Rogelio de la Rosa

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Rogelio de la Rosa

Rogelio de la Rosa (November 12, 1916 - November 10, 1986) was a dapper leading man in Philippine movies during the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema. His debonair and pleasing personality made him one of the Philippines' most beloved actors.

He was also one of the first movie actors who lent his prestige in politics. Elected to the Senate of the Philippines in 1957 he paved the way for other Filipino entertainers-turned-politicians such as Senator Eddie Ilarde, Senator Ramon Revilla, and former President Joseph Estrada.

Early life

Born in Lubao, Pampanga, Dela Rosa was the brother of President Diosdado Macapagal’s first wife.

As a teenager, De la Rosa regularly performed in zarzuelas as a villain. At the age of thirteen, he was cast by his uncle, a film director, in a starring role in the silent film Ligaw na Bulaklak opposite Rosa del Rosario. However, he did not then engage in a regular film career, opting instead to attend college at the Far Eastern University (FEU). He was an excellent collegiate athlete and debater.

Film stardom

Dela Rosa was gaining popularity as a leading man in films prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, appearing as leading man to such actresses as Rosa del Rosario, and his perennial love team partner Carmen Rosales. It was during the Japanese occupation that he first attained some measure of prominence, as a bodabil performer at the Life Theater in Manila. After the war, he emerged as a star, perhaps the most popular film actor of the first decade of the post-war. He rarely deviated from romantic leading roles, often cast in dramas opposite actresses such as Carmen Rosales, Paraluman, and Corazon Noble.

By the mid-1950s, Dela Rosa had reached the pinnacle of his film career. His suave and dashing personality, coupled with his supreme acting skills made him comparable to such great Hollywood leading man Cary Grant.

He had been cast as the first Filipino actor to star in an American-produced movie, The Avenger. His 1956 role in Higit sa Lahat with Emma Alegre earned him the Best Actor trophy at the 1956 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) awards, as well as a citation as Southeast Asia's Best Actor at the Hongkong Film Festival.


