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Gloria Diaz

Early Life and Family

Diaz was born in the Ilocos region of Northern Philippines. Often referred to as one of the Diaz clan in newspapers, Diaz was one of 12 children. One of her sisters, Rio Diaz-Cojuangco, was also a Filipino actress and beauty titlist, who fell ill with colon cancer and died after a six-year battle. She is cousin to many people, including Maria Diaz, who has 3 children.

Personal life
She is married to businessman Gabriel "Bong" Daza with whom she has two daughters, Isabella and Ava Esmeralda.

1969 Miss Universe

She was approached by an individual who believed she would do well in the Miss Universe competition and groomed the young woman. Oddly, none of her family members took the competition seriously and did not accompany Daz to Florida. Daz was only eighteen when she became Miss Universe of 1969 after outsmarting other candidates on the question on how to welcome the first men that had just landed on the moon--Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins--as soon as they were back on the planet. She was crowned in the international American-owned pageant in 1969 in Florida, U.S. after their footage was set on the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Acting career
Daz is also a well-respected actress in the Philippine film and TV industry. Her box-office mettle, as well as her acting prowess, was recently honored when she received the most-coveted FAMAS Award (the Philippine equivalent of the Oscars) of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences for Best Supporting Actress in her role as a spinster adoptive mother in the FAMAS Best Picture Nasaan Ka Man (2005).

Efren "Bata" Reyes

Reyes was born in Pampanga in 1954 and moved to Manila with his family, at the age of 5. In Manila, he worked as a billiards attendant at his uncle's billiards hall, where he started learning the various cue sports. Because he was not tall enough to reach the pool table, he played while standing on Coca-cola cases that he moved around. At night, while he was dreaming of playing pool, the pool table was his bed. He is called Bata, which is Filipino for "Kid", because there was another older pool player named Efren when he was young. To determine which Efren onlookers were referring to, he was nicknamed Efren Bata or the "Kid". At a young age, he played for money, and in the sixties and seventies, played carambola billiards (also known as three cushion billiards). After establishing himself as a winner, he was discovered by promoters. This gave him the opportunity to compete in big time tournaments. Reyes began winning a number of tournaments in the US, Europe and in parts of Asia. Thus, he started to gain attention and recognition worldwide. In fact at the start of his career he would use aliases to hide his true identity just so as to be allowed to compete. By the mid-1990s, he became one of the elite players of the Philippines alongside Jose Parica and Francisco Bustamante. Numerous fellow professional players have credited Reyes with being the greatest living player in the world. During ESPN television commentary on a semi-finals match the between Reyes and Mika Immonen at the 2000 Billiard Congress of America Open 9-Ball Championship, veteran professional Billy Incardona stated that Reyes was "indisputably the best player in the worldespecially when you consider all gameshe can play any game as well as anyone, maybe better than anyone.... In my opinion we're watching probably the greatest player in my lifetime and I've been watching pool for the better part of forty years."

Notable successes in pool

The fame of Efren Reyes began when he won the US Open Nine Ball Championship in 1994 by defeating Nick Varner in the finals. He was the first non-American ever to win the event. Two years later, Efren Reyes and Earl Strickland were chosen to face each other in an event called the Color of Money, named after the movie. The event was a 3-day race-to-120 challenge match of 9-ball. It was held in Hong Kong and has a winner-take-all prize of $100K. Reyes won the match 120-117 and the big prize. This was the largest single-winning purse in a pool event. Although Earl Strickland was the first to win the WPA World 9-ball Championship, Reyes, in 1999, became the first to win it broadcast on television. Note - this tournament was not recognized at the time by the WPA, but Reyes was later retrospectively acknowledged as the winner of one of two world championships held in 1999. Nick Varner won the other than-"official" world title, but this was a much smaller scale event than the one Reyes won. The two tournaments were merged for the following year, with both men listed as the champion for 1999. At the time, the Matchroom Sport-organised event in Cardiff, Wales, was called the World Professional Pool Championship (despite the entry of many nonprofessional players).

