Jinggoy honors late artist Sylvia La Torre

AS the nation mourns the loss of veteran artist and music icon Sylvia La Torre, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada today filed a resolution expressing the Senate’s sympathy to her family and recognizing her invaluable contribution to the growth of Philippine arts and culture. 

“A music icon, trailblazing entertainer, and a pioneer for female Filipino performers, her rich legacy of outstanding performances and recording of original Filipino music merits a tribute from the Senate,” Estrada said.

La Torre’s passion and dedication to the arts greatly contributed to the growth and development of Philippine arts and culture, the senator added.

The late singer and actress, who passed away peacefully in her sleep last December 1, 2022 at the age of 89, was an avid advocate of the preservation and promotion of Philippine music.

Dubbed as the Queen of Kundiman and First Lady of Philippine Television, Sylvia Reyes La Torre-de Tagle was a recipient of the Excellence in Music award conferred by the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra in 2017. She was also honored with the Tandang Sora Award, which is given to outstanding women in recognition of their contribution to the field of social work, women empowerment, and community and social development.

The daughter of artist Leonora Reyes and director Olive La Torre, the coloratura soprano was hailed as the country’s “Queen of Kundiman” during the 1950s and 1960s for her unforgettable and heartfelt rendition of hundreds of Filipino love songs, folk classics, and novelty tunes such as “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” “Mutya ng Pasig,” “Sa Kabukiran,” “Sa Libis ng Nayon,” “Waray-Waray,”  “Alembong,” “Arimunding-Munding,” “Galawgaw,” and many others.

She was also acknowledged as the “First Lady of Philippine Television” in the 1960s with her memorable hosting stint in the long-running early evening variety show “Oras ng Ligaya” and appearances in numerous television programs. 

Born in 1933, she began her eight decades-long career in the entertainment arts at the young age of five after winning a local singing competition in Manila. She appeared in her first film “Ang Maestra” in 1941 at the age of seven. 

She eventually made her stage debut years later, became a regular performer at the Manila Grand Opera House and in vaudeville shows, and pursued acting in movies until the 1990s, thereby successfully making her mark in all fields of Philippine entertainment.