year-end stories

‘Tell them who cheated first’: The biggest showbiz kalat of 2021

Ysa Abad
‘Tell them who cheated first’: The biggest showbiz kalat of 2021
Who's dating who? Here's a roundup of the budding romances and fallouts in the local showbiz industry this 2021

MANILA, Philippines – While a lot of things have changed in the Philippine showbiz industry two years into the pandemic, one thing remains the same: artista drama and celebrity kalat continue to thrive.

2021 might have seen an abundance of celebrity weddings and babies, but a surprising amount of long-term celebrity couples have also ended their respective relationships. 

This year’s headlines also include the rehashing of a decade-long parental dispute, two whirlwind romances (one ending in marriage, the other in a fallout), a beauty pageant curse(?), and never-ending accusations of third party involvement.

Aljur Abrenica and Kylie Padilla: Who cheated on who?

Breakup rumors between Aljur and Kylie started circulating in February 2021, when the actress started posting cryptic posts on social media implying she was single again. However, it was only in July when Kylie’s father, Robin Padilla, confirmed the news, even hinting that Aljur had cheated on his daughter. 

Kylie also released a statement to confirm the breakup, adding that she and Aljur were “working on a healthy co-parenting relationship together” for the sake of their two sons – Alas and Axl. 

In October, Aljur broke his silence about the breakup. In a now-deleted Facebook post, the actor challenged Kylie to clear his name regarding the cheating allegations, and also implied that Kylie was seeing someone new. “Tell them who cheated first. Tell them who wrecked our family. Tell them why I gave up on you, not on our family,” Aljur wrote. Hours after Aljur’s viral accusatory post, Kylie backed calls to legalize divorce in the Philippines. 

The actress also had an exclusive tell-all interview in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho where she addressed her estranged husband’s allegations, saying that she was never unfaithful during their relationship, also emphasizing that she decided to end their marriage because both of them were no longer happy with it. 

Kylie, who was in an on-and-off relationship with Aljur since 2011 before they got married in 2018, added that she was still hoping she and Aljur can still become friends for the sake of their children. 

The Julia Barretto, Gerald Anderson, Bea Alonzo, and Dominic Roque saga

Gerald Anderson and Bea Alonzo’s relationship might have ended in 2019, but public drama followed them even in 2021. 

Back in 2019, Gerald and Bea broke up after years of being together. At the time, Bea said that Gerald “just started not talking” to her, essentially ghosting her. Julia Barretto, who was Gerald’s co-star in the film Between Maybes was romantically linked with the actor in the aftermath of his and Bea’s breakup, and was even speculated to be a third party. Both have denied the cheating rumors, and also said that they were just friends. 

Fast forward to March 2021, when Gerald admitted in an interview with Boy Abunda that he was “very happy” with Julia. The two have been very vocal about their relationship since then, posting cheesy photos and vlogs on social media. 

In the same interview with Boy, Gerald also spoke about his past relationship with Bea for the first time, saying that he didn’t ghost her, as she had claimed. When asked by Boy if he and Bea had a formal breakup, he only responded by saying that he had walked away from what had become a toxic relationship.

In April, Bea fired back at Gerald’s interview, saying that on top of cheating on her and ghosting her, Gerald also gaslighted her. “Apart from, of course, the whole infidelity thing and the whole ghosting thing, I think I’m mad at him more because he gaslighted me,” Bea said. 

In August, Bea confirmed that she was in a relationship with Dominic Roque.

LJ Reyes, Paolo Contis, and going to Baguio ‘as a friend’

LJ Reyes confirmed in September that she and Paolo Contis had separated after six years of dating. Breakup rumors had started circulating in August when fans noticed that Paolo had removed all of LJ’s photos from his Instagram account and had stopped following anyone on the platform. At that time, LJ was still following the actor and still had photos of them on her account. 

In an emotional interview with Boy Abunda, LJ then revealed that although she first formally ended the relationship, Paolo had started to seem distant in late 2020. “Matagal ko nang nararamdaman na matagal na siyang nakahiwalay sa amin, pero honestly ako yung nagsabi na parang…parang nasa ibang mundo na po siya at pakiramdam ko eh hinihintay niya lang na sa akin manggaling,” she said.

(I’ve long felt him distancing himself from us. But honestly I was the one who said that it was like he was living in another world and I felt that he was just waiting for me to say it.)

While she remained vague over what triggered the split, LJ said people would “message [her] about ‘sightings,’” which Paolo would, in turn, deny. The actress also admitted that after splitting from Paolo, she had asked if he would take her and her kids back, to which he said no. LJ shares a child with Paolo, two-year-old Summer. She also has a child from a previous relationship with fellow actor Paulo Avelino, 11-year-old Aki. Aki, said LJ, had grown close to Paolo. 

