Top Headlines of 2021

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Here are the important and significant events that happened in the Philippines in 2021.


Incumbent Government Leaders


Ongoing events


In the news

January

  • January 18: The Department of National Defense (DND) announced the unilateral termination of its 1989 accord with the University of the Philippines (UP), which guarantees the university’s autonomy from military intervention. The accord, which was signed by Abueva and then Secretary of DND Fidel V. Ramos on 30 June 1989, established protocols governing relations between the university and military and police forces. Among these were prior notifications by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the UP administration before conducting any military or police operations in any of the UP campuses of the eight UP constituent universities. The accord was scrapped by the Duterte government in January 2021.

February

  • February 5: The Sandiganbayan convicted businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, former Cagayan de Oro representative Constantino Jaraula, and three others of graft and malversation of public funds, in relation to the Priority Development Assistance Fund Scam. They have been sentenced to spend 6 to 10 years in jail for each of their respective graft convictions and 12 to 18 years for each count of malversation conviction. They were also ordered to pay the government at least Php 56 million.
  • February 16: The Supreme Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, unanimously dismissed the electoral protest of defeated vice presidential candidate and former senator Bongbong Marcos against vice president Leni Robredo.
    • President Duterte granted amnesty to members of rebel groups Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade. However, under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, amnesty cannot be granted to persons who have been prescribed as terrorists. Those who wish to be granted amnesty must apply within a year from the effectivity of the proclamations or when majority of the members of Congress concur with the grant of amnesty.
  • February 17: Due to insufficient evidence, Senator Leila de Lima was acquitted in one of the three drug cases filed against her. However, she cannot be released yet as she has two other pending cases. De Lima is accused of conspiring to run a drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) allegedly to fun her senatorial campaign in 2016.
  • February 28: 600,000 doses of CoronoVac, COVID-19 vaccines from China-based drugmaker Sinovac Biotech, arrived in the Philippines.

March

  • March 1: Philippine General Hospital (PGH) director Gerardo Legaspi became the first person in the country to be legally inoculated with CoronaVac. The Department of Health (DOH) and National Task Force Against COVID-19 started the vaccination campaign using the 600,000 doses of vaccines from Sinovac. The Philippines was among the last to start inoculation in Southeast Asia.
  • March 13: Palawan residents, except those from Puerto Princesa, vote in a plebiscite to disapprove a law that would divide Palawan into three separate provinces.
    In April 2019, Duterte signed a law that sought to divide Palawan into three provinces: Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur. It sought to allow local government units to deliver services faster but others argued that the move would only serve political interests especially the reinforcement of political dynasties.
  • March 21: The Philippines filed its first diplomatic protest against the presence of about 200 Chinese fishing boats moored at Whitsun Reef in the Spratly Islands as early as March 7. The incident caused diplomatic tensions between China and the Philippines. The latter suspected the ships to be part of a militia and that China planned to use the ship to secure control over the disputed reef.
  • March 29: The Greater Manila Area was placed under enhanced community quarantine until April 11. An intensified curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. was also implemented.

April

  • April 30: The Philippine Identification System ID became available for online registration. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) received more than 40,000 registration requests on the first few minutes of the pilot launch. The national ID aims to provide easier access for Filipinos to social welfare programs and government benefits. It can also be used as proof of identification for government transactions.

May

July

  • July 4: A Philippine Airforce C-130H aircraft carrier crashed in Patikul, Sulu. Of the 96 military personnel onboard, 50 died while three civilians on the ground were killed. The so-called deadliest aviation incident involving the Philippine military remains under investigation. The families of the fallen soldiers who died in line of duty were assured that they will be given necessary support and assistance.
  • July 30: Duterte decided to retract the termination letter for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Agustin III. On 11 February 2020, the Philippines served the United States an official note of termination of the two decade-old agreement, which stemmed from the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa due to alleged extrajudicial killings during his term as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).


October

  • October 3: Rappler, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and assorted media partners published a set of 11.9 million documents leaked from 14 financial services companies known as the Pandora Pages, which revealed offshore financial activities of more than 35 Filipino politicians, contractors, bankers, and business professionals such as
    • Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade
    • Former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andres Bautista
    • Dennis Uy, businessman with interests in shipping and logistics, gas distribution, telecommunications and other industries
    • The Aboitiz Family of the Aboitiz Group which has interests in power generation, banking, real estate and infrastructure
    • The Gaisano Family who owns the publicly-listed Metro Retail Stores Group and the private mall operator Gaisano Grand Malls Group
    • The Gatchalian Family who operates plastic manufacturing facilities under the Wellex Group Inc. (WGI)
    • The Olivares and Santos families own Our Lady of Fatima University, which has six campuses across the Philippines, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, and Our Lady of Fatima College of Nursing
    • The Sy Family who owns the SM Group
    • The Tantoco Family who own the luxury retail chain Rustans and the SSI Group, the Philippines’ largest specialty retailer
    • Joselito ‘Butch’ Campos Jr., founder of food and condiments firm NutriAsia Inc. and majority stake holder in Singapore-based Del Monte Pacific Limited
    • Helen Dee, chair of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
    • Rolando Gapud, the executive chairman of the board of Del Monte Pacific Limited
    • Oscar Hilado, director of several companies with interests in telecommunications, tourism and mining
    • Enrique Razon Jr., chairman of International Container Terminal Services, the country's leading terminal operator
    • Peter Rodriguez, founder of Asian Aerospace Corp., an air charter operator
    • Elmer Serrano, lawyer of the Sy family, owners of SM Prime Inc. and SM Investments Inc.
    • Wenceslao family of the real estate firm DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc
    • Monte Oro Resources and Energy, a corporation wholly owned by Apex Mining Co. Inc.
    • Jose Carlo Antonio, managing director of listed property giant Century Properties
  • October 8: Journalist Maria Ressa, the founder and chief executive officer of the online news website Rappler, is awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize along with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov "for their efforts to safeguard the freedom of expression" with regards to freedom of the press.” In an era of increasing authoritarianism and swirling information, the two who lead independent news outlets in the Philippines and Russia, were honored for their work to hold leaders to account.
  • October 12: After 35 years, 3 members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) were found guilty for the death of labor leader Atty. Rolando “Ka Lando” Olalia and uninonist Leonor Alay-ay. Fernando Casanova, Dennis Jabatan, and Desiderio Perez were found guilty for two counts of murder and are meted with penalty of up to 40 years imprisonment (reclusion perpetua). Also, each is ordered to pay a total of Php 2.1 million civil idemnity and damages to the heirs of Olalia and Alay-ay. The other nine accused are still at large.


