Gimik: Then and Now
Let's go on nostalgia overdrive.
(SPOT.ph) The '90s feels like it was a different world altogether. And that’s probably because it really was so long ago. We don’t know who needs to hear this but we are now closer to the year 2050 than we are to 1990. Still okay? Don’t worry. We haven’t let go of the best decade ever. So much so that we need to take you on a nostalgia trip back to the ultimate '90s show Gimik.
The youth-oriented show pretty much defined growing up during that decade. The ABS-CBN series ran from 1996 to 1999. It didn’t shy away from pretty taboo topics—and better yet, it had all our favorite stars. Speaking of, we checked up on what they are up to now!
What’s your favorite '90s barkada the Gimik cast up to now?
Judy Ann Santos as Dianne Villaruel
The '90s had audiences split between Judy Ann Santos with the late Rico Yan or Wowie de Guzman. She and the former were paired up in Gimik, where she played the rich college kid to a tee. Both became household names thanks to their roles on the show. Santos eventually went on to become one of the biggest stars in movies and teleseryes. We’re sure she stayed on your radar throughout the decades.
Santos is now married to former leading man Ryan Agoncillo with whom she is raising three kids. She’s also expanded to the culinary world with a cooking show, Judy Ann’s Kitchen, and a restaurant, Angrydobo, that she runs with her husband.
Diether Ocampo as Gary Leo "Gary" Ballesteros
Playing Ricky Salveron’s best friend and Gina’s (G Toengi) boyfriend was Diether Ocampo. Ocampo has remained in the limelight as well throughout the years, taking on drama roles in series and a few movies. He starred with Jericho Rosales and Gimik co-star Kristine Hermosa in prime-time drama Sana Wala Nang Bukas (2003), a show that cemented the trio’s celebrity status.
Ocampo and Hermosa were married in a civil ceremony in 2004 but their marriage was eventually annulled in 2009. He took a break from showbiz in the years before the pandemic hit. As of 2021, he was also serving as a lieutenant commander in the Philippine Coast Guard. He was supposed to get his pilot's license in 2020 but like everything else that year, it was pushed back. Ocampo is slated to return to the small screen in 2021 with Huwag Kang Mangamba on ABS-CBN.
Patrick Garcia as Carlo de Leon
Patrick Garcia was one of the youngest on set when Gimik first aired. While he was working on the ensemble drama, he also starred in the acclaimed Olivia M. Lamasan film Madrasta (1996) and then he backed that up the following year in Batang PX (1997). After Gimik, he was also cast as part of Tabing Ilog so you know this guy was an integral part of growing up with '90s TV.
Garcia has since been in and out of the limelight. He studied in New York for a while in the late 2000’s. He has one child with fellow actor Jennylyn Mercado, whom he met in 2006. He married Nikka Martinez in 2015. They have three daughters together.
Marvin Agustin as Joseph "Joey" Fajardo
One-half of the ultimate '90s TV loveteam, Marvin Agustin took on the role of funny guy Joey Fajardo, who was in love with SC (Jolina Magdangal). Agustin continued to take on leading-man roles off and on throughout the years. He and Magdangal even reunited in prime-time series Flordeliza in 2014.
Agustin is now also a chef and entrepreneur, heading several restaurant chains such as Sumo Sam and Wolfgang Steakhouse. He also has twin sons with former girlfriend Tetet Dy.
Jolina Magdangal as Socorro Corazon "Ese" Aragon
Aspiring fashion designer Ese was the perfect role for '90s style queen Jolina Magdangal. From the series that sparked their unforgettable loveteam, she and Agustin went on to star in several rom-coms, Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang? (1998) included.
Magdangal continued acting throughout the years. In 2011, she married Rivermaya drummer Mark Escueta with whom she has two kids. Nowadays, you can spot Magdangal hosting the morning talk show Magandang Buhay with Karla Estrada and Melai Cantiveros.
Dominic Ochoa as Eric Abesamis
Remember when Dominic Ochoa became a part of the Gimik series? Yup, as it turns out he was supposed to be paired with Rica Peralejo who dropped in for a few episodes. Ochoa has since stayed on in showbiz, pretty much sticking with ABS-CBN throughout as part of the first few Star Magic batches.
Ochoa married make-up artist Denise Go in 2008. During the pandemic, they started a fruit-selling business from their home. We last saw him in Four Sisters Before the Wedding (2020) as the Salazar patriarch in the prequel to the OG Four Sisters and a Wedding.
Kristine Hermosa as Tintin Fernandez
How could anyone forget Kristine Hermosa? She started out in shows like Gimik and Ang TV before she took the mid-'90s to early 2000s by storm. Her pairings with Deither Ocampo and, of course, Jericho Rosales pretty much defined the biggest shows and movies of those years. Don’t lie. Pangako Sa ‘Yo made a dent in your growing-up years for sure.
Her marriage to leading man Diether Ocampo was officially annulled in 2009. She married Oyo Boy Sotto in 2011 and they are as of writing expecting their fifth child. Hermosa has also been in and out of ABS-CBN titles in the past few years.
John Lloyd Cruz as Junie de Dios
We’re sure you know what’s went on with John Lloyd Cruz throughout the past few years. Gimik was one of JLC's first roles before his stint in Tabing Ilog cemented his status as a household name. He eventually struck gold when he was paired with Bea Alonzo for the 2002 series Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay. Cue golden hits such as Maging Sino Ka Man, One More Chance, You Changed My Life, and more.
The actor has been lying low from the showbiz scene for the past few years. He now has a son with former girlfriend Ellen Adarna and is slated for a showbiz comeback under Maja Salvador’s talent agency Crown Artist Management, Inc.
