Ernesto “Weng Weng” della Cruz. This boy, standing just two feet: five inches tall, was the youngest actor to play the lead role.
According to Andrew Livold’s mini-biography, Weng Weng’s career began when his martial arts instructor introduced him to film producer Peter Caballes. Peter and his wife, Cora Caballe, then took Weng Weng with them, forcing him to meet various filmmakers before a meeting brought him to Dolphin, the King of Philippine comedy. The comedian portrayed him as a kung fu supporter in his spy film, The Rapid Brown Fox (1980).
- Former Philippian President, Joseph Estrada, allegedly built his own tomb, according to Jinggoy Estrada
In 1981, former First Lady Imelda Marcos launched the Manila International Film Festival. For this event, “Only for Your Height” (1981) “Weng Weng” star, a spy star who was a parody of James Ames Bond films, was a big hit not only among Filipinos, but also among foreigners abroad.
His popularity as Agent 00 in For Y’ur Height Only caught the attention of then Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Fidel Ramos, who made Weng Weng an honorary secret agent.
The film also opened two projects for Wang in the film. The Impossible Kid (1982) and D ‘Wild Wild Weng (1982):
Unfortunately, His career plummeted in the mid-1980s. When Ramos decided to perform the little miracle by training the paratroopers and sending him infiltration missions. Weng Weng was also seen patrolling the arrival lounge at Manila Airport (now Nino Aquino International Airport). In 1989, he rejoined the cast of Dolphi as “The Best in Da West” as he was.
On August 29, 1992, nine days before his birthday, he died of heart failure. He was 35.
Noel “Ungga” Ayala. Noel’s showbiz nickname, Ungga (short for “unggoy,” monkey), was first heard in the movie Starzan III: The Jungle Triangle. The nickname became his screen name.
In his interview with the defunct ABS-CBN show Pipol, Noel told of how he began his long-and-winding road to showbiz.
He used his height to work in different carnivals during fiestas. He also became a doorman at the popular hangout in Malate, called the Hobbit House, where most of the staff are midgets.
Eventually he tried his luck in showbiz by accepting “extra” roles. Showbiz insiders began to recognize this extra’s talent in making people laugh.
Ungga, who stands two feet-six inches, appeared in several films of Joey de Leon and his sidekick Rene Requiestas during the early 90’s—Starzan’s sequel, Starzan III: The Jungle Triangle (1989), Long Ranger & Tonton: Shooting Stars of the West (1989), SuperMouse and the Roborats (1989), and Romeo Loves Juliet… But Their Families Hate Each Other! (1989).
Unfortunately, Noel Ayala’s career in showbiz lasted only about five years. His last project was Milyonaryong Mini (1996), which starred Anjo Yllana. Afterwards, his popularity waned.
Noel confessed to Pipol that the failure of his second marriage turned him into a gambler, an alcoholic, and a womanizer. But he says that was just a phase in his life.
In his last TV interview, the little star said that he resides in Mt. Bethel, La Union, where he serves as a pastor in the All Christian Foundation.
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