Saturday, July 14, 2012

Famous Cebuano Icons

Pres. Sergio Osmena, Sr.

Sergio Osmeña y Suico (9 September 1878 – 19 October 1961) was a Filipino politician who served as the 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon's death in 1944, being the oldest Philippine president to hold office at age 65. A founder of Nacionalista Party, he was the first Visayan to become President of the Philippines.

Prior to his succession to the Presidency in 1944, Osmeña served as Governor of Cebu from 1901–1907, Member and Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1907–1922, and Senator from the 10th Senatorial District for thirteen years, in which capacity he served asSenate President pro tempore. In 1935, he was nominated to be the running-mate of Senate President Manuel Quezon for the presidential election that year. The tandem was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1941.
Osmeña is the patriarch of the prominent Osmeña family, which includes his son (former Senator Sergio Osmeña, Jr.) and his grandsons (senators Sergio Osmeña III and John Henry Osmeña), ex-governor Lito Osmeña and Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Hilario Davide

Davide was born on December 20, 1935 in the remote barangay of Colawin, in ArgaoCebu to Hilario P. Davide, Sr., a retired Schools Division Superintendent, and Josefa L. Gelbolingo, a former public school teacher. He completed his primary education at Argao Central Elementary School and secondary education at Abellana Vocational High School. In college, he went to the University of the Philippines where he initially took up Associate in Arts in 1955. In the same year, he entered the U.P. College of Law as an entrance scholar.

Marcelo Fernan

Fernan was born in Cebu City. In 1953 he graduated with a degree in law from the University of the Philippines. He went to Harvard University in United States to obtain his masters degree. He returned to the Philippines soon after and entered politics as a delegate to the National Constitutional Convention. In 1977, he was elected national president of the Integrated Bar (National Lawyers Organization) and on 1988 became the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

As a student, Fernan gained distinction as an outstanding youth leader and scholr.  He served as President of the Student Council Association of the Philippines, and was elected Member of the International Honor Societies of Phi Kappa and Pi Gamma Mu.  

Vicente Sotto

Sotto was born in Cebu City on April 18, 1882 to Marcelino Sotto and Pascuala Yap. He finished his secondary education at the University of San Carlos (formerly Colegio de San Carlos), Cebu City. He obtained the degree of Bachelor of Laws and Judicial Science and passed the bar examinations in 1907.

Sotto is regarded as the Father of Cebuano Language and Letters.
Sotto's play "Paghigugma sa Yutang Natawhan" (Love of Native Land), dramatized the Cebuano people's heroic struggle against Spanish feudal rule in the modern realist mode. He also wrote the first published Cebuano short story ("Maming", in the maiden issue of Ang Suga).
He wrote, directed, and produced the first Cebuano play, Elena, a play in three acts. It was first performed at the Teatro Junquera on May 18, 1902. The play established Sotto's reputation as a playwright.
The dedication of the play by the playwright reads, "To My Motherland, that you may have remembrance of the glorious Revolution that redeemed you from enslavement. I dedicate this humble play to you."


Lapu-Lapu (1491–1542) was the ruler of Mactan, an island in the Visayas, Philippines, who is known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted the Spanish colonization. He is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.
On the morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu led 1,500 Mactan warriors armed with barong, spears, kampilan and kalasag, in a battle against Portuguese explorer and conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who led a force of 549 Christian soldiers armed with guns in what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan. During the battle Magellan and several of his men were killed.
He is regarded as a Muslim coming from the Tausug tribe as chronicled under the Sulu Sultanates. No clear evidence can be proven that he was an animist aside from mere speculation. He used a kampilan as mentioned by Antonio Pigafetta, a sword used by blue blood Muslims in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The 1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence refers to Lapu-Lapu as "Rey Kalipulako Mirontos de Maktan" (King Kalipulako of Mactan).