In 2001, Reyes won the International Billiard Tournament. The event was held in Tokyo, and had over 700 players and total purse of 100M ($850K). Reyes dominated the event by beating Niels Feijen in the finals 15-7 and earned the 20M($170K) first prize. At the time, this was biggest first prize in a pool tournament. By 2002, he won the $50K winner-take-all International Challenge of Champions. Reyes won the event, defeating Mika Immonen in a deciding rack after both players splitted sets. Then, in 2003, he became the first Asian to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame. Near the end of 2004, Reyes beat Marlon Manalo to become the first-ever WPA World Eight Ball Champion. With the win, he became the first player in WPA history to win two world championships of different disciplines. In December 2005, Reyes won the IPT King of the Hill 8-Ball Shootout. Reyes won a record-breaking $200K for first place by beating fellow Hall of Fame member Mike "the Mouth" Sigel two sets to none (8-0 and 8-5). In 2006, Reyes and Francisco Bustamante represented their country as Team Philippines in the inaugural World Cup of Pool. They defeated Team USA, formed by Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris, to capture the title That same year, Reyes won the IPT World Open Eight-ball Championship over Rodney Morris 8-6. He earned $500K which was the largest prize money tournament in the history of pocket billiards. Unfortunately, he hasn't claimed much of this as of 2007 due financial problems of the IPT. For 2007, he was ranked #2 in Pool & Billiard Magazine's "Fans' Top 20 Favorite Players" poll. In 2008, Warren Kiamco, 38, defeated Efren Reyes, 11-6, in the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Billiards Tournament on May 10, 2008 at the Sports Center of StarMall Alabang, Muntinlupa City. In 2009, The Filipino tandem of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante beat the German tandem of Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann in a grueling 11-9 win to take their second championship title. This, along with the semifinal finish of the other Filipino tandem of Ronato Alcano and Dennis Orcollo, was the best performance put up by a host nation in the tournament's history.

One of the world's most profitable players

As a player in professional pool, Reyes has been known to have won a number of money-rich tournaments worldwide. This makes him one of the most profitable players around. To prove it, he topped AZ Billiards Money List 5 times; 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006 he set a record by earning $646K in a single year.

Film and ambassador

In 2003, Mr. Reyes was featured in the Filipino movie Pakners with the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr.. On June 15, 2008, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and 2007 Women's Amway World Pool Championships finalist Rubilen "Bingkay" Amit will begin photography and had been cast to star with American Jennifer Barretta in and independent film, "9-Ball," at Universal Studios. This movie will be directed and produced by Main Street Production's Anthony Palma, with Ralph Clemente as executive producer. Reyes was appointed Philippine Sports Ambassador of the 2005 South East Asian Games alongside some of the Philippines' greatest athletes (Allan Caidic, Rafael Nepomuceno) to promote the event throughout the country.

Nicknames and aliases


Reyes is often called by his nickname "Bata" (Tagalog for ""Kid"), given to him by friends at his regular pool hall to distinguish him from an older Efren. Reyes, along with the other "Filipino invasion" players, revolutionized the way pool is played by their introduction to the sport of pinpoint precision kicking (going into a rail with the cue ball and then hitting an object ball). Reyes' ability to "kick safe" and to kick balls into intended pockets is legendary. This ability, coupled with his superb skill at other aspects of the game, led U.S. professionals to give him the appellation "The Magician".
"Cesar Morales"

"[The] first time I came over to the states, I used an alias of Cesar Morales. Pool players in the US already knew Efren Reyes as a great shooter from the Philippines, but they [hadn't]...seen...[me] person." Efren Reyes

Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga (born on February 22, 1971 in the Philippines) is a Filipina singer and actress who is best known for her musical role in Miss Saigon.[1] In the field of musical theatre, she is recognized for having won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Theatre World Awards, the first to win various international awards for a single role. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misrables on Broadway. Salonga is the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin in 1992 and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II in 1998 and in 2004, respectively.

1978-1988 Early career

Salonga started as a child star in the Philippines, making her professional debut in 1978 at the age of seven through the musical The King and I by Repertory Philippines. She became the lead star of Annie and joined other productions such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof, The Rose Tattoo, The Sound of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon, and The Fantasticks. She began her recording career at the age of ten with her first album, Small Voice, which received a gold certification. A song on the album, the duet "Happiness", marked her first recording collaboration with her younger brother Gerard Salonga, who would, years later, work with her either as musical director or creative director in her concerts and recordings. Her second album, "Lea", was released in 1988. In addition to performing in musical theater and recordings, Salonga hosted her own musical television show, Love, Lea, and was a member of the cast of German Moreno's teen variety show That's Entertainment. She likewise acted in films, which included the family-oriented Tropang Bulilit, Like Father, Like Son, Ninja Kids, Captain Barbell, and Pik Pak Boom. She also opened for international acts such as Menudo and Stevie Wonder in their concerts in Manila in 1985 and in 1988, respectively. As a young performer, Lea Salonga received a Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award nomination (the Philippine equivalent of an Oscar nomination) for Best Child Actress and three wins from the Aliw (literally, "entertainment") Awards as Best Child Performer.

