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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Tawag Ng Tanghalan History And List Of Champions

Pepe Pimentel, the First Tawag ng Tanghalan Grand Champion in 1955

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1st Grand National Finals 1955

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1956 Winner - Rizal Boy Ortega

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1958 Winner - Diomedes Maturan

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1964 Winner - Eva Adona

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1967 Winner - Nora Aunor

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1971 Winner - Alice Mendez

Tawag ng Tanghalan is the first and most popular nationwide singing competition during its heyday a search for the newest singing sensation. It started as Purico Amateur Hour a radio talent search program sponsored by Philippine Manufacturing Corporation (PMC) and aired over DZBB in 1953 every Monday night at 7:30 pm. It was later broadcasted on television through DZAQ-TV (now DWWX-TV) until 1972 when the contest was stopped after the declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The first extensive nationwide search drawn 45,000 auditionees who are mainly vocalists and instrumentalists who participated in remote shows throughout the country for a year. Aside from Manila, the program was broadcasted over the airwaves in Dagupan, Naga, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao where the regional finals were held. The contest in remote far flung places such as barrios and sitios were conducted in Purico's roving audio-visual trucks and the winners were sent to the nearest radio station to compete in the weekly contest. The finalists from Visayas and Mindanao were flown to Manila via Philippine Airlines and those from Luzon like Dagupan traveled by train. 

Contestants were always mindful and on their toes because a gong will be banged to eliminate out of tune performers. So basically, this contest is strictly technical when it comes to vocal notes, range and intonations of contestants to select only talented natural singers. 

Prior to the national finals, a prominent Neorealist painter Cesar Legaspi (father of Celeste Legaspi) who was later named National Artist for Visual Arts in 1990 who had just returned from Madrid and Paris won the Purico trophy-design contest. The Legaspi design study which was used as the design for the grand national champion's trophy is a modern symbol of achievements in radio entertainment. His design was chosen by the Philippine Advertising Associates, Inc. (PAAI) at the Manila Overseas Press Club. The statuette was dubbed the "Oscar of the Local Radio Industry" and was used until 1969. 

The first grand national finals was held on June 27, 1955 at the Manila Jockey Club and broadcasted over DZBB radio. Actor Jaime de la Rosa was the main host of the event while his co-hosts Patsy and Lopito provided some comic relief and color commentaries. 

The champions from 1955 to 1957 were named Best Amateur Entertainer while declared champions from 1958 to 1972 were named Most Outstanding Talent Discovery. From 1955 to 1969, the Top 3 winners received trophies, certificates of honor, home appliances, and cash prizes of Php 500, Php 250 and Php 100, respectively (note: Php means Philippine peso). A consolation prize of Php 25 each and a certificate of honor were awarded to the remaining finalists. From 1970 to 1973, the Top 3 winners each received a cash prize of Php 3,000, Php 2,000 and Php 1,000, respectively. 

The grand national finals of regional champions were not held from 1966 to 1969 for some unknown reasons and only the Manila champions competed in the grand finals. The reunions of Tawag ng Tanghalan champions was held in 1970 when the grand national championship took place after its three year-long absence. Asia's Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales tried her best to reunite all the grand national champions but came out with Manila champions only. 

Tawag ng Tanghalan was a public service program of the Procter and Gamble (PMC) and was produced and managed by ABS-CBN for quite some time. The popularity of the singing contest was such it was made into a film in 1958 directed by Armando Garces and starred by Amalia Fuentes, Juancho Gutierrez, Susan Roces, Romeo Vasquez and Jose Mari among others.

The contest was stopped in 1972 after the declaration of Martial Law. It was revived 15 years later once the new government administration was installed following the relaunch of ABS-CBN from January 11, 1987 to October 30, 1988 and was hosted by Frankie Evangelista, Danny Javier and Nanette Inventor. It was not held since then. 

After its 28 year-long hiatus, Tawag ng Tanghalan returned as a daily segment of ABS-CBN's noontime variety show, It's Showtime! with a different format. Now on it's sixth season, the contest attracted thousands of auditionees and participants every year. 

