John Arcilla

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John Arcilla
Romeo Gonzales Arcilla

(1966-06-24) June 24, 1966 (age 55)
Quezon City, Philippines
Years active1985–present
AgentStar Magic (2021–present)
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)

Romeo Gonzales Arcilla (born June 24, 1966), professionally known as John Arcilla, is a Filipino actor and environmentalist.[1] He is best known for playing the role of Antonio Luna in the historical drama film Heneral Luna, Hagorn in the fantasy drama television series Encantadia and Renato Hipolito, in the action drama television series FPJ's Ang Probinsyano. He won as Best Actor at the 78th Venice International Film Festival for his performance in On the Job: The Missing 8.[2]

Personal life[edit]

John Arcilla was born in Quezon City, Philippines to Filipino parents, Dominador Gil Alemania Arcilla and Eustaquia 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, Yul Brynner and Marilyn Monroe and from his father who was very interested in film.[3][4][5]


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: El filibusterismo (1993), Noli Me Tángere (1995), and Illustrado (1996). 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.[6]

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.[7]

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,[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11][12] The film broke the record for highest grossing Filipino historical film of all time.[13] Owing to the popularity of his role as Antonio Luna, Arcilla would later reprise or parody his role as the general in various television commercials.[14]

In 2016, Arcilla starred in a short film SUPOT, directed by Phil Giordano and shot in the Philippines.[15][16]

Currently, John Arcilla plays the villainous Renato "Buwitre" Hipolito on FPJ's Ang Probinsyano starring Coco Martin. He will next appear in "A Hard Day" alongside Dingdong Dantes.



Year Title Role Notes Network Source
Valiente Froilan / Benjie Special Participation
GMA Network
1995 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Alkansya"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
1996 Bayani Marcelo H. del Pilar Episode: Marcelo H. del Pilar
1998 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Desaparesidos"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
1999 G-mik Cesar Rivera Extended Cast
2000 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Boses"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2000—2002 Pangako Sa ’Yo Simon Barcial
2001 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Baras"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2001 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Mami, and Siopao"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2001 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Taho"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2002 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Dyobus, at Polbo"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2003—2004 Basta't Kasama Kita Godofredo "Prince" Gonzales Also As the Main Cast
2003—2004 Buttercup Orly Supporting Cast
2003 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Ferry Boat"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2004 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Salamin"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2004—2005 SCQ Reload: OK Ako! Dennis Roxas Supporting Cast
2005 Maalaala Mo Kaya Episode: "Kuwintas"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2005 Magpakailanman Mang Ente Episode: "Vicente Undecimo"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
GMA Network
2005—2006 Sugo Romeo Supporting Cast / Antagonist
2006—2007 Komiks Presents: Da Adventures of Pedro Penduko Mang Tony
2006—2008 Abt Ur Luv Ramon Brondial Guest Cast
2007 Pangarap na Bituin Benedict Tuazon Main Cast
2007 Sineserye Presents: May Minamahal Ronald Tagle Other Characters
2007 Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang Lard Episode: "The Palace of the Dwarves"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
GMA Network
2007—2008 Boys Nxt Door Buboy's Father Recurring Cast
2008 Carlo J. Caparas' Gagambino Alejandro Bayani Guest Cast
2008 I Am KC Himself Co-Host
2009—2010 Sana Ngayong Pasko King Guest Cast
GMA Network
2009—2010 May Bukas Pa Eduardo Chapter Nine: Search
2010 Magkaribal Hermes Agustin Supporting Cast
2010 Habang May Buhay Manuel Corpuz Supporting Cast / Antagonist
2011 Pablo S. Gomez's Machete Alfonso Supporting Cast
GMA Network
2011 Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Mana Po Vino Dela Paz
2011 Wansapanataym Fidel Sandoval Episode: "Family Tree"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2011 Wansapanataym Tatay Episode: "Ang bagong car ni Carl"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2011 Mula Sa Puso Don Fernando Pereira Sr. Special Participation
2011 Wansapanataym Tatay Episode: "Si Marcelino, ang payong, at ang ulan"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2012 My Beloved Romeo Quijano Guest Cast / Protagonist
GMA Network
2012 Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin Juanito Falcon Supporting Cast
2012 Maalaala Mo Kaya Fidel Chavez Episode: "Kalendaryo"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2012 Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Hiyas Donato Salvador Main Cast
2012 Wansapanataym Daddy Episode: "The Amazing Gelliescope"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2012—2013 A Beautiful Affair Leopoldo "Epong" Riego Supporting Cast
2013 Be Careful With My Heart Wedding Priest Guest Cast
2013 Apoy Sa Dagat Odessa's Father Special Participation
2013 One Day, Isang Araw Eduardo Episode: "Gamer Girl"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
GMA Network
2013 Magpakailanman Tatay Episode: "School Bullying Caught on Cam"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2013 Genesis Fredirico "Fred" de Guzman Special Guest / Antagonist
2014 Magpakailanman Tatay Ador Episode: "Ang aking kakaibang pag-ibig"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2014 Pure Love Peter Santos Supporting Cast
2014 Maalaala Mo Kaya Benny Episode: "Mikropono"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2014 Maalaala Mo Kaya Tatay Episode: "Birth Certificate"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2014 Magpakailanman Berto Episode: "Mag-inang aborsiyonista"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
GMA Network
2014 Magpakailanman Manny Episode: "Girl boy bakla tomboy"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2015 Maalaala Mo Kaya Papa Episode: "Pictures"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2015 Oh My G! Joe "Daddy-Ninong" Luna Supporting Cast
2015 Magpakailanman Ricardo Episode: "Brother na, sister pa"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
GMA Network
2016 The Story of Us Danillo "Danny" Manalo
2016 That's My Amboy Joselito "Lito" Tapang Supporting Cast / Protagonist
GMA Network
2016 Magpakailanman Hector Episode: "Mag-ama sa loob ng bilangguan"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2016—2017 Encantadia Hagorn Supporting Cast / Antagonist
2017 Magpakalianman Chito Episode: "Pag-ibig sa Likod ng Kababalaghan"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2017 Magpakailanman Sergio Episode: "Ang Bestfriend Kong Aso"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2017 Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa Banjo Guest Cast / Antagonist
2017—present FPJ's Ang Probinsyano Renato "Buwitre" Hipolito Main Cast / Antagonist
2018 Barangay 143 Coach B (Roberto "Bobby" Sebastián, Sr.) Main Cast
GMA Network
2018—2019 Ika-5 Utos Arnel Bautista-Buenaventura (Clarisse's Father) Special Participation / Antagonist / Protagonist
2019 Ipaglaban Mo Pedring Episode: "Gayuma"
Credited as "John Arcilla"
2020 Bangon Talentadong Pinoy Himself Talent Scout
2021 Love You Stranger


