Catherine Cruz Gonzaga Morada, known professionally as Alex Gonzaga, is an actress, comedian, TV host, singer, vlogger, author, and entrepreneur in the Philippines.
Fifteen years ago, Alex began her showbiz career as an actress, starring in sitcoms, gag shows, and drama series.
In an attempt to find her niche, Alex flexed her skills in other areas. She hosted variety and reality talent shows, recorded a few novelty songs, and published three books.
She also tried her luck in entrepreneurship by putting up a milk-tea business with her sister, actress-TV host Toni Gonzaga.
But after many years of shifting from one career opportunity to another, Alex finally found the one thing where she excels the most—vlogging.
“Sa vlogging, binigyan niya ako ng venue to show who I really am,” Alex told Toni during an emotional conversation for the latter’s vlog uploaded on September 5, 2020.
She continued: “Mayroon akong freedom to be creative, to express what I want.
“It took me 12 years here in the industry to realize who I am.
“Kung ano talaga iyong kailangan kong gawin, na kailangan kong maging proud [of what I do].”
Alex is currently one of the most successful celebrity vloggers in the country.
Alex was born on January 16, 1988 in Taytay, Rizal.
Her parents are former Taytay Vice Mayor Carlito “Bonoy” Gonzaga and Crisanta “Pinty” Cruz Gonzaga.
Toni, whose real name is Celestine Cruz Gonzaga Soriano, is Alex’s only sibling. Toni is four years older than Alex.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in December 2018, the Gonzaga sisters recalled how they grew up witnessing their parents' financial struggles.
Toni told PEP.ph that their parents would even sell some of their appliances just to get by.
“Sasabihin ni Alex, ‘Binenta ng mommy iyong alahas niya... Ate, tumaya ang daddy sa sweepstakes... Binenta ng daddy iyong ano niya…’”
Alex added: “Tapos makikita ko ang mommy at daddy ko, ‘O, tara, kain tayo.’
“'Tapos makikita ko hindi sila o-order. Kami lang ng ate.”
Young Toni and Alex
Those challenges, according to Toni, served as her motivation to try her luck in various auditions just to get that needed break in show business.
In 2002, Toni's popularity soared after doing a softdrink commercial with actor Piolo Pascual, and yelled “I love you, Piolo!”
Alex studied elementary in a school run by Taytay United Methodist Church, of which the Gonzagas are active members up to now.
She completed her high school studies at St. Paul University in Quezon City.
In an Instagram post on June 17, 2020, Alex revealed that though she was among the graduating class, her teachers and some school officials had to “debate” for a month to decide if she would be allowed to march during the graduation ceremonies.
She narrated (published as is): “Ang reason sakin lagi ko daw kasi inaasar ang Filipino teacher namin during class.”
Alex said that during that “1 month deliberation,” she—together with four other batchmates—volunteered to help in any school activities and did everything they could just to get the nod to march.
“Thank you Lord 3 days before our graduation day, our principal called us and gave us the good news na yes pwede na kami magmarch.”
Learning her lesson from the incident, Alex displayed her diligence in college. She successfully completed her degree while busy fulfilling showbiz commitments at that time.
She finished her Bachelor of Science in Education Major in Child Development degree at the University of Asia and the Pacific.
In an interview with some entertainment press on March 30, 2012, Alex revealed that she had always dreamt of becoming a teacher.
“Gusto ko talagang maging teacher kahit nung bata pa ako,” Alex said.
"Dati nung bata ako, gumagawa pa ako ng lesson plan.
“Gusto ko talaga maging teacher ng mga bata.
“Gusto ko pa nga noon, high school ang turuan.
“Kaya lang, mas gusto talaga ng mommy ko pre-school para makapag-start daw kami sa paggawa ng school.”
Obviously, Alex and Mommy Pinty’s plan of putting up their own school did not materialize as Alex went full time in show business in the years that followed.
It was ABS-CBN—her sister Toni’s home network—that gave Alex her first acting break.
She played Alex Sy in the defunct weekly teen-oriented sitcom Let’s Go, which aired in 2006.
She eventually used her character's first name as her screen name.