1932 – Ligaw na Bulaklak

1932 – Tianak

1932 - Ulong Inasnan

1933 - Nahuling Pagsisisi

1933 - Ang Ganid

1934 - Krus na Bato

1934 - Sawing Palad

1936 - Buhok ni Ester

1936 - Diwata ng Karagatan

1936 - Kalupitan ng Tadhana

1936 - Awit ng mga Ulila

1936 - Anak-Dalita

1936 - Lagablab ng Kabataan

1937 - Anak ng Pari

1937 - Magkapatid

1937 - Teniente Rosario

1937 - Bituing Marikit

1938 - Inang Mahal

1938 - Makiling

1938 - Sanggumay

1938 - Ang Magmamani

1938 - Bago Lumubog ang Araw

1938 - Mga Sugat ng Puso

1938 - Bukang Liwayway

1938 - Bahay-Kubo

1938 - Diwata ng Karagatan

1939 - Magkaisang Landas

1939 - Lagot Na Kuwintas

1939 - Pasang Krus

1939 - Florante at Laura

1939 - Dalisay

1939 - Ang Magsasampaguita

1939 - Takip-Silim

1940 - Senorita

1940 - Magbalik ka, Hirang

1940 - Gunita

1940 - Katarungan

1940 - Lambingan

1940 - Diwa ng Awit

1940 - Estrellita

1940 - Colegiala

1940 - Nang Mahawi ang Ulap

1941 - Panambitan

1941 - Tarhata

1941 - Tampuhan

1941 - Ang Maestra

1941 - Serenata sa Nayon

1942 - Caballero

1942 - Anong Ganda Mo

1944 - Perfidia

1946 - Garrison 13

1946 - Angelus

1946 - Dalawang Daigdig

1946 - Tagumpay

1946 - Honeymoon

1946 - Ang Prinsipeng Hindi Tumatawa

1947 - Sarung Banggi

1947 - Backpay

1947 - Ang Lalaki

1947 - Ang Himala ng Birhen sa Antipolo

1948 - Sa Tokyo Ikinasal

1948 - Bulaklak at Paruparo

1948 - Ang Vengador

1948 - Hampas ng Langit

1949 - Kampanang Ginto

1949 - Milyonarya

1949 - Bandilang Basahan

1949 - Camelia

1949 - Kidlat sa Silangan

1950 - Ang Hiwaga ng Tulay na Bato

1950 - 48 Oras

1950 - Doble Cara

1950 - Ang Kampana ng San Diego

1950 - Prinsipe Amante

1950 - Tigang na Lupa

1950 - Sohrab at Rustum

1951 - Bayan O Pag-ibig

1951 - Prinsipe Amante sa Rubitanya

1951 - Haring Cobra

1952 - Irisan

1952 - Romansa sa Nayon

1953 - Sa Paanan ng Bundok

1954 - Maala-Ala Mo Kaya?

1954 - Dakilang Pgpapakasakit

1954 - Jack & Jill

1954 - Ikaw ang Buhay Ko

1954 - Aristokrata

1955 - Ang Tangi kong Pag-ibig

1955 - Artista

1955 - Higit sa Lahat - WON 1956 FAMAS BEST ACTOR AWARD

1955 - Sonny Boy

1955 - Iyung-Iyo

1955 - Pandanggo ni Neneng

1956 - Babaing Mandarambong

1956 - El conde de Monte Carlo

1956 - Idolo

1956 - Pampanggenya

1956 - Gintong Pangarap

1957 - Sino ang Maysala

1957 – Veronica

Political career

Dela Rosa was elected to the Senate in 1957. As a Senator, he was active in issues concerning fisheries and agriculture, particular concerns within his home province of Pampanga, emerging as a strong advocate for nationalization of those industries. Appropriately, de la Rosa was also interested in issues relating to the Filipino film industry, co-authoring a bill that would lead to the establishment of a Board of Censors.

After four years in the Senate, Dela Rosa ran for the presidency as an independent candidate. His residual popularity as a film star, as well as the unpopularity of incumbent re-electionist Nacionalista Carlos P. Garcia made him a credible candidate. The other major candidate in the race was then-Vice President Macapagal of the Liberal Party, his former brother-in-law (the widower Macapagal having remarried). Then shortly before election day, Dela Rosa withdrew from the election. The reasons for his withdrawal remain a mystery. According to some authorized sources, Dela Rosa was concerned about the strength of what he perceived as the corrupt political machinery of President Garcia, and was ultimately convinced that his withdrawal from the race was the only way to ensure Garcia's defeat. [1] Nonetheless, rumors soon spread that de la Rosa had been paid by the Macapagal camp to withdraw from the race, the money coming from the controversial American businessman Harry Stonehill. [2] Whatever the motivation, Dela Rosa's gambit proved successful, and Macapagal was easily elected over Garcia.

As a diplomat and his later years

After the expiration of his term in 1963, Dela Rosa would never be elected again to public office. Instead, Dela Rosa remained in public service as an acclaimed diplomat. In 1965, he was appointed Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia, an important designation considering that country's proximity to the Philippines. During the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Dela Rosa was also named as Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands, and to the Soviet bloc countries of Poland, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia. He was duly admired for his savvy in foreign affairs and language proficiency. He also used his position to promote Filipino art and culture and to assist Filipino artists performing abroad.

After retiring from the diplomatic corps, Dela Rosa made his last foray into politics by unsuccessfully running in the 1984 Batasang Pambansa parliamentary elections. Shortly before his death from a heart attack in 1986, he played one last acting role, in a guest spot on the popular drama anthology Coney Reyes on Camera.

Dela Rosa was married twice. His second wife, Lota Delgado was a former leading lady of his in films.

External links

  • Rogelio de la Rosa. IMDb. July 2, 2020
  • Rogelio de la Rosa. Senate of the Philippines. July 2, 2020
  • Wikimedia Commons/National Library of the Philippines (distributed by Philippine Presidential Museum and Library)