Here’s a look at the most popular lifestyle stories in 2012:
1.Janine Tugonon's Miss Universe journeyMaking a last-minute entry to ABS-CBNnews.com's list of top lifestyle stories for the year is the performance of Philippine bet Janine Tugonon in the Miss Universe 2012 pageant, where she finished first runner-up.
Although she lost to Miss USA Olivia Culpo, Tugonon was praised for her answer in the pageant's final round, and for maintaining grace under pressure.
The Pharmacy cum laude graduate is set to celebrate her victory in Palawan with her boyfriend, Jaypee Santos.
2.Chavit and his ‘women’Coming in second place is Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, who was photographed with a group of women wearing skimpy outfits. The photo, which was released in February, went viral on social media sites and drew the ire of several Filipino netizens.
Singson later claimed that the controversial photo was taken during a commercial shoot for an alcoholic drink
3. Chavit and his ‘women’Five months after the “leak” of Singson’s controversial photo, Filipino netizens were once again talking about the Ilocos Sur governor on social media following the television appearance of his newest partner.
On the ABS-CBN morning talk show “Kris TV” hosted by Kris Aquino, 27-year-old Josephine Pintor said she met Singson, 71, when she was only 14.
Several Facebook and Twitter users noted that Pintor can already be considered Singson’s granddaughter.
4. Robinsons ‘snake’ returnsThird on the list is the alleged mutant snake in Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas Avenue. A video of the snake went the rounds of some social media accounts amid an aggressive expansion by the Gokongwei-led company.
The video, later found to be a fake, showed a snake with a humanoid head complete with blonde hair. The urban legend, which started in the mid-1990s, said that the Robinsons’ snake spied on women in dressing rooms, and occasionally ate them.
5.Girl in skimpy shorts poses in front of crossA year after an artist drew flak for adding phallic symbols to religious images, a young woman became a subject of controversy for posing in front of a cross while wearing skimpy clothes.
Internet users from the Philippines, a largely Catholic country, called the woman “a disgrace” for “disrespecting their religion” after seeing the photo, which became viral on social media sites last April.
The photo is said to be taken in Angeles City, Pampanga, a hotbed for Holy Week rituals such as self-flagellation and senakulo, a Lenten play that depicts events related to the life, suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
6. Fariñas daughter among Corona trial headturnersAfter lawyers Karen Jimeno and Macel Jimenez, Ria Christina Fariñas was added to the list of “headturners” in the soap opera-like impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The daughter and chief of staff of Ilocos Norte first district Rep. Rudy Fariñas was spotted by viewers of the TV coverage of the impeachment trial while she was seated behind prosecutors.
7. KC Concepcion shows her condo in TaguigFrom her sexy magazine covers to her controversial tell-all on “The Buzz,” anything related to actress-host KC Concepcion became a hot topic among Filipino netizens and readers of ABS-CBNnews.com this year.
Last March, the daughter of veteran actors Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion showed her spacious condominium unit in Taguig City in the April 2012 issue of YES! Magazine. Her 193-square-meter “dream pad,” she said, is a far cry from the smaller apartments she lived in back when she was studying in Paris, France.
8. Lucy Liu and her ‘look a little Filipino’ quip“Charlie’s Angels” actress Lucy Liu drew mixed reactions on social media after she made a comment about looking like a Filipino during her appearance on “The Late Night Show with David Letterman” last October 11.
In the talk show, Liu was discussing her exercise regimen with Letterman. “I run in a machine. It’s easier for me. Also if I get really dark, I’ll start to look a little Filipino, it wouldn’t match. If I start getting darker, you know what I mean? I can get really dark if I’m in the sun too much,” she said.
Liu eventually apologized for her comment, saying that she never intended to insult Filipinos.
9. Sexy magazine coversThe Philippines saw a slew of sexy magazine covers this year, led by singer Nina’s nearly naked appearance on the June 2012 issue of Playboy Philippines.
Nina, dubbed as the country’s “Soul Siren”, was photographed wearing only a pair of jeweled panties, a ring, a bangle and silver pumps, while her left hand covers her breasts.
Other sexy cover photos that became viral on social media include that of Bianca Gonzalez for Esquire Philippines and Iwa Moto, also for Playboy.
10. The ‘Miss Saigon’ auditionsFilipino netizens were interested to find out who among the country’s singers made it to the very end of the auditions for “Miss Saigon,” which launched the international career of Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga.
Six girls were asked to stay until the very end, according to the website Broadway World. They are former Kapamilya singer Rachelle Ann Go, theater actress Tanya Manalang and Apple Chiu, singer-actress Frencheska Farr, Emerald Bañares and Mary Jane Solomon.
Among those who did not advance beyond the callbacks and into the final round were celebrities Karylle, Ciara Sotto and Angeline Quinto.
11. 4 senators lose marriagesRounding out the Top 10 is ABS-CBNnews.com’s feature on four senators who have separated from their respective partners. The article attracted the interest of several Filipino netizens amid the drama of the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The four senators who are now separated from their spouses include Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Pia Cayetano.