1989-1992 International career

Salonga's big breakthrough came when she was selected to play Kim in the megahit musical Miss Saigon in 1989. Unable to find a strong enough Asian actress/singer in the United Kingdom, the producers scoured many countries looking for the lead role of this major British production. For her audition, the 17-year-old Salonga chose to sing Boublil and Schnberg's "On My Own" from Les Misrables and was later asked to sing "Sun and Moon" and "Over the Rainbow" to test the compatibility of her voice quality with the songs in the musical. The members of the panel were impressed with Salonga's rendition of the songs, noting that from Salongas very first note, they already knew they had a potential Kim. Salonga competed with childhood friend and fellow Repertory Philippines performer Monique Wilson as they were tested with songs from the musical, which included "Too Much for One Heart", a number replaced by the duet "Please" right before the musical opened.

Salonga was offered the lead role, with Wilson as the alternate (who was also assigned the role of bar girl Mimi). For her performance as Kim, Salonga won the Olivier for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for the 1989/1990 season. From its original London home, Miss Saigon moved to Broadway in April 1991. Salonga subsequently garnered the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and the Theatre World Awards for the same role. Between 1993 and 1996, she was asked periodically to play Kim on Broadway to boost ticket sales. In 1999, she was invited back to London to close the musical, and in 2001, at the age of 29 and after doing the Manila run of the musical, Salonga returned to Broadway to close the Broadway production. Between opening Miss Saigon in 1989 and closing it on Broadway 12 years later in 2001, Salonga became involved in other musical productions and projects. In 1990, Salonga performed in a major homecoming concert in Manila entitled A Miss Called Lea. She also received a Presidential Award of Merit from Philippine president Corazon Aquino.

In 1993, upon completion of her initial stint as Kim on Broadway, Salonga played the role of street waif Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Misrables, and later flew to Los Angeles to perform the song "A Whole New World" of Disney's Aladdin (Salonga is the singing voice of Princess Jasmine) with Brad Kane at the 65th Annual Academy Awards, where the song won an Oscar. That same year, she released her self-titled international debut album with Atlantic Records, which had modest sales in the USA but went platinum in the Philippines and sold 3 million copies worldwide. In 1994, Salonga played in various musical theater productions in the Philippines and Singapore. She starred as Sandy in Grease, as Sonia Walks in They're Playing Our Song, and as The Witch in Into The Woods. In 1995, Salonga, back in the U.S., played the role of Geri Riordan, an 18-year-old adopted Vietnamese American child in the movie Redwood Curtain, which starred John Lithgow and Jeff Daniels. She then flew back to the Philippines to star with Filipino matinee idol Aga Muhlach in the critically-acclaimed film Sana Maulit Muli, which gave her her second Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) award nomination, this time for Best Actress. She accepted an invitation from Sir Cameron Mackintosh to play the role of Eponine in the Les Miserable's 10th anniversary presentation called Les Miserables in Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Salonga performed as part of a "dream cast" composed of Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Judy Kuhn, and Philip Quast. In 1996, Salonga was in Les Miserables once again. She played Eponine in the London production of the musical, then continued on to do the role in the musical's U.S. national tour in Hawaii.

From 1997 to 2000, Salonga kept herself busy with recordings and concerts in the Philippines and another engagement in London, in addition to her periodic returns to Miss Saigon in London and on Broadway. In 1997, she released "I'd Like to Teach The World to Sing" (recordings from her childhood days) to gold sales in the Philippines. That recording was followed by "Lea...In Love" in 1998 and "By Heart" in 2000, with both albums reaching multiple platinum status in the Philippines. In addition to the release of these albums, she participated in the major tribute concert to Sir Cameron Mackintosh in London called "Hey Mr. Producer: The Musical World of Cameron MacKintosh", where she did numbers from different musicals mounted by the famous producer. She also performed in four concerts: The Homecoming Concert, The Millennium Concert, The Best of Manila, and Songs from the Screen the last two being benefit shows. Salonga closed the millennium with a grand Miss Saigon "homecoming" via the Manila production of the musical staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines at the end of 2000.

