Today in Philippine history, June 26, 2020, movie icon and former senator Ramon Revilla Sr. died

Friday June 26, 2020 ()

On June 26, 2020, movie icon and former senator Ramon Revilla Sr. died of heart failure at the Lukes Medical Center in Taguig City. He was 93.

Ramon Revilla Sr.
(Former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr.)

Born Jose Acuña Bautista Sr. in Imus, Cavite on March 8, 1927, Revilla Sr. was the youngest of the 10 children of businessmen Ildefonso Bautista and Andrea Acuña. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Commerce at the Far Eastern University.

He adopted his screen name when he began his film career in the ‘50s.

He, however, only landed small roles, so he shifted career and went to government service starting as a senior intelligence officer and rose through the ranks to reach the rank of major and headed the Secret Service Unit (now known as the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Division) from 1965 to 1972.

In 1972, he returned to show business and adopted the role of action star and producer.

Revilla popularized the agitmat (amulet) from Filipino folklore with his back-to-back fantasy movies hits "Nardong Putik" (1972) and "Pepeng Agimat" (1973).

He also popularized characters "Tiagong Akyat" - whose "Hulihin Si Tiyagong Akyat" movie won him Famas Best Actor in 1973 - and "Tonyong Bayawak" (1979), which made him that year's Box-Office King.

His last big screen appearance was in his son Revilla Jr.'s "Exodus: Tales from the Enchanted Kingdom" (2005).

Revilla Sr. entered politics in 1992 when he won a seat in the Senate. He finished two terms and served until 2004.

As a senator, he was hailed as the "Father of Public Works Act.". He earned the title after he was named chairman of the Senate Public Works Committee and his authorship of Republic Act (RA) 8150, which was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on Sept. 8, 1995.

The law sought to identify the infrastructure projects to be pursued all over the country at that time.

He also authored RA 8294, or the "Revilla Law" that lowered the penalties for illegal possession of firearms; and introduced amendment to RA 6425 or the "Dangerous Drugs Act" that imposed life impris onment or capital punishment on drug traffickers, among others.

Revilla Sr. not only relegated a glittering show business career to his son Revilla Jr. but also his political career. The son also ran for a Senate seat and won the elections twice, in 2004 and 2010.

The Revilla patriarch is said to have fathered at least 72 children from 16 different women, with the youngest being born in 1996.

Sources:

  • The "agimat" is gone: Ramon Revilla Sr., 93, Christina Alpad, June 27, 2020, The Manila Times

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