Alaala 2017



January 17
Donna Villa (Marian Patalinghug-Caparas).  Actress and film producer, known for starting the so-called “Massacre Genre” in the local film industry in the 1990s. She died after a bout with lung cancer.

January 31
Danilo Franco.  Noted fashion designer, acknowledged as the “Dean of Fashion Illustrators” in the Philippines. He was also a former art director of the defunct Philippine Daily Express. He passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest.


February 10
Roger “Pepsi” Herrera.  Fashion designer.  Herrera was the stylist of many prominent celebrities. He died of cardiac arrest.

February 12
Herminio “Butch” Bautista.  Actor, comedian, director, and politician. Bautista started his career in the film industry in the mid-1950s when he co-starred with Fernando Poe Jr. in the movie Lo-Waist Gang. He died after a lingering illness.


March 2
Cornelia ‘Angge’ Lee.  A celebrated talent manager who handled the careers of numerous Filipino celebrities. She died of heart attack.

March 6
Roden Araneta.  Actor and comedian. Araneta was a finalist of the comedy talent search, Clown in a Million. He appeared in Star Cinema films including Bride for Rent, Catch Me, I’m In Love and Every Breath You Take. He died of pneumonia.

March 24
Alex Tizon.  Filipino-American investigative journalist. Tizon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his piece about the federal housing for Native Americans. He died in his sleep of natural causes.



April 17
Wilfredo Buencamino Cruz (Willy Cruz).  OPM songwriter, pianist, and musical director. Cruz was a recipient of the Lifetime Dangal Award from the Awit Awards. Some of his most famous songs are “Bituing Walang Ningning,” “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” and “Pangarap na Bituin.” He died after suffering a stroke.


May 3
Romeo Vasquez.  Movie actor. Vasquez was a matinee idol in the 1950s and 60s, and was considered the biggest young star of Sampaguita Studios. He won the Golden Harvest Award as best actor from the Asian Film Festival in 1958 for his role in the movie Ako ang May Sala. He died after suffering a stroke.

May 5
Uly Avante.  Musician and percussionist. Avante worked with some of the most famous Filipino singers, musicians, and bands in the music industry including Gary Valenciano, The Circus Band, and Richard Merck, among others. He died of complications from a lingering illness.

May 24
Gil Portes.  Critically acclaimed filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter.  Portes directed award-winning films including Gatas sa Dibdib ng Kaaway, Mga Munting Tinig, and Saranggola. The cause of his death was undisclosed.


June 10
Mauro “Malang” Santos.  Award-winning painter, cartoonist, and illustrator. Malang was an icon of the arts circle. He was known for his vibrant paintings of urban scenes, nature, and women. He was the creator of the country’s first ever comic strip in English language, Kosme, the Cop, Retired. He died after a lingering illness.

June 10
Eugene Villaluz.  Singer and musician. Villaluz was part of the popular 1970s band, The Minstrels. He died of cancer.

June 30
Jake Tordesillas.  Screenwriter and creative consultant. Tordesillas penned the scripts of the 1980s teen classics Bagets and Bagets 2. He was also the creative head of several popular TV series including My Husband’s Lover, Amaya, and Meant to Be. He died after a lingering illness.


July 7
Thelma Lorna B. Kintanar.  Literature professor, cultural scholar, editor, and feminist. Kintanar was a leading figure in women and cultural literacy work. She was editor of the Cultural Dictionary for Filipinos and the Review of Women’s Studies Journal. At the time of her death, she was still active in the academe serving as Vice President of the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation.

July 8
Ricky Tumala Tulipat.  Print journalist. Tulipat served as police beat reporter for the daily tabloid, Pilipino STAR Ngayon. He died of pneumonia.

July 14
Nikka Cleofe Alejar.  Broadcast journalist, news anchor, and reporter. Alejar was popularly known as a news anchor for the state-run People’s Television Network (PTV4) and host of Teledyaryo Business and The Breaking Point. She was a recipient of Anak TV awards for her shows Pilipinas, Ngayon Na! and Negosyo, Atbp. She died of complications from bile duct obstruction.

July 20
Carlos A. Arejola.  Multi-awarded Bicolano writer. Arejola was a passionate promoter of Bicolano literature through his initiatives including Premio Tomas Arejola Para sa Literaturang Bikolnon and the Juliana Arejola-Fajardo Workshop sa Pagsurat Bikol. He won a Carlos Palanca Award for Literature and the 2003 Gawad Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. He died of heart attack.

