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Reviving Visayan movies

By Ronald Constantino

WHY NOT? – Learned that Viva’s thinking of reviving Visayan movies, which was alive in the ‘50s. Then Mat Ranillo Jr. and Gloria Sevilla were the King and Queen of Visayan cinema, then based in Cebu.

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Told that Viva big boss Vic del Rosario assigned his trusted executives to study its feasibility, viability.

Well, why not? Visayan (or Cebuano) language is spoken all over the South, Mindanao included. Even in Luzon, there are many who speak Bisaya.

The Bulletin Publications has a weekly magazine, Bisaya…and also Bannawag (Ilocano) and Hiligaynon (Ilonggo).


VISAYAN STARS – Showbiz is teeming with Visayan stars.

As they come to mind: Asia’s Queen of Song Pilita Corrales, former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Pilar Pilapil, Vina Morales, Manilyn Reynes, Chanda Romero, Dulce, Annabelle Rama, Caridad Sanchez.

Remember Novo Bono Jr. (Tawag ng Tanghalan champion) and child star Frankie Navaja Jr.? Also singer Amapola.

Those with Cebuano roots include the Gutierrez siblings (Ruffa, Richard, and Raymond) Archie and Suzette Ranillo, Jackie Lou Blanco, Ramon Christopher.

ILONGGOS – May as well mention Ilonggos from showbiz, those coming from Negros, Iloilo, Guimaras, and other provinces in Panay Island.

Joel Torre. Ronnie Lazaro, Cynthia Patag, Edu Manzano, Betty Mae Piccio, directors Peque Gallaga and Erik Matti.

Kuh Ledesma’s father is from Iloilo.

Lucy Torres is from Ormoc, but she studied in UP Cebu.

Come to think of it, Gloria Sevilla remains active in movies and television. And is a long-standing member of the Movie & Television Review & Classification Board.

Another province in the South, Bohol, has its share of showbiz personalities. Cesar Montano, Rich Asuncion, music artist Litgardo Labad, and the late director Maryo J. de los Reyes.