Meet former child wonder Serena Dalrymple

By Miguel Dumaual,

Posted at Nov 28 2013 01:07 AM | Updated as of Nov 29 2013 05:54 AM

Meet former child wonder Serena Dalrymple 1
Serena Dalrymple turned 23 on September 7. Photo from Dalrymple's Facebook page

MANILA -- At 23, Serena Dalrymple is still trying to "figure things out."

The former child wonder, who rose to fame in 1997 for her "Isa pang Chickenjoy" TV ad, is currently based in London where she is taking up postgraduate studies.

Dalrymple graduated from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde in Manila with a business administration degree. She then left for Los Angeles to work there for a year, "but I realized that I still don't know what I want to do."

"So I decided to take up masters hoping it'll help me figure things out," Dalrymple told through e-mail.

She only recently started her studies in Master of International Business at the Hult International Business School London, having transferred to the United Kingdom in August this year.

Child wonder

Before taking a special interest in business management, Dalrymple was of course a household name in the late '90s, when she appeared in several high-profile films often as a witty and an outspoken little girl.

In what she considers her "most memorable" role, Dalrymple acted alongside film veteran Vilma Santos in Chito Roño's "Bata, Bata… Pa'no Ka Ginawa?" in 1998. At the time, she was only 7.

Her portrayal of Maya, a daughter itching with curiosity, was preceded and followed by several other roles on the big screen, which, in contrast, were more light-hearted and even comedic.

Meet former child wonder Serena Dalrymple 2
Serena Dalrymple with 'Bata, Bata… Pa'no Ka Ginawa?' co-stars Vilma Santos and Carlo Aquino in a promotional image for the film

In 2003, she debuted as a teen star via the first "Ang Tanging Ina" movie. Dalrymple, who played comedienne Ai Ai delas Alas' daughter in the blockbuster, was evidently no longer the child star with the signature boyish haircut.

Her last professional engagement as an actress was the same character in 2010, when the third entry in the comedy film series was released.

Admitting she no longer has any interest in resuming her showbiz career, Dalrymple said she nonetheless keeps in touch with her friends from the industry.

"I met up with Rica Peralejo and Camille Prats last year when I was still living in California," she said, referring to the actresses she co-starred with in various ABS-CBN shows.

New dream

Now, a typical day for Dalrymple includes attending school from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., going to the gym at around 8 p.m., and returning home by 9 p.m.

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An untitled photo taken by Serena Dalrymple. Photo from the former actress' online portfolio

On other days, she finds herself at concerts and scenic spots in London, taking photos to add to her portfolio.

"My sister, Samantha, influenced me. She took up cinematography and directing," Dalrymple said, of her photography hobby.

"I don't really have a dream subject. I prefer landscape photography so I guess my dream is to see the Northern Lights in Iceland," she said.

Living apart from her family -- her parents passed away when she was young, while her two sisters live separately in San Francisco and in the Philippines -- Dalrymple admitted she is not yet sure where she prefers to stay.

Asked if she has plans to return to the Philippines soon, she said, "Definitely for a vacation. Not sure when exactly though. Not sure where I want to live yet, but I'm going back to America after London."