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Archive for the ‘Untimely Death’ Category

Francis Magalona Passes Away at 44

francis_magalona1Francis Durango Magalona (October 4, 1964 – March 6, 2009), also known as FrancisM, Master Rapper, and The Man From Manila, was a Filipino rapper, songwriter, producer, actor, director, and photographer. Often hailed as the “King of Pinoy Rap”, he was considered a legend in the Philippine music community. With the success of his earliest albums, he was the first Filipino rapper in the Philippines to cross over to the mainstream. He is also credited for having pioneered the merging of rap with Pinoy rock, becoming a significant influence to artists in that genre as well. He was also a television host on MTV Asia and on noontime variety television show Eat Bulaga! Magalona died seven months after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Magalona was later awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award’s citation noted that it had been given “for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us.

Magalona, then 43, was diagnosed on August 8, 2008, with acute myeloid leukemia at the Medical City Hospital, Pasig City. Appealing to the media and the public, Magalona said:

I don’t want a media circus, [...] I want privacy with my family. What I’d rather talk about is how we can solicit blood donations to replace the supply that I have consumed in the hospital.

Francis Magalona, August, 2008

After his first treatment and discharge, he made his return on Eat Bulaga together with Ely Buendia, who had also been recently discharged. Not wanting to let the disease get the better of him, he remained active, chronicling his battle with the disease on his blogs and continuing to pursue his creative efforts in spite of his illness. His daughter Maxene noted that “He always did what he wanted to do. He never let anyone or anything stop him from doing what he loved to do. He still went to the Camera Club, he still took pictures, every time he was discharged from the hospital, he recorded songs with Ely Buendia. He taught us that life is short but it can be well lived. Don’t waste your time in the world.”

His wife Pia later described her husband’s battle with the disease, saying “Francis was a very passionate person. When he was angry, he was very expressive. He would get angry with his cancer. That was his way of coping with it. But he didn’t give up. I remembered that he told me, ‘I’m going down fighting.’[23]

On March 6, 2009, at 12:00 p.m., Magalona succumbed to multi organ failure secondary to septic shock, secondary to pneumonia in the immunocompromised (immediate cause); acute respiratory failure secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome (antecedent cause); underlying cause: acute myleogenous leukemia blast crisis. He had undergone several chemotherapy sessions since he was diagnosed the previous year, and had been expected to undergo a bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT).

The announcement was first made on the television variety show Eat Bulaga!, which he had co-hosted. News of his death sparked a surge of web traffic to several Philippine news sites, causing a momentary slowdown in the operation of those sites. Guests at his wake included former president Corazon Aquino, along with other politicians and artists who paid tribute to Magalona’s contribution to Filipino music, and to the national pride – the dominant advocacy theme in FrancisM’s music. Fans arrived in droves to pay their last respects, some of them making a point to wear shirts from Magalona’s FMCC line. Numerous television programs, ranging from noontime variety shows to primetime newscasts and late night news documentaries, paid tribute to Magalona.

Magalona had been slated to appear as a special surprise guest at the Eraserheads’ “the Final Set” reunion concert on March 7, 2009. Since he died the day before, the band instead dedicated the concert as tribute to Magalona. Buendia rapped the 22-bar portion in Superproxy which FrancisM had written, and the penultimate song of their last ever Eraserheads performance was the reprise of Kaleidoscope World.

Magalona’s remains were cremated before daybreak on March 11, 2009. After final rites, his ashes were then brought to his final resting place in the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, causing traffic to stall in the Marikina Riverbanks area near the park as fans joined the convoy. Military rites and a salute were offered to Magalona, and his wife Pia accepted a Philippine flag from the Philippine Army, in recognition of Magalona’s patriotism and for being an army reservist with the rank of sergeant

Ref: www.wikipedia.com

Marky Cielo at 20

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Marky Cielo

(May 12, 1988 – December 7, 2008), better known as Marky Cielo, was a Filipino actor, dancer, and the first known Igorot-actor in Philippine showbiz. He is notable for his win in the reality talent competition StarStruck (March 12,2006). During his two-year career, he was able to star in several television shows and in one film, notably Fantastikids (2006), Asian Treasures (2007), Boys Nxt Door (2007), Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan (2007-2008), Sine Novela: Kaputol ng Isang Awit (2008), and his final performance, LaLola (2008). He also voiced the character Ichigo Kurosaki in the anime Bleach (2007).

According to a statement from the TV network, Cielo, 20, was found dead on December 7, 2008 by his mother. The night before, he was last seen playing an online video game up until ten o’clock in the evening in an internet cafe in Quezon City. When he arrived home, he had a discussion with his mother about an emotional decision he made which ended in her telling him to be responsible. According to the report, his mother went to his room in their house in Antipolo at around six o’clock in the morning to wake him up for a charity event. When he did not respond, she immediately rushed him to the nearby Antipolo Doctors Hospital where the actor was declared dead on arrival about four hours after he arrived. An initial report states that he died in his sleep. At present, the cause of Cielo’s death remains unknown. Speculation about the true nature of his death spread immediately after he died, with some trying to discern the mysterious events surrounding it, although some reports have stated that it was Acute Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis.  His wake was held in his home for three days then his remains were brought to the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Baguio City, where it stayed for a day.  His remains was laid to rest on December 15, in Bauko, Mountain Province, where he would be buried in his family’s backyard according to traditional Ibaloi custom. A mass as held before his funeral.  His death was a big disappointment to his family since his father has stated that he was supposed to return to school the following year. In an interview with his mother the day after his death, she said that she is happy that he was an inspiration to his fans although she is also disappointed since it appeared to her that her son had problems and was unable to discuss them to her.  On the last day of his wake, Cielo’s mother thanked all the fans who gave all their prayers and support.

Cielo’s death caused many reactions from among his fans and colleagues alike, most of whom were shocked by his sudden death.  Fellow Igorot were filled with mourning and disbelief when they heard about the event since he had been a model for their people.  After his death, they immediately performed a ritual known as Cañao, believed to cleanse his soul during his journey to the afterlife.  Even people from the rival network of his network were disappointed to hear the news,  although minor altercations have occurred between these two networks about the incident. On Saturday, the rival network apologetically stated on their show Entertainment Live that people should stop the speculation. Glaiza de Castro, his former on-screen romance, was deeply disturbed by the incident since she was one of the last people who were able to talk to him, particularly about a dream she had involving him which would lead him to predict his own death.  His fellow batchmates from StarStruck were deeply saddened by the event especially since most of them had treated him as a brother. Some of them even rushed to see his body immediately after they found out about his passing. Many of them reacted with guilt and sympathy since he had a promising career. They have stated that they would truly miss him very much citing the good memories they have spent with him.  Beginning on December 8, the show LaLola began airing “In Loving Memory of Marky Cielo” before the closing credits of each episode on the week of his death. On December 15, which is his burial, despite not airing “In Loving Memory of Marky Cielo” before the credits, he had his last scenes in LaLola, where he had advanced his taping before his passing. His last appearance was on January 15, 2009 in LaLola. On Saturday, December 13, the show where he once hosted, Startalk, aired a full-episode tribute to him. Tributes were also shown in the news show 24 Oras and the variety/talk show SiS during the early days of his death, which dramatically boosted their ratings, proving his importance to the Philippine showbiz industry. The show, Showbiz Central also paid tribute to him. He was honored during the 12/14/2008 episode of SOP, the weekly variety show on GMA. Friends and fellow performers gave an outstanding and emotional performance at the beginning of the show.

LBM was the primary rumor of what caused the death of the young actor. The unexpected death of Cielo had been the subject of controversy during the first week of his death, in contrast with the uncontroversial life he had lived. Numerous speculations about the true nature of his death quickly spread like wildfire across the tabloids, internet, and blogosphere. Some of these speculations have included sensitive subjects such as romantic conflicts, depression, drug abuse, and even suicide. TV5 Network has rejected these allegations as untrue and, along with its rival network GMA, had asked everyone to stop the controversy. An incident, meanwhile, had occurred over the weekend between these networks about an alleged video that GMA aired. TV5 Network, along with Cielo’s family, had condemned the rival network, expressing that this was a violation of the family’s right to privacy. GMA responded in their entertainment program, that they did not violate anything and aired videos that confirm that they were welcomed by the family. They went on further, by stating that the other network was instigating this controversy on an otherwise uncontroversial figure. It is unknown, though, if the statement was about the allegation that they had aired an uncensored video of Cielo’s corpse.

He will surely be missed.

Rudy Fernandez, 55 Yrs Old

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Rodolfo “Rudy” Valentino Padilla Fernandez (born March 3, 1953, screen name Rudy Fernandez June 7, 2008), also known as “Daboy”, was a multi-awarded Filipino actor and producer. He came to prominence as an action star in the Philippine cinema during the 1980s up to the early 1990s.

In 2007, it was revealed by Lorna Tolentino on Startalk that Fernandez had been diagnosed with periampullary cancer. Fernandez underwent treatment in Tokyo, Japan. After a healing Mass on May 10 by several friends at the Christ the King Church, Quezon City, he was rushed to a San Juan City hospital for back pains.  Alternately, the newspaper Sun Star reported that Rudy actually suffered from pancreatic cancer, instead.

After celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with Tolentino on June 1, Rudy suffered a seizure on June 4, but he refused to be taken back to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Center in San Juan City.  Fernandez died causing periampullary cancer, at his Quezon City home on the morning of June 7, 2008 at 06:15 a.m..  His remains were brought to the Heritage Memorial Park Crematorium in Taguig City, and to his interment took place on June 12 at 3 p.m. for his burial.

