Mila del Sol, dubbed as the Queen of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema in the 1930s to 1940s, and owned the first rags-to-riches story in local entertainment, died on Tuesday, her grandson former Paranaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting has announced.
Born as Clarita Villarba Rivera in Tondo, Manila, Del Sol was also the mother of Jeanne Young, who hosted “Spin-a-Win,” a long-running television game show that became popular in the late 1960s.
After retiring from show business 56 years ago, Del Sol put up the Superior Maintenance Service, currently one of the leading janitorial service firms in the country.
Tambunting, the eldest among Del Sol’s 17 grandchildren, said his grandmother shot to fame after being photographed with then President Manuel L. Quezon. The historic photo came out in the front pages of national dailies in 1939.
“Quezon enjoyed her first film, Giliw Ko, and asked to congratulate my Lulay personally during the premiere of the movie. . As a Tondo girl, she was not used to wearing high heels, so she took them off, then rushed to the president,” said Tambunting, husband of incumbent Paranaque Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting.
Del Sol’s photograph with Quezon showed her holding her high-heeled shoes on her left hand as she shook hands with the president.
“It has been an honor and privilege to carry the legacy of Lulay,” the Tambunting family said in a press statement.
The family recalled that Del Sol was buying her mother a pair of slippers when she passed by the filming of a movie and was discovered.
“Lola Mila rose from the poverty of her younger years to become the queen of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema,” the Tambuntings said.
The statement added: “More than anything, Lulay was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother.”
Del Sol is survived by her four children, Sonny Tambunting, Young, Ancel Romero, and Leo Romero.