WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Tabing Ilog stars

by Angelique Sampayan
Sep 30, 2019
The original cast of Tabing Ilog: (L-R top row) Baron Geisler, Paolo Contis, John Lloyd Cruz, Patrick Garcia, (L-R bottom row) Jodi Sta. Maria, Desiree del Valle, Kaye Abad, Paula Peralejo.
PHOTO/S: Tabing Ilog (ABS-CBN)

Known to be the Filipino version of American teen series Dawson’s Creek, ABS-CBN’s Tabing Ilog made its way onto television screens in 1999.

It became a regular Sunday habit for Pinoy viewers for over four years until it ended in 2003.

Tabing Ilog followed the adventures and challenges of eight best buds and how adolescence tested their friendship.

The melodrama of the show became a hit among Filipino viewers and allowed Tabing Ilog to become a phenomenon.

While majority of the cast remained active in the entertainment industry, some opted to leave the limelight and focus on their family life.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) takes a look at the present careers of the original Tabing Ilog cast to see what they are up to now.

JOHN LLOYD CRUZ

(as Rolando Victor “Rovic” Mercado)

After playing one of the eight leads in this Sunday series, John Lloyd got his breakthrough role in 2002 as Yuri Orbida in Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, which he top-billed along with his on-screen partner Bea Alonzo.

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John Lloyd became known for leaving an indelible mark on every role, and this made him a sought-after actor even after he went on hiatus from showbiz.

Among his remarkable works in TV and film were: My First Romance (2003), Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin (2005), Dubai (2005), Maging Sino Ka Man (2006), One More Chance (2007), I Love Betty La Fea (2008), A Very Special Love (2008), My Amnesia Girl (2010), Imortal (2010), Unofficially Yours (2012), It Takes A Man and A Woman (2013), The Trial (2014), A Second Chance (2015), Ang Babaeng Humayo (2016), and Finally Found Someone (2017).

On October 6, 2017, ABS-CBN announced, through an official statement, that John Lloyd Cruz is taking an indefinite leave from showbiz.

He and his girlfriend Ellen Adarna were spotted cozying up in Cebu, the latter’s hometown.

Eventually, Ellen gave birth to their child, Elias Modesto, in 2018.

In July 2019, John Lloyd signed a contract to be an endorser of a shawarma brand.

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John Lloyd has also ventured into directing via Sugar Hiccup's music video of "Saturnine Nevermore." It was released in September 2019.

Amid separation issues, John Lloyd and Ellen are said to be “co-parenting” their one-year-old son Elias Modesto.

KAYE ABAD

(as Epifania "Eds/Ponyang" delos Santos)

Prior to starring in Tabing Ilog, Kaye had been making a name for herself through her appearances in Ang TV¸ Gimik, and Mula Sa Puso.

Kaye and John Lloyd’s undeniable on-screen and off-screen chemistry paved the way for the loveteam to star in several projects together.

After Tabing Ilog, Kaye did several teleseryes in ABS-CBN, including the 2014 series Two Wives, where she played the lead role.

When Kaye got married to Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up housemate Paul Jake Castillo in 2016, she decided to leave showbiz.

The celebrity couple is enjoying their private life in Cebu with son Pio Joaquin.

In 2019, Kaye's fans were delighted to see her again on television for a special role in the ABS-CBN daytime series Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit, starring child actress Sophia Reola.

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JODI STA. MARIA

(as Georgina "George" Fuentebella)

Jodi, a former teen actress who is now one of ABS-CBN’s most bankable stars, admitted said that she initially didn’t dream of becoming an actress.

When she auditioned in the Kapamilya network many years ago, she simply wanted to see her favorite stars such as Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa.

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Little did Jodi know that she would be soon headlining big projects in the local entertainment scene.

Jodi met Panfilo “Pampi” Lacson Jr. on the set of Tabing Ilog in 2000.

They married in 2005 but after five years and one child together, Panfilo Lacson III, or more popularly known as Thirdy, the couple called it quits.

At 30 years old, the celebrity mom got her biggest break when she starred in the daytime series Be Careful With My Heart with Richard Yap. The series ran for two years.

Aside from being a doting mom to Thirdy, she is determined to complete her Bachelor of Science in Psychology course at the Southville International School and Colleges.

Jodi has also ventured into producing, via iWant's upcoming movie, My Single Lady. Jodi top-bills this project with Ian Veneracion and Zanjoe Marudo.