Halina Perez, 21 Yrs Old

halina perezHalina was born Vanessa Uri in Perez, Quezon City in the Philippines, Where she graduated from the Quezon National High School and enrolled at the Enverga University, before being transferred to Manila whereupon she embarked into show business. Halina appeared in over 10 films during her brief career, most notably in erotic philipino thrillers and comedies. She gained fans by potraying sexy, provacative women in movies. Notable credits includes the skin flicks Kiskisan (2003), Balat Sibuyas (2002), Amorseko (Damong Ligaw)(2001) and Ikapitong Gloria (2001). Halina, her manager Isah Munio, sexpot entertainer Danna Garcel along with three others were returning to Manila after attending a grand opening of a Konica store in Legazpi City, when the car they were driving veered out of line and slammed into a van. Five of the car’s passengers, including Halina, were asleep at the time of the crash, Halina was still breathing when she was pulled out of the car by rescuers, but was declared dead on arrival at the hospital after suffering a broken neck, her manager Isah Munio was also declared dead. The other four including Danna Garcel suffered fractures and minor injuries but survived the crash.

Miko Sotto, 21 Yrs Old

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Marcelino Antonio “Miko” Carag Sotto III (May 10, 1982 – December 29, 2003) was a Filipino matinee idol, actor, and teen star, and son of actress Ali Sotto.

Actor Miko Sotto died after he fell from the ninth floor of a condominium building in Mandaluyong City before dawn Monday.

Sotto, 21, was declared dead on arrival at the Mandaluyong Medical Center.

According to initial investigation, Sotto was with his cousin Oyo Boy Sotto, two other friends, and a helper at the San Francisco Garden Plaza Condominium on Bonifacio Avenue, Mandaluyong.

According to reports, a security guard saw Sotto seated at the railings of the balcony.

Sotto was about to part with his friends and tried to get down from the railings when his foot allegedly got caught in a plant box, causing him to lose his balance and fall from his perch.

Sotto was immediately rushed to the nearby Mandaluyong Medical Center where he was declared dead on arrival.

“The patient died from multiple skull fracture,” said George Cheng, the physician on duty at the hospital.

From the Mandaluyong hospital, Sotto was brought to the Makati Medical Center (MMC) but doctors there were also unable to revive him.

Miko, scion of the Sotto family in showbiz, is the son of actress Ali Sotto and Maru Sotto, brother of Sen. Vicente Sotto III and comedian Vic Sotto.

A talent of the GMA Artist Center, Miko become a TV fixture in recent years, with stints on GMA-7′s youth oriented programs “Click” and “Kahit Kailan.” -Miko Santos

Unexpected Death of Rico Yan at 27

leggylass-ricoalone(March 14, 1975 – March 29, 2002) was a Filipino matinee idol, model and actor. He was under an exclusive contract in the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network. Yan was a member of ABS-CBN’s circle of homegrown talents named Star Magic. He graduated from De La Salle University-Manila, with a degree in Business Management. He was a Youth Spokesman for the Department of Education before he died, touring the Philippines for free to promote education among youths. He was an image model and entrepreneur as well. Rico also established “Pinoy ‘Yan!” a non-profit organization that aims to make young people stay in school and value education.

He died of cardiac arrest due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis while asleep at the age of 27, the day after shooting a television commercial for Talk n’ Text at the Dos Palmas Resort in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. An estimated 10,000 people attended his funeral rites which was televised live on ABS-CBN.

The night before he died, Rico sang “Got to Believe” and “Falling For You”; both songs were featured in his last movie, Got 2 Believe. He even invited GMA Network‘s Senior reporter Arnold Clavio to join in the fun. Part of the proceeds from the ticket sales of his last movie Got 2 Believe and the video sales of the documentary Forever Young: Remembering Rico packaged with Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita went to the Rico Yan Youth Foundation.

His first and last films were with fellow actress Claudine Barretto, who was his girlfriend at the time of his passing. He was also a loveteam partner of Judy Ann Santos in the weekly youth-oriented show Gimik and the movie Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay.

Ric Segreto, 46 Yrs Old

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Ric Segreto (September 27, 1952September 6, 1998) born Richard Vincent Macaraeg, was a Filipino-American recording artist, singer-song writer, actor, teacher, journalist and historian who became popular in the Philippines.

Ric Segreto was born in Brooklyn, New York to Bridget Segreto, an Italian-American and Godofredo G. Macaraeg, a Filipino. Ric, the second son of five brothers and one sister was raised for the first five years of his life in New York by his mother, a dietician at a New York hospital and his father an abdominal surgeon.

Ric’s father, born in Malasiqui, Pangasinan, educated at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, was a medic with the rank of Captain in the Philippine Army during World War II, was captured by Japanese soldiers and made to march in the Bataan Death March and imprisoned on Corregidor Island. After the War, Dr. Macaraeg travelled to the United States and attended Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Macaraeg was the first Filipino diplomate to the F.A.C.S.

Both Ric’s parent’s love for music influenced Ric’s interest in music and singing. The family moved to the Philippines in 1957 where his father set up a physician’s practice. Ric went to Lourdes school in Quezon City. The family then moved to Guam in 1959, where growing up in a milder environment furthered Ric’s interest in the performing arts. Ric played in rock bands with his brother, and the grandsons of Filipino composer Nicanor Abelardo. At the ages of 12 and 13, The Asteroids, Ric’s band members, played military bars and were not even old enough to drive.

Ric was then sent back to the Philippines to attend high school at the Ateneo de Manila. While there he became fast friends with Jim Paredes who later formed The Apo Hiking Society. After a year at Ateneo, Ric returned to Guam. He then formed a band that included his brother called the Salvation Army, singing and playing all over the island every weekend till he finished out his high school. Going to college made Ric look to the States and choosing Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, he majored in history. During his college years, music found Ric playing in bar bands, to military service men in Bellevue, Nebraska (home to Offutt Air Force Base) and doing college stage play acting.

After graduation in 1974, he toured the US with a show band, singing and playing bass guitar at Mountain Shadows in Scottsdale, Arizona, Harvey’s in Reno and clubs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Meeting up with another show band bound for Japan out of San Diego, California, Ric played for Japanese audiences during the early 80′s.

On September 6, 1998 at around 12:15 PM, on a Sunday, Ric was riding his motorcycle from his home in Makati. He was killed in an accident on the Makati – Mandaluyong bridge, when he ran into or was hit by debris, possibly caused by workers on a construction project.[

Rene Requiestas, 36 Yrs Old

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Renato “Rene” Requiestas (born January 22, 1957 – July 24, 1993) (died at the age of 36) was one of the top Filipino comedic acts of the late 1980s up to the early 1990s. Handpicked by comedian Joey de Leon for his comedic timing and natural funny disposition, Rene became known for his sidekick roles and his toothless grin. Rene is popularly known as the sidekick Cheetae from the movie Starzan, a parody film of Tarzan starring Joey de Leon as Starzan.

He was a poor man before he went into showbusiness. He sold cigarettes in streets before he was discovered by a talent scout. It has been said that he is one of the actors who raised profits for Regal Films and made comedy roles to almost all his movies.

Requiestas died on July 24, 1993 due to tuberculosis and other complications brought about by heavy drinking and smoking.

He is also remembered for shouting the line “Cheetae, ganda lalake!” (Cheetae, handsome guy!) and the echo will reply “Ulol! Sinungaling! Panget! Panget! Panget!…..” (Crazy! Liar! Ugly! Ugly! Ugly!…..).

Cesar “Saro” Banares (Asin), 33 (?) Yrs Old

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Saro Banares is a member of Asin (sometimes spelled ASIN, in all capital letters)  a Pinoy rock and folk rock band from the Philippines. They were formed during the 1970s and originally known as Salt of the Earth from the song of Joan Baez, but later Filipinized their name into “Asin”, which means salt in the Filipino language

In March 18,1993, Saro Bañares was murdered by a Gualberto Cataluna, lawyer in a bar brawl in South Cotabato because he refused to sing for a lawyer, causing the group’s members to part ways. Aban had his band Ang Grupong Pendong, while Carbon went solo. 

Bañares, considered one of the best songwriters in the Philippine music scene, gained prominence as the lead vocalist and composer of folk-rock band Asin in the 80′s. He composed most of the group’s hit songs, among them “Ang Bayan Kong Sinilangan,” “Masdan Ang Kapaligiran,” “Itanong Mo Sa Mga Bata,” and “Sayang Ka.”

Jay Ilagan, 39 Yrs Old

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Born Julius Abad Ilagan on January 20, 1953 in Manila. Son of Sampaguita Pictures leading lady Corazon Noble and director Angel Esmeralda, he started as a child actor in the Philippine cinema.

A matinee idol, he hosted Stop, Look & Listen and starred in My Son, My Son and Goin’ Bananas.

He died from motorcycle accident in February, 1992.

Lino Brocka, 52 Yrs Old

May 21, 1991—
Award-winning Filipino Director Lino Brocka, 52 met an untimely death in a car accident yesterday morning. The accident happened at about 1:30 a.m. along East Avenue in Quezon City, just a block away from the PLDT office. Brocka and his companion, actor William Lorenzo, were on their way home to Tandang Sora in Quezon City when Lorenzo’s 1991 Toyota Corolla rammed into a concrete electric post. Brocka and Lorenzo just came from the Spindle Music Lounge on Tomas Morato Avenue where they watched the show of Malu Barry, a sultry singer cast by Brocka in one of his new films, Bonanza’s Kislap sa Dilm.
Police said Lorenzo avoided a tricycle that suddenly crossed their path, only to see two people crossing the street. Lorenzo tried to avoid hitting the pedestrians and ran smack into the post.

Brocka was declared dead on arrival at the East Medical Center while Lorenzo, although still in critical condition, was declared out of danger by doctors. The car was a total wreck.

