2020 is arguably one of the most challenging years for the Philippines, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, calamities, and a myriad of social issues. As the year ends, most would find it disheartening to look for a silver lining out of all the challenges we encountered.
However, despite the struggles and challenges that Filipinos faced this 2020, some personalities rose to the occasion. They faced the challenges head-on and became big winners in their own right in the middle of the pandemic and calamities.
Here are some of the celebrity winners of 2020 and their resounding accomplishments:
Despite the issues she faced this 2020, she rose above it and earned her place as one of the Most Admired Celebrities in RAWR Awards 2020.
Firstly, she ended ‘The General’s Daughter’ on a high note this 2020. Then, her previous television series with the Kapamilya network became a priority for reruns when local productions stopped due to the pandemic. Locsin also had her public service program debut via ‘Iba Yan’, where she features local communities.
She also led multiple outreach projects during the wake of quarantines and lockdowns. In addition to her philanthropic ventures, Angel also joined relief operations for communities hit with typhoons, which earned praise from Netizens. It led to her inclusion in 100 Digital Stars in Forbes Asia as one of the most influential celebrities on social media.
During the ABS-CBN franchise renewal hearings, she became a voice of Kapamilya employees, battling to have the media giant stay on-air. She also became a victim of red-tagging, which later on addressed, with her embodying an empowered woman.
She received flak for her viral comments about the lockdowns, starting the Bawal Lumabas trend in the Philippines. Despite the negative feedback from netizens, Kim used what happened to her advantage. Because of that, the Bawal Lumabas trend gave her a music single and a series.
She also became one of the prominent hosts of ABS-CBN this year. From her stint in It’s Showtime, Pinoy Big Brother Connect, and the recently concluded ABS-CBN Christmas Special 2020, she proved her hosting chops with her organic wit and natural humor.
The love team of Kyle Echarri and Francine Diaz remained strong despite the pandemic.
They hailed from the hit teleserye, Kadenang Ginto. However, their pairing has a solid fan base on social media. Because of their palpable chemistry and solid fan base, they won the Love Team of the Year in the recently concluded RAWR Awards 2020.
Now, they also have an upcoming teleserye Huwag Kang Mangamba to air this 2021.
The all-boy Pinoy Pop group swept the nation with their on-point and energetic performances. They also have a solid fan base in the Philippines that has an active social media presence.
With that, SB19 won big in multiple award-giving bodies, including RAWR Awards 2020, wherein they won four categories. These are Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Song of the Year for Alab, Favorite Performer, and Favorite Group. One of their solid fan clubs, ATIN, won the Fan Club of the Year in RAWR Awards 2020.
Tony Labrusca also won big this year with his projects such as Bagong Umaga and the hit Boy Love series Hello Stranger. The success of the BL Series spun a movie sequel that is currently in production at this time.
Elijah Canlas is one of the big winners this 2020. He won multiple best actor awards this 2020 from multiple award-giving bodies for his role in the movie, Kalel, 15 such as Best Actor for Gawad Urian Awards and FAMAS awards. Canlas also won the Favorite Bida of the Year award from the RAWR Awards 2020.
Aside from that, he also pioneered the wave of BL series in the Philippines with Gameboys: The Series, paving the way for a better portrayal of queer stories. The series itself won the Digital Series Award for the RAWR Awards 2020. Because of the success of Gameboys, Netflix picked up the BL series in the roster of Filipino streamed content. The series received its green light for its second season.
Kokoy de Santos
Kokoy de Santos with Canlas pioneered the wave of BL series in the country. Gameboys: The Series won the Digital Series of the Year in RAWR Awards 2020. The series also received a Netflix pick-up in which the streaming giant included the BL series in one of their upcoming contents this 2020. Aside from Gameboys, de Santos also stars in the TV5 series Stay -n Love and the iWanTV BL series Oh, Mando!
He also won big this 2020. First, with his top-billing role in the ABS-CBN series, ‘Walang Hanggang Paalam’. Avelino also trended recently for the frontal nudity scene in his Metro Manila Film Festival entry, ‘Fan Girl’, an Antoinette Jadaone Film. Aside from his recent social media popularity, Paolo bagged the Best Actor award at the MMFF 2020 Gabi ng Parangal for portraying a fictionalized version of himself.
One of the biggest wins this 2020 is from the breakout star of the MMFF 2020 entry ‘Fan Girl’ star, Charlie Dizon. She brought on a riveting performance into her role as an obsessed fan girl; shedding light on the dark side of stan-culture.
Because of her portrayal, Dizon won the coveted Best Actress award in the MMFF 2020’s Gabi ng Parangal.
