12 May 2013, 11:15 p.m. – Daisy Hontiveros-Avellana, the “First Lady of Philippine Theater,” died Sunday morning due to a lingering sickness. She was 96.

Avellana, who was proclaimed National Artist for Theater in 1999, was an acclaimed thespian, writer and director, with a career spanning theater, radio, television and film.

She is best known for her lead role of Candida Marasigan in the stage adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s “Portrait of the Artist as Filipino” in 1955. Avellana reprised the role in the 1965 film adaptation of Joaquin’s portrayal of life in the dying days of Old Manila.

Avellana was born on Jan. 26, 1917 in Capiz. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at the University of the Philippines. She was the first graduate of UST’s M.A. in Literature program, which opened in 1938.

She and her husband, National Artist Lamberto Avellana, founded the Barangay Theater Guild in 1939 in an effort to popularize theater and drama.

In 1982, Avellana was named to the Graduate School’s Permanent Roll of Honor for Outstanding Work in the Arts. UST conferred on Avellana the degree Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, in 1999.

Anvil published her autobiography, “The Drama of It: A Life on Film and Theater,” in 2009.

In 2010, the Varsitarian gave Avellana the Parangal Hagbong, the annual UST lifetime achievement award for UST alumni in arts and letters. Gena Myrtle P. Terre


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