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'Running Man Philippines' airs on Sept. 3: Get to know the 7 celebrity runners here

By Mica Rodriguez Published Aug 30, 2022 11:21 am

Attention, runners! The long wait is over!

Even before the global pandemic affected our lives, GMA Network and the Seoul Broadcasting System were already planning to produce a Philippine adaptation of the hit variety show Running Man in the country. Though it took them years to push through, we will finally be able to watch the pilot episode this coming September!

In line with the original Running Man concept, seven celebrity runners from GMA Network were chosen to fly to South Korea to shoot the first season of the show. Based on the full trailer released, it seems like the cast had a lot of fun with their tasks, yet you can also see how competitive they can be.

Ahead of the reality game show's airing on Sept. 3, get to know more about the cast of Runnning Man Philippines.

Mikael Daez: The Captain

Mikael Daez is one of GMA Network’s most reliable male stars. We’ve seen him play the romantic lead in a number of Kapuso teleseryes including Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga, Amaya, Ang Lihim ni Annasandra, With a Smile, Legally Blind, The Stepsisters and Love of My Life.

He also showed his comedic antics via the now defunct show Ismol Family and for a time, he was a mainstay of the gag show Bubble Gang. He is also often trusted by his home network to do hosting gigs. Apart from that, Mikael is also a vlogger and shares a podcast show with his lovely wife Megan Young. Is there anything Mikael Daez can’t do?

No wonder this guy was chosen as the main host and ‘The Captain’ of Running Man Philippines! He was last seen as the host of the Sunday afternoon infotainment show The Best Ka. With this new challenge as one of the main cast members of Running Man, will we see a different side of him we’ve never seen before? Will he finally put his guard down?

Glaiza De Castro: The Boss G

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Glaiza de Castro is dubbed as ‘Asia’s Fire of Drama’ due to the number of challenging roles she has done in the TV and movie scene. Whether she’s the main lead or the villain, expect that this talented lady will deliver!

Some of Glaiza De Castro’s most iconic shows include Grazilda, Temptation of Wife, The Rich Man’s Daughter, Contessa and of course, the 2016 version of Encantadia where she played the fierce and hot-headed Pirena. She was last seen in the trending afternoon series Nagbabagang Luha last year and also appeared alongside Xian Lim in the mini-fantasy series False Positive.

Apart from being a competent actress, Glaiza is also a musician. Some of her self-produced albums include Synthesis in 2015 and Magandang Simulain in 2017.

We’ve seen her in music and drama projects where she proved her competency. Will she be able to ‘slay’ the challenges she’ll be facing in Running Man PH?

Ruru Madrid: The Hotshot

Ruru Madrid can be considered as GMA’s Primetime Prince now. With the success of the action-fantasy series Lolong that is still currently airing today and which maintains the top position in the ratings game, Ruru is definitely a hotshot!

This hunk actor started as a contestant of the reality-based artista search Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break in 2012. Though he didn’t win the grand prize, his home network saw his potential and honed his craft by giving him good roles in teleseryes like My Destiny, Let The Love Begin, and more.

His biggest break came when in 2016, he was trusted by GMA Network to play the role of Ybrahim/Ibarro in Encantadia, where he was able to show a ‘more matured’ version of himself. His performance exceeded the expectations of the viewers and became one of the most-loved Kapuso artists today.

Now, we know that he is a ‘hotshot’ as far as TV ratings and fan support is concerned. Will that translate well in the new variety show he is part of? Magiging dakila din ba si Ruru? Everyday Ruru on primetime for the win!

Buboy Villar: The Funny Juan

Remember the witty and charming Ding in 2009 version of Darna with Marian Rivera? The cute side kick played by Buboy Villar remains a relevant actor up to this day.

The transition from a child actor to an in-demand character actor was a slow but sure win for Buboy Villar. He is one of the few actors on TV and films who can give justice to both comedic and dramatic roles. On the big screen, he is best remembered for his portrayal as the young Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao in Kid Kulafu way back in 2015. 

