Gloria Sevilla finds nth glory | Inquirer Entertainment

Gloria Sevilla finds nth glory

‘Manang Fe’ experiences career resurgence after over six decades in the biz
/ 11:00 AM September 22, 2014

GLORIA Sevilla (center) in Lourdes, France, with (from left) daughter Suzette, granddaughter Camille, son Juni and daughter Lilibeth.

GLORIA Sevilla (center) in Lourdes, France, with (from left) daughter Suzette, granddaughter Camille, son Juni and daughter Lilibeth.

Lost in a sea of fellow pilgrims, a nondescript Filipino woman was being pushed around in a wheelchair at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City by her daughter. From out of nowhere, a bunch of Overseas Filipino Workers screamed, “Manang Fe! Manang Fe!”

The daughter reminded her startled mom: “They’re calling out your character’s name.” Manang Fe is the TV alter ego of veteran actress Gloria Sevilla in the ABS-CBN series, “Be Careful With My Heart.”


“When I am abroad, like that time my daughter Suzette (Ranillo) and I visited the Vatican for the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII last April, I am always greeted by fans of Manang Fe,” she recalled. It’s Gloria’s nth “glory,” not just her second.



Critics impressed


In Chito Roño’s “Boy Golden: Shoot-to-Kill,” an entry in the last Metro Manila Film Festival, she impressed critics with her offbeat role of a gun-toting gangster grandmom. To think that, prior to the shoot, she didn’t know how to fire a gun. “They had to teach me on the set,” she recounted.

More than the firearms, she was daunted by the fiery kissing scenes. “Direk Chito said I was going to have three torrid love scenes with Eddie (Garcia).” She convinced the director to reduce it to one kissing scene—a tender, touching smack, really.

Still, until now, she can’t bear to watch that movie. “My grandchildren got to see it, though. I had a Skype session with (granddaughter) Krista (Ranillo) and she teased me: How’s your love life, lola?”


For “Boy Golden,” Gloria, acknowledged as the Queen of Visayan Movies in the 1950s and 1960s, received her seventh Best Supporting Actress nomination from Famas. “I won my first Famas as Best Supporting Actress in 1963 for ‘Madugong Paghihiganti.’ That was 51 years ago.” She received the Famas Lifetime Achievement honor in 2007.

Happy for Bela

Although she didn’t bring home a Famas trophy this year, she’s happy for the winner, Bela Padilla (“10,000 Hours”). Gloria explained, “She’s family, granddaughter of my second husband Amado Cortez. I’m glad young actors are given the chance to shine.”

She credits Manang Fe for her meaty roles in indie films—Zig Dulay’s “M (Mother’s Maiden Name)” and Derick Cabrido’s “Children’s Show.” She related, “Atty. Joji (Alonso, producer of “M”) said she saw me in ‘Be Careful.’”

In the TV series, as in “M,” she plays a nurturing mayordoma, “the voice of wisdom,” a role she has mastered through the years. In “Children’s Show,” an entry in the New Breed section of this year’s Cinemalaya,” she plays the foul-mouthed grandmother of child boxers.

The Cinemalaya director said of the seasoned actress: “She proved why she has stayed active in the industry for such a long time. In spite of her achievements, she has remained down-to-earth and maternal, which the cast and crew appreciated.”

Gloria, in turn, praised the indie artists she has worked with lately: “They were all kind to me.” They inspired her to work with the next generation, she added.

“In ‘Children’s Show,’ one of my grandsons in the film, Buboy Villar, is also from Cebu. We would talk in Bisaya on the set. How I wish the Visayan movie industry would be revived, that the government and theater owners would help Visayan filmmakers.”

Last year, her son Dandin Ranillo directed “Palad Ta ang Nagbuot,” a film starring boxer Nonito Donaire, and which is set to open in Visayan cinemas soon.

Parrying intrigues


She had to parry intrigues when son Matt Ranillo III got involved in the pork barrel scandal recently.

“As a family, we decided not to speak on the issue,” she told the Inquirer. “Matt is doing fine in the United States. He is helping his son-in-law (Nino Jefferson Lim, Krista’s husband) in the family grocery business. He’s also taking care of his grandchildren, Krista’s three kids. He enjoys that a lot.”

More than any role, family matriarch is the one that she relishes. She has seven children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, she proudly reported. She often chats with them via Skype, Viber or Magic Jack.

Gloria enthused, “Krista’s children are all so cute!”

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Be Careful with my Heart, Celebrities, Entertainment, Gloria Sevilla, Television

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