Google Doodle honors Filipino author and playwright Severino Reyes

Published February 11, 2022, 7:41 AM

by John Legaspi

Here’s what you need about the ‘Father of Filipino Drama’

Google Search webpage today becomes special for the Filipino art scene as Google Doodles honors Filipino author and playwright Severino Reyes on Feb. 11, 2022, his 161st birth anniversary.

Deemed as the “Father of Filipino Drama,” Reyes became widely known locally and internationally for his zarzuelas, a Spanish musical theater genre. In 1902, this Manila-born dramatist established the Gran Compania de Zarzuela, a performing arts group on a mission to propagate the arts in the Philippines.

Photo from Google Doodle

Among his literary legacy are the zarzuelaWalang Sugat,” with a plot that centers on the heroism of the Katipuneros, and the famous “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang.” 1n 1922, he co-founded the Liwayway magazine, and during his time as its editor-in-chief, he contributed stories under the pseudonym “Lola Basyang,” according to Google. Until today, we see Lola Basya portrayed and shared in different mediums of art, jumping from books and theater to children’s shows on television, making his character among the most recognizable figure in Philippine storytelling.

“Fluent in both Spanish and Tagalog, Reyes took a deep interest in language, studying Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and a handful of other dialects spoken across the archipelagic nation,” Google wrote. “His intellect drove him to pursue studies in history, literature, and the sciences. Though his academic career culminated with a degree in philosophy, his most enduring legacy was left in the arts.”

Reyes passed away in September 1942 at the age of 81.

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