Vanessa Hudgens attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

Vanessa Hudgens is heading to the other side of the world to explore her family’s Filipino heritage. Her travel documentary will capture Hudgens’ first trip to the country of her mother’s birth. The still-untitled doc will showcase her close relationship with her family. It will also look at her personal trajectory as an American-born, half-Filipino woman in Hollywood.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the project is set to begin shooting in the Philippine cities of Palawan and Manila (her mother’s birthplace) later this month. Hudgens, 34, will be accompanied on the journey by her mother, Gina Guangco, and her sister, Stella Hudgens, 27. Her mother left the Philippines for the US at age 25. Her father, the late Greg Hudgens, was an American firefighter who died of cancer in 2016. “I feel like ours is such a relatable story to so many women all over the world,” Hudgens says. “The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up.”

Against the collaboration

The project will be produced and directed by Filipino-American Paul Soriano. On Twitter, there were heated reactions to the collaboration. One critic wrote, “Vanessa Hudgens directed by Paul Soriano is a great example of filams milking their filipino culture without knowing filipino history.” “Filam” is a term referencing Filipino Americans. Meanwhile, another said, “yall had me at “vanessa hudgens is coming to the Philippines” but lost me at ‘director Paul Soriano.'”

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Another person against Soriano’s involvement said, “Potentially exciting but Paul Soriano’s involvement is a MAJOR turn off. He is loyal to the Marcoses who have a long & bloody history of CORRUPTION & ABUSE of the Filipino people. If Vanessa truly wants to get to know the Philippines it should NOT be through his lenses.” Wrote another, “If vanessa hudgens travel documentary flop please remember and blame director paul soriano since he supported a dictator and a drug lord son.”

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