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Trends in 2015: Stories that made you click |

On the Radar

Trends in 2015: Stories that made you click


We rounded up the hottest trends and stories in the lifestyle beat. These are what piqued your interest the past year:

Fashion and beauty

Travel and tourism

Gadgets and technology

Arts and culture

Food: Going international



Fashion and beauty

Designers: Paul Cabral and Francis Libiran


“Since the Philippines is the APEC host economy, it is  fitting and appropriate for the economic leaders to wear barong Tagalog for such a significant event," designer Paul Cabral says prior to the culminating APEC meetings in Manila. STAR/File

With years of experience in the design industry, Paul Cabral has been chosen to design the traditional garb worn by the 21 economic leaders who attended  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' meeting in Manila last November.

In addition  to  the primary set of 21 barongs, Cabral also designed similarly embroidered attires for attending leaders’ spouses. According to Cabral, designing the barongs for such high-profile personalities is definitely a challenge, but he also considers it as an honorable experience.

Famous Filipino couturier Francis Libiran once again graced an episode of  Tyra Banks's model competition series, America's Next Top Model (ANTM).

Libiran first appeared on the show on ANTM Cycle 18 in 2011, where he designed a Hello Kitty couture collection for a challenge. The collection was later on put up on exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum last May.

Libiran is the third Filipino designer to be featured on ANTM.


Controversial magazine cover: Imee Marcos

A magazine featured Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos in its October issue.

Imee Marcos became the talk of the town when she posed for the October issue of a social magazine. Clad in a blood-red couture gown, Marcos was photographed sitting barefoot on a high chair with the words "beautiful, bold, enigmatic" written below.

While some commended the "ageless" appearance of the 60-year-old Ilocos Norte governor on the cover, some netizens were not even a bit impressed with the display, citing the Marcos family’s involvement during Martial Law in the country.


Beauty trends: Dad bod, man bun, beard, no-make up look, winged liner, Kylie Jenner pout, strong natural brows

More men sported a beard the past year, inspired by Hollywood leading men. AMC/Breaking Bad

As trends come and go, there are a few that stayed for 2015. One is the no-makeup look – perfect for women who need an easy beauty routine to start the day.  Joining the beauty trend are the fierce frames as popularized by celebrities like Lily Collins, Sarah Hyland and model Cara Delevinge and the wicked winged liner that can score any girl a major attention.


Travel and tourism

What's next for NAIA?

Ninoy Aquino International Airport ranks 8th in the "Asia's worst airport" list of online travel site Sleeping in Airports.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is no longer in the list of the 10 worst airports in the world, according to the latest survey of the travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports.

NAIA was among the worst airports in the world based on the travel website’s survey from 2011 to 2013. After being dropped from the list of "world's worst airports," Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya said runway decongestion is his next target for the improvement of NAIA.


Tourists flock to Sagada, La Presa

In this undated photo, an Ifugao native visits the Bomod-ok Falls in Sagada, Mt. Province. Bomod-ok, which means ‘big,’ is the highest waterfall in Sagada at 200 feet and one of the most visited tourist attractions. STAR/Ernie Peñaredondo

Tourists started to flock up north after La Presa was featured in the hit TV series Forevermore.  The place became a popular destination among tourists who want to see the shooting location of the teleserye or to see hopefully the actors around.

Also among the places in the country boosted by the entertainment industry is Sagada, where most scenes of the movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” were filmed. There’s even a tour company that offers a Tadhana-inspired tour which will give people the experience inspired by the movie. 


Palawan, best island in the world

Palawan dubbed among world's best anew.

With an overall rating of 85.937, Palawan was named by Conde Nast Traveler as the world's best island for second straight year. Palawan, home to the famous Underground River, bested 19 other world-famous islands.

This year included more than 128,000 travelers for the survey, the most in its history. The islands were “judged on a set of criteria relevant to their category, based on a standard five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.”


Gadgets and technology

Games: Clash of Clans, Josie Rizal

Clash of clans is no doubt the most talked-about game app of 2015.

In March, Bandai Namco Games held a special event to introduce their newest Tekken 7 characters, one of which is of Filipino descent - Josie Rizal. The character is an homage to Philippines's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

However, Bandai threatened to delete the character whose name is based on Jose Rizal following criticism from some sectors.

Responding to a suggestion to change the name Josie Rizal, Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada refused and said he would rather delete the character.

