A familiar face that enthralled us through the years with his dashing looks, kilig vibe, and superb dance moves made a heroic sacrifice in La Luna Sangre. He is Wowie de Guzman, portraying the Luna warrior Benjie, and being ganged up by a legion of vampires out to kill the young Malia (Erika Clemente) prophesized to slay their Supremo Sandrino (Richard Gutierrez). He screams to Lia (Angel Locsin) and Mateo (John Lloyd Cruz) to leave and save themselves and their daughter from the onslaught. And, as they left, we see that horde of vampires consuming him after a gallant and heroic last stand to save the new chosen one, ang bagong itinakda, Malia.
Viewers are shattered and overcome with emotion, as Benjie and his fellow Lunas including Tonio (Romnick Sarmenta), La Liga Unido stalwarts, and Malia’s parents Lia and Mateo fall one by one to the awesome power of Sandrino and his new breed of vampires. And Benjie’s self-sacrifice and his heroic stand was something we can’t forget.
Especially the actor himself: Wowie de Guzman, who dazzled us through the years with his prolific 23-year career as a teen heartthrob, dancer, and character actor we all loved.
Flashback: 1994, when all-male dance groups were a craze.
One group comes to mind that defined that era: the Universal Motion Dancers (UMD), with its gyrating, acrobatic and graceful vibe to the tune of such hits as “Dying Inside” and “Always” drawing cheers, screams and shrieks from fans wherever they go.
And who fronted this phenomenal dance group? This cute Olongapo native named Jeffrey Camangyan, whom we all know with his showbiz screen name Wowie de Guzman.
He started as the dancer all teenagers crave during the prime of UMD. But when time came his popularity went fever pitch, showbiz bigwigs opened the doors for him, not only to star in his first movie with his fellow UMD members, Sige! Ihataw Mo!, but also launch an acting career. Not only as a mere aspirant waiting in the wings but as a teen star with a premium love team—that with the most popular young actress at the time, Judy Ann Santos
He then became Judy Ann’s partner in the top rating teleseryes Mara Clara and Esperanza, garnering immense following and acclaim. They took that incredible chemistry to the movies with such films as Sana Naman, Kung Alam Mo Lang, Nasaan Ka Ng Kailangan Kita, and Mara Clara, the Movie in 1996.
When their love team took a turn in 1997 with Judy Ann being linked to the late Rico Yan as the three starred in Esperanza, the three of them were also casted in the film, Paano Ang Puso Ko?. Wowie was nominated for Best Actor in the 1997 Famas Awards for his outstanding performance. But Wowie continued to be paired with Judy Ann in the next few years with Muling Ibalik ang Tamis ng Pag-Ibig and Kasal-Kasalan Sakalan, and the eventual movie version of Esperanza, which became their swan song as a love team.
He then concentrated on appearing in several TV dramas and films as a solo artist trying to make a name for himself on his own. And he did succeed in delivering remarkable appearances in TV drama anthologies and teleseryes in different networks, including Kung Fu Kids (2008), Rubi (2010) MMK (Telebisyon in 2007, Kuliglig in 2010, Palengke in 2011, and Apoy in 2012), and Wansapanataym (Magic Shoes, 2012) in ABS-CBN. His guest role in La Luna Sangre marks his return to ABS-CBN after five years.
We were delightfully thrilled to see Wowie in La Luna Sangre and hopefully more of those boyish good looks and talent that enamored us in the last two decades in succeeding programs. May his return open a new chapter in his successful career as a complete entertainer.