MANILA, Philippines – 2015 was an exciting year, with many stars making headlines for political opinions, Instagram posts about sunburns, and everything in between. Here's a look at a few of issues that had people buzzing this year.
Lea Salonga's 'kababawan' tweet
Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
On September 26, a tweet from Lea Salonga got social media users talking when she said, "Okay lang sa akin ang kababawan, pero hanggang doon na lamang ba tayo?" (Shallowness is okay with me, but is that all we aspire to?)
While she didn't refer to anyone in particular, many thought she was reacting to the 25 million tweets that AlDub fans managed to pull in for an episode of Eat Bulaga's "Juan for All, All for Juan."
Lea later tweeted that she was confused over everyone's reactions, saying that all she meant was that life shouldn't be all about having fun.
That would have been the end of it, had Eat Bulaga host Joey de Leon not reacted, saying, among other things, "Hindi naman pala daw AlDub pinatatamaan ni Lea. Baka naman yung kabila? Nagtatanong lang po." (Lea said she wasn't taking a swipe at AlDub. Maybe she's talking about our competitors? Just asking.)
Lea eventually replied, thanking him for giving her the benefit of the doubt, and Joey replied that she shouldn't worry about it. This brought the issue to a close.
Kris Aquino and Herbert Bautista
Photo from Instagram/@withlovekrisaquino
In April 2014, Kris may have clarified that she and Quezon City (QC) Mayor Herbert Bautista were just friends, but the issue of their relationship was brought up again early this year.
In February, Kris wrote 3 blog posts about a relationship. Although she did not specify who she was talking about, the details she shared coincided with their relationship's timing. In her blog entries, Kris said that Herbert proposed to her before their breakup.
In May, Kris announced that she and Herbert were set to do a movie together, to be directed by Antoinette Jadaone.
Herbert was a guest on Kris' show, KrisTV, on July 7, and in that episode, Kris apologized for an earlier statement she made about him taking her for granted.
On October 7, Kris said that she was backing out of their movie because of a scheduling conflict. A few days later, she explained further, "I was so apprehensive about shooting MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) with him that I posted my misguided feelings of hurt and directed them towards Star Cinema (the movie's producer)."
She also explained that she never asked him to seek a 3rd term as QC mayor instead of running for senator.
Later that month, Herbert said that he would be busy with the 2016 elections. Star Cinema's Mico del Rosario then posted a photo of the final lineup of stars in the movie – Kris was on the list, Herbert was not.
Liz Uy vs Fashion Pulis
On November 9, stylist Liz Uy filed 6 complaints of libel and one complaint of slander against blogger Michael Sy Lim of Fashion Pulis.
On 5 different posts on social media and his blog, Michael said that Liz had actress Maine Mendoza wear a "recycled gown" during an AlDub event and had Maine wear a jacket on a magazine cover shoot that Liz had previously worn.
Maine is one-half of the tandem AlDub, composed of Alden (Alden Richards) and Yaya Dub (Maine).
Actress Isabelle Daza and Preview executive editor Isha Andaya attested to Liz's slander complaint – they said they had heard Michael speaking about Liz in a malicious way.
Michael has since released a statement, saying that writers, bloggers, and journalists are free to comment both negatively and positively in order to keep public figures in check.
Gab Valenciano on Rodrigo Duterte
Screengrab from Instagram/gabvalenciano
With the 2016 elections coming up, some celebrities weighed in on the candidates. Musician and multimedia artist Gab Valenciano, son of Gary Valenciano and veteran talent manager Angeli Pangilinan Valenciano, is one of them.
On December 6, Gab reacted to singer Kitchie Nadal's Facebook post about presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City. Gab said that although he respected Duterte, he couldn't support the mayor's morality.
Gab posted another message on Facebook on December 9, expressing disappointment over the many comments he received that attacked him personally – they said that he was just looking for attention because he didn't make it in showbiz.