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BARON GEISLER

(as Alfonso "Fonzy" Ledesma)

In Tabing Ilog, Baron was paired with Jodi, which eventually led to a real-life relationship after the show. However, the two eventually ended their relationship.

Baron was recognized for his acting in the movie Jay (2008), allowing him to win the Best Actor award at the 4th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.

He made headlines when he was evicted from Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition 2 for his drunken encounters.

He entered rehab to help him deal with his alcoholism and focus on his personal growth.

In May 2019, the former child actor returned to acting via FPJ's Ang Probinsyano where he currently plays one of the show's villains.

Meanwhile, Baron and non-showbiz partner Jamie Marie Evangelista had a civil wedding on September 12, 2019, at the Quezon City Hall.

They will be having their church wedding next year.

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PAOLO CONTIS

(as Salvador "Badong" Magtibay)

Paolo started his career as a child actor in the 1992 drama series Mara Clara.

When he reached his teens, he was included in Tabing Ilog.

A year after the show ended, Paolo decided to transfer to GMA-7 in 2004 for better work opportunities.

Paolo mostly played kontrabida roles in his Kapuso projects and he was given light projects where he showcased his talent in comedy.

The Bubble Gang mainstay is in a relationship with Kapuso actress LJ Reyes.

LJ gave birth to their child, Summer, in January 2019.

Paolo also has two daughters with former partner Lian Paz.

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DESIREE DEL VALLE

(as Corrine Ledesma)

Since joining Tabing Ilog, Desiree became known for her kontrabida roles in various shows such as Bituin (2002), May Bukas Pa (2009), and FlordeLiza (2015).

She and longtime beau Boom Labrusca tied the knot on January 14, 2018 in South Lake Tahoe City, California.

Desiree can be seen in Parasite Island every Sunday on ABS-CBN.

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PATRICK GARCIA

(as Jaime "James" Collantes)

Patrick's love team with Paula Peralejo in the 1997 series Mula sa Puso paved the way for their tandem to be included in Tabing Ilog.

While Tabing Ilog was still on the air, Patrick was paired with Jodi in prime-time projects Pangako Sa 'Yo and Darating ang Umaga.

In 2006, Patrick transferred to GMA-7, where he played lead and kontrabida roles in his projects.

Patrick entered into a relationship with actress Jennylyn Mercado in 2007. The relationship became controversial when Jennylyn got pregnant in December 2007, causing them to get pulled out from their supposed drama series, Maging Akin Ka Lamang.

The two eventually broke up, but they are now co-parents to their child Alex Jazz.

In 2012, Patrick returned to ABS-CBN and did father roles in teleseryes.

Patrick is now a hands-on dad to his three daughters with wife Nikka Martinez.

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PAULA PERALEJO

(as Angela "Anne" de Guzman)

Prior to joining Tabing Ilog, the younger sister of Rica Peralejo was launched as a teen actress via Star Circle Batch 4.

In 1997, she joined the cast of Gimik, the Kapamilya network’s Saturday youth-oriented show that skyrocketed the careers of Judy Ann Santos, Jolina Magdangal, and Marvin Agustin, among many others.

After Tabing Ilog, Paula opted to shy away from the limelight in order to study at the University of the Philippines where she graduated Magna cum Laude.

On February 23, 2013, the former actress married businessman Charlie Fernandez.

Today, Paula chronicles her motherhood journey on Instagram and manages her travel agency called Our Restless Feet Travel and Tours.

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DIMPLES ROMANA

(as Jackie)

Even before Dimples became popular for her kontrabida role in the ongoing drama series Kadenang Ginto, fans of Tabing Ilog already saw her maldita side as Jackie.

In the series, Kaye Abad and John Lloyd Cruz experienced the wrath of Dimples as Jackie, a scheming teenager who wanted to steal Rovic (John Lloyd) from Eds (Kaye).

After Tabing Ilog, Dimples became one of John Lloyd's leading ladies in Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay.

She then took a break from showbiz after getting married to husband Boyet Ahmee in 2003.

In 2016, Dimples got a big break in her career when she portrayed the kontrabida Amanda in the Kapamilya afternoon series The Greatest Love.

Dimples's Daniela Mondragon character in Kadenang Ginto is now a popular character on TV, inspiring netizens to create hilarious memes on social media.

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Carol Banawa

(as Andrea "Andoy")

Prior to her hiatus, Carol was best known for her hits "Bakit 'Di Totohanin" and "Iingatan Ka."

Among her notable acting gigs include Ang TV, Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan, and Bituin.

