Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla reunite, more stars shine at ABS-CBN Christmas Special at the Big Dome

The ABS-CBN Christmas Special returned to the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City after three years, with some 300 Kapamilya stars  on Wednesday (December 13) night.
The biggest surprise of the night was the performance of  Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla who had earlier announced their breakup. The two performed on stage with the song ‘I’ll Be There For You’, the theme song of the sitcom ‘Friends,’ as if they have not separated ways. It was their first public appearance together since their much publicized breakup.

Backstage, the two, known as the KathNiel, were spotted talking to each other, contrary to rumors that their friendship has fallen apart after the much-publicized split. The two also were captured by the camera teasing and talking to each other with the group of stars on stage.

A day after the ABS-CBN special at the Big Dome, KathNiel showed up at the jampacked Asian Artists Awards at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan where they were conferred AAA Fabulous Award amid the cheers of their fans hoping they will reconcile.

The ex-couple walked up the stage at Philippine Arena together as they received their individual awards together with three other artists given the AAA Fabulous Award NewJeans, Stray Kids and Lim Young-woong.

Philippine media reported Daniel gave a brief response after receiving the award. He thanked his fans and ended it with a peace sign.

 As Kathryn  was introduced as a Filipina actor, the crowd gave her its loudest cheer, which made her blush and thankful. She expressed her thanks for those who have been patronizing Philippine series.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everybody for supporting Filipino-made series and movies. Patapos na ang taon but I’m feeling so blessed. I’m sharing this award with all of you. Maraming, maraming salamat po,” Kathryn said.

Other Filipino acts who won awards at the AAA 2023 were Ben&Ben, Hori7on, and SB19. Filipino-Argentinian Chanty and her group Lapillus also went home with awards.

The AAA was held for the first time in the Philippines. It names the best in K-pop and K-drama of the Year.

Since 2020, ABS-CBN has conducted its annual Christmas special at Studio 10 because of COVID-19 restrictions. But this year, they returned to the Big Dome and brought back the fun, joy, and Christmas spirit to the network’s loyal viewers, MJ Felipe reported for ABS-CBN.

The show kicked off around 5 p.m. and lasted for roughly four hours.

The ABS-CBN report stated that Coco Martin led the whole cast of ‘Batang Quiapo’ minus Lovi Poe who was not at the Christmas special. Cco was joined by his co-stars in the series Ivana Alawi, Christopher de Leon, Cherry Pie Picache, Joel Lamangan, Susan Africa, Irma Adlawan, and Mccoy de Leon, among others.
Hot young stars Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano, together with the whole cast of ‘Can’t Buy Me Love,’ were also featured with their legion of fans screaming and cheering their names, MJ Felipe reported.

The powerhouse trio of ‘Linlang’ led by Kim Chiu, Paulo Avelino, and JM de Guzman also surprised the crowd, according to the report.

Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro and the whole bunch of ‘It’s Showtime’ brought the house down with their funny antics and performances. Anne even sang ala-Ariana Grande alongside Martin Nievera while belting to ‘Save Your Tears’.
MJ Felipe’s report on ABS-CBN continued: World-class Kapamilya singers are staple talents during the Christmas special with Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Jona, Angeline Quinto, Morissette, Jed Madela, Nyoy Volante, and several new-gen singers performing.

Leading men like Gerald Anderson, Zanjoe Marudo, Jake Cuenca, Piolo Pascual, and Joshua Garcia also had their moment on stage, while Angelica Panganiban and Kim Chiu joined fellow leading ladies in a number.

Love teams probably had the loudest cheers from the fans. Tandems who entertained the crowd were Donbelle, KDLex, FranSeth, Kaori Oinuma and Jeremiah Lisbo, LoiNie and KimPau.

The Kapamilya network also revealed some of the new shows that fans can look forward to in 2024: the teleserye version of ‘Linlang,’ a new season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother,’ ‘The Voice Teens,’ ‘The Bag Man,’ ‘Pamilya Sagrado,’ and the Philippine adaptations of ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim’ and ‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.’

Miss Universe Philippines Michelle Dee also made a surprise appearance. (with Jennifer T. Santos)