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Throwback alert: Teen sensations who rocked the ‘90s 

by Izel Abanilla

DO you still know them, Gen Zs? 

Before KathNiel, LizQuen, JaDine, there was a totally different set of teen sensations that rocked movies and television back in the day. 

Back at a time of grunge music, boy bands, family computers, gameboys and major pop revolution, the ‘90s too was an explosion of teen sensations. It was a step up from the typical ‘80s-type old school entertainment that revolutionized the teen culture of the decade. 

The ‘90s too was an organic time for everything. No internet, no social media. The fans’ support for everything they did became a social phenomenon sans technology. 

Now, all of them have grown and aged and still active in showbiz but unlike their teeny, wholesome images back then, they are now doing mature, mostly parent roles to today’s teen stars who are now taking their path. 

Let’s take a rundown at some of the most sensational loveteams of the ‘90s. 

  1. Angelu de Leon and Bobby Andrews

Image: Angelu de Leon and Bobby Andrews via Angelu de Leon’s Facebook

Remember “cookies” and “pancakes?” 

Back in 1995, GMA gave birth to the careers of a bunch of then fresh-faced teen stars but little did the network know that it would hit gold mine with the launch of the now-defunct youth-oriented series “T.G.I.S.” 

The Saturday afternoon barkada was no less a phenomenal hit. The show was so huge  and its story was primarily central to the characters of lead stars Angelu de Leon as “Peachy” and Bobby Andrews as “Wax.”

Wax was the ideal ‘90s heartthrob while the rest of Filipina teens wanted to be Peachy. Their team-up was so successful the entire ‘90s teen population went crazy over them wishing for a real romance between the two. 

The success of their love team eventually paved the way for movies such as “Takot Ka Ba Sa Dilim” (1996), “T.G.I.S The Movie” (1997), “Laging Naroon Ka (1997), and “Wala Na Bang Pag-ibig” (1997). The success of “T.G.I.S” too further spurred two more series for Angelu and Bobby, its spin-off show “Growing Up” and “Ikaw na Sana” both in 1997. 

However, at the peak of her and their team up’s success, Angelu had an unexpected pregnancy with actor Joko Diaz whom the public only knew she was dating. She admitted having his baby. 

The show got heavily affected by the actress’ departure, it eventually signed off in 1999. 

Angelu in fact, in past interviews, said, the blow of consequences that her early pregnancy did to her career, her love team and their show stayed on her back for decades on, that she still hasn’t watched the show’s last episode to this day. 

After her birth, the two however still worked on a few Kapuso projects together such as “Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga” (2002) and “Buena Familia” (2015).

Their team-up was so phenomenal that to this day, people still clamor for a reunion. Also, through the years, fans kept on asking if they ever got together. 

They have admitted that they dated briefly but never got officially together. As Angelu would always say, “We were more than friends but less of a lover.” 

  1. Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal

Image: Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin

“O yes kaibigan mo ko! Kaibigan mo lang ako!” 

Anyone who fell hopelessly in love with their best friends owes Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin a lifetime for making their story into an unforgettable movie. Generations since then would turn to the 1998 classic “Labs Kita… Okay Ka Lang” and channel their inner Budjoy (Jolina) and Ned (Marvin) and see themselves through their characters. 

But the movie is just one of the many successful projects of MarJo as they’re called now. 

Their chemistry was first tested in “G-mik,” ABS-CBN’s answer to GMA’s “T.G.I.S” as SC and Joey. 

When they became a hit, their team up was propelled into further projects such as “Flames” in 1997, “Kung Ayaw Mo, Huwag Mo!” (1998), “Hey Babe!” (1999), and their own drama series, “Labs Ko Si Babe” (1999). 

Eventually, they both transferred to GMA, Jolina in 2002 followed by Marvin in 2006. 

Among the projects they did for the Kapuso network were “I Luv NY” (2006), “Adik Sa ‘Yo” (2009), and “Iglot” (2011). They also hosted the weekly anthology “Dear Friend” (2008-2010).

In 2014 both returned to ABS-CBN and did the afternoon series “Flordeliza” back in 2015. 