At the time of his death, Brocka was preparing to leave for Culion, Palawan to shoot his newest movie, Huwag Salingin ang Sugat Ko, first offering of businessman Vic Tan’s Goldi Pictures which Brocka helped put up. The movie, topbilled by Christopher de Leon and Dina Bonnevie, was inspired by Noli Me Tangere, with Ricky Lee as scriptwriter. Besides the currently showing drama, Sa Kabila ng Lahat, Brocka had two other unreleased films, Bonanza’s Kislap Sa Dilim, starring Lorna Tolentino, Christopher de Leon and Gabby Concepcion, with three more shooting days to go and Regal’s Makiusap Ka Sa Diyos, starring Christopher de Leon and Ruffa Gutierrez.

Lino Brocka killed in Car Accident-Phil Sta-May22-91 -photo

Teddy Diaz, 25 Yrs Old

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(April 1, 1963 – August 21, 1988), was the founding guitarist of the Filipino rock band The Dawn. At the height of his career and at the peak of The Dawn’s popularity in the late 1980s, he was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend’s house by two bystanders allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

In spite of his early demise, his influence is still felt among many guitarists in the Philippines today and he has become a legend among many Filipino musicians. The Dawn, and the Filipino music industry also consider Diaz to be the band’s driving force until today. In memory of Diaz, The Dawn has recorded a song that pays tribute to him: I Stand With You.

Teddy’s father was the Filipino actor Vic Diaz of Sampaguita Pictures fame; his grandfather was Pompeyo Diaz, a judge. He was a godchild of the “King of Philippine Movies”, the late Fernando Poe, Jr.

Teddy Diaz was born on April Fools’ Day, and was often teased because of this. He was the first grandchild on both sides of his family. Diaz had two brothers, Carl and Loren.

Teddy Diaz spent both grade school and high school in his father and grandfather’s alma mater, Ateneo de Manila University. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of the Philippines as an architecture student and stayed there for three years. He transferred to the Philippine Women’s University after his third year in UP and took up music with guitar as his major.

Aside from being a musician, Diaz was also gifted with a talent in drawing. He would spend time with Fine Arts students in PWU, and would draw comic book characters and different electric guitar designs for relaxation.

After performing live at “Martin After Dark”, a show hosted by Martin Nievera, on August 21, 1988, the members of The Dawn went their separate ways and Diaz proceeded to his girlfriend’s home in Quezon City. As he was approaching the gate to the dwelling, he was accosted by two drunken men. Diaz gave them his wallet; however, one of the men, who was armed with a knife, began stabbing Diaz. Wounds on Diaz’s left arm indicated that he may have tried to parry the blows, but a knife thrust to his throat caused massive bleeding, eventually leading to his death.

Teddy Diaz’s murderer was apprehended by police a week later, tried in court, convicted and remanded to the custody of authorities at the New Bilibid Prison. Members of The Dawn state that the convict has since died in incarceration.

Pepsi Paloma, 19 Yrs Old

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Bold star Pepsi Paloma was only 14 when she was presented to talent manager Rey dela Cruz for possible movie roles. Coming from a poor family in Olongapo City, Pepsi, Delia Smith in real life, made her movie debut in 1981 in Celso Ad. Castillo’s Brown Emmanuelle. She was launched as one of the so-called “softdrink” beauties, together with Sarsi Emmanuelle and Coca Nicolas. Pepsi will be remembered in the celebrated rape case in 1982 involving actor/TV hosts Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and comedian Richie D’Horsey.
On May 31, 1985, Pepsi ended her life. Monetary problems, longings for a mother’s love and anxieties over her relationship with her live-in boyfriend may have driven the bold star to end her life. Her diary found by police investigators in the room where she hanged herself showed such problems. From the pages of Times Journal, here’s the detailed account of that unfortunate incident that shocked the whole movie industry.

Pepsi Paloma, who crashed into the local movie scene by baring her whole body three years ago when she was just 14, killed herself by hanging yesterday afternoon in her apartment in Quezon City. Police surmised that Pepsi, Delia Smith in real life, hanged herself between 1 and 2 p.m. at the second floor of her apartment at 52-D Iriga st., Sta. Mesa Heights. But it was not until 6 pm that her limp body, clad only in a flimsy yellow night gown, was found hanging inside a closet from a three-inch thick and 36-inch long cotton sash. The people who found her were her live-in boyfriend, Jose S. Sanchez, 25, salesman; half-brother Zaldy White, 15; and her two so-called aides- George Ricaborla, 22, and Philipp Clemente, 20.
“She couldn’t have done it because of financial problems,” said Babette Corcuerra, her new manager. “She was earning well and was fully booked for dancing performances.” “She just finished the Pepsi Paloma Show at the Bughaw and 10 other beerhouses,” Corcuerra added. For the one-week stint in the beerhouses, she was supposed to get P10,000, the manager revealed. “She was even booked for a week’s show at the Jailhouse Rock club in Angeles City” Corcuerra said, “and she was to be paid P2,500 a night.” According to Corcuerra, Pepsi has three movie offers: Dormitory Girls for Ron Gallardo Pablo, Savage Girls and May Batas sa Daigdig.
Pfc. Willy Borgonia of the Quezon City police investigation division, however, said a diary he found at Pepsi’s room disproved her manager’s claim. The diary said she was so depressed for not having had any movie offers lately. “Wala akong masyadong pelikula. Maraming gastos,” she wrote in her diary. “Ako lahat ang gumagastos sa bahay, pati pang-tuition ng mga kapatid ko.” She also complained about her mother in Olongapo City: “Hindi ko alam kung itinuturing akong tunay na anak ng nanay ko.”

Pepsi’s last movie was Room 69, which was shown two weeks ago. It was bruited to be the last movie that Rey de la Cruz’ softdrink beauties would make together. It also starred Sarsi Emmanuelle, Myra Manibog, Irma Alegre, Emily Loren and Glenda Araneta. That was a follow-up film to Naked Island which Rey’s softdrink beauties made with Regal last year.

Her brother, Zaldy, in an interview with the Times Journal, said Pepsi took her lunch at about 12 and immediately proceeded to her room and told her two aides not to wake her up. She told them she will only rest and then locked her room. Her live-in boyfriend, Jose, called her up at about 3 pm, but failed to talk to Pepsi. Zaldy knocked on the door to wake her up but got no response. At about 6 pm, the boyfriend arrived. Told that Pepsi was in her room, Jose went upstairs and knocked several times but Pepsi never answered. Jose then banged and destroyed the door and found Pepsi hanging.

News of her death sent fans and other movie personalities trooping to the hospital to take a last look. Among the first to arrive was Sarsi Emmanuelle, her best friend. Sarsi broke into hysterics and collapsed on seeing Pepsi dead. In an interview later, Sarsi said it was Pepsi’s second attempt to commit suicide. Only last week she said, she foiled an attempt of Pepsi to kill herself in her apartment in Quezon City. Sarsi said Pepsi confided to her all her family problems.

Pepsi’s manager Rey dela Cruz, arrived at the morgue at 7:25 pm. Rey also broke into hysterics.

Pepsi Paloma made ripples when she made her first big movie, Brown Emmanuelle, for Celso Ad. Castillo in 1981. She was just 14 then, yet she bared everything in that movie. As Pepsi Paloma, she was just less than a year old in show business. Earlier, she carried the name Scarlet but that screen name didn’t bring any luck so manager Rey dela Cruz thought of this new name and started his own stable of softdrink beauties. But in the movie circles, Pepsi will be remembered as the complainant of a rape case filed in July 1982 against television hosts Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and Ritchie D’Horsey. The case rocked show business for four months until it was dismissed on October 16 after the parties sought forgiveness from the actress.

From then on, she was in the vortex of controversy. She chose to leave manager Rey dela Cruz to live with boyfriend Roy Rustan in the boy’s Makati residence. Less than a year after the celebrated rape case, she found herself the defendant in an obscenity case filed against her in Bulacan. That time, the PC Criminal Investigation Service (CIS) people raided the Paulette theater in Baliuag and arrested Pepsi along with two other dancers for alleged indecent show.

Her liason with Rustan and Laila Dee, who acted as her manager, was short-lived. People in the know professed that she had an abortion at this time. She returned to Rey dela Cruz’s fold in 1983. She was underweight, less than 80 lbs., so Rey had her confined in a private clinic. A simple case of drug abuse, insiders claimed.

There were several suicide attempts. Sometime in 1982 when the rape case was in progress, she attempted suicide with a blade but Rey and Gil Guerrero came in time to prevent that.

Pepsi Paloma could have celebrated her 18th birthday next year. “She was looking forward to that event,” Babette Corcuerra, her acting manager at present told the Times Journal. “Pinapangako niya na nga ako to throw a big party for her sa isang hotel dahil debut niya raw ito.”

Pepsi was the eldest of four children of Lydia Duenas Smith, a native of Borac, Northern Samar, and an American letter carrier, Kenneth Smith, who deserted the family when the children were still young. A talent scout, Tita Ester, brought her to Rey dela Cruz in 1980 for possible movie roles. “Ikaw ang kapalit in Rio Locsin sa Akin,” Rey told the young girl. But it was Myrna Castillo who came later than Pepsi who made it big first in the movie scene. Pepsi waited for sometime until Celso Ad. Castillo took her for Brown Emmanuelle and Virgin People.

After the celebrated rape case, a producer tried exploiting the case by making a movie, The Victim, with Pepsi in the title role. Together with Celso’s Virgin People, the movie also made a killing in the box office during the 1983 Manila International Film Festival.

Pepsi had an adopted son, Chuck, who is four months old.

Julie Vega, 16 Yrs Old

Julie Vega1(May 21, 1968May 6, 1985), was a Filipina child actress and singer. She remains popular and well-loved in the Philippines, years after her sudden death at the age of 16 triggered a massive outpouring of nationwide grief that is still vividly remembered by Filipino showbiz fans.  She won two FAMAS Awards for Best Child Actress during her brief showbiz career.

