ne of the most influential television programs of our time in the mid-’90s would have to be “TGIS,” which was a teen-oriented show inundated with mostly 20-something actors, sort of like a much less glamorous local version of Beverly Hills 90210.
While the second batch that hit us in 1997 wasn’t exactly memorable except for the fact that Anne Curtis was in it, it’s definitely the original cast that we still talk about to this very day, and they are the yardstick by which all new teen stars are measured by nowadays.
Who could ever forget the classic loveteams we got, especially after the movie? Who could ever forget the fan service-y one-liners they use at the screen graphic before and after commercials? Who could ever forget the godawful “no, we’re totally not ripping off Melrose Place, no siree” spinoff, “Growing Up?” Or even the ill-advised sham of a “reunion” that practically ignored the past continuity of the Reunion Epilogue, “Teen Gen?” I sure can’t, and chances are, if you ever spent your Saturday afternoons switching between “TGIS” and “Gimik,” neither can you.Raven-Villanueva-8
Back Then: The lovely Cris was one of the most fresh-faced and promising stars of the entire cast. There was something about her demure, innocent look that just made her stand out. You cannot possibly imagine how many guys went nuts at the sight of Raven Villanueva on their television screens. Was she even any good as an actress back then? We were too busy staring at her face to notice.
Life After TGIS: Raven Villanueva got pregnant unexpectedly thanks to then-boyfriend Diego Castro (who is one of only two people who became a cast member of both “TGIS” and “Gimik”), whom she married in the US, and then divorced. She then went back to the Philippines in 2001 to star with co-“TGIS” alum Rica Peralejo in Dos Ekis. Ever since then, she had been mostly playing bit roles, last starring in “Troika,” an indie film in 2007.
In 2010, she gained a bit of notoriety once again by coming out in a nude portfolio where she showed off her tattooed body. Thankfully, whether you like the Raven Villanueva of today or the angelic-faced one in 1995, the internet has you covered with pages and pages of photos of both.
Back Then: Red’s character, Kiko Arboleda, was the poster child for a troubled, wayward youth (just like Jason Ivler!), as he got involved in a drug abuse storyline that they played up for maximum drama. Despite that, most fans remember him for his affectionate nickname on the show, which was “Bulol.” No explanations needed as to why good ol’ marble mouth Red got that monicker.
Life After TGIS: Red mostly faded from the showbiz spotlight after his stint in “TGIS,” but for some weird reason, people were curious if he took guys or girls to his bedroom. After supposedly working in the call center industry (though whether or not he was an agent or a trainer or anything else is up for discussion), he now happily resides in the US with his family and works as Assistant General Manager in Clarion Inn Airport. He also takes the time out to randomly tweet former co-stars from out of the blue. Such cute, much adorable.
Back Then: Who didn’t have a crush on Mitch Ferrer back in the day? Rica Peralejo was one of the breakout stars of “Ang TV,” so her being a must-see talent on “TGIS” was a given. She is also the only other person who has starred both in “TGIS” and “Gimik.” She was known as Jersey Salveron there, and, along with Diego Castro, they ruined any hopes of a crossover ever happening between the two shows.
Life After TGIS: Rica Peralejo broke out as a TF star in 2001, relaunching herself in “Balahibong Pusa.” She continued being a powerhouse in show business, but got married in 2009 to Joseph Bonifacio, at which point Rica completely dropped her sexy image, seeing as she’s been a very active member of Victory Church. She graduated from college in Ateneo just last year, and last starred in film in a superb supporting role as Kim Chiu’s achie in the best ever movie in the whole wide world and of all time (OF ALL TIME!), 2010’s “Paano Na Kaya.”
Back Then: JM Rodriguez! Onemig Bondoc was the epitome of the boy-next-door, and was arguably the best actor in the main cast. For some reason, he was often compared to Jao Mapa. I’d appreciate anyone explaining this one to me, because I don’t get the comparison.
Life After TGIS: Onemig moved to ABS-CBN shortly after his stint in “Growing Up,” and even had a brief run in the legendary TV5 gag show, “Tropang Trumpo.” He then went on to become a mainstay of ASAP, then wrapped up his showbiz career in, of all places, IBC-13, as he pretty much retired from show business in 2006, last seen on TV hosting the station’s noontime show, “Chowtime Na!”. Like most showbiz personalities with too much time on their hands, he is now involved in politics.
Back Then: Appearing midway through the original run of TGIS (or at least, after the movie), Bea Santillan was one of the most underrated characters in the series. That’s probably because Bernadette wasn’t given much to work with by the scriptwriters, so the best she could do is try to maximize her screen time while her dialogue forced her to be little more than a wallflower to what ended up becoming the Bobby-Angelu show.
Life After TGIS: Still somewhat active on television, Bernadette is also a very proud wife and mother to Gary Estrada’s children. She also has a habit of abusing hashtags on her Twitter feed.
Back Then: Paired up with Bernadette Alysson and may or may not have been involved in the most head-scratching love triangle ever with her and Jake Roxas, Michael Flores got lucky to be nicknamed as “Superman” throughout his run in the show. The man who played Micky Ledesma definitely seemed to be put in high regard by the show’s writers.
Life After TGIS: Michael had a mostly nondescript post-“TGIS” career, but he’s still a constant presence. He starred in what was arguably one of the first attempts at a fantaserye ever in Pintados, then had an acclaimed supporting role in the wildly popular Erik Matti film, “On The Job,” where he suspiciously looked just like an Eigenmann, but that could just be me.
Back Then: One half of the breakout stars of “TGIS,” Peachy Real was the driving force behind much of the show’s appeal. After the movie came out, the show quickly centered its narrative around the Bobby-Angelu loveteam, and it paid off in dividends for all parties involved, and a more popular loveteam never came along until Kimerald showed up.
Life After TGIS: Angelu was GMA 7’s shining star at the time, and was being built up to be their answer to ABS-CBN’s Judy Ann Santos. Her unexpected pregnancy in 1998 thanks to Joko Diaz brought all that to a screeching halt, and her career never quite had the same luster after. She even had a brief, ill-advised attempt at going sexy when she starred in 2003’s “www.XXX.com.”
If you haven’t been keeping count, yes: that’s three out of four main TGIS female cast members who ended up doing sexy films at some point in their respective careers (Our #1 also starred in several, but he’s a dude.). Make of that what you will.
Back Then: Joaquin Torres III, also known as Wacks, was the other half of the main focus of the show. For a good chunk of the show’s run, it was all about Pancakes and Cookie, and Bobby Andrews’s unbelievable skill and gall at pretending to be a teen star while he was already in his 20’s. Who could ever forget his godawful attempt at singing the immortal Peachy-Wacks theme song, “It Might Be You?” I wish I could.
Life After TGIS: Well, here’s a guy who definitely knew where his strengths lay. While he never achieved matinee idol status post-Angelu de Leon, he still kept himself relevant in show business as a reliable character actor whenever they needed someone who had to act stoned and/or bored out of his skull. He can currently be seen playing a security guard in the latest MTRCB ratings infomercial.
What other shows do you miss? Which characters? Hit us up in the Comments Section.
BTW, you can also reminisce about where 8 actors of Ang TV are now and where the cast of Batibot are now. And, if you were old enough to remember, you can also check out Where Are They Now: 90’s TF Film Stars!