Meanwhile, a game that made big buzz this year in the Philippines is the Clash of Clans (COC). COC was released in 2012 but the hype only became visible in 2015, making it one of the highest-grossing apps of all time. The game revolves around the idea of fortifying a base, defending it from invading players and their clans.


Gadgets: iPhone 6s, 6s plus, Samsung s6, s6 edge, Go Pro, Hoverboard, Drone, Fitness gadgets

Hoverboards are motorized, two-wheel, skateboard-sized scooters that users stand on. They have been a hot gift item at some retailers. Sean Lamb/CC BY-NC-ND

This year featured the unboxing of iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, Samsung S6, S6 edge in the Philippines.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus boast of their next-generation multi-touch technology called 3D Touch which makes it easier and simpler for users to accomplish more tasks on their iPhone. Live Photos is another new feature which makes images alive.

The latest iPhones also have 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera with Retina Flash, and a 64-bit A9 chip inside. They are available in rose gold, space gray, gold and silver. Meanwhile, the sleek new flagship devices from Samsung feature next-level upgrades in specifications, including a bumped-up 5.1-inch 2K display, a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 lens, plus a powerful quad-core processor to handle all your mobile multimedia needs.

Other gadgets and apps that made buzz this year are Go Pro, Hoverboard, Drone, Fitness accessories, Snapchat, Uber, Grabtaxi and Dubsmash.


Arts and culture

Whang Od: National artist?

As Whang Od, a tatoo artist from the Cordilleras, is nearing a century old, Filipinos want her recognized for her work. Looloo Insights

A campaign to make Whang-Od, a tattooer from Kalinga province in Cordillera a national artist went viral in September. #WhangOdNationalArtist was started by Cebu City-based biology instructor Edward Laurence Opena. According to the petitioners who want to award Whang-Od the highest civilian honors for the arts in the Philippines, she should be recognized for her “world-class contribution to the art of tattoo-making that is genuinely Filipino.”


Kenneth Cobonpue

Kenneth Cobonpue, creative director of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Welcome Reception, stands by the central setting for the leaders. Note the Yoda chairs and the ceiling lighting fixtures inspired by the anahaw leaf and the thatched roofs of Ifugao houses.  STAR/File

Meanwhile, Kenneth Cobonpue made a buzz after being appointed as the creative director of the APEC welcome dinner, to which he was tasked to design the MOA venue where the 21 leaders had their dinner. Everyone was in awe with his own version of Yoda chairs, especially made for the leaders. The chairs were later auctioned for the benefit of the children of UNICEF.


Crowdsourcing for lost paintings

Where are the missing paintings of former First Lady Imelda Marcos? The PCGG wants to know. AP/Aaron Favila, file

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in October vowed to find the missing artworks of masters like Michelangelo and Pablo Picasso which went missing after the Marcoses fled the country at the height of the People Power Revolution in 1986.

According to PCGG, they will do this by tapping “tipsters” and launching a website to crowd-source tips on the whereabouts of some 200 missing art works. Through this, they hope to build a website featuring the missing paintings to draw greater public attention to government efforts to recover the works of art.


Food: Going international

The 2015 Academy of Chocolate Awards dubbed Davao's Malagos chocolate as one of the best drinking chocolates in the world. Facebook/Malagos Chocolate

French luxury patisserie Laduree, known famously for its macaron -  two meringue shells sandwiched by a delicate ganache - opened in the Philippines on August 29 at 8 Rockwell.  Its boutique space interiors come with notable fixtures that include a white Carrare marble serving space, crystal chandeliers, a ceiling fresco, plaster angels and a beautiful ribbon door.

Other food hubs that opened this year is The Halal Guys, the small aluminum food cart that began at New York City which is famous for their Gyro Chicken Combo Rice Platter;   Din Tai Fung, which is known for their steamed soup-filled dumplings called xiao long bao and dubbed as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the World in 1993; and Applebee’s, a quintessential American restaurant that offers classic American grill and bar experience.

This year also featured the recognition of Davao’s Malagos Chocolate, single-origin, 65-percent dark chocolate.  Following its triumph at the 2015 Academy of Chocolate Awards in London early this year, Davao's Malagos chocolate was once again hailed as one of the best drinking chocolates in the world at the 2015 International Chocolate Awards World Drinking Chocolate Competition in Germany.

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