Not long after her high school graduation in 1985, Vega began complaining of extreme weakness and lack of sensation, particularly on her lower body. This prompted her parents to bring her to a private hospital for diagnosis and treatment. She was later diagnosed with a form of demyelinating disease, which was highly suspected to be either Guillain-Barré syndrome or multiple sclerosis. As Vega’s condition became worse, her parents were forced to have her confined to the Quezon Institute as they could no longer afford the increasing amount of her hospital bills. Sometime after her confinement there, she contracted bronchopneumonia, making her condition even worse than before.

Vega was transferred to the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City at about 5:00 p.m on May 6, 1985 where she died suddenly and peacefully around 90 minutes later at the hospital’s intensive care unit, just 15 days shy of her 17th birthday. Her cause of death was officially listed as cardiac arrest secondary to bronchopneumonia. Her untimely death left Anna Liza with an incomplete storyline and the Filipino people in total shock. After lying in state at Mount Carmel Church in Quezon City, her body was laid to rest right next to her brother’s grave at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City in a funeral attended by countless of grieving fans and colleagues from Philippine showbiz.

She will surely be missed.

Stella Strada, 21(?) Yrs Old

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Stella Strada started her movie career in a very high note in 1983 in Seiko Films’ Kirot. She was Seiko’s top honcho Robbie Tan’s prized contract star. She was making one blockbuster movie after another. Movies like Puri, Angkinin Mo Ako, Hanguin Mo Ako sa Putik, Kriminal and Sex Education were all sensational hits.
In the latter part of her life, Stella’s movie career took a nosedive as less and less film offers came her way, as she decided not to do any bold movies. She became so depressed that she was reportedly went into drugs. She even hired a new manager to supervise her career. On December 28, 1984, she committed suicide together with her confidant. Both were found hanged. The sad story shocked the whole movie industry. Her death has been shrouded with mystery as police authorities were trying to piece the evidences together.

Despondency and drugs may have led bold star Stella Strada to take her own life yesterday morning. Strada apparently hanged herself inside her bedroom with Rene, an old friend whose full identity remained unknown to the police. She was known to have been resorting to illegal drugs in periods of depression. She is known to have attempted suicide several times by slashing her wrists. Police investigators raised the possibility that Strada and Rene were high on drugs when they committed suicide. They said the bodies will be autopsied for traces of drugs in their system but the results of the autopsy may not be available until after the New Year holidays.

Emma Ordinario, a housemaid, found Strada, Suzette Bishop in real life, and Rene hanging from nylon cords. Police said Ordinario knocked at the door to wake up Strada but no one answered. After a few minutes of banging on the door with no response from the actress, the housemaid decided to use a duplicate key. Strada’s neighbors at 327 Jose Abad Santos st., San Juan, then heard the screams of the hysterical Ordinario. Rthe police recovered an unsigned suicide note which read: “Mommy, walang nagmamahal sa akin at walang nakakaintindi ditto. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Isang bagay lang ang hinihiling ko. Pakisunog ninyo lahat ng gamit ko at walang ititira.” Ordinario confirmed that the note was in the actress’ own handwriting.

Strada was reported to have been depressed lately because of dwindling movie offers. It was reported that after her successful films like Angkinin Mo Ako, Kirot, and Puri, she became a born-again Christian and decided not to accept any more bold roles. The offers dwindled after that. Ernie Garcia, who co-starred with her in Angkinin Mo Ako said Strada was a loner. He said that during their shooting of the film, Strada covered her arms with bandages, apparently because she had cut her wrists in one of several suicide tries. “I hate to say this,” Garcia said, “but I think she had suicidal tendencies. Too bad because she was a very talented actress.”

Police investigators yesterday went to town with their theories on the deaths of bold star Stella Strada and her makeup artist that ranged from the bizarre to the ridiculous. So much so that many sympathizers of the bold star were openly wondering if the investigators are not deliberately muddling the investigation “to keep the limelight on them, for a while, at least.” One such theory holds that Strada and her makeup man, identified as Rene Mas, a 26-year-old native of Zamboanga who was residing at Road 29, Cogeo subdivision, Antipolo was a case of murder-suicide. Some investigators were quoted by media men as saying Strada and Mas did not die together— they died one after another, thus suggesting that one killed the other before committing suicide.

Another theory holds that Mas was, in fact, not just as “alalay” or confidant of Strada but a “live-in” lover. The investigators who suggested this took note of stories that even the father of Strada objected to such a relationship to a point that last Wednesday, he went to Strada’s apartment and scolded her for it. This may have caused despondency for both Strada and Mas that eventually led them to commit suicide, the investigators with this theory said. While the common belief now is that Strada and Mas committed suicide— they were found hanging by nylon cords inside Strada’s apartment in San Juan— investigators refused to confirm or deny this theory. They have also reportedly refused to show to Strada’s and Mas’ relatives the “suicide note” purportedly written by Strada before her death. The note was not signed but Strada’s maid confirmed it was written in the bold star’s own penmanship.
There are also reports that Strada left behind a tape recorder of her inner thoughts, frustrations and her goodbye to relatives. The tape is now reportedly in the keeping of Strada’s relatives but the police refused to confirm or deny this too.

Meanwhile, bits of stories about Strada’s unhappy childhood surfaced yesterday from people who claimed to have known her way back. All the stories confirmed speculations that her sad life, her addiction to drug and craving for love that was never satisfied led her to take her own life. One such story, said that she was sexually abused at the tender age of 9 and that she apparently has never shaken off the trauma. Another had it that she was in and out of jail on vagrancy charges. Still another was that she was really hooked on drugs that at one time, she was arrested and policemen found a syringe in her bag along with some drugs. Tell-tale scars on her arms seemed to bear the “drug use” stories.
But most of those who worked closely with her in the movies spoke highly of her and her talent for acting. One of them was Perla Bautista who played the role of Strada’s mother in her first and last films. “Mabait siya at malambing. Para sa akin, she was a misunderstood kid. Simple lang ang gusto niya at wala siyang kibo kung bago ka lang niyang kakilala. Matahimik at sof-spoken siya,” Bautista said. The first movie they made together was filmed for two weeks in Jalajala, a town by the Laguna lake. “Nakilala ko si Stella nang husto roon, pati na si Rene,” she recalled. (Rene is the same Rene Mas who committed suicide with Strada). “Malapit si Stella kay Rene pero sa aking palagay, hindi niya boyfriend ito. Hindi at ease si Stella with other people, lalo na sa crowd. Kung may mga taong hindi niya kilala, kumakapit siya sa braso ni Rene dahil parang security blanket niya ito.” Bautista believes Rene is just a close cofidant of the bold star. “Natural lang sa mga artista na magkaroon ng someone na at ease sila. Naniniwal si Stella na hindi siya mahal ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya. At si Rene lang siguro ang nag-uunawa sa kanya,” she said. When Strada was making Matamis ang Nakaw na Tubig in Lucena City with Perla, the actress was quite open with her screen mother. “Naging makuwento na siya sa akin,” Bautista said. Dahil homebody nga siya, naglilibang siya sa Betamax sa kuwarto niya. Sabi niya nga sa akin, nagsasawa na nga raw siyang manood ng Betamax at nag-aalaga na lamang ng mga pets sa bahay. May aso siyang mahal niya, may mga pusa at goldfish pa yata. She kept her emotions a lot to herself. I had still to see her to really let go then, “Bautista said. According to Bautista, Strada wanted to give up bold roles and try her hand at serious acting. “Siguro kayak o na.” Iyan ang sinasabi niya noon at nagtatanong nga siya ng mga pointers sa akin at napapansin ko she was really serious to make good at acting. Optimistic naman siya sa pagtanggap ng tao sa kanya bilang isang serious actress.” When they made Kirot, Strada had no boyfriend, Bautista said. “Pero close siya kay Edgar (Mande) dahil pareho silang matahimik.” Still two years later when they were in Lucena for that last film, Strada confided to Bautista some intimate things. “But nothing about boys in particular, she now recalls

Her friend Claudia Zobel died a year earlier from car crash.

Claudia Zobel, 19 Yrs Old

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The 19-year old actress, whose real name was Thelma Maloloy-on, died on the operating table of the Makati Medical Center three hours after the accident occurred at 4:30 a.m.  on February 10, 1984. Pfc. Loreto Santos of the Southern Police District’s traffic division said Claudia was with three relatives. They had come from a nightspot on Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City when they met the accident. The three, who also landed in the hospital, were identified as Marlon Antiquera, 26; Alli Tiquero, 28; and Raffy Jaudian, 25. The passengers of the Brasilia, bound for Pasay City from Cubao were identified as Abdhulla-Lawansa, a 19-year old boy from Lanao del Sur; Marcos Junes, 39; Bonny Panatulan, 36; and his wife, Julia, 33; who was reported to be pregnant. Lawansa was driving. They were treated for body injuries in the same hospital.

Movie sources said Claudia was just learning how to drive. Police said she lost control of the Mitsubishi Colt (plate No. PDS 119) when its left front wheel hit the island gutter. The car flipped on the other side and straight into the path of the oncoming Brasilia. The car, owned by couturier Goulee Gorospe, was a total wreck. Claudia, whose first picture, Shame, was initially banned by the censors board but later allowed to be shown with cuts, was pinned between the driver’s seat and the steering wheel.

