They’re the 12 most read and the most searched people in the OSM! online magazine and of course, they did something so awesome in 2015.
By Marivir R. Montebon
Singer and model Gail Banawis is the top newsmaker for OSM! www.justcliqit.com for 2015. Garnering the ‘most searched item’ in the online magazine last year, Gail sang the Philippine National Anthem for the Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather bout in Las Vegas together with The Word Chorale. Gail, 19, is based in New York City and balances her time for modeling and singing as well as her speech pathology classes at Brooklyn College.
In June 2015, she performed in a concert with popular group Air Supply at the Town Hall NYC in Manhattan. Off stage, Gail remains level-headed and sweet despite her success and being the only child to physical therapist parents Janette and Gilray Banawis.
Congressman Manny Pacquiao, who is world boxing champion, made it well as a top favorite read among OSM! readers early in 2015. Despite a lack luster performance as congressional representative, Pacquiao continues to draw millions of fans to the boxing arena and boob tube as a ferocious boxer.
Young music genius 12-year-old Jayon Abellana Felizarta is last year’s youngest newsmaker. He lives in North Carolina with his parents Gayle and Jason (both nurses) and older sister, MJ. Jayon competed and won second place in the Erich Bergel and Dorothy Kitchen International Violin competition in Heltau, Romania in March 2015.
New York City commissioner for Human Rights has broken through internet news with her effort to educate the public on human rights and the services the city provides. Carmelyn Malalis, a lawyer by profession, has just began to make human rights a household word.
Albert Chan Paran, best actor for the short film Julie, is making news too. The 42-year-old from Cebu bested 50 other entries to the 5-year-old International Film Festival Manhattan.
Singer comedienne Elizabeth Ramsey is a top searched item too. After her passing on October 8, 2015, the Philippine queen of rock and roll and humor will be missed. There may be no one at par with that powerful voice and crazy down-to-earth wooden humor.
Lea Salonga naturally became a news maker when she returned to Broadway with actor George Takei on the musical Allegiance. Twenty-six years later after Ms. Saigon, Lea has enthralled us once more on stage as Kei Kimura.
Serena Williams sent everyone praying and holding their breathes to be the 2015 grand slam tennis queen. Although she did not, and despite how mainstream media treated her with stereotypical sexism and racial slur, Serena still is a winner in the hearts of people who knew what discipline and dedication meant.
John Arcilla made much news for the bioepic movie Heneral Luna when he came to the East coast last year. Heneral Luna is the official Philippine entry to the 2016 Oscar’s. One of the Philippines’ finest actors, John soars high with his singing prowess too.
Charo Santos Concio graced the Filipino community in New York with her presence in time for the gala of the 43rd International Emmy awards which she chaired. Being a woman on top media leadership of ABS-CBN going international makes for one great news maker indeed.
The papal visit in the East Coast made Pope Francis a well-loved newsmaker. He is most endearing when he spent time with young children. First, in a Catholic school in Harlem who showed them their science projects and second, in Madison Square Garden, where he blessed children treated for cancer, including RJ Sy who continues to battle against stage 4 neuroblastoma.
Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon, Philippine Consul General to New York is a newsmaker for 2015 for his faith and support to the growth of the Philippine communities in the East Coast. He recently was named Man of the Year by the Friends Indeed and Philippine Hearts and Hopes Foundation. Amb. De Leon was also cited as Ambassador for Peace by the US-based Universal Peace Federation in the spring of 2015. He has continually encouraged Filipinos in the US to excel in their professions and service in the US.