July 21
Soxy Topacio. Performance artist, actor, writer, director, and activist. Topacio was one of the pillars of Philippine performing arts. He was a prolific stage director and helmed some of the best theater productions in the country including Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo, Macliing, and Pilipinas, Circa 1906.  He was a recipient of Philstage’s Natatanging Gawad Buhay for Lifetime Achievement. Topacio died of lung cancer.

July 28
Francis C. Macansantos.  Award-winning poet. Macansantos authored several books of poetry in English and Chabacano, his native language. He won the 2003 NCCA Writer’s Prize for Epic Poetry in English and posthumously received a National Book Award for his fourth book “Snail Fever: Poems of Two Decades.” He died of heart attack.


August 1
Alfie Lorenzo. Showbiz columnist and talent manager.  Lorenzo was known for successfully managing the career of movie star Judy Ann Santos. He wrote for several tabloids as showbiz columnist. He died of heart attack.

August 6
Ramon N. Villegas.  Curator, art historian, and antiquarian. Villegas authored the groundbreaking book Kayamanan: The Philippine Jewelry Tradition, considered by experts as the most authoritative in its field.

August 8
Zeny Zabala.  Actress. Zabala was one of the most popular movie stars in the 1950s portraying contravida roles. She died of kidney failure.

August 24
Amelyn Veloso. Broadcast journalist and news anchor. Veloso was a pioneer of CNN Philippines and hosted many of its news and public affairs programs including New Day, Newsroom, and Serbisyo All Access. She died of cancer.


September 5
Mario A. Hernando. Noted film critic.  Hernando was one of the pillars of Philippine cinema and co-founder of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino. He died of cancer.

September 16
Ernie Zarate.  Veteran actor.  Zarate is a prolific character actor who appeared in more than 100 films from 1971 until his retirement. He died of diabetes complications.

September 22
Ric Manrique, Jr. Filipino baritone singer.  Manrique, hailed as the “King of Kundiman Songs,” recorded songs in Ilocano, Tagalog, and English. He died of heart attack.

September 30
Jose Malgapo Taruc, Jr. (Joe Taruc). Veteran radio broadcaster and news anchor. Taruc was an institution in radio broadcasting and host of one of the longest running radio programs on AM radio, Damdaming Bayan. He was vice president and station manager of DZRH. He died in his sleep.


October 9
Tony Calvento.  Veteran journalist. Calvento was a long time columnist for People’s Journal and Pilipino STAR Ngayon. He hosted his own TV program, Calvento Files, and co-wrote the screenplay of Calvento Files: The Movie. He died of pancreatic cancer.

October 12
Emmanuel “Maning” Borlaza. Film director and veteran writer.  Borlaza directed some of the most iconic films in Philippine cinema including Darna, Lipad, Darna, Bituing Walang Ningning, Eva Fonda 16, and Dyesebel. He died of heart attack.

October 15
Ramon Gil “Chinggoy” Alonso. Veteran actor.  Alonzo was a noted theatre actor who portrayed leading-man roles in some of the biggest productions of Repertory Philippines. His career in theater, film, and TV spanned almost 40 years. He died of colon cancer.

October 19
Vincent Quilet (Vincent Daffalong).  Rapper and musician. Quilet was a pioneering rap artist in the country and brought the genre to the mainstream music scene. He died of heart illness.

October 22
Teodoro Galan Baldomaro (Baldo Marro). Action star and fight director. Baldomarro worked with some of the biggest action stars in Philippine movie industry. He was a recipient of the Best Actor award from the Metro Manila Film Festival in 1988 for the movie Patrolman. He died due to health complications.


November 4
Isabel Granada.  Actress. Granada was a popular child and teen actress in the 1980s. She appeared in several blockbuster movies including Shake, Rattle, and Roll 2 and Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin. She died of complications from aneurysm.

November 19
Christine Herrera. Journalist and investigative reporter. Herrera was a senior reporter of Manila Standard. She was known for her exposes and hard-hitting investigative articles against corrupt government officials. She died of heart attack.

November 20
Alex Dacanay.  Veteran journalist and teacher. Dacanay was a prominent journalist in the 1980s serving as associate editor of Who Magazine, staff writer of Panorama, and correspondent of CBS Network and Nihon Keizai Shimbun. He died after a lingering illness.


December 28
Rolando Espina. Veteran journalist.  Espina’s career in journalism spanned more than 50 years. He wrote for the Manila Chronicle, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Star. He co-founded the regional newspaper Visayan Daily and served as president of the Negros Press Club. He died of old age.

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