Vanessa Hudgens
“Grease: Live” star Vanessa Hudgens, pictured Dec. 4, 2015, reportedly had a “hysterical breakdown” backstage after the show wrapped Sunday. Getty Images


  • Vanessa Hudgens will head to the Philippines to shoot a travel documentary exploring her Filipino heritage
  • Hudgens was born to her Filipino mom, Gina Guangco, who moved to the U.S. at age 25
  • The Hollywood actress was previously obsessed with a Filipino dish called "adobo"

Vanessa Hudgens will star in a new travel documentary exploring her Filipino heritage and journey to becoming one of the most recognizable Asian-American stars in Hollywood.

The 34-year-old "High School Musical" alum will be traveling to the Philippines later this month to film the still-untitled documentary directed by Filipino filmmaker Paul Soriano, who also serves as an executive producer alongside TEN17P production's Mark A. Victor, according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR).

Hudgens will reportedly be accompanied by her sister, Stella Hudgens, and her mother, Gina Guangco — a Filipino woman who emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 25. The project will be shot in Palawan and Manila.

"I feel like ours is such a relatable story to so many women all over the world," Hudgens said about the film, according to THR. "The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up."

"Kid Kulafu" helmer Soriano also released a statement regarding the documentary, saying, "We are honored to work with Vanessa for this film project. It's inspiring to note that with everything she has achieved in life, she wants to discover her Filipino roots and pay homage to her mother's country. Hopefully, this opens doors for many more collaborations to come."

Hudgens started as a musical theater performer before transitioning to television and film. Her most notable role was starring in the Disney Channel Original "High School Musical" film series as Gabriella Montez, which prompted more opportunities in Hollywood and led to her international stardom.

Interestingly, the actress has always been open about her Asian descent and even hoped that her mom, Guangco, would write a book about her experience as a Filipino immigrant that Hudgens would eventually turn into a film, as per her interview with U.K.'s Glamour magazine in 2021.

Now, the singer-actress will get a chance to dive deeper into her heritage with the upcoming documentary. Before its release, here are 5 interesting facts about Hudgens' Filipino heritage that we know so far:

1. She is half-Filipino

Hudgens was born and raised in the U.S. by her Filipino mom, Guangco, and her late American father, Gregory Hudgens, who died in 2016 after succumbing to his battle with stage 4 cancer at age 65.

2. She has never gone to the Philippines

The "Gigi" star will be traveling to her motherland for the very first time to shoot the travel documentary, Manila Bulletin reported. Before the film, Hudgens has led a prolific and busy career over the past decade, starring in several blockbuster films, such as "Spring Breakers," "Gimme Shelter" and "Bad Boys for Life," and debuting on Broadway.

3. She was raised as a Roman Catholic

Hudgens was born a Roman Catholic. This is not surprising considering her mom was a native of the Philippines, an Asian country with a population of at least 78.8% Catholics.

In 2015, the actress admitted not feeling "very connected" to her Catholic faith. But she eventually restored her relationship with God by attending services at the Hillsong Church along with her ex-boyfriend, Austin Butler.

4. She does not know how to speak the Filipino language

The actress does not know how to perfectly speak the Filipino language, but she was captured throwing several Tagalog phrases via Instagram over the years.

Two years ago, Hudgens posted a cheeky selfie of her wearing a green bucket hat, captioning the photo with a famous Tagalog line that read, "Mahal Kita," which means "I love you" in English.

5. She used to be obsessed with the Filipino dish "adobo"

While promoting her Netflix holiday film "The Princess Switch: Switched Again" in 2020, Hudgens revealed in an interview with GMA News that she used to be a fan of "chicken adobo" before she stopped eating meat.

During the Christmas holidays, she also revealed that her family would always prepare several dishes from Filipino cuisine, including the savory egg roll called "lumpia" and a traditional noodle dish called "pancit."

Vanessa Hudgens
Actress Vanessa Hudgens arrives at the People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 6, 2016. Reuters/Danny Moloshok