Fame, infamy, and everything in between: Philippine showbiz newsmakers of 2019

Alexa Villano
Here's a roundup of Philippine showbiz news in 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine showbiz scene, particularly in 2019, felt like one big teleserye come to life. (READ: 2019: A year in showbiz kalat)

The year’s headlines included a new chapter in a family drama, a celebrity breakup that blew up, celebrity pregnancies, an actress recognized for her philantrophy work, and a beauty queen who paved a way for changes in Philippine pageantry.

The Barretto sisters saga

Leading the list is no less than the controversial Baretto sisters Gretchen, Claudine, and Marjorie. It all seemed to be going okay when Gretchen and Claudine finally reconciled in February after years of estrangement. 

But even as Gretchen and Claudine kissed and made up, it was a different story with Marjorie. Emotions ran amok when President Rodrigo Duterte tried to make Gretchen and Marjorie reconcile during the wake of their father Miguel. (TIMELINE: The Barretto family feud)

Marjorie later unloaded her side during a tell-all interview on TV Patrol – ABS-CBN’s primetime news program. During her sit down, she talked about the supposed relationship of her niece and older businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang. She also admitted to having been in a relationship with former Caloocan Mayor Recom Echeverri, who Marjorie said was the father of her youngest daughter.



Bea Alonzo, Gerald Anderson, and Julia Barretto’s public drama

It was she said-he sort of said-she said-another she said sort of story when Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson broke up and fans accussed Gerald’s Between Maybes co-star Julia Barretto of a hand in it.  

Gerald denied reports that he cheated on Bea. Bea said Gerald just stopped talking to her. Julia said Bea bullied her. 

Following the drama, the 3 walked separately during the ABS CBN Ball. Bea, Gerald, and Julia, are all ABS-CBN talents.  

DOING OKAY. Bea Alonzo says she is better after the whole drama of her personal life. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Kris Aquino and the Falcis brothers

Controversy, but make it a legal battle. Kris Aquino began the year in the middle of court battle against her former business manager Nicko Falcis. Nicko later filed a grave threat case against her.

Things between Kris and the Falcis brothers have since died down. Kris’ legal team said that both camps have settled the issue amicably. 


ROLLECOASTER. Kris Aquino's 2019 has been a rollercoaster.  Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler


Angel Locsin’s big year

Angel Locsin continues to prove that superheroes don’t need costumes. 

When singer and Duterte appointee Jimmy Bondoc said he was “eagerly awaiting” the demise of ABS-CBN, Angel took to social media and reminded him that thousands of jobs were at stake. Duterte has repeatedly threatened the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.  

Months later, Angel was recognized by Forbes as one of Asia’s 2019 Heroes of Philantrophy. She also skipped the ABS CBN Ball and made a donation straight to Bantay Bata, the beneficiary of the event. 

Angel also made a television comeback via The General’s Daughter. She also got engaged to boyfriend Neil Arce. 

A HAPPY 2019. Angel Locsin's 2019 has been a good year with a TV show, special recognition by Forbes magazine for her charity work, and her engagement to Neil Arce. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Catriona Gray’s year  

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray had her formal homecoming in February after winning the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2018. And even if she’s turned her crown over, her impact continues to be felt in the pageant scene. (READ: Binibining Pilipinas 2019 post-pageant review: Raise your flag, Philippines)

Her Mayon gown and “lava walk” seems to have “inspired” other international candidates; although copying her look isn’t always a good look for aspiring beauty queens.

Catriona also confirmed that she and longtime boyfriend Clint Bondad broke up

She also continued to work for her causes and was calm in addressing bashers.

One Thai candidate, Coco Arayha, made headlines when she called Catriona fat in a photo, comparing her to Miss Grand International 2018 Clara Sosa. Catriona, true to be a queen did not directly address the issue but told followers on Twitter that bullying and body shaming is wrong

Catriona crowned South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi in December 2019. She’s since returned to Manila and will soon launch a singing career and her book, Conquering Your Universe.


COMING HOME. Catriona Gray is set to launch her music career and book in 2020. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

The new “it girls (and boys)” 

Even more celebrities entered a new chapter of their lives, announcing their pregnancies on – where else – social media. 

Sisters-in-law Solenn Heussaff and Anne Curtis announced that they were going to be moms. Solenn, who is married to businessman Nico Bolzico, confirmed in August that she was pregnant with their first child. Anne, who is married to Solenn’s brother Erwan, confirmed that she was pregnant last November. Solenn has given birth to a baby girl while Anne is set to give birth to a baby girl in a few months’ time.  

Dani Barretto, who married boyfriend Xavi Panlilio early this year, gave birth to their daughter Camilla Marguerite in September.

Several other stars also confirmed a new addition to their families: Mariel Rodriguez, who welcomed her and Robin Padilla’s second daughter Gabriela; Chynna Ortaleza and Kean Cipriano welcomed son Salem; Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes welcomed Ziggy, Georgina Wilson gave birth to her second son, Alfred Thor; Divine Lee welcomed her second child Blanca; Saab Magalona and Jim Baccaro added Vito to their family; Andi Eigenmann modern family got bigger with daughter Lilo; David Semerad and Gwen Zamora welcomed Cooper; and first-time mommies blogger Kryz Uy and actress Max Collins. 