Gab's brother, Paolo, defended Gab on December 10, against the people who were threatening to harm Gab and his wife, Tricia Centenera.
Their dad Gary also spoke up about the issue to reporters on December 10. He said that he saw where both his son and the critics were coming from, but added that he was sad that he and his wife's past issues were dragged into the controversy.
Honor Thy Father's disqualification
Photo courtesy of Reality Entertainment
On December 26, a day before the awards night of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the movie Honor Thy Father was disqualified from the Best Picture category.
The festival's executive committee cited non-disclosure as the reason behind the disqualification, saying that when Honor Thy Father was included in the festival in October, the producers didn't tell them that it would be screened at another festival prior to the MMFF.
It is within MMFF rules that an entry can be screened at a different festival, as long as the screening has no revenue and the committee is informed about it when producers seek to have their film included in the MMFF.
The movie's producers then argued that they did inform the committee, in November, that they would hold a non-revenue generated, invitation-only screening.
The disqualification raised many questions about the MMFF and angered fans, who thought that Honor Thy Father was deserving of the Best Picture award. The Directors' Guild of the Philippines also condemned the MMFF's move.
Honor Thy Father won 5 awards at the tension-filled MMFF Awards Night this year, with some of the winners encouraging the audience to watch Honor Thy Father, too. Director Erik Matti, who won Best Director for Honor Thy Father, was a no-show, but instead asked, through a representative, that Filipinos demand for a change in Philippine cinema.
On December 28, congressman Dan Fernandez, who played a supporting role in the film, filed a resolution to investigate the disqualification.
Kris Aquino's APEC sunburn
Screengrab from Instagram/withlovekrisaquino
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit was one of the biggest events this year, and aside from the traffic and the bilateral talks, people were buzzing about Kris Aquino's sunburn.
After Kris and her sisters hosted a luncheon and tour of Intramuros for the APEC leaders' spouses on November 18, Kris posted a photo of the sunburn she got because of the tour.
In her photo's caption, she compared her sunburn to the hardship that commuters experienced during APEC week. Because of the traffic and road closures, people had to walk several kilometers to get to work.
Robin Padilla backs out of Nilalang
Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler
In June of this year, Japanese actress Maria Ozawa told Rappler that she was set to do a movie with action star Robin Padilla, entitled Nilalang. But in August, Robin announced that he decided to beg off from the movie, because his wife, Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla, was pregnant. Days later, Mariel suffered a miscarriage.
Jessy Mendiola, Enrique Gil's airplane incident
Tantuco/Rappler, Screengrab from Instagram/senorita_jessy
In September, reports surfaced that actor Enrique Gil had too much to drink and harassed actress Jessy Mendiola while on a plane bound for London. The two were part of ASAP 20’s London show. Luis Manzano, who was seated next to Jessy, confronted Enrique about the incident.
It was reported that actors Jake Cuenca and Paulo Avelino, who were part of the group, allegedly coaxed Enrique to drink. Both of them denied it. Jake Cuenca said he could not comment about the incident, as he was asleep when it allegedly happened.
In an interview on TV Patrol that aired September 11, Enrique admitted that he had some drinks and apologized for his behavior. But despite the apology, Jessy was criticized non-stop by Enrique's fans, who called her a liar and an attention-seeker. Jessy’s mom Didith Garvida, defended her daughter, saying she would file a case of cyber bullying against those who continued to criticize Jessy.
JM de Guzman, Jessy’s ex-boyfriend, also made headlines when he challenged Enrique to a mixed martial arts fight a week after the plane incident. His posts have since been deleted.
