Johnny Manahan

Last updated
Johnny L. Manahan
Juan Ledesma Manahan [1]

(1947-02-11) 11 February 1947 (age 72)
Nationality Filipino
Other namesMr. M, Mr. Mystery Man [2]
Occupation Director, Actor, Writer
Years active1971-present
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm) [1]

Juan Ledesma Manahan (born 11 February 1947), also known as Johnny Manahan or simply Mr. M, [2] is a film and television director, as well as an actor and writer in the Philippines. [3]

Film director Person who controls the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film production

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.

A television director is in charge of the activities involved in making a television program or section of a program. They are generally responsible for decisions about the editorial content and creative style of a program, and ensuring the producer's vision is delivered. Their duties may include originating program ideas, finding contributors, writing scripts, planning 'shoots', ensuring safety, leading the crew on location, directing contributors and presenters, and working with an editor to assemble the final product. The work of a television director can vary widely depending on the nature of the program, the practices of the production company, whether the program content is factual or drama, and whether it is live or recorded.

Actor Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.


He is known for managing actors, being the manager for ABS-CBN's Star Magic (formerly the Talent Center), as well as the senior vice-president of ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN Entertainment media and conglomerate in the Philippines

ABS-CBN Corporation, commonly known as ABS-CBN, is a Filipino media and entertainment group based in Quezon City, Philippines. It is the Philippines' largest entertainment and media conglomerate in terms of revenue, operating income, net income, assets, equity, market capitalization, and number of employees. ABS-CBN was formed by the merger of Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) and Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN). ABS was founded in 1946 by American electronics engineer James Lindenberg as Bolinao Electronics Corporation (BEC). In 1952, BEC was renamed Alto Broadcasting System (ABS), after Judge Antonio Quirino — brother of President Elpidio Quirino, who purchased the company. The company that would later be merged with ABS to form ABS-CBN was founded in 1956 as Chronicle Broadcasting Network (CBN) by newspaper mogul Eugenio Lopez, Sr. and his brother Fernando Lopez, which was then the Vice President of the Philippines. The two companies were merged and incorporated as ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation on 1 February 1967, and renamed ABS-CBN Corporation in 2010 to reflect the company's diversification. The common shares of ABS-CBN were first traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange in July 1992 under the ticker symbol ABS.

Star Magic talent management agency

ABS-CBN Center for Communication Arts Inc., doing business as Star Magic, is the training and management subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corporation. It was designed to assist young talent in the Philippines. Star Magic talents undergo training in acting, personality development and physical enhancement before being cast in the television shows of ABS-CBN and the films outfits of Star Cinema, Regal Entertainment and Black Sheep Productions, as well as other film projects in the Philippines, commercial projects and corporate events.


Early life and education

Manahan was born on February 11, 1947 in Quezon City, Philippines. His parents were Dr. Constantino Perez Manahan and socialite and television host Elvira (née Ledesma) Manahan (Two For The Road). Manahan attended high school at the Ateneo de Manila in 1964, and finished his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, AB Art History, in 1969. [1]

Quezon City Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Quezon City is a highly urbanized city and the most populous city in the Philippines. It was founded by and named after Manuel L. Quezon, the 2nd President of the Philippines, to replace Manila as the national capital. The city was proclaimed as such in 1948, though a significant number of government buildings have remained in Manila. Quezon City held status as the official capital until 1976 when a presidential decree was issued to reinstate and designate Manila as the capital and Metro Manila as the seat of government.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship campus of the ten campuses of the University of California. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Before becoming the director-manager, Manahan was first a visual artist, painter, and sculptor. In fact, he received the "Special Citation" award at the Paris Biennale of Art in 1979. [1]

The Biennale de Paris is a noted French art festival.


Manahan began his career directing for television soon after his studies around 1971. He was a freelancer and directed shows for the various local channels such as Two for the Road, For the Boys, The Big Big Show, and Kaluskos Musmos. Right after BBC-2 re-opened in 1986 and became the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, he was appointed as a resident director at the network. He directed the leading shows of the history of local television, such as Chika Chika Chicks, Palibhasa Lalake , Tonight with Dick and Carmi, and Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata . [4]

Palibhasa Lalake is a Philippine TV sitcom series on ABS-CBN which ran from March 2, 1987 to November 9, 1998 and directed by Johnny Manahan.

<i>Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata</i>

Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata is a political satire of the Philippine government. It's a situational comedy that depicts the lives of the common “tao” and their interactions with the “demi-gods” of politics. It shows the funny side of the state of Philippine affairs while making viewers very aware of what is really happening to the country. It was aired on ABS-CBN from February 4, 1991 to June 20, 1997. It was re-aired on Jeepney TV.

