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Year-Ender: The Filipinos Who Made International Buzz This Year

Our country is truly a home to a lot of the greatest talents that have been able to bring pride across the globe. And as the curtain draws on 2017, we’re here to recognize their amazing feat, and the Filipino artists who have managed to delight us, capture our hearts, and become wildly successful all at the same time internationally.


Zanjoe Marudo

This year, Kapamilya actor Zanjoe Marudo was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor at the International Emmy Awards for his performance in an episode on ABS-CBN’s longest-running drama anthology “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” The awarding was held in New York. Zanjoe, however, lost to Wallander’s Kenneth Branagh.



Bailey May

This teen heartthrob is now one of the newest members of Now United, a global pop group created by Simon Fuller, the man behind American Idol, the Spice Girls, and over a hundred of hit singles. Bailey first rose to fame when he joined the reality show Pinoy Big Brother 737.


??♥??????? @nowunited

A post shared by ???? Bailey May (@baileymay) on



Kenneth Cobonpue

This year, Kenneth Cobonpue gave us another feel-proud moment as he became the first Filipino furniture designer to collaborate with the famous British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. He exhibited his furniture pieces at her store in Fuorisalone during the Milan Design Week. In the said event, Kenneth showcased his classic pieces such as The Bloom Chair and The Dragnet Chair.



Maureen Wroblewitz

Another first for this year! Maureen Wroblewitz became the first Filipina to win the popular modeling search Asia’s Next Top Model. During the finals, Wroblewitz stunned in a sparkling white mestiza gown that she accentuated with pearls. In this competition, she had beaten Malaysia’s Shikin Gomez and Vietnam’s Minh Tu Nguyen.


I still can't believe I'm saying this... but I'm Asia's Next Topmodel! It feels like a dream and I don't know when I'll ever realize that all this has happened to me. This has been such a crazy journey but definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience I'll never forget about. Before I entered the competition, I already doubted myself. I never even thought I would make it into the competition at all. But look at me now! ?? I've learned so many new things. I've learned about different cultures, languages. I've learned about modeling. But I've mostly learned a lot about myself. I am stronger than I thought I was and I really don't give up! I was constantly called 'a pretty face with no skills'. But little did they know, it would just make me come out stronger and better. It became a perfect motivation for me to prove them wrong and to show them that being inexperienced doesn't mean you're a weak model. There were times where I felt like giving up, but I knew that it couldn't be an option. I was the last Filipina standing and a Filipina has never won before. I wanted to win this for my country - the Philippines and I'm so happy to say that I did. This is all for you guys! We won this together ????? This experience has made me grow so much as a model and as a person and I'm so thankful for everyone involved. The support I've gotten from all of you is insane! I've never expected so many people to support me, a weird, clumsy aspiring model ?? but I'm so grateful for it. Thank you all so much! I love every single one of you ? I hope I inspire everyone to do the same thing I did. To follow your dreams and to not let anyone bring you down. Do what you love to do! It's true! You're capable of doing anything, if you just go out and try! So work hard, it'll pay off. ??? Thank you @asntm @starworld_asia for this opportunity!! #AsNTM #AsNTM5 #TeamMaureen #TeamPhilippines #PhilippinesOnTop

A post shared by Maureen Wroblewitz (@mauwrob) on



James Reid

James was named as the Best Southeast Asia Act Award at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards this year. The other nominees in this category were Faizal Tahir of Malaysia, Dam Vinh Hung of Vietnam, Isana Sarasvati of Indonesia, Slot Machine and Ayanaputra of Thailand, and The Sam Willows of Singapore.



Photos from @james (thumbnail) and @onlyzanjoemarudo (cover photo)