Farewell to legends in Philippine cinema

Philippine showbiz also bid goodbye to several veteran stars. Among those who died were Eddie Garcia, Amalia Fuentes, Tony Mabesa, Mona Lisa, comedian Gary Lising, and rock icon Pepe Smith.

FAREWELL MANOY. Eddie Garcia is one of the many screen legends who died in 2019. File photo by Dion Besa/Rappler


100 years of Philippine cinema

The celebration for 100 years of Philippine Cinema kicked off last September with the Sine Sandaan at the New Frontier Theater. Luminaries from on-screen and off-screen legends, as well as today’s new crop of stars were recognized for their contribution to the Philippine film industry.

NORA AUNOR. The actress is one of the many stars who came to celebrate the 100 years of Philippine Cinema in 'Sine Sandaan.' File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler


Star Cinema’s movie Hello, Love, Goodbye starring Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards also became one of the top movies in 2019


BIG HIT. 'Hello, Love, Goodbye' starring Alden Richards and Kathryn Bernardo is one of the big box office hits for 2019. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Jane de Leon is the new Darna

In April, Liza Soberano announced she was backing out of the movie Darna because of a finger injury she sustained while filming Bagani. ABS-CBN and Star Cinema held a casting call for the role of the Pinay super hero – a role which was eventually given to newcomer Jane de Leon. (READ: SB19, Jane de Leon are Google Philippines’ most searched personalities in 2019)

Jane, who appeared in the Jericho Rosales teleserye Halik, is set to follow the foosteps of Angel Locsin, Marian Rivera, and a bunch of actresses who have donned the famous red suit. She has already started training for the movie, which Star Cinema is eyeing for a late 2020 release. (WATCH: The day Jane de Leon found out she’s Darna)

NEW DARNA. Jane de Leon is set to fly as the Pinay superhero soon. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

Jim Paredes and his viral “sex video”

In April, an alleged sex video of singer Jim Paredes leaked online. Jim, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration initially denied that he was the one on the video. But a day after, he confirmed that it was him.

“The video was real. It was private, and not meant for public consumption. I do not know how it became public,” he wrote on his blog. 

The issue led the former Apo Hiking Society member to lay low on social media. Months after the issue, he was back online and has since continued to speak up about the wrongdoings of the present administration.

LEAKED VIDEO. Jim Paredes confirms he was the man on the sex video that went viral early this year.  Screenshot from Instagram/@jimparedes

Hookups, breakups, and engagements 

Early December, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach confirmed that she and Marlon Stockinger broke up up after almost 3 years together. (READ: Pia Wurtzbach and Marlon Stockinger: A timeline)

During an interview on Tonight with Boy Abunda, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray confirmed that she and Clint Bondad are no longer together.

Derek Ramsay also confirmed that he and longtime girlfriend Joanne Villablanca are no longer together.

Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 and actress Winwyn Marquez said she had broken up with actor Mark Herras.

Julie Ann San Jose confirmed in January that she and actor Benjamin Alves called it quits in 2018.

Others couples who broke up in 2019 include Sue Ramirez and Joao Constancia, Ryza Cenon and Cholo Barretto, Heaven Peralejo and Jimuel Pacquiao, and Joem Bascon and his non-showbiz partner Crisha Uy.

NO LONGER TOGETHER. Pia Wurtzbach confirms she and Marlon Stockinger have broken up in September. File photo by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

Derek Ramsay later found  new inspiration in his The Better Woman co-star Andrea Torres. 

After months of speculation and on-air teasing, Vice Ganda confirmed that he and Ion Perez, better known as Mr Escort on It’s Showtime, are together. 

Mark Herras also found love in former beauty queen Nicole Donesa, a newbie actress.

Benjamin Alves, meanwhile, also found a new love in model Chelsea Robato.


It was also the year of weddings and engagements.  Leading the engagement list was Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli’s announcement, as Sarah showed the ring on her finger. 


Gloria Diaz’s daughter Ava Daza got engaged to boyfriend Luch Zanirato in January. 

Dani Barretto and now husband Xavi Panlilio got engaged early this year and married in April. They welcomed their daughter in September.

Before the birth of his second child, Geoff Eigenmann popped the question to his now-fiancee, singer Maya, in April. 

June saw Angel Locsin getting engaged to Neil Arce and Jinri Park to her non-showbiz boyfriend John, whom she wed in a special ceremony in Korea in December. 

In November, Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters announced her engagement to Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte. Host Joyce Pring also shared that she and GMA 7 actor Juancho Trivino have been engaged since August.

Actress Sam Pinto also confirmed that she and boyfriend, basketball player Anthony Semerad, are set to tie the knot two years from now.

On December 30, singers KZ Tandingan and Tj Monterde announced their engagement.

Wedding bells meanwhile rang this year beginning with Moira dela Torre and Jason Hernandez in January, Slater Young and blogger Kryz Uy (February), Sunshine Garcia and Alex Castro (March), Michelle Madrigal and Troy Woolfolk (April), beauty queen Jehza Huelar and basketball player PJ Simon (May) and   KC Montero and Stephanie Dods (October) Vhong Navarro and Tanya Bautista (November)  Dianne Medina and Rodjun Cruz and Valerie Concepcion and Francis Sunga  (December). – 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.