The measures of success in the pandemic years have become looser. It’s a strange time that seemingly demands that we recuperate from losses by simultaneously resting and reaching a banner year goal post. But ultimately, our personal goals (whatever that may be) are the true benchmarks of a year well spent. In choosing this year’s list of Filipina celebrities who won 2021, we looked at the women who achieved personal milestones or made big life changes for the better.
By the tail end of 2020, Nadine Lustre faced a legal battle against Viva Artists Agency due to what her team calls an “unconscionable, oppressive and illegal contract.” This year, the lawsuit against the singer-actress reached a conclusion. Although Lustre is still under the agency, she was still able to keep her “hard-earned money during the time of her self-management” and she now has control over her “branding and image.” Shooting for her upcoming Viva film with Diego Loyzaga titled “Greed” has also started.
Lustre also made headlines this year when photos of her in Siargao with her rumored new boyfriend went viral. Aside from her sarsa run photo, pictures of her in bikinis also made the rounds. When one netizen made unpleasant quips about her weight, Lustre was quick to shut down the body shaming. Her single “Wait For Me” suggests that her move to Siargao is a way to help her let go and focus on herself. She’s also working on launching the mental health platform Mind You with Yassi Pressman and Liza Soberano.
Belle Mariano is gearing up to be one of the next generation’s top leading ladies. This year, her love team with Donny Pangilinan reached new heights. DonBelle got their first major starring roles in the enemies-to-lovers teen teleserye “He’s Into Her.” Not long after, they took on slightly more serious roles for their love team’s movie “Love is Color Blind.” They’ve also starred in the music video for Ben&Ben’s “Upuan.”
Aside from showing off her acting chops, Mariano dropped two tracks this year titled “Sigurado” and “Tanging Dahilan.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Kathryn Bernardo’s love team with Daniel Padilla. To celebrate, the real life couple dropped a self-made documentary chronicling the years they spent together. The couple has started being more open about their future plans to get married and have kids in their vlogs. In another vlog, Bernardo gave us a tour of her new studio, which was a surprise gift from her mom. Padilla also lent her mom a hand to pull it off.
On screen, their love team also continues to flourish with the re-release of their 2020 series “The House Arrest of Us” on another streaming platform and their upcoming TV comeback with “2 Good 2 Be True.” Another interesting achievement? ABS-CBN has signed a deal for five KathNiel movies to be adapted for Bollywood.
Bea Alonzo’s decision to move to GMA 7 after spending 20 years at the ABS-CBN network may have come as a surprise to some fans. But her excitement for the move is certainly palpable. Among her upcoming GMA projects is a film adaptation of South Korea’s “A Moment to Remember” with Alden Richards. Her longtime screen partner John Lloyd Cruz has also signed with GMA so a reunion is a big possibility.
Outside of GMA, Alonzo has nabbed the lead role in Hollywood flick “Angel Warrior” and has made a music video appearance for Skusta Clee and Gloc-9’s “Karma.” Alonzo has also confirmed her relationship with Dominique Roque and they’ve been pretty sweet on social media since.
Since 2020, we’ve seen Liza Soberano grow more passionate about her advocacies. One of the ways this translated is her appointment as a Save the Children Philippines ambassador. As mentioned earlier, the actress has teamed up with Lustre and Pressman to launch a mental health platform. She has also remained critical of the government’s insufficient financial aid during the pandemic and joined the call to raise the age of sexual consent in the Philippines.
One of Soberano’s biggest projects this year is lending her voice to Alexandra Trese for the animated series adaptation of “Trese.” While waiting for LizQuen’s next undertaking, Soberano and Enrique Gil happily celebrated their seventh anniversary. Take that, seven-year itch.
Fil-Am star Bella Poarch is bigger than TikTok now. After gaining a following with her lip-sync TikToks, she branched out to making music. In May, she released her debut single “Build a B*tch.” The music video also garnered attention for cameos from her cousin Bretman Rock, Mia Khalifa, Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, and Zachary “ZHC” Hsieh.
In August, she collaborated with Sub Urban for “Inferno.” “As a victim of sexual assault, this song and video mean a lot to me. This is something I haven’t been ready to share with you just yet. It’s very hard for me to talk about. But I’m ready now,” Poarch said about the single. The music video, which shows sexual predators getting punished (as they should), also featured cameos from Bretman Rock and Ivana Alawi.
She’s also opened up about her experience with post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse. Bagging the breakout creator award at the 2021 YouTube Streamy Awards, Poarch has proved that she’s a formidable force.
Did your favorite celebrities make it on our list?