Tawag ng Tanghalan List of Winners 

Year         Name of Winner          Hometown           Winning Song

1955           Jose Gonzales (aka Pepe Pimentel)     Manila                            Angelitos Negros

1956           Rizal Boy Ortega                           Cagayan de Oro City           Ponciana

1957           Larry Martinez                               Davao City                Got You Under My Skin

1958           Diomedes Maturan                       Manila                                 Rose Tattoo

1959           Cenon Lagman                             Manila                      Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin Ko

1960           Rufina Esperancilla                      Manila                      Pandangguhan 

1961           Leon Ibrado                                  Bacolod City          The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

1962           Conchita Peñalosa                        Davao City               If You Are But A Dream

1963           Boy Leonardo                              Manila                      Tender Is The Night (Tammy ?)

1964           Eva Adona                                   Manila                       Somewhere Over The Rainbow

1965           Rosendo “June” Peña                  Dagupan                    Autumn Leaves

1966 - 1969 Grand National Championships Suspended. Manila Local Championship Contest Was Held. The winners are as follows:

1966          Elizabeth Torres                           Manila                       Bewitched

1967          Nora Aunor                                  Manila / Iriga            Moonlight Becomes You

1968          Elizabeth Ledesma                      Manila                       People

1969          Jonathan Potenciano                   Manila                        You're Closer To Me

1970          Novo Bono Jr.                             Cebu City                   If You Go Away

1971          Alice Mendez                              Cebu City                   A House Is Not A Home

1972         Marsha de Vera                           Manila                         Where Am I Going

1988 - ?

Tawag ng Tanghalan sa It's Show Time!

2017        Noven Belleza             Victorias City, Negros Occidental      Air Supply Medley
                                                                                             The One That You Love, Now and Forever,
                                                                                                                  Without You

2018        Janine Berdin              Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu                         Bamboo Medley
                                                                                                       Tatsulok, Noypi, Hallelujah

2019        Elaine Duran              Butuan City, Agusan del Norte           Basil Valdez Medley
                                                                                               Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan,
                                                                                       Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga, Ngayon at Kailanman

2021     Jann Mar "JM" Yosures    Quezon City, Metro Manila             Lady Gaga Medley
                                                                                               Million Reasons, I'll Never Love Again
                                                                                                                 You and I

2022      Reiven Umali              Carmona, Cavite                          Moira de la Torre Medley
                                                                                                      Paubaya, Malaya, Tagpuan 


More Trivia Information About The Contest, Winners and Finalists

The grand national championship was contested yearly from 1955 to 1965 by regional champions from Luzon (Dagupan, Manila, and Naga), Visayas (Bacolod, Cebu and Iloilo), and Mindanao (Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato and Davao). For unknown reasons, the grand national championships were not held from 1966 to 1969. 

Manila champions held their local championships from 1966 - 1969 while regional championships of other regions were stopped. 

Other weekly champions from the Manila local contest who made an impact in the local music industry include Jose Yap (who won for 19 weeks), Berlin Meneses (who set a record when 23,000 people forced their way to Clover Theater just to hear him sing Silent Night which according to them was better than the version of Mahalia Jackson), Ric Manrique Jr. (Prince of Kundiman known for his classic hits Maruja, Walang Hanggan, Saan Ka Man Naroroon, at Sapagka't Kami Ay Tao Lamang), Lover Trio, Abe Trio, Armando Ramos and Edgar Mortiz. 

1955 -  Winner Jose Gonzales more popularly known as Pepe Pimentel represented Central Luzon - Manila. Part of Pepe's prize was a screen test from LVN Pictures. He is the brother of film and stage director Narciso Pimentel Jr.  

1956 - Northern Mindanao was represented by the eventual winner Rizal "Boy" Ortega, a 19 year-old BS Commerce student from Cagayan de Oro City. Screen test from Sampaguita Pictures and a recording contract were among his prizes. Armando Ramos who was known as the Prince of Kundiman from Tondo, Manila placed second to Ortega.

1957 - Davao City native Larry Martinez who represented Southern Mindanao won the contest. Among his prizes were a stage contract from the Clover Theater, screen test from Premiere Productions, boxes of Alpine milk, Estrella watches and Cookrite stovette. 

1958 - Diomedes Maturan representing Central Luzon prizes include a Constellation radio-phono ensemble and a full week engagement at the Manila Grand Opera House. Diomedes had tried for three years in this contest before he finally won. He would later be billed as the "Perry Como of the Philippines". Among the judges in the finals include Tony Maiquez, Jose Carreon, Leopoldo Silos Jr. and Eddie Ilagan.

1959 - Representing Central Luzon is the son of a fisherman from Masantol, Pampanga - Cenon Lagman is a senior high student who only sang Tagalog serenade songs won the contest. He received a Constellation Carousel Hi-Fi set and a stage engagement at the Manila Grand Opera House as part of his prizes. Members of the judging panel include Ariston Avelino, Restie Umali and Constancio de Guzman.

1960 - Representing Central Luzon from Pasig, Rizal province, Rufina Esperancilla was a laboratory technician at the Bureau of Health when she won the contest. She only sang Tagalog folk songs and ballads such as Sa Libis ng Nayon, Magbabakya, Dalagang Pilipina, and Pandanggo sa Bukid. She took home an 8.1 cubic feet G.E. refrigerator as her prize. Rufina won second place in the 1955 La Tondeña Amateur Hour aired over DZBB. 

