Philippines Top 20 Independent Actors

May 14, 2007

Chin-chin Gutierrez
Mylene Dizon
Perry Escano
Meryll Soriano
The Young Filmmakers of the Philippines (YFMP), a group of young filmmakers from different colleges and universities, firmly believe that Indie film making is a great way for an actor or filmmaker to develop his or her style and abilities. YFMP did a comprehensive research about the Top Twenty list of independent actors, a mixed batch composed of mainstream/character actors and theater thespians, ages 20 to 40 years old (10 males & 10 females) that are a ubiquitous figure in Philippine independent cinema.

Chin-chin Gutierrez

Chin-chin is a cinema,stage and television actress. Birth Name is Maria Carmina Lourdes Cynthia Gutierrez. A staunch supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, she posed as a mermaid in the PETA pro-animal/pro-vegetarian campaign. She is also a vegetarian.

The creative freedom of expression is marvelously evident in every Chin-Chin Guttierez photograph. Dynamic and almost carefree, pictorial sessions with Chin-Chin are always an exercise in experimentation and creativity. She is a down-to-earth woman-child who is natural and graceful. Her style and demeanor allows for open photographic interpretations. She has appeared in more than 20 feature films including 6 foreign films and has been awarded twice one of the finest actresses in Asia. Chin-chin won several acting awards from different prestigious award giving bodies.

Angel Aquino

Angel Aquino is no stranger to the limelight. (Angelita Velasquez Aquino in real life). She finished Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Baguio City.

Starting out as a model, Angel has metamorphosed into an effective film actress and television lifestyle host. Angel has 2 daughters – Iana (born 1993) and Thea (born 1995). She is warm, open, vibrant and lively. Angel Aquino will always be one of my favorite models. Her well-chiseled facial features, fantastic skin tone, and great figure are the foundation of her beauty. But one element that brings that beauty to life is her animated personality. Angel is a truly beautiful woman.

Angel won Best Performance of an Actress for “Donsol” from the 2006 Cinemalaya Film Ferstival.

John Arcilla

John is a familiar face in Philippine television and films. He has done several TV series and movies. John gave award-winning performances in Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin (They Call Me Joy, 1998; Toronto Film Festival – Exhibition) and Mulanay (Deep in Paradise, 1996; Hawaii International Film Festival Official Selection) for which he won the Best Supporting Actor (Urian, the Film Critics of the Philippines) and Best Actor (Manila Film Festival), respectively.

He was part of the principal cast of Anino, the recipient of the Palme d’Or Award for Best Short Film in the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. He was also exceptional in International Theater such as in Orosman at Zafira (Musical) in France, Noli Me Tangere (Play) in Japan, El Filibusterismo (Play) in Japan, and in more than 30 original and adapted Filipino plays.

He got Best Actor nominations for independent films Sa North Diversion Road and Compound. John earned the highest votes for Best Actor from the People’s Insider Magazine 2007 Top Choices For Local Film Awards. John is under the Talent management of Cornelia “Angge” Lee.


Roeder is a multi-talented performer, singer, actor, and dancer. He recorded three original Filipino albums released under Vicor Music Company, which include his signature hit, Sana Naman (gold and platinum) and an international album released in Germany to his credit.

He is one handful talents who have successfully made the crossover from mainstream pop to theater and independent films. He has acted in over thirty productions ranging from musicals to straight plays. He gave memorable performances in King and I, Twelfth Night, Aguinaldo 1898, Larawan, Chess, Grease, Once on This Island, Fire, Water, woman, They’re Playing our song, Macbeth, Luna, Carmen, Insiang, Ligawang Ligaw and Rhythm Method.

He received Best Stage Actor nominations from the Aliw Awards for his performances Count Dracula in the Tanghalang Pilipino adaptation of Dracula and Gantimpala National Artist Production Series F.Sionil Jose’s The God Stealer/ Nick Joaquin’s The Queen’s Jewel. For film, he got a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in Lav Diaz’s Ebolusyon. Roeder is a freelance actor.

