"Women and Men of Distinction"

By: Elizabeth Lolarga


Theater Actress

Daisy Hontiveros Avellana, National Artist for Theater, essayed on the stage such memorable roles as Desdemona in William Shakespeare’s Othello, Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Bernarda Alba in Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Laba, Mary Tyrone in Eugene O’ Niell’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, among others. Her delineation of Candida Marasigan in Nick Joaquin’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino is considered the most definitive performance of the role.

With husband Lamberto National Artist for Film, she founded the Baranggay Theater Guild in 1939. It was the first professional theater group in the Philippines, with Leon Ma. Guerrero, Raul Manglapus and Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero as some of its members.

Ms. Avellana studied Philosophy at the University of the Philippines and earned her masters at the University of Santo Tomas. She also wrote film scripts like Sakay, Anak Dalita, and Badjao all of which were translated into screen classics by her director-husband.

This grand dame of the Philippine stage earned recognition from various groups. Among her awards are the Magsaysay Awards for Outstanding Work in Theater in 1956, the Araw ng Maynila Cultural Award for Drama in 1966, the Tandang Sora Award for Theater in 1981, Gintong Ina Award for Performing Arts in 1988, Gawad CCP Para sa Sining from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1990, the CCP Centennial Honors for the Art in 1999, the Gawad Siglo ng Aliw Awards Foundation also in 1999, and many others.

She has three children directors Jose Marie and Lamberto, Jr. and painter Ivi Avellana-Cosio, and lives in San Antonio Village, Pasig City.



Leticia Jimenez Magsanoc, the fearless editor-in-chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was educated at St. Theresa’s College in Manila where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She went on to earn her master’s in the same field at the University of Misouri in the US.

Letty, as she is popularly known rose to become editor-in-chief of Philippine Panorama, the Sunday magazine of Manila Bulletin, from 1978 to 1981. During the protest years against the Marcos dictatorship, she served as editor of Mr. & Ms. Special Edition from 1983 to 1986.

From 1986 to 1987, she was the first editor of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. She was a columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from 1987 to 1991. In 1991, she broke the glass ceiling and became the first female editor-in-chief of a national broadsheet. She continues to serve in that post up to the present.

The awards she has received include: the Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service in 1981, University of Misouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1993, First Woman Editor-in-Chief (National Daily) given by the Washington-based Philippine-American Foundation in 1998, and Journalist Award of the Rotary Club of Manila in 1998.

Magsanoc lived for around 20 years in Baranggay Kapitolyo before moving to Valle Verde, also in Pasig.



Carmencita Lozada, often described as “a violin phenomenon in Asia” and “one of the great truly great violin talents of our time,” was born in Manila.

She started her music training at five, first on the piano with her mother and uncle as teachers, and shortly afterwards shifting to the violin. At 10, she first performed in public, and the result of this unprecedented Manila event so inflamed the imagination of the audience that it immediately established for her a local career.

During her studies in the Philippines, she won many prizes and awards, among them the first prize in a national competition in Manila. At 15, she was chosen soloist for the Tschaikovsky Concerto by the NB C (founded by Toscanini) which was then visiting Manila.

At 17, she obtained her Bachelor of Music degree at the Philippine Women’s University. The school showered upon her all possible honors.

She took advanced studies for four years at the Vienna Academy of Music in Austria on a Philippine government scholarship. She also attended summer courses in Nice (France) where she was awarded a Diploma of Honor and in Salzburg (Austria) where, as a prize, she was the soloist of the closing concert playing the Katchaturian Concerto. While a student at the Vienna Academy, she was a top prize winner in the 1961 International Paganini Competition in Genoa (Italy) where as an 18-year-old, she was also a prize winner. Her studies in Vienna were rewarded with a Diploma with Highest Honor and Excellence and a departure cash award.

Ms. Lozada started concretizing in 1965. She had been hailed on concert podiums in West Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, England, Greece, Belgium, Italy, Canada and the Philippines.

She has recorded numerous sonatas and concertos for radio and television. Her disc recordings are with Eurodisc.

