Alaala 2018



January 7
Amado “Jake” Macasaet. Writer, editor, and publisher known for his fierce defense of journalistic independence. Macasaet began his decades-long career as journalist before the imposition of martial law in 1972. He was a business writer for Philippine Herald in the 60s and wrote for, or edited, various major newspapers, including Bulletin Today, Times Journal, The Manila Times and Economic Monitor. He co-founded Malaya with press freedom icon Joe Burgos and became one of the trailblazers of the anti-dictatorship “mosquito press.” He took over the helm of Malaya after President Marcos was ousted in 1986. He chaired the Philippine Press Institute in 1996 and became its chairman emeritus in 2003. He died at the age of 81.

January 7
John K. Chua. Photographer known for his documentation of the life, culture and traditions of the indigenous communities of Banaue. An adopted son of the Ifugaos, he played a key role in reviving their Imbayah Festival. Chua was one of the most respected and beloved photographers in the Philippine advertising industry. In 2018 the Creative Guild of the Philippines honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award (posthumous) for his invaluable contributions in the field of commercial and advertising photography. He died at age 69.

January 14
Spanky Manikan. Veteran character actor whose career began in 1972 when he worked with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). He was a member of the CCP Tanghalang Pilipino, Dulaang UP and the Manila Metropolitan Theater. He ventured into the world of cinema by playing supporting roles in many local and international films. In 1981 he won the Best Supporting Actor award in the Metro Manila Film Festival and the Catholic Mass Media Awards for his portrayal of a young filmmaker in the movie Himala. In 2014 he bagged the Aliw Awards Best Actor trophy for his performance in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Mga Ama, Mga Anak. Manikan’s impressive filmography includes Maynila, Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag, Bona, Alienasyon, A Dangerous Life, Death Row, and Bamboo Flowers, among others. He died at age 75.

January 15
Jose “Pitoy” Moreno Jr. Known as the “pillar of Philippine fashion design” and recognized globally as the “czar of Asian fashion.” He staunchly advocated the popularization of the Maria Clara or what is now widely known as the Philippine terno. The exhibition of his artistic beadworks and intricate embroidery at the New York City, Washington and Seattle World Fairs paved the way for the entry of Philippine fashion into the global scene. He was the president of the Philippine Couture Association and served as the fashion designer of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company. Moreno authored Kasalan, a book about the fashion of Philippine weddings, and Philippine Costume, a study on traditional Filipino dresses. He died at age 92.

January 18
Lucio “Ka Louie” Tabing. Veteran radio broadcaster. Tabing was popularly known as the long-time host of the program Sa Kabukiran over DZMM. As an agriculturist, he led projects that benefitted small farmers and fishermen and conducted roadshows for his community broadcasting campaigns. In 2016 Ka Louie received the prestigious Ka Doroy Broadcaster of the Year Award from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas. He died age 73.

January 27
Mario Margarito “Maryo” J. De los Reyes. Multi-awarded filmmaker who directed iconic movies such as Annie Batungbakal, Bongga Ka Day, Tagos ng Dugo, Bagets, Magnifico and Naglalayag. He started in theater, acting for PETA when he was still a student, and leading the Dulaang Kapiterya which gave students the opportunity to display their talent for theater. His first movie, High School Circa ’65, won acclaim from film critics and allowed him to break through the mainstream movie industry. In 2004 he bagged the Best Director award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Magnifico, also chosen as the Best Feature in the Children’s Category. De Los Reyes was the festival director of ToFarm Film Festival and a consultant of GMA Artist Center. He died at age 65.


February 3
Romeo “Choppy” Vargas. Stand-up comic and entertainer. Born in Tondo, Manila, Vargas was part of the legendary stand-up comedy tandem known as PorkChop, regarded as the Philippines’ “Showbiz Ambassadors of Goodwill” as they entertained overseas Filipino workers in 30 countries for more than 20 years. They served in the “Hatid Saya” program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and pioneered the popularization of comedy album productions in the Philippines. Vargas was 63 when he died.

February 7
Angel “Argel Joseph” Cruz. Director of some of the most memorable drama anthologies in Philippine television history. He directed most of the episodes of the classic hit Lovingly Yours, Helen for 16 years and helmed other iconic shows, including Coney Reyes on Camera, the Regal Shocker series, Maricel Drama Special, Yagit, Joaquin Bordado, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang, Pinoy Thriller, among others. “Direk Argel” was known in the industry as “Mr. Cool” because he never got angry and never had tantrums during tapings. He died at age 74.

