Former child actress Xyriel Manabat is making a grand showbiz comeback as a villain in ABS-CBN’s latest hit show Dirty Linen (2023). The teen star was previously hailed as a third runner-up at Star Circle Quest: Search for the Next Kiddie Idol in 2009, flooding her with several acting opportunities to guest star in various television series. However, Xyriel made her breakthrough when she starred as the young twin sisters, Agua and Bendita, from Agua Bendita in 2010. Eventually, her rising stardom had earned her her first title role as Miley “Momay” Buenavidez in Momay. Following her acting hiatus, Xyriel is proving once again that she is a starlet who should not be easily forgotten.
To see how much Xyriel has risen to stardom, here are some of her best acting roles throughout her career:
1. Agua Bendita (2010)
Internationally referred to as Holy Water, Agua Bendita is a local romantic, fantasy, religious drama based on the Liwayway Kimoks comic book series written by Rod Santiago. This hit television series revolves around twin sisters (played by Andi Eigenmann), Agua and Bendita, who have been struggling with a sibling rivalry. Xyriel starred as the young versions of the twin sisters. It was said that Xyriel was initially not supposed to be featured in the show for more than a week. However, because the public responded positively to her appearance, the writers tweaked the storyline so that Xyriel can be a part of the show longer.
2. Momay (2010)
A Philippine rom-com series released in 2010, Momay is a show that is loosely based on the comic novel produced by Elena M. Patron. Xyriel starred as the lead actress, Miley “Momay” Buenavidez, working alongside an ensemble cast consisting of Maliksi Morales, Ejay Falcon, Lorna Tolentino, and so many more. The series shows Momay passing away due to a tragic incident, eventually coming back as a ghost to confront unfinished business with her family and relatives.
3. Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na ‘To) (2010)
Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na ‘To), a film directed by Wenn V. Deramas, was released to the public in 2010. The movie stars Ai-Ai delas Alas, Eugene Domingo, Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, and Xyriel as Monay Montecillo, one of the daughters of Ai-Ai’s character. The story is about a mother who is determined to spend every single moment with her family upon knowing that she only has a few months left to live. However, this causes a drift within her family as she takes the idea to extreme measures.
4. Sisterakas (2012)
Produced by Star Cinema and Viva Films, Sisterakas is a comedy parody film that was selected as one of the candidates at the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). It’s also recognized for its high ticket sales at the box-office in the Philippines upon its release in cinemas. This movie focuses on Bernice and Detty, half-siblings who have been rivals ever since they were children. This all worsens when their father passes away, creating a rift between the half-siblings. In this film, Xyriel stars as Cindy, the daughter of Bernice.
5. Ilawod (2017)
Venturing into more serious acting gigs, Xyriel starred in Ilawod, a Filipino independent horror film directed by Dan Villegas in 2017. Other well-known actors and actresses like Iza Calzado, Ian Veneracion, Harvey Bautista, and Therese Malvar worked alongside the child actress. Ilawod depicts the ruin of a family under attack by a demon. The spirit brought home by Dennis (played by Ian) possesses the different members of his family, manifesting within them evil desires. Bea (played by Xyriel) and Ben (played by Harvey) cause havoc amongst their family as Dennis attempts to save their lives and their souls.
6. Dirty Linen (2023)
Since Xyriel last appeared as the young Lily Cruz in Wildflower (2017), fans are especially excited for Xyriel’s long-awaited appearance in Dirty Linen. She is bound to leave an impression with yet another memorable character, Antonette Palvia, who is casted as one of the villains of the series. Most recently, netizens took to Twitter to applaud Xyriel’s flawless performance in the latest episode, wherein she condemned her father for her drastic loss in social media followers due to the scandal of their family.