She is our Ambassador of Goodwill, winning friends and honor for the Philippines. She has been called an interpreter of superlative refinement and taste.


Public Servant, Now Civic Leader

Concha Mejia Angeles entry into politics was rather unexpected. An Education graduate at the University of Santo Tomas, she went right into business, supplying rice to the public market in sari-sari stores in Pasig.

One time she was sweeping the front of her store while a Nacionalista Party meeting was going on next door. The old politicos could not complete their line up of councilors. When they saw her sweeping the palay grains, they invited her to be their last candidate for councilor. She refused, saying she was busy with her own business.

Later, Sixto Antonio went to her to convince her to join. She remained adamant in her refusal until veteran politician Lorenzo Sumulong was dispatched to talk to her. Not wanting to leave the impression that she was playing hard to get, Concha finally accepted the offer, ran and won in 1965. She went on to serve Pasig as a councilor for 16 years or the equivalent of four terms.

One accomplishment she is most proud of during her terms of office was passing an ordinance requiring couples that are about to get married to first undergo a family planning seminar. The other thing she is proud of is the cleanliness-and-beautification campaign. This fell within her wing of responsibility, she being the only woman councilor in the municipality then

When she retired from the public office, Ms. Angeles became active in civic organizations like Minerva. She organized and put up Puericulture and family planning centers.

Now, she stays home in Baranggay Santo Tomas, Pasig with her husband Maximo who still runs a real estate business. They have four children (Certified Public Accountant Perla A. Damian, homemaker Maria Elene A. Ariola, Pasig City Vice Mayor Lorna A. Bernardo, and businessman Victor), and 15 grandchildren



For many students through the years, Rosa Menguito Vallejo has been the Librarian, the teacher. If anyone deserves the title “Librarian’s Librarian,” it is she.

Rosa was born in Pasig in 1929, the year of the US stock market crashed, ushering in the depression. Although her arrival was greeted by an aura of doom, as far as Rosa was concerned, the years brought nothing but happiness and success in her personal life and chosen field.

Rosa graduated from the University of the Philippines with an A.B in Library Science in 1951, and that year started her career as an apprentice librarian at the UP Library. Later she became a junior library assistant, then assistant catalogue librarian with the rank of instructor.

Always thirsty for knowledge, Rosa pursued graduate studies in the US earning Master of Arts in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She then returned to her post at the UP Library, where she stayed for fifteen years, eventually becoming an assistant professor. In 1970, she joined the UP Institute of Library Science, becoming a full professor in 1981. She retired in 1994.

Through the decades devoted to library science and to teaching, Professor Vallejo has been many plaques of recognition and awards, including an Alumni Recognition Award from the University of Michigan, a Distinguished Information Professional Award from the International Federation for Information and Documentation, Outstanding Librarian of the Year from the Professional Regulation Commission, and Hall of Fame Award from the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. The latest accolade is the Mother of Philippine Librarianship Award.

Over and above her professional activities, however, Professor Vallejo remains a wife (to retired Brig. Gen. Benjamin R. Vallejo), a mother and, in recent years, a grandmother.



Rosalina “Sally” de la Paz – Magat, senior vice president and head of the strategic planning and research group of the Development Bank of the Philippines, has consistent history of excellence.

She graduated with a degree in economics, magna cum laude and class valedictorian, at the University of the Philippines. There she also earned her Master of Business Administration with distinction, being number five among the top 10 MBA graduates.

She went on to John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for her Master of Public Administration, concentrating on business economics and government as an Edward S. Mason fellow and scholar of the National Economic and Development Authority and the United States Agency for International Development.

She served as an economic analyst of the Board of Investments, chief economist of the Central Bank, division manager for corporate planning of the National Development Company, assistant vice president of the Land Bank of the Philippines and vice president fore treasury and planning of the Philippine Veterans Bank.

Among the awards and citation she has received are: Outstanding Pasigueño in Banking and Industry in 2000, Outstanding Alumnus of Rizal High School in 1995, Outstanding Economist from the Philippine Leadership Organization in 1981, and awardee for academic excellence from the UP Sigma Alpha Sorority.

