We could take some notes from these Filipino stars who fiercely defended each other in the public eye.
Being in the limelight can bring about a lot of attention, both good and bad. For celebrities, it’s not uncommon to receive harsh comments and criticism from the public, especially in this digital age where anyone can hide behind a screen and type away. But despite the toxicity that comes with fame, these following Filipino celebrities have shown us how to rise above it and stand up for their fellow stars, friends and loved ones. From putting down online trolls to uplifting their friends in times of doubt, these stars are teaching us a lesson or two about standing up for others.
Raven Rigor & Xyriel Manabat
To say that former child star and now full-fledged actress Xyriel Manabat stunned in Star Magical Prom’s ivory carpet months ago is an understatement. Unfortunately, while fans gushed over her alluring beauty, others couldn’t keep their mouths shut with their lewd comments. To the rescue was Xyriel’s Dirty Linen co-star Raven Rigor, who took to social media and taught guys how to be real men. “Please respect women,” said Raven in a post. “There is more to her than meets the eye,” he continued, as he described Xyriel like her own sister and “one of the kindest and most down to earth people” he’s ever met.
Jerald Napoles & Kim Molina
Real-life couple and multitalented actors, Jerald Napoles and Kim Molina, were also not safe from foul-mouthed netizens. During the successful run of Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah The Musical…’Yun Lang!, one commenter questioned Kim’s suitability for the role of the iconic queer superheroine, suggesting that a “real pretty, goddess-like” person should take on the role. Jerald did not let this go unchecked and replied to the hater, highlighting Kim’s beauty and talent.
“Kim is one of the most beautiful and empowered artists that [fit] the role [of ZsaZsa Zaturnnah],” he wrote. “I hope kids won’t get these traits from the likes of you. And I hope a person will still see the beauty in him/her even if he/she encounters someone like you.” Kim reciprocated this with an appreciation post for her beau, who’s the kind of person we definitely need more of. May this remind us all to just keep it to ourselves if we don’t have anything of substance to say.
Bella Padilla & Maris Racal
Another basher was put to rest quite effortlessly by actress and writer-director Bela Padilla when they came for Maris Racal and criticized the two’s friendship. The hater commented about Maris being too “liberated” and getting negatively influenced by Bela. Both of the powerful ladies had each others’ backs and did not mince their words with their response. “Wearing less does not make you less of a person,” Maris reasoned. Meanwhile, in a now-deleted Twitter thread, Bela crafted a reply that could easily be our go-to retort for bashers: “The next time you’re brave enough to bash someone and call them names, make your account public and put your real name up there.” RIP to whoever they are.
Kayla Aan Gorostiza & Andrea Brillantes
You may remember how Andrea Brillantes went all out for her promposal to her boyfriend Ricci Rivero, even enlisting the help of BLACKPINK themselves to make it happen. It’s a testament to how Andrea will put in the effort for her special someone. But still, this heartfelt gesture raised some eyebrows. Blythe’s sister and influencer Kayla Aan Gorostiza went to her defense in an Instagram story. “Gusto lang niya maging super special ng FIRST PROM NIYA. LET HER BE,” Aan reasonably said. She also went into detail about how, just like every fan and concertgoer, Blythe went out her way to mark this special occasion in her life. Well, haters will just hate everything won’t they?
Belle Mariano & DONNY PANGILINAN
One of the biggest love teams in the country as of late, Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano also had to endure the harsh consequences of being in the spotlight. In 2021, mean comments were hurled at Belle, criticizing her looks. And during the press conference of DonBelle’s first movie, Love is Color Blind, it was Donny who finally ended the conversation. “First of all, ‘yung mga bashers, hindi na namin pinapansin ‘yon kasi may mga pinagdadaanan sila,” he said. “Pero ako magaattest ako na sobrang ganda ni Belle.” Period, Donny.