News of her death was relayed yesterday morning to her relatives in Mandaue City, where she grew up, by Lily Monteverde, producer of Regal Films with which she had an exclusive contract. In an interview with the Times Journal yesterday, Monteverde said she will release Claudia’s just completed film, Forbidden (retitled as Sinner or Saint), immediately. The actual playdate had been set for late this year. The proceeds will go to Claudia’s family, Monteverde added.
The actress would have celebrated her 19th birthday on Febraury 27. Her mother, who has a heart condition had just been hospitalized for two weeks. Claudia even sent her off at the domestic airport last Tuesday, sources said.
Friends and acquaintances of the actress said she had been depressed the past few days over her breakup with her boyfriend, a certain “Jeffrey.”

Fellow acctress/friend  Stella Strada committed suicide a year after her tragic death.

Ninoy Aquino, 50 Yrs Old

Ninoy_Aquino(November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Philippine Senator, Governor of Tarlac, and an opposition leader against President Ferdinand Marcos. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport (later renamed in his honor) upon returning home from exile in the United States. His death catapulted his widow, Corazon Aquino, to the limelight and subsequently to the presidency, replacing the 20-year Marcos regime. In 2004, the anniversary of his death was proclaimed as a national holiday now known as Ninoy Aquino Day.

Early Life

Benigno Servillano Aquino was born in Concepcion, Tarlac, to a prosperous family of hacienderos (landlords). His grandfather, Servillano Aquino, was a general in the revolutionary army of Emilio Aguinaldo while his father, Benigno Aquino, Sr. (1894-1947) was a prominent official in the World War II Japanese-organized government of José P. Laurel. His mother was Doña Aurora Aquino-Aquino (who was also his father’s third cousin). His father died while Benigno Aquino was in his teens amid rumors of collaboration with the Japanese during the occupation. Aquino was educated in private schools–St. Joseph’s College, Ateneo de Manila, and De La Salle College. He finished high school at San Beda College. Aquino took his tertiary education at the Ateneo de Manila to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, but he interrupted his studies.  At age 17, he was the youngest war correspondent to cover the Korean War for the newspaper The Manila Times of Joaquin “Chino” Roces. Because of his journalistic feats, he received a Philippine Legion of Honor award from President Elpidio Quirino at age 18. At 21, he became a close adviser to then defense secretary Ramon Magsaysay. Ninoy took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he became a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. He interrupted his studies again however to pursue a career in journalism. According to Maximo V. Soliven, Aquino “later ‘explained’ that he had decided to go to as many schools as possible, so that he could make as many new friends as possible.” In early 1954, he was appointed by President Ramon Magsaysay to act as personal emissary to Luis Taruc, leader of the Hukbalahap rebel group. After four months of negotiations, he was credited for Taruc’s unconditional surrender. He became mayor of Concepcion in 1955 at the age of 22. In the same year he married Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco, and they had five children; Maria Elena (Ballsy), Aurora Corazon (Pinky), Benigno Simeon III (Noynoy), Victoria Eliza (Viel), and actress and TV host Kristina Bernadette (Kris).

Political Career

Benigno Aquino was no stranger to Philippine politics. He came from a family that had been involved with some of the country’s political heavyweights. His grandfather served under President Aguinaldo while his father held office under Presidents Manuel L. Quezon and Jose P. Laurel. Benigno Aquino became the youngest municipal mayor at age 22, and the nation’s youngest vice-governor at 27. He became governor of Tarlac province in 1961 at age 29, then secretary-general of the Liberal Party in 1966. In 1967 he made history by becoming the youngest elected senator in the country’s history at age 34. He was the only “survivor” of the Liberal Party who made it to the senate, where he was inevitably singled out by Marcos and his allies as their greatest threat. In 1968, during his first year in the Upper House, Aquino warned that Marcos was on the road to establishing “a garrison state” by “ballooning the armed forces budget”, saddling the defense establishment with “overstaying generals” and “militarizing our civilian government offices”–all these caveats were uttered barely four years before martial law.

In myriad ways Aquino bedeviled the Marcos regime, chipping away at its monolithic facade. His most celebrated speech, insolently entitled “A Pantheon for Imelda”, was delivered on February 10, 1969, and assailed the first lady’s first extravagant project, the P50 million Cultural Center, which he dubbed “a monument to shame”. An outraged President Marcos called Aquino “a congenital liar”. The First Lady’s friends angrily accused Aquino of being “ungallant”. These so-called “fiscalization” tactics of Aquino quickly became his trademark in the senate. During his tenure as senator, he was selected by the Philippine Free Press magazine as one of the nation’s most outstanding senators. His achievements at such a young age earned him the moniker “Wonder Boy” of Philippine politics.

No chance Aquino was seen as a contender by many for the highest office in the land, the presidency. Surveys during those times showed that he was the number one choice among Filipinos, since President Marcos by law was prohibited to serve another term

It was not until the Plaza Miranda bombing however—on August 21, 1971 (12 years to the day before Ninoy Aquino’s own assassination)–that the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. At 9:15 p.m., at the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party, the candidates had formed a line on a makeshift platform and were raising their hands as the crowd applauded. The band played, a fireworks display drew all eyes, when suddenly there were two loud explosions that obviously were not part of the show. In an instant the stage became a scene of wild carnage. The police later discovered two fragmentation grenades that had been thrown at the stage by “unknown persons”. 8 people died, 120 others were wounded, many critically. Aquino was absent at the incident.

Although suspicions pointed to the Nacionalistas (the political party of Marcos), Marcos allies sought to deflect this by insinuating that, perhaps, Aquino might have had a hand in the blast in a bid to eliminate his potential rivals within the party. Later, the Marcos government presented “evidence” of the bombings as well as an alleged threat of a communist insurgency, suggesting that the bombings were the handiwork of the growing New People’s Army. Marcos made this a pretext to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, vowed that the killers would be apprehended within 48 hours, and arrested a score of known “Maoists” on general principle. Ironically, the police captured one of the bombers, who was identified as a sergeant of the firearms and explosive section of the Philippine Constabulary, a military arm of the government. According to Aquino, this man was later snatched from police custody by military personnel and the public never heard from him again.

President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids and two glasses of water a day. Even as he grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly dragged him to the military tribunal’s session. His family and hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan, praying for his survival. Near the end, Aquino’s weight had dropped from 180 to 120 pounds. Aquino nonetheless maintained the ability to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975, on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40 days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture. But at 10:25 p.m. on November 25, 1977, the government-controlled Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco found Aquino guilty of all charges and he was sentenced to death by firing squad. However, Aquino and many others believed that Marcos, ever the shrewd strategist, would not let him suffer a death that would surely make Aquino a martyr.

1978 Elections

In 1978, from his prison cell, he was allowed to take part in the elections for Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). Although his friends, former Senators Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga preferred to boycott the elections, Aquino urged his supporters to organize and run 21 candidates in Metro Manila. Thus his political party, dubbed Lakas ng Bayan (People’s Power), was born. The party’s acronym was “LABAN” (the word laban means “fight” in the Filipino language, Tagalog). He was allowed one television interview on Face the Nation (hosted by Ronnie Nathanielsz) and proved to a startled and impressed populace that imprisonment had neither dulled his rapier-like tongue nor dampened his fighting spirit. Foreign correspondents and diplomats asked what would happen to the LABAN ticket. People agreed with him that his party would win overwhelmingly in an honest election. Not surprisingly, all his candidates lost due to widespread election fraud.

In mid-March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack, possibly the result of seven years in prison, mostly in a solitary cell which must have taken a heavy toll on his gregarious personality. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center where he suffered a second heart attack. The doctors administered ECG and other tests and found that he had a blocked artery. The surgeons were reluctant to do a coronary bypass because of their unwillingness to be involved in a controversy. Additionally, Aquino refused to submit himself to the hands of local doctors, fearing possible Marcos “duplicity”, preferring to either go to the United States for the procedure or to return to his cell at Fort Bonifacio and die.

On May 8, 1980, Imelda Marcos made an unannounced visit to Aquino at his hospital room. She asked him if he would like to leave that evening for the U.S., but not before agreeing on two covenants: 1.) That if he leaves, he will return; 2.) While in America, he should not speak out against the Marcos regime. She then ordered General Fabian Ver and Mel Mathay to make necessary arrangements for passports and plane tickets for the Aquino family. Aquino was shoved in a closed van, rushed to his home on Times Street to pack, hustled to the airport and put on a plane bound for the U.S. that same day accompanied by his family.

Aquino was operated on at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He made a quick recovery, was walking within two weeks and making plans to fly to Damascus, Syria to contact Muslim leaders, which he did five weeks later. When he reiterated that he was returning to the Philippines, he received a surreptitious message from the Marcos government saying that he was now granted an extension of his “medical furlough”. Eventually, Aquino decided to renounce his two covenants with Malacañang “because of the dictates of higher national interest”. After all, Aquino added, “a pact with the devil is no pact at all”.

Aquino spent three years in self-exile, setting up house with Cory and their kids in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. On fellowship grants from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on the manuscripts of two books and gave a series of lectures in school halls, classrooms and auditoriums. He traveled extensively in the U.S. delivering speeches critical of the Marcos government.

Marcos and his officials, aware of Aquino’s growing popularity even in his absence, in turn accused Aquino of being the “Mad Bomber” and allegedly masterminding a rash of bombings that had rocked Metro Manila in 1981 and 1982. Aquino denied that he was advocating a bloody revolution, but warned that radicalized oppositionists were threatening to use violence soon. He urged Marcos to “heed the voice of conscience and moderation”, and declared himself willing to lay his own life on the line.

Planning the Return

Throughout his years of expatriation, Aquino was always aware that his life in the U.S. was temporary. He never stopped affirming his eventual return even as he enjoyed American hospitality and a peaceful life with his family on American soil. After spending 7 years and 7 months in prison, Aquino’s finances were in ruins. Making up for the lost time as the family’s breadwinner, he toured America; attending symposiums, lectures, and giving speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship, with the most memorable held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.

