John Arcilla

For the actor born 1994, see Jay Arcilla.
This name uses Philippine naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Gonzales and the second or paternal family name is Arcilla.
John Arcilla
Born Romeo John Gonzales Arcilla
(1966-06-24) June 24, 1966
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Occupation Actor
Years active 1988-present
Agent GMA Artist Center (1988/1991; 2005/2006; 2007/2008; 2009; 2011/2012; 2013/2014; 2016-present)
Star Magic (1991/2005; 2006/2007; 2008/2010; 2011; 2012/2013; 2014/2015)

Romeo John Gonzales Arcilla (born June 24, 1966 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines), better known as John Arcilla, is a multi-awarded Filipino actor[1][2] and environmentalist,[3] best known for playing the role of Antonio Luna in the historical epic film Heneral Luna.

Personal life

John Arcilla was born as Romeo John Gonzales Arcilla on June 24, 1966 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines to Filipino parents, Dominador Gil Alemania Arcilla and Eustacia Gonzales. He is a descendant of Manuel L. Quezon from his mother's side. Arcilla and his family moved to his mother's hometown Baler, Aurora due to the declaration of martial law in 1972. There, he began to show interest in acting at age 7, when he had fantasies of performing on stage in front of a large audience. He was heavily influenced by his parents, from his mother who was a fan of Broadway and Hollywood actors such as Julie Andrews & Marilyn Monroe and from his father who was very interested in film.[4][5][6]


Arcilla finished high school at Mount Carmel College of Baler (MCC Baler). He was an avid participant and member of the Philippine Educational Theater Association-Metropolitan Teen Theater League (PETA-MTTL) community based, during his high school days. He graduated as a scholar of mass communication from Saint Joseph's College of Quezon City (SJCQC). He was an acting scholar of the Actors' Workshop Foundation under Laurice Guillen and Leo Martinez from 1987 to 1990.


Arcilla joined Tanghalang Pilipino, which is the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He played the lead roles in several plays, including Orosman and Zafra, Walang Sugat, and Ryan Cayabyab's Rizal musical trilogy. He continued performing between 1990-1997 and during which, he also got his first work outside of theater in a bacon TV commercial "Coffee na lang Dear" and became incredibly popular, allowing him to do more mainstream projects.[7]

He appeared on television and starred in several films, gaining recognition for his performance in the 1996 film, Mulanay for which he won Best Actor at the 1996 Manila Film Festival. A year later, he starred in Ligaya Ang Itawag Mo Sa Akin and won another Best Supporting Actor award at the Gawad Urian.

From 1998-2005 Arcilla once again starred in several supporting roles in film and television, including the 2000 drama series, Pangako Sa 'Yo, the 2003 action-crime drama, Basta't Kasama Kita and 2005 fantasy drama, Sugo. He played the lead role in the film adaptation of Tony Perez' play about infidelity, Sa North Diversion Road. Arcilla and co-star Irma Adlawan have previously played their roles in the theater version. Both actors were nominated at the 2006 Golden Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Leading Role (Drama) respectively.[8]

In 2006, Arcilla starred in the film Compound. He was once again nominated for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama) at the 2007 Golden Screen Award and earned a nomination for Movie Actor of the Year at the Star Awards for Movies. In 2009, he earned his third Gawad Urian nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the film Manila Skies.

He starred in three films in 2010, the indie film Halaw for which he won a Best Actor award at the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival,[9] Amigo, which is an American-Filipino drama film based on the Philippine-American War, and the comedy-drama, Petrang Kabayo. He returned to television in 2010 in the suspense drama Magkaribal. In 2011, he played supporting characters in two television shows, Machete and Mana Po. He was also in two films, Thelma and No Other Woman.

He had a minor role in the 2012 spy thriller The Bourne Legacy, where he played the head security guard.[10] He also played Mariano Trias in the Emilio Aguinaldo biopic, El Presidente.

