Monday, February 28, 2005


It is easily believable to contend that for most Sillimanians, the fruit often does not stray far from the tree. Talents radiate, and are passed on, like genetic properties, from one generation to the next—always distinctly Sillimanian in flavor and spirit.I learned this one day when a former cook for a high school dormitory once shared to me that this famous teen actor on Philippine television is the son of a Sillimanian. Then he shared his memories and anecdotes revolving around the dormitory life of the father of this young actor. Alas, I failed to document this, and now it is increasingly hard to remember even the names of the father and his son who has made waves in local stardom. I have totally forgotten everything, even the name of the Abby Jacobs Hall storyteller.But the sense of pride I felt from that sharing is still in my heart. It has certainly become one of the building blocks of the Silliman Spirit that I now constantly radiate.This feature of Silliman parents in tandems with their famous children is offered with the hope that the glories they have achieved will spell boldly the Silliman Spirit, the special bond of love that we all share.


When FRANCES MAKIL IGNACIO visited Dumaguete last year, many recognized her as the actress behind the role of Tamara in ABS-CBN‘s Hanggang sa Dulo, then a top-rating soap opera. During a stop in a nearby town in the middle of our itinerary, she had teachers and students from a local public school running after our vehicle. Her fans were excitedly shouting after her, calling her “Tamara!” It was indeed a harvest of recognition springing from a memorable TV performance. And yet there is more of her, from television shows such as Buttercup and others. She is, however, more recognized as a stage actress; hers is a bigger name in Philippine theater, with assorted (and acclaimed) performances in Dulaang UP productions, and a lead role in Fluid, staged by the University of the Philippines Playwright’s Theater. Frances is very much like her late father, ELMO MAKIL, an Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee in the Performing Arts. In fact, she confessed to me that her energy as a performing artist stems from her father who is remembered as one of the best baritones in Philippine music history. The Silliman community will never forget the actor in Elmo, either—the great Elmo Makil, who gave us memorable performances in musicals like The Man of La Mancha, The Fantastiks, and Carousel.


A page in Portal ’79 contains this line, “… LEAH ‘JINGLE’ C. SIBALA, sweet fifteener, won the most coveted title, Miss Silliman, with her charisma.” It is, without doubt, the same charisma that made her daughter PATTY LAUREL win in the recent Philippine MTV VJ Hunt. Patty was chosen over a tough roster of top entertainment personalities, but it was a recognition that sparkled. This daughter of the 1978 Miss Silliman also shines with the same sweetness people knew of her mother. Patty’s magnetism on and off screen is definitely a reflection of Jingle’s lovely presence. Like her Mom, Patty is simply, truly beautiful. That has made her the favorite cover girl of many leading Philippine magazines.

The mother-and-daughter artistic tandem of KITTY and MARIA TANIGUCHI is a partnership that has borne so much creative gusto. Both women are two of the visual artists who were featured during the Silliman Centennial celebration. Kitty is considered as one of the leading women artists in Southeast Asia, and she has rightfully represented the Philippines in various art festivals around the world. Overshadowing Kitty, at some relative points, is her own daughter Maria, who has had a grand slam of sorts in the local art world, winning the various art contests in the country in 2001. The young Taniguchi recently represented the Philippines in the Singapore Art Festival, and there she made her presence felt in the wider world of art. These Sillimanian women share the same passion in painting and sculpture, but they—like the truest artists—capture social realities in different shades and genres.


ISABEL DIMAYA VISTA, the former director of the Silliman School of Music, gave Silliman two national honors when her choirs won two first places in the National Music Competition for Young Artists. And the most memorable of these glories was in 1973 when, as Champion, the Silliman’s Young Singers performed for the former First Lady in MalacaƱang and then at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Isabel’s daughter ELIZABETH SUSAN VISTA-SUAREZ also became director of the School of Music, and also directed choirs that became national winners. Her magical distillation of choral music, through the acclaimed SU Campus Choristers, led the way for the choir being chosen as the Philippine Centennial Goodwill Ambassadors to the United States. Like a blast from the past, Susan’s choir also performed with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra during the Silliman Centennial in 2001. Indeed, like mother, like daughter.


The heartthrob of Silliman University High School Class of 1964 LESLIE HO is the proud father of DENNIS TRILLO, the Best Actor of the 2005 Manila Film Critics Awards and Best Supporting Actor in the 2004 Manila Film Festival for his remarkable performance in the movie Aishte Imasu.Winning an award in his first major film assignment is a sign that the name Dennis Trillo will be a big star soon. He was also was featured in the movie “Mano Po 3” as the boyfriend of teen star Angel Locsin who played the role of a smart daughter of Vilma Santos in this film that won Best Picture in the MFF.


The debonair ATTY. FLORIAN ALCANTARA of Class 1989 is very supportive of his son’s showbiz career. And the young Alcantara—who is now known with his showbiz moniker of CRAIG SIROTA—is slowly penetrating the industry with sure breaks in TV and print commercials.Craig who is Nick Alcantara to friends back home has appeared in TV ads such as Taquitos, McDonald’s ‘Love Ko To’ and in the drama program “Maalaala Mo Kaya”. He is now co-hosting to IBC’s noontime show Chowtime Na!. He is also a vocalist in Maryo J. delos Reyes’ boy band M-Gage.


Silliman University High Class of 1999 member JOSE RAMON VICENTE SINGSON DEL PRADO made history when Egg, the first full length Filipino animated film he made as a student project leading to a degree in Communication Arts from De La Salle, won 1st Place in the 5th UP Film and Video Festival in September 2003. It also won the Grand Jury Award from the UP Indeo Film Festival in 2004 and a harvest of honors from other award giving bodies(on February 6 at 8am, Egg will be shown on national television GMA 7). Ramon’s creative success is a reflection of his mother’s versatility as a visual artist. SOCORRO “WING” DEL PRADO, a daughter of a cartoonist, is prolific visual artist. Her costumes and garment designs in school plays and other productions made memorable scenes and characters on and off stage. Her miniature paintings are part of the early works that are now valuable private collection. Ramon is also grateful to his father NONOY DEL PRADO for introducing to him the art of animation. What he got is really in the bloodline! But it’s not just on the creative hands, Ramon also inherited the beautiful genetic make-up of his parents. We will be seeing more of Ramon for this handsome young artist is now at the threshold of a modeling career. He carries not the typical weird image of an artist but that of a hunk with a cool fashion sense.

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