After Miss Saigon's closing on Broadway in 2001, Salonga recreated the role of Lien Hughes originally played by Ming-Na Wen in the soap opera As The World Turns. (After completing her contract that year, she was asked to return to the role in 2003.) She also guested on Russell Watson's The Voice concert, narrated for the television special My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and appeared on the Christmas episode of the TV medical drama E.R., playing the role of a patient with lymphoma. In 2002, Salonga returned to Broadway to play the role of a Chinese immigrant in a reinterpretation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song opposite Jose Llana. This was after the reinvented musical had a very successful run at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2001 with Salonga playing the lead role and with the show garnering multiple wins and nominations, including Lead Actress in a Musical for Salonga, from the Theatre Los Angeles Ovation Awards. The show, given a brand new libretto and considered one of the 10 best plays on Broadway in 2002 by Time Magazine, garnered Tony Award nominations for Best Book, Best Costume Designer, and Best Choreographer, and earned nominations from the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League, the Astaire Awards, and's Audience Awards and's Fans' Choice Awards as well. The Salonga-led Broadway revival cast album was also a top contender at the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Musical Show Album. While Ms. Salonga's performance was received positively by theater critics such as Matthew Murray, Heather Cross, Patrick Purdon, and John Simon, among others, she was not nominated at the Tony Awards for her brief stint on Broadway that season, although she did get nominations for Distinguished Performance from the Drama League, for Favorite Lead Actress in a Broadway Musical from's Audience Awards, and for Best Lead Actress in a Musical from's Fans' Choice Awards. Between the 2001 Los Angeles and 2002 Broadway productions of Flower Drum Song, she performed in a non-musical theatrical production for the first time, playing the role of Catherine in the stage play Proof in Manila. This was followed by a major concert, The Broadway Concert, at the Philippine International Convention Center. She also sang with Harry Connick, Peter Gallagher, and Michelle Lee in a tribute number for Richard Rodgers at the 56th Tony Awards. In 2003, Salonga was back in Manila to do her first "all-Filipino" concert called Songs from Home, which later won for her another Aliw Award as Entertainer of the Year (she had won it the year prior). Upon her return to the U.S., she performed in several shows at the Mohegan Sun in Montville, Connecticut. This was followed by a Christmas concert in the Philippines called Home for Christmas at the end of the year, which captured the critics' notice at the 18th Aliw Awards, and performances at the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in Marlton, New Jersey the following year, in 2004. Later that year, she was back on the stage as Lizzie in the Manila production of the musical Baby, which earned her yet another nomination from the Aliw Awards.

In 2005, Salonga played her first US concert tour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlantic City, and Chicago. Concert dates in Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Virginia followed. Later that year, Salonga performed with a 26-piece ensemble to a sold-out crowd at the Isaac Stern Hall in Carnegie Hall for the benefit of Diverse City Theater Company. Between her concerts, the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) bestowed her with the Golden Artist Award at the 53rd FAMAS Awards in honor of her international achievements. She performed during the grand opening of Hong Kong's Disneyland[84] and recorded two songs on tenor Daniel Rodriguez's In the Presence CD. That same year, too, Salonga did voice work for Disney's English dub of Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro as Mrs. Kusakabe (Salonga's other Disney film credits include the singing voice of Princess Jasmine for Aladdin in 1992 and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II in 1998 and in 2004, respectively). In 2006, at the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, Salonga concluded the closing ceremony with the song "Triumph of The One" before an audience of 50,000 people at the Khalifa Stadium. In 2007, Salonga released her first studio album in seven years called "Inspired", which has been certified platinum,[ and finished another stint in the musical Les Misrables on Broadway, this time as

