The capital for celebrities is Manila, we all know that.

But their origins are all over Philippines and you might be surprised just how near they were from you before they shot to stardom.

Davao region is one of the largest provinces in the Philippines and its capital, and one of the most economically successful south of the country with Cebu. And there are a lot of successful and popular celebs you probably didn’t know came from Davao and are proud Bisaya talents.

We have rounded them up for you so take a read and see if you’ve got all of them right.


Photo from Maris Racal Facebook Page

The “Singing Sunshine ng Davao,” Maris Racal made her debut was discovered in ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother: All In from its run in 2014 placing 2nd.

Born and raised in Davao del Norte, she is a Filipino actress, singer-songwriter, host, vlogger and endorser.

She is the 5th of 6 siblings to parents Leony and Henry, who is a folk singer. With parents like that, she grew up in a musically inclined family and learned how to sing and play instruments at a young age like the guitar, piano, ukulele, and beatbox.


Photo from KZ Tandingan Facebook Page

One of the most unique voices and style in Filipino musice, KZ Tandingan was born on March 11, 1992, in Digos City, the capital of Davao del Sur.

The singer-rapper has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Southeastern Philippines before she joined The X Factor Philippines in 2012.

“ang industriya ng musika ng Philippines ay hindi lamang para sa mga magaganda, makiknis ang balat, matatangkad, sa mga biritero’t biritera” -KZ

She also made us all proud when she entered the popular Chinese reality contest The Singer in 2018. She made headlines and was trending in her every performance.


Photo from Erich Gonzales Facebook Page

Erich have already stamped her name in the industry but did you know that her full real name is Erika Chryselle Gonzales Gancayco. She was born in September 20, 1990, in Cebu City but was raised in Davao City. She then joined the reality talent search Star Circle Quest at the young age of 14.

She is already known as a talented and good Filipino actress with proving it in Katorse, Tanging Yaman, Magkaribal and many more. Aside from her acting career, she also Majored in mass communication.


Photo from Bangs Garcia Facebook Page

Valerie “Bangs” Garcia who gained popularity literally with her “bangs” was a nursing student at the Ateneo de Davao University when she joined the talent search, Campus Idols, in 2004.

From there, she then appeared as a co-host of ABS-CBN Davao’s variety show KSP: Kapamilya Sabado Party (2005), which aired throughout Mindanao and won as a runner-up in ABS-CBN’s Close-Up To Fame talent search.

She had a good career run appearing in Let’s Go (2005-2006), Kambal Sa Uma (2009), Precious Hearts: My Cheating Heart (2009-2010), and Katorse (2009). She also acted in films like Shake Rattle and Roll XI (2009), Cinco (2010), The Reunion (2021, Lauriana (2013), and Dukot (2016), among many others.

Seeming to have rested from her acting stint, she is now living in the United Kingdom with her Filipino-British husband Lloyd Birchmore Rand in which she has two daughters, Amelia and Isabella.


Photo from Iwa Moto Facebook Page

Known as Iwa Moto but was born as Aileen Quimapo Iwamoto, she is a Filipina-Japanese Davaoeña who is an actress, a model and a reality television personality.

Born on August 28, 1988 in Las Piñas City, she then grew up and studied in Davao, where her mother is based. Her father is the late Hiroaki Iwamoto, a Japanese immigrant.

She was first seen as the “First Princess,” in Starstruck season 3. She also had popular roles like Moshi Moshi Manika in Super Twins (2007), Valentina in Darna (2009), and Magda Evangelista in Marimar (2015).

Her partner, Pampi Lacson and Iwa has two kids: Mimi and Caleb Jiro.


Photo from Juris Facebook Page

Whoever has not been moved by Juris’ voice clearly haven’t watched tv and listened to the radio.

A famous ballad singer, Juris Fernandez was best known as the lead singer of the acoustic group MYMP in the early 2000s.

She is a pure Davaoeña born in Davao City on March 18, 1978. She is not only a singer with hit songs like “Di Lang Ikaw”, “Sa Aking Pag-iisa” and “Puwang sa Puso” but also took up Psychology at Miriam College in Manila.

The began pursuing a solo career in 2009. Juris is now married to husband Gavin Lim and have two children Giddy, 7, and Geordi, 5.

To be a bisaya or visayan descent is truly something we can take pride in.

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