Julia Clarete

Julia Clarete is Eda Giselle Rosetta N. Clarete in real life, born on September 24, 1979. Julia Clarete who was hailed as Hollywood Dream’s ultimate champion after a close fight with fellow finalist Raymond Bagatsing late last year on the farewell episode of the six-month reality show/talent search on ABC-5.

People familiar with Julia have always seen her sing on some of the TV shows that she appears on but this time she takes it on a more serious and professional level, writing and composing the album’s featured single, “Bumalik Ka Lang,” herself. And it was actually one of two songs that Julia sung for Ivory Music execs during the first few meetings before she signed on to do an album. She is currently one of the co-hosts of the daily noontime TV show Eat Bulaga.

Mylene Dizon

A superb actress, Mylene Dizon, has revealed that she ran away from her mother. But, it was an unusual situation. Mylene’s parents are separated. Her mother has moved to the United States. Mylene is aware of her strong-willed nature, which she believes she has gotten from her mom. She admits, she’s a loner even when she was still a kid. She was left home alone all the time. She spent a vacation in America when she was 18. She worked as a secretary in her mom’s physical therapy business there. She didn’t get paid so she ran back to the Philippines with her mom’s credit card in her pocket.
She has kept herself alive and well in the raucous carnival world of show business. Her name had to be associated with the gorgeous faces teeming at the ABS CBN Talent Center.

In 1997, she won Best New Movie Actress for her 1st film Calvento Files: The movie. Recently, Mylene Dizon was named Best Actress for her role in Rome and Juliet from the 2006 Cinema One Originals. Mylene Dizon is now a character actress in the entertainment industry and has a lovechild with model/actor, Paolo Paraiso.

Meryll Soriano

Meryll Soriano is an actor, image model/product endorser, and TV personality. She started acting on screen through the kiddies sitcom “It Bullingit” with other child star performers on ABS – CBN.

Although she is known for her recent share of showbiz controversy with her hasty marriage to actor Bernard Palanca and its equally fast breakup; and as well as the daughter of Wowowee host, Willie Revillame, and niece of Diamond Star, Maricel Soriano, she is better known as a young, bubbly child star who has grown to be a charming, vibrant, talented serious teen actress and performer.

Recently, she won as Best Actress in the movie “Roomboy” an entry for the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

Perry Escano

Perry Escano is an actor for stage, television and film. He finished Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering in Lyceum of the Philippines. He started as stage performer in Tanghalang Batingaw, a university-based theater group at the Lyceum of the Philippines. He earned his professional acting debut with Gantimpala Theater Foundation.

He has portrayed mostly major roles in his theater projects. His theater credits include Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, Florate at Laura, Silang Magigiting, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Laronde, Tatlong Villanueva, Severino Montano Trilogy, Mactan 1521, Martir sa Golgota, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Katy, Jose P. Laurel life and Tatlong Kwento ng Bagong Bayani. He is one of the Best Supporting Actor finalists from the People’s Insider Magazine 2007 Top Choices For Local Film Awards.

This is his Friendster account.

Ketchup Eusebio

Ketchup Eusebio(real name: Michael Eusebio) bagged the best supporting actor trophy for his performance in a digital movie, Sa Aking Pagkakagising Mula sa Kamulatan, from the Gawad Urian. It is his first acting award and he is grateful that he was at the awards ceremony to personally accept the trophy.

Ketchup Eusebio is one of the busiest talents of Star Magic. He is actually never without a project. He was in White Lady, produced by Regal Entertainment. He is also in the Regal Films movie, Gigil, with Alfred Vargas and Katrina Halili. At Star Cinema, the sister company of Star Magic, Ketchup did First Day High. He is also set to do an independent film to be directed by Kathy Camarillo.

On TV, Ketchup co-hosts the Studio 23 show, “It’s a Guy Thing,” with Borgy Manotoc, John Joe Joseph and Bubbles Paraiso. He plans to study film making next year at the New York University.

This is Ketchup’s Friendster account.

Sid Lucero

The moment we saw Sid Lucero, we knew that he’s got it.

