Rosa Rosal

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Rosa Rosal is a Philippine media legend and considered the longest serving Philippine National Red Cross volunteer in world history. She was born as Florence Lansang Danon on 16 October 1931. She is currently a member of the board of governors of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

Early Life

Rosa Rosal was raised in Manila. She started as a radio announcer during World War II. At 16, she was discovered by a producer and eventually appeared in Kamagong, her first movie. She co-starred in the award-winning movie Badjao (1956) with Tony Santos, Sr.. She then became a dramatic actress and is remembered by many Filipinos as an arch-villainess (contrabida).

In 1955, she won the FAMAS Best Actress award for her role in Sonny Boy. She starred in over 100 films, with her most memorable role in Anak Dalita, opposite Tony Santos, Sr. The film was awarded Best Picture in the Southeast Asia film festival in Hong Kong. She also starred in some of the best award-winning films of that time, including Badjao, which won in the Copenhagen film festival; and Biyaya ng Lupa, which was awarded at the Tokyo filmfest.

Her life of volunteerism began when she went to a Manila hospital in 1950. A young girl in comatose was brought into the emergency room. The girl desperately needed blood transfusion. Rosa Rosal decided to help and went around looking for blood donors. When the girl was resuscitated, Rosal Rosal was deeply moved. Thus began her life dedicated to public service.


Rosal pioneered the idea of mass blood donations, utilizing the army, private corporations and government employees. She urged the Red Cross to establish blood centers in the regions, as well as to buy specialized equipment to have blood tested for the AIDS virus. She was a tireless fundraiser, using her prestige to attract celebrities to her campaigns. During the people's power revolution of 1989, Rosal appealed for blood donations via radio and personally delivered emergency supplies to city hospitals. Today, she chairs the Red Cross Blood Program.

After the 1970s, she preferred to appear in family-oriented television and she pioneered the concept of public service TV with Damayan and Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko, which she launched on GMA Network on 01 December 1975 with Orly Mercado. She has also appeared in soap operas such as Esperanza, where she originated the role of Consuelo.

She has been with the PNRC for more than 57 years, a record of volunteerism which many Filipinos believe should be cited in the Guinness World Book of Records. Because of her volunteer work with many civic organizations, she was conferred the 1999 Ramon Magsaysay Awards for public service. Likewise, the Filipino-Chinese Federation of Business and Professional Women of the Philippines honored her with the community service award for 2007.

Rosa Rosal, with her many notable achievements in and out of the spotlight, starred in her own TV biopic.


  • Rosa Rosal's figure with her hands stretched upwards was used as a model for the FAMAS trophy.
  • Her role in Badjao was Bal-amai.
  • She coined the acronym FAMAS after the American awards body contested the Filipino awards committee who allegedly copied the American original name of AMPAS.
  • Filipino actress Iza Calzado played the young Rosa Rosal in her biopic.

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