Business and economy

  • January 7: The Security and Exchange Commission gave a go signal to Investree to commence commercial operations. It is the first crowdfunding portal in the Philippines, which aims to connect small, medium, and emerging enterprises with banks and other lenders.
  • January 28: The Philippine Statistics Authority announced that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 8.5-9.5 percent in 2020. The recession was brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters such as the Taal volcanic eruption and a string of strong typhoons. Prior to 2020, the country’s worst recession was in 1984. The country’s economy shrank by 7 percent during the waning years of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship saddled with a debt crisis.
  • March 8: DITO Telecommunity entered the country’s telecommunications industry by starting operations in selected cities in Visayas and Mindanao. On its launch, it provided free service to 3,000 frontliners. It also unveiled a welcome offer of Php 199 unlimited DITO-to-DITO on-net SMS and on-net calls and unlimited 5G data.
  • March 25: The Overseas Filipino Bank (OBF) secured its digital banking license from the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It is the country’s first branchless digital-only bank.
  • May 26: Monde Nissin booked the Philippines’ largest initial public offering, raising Php 48.6 billion from both domestic and international investors. The company said its international and domestic book building process was multiple times oversubscribed. Monde Nissin’s net sales in 2020 was Php 68 billion, up 4.6 percent from Php 65 billion in 2019.


Entertainment and culture

  • March 27: Samantha Bernardo won 1st runner-up in the Miss Grand International 2020, with United States winning the title.
  • April 5: Kelley Day won 1st runner-up in the Miss Eco International 2020, with South Africa winning the title. Kelley also won the Best National Costume with her embroidered Maria Clara gown.
  • May 17: Rabiya Mateo finished as part of the Top 21 at Miss Universe 2021.
  • July 11: The 2021 Binibini queens are Hannah Arnold as Binibining Pilipinas International, Samantha Alexandra Panlilio as Binibining Pilipinas Grand International, Cinderella Faye Obeñita as Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental, and Maureen Ann Montagne as Binibining Pilipinas Globe.
  • August 8: Naelah Alshorbaji from Parañaque was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2021. Four other women were crowned alongside Naelah. They were: Ameera Almamari as Miss Philippines Air, Rocel Angelah Songano as Miss Philippines Water, Roni Meneses as Miss Philippines Fire, and Sofia Grace Galve as Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism.
  • August 21: Dindi Pajares finished as part of the top 12 at the Miss Supranational 2021. Namibia’s Chanique Rabe is Miss Supranational 2021.
  • September 30: Beatrice Luigi Gomez of Cebu City was crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021. She made history as the first member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to win the pageant.


Sports

  • January 25: The Philippine National Volleyball Federation held an election to determine its set of officials.
  • August 8: The Philippine Olympic delegation finished with 50th overall leaderboard in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze medal. It was the biggest haul in the country’s history in the Games. The winnings also made the Philippines number one in the Southeast Asian rankings. Hidilyn Diaz became the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist after winning the women's 55 kg category for weightlifting.


Deaths

  • January 2: Former Ginebra, Ateneo star Emilio “Nonoy” Chuatico. He helped Ateneo win its first UAAP basketball championship. He was inducted into the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Born in 1965, he passed away due to a lingering illness at the age of 55.
    • National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) vice-chairman and executive officer Atty. Rogelio Casurao died at the age of 66 due to pneumonia.
  • January 6: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Danilo Lim passed away at the age of 65 due to cardiac arrest. He was one of the only few who served in the Philippine military with a West Point degree.
    • Philippine Eagle Pag-asa, which was recognized as an icon of the national bird, succumbed to infections associated with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis. It would have turned 29 on January 15. It was the first Philippine Eagle bred and hatched in captivity. The Philippine Eagle, with an estimated number of only 400 pairs left in the world, is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • January 7: Former Oriental Mindoro congressman Reynaldo “Rey” Umali passed away at the age of 63 due to liver cancer and COVID-19. During his last term in Congress, he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Justice. Among the issues he led were the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in 2017 and the house probe into the alleged drug links of Senator Leila de Lima in 2016.
  • January 9: Former actor Royette Padilla died at the age of 58 due to heart attack. He was part of the Padilla showbiz dynasty. He is brother to actors Robin, Rommel, and BB Gandanghari, and uncle to Daniel and Kylie.
  • January 10: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) undersecretary Joji Aragon died due to COVID-19. He was in the hospital for almost a month. Aragon was DOLE undersecretary for the Wages and Productivity, Legislative, Advocacy and Internal Auditing Cluster.
    • Former basketball player Alberto “Bert” Ortiz died due to heart ailment at the age of 61. The 6-foot guard out of University of the Philippines (UP) played a total of 83 games and had a career average of 2.5 points per game. He played three seasons with the U-Text Wranglers and Manhattan Shirtmakers.
    • Moe Chulani, the co-founder and project director of Ronda Pilipinas, died due to heart ailment at the age of 45. He once served as team manager of the Pasig Pirates in the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA). He was also voted as board member of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (PhilCycling).
  • January 11: Libungan, Cotabato mayor Christopher Cuan and his driver were shot by unidentified men. He previously survived a shooting incident in front of the town hall in January 2019. He was also included in Duterte’s illegal drugs watchlist. (See also Mayors and Vice Mayors killed during Duterte administration).
  • January 20: Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Deputy Chief Minister Abdul Sahrin died at the age of 70 after a month-long battle with brain tumor. Sarin was a member of the 75-seat Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) parliament. He was a key figure in fighting for self-determination and working towards the vision of a peaceful and progressive Bangsamoro.
  • January 23: Former actor and Philippines’ James Bond Tony Ferrer died at the age of 86 due to heart failure and complications from diabetes. He left a rich legacy in Philippine entertainment industry by appearing in a total of 203 movies. He devoted 47 years of his life to acting, directing, and movie production.
  • January 26: Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan laureate Fu (lola) Yabing Masalon Dulo died of an undisclosed illness at the age of 106. She was among the last weavers that kept the Blaan traditional mabal tabih art alive. The fabric, which is made from abaca fibers and colored by steeping it with native plants, is used as a tubular skirt for women and cover for medallion and knives.
  • January 29: Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Chair Dante Jimenez passed away at the age of 68 due to Aortic Aneurysm. He also served as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
  • January 31: Former senator from Bicol Victor Ziga, who was known for his part in the 1986 EDSA People Power, died due to heart and multi-organ failure at the age of 75. He also served as assemblyman, cabinet minister, Albay governor, and board of director of the San Miguel Corporation.