If his face looks familiar, it’s because Sid is the son of thespian Mark Gil. The eyebrows, the nose and the piercing look is so very Mark. We learned that his manager Ricky Gallardo of The Talent Factory was responsible in choosing his screen name. Sid Lucero is the name of the character Mark Gil played in the award-winning Mike de Leon film, “Batch 81,” where Mark was elevated to lead status, and where he met and fell in love with Sid’s mother, the former fashion model and actress Bing Pimentel. He won Breakthrough Performance by an Actor for Donsol from the 2007 Golden Screen Awards by the Entertainment Press.

Ping Medina

Ping is an occasional artist, he is the son of character actor Pen Medina. He’s 23, whose first acting job was as the young Jose Rizal in the film by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, has bigger things to care about. Things like his Cinemalaya project with Dennis Marasigan, an ensemble film called Tukso, in which he would star with Ricky Davao, Soliman Cruz, Irma Adlawan and others. Things like playing the guitar and recording a demo with his band, Hello Ebro. Things like figuring out his real role in Philippine cinema.

Ping has been in the industry for 10 years now and although mall tours and provincial shows are not part of his itinerary, he does have a huge fan base. Actually, he has two kinds, the first made up of people who loved him as Kuya Bogs in Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and the second are the people who have seen him on television, in shows like Etheria and the afternoon soap Makita Ka Lang Muli, both aired on GMA 7.

He gets recognized when he’s out and is asked to pose for photos and sign autographs but Ping finds a deeper connection with fans who he can really talk to about his work and about his passions. And he has a lot of passion for his craft. He has notable performances and earned MANUNURI (URIAN) Best Supporting Actor nomination for the film Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

Jake Macapagal

Recently Jake portrayed lead roles in Virgin Labfest 2 Naked Truths Payb/Sixs and Aspect of Love. Jake is a master of musical theater having been involved in international productions. His credits include Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh Limited, UK National Tour; Stella Musical Productions, Germany), Rent (Singapore Repertory Theatre/Atlantis Production), Nagraland (Mitsubishi Music Production, Asian Tour), and the Philippine productions of Once on this Island (Chase International) ; Les Miserables, My Fair Lady and Joseph the Dreamer (Repertory Philippines) ; Cabaret and Falsettos (New Voice Company); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Atlantis Production); Cats (Metropolitan Theater).

He has also done recordings. He is one of the Best Supporting Actor finalists for the People’s Insider Magazine 2007 Top Choices For Local Film Awards and got Breakthrough Performance by an actor for his top-notch performance in the Will Fredos Compound from the 4th Golden Screen Awards.

Mario Magalona

Mario is an actor for stage, television and film. Mario’s theater credits include: Ang Mga Kahon, A winter’s tale, Divinas Palabras, Inspektor Heneral, Price of Redemption, Othello, Death of a Salesman, St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos, The Trial, Pilitwo, Sakurahime, El publico, Angel Street, Blood Wedding and Shock Value.

For his film Dilim, he portrayed a mysterious vigilante who goes after the bad guys and helps kids and damsels in distress and in Rotonda he is a drug addict who seeks revenge and died in the end. Mario received the Best Actor award for his impressive performances in Rekados from 2006 Cinema One Independent film Festival.

Alcris Galura

Alcris is a film actor. He is the brother of Glaiza de Castro (Actress). He portrayed a 14-year old Batad Boy Ag-ap in the film “Batad”, a high school dropout who is forced to sell produce in the Banawe market to augment his income, whose big dream is to own a pair of nifty sports shoes. He bagged the best actor awards from 2006 Cinemalaya Film Festival and 2006 Golden Screen Awards for his heartwarming performance in Batad. He also received Best Supporting Actor nominations from the URIAN for his performances in Mario O’Hara’s “Babae sa Breakwater”.

Kalila Aguiluz

Kalila was a part of Tanghalang Pilipino’s Zsazsa Zaturnah (Ze Muzical) as antagonist, Ang Mga Huwad as Carmen Villa, Queen Femina Suarestellar Baroux, played Madame Jeanne Forestier in Tanghalan at Obra’s musical adaptation, The Necklace and the Bride in the International Theatre Institute Congress presentation of Blood Weeding.

