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If you’re looking for a young, talented superstar, you can’t do much better than the gorgeous Nadine Lustre. The actress and singer has shown herself to be a force to be reckoned with in the past few years, and within less than half a decade has cemented her place as one of the great names in Philippine show business. With a quickly growing repertoire of blockbuster films and top-billed television appearances, over 5.5 million followers on Instagram, as well as a slew of different awards— Favorite New Artist, German Moreno Youth Achievement Award, Favorite Female Artist, and 100 Sexist Women in the World, to name but a few— Nadine is on the top of the world, and things look like they’re only going to get better from here.
2002 to 2006: The Early Years
Nadine Alexis Paguias Lustre was born on October 31, 1993 in Quezon City, Philippines, and is the eldest of four children. She attended Diliman Preparatory School, and has stated in interviews that she was more of a sporty type growing up, forgoing dolls for bikes and the card game teks. She started her foray into show business at a relatively young age when she was cast as a host at age 9 in Radio Philippines Network (RPN)’s children-oriented TV show Storyland. She also hosted Disney Channel Asia’s Disney Channel on Assignment in 2005.
Nadine eventually took a minor role in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s 2006 episode Regalo, which was topbilled by veteran actors Vilma Santos, Ricky Davao, and fellow young star Maja Salvador. She was serious about her career early on, and also attended various training camps and workshops, as well as accepting commercial and endorsement deals to pave her way on the path to stardom.
2009 to 2011: Building Blocks
Following the success of pop girl groups all over Asia, including the Korean pop group 2NE1 headlined by teen star Sandara Park, Viva Entertainment put together a homegrown pop group with local talents. The group was eventually named Pop Girls, pioneering contemporary Pinoy pop or P-pop in the industry, and was initially composed of five teen girls: Lailah and Mariam Bustria, Rose Van Ginkel, Schai Sigrist, and of course, Nadine Lustre.
The girls were up to that point relatively unknown, with only minor TV, commercial, and film roles for each of them, and were selected after a rigorous audition process. They eventually released a 13-track album in 2009 that centered on themes of youth, with original songs and covers of well-loved Filipino tunes such as Regine Velasquez’s “Urong Sulong” and Donna Cruz’s “Kapag Tumibok ang Puso”. Pop Girls performed on noontime variety shows such as SOP and Party Pilipinas over the next couple of years after their debut, keeping their place at the forefront of Pinoy pop.
Nadine eventually moved on to other projects, but her stint with Pop Girls laid the foundations for performing and singing— essential skills that would prove to be useful to her later on. During this period, she took on minor supporting roles in film and television— as Dina in the fantasy-comedy blockbuster Petrang Kabayo (2010) starring Vice Ganda, and as Marian, Elizabeth’s secretary in Who’s That Girl (2011), and slowly but surely her career began to build steam.
2011 to 2013: An Upward Climb
The years 2011-2013 marked the real upward progression of Nadine’s career, first with a slew of television roles that would soon put her name on the map of Philippine entertainment. 2011 saw her cast in the Philippine television drama P.S. I Love You, a sequel to the 1981 film, which ran for 63 episodes to positive reception from critics. In her first named role in a telenovela, Nadine played Candice Tuazon, the youngest daughter of Mark Roxas (Gabby Concepcion) and Kristine Tuazon (Dina Bonnevie).
Nadine also took on a gig as a host in the Bagets Cast for Hey It’s Saberday (2011-2012), a Saturday noontime musical variety show on TV5 hosted by Alex Gonzaga, Kean Cipriano, JC de Vera, Danita Paner, and IC Mendoza. She was also cast as Georgina Evangelista in Bagets: Just Got Lucky (2011-2012) around the same time, which was an afternoon television remake of the 1984 films Bagets and Bagets 2.
Bagets: Just Got Lucky was an excellent opportunity for Nadine’s talent to shine, as she played the confident student leader Georgina to AJ Muhlach’s athletic scholar Ace. There was also ample room for her to grow as an actress, with her character having to navigate a love triangle with Muhlach’s character and Jules (Josh Padilla), and the show eventually ran to its close after 40 episodes.
Her next project was as a performer on Sunday Funday (2012), another variety show. This period over the next couple of years would be rather slow for Nadine’s career, as her credits during this time period were only as herself on WaPak – Winner ang Pakwela at Kulitan (2013) and in minor roles in films The Fighting Chef (2013) and When the Love Is Gone (2013), but luckily they were proven to be only stepping stones to bigger and better things.
2014 to 2016: A Rising Star
Nadine’s career truly took off when she took on the starring role as Reah “Eyah” Rodriguez in Viva Film’s romantic comedy Diary ng Panget (2014), a movie based off of the best-selling Wattpad novel of the same name by HaveYouSeenThisGirL. Nadine was handpicked by the author and cast alongside young stars James Reid, Yassi Pressman, and Andre Paras, which proved to be an incredible lucky break for her— Ang Diary ng Panget eventually went on to gross over 120 million pesos at the Philippine box office, and the momentum didn’t stop there.
