Skip to main content »

7 Famous Filipino Personalities with Igorot Heritage

 |  7 min read

7 famous Filipino personalities you may not know have Igorot heritage.

Well-known Filipino celebrities with Igorot roots
Well-known Filipino celebrities with Igorot roots

You always see them on your television screen. But you might not know that they are your kailian or even kabagian. Here are 7 famous personalities with Igorot roots.

Filipino Personalities with Igorot Heritage

1. Paulo Avelino

Paulo Avelino and mom
Paulo Avelino and mom
Paulo Avelino is half-Igorot; his mom, Jennylyn Lingbanan is from Mountain Province. He grew up in Baguio City. He went to school in Baguio from elementary until the first-year of college.

He won a Best Actor Award from Gawad Urian for Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. He is well-known for his roles in the ABS-CBN shows Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Honesto, Sana Bukas pa ang Kahapon and Bridges of Love.

2. Bernadette Sembrano

Bernadette belongs to the Dominguez clan. On one Instagram post (shown below), she embraced her Igorot ancestry and claimed that she has Bontoc roots.

Bernadette Sembrano with Team Lakay
Bernadette Sembrano with Team Lakay

She is a reporter and TV host in ABS-CBN. She is currently a reporter in TV Patrol and a host in Salamat Dok. She has received various awards throughout her career as a journalist.

3. Eric De Guia (Kidlat Tahimik)

Kidlat Tahimik was born and raised in Baguio City. His mom, Virginia Oteyza de Guia, was among the pioneers of Baguio City. His mom holds the record for being the first elected lady councilor, vice mayor, and appointed mayor of the city.

Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist for Film
Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist for Film

Kidlat is known as the "Father of Philippine Independent Cinema". He has garnered several local and international awards for his works as an artist and film director. Some of his notable works include Perfumed Nightmare and Turumba.

4. Ingrid Payaket

Ingrid was also born and raised in Baguio City. She is a full-blooded Igorot with Abra, Benguet, and Mountain Province roots.

Her rise to fame began when she won as the third finalist of Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1. From there, she has been singing for different community and private events.

Ingrid Payaket, Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1
Ingrid Payaket, Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1

She was a former host of Naimbag ng Morning Kapamilya. She is now part of the A Cappella group Pinopela who won the International A Cappella Championships last year in Singapore.

5. Zorayda Ruth Andam

Zorayda also comes from Baguio City. She is an alumnus of Baguio City National High School.

She is the Binibining Pilipinas Universe titleholder in 2001. She won the 1st Runner-up Award for Best National Costume during the 2001 Miss Universe Pageant.

Zorayda Ruth Andam, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2001
Zorayda Ruth Andam, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2001

She has worked as a television host and anchor for the IBC channel. Her beautiful face is just the tip of the iceberg; she also has a brilliant mind. She was awarded a Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence when she graduated from law school. She passed the bar in 2005 and is currently practicing law in Manila.

6. Raffy Tima

Rufino Dompao Tima, Jr. (born January 7, 1975), popularly known as Raffy Tima, is a Filipino journalist, producer, and presenter for GMA Network and its affiliate, GMA News TV. He traces his roots from Kalinga province.

Raffy Tima
Raffy Tima

Tima was one of GMA's main reporters during the 2000 to 2004 series of kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf Group, an Islamic extremist group in southern Mindanao, and the all-out war waged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Islamic separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front in central Mindanao. Tima has also covered the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2004.

A recipient of numerous commendations including most outstanding news producer in 2004 for his coverage of that year's general elections, Tima is currently a senior producer for GMA News, an anchor on GMA News TV's noontime program Balitanghali with Pia Arcangel (now Connie Sison), and presenter on the public affairs show, 100% Pinoy.

He is likewise one of the first presenters of Reporter's Notebook as well as on i-Witness, which won the Peabody Award.

Mariz Umali and Raffy Tima: Best friends, co-reporters, husband and wife
Mariz Umali and Raffy Tima: Best friends, co-reporters, husband and wife

Tima is married to fellow GMA News Reporter Mariz Umali on December 8, 2012. On January 1, 2012, to celebrate New Year's Day, Tima proposes to Umali at the party after two years as a couple.

7. Clint Bondad

Clint Bondad is a German-Filipino actor and model. Her mother traces her roots from Tadian and Mainit, Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Clint Bondad, actor and model
Clint Bondad, actor and model

Clint was born on March 26, 1994, in Germany. Although he spent most of his primary and secondary education abroad, he returned to the Philippines in 2011 and attended the Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City.

Bondad began modeling during his college years and was featured as Cosmopolitan's "Hunk of the Month" for the August 2013 issue.

In 2014, he was selected in the film Trophy Wife, his first project, directed by Andoy Ranay. Later, he appeared in many television shows on ABS-CBN and in 2019 moved to GMA Network.

Bondad also started dating Catriona Gray in 2013. According to the actor, they first met inside a small elevator in Baguio in 2012 while they were both attending their respective photoshoots held in the same location.

"I said hi to her. She forgot about me later on, but it was fine. Then, I met her again later on at a casting. That was 2012, and we just dated... I thought she was cute and I loved her accent. She doesn't have it anymore... nobody knows, but she used to talk very Aussie," Bondad recalls in an interview in 2019.