Leon Kilat

Pantaleón Villegas (July 27, 1873 - April 8, 1898) better known as León Kilat (Cebuano, "León of the Lightning"), was a revolutionary leader in Cebu during the Philippine Revolutionagainst Spain. He was born in Bacong, Negros Oriental, to Don Policarpio Villegas and Doña Ursula Soldi. His grandfather was Don Pedro Villegas, a native of Spain, and Dorotea, a daughter of a capitan of Bacong.
In 1895, he worked at Botica Antigua located in the corner of Calle del Palacio and Calle Legaspi (Burgos and Legaspi). It was a well known drug store frequented by many Cebuanos. With him were Ciriaco Murillo and Eulogio Duque who told the writer Manuel Enriquez de la Calzada that Pantaleon actually used the name "Eulogio", instead of Pantaleon. Because there were two Eulogios working in the drugstore, the German owner had to call him instead "Leon". Why he used the name "Eulogio" was not known.
Villegas did not stay long at Botica Antigua. He transferred to a bakery in Pahina (Fagina). From there he moved on to a circus owned byTagalogs on their way to Manila. The circus happened to be owned by a katipunero. It was there that he was recruited into the secret council of the Katipunan.
During the rebellion against Spain, Kilat led the revolutionaries in Cebu. Initially intending to begin the rebellion on Easter Sunday, he was forced to change his plans when the Spaniards discovered the planned revolt. Kilat and his men began the rebellion in Cebu on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1898. He was, however, betrayed and murdered on Good Friday, April 8, 1898, in Carcar, Cebu. He was stabbed to death by his ownaide-de-camp, Apolinario Alcuitas.
The town of Bacong in Negros Oriental has honored Villegas with a statue erected in the town plaza in 1926. On July 27, 2008, the 135th anniversary of Villegas' birth, the Philippine National Historical Institute turned over a historical marker in honor of Villegas to local and provincial officials in his hometown.

Pilita Corales

Pilita Garrido Corrales was born in Lahug, Cebu to a Spanish mother Maria Garrido and a half Filipino half Spanish father Jose Corrales. After finishing her studies at Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Cebu, she went to Spain to enroll in a finishing school in music. In 1958, Corrales began her recording career after arriving in Australia for a brief period. She left her legacy by becoming the first woman to make the Australian pop charts with a local recording called 'Come Closer to Me'. She became a star of the Victoria Television circuit and her first hit, Come Closer to Me, became part of a collection on which she’s billed as one of the Grand Dames of Victorian Radio and Television.
Corrales holds the distinction of being the first female artist to top the Australian pop music charts long before Helen Reddy, Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue. She also recorded at least 3 LPs in the late 1950s early 1960s: Pilita with Arthur Young :Pilita tells The Story of LoveI'll Take Romance and This is Pilita under Astor Records. Being one of the pioneers of Australia's early television years, a street was named after her in Victoria. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) featured Corrales and several pioneering female artists in Australia in the 2nd episode of the highly acclaimed TV special, Love is in the Air. Corrales returned to Manila in 1963 to pursue a career in the Philippine music industry. Her Philippine career began when she hosted a radio program La Taverna over DZPI where she sang Spanish songs and played the guitar. She performed regularly in stage shows at the Manila Grand Opera House. Subsequently, her reputation grew and during her international stints, she has performed with internationally acclaimed artists like Sammy Davis Jr. the Beatles 4th July, 1966,Bob Hope, Pat Boone, Frank Sinatra and Julie Andrews. She also appeared in movies, most of them musicals. Her film debut was a lead role in the 1968 film Miss Wawaw and was followed by 11 films for the next two years. Corrales later recorded songs in Spanish in the early 1960s as well as songs in English, Tagalog and Cebuano during the 1970s under Vicor Music Corporation. Her multiawarded TV program at ABS-CBN, An Evening with Pilita (1965–1972), is widely considered as one of the benchmarks in Philippine broadcasting history.
Corrales frequently performed for Seeing Stars with Joe Quirino in IBC-Channel 13 after the martial law years where she demonstrated her range as a gifted performer of Spanish, English, Cebuano and Tagalog music. Aquarius Record Philippines produced a compilation of Pilita's Spanish songs in CDs like Noche de RondaVaya Con Dios. Her signature song A Million Thanks to You by Alice Doria-Gamilla was translated in seven languages. She eventually recorded songs composed by Filipino composers like Danny Holmsen, George Canseco, Willy Cruz, Ryan Cayabyab and several others. Under Vicor Records, Corrales interpreted numerous Filipino classics and introduced them to younger audiences.
Corrales first met Canseco in Your Evening with Pilita (aired on pre-Martial Law ABS-CBN) as a guest in the composers' portion of the show". For the show Canseco brought with him You're All I Love. Canseco later wrote Filipino lyrics for the song, which became Kapantay ay Langit, the first song Canseco sold to a record label in 1966. The song was first recorded by Amapola for the movie theme of Kapantay Ay Langitstarring Marlene Dauden and Eddie Rodríguez. The song won for George Canseco and Amapola the Manila Film Festival award for best song of the year. The song did not fare well commercially, because Amapola had left (for her U.S. concert tours) and the song was not promoted properly, according to Canseco during an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. But when Pilita revived the song, it turned into a classic and defied trends and time. "The song," Pilita said, "was included in my album Philippine Love Songs Vol. 1, which was released in the early 1970s."
Through the personal invitation of Sammy Davis Jr., Pilita became the first Filipino to sing in Caesars Palace. In her concert in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas during the late 70s, Pilita sang Spanish, English, Cebuano and Tagalog songs, all conducted and arranged by Ryan Cayabyab.
After receiving a 1965 Philippine Citizen's Award for TV as Best TV Female Performer, Pilita went on to receive CecilAliwTinig and Awit and several other awards for her performances and lifetime achievement. In 1990, she received a Merit Award from the FAMAS Awards. In 1991, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI) for bringing Filipino musical artistry to international audience. She also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino to win in an international music festival by bagging the Best Performer Award during the 1st Tokyo Music Festival (1972) where she bested numerous international artists including the highly-regarded Olivia Newton-John.
These days she operates Pilita, a restaurant-bar in Greenhills named: PILITA'S, one of Manila's prime commercial districts. She is also a highly-acclaimed host and comedy actress on Philippine television. With over 135 albums to her credit and an international profile with many appearances in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and North America, she still enjoys a reputation as one of the Philippines most celebrated singers.
In 2006, Corrales was selected by Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC Channel 5) and FremantleMedia to be one of the celebrity-judges for the first-ever nationwide search for the Philippine Idol together with composer Ryan Cayabyab and rapper Francis Magalona. She was a judge in the first Asian Idol held in Indonesia, representing Philippine Idol.

