Heartbreaks, wins and family dramas: PH entertainment stories that generated buzz in 2022 | Inquirer Entertainment

Heartbreaks, wins and family dramas: PH entertainment stories that generated buzz in 2022

/ 11:18 AM December 18, 2022
(From left) Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez; Zeinab Harake; Vhong Navarro; Kris Aquino with sons Josh and Bimby; and Coco Martin as Cardo Dalisay in "FPJ's Ang Probinsyano." Image: Instagram/@teampatdy, @vhongx44, @krisaquino, @cocomartin_ph

(From left) Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez; Zeinab Harake; Vhong Navarro; Kris Aquino with sons Josh and Bimby; and Coco Martin as Cardo Dalisay in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.” Images from Instagram / INQUIRER.net

Updated Dec. 19, 12:33 AM

Just like any year, 2022 had its fair share of highs and lows, and that does not exclude Filipino celebrities. The year was an eventful one for Philippine entertainment—from Tom Rodriguez and Carla Abellana’s shocking separation to Vhong Navarro and Deniece Cornejo’s legal tussle.


Here are 15 of the biggest topics in that dominated local entertainment headlines this year:

Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez part ways

Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez tied the knot in October 2021, so it came as a shock to fans when the pair seemingly started facing marital problems as early as last February.


Abellana and Rodriguez initially kept mum on the issue—opting to just unfollow each other on Instagram and drop cryptic photos on their respective pages—until the actress broke her silence on their separation last June by telling the public that she was “made to look so stupid” by Rodriguez.

Rodriguez eventually aired his side on the breakup and revealed that their divorce is now final in the United States, where he is currently based, but is yet to be recognized in the Philippines.

Last October, months after revealing their split, Rodriguez told the public that he and Abellana are now “moving onto our own paths.”

The two did not disclose the cause of their separation, though the actress’ father Rey “PJ” Abellana earlier said a “one-night stand” was involved. He later retracted this statement.

Vice Ganda and Ion Perez reveal wedding commitment ceremony in Las Vegas

From one shocking breakup comes a touching milestone for another couple. Vice Ganda and Ion Perez announced on Feb. 13 that they secretly had a wedding commitment ceremony in Las Vegas in October 2021.

The ceremony is a “pretend” wedding that does not require legal paperwork, and where the couple can only be declared as partners or a committed couple, instead of being pronounced as husband and wife.


Following this announcement, Vice Ganda revealed that he had been engaged to Perez since 2020, but they opted to keep it a secret from the public because he was scared of the public’s reaction.

Kris Aquino’s fight against her illnesses

Kris Aquino had a rough 2022 when it comes to her health and her autoimmune diseases. She even had to shut down rumors about her health at least twice over the past months.

The Queen of All Media was cleared of diabetes and cancer by February, but tested positive for COVID-19 last June.

Aquino flew to the United States in search of treatments, then revealed that she was diagnosed with four autoimmune diseases and was showing physical manifestations of a fifth.

Despite her condition, Aquino vowed to continue fighting for the sake of her sons Josh and Bimby. She recently signed up with a rare illnesses center in the US and will be extending her stay there to continue with what could possibly be at least 18 months of diagnosis and treatment.

Herlene Budol begins her pageant journey

Herlene Budol officially made her transformation from “Hipon Girl” to “Miss Nicole” last April, when she competed and was named first runner-up in the 2022 edition of Binibining Pilipinas.

Budol then went on to be the Philippines’ bet in the Miss Planet International pageant, but her time in the competition turned out to be a “traumatic experience” as she was apparently chased by armed men when she tried to leave her hotel in Uganda, where the pageant was supposed to be held.

She withdrew from Miss Planet International after “uncertainties” from the competition’s organizers, and hinted at ending her pageant career last Nov. 22.

Liza Soberano pursues her Hollywood dream

Liza Soberano’s former manager Ogie Diaz revealed in May that he and Soberano will be going separate ways as the actress decided to pursue a career in Hollywood. The actress initially went on to self-manage but eventually signed with actor James Reid’s Careless Music in June.

Soberano admitted that starting a career in the US had “always been a dream” for her, and she did not have to wait long for it to happen as she was confirmed to be cast in the Hollywood movie “Lisa Frankenstein” in August.

