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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 February 2019

Filipino actress and singer Armida Siguion-Reyna dies aged 88

Tributes are flooding in for the much-loved 'Aawitan Kita' star

Armida Siguion-Reyna has died aged 88 following a battle with cancer. Instagram 
Armida Siguion-Reyna has died aged 88 following a battle with cancer. Instagram 

Philippines singer and actress Armida Siguion-Reyna passed away on Monday, February 11, aged 88.

Siguion-Reyna's death was confirmed by her sister, Irma Potenciano, who said she died of cancer at Manila's Makati Medical Center.

Her grandson, actor Rafa Siguion-Reyna also confirmed the news in a Tweet and adding details of a memorial service to be held in Manila.

A beloved mother and grandmother

Known for her show Aawitan Kita, which translates to I Will Sing for You, Siguion-Reyna was the daughter of singer Purita Liwanag and the lawyer and politician Alfonso Ponce-Enrile.

Her career in the public eye began at eight, when she appeared in the film Yaman ng Mahirap, before moving to the United States to finish high school.

In 1950 she met lawyer, Leonardo Siguion-Reyna, whom she married a year later in 1951.

Siguion-Reyna was known for roles in operas, including La Traviata, The Merry Widow and Rigoletto.

And from 1970 she worked on Aawitan Kita, "one of the longest-running musical shows on Philippine TV", airing for over 30 years according to ABS CBN News.

She went on to become the Philippines' Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairperson from 1998-2001.

In 2010, her husband passed away, a "loss" that her granddaughter Cris Villonco said was deeply felt by Siguion-Reyna in a May 2018 interview.

Remembering Siguion-Reyna

"She was always fun and full of great stories, but also quite strict. All of us had to know our songs very, very well when we came to the recording sessions. Otherwise, she would send you home," Rachel Alejandro, who appeared with the star on Aawitan Kita told ABS CBN News.

"That never became a problem for me because I am a quick study and also very meticulous about learning the right notes. I was such a newbie singer then who hadn't yet found my own style of singing. My study material was Tita Midz's voice. I learned her phrasing and placement so exactly that I sounded like her."

Tributes to a star

Malacanang Palace – the official residence of the Philippines President – shared its condolences.

Salvador Panelo, a presidential Spokesperson, said that the “entertainment world has lost one of its pillars and the Palace expresses its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the former Movie and Television Review Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairperson .”

Tributes have also flooded in from her fans online, many of which are paying respect by listening to her most celebrated music.

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Updated: February 12, 2019 01:56 PM

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