At the young age of 28, Panganiban was bestowed with Bert Marcelo Lifetime Achievement Award by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation for her remarkable contributions in comedy.
Angelica Panganiban was born in Payatas, Quezon City on November 4, 1986. Her biological mother is a Filipina who died in 2008 and was buried in Singapore, while her biological father, Mark David Charlson is an American from Iowa, United States and a former member of the US Navy. She acquired the surname Panganiban from her adoptive family.
Panganiban finished elementary school in 1999 at St. Vincent School in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, and high school in 2003 at the same school's Main campus along West Avenue. She was the Junior-Senior Prom Princess in 2002 and Miss Junior and Senior Prom in 2003. She was also a cheerleader and a Feature Editor in their school newspaper. She attended college at Thames International Business School, majoring in mass communication.
As a child star, Panganiban received Best Child Actress awards and nominations because of her outstanding performances in movies. Her notable appearances include: Jenny in the 1995 Maricel Soriano drama movie, Separada where she won two Best Child Actress awards in the FAMAS and PMPC Star Awards; and Becky in the 1995 family-drama film, Sarah... Ang Munting Prinsesa with her friend, Camille Prats in the title role where she received Best Child Actress nominations. She also appeared in a daily drama series, Familia Zaragoza.
As a teen star, Panganiban starred in the youth-oriented show, G-mik in 1999 and she was paired with Carlo Aquino. In 2001, Panganiban played the role of Paula Villamines in the drama series, Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka which was topbilled by Judy Ann Santos. In 2002, she portrayed the role, Nicole in another youth-oriented show entitled, Berks along with her love team partner, Carlo Aquino.
Her team up with Carlo Aquino continued. She appeared as the girlfriend of Aquino's character in the hit comedy film, Ang Tanging Ina topbilled by Ai-Ai de las Alas in 2003. Up until the third installment of Regal Entertainment's Mano Po, the movie Mano Po III: My Love in 2004, wherein she played as the young Vilma Santos and Aquino as the young Christopher de Leon.
In November 2004, at the age of 18, after portraying several supporting roles, she landed the lead and the title role in the movie, Santa Santita opposite Jericho Rosales. The director of the film, Laurice Guillen and the producer, Tony Gloria of Unitel Pictures requested Johnny Manahan of ABS-CBN Talent Center to audition his talents for the role. "We auditioned 30 of them," Guillen said. "Some of them had played supporting roles in films already. But we couldn't find what we were looking for among them. Then one day, Angelica Panganiban came to audition. And we found in her the actress we wanted." Her performance in that film earned her three Best Actress nominations in the FAMAS, FAP Luna, and ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards. Eventually in the same year, she played a lead role in the soap opera, Mangarap Ka with Piolo Pascual. In 2005, she starred in drama series, Vietnam Rose with Maricel Soriano.
During 2006, she appeared regularly in Your Song, Komiks, and Love Spell; she also topbilled the horror suspense film, White Lady. In 2007, she starred in a fantasy series, Rounin and played the role of Aura. In the same year, Panganiban appeared in the film, A Love Story with Aga Muhlach and Maricel Soriano from which she earned her first Best Supporting Actress trophy in the FAP Luna Awards. She also appeared in Judy Ann Santos' romantic soap opera, Ysabella as a guest character, and in December 2007, she played Lena in Maging Sino Ka Man: Ang Pagbabalik with Derek Ramsay, Toni Gonzaga, and the original cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo, Sam Milby, and Anne Curtis. She became a full-fledged adult dramatic actress in the 2008 primetime drama series, Iisa Pa Lamang with Claudine Barretto. That series made her the Villain of the Year in the 1st Supreme to the Extreme Awards (Philippine Star), and she earned Best Drama Actress nomination in the 23rd PMPC Star Awards for Television.
In October 2008, Panganiban pioneered a comedy gag show, Banana Split in ABS-CBN. The show also featured Valerie Concepcion, Roxanne Guinoo, Dianne Medina, and Cristine Reyes. She's the only one who remained from the original cast when the show started its second season in 2009 up to the present.
In February 2009, Panganiban appeared in an episode of Your Song with Derek Ramsay, and in mid-2009 she filmed her television series, Rubi which was based on the 2004 Mexican telenovela Rubí and the pilot episode aired in February 2010. She was joined by Diether Ocampo, Shaina Magdayao, and Jake Cuenca. Panganiban received Best Actress in a Daily Soap Opera award in the 7th USTv Students' Choice Awards through that series. Later that year, she also starred in the drama/romance movie, I Love You, Goodbye with her then boyfriend Derek Ramsay. This was rated the Second Best Picture in the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival and made her a box-office favorite after it won awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Story and Best Director. Panganiban was nominated for Best Festival Actress. In the same year, she also received Best Comedy Actress nomination in the PMPC Star Awards for Television through Banana Split.
