Child actors who played Ding

Almost every hero has a trusty sidekick, and for Mars Ravelo’s Darna, it’s the young boy, Ding.

Many would recognize Ding because of the popular catchphrase “Ding, ang bato!”, which Vilma Santos’ Narda once called to Ding, so that he could hand over the magical white stone that would transform her into Darna. 

This further solidified Ding as the reliable companion of Narda, Darna’s alter-ego. Narda has full trust in Ding, her younger brother, because he has known her secret from the very beginning. As Narda/Darna decided to keep her identity a secret from the public while continuing to help others, Ding is the one person she can always count on. 

Like Darna, Ding’s role is an iconic one. So, here’s a list of actors that have portrayed Ding in Darna movies and television shows over the years:


Manuel Ubaldo

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


The first-ever Darna movie was created a year after the comics was published and it was directed by Fernando Poe Sr. Simply entitled “Darna” in 1951, the prime superheroine role was played by Rosa del Rosario, who was known as “The Original Movie Queen” of her time. The Ding that starred alongside her was child actor Manuel Ubaldo.

Manuel reprised his role as Ding when the second installment “Darna At Ang Babaing Lawin,” directed by Carlos Vander Tolosa, was produced the following year.


Danilo Jurado

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


The next set of Darna films were created in 1963. There were two films released in the same year with the titles, “Si Darna At Ang Impakta” and “Isputnik vs. Darna.” This time it was actress Liza Morena who played Darna and Danilo Jurado as Ding.


Boy Alajar

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


After three years, a new Darna was cast for the film “Darna At Ang Planetman.” Veteran actress Gina Pareño took on the legendary role while her sidekick Ding was offered to little Boy Alajar. 



Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


From 1973 to 1980, Vilma Santos became the face of Darna. She portrayed the role in four films, the first one being “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” in 1973. In her first Darna film, the boy who played Ding was child actor Angelito. 


Dondon Nakar

Source: StarForAllSeasons.com


During the same year, another Vilma Santos-starrer Darna movie was produced with the title “Darna And The Giants.” Here, the actor for Ding was changed to Dondon Nakar, who later became a 70s matinée idol. 


Bentot Jr.

Source: StarForAllSeasons.com


Two years after the release of “Darna And The Giants,” the next Darna movie starring Vilma was “Darna Vs The Planet Women.” This time Ding’s role was given to adorable child actor Bentot Jr. Around this time, Bentot was still entering the film industry, so his role as Ding became a stepping-stone to his career success. 


Dranreb Belleza

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


In 1977, “Darna” was adapted as a TV series for the first time. Child actor Dranreb Belleza played the role of Ding in this short series before later becoming a matinee idol. The Darna he teamed up with was portrayed by the now multi-awarded veteran actress, Lorna Tolentino.


Romnick Sarmenta

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


In 1979, “Bira, Darna, Bira!” which was a different take on the Darna films, was created. Directed by Tito Sanchez, the film featured Rio Locsin as a new face for Darna. This also meant a new Ding to join alongside her. 

Romnick Sarmenta, who later became a prominent actor, took on the role when he was a young boy entering the world of acting. 


Niño Muhlach

Source: Mars Ravelo Darna the Superheroine Facebook


Star for All Seasons Vilma concluded her journey as Darna in the 1980 film “Darna At Ding.” Promoted as "the biggest, the boldest, and the best of the Darna series," the role of Ding was given to “Child Wonder of the Philippines,” Niño Muhlach.

Around this time, Niño was already a premier child actor producing several successful films. This Darna film made him more iconic, as he grew up to be a highly talented actor for several years. 


Atong Redillas

Source: imdb.com


The Darna films returned in the 90s. Directed by the award-winning Joel Lamangan, a young Atong Redillas was tasked to play the role of Ding alongside model-actress Nanette Medved as Darna in 1991’s “Darna.”


Lester Llansang

Screenshot from Darna: Ang Pagbabalik


The final Darna film created so far was produced in 1994. Entitled “Darna: Ang Pagbabalik,” it was helmed by veteran directors Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes. They handpicked actor Lester Llansang for the role of Ding and Anjanette Abayari for Darna. 

Lester went on to pursue acting and was recently seen as P/Cpt. Mark Vargas on FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano


Zaijian Jaranilla 

ABS-CBN has turned the iconic Darna story into a series this 2022. News faces and stories will be featured in the much-anticipated “Darna.” 

Months after finding out that actress Jane de Leon will take on the role of Darna and that direction will be under the famed Chito Roño, the rest of the cast was also revealed. The prized role of Ding was granted to skilled actor Zaijian Jaranilla. 

Zaijian, who is popularly known for playing Santino in May Bukas Pa when he was young, is ready to take on more challenging roles to further his career as an actor. In his latest project, The Broken Marriage Vow, the Filipino adaptation of BBC’s Doctor’s Foster, Zaijian showed how he has grown and matured with his portrayal of Gio Ilustre, the son of Jill (Jodi Sta. Maria) and David (Zanjoe Marudo). 

We can’t wait to see how Zaijian will breathe life into Ding in this modern take of Darna.

Mars Ravelo’s Darna” is set to air on August 15 on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Jeepney TV, and TV5 and will also be available on Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC, and The Filipino Channel.