By Boy Villasanta | Published: November 10, 2020
Mila del Sol, one of the cherished actresses of the Filipino epic, “Ibong Adarna”, translated into film in 1941 directed by the Second Father of Philippine movies, Vicente Salumbides, and produced by LVN Pictures — died early this morning at the house of one of his sons, Sonny Tambunting, in Parañaque City.
This was announced by Gus Tambuting, former representatives of Parañaque City, one of Mila’s grandsons.
Mila, Clarita Villarba Rivera in real life, is considered one of the finest stars during the pre-war era, died of old age.
In an official statement of former congressman, Gus Tambuting, through his wife Joy Tambunting, representative of the Second District of Parañaque, he said that his grandma, whom he called Lulay, breathed her last at 1:01 am today.
“Though we mourn her passing, we are comforted in knowing that the one who called her from this life, our Lord, loves her more than we could ever love her. She has returned home.
“It has been an honor and privilege to carry the legacy of Lulay, the statement said.
With the simple goal of buying her mother a pair of slippers and through the grace of our Lord, Lola Mila rose from the poverty of her younger years to become the queen of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema.
She went on to star in over 40 feature films.
Being the link of the pre-war and the post-war era, Lola’s contributions to laying down the foundations of Philippine cinema has allowed her to be recognized as a true cornerstone of the industry.
Golden Age Star
Before her passing, she was the only living movie star from the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema in the 1930s and 1940s.
“Her deep love for her family and her desire to serve those who made her a big movie star sparked the formation of Mila del Sol’s Superior Maintenance Service — the biggest janitorial firm in the country today which is entering its 56th year.
“More than anything, Lulay was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother.
“Lulay loved her six children, two of whom have already gone ahead of us, 17 grandchildren, and more than 30 great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
“She is survived by her four children, Sonny Tambunting, former TV host Jeanne Young , Ancel Romero, and Leo Romero.
“Nakita niya ang limang henerasyon ng kanyang pamilya-ang kanyang henerasyon, ang kanyang mga anak, ang kanyang mga apo, ang kanyang mga apo sa tuhod, at ang kanyang mga apo sa talampakan (She had witnessed five generations of her family—her generation, her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren).
“She was blessed to live a long life, a life well lived, and a life full of love. She lived a blessed and charmed life.
“All of us will forever be indebted to Lulay… Throughout her life, she continued to impart wisdom and spread her zest for life to those closest to her because she was truly an image of beauty both inside and out, both on and off screen.
“Isa sa pinakamalaking karangalan ko ay maging panganay na apo ng aking Lulay…Hindi lang siya isang magaling na artista na nagpasaya sa ilang henerasyon at isang magaling na negosyante na nakapagbigay ng libo-libong trabaho sa ating mga kababayan. Ang mas mahalaga dito, para sa amin, ay siya ay naging isang mapagmahal na anak, kapatid, ina at lola (It’s an honor to be the eldest grandchild of Lulay. She wasn’t only a good actress who had entertained generations of filmgoers and a successful businesswoman who gave employment to thousands of workers. More importantly, for us, she was a loving daughter, sister, mom and grandmother).
“She loved us and taught us how to love each other.”
Discovered By LVN Pictures
Mila comprised the first generation of stars in the country as one of the major discoveries of LVN Pictures and appeared in many of its photoplays depicting lighter social conditions of the past.
In 2013, she was recognized by the prestigious Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino—one of the country’s most credible award-giving bodies — and was given the Natatanging Gawad Urian, the highest lifetime achievement plum given by the organization to local film luminaries who have contributed remarkable tasks in the progress and development of the industry.
Grieving In Private
On behalf of his family, Gus Tambunting asked for prayers for the eternal repose of her grandma’s soul.
“As we observe the health protocols, we ask our friends to give us the opportunity to grieve in private.”