Baron Geisler as Choy Ledesma
Baron Geisler has had it pretty rough since his days in the teenage drama Gimik. He has remained in the spotlight tagged as the showbiz “bad boy” due to his former alcoholism and well, the controversies surrounding his brash behavior. The actor has since mellowed out, though. He married psychologist girlfriend Jamie Marie Evangelista in 2019 and has since been based in Cebu. The two are raising three children together.
Carlos Agassi as Marco Trinidad
The eternally buff Carlos Agassi was paired up with LJ Moreno for their roles in Gimik. Agassi, a member of the Star Magic batch 3, went on to star in several more titles under ABS-CBN. Agassi finished up college in the 2000s and opened up a Latin-American restaurant called Brasas in Makati. He also became a host, model, and even a rap artist. Dubbed the “Amir (Prince) of Philippine Rap,” Agassi has opened up about how he gets backlash for being a rapper that happens to look like a hunk. Go figure.
Mylene Dizon as Melanie Suntay
Mylene Dizon played nursing student Melanie Suntay. After Gimik and Tabing Ilog, she went on to play many roles in different teleseryes at both ABS-CBN and GMA—most notably as the kontrabida. In 2001, she starred as the miserable Sally in Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan with Claudine Baretto and Gimik co-star Carlos Agassi, and that started a slew of villainous characters for Dizon. Who knew such harsh characters would fit the one we knew as conservative Melanie? Dizon has been in a relationship with basketball player Jason Webb since 2014. She also has two sons from a previous relationship with actor-model Paolo Paraiso.
Bojo Molina as Brian Lorenzo
Bojo Molina (who is now based in Guam) asks @reginevalcasid on the technical challenges of mounting a digital concert: ABS-CBN will handle the technical so I don't think magkaka-problema kasi gamay na gamay na ni KTX. #FreedomGlobalMediaCon pic.twitter.com/7E9cIWdoly— ABS-CBN PR (@ABSCBNpr) January 26, 2021
Playing Dizon’s love interest was Bojo Molina as fellow med student Brian Lorenzo. After Gimik, Molina transferred to VIVA Artists Agency and did a couple of small roles. A few years later in 2001, he moved to Guam where he met his wife Johansen “Jen” Kwe, with whom he has two kids.
In 2017, Molina told PEP.ph that he was enjoying a peaceful life working for a media company in Guam. He has mostly stayed out of the limelight since the early 2000s but he did come back home for the 2010 reunion of the Gimik cast.
G Toengi as Angelina "Gina" de Leon
Dianne’s best friend and Gary’s girlfriend Gina was portrayed by G Toengi, who is of Swedish and Filipino descent. Her real name before getting married to Tim Walters in 2005 was Giselle Anne Töngi. She worked under GMA in the early 2000s before officially moving to the U.S. where she and Walters now have two kids.
Since her days on Gimik, Toengi has been in and out of the showbiz spotlight. She did return for the 2010 Gimik reunion and in 2020 became the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a talk show for Filipinos in the U.S.
Cheska Garcia as Corrine Apostol
Patrick Garcia’s older sister Cheska was also in the cast. The two originally starred in Ang TV together as well. She stayed in the limelight for a bit after Gimik before marrying professional basketball player Doug Kramer in 2008. After that, she prioritized her family over showbiz but has maintained her visibility through family vlogs, endorsements, hosting, and more.
Paula Peralejo as Pauline Salveron
Rica Peralejo’s younger sister Paula was a mainstay in '90s TV with her first film role in the classic Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa, and she went on to be a part of Tabing Ilog in 1999. She was paired with Gimik co-star Patrick Garcia onscreen through their teen years.
She stuck with acting throughout the early 2000s before graduating from the University of the Philippines in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy and a minor in Tourism—with Magna Cum Laude honors to boot. Peralejo married Charlie Fernandez in 2013 and they have a son together. She also manages her travel agency business Our Restless Feet.
Diego Castro III as Jigs Mercado
Jigs Mercado was the ultra-relatable third wheel to Dianne and Ricky, as portrayed by Diego Castro III. He earned quite a reputation for coming in drunk for the show’s shooting. Years later, he would explain that the fame and money he was getting all went to his head, something that he deeply regrets.
After Gimik, the actor transferred to GMA and VIVA’s Growing Up where he met co-star Raven Villanueva. They have one daughter together. Castro continued on in the world of showbiz and eventually went into newscasting, following the path of his veteran-journalist parents June Keithley and Angelo Castro, Jr. Castro is now a host at UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya. He is in a relationship with co-anchor Angel Lagunzad.
Kaye Abad as Cassandra "Kakai" Marquez
Before Kaye Abad and John Lloyd Cruz were paired up in Tabing Ilog, they were first co-stars in Gimik. Since then, Abad has enjoyed a pretty constant spot in the limelight with several roles on TV and in film, notably in Maalaala Mo Kaya and the Precious Hearts Romances.
Abad married businessman and athlete Paul Jake Castillo in 2016 and they welcomed their first child in 2017. They announced in April 2021 that they are expecting a second son.
Kristopher Peralta as Teofilo "Toffee" Sanchez
Kristopher Peralta has been living life away from showbiz after his stint in the '90s show where he portrayed the fun Toffee. Having been in show business since he was 13, it looked like he really wanted a completely slowed-down lifestyle so after finally quitting the industry in the late 2000s, he went south. In 2012, he moved to Davao City, where he is currently based with his wife Carla Angkee. They run several businesses together.
LJ Moreno as Cathy Dominguez
LJ Moreno stepped out of showbiz in the 2000s and is now married to basketball player Jimmy Alapag. The two officially moved to the U.S. in late 2020 to start a new life with their kids. You can catch up on what they’re up to through their vlog Alapag Family Fun on YouTube.
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