2023 Recap: Iconic Local and International Pop Culture Moments

2023 Recap: Iconic Local and International Pop Culture Moments

Looking back at some of the most talked about pop culture moments from the year that was



There’s no denying that 2023 was one hell of a ride. Although we’ve just started another year, let’s pause, rewind and turn back time to look at some of the most iconic pop culture moments from the year that was. 



Last July, we witnessed an epic cinematic cultural phenomenon with Barbenheimer. The simultaneous premiere of Barbie and Oppenheimer led to people flocking into movie theatres to watch both movies in matching pink and black outfits. Cinema is indeed back, people!





Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar

Michelle Yeoh made history as the first Asian to win an Oscar for Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards for her role as Evelyn Quan Wang in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. In her acceptance speech, she shared, “This is proof—dream big—and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”



Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance

Rihanna returned to the stage at the Super Bowl LVII, with the halftime show being her first live performance after some time. Her Super Bowl appearance also came with another surprise—she was expecting a second child! Truly, Rihanna is the queen of surprises.



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A post shared by PARRI$ (@parrisgoebel)


The Eras and Renaissance Tours

2023 also marked the start of Taylor Swift’s Eras and Beyoncé’s Renaissance, their respective record-breaking tours. In the Eras Tour, Taylor took us on a journey, performing some of her most iconic songs across different eras.



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A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)


Meanwhile, in Renaissance, Beyoncé paid tribute to the black and queer community, all while slaying in striking silver ‘fits. Whether you got to watch these concerts live or in the cinema, one thing’s for sure—it’s an experience one won’t ever forget!



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The rise of Taylor Sheesh

Speaking of the Eras Tour, while Taylor Swift herself won’t be having a stop here in the Philippines, Filipino fans made sure to have their own Eras concert headlined by drag queen Taylor Sheesh. Filipino call-center-worker-turned-drag-star John Mac Lane Coronel, also known as Taylor Sheesh, performed Swift’s songs—complete with her iconic outfits and energy—for thousands of Filipinos across different cities. In no time, Taylor Sheesh rose to fame not just in the Philippines but also worldwide.


@heymacyou The Eras Tour concert film (Taylor Sheesh’s Version) ✨ Videos: U.P. Town Center Ayala Malls Vertical View Studio The Outlets at Lipa AL SERVO Yzelle Espinosa @Taylor Swift @Taylor Nation ♬ original sound – Taylor Sheesh – Mac (Taylor Sheesh)


The lato-lato craze

Who can ever forget the sound of lato-lato? For some time in 2023, Filipinos were obsessed with this iconic toy. Most of us probably experienced whacking the two balls for fun or as a challenge. While it has come and gone, the lato-lato craze will definitely be remembered.



Asia Artist Awards in the Philippines

The Philippines hosted its first Asia Artist Awards (AAA) last December, which was attended by well-loved South Korean and Filipino artists alike. Some of the South Korean artists that attended included Kang Daniel, ITZY, LE SSERAFIM, NewJeans, Stray Kids, ZEROBASEONE, THE BOYZ, SEVENTEEN’S BSS, Kim Seon ho and Lee Jun Hyuk. Of course, we had our very own artists as well, such as Ben&Ben, Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Melai Cantiveros-Francisco (who, by the way, made us all smile and laugh with her iconic speech).



Metro Manila Film Festival’s 2023 lineup

The 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) featured 10 films—namely, Rewind, Firefly, Mallari, Gomburza, (K)Ampon, Becky & Badette, Broken Heart’s Trip, When I Met You in Tokyo, Family of Two and Penduko—that movie-goers flocked into the cinemas to watch. Many Filipinos called it MMFF’s best line-up of films in a while, thus showcasing Filipino talent in film.



BLACKPINK’s Jennie establishes Oddatelier

While BLACKPINK members renewed their contracts with YG Entertainment, Jennie also started her solo career upon announcing her new label called OA or Odd Atelier. Exciting things are brewing for BLACKPINK, Jennie and OA!



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A post shared by OA (@oddatelier)


What other iconic pop culture moments from last year come to mind? Let us know in the comments!



Art Macky Arquilla

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