In the first quarter of 1983, Aquino was receiving news about the deteriorating political situation in his country combined with the rumored declining health (due to lupus) of President Ferdinand Marcos. He believed that it was expedient for him to speak to Marcos and present to him his rationale for the country’s return to democracy, before extremists took over and make such a change impossible. Moreover, his years of absence made his allies worry that the Filipinos might have resigned themselves to Marcos’ strongman rule and that without his leadership the centrist opposition would die a natural death.

Aquino decided to go back to the Philippines, fully aware of the dangers that awaited him. Warned that he would either be imprisoned or killed, Aquino answered, “if it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it. But I cannot be petrified by inaction, or fear of assassination, and therefore stay in the corner…” His family, however, learned from a Philippine Consulate official that there were orders from Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue any passports for them. At that time, their visas had expired and their renewal had been denied. They therefore formulated a plan for Ninoy to fly alone—to attract less attention—and the rest of the family to follow him after two weeks. Despite the government’s ban on issuing him a passport, Aquino was able to acquire one with the help of Rashid Lucman, a former congressman from Mindanao. It carried an alias, Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison).  He eventually obtained a legitimate passport from a sympathizer working in a Philippine consulate. The Marcos government warned all international airlines that they would be denied landing rights and forced to return if they tried to fly Ninoy to the Philippines. Aquino insisted that it was his natural right as a citizen to come back to his homeland, and that no government could prevent him from doing so. He left Logan International Airport on August 13, 1983, took a circuitous route home from Boston, via Los Angeles, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taipei, before heading towards Manila. He had chosen Taipei as the final stopover when he learned the Philippines had severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan. This made him feel more secure; the Taiwan authorities could pretend they were not aware of his presence. There would also be a couple of Taiwanese friends accompanying him.

It would have been perfectly convenient for the Marcos government if Aquino had stayed out of the local political arena, however Ninoy asserted his willingness to suffer the consequences declaring, “the Filipino is worth dying for.” He wished to express an earnest plea for Marcos to step down and seek a peaceful regime change and a return to democratic institutions. Anticipating the worst, during a pre-return interview held in his suite at the Taipei Grand Hotel, he revealed that he would be wearing a bullet-proof vest, but he also said that “it’s only good for the body, but for the head there’s nothing else we can do”. Sensing his own doom, he told the journalists accompanying him on the flight that they “have to be ready with your (hand) camera because this action can become very fast… in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over… and I may not be able to talk to you again after this….”  In his last formal statement that he wasn’t able to deliver, he said, “I have returned to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedom through nonviolence. I seek no confrontation.”

The Assasination

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Despite a convoy of security guards (all assigned to him by the Marcos government), a contingent of 1,200 military and police personnel on the tarmac, three armed bodyguards personally escorting him, and a bulletproof vest Aquino was wearing, Aquino was fatally shot in the head as he was escorted off the airplane. From the airplane, aviation security personnel were seen firing into the body of an unknown man dressed in blue, who was identified as Rolando Galman. Aquino’s body was quickly loaded into a van and sped away.

Initially government ran radio and television reported that Benigno Aquino was killed together with an “unknown” assassin  Then the government claimed that Aquino was killed by a Communist hitman named Rolando “Rolly” Galman, who was shot dead at the scene by the aviation security. However, politicians and diplomats found evident contradictions between the claim and the photos and the videotape footage that documented the time before and after the shooting. The footage had circulated throughout the Philippines at that time.

Everyone from the Central Intelligence Agency, to the United Nations, to the Communist Party of the Philippines to First Lady Imelda Marcos was accused of conspiracy. President Marcos was reportedly gravely ill, recovering from a kidney transplant when the incident occurred. Theories arose as to who was in charge and who ordered the execution. Some hypothesized that Marcos had a long-standing order for Aquino’s murder upon the latter’s return.

Aquino’s body lay in state in a glass coffin. No effort was made to disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. Aquino’s funeral procession on August 31 lasted from 9 a.m.–with a funeral mass officiated by the Catholic archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and held at Santo Domingo Church—to 9 p.m., when his body was interred at the Manila Memorial Park. Two million people lined the streets during the procession which was aired by the Church-sponsored Radio Veritas, the only station that covered the procession. The procession reached Rizal Park, where the Philippine flag was brought to half-staff.

Jovito Salonga, then heading the Liberal Party, said about Ninoy:

“… Ninoy was getting impatient in Boston, he felt isolated by the flow of events in the Philippines. In early 1983, Marcos was seriously ailing, the Philippine economy was just as rapidly declining, and insurgency was becoming a serious problem. Ninoy thought that by coming home he might be able to persuade Marcos to restore democracy and somehow revitalize the Liberal Party …”

and called him:

“…The greatest president we never had …”

Alfie Anido, 22 Years Old

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(December 31, 1959December 30, 1981) was a popular Filipino matinee idol best remembered for his death at the age of 22. He was the eldest of four children of Alberto Anido and Sara Serrano, and was the brother of Albert Anido, another Filipino actor.

Born Alfonso Serrano Anido, he was also a fashion and commercial model before he became a contract star for Regal Films, a leading Filipino film production company. He was dubbed as one of the Regal Babies, along with other then-young actors such as Gabby Concepcion, William Martinez, Albert Martinez, Jimi Melendez, Maricel Soriano, Snooky Serna and Dina Bonnevie. He was famously linked with Bonnevie, his co-star in the 1980 camp classic Temptation Island. At the time of his entry into show business, he was in college at the Ateneo de Manila University taking up Management.

To date, an air of mystery still surrounds the circumstances behind Anido’s death. The official version, contemporaneously reported in the mainstream Manila media, was that Anido had shot himself in a suicide. This version has not been officially or authoritatively contradicted to this day. However, immediately after his death, rumors quickly spread that Anido was actually murdered, and that such fact was covered up owing to the prominence of the personalities allegedly involved. Fingers started pointing to the direction of the family of an ex-girlfriend whose father was a high ranking government official. The rumor gained traction in Manila, which was then under the throes of the authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos, whose government controlled the mass media during that period. Other versions on the death of Anido were printed in the alternative press such as the Philippine Collegian, the official student organ of the University of the Philippines, a hotbed of anti-Marcos activism. While the rumor that Alfie Anido was murdered still persists, with the aura of an urban legend, the fact remains that no evidence has been put forth to rebut the official version of a suicide.

Abraham Sarmiento Jr., 27 yrs Old

also known as Ditto Sarmiento (June 5, 1950November 11, 1977) was a Filipino student journalist who gained prominence as an early and visible critic of the martial law government of President Ferdinand Marcos. As editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, Sarmiento melded the University of the Philippines student newspaper into an independent though solitary voice against martial law rule at a time when the mass media was under the control of the Marcos government. His subsequent seven-month imprisonment by the military impaired his health and contributed to his premature death.

After his release, Sarmiento, Jr. re-enrolled at the University of the Philippines and tried to keep a low profile.  However, his asthma had been aggravated by his detention, and he would regularly endure painful and severe attacks. A little over a year after his release, the 27-year old Sarmiento, Jr. was found dead on his bedroom floor after suffering a heart attack.

Two weeks after Sarmiento, Jr.’s death, the Collegian published an issue where emblazoned on the cover were the words “Para sa iyo, Ditto Sarmiento, sa iyong paglilingkod sa mag-aaral at sambayanan.” (“To you, Ditto Sarmiento, for your service to the studentry and the Filipino people.”) The cover also featured an outline of the U.P. Oblation with its right hand raised in a fist, having broken free from chains.  The University would award a posthumous degree to Sarmiento, Jr.

After Sarmiento, Jr.’s death, his father intensified his participation in the political opposition against the Marcos government, and would himself be detained in 1979 after publishing a book critical of the Marcos regime. After the ouster of the Marcos government, Abraham Sarmiento would be appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

In 1992, Sarmiento, Jr. was listed as among “65 Martyrs” who were enshrined in the Wall of Remembrance at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, a monument to victims and heroes of martial law located at Quezon Avenue in Quezon City

General Gregorio del Pilar, 24 Yrs Old

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Gregorio del Pilar y Sempio (November 14, 1875—December 2, 1899) was one of the youngest generals in the Philippine Revolutionary Forces during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War. He was called the “Boy General” because of his youth.

Born on November 14, 1875 to Fernando H. del Pilar and Felipa Sempio of Bulacan, Bulacan, del Pilar was the nephew of propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar and Toribio H. del Pilar, who was exiled to Guam for his involvement in the 1872 Cavite Mutiny.

“Goyo”, as he was casually known, studied at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1896, at the age of 20. When the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule broke out in August under the leadership of Andres Bonifacio, del Pilar joined the insurgency. He distinguished himself as a field commander while fighting Spanish garrisons in Bulacan.

He later joined General Emilio Aguinaldo, who had gained control of the movement, in Hong Kong after the truce at Biak-na-Bato. During the Spanish American War, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines and established the government of the First Philippine Republic. He appointed del Pilar section leader of the revolutionary forces in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. On June 1, del Pilar landed in Bulacan with rifles purchased in Hong Kong, quickly laying siege on the Spanish forces in the province. When the Spaniards surrendered to del Pilar, he brought his men to Caloocan, Manila to support the other troops battling the Spaniards there.

When the Philippine-American War broke-out on February 1899, del Pilar led his troops to a short victory over Major Franklin Bell in the first phase of the Battle of Quingua on April 23, 1899, in which his forces repelled a cavalry charge and killed the highly respected Colonel John M. Stotsenburg, after whom Clark Air Base was originally named (Fort Stotsenburg).