LJ then decided to stay in the United States to physically distance herself from Paolo, and refused to speak to him again.

Following LJ’s interview, Paolo took to Instagram to open up about the breakup. He denied the rumors of him taking drugs and hurting LJ and her kids because of it, and addressed speculations that a third party was involved in the breakup, vaguely admitting that he hadn’t been entirely faithful throughout his relationship with LJ. 

Paolo, however, denied that actress Yen Santos, his co-star in A Faraway Land, was the cause of his and LJ’s split. Although he confirmed that it was Yen with whom he was spotted in Baguio, and that he had invited her there for a day because she was nearby. Paolo’s “She went there as a friend” line has since sparked memes on social media, with netizens calling Baguio a breakup refuge. 

The actor had also apologized to Yen, his ex-wife Lian Paz who also got dragged into the controversy, and to Summer, Aki, and LJ.

Kiko Estrada’s two breakups in one year

2021 was definitely a year to remember for Kiko Estrada. 

The actor went public with his relationship with Heaven Peralejo in August 2021, nearly six months after the two were first rumored to be dating, after speculations that Kiko and ex-girlfriend Devon Seron had broken up because of Heaven’s alleged involvement. 

Heaven, who starred in ABS-CBN’s Bagong Umaga series with Kiko, had earlier clarified in March that “she was not in any way romantically associated with Kiko nor am I the reason behind their breakup.”

Following their public confirmation, Kiko also sat down in an exclusive interview with Ogie Diaz to belie the allegations that his relationships with Devon and Heaven had overlapped. Kiko said that he and Devon had ended their two-year relationship on February 14, 2021, and that he and Heaven only started getting closer to each other a month after the breakup and only became an official couple on May 13, 2021. 

“I’m not a cheater and [Heaven]’s not a third party. There’s nothing like that that happened,” Kiko said. He added that he was hoping for Devon’s genuine happiness. 

In the same interview, Kiko explained that he chose to break his silence because he couldn’ts stand seeing Heaven being constantly attacked by these accusations. “Seeing the person you love hurt by lies, fabricated truth, it takes like a man to stand up, to tell the truth, to tell what really happened,” he continued. 

However, just a few weeks after the interview, breakup rumors between Kiko and Heaven started circulating, when fans noticed that Kiko had removed all photos, including the ones with Heaven, from his Instagram account and had stopped following the actress. At that time, Heaven was still following the actor on the platform and still had photos of them on her account. 

It was only in an October vlog that Heaven confirmed that she was “single, but not ready to mingle.” The actress, without mentioning Kiko, also added that she has already moved on and is now enjoying her life. 

Ellen Adarna and Derek Ramsay’s whirlwind romance

Ellen and Derek first met in January, and quickly got people talking after photos of them getting close at a dinner party circulated online. At first, the pair denied that they were dating, saying they were just friends. 

By February, however, they confirmed that they were already in a relationship. And in March, Derek proposed to Ellen, saying that the “chemistry between [them] has been undeniable” from the start. 

In November, Ellen and Derek tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Bataan. 

Albie Casiño and Andi Eigenmann’s apology ‘receipts’

Just when we thought all was well between ex-couple Albie Casiño and Andi Eigenmann, old wounds resurfaced in 2021, a decade after their 2011 paternity controversy. 

The issue was put back in the spotlight in October, following Albie’s remarks that he had never received an apology from his ex-girlfriend for their paternity dispute and that he “can finally talk” about the issue and he will be “no holds barred” when asked about it.

While Andi did not react to Albie’s statements, her sister Stevie Eigenmann came to her defense by showing “receipts” that the former actress had apologized to Albie. Stevie shared a screenshot of what appears to be a private conversation between Andi and Albie from September 2020 through Instagram direct messages. In the exchange, Andi can be seen telling Albie that he “[deserves] a better apology,” with the actor replying that he “never asked for an apology” and that he “never really needed one.” 

Albie only got to respond to Stevie’s post in November, after he was evicted from Pinoy Big Brother, explaining that his response in the leaked conversation was a lie and that he still considered Andi’s message to be a “non-apology.” 

In the same interview, Albie opened up that he was still having a hard time forgiving Andi because the scandal not only caused emotional torture to him and his family, but also inflicted lasting damages on his then-rising showbiz career.