Nadine’s tandem with James Reid landed them another set of roles in yet another Wattpad novel adaptation, Talk Back and You’re Dead (2014), a romantic comedy film that grossed over 76 million pesos in less than a month since its release. Her music career also took on a revival around this time, as she not only released singles for the soundtrack of Ang Diary ng Panget, but also put together a hit self-titled album Nadine Lustre (2014) under Viva Records, with lead singles Para-Paraan, and Bahala Na, performed with James Reid.
The JaDine love team dynamic proved to be so successful that they went on to sign a two-year exclusive contract with ABS-CBN. Nadine starred in the My App Boyfie episode of anthology fantasy series Wansapanataym (2014) as Anika Andres, alongside James, as well as in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s (2014) Valentine’s Day episode entitled Signs of Love. Eventually the duo were placed in their own show #JaDine (2014), which documented their every television appearance, endorsement, film shoot, and commercial. The duo’s star power proved to be incredibly successful for the studio, and they quickly amassed a huge following over the next months and years.
2015 saw even more roles for Nadine in both film and television, with her taking a lead role in romantic film Para sa Hopeless Romantic with James Reid, horror film Chain Mail, and action comedy Beauty and the Bestie with Vice Ganda, Coco Martin, and James Reid. Nadine also had a role in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s Stuffed Toy episode, but her breakout role of the year and the role that made her a household name was as Leah Olivar in the television series On the Wings of Love (2015-16), with James Reid as her leading man.
On the Wings of Love ran for 145 episodes and was a hit with audiences, with a ratings peak of 27.8% on Kantar Media National TV Ratings. It won numerous awards, such as StarCinema.com.ph’s Favorite TV Show of 2015, Global City Innovative College’s Most Innovative TV Series, the 24th Golden Dove Award for Best TV Drama Program, and was nominated for the Best Primetime Drama Series in the 30th PMPC Star Awards for Television. Nadine also won Princess of Philippine Television at the 47th Box Office Entertainment Awards,, and was nominated for the 8th PMPC Star Awards for Music’s Female Pop Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year with James Reid, and the 30th PMPC Star Awards for Television’s Best Drama Actress.
2016 to 2018: The View from the Top
The success of On the Wings of Love opened door after door for Nadine. She and James had their first major concert together on February 20, 2016, with over 9 million pesos in ticket sales after only seven hours of tickets being made available. They also held a Jadine in Love World Tour in March of that year, performing in Doha, Dubai, London, and Milan with special guests. Their third and final concert for 2016 was called JaDine High on Love and toured major cities in the United States and Canada.
Nadine and James then starred in their second teleserye for ABS-CBN, Till I Met You (2016-2017), which had a peak ratings share of 29.1%. This series was, like On the Wings of Love, a multi-country production, with filming in certain cities in Greece. They also had another Wattpad film adaptation that year, entitled This Time (2016), which earned over 15 million pesos on its opening day alone.
Nadine also began hosting on popular noontime TV show It’s Showtime (2017-2018), showcasing her skills as an entertainer. She also took another lead role in a romantic drama film, costarring with James Reid in Never Not Love You (2018), a more mature story about two young lovers who were separated by their careers. Her new maturity as an actress shined through in the role, with critics praising her performance as one of the high points of the film. Inquirer’s Cake Evangelista said she evoked “a wealth of meaning and emotion” in her performance, while
Click the City’s Wanggo Gallaga called her a “powerhouse.”
Despite success after success in the performing arts, Nadine has shown that she’s not one to rest on her laurels. In recent months she’s taken on another hat, this time as a businesswoman promoting her own line of make-up. Nadine launched her collection Lustrous in collaboration with Australian brand BYS, and has said that she’s excited to work with a brand that encourages young girls to be themselves. The line is available in select SM Beauty and Watsons stores nationwide, and can be preordered through their Instagram page.
At only 25, Nadine has proven her star quality isn’t just fake shine, and she’s sure to only mature and grow as an artist as time passes. Her skill as a performer only gets better, and audiences should look forward to seeing her headlining more films, television shows, and even concerts in the years to come!
Jane Adamson is a Canadian import who moved to the Philippines three years ago for a change of pace. After working in the corporate world for ten years, she decided one day to pack up her things and head halfway across the world for a taste of living somewhere brand new.
She lived and worked in Bangkok and Ipoh for a few months as an English teacher, before eventually washing up on the shores of the Philippines. While she has a variety of different interests, Jane’s first loves have always been food and fashion, and she’s looking forward to sharing her thoughts on these on Daydreaming in Paradise.