1. Francisco Alonso Liongson – Outstanding Philippine playwright in Spanish and founding president of Circulo Escenico, Pampanga’s Spanish theatrical group that became nationally renowned. 2. Aurelio Tolentino – one of the mystics of the Katipunan, a compadre of Andres Bonifacio, a nationalist writer in both Kapampangan and Tagalog. He coined the worddula for drama and ironically became known in history as the Father of Tagalog Drama for his anti-US colonial masterpiece Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas.
A theatre at the Cultural Center of the Philippines is named Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino in his honor. 3. Jose Abad Santos – First Kapampangan to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. After Pres. Manuel L. Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmena left Philippine soil for the safety in America, Justice Abad Santos was the highest ranking official of the Philippine government until his execution on May 2, 1942 by the Japanese Imperial Army for his refusal to cooperate. 4.
Sotero Baluyot- Provincial governor during the Commonwealth, he formed an organization known as “Cawal ning Capayan,” described as “the largest amd most powerful provincial organization” of its time (Sturtevant, Popular Uprisings in the Philippines: 1840-1949). Although it claimed to be a “conservative labor union,” it was, in fact, a strike-breaking group of “Fascist thugs,” as the communists called them. (Pol Kekai Manansala). 5. Rosalina Icban Castro – Married to Jose Luna Castro, and while born in Rosales, Pangasinan, both her parents are from Pampanga and she speaks Kapampangan fluently.
Obtained an M. A. in English at Syracuse University , was a professor in English at U. E. for several decades. During all her years as an educator, she was sought by researchers in Kapampangan literature for her intimate knowledge of Kapampangan writing. She is the author of “The Literature of the Pampangos – an anthology and at the same time a political literary history. (ref. E. H. Lacson) (Ernie Turla) 6. Jose Luna Castro – Born on March 4, l9l5 in Manila to Faustino Castro and Claudia Luna – both of Lubao, Pampanga.
Finished High school at Pampanga High. Finished his M. A. in Journalism and political science at Syracuse University. He became president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and has held such high positions as press counselor of the Phil. Embassy in Peking, editor of the Manila Times (l959 – l972), editor-in-chief of the Times-Journal. He was a lecturer in Journalism at U. P. and an Eisenhower Fellow in l970. He participated in international meetings in the U. S. , Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Japan.
He authored “Journalism Handbook”. (ref. E. H. Lacson) (Ernie Turla). 7. Virgilio David of Bacolor, PMA graduate, retired Philippine Army general and former Anti-Drug chief during the presidency of Cory Aquino, business executive and government agency director (by Alejandro S. Camiling). 8. Lito Lapid – a famous star turned politician. He became governor of Pampanga and later became a member of the Philippine senate. 9. Lorna Tolentino – is an actress, host, executive producer and wife of fellow Kapampangan actor Rudy Fernandez.
She was born in Concepcion, Tarlac and was raised in Manila. 10. Lea Salonga – is a Tony Award-winning singer and actress who is best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. She spent the first six years of her childhood in Angeles City before moving to Manila. 11. Melanie Marquez – is a popular beauty queen-turned-actress who hails from Mabalacat. She was Miss International 1979 and was voted as the Most Beautiful Miss International in 2000. She’s also a sister of another local actor, Joey Marquez. 12.
Efren “Bata” Reyes – is referred to as “The Magician” and a very popular Filipino billiards player who hails from Angeles City. He is considered to be one of history’s greatest practitioners of billiards. 13. Artemio Panganiban – 21st Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Philippines. His ancestors originated from Pampanga and then later generations migrated to Manila. 14. Herminia “Minang” Dizon. Girlfriend of Ray Hunt (author of Behind Japanese Lines), who wrote: “Minang was a schoolteacher before the war and a most remarkable individual.