Fantine. She is slated to appear in a number of musical events scheduled in different countries until 2008. Salonga received the Order of Lakandula Award from Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in recognition of her excellence in her craft and for using her talents to benefit Philippine society. It was also announced that she would return to Broadway in the musical Les Misrables, replacing Daphne Rubin-Vega as Fantine on March 6. Her tenure started, however, on March 2, four days earlier than planned. Her casting on the show has been credited with boosting the musical's ticket sales on Broadway. On September 27, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was in New York, watched Salonga in her new role in the musical, whose cast that night included Filipino Americans Adam Jacobs as Marius and Ali Ewoldt as Cosette. Her contract with the musical ended on October 21, 2007 and she was succeeded by Broadway's original Cosette Judy Kuhn. For her performances in this revival, Salonga received rave reviews and made it again to the short list of's Audience Award favoritesthis time for Best Replacement for her new role as Fantine. During her stint on Broadway this season, she appeared on Broadway on Broadway 2007 and Stars in the Alley 2007, spoke at the Broadway Artists Alliance Summer Intensives, guested on the Broadway musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and participated in Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS' 12th Annual Nothing Like A Dame event to benefit the women's health initiative of The Actors Fund. Right after doing Les Misrables, she performed in two events: at the US Military Academy Band's concert in West Point where she sang four songs and an encore and in her own concert at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York. As of November 2007, a number of performances were scheduled for the rest of the year and for 2008, including a Christmas presentation in Manila, concerts in other parts of the Philippines and in California, Hawaii, Hong Kong, and Guam and Broadway Asia Entertainment's international tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, where she plays the lead. In her 30-year career thus far, Salonga has performed for five Philippine presidents (from Ferdinand Marcos to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), three American Presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush), and for Diana, Princess of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Salonga, on July 3, 2008 started writing as columnist in Philippine Daily Inquirer - "Backstory" (Entertainment section), "Introducing: Lea Salonga, writer". She performed in "Global Pop" at the Music Center on July 11, 2008. It was presented by The Blue Ribbon a group founded by Dorothy Chandler in 1968. Backed by an orchestra of 19 musicians, Lea Salonga received a standing ovation for her historic solo concert at Frank Gehrys masterpiece on July 11 at Los Angeles iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Salonga also performed part of Rodgers and Hammersteins Theres Music in You, as preview of her coming show Cinderella, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on July 29. According to, the acclaimed singing actress is scheduled to offer concerts in Nevada, Washington, California, Indiana, New York, Hawaii and more in 2009 and was also asked to dance novelty Filipino dances "Ocho-ocho" and "Spaghetti." In July 2009 Lea was selected to become a new ambassador for Avon's line of anti-aging skin care products Anew Rejuvenate. Also in the same month, Lea was invited to sing at the 95th Anniversary Special of Iglesia Ni Cristo. She was given a standing ovation after her first song, which was an original Iglesia Ni Cristo composition and arranged by Ryan Cayabyab. On August 5, 2009, at the final requiem mass for President Corazon Aquino, Lea Salonga sang Bayan Ko as the final song right before Aquino's cortege is brought out from the Manila Cathedral.

Lea will play the pivotal role of Grizabella in Lunchbox Theatrical Productions staging of Cats in Manila. It will run for four weeks starting in July 2010, with a gala night and weekend matinees, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Education and Personal life

Lea Salonga is the eldest child of Feliciano Genuino Salonga and Ligaya Alcantara Imutan and spent the first six years of her childhood in Angeles City before moving to Manila. She is the sister of composer Gerard Salonga. Contrary to popular belief, she is not related to former Senator Jovito Salonga. She studied at the O. B. Montessori Center in Greenhills, Metro Manila, where she was a Bergamo 1 Student and an active participant in school productions. She also attended the University of the Philippines College of Music's extension program aimed at training musically talented children in music and stage movement. She was a college freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University when she auditioned for Miss Saigon and attended Fordham University when she was in New York. On January 10, 2004, Salonga married Robert Charles Chien, a Chinese-Japanese managing director of an entertainment software company in Los Angeles, California, whom she met while doing Flower Drum Song. They have a daughter, Nicole Beverly, born on May 16, 2006 and named after Salonga's late mother-in-law, Beverly Chien. She is also an avid video game enthusiast, and has mentioned her love for the hobby in several of her print articles.


Juan Luna
Early life
Born in the town of Badoc, Ilocos Norte in the northern Philippines, Luna was the third among the seven children of Don Joaquin Luna de San Pedro y Posada and Doa Laureana Novicio y Ancheta. In 1861, the Luna family moved to Manila and he went to Ateneo Municipal de Manila where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. He excelled in painting and drawing, and was influenced by his brother, Manuel Luna, who, according to Filipino patriot Jos Rizal, was a better painter than Juan himself. Luna enrolled at Escuela Nautica (Academia Naval) and became a sailor. He took drawing lessons under the illustrious painting teacher Lorenzo Guerrero of Ermita, Manila. He also enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts (Academia de Dibujo y Pintura) in Manila where he was influenced and taught how to draw by the Spanish artist Agustin Saez. Unfortunately, Luna's vigorous brush strokes displeased his teacher and Luna was discharged from the Academy. However, Guerrero was impressed by his skill and urged Luna to travel to Spain to further pursue his studies.

Travel abroad
In 1877 Manuel and Juan Luna traveled to Europe, where Manuel studied music and Juan painting. Juan entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he befriended the painter Don Alejo Vera. Luna was discontented with the style of teaching in school and decided that it would be much better to work with Vera. Vera brought him to Rome for some of his commissions, and Luna was exposed to the art of the Renaissance painters. It was in 1878 when his artistic talents was established with the opening of the first art exposition in Madrid which was called the Exposicin Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Demonstration of Beautiful Arts). From then on, Luna became engrossed in painting and produced a collection of paintings that he exhibited in the 1881 Exposition. His La Muerta de Cleopatra (The Death of Cleopatra) won him a silver medal and came in second place. Luna's growing reputation as an artist led to a pensionado (pension) scholarship at 600 pesos annually through the Ayuntamiento of Manila. The condition was that he was obliged to develop a painting which captured the essence of Philippine history which would then become the Ayuntamiento's property.

