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Kathryn Chandria Manuel Bernardo (born March 26, 1996) is a Filipina actress. Bernardo is the first and only Filipina actress who has headlined two movies that have breached the ₱800 million mark. One was for The Hows of Us in 2018, and the other is Hello, Love, Goodbye in 2019. Bernardo has also dethroned all prior “Box Office Queen” records within the Philippines.
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Bernardo is a Former Child Star, her first acting credit being in 2003 when she was 7 years old. She later transitioned into Teen Idol status with Daniel Padilla; they were dubbed “The Teen King and Queen” due to their sheer popularity as individuals and an onscreen duo. They continued starring in Romantic Comedies/Dramatic Teleseryes as a pair well into their twenties, culminating in The Hows of Us, which became Philippine cinema’s highest-grossing film of all time in 2018. Bernardo’s first film with a Love Interest played by an actor who isn’t Padilla (Alden Richards), Hello, Love, Goodbye, broke that record in 2019. 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:

  • Super Inggo (2006–2007) as Maya
  • Mara Clara (2010–2011) as Mara Del Valle
  • 24/7 In Love (2012) as Jane dela Cuesta
  • Sisterakas (2012) as Katherine “Kathy” Maningas
  • Princess and I (2012–2013) as Maria Mikaela “Mikay” Maghirang-dela Rosa/Princess Areeyah Wangchuck-Rinpoche
  • Must Be... Love (2013) as Patricia “Patchot” Espinosa
  • Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay (2013) as Leni dela Torre
  • Got to Believe (2013–2014) as Cristina Carlota “Chichay” Tampipi
  • She’s Dating the Gangster (2014) as Athena Dizon/Kelay Dizon
  • Crazy Beautiful You (2015) as Jacqueline “Jackie” Serrano
  • Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016) as Mia Angela Dela Torre/Celine Antipala
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love (2017) Gabriela “Gab” Benedictos dela Cuesta
  • La Luna Sangre (2017–2018) as Malia Rodriguez
  • The Hows of Us (2018) as Georgina “George” Silva
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  • Hello, Love, Goodbye (2019) as Joy Marie Fabregas

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

  • Acting for Two: In She’s Dating the Gangster and Barcelona: A Love Untold. Averted in Princess and I, despite the dual name... although that could be and has been heavily debated, with the fandom spawning heated discussions about Mikay’s arguably fractured identity.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Zig-Zagged. Although Bernardo is known for being a “morena” (explained below) beauty; colorism and the skin-whitening product industry in the Philippines are unfortunately so normalized that not even famous mestizos (i.e. half-white actors, like Liza Soberano), who are typically very fair-skinned at birth, can avoid contracts to advertise aforesaid skin-whitening products. Even in 2019, Bernardo has been advertising these. She also often wears contacts to lighten the color of her eyes to green. All that aside, she’s still pretty noticeably less pale and more representative of what the Philippines’ predominantly native population actually looks like than many of the people who are even let past the first cuts of local showbiz auditions.
  • Boy Meets Girl: All of her works. All of them.
  • Contractual Purity: Until 2014, she mostly played Plucky Girls who never went past an Almost Kiss. When she turned of age, Crazy Beautiful You featured her in a more anti-heroic role with Fanservice elements. Her later roles have been in this vein, and she has pretty much embraced the Ms. Fanservice image.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Sometimes. She’s dyed her naturally black hair red quite a lot, and she’s a well-known “morena” (i.e. closer to the standard dark/tan skin tone in the Philippines than a mestizo actor, or one who is mixed with other races, although the term mestizo is widely just used to refer to any mix of Filipino and white). Here’s a picture.
  • Fake Nationality: Bernardo’s character in Princess and I is the eponymous princess 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.)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: As you can tell from her listed filmography above, her characters tend to be this. They’re usually, but not always, more distinctively Filipino-sounding nicknames, like “Patchot” and “Chichay.” Others are more of Gender Blender Names, like “Jackie” and “George.”
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: As The Protagonist. Following her breakthrough role as eternally virtuous Working Class Heroine Mara in Mara Clara, and especially once her shows and films started raking in the biggest gains in modern Philippine entertainment, it’s become harder to name a work of hers in which she doesn’t play the lead.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Has had multiple ones for her love teams over the years, like “KathBie” (Kathryn Bernardo + Albie Casiño)note , “KathQuen” (Kathryn Bernardo + Enrique Gil, nicknamed Quen by loved ones and fans), “KathLil” (Kathryn Bernardo + Khalil Ramos)note , and the latest one, “KathDen” (Kathryn Bernardo + Alden Richards). Her most solid one is KathNiel, however, with boyfriend Daniel Padilla.
  • 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.
  • Romance on the Set: Her current boyfriend is her long-time “love team” partner, Daniel Padilla (nicknamed DJ by Bernardo and his fans). 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. [...]DJ, my love, YOU KEPT ME GOING. [...]Your success is mine; my success is yours.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Another Truth in Television for Filipinos.
  • Those Two Actors: With Daniel Padilla, who was her “love team” partner.explanation 
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