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Daniel John Ford Padilla (born April 26, 1995) is a Filipino actor and recording artist. He belongs to the famous Padilla clan of the Philippines, practically a show-business equivalent of Blue Blood. He is the most successful celebrity among the Padillas’ third generation by a long shot.

He first caught Philippine audiences’ attention when he was brought in as a temporary replacement for Kathryn Bernardo’s “love team” partner in the teen show Growing Up (2010).explanation  Padilla was later cast to play a Romantic Runner-Up in Princess and I (2012), but the KathNiel fandom proved so formidable that the teleserye’s conclusion was rewritten so that Bernardo’s character Mikay Maghirang would end up with Padilla’s, Gino dela Rosa.

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He’s known for keeping the legacy of magnetic Padilla “bad boy” charms alive. Unlike his father Rommel, uncle Robin, and aunt BB Gandangharinote , however; Daniel Padilla’s bread-and-butter has always been romance. In what could be seen as a reflection of changing times, Padilla’s niche was quickly established as the Troubled, but Cute bad boy with a prominent soft side — masculine and exciting, but sensitive and approachable. Probably best summarized by his 2013 ad campaign for the snack brand Oishi, titled #MedyoBadBoy (roughly translated as “slightly a bad boy” in English).

A Teen Idol of monumental proportions, Padilla was the first-ever Filipino to beat out international competition as “Global Slime Star” at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards in 2015. His film and TV career as “Teen King” was inarguably profitable yet polarizing, as well as his Idol Singer endeavors; public opinion has generally been much kinder as he entered his twenties, however, with Padilla earning secure respect as a household name. Padilla and Bernardo’s final (for now) offering as an onscreen couple, The Hows of Us (2018), was the highest-grossing Filipino film in history until Bernardo’s Hello, Love, Goodbye broke the record sans Padilla. Despite no longer featuring in projects together, Bernardo and Padilla are still officially dating, and apparently have been since 2012.

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Selected filmography:

  • Gimik 2010 (2010) as Daniel Ledesma
  • Growing Up (2011–2012) as Patrick Rivero
  • Sisterakas (2012) as Angelo Santos
  • Princess and I (2012–2013) as Gerald Antonio “Gino” dela Rosa/Dasho Yuan Rinpoche
  • Must Be... Love (2013) as Billy Fernandez
  • Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay (2013) as Cedric Castillo
  • Got to Believe (2013–2014) as Joaquin Manansala
  • She’s Dating the Gangster (2014) as Kenji delos Reyes/Kenneth delos Reyes
  • Crazy Beautiful You (2015) as Kiko Alcantara
  • Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016) as John Elias “Eli” Antonio
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (2017) Jose Ibarra “Dos” Gonzales Jr.
  • Gandarrapiddo! The Revenger Squad (2017) as Chino Mariposque
  • La Luna Sangre (2017–2018) as Tristan Toralba
  • The Hows of Us (2018) as Primo Alvarez

Tropes that apply to him or are associated with him work include:

