Trends for 2018 - SunStar

Trends for 2018

By Patricia May P. Catan, with Christian Jay B. Quilo and Elisha Judy Tabaque


WHAT’S hip, what’s up, what’s in 2018? Regardless of whether you are a trend follower or not, there’s one reason for you to find out what surprises the year has in store. That is, you’d stay updated and definitely, it will tell you so much of the world. While you keep and pursue your own tastes, the world, on the other hand, never stops changing, and that itself is a good thing. Here, 18 of Cebu’s young influencers and movers share insights on trends in their fields of interest for 2018:


Edward James Castro

A new year brings with it new trends and I am so excited to see how these trends fair in the Filipino market. As you know, we don’t have spring-summer, and fall-winter here, so it’s hard to keep up with global trends. Knowing what works for our climate and lifestyle helps make wise fashion choices. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by trends, especially when we see celebrities rocking them. The important thing here is to know what works for you.

My first pick — FANNY PACKS / BELT BAGS / BODY BAGS. This used to be all the rage in the 80s and 90s. When the aughts came, these babies were deemed “uncool” and were cast out of our fashion vocab for quite some time. Now they’re back with a vengeance and chicer than ever. They’re very practical and very convenient. This is a sure millennial magnet.

Second pick — TAILORED SETS. No, they’re not just for the office! You can practically wear them to any occasion. It’s smart, stylish and comfortable. They can easily be integrated in to your wardrobe and you can mix and match them with existing pieces as well. Personally I’d opt for the neutral colored ones, and the ones that are also made of lightweight material, for versatility. Nothing says “effortless style” than a nicely tailored pant suit.

Third pick — 60s Situation. The 60s was a bold time in fashion history. Color blocking, bright psychedelic prints, shift dresses, and A-line minis were the key elements of the look. Throw in some bright colored hosiery and mary janes and you’re all set. In a sea of all black everything, this look is a breath of fresh air. The playful nature of the trend draws people in, and reminds us that fashion is supposed to be fun.


Manna Alcaraz
Communications Manager of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

I have just been telling my colleagues that these are exciting times to be a hotelier. Aside from providing excellent customer service and quality facilities, we are also now seen as curators of experience. Nowadays it’s not just about providing a room and a bed. The modern traveler now has easy access to travel information through blogs, travel sites and review sites. More and more of them begin to crave for unique and authentic experiences in every destination they visit. It can be as grand as bringing them to the biggest festival street party in the city during that time of the year or just simply letting them experience Farm to Fork dinners.

It could also be through incorporating some pop culture into the services that the hotel offers. The sky is the limit with ideas on this one and it’s very exciting what some hotels have come up with.

Lastly, I believe that travelers now are beginning to care about the culture of the hotel. Are they going green? Do they care about their community and their associates? If yes, then they are highly likely to support that particular hotel.

Design and Illustration

Veronika Hipolito
Graphic Designer

Say goodbye to 2017, and hello 2018! Here are some of the top trends we think define design and illustration. This is the year of complex designs, experiment and dynamic creativity based on predictions of GraphicMama and 123rf.

Hyper-realistic illustration. These illustrations are incredibly lifelike. It takes some illustrators to use such skill to design much more flexibility in terms of how subjects can be depicted.

Maximalism and rainbow color. Minimalism is out (for now at least) and in with maximalism! Designers are starting to be more creative with color, embellishment, detail and metallic foiling. This trend could be ugly in the print design world, however, it celebrates the more colorful and ornate styles of other cultures and centuries past.

Double exposure duotones. Despite the fact that this technique has been put aside for a while by some designers, we definitely see a rise of double exposure designs that wow the viewers. This trend is a hybrid from double exposure and duotone, and is achieved by doubling the image or using two different overlapping images in monochrome colors.

Modern script typography. Typography has been taking the lead for graphic design and is not going down any time soon. Imagination is the strongest asset, in which designers require a lot of creativity and techniques while keeping readability.


