Arts & Entertainment

The Biggest Filipino Child Actors, Then and Now

Here's what your favorite Filipino child stars look like now.
IMAGE FACEBOOK/THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT / INSTAGRAM/BILLYCRAWFORD
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For some unexplained reason, child stars have always had a certain hold over audiences. Is it their innate talent? Or their amazing imagination? It's probably both... plus the added fascination of seeing how they turn out as they grow up.

That said, once you're in Filipino show business, you're almost always in for life. Hence, there's a high chance that several child actors on the list still grace the big and small screen. Some have even become major celebrities, while others faded into obscurity. Here's what your favorite Filipino child stars look like now.

Then: Billy Crawford

Photo by FACEBOOK/THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT.

Billy Crawford started off his career on That's Entertainment. His family moved to the U.S., however, where his singing career took off. In the 2000s, you couldn't turn on a music channel in the Philippines with one of his songs playing.

Now: Billy Crawford

A highly publicized relationship with Mandy Moore and multiple albums later, Crawford came back to the country and continued where he left off with acting and dancing. His career has come full circle as the host of Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

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Then: Janice de Belen

Photo by INSTAGRAM/SUPER_JANICE.

At the age of nine, Janice de Belen became a newscaster for RPN-9. She then starred in a soap opera titled Flor de Luna that catapulted her to fame.

Now: Janice de Belen

Photo by YOUTUBE/ABS-CBN ENTERTAINMENT.

Since then, the actress and host has become an industry mainstay. She hosted SiS, a morning show for a total of nine years. And, she most recently made her acting comeback for ABS-CBN in a number of soap operas.

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Then: Matet de Leon

As the daughter of Christopher de Leon and Nora Aunor, it seems Matet de Leon was destined for show business. She made her acting debut in I Love You Mama, I love You Papa.

Now: Matet de Leon

De Leon married chef Mickey Estrada in 2004, but that hasn't slowed down her craft. You still see her on both the big and small screens. Through the years, she's amassed nearly a hundred acting credits.

Then: Niño Muhlach

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A post shared by Nin?o Muhlach (@oninmuhlach)

When talking about child stars, you really can't forget about Niño Muhlach. Dubbed the Child Wonder of Philippine cinema, Muhlach got his big break after being cast as Darna's younger brother in 1979.

Now: Niño Muhlach

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A post shared by Nin?o Muhlach (@oninmuhlach)

In recent years, Muhlach has been in the headlines for less pleasant news. He had a legal battle with his estranged wife Edith Millare, and has had drug possession charges. But, his son, Alonzo Muhlach, has picked up where he left off with his acting legacy.

Then: Camille Prats

Photo by IMDB.
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The '90s was huge for Camille Prats.  She starred in Ang TV, and she starred in the titular role of Sarah Crewe in Sarah... Ang Munting Prinsesa.

Now: Camille Prats

Years later, Prats is still a common face on TV. After a short hiatus to study in the U.S., she's come back to host and star in numerous TV shows.

Then: Judy Ann Santos

Judy Ann Santos' first role was in Ula, Ang Batang Gubat. But, her big break came in the form of ABS-CBN's soap opera Mara Clara where she played a dutiful daughter.

Now: Judy Ann Santos

Santos basically grew up in the spotlight. From being a child actress, she became a teen star and finally turned into one of the country's most acclaimed entertainers. Aside from acting, Santos also has a passion for cooking.

Then: Vilma Santos

It's hard to think of a time when Vilma Santos wasn't a politician. Die-hard fans know, however, that she got her start as a child star in Trudis Liit. The role also gave her her first acting accolade as Best Child Performer from FAMAS.

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Now: Vilma Santos

Photo by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

From there, Santos' career only got bigger. She has since focused on her political career as the Representative for the Lone District of Lipa, Batangas.

Then: Ice Seguerra

Photo by EAT BULAGA.

Ice Seguerra's career is proof that a single contest can change your life. He was Eat Bulaga's first Little Miss Philippines at the age of three. From there, he became a full-fledged child star with over 30 acting credits under his name.

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Now: Ice Seguerra

In 2007, Seguerra came out as a lesbian. Exactly seven years later, he came out as a transgender man. Most recently, his interests had shifted to public service after being appointed the Chairperson of the National Youth Commission by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Then: Tom Taus

Photo by IMDB.

Along with Camille Prats, Tom Taus was another child actor of the '90s. If Prats was Princess Sarah, Taus was Cedie in Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe. (Yes, the same Cedie as Japanese anime Little Lord Fauntleroy also known as Shokoshi Ceddie.)

Now: Tom Taus

After a seven-year career in film and TV, Taus surprised many when he moved to the U.S. when he was 13. From acting, he's returned to the Philipines with a focus on music. As a DJ, he's known for playing EDM, trap, and hard style.

Then: Serena Dalrymple

If a movie needed a child in the late '90s, you could expect Serena Dalrymple to fill the role. Her filmography is just proof of that with classic films such as Bata, Bata… Pa'no Ka Ginawa?, Hiling, and Wansapanataym: The Movie.

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Now: Serena Dalrymple

Dalrymple officially retired from acting in 2004. Though that hasn't stopped her from starring in Ang Tanging Ina's two sequels. Now based in New York, Dalrymple documents her life on Instagram through photos of food and her travels.

Then: Jiro Manio

If Camille Prats had the '90s and Serena Dalrymple owned the late '90s, Jiro Manio had the 2000s to take over. Manio started acting at the age of seven, and has appeared in several projects up until 2010.

Now: Jiro Manio

Manio went away from the spotlight after 2010. He appeared on headlines after it was reported that he was undergoing rehabilitation for drug addiction. In 2015, however, he was spotted scavenging in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Photos of him spread across the internet, and former co-star Ai-Ai delas Alas offered him help. He returned to rehab years later. In January 2020, he was arrested for allegedly stabbing a man in Marikina City.

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