Sabado was never the same: The original TGIS ‘migs included (from left) Onemig Bondoc, Raven Villanueva, Bobby Andrews, Angelu De Leon, Michael Flores and Red Sternberg. Photo by T.G.I.S. on Facebook
Culture Spotlight

T.G.I.S is 25 years old: Where’s the original barkada now?

Some of them have been thru breakups, divorce, and a custody battle, while some are happily caught on lockdown in some sunny part of the world. Who knew real life outside the small screen can be so complicated?
BAM V. ABELLON | Aug 12 2020

August 12, 1995 was the day late ‘90s Pinoy kids and teens began spending their Saturday afternoons in front of a TV set watching something other than cartoons. As they munched on their pandesal and iced chocolatethey were treated to the very low-key complicated, mostly fun-to-watch lives of fictional teenage characters Peachy, Wacks, Cris, Mickey, and Kiko of the TV series T.G.I.S. —or Thank God it’s Sabado. 

The show centered on the timeless stuff teenagers face: young love, stricter parents, where best to hangout this coming weekend. Maybe that lightness and familiarity formed the hook—but maybe it’s also the very charming, very good looking cast that really got everyone attached to TGIS. The original barkada was played by Angelu de Leon, Bobby Andrews, Raven Villanueva, Michael Flores, and Red Sternberg. They looked like the popular kids on campus. Fresh-faced high-schoolers who looked every bit living the can-afford (but not-too-loaded) lifestyle that is every TV-watching Pinoy teenager’s aspiration. 

A Christmas portrait, with additional members to the cast, Ciara Sotto (leftmost) and Rica Peralejo (bottom row, center). Photo by @michaeljohnflores on Instagram

It’s now 25 years since the first episode of TGIS aired, and the kiligs and heartaches the show’s loyal audience felt for the series characters have turned into nostalgia. Once in a while, maybe the fans—in their very late 30s and early 40s now— still find themselves wondering about the characters and the actors that played them: What if they got together in real life? What if they never broke up? Where are they now?

Fresh-faced and ready to take on the world: the Season 2 gang on the set. Photo by @michaeljohnflores on Instagram

We may never know the answer to the other questions, but to celebrate this 25-year milestone, we tried to answer the last one.

 

Angelu de Leon (Peachy)

Angelu de Leon was part of ABS-CBN’s hit children’s gag show Ang TV before she transferred to GMA. She took supporting roles on TV and in movies until she got the lead role in T.G.I.S., where she was paired with then new actor Bobby Andrews. Their successful love-team partnership spawned several films and TV projects.

In 1998, 19-year old Angelu got pregnant with her first child, Nicole, with actor Joko Diaz, and had to take a break from acting. She made a few successful TV and movie comebacks until she had to leave the spotlight again to give birth to her second child Loise de Leon, her daughter with businessman Jojo Manlongat.

Angelu has had continuous TV projects since. Her latest ones are the 2019 teleseryes Inagaw na Bituin (2019), Inday Will Always Love you (2018)and The Stepdaughters (2018). When she’s not busy working in front of the camera, she spends her time with her two daughters and son, with husband Wowie Rivera. That's her family on an IG post above, celebrating the 19th birthday of Loise last June.

 

Bobby Andrews (Wacks) 

Bobby Andrews was a commercial model before he got the role of heartthrob Joaquin Torres III in T.G.I.S. The eventual popularity of Bobby and Angelu’s love team gave birth to several movies like Laging Naroon Ka (1997) and T.G.I.S: The Movie (1997). However, all that love team magic ended when Angelu first announced she was on the family way. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bobby Andrews (@iambobbyandrews) on

In an interview with online show PEPTalkBobby admitted to almost courting Angelu during their T.G.I.S days—but the girl’s mother dissuaded him because they were both very young then.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#fpjsangprobinsyano Another day at the Palace...

A post shared by Bobby Andrews (@iambobbyandrews) on

Since T.G.I.S, Bobby has stuck to a career in showbiz without much drama and fanfare. Bobby had some meaty supporting turns in the hit ABS-CBN TV shows Wildflower (2017), Ang Probinsyano (2018, see above photo)and Halik (2019)to name a few. He has kept his life with his wife, Bienne Co, and their two children mostly private. On his Instagram account, @iambobbyandrews, Bobby loves posting the family’s travel adventures.

