It’s the 2000s — the days when you didn’t have smartphones or social media, so you’re glued to your television every afternoon when you get home from school? You’re eagerly awaiting those dramatic teleseryes, Tagalog-dubbed Asian dramas, *and* reality TV talent competition shows to root for your favorite bets. If you’re wondering where some of the contestants are now, check out these now-and-then photos that might just make you feel that back pain even more.
Hero rose to fame after he won as the Grand Questor in ABS-CBN’s Star Circle Quest. He spent a few years making films and shows with his onscreen love team Sandara Park. But after a controversy surrounding his management, he left ABS-CBN and went to rival network GMA. He did a few more shows with GMA before he laid low and focused on his studies. Hero opened his own art gallery ARTCETERO, where he makes adorable miniature versions of food.
Before she became Dara, Sandara was famous here in the Philippines for hit songs like “In or Out” and “Walang Sabit.” After doing some projects in the Philippines, she decided to head home to Korea, where she shot to international stardom with girl group 2NE1. The group has since disbanded, but Sandara is still very much active in the Korean entertainment industry.
Best known as the first-ever Ultimate Sweetheart and the top placer out of a hundred contestants in GMA’s Starstruck Season 4, Jewel Mische was dubbed as one of the most beautiful stars in several polls and rankings in the late 2000s. She starred in different shows and films like 100 Days to Heaven and Kamandag. But she stepped out of the limelight in the early 2010s to move to the US and raise a family with her husband in a charming castle-like cottage in the middle of a forest. Sounds like a fairytale dream come true, TBH.
Melissa was one of the Fab Five finalists in the first Star Circle Quest, and while she didn’t win the top prize, she enjoyed many years as one of ABS-CBN’s drama princesses. At 16, she was supposed to be the leading lady of Jericho Rosales in Ang Panday, but she turned down the role since she felt she was too young then. Regardless, she spent many years involved in a lot of projects like Pedro Penduko and Iisa Pa Lamang. Nowadays, she spends her time with her family in the US out of the Pinoy spotlight.
You might remember her for her unique name or her iconic pixie cut, but you’d probably know this Starstruck alumna immediately from her role as Valentina opposite Marian Rivera’s Darna in 2009. She hasn’t done a lot of projects since then, as she’s focusing on raising her kids with her partner Pampi Lacson Jr.
The very first winner of the kids edition of Star Circle Quest, Nash has gone a long way from the cute cuddly kid you see on Goin’ Bulilit. He has played more mature roles in the teleseryes The Good Son and A Soldier’s Heart. And he’s also dating Mika dela Cruz, one of his fellow co-stars in Goin’ Bulilit. Talk about childhood friends (co-workers?)-turned-lovers.
In the first Teens edition of Pinoy Big Brother, Mikee only came second behind grand winner Kim Chiu, so people were excited to see where he would go next. But after only a couple of years in the showbiz industry, Mikee quit the celebrity life to pursue a more quiet and simpler life in Singapore, where he currently works as a strategy and planning professional. He did join the reunion of PBB Teens 1 recently, so fans have been able to see him onscreen after a long time.
Another second runner-up, Nicole of Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Plus (yes, the same one with Robi Domingo!) had a lot of showbiz potential going for her. She starred in different shows and films like May Bukas Pa and Till My Hearteaches End and even joined ASAP briefly. But she has since said goodbye to the screens to focus on her studies. Now, she’s happily married to long-time beau Silas Del Prado and enjoying a quiet life away from the spotlight.
Who else do you remember from your afternoon TV binge watching?