Philomina entered the film industry with eight years of experience in professional drama. She worked with the drama troupe of P J Antony in the early days. She used to say it was her initial experience with an actor like Antony that helped her shape her film career. Philomina's parents were disturbed, when she had to travel to Chennai for the first shoot, it was Moidu Padiyathu who convinced her parents. Her first movie, Kuttikkupayam (1964), produced by T.E. Vasudevan and directed by M. Krishnan Nair was a big hit. Philomina, who essayed the role of Prem Nazir's mother, a Muslim character. She got married, but lost her husband when her son was three years old.
Philomina won her first State award, for the best supporting actress, in 1970 for her roles in films Thurakkathavaathil and Olavum Theeravum. In 1987, she received the award for the second time for Thaniyavarthanam. Somewhere during this time, there was a short break in her career. She came back in the films of Bharathan and Padmarajan. The roles in films like Chatta, Innale, Njan Gandharvan, Venkalam, Churam, Vietnam Colony. Her roles in Kudumbapuranam, Godfather, Uppukandam Brothers, Thalayanamandram and Kakkothikavile Appuppanthadikal would also be remembered for long. It was Sathyan Anthikkad who first cast Philomina in a comic role. The film Madanmaar Londonil, gave this talented actress a new image. Her roles in films like Malayogam, Kireedam, Uncle Bun, Manathe Kottaram, Vrudhanmaare Sookshikkuka and In Harihar Nagar. In a career spanning over four decades Philomina starred in 750 films and numerous television serials. She was last seen in Meerayude Dukhavum Muthuvinte Swapnavum.
Philomina was living in a small, well done-up apartment in Kochi till she shifted to her son's place in Chennai a couple of years before her death. She was a chronic diabetic and suffered stroke in 2005. She was getting insulin shots for her diabetic condition. She was bed-ridden for over a month. She died at her son- Joseph's residence in Chennai due to diabetes related problems in January 2, 2006.