IN HONOR of her lifetime contribution to enriching Filipino culture through motion picture, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Urian) presented its 2019 Natatanging Gawad Urian (Lifetime Achievement Award) to multi-awarded veteran actress Gloria Sevilla last June 18 at the UPFI Film Center.
With an impressive body of work encompassing over seven decades, Sevilla is widely regarded as the Queen of Visayan Movies. She was only 14 when she was discovered after winning a high school oratorical contest at the University of the Visayas, Cebu City. She was introduced as the titular Muslim royalty in the movie Prinsesa Tinana in 1951 opposite her future husband, Mat Ranillo Jr.
“I just feel happy and complete when I’m acting in front of the camera,” said Sevilla, who is also a long-time board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). “I’m truly grateful to Urian for this lifetime achievement tribute which I will cherish until my last breath.”
The prestigious recognition comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of Gloria’s celebrated classic Visayan drama, “Badlis sa Kinabuhi,” which gave her her second best actress trophy after it was released in April 1969. Directed by the late Leroy Salvador Jr., “Badlis” also stars the late Mat Ranillo Jr., and child actor Frankie Navaja Jr.
“Badlis” was the first Visayan film to screen at at the Berlin and Moscow International film festivals in 1971, and which Sevilla both graced.
The only surviving flick out of the dozens produced by Sevilla, “Badlis sa Kinabuhi” was recently restored after a copy was found by her son, Junius, under the rubble of a gutted LVN Studio warehouse, according to Sevilla’s daughter Suzette Ranillo, herself a film and TV actress and director.
Sevilla also won numerous best actress and best supporting actress honors for movies including “Maestra,” “M: Mother’s Maiden Name,” “Madugong Paghihiganti” and “Gimingaw Ako,” plus several nominations for her brilliant turn in films like “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo,” “Boy Golden,” “Banaue,” “Tatlong Mukha ni Pandora,” “Kami’y Kaawaan,” “Dodong Ko,” “Sapang Palay” and “Ito Ang Pilipino.”
She even scored an international plum last year as best supporting actress at the Philaldelphia (USA) Independent Film Festival for “Maestra.”
She has two indie film dramas coming out this year (“Pagbalik” and “Tropang Potchi”), and a new drama series with ABS-CBN.
Following the death of her first husband in a plane crash, Sevilla later married fellow actor Amado Cortez, who was a Philippine ambassador at the time of his death. Gloria has six children from first marriage—Lilibeth, Mat Ranillo III, Suzette, Jonathan, Dandin and Junius. She and Amado has a daughter, Czareanah. (PR)