The movie, which wrapped filming last September, stars Soberano alongside “Riverdale” star Cole Sprouse and “Big Little Lies” actress Kathryn Newton.

Moira Dela Torre and Jason Marvin Hernandez split

Moira Dela Torre and Jason Marvin Hernandez ended May 2022 on a sad note with the confirmation that they separated after three years of marriage. Hernandez confessed to cheating on the “Paubaya” singer during their marriage.

Dela Torre, who admittedly questioned herself after the breakup, now considers herself “healed” and more confident about herself. Meanwhile, Hernandez appears to express regret over a mistake in the two songs he had released since their split.

Dennis Padilla in conflict with Barretto children

Dennis Padilla made headlines last June after he disclosed that his children with actress Marjorie Barretto—Julia, Claudia and Leon Barretto—did not send him a greeting for Father’s Day.

This prompted Leon to stand up for his sisters and tell Padilla to stop “resorting to public shaming” of them. Julia also confessed that she was not ready to forgive Padilla as she was getting tired of the cycle of “making up and getting hurt” when it comes to her father. However, Padilla claims Julia only knows “half the truth” about their family.

Padilla also clarified he was not after his children’s money and only wants to spend time with them.

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‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ concludes nearly 7-year run

After almost seven years on the small screen, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” officially aired its final episode in August 2021. It saw Coco Martin’s Cardo Dalisay return to the province with his family and eventually reunited with Julia Montes’ Mara.

Months after the series ended, another Fernando Poe Jr. classic is set to be brought back to life through an ABS-CBN adaptation of “Batang Quiapo.” The new show stars Martin alongside the daughter of FPJ, actress Lovi Poe.

Vhong Navarro and Deniece Cornejo’s legal battle

Model Deniece Cornejo’s rape case against Vhong Navarro was filed back in 2014, but it recently resurfaced after the Court of Appeals ordered the Taguig City Prosecutor earlier this year to file rape and acts of lasciviousness charges against Navarro.

The actor’s arrest was ordered by the Taguig City Court in September, and he appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation on Sept. 19.

Navarro was then transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology detention facility in Taguig by November and he was eventually granted bail earlier this month.

Heart Evangelista-Chiz Escudero breakup rumors

Despite sharing happy moments together in early 2022, including being together during campaign season and the State of the Nation Address, it appears it was not all sunshine and rainbows for Heart Evangelista and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero during the latter months of the year.

In August, Evangelista dropped the Escudero surname from her Instagram profile, prompting fans to speculate that all is not well between her and the senator.

Evangelista admitted about a month later that she was “in search of happiness” and dealing with “personal struggles,” though she did not state anything specifically. She then revealed she was building a home in Paris and would be staying abroad “indefinitely” amid her various work commitments.

The actress dropped several cryptic quotes and paintings amid breakup rumors, but opted to keep mum on the issue.

Evangelista and Escudero are yet to speak up on their supposed split as of this writing.

Eraserheads together again for reunion concert

Two decades since their disbandment, Eraserheads’ Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala and Marcus Adoro will finally be sharing the stage again on Dec. 22 for their “Huling El Bimbo” reunion concert.

The event, however, came with some drama as fans clamored for Adoro to be excluded from the lineup due to domestic violence allegations against him by his former partner Barbara Ruaro and their daughter Syd Hartha.

At the time, drummer Marasigan expressed hope that the issue would be resolved privately, while Buendia stressed that one of his conditions in performing with Adoro again was that the guitarist should “resolve his issues.”

Adoro apologized on Sept. 26 for the “ruckus” he may have caused and told his daughter that he is hoping for a “second chance for redemption.”

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Billy Crawford emerges as champion in France’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Billy Crawford and his dancing partner Fauve Hautot wowed judges of the dance competition “Danse avec les Stars,” the French version of “Dancing with the Stars,” as early as its pilot episode in September.

The TV host’s hard work and experience on the dance floor paid off as he and Hautot were named the winners of the show in November.

During their time in the competition, Crawford and Hautot received a standing ovation from judges and got to dance with Crawford’s wife, actress Coleen Garcia, when she appeared as a guest “mystery dancer” during one of the show’s episodes.

‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ airs final episode after three decades

“Maalaala Mo Kaya,” which premiered in 1991, ended after 31 years with a three-part finale that ended last Dec. 10.

