HAU starts countdown to birth centenary of Rogelio de la Rosa

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    ANGELES CITY- The Holy Angel University (HAU) here started a countdown, not for Christmas, but for the birth
    centenary of the late movie icon Rogelio de la Rosa, a native of Lubao, Pampanga. This early, the university’s
    Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS) is already preparing for the anniversary that will, however, still be in 2016.

    The center is already busy preparing a documentary paying him tribute. “With this modest tribute, we give notice to the Philippine movie industry to remember and honor the legacy of the first King of Philippine Movies, the first Filipino to win Best Actor in Asia, and the first movie star to enter politics and government service, setting a high benchmark for succeeding showbiz personalities many of whom, unfortunately, could not live up to,” CKS Director Robby Tantingco said.

    Born in Lubao on Nov. 11, 1916, De la Rosa became the first Filipino to star in an American Picture, “The Avenger,” which was produced in Hollywood. In 1956, he won the best actor award of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) for his role in “Higit sa Lahat,” with Emma Alegre, and adjudged Southeast Asia’a best actor in the Hongkong Film Festival.

    In 1957 he was elected senator. He sponsored a bill that led to the establishment of the Board of Censors, now the Movie and Television Classificaton Board. He ran for president in the 1961 elections against then incumbent Pres. Carlos Garcia but withdrew in favor of candidate Diosdado Macapagal, a fellow Kapampangan who won.

    De la Rosa was appointed in 1961 as Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia and designated as the dean of the diplomatic corps. Later, he was named ambassador to the Netherlands and concurrently ambassador to Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia.

    During this period, socialist countries came to recognize the Philippines. He was again designated the dean of
    the diplomatic corps during his tenure in the Netherlands. De la Rosa became an actor way back in 1929 with him being the star in the movie “Ligaw na Bulaklak” opposite Rosa del Rosario.

    He died of a heart attack on November 10, 1986, at the age of 70. He was married to Lota Delgado one of his leading ladies in the movies. Posters of De la Rosa’s films as well as portraits of famed Kapampangan producers, directors, actors, and actresses; are currently on display in the main building of HAU.

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