As an artist
In 1883 Luna started the painting demanded of him by the Ayuntamiento. In May 1884, he shipped the large canvas of the Spoliarium to Madrid for the year's Exposicin Nacional de Bellas Artes. He was the first recipient of the three gold medals awarded in the exhibition and Luna gained recognition among the connoisseurs and art critics present. On June 25, 1884, Filipino and Spanish nobles organized an event celebrating Luna's win in the exhibition. That evening, Rizal prepared a speech for his friend, addressing the two significant things of his art work, which included the glorification of genius and the grandeur of his artistic skills. Luna developed a friendly relationship with the King of Spain and was later commissioned by the Spanish Senate to paint a large canvas which was called the La Batalla de Lepanto (The Battle of

Lepanto). He moved to Paris in 1885 where he opened his own studio and befriended Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. A year after, he finished the piece El Pacto de Sangre (The Blood Compact) in accordance with the agreement he had with the Ayuntamiento of Manila. Depicted in this piece was the blood compact ceremony between the native chieftain Datu Sikatuna and the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lpez de Legazpi. It is displayed in the Malacaang Palace. He also sent two other paintings in addition to the one required; the second canvas sent to Manila was a portrait of Don Miguel Lpez de Legazpi reconstructed by Luna from his recollection of Lpez de Legazpi's portrait he saw in the hall of the Cabildo, and the third was of Governor-general Ramn Blanco y Erenas. In 1887, Luna once again traveled back to Spain to enter in that year's Exposition two of his pieces, the La Batalla de Lepanto and Rendicin de Granada (Surrender of Granada), which both won in the exhibition. He celebrated his triumph with his friends in Madrid with Graciano Lopez-Jaena delivered Luna a congratulatory speech. Luna's paintings are generally described as being vigorous and dramatic. With its elements of Romanticism, his style shows the influence of Delacroix, Rembrandt, and Daumier.

On December 8, 1886, Luna married Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera a sister of his friend Felix and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. The couple traveled to Venice and Rome and settled in Paris. They had one son, whom they named Andrs, and a daughter who died in infancy. Luna was fond of painting his wife. Unfortunately, an occurrence tragically ended their married life. The jealous Luna frequently accused Paz of having an affair with a certain Monsieur Dussaq. Finally in a fit of jealousy, he killed his wife and mother-in-law and wounded his brother-in-law, Felix, on September 23, 1892. He was arrested and murder charges were filed against him. Luna was acquitted of charges on February 8, 1893. He was ordered to pay the Pardo de Taveras a sum of one thousand six hundred fifty one francs and eighty three cents, and an additional twenty five francs for postage, in addition to the interest of damages. Five days later, Luna went to Madrid with his brother, Antonio Luna, and his son, Andrs.

Final years
In 1891 Luna moved back to the Philippines and traveled to Japan in 1896, returning during the Philippine Revolution of the Cry of Balintawak. Unfortunately, on September 16, 1896, he and his brother Antonio Luna were arrested by Spanish authorities for being involved with the Katipunan rebel army. Despite his imprisonment, Luna was still able to produce a work of art which he gave to a priest's visit. He was pardoned by the Spanish courts on May 27, 1897 and was released from prison and he traveled back to Spain. In 1898, he was appointed by the executive board of the Philippine revolutionary government as a member of the Paris delegation which was working for the diplomatic recognition of the Repblica Filipina (Philippine Republic). In 1899, upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1898), Luna was named a member of the delegation to Washington to press for the recognition of the Philippine government. He traveled back to the Philippines in December 1899 upon hearing of the death of his brother Antonio who was in Hong Kong in exile. On December 7, 1899, Luna suffered a heart attack and died there. His remains were buried in Hong Kong and in 1920 were exhumed and kept in Andrs Luna's house, to be later transferred to a niche at the Crypt Chapel of San Agustin in the Philippines. Five years later, Juan would be reinstated as a world renowned artist and Peuple et Rois, his last major work, was acclaimed the best entry to the Universal Exposition of St. Louis in the United States. Unfortunately some of his paintings were destroyed by fire in World War II.


Fe del Mundo
Fe del Mundo (born November 27, 1911) is a Filipino pediatrician. Possibly the first woman admitted as a student of the Harvard Medical School, she founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. Her pioneering work in pediatrics in the Philippines in an active medical practice that has spanned 8 decades has won her international recognition, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1977. In 1980, she was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines.