  • Acting for Two: In She’s Dating the Gangster (2014).
  • Ambiguously Brown: Despite being an actual mestizo in the technical sense (the Padillas have some scattered Spanish ancestry and his mother, Carla Ford, is half-white), he has largely avoided this. His looks are considered identifiably Filipino, and he is naturally tan.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Always, in some form.
  • Contractual Purity: Although being a year older than Bernardo (and male) meant he could feature in a more sexual kind of scene — not graphic by any stretch of the imagination, just rather shocking by mainstream Philippine teen star standards: his character about to have sex with a girl in a bathroom — a year earlier than her (in 2014’s She’s Dating the Gangster).
  • Chick Magnet: Most of his characters. Even Joaquin, who has No Social Skills, attracts girls like bees to honey. Dos in Can’t Help Falling in Love has also had literally more than a hundred ex-girlfriends in his young life, all of whom happily run to him when they’re brought together. Certainly an Actor-Inspired Element, teen (and beyond) heartthrob and all.
  • Deuteragonist: He usually plays this to The Protagonist actor, Kathryn Bernardo, but also had this role in a non-romance context in the Vice Ganda starrer Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad (2017). Not that this has clashed with or diminished his image as a leading man at all.
  • Fake Nationality: Padilla’s character in Princess and I is a lost prince of a kingdom called Yangdon, which is based on the real-life South Asian nation Bhutan. A bit justified, as Sharchops (the ethnic majority in Bhutan) often have Southeast Asian ancestry.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Bernardo is 5′2″; Padilla is 5′11″. (Although not all that impressive a height to Westerners, 5′11″ is very tall by Philippine standards.)
  • Idol Singer: Initially. Divisive as his singing voice can be, his prolific discography has eventually garnered serious appreciation. Like his acting, Hype Backlash has died down significantly, and people at least acknowledge now that he has talent.
  • It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": People who are not Filipino, especially Hispanic people and Westerners more familiar with Hispanic cultures, tend to pronounce his surname as “Pa-DEE-yah” or “Pa-DEE-yuh.” The “lla” sound in the Philippines is read as “lya,” as in the L is not silent. Additionally, he himself has said that his name is not read in the Western way (“DAY-niul”), but as “Dahn-YEL.” This makes the pronunciation of his name “Dahn-YEL Pa-DIL-yah.”
  • Multiethnic Name: A common Truth in Television for Filipinos (look up the Claveria decree), although this rarely implies actual Mixed Ancestry in itself. In Padilla’s case, however, his matrilineal surname Ford is in fact borne of foreign blood.
  • Pun-Based Title: Of the dramatic sort. The Hows of Us refers to, well, the “how”s and “why”s of the main couple’s relationship. The movie also revolves around a once-shared house, and the romantic drama surrounding its occupation and ownership.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Especially recently, he’s begun wearing more bright shades and prints/designs regarded as traditionally feminine, like this colorful jacket adorned with 3D butterflies. Promotional material for Can’t Help Falling in Love displays his double-earring look front and center, La Luna Sangre doesn’t mind showing Tristan wearing a manbun streaked with vibrant red, and The Hows of Us doesn’t shy away from shots of Padilla’s character wearing a headband. Absolutely Truth in Television for the Philippines. None of these things, even combined, equate to Padilla being viewed as Camp Straight or what would be known in East Asian countries as a “flower boy” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). His brand is still masculine.
  • Romance on the Set: His current girlfriend is his long-time “love team” partner, Kathryn Bernardo. Although the nature of love teams can be fertile ground for skepticism towards the authenticity of their relationship, it does help that the two are still officially dating even after their onscreen partnership has broken off. Shortly after the release of Bernardo’s first film in 7 years sans Padilla (incidentally the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time as of 2019), she wrote:
    This person was not only my source of inspiration while I was filming the movie. He was my support system, my rock, my strength. We were hundreds of miles away from each other but not once did he make me feel alone. There were times I almost gave up—I felt exhausted, drained, and too lonely as I was too immersed in the character of Joy. It was one of the hardest things I’ve experienced both on and off cam. But this guy, he kept me going. [...]DJnote , my love, YOU KEPT ME GOING. [...]Your success is mine; my success is yours.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Another Truth in Television for Filipinos.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: His brand.
  • Those Two Actors: With Kathryn Bernardo, who was his “love team” partner.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Often a major aspect of his characters, but not always.
  • Typecasting: His critics like to say he has this problem, though his filmography is varied enough for fans to find different types of characters. But it is quite common for his characters to have some element of Troubled, but Cute or All Girls Want Bad Boys. His most salient Playing Against Type roles include Joaquin in Got to Believe, who’s a Teen Genius suffering from truly debilitating trauma and depression (also one of his best-loved roles); the endlessly cheerful, facetious Ill Boy Dos in Can’t Help Falling in Love; and Eli in Barcelona: A Love Untold, a stern Responsible Sibling.
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