The Scene Stealers of 2008

The Scene Stealers of 2008

Here are the people who mattered most in Philippine showbiz this year:

MARIAN RIVERA (Controversy Magnet)
Whatever Marian Rivera says or does surely elicits people's reaction—positive or negative—simply because she is the hottest star in showbiz today. Proof is the page views and comments that articles about Marian get here in PEP. In our list of 100 Most Viewed articles, more than 10 are stories about Marian.

Marian made the headlines this year for several reasons: a video of her confrontation with a fan; admitting that she is a "jologs"; pregnancy rumor; and her crying over Karylle's "mysterious smile."

This year can be also considered a banner year for Marian's showbiz career. She continued to reign supreme in primetime television, thanks to Marimar and Dyesebel. She was also able to do four movies this year: My Best Friend's Girlfriend, One True Love, Desperadas 2, and Shake, Rattle & Roll X. And to date, she already has 24 endorsements tucked under her belt.

Marian Rivera's screen partner Dingdong Dantes had his share of shining moments this year.

Dingdong established himself as one of the most sought-after young actors in the industry. After taking a risk by shedding off his wholesome image and his clothes, he captured the public's wild imagination.

When he first appeared in the Bench denim and underwear fashion show last July, Dingdong drew the loudest cheers and applause from the audience. Unknown to Dingdong, it was just the start of better things to come.

Later this year, Dingdong ranked No. 3 in E! Television's list of Top 25 Sexiest Men of the World, behind UK soccer superstar David Beckham and Argentinian actor Michael Gurfi. He became the first Filipino to be included in the Sexiest List of E! and the highest-rankled Asian this year.

His recent breakup with singer-actress Karylle was the one of the hottest issues in showbiz this year, of course. The breakup ignited several other issues including his rumored romance with Marian and the rift between Marian and Karylle. All these made Dingdong the hottest male star in 2008.

Probably the biggest comeback in the history of Philippine showbiz is that of Gabby Concepcion.

After staying away from the limelight for 13 years, Gabby—who was one of the top matinee idols in the ‘80s—arrived in the country last March 30. Gabby's return elicited various reactions from people, but it cannot be denied that most of them, especially his fans, were excited to see him once again.

But his homecoming didn't turn out the way he wanted it to be. Although he got a very lucrative deal with ABS-CBN and Star Cinema, it created an issue with GMA Films, which he signed a contract with even when he was still in the States.

He also had to face all the legal cases that he left before he flew to the U.S. Two additional cases were filed against him; one by showbiz writer Jobert Sucaldito and another one by his new manager, Mrs. Rose Flaminiano. Gabby is back in the United States, probably thinking hard about returning to the Philippines.

MANNY PACQUIAO (The Boxing Champ)
Philippine's pride Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao has proven that he is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. This year alone, he won three matches in three different weight divisions: superfeatherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.

After Pacquiao's split-decision victory in his rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15, he became the first Filipino to win three world titles in three weight divisions: WBC flyweight champion, IBF super bantamweight, and WBC super featherweight.

Pacquiao moved to lightweight to fight against David Diaz, whom he knocked out in the ninth round during their match last June 28.

Then, on December 7 (Dec. 6, U.S. time), Pacquiao made boxing great Oscar de la Hoya surrender after the 8th round during their "Dream Match." Although it was a non-title match, Pacquiao made another notch in boxing history by beating one of the boxing legends.

It's interesting to note that all three boxers whom Pacquiao defeated are Mexicans, living up to his reputation as the "Mexican Executioner." Pacquiao's victory over his idol, De la Hoya, symbolizes the passing of the torch from one boxing great to another.

MARKY CIELO (Too Young To Die)
Marky's death literally stole the spotlight from Manny Pacquiao's historic win last December 7 a few hours after this sports news.

The showbiz industry was in total shock when news broke out that 20-year-old actor Marky Cielo, the first and only StarStruck Ultimate Sole Survivor, was found dead in his room in Antipolo City.

Marky's sudden death was deeply mourned by his family, friends, co-workers, and fans. Marky's clean record in showbiz, an exeception rather than rule, made him an inspiration to many.

Marky was always proud of his Igorot roots in Bauko, Mountain Province, where he was buried.

The cause of Marky's death remains a mystery. There were talks that he died on his sleep, that he committed suicide, some even say that there was foul play. But most people would rather not talk about it and give Marky the peace he deserves.

RUDY FERNANDEZ (Goodbye, Daboy)
The whole movie industry mourned the death of action superstar Rudy Fernandez last June 7, after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer.

During his entire ordeal, Daboy's wife, actress Lorna Tolentino, never left his side. It was also during this time that Daboy became closer to his family and bosom friends Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Phillip Salvador.

Three months before his demise, Daboy celebrated his 56th birthday (March 3), with almost all of his closest friends in the industry. During his speech, with his typical fighting spirit, he said: "I'll see you again next year, same time... I'm sure magkikita pa rin tayo. Hang on, huwag kayong malulungkot, I'm not going to die."

KC CONCEPCION (The Megadaughter)
The daughter of Gabby Concepcion and his ex-wife Sharon Cuneta decided to follow in her parents' footsteps and plunged into showbiz.

After finishing her studies in Paris, KC formally entered her parents' world by signing a deal with ABS-CBN. As her baptism of fire, she was given a special episode in the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya. Afterwards, she starred in a month-long drama special titled I Am KC.