 

Raven Villanueva (Cris) 

Raven played the role of smart girl Cris de Guzman in T.G.I.S., where she was paired with the character of Michael Flores, Mickey. The Mickey and Cris tandem had the more mature and stable relationship in the show, and their love team gained the two their set of loyal fans.  

In 1998, Raven shocked showbiz when she married actor Diego Castro (who also appeared in T.G.I.S) in the United States. That year, she also gave birth to their daughter Claire Castro, who is now an actress. A few years later, Raven and Diego divorced.

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After T.G.I.S’s spin-off show Growing Up concluded in 1999, Raven began taking on more daring roles in films such as Dos Ekis (2001) and Hari ng Selda: Anak ni Baby Ama 2 (2002).

Raven is now living a quiet life in the United States with her pastor husband and their son. She had started to revive her Youtube channel, LifewithRaven, around a month ago. Her adorable son appears in her latest posts, too.

 

Michael Flores (Mickey)

Michael Flores had his fair share of the spotlight before he was thrust into the T.G.I.S barkada. A gifted dancer, he was a member of the Manoeuvres, who performed last January with two other 90s dance groups Streetboys and Universal Motion Dancers in a dance concert.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by PHILIPPIANS 4:13 (@michaeljohnflores) on

Michael is married to artist, actress, and Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2000 Nina Ricci Alagao, and they have three kids—one of which is the boy below who turned 9 just this past July. The couple runs several businesses but Michael is mostly into buying and selling cars. He still appears on TV and movies, among them the TV series Parasite Island (2019), Beautiful Justice (2019), and Erik Matti’s On the Job (2013). 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by PHILIPPIANS 4:13 (@michaeljohnflores) on

 

Red Sternberg (Kiko)

In a group of friends, someone always has to take the role of the funny guy. And for T.G.I.S., that role was given to Red Sternberg who played Kiko de Dios.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Red Sternberg (@redsternberg) on

Red appeared in only a few projects outside of T.G.I.S., including It’s Cool Bulol (1998) and Sumigaw ka Hanggang Gusto Mo (1999), before he quit show business and migrated to Florida, U.S.A. According to his Instagram account, @redsternberg, his wife, Sandy, gave birth to their third child sometime near the end of 2019. The photo above shows him with his four-year old son posted last March. Below is an IG post showing Red looking every inch the happy dad from January this year.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Red Sternberg (@redsternberg) on

 

T.G.I.S Batch 2

A few more characters were introduced in the show’s second seasonMich (Rica Peralejo), Rain (Ciara Sotto), and JM (Onemig Bondoc).

 

Onemig Bondoc (JM) 

Bondoc at the Mega Magazine 20th anniversary. Photo from ABS-CBN News

After T.G.I.S, Onemig played pivotal roles in hit Star Cinema films such as Trip (2001) and Jologs (2002), and popular TV shows, such as Pangako Sa ‘Yo (2002) and Marina (2004), before he left show business sometime in 2006. He has been focused on his and his family's businesses ever since. In 2012, he announced his entry into politics. In 2015, he filed a court case against his French-Filipina wife for the custody of their two kids.

 

Ciara Sotto (Rain) 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ciara Sotto (@pinaypole) on

Ciara has been fairly active in show business since she starred as Rain (JM’s love interest) in T.G.I.S. Lately, however, she has been immersed in her other passion: pole dancing. The daughter of Senator Tito Sotto and actress Helen Gamboa is the founder and current president of the Philippine Pole and Aerial Sports Association (PPASA), which had just been recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee. 

 

Rica Peralejo (Mich) 

After gaining attention in the gag show Ang TV, Rica went the way of Angelu and moved to GMA. She played several bit roles before landing the role of Mich, the love interest of Kiko, in T.G.I.S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rica Peralejo (@ricaperalejo) on

When the T.G.I.S. era ended, Rica took on more daring projects, such as the movies Tatarin (2001) and Balahibong Pusa (2001). She moved back to ABS-CBN for the teleserye Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (2002-2003), and the sitcom OK Fine, ’To ang Gusto Nyo! (2002-2006). She also hosted the morning show Umagang Kay Ganda (2007-2011). In 2012, Rica got her college degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. The social media influencer is now married to pastor Joseph Bonifacio, with whom she shares two children. As can be gleaned from her recent Instagram posts, the family has "been stranded halfway around the globe" because of the pandemic.