February

  • February 1: Pioneering theater stalwart Naty Crame-Rogers passed away at the age of 98 due to complications of old age. She was best remembered for the iconic movie Portrait of an Artist as Filipino. She also established the Philippine Drama Company, Aming Tahanan Sala Theater in the 1960s. Her biography Naty Crame Rogers: A Life in Theater detailed her life as an actress, director, producer, author, and drama teacher. Crame-Rogers was also one of the first flight stewardess of Philippine Airlines.
  • February 2: Former Senator John Henry ‘Sonny’ Osmeña passed away. The cause of death was not mentioned, but he has recovered in 2020 after being infected with COVID-19. Osmeña belonged to one of Cebu’s most influential political families–as a grandson of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr.–and as a seasoned politician. He served as a senator for three terms, as a councilor for Cebu, as the city’s vice mayor, and as mayor of Toledo City. He was reported as the wealthiest local chief executive of Cebu.
  • February 9: Former Olongapo City Mayor James "Bong" Gordon, Jr., the brother of Senator Richard Gordon, passed away at the age of 73. He was a three-term congressman of the first district of Zambales and a three-term mayor of Olongapo City. He was also a professional musician and a former governor of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Red Cross chapter in Olongapo.
  • February 10: MRT-3 general manager Rodolfo Garcia passed away at the age of 77. He earlier tested positive for COVID-19 and was confined in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital. Garcia was recognized for his expertise and leadership to improve the state of the MRT-3.
    • Preacher and international televangelist Eliseo “Eli” Soriano died at the age of 73. He was the leader of the Christian group Members Church of God International and the host of the church’s long-running television program of “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path).
  • February 17: Two-time Asiad gold winner Jacinto Cayco passed away at the age of 96. He was inducted into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • February 19: UNTV News reporter Vincent Arboleda died at the age of 33.
  • February 23: Itbayat Mayor Raul de Sagon of Batanes passed away at the age of 59 because of a lingering kidney ailment. He was described by his constituents as a diligent leader.
  • February 24: Former Cavite Governor Erineo "Ayong" Maliksi died at the age of 82. He served as vice mayor and mayor of Imus and representative of Cavite’s second district. He was also Cavite governor for three terms. He was appointed as Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairperson and served the post for a year.
  • February 25: Former Cebu’s first district congressman Jose “Dodong” Gullas died in a private hospital at the age of 87. He was also the executive vice president of UP Visayas and served as chair of the board of trustees of The Freeman newspaper.
  • February 26: Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay vice mayor Restituto Calonge was shot dead in front of the municipal hall. The suspects Erer Magoda and Jomar Taiting are members of the Anwar Ansang Criminal Group and are engaged in gun for hire, piracy, and illegal drug activities in the region.
    • Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman passed away at the age of 94. She was Lanao del Sur’s first woman governor and among the few local chief executives who defied the strongman rule of Ferdinand Marcos. She also helped beef up the struggle for Moro liberation.


