Role Matinee idol
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse Lota Delgado (m. ?–1986)
Party Liberal Party
Name Rogelio la
|Born November 12, 1916
Lubao, Pampanga, Philippine Islands (1916-11-12) |
Died November 10, 1986, Manila, Philippines
Siblings Jaime de la Rosa, Africa de la Rosa, Purita de la Rosa, Tommy Dela Rosa
Movies Ang Tangi Kong Pag‑ibig, Bituing Marikit, Lambingan, Mars Ravelo's Jack and, Gunita
Similar People Jaime de la Rosa, Lota Delgado, Diosdado Macapagal, Narcisa de Leon, Carlos Vander Tolosa
Regidor de la Rosa (November 12, 1916 – November 26, 1986), better known as Rogelio de la Rosa, was one of the most popular Filipino matinee idols of the 20th century. He is also remembered for his statesmanship, in particular his accomplishments as a diplomat. Elected to the Philippine Senate from 1957 to 1963, he also was the first Filipino film actor who was able to parlay his fame into a substantial political career, paving the way for other than future Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians such as Senators Eddie Ilarde, Ramon Revilla, Sr., Tito Sotto, Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid, Freddie Webb, and President Joseph Estrada.
- Early life
- Film stardom
- Senator and presidential candidate
- Diplomat and later years
He was born in Lubao, Pampanga, the son of an arnis champion. Lubao was also the hometown of Diosdado Macapagal, four years his senior and a future political opponent and brother-in-law. Macapagal's first wife, Purita, was de la Rosa's sister. He has Spanish and Chinese ancestry.
While in high school, de la Rosa, along with Macapagal would regularly perform in zarzuelas as a villain.
As a teenager, he was cast by his uncle, a film director, in a starring role in the silent film Ligaw na Bulaklak opposite Rosa del Rosario. The film's director, José Nepomuceno, gave him the screen name "Rogelio de la Rosa". However, the young actor did not then engage in a regular film career, opting instead to attend college at the Far Eastern University in Manila. An excellent collegiate athlete and debater in the years from 1932-34. In 1933, de la Rosa won the Claro M. Recto Gold Medal in a national oratorical contest.
De la Rosa burst into stardom in the late 1930s after being frequently cast in dramas as a romantic idol opposite such actresses as Rosa del Rosario, Carmen Rosales, Emma Alegre, and Paraluman. Rosales proved to be his most durable onscreen partner, and their "love team" is said to be among the most successful in the history of Philippine movies.
When the Philippine film industry was held to a standstill during the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945, de la Rosa remained in the public eye as a bodabil performer at the Life Theater in Manila. After the war, he resumed his film career and proved more popular than ever. emerged as a star, perhaps the most popular film actor of the first decade of the post-war. He formed his own film production company, RDR Productions, and starred as well in productions of LVN Pictures, often with Rosales.
By 1948, he was the highest paid Filipino movie actor. His success in films remained steady in the 1950s. He had been cast as the first Filipino actor, under the name of Ramon Delgado, to star in an American-produced movie, The Sword of Avenger. His 1955 role in Higit sa Lahat with Emma Alegre earned him the 'Best Actor' trophy at the 1956 FAMAS awards, as well as a citation as Southeast Asia's Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Festival.
Senator and presidential candidate
In the 1957 general elections, de la Rosa ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate under the banner of the Liberal Party. He served for one 6-year term spanning the 4th and 5th Congress. As a Senator, he was active in issues of particular concern within his home province of Pampanga such as fisheries and agriculture, emerging as a strong advocate for nationalization of those industries. Appropriately, de la Rosa was also interested in issues relating to the Filipino film industry, co-authoring a bill that would lead to the establishment of a Board of Censors.
After 3 years in the Senate, de La Rosa decided to run for the presidency as an independent candidate. His residual popularity as a film star, as well as the unpopularity of incumbent re-electionist Nacionalista Carlos P. Garcia made him a credible candidate. The other major candidate in the race was then-Vice President Macapagal of the Liberal Party, his former brother-in-law.
Shortly before election day, de la Rosa withdrew from the election. According to his official Senate biography, de la Rosa was concerned about the strength of what he perceived as the corrupt political machinery of President Garcia, and was ultimately convinced that his withdrawal from the race was the only way to ensure Garcia's defeat. Whatever the motivation, de la Rosa's gambit proved successful, and Macapagal was easily elected over Garcia. Returning to the Liberal Party, de la Rosa was defeated for reelection to the Senate in the 1963 general elections. He would never again be elected to public office.
Diplomat and later years
De la Rosa remained in public service as an acclaimed diplomat. In 1965, he was appointed Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia, an important designation considering that country's proximity to the Philippines. During the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, de la Rosa was also named as Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands, and to the Soviet bloc countries of Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. He was duly admired for his savvy in foreign affairs and language proficiency. He also used his position to promote Filipino art and culture and to assist Filipino artists performing abroad. His last diplomatic post was Philippine Ambassador to Sri Lanka. He was well loved by the Filipino community there and reciprocated by serving his utmost best.
After retiring from the diplomatic corps, de la Rosa made his last foray into politics by unsuccessfully running in the 1984 Batasang Pambansa parliamentary elections. Shortly before his death from a heart attack in 1986, he played one last acting role, in a guest spot on the popular drama anthology Coney Reyes on Camera.
De la Rosa was married twice. His second wife, Lota Delgado was a former leading lady of his in films.