Alex portrayed the same character in Let’s Go’s replacement Gokada Go! until the show went off air in 2007.
That same year, Alex appeared in the drama series Pangarap Na Bituin, where she played the cheerful best friend of lead star Sarah Geronimo.
Sarah and Alex in Pangarap na Bituin
For her first movie appearance, Alex played a bit role in the Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson-starrer I’ve Fallen For You in 2007.
For her TV projects, Alex did a string of Kapamilya shows, namely Your Song Presents: Sana Ngayong Pasko (2007), My Girl (2008), Your Song Presents: Without You (2008), and Mars Ravelo and Jim Fernandez’s Tiny Tony (2008).
“PRINCESS OF TV5”
In 2008, she transferred to TV5 where she was given lead roles and played title characters.
There was even a time when Alex was labeled as “Princess of TV5.”
Alex top-billed the Kapatid series BFGF (2010), Babaeng Hampaslupa (2011), P.S. I Love You (2011), and Enchanted Garden (2012).
She was paired with singer-actor Kean Cipriano in BFGF and P.S. I Love You.
Alex was also among the mainstays of weekly sitcoms Lokomoko (2008) and Everybody Hapi (2009).
During her stay at TV5, Alex was the main host of entertainment talk show Juicy!.
Eventually, Alex was joined by other Juicy! hosts IC Mendoza, Cristy Fermin, and Shalala.
BACK TO BEING A KAPAMILYA
In 2013, Alex went back to ABS-CBN. Upon her return, she established herself as a host for reality and talent shows. Sometimes she did these hosting jobs alongside her sister Toni.
She hosted the Kapamilya Sunday noontime variety show ASAP (2013-2019), the talent shows The Voice of the Philippines (2013), Pinoy Big Brother: All In (2014), The Voice Kids (2014), Dance Kids (2015), Game ng Bayan (2016), I Can Do That (2017), I Can See Your Voice (2017), Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show (2018), and Pinoy Big Brother: Otso (2018-2019).
In between hosting, Alex joined the cast of the sitcom Toda Max and the gag shows Banana Split and Banana Nite.
In 2014, she played the lead in the afternoon drama series Pure Love, followed by Pablo S. Gomez’s Inday Bote in 2015.
Four years later, in 2019, Alex starred in another weekly sitcom Home Sweetie Home: Extra Sweet where she joined her sister Toni.
In 2020, Alex once again transferred to TV5, and became one of the main hosts of noontime variety show Lunch Out Loud.
After co-starring in I've Fallen For You in 2007, Alex's next movie was released in 2014.
She appeared in the Vice Ganda comedy film The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, which was among the entries for the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival.
The following year, Alex led the ensemble cast of psychological horror suspense movie Buy Now, Die Later, with Vhong Navarro and Rayver Cruz.
Her first movie starrer, however, was My Rebound Girl, where she was paired with Joseph Marco in 2016.
Alex and Marco in My Rebound Girl
In 2018, Alex played the lead in two movies: Nakalimutan Kong Kalimutan Ka and Everybody Loves Baby Wendy.
That same year, Alex did a film with sister Toni titled Mary, Marry Me, another MMFF entry.
Last year, Alex top-billed Love The Way You Lie, which became part of Netflix's top trending movies. She was paired with Xian Lim.
RECORDING ARTIST, AUTHOR
Aside from being a TV and movie star, the multi-hyphenate Alex is also a recording artist and an author.
Under ABS-CBN's recording label Star Music, Alex released her debut studio album titled I am Alex G in 2015, with “Panaginip Lang” as its lead hit single.
She released another single “Break Na Tayo” from the same album days before she staged her first concert, AG from the East: The Unexpected Concert, at the Araneta Coliseum in April 2015.
However, it was her non-album singles “Chambe” (2018), “Tipints” (2019), and “Amfee” (2019) that made Alex a recording star.
Her novelty dance song “Chambe” even earned Alex some nominations, including Song of the Year, from award-giving bodies.
As an author, Alex released her first book in 2014. Dear Alex, Break Na Kami. Paano?! Love, Catherine was published by ABS-CBN Publishing Inc.
