Statistics show the Filipinos to be avid users of social media.
This is most evident among celebrity fans. They no longer just sit and watch, they interact with their idols in real time to their endless delight.
The downside is the social media have become a playground for bashers.
On the positive side, it cannot be ignored that the audiences through their comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, whether they say something good or bad, have contributed significantly to the cultivation of what is deemed to be “quality” local entertainment.
Thus, 2015 has given added value to a hashtag as it now seems to be leading creators to re-think their standards for “quality” entertainment.
Most helpful are the statuses and tweets that reflect the collected mentality of the viewers, and what Filipinos are looking for to be entertained.
In no particular order, here are some notable pop culture sensations that grew life through social media this 2015:
@mainedcm / @nadzlustre on Instagram
BELIEVING IN “FOREVER.” Throughout the year, in and out of social media, the question “Naniniwala ka na ba sa forever?” became a national quiz.
And two love teams have given us multiple reasons to believe.
The second half of 2015 witnessed the growing popularity of James Reid and Nadine Lustre aka JaDine. They continue to soar to new heights in their first primetime teleserye on the Kapamilya network, On The Wings of Love.
The story of Clark and Leah affirms the magic of James and Nadine as the millennial love team.
Meanwhile, Kapuso stars Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are making the old ways new again, proving that "forever" happens “sa tamang panahon."
Interestingly, both love teams are singing the same tune, "Naniniwala na ako sa forever."
SABI NI LOLA. Speaking of "tamang panahon," while most of the success of Eat Bulaga's Kalyeserye is anchored on the chemistry between Alden and Maine, the same can be said about Lola Nidora and de Explorer Sisters.
Wally Bayola's loose parody of the classic soap opera kontrabida has paved the way for the revival of the traditional and Filipino ways of courtship.
@mainedcm on Instagram
POWER IN NUMBERS. Along with the rise of AlDub was the birth of a new fan base now known as AlDubnation, which has propelled the love team to global stratosphere.
With that, show creators are now giving greater notice to the influence of fans in setting the standards in local entertainment.
BAYAN O SARILI. Local cinema found a diamond in the rough with the unexpected success of the historical biopic, Heneral Luna.
Challenging what it means to fight for your country, its director Jerrold Tarog presented the ills that beset the Philippines through the methodological mind of the ill-tempered General Antonio Luna.
Social media buzz helped the film to reach beyond 200-million views and fueled production to proceed with its planned trilogy.
The success of the film also reflected the hunger of Filipinos for films that grow minds rather than just tickle the fans' fancy.
HOPELESS ROMANTICS. Director Antoinette Jadaone continued her breakthrough to mainstream with the striving success of the JaDine starrer On The Wings Of Love.
Her natural talent to write "hugot" stories with a hopeful perception on life and love gives hope to hopeless romantics.
@praybeytbenjamin on Instagram
PROUD TO BE ME. Vice Ganda may have taken the backseat this year, but he remains a good influence on social media with his advocacy to help women have the confidence to show their natural self to the world.
Posting a photo of himself without makeup, Vice simply captioned it with #ProudToBeMe.
@msleasalonga on Instagram
BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT. Lea Salonga is known for her candidness. Her tweet, "Okay lang sa akin ang kababawan, pero hanggang doon na lamang ba tayo?" touched a nerve among viewers who felt their taste in entertainment was being challenged.
This tweet reaped negative feedback since it was posted during the high point of AlDub, but Joey de Leon helped clarify the issue.
Regardless, her question sparked a small discourse on when should Filipinos tolerate superficial shows and plead for insightful ones.
@withlovekrisaquino on Instagram
SIMPLY PINOY. The country was this year's host for the 2015 APEC, and Kris Aquino as head of the welcoming committee for the spouses and family of the heads of state gave them a full experience of the Filipino culture.
MEME-MORABLE MOMENTS. Memes have evolved into a tool of social media to immortalize an event in a funny way.
When the highly anticipated Fight of the Century between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. left the Filipinos underwhelmed by the unanimous decision favoring the American boxer, netizens posted several memes to soften the blow.
It was followed by thank-you messages to Pacquiao for his commitment to bring pride to the country.
Meanwhile, after the unconventional declaration of Miss Universe later this year, the awkward but memorable win of Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach became an epic meme to cap off 2015.
Now "Miss Philippines" has taken on a whole new connotation more than just a title. Hashtag "confidently beautiful with a heart" is a winner for all time.