10 International Celebrities Who Jump Started Careers in the Philippines - BlogPh.net

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10 International Celebrities Who Jump Started Careers in the Philippines

Many Filipinos are not aware that famous English comedian, writer, actor, producer, and director Rick Gervais was also a musician.  He was part of the new wave/eighties group Seona Dancing which had a minor hit song called “More to Lose.”  While the song is not popular in most music markets around the world, the song was very huge in the Philippines during the eighties.  It was so huge that a large number of Filipinos knew it by heart and embraced it as their personal anthem.  This one leads to ask the question, who among famous international celebrities have or had Filipino connections or jump started their careers in the Philippines in one way or another apart from Rick Gervais? 

Michael Bublé

This Canadian singer never hid the fact that he credited the Philippines as one of the reasons why he became famous.  In an article in the Philippine Star, he admitted that Philippines discovered him.  It was in 2003 when he first set foot in this country as part of his Fever promotional tour in Asia.  It was here that he was received warmly and to his amazement, he did not realize that he was already a huge star here at that time of his first visit.

Image from list.co.uk

David Benoit

When he was invited by the First Lady Imelda Marcos during the seventies, David Benoit did not know that he will be performing at the Cultural Center of The Philippines. He thought that he would be playing piano in one of the small piano bars in Manila.  He was shocked to find out that the venue was as grand as any other cultural centers in the planet.  According to an interview, he said that, he considered the Philippines as his lucky charm.  After his CCP performance, he went on to become a famous piano artist in the U.S., earning him three Grammy nominations in the entire span of his career.

Image from israinfo.com

Dayanara Torres

She visited the Philippines in order to turn over her Miss Universe crown to her successor Sushmita Sen, who won the crown in 1994.  After her reign, she continued her stay in the country and ended up as one of the most popular celebrities starring in a few movies, co-hosted a variety, and romanced a Filipino male heartthrob.  She left the country a few years after and returned to Puerto Rico to become a recording actress, married a Latin pop superstar, and starred in a local TV series.

Image from cinemarx.ro

Billy Crawford

He is an international celebrity in his own right and before he became famous in France and in some European countries, he was a popular child and teen star in the Philippines.  He was part of the erstwhile popular afternoon variety show during the eighties, “That’s Entertainment,” which became his training ground as a performer.  At present, he is co-hosting a local lunch time show.

Image from allmusic.com

Tim Tebow

An international sports celebrity in the caliber of Manny Pacquiao.  He was born and raised in the Philippines. According to some media stories, his upbringing as a missionary child was the reason for his well balanced profile and personality despite the fact that his stature is susceptible to temptations.  It is rare for a sports personality not to be embroiled in a scandal.

Image from patheos.com

Don Johnson

Before Miami Vice, there was Lollipops and Roses.  Yes, he starred first in a Nora Aunor movie before he landed major roles in Hollywood. However, this might be a regretful decision in his life as nowhere in his biography that this episode was mentioned in many profiles and articles about him.

Image from pep.ph

Evangeline Lilly

She was not lost when she started her career in the Philippines.  She did not act, sing or dance.  Before she became famous as part of the LOST series, she was an airline stewardess.  But before that, she was doing missionary and humanitarian in work in the country.  It simply means that not all stars who became famous were also actors, singers, and musician first, like Tim Tebow; some of them have missionary positions first. 

Image from fanpop.com

Meredith Talusan

Meredith who?  Celebrities don’t have to be an actor, a sports personality or a singer.  They could also be writers. Meredith is a transgender writer and she became a transgender first long before Rustom Padilla made it in the transgender mainstream. She writes regularly with The Guardian and Buzzfeed. According to her profile, Meredith was a child actor first in RPN 9’s TV show called “Bisoy, Ang Daddy Kong Baduy.”

Image  from aselfmadewoman.com

Apocalypse Now Actors

There are too many to mention here. This is why they are lumped together in this label.  Apocalypse Now was a movie shot in many different locations in the Philippines and was a critical and commercial success when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and it went on to win the Palme D’ Or and was nominated as  Best Picture in the 52nd Oscar Awards.  Aside from these facts, many movie fans did not know that a lot of famous actors starred in this movie either as minor stars or extras before they became A-Listers in Hollywood. To name a few, you have Harrison Ford, Charlie Sheen, and Laurence Fishburne.

Image from ameliagraceve.wordpress.com


The YouTube sensation became an international celebrity the moment she appeared in Ellen and Oprah.  This dusky Filipina singer released an album in the U.S. and it charted in the top ten region. Her song "Pyramid" grabbed the top spot in Billboard Dance Chart years ago.  While many have thought that she just went under the radar, she is still very active in the international circuit performing for some guest performances. The latest of which was her appearance in the grand finals of Asia’s Got Talent months ago.

Image from interaksiyon.com

How about you, do you know of any international celebrities who have Philippines connection or started their career first here or were famous first among Pinoys before they become famous in the international scene?  Some of you might ask what about international celebrities like Nicole Scherzinger, Tia Carere, Nia Peeples and other Fil-Am celebrities? The list is all about celebrities who were connected with the Philippines before they become international stars not on celebrities who have Filipino connection by blood.  Billy and Charice made it to this list as they are international celebrities in their own and jump started their career in the Philippines first 

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