On December 2, 1899, del Pilar led 60 Filipino soldiers of Aguinaldo’s rear guard in the Battle of Tirad Pass against the “Texas Regiment”, the 33rd Infantry Regiment of the United States led by Peyton C. March. A delaying action to cover Aguinaldo’s retreat, the five-hour standoff resulted in del Pilar’s death due to a shot to the neck (at the height or end of the fighting, depending on eyewitness accounts). Del Pilar’s body was later despoiled and looted by the victorious Americans soldiers.

Del Pilar’s body lay unburied for days, exposed to the elements. While retracing the trail, an American officer, Lt. Dennis P. Quinlan, gave the body a traditional U.S. military burial. Upon del Pilar’s tombstone, Quinlan inscribed, “An Officer and a Gentleman”.

In 1930, del Pilar’s body was exhumed and was identified by the old tooth and braces he had installed while in exile in Hong Kong.

Hermano Pule, 26 Yrs Old

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(1815-1841) was born Apolinario de la Cruz in barrio Pandác, Lucbán, Tayabas (now Quezon), but is better known as Hermano Pule. He led the first major revolt in the Philippines, based on a struggle for religious freedom and independence.

As an infant, Apolinario wanted to become a priest. At the age of 24 in 1839, he attempted to enter a prestigious monastic order in Manila. He was refused because he was considered of a lower social class, an ‘indio’ (native and indigent). Frustrated, he worked in the San Juan de Dios Hospital. During his spare time, he studied the Bible and other religious material. He also listened to church sermons, thus developing his own racially-inspired versions of theology.

In June 1840, without permission of the Holy Father, he founded the Cofradia de San José (Confraternity of St. Joseph) which excluded all Caucasians. The brotherhood fostered a practice of Christian virtues, while excluding brothers and sisters of other races. When Spanish religious authorities became aware of the creation of the organization, it was condemned as heresy and against the teaching of Christ of brotherly love. The brotherhood’s number grew despite its proscription by the Catholic Church.

Authorities, including (Spanish)Governor-General Marcelino Oraa and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Segui, regarded the Cofradia as heresy and an abomination of universal Christian values, ordering its dissolution. Despite its religious prohibition, the Cofradia continued to multiply in its numbers.

Feeling an attack on their religious freedom from Catholic authorities, Pule rallied 4,000 followers at Barrio Isabang on the slope of Mount Banahaw and was able to resist an attack by Alcalde-mayor Juan Ortega and his 300 men on October 23, 1841.

However, reinforcements came on November 1st, with Colonel Joaquin Huet who annihilated the Cofradia forces, allegedly massacring hundreds of old men, women and children who joined Pule in Alitao in defying the Catholic leaders of the Church.

Pule fled to Barrio Ibanga but was captured by authorities the following evening, and on November 4, 1841 he was executed by a firing squad at the town of Tayabas.

Juan Luna, 42 Yrs Old

225px-Juan_luna_PG(October 23, 1857December 7, 1899) was a Ilocano Filipino painter and a political activist of the Philippine Revolution during the 1800s. He became one of the first recognized Philippine artist and he painted in the manner of the Spanish and French Academy during his time. He painted literary with historical scenes and his works dealt with politics, harmony and theatrical poses. He was appreciated for his confident and forceful brushwork.

In 1883 Luna started the painting demanded of him by the Ayuntamiento. In May 1884, he shipped the large canvas of the Spoliarium to Madrid for the year’s Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes. He was the first recipient of the three gold medals awarded in the exhibition and Luna gained recognition among the connoisseurs and art critics present. On June 25, 1884, Filipino and Spanish nobles organized an event celebrating Luna’s win in the exhibition. That evening, Rizal prepared a speech for his friend, addressing the two significant things of his art work, which included the glorification of genius and the grandeur of his artistic skills.

Luna developed a friendly relationship with the King of Spain and was later commissioned by the Spanish Senate to paint a large canvas which was called the La Batalla de Lepanto (The Battle of Lepanto). He moved to Paris in 1885 where he opened his own studio and befriended Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. A year after, he finished the piece El Pacto de Sangre (The Blood Compact) in accordance with the agreement he had with the Ayuntamiento of Manila. Depicted in this piece was the blood compact ceremony between the native chieftain Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. It is displayed in the Malacañang Palace. He also sent two other paintings in addition to the one required; the second canvas sent to Manila was a portrait of Don Miguel López de Legazpi reconstructed by Luna from his recollection of López de Legazpi’s portrait he saw in the hall of the Cabildo, and the third was of Governor-general Ramón Blanco y Erenas.

In 1887, Luna once again traveled back to Spain to enter in that year’s Exposition two of his pieces, the La Batalla de Lepanto and Rendición de Granada (Surrender of Granada), which both won in the exhibition. He celebrated his triumph with his friends in Madrid with Graciano Lopez-Jaena delivered Luna a congratulatory speech. Luna’s paintings are generally described as being vigorous and dramatic. With its elements of Romanticism, his style shows the influence of Delacroix, Rembrandt, and Daumier.

On December 8, 1886, Luna married Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera a sister of his friend Felix and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. The couple traveled to Venice and Rome and settled in Paris. They had one son, whom they named Andrés, and a daughter who died in infancy. Luna was fond of painting his wife. Unfortunately, an occurrence tragically ended their married life. The jealous Luna frequently accused Paz of having an affair with a certain Monsieur Dussaq. Finally in a fit of jealousy, he killed his wife and mother-in-law and wounded his brother-in-law, Felix, on September 23, 1892. He was arrested and murder charges were filed against him. On February 8, 1893 he was acquitted and was ordered to pay the Pardo de Taveras a sum of one thousand six hundred fifty one francs and eighty three cents, and an additional twenty five francs for postage, in addition to the interest of damages. After his acquittal, Luna, with his brother Antonio Luna and his son Andrés went to Madrid.

Spoliarium painted by Juan Luna
Spoliarium painted by Juan Luna

In 1891 Luna moved back to the Philippines and traveled to Japan in 1896, returning during the Philippine Revolution of the Cry of Balintawak. Unfortunately, on September 16, 1896, he and his brother Antonio Luna were arrested by Spanish authorities for being involved with the Katipunan rebel army. Despite his imprisonment, Luna was still able to produce a work of art which he gave to a priest’s visit. He was pardoned by the Spanish courts on May 27, 1897 and was released from prison and he traveled back to Spain. In 1898, he was appointed by the executive board of the Philippine revolutionary government as a member of the Paris delegation which was working for the diplomatic recognition of the República Filipina (Philippine Republic). In 1899, upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1898), Luna was named a member of the delegation to Washington to press for the recognition of the Philippine government.

He traveled back to the Philippines in December 1899 upon hearing of the death of his brother Antonio who was in Hong Kong in exile. On December 7, 1899, Luna suffered a heart attack and died there. His remains were buried in Hong Kong and in 1920 were exhumed and kept in Andrés Luna’s house, to be later transferred to a niche at the Crypt Chapel of San Agustin in the Philippines. Five years later, Juan would be reinstated as a world renowned artist and Peuple et Rois, his last major work, was acclaimed the best entry to the Universal Exposition of St. Louis in the United States. Unfortunately some of his paintings were destroyed by fire in World War II.

Jose Rizal, 35 Yrs Old

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(June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896, Bagumbayan), was a Filipino polymath: a poet, writer, artist, intellectual, and educator. He was a nationalist and the pre-eminent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. Rizal’s 1896 court-martial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. He is widely considered the most prominent Filipino and a national hero. Since Philippine Independence, the anniversary of Rizal’s death has been commemorated as a national holiday.

Born to a wealthy family, Rizal earned a Bachelor of Arts at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. He enrolled in both the schools of Medicine and Philosophy and Letters at the University of Santo Tomas. Then he traveled to Madrid, Spain to continue studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He attended the University of Paris before completing his second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg. Rizal was conversant in at least ten languages. His most famous works were his two novels, Noli me Tangere and El filibusterismo. These social commentaries on the Philippines formed the nucleus of literature that both inspired dissent among peaceful reformists and spurred the militancy of armed revolutionaries against the Spanish regime.

Rizal founded La Liga Filipina (The Philippine League), a civic organization working to reform Spanish colonial rule. Rizal proposed institutional reforms by peaceful means, but the extent of his support for outright revolution has been subject to scholarly debate. Scholars agree that his political leadership and unjust execution by the government were major inspirations for the Philippine Revolution, led by Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo.

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Rizal had to walk from Fort Santiago to the place of execution, then Bagumbayan Field (now called Luneta). His arms were tied tightly behind his back, and he was surrounded by a heavy guard. The Jesuits accompanied him. Rizal’s request to face his executioners was denied, as it was beyond the power of the commanding officer to grant. Rizal said he did not deserve such a death, for he was not a traitor to Spain. He was promised that his head would be respected. Without a blindfold and erect, Rizal turned his back to receive the bullets. He twisted a hand to indicate under the shoulder where the soldiers should aim so as to reach his heart. As the volley came, he turned and fell, face upwards, thus receiving the shots which ended his life.

Moments before his execution, with a backup force of Spanish troops, the Spanish surgeon general requested to take his pulse: it was normal. Aware of this, the Spanish sergeant hushed his men to silence when they began raising “¡vivas!” with the partisan crowd. Rizal’s last words were, “Consummatum est” (It is finished). These were among the Seven Last Words of Christ, as gathered from the Gospel accounts. This sentence appeared in the Gospel of John (John 19:30) of the Bible.

The government secretly buried Rizal in Paco Cemetery in Manila, where they placed no identification on his grave. When his sister Narcisa toured all possible gravesites, she found freshly turned earth at the cemetery and civil guards posted at the gate. Assuming this was the most likely spot, as there had never been ground burials before, she made a gift to the caretaker to mark the site, “RPJ”, Rizal’s initials in reverse.

He died too young.

