Ellen Adarna, Coming of Age in the Public Eye

Her high school yearbook predicted that she would be "bound for prominence."
IMAGE Instagram @maria.ellen.adarna

Ellen Adarna going viral isn't exactly new. Before she became a television actress, she was already an Internet celebrity.

She is the eldest child and only daughter of businessman Alan Modesto Adarna and his wife Miriam Go. Her familr, according to her interview with FHM Philippines, is into the real-estate business, and owns Queensland Hotel, which has branches in Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Metro Manila.


Ellen finished high school at St. Theresa’s College Cebu, where she was a prominent campus figure.

One of her batchmates posted this on Pinoy Exchange, "I can't believe she's gotten really famous... there was one time in high school 4th year, she and Luis Manzano had a pic.

"It circulated around the whole batch so I got to see it...

"Funny thing is that she looked more like a celebrity than Luis ever was...hahaha!"

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This was how the Kapamilya star was described in Catalyst, her school's yearbook:

“Ellen sits at the very pinnacle of the social ladder—the goddess of beauty seemingly holding court with mere mortals. A charmer with a spunky wit and smile, she never fails to dazzle everyone with ingenious ideas that put any trendsetter to shame. Clever, yes, she most certainly is…and totally bound for prominence. The sassy girl!”

She graced the cover of Candy magazine twice: in July 2005, after winning the Teen Model Search, and June 2006.


In 2005, Ellen was "Queen,” at least to her male followers, back when Friendster was the Facebook, and MySpace, also a social networking site, was extremely popular among young Pinoys.

She already had her share of bashers back when she was a Business Management student. Being sensitive to negative talk then, she abandoned her blog.

She had posers, too. They created 20 accounts using her name and photo, which led the now-defunct Friendster to ban all 20 accounts, including the one Ellen actually maintained.

While studying at the Center for International Education in Makati City, she worked as a part-time model.

This was taken in 2007.


Showbiz beckoned, and Ellen started appearing regularly on Bubble Gang in 2010.

Before the year ended, she played a minor role in Si Agimat at Si Enteng Kabisote and landed on the cover of FHM Philippines.


In 2011, she and her then-boyfriend Filo Cucueco became part of Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Doubles Showdown.

Did you know that she had a cameo role in Tween Academy: Class of 2012, released in 2011?

It was around this time that, in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), she admitted to her plan of having breast augmentation.

Some netizens claimed she had double-eyelid surgery, too.

Ellen graced the cover again of FHM magazine's January 2012 issue.

On the same year, she played minor roles in two projects: the fantasy TV series Alice Bungisngis and her Magic Walis and the film Boy Pick-up: The Movie.

The following year, she bagged a support role in Indio, where she played Dalikmata, a woman who can tell the past, present, and future. 


She told PEP.ph in a previous interview that her dad called her decision to join showbiz "foolish."

In 2014, she was on the verge of quitting, and considered returning to Cebu.

But she became a Kapamilya, and was offered by ABS-CBN the role of the main antagonist in Moon of Desire.


In 2015, she got her first major role in Pasion de Amor, which was also topbilled by Arci Muñoz and Coleen Garcia.

She was also launched as a gin brand's calendar girl.

She had another kontrabida role in Langit Lupa, which aired from November 28, 2016 to April 28, 2017.

It was after this that she joined Home Sweetie Home, where she got to work with John Lloyd Cruz.

Ellen is partly the reason why the actor is suddenly a hot topic on social media. 

Their recent videos, taken by their companions during their Cebu getaway, revived rumors that the two are really an item.

The first sighting of the two together was on February 2017, at the lobby of a five-star hotel.

Making things more suspicious, for the first time Ellen is being tight-lipped, her usual candor gone.

Well, she's also probably going though a transformation of sorts, as she turns 30 next year, April 2, 2018.

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Merla Teresa Fernandez for PEP.ph
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