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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Gloria Sevilla Foundation launched at late actress’ Cebu tribute

Syril Gemida - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Multi-awarded Cebuana actress Gloria Sevilla etched her name in history as the Queen of Visayan Movies, and to commemorate her contribution and legacy, a tribute event dubbed “Hail! Gloria Sevilla!” was held last July 31 at the City Wing Atrium of SM Seaside City.

Her passing away last April 16 in Oakland, California brought grief to many filmmakers in Cebu. Organized by Marlon Hofer and headed by one of Gloria’s sons, Dandin Ranillo, the event served as an avenue for Cebuano movie enthusiasts to honor her vast body of work.

Also behind the tribute was the Cebu City government led by Mayor Michael Rama, the office of Cebu City councilor James Cuenco, SineGugma, and consultant for media affairs of Cebu, Sam Costanilla.

Guests got to watch her last Visayan film, 2013’s “Palad ta ang Nagbuot”, directed by Dandin.

In his opening statement, Hofer said, “This is a joyous occasion, and we would like to have a celebration that is beautiful, honest, and authentic. Our hearts are full of thanksgiving because Gloria Sevilla, though gone, will forever have an edge in our hearts.”

A video compilation of Gloria’s works from her early beginnings in Visayan cinema in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to her numerous television shows, was later shown during the event.

Gloria’s US-based son Jojo Ranillo, and his wife Alice were also in attendance. Jojo received the resolution issued by Gloria’s hometown of Sibonga expressing its deepest sympathy to the bereaved family.

Expressing his gratitude, Dandin said, “Words are not enough to thank you. I speak on behalf of the Ranillo family, thank you all for your unending love for my mom, our beloved Gloria Sevilla.”

Gloria’s eldest daughter Lilibeth Ranillo de Rivera and son Martin Ranillo III, who unfortunately were not able to attend the celebration, showed their gratitude through a video clip.

Asia’s Timeless Diva, Dulce, a close friend of Gloria, was present to perform the songs “Ikaduhang Bathala”, “Usahay”, and “Gimingaw Ako” – ditties that were used as music in Gloria’s old Visayan movies.

After serenading the crowd, the Cebuana singer turned emotional as she shared how Gloria had an immense influence on her especially in how to remain humble. “Dili nako malikayan nga maghilak while nagtan-aw sa video ganina kay I really appreciate your mom,” Dulce said, addressing Dandin and Jojo.

The launching of the Gloria Sevilla Foundation was likewise formally announced during the event. This is an initiative by Dandin, the chairman, and board members Mat Ranillo III, Lilibeth Ranillo de Rivera, Dr. Warfe Engracia, lawyer Michael Alan Ranillo, actor Richard Yap, and Dulce in hopes of reviving the people’s support for the Visayan cinema.

The foundation plans to hold seminars, productions, and workshops that will help in promoting Visayan films.

“I would humbly ask you to please support this foundation. Tabangi ko pinaagi sa donations, sa inyong ikatampo just to jumpstart the effort,” said Dandin.

Dandin also appealed to the Cebu Province and Cebu City Government to pass an ordinance declaring his late mother’s birthday, January 24, as Gloria Sevilla Day.

“I also would like to take this opportunity to request the present administration to finally activate the City Ordinance creating the Cebuano Cinema Development Council to serve as the umbrella organization of all local film producers, so that together we can promote and propagate our beloved Visayan films,” said Dandin.

Dandin has also spoken to the president of the FAMAS (Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences) Awards organization, suggesting that it recognize Visayan artists by giving awards in the Visayan category starting next year. The female artist awardee will receive the Gloria Sevilla best actress award while the male awardee will receive the Matt Ranillo Jr. best actor award.

It can be remembered that Gloria won a FAMAS best actress award for her film “Badlis sa Kinabuhi” in 1969.

GLORIA SEVILLA

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