Gloria Sevilla: Queen of Visayan Movies4
Not many locals today are aware of the richness of the film history in the Visayas and Mindanao . During the golden period of Cebu Film Industry in the 1950s, one Cebuano name emerged as the “Reyna ng Pelikulang Bisaya” or the Queen of Visayan Movies – Gloria Sevilla.
*image sourced from Famas Gabi ng Parangal
Hailing from the island of Bantayan , Gloria Sevilla was a daughter of a Cebu merchant. She starred in movies like Ang Mga Anak Intawn (Pity the Children), Rosas Pandan, and Mapait ang Balaod (Law is Harsh) to mention a few. She was often paired with Mat Ranillo, Jr. (who is also recognized as the “King of Visayan Movies”) and they were a very popular and sought after tandem at the height of their careers. They became a “love team” on- and off-cam.
Eventually, the couple went mainstream and continued their legacy of being outstanding actors. Gloria starred in many Tagalog pictures. In 1969, she was awarded Best Actress in the FAMAS and in the 16th Asian Film Festival. She was also part of the acclaimed Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamu (Once a Moth) wherein Philippine Superstar Nora Aunor was the lead cast. Gloria still occasionally appears in movies, television drama and comedy series, and others.
Until today, Sevilla remains to be an icon not only to Visayan and Cebuano Film Industry, but also to the Philippine film scene as well. And when Visayan films will come to rise again, moviegoers and filmmakers will keep looking back at how Gloria Sevilla reigned.