But things did not go well for the two, they broke up before Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018.

Clint Bondad pandemic look
Clint Bondad pandemic look

In 2019, Bondad was linked to Jakkaphong "Anne" Jakrajutatip or JKN, a Thai transgender billionaire and CEO of JKN Global Media Public Company Limited.

Wrap Up

The late Marky Cielo also brought fame to the Cordillerans when he won the reality competition StarStruck. Some of his acting roles were Fantastikids, Asian Treasures, and Zaido. His early passing has caused mourning for the entire region.

Hollywood actor, comedian, writer, and director Rob Schneider is also rumored to have Igorot blood as well, unfortunately, we cannot confirm this. His mother, Pilar Monroe Schneider, was a World War II survivor from the Philippines and moved to the United States in the 1950s as an American citizen. She died on January 21, 2021, rest in peace.

Is Robin Padilla Igorot? Well, after many years in the show business, Robin decided to retire and build an Igorot online community. He called it Igorotage. I'm just kidding! šŸ¤£

Now if you are wondering why we did not add Robinhood Ferdinand CariƱo Padilla (Robin Padilla) to our list is because, honestly, we are not sure.

Some say that her mother, Lolita Eva CariƱo, is not related to the CariƱo clan that formerly owned lands in Baguio. And upon further research, it also appears that Robin's mother traces her roots from Alcala, Pangasinan and Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.

Anyways, if Robin Padilla is proud to say he's an Igorot, which he does, then so be it. Who am I to judge?

Apart from the names mentioned above, there are also other Igorots to be proud of. They are victorious in their respective fields. Some of them are in the limelight, while most are moving the needle unnoticed.

Do you know other famous personalities? Let me know in the comments!


About the author: This article (revised) was shared exclusively by our friend Donnabeth Tolano-Aniban with the Igorotage team. Donnabeth is a licensed Filipino nurse and a former teacher. She now works as an academic writer and also writes on Medium. Her work has been featured in Her View From Home and When In Manila. You can get her book "50 Ideas For A Great Life" on Shopee.

Do you also have stories to share with the Igorot community? You can publish them directly when you create an Igorotage account or you can drop it at our email address.


Author Bot @bot

I am an Igorotage Bot. I monitor the web for the most interesting and relevant content.


Famous Igorot Personalities Celebrities Filipino Cordilleran Heritage

Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.


Igorotage is a social networking site — all contents are user-generated. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Igorotage.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Join the discussion

Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read these related articles.

Igorot Oral Tradition v. The Latest Wave Migration Theory

The early Igorots are the ancestors of all non-Negrito Filipino tribes, as well as the ancestors of the Malaysians, Indonesians, and Oceanians.

Dakopi in Culture

Apr 2 · 4 min read

Sonny Carino: Igorot Captain in the Australian Army

Sonny Carino is the first Igorot to serve in the Australian Army as an infantry officer.

Magnus in People

Jan 14 · 1 min read

8 Cordillerans graduated from Philippine Air Force Flying School

8 Cordillerans are among the 53 new breeds of pilots of the "Wings Of Resilience" Class of 2020 graduated from the Philippine Air Force Flying School.

Ottis in People

Nov 9, 2020 · 3 min read

Igorot film "Tokwifi" wins Gawad Urian 2020 Best Short Film

Igorot film "Tokwifi" was recognized at the 43rd Gawad Urian 2020 as Best Short Film.

Audie in News

Nov 10, 2020 · 2 min read

Roque Belino: Igorot Rockstar Donates Relief Goods for Isabela

Igorot rockstar Roque Belino donates relief goods for residents affected by Typhoon Ulysses in Isabela.

Braxton in People

Nov 17, 2020 · 1 min read

PLTCOL Walter Annayo: Igorot Cop Shot Dead in Maguindanao

Police Lieutenant Colonel Walter Annayo, Igorot from Besao, Mountain Province was gunned down in Maguindanao.

Logan in People

Nov 21, 2020 · 2 min read

Grace Nabus: Igorota wins Prestigious Nursing Award in London

Grace Nabus, Igorota nurse in London, was among the 24 winners of the prestigious Rising Star Awards from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Dortha in People

Nov 25, 2020 · 2 min read

PBGEN Jack Limpayos Wanky: Igorot PNPA Chief of Staff

PBGEN Jack Limpayos Wanky, a proud Igorot from Buguias, Benguet is the new Chief of Staff of the Philippine National Police Academy.

Danika in People

Nov 27, 2020 · 4 min read

Roxanne Allison Baeyens: Igorota is Miss Earth-Water 2020

Roxanne Allison "Roxie" Agnaonao Baeyens, 23, of the Philippines was crowned Miss Earth-Water 2020. Igorota beauty from Besao, Mountain Province.

Rick in People

Nov 29, 2020 · 2 min read

Cordilleran is UK Bar Exams Topnotcher

Marvin Lee Balaoro Tolentino, a Cordilleran from Abra, is United Kingdom Bar Examinations topnotcher.

Rob in People

Dec 20, 2020 · 2 min read
Explore

Browse more stories by category or jump to a random article.

People Surprise me