iWant TFC's biggest original show to date is the teen series He's Into Her. We've already introduced you to its lead actress, the lovely Belle Mariano, and now, here's a quick intro to He's Into Her's leading man, Donny Pangilinan. He plays Deib, Benison High's star basketball player and biggest bully. But when he meets Max (Belle Mariano), the spunky new kid in school, things ~change~ for him—and hopefully, for the better.
To know more deets about the lead actor of He's Into Her, here are 10 fun facts about Donny Pangilinan
1. Donny Pangilinan was born on February 10, 1998!
Here's a throwback pic from Donny's 23rd birthday post this year:
2. He comes from a well-known family.
Donny's parents are actress Maricel Laxa and motivational speaker Anthony Pangilinan. His late maternal grandfather is Tony Ferrer, a Filipino movie icon. On this dad's side, well, the name Pangilinan must ring a bell! He's first cousins with Frankie Pangilinan and Kiana Valenciano, to name a few.
3. He's super close to his siblings.
Donny has four siblings: Ella, Hannah, Benjamin, and Solana! He frequently posts about them on social media, especially on his YouTube channel.
4. He played varsity basketball in high school.
Just like his He's Into Her character, Donny was also a star basketball player back in high school. In a Rated K episode in 2017, he shared, "I'm in basketball. I got the coach's award, so nakakapagod po yung high school ko kasi ang dami kong ginagawa!" Fun fact: He's Into Her actually filmed in the same high school Donny graduated from, Brent International School.
Donny joined showbiz by guesting in various ABS-CBN shows in 2016. He then tried out hosting for ASAP and even became a MYX VJ for a couple of years. In 2018, he officially became a Star Magic talent. You might have seen him in the films Walwal (2018), Fantastica (2018), The Mall, The Merrier (2019), and his biggest movie role to date, James & Pat & Dave (2020).
6. His parents didn't think he'd enter showbiz.
Donny was such a shy kid when he was growing up that the idea of him entering showbiz never really crossed their minds. In the 2017 Rated K interview, his dad Anthony said, "Last in our minds na si Donny ang papasok. Na-diagnose iyan as slow to warm up, shy child kaya surprised kami noong sinabi niyang gusto niyang pumasok. Normally, mapapansin mo 'yon pag bata. But for Donny, no. 'Yon pala, matagal na niyang iniisip tapos tumiming lang."
Apparently, Donny always had a hidden desire to enter the industry but was too shy to express it to his family: "Being in showbiz is something I always thought of, pero I was just too shy to say it. Ang isip ko matatawa lang sila sa akin. I saved it when, you know, I got old."
7. He's also a recording artist!
Donny is also musically inclined (he plays the piano and guitar!) and has a number of original songs under his belt. He started releasing music in 2017 under Universal Records and came out with his self-titled debut EP in 2019:
Since He's Into Her tackles bullying, the cast spoke about their personal experiences with the Philippine Star, and Donny shared he was bullied when he was a child: "Iniisip siguro ng iba na anak ng artista na hindi siguro ibu-bully 'yan pero there was one point in my life na I moved school. This was before Brent. I was not really tall. I was like 5'6 so (my) growth was late. I was short and then the youngest in class. Sometimes, I felt like I was picked on. I was like the baby of the group to the point na parang nasanay na ako sinabi sa akin."
9. He used to be in a love team with Kisses Delavin.
Donny's love team with Kisses Delavin lasted from 2017 to 2019. The breakup of their tandem was a shock to their fans, and presumably Donny himself, because, on his part, he thought their love team was still under review. Kisses was the one who announced their breakup on social media.
When PEP.ph asked him about Kisses during the 2019 Star Magic Ball, he only had positive words to say about her. "I'm just very grateful for everything that we did together," Donny said. "I had so many firsts with Kisses and I'm very thankful for the opportunities. I will never regret working with her."
10. He briefly left ABS-CBN in 2020.
Donny transferred from his home network to TV5 in 2020 when he hosted the musical-variety show Sunday Noontime Live. The program only lasted for three months until it was canceled. In February 2021, he signed a contract again with ABS-CBN and spoke about how happy he was to be back in his old home: "I'm glad to be here in my roots. Thank you so much, ABS-CBN, for giving me wings to fly as well. Maraming salamat. I will be grateful forever to be a Kapamilya."