8 possible Filipino cameos in the next Crazy Rich Asians films

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In one of his interviews, author Kevin Kwan mentions that he has a soft spot for the Philippines and adds that a lot of his characters in the rest of the Crazy Rich Asians series were inspired by the personalities he met while he was here. Photo from KEVIN KWAN BOOKS/OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Many of us might still be recovering from “Crazy Rich Asians,” or at least I know I am. In a nutshell, the film depicts much like it’s titled: a whole lot of crazy, a whole lot of rich and an-all Asian cast, which is a first in Hollywood after 25 years, the last film being “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993, which starred Lisa Lu, who played Ah Ma Su Yi in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

But that’s not the only thing that’s got people reeling. We finally got to see the much talked about role that Kris Aquino took on: the role of Malay Princess Intan. Aside from her captivating entrance and her Michael Cinco-designed yellow gown, she stole the show as much as she did her other co-stars’ attention, even garnering ‘spontaneous applause’ from some audiences in Philippine cinemas. There’s also Filipino-American T.V. star Nico Santos who plays the sassy, sharp-tongued Oliver T’sien, Nick Young’s cousin, who takes a liking to Rachel and gives her tips to help her fit in to the Young family.

In one of his interviews, author Kevin Kwan mentions that he has a soft spot for the Philippines and adds that a lot of his characters in the rest of the Crazy Rich Asians series, “China Rich Girlfriend” and “Rich People Problems,” were inspired by the personalities he met while he was here. And with the recent announcement that “China Rich Girlfriend” will be made into a film, this can only mean more stories and best of all, the possible presence of more Filipino characters. Well, we’ve gotten a bit ahead of ourselves and prepared a list of some people who could fit into the stories.

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Dra. Vicki Belo

The crazy rich families in the story are obsessed with achieving perfection in all aspects, and who better to achieve the highest standard of beauty than dermatologist to the stars Dr. Vicki Belo? With a hefty list of experience and a television segment under her belt, she is sure to expand her repertoire and attend to all of the requests of Asia’s finest. Maybe if we’re lucky, Scarlet Snow could cameo as Astrid’s son Cassian’s playmate.

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Anton San Diego

In Kwan’s finale “Rich People Problems,” there is a section dedicated to Manila, and this section opens with a gossip column by Tommy Yip (whose real-life inspiration will be chanced upon later in this story) that mentions the ultimate ‘host with the most’ in the metro named Diego San Antonio. You don’t need to browse through the Tattle (the fictional Tatler in Kwan's world) to know that this was inspired by Anton San Diego, current editor in chief of Philippine Tatler and true-to-life man about town. If we were to create a backstory for him, he could be a possible rival for Nick’s cousin Celine Lim aka Radio One Asia, who is known to be the source of all firsthand information and who first spots Rachel Chu in one of New York’s bakeries.


Tim Yap

If there’s someone sure to make it on everyone’s guest list, it’s Mr. Yaparazzi himself, Tim Yap (or ‘Tommy Yip’ in “Rich People Problems”). While he’s not busy moving from party to party, he can even integrate his events experience into the movie and co-star with his husband Javi Martinez to create the perfect wedding day for protagonists Nick and Rachel in “China Rich Girlfriend.”


Heart Evangelista

Here’s someone who could possibly be a part of the newly divorced Astrid Leong’s life. The actress and painter is also one of the Philippines’ fashion icons and is a frequently invited guest at Paris Fashion Week (where she mingles with other ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and Kevin Kwan himself). We could probably imagine them heading off to shopping sprees, fashion meets, and charity work, and she may probably help Astrid sneak off with beau Charlie Wu. Another possible angle is to cast her as Isabel Wu, Charlie’s scorned ex-wife. We could see it from both perspectives!

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Chris Yam-Daez

A Chloé-clad songbird appears in the Manila chapter of “Rich People Problems” and while the songbird’s real life inspiration opted for the world of publishing over singing, Chris mentioned that she was surprised to find herself in the pages of Kwan’s novel. While she is currently preoccupied with co-managing Fully Booked with her husband Jaime, maybe she can prep her pipes for a song or two?

Ching Cruz

While one-half of this construction tycoon duo gets a Gatsby nod in “Rich People Problems” (she’s the one throwing the society party in her ‘divine mansion in Dasmariñas’), Ching (or ‘China’ in the novel) can also be a possible fashion icon to watch in the film. Her husband Philip could even jump in so they could play possible business partners to Philip and Eleanor Young.

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Doris Magsaysay-Ho

This shipping magnate heiress and Executive Vice President of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation gets a nod in “Rich People Problems” as well, and we can imagine her doing business dealings with the Young family, maybe in terms of export?

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Josie Natori

The iconic fashion designer also appears in the “Rich People Problems” Manila chapter (where she is wearing a dress of her own design). Natori’s staying power in the international fashion industry is formidable, even outlasting the careers of some of the biggest names in the business, no wonder Kwan included her in this chapter. It also helps that her work has been covered by the glossiest fashion rags like W, Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, and Elle.

These are just the first eight of an endless possibility of predictions, but one thing’s for sure: we can’t wait to see the last two novels come to life.