The only word to describe her would be ‘fierce. ‘ She had taken up with Maj. Claude Thorpe before the fall of Bataan … and she had been captured with Thorpe. .. some of her captors were quite taken with her. One high ranking Japanese officer even offered to take her with him when his countrymen conquered Australia … One day Minang got a chance to escape and did so, but her life was precarious in the extreme because she was pursued not only by the Japanese but by the communist guerrillas (Huks), who hated her, and by her uncle who wanted her killed … tough and resourceful woman. She was not especially pretty, though she did have flashing eyes, but she was intelligent, well organized, and articulate. … I soon became smitten with her and she with me. … Though she was just a slip of a girl who weighed no more than 90 pounds and could stand under my outstretched arm, no lion ever had a stouter heart. Near the end of the war … she was commissioned a lieutenant in recognition of her wartime services. ” [source: "Behind Japanese Lines” by Ray C. Hunt and Bernard Norling, 1986, 333 pages] (by Pol Kekai Manansala) 5. Armando Q. Madamba of San Fernando, PMA graduate, Philippine Navy commodore, a staunch advocate of the modernization of the Philippine Navy, senior staff member, Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Chiefs of Staff and served as military attache in the Middle East (by Alejandro S. Camiling). 16. Marco G. Palo. A resident of Angeles City, was arrested in Feb. 1982 with other trade union organizers; severely tortured and was hospitalized as a result of this. Detained at the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center for two years and charged with conspiracy to commit subversion.
Re-arrested in 1988 with alleged leaders of the CPP-NPA. and detained at the Camp Crame PC stockade. Charged with rebellion and released after two years (Dave Nepomuceno). 17. Senator Gil Puyat. Son of the pioneer Pampangan industrialist, Don Gonzalo Puyat. Graduated in l929 in Business Administration (cum laude) from U. P. where he became a dean in its department of economics. First elected senator in l955, he was consistently named “One of the Five Most Outstanding Senators” every year. He became the President of the Senate in l967.
Very popular and well-known, and a notable economist Senator Puyat became Majority Floor Leader in the Senate. He hails from Guagua — he loved the people of Guagua such that he was instrumental in constructing several public works such as the bridges leading to Barrio Santa Filomena and the plaza in front of the town church . Buendia Ave. in Makati is now renamed after him. (Andro Camiilng) (E. H. Lacson) (Ernie Turla) 18. Rosa Danon Rosal . More popularly known by her screen name of Rosa Rosal, born in Manila 16 October 1931 to Julio Danon and Gloria Lansang (from which town of Pampanga? , lived in garage for 16 years, sold sweepstakes tickets starting at six years old, studied at Antonio Regidor Elementary School. secondary schooling at Arellano High School. Worked at National Coconut Corporation as weaver, moved to soap factory where she pounded and shaped soap cakes under the sun, promoted to wrapping department, learned typing on old typewriter and worked as secretary. “Discovered” while watching shooting of a film and starred in film “Kamagong” (I remember this film–weren’t parts of it shot at the Don Pepe Henson house in Angeles.
I seem to remember being aware of the shooting when I was a little girl. ). Finished secondary schooling between movies. Won best actress for Sonny Boy (1956), won highest award in Southeast Asian film festival in HK in 1956 for Anak Dalita, leading to presidential award from Magsaysay. Refused to start in bomba films and instead devoted energies to social work and rearing of daughter (didn’t she become famous too? ). Gave up weekly TV show for lesser paying daily show called Damayan to help socially disadvantaged. Active in innumerable socio-civic areas ranging from promotional activities for Red Cross to relief work.
Recipient of countless awards and citations from movie, civic, and religious organizations for humanitarian work, including the Outstanding Pampanguena Award in 1979. When asked why she’s so dedicated to the poor, she replied: “I have been poor and I know how it feels to be pushed around. ” (Pat Sutter) 19. Lilia Garcia “Baby” Pineda — Lubao town mayor who was elected president of the Pampanga Mayors League and more recently, as vice president for Luzon in the League of Municipalities, the umbrella organization of 1,540 towns in the Philippines.
She does a great deal of humanitarian work, including helping in the resettlement of people in lahar-devasted areas. A well-known philantropist, she financially helps the poor in Pampanga especially families who cannot afford to send their children to college. Way back in the 60’s, she was among the outstanding students in this author’s class. (Ernie Turla) 20. Sixto V. Torres, Sr. of Apalit, former regional director and deputy commisioner of the Land Transportation Commision of the Philippines and founder of the Gonzales Memorial College (by Alejandro S. Camiling).