This year also saw her birth as a movie actress when she was paired with Richard Gutierrez in Star Cinema's For The First Time. A follow-up movie is now in the works, also with Richard but this time under GMA Films.

She has also recorded her debut album under SonyBMG and appeared in the musical Katy.

KC was chosen by the World Food Program of the United Nations to be the National Ambassador Against Hunger.


Year 2008 was a roller-coaster ride for young actress Jennylyn Mercado.

The first big story of the year was Jennylyn's pregnancy, courtesy of boyfriend Patrick Garcia. But after just a few weeks, the couple ended their relationship bitterly.

Jennylyn gave birth to Alex Jazz Mercado last August 16. Three days after, on August 19, her adoptive father Mr. Roger Mercado passed away.

Until this day, Patrick has yet to see his son and Jennylyn has no plan to give him that privilege.

Jennylyn made a comeback via a two-part episode in the weekly drama anthology Dear Friend, opposite screen partner and ex-boyfriend Mark Herras. She is also in the cast of OctoArts Films' One Night Only, an entry in the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival.

She will next be seen in the GMA-7 Sine Novela Paano Ba ang Mangarap? again with Mark Herras.

Nadia Montenegro may not be active in showbiz anymore, but she never ran out of issues that became topics in showbiz talk shows.

Nadia figured in verbal tussles this year with three women: Gretchen Barretto, Rose Flaminiano and Cristy Fermin. These feuds became the hottest issues this year.

Nadia was accused by Gretchen as the one spreading rumors about her alleged affair with Dody Puno. Nadia was called by Mrs. Flaminiano as the "sulsoltant" of Gabby Concepcion. And finally, Cristy revealed that Nadia allegedly had a daughter out of wedlock.

Nadia's rift with these women remains unresolved, although Gretchen has already expressed her willingness to settle things with Nadia soon.

Former FLT Films producer Mrs. Rose Flaminiano surprised everyone when she was able to convince Gabby Concepcion to return to the Philippines after his 13 years in the U.S. It was Mrs. Flaminiano who initiated a multimillion-peso deal with ABS-CBN for Gabby, which even his former manager Lolit Solis admitted she would not be able to do.

But the partnership between Mrs. Flaminiano and Gabby turned out to be short-lived. Gabby complained of "commission and omission, lack of transparency, and mismanagement of financial and employment concerns." Gabby wanted to terminate his contract but Mrs. Flaminiano would not allow it.

Mrs. Flaminiano also had a verbal tussle with Nadia Montenegro, whom she accused of being the "sulsoltant" of Gabby, making the actor suddenly turn his back on Rose.

Then, later this year, entertainment columnist Aster Amoyo and actresses Ara Mina, Aubrey Miles, and Maui Taylor filed a complaint against Mrs. Flaminiano for a housing loan in Pag-IBIG Fund. They never used the loan, they claimed, yet earned a bad record at the agency.

ERASERHEADS (Concert of the Year)
Music aficionados would remember August 30 as one of the most historic moments in Philippine music. The ‘90s Pinoy rock band Eraserheads reunited for a one-night concert at the Fort Open Field, Taguig City, before an eager audience of approximately 40,000.

Many thought that an Eraserheads reunion concert would not be possible, since band members Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro had a falling out before their disbandment in 2002. But, by some miracle, the four agreed to do the reunion concert.

But the concert was cut short when Ely had to be rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains due to emotional and physical stress. His mother had passed away a few days before the concert.

Although the concert ended abruptly, it paved the way for the Eraserheads members to reconnect and renew their friendship.

CHARICE PEMPENGCO (International Singing Sensation)

Teen singer Charice Pempengco conquered the international music scene this year with her exceptionally powerful voice.

After being discovered in YouTube and personally invited by Ellen Degeneres to perform on her show last year, Charice appeared in international TV shows (The Paul O'Grady Show and Oprah) and performed with some of the world's best singers—Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, David Foster, and the Jonas Brothers.

Oprah Winfrey called Charice "the most talented girl in the world." Charice has performed in the USA, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands.

~Erwin Santiago

Anonymous –   – (Thursday, January 01, 2009 9:33:00 AM)  

i dis agree na si marian ang greatest newsmaker. another media hype kasi kung talagang sikat siya, bakit konti ang nanunuod ng mga movies niya? meaning ang publicity machine ng GMA ay pinapagana ni wilma galvantot thru her paid hacks.... ayaw nga ng mga bata sa kanya kasi balahurang matanda, pati nipple na nakikita eh super lawlaw naman ng boobs niya, may anak na siya kasi di ba?

Anonymous –   – (Saturday, January 03, 2009 5:18:00 AM)  

sino namang nagsabi sayo na may anak yan? si angel? eh pagtabihin mo yang dalwang yan, malalaman mo na kung sino ang abortionada

Anonymous –   – (Saturday, January 03, 2009 8:06:00 PM)  

cnu nga b ??
mlmng c MAriAn n uN !!!
ahaha .. LOLx ...

Anonymous –   – (Sunday, January 04, 2009 1:47:00 AM)  

as usual paghindi panalo ang EBS, dinaya. pag panalo - WORDLDCLASS!

Anonymous –   – (Saturday, February 28, 2009 1:34:00 AM)  

aheheheeh... so your point is?

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