March

  • March 3: World-class Filipino fashion designer Rocky Gathercole passed away at age 54. He rose to fame for his out of the box design. He has been one of the go-to Filipino designers of Hollywood stars and stylists when they need a showstopping piece. He was once a homeless child who started his fashion career in Pasay City. He moved to the Middle East and showcased his works on the runways of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Australia. His creations were worn with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, and Jennifer Lopez.
  • March 6: Jesuit priest and noted constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas passed away at the age of 88. He was one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution. He was a Jesuit educator who mentored generations of Filipino students, lawyers, legal academics, and researchers. He taught and was named dean twice at the Ateneo Law School. He was given the title Dean Emeritus upon his retirement in 2004. He also became president of the Ateneo de Manila University and served as an opinion columnist for a major national daily. Fr. Bernas had serious heart ailments and was in quarantine after discharge from the hospital.
  • March 8: Mayor Ronald Aquino of Calbayog City, Samar and two police escorts were killed in an ambush while they were on their way to Barangay Lonoy. One of the gunmen was also killed. Their death was allegedly planned for months by members of Samar police according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Eastern Visayas. According to NBI’s report, the ambush of Mayor Aquino had long been hatched by the police officers involved.
  • March 16: Mother of actress Tessie Tomas, pioneering radio voice talent and veteran actress Laura Hermosa died of renal failure at the age of 92. She passed on a month weeks after she recovered from COVID-19 infection. Hermosa was a Waray who made her mark as a radio talent beginning on the mid-1950s in the show “Krisalis” with the late great director Susana de Guzman and veteran radio artist Tina Loy. She also became a director and character actress.
  • March 20: Sr. Fidelis Atienza, the ‘mastermind’ of Baguio’s famous Good Shepherd’s ube jam, died at 102. In the 1960s, she started the Marian Bakery and made use of the host cuttings for the “crispies”, the forerunner of the “angel cookies.” She introduced the ube jam, one of the convent’s best sellers, later in 1976. She spent most of her life in Maryridge in Tagaytay, accompanying in prayer and counselling people who come to the retreat house. A few months after her 100th birthday in 2020, she was transferred to the Good Shepherd Community in Quezon City. Her congregation said that Sr. Atienza never considered herself ill or infirmed towards the last years of her life.
  • March 27: Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of college student Eileen Sarmenta and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez, passed away. He who is over 70 years old, was diagnosed with "electrolyte imbalance secondary to acute gastroenteritis, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and benign prostatic hypertrophy."
  • March 28: Famy, Laguna Mayor Edwin Pangilinan passed away at age 53 due to COVID-19. His mother Lucena, 76, also succumbed to the respiratory illness.
  • March 29: Former Liliw, Laguna mayor Cesar Sulibit died after battling COVID-19.
  • March 30: Businesswoman and OPM icon Claire dela Fuente passed away at 62 due to cardiac arrest. Dela Fuente is the popular singer behind the OPM songs “Sayang,” “Nakaw Na Pag-Ibig,” and “Minsan Minsan” in the 1980s. Aside from managing restaurants, she was also a successful bus operator.


April

  • April 2: Veteran designer Arielle Agasang died at age 51 due to heart attack. He was best known for his haute couture creations, showcasing innovative barong and terno designs, for celebrities. At the time of his death, Agasang was in the middle of preparations for his 2021 Manila Hotel fashion showcase and tribute entitled “Arielle Agasang Ako ay Filipino: A Filipino Fashion Charity Gala & Tribute to the Most Influential Personalities of the Year 2020-2021.” The event was supposed to honor 100 achievers in various fields and to raise funds for the construction and improvement of Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Lavezares, Northern Samar, Agasang’s hometown.
  • April 4: Former Batangas City Mayor Eduardo Dimacuha passed away. He was known for being a visionary who accomplished much as mayor of Batangas City. He pushed for the construction of the EBD Bridge of Progress to decongest Batangas City traffic and to ensure safety of its citizens from floods.
  • April 6: Veteran writer-director and journalist Nestor Torre passed away at age 78 due to complications from COVID-19 and heart disease.
  • April 8: Late ‘60s to ‘70s actress and singer Mildred Ortega-Templo passed away due to cardiac arrest. Some of her memorable movies are Mekeni’s Gold (1969), My Darling Eddie (1969), The Jukebox King (1969), Luha sa Bawat Awit (1971), Dyesebel at Mahiwagang Kabibe (1973), at Supergirl (1973).
  • April 12: Educator and historian of Philippine Art Santiago ‘Jak’ Albano Pilar of the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA) Department of Theory passed away at the age of 74. Pilar was known as the pioneer in the field of study at CFA, where he taught for several decades. He also paved way for many important discoveries and preservation of Hispanic art from all over the country.
    • Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) former chief, three-star Police General Vicente G. Vinarao passed away at the age of 86. He served as BuCor director general as well as commander of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
    • Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and national team player Joselito “Joey” Ocampo died in his sleep at age 68. He was sick for a long time. PBA aims to honor Ocampo by elevating him to the Rizal Ave, San Lazaro, Oroquieta, and Quiricada (RILAORQUI) Hall of Fame.
  • April 15: Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) chief Adelino Sitoy died at age 85. As PLLO chief, he brought genuine and lasting change through legislation. He was instrumental in the passage of key legislative reform measures of the Duterte administration. Sitoy also served as mayor and vice mayor of Cordova in Cebu. He also served in the town’s legislative council and in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu.
  • April 18: Former Cotabato City mayor and executive director of National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Ludovico Badoy succumbed to severe pneumonia complicated by COVID-19. It was under his leadership that the NHCP was designated as the Secretariat of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC).
  • April 22: Former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary Wencelito Andanar and Duterte’s special envoy to Malaysia died due to liver cancer. He served multiple Philippine presidents through various capacities: as presidential assistant to Corazon C. Aquino, as DILG undersecretary and Philippine Coconut Authority chairman under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and as special envoy to Malaysia under Rodrigo Duterte. Andanar helped link the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with international markets. During the pandemic, he was active in repatriating overseas Filipinos from Malaysia.
    • DZMM Radyo Patrol 37 head Edwin Sevidal passed away due to COVID-19 at age 49. He spent 25 years of his life with ABS-CBN since 1996. From being a production assistant, he was promoted to researcher, executive producer, field reporter, then desk editor. As head of ABSCBN’s Radyo Patrol, he pushed for the use of mobile journalism among radio reporters which helped them deliver reports for radio, television, and online platforms without the need for bulky equipment and additional manpower. He also conducted mobile journalism workshops and helped set-up the ABS-CBN News Asia-Pacific bureau, recruiting and training correspondents from all over the region.
  • April 23: Pinoy pop singer icon Victor Wood died at age 75. He was one of the original stars of Pinoy pop and was dubbed as the “Jukebox King.” He released a total of 26 albums and 2 dozen singles during the course of his career. He was also an actor, painter, and politician.
  • April 25: Former Asian Games bronze and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist boxer Genebert Basadre died at age 35 days after collapsing at his home in Cagayan de Oro City. He was revived but slipped into a coma before he eventually succumbed to the damage he sustained a week later.
  • April 26: Sportsman Mike Ochosa passed away due to a heart attack at age 55. He was president of Viva Sports Management, head coach of Pony League national team Habagat, president of Punchout Boxing Club, sports analyst, and sports writer.
  • April 27: Veteran action movie director Toto Natividad. He also served as barangay captain in North Bay Boulevard South Kaunlaran, Navotas. His cause of death was not disclosed but he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
  • April 28: Celso "Cito" Dayrit, who served Philippine sports in several capacities, died due to COVID-19 at age 70. Before his passing, he served as president of the Fencing Confederation of Asia. He also served as Philippine Sports Commission’s commissioner and president of the Philippine Olympic Committee. He spearheaded the creation of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Philsoc) and was heavily involved in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He also founded the Philippine Olympic Academy and the Philippine Olympians Association. Dayrit was given the Olympic Merit Award in 2006 by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and was recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) in 2007.