Other theater credits include Troyanas, Middle of the Silence, Paglayang minamahal, Ang Pagpatay Kay Luna, Dularawang Pating, Aguinaldo: 1898, Ulilang Tahanan, El Filibusterismo; LikhaanÃÆ’¢â‚¬â„¢s, Noli me Tangere, Magnificat and Disyembre.

Kalila is also a costume designer, singer, painter & graphic designer.

Angeli Bayani

Angeli is an apprentice of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actor’s Company, Angeli dreams one day of becoming an Indie princess. As a resident actor of CCP, Angeli’s favorite roles are: Maria Clara in TP’s Noli Me Tangere The Musical; Mrs. Capulleto in TP’s Romeo Luvs Dew-Lhiett; Induduli in TP’s Hudhuhd, an Ifugao romance and Pinnochio in TP’s children’s musical, Pinocchio.

In March 2006 she performed in Tokyo, Japan, with the theater company Rinko Gun/Good Fellow’s Inc as part of Philippine Bedtime Stories, a series of one-act Filipino plays performed in Tagalog and Japanese. She has also performed with jay Cruz of Dancing Wounded Contemporary Dance Commune. Her film Mga Lunes ng Hapis (Monday of Sorrow) is competing in the fourth Con-Can Movie Festival, an online short film festival in Japan this month.

Kimberly Diaz

Kimberly Diaz is a stage, TV, and film actor. She has essayed lead roles in stage plays, having played Ignacia in Mother Ignacia, Laura in Florante at Laura, Oryang in Silang Magigiting, Paulita in El Filibusterismo, Pilar in Pepe and pilar and Maria Blanca in Ibong Adarna.

Some of her productions include Ambon, Ulan, Baha, Tiktipaklong, Pilandok at Mahiwagang manok and Maria Blanca in Ibong Adarna. She has also appeared in commercials such as Purefoods corned beef, Bear Brand milk, Magic Flakes, Chowking, Nescafe and BPI family bank. She won Best Actress in the 1994 Metro Manila Film Festival for the film Kanto Boy 2.

This is her Friendster account.

Liza Dino

Mary Liza Bautista Dino or Liza Dino is a beauty pageant titleholder and all around performer. She is a BS Speech Communication graduate from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is best known as the beauty queen endorser of Likas Papaya Herbal Soap years ago.

She placed third runner-up in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2001 and competed in the Miss Tourism International pageant. She has played a variety of characters in both Shakespearean and original Filipino plays under seasoned directors. Her credits include Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Winter’s Tale, Othello, Yerma, Divinas Palabras, Hiroshima Mon Amour, A Portrait of an Artist, Tatlong Villanueva, El Publico and Komedi. Liza is a freelance actress.

This is her Friendster account.

Joanne Miller

Joanne Miller is back after some good years from the long-running soap opera Annaluna. The lead girl character from Big Time used to play Eunice, one of the little kontrabidas in the 80s soap, Annaluna. In her first independent film, Big Time, she portrayed Melody the prettiest girl in Tambo who wants to become a big movie star. Joanne Miller’s performance and charisma are exceptional in this film. Big Time is 2005 Cinemalaya feature length film finalist.

Neil Ryan Sese

Neil is an actor for stage, television and film. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts from the University of the Philippines. From then on, guided by his mentors, he honed his craft by taking part in various plays.

To name a few, he appeared in Shakespearean classics such as Othello (Dulaang U.P); Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew (UP Shakespearean Company); Greek classics like Oedipus Rex (Dulaang UP) and Troyanas (Tanghalang Pilipino), Kanser (Gantimpala) , Laro (Gantimpala) and Asian Drama like St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos (Dulanng UP); Hudhud (TP), Kanjicho (Dulanng UP), Sepharad: Voces de Exilio, Basilia ng Malolos ( UPPT), Orpheus Descending (TP) and Sa Ngalan ng Anak (Dulaang UP) and line producer of the digital film Laya. He is one of the busiest character actors on television.