In April 1992, Manahan, then the program director, and Freddie Garcia, then ABS-CBN executive vice president and general manager, formed the idea of creating a stable of new stars exclusively for the network. [5] This gave birth to Talent Center. In its early years, the Talent Center's project was Ang TV . The show auditioned thousands of people and accepted chosen ones into the program. The series soon led to mall shows, live concerts, and record albums. It also became a springboard for the careers of Claudine Barretto, Jolina Magdangal, Camille Prats, Victor Neri, and Paolo Contis among others. The Talent Center continued its search through the launching vehicle Star Circle in 1995.

<i>Ang TV</i>

Ang TV is a youth-oriented comedy variety show in the Philippines. The show's format was inspired by its predecessor Kaluskos Musmos, and its foreign counterpart The Mickey Mouse Club. Prior to 1992, Raymund Pilada, a Filipino director, enlisted a group of kids and pre-teens to create the first ever youth-oriented variety show in the Philippines.

Claudine Margaret Castelo Barretto is a Filipino film and television actress, product endorser and entrepreneur.

Jolina Magdangal Filipino actress

Jolina Magdangal-Escueta is a Filipino singer, actress, television presenter, and entrepreneur. She is referred to in the Philippines as a popular culture icon and is often regarded as one of the most successful multi-media artists in Philippine entertainment industry.

While he was busy discovering and developing new talent, Manahan continued to direct television shows, movies, concerts, and specials. In particular, he directed the first collaboration of Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano, a major concert in September 2009 at the Mall of Asia concert grounds, as well as foreign celebrities' Barry Manilow, Diana Krall, and Andrea Bocelli's concerts in the Philippines. [6]

He is the man behind the Ms. Earth pageants, the Christmas and anniversary specials of ABS-CBN, celebrity weddings and debut specials, election specials, and many more. In addition, he also managed the grand world tours and concerts outside the country which includes ASAP '05 in USA and Japan, Wowowee in Las Vegas, Chicago, Hawaii, Star Magic World Tour in Canada and USA, among others. [7]

Throughout his career, Manahan's career expanded and he held different positions in the network management. He was the Director in the Talent Center (1992-1994); Program Director in the Production Department (1994-1996); and Vice President in the Talent Development & Management Center (1996-2003); Senior Vice President of ABS-CBN's Star Magic (2003-2007). He retired in 2007, but remains as the Head and Consultant of Star Magic. [7]


Manahan was a mentor to a number of people who went on to become well-known in show business in the Philippines; among these are Star Magic include Piolo Pascual, Claudine Barretto, Angelica Panganiban, Diether Ocampo, Bea Alonzo, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, John Lloyd Cruz. [2]


Pre-resident director

from 1971-1986

As a Director

1989Si Aida, Si Lorna, O Si FeFilmstar Productions
1993 Home Along da Riles da Movie RVQ Productions, Star Cinema
1996 Ang TV Movie: The Adarna Adventure Star Cinema
1999 Oo Na, Mahal Na Kung Mahal
Television series
YearTV seriesNetwork
1984-1991 Chika Chika Chicks ABS-CBN
1987-1998 Palibhasa Lalake
1991-1997 Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata
1992-1997 Ang TV
Home Along Da Riles
1993-2000 Oki Doki Doc
1997 Kaya ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis
1999 Wansapanataym
2001 Da Pilya en da Pilot
Eto Na Ang Susunod Na Kabanata
2002-2003 Klasmeyts
2005-2006 Bora: Sons of the Beach
2006 Komiks  : "Bampy" episode
2008 I Am KC : "Love 2 Dance"
Variety shows
1988Tonight with Dick and Carmi ABS-CBN
1995-present ASAP
2003 Masayang Tanghali Bayan!
2005 Wowowee
2006 Sharon
2010 Shoutout!
Pilipinas Win Na Win
Star Power
2011 Happy Yipee Yehey!
2012 The X Factor Philippines
2013 Minute to Win It
The Voice of the Philippines
2014 The Voice Kids
2015–2016I Love OPM
2005Bea's Wildest Dreams at 18: Birthday TV Special ABS-CBN
2006Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin: A Mega Celebration
2008 Martin Nievera's Martin XXV
Lea Salonga's My Life On Stage
2009 Sharon Cuneta's Mega 30
2011 Binibining Pilipinas 2011: The Pageant
2012 Binibining Pilipinas 2012
Miss Philippines Earth 2012
2013 Binibining Pilipinas Gold: The 2013 Pageant
2014 Binibining Pilipinas 2014: The Grand Coronation Night

As an Actor

1996 Ang TV Movie: The Adarna Adventure Head Tulisan Star Cinema
1998 Ang Babae Sa Bintana Regal Films
2006 The Bet Collector Mang PoldoMLR Films Inc.

As a Writer

1996 Ang TV Movie: The Adarna Adventure
2002Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip
2005Bea's Wildest Dreams at 18: Birthday TV Special


YearAward-Giving BodyCategoryWorkResult
1979 Paris Biennale of Art Special Citation award [1] Won
2009 PMPC Star Awards for TV Ading Fernando Lifetime Achievement Award [8] Won

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  8. "ABS-CBN named Best TV Station at the 23rd Star Awards for TV". Retrieved 2014-05-14.