Restie Umali

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Restituto Umali, better known as "Restie" Umali, is a composer and musical director whose main works are scores for motion picture.


Early Life

Restituto Umali was born in Paco, Manila on 10 June 1916. He was the second child of Benedicto Umali and Eulogia Aquino. His early exposure to music was due to the influence of his father who has taught him how to play the violin. Restie's childhood was also influenced by the regular family rondalla. He was properly exposed to music techniques such as solfeggio and score-reading at the Mapa High School. Having been influenced by his family's rondalla, he became an active member of the school glee club and the school orchestra.

Career and Accomplishments

He studied at the Jose Rizal College (JRC), wherein he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce. He was later exposed to 'pop' tunes during his performances with both the Mapa Orchestra and the JRC Band. He was a scholar of JRC for playing in the school band. He earned extra money doing band arrangements of various songs and pieces as well as composing short school songs. He also played double-basss professionally for radio programs and also for the dance orchestra of the Army and Navy Club. When World War II broke out, he began arranging for and conducting musical groups for stage shows and dance halls. He then took formal lesson in harmony, to broaden his musical horizon, under Felipe P. de Loen. He became a volunteer instructor teaching the double-bass at the University of the Philippines (UP). While at UP, he took up courses in composition and conducting. His mentors included Antonino Buenaventura, Bernardino Custodio, Lucio San Pedro, Ramon Tapales, and Lucrecia Kasilag. In 1957, he transferred to the UST where he handled chorus and instrumental and choral arrangement up to 1962. During this time, he also became a "ghost composer" that lasted for 14 years. In 1959, he eventually lost his anonimity and introduced himself as the musical director or movie scorer for the movie Cry Freedom. This set the path towards winning his first FAMAS award in 1964.


Some of his compositions:

  • Romance, 1953
  • Filipiana Medley Overture
  • Medley for Philippine Arts
  • Ang Kiri
  • Sa Lahat ng Oras
  • Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin, 1969
  • Sa Araw ng Kasal, 1970
  • Dearest Forever, 1971
  • Sa Pagitan ng Dalawang Langit, 1974
  • Lupang Pangarap, 1975


Some of his awards:

  • First Prize, Philippine Independence Hymn Contest, 1947
  • FAMAS Best Music Award for "Sa Bawa't Pintig ng Puso," 1964
  • FAMAS Best Music Award for "Pinagbuklod ng Langit," 1969
  • FAMAS Best Song Award for "Pinagbuklod ng Langit," 1969
  • Manila Film Festival Best Music Award for "Bitter-Sweet," 1969
  • FAMAS Best Music Award for "Mga Anghel na Walang Langit," 1970
  • FAMAS Best Music Award for "Ang Alamat," 1973
  • Olangapo Film Festival Best Music Award for "Ang Aguila at ang Araw", 1973


  • Samson, Helen F. Contemporary Filipino Composers. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Company, 1976.



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