Celebrating Filipino American History Month: Ten Timeless Filipina Actresses

The art of film and television was introduced to the Philippines in the late 1890′s and although this is the youngest of the Philippine arts, it has developed into the most popular. Because of its appeal, the Philippine Entertainment Industry appears to be growing larger every year. And when we say large, we mean it. With new faces popping up everyday, it would take a very long time to name all of the young and rising Filipina Actresses currently gracing the screen.

We decided to take a different approach. Yes, there are many Filipina actresses, but who are the ones we consider timeless? Who are the leading ladies we can watch years from now and still find ourselves mesmerized by? Who’s performances bring us to tears? In honor of Filipino American History Month*, we present to you Ten Timeless Filipina Actresses:


NORA AUNOR (1953)

Nora Aunor first began her career after winning an amateur singing contest. Upon recognizing that her singing career wasn’t going as well as she’d like, she set her heart on acting. This was clearly Aunor’s strength and she quickly became a serious actress after her film debut in All Over the World (1967). Her career sky-rocketed and today her achievements are astounding. She has had more nominations in both the FAMAS Awards and Gawad Urian Awards for Best Actress than any other Filipina actress. With over fifty awards under her belt, its no surprise that this leading lady has received international recognition.

Watch:
Himala
Thy Womb
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VILMA SANTOS (1953)
Surprisingly, this award-winning actress and politician stumbled upon her acting career quite accidentally. While in the studio her uncle worked at, she mistakenly ended up in line to audition for a role in Trudis Liit. Sure enough, she landed the role and received a FAMAS Award for Best Child Performer in 1963 for it. Vilma Santos went on to do countless films and has been nominated for countless awards for her performances. She is currently the Governor of Batangas Province.
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HILDA KORONEL (1957)
Koronel began her successful acting career very young and at thirteen she became the youngest winner of the FAMAS Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the film Santiago (1970). She is best known for her work under Lino Broka (named one of the greatest film directors of the Philippines). Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (1976) won six FAMAS awards and Insiang(1977) won a FAMAS and Gawad Urian Award.

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LORNA TOLENTINO (1961)

Tolentino began her career as a child actress- she was only eight years old during her first film Uhaw Sa Kalayaan (1969). Clearly finding her calling, she continued film and currently has about 60 pictures to her name. She is also one of the Grand Slam actresses in the Philippine Cinema Industry. The Grand Slam award is the rare title given to those who win a certain amount of awards for a single film. The list of Grand Slam actresses include Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, and Sharon Cuneta. Lorna has expanded her career to hosting and producing.

Watch:
Magnifico
Narito Ang Puso Ko

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MARICEL SORIANO (1965)

With the nickname “The Diamond Star” of the Philippine Entertainment Industry, a lot is expected of Maricel Soriano. Luckily, she lives up to these expectations. Soriano began her acting career at the young age of six in My Heart Belongs to Daddy (1971). With 46 movie and television awards, Maricel is the third most awarded Philippine film actress of all time. These awards include Best Child Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Achiever Award as actress/producer, Best Performer and Best Actress.

Watch:
Inang Yaya
Bahay Kubo

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SHARON CUNETA (1966)

Cuneta is another Philippine actress given a nickname in the Entertainment Industry- The Megastar. Beginning her career at the age of twelve, Sharon has had quite the success. With 53 starring roles in film, 10 television roles, and 40 recording albums, its no wonder that Sharon is the highest paid Filipino endorser. She became the highest paid Filipino artist ever with her contract to the Kapatid Network. She currently hosts a daily talk show called Sharon; Kasama Mo, Kapatid.

Watch:
Crying Ladies
Kung Ako Na Lang Sana

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REGINE VELASQUEZ (1970)

Regine has been in over 20 films and even more television roles. She even has a few theater titles under her name. Although she has clearly captivated audiences with her acting (and has the awards to prove it), her heart lies with music. In 1989, Velasquez won the Asia Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong. She’s the first Asian artist to perform solo at Carnegie Hall and her first Asia-released album sold more than 700,000 copies.

Watch:
Of All The Things
Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw

 

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KRIS AQUINO (1971)

At the age of 14, Aquino made her first television appearance and quickly seemed to find her calling. Her film career gained her some nominations and awards, but her heart seemed set for television. She has gained popularity through her talk shows, game shows, and endorsements. Her television and hosting prominence has gained her nicknames such as Queen of All Media, Philippine’s Queen of Talk, and Queen of Philippine Game Shows.

Watch:
Mano Po
Feng Shui

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JUDY ANN SANTOS (1978)

Like many of her fellow Timeless Filipina Actresses, Judy Ann began her acting career as a child. She began in television with Kaming Mga Ulila (1986). She also began doing film and won her first FAMAS Award nomination for The Lost Command. In 1992 she was getting vast media attention and finally had her breakthrough in 1997 with the television drama Esperanza. Santos is known to have achieved high recognition, popularity, and success in both television and film. She has become an award-winning actress, recording artist, and film producer.

Watch:
Sabel
Kasal Kasalo Kasali

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CLAUDINE BARRETTO (1979)

Interestingly enough, Barretto was discovered at the age of 13 by talent manager Douglas Quijano at a party. With her sisters already in the entertainment business, Claudine was ready for her own stardom. By 2000 she was named Most Popular Teen Star by the Starlight Cultural Foundation the nicknamed Box Office Queen in 2003 for her role in Kailangan Kita. With nearly thirty movies, 26 television roles, and a handful of award nominations to her name, Claudine Barretto is proving that shes here to stay.