She and her husband Ryan Crisostomo, along with their two children, are currently residing in Washington D.C. Carol graduated Summa cum Laude when she finished her nursing degree in the U.S.

Last August 2019, Chelsea, Carol’s daughter, amazed netizens with her golden voice that she inherited from her mom. The former actress uploaded a video of them singing to Shawn Mendez and Camilla Cabello’s hit “Senorita.”

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Mico Palanca

(as Perry)

The younger brother of Bernard Palanca was known for playing supporting roles in teleseryes such as in Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (2002), It Might Be You (2004), and Sineserye: Bituing Walang Ningning (2006).

Prior to signing with GMA-7, Mico ended his 15 years in ABS-CBN with an appearance in the afternoon drama series Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin (2012) as an antagonist.

He now works as a freelance actor to both networks.

This year, Mico guested in Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit as young Gabriel.

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Mylene Dizon

(as Jennifer "Jerry" Ricafort)

After Gimik and Tabing Ilog, Mylene’s big break arrived when she played Sally Perida in Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan (2001), which she top-billed along with Claudine Barretto and Carlos Agassi.

After undergoing network transfers, Mylene returned to ABS-CBN in 2015 to star in the long-running afternoon series Doble Kara (2015) headlined by Julia Montes.

Mylene's most recent works are Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 3: The Real Untold Story of Josephine Bracken as Saturnina, Call Me Tita as Frida Wilson, and Sahaya as Manisan Arati.

She has been happily in a relationship with basketball coach Jason Webb for six years now.

Mylene has two sons, Tomas and Lucas, with ex-boyfriend Paolo Paraiso.

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Angelene Aguilar

(as Patpi "Pat P")

Angelene was a former Kapamilya talent who worked with Bea Alonzo and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach in the ‘90s youth-oriented show K2BU.

Angelene's last acting project was an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya in 2004.

In an interview with ABS-CBN in 2016, Angelene explained why she decided to quit showbiz.

“I was studying while working. It was hard but I’m glad my parents instilled that mentality in me. I value education so much; it’s something that nobody can take away from you.”

Now based in the U.S., she still gets to sing and perform as part of the band Run of Luck.

“We perform around different venues in New Jersey and New York. We’re also in the middle of putting together an album but I wish I can share it with everyone back home, in the future.”

Based on her Instagram account, she’s currently pursuing a career in photography.

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Janette McBride

(as Fair)

A promising star during her time, Janette was a staple in Kapamilya shows ASAP, the popular horror series Oka Tokat, and the drama show Tanging Yaman.

She was also one of the hosts of the defunct morning talk show, Talk TV, with Tintin Bersola, Julius Babao, and Ryan Agoncillo.

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Janette's last TV appearance was on GMA-7's Makita Kang Muli in 2006.

The Filipino-Australian beauty left showbiz to complete a degree in Human Services in Australia.

Overseas, she worked on various jobs such as a call center agent, photographer, and a customer service representative.

She married her non-showbiz boyfriend Bens Omaga, a graphic designer in September 2013.

On February 15, 2019, they welcomed their firstborn son, Kian Ezekiel.

In her Instagram post, she said, “Kian Ezekiel has Irish, Persian, and Hebrew origins meaning 'ancient strength of God' or 'beloved king, strength of God.'”

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Maoui David

(as Hillary "Maoui")

The then-teen actress Maoui appeared in various projects with Bea Alonzo, Maja Salvador, John Lloyd Cruz, and Rayver Cruz.

However, Maoui did not stay long in the entertainment scene.

Maoui and husband Marc Chua welcomed their first child at the age of 20.

She wrote in an Instagram post in 2018, “9 years later we had our second child, Mason.

“After all those years you'd think I would've mastered being a mother already.

“But every now and then you will experience something new with your children, some are good while some are challenging.

“We all try our best and all mothers only want the best for their child. With social media these days, we tend to think how perfect these other moms are while we're here....messing up and failing.

“But I assure you we are all just the same and make mistakes. Because THERE ARE NO PERFECT MOMS, JUST REAL ONES.”

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The former actress, who now has three kids, is busy “blogging with a mix of real Mom life.”

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The original cast of Tabing Ilog: (L-R top row) Baron Geisler, Paolo Contis, John Lloyd Cruz, Patrick Garcia, (L-R bottom row) Jodi Sta. Maria, Desiree del Valle, Kaye Abad, Paula Peralejo.
PHOTO/S: Tabing Ilog (ABS-CBN)
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