Michael Karlo Lim
Food Scene Personality

Low Glycemic Impact. Hot on the heels of the uptrend of Low Sugar, Low Carb, Sugarfree and the controversial High Fat – Low Carb Ketogenic diet in the last quarter, holding back on sweets and making friends with dietary fat continues early into the year. The influx of real-world information about the movement fuels the trend alongside celebrity success stories and the increasing local availability of options such as convenient meal delivery services like Keto-Go by Diet In A Box. With this awareness comes the consideration of natural alternative sweeteners, lower sugar-calorie items, and other interestingly sweet flavors from sources unconventional to the local market.

Plant-Based Food. While the predominantly pandesal-eating and beer-guzzling populi who aggressively declare allergies to gluten remain suspect, the willingness to accommodate more plant fiber into diets is no longer as funny to the relatively carnivorous Cebuano. Plant-based but not necessarily vegetarian standalone like Salad Stop get plus points for the middle ground stand on mindful consumption versus PETA-protest polar end. Inclusivity is the keyword here translating to options even for the pescatarians with a taste for land meats. Precursor purveyors, such as Mooshi Green Smoothie + Juice Bar, will remain ever as popular and will benefit from this shift.

Ube. Along with the rise in Pinoy food in the international scene was the interest in ube and the supply of traditional and the many creative, contemporary permutations to that demand. Still quite the favorite flavor around these parts, Pantone Color of the Year 2018, Ultraviolet, will surely help boost its current popularity to even win out those not too keen on it by sheer fear of missing out alone.


Tiny Diapana
Online Editor & Newswriter

While I would love to say that new wave, post-punk, and Riot girl’s going to be the new trend this year, we live in a different age. There’s a popular theory that says rock and pop dance around each other in 13-year cycles, and there’s certainly been a lot of pop in the scene.

Punk never dies — it just takes a backseat while the kids go out and get drunk raving to sybaritic, beat-dropping electronic dance music in clubs. Club music’s been all the rage these days, and it seems like the trend might extend its reach this year.

There’s also been a growing fondness for dream pop and synthesized electronic music in the local music scene. We’ve got great acts from Eskina Jones, Jom Ouno, +AA-, and Potemkin that fit right in with low-key art parties around the city.

Of course, we’ll still fight for rock and roll gigs in the usual places (though Handuraw Gorordo and KOA have been taken down), but I’m sure that musicians who’re really in it because they love doing what they do don’t really mind the trend shifting elsewhere.


Max Limpag
InnoPub Media Technology Lead

2018 in tech: AI and digital payments. If you use Spotify and open, you will get a personalized report of your listening history for last year. Using big data and artificial intelligence (AI), Spotify understands your musical preferences more deeply than any person. It taps AI and your playing history to recommend you songs and artists you might be interested in.

Whether it is a chatbot answering your questions instantly on Facebook, Spotify thinking you’d like Carla Bruni’s Little French Song, or Inbox by Gmail recommending quick replies to emails, AI is already upon us.

It will get more pervasive this year. The massive push by BPOs for people to learn skills for new tech such as AI is a portent of that massive change.

Last year, PayMaya and GCash started massive roll-out of digital payment solutions like QR Code scan to pay. Cashless payments solve a lot of problems and are a big business. Expect a stronger push this year via promos to encourage digital payments.


Joanna Cuenco
SunStar Beauty Columnist & Beauty Blogger

Warm hair colors. Things have warmed way up from the cool-toned, ash brown strands of 2016. Warmer hair color trends from fall 2017 are still going strong into the new year. For our darker Filipina hair, we can relate more to deep reddish, wine, or burgundy tones, or gold and caramel. For those who don’t have to worry about school or work dress codes, “acid” hair colors are more on trend now than last year’s pastel hues. Fiery red and orange are both on trend, but make sure you go to a pro colorist if you want to try these, to make sure your hair won’t get fried in the process!

Bangs. One word: Bangs. For a high fashion statement, go with blunt bangs at or above the eyebrows. For those who feel they can’t pull that off, try “curtain fringe” bangs instead, which are longer and tapered off. The timing for this trend just might be perfect since I’ve been thinking about bringing back my bangs from 2014!