Dubbed by Alex as her “breakup survival guide,” the book was a hit because of its humorous take on breaking up, getting hurt, and moving on from a failed romantic relationship.
A follow-up to this was released two years later. It was titled Dear Alex, We're Dating. Tama, Mali?! Love Catherine.
In 2018, Alex penned another book, this time with older sister Toni.
The tell-all book Sissums: The 18 Rules of Sisterhood by Alex & Toni Gonzaga revealed intimate details about the loving relationship between the Gonzaga sisters.
The book was published in time for the released of Toni and Alex’s MMFF entry Mary, Marry Me that year.
VLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA
For more than a decade, Alex ventured into several undertakings trying to make a name—apart from being Toni Gonzaga’s sister—in the entertainment industry.
She finally found her niche by establishing her own platform on “the road less traveled.”
Alex started vlogging on July 26, 2017, at a time when showbiz project offers were scarce and she had plenty of time to herself.
“Hindi ko nga alam, bigla na lang pumasok sa isip ko na, ‘Gusto ko mag-vlog,’” Alex told Toni over a conversation while baking banana bread for Toni’s vlog dated September 5, 2020.
Alex continued: “'Tapos sabi ko, ‘Shucks, walang manonood sa akin pag nag-vlog ako.’
“Wala kasi akong ginagawa, e. Wala akong show.
“Nung andun ako sa time na wala akong show, ang dami kong gustong gawin.
“Nung time na iyon, wala pa talagang masyadong artistang nagba-vlog.”
Alex recalled that she asked Toni to make a vlog with her, but the latter said she’d rather appear in her sister’s vlogs as a guest.
True enough, Alex featured her superstar sister on her first try at vlogging.
Most of Alex’s vlogs featured not only Toni but their parents, Daddy Bonoy and Mommy Pinty, and Toni’s son Seve.
Seve, or Severino Elliot Soriano, is Toni’s firstborn with husband, filmmaker Paul Soriano.
After more than three years as a YouTube influencer, Alex now has 9.67 million subscribers.
All her vlogs got millions of views each, especially her collabs with fellow YouTubers— actress-fashion icon Heart Evangelista, YouTube sensation-model Mimiyuuuh, celebrity chef Erwan Heussaff, TV host Luis Manzano, and veteran broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.
Alex is also a certified social-media superstar. She has 10.4 million followers on Instagram, 2.9 million on Facebook, and 4.5 million on Twitter.
In her vlog, Toni asked Alex if she considers herself successful, now that she is enjoying all the fame that she tried so hard to achieve for the past 15 years.
To answer Toni, Alex shared what “success” means to her: “Success for me is when your family is proud of you.
“Ang definition ko ng success before was kung ano iyong naa-achieve mo [Toni].
“So, ganito iyong na-achieve ng ate, so dapat ganito rin iyong magagawa ko para maging proud din sa akin iyong parents ko at masabi ko na successful ako.
“It took me a while to realize na kung anuman iyong meron ka, hindi ko makukuha iyon at hindi iyon para sa akin.”
Alex and Toni
Alex further shared her realizations amid her undeniable success as a vlogger.
“Sa vlogging, binigyan niya ako ng venue to show who I really am.
“Mayroon akong freedom to be creative, to express what I want.”
Alex admitted that she has never been happier as an entertainer and has become more comfortable with herself since she started producing her own vlogs.
“It took me 12 years here in the industry to realize who I am.
“Kung ano talaga iyong kailangan kong gawin na kailangan kong maging proud, na kailangan kong tanggapin.
“Those 12 years were all a blur and were all a struggle, lalung-lalo na sa kalooban ko.
“Kung ano pala iyong mayroon ka, that’s all you need and that’s all that you have to have.”
“Mas masaya ako off cam, actually, nung 12 years na iyon, kaysa sa on cam,” Alex intimated.
“Kasi sa off cam, mas ako iyon.
“Kasi feeling ko on cam, hindi ako maiintindihan ng tao.
“And hindi iyon ang hinahanap nila,” Alex said.