Alden Richards marks his 10th year in showbiz this 2020. Perhaps, his crowning achievements this year are his multiple awards, such as Gawad Urian and Guillermo Mendoza Scholarship Foundation Box Office Entertainment Awards. He also made history after his sold-out virtual concert, Alden’s Reality. Additionally, he also won the Actor of the Year Award in the recently concluded RAWR Awards 2020.
The Young Mayor of Pasig City, Vico Sotto, made news after his effective response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Netizens lauded his policies and actions that helped aid his constituents during the ensuing lockdowns and quarantines. Because of his actions, most of the public sees him in a higher electoral position this coming 2022 elections.
Actress Janine Gutierrez made a mark this 2020 with her Best Actress Award wins from Gawad Urian Awards and the recently concluded FAMAS Awards for the film Babae at Baril.
Ian and Paolo Pangilinan
Both newcomers to the showbiz industry, Ian Pangilinan and Paolo Pangilinan proved how the BL series in the country helped improve the representation of queer characters on media platforms.
Through the BL Series Gaya sa Pelikula, they shed light on issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. Aside from their advocacy, Ian and Paolo’s chemistry, on and off-screen, resulted in their win as the BL Tandem of the Year in the recently concluded RAWR Awards 2020.
The overall success of the BL series resulted in its inclusion in Netflix’s roster of Filipino content.
Jessica Villarubin is the grand-winner of the 3rd season of GMA7’s reality singing competition, The Clash. Out of six finalists, Villarubin proved her vocal chops and bagged home the grand winner title.
Maine Mendoza also remained as one of the most popular and vocal celebrities this 2020. Her active social media presence shed light on social issues faced by Filipinos this year. Aside from that, her film Isa Pa with Feelings also had resounding success with it joining the roster of Filipino content on Netflix. Mendoza also bagged the Actress of the Year Award in the recently concluded RAWR Awards 2020.
Arjo Atayde also bagged a prestigious award win this 2020. He won the Best Actor Award in the 3rd Asian Academy Creative Awards in Singapore for the digital series, Bagman.
Vice President Leni Robredo also made a mark this 2020 for her efforts and initiatives against the COVID-19 pandemic and calamities that ravaged Bicol, Cagayan, and Isabela. Despite negative feedback from supporters of the administration, VP Leni continues to serve the public interest and aid in relevant social issues.
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo also won big this year as a dark horse in the said pageant.
Mateo upset the fan favorites and became the eventual winner.
After her victory, some disputed her claim to the Miss Universe PH Crown. However, Mateo proved them wrong with her Miss Universe qualities through her grace, poise, beauty, and intelligence.
Jennylyn Mercado also had a fruitful 2020 amidst the pandemic, especially with the recently concluded limited series I Can See You: Truly, Madly, Deadly, which created the most buzz out of the four offerings of the drama anthology.
Paolo Contis also had projects lined up this 2020, such as Bubble Gang and I Can See You: The Promise.
However, his most notable achievement came from the 2018 film, Through Night and Day on Netflix. He gained recognition from netizens and the movie became the top searched film on Netflix PH. Aside from the streaming success of Through Night and Day, Contis also gained popularity for the movie Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap as it became one of the top 10 most searched films in Netflix PH.
Iza Calzado made a full recovery after testing postive for COVID-19. She became the face of hope amidst the pandemic. After her recovery, Calzado continued her projects with ABS-CBN. Her teleserye, Ang Iyo Ay Akin, became a sure-fire hit of the Kapamilya network amidst its shutdown and the pandemic.
Transwoman and actress Mela Habijan won the First Miss Trans Global 2020. The competition was via virtual conference in which she bagged not only the title but three additional awards. Habijan has an active social media presence in which she promotes her advocacies for the trans community and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Ben&Ben received international recognition this year after their nomination in the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards for the Best Musical Act in South East Asia.
Kathryn Bernardo also brought a big win for 2020 with her Best Actress nominations for FAMAS and Gawad Urian Awards for Hello, Love, Goodbye. She also received recognition with her inclusion in the inaugural Forbes Asia’s 100 Digital Stars list. Aside from that, Kathryn, alongside Daniel Padilla, has been active in relief efforts during typhoons Rolly and Ulysses, inspiring fans at artists to help Bicol, Cagayan, and Isabela.
Daniel Padilla made a mark this year with his successful online concert, Apollo, last October 2020. Aside from his digital success, Daniel, alongside Kathryn, lead relief efforts to areas affected by typhoons Ulysses and Rolly. Their initiative inspired both fellow artists and fans to help out affected communities in the country.
These 22 personalities left their mark in 2020. Their resounding achievements prove that people can rise above challenges and ultimately succeed. They bring the hope of a new and inspiring beginning for everyone as we enter 2021.