Polished skin. “As perfect as possible” complexions are still in demand for 2018, with the key word being “polished.” It’s true that any makeup applied will look great on clean skin, so place plenty of importance on skin care before venturing into makeup. With really good skin, you can get away with not wearing makeup at all.

Sparkle. Glitter is back from the late 90’s and early 2000’s. On the runways, it was applied with gusto all around models’ eyes, and even up to the cheek bones, in different colors. Brands have been releasing glitter in the form of eyeliners, eye glasses, and highlighters (not quite so much for the lips). If you don’t want to look like a unicorn belched in your face, keep glitter to just the eye area. To avoid dreaded fallout, I apply eye primer first and use a finger to press on glitter shadow. Or use a chubby eyeshadow pencil; many Korean brands offer a glitter variety year in and year out.


Hannah Obal
Copywriter & Car Enthusiast

2018 is a big year for the automotive industry, especially here in the Philippines with the new excise tax on cars now taking effect. With this in mind, it’s the right time for electric and hybrid cars to shine. Taxes on hybrid cars are only half of the gas or diesel vehicles while pure electric vehicles are exempt from excise taxes making them pretty good choices for buyers.

The compact crossover craze from 2017 will carry on to this year as well, and it’s predicted that discerning car buyers will now be more interested in Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Compatible cars. It’s gonna be an interesting year for everything and anything automotive.


Philip Guay
Founder of Cebu Mobile Shutterbugs

Multi-lens camera. Dual rear cameras have been around for some time now and will continue its inclination since some of the companies haven’t or just adopted it yet. A regular camera is paired with a monochrome, wide angle or 2x zoom, which adds versatility and convenience in achieving your desired shot. But there is a rumored smartphone equipped with a rear triple lens system which can be a major trend this year.

Prints. Prints aren’t dead. In today’s digital world, holding a finished print in your hands is way more fulfilling than seeing your photo on the screen. Printing your mobile photos brings them to life. This is a tangible product of your work, which you can share to others or hang on your wall.

Travel/ adventure photos. Many people are now discovering and experiencing the beauty of different places. With this, more and more travelers will document their memories through smartphones. Reasons are: the portability due to its size and weight, the capability to capture stunning moments or landscapes, and most especially, the convenience of directly sharing those memories in different social media platforms.

Photo projects/ series. This is already common but not for mobile photographers. This will be a trend this year due to an increasing number of mobile photographers getting serious with this art. Photo projects/ series can help mobile photographers build their portfolios. It stimulates creativity and drive in achieving their photo goals.

External clip lenses. Smartphone cameras are already capable of producing high-quality photos, but accessories such as clip lenses are available to raise the bar. There is a wide range of options such as wide-angle lens, which is ideal for landscape shots; macro lens, which delivers stunning magnification for capturing tiny details and is best for close-up shots of insects and textures; and telephoto lens, which will get you closer to your subject without using digital zoom and compromising the quality of your photo.


Kyra Butalid

The development in technology will continue to expand rapidly. In 2018, smartphones will have newer versions, more upgraded than those that have been released – better audio and photo features. Virtual reality will be mainstream and there will more of home security devices. Also, wearable gadgets will be in like fitness tracker wristbands.


Marco Diala
Blogger at Count Ocram and

Siargao, Philippines. The Surfing Capital of the Philippines is slowly becoming one of the more popular destinations not only for Filipinos but foreigners as well. Siargao Island is known for its good year-round waves, lively island vibes and breathtaking scenery. The recently launched direct flight from Manila and the movie “Siargao” will surely invite more tourists to the island.

Tokyo, Japan. With more relaxed visa requirements, more and more Filipinos will visit The Land of the Rising Sun. Tokyo is always on top of the list when it comes to places to visit in Japan. The city is known for a very efficient train system, good food, modern attractions and rich historical and cultural sites.

Sapporo, Japan. Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido Island, is known for its beer, skiing and annual Sapporo Snow Festival, featuring huge ice sculptures. The movie “Kita Kita” was shot in Sapporo during the summer season and it showed how beautiful the city is even when it’s not covered in snow. I’m sure many Filipinos added Sapporo to their bucket list after watching the movie.

