Kathryn Chandria Manuel Bernardo, born on March 26, 1996, is a celebrated Filipino actress and recording artist. She gained widespread recognition for her performances in popular television series such as “Mara Clara” (2010–2011), “Princess and I” (2012-2013), “Pangako Sa ‘Yo” (2015–2016), and “La Luna Sangre” (2017–2018). Bernardo has also made a mark in the film industry with her roles in “She’s Dating the Gangster” (2014), “Crazy Beautiful You” (2015), “Barcelona: A Love Untold” (2016), “The Hows of Us” (2018), and “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (2019), with the last two being among the highest-grossing Filipino films ever.
In 2018, Bernardo revealed that she has been in a committed relationship with her co-star, actor Daniel Padilla, since May 25, 2012.
Box Office Success
Kathryn Chandria Manuel Bernardo, with a box office tally exceeding ₱3.8 billion (68,015,356 USD), stands as the most commercially successful Filipino film actress of the 2010s. Celebrated as the “Box Office Queen of her generation” by People Asia, she is distinguished as the sole Filipino actress to have two movies each surpassing ₱800 million (14,319,022 USD) in earnings. Recognized by Forbes Asia as one of the most influential celebrities in the Asia-Pacific on social media, she also features on Metro Society’s roster of the most impactful Filipino social media personalities. EdukCircle has acknowledged her as one of the “Most Influential Celebrities of the Decade.” Additionally, she secured the second spot on NetCredit’s list of the Philippines’ Top 10 highest-paid celebrities on Instagram, with annual earnings of ₱208 million(3,722,617 USD). She has 18 million followers on her Instagram page.
Kathryn Bernardo is the youngest child of Luzviminda and Teodore Bernardo. She grew up with her three siblings: two sisters, Chrysler and Kaye, and a brother, Kevin.
A member of the Iglesia ni Cristo faith, Bernardo has also been in a steady relationship with her frequent co-star, actor Daniel Padilla, since May 25, 2012.
Before embarking on her acting career in 2003, Bernardo was a student at Flowerlane Montessori Children’s House in Cabanatuan, later moving to OB Montessori Center in Quezon City. Her burgeoning career led her to switch to Angelicum College’s homeschooling program in 2011 to accommodate her demanding schedule. She later pursued a degree in marketing at Enderun Colleges but had to put her studies on hold due to her commitment to the television series “Got to Believe.” As of 2021, Bernardo has expressed her continued aspiration to complete her college education, aiming for a degree in marketing or communication arts.
Kathryn Bernardo embarked on her acting journey in 2003 with a role as young Cielo in ABS-CBN’s “It Might Be You.” Her first significant role came in 2006 as Maya, the love interest in the TV series “Super Inggo.” She went on to portray various characters in other ABS-CBN series like “Krystala” and “Vietnam Rose,” eventually securing a spot on the popular children’s show “Goin’ Bulilit.”
In 2010, Bernardo ventured into more serious roles, portraying the young Victoria in ABS-CBN’s “Magkaribal” and young Jenny in GMA’s “Endless Love,” both of which debuted on June 28, 2010.
Kathryn Bernardo’s star-making turn came as Mara David/Mara Del Valle in the 1992 television drama remake “Mara Clara,” alongside her off-screen best friend Julia Montes. The series consistently led primetime ratings and was nominated at the 2011 Banff World Media Festival in the “Telenovelas & Soap Operas” category, cementing Bernardo’s status as a leading actress.
Following “Mara Clara,” Bernardo joined the cast of the Sunday teen series “Growing Up” with Julia Montes and other rising ABS-CBN talents like Kiray Celis, Diego Loyzaga, and Daniel Padilla. Bernardo played 15-year-old Ella, who is raised by her single mother. The show debuted to strong ratings, securing the second spot in the afternoon primetime lineup.
Bernardo’s cinematic journey began with “Gagamboy” in 2004, but her first starring role was in 2011’s “Way Back Home,” alongside her “Mara Clara” co-star Julia Montes. The movie topped box office charts on its opening week, outperforming international releases like “The Smurfs” and “Conan the Barbarian,” as reported by Box Office Mojo.
That same year, Bernardo joined the cast of Regal Film’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll 13” for the Metro Manila Film Festival, taking a leap into the horror genre with a leading role in the anthology’s segment “Parola.” Her performance was met with acclaim, with Philbert Dy of ClickTheCity.com lauding her work: “A fantastic performance from Kathryn Bernardo ties it all together. It might just be one of the best things that has ever come out of Shake Rattle and Roll.”
Following her success in “Growing Up,” Bernardo starred in “Princess and I,” a romantic drama series with royal themes. The show, which boasted of being the first Philippine series filmed in Bhutan, featured Bernardo as Mikay/Princess Areeyah, with a cast that included Daniel Padilla as Gino Dela Rosa, Enrique Gil as Prince Jao, and Khalil Ramos, a former contestant of “Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3,” as Mikay’s best friend and admirer, Kiko. The ensemble was further strengthened by seasoned actors like Gretchen Barretto and Albert Martinez.
“Princess and I” achieved remarkable viewership, becoming the top primetime show in September 2012 and further propelling Bernardo’s career. In August 2013, Bernardo, alongside Daniel Padilla, announced their new TV series “Got to Believe,” where Bernardo portrayed Chichay Tampipi, a girl who reconnects with her childhood friend Joaquin Manansala (played by Padilla) and navigates the challenges of a love divided by economic and familial differences. The series concluded on a high note, securing a 38.6% rating for its finale and ranking second nationwide according to Kantar Media.
In May 2013, Bernardo graced the Candy Style Awards and continued her on-screen partnership with Padilla in the romantic-comedy “24/7 in Love,” released on November 21, 2012. She also appeared with comedian Vice Ganda and Padilla in the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Sisterakas,” and in early 2013, she starred in “Must Be… Love,” her first solo film project with Star Cinema, alongside Padilla.
December 2013 saw Bernardo and Padilla in “Pagpag,” a Star Cinema and Regal Films production for the Metro Manila Film Festival, which premiered on Christmas Day. The following year, the duo led the movie adaptation of Bianca Bernardino’s best-selling novel “She’s Dating the Gangster,” marking their fifth film collaboration and part of Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary celebration. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, the film was a box office hit, earning PHP 15 million on its opening day and grossing PHP 230 million by its fourth week.
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Bernardo’s influence extended beyond acting; she was recognized alongside Padilla and Vice Ganda with stars on the Eastwood Walk of Fame in December 2014. Her musical endeavors include guest performances at Daniel Padilla’s “DOS” concert and contributions to the soundtracks of her television shows.
She ventured into music with her rendition of “Mula Noon Hanggang Ngayon” for “Princess and I” in 2012, and in 2013, she and Padilla covered David Pomeranz’s “Got to Believe in Magic” for their show “Got to Believe.” In 2014, Bernardo released her debut studio album “Kathryn,” featuring a mix of original songs, including a duet with Padilla and her first solo original song “Ikaw Na Nga Yata,” which was part of the local soundtrack for the Korean series “Pretty Man.” Her album’s lead single “You Don’t Know Me,” penned by Marion Aunor, was released on November 6, preceding the album launch on November 30 under Star Music, showcasing eleven tracks in total.