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LOOK: Filipino celebs who studied abroad

By Camille Torres Published Jul 12, 2021 7:22 pm

Studying abroad is like hitting two birds with one stone. You get to have an academic journey in a different country while discovering and learning about their culture.

While many of us dream of getting a degree from any of our country’s prestigious universities, there are some who would rather go overseas.

Here are some Filipino celebrities who pursued their studies in different institutions abroad.

Glaiza de Castro

Actress and singer Glaiza Castro Galura (also known as Glaiza de Castro) finished her music production course at the Point Blank Musical School in London. The musical school featured one of Glaiza’s performances through its video series “Point Blank Studio Sessions.” Glaiza also took part in an acting challenge where they recreated a scene from EastEnders, a popular soap in England.

As a singer, Glaiza released her first album Magbalik Ka in 2001. Followed by self-titled Glaiza released in 2006, Synthesis in 2015, and Magandang Simulain released in 2017. A year before her latest album, she played the role of Pirena in the remake of Encantadia.

Glaiza was also a part of the UN Women's Safe Cities Program, which aims to increase awareness and stop street harassment and sexual violence against women in public spaces. In 2020, she participated in activities denouncing the Anti-Terrorism Act along with other Kapuso and Kapamilya stars.

Georgina Wilson

Georgina Wilson showed us what beauty with brains is. This model and host graduated from the University of Sydney with a double major in Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance. She had a post-schooling phase that she calls “a challenging time” in her life when she started her local business.

In 2013, Georgina co-founded Sunnies Studios with her cousin Martine Cajucom and her friends, Eric Dee Jr., and his wife Bea Soriano. Wilson and Dee also own the makeup brand Sunnies Face and the restaurant Sunnies Cafe.

The model/host is now a mother of three—to Archie, Alfred, and youngest child Charlotte Arabella, whom she introduced on social media on May 3, 2021.

Dominique Cojuangco

Gretchen Barretto and Tonyboy Cojuangco's daughter, Dominique Cojuangco, is a magna cum laude graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California. She finished her second college degree in merchandising and marketing when she already had one in fashion design from the Istituto Marangoni in London.

Dominique tapped her mother Gretchen to be the muse for her first collection in 2017, named “La Doña.” In an interview with the fashion website, Cojuangco said her creations “pulled inspiration from the Philippines.”

“I looked at photographs of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Manila for color, using a vivid palette because Filipinos are known for their bright and sunny disposition,” she said.

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KC Concepcion

KC Concepcion took up International Corporate Communications at the University in Paris with a minor in Theatre Arts, where she also worked as an admin assistant in a press agency. The actress-host received her college diploma 10 years after she graduated, which she picked up in Paris since it wasn't sent to her in the Philippines.

In an online shop called KC’s Closet”, the actress sold her pre-loved clothes amounting up to P1,000,000 and donated them to a public school in Maguindanao. In 2015, she became the National Ambassador Against Hunger of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Bianca Rogoff

Cherie Gil's unica hija, Bianca Rogoff, graduated from the New York University (NYU), one of America's preeminent centers for the study of the performing, cinematic, and emerging media arts.

Bianca finished her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Drama at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She is known for her role as Maria in Sensitive and In Love, a feature documentary that premiered at The Director's Guild of America New York Theatre in 2020.

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Paul Soriano

Filipino commercial and film director Paul Soriano graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Cinema Studies. Paul is the filmmaker behind A Journey Home in 2009, Thelma in 2011, Kid Kulafu in 2015, and the suspense thriller Dukot in 2016.

In 2012, Paul bagged the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards at the Luna Awards of the Film Academy of the Philippines for Thelma. He also won Digital Movie Director of the Year for the said movie in the same year.

Together with his wife Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Paul recently joined PLDT’s campaign “Do It Better.” The telecommunications provider aims to illustrate how its digital products and services enable families to do, connect, learn, and earn better at home.

Benjamin Alves

GMA actor and model Benjamin Alves graduated summa cum laude from the University of Guam with a degree in English Literature. He described himself as a college “nerd” who turned semesters into “quadmester,” and one who did not have much of a social life. Benjamin has always been passionate about writing and reading since he was young—no wonder he graduated at the top of his class.

For the fourth consecutive year in 2019, GMA Network named the actor as the ambassador of the GMA Network Excellence Award (GNEA) program, which lauds exemplary graduating students.

Franco Laurel

The 48-year-old actor and singer graduated from Keio University in Japan with a bachelor’s degree in History. Franco Laurel spent around 6 years of his life in Tokyo, which made him proficient in the Japanese language.

His career began in television with a co-hosting stint for the dance show Eezy Dancing in 1996.  The actor clinched the Best Actor in a Musical Awards for Honk, The Ugly Duckling, and Isang Panaginip na Fili. Franco also started his blog The Happy Man in 2012 that led him to be a contributing editor of the magazine Metro Society.

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Billy Crawford

A former child star turned international artist, Billy Crawford went to the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City with other renowned artists, namely Lee Thompson Young, Nina Sky, and Mandy Moore. At the age of 13, he danced with the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson onstage at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.

This all-around performer recorded his first album titled “Billy Crawford” and released it via V2 Records, which became a hit in Europe and our country. The songs Urgently In Love, Mary Lopez and Supernatural are singles from the hit album.

Billy and his wife Coleen Garcia have a 10-month-old son named Amari.

Jericho Rosales

Jericho "Echo" Vibar Rosales took up courses in acting, directing, and producing at the New York Film Academy.

In an interview with the Philippine Star, Echo said it was a challenging time because his lifestyle as a student was the total opposite of what he had as an actor back home. He had no car and tried to keep his meal budget at around $3.

During the outset of enhanced community quarantine, the actor got preoccupied with relief operations and fundraising events such as Ulysses Relief Fund spearheaded by his wife Kim Jones.

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