Celebrities support Roxas' presidential bid
#KathNiel is for Mar! Teen King and Queen Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo go for Mar Roxas for President in 2016! #DaangMatuwidPaMore A photo posted by Korina Sanchez-Roxas (@thisiskorinasanchezroxas) on Nov 21, 2015 at 7:10pm PST
Ramon Bautista to Mar: Kuya Mar, alam kong dati pinagtatawanan ko yang fist bomb mo na gimmick. Pasubok nga! Aba, enjoy din pala ano?! #bts#fastforward A photo posted by Korina Sanchez-Roxas (@thisiskorinasanchezroxas) on Dec 7, 2015 at 12:20am PST
On November 22, celebrities led by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo (of the KathNiel tandem), and Ramon Bautista expressed their support for Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II. Some of the fans were disappointed, saying the celebrities should not have allowed themselves to be used. Ramon was criticized for his participation, after many social media followers pointed out that he laughed at Mar's awkward fist bump with a young kid early this year.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Ramon defended his choice of Mar, saying that he did his research and that Mar has what it takes to run the country.
Kris Aquino defends PNoy's absence at SAF 44 arrival honors
File photo by Mark Cristino/Rappler
In January, the nation was shocked by the news of 44 elite policemen being killed as they hunted down an international terrorist in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. During the arrival of the remains of the fallen cops at the Villamor Air Base, President Benigno Aquino III was nowhere to be found. He had, instead, attended the inauguration of a Mitsubishi plant in Sta Rosa, Laguna.
Although the President attended the memorial services for the slain policemen afterwards, many social media users were angry over how he handled the incident. The President's sister, TV host Kris Aquino, was also criticized online. Kris defended her brother and unfollowed some celebrities who spoke up about the incident, including Judy Ann Santos, Ogie Alcasid, and Regine Velasquez. Kris has since patched things up with them.
Joey de Leon vs Vice Ganda
In the midst of Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza’s popularity (AlDub), the battle between noontime shows Eat Bulaga and It’s Showtime heated up. Fans of both shows soon traded harsh words following the addition of Angelica Yap or Pastillas Girl on It’s Showtime. Many believed that Pastillas Girl was It's Showtime's answer to compete against AlDub.
In September, Vice Ganda posted a thank you for the “real and organic” tweets It’s Showtime raked in for their anniversary at the Araneta Coliseum. Eat Bulaga host Joey de Leon reacted, saying: “Isang malaking EXCUSE ME lang, HINDI real and organic ang isang bagay na KINOPYA lang. Iba ‘yung developing naturally #ALDUBThisMustBeLove.” (One big EXCUSE ME, something that's a mere imitation is NOT real and organic. It's different when something is developing naturally.)
In October, following Eat Bulaga’s AlDub event dubbed "Tamang Panahon (The Right Time)" at the Philippine Arena, Vice said that he and the hosts of It’s Showtime know that they will never be able to beat Eat Bulaga’s legacy.
"Sa simula pa lang po, talo po kami. Itinataas po namin ang bandera nila dahil sila ay aming mga idolo at mga modelo," Vice said. (Since the beginning, we knew we lost. We've raised the flag to them because they are our idols and role models.)
"Hindi namin matatalo 'yan," he added. (We cannot beat that.)
A few days later, many assumed that some of Joey's tweets about a short-lived career being like that of a horse race was in reference to Vice Ganda, who starred in a movie about a character that turned into a horse whenever he got mad. (READ: Joey de Leon responds to critics about tweets allegedly about Vice Ganda)
The exchange of words have since died down.
Jiro Manio's return
Photo from Facebook/Jiro Manio
On June 30, former child actor Jiro Manio, known for his stint in the 2003 film Magnifico, was found wearing old clothes and roaming inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. It was reported that he had been in the terminal for 4 days. In an interview after the incident, Jiro said he was done with showbiz. Jiro's uncle, Andrew Manio, said that Jiro left their house after an argument.
Following the news, celebrities expressed their support for Jiro. Comedian Ai-Ai delas Alas, who played Jiro’s mother in the movie Ang Tanging Ina, took on the responsibility of taking care of him. Actors Marvin Agustin and Nikki Valdez, who played his siblings in the movie, also expressed their support.
What are your thoughts on this year's showbiz controversies? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com