This young dad of two is now one of the most loved celebrity vloggers in the country with more than a million subscribers.

On TV, his role as Lovi Poe’s younger brother ‘Gwaps’ in the romance-comedy series Owe My Love paved the way for him to be loved by teleserye viewers again. He was last seen in the 2022 mini-series False Positive as Malakas and the fans just loved his chemistry with Herlene ‘Hipon’ Budol. For a time, he was also a semi-regular cast member of the gag show Bubble Gang.

His fans and followers know that he is not simply the ‘funny juan’, but he is also street smart. Is he a good sport though? We’ll see!

Lexi Gonzales: The Bubbly One

In every variety show, there’s always that one girl who captivates the attention of the viewers with her natural beauty and charm. That’s Lexi Gonzales for you.

Some may think that she is a newbie in the business, but this optimistic lady has been getting good breaks recently. Starting her career as a member of a girl group in a noontime show, Lexi took the risk and auditioned at the seventh season of the reality based artista search Starstruck’in 2019. Emerging as the First Princess, doors of opportunities started opening for the talented lady.

Lexi is currently a mainstay of the Sunday noontime show All-Out Sundays where she sings and performs with her peers. She also appeared in Regal Studio Presents: Magkaibigan, Nagkaibigan and My Third Wish, where she showed her potential as the network’s next prime leading lady. She was last seen in the mystery-drama series Love You Stranger that ended this month.

Apart from her Running Man PH stint, she is also set to appear in the upcoming afternoon series Underage. Given that she has what it takes to be the next Kapuso sweetheart, can she handle her role as a cast member of Running Man PH?

Kokoy De Santos: The Kolokoy

Just like Buboy Villar, Kokoy De Santos also started his showbiz journey as a child actor and TVC model. You may not have noticed it, but Kokoy is the TVC talent behind the iconic lines ‘Choco na Gatas o Gatas na Choco?’ for a chocolate milk brand and the charming kid who wants to be an adult asap by singing ‘Macho Gwapito’ for an instant pancit canton brand.

Kokoy De Santos was able to bounce back and get recognized when he played a risky and challenging role in the 2019 Cinemalaya movie F*****s (Fuccbois). In 2020, more fans loved him when he played the role of Gavreel in the BL series Gameboys opposite Elijah Canlas. From then on, Kokoy became one of the breakthrough stars of the streaming era playing lead in a number of series ranging from BL to romantic comedy projects. He also became an exclusive contract artist of GMA Network and played the role of Young Patrick in Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento. He is currently a mainstay at the longest running gag show Bubble Gang.

As Kokoy De Santos' popularity continues to rise, will he be able to keep up with his fellow runners?

Angel Guardian: The Astig Princess

Among the cast members of Running Man Philippines, I personally consider Angel Guardian as the underdog. She may be shy, reserved and I assume she’s an introvert, but I can sense that she is competitive and a fighter.

Angel Guardian started her career in GMA Network playing supporting roles in a number of teleseryes and drama anthologies. She is also a recording artist under GMA Music. Last year, she played the role of Beth in Pepito Manaloto: Ang Unang Kuwento, where she was paired with fellow Running Man PH co-star Kokoy De Santos. In fact, we’re wondering if there’s a developing love story between the two?

Recently, it was announced that Angel Guardian is set to play her first teleserye lead role via the upcoming series Mano Po 3: The Flower Sisters with Aiko Melendez, Beauty Gonzales and Thea Tolentino.

With her inclusion in the cast of Running Man Philippines where she can show the world her real personality, will her ‘guardian angel’ help her win?

Seven interesting celebrity runners with different personalities playing extreme tasks and challenges. Isn’t that a good component for a fun show? Check out the trailer below:

Running Man Philippines will premiere on September 3, 2022. The show will be airing on Saturdays at 7:15 pm and Sundays at 7:45 pm on GMA.