May

  • May 2: Former Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Dominador R. Cepeda, Jr. Passed away at age 86. During his tenure, the Philippines hosted the World Boxing Council and Luisito Espinosa’s title defense for the WBC featherweight belts. Cepeda also represented the country in different international boxing organizations. He was also elected president of the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation. As Cepeda was also member of the Philippine Bar, he became the legal counsel of WBC Asia after concluding his tenure at GAB.
    • Stand-up comedian and Wowowin former co-host Le Chazz was found dead at his home in Kamuning, Quezon City. He was 43 years old. The cause of death is still under investigation.
  • May 4: Veteran entertainment columnist and TV personality Ricky Lo passed away at age 75 due to stroke. He is best remembered as a long-tme entertainment writer of his own column, Funfare, which came out in The Philippine Star. He started out as an editorial assistant of The Manila Times magazine Variety in 1969 then rose in the ranks until he became entertainment editor for The Philippine Star. He also joined The Buzz, an entertainment magazine show in ABS-CBN. He became co-host of other entertainment news shows until leaving the television for good in 2015.
  • May 13: Murder convict Ruben Ecleo Jr., who was found guilty of murdering his wife, passed away due to cardiopulmonary arrest. He recovered from COVID-19 a week ago before his death. Ecleo was the leader of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, a Dinagat-based cult.
  • May 17: Kabang, the dog who lost her snout for saving two girls being run over by a motorcycle, passed away. He was 13 or an equivalent of 91 years for humans.
  • May 20: Filipino singer-songwriter and cancer survivor Eros “Zion” Aquino passed away at age 42.
  • May 21: Vice chairman of Filinvest Land and director of Filinvest Development Corporation Andrew "Bibot" Gotianun Jr. passed away at age 69 after a short bout with a non-COVID malignant illness. Gotianun was “instrumental in growing the Filinvest group into the multifaceted corporation it is today and was a leader in the real estate field."
  • May 23: Philippine theater icon Carmen "Baby" Barredo passed away at age 80 due to multiple organ failure brought about by sepsis. She was the co-founder of Repertory Philippines which spawned enduring talents since the 1970s. Barredo, also known as the Grand Dame of Philippine Theater, was referred to as “nanay” by many REP talents who grew up under her mentorship.
  • May 26: Arturo Rogerio Luz (Manila, November 20, 1926 – May 26, 2021) was a Filipino painter, sculptor, and designer. He did major artworks and was best known for his linear art and his painting series on street musicians, vendors, cyclists and carnival performers, also for his sculptures using wood, concrete and metal. When he started, he created figurative artworks, but went on to develop abstraction. He was considered as one of the Neo-Realists and the Thirteen Moderns. In 1997 he was named one of the National Artists of the Philippines. He died in May 2021 at the age of 94. His death was preceded by years of illness.
  • May 28: Antipolo City's 2nd District Rep. Resurreccion Acop died after a bout with COVID-19 at the age of 74. Acop was a member of the Committees on Health, Agriculture and Food, Basic Education and Culture, Interparliamentary Relations and Diplomacy, Public Order and Safety, Public Works and Highways and Welfare of Children. She was the principal author of 102 bills and co-author of 44 bills.
  • May 30: Dumaguete vice mayor Alan Gel Cordova passed away at age 53 due to a heart attack. He collapsed from his bike during a benefit bike run for the Philippine Army.
    • Former representative of the lone district of Occidental Mindoro and Deputy Speaker Ma. Amelita “Girlie” Villarosa passed away a day that would have been her 78th birthday. She died of an aneurysm while receiving treatment at a hospital in Metro Manila.
  • May 31: Veteran actress, radio star, and Queen of Filipino radio drama Ester Chavez passed away at 93 due to old age complications. She was a very professional actress who is well-remembered for “Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap” (1984), “Paano Kung Wala Ka Na?” (1987) and “Maging Sino Ka Man” (1991).