Watch:
Kailangan Kita
Anak

 

 

*This story was originally published in March to honor Women’s History Month. Today, it is republished to celebrate Filipino American History Month and showcase the Filipino actresses who have created lasting influence in Filipinos and Filipino Americans alike. By progressing the Filipino Entertainment Industry, these ladies have allowed Filipino Americans to reconnect with their roots.

Kick-Ass Asian Leading Ladies: Audrey Cover Girls Edition

Recently, Buzzfeed released the story 27 Asian Leading Ladies Who Kick Ass. They described these actresses as women who defied the various stereotypes often imposed on Asians. Among this list of very talented actresses were some of Audrey Magazine‘s past cover girls:

 

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MINDY KALING
Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts
You know her fromThe Office, and her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Current project: Her self-produced star vehicle The Mindy Project is going into its second season.

From Audrey Magazine: “As confident as I feel, it takes an almost comically confident person to be able to say they were destined to be in movies and television. I don’t think I was destined, but I think I am of the personality type where the rejection or odds of something doesn’t scare me.”

 

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MAGGIE Q

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
You know her fromMission: Impossible IIILive Free or Die HardBalls of Fury
Current project: Since 2010, Maggie has starred in The CW’s Nikita, which is now going into its fourth season.

From Audrey Magazine: “When I first started acting, there were times where I absolutely didn’t know who I was, and because of that, the confidence didn’t follow. You feel lost and you’re always trying to find something that matters to you. But the older I get, the more I understand what my values are, who I am, what I believe in. And because of that, I’m able to have confidence.”

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JAMIE CHUNG

Hometown: San Francisco, California
You know her fromThe Real World: San DiegoSucker Punch
Current project: Jamie plays the recurring role of Mulan on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

From Audrey Magazine: “I just want to do the things I love and spend time with the people I care about and cut out the bullsh-t. Life is too short. … And that goes for food, too. If I want a burger, I’m going to eat a burger.”

 

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RINKO KIKUCHI

Hometown: Hadano, Japan
You know her from: Her Oscar nominated-role in Babel, this summer’s Pacific Rim
Current project: Rinko is in the upcoming movie 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.

From Audrey Magazine: “Since Babel, I’ve had few roles in international films since there are so few roles for Japanese, [but] I want to continue working in the United States.”

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ELODIE YUNG

Hometown: Paris, France
You know her fromThe Girl with the Dragon TattooG.I. Joe: Retaliation
Current project: Elodie’s latest project, 10 Things I Hate About My Life, is slated for release in late 2013 and stars Evan Rachel Wood.

From Audrey Magazine:  “If I’m hired for an action film, there’s no point in me not trying everything, or at least as much as I can. This is not Shakespeare. It’s not about what I’m going to say. I’m not going to have a beautiful monologue. It’s about the action. As an actor, you should invest yourself as much as you can. I want to give 100 percent. It’s more fun that way.”
To read the full stories, purchase issues of Audrey Magazine and subscribe HERE

Lynn Chen: The Actor’s Diet

Lynn Chen stars in White on Rice, out on DVD.

Janice Jann first interviewed Lynn Chen last year when White on Rice was releasing in theaters. Here, she talks to Chen about an insidious disease afflicting so many young women.

Hollywood actresses with eating disorders are a dime a dozen. The constant scrutiny under a harsh camera lens that adds 10 pounds, the competition to out-thin the other skinny minnies, the acceptance of the fact that a big part of your job revolves around how you look — and you better look good.

After a successful debut with a starring role as a ballet dancer in the 2004 romantic comedy, Saving Face, Lynn Chen’s career seemed to be taking off. But her struggle with food was spiraling down. “When I stopped the dieting, I naturally gained the weight back. But my managers weren’t happy. My fans called me chubby,” she says. After hitting an all-time low battling anorexia, Chen decided to take time off from acting and focus on her addictions. “I wanted to address that and really deal with it and not have the pressures of Hollywood knocking on my door and telling me I had to look a certain way,” she says.

So Chen and her friend, Christy, started a blog, The Actor’s Diet, in which they post what they eat every day.  Serving as both a log for the two to take note of what they put in their mouths on a daily basis, as well as a way to demystify the crazy celebrity diets found in magazines and on television, the blog is a way to show readers that “actors’ diets come in all shapes and sizes,” says Chen.

“People think that actors all eat the same thing and they don’t. I think it’s important to talk about that. Especially Asian women. People say, ‘oh, Asian women, we don’t have to worry about what we eat, we’re a size zero’ and that’s just not true.”


Actress Lynn Chen

This issue is also addressed in Chen’s contribution to Secret Identities, the anthology of Asian American superhero comics. Chen created a female superhero who is dealing with bulimia.

With scrumptious food pictures and contributions from guest bloggers like Gilmore Girls’ Keiko Agena, Chen has managed to create a blog that both entertains and informs. “I think if we can embrace that Asian women come in all shape and sizes, we struggle, we’re human, we’re not superstars, not freaks — that’s what I want to do with the blog.”

By Janice Jann.