27 Filipinos Who Make You Proud To Be Pinoy
1. Nicole Scherzinger — Pussycat Doll, X Factor judge, and your mega-fierce pinsan.
Nicole’s dad was Filipino, but her parents split when she was a baby. She changed her surname from Valiente to Scherzinger when her stepfather adopted her.
2. Sharon Leal — Dreamgirl and your talented actress ate.
Sharon’s mom is Filipino and her dad was an American military policeman, but they broke up before Sharon was born.
3. Kevin Nadal — author, comedian, and your overachieving Ivy Leaguer kuya.
Kevin was born into a Filipino family in Santa Clara, California. He rose to fame when he started an online petition against ABC when they made Philippine med schools the butt of a joke on Desperate Housewives.
4. Bruno Mars — singer-songwriter and your super-suave kapatid who rocks at karaoke.
5. Christine Gambito — celeb YouTuber and your hilarious auntie who does spot-on impersonations of your dad.
Christine, aka HappySlip, is a YouTube star thanks to her comedy skits about her Filipino family. She was born in Virginia and is a super mom to her own three kids.
6. Alec Mapa — actor, comedian, and your fun tito who takes you out shopping.
Alec was born in San Francisco to a Filipino family. He’s best known for his roles on Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.
7. Lea Salonga — Tony-winning actress, Disney legend, and your fab tita who plays video games with you.
8. Jose Llana — musical theater actor and your cool ninong who takes you to Broadway shows.
Jose was the only native-born Filipino to be cast in a new concept musical about Filipinos, Here Lies Love.
9. Vanessa Hudgens — actress and your younger kapatid whose musicals you always saw in high school.
Vanessa grew up with an American dad and a Filipino mom. “I love Filipino food,” she told the Philippine Inquirer in 2007. “I love halo-halo, pancit, and adobo. I eat rice every day.” Girl gets it.
10. Allan Pineda — Black Eyed Pea, rapper, and your awesome Grammy-winning kuya.
Better known as apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas, Allan was born in Pampanga, Philippines, to a Filipina mother and an American father.
11. Charlyne Yi — actor, comedian, and the bunso who will shave her head for laughs.
…while singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor. She was born to a Filipino mother in Los Angeles.
12. Jo Koy — comedian, Chelsea Lately panelist, and your brother-in-law who brings the 30-rack of San Miguels to the party.
Born Joseph Glenn Herbert, Jo took up “Jo Koy” as his stage name, originally a nickname his Filipino mom gave him.
13. Manila Luzon — drag queen, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum, and your favorite nin@ng.
Born Karl Westerberg, Manila’s mother is Filipino. She fashioned her drag name from the capital city of the Philippines (Manila) and the country’s largest island (Luzon).
14. Enrique Iglesias — Platinum-selling artist and your really hot kuya all your friends have a crush on.
Enrique was born in Madrid to the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and the Filipino journalist and socialite Isabel Preysler.
15. Caterina Fake — founder of Flickr and your ninang who always goes, “Uy! Picture, picture!”
Caterina was born in Pennsylvania to a Filipino mother. She graduated from Vassar College in 1991 before launching Flickr in 2004.
16. Ben Cayetano — fifth governor of Hawaii and your lolo who will sneak you ube ice cream behind your mom’s back.
Ben is the first Filipino-American governor in the United States. His father Bonifacio moved from the Philippines to Hawaii where he raised Ben.
17. Monique Lhuillier — fashion designer and your glamorous tita who will create your wedding gown.
Monique was born in Cebu City to the high-society Lhuillier family that owns a chain of pawn shops in the Philippines. She received the Philippine Medal of Honor in 2006.
18. Lou Diamond Phillips — Tony-nominated actor and your dad’s best pare.
Lou was born at the Subic Bay U.S. Naval Station in Zambales, Philippines, to a Filipino mom and an American military dad.
19. Hailee Steinfeld — Oscar-nominated actress and your pamangkin who will go so far.
Hailee’s maternal grandfather is Filipino and her mother is Filipino interior designer Cheri Domasin-Steinfeld.
20. Vanessa Minnillo-Lachey — actress, model, and your gorgeous ate who did beauty pageants.
Vanessa was born in Angeles City, Philippines, to an American father and a Filipino mother to whom she’s estranged.
21. Jose Antonio Vargas — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and your kapatid who will fight for your immigration rights.
Jose became an immigration activist after he penned a personal essay in The New York Times about moving from the Philippines and growing up without proper legal documentation in California.
22. Jessica Hagedorn — playwright and your funky lola who will impart life lessons over a pot of her delish adobo.
Jessica was born in Manila to parents who were both half-Filipino. She wrote Dogeaters, a novel that illustrates the experiences of the Filipino diaspora. It earned a National Book Award nomination and an American Book Award.
23. Cassie — singer, dancer, and your ate who taught you how to dance hip-hop while it was raining in the streets.
Cassie’s dad is Filipino — her last name is Ventura — and she grew up in Connecticut.
24. Rob Schneider — actor, comedian, and your wise-cracking tito whose questionable jokes you laugh at anyway.
Rob’s grandmother was a Filipino and married his grandfather, an American army private, while he was stationed in the Philippines.
25. Shannyn Sossamon — actress and your hip pinsan who named her son Audio Science.
26. Darren Criss — actor, musician, and your other hot, nerdier kuya who all your friends have a crush on.
Darren’s mom was born in Cebu, Philippines. During a recent trip to the Philippines, he told Spot.ph, “All of my aunts are like, ‘Darren, eat! You’re so thin; eat!’” Sounds about right.
27. Charice Pempengco — songstress and your out-and-proud pinsan who is proud of her heritage and sexuality.
Charice grew up in Laguna, Philippines, and rose to fame with the help of Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. She recently came out as gay on the Philippine talk show The Buzz.