[COLUMN] Gloria Sevilla passes away peacefully in Oakland home

Gloria Sevilla

ACTRESS Gloria Sevilla, who was known as the Queen of Visayan Movies in the Philippines, passed away at the age of 90 in her Oakland home on Saturday, April 16. As reported by news outlets, Sevilla died in her sleep.

Sevilla was a four-time FAMAS award winner, winning Best Actress plums for Badlis Sa Kinabuhi in 1969 and Gimingaw Ako in 1973, as well as a Best Supporting Actress trophies for Madugong Paghihiganti in 1962 and Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo in 1977. In addition, she bagged two Best Supporting Actress awards from Gawad Urian for M: Mother’s Maiden Love and Maestra, while also picking up a Best Supporting Acgtress award from the Metro Manila Film Festival for M: Mother’s Maiden Love and an Icon Award from The EDDYS in 2021.

Among her other notable movies include Dysebel (1978), Matud Nila (1991), The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995), Lapu-Lapu (2002) and El Presidente (2012).

In 2019, she was once again back in the limelight as she starred in a Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entry, Ang Pagbalik, where she again spoke Cebuano in a movie.

In a PEP.ph interview that year, she said, “Basta maligaya ako na napasali ang aming pelikula na isang Visayan movie. Iyan ang dream ko talaga na mabigyan ng importansiya ang Visayan movies because Visayan movies is a part of Philippine movies. Gusto ko may Davao, may Cebu, may Samar, and, of course, Luzon.”

“Kasi sa mga Bisaya, maraming mga artistang magagaling, of course, buong Pilipinas magagaling ang mga artista natin, may talent sila, hindi tayo nagpapahuli sa mga artista sa ibang bansa,” Sevilla added.

Aside from movies, Sevilla was also active in Philippine television where she topbilled series like Ang Biyenan kong Mangkukulam and Mommy Ko Si Mayor. The latter also featured her children Mat Ranillo III, Dandin Ranillo, Lilibeth Ranillo and Suzette Ranillo, as well as fellow Cebuana Flora Gasser.

In 2019, Gawad Urian Awards bestowed on Gloria its Lifetime Achievement Award for her noteworthy contributions to Philippine movies and entertainment. The FAMAS Awards had given her its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Sevilla was married to King of Visayan Movies Mat Ranillo Jr. who died in a plane crash in 1969. The couple had six children in total, four of whom became active in movies and TV. She later married actor/director Amado Cortez who served as consul general in the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco; he was passed away in 2003. They had one daughter.

During her time in San Francisco, Gloria was an indefatigable champion of everything Filipino, and was very approachable as the wife of the consul general. Despite her stature, she was very accommodating to fans who recognized her, posing for pictures and signing autographs and, at times, regaling them with stories of her heydays in TV and the movies.

Tributes have been pouring in from showbiz stars and industry organizations.

Both the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and Film Development Council of the Philippines posted tributes on their Facebook (Meta) pages.

FDCP chair and CEO Liza Diño posted on her own Facebook page about Sevilla: “You’ve always shared the vision of promoting PH Cinema to the world and supporting our local film industry to be globally competitive… Thank you, Tita Gloria, for always being an inspiration. Your support to the FDCP meant so much to realizing this vision. Rest in peace, Tita Gloria. You will be missed. Love you.”

My condolences to the children (Lilybeth, Mat III, Suzette, Jonathan, Dandin, Junius and Czareanah) and grandchildren of Gloria Sevilla, and to her relatives as well.

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Xian Lim stars in his first Kapuso TV series, a light romance/fantasy/family drama entitled “False Positive.”Photo from Instagram/@xianlimm

Xian Lim is keeping his word on playing diverse characters on screen with his latest effort, “False Positive,” which is his first TV series with the GMA network (or Kapuso network) opposite co-star Glaiza de Castro. In the series, Lim plays Edward dela Guardia, an alpha male who undergoes a “gender switch” and experiences pregnancy due to his wife’s unconventional wish.

Lim said that he experienced excitement and anxiety at the same time for his new TV series.

“I didn’t want to let anyone down and I wanted to give it my all, whatever you need from me I will just do it the best way possible, for as long as I can, that was my mentality in approaching this work,” Lim said in a recent presscon in an article by The Philippine Star, showing his commitment and passion to work that comes his way.

The challenge for him is giving an authentic portrayal of being pregnant.

“I was asking a lot of questions and many, like mommies on set, were willing to help and guide me (understand pregnancy) even the way I should walk, (they would tell me that) dito talagang major cramps yan, iika-ika ka at hindi ka makapagsalita ng tuwid. So those were some helpful pieces of information that I received from them,” Xian explained, while adding that it is important to him to learn about pregnancy, including the feelings and mannerisms associated with it.

He is thankful that the GMA network team have trusted him to tackle this role – actually, for even considering him for the lead role when they were looking at actors to play Edward dela Guardia.

According to Xian, the series and the roles play might motivate viewers to look at issues like gender equality and gender roles, despite their medium being a light romance, family and fantasy drama.

“The message of this project is all about respecting each other and loving each other no matter what,” said Xian. “It still boils down to, you have to respect your partner in whatever challenge you might face in life, nakakatuwa lang, aside from all the comedy, aside from all the crying, marami talagang aral na mapupulot sa False Positive. This project is something we can all be proud of.”

“Especially now na parang ang bigat-bigat lang at (ang) dami dami na nangyayari sa mundo, the best way to communicate a message is through something light, through something na parang mapapatawa namin sila, but at the end of the day, they can learn something from this whole project,” Lim added.

And his advice for couples? “I personally believe after everything has been said and done, love is a choice and after the honeymoon stage, it’s gonna boil down to choice, dapat lang you’re in it for the long run… Make sure that you, guys, are always growing and make sure you, guys, inspire each other to be a better person every single day,” Xian answered.


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