June

  • June 3: Veteran actress and director Arlene Tolibas died of cardiac arrest at age 55. As a comedienne, she gained notice in the 90s appearing in films like “Alabang Girls,” “Bala At Lipstick,” and Rollerboys.” As director, she directed a few seasons of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) Star Awards for Movies, Television, some Box Office Entertainment Awards, and the Metro Manila Film Festival. She also worked as floor director for TV shows.
  • June 4: Media network Brigada Group of Companies executive Yentez Quintoy was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while she was on her way home. The Brigada Group is the mother company of Brigada Mass Media Corporation, which operates a television status, a network of newspapers in Mindanao, and radio stations in parts of the country.
  • June 6: Former UAAP football juniors Most Valuable Player Kieth Absalon was killed after an explosion in Masbate City. He was 21. The New People’s Army was accused of planting the IED. Absalon was a major contributor to some of the championship squads of the FEU Baby Tamaraws team. Aside from being UAAP Season 78 Juniors MVP, he also bagged the Best Defender and Striker awards. He was also part of the Philippine under-19 team that competed in the 2018 AFF Under-19 Championship in Indonesia.
  • June 7: One of the most prolific and reliable editors of the film indusrty Augusto Salvador died of cardiac arrest at age 80. Salvador, who crossed over many film genres, edited the films Lino Brocka’s Insiang, Fernando Poe Jr.’s Ang Probinsyano, and Ishmael Bernal’s Relasyon among others.
  • June 10: Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas passed away due to complications from COVID-19. He had been a politician for more than three decades. He started as an assemblyman in the 1980s then as congressman from 1998 to 2007. He served as governor of the province from 2007 to 2013, 2016 to 2019, and then 2019 up to present. He was linked to the death of journalist Nestor Bedolido in Digos City and he surrendered to authorities in 2014. In 2016, Cagas was accused of pocketing Php 9.3 millions in kickbacks through the pork barrel scam.
  • June 23: Comedian and TV/radio personality Carmelito Reyes, popularly known as Shalala, died of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was 61. Before he became a showbiz personality, he worked as an advertising promotions coordinator of Viva Films, Millennium Films, and Maverick Films. TV host and star builder German “Kuya Germs” Moreno was the one who gave Shalala a break in TV and radio. He also appeared in movies, with his launching movie Echoserang Frog, in 2014.
  • June 24: Philippines’ 15th president Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III died of renal failure and diabetes at age 61. He held office from 2010 to 2016. Time named Aquino one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013. Among his accomplishments during his term were the stabilization of the economy, the enactment of the reproductive rights law, and being the face of the regional confrontation with Beijing over its claim on the West Philippine Sea. His six-year term also faced national crises and controversies, including his handling of Mamasapano Clash ("SAF 44"), Typhoon Yolanda, and the Manila Hostage Crisis.


July

  • July 6: Bienvenido R. Tantoco Sr., patriarch of the family behind the Rustan Group of Companies and former ambassador to the Holy See, passed peacefully at age 100.
  • July 7: Veteran journalist and former chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina died of liver cancer at age 59. Prior to becoming chairman of the NUJP, he practiced his profession in his home province Negros Occidental. He worked for Today Newspaper and the lifestyle magazine of The Manila Standard. He also served as an editor for Inquirer.net and Interaksyon.
  • July 11: Local Waters Utilities Administration (LWUA) Acting Administrator Jeci A. Lapus succumbed to heart attack at age 68. He was an engineer by professor and served as a representative of Tarlac province before he assumed the post as LWUA chief in 2017. He was recognized for his contributions to the sector including his support for the creation of the Department of Water to oversee the management of water utilities in the country.
  • July 12: Theater icon Celia Diaz passed away at age 93. She was the wife of the late Vice President Salvador Laurel and the mother of showbiz stalwarts Victor and Iwi Laurel. She was an actress and set and costume designer at Repertory Philippines. She was also a writer and a long-time patron of the arts. In May 2021, she published her memoirs My Lives Behind the Proscenium, which narrated her transformations as a woman and artist through the seasons.
    • Maria Zeneida “Nini” Quezon Avanceña, the second and the last surviving child of the late Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon and his wife, Aurora passed away at the age of 100.
  • July 13: Renowned Filipino painter Angel Cacnio, who was known for portraying scenes of Philippine heritage and culture in his paintings, succumbed to pneumonia with complications. He was 90 years old. He was the co-founder of the Visual Artist Creative Group and member of Sining Tambobong Foundation and Malabon Tourism. He was the recipient of Apolinario Mabini Centennial Art Competition Award, Gintong Ama Award for Arts and Culture, Centennial Gintong Ama Award for Arts and Culture, and Shell National Student’s Art Competition Award. Cacnio was the designer of the Philippines’ 20-peso and 100-peso bills.
  • July 14: Comedian Hans Mortel passed away due to pneumonia. He was known for co-hosting Amy Perez in Face to Face from 2010 to 2013. In 2020, he launched an online talk show Tsikahans, which was streamed live on Facebook.
  • July 15: Premier Volleyball League (PVL) head of operations Cesar Malapitan passed away after a long battle with cancer at age 60. He had been part of Sports Vision Management Group Incorporated, the organizer behind the PVL, since 2003 and he also worked with the V-League since 2004. He was also part the organizing committee of multiple International Basketball Federation (FIBA) events in the Philippines.