1961 - Leon Ibrado from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental represented Western Visayas in the national contest. He is the cousin of actor Pancho Magalona. He received a 9 feet GE refrigerator as his prize. Leon won third prize in Tawag ng Tanghalan's sister program Halintang sa Kadungganan in 1957. 

1962 - Davao City's Conchita Peñalosa representing Southern Mindanao is a 17 year-old six-week winner of PMC Amateur Night. She also received a 9 cu. ft. GE refrigerator.

1963 - From San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City representing Central Luzon - Manila is 15 year-old high school sophomore student Boy Leonardo who won the contest with prizes that include 9 cu. ft. GE refrigerator and a movie contract with Dalisay Pictures. 

1964 - Eva Adona representing Central Luzon - Manila won the contest. They are living in Kamuning, Quezon City. 

1965 -  San Simon, Pampanga native Jun Peña representing Northern Luzon won the contest. He was a student of Joe Quirino at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he finished his college degree. He was an orator and choir soloist.  He was tagged as the "Johnny Mathis of the Philippines". He received a 9 cu. ft. GE refrigerator and a stage engagement at the Clover Theater as part of his prize. Ariston Avelino, Josefino Cenizal, Restie Umali, Leopoldo Silos Jr. and Bert Tirona were the members of the judging panel who chose the winner at the finals.

Ofelia Dayrit representing Manila (her  grandfinals' song entry was Bali Hai) did not win any of the three coveted prizes (Peña was adjudged the most outstanding discovery, Firma del Castillo of Cagayan de Oro City was second place while the third place finish went to Enrico Ticar of Iloilo) but due to her innocent youthful looks, magnetic personality and charisma landed her a leading role in the film Ang Salarin opposite Fernando Poe, Jr. 

1966 - Elizabeth Torres representing Manila won the contest

1967 - Nora Aunor is originally from Iriga, Camarines Sur but represented Manila. Prior to winning this contest, she flunked her first audition. She passed on her second try and eventually named "Mang-aawit ng Linggo" but was quickly dislodged by the defending champion Jose Yap. In both occasions, she used her real name Nora Villamayor. After a year, Nora tried her luck again but this time using Aunor as her last name (taken from her uncle's last name Sgt. Saturnino Aunor) and sang People, beating the defending champion, policeman Oscar Antonio. The then 14 years old Nora was undefeated for 14 consecutive weeks. She was also the champion of The Liberty Big Show and Darigold Bulilit Contest hosted by Leila Benitez where she was also undefeated for 14 weeks.

1968 - Elizabeth Ledesma representing Manila was a three-week champion who defeated six other finalists including Edgar Mortiz who was a champion for 13 consecutive weeks, Nelson Doreza and Corazon Santos who are 12 consecutive weeks and 8 consecutive weeks champion, respectively. She bagged a movie contract with VP Pictures as part of her prize.

1969 - Jonathan Potenciano representing Manila beats eight other finalists

1970 - Representing Eastern Visayas was Cebu City's own Novo Bono Jr. Novo is an AB Political Science student at the University of Visayas and the son of a police major at the Cebu City Police Department. Prior to winning this contest, he was only eight years old when he won the finals of Wee Wee Jamboree followed by Darigold's Jambo Jamboree, and PMC Amateur Hour. Part of his prizes were a sports car, a trip to San Francisco, California, USA and a one-year contract with ABS-CBN. 

1971 - Representing Eastern Visayas yet again from Cebu City was Alice Mendez who is a college graduate from the University of Visayas. Among her prizes is a trip to Los Angeles, California, USA and a brand new car among others.

1972 - Manila representative Marsha de Vera representing Central Luzon is an 18-year-old chemistry student of Far Eastern University won the contest. She received a BF Homes Parañaque house and lot, a 17-inch Radiowealth Consul television, a Kolski piano and a one-year contract with ABS-CBN. The finals judging panel were Ading Fernando, Merci Molina, Ricardo del Rosario, Nitoy Escaño, and Ric Zamora. 


1955 Tawag ng Tanghalan First Winner Pepe Pimentel singing his winning song Angelitos Negritos

Tawag ng Tanghalan 1958 Winner Diomedes Maturan singing his winning song Rose Tattoo


Philippine Star Online 
Philippine Movie Stars Facebook Page  

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Women Film Pioneers Website

In celebration of Women's History Month, this well documented research project initiated and funded by the Columbia University in New York City, USA dedicated specifically to honor these trailblazing women who paved the way for others to be inspired and to be emulated and made some innovations that is noteworthy and made significant impact in the world of motion picture as well as culturally among women as well. Visit the Women Film Pioneers Project on this website https://wfpp.columbia.edu/ to learn more about these "women's firsts" individuals.

Furthermore, you can also check their Facebook page named Women Film Pioneers Project at https://www.facebook.com/WFPProject/ for more information.