Seoul, South Korea. Filipinos visit Seoul because of the popularity of K-dramas. Many tourists visit the shoot locations of their favorite Korean TV shows to reenact their favorite scenes. South Korea is also known for its skincare; many tourists visit the country to hoard beauty products.
Taipei, Taiwan. Filipinos can now visit Taiwan visa-free until July 31, 2018. Many Filipinos will surely take advantage of this good news. Taiwan is known for its modern cities, good food, historical and cultural sites, and of course, Taipei 101, which used to be the tallest building in the world.

Health and Wellness

Justinne Lou Go
Registered Nutritionist-Dietician

Healthy Fastfood. There have already been a few healthy food stalls/kiosks and restaurants that sprouted in the malls as well as the addition of healthy menu choices in several restaurants. It will only be a matter of time when healthy food (not just vegetarian food) will soon become mainstream and slow food will be available in a fast food setting. A healthy fastfood drive-thru is not impossible along the horizon.

Personalized Nutrition. With the growing awareness of nutrition as the root cause of all diseases, Nutritionist-Dietitians are now gaining the spotlight and people are learning that there is no single diet for everyone. When it comes to your health and nutrition, the Nutritionist-Dietitian should be the first medical professional you approach so you can be assessed and guided with your nutrition down to the tee. Your nutrition/diet is the basic foundation of your health, so this ought to be a prioritized concern if you are thinking of starting a healthy lifestyle or preventing diseases especially ones that run high in the family tree.

Urban Gardening. Urbanization has been known to be an antagonist to eco-preservation. However, technology can be used to our advantage, so scarcity of farmland does not have to be an issue anymore. Greens and vegetation will no longer be limited to garden patches and far-flung farmlands. We can expect to see greens everywhere soon — offices, restaurants, homes, etc. Hydroponic gardening/farming is an ancient practice that has been an emerging trend in the recent years and it shows a promising trend.

Wellness Clinics. In relation to personalized nutrition care, we can expect to see the development of modern wellness clinics where people do not have to go to hospitals to have their health checked and managed. These wellness clinics will cater to a range of the population—whether healthy, unwell or those needing disease management—without having the feel of traditional clinic setups but instead providing a relaxing and rejuvenating ambience that will not intimidate or stress the patients/clients.

Food Intolerance Test and Elimination Diet. Several studies have been showing and supporting the evidence of the relation between our gut health and our immune system, and thus our overall health. With these findings, advanced tests have emerged to determine the condition of our gut such as the food intolerance test. This comes in home test kits already, so one can have the test in the convenience of his/her own home and time preference. When the results are known, this guides the person in avoiding specific food items that can potentially irritate the stomach and affect one’s immune system. Thus, this more targeted elimination diet following this test may become a common practice this year as well.

Social Media

Bryan Yap
CEO of Republiq Group of Companies

There’s huge push for video from many major social media platforms such as Facebook. In fact, Facebook just launched its beta for Facebook TV. This coincides with the fact that mobile content consumption trends are rapidly increasing all across the world.

Online Shopping

Dexter Duran
Graphic Designer at SunStar

Auction sites. While E-Bay is still the largest by far among all user-to-user commerce websites, there are other homegrown sites that offer similar services such as OLX and Carousell, to name a few. They offer users the ability to sell goods, both new and used, to members.

Social media. Facebook and Instagram are now very popular so it wasn’t long before brands started to use these sites as platforms to show their stuff. Some may go for the direct and straight approach of showing and selling their products, while others may try and wow you with an impeccably arranged flatlay of their products and its corresponding aspirational lifestyle.

Cash. There are still a lot of people today who are wary of doing business online through their debit and credit cards. You can’t blame them though, news of stolen cards and identities are still prevalent. So, some local e-commerce websites have been offering the option of cash on delivery. Websites like Lazada and Zalora offer this option upon checking out.

