• That’s a wrap


    The year that was in Lifestyle and Entertainment

    WITH a year full of hashtags, midnight sensations, come backs and goodbyes. The Manila Times takes a look back at what was yet again an exciting year that was in Lifestyle and Entertainment.

    Join us as we recognize the personalities and events that made 2015 too hot to handle.


    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis
    The year 2015 opened for the Philippines blessedly as Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, visited Manila and Tacloban from January 15 to 19. As a pre-dominantly Catholic nation, Filipinos showed their unprecedented love for the Holy Father as thousands upon thousands flocked to see him, be near him or at least breathe the same air as him. Among his official activities for his apostolic visit were the Meeting of Families and Holy Mass at SM Mall of Asia; a Mass for the religious at the Manila Cathedral: and the Meeting with Youths at the University of Santo Tomas.

    One of the highlights of his first ever trip to the Philippines—and perhaps the most moving—was his visit to Tacloban where he gave a strong message of hope to the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan).

    Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach

    Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach

    Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
    Just when Filipinos thought they had seen enough unbelievable moments for the year 2015, there was the fateful morning of December 21. That Monday (Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada), Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, 26, gave the Philippines its third Miss Universe crown, 42 years after the country last won. But that’s not all. Wurtzbach’s coronation was one for the books as well. Infamously labelled as “the worst live TV moment,” host Steve Harvey initially—and mistakenly—declared Wurtzbach’s runner up, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, Miss Universe.

    The Latina beauty was promptly crowned and “uncrowned” within two minutes uncrowning in front of millions of global viewers.

    While the major booboo robbed Wurtzbach and the Philippines of the moment, the true and deserving winner brought even more pride to country as she showed grace and composure throughout the ordeal.

    Maria Letizia Dantes

    Maria Letizia Dantes

    Baby Letizia
    The moment Philippine TV’s “royal couple” Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes announced they were having a baby, Maria Letizia Dantes became the country’s most-awaited baby for 2015. And when she the stork finally delivered her on November 23, Letizia became everyone’s favorite baby.

    Baby Letizia promptly made headlines when her mom posted her first picture on Instagram. She earned a whopping 300,000 likes way before she’ll ever have her on IG account.

    To say that the “accidental love team” of promising actor Alden Richards and new comer Maine “YayaDub” Mendoza—collectively known as “AlDub” and “MaiDen”—is 2015’s hottest property is an understatement.

    Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards

    Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards

    “Phenomenal” is the word many have used to describe the unlikely pair borne out of an Eat Bulaga “Kalyserye” episode on July 16. But since then, nothing has stopped the two from shooting up the ladder of fame—and wealth. They have swept the biggest product endorsements, whether on TV or billboards. They filled up the 50,000-seater Philippine Arena. They’ve been featured by international media (BBC, Reader’s Digest, etc.), and now they have topped the box office at the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival for My Bebe Love.

    Indeed, this phenomenal love team has proven that social media, genuine chemistry, talent, humility, and serendipity can add up to make the country’s most influential celebrities.

    * * *

    The scene-stealers

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

    Prime Minister
    Justin Trudeau

    APEC hotties
    Netizens mixed business with pleasure when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the Philippines hosted two gorgeous world leaders, Prime Minister Justine Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, among others. We definitely welcomed them in our Lifestyle pages on top of the Business pages because they were—well—smoking hot.

    What team were you again: #TeamPapi or #TeamBae?

    The Papal visit hotties
    As holy as it should be, the historical first visit of Pope Francis in Manila from January 15 to 19 was given the “Twitter twist” as netizens saw—besides the beloved Holy Father—some good looking gentlemen in his entourage. Remember the Pope’s security personnel? How about his camera men? And who could ever forget the young seminarian who sang the Psalm at his Manila Cathedral mass?

    Alma Moreno
    “Yes, with reservations.” After her awkward and cringe-worthy interview with Karen Davila, aspiring senatorial candidate Alma Moreno found herself the butt of Internet jokes and the face of new memes. All because she didn’t come prepared to the hot seat.

    * * *

    Hits and comebacks
    While the opening year heard Taylor Swift on radio with “Blank Space;” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars with dance tune “Uptown Funk;” Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth mellowing the charts with “See You Again;” The Weeknd and OMI putting the groove back with “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Cheerleader” respectively, two of the biggest hits this year belong to returning artists. They are Justin Bieber and Adele.

    Beliebers and Bieber’s fandom, rejoiced when the pop star set aside his bad boy image and returned with the critics-approved album Purpose and the hits, “What do you mean” and “Sorry.” Adele, on the other hand, came back from her three-year hiatus with the chart-busting “Hello” from her new 25 album.



    Farewells and concerts
    If the international music scene welcomed comebacks, the local scene—the rock genre in particular—bid goodbye to two of its most iconic bands: Urbandub and Kamikazee.

    “Huling Sayaw” was the final tribute concert of Kamikazee which, in its 15-year journey, gave hits such as “Narda” and “Marty Nyebera,” among others. Urbandub, on the other hand, bid goodbye to their followers at a concert they called “Endless.”

    Foreign acts in PH
    Star power wasn’t lacking in the concert scene as the biggest international musical acts performed for their local fans, one after another.

    First-timers One Direction, Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith sold out their respective concerts while Christina Perri, Charli XCX, Imagine Dragons and Spandau Ballet entertained their pop, electro-pop, and rock-loving fans.

    The Philippines also saw Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, Incubus, The Script, Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys and Chris Brown perform in the country’s capital once more.

    And while Madonna’s much awaited—and uber pricey—concert has yet to happen in February 2016, the Material Girl’s forthcoming visit to the country made headlines this year as if she were already here.

    * * *

    Continued series, remade stories

    The year saw the anticipated continuation of movie series such as Spectre, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Insurgent, Magic Mike XXL and Pitch Perfect 2, as well as the return of Terminator: Genisys, Jurassic World and Mission Impossible years after the release of their predecessors. Fantastic Four was given the reboot.

    But arguably the most anticipated movie of the year was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh movie franchised released 10 years after its last one.

    The cast of ‘Furious 7’

    The cast of ‘Furious 7’

    Hi’s and goodbye’s
    Year 2015 also saw, for the first time, the movie adaptations of Marvel Comics’ of Ant-Man, The Martian based on Andy Weir’s novel, and the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey based on the novel of the same name by E.L. James. Meanwhile new movie franchise Mad Max: Fury Road made a huge debut.

    Followers of some popular franchises also bid adieu to their beloved movie series, namely, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Furious 7.

    By the end ‘Pelikulang Pilipino’ on the rise
    In the local scene, Filipinos saw the rise of “hugot” films that basically refer to relatable scenes for the audinece. Of course, these are typically stories that depict heart breaks.

    One of the first few to do so—and the pioneer of this new breed—is the maindie (indie films released in main theaters) That Thing Called Tadhana that starred Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman.

    On the other hand, making history at the box office for the first time was a local historical film. Thanks to the humorous yet deeply rooted and thought-provoking masterpiece that is Jerrold Tarrog’s Heneral Luna. It is the Philippines’ official entry to the 2016 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film.

    Oh and at the tail end of the year, the sappy-seeking moviegoers were satiated with the sequel to 2007’s One More Chance, A Second Chance, which is now considered as the highest grossing Filipino film of all time. That’s P500 million for Star Cinema and the John Lloyd-Bea tandem.

    And that’s a wrap for 2015!


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