Its host Charo Santos-Concio expressed gratitude to the show’s letter senders, production staff, directors, writers, actors and viewers in a farewell video in November.

The episode, titled “Scarlet Women,” starred Kaila Estrada in various intense and highly emotional scenes alongside Karina Bautista, Jenny Miller, Meg Imperial, and Trina Legaspi.

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Zeinab Harake’s spat with Wilbert Tolentino, vloggers

Talent manager Wilbert Tolentino’s revelations against his former friend, content creator Zeinab Harake sent the entire vloggosphere in a tizzy after he accused her of badmouthing her fellow vloggers and/or influencers.

Tolentino told the public in an Oct. 23 vlog “Ang Rebelasyon” (The Revelation) that Harake called her fellow vloggers “trash” and revealed a series of private messages between himself and Harake, where she said negative comments about many online personalities.

This prompted Harake to retaliate with a series of of live videos explaining the issues raised by Tolentino.

The issue would have ended there had the personalities mentioned by Tolentino who were stung by Harake’s disparaging messages not cashed in (pun unintended) on the situation and  gave the latter a piece of their mind.

Days later, Harake apologized to everyone who was involved in the issue and asked for forgiveness from her fans who may have been disappointed by the way she acted.

Matet de Leon and mom Nora Aunor’s falling out over gourmet tuyo

Just as the year is about to close, Matet de Leon and her mother Nora Aunor got caught up in family drama after the veteran actress put up a gourmet tuyo business that supposedly directly “competed” with De Leon’s own food business venture.

De Leon confessed she felt “betrayed” by her mother over this move and she does not intend to talk to the national artist anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Aunor has yet to publicly address the matter as of this writing.

The past year marked several happy milestones for some artists while others were subjects of speculations. Will there be more touching and happy topics to run the rumor mill next year? It is yet to be known, but one thing is for sure—it is not only the celebrities, but also their fans who wish for more good news for them in 2023.

Special mentions

*GMA’s Maria Clara at Ibarra‘s time-traveling trope

GMA-7 seemed to have turned back the proverbial hands of time with its historical drama Maria Clara at Ibarra, topbilled by Julie Anne San Jose and Dennis Trillo, with Barbie Forteza as the time-traveling, modern-day Filipina Klay.

What made this television series such a hit with viewers was its fast-paced storytelling and social relevance that spanned the times, with its transcendental imagery appealing to the young and old alike. Indeed, Jose Rizal would have been proud to know that his timeless Noli Me Tangere can still inspire future generations and awaken the youth’s sense of values for justice and love of country.

*Battle of the stars during 2022 national polls

The May 9, 2022 presidential elections, arguably, was the most divisive the country has ever witnessed, with celebrities unabashedly taking sides and flexing their star power to support the candidates of their choice — Ferdinand Marcos, Leni Robredo, Ping Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, or Isko Moreno.

Among the most vocal Marcos supporters are Toni Gonzaga and her husband, director Paul Soriano, Superstar Nora Aunor, Ai-ai delas Alas, Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres, Karla Estrada, and Andrew E.

Robredo, meanwhile, enjoyed the support of most celebrities such as Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano, Angel Locsin, Vice Ganda, Kris Aquino, Nadine Lustre, Jake Ejercito, Cherry Pie Picache, Piolo Pascual, Enchong Dee, and Pokwang. Pangilinan is the nephew of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, who ran as Robredo’s vice president, while Valenciano was his brother-in-law.

Lacson had the backing of Joey de Leon and Vic Sotto, who are two-thirds of the comedic triumvirate, Tito-Vic-Joey, with Tito of course being former Senate President Tito Sotto III who was Lacson’s running mate. Aside from Sotto and de Leon, other Eat Bulaga dabarkads have also joined their political sorties, such as Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao had the support of Eddie Gutierrez and wife Anabelle Rama, Marcelito Pomoy, and Freddie Aguilar. Moreno, on the other hand was supported by his son JD Domagoso, and former Duterte aide, Mocha. EDV


Carla Abellana speaks up on split with Tom Rodriguez: ‘I was made to look so stupid’

Kris Aquino signs up with rare illnesses center, begins months-long diagnosis and treatment process

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