The Philippines boasts one of the largest gaming markets in the Southeast Asian region. This is evidenced by the amount of gaming content being watched by millions of Filipinos daily, along with having some of the best Esports athletes in the world.
The country’s dedication to gaming has led to increased Filipino representation in video games over the past few years. This includes playable characters from some of the most popular gaming franchises. Some of the most recent ones include Valorant’s new agent Neon, a lighting-fast character who has a walis Tambo in her room, and COD: Vanguard’s Isabella Reyes, a Hukbalahap member who specializes in Arnis.
With these characters being announced, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Filipino characters in video games!
Valorant’s newest agent, Neon, is the game’s first Filipina character. Designed by Ryan Cousart and voiced by Vanille Velasquez, her character teaser and the official trailer (with music by Ylona Garcia) show off a number of Filipino references. From her Walis Tambo, the Gilas jersey on her wall, to calling her parents in the teaser, Neon is easily relatable.
She also looks to shake up the entire Valorant meta, with the community seeing her as the Jett counter they’ve been waiting for.
Isabella Rosario Dulnuan Reyes (Call of Duty: Vanguard)
Another new character announced recently is Isabella Reyes, who is the newest character in Call of Duty Vanguard. Set in World War II, Isabella is a member of the Hukbalahap (a Filipino guerrilla force) and specializes in Arnis, a Filipino Martial Art. She is also a member of the game’s Task Force Trident with Lewis Howard and Kai Lakanila.
Josie Rizal (Tekken 7)
Tekken is one of the most-loved fighting games in the country, and it’s just fitting that the game gets a Filipino Character of its own in Josie Rizal. A kickboxer and model, Josie’s goal is to support her typhoon-stricken family in the Philippines by joining the Tekken Force.
Bayani: Fighting Game (All Characters)
The entire cast of Bayani: Fighting Game gets the mention here since all of the characters are based on Philippine Heroes. These include the likes of Joe (based on Jose Rizal), Dre (based on Andres Bonifacio), and Rio (based on Apolinario Mabini).
Each character has a unique move set, providing some awesome fighting gameplay. In total, the game has 8 characters, with a DLC character arriving soon.
Jose Estrada and Pham Luis (Front Mission 3)
Front Mission is one of the best mecha RPG series of all time, and the third game has players take on missions in the Philippines. Depending on which story path you pick, you can encounter and recruit Jose Estrada or Pham Luis.
Jose Estrada is a soldier who got convicted of insubordination, while Pham Luis is a member of the Philippine Liberation Front. Both are strong characters in the game, with Jose being a great Rifle pilot and Pham being a melee-oriented Wanzer pilot.
Talim (Soul Calibur Series)
Another fighting game, Soul Calibur has had a Filipina character for a long time in the form of Talim. She is a quick and agile fighter that uses a pair of tonfas. A mainstay in the series, Talim has become one of the more recognizable characters in the game and is known for being of the kind-hearted ones too.
Jose Rizal (Medal of Honor)
Medal of Honor is a shooter that changed the FPS landscape, inspiring other developers to create their own World War II shooters, helping launch franchises like Battlefield and Call of Duty.
One of the more obscure things in the first game, however, is the presence of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal. Found in the game’s multiplayer after entering a code in the Enigma machine, Jose Rizal can face off against the likes of game protagonist Jimmy Patterson, or the Velociraptor from Jurassic Park.
Lapu-Lapu and Paquito (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang)
Mobile Legends is not only the country’s most popular video game right now, but it’s also its most successful Esport, with Bren Esports winning the M2 World Championship, and Blacklist International winning the M3 World Championship.
The country’s die-hard appreciation of the game has led to the addition of two Filipino characters. The first is Lapu-Lapu, who is based on the Filipino Hero of the same name, and the second is Paquito, a boxer based on Manny Pacquiao.
About the Author
A former teacher and guitarist, Jude (Twitter, Instagram) is currently a writer that covers video games and is one of the co-hosts of The Geeky Juans. Apart from hosting the podcast, you can also catch him streaming at Dude It’s Jude on Facebook.