There is an unspoken ‘tradition’ in showbiz that actresses can start to play moms once they reach a certain age, at least mid-30s. But, women can also break the rules, especially if you have a brilliant and talented actress who can carry three-dimensional roles even when she’s barely an adult. Check out these versatile Kapamilya ladies who played ‘Nanay’ characters back when they were just teenagers!
Sharlene San Pedro, 13
Blessed with talent and charm, Sharlene San Pedro was easily recognized as one of the most popular child stars of her generation. She started to explore different fields of entertainment from acting to music and hosting after taking a bow from the kiddie gag show Goin’ Bulilit.
Sharlene was only 13 when she flaunted her oversized acting genius in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s “T-Shirt” episode. She breathed life to the inspiring story of a young girl named Gigi, who had to sacrifice her studies to work as a house help. Due to an unfortunate incident, Gigi was forced to brave the struggles of being a teenage mom. The episode was chosen by the prestigious award-giving body Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Prize to compete with other five international entries for its Television Special Jury Prizes category in 2012.
Julia Montes, 17
It’s impossible not to remember Julia Montes for her convincing portrayal of Katerina Alcantara’s married life and shortened taste of motherhood in the Kapamilya classic Walang Hanggan in 2012. She nailed it so much that it was easy to forget she’s only 17 years old then.
No longer a stranger to mature characters, Julia shined in her second mother role and second team-up with Coco Martin via Ikaw Lamang in 2014. Do the math. She was 19.
Over the years, this Goin’ Bulilit alum made a mark as an onscreen ‘Nanay’ who can be sweet and fierce, seen in the afternoon dramas Doble Kara and Asintado. In her last project 24/7, she also played a mom with badass strength and fighting skills working as a security agent on a dangerous course towards finding a cure for her child.
Alexa Ilacad, 14
The third one on our list is Alexa Ilacad, also a former Goin’ Bulilit kid. Playing mother roles doesn’t have to be extracted from real-life experiences. It sometimes takes just raw talent and intelligence. Then 14-year-old Alexa burst with charm and brilliance as she played Camillle in the 2014 Kapamilya soap Bagito. The show tackled the ups and downs of teenage life anchored on its lead character Drew (Nash Aguas)’s bittersweet experiences as a young dad. Alexa’s character, harbouring feelings for her childhood friend Drew, became a mother figure to his newborn son Albie.
Ella Cruz, 18
Former child actress Ella Cruz dabbled in an entire new ball game when she was cast alongside Alexa in Bagito. She played college rebel girl Vanessa, who got pregnant after initiating a one-night stand with high school boy Drew (Nash). Her sudden transition into motherhood was scary and surprising that she opted to abandon her responsibilities at first until she was enlightened to come back for her child. Ella was just 18 then but her acting maturity was evident, bringing out the right emotions that tugged at viewers’ heartstrings.
Erich Gonzales, 18
We can still remember Erich Gonzales in her braided hair and white camisole that suggests subtle sensuality, as if it was just yesterday. At 18, she sported this innocent yet sexy look when she made a breakthrough in the 2009 Kapamilya series Katorse. She played carefree girl Nene, who became a mother at 14. The show catapulted Erich to stardom and it helped her blossom into one of today’s top dramatic actresses.
Before that, she also had a quick mother role in the mini-series Agimat: Ang Mga Alamat ni Ramon Revilla Presents: Tiagong Akyat also aired in 2009. She played Cornelia who had a son with Martin (Gerald Anderson). Graduating from her teenage years, Erich took on other notable maternal roles in Two Wives, The Blood Sisters, and Maalaala Mo Kaya “Stroller Bag.”
Jaine Oineza, 18
Once upon a time, Jane Oineza made a splash as a little comedienne in Goin Bulilit. She also went from playing young versions of teleserye lead stars to headlining her own. Following her stint on Pinoy Big Brother All In in 2014, Jane and some fellow PBB alumni secured their spot in Kapamilya Gold via Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita.
She was 18 then, playing the role of Corrine, an adventurous young woman with filial problems. Wanting to break free from her mother Cecilia (Vina Morales)’s strict parenting, she explored life to the point of disobedience. In the middle of the series, Jane’s character got pregnant and had to brave the ordeals of family life with her boyfriend Ryan (Jerome Ponce). Jane’s performance was on-point and moving despite her young age.
Jessy Mendiola, 18
Jessy Mendiola’s star shined brighter when she was 18, joining the ranks of Kapamilya leading ladies when she reprised the iconic role that launched Snooky Serna into stardom. She topbilled the afternoon soap Sabel, a TV adaptation of the classic Joey Gosiengfiao film “Bata Pa Si Sabel.” It tackled the story of a sweet yet strong-willed girl believed to have been cursed.
As the story progressed, Sabel married a rich man named Eric (Diether Ocampo) and bore their child. However, Eric’s untimely death would just open a new chapter of ordeals for Sabel including giving birth in prison (by herself!) and protecting her daughter from the ‘kontrabidas.’ Apart from her enchanting beauty, Jessy’s sincerity has always been one of her assets and it helped her mount realism to her mom scenes at 18.
Kim Chiu, 19
One of her generation’s most beloved teen stars, Kim Chiu pleased everyone with her adorable portrayal of quintessential teenybopper roles. She took her career up a notch by taking on drama-heavy projects, and one of the earliest was the toprating Tayong Dalawa.
Kim was 19 when she played Audrey in the romance-military series alongside Gerald Anderson and Jake Cuenca. In the latter part of the story, Audrey and JR (Gerald) got married and started a family. They discovered Audrey’s precarious health condition by her seventh month of pregnancy. She was able to deliver a healthy baby boy they named Adrian and she soon died. Despite being a teenager and with zero maternal experience, Kim managed to paint touching motherly love in the series.
In the coming years, Kim became more open to playing mom roles such as in Ikaw Lamang and her recent project Love Thy Woman.
As the entertainment scene continues to evolve, young actresses no longer shy away from playing mother roles. After all, it helps shape them into mature artists and showcase their versatility and brilliance. We love a little variety, right?