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Write On! by Lucille NolascoThe artists of impersonation

by Lucille Nolasco

Eddie Mesa as Elvis Willie Nep as Joseph Estrada Nanette Inventor Jon Santos as Vilma Santos
Eddie Mesa as Elvis
Willie Nep as Joseph Estrada
Nanette Inventor
Jon Santos as Vilma Santos

You’ve probably heard the phrase “ang galing manggaya ng Pinoy!” (Pinoys have a knack for imitation!) You can take that however you like, but I’d like to take it as a compliment. Impersonation is a gift, like any other talent – a gift that gives happiness, awareness, as well as inspiration to others. Let’s get to know a few impersonators.

Eddie Mesa

Dubbed “Elvis Presley of the Philippines,” Eduardo de Mesa Eigenmann or Eddie Mesa is a retired Filipino actor and singer. He was given the nickname during his time as an impersonator of Elvis. He has acted in movies with Susan Roces and the late Fernando Poe Jr. Today he lives with his wife in the United States, where he has become a pastor. He is the father of Michael de Mesa, Mark Gil, Cherie Gil and grandfather of Andi Eigenmann.

Willie Nep

Probably the most versatile Pinoy impersonator, Willie Nepomuceno always wanted to be a singer and an actor. He is known as the Philippines’ master impersonator. Among the Filipino personalities he impersonates are the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada, Fidel V. Ramos, Dolphy, Gringo Honasan, Ping Lacson, German Moreno, Nur Misuari, and Fernando Poe Jr. On the international front, he usually impersonates Stevie Wonder, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee, and many others.

Nanette Inventor

She acts as the hilarious, nouveau riche Doña Buding, dispensing behavioural tips for social climbers. To those who follow closely the current stand-up comedy circuit, she is Janet Napoles, delivering an act outside the Women’s Penitentiary. Nanette Inventor is well known as an intelligent comedienne, a well-honed singer, a formidable actress and a disciplined educator all rolled into one. Nowadays, she is busy as a serious actress, appearing in movies, tele-seryes and indie films.

Jon Santos

He is famous for his impersonation of personalities like Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos. Santos has portrayed – and make fun of – five prominent personalities in only two minutes.

In an interview on the DZMM show Todo-todo Walang Preno about two years ago, he impersonated Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, former President Fidel V. Ramos, former First Lady Imelda Marcos and ABS-CBN anchor Korina Sanchez, all while delivering a lot of punch lines.

Pretending to be another person for the purpose of entertainment is fun! As I mentioned, it is a gift that not everybody has. It is a talent worth sharing with others.

Lucille Nolasco is an announcer and creative writer at CKJS Radio 810 AM in Winnipeg. She hosts Afternoon Pasada, Monday through Friday, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. She is an ardent believer that “health is wealth” and she is a certified Zumba instructor. You can send your message or comments to Lucille at

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