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
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 - Cameo role
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
2014 Muslim Magnum .357: To Serve and Protect Col. Jose Ramos
2015 Heneral Luna Gen. Antonio Luna
2016 Birdshot Mendoza
2019 Second Coming Priest
Kuwaresma Arturo Fajardo
The Panti Sisters Don Emilio y Panti
Miracle in Cell No. 7 Johnny San Juan
2020 Suarez: The Healing Priest Fernando Suarez
2021 On the Job: The Missing 8 Sisoy

Awards and nominations[edit]

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.[18]

For performance in film and television[edit]

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 – "Cross" episode Nominated
2013 16th British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Metro Manila Nominated
2016 2016 Platinum Stallion Media Awards Best Film Actor[19] Heneral Luna Won
14th Gawad Tanglaw Awards Gantimpalang Dr. Jaime G. Ang
Presidential Jury Award for Film[20]
Highest Merit on Film Performance Won
10th Asian Film Awards Best Actor[21] Nominated
34th Film Academy of the Philippines Awards Best Actor Won
MEDIA WORKS Commexcel Student Choice Awards of San Juan De Letran Actor of the Year Won
Pangasinan Government URDUJA Film Festival[22] Best Actor Heneral Luna Won
Gawad Filipino Awards Pinakamahusay na Aktor sa Telebisyon[23] Encantadia Won
2021 Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actor[24] On the Job: The Missing Eight Won
Metro Manila Film Festival Best Supporting Actor[25] Big Night! Won
A Hard Day Nominated

Other awards and recognitions[edit]

Year Honor Giving Body Honor/Recognition Given
2005 Aurora Province Government Dangal ng Aurora
2009 Outstanding Citizens of San Luis, Aurora
2012 Marikina city government Sapatos Festival Walk of Fame
2015 City of Parañaque Meritorious contribution in the field of performing arts
2016 PMPC Star Awards 2016 Male Face of the Night
University of Makati AGHAM Theater Company Gawad Malayang Pilipino
Youth for Leadership Summit Award for Excellence for Arts and Culture
Philippine Department of National Defense Government Arsenal Momento ng Natatanging Pag Ganap for