In 2013, he starred in the British-Filipino independent film Metro Manila which was selected as the British entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. Arcilla earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 16th British Independent Film Awards.[11]

In 2015, Arcilla played Gen. Antonio Luna in the historical biopic film, Heneral Luna. Having played several national heroes before, he was already familiar with historical films. To prepare for the role, he carefully analyzed the positive and negative sides of the general's personality, taking note of his temper and vulnerability.[12][13] The film broke the record for highest grossing Filipino historical film of all time.[14]



Year Title Role Notes Network
1988/1990 That's Entertainment Himself Thursday group member GMA Network
1991– Maalaala Mo Kaya Season 19, Episode 29 - "Cross"
Season 20, Episode 16 - "Calendar"
Season 22, Episode 166 - "Microphone"
Season 22, Episode 192 - "Birth Certificate"
Season 23, Episode 11 - "Pictures"
1992 Valiente Froilan/Benjie
1999 G-mik Cesar Rivera
2000/2002 Pangako Sa ’Yo Simon Barcial
2003/2004 Basta't Kasama Kita Agent Godofredo "Prince" Gonzales
Buttercup (TV series) Orly
2004/2005 SCQ Reload: OK Ako! Dennis Roxas
2005/2006 Sugo Romeo GMA Network
2006/2007 Da Adventures of Pedro Penduko Mang Tony Episode: Wak-Wak ABS-CBN
2006/2008 Abt Ur Luv Ramon Brondial
2007 Pangarap na Bituin Atty. Benedict Tuazon
May Minamahal Ronald Tagle
Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang Lard Season 2, Episode 3 - "The Palace of the Dwarves" GMA Network
2007–2008 Boys Nxt Door Buboy's Father
2008 Gagambino Alejandro Bayani
2009/2010 Sana Ngayong Pasko King GMA Network
May Bukas Pa Eduardo ABS-CBN
2010 Magkaribal Hermes Agustin
Habang May Buhay Dr. Manuel Corpuz
2010– Wansapanataym Season 1, Episode 17 - "Family Tree"
Season 2, Episode 46 - "Carl's New Car"
Season 3, Episode 107 - "The Amazing Gelliescope"
2011 Machete Alfonso GMA Network
Mana Po Vino Dela Paz ABS-CBN
Mula Sa Puso Don Fernando Pereira Sr. Cameo appearance
2012 My Beloved Romeo Quijano GMA Network
Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin Juanito Falcon ABS-CBN
Hiyas Donato Salvador
2012/2013 A Beautiful Affair Leopoldo "Epong" Riego
2012/2014 Be Careful With My Heart Wedding Priest
2013 Apoy Sa Dagat Odessa's father Cameo appearance
Genesis Fredirico De Guzman† Special Guest / Antagonist GMA Network
2014 Pure Love Peter Santos ABS-CBN
2015 Oh My G! Joe "Daddy-Ninong" Luna
2016 The Story of Us Danny Manalo
That's My Amboy Joselito "Lito" Tapang GMA Network
Encantadia Haring Hagorn (Hathoria's Kingdom) Supporting Cast / Antagonist
2017 Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa Aldrin Castillo-Dela Cruz Supporting Cast


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Orapronobis Photojournalist
1992 Bayani Mariano Noriel
1993 Sakay Gen. Leon Villafuerte
1995 Sa'yo Lamang Hector
1996 Mulanay Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Gawad Urian Award for Best Supporting Actor
1997 Ligaya Ang Itawag Mo Sa Akin Polding Gawad Urian Award for Best Supporting Actor
1999 Burger Boys
2000 Ang Babaeng Putik Lt. Ramil
Anino Man in black Short film
Biyaheng Langit Berto
Gusto Ko Nang Lumigaya
2001 Trip Joboy and Celine's Dad
2002 Sana Totoo Na Carlo
Diskarte Insp. John Gomez
Forevermore Ronaldo
2003 Ligaya...Katumbas ng Buhay
2004 Now That I Have You Oscar Morelos
2005 Sa North Diversion Road Man
2006 Compound
2007 A Love Story Steve
2008 Ay Ayeng
2009 Villa Estrella Dave
Manila Skies Crispin Nominated — Gawad Urian Award for Best Supporting Actor
2010 Halaw Hernand Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Best Actor in New Breed Full Length Feature
Nominated — Gawad Urian Award for Best Actor
Amigo Nenong
2011 Thelma Aldo Molino
No Other Woman Mario Dela Costa
Huling Araw ng Pagsisilbi Short film
2012 The Bourne Legacy Joseph Hollywood movie debut
Lilet Never Happened
El Presidente Mariano Trías
2013 Metro Manila Douglas Ong Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Gawad Urian Award for Best Supporting Actor
2015 Heneral Luna Gen. Antonio Luna

