I am sure many of you are familiar with Wowie De Guzman, a popular actor and one of the top matinee idols from the 1990s. His break came as a member of Universal Motion Dancers (UMD). His fame rose fast from there, as he did several movies and is still widely remembered as the love team partner of Judy Ann Santos. They actually did 12 films together (like "Paano ang Puso Ko" and "Muling Ibalik ang Tamis ng Pag-ibig") and a number of teleseryes (like "Mara Clara" and "Esperanza").
I actually watched many of his movies during my high school years in the US and it was his roles in pastoral films that made me nostalgic for the provinces and my childhood memories growing up in the Philippines, and as such, he remains one of my favorite Filipino actors. Coincidentally, Wowie De Guzman (or Jeffrey Camangyan which is his real name) and I are from the same place. We both grew up in the Subic Bay - Olongapo City area of the province of Zambales.
I recently came across his life's story featured on MMK, which originally aired on September 9, 2006 (video below):
Wowie de Guzman's Story on Maalaala Mo Kaya
He was one of the biggest teen idols of the 1990s as part of a very successful love team with Judy Ann Santos, and a talented dancer and actor to boot. But there was another struggle going on behind the scenes for Wowie de Guzman, and it was one that even his most devoted fans didn't know about.
This week, Maalaala Mo Kaya gives us the real behind the scenes story as Wowie de Guzman plays himself on the episode airing Thursday, September 9.
Born Jeffrey Camangyan in Olongapo City, Wowie de Guzman had always had a difficult family life, even as a very small child. When his parents broke up when he was only three years old, Wowie developed a strained relationship with his mother, with Wowie bearing the brunt of her unexplained anger.
But things started changing once Wowie began to develop a dance group along with his neighborhood friends in Olongapo. Soon, he was becoming famous, not just as a member of the very popular Universal Motion Dancers, but also as the leading man in such projects as "Mara Clara," "Esperanza," and the movie Paaano Ang Puso Ko? with Judy Ann Santos and Rico Yan. But did Wowie's home life become better as his career became bigger?
Wowie will be joined by a top-notch cast for this very special episode, starting with multi-awarded actress Princess Punzalan in the role of Wowie's mother, Zorina. Also on hand are Perla Bautista as Wowie's grandmother, John Arcilla as Wowie's stepfather Arthur, and John Manalo as the young Wowie.