Believe it or not, it has already been 15 years since the Philippines’ most famous house first opened its doors to its interesting inhabitants, or so-called housemates, who became the talk of the town nationwide as cameras aired every single thing they do 24/7 in a stretch of over three months.
As Pinoy Big Brother already had a total of 14 seasons and welcomed a total of 328 housemates, it’s undeniable that the inaugural batch of housemates would always have a special place in the hearts of the reality show’s loyal followers. And just recently, the squad we missed the most had their virtual reunion last Thursday, August 20 – almost exactly 15 years since the pilot episode was broadcast – wherein they revisited their stint on the show and imparted how they’re doing at present.
It was attended by nine of its thirteen housemates, namely, Sam Milby, Rico Barrera, Chx Alcala, Say Alonzo, Bob Dela Cruz, Racquel Reyes, Uma Khouny, Jason Gainza, and first-ever Big Winner Nene Tamayo-Plamio, and was watched by over 135,000 avid PBB fans. Missing the online event were JB Magsaysay, Jenny Suico, Cassandra Ponti, and Franzen Fajardo.
Keep on reading to revisit how they fared during their stay in Bahay Ni Kuya and to find out how they’re doing at present!
He was the first one to get evicted from the house and also the first-ever recipient of the automatic nomination punishment after he jumped into the pool while still wearing his lapel microphone and accidentally setting off the fire alarm while cooking.
After PBB, Rico appeared in some Kapamilya shows and movies such as Kahit Isang Saglit (2008), Pinoy Mano Mano: Celebrity Boxing Challenge (2007), Rounin (2007), Love Spell Presents: Wanted: Mr. Perfect (2006), Komiks: Inday Bote (2006), Gulong ng Palad (2006), and ASAP Fanatic (2006). Since then, Rico opted to leave showbiz and became a businessman. He’s now also a father to a seven-month-old baby.
This “La Union Hottie” is a distant relative of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay. He might be the silent-type, but this heartthrob became controversial when a romantic relationship blossomed between him and fellow housemate Say Alonzo.
He also appeared in some TV shows after his stint, but decided to embark on a political career in the province of La Union, wherein he’s been a barangay captain in its town San Juan. He’s also been living a blissful married life with Coleen Garcia’s mom Maripaz Ortega for eight years now.
Dubbed by her housemates as Mommy Racquel, she has been working as a teacher even before she joined the competition in 2005. A stroke survivor, Mommy Racquel still teaches in a small barrio in Trapiche, Batangas and sells multivitamins, beauty products, and other food supplements on the side.
Bob Dela Cruz
He was forcibly evicted not because of violations, but of a heart ailment. He was rushed to the hospital after showing signs of stress and losing consciousness in Day 50 of the program. He was eventually eliminated because he failed to go back to the house after 24 hours. Bob served as a councilor in Marilao, Bulacan and shared during the virtual reunion that he still plans to run for office again someday. He currently runs his own YouTube channel named Bob Big Brother Dela Cruz.
Known for being frank and liberated, she was arguably the most controversial in their batch. Based on her Instagram bio Chx currently works as a talent director for a men’s magazine and is a proud mom to an adorable eight-month-old baby girl named Cataleya.
The last one to enter the house as she replaced ex-housemate Jenny Suico after she breached the 24-hour rule, Sam instantly charmed viewers not only because of his swooning good looks, but with his awesome singing voice as well. He co-wrote and sang the love song “Magmahal Muli” alongside Say Alonzo and it tremendously became a hit through the years.
He has remained active in the local entertainment scene and has been tagged as the Rockoustic Heartthrob. He released several albums and songs and starred in numerous top-rating teleseryes, variety shows, and blockbuster films, with the Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live primetime series Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin being his latest project.
Having to tend to her foster father who was in a critical condition at the time, Jenny had to leave the house after just a few days of its opening by doing a voluntary exit. She had the opportunity to go back to the house after a few months as part of the new twist called “The Big Switch”, in which evicted housemates had the chance to go back in the contest.
Based on her Facebook account, she’s currently based in Texas, USA with her non-showbiz husband and their son, and works in a department store and as real estate agent.
Considered as the most unruly among their batch, Franzen committed the most number of violations and even put the reality show in a critical situation. Although he was nominated for eviction numerous times, popular votes always saved him, thanks to his comedic nature and popularity among the masses that earned him the moniker “Kakosa ng Bayan”. Forced eviction was imposed to him eventually.
He also tried his luck in showbiz after his PBB stint but chose to go back to his original job as a salesman. In a Bandila feature, he was reported to be in a buy-and-sell business in Singapore. He’s been happily married to his wife Sharina Palomares for almost a year now according to his FB account.
So close yet so far. This was Say’s situation during her PBB gig as he was the last one to get eliminated before the first-ever Big Four was named. Aside from her striking personality and being kikay, she’s also known for her romantic relationship with fellow housemate JB and for her collaboration with Sam Milby for the hit single “Magmahal Muli”. She pursued a career in showbiz afterwards and appeared in several TV dramas and films.
She is now a businesswoman and a digital media influencer. She’s been happily married to her non-showbiz husband Ryan Tordesillas to whom she has a son named Asher.
Despite being known as the straightforward housemate of Season 1, this Filipino-Israeli was never nominated for eviction throughout the whole season and even emerged as the Fourth Big Placer in the end.
He joined Kat de Castro in hosting the defunct ABS-CBN travel show Trip na Trip after PBB, then later on moved to New York, USA where he’s been residing and working for around a decade now.
This morena beauty was the cook of the house and was the closest to Uma. After winning as the Third Big Placer, Cass became a sexy actress and graced covers of several men’s magazines.
It didn’t take long before she bowed out of the limelight and chose the simple life with her non-showbiz husband and their two beloved sons Leeam and Glee. They’ve been running a banana store and delivery services business for years now.
This proud Batangueno was Franzen’s partner-in-crime inside the house. Their tandem and funny antics brought laughter to their housemates and audiences alike. His unmistakable sense of humor was notable and it paved the way for a successful career in showbiz, prominently as a comedian after his Second Big Placer finish.
He’s been in the industry for 15 years with FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano and Banana Sundae as his latest projects and recently put up an online food business.
Tagged as Kumander Nene in and outside the house, the first-ever Big Winner was known for her leadership skills honed in her ROTC days.
She initially expressed her disinterest in pursuing a showbiz career, but emerged as the grand champion in the defunct reality dance competition U Can Dance. She married her dance partner and instructor Anthony Plamio and now has a ten-year-old son named Antonio. Aside from being a dutiful housewife, Nene also owns Nene Prime Foods, a bottled-food business that offers Pickled Chili, Eight-spiced Tuyo, and Spanish-style Bangus Sardines.
Truly, the pioneer housemates had highly set the standard for the next batches of Pinoy Big Brother – a recognition that could never be taken away from them.