Early life and education

Del Mundo was born in Intramuros, Manila, her family home located just across the Manila Cathedral. Her father Bernardo served one term in the Philippine Assembly, representing the 2nd district of Tayabas. 3 of her 8 siblings died in infancy, while an older sister died from appendicitis at age 11. It was the death of her older sister, who had made known her desire to become a doctor for the poor, that spurred young del Mundo towards the medical profession. Del Mundo enrolled at the University of the Philippines, Manila in 1926 and earned her medical degree in 1933, graduating as class valedictorian. She passed the medical board exam that same year, placing third among the examinees. Her exposure while in medical school to various health conditions afflicting children in the provinces, particularly in Marinduque, led her to choose pediatrics as her specialization.

Admission to Harvard Medical School and post-graduate studies

After her graduation from U.P., del Mundo was offered a full scholarship to any school in the United States for further training in a medical field of her choice by President Manuel Quezon. She accepted the offer and chose to go to Harvard, arriving at Harvard Medical School in 1936. She was unwittingly enrolled in Harvard Medical School, an institution which did not yet then admit female students. As recounted in her official Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation biography: [Del Mundo] humorously relates that when she arrived in Boston and went to the dormitory assigned her in a letter from the director of the hospital housing, much to her surprise she found herself in a men's dorm. Unknowingly the Harvard officials had admitted a female to their all-male student body. But because her record was so strong the head of the pediatrics department saw no reason not to accept her. Thus, upsetting Harvard tradition, she became the first Philippine woman and the only female at the time to be enrolled at the Harvard Medical School. Some sources cite del Mundo as the first woman ever enrolled in Harvard Medical School , or the first woman to be enrolled at Pediatrics at the school, or even the first Asian admitted to the Harvard Medical School. On this point, del Mundo herself would acknowledge only that she was "the first [woman] coming from [as] far [as the Philippines]". However, Harvard Medical School began to accept female students only in 1945, nine years after del Mundo was enrolled in the school. Del Mundo remained in HMS until 1938, completing 3 Pediatric courses. She then took up a residency at the Billings Hospital of the University of Chicago, before returning to Massachusetts in 1939 for a two-year research fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Children's Hospital. She also enrolled at the Boston University School of Medicine, earning a Master's degree in bacteriology in 1940.


Medical practice
Del Mundo returned to the Philippines in 1941, shortly before the Japanese invasion of the country later that year. She joined the International Red Cross and volunteered to care for children-internees then detained at the University of Santo Tomas internment camp for foreign nationals. She set up a makeshift hospice within the internment camp, and her activities led her to be known as "The Angel of Santo Tomas". After the Japanese authorities shut down the hospice in 1943, del Mundo was asked by Manila mayor Len G. Guinto, Sr. to head a children's hospital under the auspices of the city government. The hospital was later expanded into a full-care medical center to cope with the mounting casualties during the Battle of Manila, and would be renamed the North General Hospital (later, the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center). Del Mundo would remain the hospital's director until 1948. Del Mundo joined the faculty of the University of Santo Tomas, then the Far Eastern University in 1954. She likewise established a small medical pediatric clinic to pursue a private practice.

Establishment of the Children's Medical Center

The Children's Medical Center of the Philippines in 1957.

Frustrated by the bureaucratic constraints in working for a government hospital, del Mundo had desired to establish her own pediatric hospital. Towards that end, she sold her home and most of her personal effects and obtained a sizable loan from the GSIS in order to finance the construction of her own hospital. The Children's Medical Center, a 100-bed hospital located in Quezon City, was inaugurated in 1957 as the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines. The hospital was expanded in 1966 through the establishment of an Institute of Maternal and Child Health, the first institution of its kind in Asia. Having sold her home to finance the medical center, del Mundo chose to reside at the second-floor of the hospital itself. As of 2007, she retains her living quarters at the hospital (since renamed the "Fe del Mundo Children's Medical Center Foundation"), rising daily at five in the morning and continuing to make her daily rounds even though she is now wheelchair-bound at 96 years of age.

The Dr. Fe Del Mundo Medical Center (Children's Medical Center of the Philippines, 1957)

As early as 1958, del Mundo conveyed her personal ownership over the hospital to a board of trustees. In July 2007, the Medical Center Foundation reported to the Department of Labor and Employment that it would cease operations after having incurred losses of more 100 million pesos. Reports soon emerged that a joint venture composed of the management and consulting firm Accent Healthcare and the STI Colleges had offered to lease, manage and operate the institution, thus precluding it from shutting down. [ Concerns over the employment status of the rank-and-file hospital employees following the takeover led to a strike that forced the temporary closure of the hospital in August 2007.. In September 2007, the

hospital announced its re-opening under the new management of the joint venture management firm Accent/STI Management, Inc. According to a statement released by the hospital, under the 20-year management lease agreement contracted with Accent/STI Management, Inc., the latter agreed to absorb the outstanding debts of the hospital.