Vina Morales

Vina Morales (born Sharon Garcia Magdayao on October 17, 1975 in Bogo, CebuPhilippines) is a Filipina singer, actress and model.

At age nine, Morales started singing with her church choir at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, which would lead her to a music career. A priest called Father Fritz D. Malinao, a songwriter in his church community, discovered Morales' talent and asked her to sing one of his compositions as an entry in the Cebu Pop Music Festival. The song, "Paglaum", ("hope" in Cebuano language), won the Grand Prize and earned the "Best Interpreter" award for young talents in the Philippines.

Representatives from Viva Films had seen her performance and offered her a singing and acting contract. She and her family moved to Manila where she auditioned for a film career in the Philippine film industry. She change her birth name from Sharon Garcia Magdayao to Vina Morales.

Manilyn Reynes

Manilyn Reynes-Jimenez (born April 27, 1972 in Cebu, Philippines) is a Filipina actress and singer.
At a very young age, her parents noticed her interest in music, encouraging her to join in various singing contests in Cebu. It was not long before Bobit Avila saw her perform, and convinced her and her parents to go to Manila to try their luck.
In Manila, Bobit presented Manilyn, then only 10, to Mother Lily, owner and producer of Regal Films. After the meeting she was offered a contract. For her first film, she worked with film actress Gloria Romero in " To Mama With Love ". That same year, her first album Apple Thoughts was released, followed by a Christmas album entitled Manilyn Christmas. As a child actress, she won the Best Child Actress FAMAS Award for two consecutive years. Her achievements as a young star are still unbeaten. Together with Sheryl Cruz and Kristina Paner, they formed a group called "The Triplets". During her teenage days, she was paired up with Janno Gibbs who later became her boyfriend in real life. They both starred in movies like Feel na Feel, Kung Sino Pang Minahal, Stupid Cupid, Love Letters, Ligaw-ligawan, Kasal-kasalan, Bahay-bahayan, Love ko si Ma'am, Me and Ninja Liit, Magic to Love, Jack en Poy: Hale-Hale Hoy, Super Inday and the Golden Bibe. Manilyn was also linked to other actors likeOgie Alcasid and Kempee De Leon.

During her break up with Janno Gibbs in 1988, her self-titled album was released which includes the hit song "Sayang na Sayang" which was later revived by another Cebuana singer Sheryn Regis. In 1990, her debut album titled Heartbeat was released which includes the hit songs "Feel na Feel" and "Ikaw pa rin". All of her albums are certified gold and platinum awards. She was the youngest recording artist to have a major concert at the Bigdome in 1990. In that same year she also had a major concert at the Ultra Stadium. She also had a major concert title "10 at 20" where she celebrated her 10th year anniversary in showbizness at the age of 20 in the year 1992. She had movies and television shows left and right. She was the last actress to have a musical variety show entitled Manilyn Live!. Due to her popularity, she was given the title Star of the New Decade given by the press and the fans.

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