Even before I stepped inside the beautiful, surprisingly green campus of Ateneo de Manila University, I already knew that our national hero Jose Rizal and other prominent Philippine figures such as Noynoy Aquino and Manuel V. Pangilinan attended the school too. But what about the more recent batches of blue-blooded personalities from Ateneo de Manila?
Here’s a rundown of a few Filipino celebrities who graduated from this school in Katipunan:
Nikki Gil (AB Literature 2009)
Multi-hyphenate Nikki got her start as a VJ on the local music channel MYX in 2005. She then moved on to become a singer with three albums to date, a host on shows like ASAP, Pinoy Dream Academy, and Showtime, and an actress for both films and theater shows. She recently appeared in the musicals Legally Blonde: The Musical, and The Last 5 Years. Nikki met her current fiance, BJ Albert, through a common friend they had from Ateneo. What does she miss about the school? The library. She admitted in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer back in 2009, “I will miss going to the library. I practically lived there.”
Bianca Gonzalez-Intal (AB Communication 2004)
Before entering showbiz, Bianca originally wanted to work behind the scenes as her interests were writing and TV production – making her a perfect fit for Ateneo’s Communication program.
Afterwards, Bianca went back to hosting, this time for shows such as Pinoy Dream Academy, Umagang Kay Ganda, and ironically enough, the later versions of Pinoy Big Brother. Like Nikki, Bianca and her husband, former Blue Eagle JC Intal, were also both Ateneans. However, they never met on campus, but rather, while watching a UAAP game.
Maxene Magalona (AB Social Sciences 2008)
With Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran as her grandparents and Francis Magalona as her dad, it only seemed natural for Maxene to enter the world of show business. She began her career as a child actress on kiddie shows such as Ang TV and 5 & Up. She then starred in a variety of shows, such as fantaseryes like Kamandag, and telenovelas like Una Kang Naging Akin. She is currently starring in the ABS-CBN primetime soap, Dream Dad.
Maxene juggled both showbiz and studies, starring in the GMA sitcom, Daddy Di Do Du, while getting As and B’s in Ateneo, especially in her foreign language classes.
Sam YG (BS Legal Management 2005)
Despite facing racism at an early age, Sam learned to accept his ethnicity and even used it to his advantage later on in his career. After a successful stint as a Junior Jock on Magic 89.9 in his junior year in the Ateneo, he became 1/3 of the Boys’ Night Out crew on the same station.
He became even more popular when he entered television, appearing as Shivaker on the GMA noontime show, Eat Bulaga. Shivaker was such an audience favorite that it wasn’t long before Sam became a regular on the show and appeared on several other TV shows as well such as Tweet Biz, Juicy, and Diz Iz It. Sam’s a true blue Atenista, studying in Ateneo from elementary to college. He even joked before that his favorite hangout was the SEC walk, saying that that was where all the smart, studious kids hung out. As Ateneans know, SEC walk is a prime spot for people-watching.
Karylle (BS Communications Technology Management 2002)
The daughter of Zsa Zsa Padilla and stepdaughter of Dolphy, it’s safe to say that Karylle grew up in the musical and acting limelight.
She entered the entertainment industry back in 2001 when she launched her first album and became a host on the GMA noontime variety show, SOP. She then moved to become an actress in several films including Ang Agimat, two of the Mano Po films, and Mulawin: The Movie, in TV shows like Encantadia and Kamandag, and in musicals such as Little Mermaid, Seussical, and Cinderella. She is currently one of the hosts of the noontime series, Showtime on ABS-CBN.
Karylle put her Communications Technology Management degree to good use by putting up several business like KTV/resto-bar Centerstage and other restaurants and food cart brands. She returned to her alma mater in 2012 to host the celebratory bonfire for the different Ateneo UAAP teams.
Have any other blue-blooded celebrities you look up to? Let us know in the comments below.