Group chat. Online forums have also been key platforms in e-commerce as they offer you a chance to buy and sell stuff and converse with other users with the same interests for recommendations and tips. More often than not, online forums of whatever you’re in to (toys, photography, skateboarding, music, etc.) usually have buy and sell threads now.

Sale out. Online shops are now sending discount codes to users as a means to entice them to shop online. Promos that are exclusively online are common nowadays, and sometimes even beating mall prices.


Ara Chawdhury

I think 2018 is going to see more forays into genre filmmaking in Cebu and animation.

Home and Living

Angeli Reyes
Interior Designer at Laraw Luna Design Studio

Home and Interior Trends supposedly dictate what is ascending when it comes to design in the coming year. But who am I to say that any material, color or form is superior to the other? We live in an eclectic time where there is no dominant aesthetic but a constant boiling soup of ideas and collaborative efforts of elements. Given that, here are some sure-fire design trends to look forward (and possibly try out) this 2018.

Mid-Century Modern. Think about Bauhaus and Scandinavian furniture. In my opinion, Mid-Century Modern has been a staple for architects and interior designers with its organic forms, warm elements and easy to play around pieces. Try mixing flea market finds, bold graphic artworks, accent rugs and some tropical plants.

Monochromatic Minimalist. Toe-to-toe with the maximalist interiors, Minimalists have won over consumers with its scaled-down appeal of sophistication by using self-control and discipline when it comes to design. The implied importance on tonal value can be seen in a layered monotone furniture, textiles and materials such of which are in various shades of white, beige and grey.

Modern-Maximalist. Rise in popularity of Minimalist aesthetic has also raised a breed of consumers with a mission for self-expression. Kelly Wearstler exudes this style completely, with high regard to historical detail and evocative materials. It is a perfect marry for those who want a sensible style and utmost sophistication in their spaces with elaborately textured surfaces and unique visual story.

Color-Scream. Beige has been a constant for the past years. This year, people will be drawn to more vibrant hues, which is a dramatic shift and far from boring. Be on the lookout for some new staples like Millennial Pink, Ochre, Turquoise and Luscious Greens. 2018 will be a visual feast, I say.

Curated not Decorated (Materials with Purpose). One way to make design more meaningful is to create spaces with significance. To curate is to carefully select items that would speak directly to our values. I think that by this year, we will see an increase in sustainable products and materials that will steer clear from the stereotypical “recycled” look. This way, you’re opting out over-decorating by being a conscious consumer.

Comfort Spaces. There’s a new respect for comfortable spaces — may it be residential, restaurants or workspaces. Its natural charm breaks the barrier between work and leisure, focusing more on experience rather than just aesthetics. Comfortable corners with soft furnishings with excessively large pillows makes you seem lounge in style.


Johanna Michelle Lim
Travel Writer & Creative Director

The term literary trend is somewhat of a paradox, I think, because the intention of literature is really to remain relevant, original, and impactful whatever year it was released, written, or read in. Perhaps this is why we see such a fresh appreciation of works like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or Joaquin’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino because they describe the social and cultural construct of the world today even if they were written decades ago.

It’s not a trend but a deciphering. If there’s one thing I wish I’d see more of this 2018, though I wish more Cebuano literary writers would have their works published or self-publish their works with the intention of having our milieu represented in the national landscape. More zines. More books. More emerging writers and authors, please.

Art Galleries

SunStar Lifestyle Writer

Happening on January 14 at 856 G Gallery is Cebu Zine Fest, an annual festival that is dedicated to celebrating and promoting independent publishing and alternative media. During the event, visitors can buy publications directly from a diverse crowd of designers, artists, musicians, studios, presses, bookshops, and independent publishers.

Qube Gallery will also be featuring Potentiality by G.I. Pongase from January 4 to 26. This is the artist’s first major gallery exhibit. The show features abstract art. The artist views this collection as a mirror to the contrasting desires and the personal struggles that come along with being a visual arts painter and company employee at the same time. The artist’s acceptance of ambiguity in the present is therefore suggestive of a future full of possibilities. G.I. Pongase is finally living out his dream of staging a professional art exhibition despite the odds.

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