Xyriel Manabat made her own mark in the history of television by portraying iconic roles as a child actress. Fans will always remember her as the small but terrible Anna Manalastas (100 Days to Heaven, 2011), the twin sisters Agua and Bendita (Agua Bendita, 2010), the cutesy ghost Momay (Momay, 2010), and the young Lily Cruz (Wildflower, 2017).
Here’s a major throwback treat as Xyriel, now a young lady, looks back on and reacts to her scenes from these series in this episode of Kapamilya React.
At 6, Xyriel rose to the challenges of donning twin characters with clashing personalities in the fantaserye Agua Bendita. “Si Agua, laging nakabuka ang bibig na parang magtutulo ang laway tapos ‘yung mata parang bagong gising, parang sobrang bait at inosente tingnan. Tapos ‘pag si Bendita, masungit,” she said. Xyriel swears she’s a good girl in real life yet she finds ‘taray’ scenes easier and more exciting to portray.
She added that a dual character was time consuming and exhausting. But it was fun, for she really enjoyed playing with the waters as a kid. “Biruin n’yo po nasa tubig ako ngayon tapos maya-maya ibo-blower po ako para patuyuin ulit tapos babasain ulit,” shared Xyriel.
As an award-winning child star, Xyriel proved many times that great talents come in small packages. She performed well alongside veteran actress Lorna Tolentino in Momay. The set was her playground, thus she never felt any pressure working with big stars. But if she gets to work with them again in the future, she’d probably feel shy and starstruck.
Xyriel reacted to a scene from Momay’s finale episode, one of her favorites. Everything is still fresh in her memory. She remembers feeling sentimental after a take because of Lorna’s compelling acting, so she cried nonstop off-cam.
The hit drama series 100 Days to Heaven was so iconic it deserved a re-run during the earlier months of quarantine. Of course, fans were glad to relieve Xyriel’s adorable performance as the terror boss in a little girl’s body. She played as the “mini-me” of veteran actress Coney Reyes. “Napadali po kasi sobrang bait at sobrang galing po ni Tita Coney,” she said. Besides, people used to tell her that she talked like an adult. Xyriel kept one of her costumes (the office attire Anna wore before the accident) as memorabilia.
The talented artist had to take a break from showbiz to focus on her studies. She made her comeback via hit revenge drama Wildflower. Xyriel was past the so-called awkward stage then, so she was able to pull off the livid, fierce onscreen moments. Although, she didn’t expect that her portrayal would be a pivotal element in the story. “Sobrang biglaan. Hindi ko po inakala na grabe po ‘yung bigat ng role na meron si Lily Cruz. Buti po talaga, awa ng Diyos nagampanan ko,” she expressed.
Xyriel started in showbiz by joining Star Circle Quest: Search for the Next Kiddie Idol (2009) where she placed 3rd runner-up. After a decade, her past characters continue to charm viewers. And Xyriel appreciates all the love.
“Nakakatuwa po at nakakataba ng puso na hindi n’yo pa rin ako nakakalimutan at kahit papaano meron po akong puwang diyan sa puso ninyo,” she thanked fans.