February 16
Napoleon V. Abueva. Known as the “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture.” He was recognized as a National Artist in 1976 when he was only 46 years old, making him the youngest recipient of the prestigious award. He was known for his experimental sculptures using various types of materials like wood, steel, marble, bronze, concrete, adobe blocks, coral and others. His first major winning artwork, “The Kiss of Judas,” made from a single adobe block, cemented his stature as a pioneering sculptor who veered away from the dominant Greek-inspired classical technique. Some of his most notable works include “Siyam na Diwata ng Sining” at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, the Sandugo tableau in Bohol and the colossal “The Transfiguration” at the Eternal Gardens in Caloocan City. He died at age 88.


March 8
Bernardo C. Bernardo. Stage and movie actor. Bernardo was an accomplished theatre performer before he moved to the television and movie industries. He won the Urian Best Actor award for his portrayal of Manay Sharon in the Ishmael Bernal masterpiece Manila by Night. He also won the Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie Imbisibol. Bernardo’s popularity increased when he played the antagonist Steve Carpio in the hit TV comedy series Home Along da Riles alongside the King of Comedy Dolphy. His last films included roles in Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis and Ang Larawan. He died at age 73.

March 15
Raul “Rolly” Quizon. Movie and television actor. He was popularly known as Rolly Purontong, the son of John Puruntong, in the hit comedy sit-com John en Marsha which starred Dolphy, Nida Blanca and Maricel Soriano. In 1977 he won the Best Actor award from the Metro Manila Film Festival for his role in the daring movie Burlesque Queen in which he co-starred with Vilma Santos. Quizon’s other notable movies include Anong Uring Hayop Kami Dito sa Daigdig, Disgrasyada, TNT sa Amerika and John en Marsha sa Probinsya. He died at age 59.

March 24
Abimaela Palomo “Mely” Tagasa. Scriptwriter, voice talent and TV actor. She was popularly known as the strict and horrible school teacher Ms. Tapia in the ’70s hit comedy show Iskul Bukol. Before she became famous as Ms. Tapia, Tagasa was already a voice actor for several radio drama series and an accomplished scriptwriter for radio and television. Her radio drama story Hatol ng Tadhana was adapted by screenwriter Mario O’Hara into a movie called Insiang, considered as one of the greatest works of Philippine cinema. After her stint in Iskul Bukol, she continued writing for television and was instrumental in producing the Tagalog versions of select Korean telenovelas. In November 2017, she was honored with a Walk of Fame Star in Eastwood, Quezon City. She died at age 82.


April 12
Nestor Mata. Journalist. After serving as war correspondent for Philippine Herald during the Korean War, he was assigned to cover the Office of the President during the term of President Ramon Magsaysay. He became known as the sole survivor of the plane crash on March 17, 1957, that killed 26 people, including President Magsaysay. Mata continued to write for the Herald until 1972 and became a columnist for The Daily Express and The Manila Times. He wrote for Malaya from 1996 until his death. He was 92 years old.


May 5
Augusto F. Villalon. Pioneering voice and towering figure in heritage conservation in the Philippines and abroad. He was the president for 25 years of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines, bureau member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and honorary member of ICOMOS in Florence, Italy. Villalon was instrumental in preparing and leading the campaign for the inclusion of the Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippine Baroque Churches, Palawan Subterranean River and Tubbataha Reefs in the World Heritage List. His writings, advocacies and speaking tours helped greatly in increasing public awareness about heritage conservation. His advocacy led to the enactment of the groundbreaking law, the Philippine Natural Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. He died at age 73.

May 6
Cirilo F. Bautista. One of the most honored literary writers in the Philippines. He was Makata ng Taon in 1993, a Gawad Balagtas Lifetime Achievement awardee in 1997, and the recipient of the National Artist award in 2014. Bautista was a leading figure in Philippine literary education and criticism. He co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council and was a long-time member of the Manila Critics Circle and the Philippine PEN. He was tireless in mentoring young writers through his stint as professor of creative writing in St. Louis University, De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas. He authored dozens of award-winning poetry anthologies, novels, non-fiction, and critical essays. His works have been published in major literary journals in the Philippines and abroad. He died at age 76.