Ricci Rivero & Sharlene San Pedro
Being in showbiz also means being exposed to malicious news, misinformation, and disinformation. This is what happened to actress, gamer, and NYLON Manila cover star Sharlene San Pedro after a popular influencer spread false rumors about her and her Happy Times co-star Ricci Rivero. The basketball star was quick to clarify things and defended Sharlene via a tweet, urging everyone to stop spreading wrong information. Hope that the fake news peddler has finally learned his lesson.
ALEXA ILACAD & KD ESTRADA
KD Estrada and Alexa Ilacad (fondly called as KDLex) have always charmed hearts by the way they both openly express their affection for each other online and in real life. They have a strong bond that cannot be easily broken, and they always are protective of each other, especially when it comes to defending themselves from toxic and unfair comments. In one instance, a cyberbully made an insult about Alexa’s physique, but KD didn’t hold back and responded with a justified answer, “Kapal ng mukha neto ganda ka?” The hater has not been seen or heard from again.
Vilma Santos & Jane De Leon
Playing a legendary character that has been a part of Filipino pop culture for decades is no easy feat. Jane De Leon, the star of Mars Ravelo’s Darna, faced immense pressure and high expectations when she took on the iconic role last year. Unfortunately, she also had to deal with unkind criticisms and judgments from some people. Thankfully, one of the OG Darnas herself, Vilma Santos, was there to uplift Jane’s spirits and hype her up. “I truly believe mas marami ang naniniwala sa iyo kaysa sa hindi, so focus sa mga naniniwala sa iyo,” the Star for All Seasons said in an interview. “At dun sa hindi, prove them wrong.”
Edward Barber & Maymay Entrata
Even when they’re no longer a love team, Pinoy Big Brother alums Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber have remained good friends today and have been celebrating each other’s wins in the industry. This is not surprising because even way before, the former MayWard duo has always had each other’s backs.
There was one time where speculations about Maymay letting fame go to her head were circulating which Edward explicitly disproved. “May is the most humble person I’ve known ever,” he said. He added that even if Maymay had already achieved some feats early on in her career, “she still treats people the same way and she still talks to people the same way.” True friendship, indeed.
ANNE CURTIS & NADINE LUSTRE
Back in 2017, Anne Curtis became a big sister to Nadine Lustre when the latter was still part of the Showtime gang and received an insensitive remark from an online troll. Nadine was going through a tough time then, grieving the death of a loved one, when someone made a callous and hurtful comment about the actress. Anne didn’t let this go unchallenged and immediately took to Twitter to call out the troll. Her message was clear: “You are a horrible person. You never know what a person is going through or how they deal with whatever it is they are feeling. So back off.”
Ebe Dancel & SB19
We love it when veteran artists are protecting budding ones from unfair comments. Just like when Ebe Dancel, an award-winning singer-songwriter and Sugarfree’s former vocalist, defended SB19 from skeptics back in 2020, when the group was starting to become known globally. “I think all sorts of Filipino music should be welcomed — whatever the genre,” said Ebe. “I’m happy for [SB19]. We should be really proud of them.” It really hits different when an OPM stalwart encourages aspiring musicians. Look at SB19 now.
DOLLY DE LEON & LIZA SOBERANO
When Liza Soberano shared her thoughts on the Filipino show business industry, specifically addressing how love teams are often seen as the only path to success, her remarks were met with strong reactions, including hateful comments. One notable figure who came to Liza’s defense was Dolly de Leon, a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominee renowned for her performance in the Oscar-nominated film, Triangle of Sadness.
During an interview, the veteran actress emphasized that it is only natural for Liza to express her own thoughts and genuine feelings based on her experiences. “But whatever she (Liza) said, it’s her truth and we have to respect it,” Dolly said. She further emphasized the importance of providing individuals with the space to voice their opinions. Drawing from her own experiences, Dolly added, “We should allow people to voice whatever. I mean, like me, I’ve been voicing out so many things, ‘di ba? So why not also give her that space? She deserves to speak her truth.”
Continue Reading: All The Times EJ Obiena Stood Up For What’s Right