Alex's romantic relationship with Michael “Mikee” Morada, incumbent councilor of Lipa City, Batangas, was the only one she made public.
They met in April 2016 through Kapamilya actor Piolo Pascual.
In an interview with ABS-CBN online talk show I Feel U, Alex and Mikee recounted how their love story began in 2016, at a dressing room during an ASAP live show.
The councilor admitted that he had been repeatedly asking his good friend Piolo to introduce him to Alex because he really had a huge crush on the actress-TV host—and the rest, they say, was history.
Mikee proposed to the actress-vlogger in December 2019, while they were on vacation in Hong Kong, together with Alex’s parents.
In October 2020, Alex revealed in a vlog that she was supposed to marry Mikee that month, but they had to postpone the wedding after she, Mikee, her parents, and a household helper all contracted COVID-19.
Alex did not mention in her vlog when they planned to push through with the wedding ceremonies.
Until three months later, on Alex’s 33rd birthday, January 16, 2021, she surprised everyone when she announced through a vlog that she and Mikee are already married.
Mikee and Alex on their wedding day
She revealed that they tied the knot in a private ceremony inside her family’s home in Taytay with only their immediate families in attendance.
Alex said they are planning to have a grand wedding celebration this year.
- I’ve Fallen For You (2007) as Samantha
- The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin (2014) as Gundina Galamiton
- Buy Now, Die Later (2015) as Chloe
- My Rebound Girl (2016) as Rocky
- Nakalimutan Ko Na Kalimutan Ka (2018) as Jaz
- Everybody Loves Baby Wendy (2018) as Wendy
- Mary, Marry Me (2018) as Mary Ann Lagman
- Love The Way You Lie (2020) as Stacey
- Let’s Go (2006) as Alex Sy
- Gokada Go (2007) as Alex Sy
- Pangarap Na Bituin (2007) as Chorva Ayala-Gomez
- Your Song Presents: Sana Ngayong Pasko (2007) as Anna
- My Girl (2008) as Christine
- Your Song Presents: Without You (2008) as Jen
- Mars Ravelo and Jim Fernandez’s Tiny Tony (2008) as Michelle
- Lokomoko (2008) as herself
- Juicy! (2008) as herself
- Your Song Presents: My Only Hope (2009) as Fifi Madrigal
- Everybody Hapi (2009) as Cathy
- BFGF (2010) as Claring Malinao
- Babaeng Hampaslupa (2011) as Grace Mallari Wong / Elizabeth Wong-See
- Regal Shocker: Piano (2011) as Amanda
- P.S. I Love You (2011) as Andrea Tuazon
- Regal Shocker: Manananggal (2012) as Rina
- Enchanted Garden (2012) as Diwani Olivia/Aya Malfora
- Toda Max (2013) as Laila
- Banana Split (2013) as herself
- The Voice of the Philippines (2013-2015) as herself
- ASAP (2013-2020) as herself
- Pinoy Big Brother: All In (2014) as herself/houseguest
- The Voice Kids (2014) as herself
- Pure Love (2014) as Diane Santos-Martinez
- Pablo S. Gomez’s Inday Bote (2015) as Inday Catacutan / Kristal Vargas-Delgado
- Dance Kids (2015-2016) as herself
- Pasion de Amor (2016) as Jenny
- Game ng Bayan (2016) as herself
- I Can Do That (2017) as herself
- I Can See Your Voice (2017) as herself/sing-vestigator
- Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show (2018) as herself
- Pinoy Big Brother: Otso (2018-2019) as herself
- Home Sweetie Home: Extra Sweet (2019-2020) as Mikee Montes
- Lunch Out Loud (2020) as herself
- Best Talent Search Program Host (The Voice Kids, 2013) 27th PMPC Star Awards for TV
- Makabata Stars (2013) Anak TV Awards
- Best Talent Search Program Host (The Voice of the Philippines, 2014) 28th PMPC Star Awards for TV
- Students’ Choice of Reality/Game Show Host (The Voice Kids, 2016) 12th USTv Awards
- Makabata Stars (2016) Anak TV Awards
- Celebrity Inductee (Eastwood City Walk of Fame, 2020)