Research and innovations

Del Mundo is noted for her pioneering work on infectious diseases in Philippine communities. Undeterred by the lack of well-equipped laboratories in post-war Philippines, she would not hesitate to send specimens or blood samples for analysis abroad. In the 1950s, she pursued studies on dengue fever, a common malady in the Philippines of which little was then yet known of. Her clinical observations on dengue, and the findings of research she later undertook on the disease are said to "have led to a fuller understanding of dengue fever as it afflicts the young". She authored over a hundred articles, reviews and reports in medical journals on such diseases as dengue, polio and measles. She also authored "Textbook of Pediatrics", a fundamental medical text used in Philippine medical schools. Del Mundo is active in the field of public health, with special concerns towards rural communities. She organized rural extension teams to advise mothers on breastfeeding and child care. and promoted the idea of linking hospitals to the community through the public immersion of physicians and other medical personnel to allow for greater coordination among health workers and the public for common health programs such as immunization and nutrition. She called for the greater integration of midwives into the medical community, considering their more visible presence within rural communities. Notwithstanding her own devout Catholicism, she is an advocate of family planning and population control. Del Mundo is also known for having devised an incubator made out of bamboo, designed for use in rural communities without electrical power.

In 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos named del Mundo as a National Scientist of the Philippines, the first Filipino woman to be so-named. Among the international honors bestowed on del Mundo was the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for Outstanding Service to Mankind, handed in 1966 by Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the citation as Outstanding Pediatrician and Humanitarian by the International Pediatric Association in 1977. Also in 1977, del Mundo was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.

Lorenzo Ruiz

Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, aka San Lorenzo de Manila (1600 September 29, 1637) is the first Chinese Filipino saint (protomartyr) venerated in the Roman Catholic Church. He was martyred during persecution of Japanese Christians under the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century. Early life Born in Binondo, Manila, Lorenzo Ruiz was of mixed Chinese and Filipino descent (mestizo). His Chinese father taught him Chinese, and his Filipino mother taught him his native tongue Tagalog. Both of his parents were Catholic. Ruiz served as an altar boy at the convent of Binondo church. After being educated by the Dominican friars for a few years, Ruiz earned the title of escribano (calligrapher) because of his skillful hand and unsurpassed penmanship. He became a member of the Cofradia del Santissimo Rosario (Confraternity of the Rosary). In 1636, while working as a clerk at the Binondo Church, Ruiz was falsely accused of killing a Spaniard. Prior to this incident, his life with his Filipino wife, two sons and a daughter was peaceful, religious and full of contentment. But after the allegation, Ruiz sought asylum on board a ship with three Dominican priests: Saint Antonio Gonzalez; Saint Guillermo Courtet; Saint Miguel de Aozaraza, a Japanese priest; Saint Vicente Shiwozuka de la Cruz; and a layman named Saint Lazaro of Kyoto, a leper. Ruiz and his companions left for Japan on June 10, 1636 with the aid of the Dominican fathers and Fr. Domingo Gonzales.

Exile to Japan, arrest and torture

The boat landed at Okinawa and the group was arrested and persecuted because of their Christian religion. They were brought to Nagasaki on July 10, 1636. They were tortured through hanging by their feet, by submerging in water until near death, and by water torture. Needles were also inserted under their finger nails and they were beaten until unconscious. These methods made some of Ruiz's companions recant their faith, but Ruiz never did.

On September 27, 1637, Ruiz and his companions were taken to the "Mountain of Martyrs", where they were hung upside down into a pit known as horca y hoya, or tsurushi. This mode of torture was considered as the most painful way to die at the time because it involved the use of rocks to add weight to the person being punished. The individual being tortured suffocated quickly while being crushed by his own weight. Two days after, Ruiz died from hemorrhage and suffocation. His body was cremated and his ashes were thrown into the sea. Path to sainthood Lorenzo Ruiz was beatified in Manila on February 18, 1981 by Pope John Paul II during his Papal visit to Manila, the first beatification ceremony held outside the Vatican. San Lorenzo Ruiz was elevated to Sainthood and canonized by Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City, Rome on October 18, 1987 making him the first Filipino saint and the first Filipino martyr. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Lorenzo Ruiz's image is one of 135 saints and blessed from around the world in the Communion of Saints Tapestries hung inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles by John Nava.