In 2019, fans went wild on social media following reports of a reunion movie for the two. Initial reports said the two were looking to reprise their hit classic “Labs Kita Okay Ka Lang,” a generational fan favorite, hence, the public clamor for it. However the project was pushed back. 

In a statement, Jolina said, Jolina said, “Ayaw naman namin ng hilaw kasi comeback yun, di ba? Ang tagal namin bago gumawa ulit ng movie.”

“Definitely matutuloy yun. Tapos mas pinagtutuunan pa namin ng pansin yung istorya.”

  1. Judy Ann Santos and Wowie de Guzman

Image: Wowie de Guzman and Judy Ann Santos

The ‘90s roster of iconic love teams would not be complete without Judy Ann Santos and Wowie de Guzman. 

They were the perfect match that won the hearts of the masses. She was the sweet late ‘80s child star who molded into becoming a teen actress in the mid ‘90s. 

While Wowie was the boy-next-door dancer who was part of the famous Universal Motion Dancers (UMD), a popular dance group during the ‘90s. 

They were catapulted to mainstream fame when they were teamed up for the first time in the defunct long-running drama series “Mara Clara” in 1992. 

In past interviews, Wowie shared that he did not know the audition he was called for was for a lead role in a teleserye. In fact, on the audition day, he had with him sets of clothes because he thought he would be asked to dance. 

Eventually, their love team clicked and gave birth to more projects during the decade such as “Sana Naman” (1996), “Kung Alam Mo Lang” (1996), “Mara Clara: The Movie” (1996), “Wow Multo” (1997), “Paano Ang Puso Ko?” (1997), “Muling Ibalik Ang Tamis Ng Pag-ibig” (1998), “Kasal-Kasalan (Sakalan)” (1998), “Esperanza: The Movie” and “Dito Sa Puso Ko” (1999).

At the height of their popularity, Judy Ann admitted in later interviews that she did fall for Wowie and that yes, he was her first boyfriend. 

But the phenomenal team-up with Wowie was broken when Judy Ann was paired with then budding actor Piolo Pascual. 

Judy Ann then went on to do more projects that further solidified her mark in the industry whereas Wowie eventually drifted from the limelight. 

The actress still remains active in showbiz while Wowie enjoys his newfound fame as a social media superstar who mostly shares his dance moves and tutorials especially on content-sharing app Tiktok. 

  1. Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto

Image: Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto

She was the pretty girl and he was the good boy – the gorgeous good boy. 

The late Rico Yan and Claudine Barretto were among those love teams who eventually found themselves falling in love with each other for real. 

They first worked together in the 1996 romance flick “Radio Romance” their chemistry eventually was showcased in a few more projects after such as “Madrasta” (1996) and “Flames: The Movie” (1997). 

But just like Marvin and Jolina, what solidified Rico and Claudine’s stature in the teen world is their generational classic “Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita” in 1998. 

As many would say, it was the ‘90s “One More Chance.”

They are best remembered however for their mega successful teleseryes “Mula Sa Puso” in 1997 and “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” in 1999 that shot the two to skyrocketing stardom. 

But their career as a loveteam would end with their movie “Got 2 Believe” in 2002 because it would be Rico’s last acting project before his tragic death at only 27. 

On March 29, 2002, news of Rico’s death sent shockwaves across the entire country as everyone just could not believe what happened. According to investigations, he died in his sleep while vacationing in a resort in Dos Palmas Resort in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. 

Authorities said he died of hemorrhagic pancreatitis. 

At that time, their relationship was apparently beset with alarming problems as revealed by the actress herself in an emotional interview with Boy Abunda.

During Rico’s wake, the family of the actor was enraged over the actress as allegedly, reports had it that the actor endured depression because of relationship problems with Claudine, reason why he went off to vacation with friends Marvin Agustin and Dominic Ochoa in Palawan. 

Allegedly, at the time of Rico’s death, actor Raymart Santiago, her eventual ex-husband, was reportedly with Claudine in Subic. 

Years later, in interviews, Claudine would say that “there was never a day I didn’t think of him.” 

She would even visit his grave with her kids. 

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