It is said that nothing last forever in this world, more so a career in the entertainment industry. An artist might start phenomenally, but loses his or her luster as time goes by. However, there are stars who keep on shining through the years because of the passion, dedication, time, effort, and talent they invested to their chosen craft.
Just like Angelica Panganiban who has been active in show business for 25 years. From being one of the adorable and promising child stars in the 90s, she has emerged as one of the most illustrious and respected actors in the country at the present.
At the age of 6, she started her acting career as one of the wacky and talented kiddos of the youth-oriented variety show Ang TV. She was part of the third batch that also presented Kaye Abad, Carol Banawa, Patrick Garcia, John Prats, Camille Prats, Baron Geisler, Sarah Geronimo, Kristine Hermosa, Maxene Magalona, Katya Santos, Antoinette Taus, and Stefano Mori. Despite her minimal experience there given that their ensemble was too big, she was still noticeable because of her cuteness and charm.
The 1999 teen romance program G-Mik marked her transition from being a child star to a teeny bopper, in which she portrayed Angelica “Jelai” Rivera, the best friend of Camille Prats’ Roni Salcedo and the best friend-slash-love interest of Carlo Aquino’s Jun-Jun Dela Cruz.
She then played the role of Nicole in another youth oriented series, Berks.
Her “awkward stage” came, which she considered as the most pivotal part of her journey, according to her exclusive interview for the Star Magic 25th Anniversary feature.
WATCH: How Angelica started in showbiz
“’Yong rollercoaster ride ng isang pagiging artista, bilang ako nagsimula ako noong six years old pa lang ako, pakiramdam ko nang dumating ako sa awkward stage nilang tinatawag. Hindi nila ma-figure out kung dalaga na ba ako o bata pa rin ako, kung ilalagay ba nila ako sa drama, ano ba ‘yong forte ko. Hindi pa rin nila ma-identify kung ano ang strength ko bilang isang artista. Para sa akin, ‘yon ang pinakamalaking challenge and naramdaman ko no’n kung itutuloy ko pa ba ‘yong trabaho ko o mag-aaral na lang ako,” the 31-year old actress recounted.
Then she continued, “Siguro ‘yong pinaka-challenging doon e ang paniniwala mo sa sarili mo and ‘yong paniniwala mo sa mga taong nakapaligid sa’yo; kung hanggang saan sila naniniwala sa’yo. Kasi naniniwala ako na sinukuan ko ‘yong sarili ko at may mga tao sa paligid ko na hindi nawalan ng paniniwala.”
Fortunately, she found a strong support system in Star Magic and her family and fans, who incessantly believed that there’s still more that she could offer, during her evolution from a child star to a top-caliber actress.
After her astounding audacious stint in the romantic-thriller “Santa Santita,” strings of challenging roles fell into her lap.
The first was starring alongside Piolo Pascual in Mangarap Ka, playing his love interest Cutie. She then had a special participation in Maging Sino Ka Man, which topbilled John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo, Anne Curtis and Sam Milby.
She then had her first “attack” on the sci-fi genre via Rounin, wherein she played the role of Aura, a character that fights for love and the object of affection of Creon (Rafael Rosell) and Juris (Luis Manzano). In the end, she chose to marry Juris and start a family.
Subsequently, she landed a role in Iisa Pa Lamang, wherein she delved into romantic suspense as the spoiled and bratty Scarlet, a hated antagonist who made life difficult for Claudine Barretto and Diether Ocampo’s characters Catherine and Miguel.
But her most noteworthy, memorable lead role was in the Filipino adaptation of the Mexicanovela Rubi, wherein she played the vain, cunning, manipulative, gold-digger, and seductive titular role. It was indeed one of her memorable roles as she unleashed her exceptional acting chops as a bida-kontrabida – someone who still possessed compassion towards others, yet opted not to listen to her conscience for her to reach her wildest and high ambitions. Angelica’s notable performance in the series earned her the Best Drama Actress accolades from the 24th PMPC Star Awards and the 7th USTv Students’ Choice Awards.
In 2013, she once again showcased her paramount acting chops when she was hired to take on the role of twins Rosanna del Sol/Serena Mirasol and Rebecca del Sol in the melodrama romance Apoy sa Dagat, alongside Piolo Pascual and Diether Ocampo, who stood as her leading men. It was indeed exciting because she had to show off her skills as an antagonist and protagonist, since her two characters had fight scenes and clashing moments throughout the teleserye.
The multi-awarded actress amazed us once more with her brilliant acting as a kontrabida through the remake of the classic soap opera Pangako Sa ‘Yo shown in 2015. She gave life to the iconic character of the cruel and bitter Madam Claudia Salameda-Bautista (or Greta Barcial), the wife of Eduardo Buenavista and the adoptive mother of Angelo, which was originally played by veteran actress Jean Garcia.
From the serious projects she starred in, we were all pleasantly surprised when she was tapped to join the gregarious and funny ensemble of the gag program Banana Sundae (formerly Banana Split) in 2008. Although her first experience in comedy was Ang TV, she considers her current regular gig as her first job in the genre and her most challenging feat of all.
Her surprising impressive comical talent catapulted her as the Best Comedy Actress in nine consecutive years for various award-giving bodies, such as PMPC Star Awards and ENPRESS Golden Screen TV Awards. Besides, she is also among the youngest recipients of the highly prestigious Bert Marcelo Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation for her significant contributions in comedy, at the age of 28.
Now, we can’t wait to see both of Angelica’s dramatic and comedic sides in one program through the upcoming daytime series Playhouse, wherein she will portray Patricia, the wife of Zanjoe Marudo’s character Marlon, who is persistent on pushing the annulment of their marriage, but have to put it on hold to take care of her deceased best friend’s son.