Where Is the Original Cast of Sineskwela Now?

IMAGE ABS-CBN

In June 2020, during the height of the pandemic lockdowns, the cast of Sineskwela decided to have an online reunion for the first time since the show aired in 1994 and ended in 2004. 

The multi-awarded children's television series won awards abroad for simplifying concepts in science and technology and making them child-friendly by using animated characters and colorful visual effects. Sineskwela is one of the most important legacies left by the late Gina Lopez, who funded and produced the environmental and science-oriented show. 

Where is the Cast of Sineskwela Now?

More than the fascinating principles taught in the show, children were drawn to the show's cast. Nearly 30 years since its launch, each of the cast members has pursued diverse careers. 

The original cast of Sineskwela was composed of Sheena Ramos as Palikpik, Christine Bersola-Babao as Anatom, Maan Munsayac as Kulitsap, Brenan Espartinez as Agatom, Icko Gonzalez as Bok, and Roobak Valle as Ugat-Puno. 

Sheena Ramos aka Palikpik

Photo by ABS-CBN, Sheena Ramos.
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Sheena Ramos is a child actress most notably known for her role as Palikpik. According to Ramos, the producers made her choose what her costume would be, and she told them she wanted to be a mermaid. 

Umiyak ako noong nakita ko yung costume ko, kasi hindi naman yun mermaid eh!” Ramos said during the Sineskwela Reunion in 2020. It’s difficult to describe exactly what her character was, which looked like a humanoid goldfish. In the show, she typically talked about marine life, water pollution, and anything about her character's fluvial ecosystem. 

“After Sineskwela, nag-aral ako at matagal akong nawala sa showbiz. Nagtapos ako ng Nursing. Guys, registered nurse ako!” she proudly tells her former colleagues during the reunion. “Nag-practice ako for two years tapos umalis na ako. Sa Asian Hospital yung last kong work (as a nurse).” 

Ramos was cast as a lead in one of the episodes of the popular Kuwentong Jollibee series. 

She also worked as a digital marketing strategist in TV 5 from 2010 to 2014. These days, Ramos has a corporate day job that involves e-commerce and digital marketing. 

Roobak Valle aka Ugat-Puno

Photo by ABS-CBN; Roobak Valle, Facebook.
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During the first episodes of Sineskwela, Roobak Valle’s Ugat-Puno character was a clueless, innocent tree with a thirst for knowledge. Throughout the first seasons, he would be highly inquisitive and would always ask a lot of questions. Valle described his character as someone who absorbs information greatly. As the series progressed, Ugat-Puno would become a repository of knowledge that other characters would depend on. 

Today, Roobak Valle is a resident director at the Gantimpala Theater Foundation, where he has worked for nearly 30 years. He has also worked for the Cultural Center of the Philippines and for Think+Talk Creative Communications. 

Brenan Espartinez aka Agatom

Photo by ABS-CBN; Brenan Espartinez, Facebook.

The multi-talented Brenan Espartinez played Agatom in Sineskwela. Just like Anatom, his character was able to transform to the size of a molecule and explore the workings of the world of cells. 

Now, Espartinez is proudly working as a full-time dad but still produces music, his first love. During the production of Sineskwela, Espartinez was asked to sing the opening theme of the show. He has retained his singing voice to this day.

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“I did backup singing for different artists before the pandemic,” Espartinez shared during the Sineskwela reunion. He is also a session musician. On the side, he does vocal coaching for various shows and recordings of ABS-CBN. “I also do vocal arrangements for different songs that are submitted to me for various artists.” Although he has left his career in the showbiz industry, he is still very much active in the country’s music scene. He even works on jingles for commercials.

“I also have a band called Sub Projekt,” said band vocalist Espartinez. The band released a single in 2019 called “Tadhana.”

Icko Gonzalez aka Bok

Photo by ABS-CBN; Icko Gonzalez, Facebook.

In Sineskwela, Icko Gonzalez played Bok, the captain of the ship and leader of the Sineskwela squad. In the show, Bok sends the characters to different missions to investigate scientific phenomena. His role was originally written as a scientist referred to as “Dok” but producers replaced it with “Bok” whom they described as someone who learns with the audience and does not always have the answer to everything. 

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Today, Icko Gonzalez works as a special projects manager at CBN Asia, which produces 700 Club Asia, Superbook, and several children’s programs. Gonzales still acts and hosts events once in a while but much of his time is also spent directing and producing shows for Masterpiece Media, Inc., which produces original animated shows from the Philippines. He is also a kids church volunteer in Victory, Makati. Gonzales is also part of a children’s show called Oyayi TV, whose full first season is available on YouTube

Hindi na yata matatanggal sa aking pagkatao ang children’s content,” Gonzales shares during their 2020 Sineskwela reunion. “Hindi talaga ako nilubayan ng children’s content,” he adds. 

Christine Bersola-Babao aka Anatom

Photo by ABS-CBN; Christine Bersola Babao, Facebook.

Christine Bersola-Babao played the role of Anatom, who, like Agatom, has the power to shrink to the size of a molecule and explore the workings of the human body. Her character’s name is derived from the word “anatomy.”

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During the 2020 Sineskwela reunion, Bersola-Babao revealed she took on fewer projects after getting married to news anchor and radio broadcaster Julius Babao. “I wanted to focus on motherhood.” She also mentioned that although she has fewer projects, “Hindi na maaalis sa sistema natin ang pagiging teachers, so when I became a mother, I continued to teach by writing children’s books.”

Among her bestselling children’s books is “Basura Monster,” which teaches children about proper waste management and hygiene. Every Monday, Bersola-Babao hosts a financial literacy show called “Mag-Badyet Tayo!” 

Maan Munsayac aka Kulitsap

Maan Munsayac played the role of Kulitsap, the smallest character in Sineskwela. She represented the world of insects in the show. She introduced viewers not only to insects but also to indigenous species of plants and animals on land. 

Musayac was not able to attend the Sineskwela cast reunion, but the cast mentioned that she is a registered nurse. Based on her LinkedIn profile, Munsayac is working as a nurse in the U.K. 

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Source: 

Icko Gonzales. (2020). The Sine’skwela Cast Reunion. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/IckoGonzalezOfficial/videos/580782075959519/ on April 04, 2022.

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