I first saw Bela Padilla randomly in a television show when she was still a Kapuso. She didn’t have a huge role back then, just a supporting role, too tiny to be significant. But she definitely caught my eye.
You know those situations where in seemingly from the background, a person stands out? Like a red rose in sea of yellow roses, get my drift?
That is how I became a fan of Bela. First, due to her classy and beautiful physical appearance. I stayed as a fan due to her acting depth and her behind the camera talents – this girl has gifts! Since she turns a year older today, here are the things you may not know about Bela Padilla.
Bela was born as Krista Elyse Hidalgo Sullivan on May 3, 1991 in Makati, Philippines. Her father is British born Cornelius Gary Sullivan, while her mother is Margarette Carińo Hidalgo, the cousin of the famous Robin Padilla. Bela has an older brother from both parents, and three elder siblings from her father side.
She went to the Colegio San Agustin Makati and took up journalism as an elective during high school.
Bela was discovered by Jet Valle, and ABS CBN talent scout during a field trip. The discovery led to her being included in the lineup for the Star Magic Batch 15, under the name Krista Valle. Under the stage name, she debuted in the teen drama Star Magic Presents: Abt Ur Luv Ur Lyf 2. She changed her stage name to Krista Sullivan when she started to work as a freelancer.
In 2010, she moved to GMA7 and left her previous management. She then adopted the name Bela Padilla. Her first series in the new network was Endless Love, an adaptation of the famous Korean drama Autumn in My Heart.
She appeared in several series and shows in GMA Network, landing supporting roles. But it was only in 2012, when she landed the titular role for the series Magdalena that Bela became a household name. The next year, she landed the project Love and Lies and acted opposite Richard Gutierrez and Michelle Madrigal.
She returned to ABS CBN after signing an exclusive contract with Dreamscape Entertainment Television and landed the role of Carmen in the long running television series FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano between 2015 and 2016. Her onscreen partnership with Coco Martin earned legions of fans.In 2017, she was paired with Zanjoe Marudo in ‘My Dear Heart‘. In 2019, she landed a main role in the television drama Sino and Maysala?: Mea Culpa, acting besides veteran actor Jodi Sta. Maria.
Bela had an extensive career as a film actress. Her film debut was the Bahay Kubo: A Pinoy Mano Po!, directed by the veteran Joel Lamangan. Although her role was minimal, it paved the way for her working with the great actors Maricel Soriano, Gloria Domingo, Eric Quizon and Eugene Domingo.
Perhaps her most notable film, where she gained notoriety for her acting depth, was Felix Manalo, where she landed the role of Honorata de Guzman-Manalo, opposite Dennis Trillo in 2015. A year later, she became part of the iconic film Camp Sawi, playing the role of Bridgette opposite Arci Munoz, Andi Eigenmann, Yassi Pressman and Kim Molina. She later on starred on a number of box-office films and her movie partnership with JC Santos proved to be a lucrative one. Some of the films they starred together are 100 Tula Para Kay Stella, The Day After Valentines and On Vodka, Beers and Regrets. They’re set to reunite soon on another film.
Bela has been known to work on and off screen. The multi-talented young woman is actually the co-writer (at the same time actor) of the film 10,000 Hours which stars uncle Robin Padilla in 2013. She was also the Film producer for Camp Sawi which she also appeared in on 2016.
Bela also tried her hand on screenwriting, being the screenwriter for the 2017 film Luck at First Sight. She acted opposite Jericho Rosales for this movie. Bela was credited for the story and screenplay of the blockbuster dark romance drama Last Night in 2017, which stars Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga. In 2019, she conceptualized and produced the digital film Apple of my Eye starring Marco Gumabao and Krystal Reyes.
Now you know why I am a huge fan of this hugely talented young woman? Not only is she talented as an actress, she is also talented off camera! What a Jack of all trades this woman is!