IMUS CITY, Cavite—The remains of the late former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. are to be interred on Thursday (July 2) at his family-owned Angelus Memorial Park in Imus City.
Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla confirmed to the Manila Bulletin on Tuesday (June 30) the interment date and place of the Revilla patriarch in a text message.
Revilla Sr. passed away at the age of 93 at 5:20 p.m. Friday (June 26) of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. He had been confined several times in a hospital due to heart ailment and pneumonia.
The life of an actor and senator
Imus, Cavite’s capital, was the hometown of Revilla Sr. or Jose Acuña Bautista. He was born and grew up in a house on General Jose Castañeda Street, formerly called Calle Karaniwan, in Imus’ Poblacion II-A, a barangay (village) near the historical Cuartel (colonial Spanish garrison) site.
Revilla Sr., born on March 8, 1927, was the youngest of the 10 children of businessman Ildefonso Bautista and Andrea Acuña.
The Bautista old house is adjacent to the residence of and ice plant being operated by the family of Francisco Bautista, Revilla Sr.’s second eldest sibling.
“Diyan po ipinanganak si Senator (Revilla Sr.) at lumaki at ang mga magkakapatid kahit noong panahon ng Hapon (That’s where Revilla Sr. and his siblings were born and grew up, some during the Japanese time [World War II]),” Teresita “Tess” Bautista, 71, a daughter of Francisco, told this reporter as she looked on the old house across the street.
A report said the young Bautista-Revilla loved to watch drama and action movies at the now-defunct Imus Theater.
With his looks and build, Bautista-Revilla was reportedly first discovered by a movie producer and director at a gasoline station which he owned and operated in a neighborhood in Imus.
Bautista-Revilla put up the gasoline station with cash given by his mother Andrea after his graduation.
Veteran columnist Ricky Lo, quoting Revilla Sr. in an interview long-time ago, said he was rediscovered by “Doc” Perez, the starmaker of Sampaguita Pictures.
Revilla Sr. reportedly used Gallardo Acuña as his first name. Gallardo was the name of his nephew, Acuña his mother’s surname. Doc Perez changed it to Ramon Revilla.
Having built a big name in the movie circle in later years, he put up his own movie-making production, Imus Production.
Throughout the years, Revilla Sr. starred in many films portraying a super-hero who thwarts villains with his protective “agimat” or “anting-anting” (amulet).
Many films of Revilla Sr. were made in Cavite province. He won many awards and was deemed as one of the country’s greatest action stars, along with “King of Philippine Movies” Fernando Poe Jr.
The Revilla patriarch joined politics in 1992 and was elected senator. He served as a senator for two terms until 2004.
Revilla Sr.’s son Senator Ramon B. Revilla Jr., and Revilla Jr.’s wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mecado-Revilla, son Cavite Vice Governor Ramon Jolo Revilla III, and brother Rep. Strike B. Revilla, have attested to the kindness of Revilla Sr., as have his other children and grandchildren.
The family members and friends are holding the wake of the late Revilla Sr. at the family mansion in Revilla compound on Aguinaldo Highway in Barangay Panapaan VII, Bacoor.
The wake attendees are limited only to the family members and friends in compliance with the health and safety protocols implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the duration of the general community quarantine (GCQ) due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
With his demise, Revilla Sr. has left a trail of memories for everyone as a movie actor, public servant, father, and friend.