  • July 16: Editorial cartoonist and artist for the people Neil Doloricon passed away at the age of 63. He was a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Visual Arts until his death and was chairperson of the Committee on Arts and Humanities at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). He was an awardee of the Gawad para sa Sining Biswal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, holder of the Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino Professorial Chairs at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, and member of the UP Artists' Circle Fraternity. Doloricon, who was considered as one of the pillars of Social Realism movement in the Philippine art scene, was also chairman emeritus of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines. Their group signed as petitioners against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
  • July 19: Former Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña passed away at age 82. He was credited for the province’s economic boom in the 1990s. He was regarded as the father of “Ceboom,” a tag given to Cebu’s economic development under his watch. He also championed for its rural development. It was during his time when the provincial government initiated the privatization of public properties which led to the development of the Cebu Business Park and the Cebu IT Park. The grandson of former President Sergio Osmeña Sr. served as governor of Cebu from 1988 to 1992.
  • July 23: Former press secretary Tomas “Buddy” Gomez III died while on a pilgrimage trail in Galicia, Spain. He was 86. He worked for DZQL-Radio Reloj in 1957 before joining the Ayala Group with a career that spanned 25 years. He entered public service first as consul-general of the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu Hawaii in 1986, then he served as President Corazon C. Aquino’s press secretary and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) for Metro Manila. He also served as IBC-13 chairman and president during President Fidel V. Ramos’ term. He migrated to the US after his government service, where he worked as front desk clerk then assistant general manager of a hotel and as a furniture and antique restoration specialist.
    • OPM legend Wally Gonzalez passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was one of the founding members of the legendary OPM rock band Juan dela Cruz with Mike Hanopol and the late Joey “Pepe” Smith. He was also a businessman, who was dubbed as “the quiet Juan dela Cruz” member because of his non-flamboyant lifestyle. He founded the band Wally and Friends and also released solo albums. Gonzalez’ instrumental "Wally's Blues" is considered one of the most influential songs in Pinoy rock.
  • July 25: Filmmaker Joseph Israel Laban passed away at age 40 after battling COVID-19. He wrote, directed, and produced a number of films. His first feature film, Cuchera, was a gritty drama about Filipino drug mules. It was a finalist at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and was screened in film festivals around the world. His films Baconaua and Nuwebe won various awards at different film festivals. Laban was also a recipient of a Palanca Award for Literature in 2002 for his one-act play The Day Lola Lilia Finished Weaving and a Fulbright scholarship which earned him a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from New York University. He was also a creative consultant for GMA News programs Front Row and Reporter’s Notebook.
  • July 26: Marvin “Ate Shawee” Martinez, Sharon Cuneta’s impersonator, passed away at age 45 due to liver cirrhosis “with complications.”
  • July 27: Luis Pagalilaluan, popularly known as Orestes Ojeda, succumbed to pancreatic cancer at age 65. He, who appeared in over a hundred films since he was 17 years old, was most remembered for the original Scorpio Nights opposite Anna Marie Gutierrez and Daniel Fernando.
  • July 29: Renowned writer, playwright, and professor Domingo Landicho passed away at age 81. He is credited for helping shape Philippine literature through the years. He also wrote several plays for the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). He was a recipient of SEA Writers Award, Carlos Palanca Memorial Award, CCP Balagtas Award, Catholic Mass Media Award, and Institute of National Language Award. He was Professor Emeritus at the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas in 2005 and Director for Asia of Poet Laureate International.
  • July 30: Former head of the Movie and TV Review and Classifications Board (MTRCB) and board director of the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Manuel “Manoling” Morato passed away at age 87 due to COVID-19. He tried running for a senatorial post then as presidential candidate against Joseph Estrada in the 90s. He continued his media career as a columnist and host with Maggie de la Riva in the talk show Dial M, where his views and commentaries sparked controversies.
  • July 31: Former ABS-CBN Vice President for News and Bayan Productions, Inc. founder Arlene Sinsuat de Castro died of cardiac arrest at age 66. She began her career in Maharlika Broadcasting System (MBS)-4 as production coordinator for Special Events, Current Affairs, and Sports. After the EDSA Revolution of 1986, she joined ABS-CBN Corporation as an executive producer. She was then promoted to Vice President of the Current Affairs Department of ABS-CBN. She also headed the Special Reports Group, which led the production of TV Patrol for several years. She continued producing programs after her stint with the network, including Kabuhayang Swak na Swak.
    • Former lawmaker Herminio "Hermie" Aquino died at age 72. The grand-uncle of the late former president Noynoy Aquino served as representative of the third district of Tarlac from 1987 to 1998. He also served as vice governor of the province from 1998 to 2001. Hermie was the running mate of Senator Raul Roco in the 2004 national elections.


