Pres. Diosdado Macapagal

by Alejandro Camiling, CPA

       
 

List of Bios:

 Macario Arnedo

 Gregorio Camiling, Jr.

 Vicente Catacutan

 Jose Gutierrez-David

 Romeo S. David

 Rogelio de la Rosa

 Vicente A. Dizon

 Escaler Family

 Bro. Andrew Gonzalez

 Diosdado Macapagal

 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

 Armando Q. Madamba

 Nestor S. Mangio

 Delfin T. Quiboloy

bullet Oscar Rodriguez

 Jose Abad Santos

 Marcos G. Soliman

 Honorio T. Ventura

 Amado M. Yuzon

 

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Rogelio de la Rosa
Actor, Senator, and Ambassador
By Alejandro S. Camiling, CPA
With Teresita Zuniga Camiling, BSE, MA

Roger de la RosaHandsome and multi-awarded movie actor, popular senator and highly respected ambassador, Regidor or Rogelio de la Rosa was born on November 12, 1914 in the historic town of Lubao, Pampanga, Philippines. His parents were Feliciano de la Rosa and Rosario Lim de la Rosa. He was the second eldest child of seven children. As of this writing, five of the seven siblings, namely, Africa, Regidor or Rogelio, Jaime, Purita, Jackson 1st and Augusto are deceased. His youngest sister, Gloria who married wealthy businessman, Augusto Lopez resides in Metro Manila and his younger brother Jackson 2nd lives with his second wife, Marita Mercado de la Rosa and with some of their children in Southern California.

Regidor Lim de la Rosa's hometown, Lubao, a well-established Muslim community prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1571, has the distinction of the only Philippine town which has produced two Philippine presidents. President Diosdado P. Macapagal who served as president in 1962 to 1965 was also a congressman of the 1st District of Pampanga in 1949-1957 and Vice President of the Philippines in 1958 to 1961. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, daughter of President Diosdado P. Macapagal and Dr. Evangelina Macaraeg Macapagal was as an outstanding senator, a Secretary of Social Work and the vice president of the Philippines before she was sworn in as the 14th President of the Republic of the Philippines on January 20, 2001 by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Hilario G. Davide, Jr., succeeding President Joseph Estrada who was forced to vacate the presidency resulting from citizens' protests and demonstrations at the EDSA Shrine and in many parts of the country.

Regidor de la Rosa inherited the all-around athletic ability of his father. He was the skipper of a very competitive basketball team. As an amateur boxer, he became a welterweight college boxing champion at Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines. He also excelled in argumentation and debates as well as in oratorical contests. One of the numerous awards, medals and trophies he won in such competitions in 1932 to 1934 was the prestigious Claro M. Recto Gold Medal.

Regidor de la Rosa received his Associate in Arts diploma from Far Eastern University of Manila, Philippines. In recognition of his exemplary accomplishments as an actor, as a politician and as a diplomat, he was honored by his Alma Mater as one of the most outstanding alumni.

Regidor de la Rosa who adopted the screen name, Rogelio de la Rosa, started his entertainment career as a singer. He played the roles of an antagonist (contra vida) in some Kapampangan stage shows known as zarzuelas with the young Diosdado P. Macapagal, a poet who became a congressman, vice president and later President of the Philippines as the leading man. He belonged to a family of thespians. His younger brother, Jaime de la Rosa, who also participated in local politics, was also a good-looking matinee idol and an award-winning actor. His elder sister, Africa, was once also a noted character actress. His uncle, Gregorio Fernandez, was a well-known film director and movie actor.

Movie Director Gregorio Fernandez directed Rogelio in his first starring role in a motion picture in 1929 entitled "Ligaw na Bulaklak" with the stunning Rosa del Rosario as his leading lady. His dashing good looks made him a very popular actor and he was cast as a romantic lover in several movies opposite beautiful actresses such as Carmen Rosales (Maalaala Mo Kaya, Tangi Kong Pagibig, Iyung-Iyo), Alicia Vegel (Aristokrata), Delia Razon (Prinsipe Amante) Paraluman, Elsa Oria, Corazon Noble and many others.

When World War II broke out in 1941, Rogelio's cinematic career took a detour to the stage. He appeared in stage shows at the Life Theater in the capital city of Manila during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. The professional experience made him not only a superior individual but also an excellent actor as well. When he resumed his silver screen career after the war in the mid-1940s, he had become more sophisticated and worldly-wise. He emphasized more character into his acting roles. He became the first Filipino to play a leading role in an American movie, The Avenger.

In 1956, Rogelio de la Rosa was honored with the best actor award by the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) for his super performance in "Higit sa Lahat", with the lovely Emma Alegre as his leading lady in the film. He was also chosen as Southeast Asia's best actor in the Hongkong Film Festival.