Heneral Luna


Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan para sa PELIKULA (Arkitektura, Eskultura, Musika, Dula sa Tanghalan, Pintura, Makabagong pamaraan at Diwa ng Lahi)

YES! Magazine Most Beautiful Stars


PEOPLE ASIA People of The Year Award[26]
Philippine Army Office of the Chief of Staff for CMO, G7 Appreciation for contributions to the Filipino soldier, specifically for raising the Filipino people's sense of patriotism and awareness to the sacrifices of the Filipino soldier[27]
GAWAD AMERIKA Awards Most Outstanding Performance for Theater TV and Film
The PEP Awards Editors' Choice: Breakout Star of the Year
Walk of Fame Philippines Eastwood City Walk of Fame Star[28]
Inding-indie Golden Choice Award 3rd Inding-indie Short Film Festival 2016 Pinaka-dalubhasang Artista
University of Makati-AGHAM Theatre Co. – 2nd Gawad Malayang Filipino Humanities & Performing Arts Achievements Recognition


  1. ^ Salamat, Marya (March 2, 2012). "John Arcilla, actor, environmentalist attends Peoples' Mining Conference".
  2. ^ "John Arcilla wins Best Actor at 78th Venice Film Festival". Rappler.
  3. ^ And an avid followers of great world leaders like Mandela, Martin Luther and Mahatma Gandih Guerrero, Amadas Ma. (October 27, 2010). "A colorful life". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Tariman, Pablo A. (October 13, 2013). "A John Arcilla-starrer is UKs entry to Oscar Awards". Catanduanes Tribune. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ Dauz, Patricia Simone (September 4, 2015). "John Arcilla: His Roots and Heneral Luna". Glitter. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Tariman, Pablo A. (September 7, 2013). "How John Arcilla became the ace actor of stage and screen". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  7. ^ Tioseco, Alexis A. (October 23, 2006). "Sa North Diversion Road". Criticine. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "Pinoy indie film Halaw wins NETPAC Special Mention award at Berlin Film Festival". Spot. February 23, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  9. ^ San Diego Jr., Bayani (July 31, 2012). "A word from that 'amazing' Filipino actor in 'Bourne Legacy'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "John Arcilla, Jake Macapagal, 'Metro Manila' nominated at British Independent Film Awards". Interaksyon. November 12, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "How John Arcilla prepared for 'Heneral Luna'". ABS-CBN. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  12. ^ Villano, Alexa (September 9, 2015). "John Arcilla on bringing 'Heneral Luna' to life". Rappler. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "'Heneral Luna' now 'highest-grossing Filipino historical film of all time'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  14. ^ "Campaign Spotlight: Heneral wants to be Colonel in Ogilvy & Mather Philippines' new Christmas ad for KFC". Adobo Magazine. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  15. ^ "Premiere: SUPOT by Phil Giordano | Coming of Age Short Film". Directors Notes. April 25, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Supot (Short 2016) - IMDb". Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "Meet the new cast members of 'Ang Probinsyano'". ABS-CBN News. May 19, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Yalong, Bobby T. (November 13, 2015). "John Arcilla rekindles celeb status via 'Heneral Luna'". Asian Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Pagulong, Charmie Joy (February 5, 2016). "Trinity picks STAR as best broadsheet". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  20. ^ Sallan, Edwin (February 15, 2016). "'Honor Thy Father,' John Lloyd Cruz win big in Gawad Tanglaw". Archived from the original on February 19, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  21. ^ "'Heneral Luna' earns nominations at Asian Film Awards 2016". Rappler. February 4, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  22. ^ "John Arcilla - THANK YOU URDUJA FILM FESTIVAL for the... | Facebook". Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  23. ^ "John Arcilla - Thank you GAWAD FILIPINO for the... | Facebook". Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  24. ^ Ritman, Scott Roxborough,Alex; Roxborough, Scott; Ritman, Alex (September 11, 2021). "French Abortion Drama 'Happening' Wins Venice Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  25. ^ Dumaual, Miguel (December 28, 2021). "Which John Arcilla won? The momentary confusion over the MMFF best supporting actor award, explained". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  26. ^ "And the Award Goes To… | People Asia". Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  27. ^ "John Arcilla - THANK YOU! A Recognition from the... | Facebook". Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  28. ^ C, C (November 27, 2016). "Liza, Jodi, Shaina, Jennylyn & Angelica, paparangalan na sa WALK OF FAME - Abante Tonite". Abante Tonite. Retrieved December 14, 2016.

External links[edit]