The following year, Panganiban starred in Here Comes The Bride, a 2010 comedy film with Eugene Domingo, Tuesday Vargas, Jaime Fabregas, Tom Rodriguez, and John Lapus. The movie gained positive reviews from viewers and critics and enjoyed box office success. Panganiban won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Musical or Comedy) award in the 8th ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards for Movies. Because of this film, Panganiban was hailed as the Comedy Actress of the Year in the 42nd Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation. She also won as the Best Comedy Actress through Banana Split in the 24th PMPC Star Awards for Television.
Panganiban topbilled a horror-comedy film, Bulong together with Vhong Navarro in February 2011. It was Star Cinema's opening salvo for that year and was directed by Chito Rono. She also consistently demonstrated her comedic antics onscreen through Banana Split as she earned another Best Comedy Actress nomination in the 25th PMPC Star Awards for Television, and won the Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Gag or Comedy Program award in the ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards.
Panganiban proved her versatility when she received her second Best Supporting Actress award through the horror suspense film, Segunda Mano in the 60th FAMAS Awards. The movie also starred Kris Aquino and Dingdong Dantes. It was an official entry in the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival of Star Cinema with the AgostoDos Pictures, and MJM Productions.
In 2012, Panganiban starred in four different films: Every Breath U Take, a romantic comedy film opposite fellow Star Magic artist, Piolo Pascual; Madaling Araw Mahabang Gabi, an Indie film that was written and directed by friend, Dante Nico Garcia; 24/7 in Love, a romantic comedy film that starred an ensemble cast of selected Star Magic talents in celebration of its 20th year anniversary; and the romantic drama film, One More Try which was an official entry in the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival by Star Cinema, with Dingdong Dantes, Zanjoe Marudo, and Angel Locsin.
The year 2013 is Panganiban’s late night TV domination doing both drama and comedy. February 11, 2013 marked her comeback in Philippine Primetime via television drama, Apoy Sa Dagat alongside Piolo Pascual and Diether Ocampo. It was Panganiban’s first time to play a dual role in the series and first in the history of Philippine TV to have billed the lead star twice. Also, aside from her weekend Banana Split, a version of the gag show entitled, Banana Nite aired at weeknights after Bandila which she topbilled together with fellow Banana Split stars: John Prats, Zanjoe Marudo, Jason Gainza, Pooh, Melai Cantiveros, Badjie Mortiz, Ryan Bang, Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco with Alex Gonzaga, Boom Labrusca, Kim de Guzman, Jef Gaitan, and Kean Cipriano as additions.
In 2014, Panganiban topbilled a comedy-satire film, Beauty in a Bottle with Angeline Quinto and Assunta de Rossi. She also starred in a romantic comedy film entitled That Thing Called Tadhana opposite JM De Guzman. This was one of the entries in the 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival where Panganiban was hailed as Best Actress for two consecutive years. She also received an Achievement in Acting nomination in the 2015 Guam International Film Festival for her exceptional performance as Mace Castillo in the said movie.
Panganiban played the iconic character of Madam Claudia Buenavista, originally portrayed by Jean Garcia, in the 2015 remake of Pangako Sa ’Yo. The show was also topbilled by Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Ian Veneracion, and Jodi Sta. Maria.
In the late 2015, as Banana Nite ended its two-year run, her gag show, Banana Split which celebrated its 7th Anniversary was renamed into Banana Sundae and took a new timeslot. Additions to the group were: JC De Vera, Jessy Mendiola, Jobert Austria, and Pokwang.
Continuously showcasing her versatility in acting, Panganiban garnered Best Drama Actress and Best Comedy Actress nominations in the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television for Pangako Sa ’Yo and Banana Split, respectively.
In a tell-all interview with The Buzz, Panganiban disclosed that her biological mother died in 2008 and was interred in Singapore. She added that she did everything to find her biological father, Mark Charlson, who she said did not try to find her because he had thought that she and her mother had died in a car accident. In November 2010, she was reunited with Charlson in Los Angeles, California after 24 years apart, when ABS-CBN gave her a week-long break from work.