Pancho Villa, 23 Yrs Old

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Francisco Guilledo (August 1, 1901July 14, 1925), known as Pancho Villa, was a Filipino flyweight boxer. Villa, who stood only 5 feet and 1 inch (154 cm) tall and never weighed more than 114 pounds (51 kg), rose from obscurity to win the World Flyweight boxing championship in 1923, earning acclaim in some quarters as “the greatest Asian fighter in boxing history”.  He was never knocked out in his entire boxing career, which ended with his sudden death at the age of 23 from complications following a tooth extraction.

Guilledo was born in Ilog, Negros Occidental, the son of a cowhand who abandoned his family when Guilledo was just six months old. He grew up in the hacienda of a wealthy local, helping his mother raise goats she tended on the farm.

When Guilledo was 11, he sailed to Iloilo City to work as a bootblack. While in Iloilo, he befriended a local boxer, and together they migrated to Manila, settling in Tondo. He would occasionally spar with friends, and soon attracted the attention of local boxing habitués. He fought his first professional fight in 1919 against Kid Castro. Within two years, he was the Philippine flyweight champion, having dethroned “Terrible Pondong“. He nearly gave up boxing after being spurned by a woman he courted, actually returning to Negros early in 1922 to retire. The clamor of Filipino boxing fans compelled him to return to the ring.

It appears that during this period, Guilledo was under the tutelage of at least two important local boxing figures. One was the American boxing promoter based in Manila Frank E. Churchill. Another was a Filipino ice plant executive and boxing manager named Paquito Villa. The renaming of Francisco Guilledo to Pancho Villa has been attributed to both men, depending on the source. One version tags Churchill as having renamed Guilledo into Villa, taking the name from the Mexican guerrilla leader. Another version maintains that Paquito Villa had legally adopted Guilledo as early as 1918, renaming him Pancho.

In May, 1922, Villa received an invitation from famed boxing promoter Tex Rickard to fight in the United States. He accepted the invitation, and sailed to America together with Churchill and Paquito Villa. He immediately won his first overseas fight against Abe Goldstein in Jersey City on June 7, 1922. He then fought and defeated Frankie Genaro on August 22, 1922. By this time, Villa had caught the attention of boxing aficionados, and he was slated to fight against the American flyweight champion Johnny Buff on September 15, 1922.

Villa defeated Buff in an upset, knocking out the champion in the 11th round to win the American flyweight championship. At this point, Villa had been in the American phase of his career for only 4 months. Villa lost the title early the following year to Genaro, who defeated the Filipino on points in a widely criticized decision. The unpopularity of Villa’s defeat on points proved fateful. Jimmy Wilde, the Welsh-born boxer and former world flyweight champion had decided to end his recent retirement and seek the then vacant world flyweight championship in a fight to be staged in America. While Genaro, the US champion, seemed as the logical choice to fight Wilde, Villa’s growing popularity soon convinced promoters that the Filipino would prove as the better draw.

Villa did not disappoint. On June 18, 1923, at the Polo Grounds in New York, Villa was cheered on to victory over Wilde by over 20,000 fans screaming “Viva Villa!” The win came by way of a knockout in the 7th round caused by a crashing right to Wilde’s jaw. Villa was described as relentless, pummeling Wilde with both hands, and causing the Welshman to also drop in the fourth and fifth rounds. Wilde never fought again.

The new world flyweight champion successfully defended his title several times and never relinquished it until his death just two years later. Villa returned to a hero’s welcome in Manila in September 1924, feted with a parade and a reception at Malacañan Palace. He also returned to his old haunts in Iloilo and his hometown in Negros. Before returning to the United States, he fought one more bout in Manila, against Clever Sencio, on May 2, 1925. Villa prevailed. None of the thousands of fans who saw that fight at Wallace Field knew that they had just witnessed Villa’s final victory, and the second to the last fight of his life.

Villa returned to the United States to prepare for his next match, a non-title fight against Jimmy McLarnin scheduled for July 4, 1925, at Ewing Field in Oakland. Days leading to the fight, Villa’s face became swollen due to an ulcerated tooth. According to contemporary newspaper accounts, on the morning of the fight, Villa went to a dentist to have the tooth extracted. Despite the pain and swelling, Villa insisted on going ahead with fight with McLarnin. Villa ended up spending most of the fight using one hand to protect his afflicted face. Given these circumstances, Villa naturally lost, though he managed to stay the distance. It was Villa’s last fight.

Two or three days after the McLarnin fight, Villa had three more teeth extracted after an infection was discovered. Against his dentist’s prescription of bed rest, Villa spent the next few days carousing with friends. Villa’s condition worsened thereafter, and by July 13, 1925, he had to be rushed to the hospital. It was then discovered that the infection had spread to Villa’s throat, resulting in Ludwig’s angina. Villa was rushed into surgery, but he lapsed into a coma while on the table, and died the following day, July 14, 1925, 17 days before he became 24 years old.

Villa’s remains were returned to Manila, and in August 1925, Villa was buried at Manila North Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, Gliceria.

Lilia Velez, 24 Yrs Old

46-GI Fever-Lilian Velez-sf(March 3, 1924June 26, 1948) was a Filipino film actress and singer. Her 1948 murder by a fellow actor scandalized post-war Philippines

Born in Cebu to a composer, Velez first came into the limelight when she won an amateur radio singing contest in the mid-1930s. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, her singing career thrived, and she popularized one of her father’s songs, Sa Kabukiran. Velez also won the heart of Jose Climaco, the manager of the radio station which had sponsored the contest which won her fame. They were married in 1942 and had one daughter.

Velez’s film career began upon the resumption of Filipino film production after the end of the war. She joined LVN Pictures, and with her husband as director, starred in such films as Binibiro Lamang Kita, Ang Estudyante, and Sa Kabukiran, inspired by the song that had earlier earned her fame. Her leading man in these films was Bernardo “Narding” Anzures, a former child actor.

After the success of Sa Kabukiran, LVN Pictures decided to cast Jaime de la Rosa as Velez’s leading man in her next film. The decision caused distress on the part of Anzures, who had seemingly become obsessed with the married Velez.

On the night of June 26, 1948, Anzures paid an unexpected visit to the Quezon City home of Velez. Upon his arrival, he stabbed Velez to death and a housemaid who had come to her mistress’s assistance. The crime was committed within view of Velez’s toddler-daughter Vivian, who was unharmed during the incident.

Anzures was promptly arrested, tried and convicted for the murders. The crime and the subsequent trial was cause celebre in Manila. Anzures later died in jail from tuberculosis; his exact motives for the murder were never fully determined.

Emilio Jacinto, 24 Yrs Old

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(December 15, 1875April 16, 1899), was a Filipino revolutionary known as the Brains of the Katipunan.

Born in Trozo,Tondo, Manila. Emilio Jacinto was the son of Mariano Jacinto and Josefa Dizon. His father died shortly after Jacinto was born, forcing his mother to send him to his uncle, Don José Dizon, so that he might have a better standard of living.

Jacinto was fluent in both Spanish and Tagalog, but preferred to speak in Spanish. He attended San Juan de Letran College, and later transferred to the University of Santo Tomas. The young Emilio showed his gratitude to his mother by helping her in household chores. He also studied very hard to get himself a good education. He dreamt of becoming a lawyer someday. But at eighteen, he joined the Katipunan and became its youngest member. When his mother learned about his membership in revolutionary society, she pleaded him to leave the organization. “Our country needs young people like myself, mother. I know father would have been proud of me if he were alive today,” said Emilio to his mother.

Jacinto became an important member of the secret society. He was elected secretary of the Katipunan’s supreme council. Later he became the member of its three-man secret chamber. His intelligence and dedication so impressed Andres Bonifacio that the Katipunan Supremo (supreme leader) took the young Jacinto, who was twelve years his junior, to be his personal adviser.

Jacinto edited the newspaper the Kalayaan, the secret society’s mouthpiece, whose publication helped swell the members of the Katipunan from 300 to 30, 000 just before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. He wrote the primer of Katipunan known as the Kartilla. Bonifacio and Jacinto became good friends. In one of their encounters with the Spaniards in Balara, Bonifacio shielded Jacinto from an oncoming bullet. The bullet grazed the collar of the Katipunan supremo was saved from harm.

Jacinto had neither new clothes nor a spotlessly clean pair of shoes during his graduation. But the Philippine history acknowledges him as the Brains of the Katipunan.

After Bonifacio’s death, Jacinto continued fighting the Spaniards. Like General Mariano Álvarez, he refused to join the forces of General Emilio Aguinaldo. He contracted malaria and died in Majayjay, Laguna, at the age of 24. His remains were later transferred to the Manila North Cemetery.

President Ramon Magsaysay, 49 Yrs Old

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Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay (August 31, 1907 – March 17, 1957) was the third President of the Third Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1957. He was elected President under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.

On March 16, 1957 Magsaysay left Manila for Cebu City where he spoke at three educational institutions. That same night, at about 1 a.m., he boarded the presidential plane “Mt. Pinatubo”, a C-47, heading back to Manila. In the early morning hours of March 17, his plane was reported missing. It was late in the afternoon that day that newspapers reported that the airplane had crashed on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu and that 25 of the 26 passengers and crew aboard were killed. Only newspaperman Néstor Mata survived. Vice President Carlos P. García, who was on an official visit to Australia at the time, assumed the presidency to serve out the last eight months of Magsaysay’s term.

An estimated 2 million people attended Magsaysay’s burial on March 22, 1957.[

Jose Palma, 27 yrs Old

jose palma(1876-1903) was a poet and soldier. He was born in Tondo, Manila, on June 3, 1876. He was the younger brother of Dr. Rafael Palma. Palma was also a staff member of La Independencia. He wrote Filipinas, a patriotic poem in Spanish, which became the lyrics of the Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine national anthem. He died in Manila, on February 12, 1903

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