Ms. De la Paz – Magat became the first and only woman president of UP MBA Alumni Society. She was elected president of the First International Workshop on Women in Industrial Cooperative Management in Tel Aviv, Israel, out of 34 delegates representing 25 countries in 1992.

She makes her home in Kawilihan Village, Pasig City.


Musical Director

Professor Vicente Marifosqui was born on January 14, 1866. His father was Felipe marifosqui and his mother, Victoria Tuason.

During his childhood days, he spent most of his years as a colelgia at the Ateneo de Manila. After a few years at the Ateneo, he transferred to Colegio de San Juan de Letran for higher studies.

Ever since his stay in school, he devoted much of his time to the study of the solfiego. Just then his father, who was the founder of Banda Pasig, the origin of the present Dimas-Alang Band died, and the responsibility of the home and the band was transferred to his mother. The young boy returned home and fortunately found a opportunity to develop his inborn capacity and love for music under Banda Pasig, with Rosalio Silos as director.

The band did not stay long under his mother for it was later bought by Bonifacio Arevalo. It was greatly honored when the French Governor General of Indochina contracted it to give a concert with the French Marine band during the exposition in Hanoi in 1902-1903. Before the end of the exposition, its director Ladislao Bonasantos, deserted the band and returned to the Philippines for family reasons. It was a great opportunity for Marifosqui for when the band arrived in Manila, his directorship was contracted by Arevalo

As director of Banda Arevalo, Marifosqui showed an unusual skill in the task of selecting musicians that composed the famous Orchestra Rizal which was entrusted to him.

Aside from this, he also organized several other bands which became famous under his management, like Banda del Rosario in Cavite, Banda Navotas-Malabon, Banda Guardia Nacional during World War II, and Banda Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija. Later, due to a misunderstanding between Arevalo and the members of his band, Banda Pasig was disbanded (pun not intended). From its members, Marifosqui organized a new band known as Banda Dimas-Alang.

Music was an integral part of his life. He played the piano, guitar, clarinet, oboe, bass, and flute not like the ordinary musician but with skill extraordinaire. His Philosophy was for further appreciation of classical music, which he was determined to achieve by unraveling before young music lovers, knows the real technique, without the least expectation for any material remuneration. For his efforts he received laurels from his beloved town and country.



We have not seen the famous Enrico Caruso, but we have heard a lot about him and felt the lure of his voice. The music world has idolized him as the greatest tenor. The name Caruso is now, synonymous with beauty, perfection, sweetness and charm of voice.

In this brief sketch of the life of Octavio Cruz, it will not be an exaggeration to modify his name with the word “Caruso.” Neither will it be an obligation to sacrifice even a word for an apology.

Octavio is the son Ramon Cruz and Guillerma Villareal. He was born in Pasig and completed his primary and intermediate schooling at the Pasig Central School. In March 1925 he graduated from the Rizal High School. While in High School he distinguished himself as a debater, singer, and athlete. As a debater, he was of no mean ability; as a singer he was extraordinary, and as an athlete he was assistant manager of the P.H.T.F. and champion sprinter of the defunct S.T.A.A. in the Interscholastic Truck and Field. He was one of the best athletes during his heydays in high school, before he broke his ankle. This disability forever barred him from athletic competition.

After high school, he enrolled at the University of the Philippines and graduated in October of the year 1932 with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education. His university life was tinted with success. He was a member of the UP Dramatic Club and participated in the Cradle Song and Romantic Age. He was also a member of the UP Mix Gymnastic Team. Now he distinguished as a member of the “Manila Chamber Music,” and participated in Aida by Verdi. He will also appear as a leading character in La Traviata by the same composer, this coming May 3, 1933.

Whether this man will be a great educator or a celebrated singer is not certain. Most possibly he will be destined as the singer of the highest order for his philosophy of life is: “Sing and laugh, for the world sings and laughs at you.”

He is at present taking voice culture at the Conservatory of Music, UP as a pensionado of the Manila Chamber Music. One of the Islands’ beast pianists considers Mr. Cruz to be the best and greatest tenor of archipelago. It is also rumored that he will be sent to Italy for further cultivation of his musical talents.