May 8
Edgardo B. Maranan. Prolific and award- winning writer of poems, fiction, and children’s literature. He won 15 first prizes in the prestigious Don Carlos Palanca Awards and was honored as Hall of Fame awardee in 2000. He was active in the people’s movement at the height of the First Quarter Storm and fought the Marcos dictatorship during the martial law years. Caught by the military in 1976, he was incarcerated for three years. He taught political science and diplomacy after his release from prison and eventually served as a diplomat at the Philippine Embassy in London. He died at age 71.

May 13
Edgardo J. Angara. Senator, educator, and arts patron. He was known for his landmark legislation that promoted arts and culture in the Philippines, such as the laws that created the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino and the new National Museum. He was also the principal author of the law that established the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA). In 2013 he was honored by the NCCA with a Dangal ng Haraya award and was cited as the Philippines’ “Patron of the Arts.” He served as University of the Philippines President from 1981 to 1987 and Senate President from 1993 to 1995. He died at age 83.


July 4
Rogelio G. Mangahas. One of the leading figures in the development of Filipino modernist poetry. He was honored by the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for his poetry anthology Mga Duguang Plakard at Iba Pang Tula. Mangahas was Makata ng Taon in 1969, a Gawad Dangal ng Balagtas awardee in 2015, and was declared Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas by the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas in 1997. As an educator, he taught Filipino language, creative writing and literature in major universities in Metro Manila. He was also editor-in-chief of SIBS Publishing and Phoenix Publishing House. He died at age 79.

July 30
Carmen Guerrero Nakpil. Widely recognized as one of the most outstanding Filipino essayists in English. A prolific author, she published 10 books, including the critically acclaimed novel The Rice Conspiracy. Nakpil started her writing career as a journalist, editor and columnist for Philippine Herald, The Manila Times, The Manila Chronicle, Malaya and Asia Magazine. She chaired the National Historical Commission, served as director of Technology Resource Center and was elected as executive board member of the UNESCO in Paris. She was a recipient of the Southeast Asian Writers Award, the Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas award, and the National Book Award. She died at age 96.


August 18
Christopher ad Castillo. Movie actor and director. He started his career in cinema as actor Chris Castillo. He won the Best Supporting Actor trophy at the 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival for his role in the movie Bagets Gang. He followed the footsteps of his father, the legendary director Celso Ad Castillo, by directing his own films. Castillo was known for his horror indie films The Sky Is Falling, The Diplomat Hotel and In Darkness We Live. He died at age 54.


September 2
Rene Garcia. Co-founder, lead guitarist, singer and composer of the iconic ’70s band Hotdog. He was one of the musicians who created the so-called Manila Sound with songs such as “Manila,” “Bongga Ka Day,” “Annie Batungbakal,” “Beh Buti Nga” and “Pers Lab.” He also wrote songs for fellow artists, like “Akala Ko” for Sharon Cuneta, and “Sa Isip Ko” for Agot Isidro. In founding Hotdog with his brother, he secured a place for himself in Philippine music history. He died at age 65.


October 30
Enrico “Rico” J. Puno. Acclaimed icon of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and widely regarded in the industry as “The Total Entertainer.” He was known for classic ballads like “Magkasuyo Buong Gabi,” “Kapalaran,” “May Bukas Pa,” among others. Puno was a folk balladeer in the early ’70s doing the rounds of folk houses and bars. He was eventually discovered by record executives after he fronted for the American group The Temptations in 1975. He then toured the US in 1978 and joined the Tokyo Music  Festival in 1979. He was one of the few singers who successfully fused music, comedy and improvisation in his performances. He died at age 65.


November 6
Jose Clemente “Bangkay” de Andres. Character actor in hundreds of horror movies in the Philippines. He usually played the role of a dead person or a zombie which earned him the moniker “Bangkay.” He started his career in the entertainment industry as a layout artist for RVQ Productions which was owned by the late Dolphy. He debuted as a bit player in the movie Kisame Street which starred Dolphy and Nida Blanca. He also played supporting roles in many television hit series, including Forevermore, Alyas Robin Hood and Bagani. He died at age 71.


December 9
Maria Lourdes Salvador, a.k.a. Alona Alegre. Movie actress. She started her career as a child star in the 1950s and played a role in the movie Tagapagmana of LVN Pictures. She rose to fame in the early ’70s when she played provocative and daring roles. She was the lead actress in the movie Esteban, a 1973 action epic drama starring Fernando Poe Jr. She died at age 70.

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