Today marks the end of Pride Month, and here at Random Republika we honor 10 versatile Filipino actors who have excelled in their portrayal of gay/transgendered characters in movies and on TV. Not many are given the opportunity to hold such big roles, while some are not daring enough to take such characters, these men have shown that their professionalism and versatility as actors have made huge marks in our lives as viewers.
Eternal: Dolphy Quizon
Dolphy’s uninhibited portrayal of various gay characters such as the iconic Walter/Walaterina Markova in “Markova: Comfort Gay” and Coring “the beautician” in “Ang Tatay Kong Nanay” has made him as our entertainment King (and Queen) forever.
Chameleon: Paolo Ballesteros
He was Regine Velasquez, Iza Calzado, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga in a single film — and all these makeup transformations for his character Trisha Echeverria in the movie “Die Beautiful” were Paolo Ballesteros’ own personal creations.
Legendary: Tirso Cruz III
In a bold move by ABS-CBN (and to the surprise of many viewers), Tirso Cruz III’s fierce and commanding character, Romulus, in the TV series “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala” transformed into a trans woman towards the end of the show. Tirso is no stranger to these cross-dresser type of roles as he also appeared as one in GMA 7’s “I Heart You Pare.”
Humor: Zanjoe Marudo
Zanjoe Marudo brings natural comedic flair in all his gay portrayals. He was once the very baffling Brando/Brandy in the Star Cinema film “Bromance: My Brother’s Romance” and he was also the mature and endearing Christian in his latest flick, “Third Party.”
Sensitivity: Arjo Atayde
Arjo Atayde knows how to play his cards so well — for his acting debut as a cross-dresser, he chose not just any other show but “Maalala Mo Kaya (MMK).” In the 2014 MMK episode “Dos Por Dos,” he played the character of a loving and unselfish mother to six adopted children.
Royalty: John Lloyd Cruz
Probably unknown to many, John Lloyd Cruz’s role in the film “Ang Babaeng Humayo” was a socially displaced epileptic transgender. Although people talked more about the lead star’s (Charo Santos-Concio) performance in the movie, John Lloyd’s timeless appearance as a supporting character made huge waves not only locally, but also in film festivals abroad.
Excellence: Coco Martin
When Coco Martin appeared as the beauty queen-slash-undercover agent, Paloma, in the TV show “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” everyone got excited. His portrayal was so refreshing and it was unlike any Coco we’ve seen before.
Comeback: Hero Angeles
We haven’t seen Hero Angeles for a while now and his comeback on TV for the 2017 Mother’s Day episode of Maalala Mo Kaya gave chills to everyone who saw him act once again. He even trended on Twitter that day.
Soaring: Ken Chan
Young and fearless, Ken Chan’s ticket to stardom was “Destiny Rose,” the hit afternoon drama on GMA 7. He took his role to heart and was effective in all his dramatic scenes.
Boldness: Denis Trillo
He started his cross-dressing roles in the 2004 film “Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita” as Igna who fell in love with a brash Japanese soldier. With little fears of being typecast in such gay roles, Dennis, later on, bagged the lead in the hit primetime series “My Husband’s Lover” where he played as Eric del Mundo, the intellectual & closeted gay character who was in love with his childhood friend.