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Live the Dream - Celebrities with Filipino Roots


Time and time again, the popular quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has proven critics wrong. Any person can dream big regardless of race, gender, nationality or religion. Every once in a while you may encounter people who have the knack of pulling others down. Bullies are scattered like ants all over the world, and they careless about who you are or what you look like. It’s just a matter of perspective on how you approach the negativity that frequently surrounds us. This is best exemplified by people who live the dream. Let us go further and be inspired how some of these international celebrities with Filipino roots rose up to become the stars that they are today.

Hollwood, The Oscars, Grammy’s, Pulitzer, Cannes, and Tony Awards are but few of the most sought after goals of an inspiring artist whether in the field of acting, music or stage. Though usually dominated by either American or European artists, what others don’t know is that some of these celebrity icons have Filipino heritage. It would not come as a surprise with the amount of talent that these people have; ergo, the uncanny abilities of Filipinos to bring out the best in them whenever opportunities arise.

HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES OF FILIPINO DESCENT: 


Vanessa Anne Hudgens. Born in December 14, 1988 in Salinas, California.She rose to stardom in her role as Gabriella Montez in the highly acclaimed series “High School Musical.” Daughter of Filipina Gina Guangco, an office worker, and American-Irish father Gregory Hudgens, a firefigher. Vanessa also appeared in the movie “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Josh Hutcherson. Her relationship with High School Musical co-star ZacEfron created much buzz which further raised the popularity of the show. In one of her interviews with a local Philippine newspaper The Inquirer, she was quoted: “I am so proud of my heritage. I love being a Filipina.”


Cassandra Elizabeth Ventura, better known as Cassie in the music industry, is a recording artist, model, actress and dancer. Her father is Filipino, while her mother is of African-American lineage. Cassie was born in the year 1986 in New London, Connecticut, where she started schooling. She started modelling at the age of 14, but was later introduced the music scene by music producer Ryan Leslie of NextSelection Lifestyle Group. Cassie’s first single entitle “Me & U” was a smash hit and reached 3rd spot in the Billboard Hot 100.  She was an instant hit in the movie “Step Up 2: The Streets”.  She worked with top names in the music industry like Diddy, Akon and Kanye West, to name a few.


With a very long name like that, she must be someone special; and indeed she is! Anna Maria Francesca Enriquez Perez de Tagle hails from a family that is deeply rooted in the music, television and movie industry. Her first cousin, Enrique Iglesias is an award-winning singer-songwriter and record producer, her vocal coach and grandmother is the legendary Sylvia La Torre (singer, comedian and actress in the local Philippine industry), and aunt Isabel Preysler(mother to Enrique and ex-wife of Julio Iglesias). Her acting career was further boosted by playing Ashley Dewitt on Hannah Montana, as well as Ella Pador on both sequels of Camp Rock. She also didn’t lack exposure on her singing career as she went on tour with The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato.



And last but not the least, we dont forget the gorgeous lady assassin in the James Bond film “Die Another Day,” here is Rachel Louise Grant de Longueuil, born in the Philippines but raise in Nottingham, England. An accomplished actress, martial artist, writer, humanitarian and television host, Rachel Grant also had several television roles (Braniac, Sci-fright, Zero to Hero, Casualty) including British TV shows and in theatre. Her mother, Isabel Padua-Grant, is the founder of the charitable institution The Padua Charitable Fund whose aim is to raise funds for the benefit of marginalized communities in the Philippines and typhoon victims.

These female artists showed resiliency and dedication in their chosen paths, thus enabling them to reach the epitome of success. It is truly awe inspiring to see how these women empowered themselves as they live the dream towards international fame.

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