Rogelio de la Rosa was also a successful businessman who invested in real estate and rental properties. He was also an entrepreneur and raised cattle in his ranch (Irisan Farms) in Baguio City. His friend and town mate, Dionisio Vitug Zuniga, who became later a sugar technologist, sugar planter and a trader, was his loyal business manager dividing his time between the City of Manila and Baguio City.

Rogelio de la Rosa was befriended by many powerful politicians and prominent people including President Ramon Magsaysay, a very close friend and godfather of Rogelio's only daughter, Ruby, with his wife, the former Lota Delgado. He helped President Magsaysay in launching various government projects to benefit the poor and the needy. As such, he was constantly urged and encouraged by President Magsaysay to run for public office as a way of "giving something back to the people who made him". Hence, he became more conscious of public service and duty to his countrymen.

The tragic death of President Magsaysay in 1953 in a plane crash, finalized Rogelio de la Rosa's decision to enter politics. Rogelio de la Rosa was elected as a senator in the national election of 1957. With the clamor of his supporters, he campaigned for president in the 1961 presidential election as an independent candidate against two other presidential candidates of major political parties, incumbent President Carlos P. Garcia of the Nacionalista Party and the presidential standard bearer of the Liberal Party, Vice President Diosdado P. Macapagal, a brother-in-law of Rogelio whose first wife was Purita de la Rosa, a younger sister of Rogelio who died during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the 1940s..

During Rogelio's presidential campaign, he exerted an irresistible and compelling influence among his followers and attracted huge crowds in his campaign sorties, not only for his dashing looks and popularity as a movie star, but also for his concern on the problems facing the Filipino people such as peace and order, the economy, graft and corruption. He convinced many of his countrymen, that he was an effective and compassionate leader caring for the welfare of his native land and that he could help in solving national problems and that he could lead the Philippines as a sovereign state in the league of nations.

At the peak of his presidential campaign, he realized that his candidacy would divide the opposition against the ruling political party. Sensing that he might split the votes in Luzon with Vice President Diosdado P. Macapagal because they came from the same region and that President Carlos P. Garcia would garner most of the Visayan votes, he withdrew from the presidential race. Although he knew that he was drawing the biggest following, he thought that translating those crowds into actual votes was not totally realistic. Politics during those days was really messy like today. While many of his campaign supporters and leaders were doing their best and devoted, there were also many who needed monetary support and drained his campaign funds. A realistic and conscientious analysis and assessment of the prevailing political landscape made him thought that while he could get more votes than Diosdado P. Macapagal - who also hailed from Lubao, Pampanga of the big Island of Luzon - President Carlos P. Garcia would eventually win since the votes from Luzon would be divided between the two town mates while many of the votes from the Visayas and Mindanao would be garnered by President Carlos P. Garcia, who came from the Province of Bohol in the central region of the archipelago. Deep in his heart, he also believed that for the Philippines to move forward, the ruling administration had to be toppled. To accomplish this political goal, he had to sacrifice his political ambition and gave way to Diosdado P. Macapagal who finally won the presidency.

In 1965, Rogelio de la Rosa was designated Philippine ambassador to Cambodia and he was selected as the dean of the diplomatic corps. He was respected and admired by many head of states such as Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. He was later re-assigned as ambassador to the Netherlands, Poland, and Bulgaria. He became also the dean of the diplomatic corps during his diplomatic tenure in the Netherlands. His last post as an ambassador was in Sri Lanka. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1983.

As a diplomat, Ambassador Rogelio de la Rosa accomplished a lot for the promotion of Philippine art and culture by encouraging and assisting local artists to initiate art exhibits abroad and to participate in international conferences and competition in arts. Being a successful artist himself, he personally got involved in the process to ensure the success of the projects.

In 1984, amidst street demonstrations and protests against the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Ambassador Rogelio de la Rosa who was out of the Philippine political limelight serving his country in foreign lands for many years lost touch of the political climate and as a result of that, he was not successful in running for an elective position in the Batasang Pambansa elections held that year.

On November 16, 1986, Ambassador Rogelio de la Rosa succumbed to a fatal heart attack He was survived by his faithful widow, Lota Delgado, also a beautiful movie actress and one of his leading ladies in the silver screen, and by their children, Ramon, Rudolph, Reynaldo, Roberto, Ruby and Rocky. He was also survived by Jose Rogelio Bayot de la Rosa Jr, a son with his first wife, Dolores "Lolita" Z. Bayot of Masbate, Philippines and by many relatives who loved and adored him.

(Modified on October 6, 2003 to include additional information provided by the late ambassador's son, Reynaldo de la Rosa - camiling@usc.edu)