by Roy Cagalingan
From blazing gun battles to beautiful leading ladies, exhilarating car chases and just-in-time escape jumps from explosions, the Filipino action movie has excited us with breathtaking stunts and adrenalin-packed scenes. Here’s the list of the top Filipino Action Stars:
Fernando Poe Jr.
Fernando Poe Jr. or “Da King” truly sits atop the throne in the palace of action starts. Born Ronald Allan K. Poe, FPJ started as a stuntman for Everlasting Pictures. Usually depicted as a champion of the masses, FPJ starred in iconic films such as Mga Alabok ng Lupa, Panday, Muslim Magnum .357, The Ravagers, and Aguila. An important and prominent figure in Philippine film, he was awarded the Order of National Artist of the Philippines in 2006.
Joseph Ejercito Estrada or fondly called Erap is the first FAMAS Hall of Famer for Best Actor in 1981. He was known for his portrayal of Asiong Salonga, a modern-day Robin Hood based in Tondo. The adoration of the masses to Estrada eventually led to his presidency in 1998.
Ramon Revilla Sr.
Choosing to act as characters imbued with supernatural and mystic powers like Pepeng Agimat and Nardong Putik, Ramon Revilla Sr. traces his roots in Cavite where his production company Imus Productions is located. He also became a senator in 1992.
Phillip “Ipe” Salvador won the FAMAS Best Actor award three times for his roles in Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim, Masahol pa sa Hayop, and Bobby Parkers, Parak. Under the direction of National Artist for Cinema Lino Brocka, Salvador acted in several groundbreaking and landmark films like Jaguar, Bona, and Orapronobis.
Rudy “Daboy” Fernandez’s awards include the 2008 Ulirang Artista Award and the FPJ Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines. He splashed on the scene through the film Bitayin si Baby Ama. Other memorable films include Ang Leon, Ang Tigre, at ang Alamid and Markang Bungo where his signature line “trabaho lang, walang personalan” came out.
The Bad Boy of Philippine Cinema earned his moniker from his portrayals of tough and gutsy gangsters in movies like Anak ni Baby Ama, Public Enemy No.2, and Bad Boy 2. Robin’s versatility as an actor also shows with his comedic and dramatic roles.
Manuel “Lito” Lapid comes in with great strides as the swashbuckler or the gun-toting cowboy in films like Tatlong Baraha, Alamat ni Leon Guerrero, and Gunfighter. Lapid’s fame and altruistic nature landed him a spot in the Philippine senate.