Aside from Narda, Mars Ravelo’s Darna movies are also known for the character Ding, Narda’s younger brother, sidekick, and is the only person who knows that she is Darna. In earlier Darna movies, the child actor who played Ding is also the same in the succeeding movie if Darna is played by the same actress. However, this is not the case for Vilma Santos, who made four Darna movies over the span of seven years.
As of posting, Liza Soberano is still filming the latest Darna movie under Star Cinema, directed by Erik Matti, and is set to be released next year. According to Direk Matti, the cast of the 2019 Darna movie including Ding, is already complete, but he did not reveal their names, Meanwhile, here are the 10 child actors who played Ding in the past Darna movies.
#1 Manuel Ubaldo
Manuel Ubaldo is the first Ding when he played the role in the first Darna movie in 1951 directed by Fernando Poe Sr (FPJ’s father), with Rosa del Rosario as the first Darna. His first movie was Ang Magpapawid in 1950, and was followed by Nanay Ko; Mag-Inang Ulila; Anak Ko! In 1951. The following year, Ubaldo appeared in Kamay ni Hugo, and reprised his role as Ding in the Darn movie sequel, Darna at ang Babaing Lawin.
#2 Danilo Jurado
Born Jose I. Jurado III, Danilo Jurado is the second Ding when he played the role in Si Darna at ang Impakta in 1963, with Liza Moreno as Darna. He reprised his role in the Darna sequel Isputnik vs. Darna. When Danilo grew up, he became a radio broadcaster, an entertainment columnist, magazine editor, and movie director. He directed the 2014 indie movie Lapis, Ballpen at Diploma, a True to Life Journey, starring Robert ‘Buboy’ Villar.
#3 Boy Alajar
Boy Alajra is the third Ding and he played the role in the 1969 movie Si Darna at ang Planetman, starring Gina Pareño as Darna and Vic Vargas as the Planetman, and then-child star Gina Alajar as young Narda. We just don’t know if Boy Alajar is related to her or not. Incidentally, this is the first Darna movie where our superhero falls in love. Later, Boy Alajar appeared in the movies Rikitik Loves Rositik (1969) and Sixteen (1970).
Angelito is Vilma Santos’ first Ding in her first Darna movie, Lipad, Darna, Lipad, released in 1973. So far, this is the only Darna trilogy. And yes, his screen name does not include his surname. But before Darna, Angelito appeared in the 1973 movie Leron-leron Sinta, starring Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz. He also won a FAMAS Best Child Actor award for his role in the 1975 movie ‘Isang Gabi.Tatlong Babae.’
#5 Dondon Nakar
Dondon Nakar played Ding in the 1973 movie Darna and the Giants, with Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos again as Darna. In the same year, he also appeared in the movies Binhi and Ang Barbaro at si Genghis Khan. In his teens, Nakar became a matinee idol and was among the so-called Apat na Sikat, Arnold Gamboa, Maribel Aunor, (Cousin of Superstar Nora Aunor) and Winnie Santos (Vilma’s younger sister). Watch Darna and the Giants full movie here.
#6 Bentot Jr
Born Luisito Medina, Bentot Jr is the son of comedian Bentot and appeared in Darna vs the Planetwomen, with Vilma Santos as Darna. He also appeared in several movies such as Tama na Erap, starring Joseph Estrada, international movie Return of the Dragon (Way of the Dragon) starring Bruce Lee, and FPJ Panday movies as Lando. Benot Jr. won several Best Child Actor awards and passed away on May 5, 2016, at the age of 46.
#7 Romnick Sarmenta
Romnick Sarmenta played Ding in Bira Darna Bira movie, with Rio Locsin as Darna. And although the movie was a huge flop, he was later known as Peping in the famous TV drama series, Gulong ng Palad. In his teens, he became a matinee idol via That’s Entertainment and a love team partner of Sheryl Cruz and appeared in over 60 movies and TV dramas. He married fellow actress Harlene Bautista and they have five children.
#8 Niño Muhlach
Without a doubt, Nino Muhlach is the most famous Ding of them all. In fact, he was already very famous when he did Darna at Ding, the first movie where Ding is included in the title role. His own movie production, D’Wonder Films is the producer of this fourth and last Darna movie of Vilma. He was also paired with other big stars, including Da King FPJ, whom he had two movies with, and is the highest-paid child actor in Philippine cinema. Watch Darna and Ding full movie here.
#9 Atong Redillas
Atong Redillas played Ding in the 1991 Darna movie, with Nanette Medved as Darna. Directed by Joel Lamangan, this thirteenth Darna movie earned a FAMAS Best Child Award nomination for Atong. He was the escort of future child actress Camille Prats via Eat Bulaga’s Little Miss in Philippines pageant in 1990 and has appeared in about 40 films in the 80s to 90s. Redillas is now a professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila. Watch Darna full movie here.
#10 Lester Llansang
Lester Llansang played Ding in the 1994 movie Darna Ang Pagbabalik, with Anjanette Abayari as Darna, and earned a FAMAS Best Child Actor nomination for his role. He made several other movies, including Ang Galing-galing Mo, Babes in 2002 and won a FAMAS Best Child Actor award in the 1999 movie Saranggola for his role as Rex, a schoolboy who witnessed a crime committed by his policeman father. Watch Darna Ang Pagbabalik full movie here.
The 1965 movie Darna at Ang Babaing Tuod has no character Ding and is so far the only Darna movie without Ding. Well, it’s because the movie focused more on the villain and Darna only appeared three times in this movie. In a later interview, then-newcomer Eva Montes reportedly (who played Darna) said that producer People’s Pictures was grooming Gina Alonzo (the villain) to be its next big star.
Related Post: 10 Fun Facts About Darna Movies