Celebrity weddings, pregnancy announcements and Filipinos making waves in the international scene were among the top lifestyle and entertainment newsmakers for 2018.
• Kylie Padilla and Aljur Abrenica
Longtime couple Kylie Padilla and Aljur Abrenica tied the knot in a star-studded ceremony last 11 December at Villa Milagros in Rizal. The 25-year-old mom of Baby Alas walked down the aisle in a Mak Tumang bridal gown (the same designer of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray), while Aljur wore a patterned suit.
• Iza Calzado and Ben Wintle
Actress Iza Calzado married her longtime partner, Filipino-British businessman Ben Wintle, in an intimate wedding ceremony at Club Paradise in Coron Palawan last 19 December. The two met through their common friend Isabelle Daza at a magazine event back in 2011.
• Christian Bautista and Kat Ramnani
Christian Bautista and model-girlfriend Kat Ramnani got married on Saturday, 17 November in a small intimate ceremony held in Bali, Indonesia, the first of their two planned weddings. The wedding was witnessed by some of their closest friends, including Erik Santos and Sam Concepcion.
• Lotlot de Leon and Fadi El Soury
Seasoned actress Lotlot de Leon married longtime partner, Lebanese businessman Fadi El Soury, in a private garden wedding in San Juan, Batangas on 17 December. Lotlot was formerly married to Ramon Christopher, with whom she has four children.
•Rachelle Ann Go and Martin Spies
International thespian Rachelle Ann Go married her American businessman boyfriend Martin Spies in an exclusive ceremony held in Boracay last 18 April. It was reported that the two often traveled back and forth to London while Rachelle was still doing Hamilton.
• Iya Villania
TV host and actress Iya Villania together with husband Drew Arellano revealed last February that they were expecting the birth of their second son. The announcement was done through a CrossFit session. Their eldest son, Antonio Primo Arellano, was born 30 August 2016.
• Cristalle Belo Pitt
Vicki Belo’s first daughter and the managing director of the Belo Medical Group welcomed her firstborn Hunter James Pitt with husband Justin, an Australian hotelier, last 28 May.
• Sarah Lahbati
Actor Richard Gutierrez and fiancee Sarah Lahbati welcomed their second son Kai Gutierrez on 21 March. Richard and Sarah are already parents to their eldest) Zion, whom they introduced to the public through the reality show It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez.
• Marian Rivera
Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera announced that she is pregnant with her second child with husband Dingdong Dantes last 25 September through an Instagram post. Marian gave birth to their first child, Maria Letizia, in November 2015 after a year of marriage.
• The industry also mourned the passing of some of the country’s icons including Rico J. Puno, Pitoy Moreno, Bernardo Bernardo, Mario J. de Los Reyes, Spanky Manikan, National Artist Napoleon Abueva, National Artist Cirilo F. Bautista, heritage advocate Augusto Villalon, writer Rogelio Mangahas, Senator Edgardo Angara, writer Ligaya Tiamson–Rubin, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, writer Edgard Maranan and Gilberto Duavit, Filipino entrepreneur, politician and founder of GMA Network, Inc.
4. Filipinos in the international scene
• Kris Aquino for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’
Kris Aquino played the role of Princess Intan, a Malaysian princess in the movie version of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians. The movie, which reportedly garnered more than $200 million, had its Philippine release last 22 August. Filipino-American actor Nico Santos, known for his role in Superstore, is also part of the cast.
• Rachelle Ann Go’s nomination for ‘Hamilton’ Theater actress and singer Rachelle Ann Go was nominated for Best Actress by 2018 Broadway World UK Awards for her role as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, wife of America’s founding father Alexander Hamilton. Go was joined by another Filipina, Christine Allado, who portrayed Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the musical.
• Maine Mendoza MAC lipstick
Twelve influencers from around the world were chosen to create a custom MAC lipstick shade. Maine Mendoza, Manila’s fastest rising star, was the sole Asian in the group. The peachy beige shade she created was named after her social media handle @mainedcm. It only took one minute for the stocks to be sold out after its release online.
5. Boracay rehabilitation
Boracay, the Philippines’ ultimate tourist destination, underwent its first phase of rehabilitation on 16 April to pave the way for the government and local authorities to address its extreme environmental degradation, particularly seawater pollution and illegal encroachment. Strict enforcement of guidelines and policies were implemented such as the prohibition of alcohol drinking and smoking in beachfront areas, no partying within the no-build zone, regulation of sand castle-making and prohibition of open fires and use of kerosene gas/fuel lamps. After five months, the island reopened on 26 October but only allowed a limited number of tourists, which currently numbers at 19,215 guests per day. Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat ensures that Boracay will continue on with the Phase 2 and 3 of its massive rehabilitation.