Kapamilya Snaps Celebrity Athletes

Many Kapamilya artists are known sports buffs and fitspirations who really inspire us to thrive in a healthy, active lifestyle.

But there are a number of stars who not only see to it they are in top-top shape, but were also ‘phenoms’ in professional or collegiate leagues as star athletes!

In this episode of Kapamilya Snaps, we feature these famous athletes who balanced their sports careers with stints as well-known actors and celebrities in the entertainment scene.


Gerald Anderson

A workout buff, Gerald Anderson is known for his fitness routines, which he openly shares to the delight of his fans. The Init Sa Magdamag actor likewise owns a fitness gym to pursue this passion. In addition, playing basketball is another pursuit he actively pushes to stay fit.

Gerald is so good at draining hoops, he actually played professionally in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) for the Marikina Shoemasters and the Imus Bandera.


Angel Locsin

The action-drama queen Angel Locsin is definitely one of the few actresses who could slay impressive fight scenes and gun battles onscreen, especially when she portrayed Rhian on The General’s Daughter.

Many do not know, however, that her impressive physical skills take root on her being a varsity athlete for the University of Santo Tomas as a member of its Growling Lady Tankers swimming team. What’s even more noteworthy was that she actually represented the Philippines in an international swim meet in Hong Kong.


Enchong Dee

Enchong Dee is a captivating heartthrob who has won the hearts of adoring fans through the years. But before he entered showbiz, Enchong was an overachiever in another field.

The Huwag Kang Mangamba actor was a champion swimmer for the De La Salle University Green Tankers, winning competitions in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). He was also a member of the Philippine national team that competed in the 2005, 2007, and 2009 Southeast Asian Games. Enchong likewise donned the national colors in the 2006 Doha Asian Games.


Zanjoe Marudo

Little was known about Zanjoe Marudo before he entered Bahay Ni Kuya for the Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 1 in 2006.  But for avid National Collegiate Athletic Association fans, Zanjoe was a common sight having played for the San Sebastian Staglets, the high school varsity basketball team of San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R). Actually, talent scouts first spotted Zanjoe during an NCAA game.

What’s surprising was that Zanjoe, who will soon appear on The Broken Marriage Vow, had then a high-profile on-court rivalry with then San Beda Red Cub, now Ginebra San Miguel star LA Tenorio, which drew wild cheers.


Donny Pangilinan

We all know Donny Pangilinan as the cute and captivating Deib from the hit series He’s Into Her. And in the teen drama, his character was the captain of the Benison International School varsity team.

Surely, Donny knows where he stands as a court hero, having been a basketball varsity player in real life.  The 6-foot-1 Donny actually played small forward for the Brent International School Manila Lions basketball team from 2012 to 2016.


Joey Marquez

Joey Marquez is currently one of the most respected actor-comedians in the industry, appearing in countless TV shows and movies. Yet showbiz observers might not know that Joey actually started as a high-scoring professional basketball small forward in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Joey played in the PBA from 1981 to 1987 for such teams as Great Taste Coffee Makers, Hills Brothers Coffee, and Ginebra San Miguel, alongside the living legend Senator Robert Jaworski. Many do not know this but Joey actually scored 63 points in a single game, one of the highest in PBA history. 


Gretchen Ho

Gretchen Ho is currently a famous host, broadcast journalist, news presenter, and celebrity. But Gretchen was first known as a legendary women’s volleyball player who brought immense national limelight into the sport.

Gretchen led the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles to back-to-back finals appearances in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball competitions in Seasons 74 and 75. After her collegiate stint, Gretchen also played professionally for the Petron Blaze Spikers in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL), wherein she helped her club bag the 2014 Grand Prix Conference.


Benjie Paras

Benjie Paras was an accomplished, decorated athlete before he turned his utmost attention to a full-time showbiz career as an actor and comedian. Benjie first brought numerous championships to his high school varsity team, the San Beda Red Cubs before leading the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to its first UAAP title in four decades in 1986.

Benjie was then drafted to the PBA to play for the Pilipinas Shell franchise, wherein he made history when he annexed both the PBA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in one season. As the “Tower of Power,” Benjie had a fruitful and exceptional professional basketball career, being named as one of the 25 Greatest Players in PBA history.


Freddie Webb

One of the seasoned luminaries in showbiz, Freddie Webb is known for his comic stints and dramatic acting portrayals, such as his most recent in La Luna Sangre in 2017. But before he ever took the spotlight in TV and movies, Freddie has already been a respected basketball legend.

Freddie first donned the colors of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights in the early sixties, leading the team to its third NCAA senior’s basketball championship in 1960. After his decorated career in the NCAA, he went on to the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA), playing for the YCO Painters and later in the PBA for the Tanduay Rhummakers.  Freddie also played for the Philippine national basketball team in the 1972 Munich Olympics.


Alyssa Valdez

With her most recent inclusion as a celebrity housemate in Pinoy Big Brother Kumunity Season 10, volleyball fans and pundits have long hailed Alyssa Valdez as “The Phenom.”

Alyssa was first an unstoppable force in the high school ranks, pushing the UST Tigress Cubs to three straight UAAP titles from Season 70 to Season 72, and was named MVP.  She would then move on to the collegiate wars, wherein she gained accolades left and right, including league MVP, as an outside hitter and attacker for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, which she helped bag the Season 76 and Season 77 titles over bitter rivals De La Salle. She would then move on to a colorful and impressive professional career with such teams as BaliPure, Bureau of Customs, Thailand’s 3BB Nakornont, and her present team, Creamline Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

Indeed, these athlete-celebrities have inspired and impressed us through the years both from their days on the court to their appearances on-screen.