Awards and nominations

Arcilla has earned a number of acting awards and nominations at various award-giving bodies in the Philippines and in 2013, earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 16th British Independent Film Awards.

He was conferred the Dangal ng Aurora in 2005 for his exceptional talent as one of the country's acclaimed actors in theater, film, and television industries. He was also awarded as one of the Outstanding Citizens of San Luis, Aurora in 2009 for his exemplary achievements in the field of performing arts.[15]

Year Award Giving Body Category Work Result
1996 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Mulanay Won
1997 Gawad Urian Awards Best Supporting Actor Ligaya Ang Itawag Mo Sa Akin Won
2006 Golden Screen Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama) On The North Diversion Road Nominated
2007 Golden Screen Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama) Compound Nominated
Star Awards for Movies Movie Actor of the Year Nominated
2009 Gawad Urian Awards Best Supporting Actor Manila Skies Nominated
2010 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Best Actor (New Breed) Halaw Won
2011 25th PMPC Star Awards for Television Best Single Performance by an Actor Maalaala Mo Kaya - Episode "Cross" Nominated
2013 16th British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Metro Manila Nominated
2016 2016 Platinum Stallion Media Awards Best Film Actor[16] Heneral Luna Won
14th Gawad Tanglaw Awards Gantimpalang Dr. Jaime G. Ang
Presidential Jury Award for Film[17]
10th Asian Film Awards Best Actor[18]
2016 University of Makati-AGHAM Theatre Co. 2nd Gawad Malayang Filipino Humanities & Performing Arts Achievements Recognition Won


  1. John Arcilla Filmography
  2. John Arcilla Awards
  3. John Arcilla, actor, environmentalist attends Peoples’ Mining Conference
  4. Guerrero, Amadas Ma. (October 27, 2010). "A colorful life". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. Tariman, Pablo A. (October 13, 2013). "A John Arcilla-starrer is UKs entry to Oscar Awards". Catanduanes Tribune. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  6. Dauz, Patricia Simone (September 4, 2015). "John Arcilla: His Roots and Heneral Luna". Glitter. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  7. Tariman, Pablo A. (September 7, 2013). "How John Arcilla became the ace actor of stage and screen". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  8. Tioseco, Alexis A. (October 23, 2006). "Sa North Diversion Road". Criticine. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  9. "Pinoy indie film Halaw wins NETPAC Special Mention award at Berlin Film Festival". Spot. February 23, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  10. San Diego Jr., Bayani (July 31, 2012). "A word from that 'amazing' Filipino actor in 'Bourne Legacy'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  11. "John Arcilla, Jake Macapagal, 'Metro Manila' nominated at British Independent Film Awards". Interaksyon. November 12, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  12. "How John Arcilla prepared for 'Heneral Luna'". ABS-CBN. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  13. Villano, Alexa (September 9, 2015). "John Arcilla on bringing 'Heneral Luna' to life". Rappler. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  14. "'Heneral Luna' now 'highest-grossing Filipino historical film of all time'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  15. Yalong, Bobby T. (November 13, 2015). "John Arcilla rekindles celeb status via 'Heneral Luna'". Asian Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  16. Pagulong, Charmie Joy (February 5, 2016). "Trinity picks STAR as best broadsheet". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  17. Sallan, Edwin (February 15, 2016). "'Honor Thy Father,' John Lloyd Cruz win big in Gawad Tanglaw". Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  18. "'Heneral Luna' earns nominations at Asian Film Awards 2016". Rappler. February 4, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016.

External links

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