Rising Philippine Stars: Introducing Talented Filipino Youth of Our Time

Age is often discussed in the Philippines, whether one is too young (bata ka pa!) or too old (ang tanda mo na!). Young Philippine Stars seem to evade this question of age–instead they simply shine as they carry the Nation’s name. Like young Philippine Artists who demonstrate our vibrant culture through their mediums, and some as Internationally renowned Filipino athletes in their respective sport—but behind that they are simply, Filipino Youth.

That as much as we celebrate their momentous achievements, we should also celebrate them as young people simply navigating the hardships of life. But whose passion brings new perspectives to light, a testament that young blood, with the drive to create their own legacies, can transcend previous generations and expectations.

BINI: Nangunguna sa Karera ng P-POP

Blooming into the P-POP scene is the 8-member girl group, BINI, considered by their fandom, BLOOM, as "The Nation's Girl Group". BINI’s members consist of Aiah, Colet, Gwen, Jhoanna, Maloi, Mikha, Sheena, and Stacey. With their pre-debut single “Da Coconut Nut” in 2020, the girls established a feel-good energy through their songs and concepts. They further displayed the Bubblegum Pop genre in their latest EP “Talaarawan” with hits like “Salamin, Salamin” and “Pantropiko”, garnering almost 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify and quickly becoming Philippine Stars.

BINI was awarded the National Outstanding P-POP Female Group of the Year at the 2024 Excellent Filipino Awards, and more recently the Rising Star Award by Billboard Philippines Women in Music. Being recognized as accomplished Philippine Artists, they were also able to provide a helping hand to those who needed it.

Their feel-good energy goes beyond their music as the Filipino girl group actively participates in philanthropic events such as the virtual fundraising concert, #TikTokTogetherPH; their 2020 auction charity event, #BINIficiaryAucSHAn; and performance at the POSITIVE VIBES FOR THE POSITIVE+ benefit concert last 2021.

Despite their growing list of achievements, they are still youth in their teens and early 20s navigating the struggles of life, in the limelight and off. Noting their humble beginnings where they underwent auditions, boot camps, and eliminations–their blood, sweat, and tears as Star Hunt Academy trainees are only a few of the hurdles they went through before reaching stardom. With this, they remind people in their song Karera, that life isn’t a race, and that as the youth “ika’y may hawak ng iyong hakbang”.

Credit: Sam Catantan Official Instagram | @ samctntn

SAM CATANTAN: En Garde for the Philippine’s Top Fencer

Resilience and determination led 22-year-old Sam Catantan to her spot in the Paris 2024 Games with fellow Filipino athletes. Catantan’s momentous win comes after 32 years of drought for Philippine fencing, becoming the first to qualify since 1992. Catantan started foil at the young age of 9, dominating the competition and eventually reaching her current standing as the Philippine’s top-ranked fencer in the women’s foil category.

Her devotion to her sport placed her at a consistent podium finish at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, adding to her long list of accolades while competing at International fencing competitions and representing the Philippines in foil.

And beyond all these achievements, she juggles heavier responsibilities outside the piste–being the eldest daughter and a graduating college student. This is a pressure shared between numerous young women like her, where expectations to be an international athlete and a role model to younger siblings are on par. And so whether as an ate or an athlete, we say Allez, Sam Catantan!

Credit: Isabel Sieh Facebook Page | Isabel Sieh 

ISABEL SIEH: The Girl at the Front and Back End of Coding

The 21-year-old Founder of Girls Will Code, Isabel Sieh, created the youth community as a resource in coding, programming, robotics and engineering. Through the community, she’s developed programs like Girl Forward and #CodeSaBahay, making code more accessible to areas that lack essential resources like computers and internet connection.

Because of her efforts, the Department of Science and Technology recognized Sieh’s work and awarded her the Pinoy Science Whiz Kid award in 2017. Her work also addresses gender equality in the field of STEM, which was recognized by Leaders Unite Luzon in 2019 under the 5th Sustainable Development Goal targeting Gender Equality. The World Women Leadership Congress also issued recognition for Sieh as a Philippine Woman Leader in 2019. She continues to contribute to the STEM community as a Researcher at the IRIS Lab in Stanford, focusing on 3D, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence.

Sieh’s primary drive for creating Girls Will Code was the lack of STEM communities for young girls like her. Her innovative mind created a solution where she found none–a trait that we should mirror, to create space for ourselves, and for those like Isabel Sieh.

Credit: Vanessa Palomar Sarno Official Instagram | @ sarnovanessa

VANESSA SARNO: Snatching a Place in Philippine Weightlifting

Catantan isn’t the only hopeful Filipino youth qualifying for the Paris Games in 2024, eyeing a podium finish. 20-year-old Vanessa Sarno is a Paris 2024 qualifier for Weightlifting, lauded for breaking her own Snatch National Record with 110 kg and 135 kg for the Clean and Jerk, totalling her lift to 245 kg.

Even before qualifying, Sarno was already decorated with achievements competing in the 71 kg category. Her tenacity brought gold and silver medals home for the Philippines at the Asian Championships, and two gold medals from the 2021 and 2023 SEA Games.

The weights she lifts in competitions are only a fraction of what she carries as a breadwinner for her family in Bohol. As the 2nd eldest of four siblings, she has expressed her determination to help her mother, their sole guardian–a familiar situation for many Filipino families. May this struggle be seen as an inspiration to Filipino athletes and Filipino youth: to lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best, just like Vanessa Sarno.

G22: Marching into the P-POP Scene with a BANG

Another Filipino girl group gunning their spot in the P-POP world is the 3-member group, G22. Their 2022 debut single, “BANG” earned them their title as the Female Alphas of Philippine Pop, a fitting description for their strong and striking concepts. Because of their efforts, they became a finalist in the Saludo Excellence Awards for the 2023 PH Choice Award for Best Female P-POP Group. This also gave them the opportunity to participate as participating Philippine artists in Lay Shang’s Chinese survival program ‘Show It All’, where AJ, Alfea, and Jaz showed their performance skills alongside other groups.

With their empowering and confident songs, they aim to instill the same energy for their listeners, to be more assertive towards their dreams–to gun for their own spot, be at the top, and take the lead as Filipino youth.

CARLOS YULO: Wiping the Floor in Philippine Artistic Gymnastics

Artistic Gymnast Carlos Yulo becomes fiercer than his first bout in Tokyo, where his impressive performance got him 4th Place in the competition. 24-year-old Yulo’s most iconic medal is still from the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, where he made history as the first Filipino to win gold in the men's floor exercise category at just 19 years old.

His impact in Philippine Artistic Gymnastics continued from there as he won another gold in the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, won five golds at the 2022 SEA Games, three more at the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championship, and most recently qualified for the Games in Paris 2024.

Yulo’s achievements as a Filipino athlete aren’t without struggle as he also had to overcome difficulties in training and competition–a mental and physical battle against the exhaustion of the sport. Yulo’s persistence is like our perseverance through everyday life–pushing through with the hopes that we succeed, just as Carlos Yulo sticks his landing everytime.


Beyond being our Hope, the Filipino youth is a beautiful and vibrant group of talented individuals. Young minds combined with hard work and dedication have the potential to change the world. It goes beyond age–instead, it’s the awe-inspiring ways that they dedicate their time to their craft. In some ways, Philippine Stars sacrifice their youth to achieve more–and in others, simply fulfilling their dreams. All this to say: it's never too late, and never too early. To set your own pace in life, believing that in our own time, we may bear fruit as treasured and proud individuals representing a brighter future for the world.

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