.May I request everyone to allow our family to grieve, it’s our last day with our Father today. Please hold your judgement and opinions until he is laid to rest,then WE WILL FOR THE FIRST TIME SPEAK THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. I would like to ask for prayers too. Because when I speak the truth, my life and my children’s life will be put in danger. My sisters boyfriend is powerful in a very bad way( and I don’t mean Tony Boy)And in speaking the truth I won’t be able to leave his name out. And to our dear President Duterte, thank you for being there for the family and sharing in our grief. My apologies that your name was dragged into this. You were so kind to me. I will always be grateful.

A post shared by marjbarretto (@marjbarretto) on

Following the incident, Claudine said in an interview that Marjorie had taunted her, leading to a physical altercation between the sisters. She also said that Julia had been involved in the fight. Marjorie then took to Instagram to decry “the very disturbing news” going around in the wake of the incident, promising to address all of the issues in a tell-all interview. In a particularly shady move, the photo she posted was of a quote about narcissists.

The Barretto tiff brought to light a host of other issues as the sisters aired their own sides of the story. The issues included a supposed molestation incident involving Marjorie’s partner Recom Echiverri, and Gretchen’s alleged relationship with businessman Atong Ang, despite being the longtime mistress of tycoon Tony Boy Cojuangco. Oh, and Atong Ang was apparently in a relationship with the sisters’ 20-something niece Nicole for 5 years. 

Kalat rating: 13/10, only The Buzz could have untangled this mess

Oh God, Lolit Solis

We now live in a world where a two-word tweet is now considered cruel, Salve.

Bong Revilla’s talent manager Lolit Solis called actress Janine Gutierrez just that, for tweeting “Oh God” in reaction to the news of the Senator returning to television – even before he returning P124.5 million in relation to a plunder case as ordered by the Sandiganbayan. 

In a December 20 Instagram post, Lolit said “The nerve na mag-negative comment siya sa TV comeback ni Bong Revilla (the nerve of her to make a negative comment on Bong Revilla’s TV comeback).”

She then launched into a lengthy rant to try to prove that Janine’s comment was ungrateful and disrespectful, at the same time saying it’s okay because according to Lolit, she isn’t a box office queen and can’t help or hurt Bong’s career anyway. 

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Siguro gusto ni Janine Gutierrez na mapansin ko siya Salve. The nerve na mag-negative comment siya sa TV comeback ni Bong Revilla. How can she be so cruel for a second chance to a co actor like Bong without even thinking if not for the goodness of people she won't be where she is today. Alam naman niya siguro ang history ng nanay niyang si Lotlot de Leon. Sa kabutihan ng pamilya ni Nora Aunor, pinalaki at inalagaan siya, at nagkaroon ng anak na Janine Gutierrez na niyakap din at minahal ng showbiz. Dapat sa mga pagkakataon gusto niya magbigay opinyon, nandun ang pang-unawa at respeto, dahil kaibigan ng lolo niyang si Christopher de Leon si Bong Revilla. I respect what she feels, or her political beliefs, pero sana inisip niya more than anyone else, siya dapat ang mas maging magaan sa pagbibigay chance sa isang tao na gusto bumalik sa pinanggalingan niyang mundo. Buti na lang isa lang talent ng GMA si Janine Gutierrez, just imagine kung siya ang may-ari ng network, hindi pala niya bibigyan ng trabaho si Bong Revilla. Hindi siya papayag na ampunin ang isang gusto magkarun ng trabaho. Buti na lang at hindi siya naging box office queen na sana makatulong para sa career ni Bong, dahil wala pa naman ako narinig na naging blockbuster movie niya, or tv show na naging sobra ang taas ng rating, kaya hindi din siya makakatulong sa career ni Bong Revilla. A piece of advice Janine Gutierrez, sana maging maligaya ang lovelife mo para mas maging mabuti ang puso mo. Love thy neighbor, dahil kundi sa kanila hindi ka naging Janine Gutierrez. Sayang, love pa naman kita, now takot na ako dahil baka maging judgemental at I am cleaner than you are attitude ka rin sa akin dahil sa mga nagawa kong pagkakamali, you will never give me a second chance. Hoping you will do well, kumita at mag rate mga ginagawa mong project. #classiclolita #takeitperminutemeganun #72naako

A post shared by LolitSolisOfficial (@akosilolitsolis) on

Janine, however, did not indulge Lolit’s post with a direct response, only expressing gratitude and happiness for the projects she got to work on this year. A true class act, if you ask us.

Kalat rating: 12/10, ok boomer

With all the complicated showbiz drama that came to light in 2019, it was indeed a year that made us wish The Buzz was back on air – but we do have social media, which may be an altogether more powerful and dangerous PR beast, and when it comes to entertainment kalat, certainly the gift that keeps on giving. – Rappler.com

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