written by Rob Elamb
Everyone knows who Manny Pacquiao is and you probably have heard of apl de ap of the Black Eyed Peas. More people know who these guys are than President Benigno Aquino III. These two is arguably the most famous Filipino people of the 21st century (so far). But wait a minute! What about all the people that are VERY famous that you did not know were filipino? Here is a list of very famous people who you did not KNOW were filipinos.
Dave Batista – As a wrestling superstar with the WWE, he is one of the top sports entertainers in the world. He is a SIX time world champion and FOUR time heavy weight champion. He is also an accomplished mixed martial artist. Standing at 6’6 you would not know that Batista is a proud son of filipino American immigrants. Batista is in the Marvel Studio movie, Gardians of the Gallaxy as Drax.
Kenn Navarro – You may not know the name but you may have heard of his work, HappyTree Friends. Its ultra violent and hilarious. Kenn was born in Manila, Philippines but he immigrated to the US. Happy Tree Friends is an INTERNET SENSATION. Happy Tree friends is not a TV series.
Van Partible (Efren Giovanni Bravo Partible) – Is a Filipino-American animator, writer, producer who has written for cartoons like “Ying! Yang! Yo!” and “The Cartoon Cartoon Show”. His biggest claim to fame is a cartoon he created called Johnny Bravo. Johnny Bravo is a household name in the US. Its a very popular cartoon in the US and its no wonder with Johnny has quotes like:
- “I bet your name’s Mickey, ’cause you’re so fine. You’re so fine you…”
- “Hey, Santa, it’s me, Johnny. Remember I’m the one that beat you up last year ’cause I thought you were a burglar?”
Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval – If you are a fan of a show called Americas Best Dance Crew” then you know who “D-Trix” is. He not only won on Americas Best Dance Crew” with he own “Quest Crew” but he ended up being a judge on the show. D-Trix has appeared in several movies and TV shows including “So You think You can Dance”, “Shake It Up”, “Battle of the year” and “Alvin and Chipmunks”. Quest Crew went on to choreograph hits like LMFAO’s Party Rock and Sexy and I know It. Dominic Sandoval is part Filipino.
Monique Lhuillier –
Her name is known in the fashion world from LA to New York particularly for her fashion designs in bridal wear. She owns a couture fashion house in the East and West Coast of the US. She is part filipina.
Rob Shnieder –
He is one of the most popular comedians in the US because of his amazingly hilarious skits on Saturday Night Live. Most of his popularity is due to a string of very popular comedies: Grown Ups, The Hot Chick, Animal, Deuce Bigellow, Water Boy, Click and MANY MANY more. Rob Shnieder is part filipino.
Thurgood Marshall, Jr. – His father’s accomplishments are taught in schools as a part of the American History curriculum. Thurgood Marshal (senior) was nominated by President John F. Kennedy. He became the first African American Supreme Court Justice (the highest court in the US). He personally help the civil right movement and the laws that followed in the US. As a board of director at a few major organizations advocating social and political change, Thurgood Marshall, Jr is following in his father path of success. His mother is Cecilia Suyat Marshall, a Filipino American.
Tia Carrere (Althea Rae Janairo) – She played the evil seductress in the movie True Lies, The A-Team, Lilo & Stitch (voice of Nani), Showdown in Little Tokyo, Wayne’s World (1&2), Jury Duty and many many other major Hollywood movies. She is a singer, model, and actress. She is one of my personal favorite actresses and I had no idea she as filipina until I started doing research to write this post.
Mimi Miyagi – I was reluctant to add this name for two reasons: 1) Mimi Miyagi is a very famous Porn Star 2) There are so many famous filipina porn stars that its almost not fair to mention only one. But what is special about Mimi, is that she is actually an accomplished business woman and former candidate for Governor of Nevada.
Lou Diamond Phillips – (Lou Diamond Upchurch) He won a Golden Globe Award nomination for his role in “Stand and Deliver” and he did and INCREDIBLE job as Ritchie Valens in the movie “Labamba”. He was SO good in these roles, I always thought he was Mexican, but Lou Diamond Phillips was born in SUBIC BAY, Philippines. This guy is AMAZING. His acting transcend race and ethnicity gets the heart of the human condition.
Michelle Malkin (Maglalang) –
She is one of the most powerful and successful political pundits in American conservative politics. She is a writer who is often featured on major news networks. I cannot say I agree with ANYTHING Michelle has to say (personally). I cannot deny her passion and intelligence. She is like a filipina version of Ann Coulter.. not a compliment.
The Reyes family – It all began with Ernie Reyes, Sr (son of Filipino immigrants). He began getting notoriety as an actor/stuntman. Although he is known for his martial art choreography in several movies, most of his accomplishments are in the world of Martial Arts: Ernie Reyes, Sr became a Martial Arts Master: Founder of the West Coast World Martial Arts Association,Inducted into the Black Hall of Fame, Black Belt Magazine, Instructor of the Year, California State Tae Kwon Do Grand Champion, UC Berkeley, SA National Tae Kwon Do Champion (Fighting and Forms), Bronze medal winner at the 3rd World Tae Kwon Do Championships (Fighting), Rated in top 10 in Open Forms Competition in the USA, California State Lightweight Champion, His brother Lee Reyes is a boxer and his son, Ernie Reyes, Jr. started in acting and martial arts at age 6. Ernie Reyes, Jr has been in Teen Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles and MANY other movies, benefits and competitions.
Mix Master Mike –
Is one of the most popular DJ’s in the world of HipHop and he is part Filipino/German with American citizenship. He attained world wide renown when he won the 1992 New Music Seminar/Supermen Inc DJ Battle for World Supremacy in New York City. To go to New York (where hip hop started) and defeat ALL of the worlds best DJ’s is a HUGE HUGE deal.
Nicole Scherzinger (Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente) –
She is actually mixed with several ethnicities, but one of them is filipino. She was the standout start of the music group PussyCat Dolls. Her amazing beauty, dancing and singing earned her a record deal with Interscope Records. She is a break out star who now has several INTERNATIONAL hits: “Don’t Cha”, “Stickwitu”, “Buttons”, When I Grow Up”, “I Hate This Part” and “Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)”.x
Charles Edward “Chad” Hugo – He is 50% production/writing duo The Neptunes and a member of the group NERD. With Pharrell Williams, he has produced a RIDICULOUS number of music hits.
Peter Gene Hernandez –
You may know him by his stage name “Bruno Marz”. He is part filipino. He does not only sing but he also writes/produces songs, he is a voice actor and choreographer. He was brought up in Honolulu, Hawaii in a family of musicians.
Casandra Elizabeth “Cassie” Ventura –
She is the current love interest of Sean “P-diddy” Combs and goes by the name “Cassie”. She is a recording artist, dancer, actress and model.
Jessica Elizabeth Sanchez –
Although she was the runner-up on American Idol, she was signed to multiple record labels.
Vanessa Joy Lachey – She was named Miss Teen USA in 1998, Venessa has gone on to do TV, fashion and acting. She has also hosted shows on MTV such as Total Request Live.