Aged 18 at the time, Albie had gotten his breakthrough role in the television remake of Mara Clara, where he was paired with Kathryn Bernardo. He was considered to be one of the rising teen stars of his generation until Andi accused him of being the dad of her then-unborn child while neglecting her during the pregnancy. In 2016, it was revealed that Jake Ejercito was the father of Andi’s daughter, Ellie. 

Albie went on to reveal that the controversy caused him to lose opportunities in his career. “That’s money that could have changed my family’s life. Money that could have changed my life, right? So how can I be okay with them? Why would I be okay with them?” he said. The actor also emphasized that Andi’s camp didn’t clear his name even when it was confirmed that he wasn’t the father of Andi’s child. 

Andi has yet to react to Albie’s interview. 

The Miss Universe Philippines curse?

Following the temporary halt in beauty pageants last year because of the pandemic, 2021 saw two sets of Miss Universe competitions, with Rabiya Mateo and Beatrice Luigi Gomez representing the Philippines in the international pageant. 

But aside from being the country’s bet in the competition, Rabiya and Beatrice also have something in common: they both ended their long-term relationships during their Miss Universe stints, prompting netizens to joke that there was a Miss Universe Philippines curse. 

In June, just weeks after the coronation of the 69th edition of the Miss Universe pageant in May, Neil Salvacion confirmed that he and Rabiya had officially split up after seven years of dating. Prior to Neil’s post, Rabiya had earlier said that she and Neil were in a “complicated situation.” 

Meanwhile, in November, just a month before Beatrice competed in the 70th edition of Miss Universe in December, Kate Jagdon announced that she and Beatrice had ended their six-year relationship.

James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s closure

In a year of messy breakups, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s relationship after their split was a breath of fresh air. Ever since the two announced that they were no longer together in January 2020, they have stayed friends and even continue to work together. 

In an August interview with Boy Abunda, James was asked if he was ready to see Nadine get together with a new person. James said it was not up to him. “I don’t think anyone in that situation is excited to see their ex with someone else, but you know that’s not my choice. It can’t be my choice but if magically I had to decide whether or not she’d be with someone, of course, I wish her the best, I want her to be happy,” he said. 

“I’m not her husband, neither am I her father, so she can do whatever makes her happiest,” he added. In a separate interview, Nadine also opened up about how she had healed from her breakup. The actress is rumored to be dating businessman Christopher Bariou, but has yet to confirm their relationship.

Mel Sarmiento, Kris Aquino, and Herbert Bautista’s ‘The One That Got Away’

Engagements are typically happy, kalat-free occasions, so it was quite surprising when Kris Aquino had to deal with drama with her ex-boyfriend Herbert Bautista shortly after she announced her engagement to former politician Mel Senen Sarmiento in October 2021. 

During the engagement announcement, Kris called Mel her “best friend and the man [she] said yes to spending the rest of [her] life with.” She added that they both agreed to keep personal things private and that Kris would refrain from oversharing details about their relationship. 

While most netizens and celebrities were happy with Kris’ engagement, her ex-boyfriend Herbert, however, referred to the host as his “TOTGA” or “The One That Got Away.” 

In an already deleted tweet, Herbert told presidential candidate Ping Lacson that he was inspired to propose, but sadly, the one he was planning to propose to had already chosen someone else. He also added the hashtags TOTGA and Kung Maibababalik Ko Lang (If only I could turn back time). 

Mel then called out Herbert about his tweet, saying that it was “improper and ungentlemanlike” to talk about past flames in public. Kris also agreed, saying that there was no need for Herbert to “use [their] past to gain attention.”

No happily-ever-afters

More celebrity couples have also ended their respective relationships in 2021.

In August, Michelle Madrigal revealed that she and husband Troy Woolfolk had separated and were going through the process of divorce. They tied the knot in April 2019 after meeting through Tinder in 2016. In a November vlog, Michelle explained that they were simply not compatible and clarified that there was no third party involved. 

“It was just a mutual decision to really separate…. It was very amicable. We were both unhappy,” she said. 

In September, Maggie Wilson announced that she and her husband of over a decade, Victor Consunji, were separating. At the time, they said “there is no animosity between us” and that they “remain good friends and partners and will continue to do so.”

However, Maggie’s December 27 Instagram post hinted at some friction in their separation. The TV host and former beauty queen revealed that she was denied time with her son Connor despite making prior arrangements. She added that she had been “put through so much over the last three months and more so the last few years.” 

In November, Alodia Gosiengfiao confirmed that she and vlogger Wil Dasovic had ended their four-year relationship. The cosplayer did not elaborate on the reason for the split, and instead asked fans to give them privacy.

Which of these relationship pasabog from our Filipino showbiz couples were you most shookt by? Rappler.com