The year 2016 brought a mix of good and bad things to the Philippines, some will be written in our history.
Among the good are the achievements in sports, entertainment, beauty pageants of these remarkable Filipinos.
Their triumphs were heralded throughout the world, a testament we are a nation to be reckoned with.
Applause, applause to:
MANNY PACQUIAO. Now a senator, Pacman brought honor to the country twice when he won in two major boxing matches held this year.
First was his bout with Timothy Bradley III in April 2016, which was dubbed as "The Legacy Fight."
Pacquiao won by a unanimous decision in the welterweight championship match.
It was supposed to be his last professional fight, but the boxer-turned-politician just had to outdo himself.
In November, he wore his boxing gloves again and challenged American boxer and former two-weight world champion Jessie Vargas.
In a match called "The Legend/The Champ," Manny won in a unanimous decision and took the WBO welterweight title.
HIDILYN DIAZ. Hidilyn won a silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting competition of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this August.
The young woman from Mindanao ended the 20-year drought for the Philippines at the Olympics.
In the 1996 Summer Olympics in the U.S., Mansueto Velasco won a silver medal in the men’s light flyweight competition.
In 1924, the Philippines won its first Olympic medal, also the first in Southeast Asia.
KYLIE VERZOSA. The 24-year-old pre-school teacher gave the Philippines its sixth Miss International crown.
Kylie bested 68 candidates from all over the globe and was hailed Miss International 2016 at the 56th Miss International pageant held in Tokyo, Japan, last October.
Kylie had joined Binibining Pilipinas in 2015 where she landed a spot in the Top 15 but failed to get a major title.
She joined the local major beauty pageant again in 2016, and was adjudged as Bb. Pilipinas-International to later represent the Philippines in Miss International.
JACLYN JOSE. Her reaction was priceless when her name was called as the winner of the Best Actress award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France last May, the first-ever Southeast Asian thespian to receive the honor.
Jaclyn won for her performance in Direk Brillante Mendoza’s independent film Ma’ Rosa, which was also a nominee for Cannes' Palme d’Or award.
Jaclyn’s award places her on the list of international award-winning actresses, among them Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave, Kirsten Dunst, and Julianne Moore.
PAOLO BALLESTEROS. The Eat Bulaga! co-host was awarded the Best Actor award at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival for his portrayal of a transwoman in the film Die Beautiful.
Paolo is known for his make-up transformation of popular international female celebrities.
Die Beautiful is also an entry in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival 2016.
JANINE TUGONON. The former beauty queen and 2012 Miss Universe first runner-up made news again when she was featured in the advertising campaign of PINK, the sister line of Victoria’s Secret.
Janine was the first-ever Filipina to appear in the international lingerie brand’s advertising.
JANICE PHUONG A.K.A. JANICE BUCO. She showed Vietnam the vaunted singing talent of the Filipinos when she became the grand champion of Vietnam Idol last September 30.
It was the first time that Vietnam Idol opened its competition to expats, and Janice made history in the show’s seven seasons.
The 28-year-old Filipino expat’s winning piece was “Hello Vietnam,” which Janice sang in English and in Vietnamese that impressed the judges.
Janice has been living in Vietnam for seven years, getting by as a bar singer and eventually marrying a Vietnamese.
KATCHRY JEWEL GOLBIN. She failed to snag the grand title in France Got Talent.
But in the eyes of the world, the blind Filipina singing sensation is a champ in her own right.
The simple girl from Capiz landed the third spot among the 12 finalists in the recently-concluded 11th season of France’s popular singing competition.
Hers is an inspiring story of dreaming big and working one’s way toward the achievement of that goal.
Katchry is a Francophile. She took up a French course in college and practiced the language with friends via Facebook.
Encouraged by friends, she submitted audition videos to France Got Talent.
She passed the audition and flew to France, accompanied by her sister.
During the elimination round, her performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” in French moved judge Helena Segara to tears.
Her performance became viral on YouTube, and the rest was history.