Claudine Barretto: The Enchanting Actress
Philippine television was never the same again when Claudine Margaret Castelo Barretto entered the entertainment scene. Because of her strong portrayals to a variety of roles in soap operas, commonly called teleseryes, she was aptly referred to as Optimum Teleserye Queen.
Claudine Barretto was born on July 20, 1979, in Manila, Philippines. Her parents are Miguel Alvier Barretto and Estrella Santiago Castelo. She is the youngest in the brood of six, namely, Mito, Jay-jay, Mitchie, Gretchen, Marjorie, and Gia, who is currently teaching in Boston.
Claudine is not new to the world of entertainment. At aged 11, she auditioned to play the role of Grease’s Sandra Dee in Repertory Workshop. Her other two siblings, Gretchen and Marjorie, have also established their names as actresses . However, it was when she was 13 years old that her life took a 360-degree turn. It was 1992 when Johnny Manahan, typically known as Mr. M by many ABS-CBN talents, discovered her innate potential to be an actress. She was then included in the now-defunct youth-oriented show Ang TV.
The gag show honed not only her acting skills but also her singing, dancing, and hosting capabilities. Because she was naturally talented in acting, she later became a regular cast of Home Along da Riles, a comedy show, where she played Bing, the daughter of the King of Comedy Dolphy and the niece of equally talented comedian Nova Villa. She also bagged the role of Agot Isidro’s sister in Oki Doki Doc. There, she acted alongside Aga Muhlach , one of the most sought-after leading men in Philippine showbiz.
But what made Claudine Barretto a household name was her dramatic prowess. She was one of the actresses featured in Star Drama Presents. Her stellar performance in one of the episodes, entitled Kasunduan, garnered her the recognition of Best TV Personality in Star Awards during 1997.
In TV, she was also famous playing different types of characters in soap operas. She was the rich but hopeless romantic girl in Mula Sa Puso, three different personas in Saan Ka Man Naroon, a woman who transcended time in Sa Dulo Ng Walang Hanggan, raped victim turned nun in Ikaw ang Lahat Sa Akin, and the fighter Melanie in her current TV series, Walang Kapalit.
Aside from TV, Claudine also delivered A-rate performance in movies, alongside big names like Vilma Santos in Anak, Maricel Soriano in Soltera, and Kris Aquino in Sukob, a top-grossing horror movie from Star Cinema. But it was her movie Milan, with Piolo Pascual as her leading man, that earned her the title Queen of RP Movies by Guillermo Mendoza Awards. She also coveted Best Actress trophies in Famas and Luna Awards.
Claudine, however, is not only famous because of her acting career but also because of the different controversies that hounded her. Her string of relationships with actors such as Mark Anthony Fernandez and Rico Yan landed her in tabloids almost every day. Rumors such as drug abuse and abortion were thrown against her. Moreover, she also faced libel charges against Jo-Ann Maglipon, editor of YES! Magazine. These were later dropped. She also became estranged with her sister Gretchen, after throwing various accusations and hurtful words.
Yet Claudine was born strong. Today, she’s married to Raymart Santiago, the youngest of the showbiz-born Santiago clan and with whom she shares the same birth date. She’s also a mother to her adopted daughter Sabina and Rodrigo Santino, who was born on July 19, 2007. She’s also a born-again Christian and attends the Victory Christian Fellowship .
Indeed, what makes Claudine Barretto stands out among all other young superstars is not only her manner of acting. She exudes simplicity, elegance, charm, and appeal—making her star shine all the way through.