As cliché as it may seem, 2017 was definitely one of those years that were total roller coaster rides with all the ups and downs it had to offer. The country had a lot of shining moments brought about by various personalities who excelled in their respective fields. Needless to say, the nation also witnessed as many low points from other influential individuals and groups. Below is a list of Philippine personalities who played a major part in defining how this year will forever be remembered in history.
1) Mocha Uson
There’s no denying that 2017 was the year of fake news. That being said, we have to hand it to communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson, who constantly remained a central figure of both political and online discussions due to the countless issues she was involved in. From her controversial appointment as a high ranking government official, to Senator Antonio Trillanes filing cyber libel charges against her, she was a constant headline-maker in her own way. We’ll leave it though to the readers to decide whether it was for better or worse.
2) Alex and Empoy
The unlikely tandem of Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez quite literally struck gold after finding just the right on-screen chemistry with Kita Kita, a rom-com directed by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo that captured the hearts of the public. The film went on to gross over P300 million as it became the biggest surprise blockbuster of the year.
She might not have won the crown for the country, but Rachel Peters still made the Filipino nation proud as our bet for this year's Miss Universe pageant.
4) TNC Pro Team
This year, the Pinoy Dota 2 players of TNC Pro Team made their mark in the world of e-sports after they won the WESG 2017 tournament and took home the grand prize of $800,000 (a whopping P40 million). But they didn’t stop there since they also bagged P17 million in the annual TI7 event while also getting another P3.2 million in the MDL Macau tournament this December.
5) Kian delos Santos
Aside from fake news, the whole year was also filled with countless cases of extrajudicial killings. August was particularly a bloody month with more than 80 suspects slain in less than a week. But it was the case of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos that sparked public outrage after police reports on the incident contradicted the events shown in CCTV footage recovered.
Kangkong no more. Our kabarangays at Ginebra San Miguel retained their title after a sensational 101-96 victory against the Meralco Bolts in their Game 7 win during the Governors’ Cup finals at the Philippine Arena last October.
At 24 years of age, last year’s third ranker Nadine Lustre climbed the ranks and toppled the likes of bombshell babe Kim Domingo and the sensual Rhian Ramos to take home FHM’s Sexiest Woman title of 2017.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has been a major source of frustration among commuters and motorists due to the unpopular decisions it made, especially those involving the ban of major ride-hailing services like Grab and Uber. Chairman Martin Delgra's out of this world quotes and awkward remarks seemed out of touch with the plight of the riding public.
Boxer-turned-politico Manny Pacquiao might have lost his welterweight belt to Australian schoolteacher Jeff Horn, but that didn’t stop him from repeatedly making the headlines. The fighting senator from Sarangani recently became a topic of conversation after the President apparently endorsed him for the presidency in 2022.
10) Chito Gascon
It’s been a rough year for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) with all the pressure they’ve been getting for opposing the government’s bloody war on drugs. Despite initially being given a measly P1,000 budget by the House of Representatives, Chairman Chito Gascon embraced his role as the rock-solid foundation that kept the CHR going amid a sea of criticism.
11) Philippine basketball’s three young Kings
For us Filipinos, the KKK would automatically point to the revolutionary Katipunan that helped shape our country. But now, these initials find new meaning with a trio of promising basketball stars in Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, and Kai Sotto. Together, these three will inevitably become the face of Philippine basketball as they continue to dominate the sport in their own ways.
Last May, the Maute group launched a massive plan to capture the city of Marawi. At the same time, the group also pledged allegiance to the ISIS network of international terrorists as they took over vital areas of the city. It took five months before Marawi was liberated from the terrorist threat thanks to our heroic troops. However, over thousands were killed and the city was literally pulverized from all the air strikes conducted by the military.
13) Ellen and JLC
Ellen Adarna and John Lloyd Cruz have long been rumored to be a couple, but they have yet to confirm their real score despite being affectionate both in public and online. In September, the pair broke the internet after videos of them vacationing in Cebu surfaced with what appeared to be an inebriated JLC pulling off some crazy stunts.
14) Atio Castillo
Hazing once again became one of the country’s hottest topics after the heavily bruised and lifeless body of UST law freshman Horacio Castillo was supposedly dumped in a street in Tondo. It turned out later that the story was made up by members of the Aegis Juris fraternity, who were desperately trying to cover up their initiation rites that resulted in Atio’s death.
15) Xander Ford
“Marlou is dead,” or at least this is how former Hasht5 member Marlou Arizala, now known as Xander Ford would like to put it after he went under the knife to enhance his facial features. The results following the cosmetic procedure were nothing short of astounding, but this didn’t stop his haters from bashing the social media star.
16) Apo Whang-Od
If tattoos are right up your alley then you’ve probably heard of Apo Whang-Od, the tattoo artist from Buscalan, Kalinga who claims to be over a hundred years old. Believed to be the last mambabatok, Apo Whang-Od uses the traditional Kalinga tattoo technique to create unique works of art that led to her rise in popularity especially among celebrities. It didn’t take long for larger organizations to find a way to fly her to Manila for an event where she was allegedly exploited.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles finally reclaimed the UAAP collegiate basketball crown in the sweetest way possible after defeating archrivals De La Salle Green Archers in an electrifying Game 3 do-or-die Finals matchup. There were tons of key plays and hustles from both sides, but the most important and sensational of them all was when Ateneo big man Isaac Go sunk a clutch cold-blooded three during the dying seconds of the fourth quarter to seal the deal.