The past year saw several Kapamilya stars — both fresh and familiar faces — becoming breakout celebrities or reaching new heights in their respective careers.
The circumstances that led to the turning point vary — from a carefully planned project or image revamp, a serendipitious live TV moment, to an onscreen pairing that proved to be a big hit.
Their backgrounds are diverse, too — showbiz neophytes who got a break, well-known thespians with a rejuvenated career, and supporting stars who transitioned to lead roles, among others.
In photos, here’s a look at 10 Kapamilya stars who shone brighter in 2018:
From being the designated dancer tasked to hand a fish bowl of questions to Miss Q&A candidates, Gonzaga has come a long way in a span of a year, thanks to her surprise hit of a pairing with “It’s Showtime” host Vice Ganda. Their impromptu interactions on the noontime program has even spawned a legion of fans, who dub themselves ‘ViceJack.’ Instagram: @jackiegirlg
With a string of performances that went viral and moved “Tawag ng Tanghalan” judges, the teen singer from Cebu secured the champion title of the singing competition, catapulting her to instant fame. She’s now part of ABS-CBN’s long-running concert variety show “ASAP Natin ’To.” Instagram: @janineberdin
After portraying young versions of characters played by big-name actresses, Diaz finally got her own launching teleserye, “Kadenang Ginto,” this year. The ongoing afternoon drama, aside from being the consistent No. 1 show in its time slot, is also a favorite among viewers online with its recap videos regularly getting more than a million hits each. Instagram: @binibinifrancinediaz
2018 was a banner year for this showbiz newcomer, who follows in the footsteps of his actress-mother Maricel Laxa. The MYX VJ successfully transitioned to acting, with the “barkada” film “Walwal,” and a starring role in the daytime teleserye “Playhouse” opposite his onscreen leading lady, Kisses Delavin. Instagram: @donny
The former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate had a dream-come-true year as she was cast as the lead star of the teleserye “Araw Gabi,” opposite JM de Guzman with whom she was romantically linked with in real life. Fresh from the success of her launching series, Imperial then starred in a “Wansapanataym” miniseries. Instagram: @barbieimperial
This breakout leading man broke the mold of young stars having a “love team” in order to become a bankable star. In 2018 alone, Labrusca was the lead star of three films, including the trending “Glorious” digital offering which cemented his sexy image. Instagram: @tony.labrusca
After embracing a sexier image, notably through skin-baring ads for a clothing line, Gumabao notably transitioned from supporting to lead roles this year. Just this year, he starred in three films, and is currently seen in the ongoing afternoon drama “Los Bastardos.” Instagram: @gumabaomarco
A screen veteran whose ever-dependable acting chops have earned her regular roles over the last two decades, Romana had a sort of resurgence this year, particularly with her trending role as Babaylan Gloria in the fantasy series “Bagani.” That’s aside from her two starring roles on the big screen, and her lead role in the Kapamilya Gold drama “Kadenang Ginto.” Instagram: @dimplesromana
Although Concepcion joined showbiz in 2013 and has been seen in numerous supporting roles since, it was only this year that she became a household name, thanks to her hated character as Jade in the phonemoneal primetime series “Halik.” Her effective portrayal of the cheating wife and mistress has earned her an admittedly humorous love-hate relationship with fans, which she has fully embraced. Instagram: @yamconcepcion
The past year has seen the rejuvenation of this former teen idol’s career, with waves of Gen Z fans joining long-time supporters in relishing Aquino’s onscreen charm. Interestingly, Aquino’s re-energized popularity came with his reunion with Angelica Panganiban, his erstwhile “love team” and former girlfriend. Instagram: @joshenvahnlee