August

  • August 4: Veteran TV producer and director Kitchie Benedicto passed away at age 74. She was known for producing Nora Aunor’s Superstar weekly musical series and other legacy TV shows in the martial law years. She also oversaw the production of the following shows: Dolphy and Nida Blanca’s sitcom John and Marsha, Vilma Santos' weekly musical Vilma in Person, Two Plus Two with Vic Sotto, Dina Bonnevie, Maricel Soriano and Herbert Bautista, Tirso Cruz III’s Pipwede, Kaluskos Musmos, and Dolphy’s Buhay Artista specials.
    • Filipino artist Riel Hilario died of COVID-19 at age 44. His sculptures were featured in the Philippine Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai. His work introduced avian-human creatures as symbols of the “humane cultural power of the Filipino”. He was a graduate of UP College of Fine Arts and was a fan of aesthetic ideas from the Philippines’ cultural and artistic traditions.
    • Former Dangerous Drugs Board vice chairman and undersecretary Clarence Paul Oaminal succumbed to bronchial asthma in acute exacebration at age 51. Following his stint at the DDB, he provided legal workshops to police units in Cebu on the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. He was also a columnist for local newspaper The Freeman, where he wrote about Cebu history in his weekly column, “Cebupedia.”
  • August 12: Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Portugal Perez passed away at age 74. Prior to becoming SC Justice, he was a court insider then turned Technical Assistant. He was promoted to court administrator then designated by former President Gloria Arroyo as Associate Justice in 2009. He retired at the age of 70 in 2016.
    • Asia’s Swim Queen Haydee Coloso-Espino passed away at age 83. She won a total of 10 medals in the Asian Games. She was also a one-time olympian; she appeared in the Summer Games in Rome 1960.
  • August 14: Virginia Moreno, Palanca award-winning Filipino writer and poet, passed away at age 96. Known as the High Priestess and The Empress Dowager of Philippine poetry,” her works spanned across poetry, theater, and cinema. Her book Batik Maker and Other Poems won First Prize for the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Poetry in 1972. Her play The Onyx Wolf earned her a win in the National Historical Playwriting Contest. It was turned into a ballet performance with National Artist Alice Reyes as the show’s lead. The recipient of the Southeast Asia Write award in 1984, also served as chairman of the UNESCO Culture Committee of the Philippines. She taught taught lessons on Humanities at UP Diliman and became the first executive director of UPFI Film Center.
  • August 15: Fr. Roque Ferriols, pioneer of philosophy in Filipino, passed away at the age of 96. He started teaching philosophy in Filipino in 1969 to promote Filipinization in the university. His efforts led him to translate, edit, and write various books. His works have earned him a National Book Awards from the Manila Critics' Circle. He was the recipient of Ateneo’s Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi in 1989.
    • Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) legislator Aleem Zainoden P. Bato died at age 76. He was among the pioneers and pillars of the Bangsamoro struggle. He was a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) central committee and headed the group’s Mujlis as-Shura or consultative council. He was also part of young Moro students in Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt who founded a jihadi movement in the early 1960s that would shape into the Bangsamoro struggle in Mindanao. He was also among the 41 MILF nominees to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
  • August 17: Veteran journalist Jun del Rosario passed away at age 62. He started his journalism career as news writer then field reporter for Hoy Gising and TV Patrol. He later became associate producer and head of operations of Hoy Gising. After his stint with the show, Del Rosario led ABS-CBN News’ Special and Investigative Reports Group in 1997, and then became news manager in 1999. From 2001 to 2005, was senior manager heading the division’s overnight news operation. He also worked with the National Broadcasting Corporation, CNN Philippines, and the Philippine Red Cross.
  • August 18: Former president of the UP system Jose Abueva passed away peacefully at the age of 93. He was a strong supporter of federalism and parliamentary government for the Philippines. He was a Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee for political science in 1962. He was also a recipient of the distinguished scholar award in UP in 1968, the first time it was given under UP president Carlos Romulo.
    • Former deputy speaker and Cebu lawmaker Pablo "Pabling" Garcia passed away at age 95. He served as governor of Cebu from 1995 to 2004 and as vice governor from 1969 to 1971. He was also a distinguished trial lawyer, law professor, and respected constitutionalist.
  • August 20: Former mayor of Las Piñas City Vergel “Nene” Aguilar succumbed to a heart ailment at age 74. served as mayor for 6 terms over 18 years, first from 1995 to 2004 then from 2007 to 2016. His first term saw Las Piñas achieve cityhood. He was a property developer and businessman before running for public office in 1992.
    • Activist and poet Kerima Lorena Tariman died in an encounter between the military and communist rebels in Negros Occidental province. She served as managing editor of Philippine Collegian. She was also a member of Alay Sining, an organization of artists and cultural workers at UP Diliman. She was one of two New People’s Army (NPA) who died in the firefight in Silay City. She was 42.
  • August 22: Supreme Grand Master (SGM) Dionisio “Diony” Cañete of the world-famous Doce Pares passed away at age 83. He conceptualized and originated the rules and regulations that turned Arnis and eskrima into a formal contact sport. He was a lawyer and a 12th-grade black belter who was credited as the one to introduce the genuine Cebuano martial arts to the World. He was the Dean of our Council of Elders and was the Founder and Chairman of the World Arnis Kali and Escrima Foundation/WEKAF which is the International Federation of PEKAF. He was nominated as one of the National Artists of the Philippines for his great contribution to martial arts in 2018.
  • August 24: Filipino sprinter Nelly Restar died of heart disease at age 82. She represented the Philippines in the 1964 Tokyo, Japan Olympics. She was a member of the women’s track and field team of the Cebu Institute of Technology in the 1960s.
  • August 26: RAFAEL ‘Paing’ Hechanova, a member of the 1952 Philippine Olympic basketball team, passed away at age 93. The oldest living Filipino olympian before his passing was the chairman of the Philippine Olympians Association. He was part of the Philippine teams that brought home gold medals in the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi before successfully defending that crown in 1954 in Manila. He played commercial basketball with YCO and became the president of the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (Micaa). In 1975, he was elected as second vice president of PBA.
  • August 27: Retired Supreme Court associate justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla passed away at age 63. She was appointed in July 2020 before going on leave by the end of August 2020. Her early retirement was due to physical disability. She served the judiciary for more than two decades.
  • August 31: Filipino comedian Noemi Tesorero, popularly known as Mahal, passed away at age 46 due to a gastro illness and COVID-19.
    • Former commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Retired Admiral Reuben “Ben” Lista died due to COVID-19-related complications. He also served as the chief executive officer and president of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) until his death. He also served in the Philippine Navy as head of various major shore commands. He was also president of the Philippine Bowling Congress and the National Sports Association for Bowling.


September

  • September 1: Olympic boxing bronze medalist Leopoldo Serantes succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 59. He rose to prominence in the late 1980s as one of the premier amateur Filipino fighters after winning gold medals in the 1985 and 1987 Southeast Asian Games. He and nine other Filipino sporting heroes were recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission as Hall of Famers in July 2021.
  • September 2: Para table tennis player Josephine Medina, who a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, died at age 51. She is the most bemedalled paddler in the country’s sports history as she won seven gold medals, one silver, and two bronzes in the Para Games.
  • September 3: Olympian sailing athlete Nestor Soriano passed away due to complications brought by COVID-19 at age 67. He started his sailing career at a young age when members of the Manila Yacht Club offered sailing lessons for the youth who worked at the club. He competed in the finn class event of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was a silver medalist at the J24 Keelboat class at the 1993 Southeast Asian Games and several other regatta races such as the China Sea Race, the President’s Cup and the Philippine Hobie Challenge. He also taught sailing lessons at the Manila Yacht Club, the Taal Yacht Club and the Iloilo Yacht Club.
  • September 4: Celebrity and fashion photographer Raymund Isaac passed away at age 59, after being hospitalized for COVID-19. Known as the "first celebrity photographer" he was regularly commissioned by major advertisers, fashion magazines, film studios, and celebrities in the country. He had photographed some of showbiz’s biggest stars, including Vilma Santos, Piolo Pascual, Lea Salonga, and Judy Ann Santos.
    • Ang Probinsyano production assistant Lyan Leonardo Suiza died of heart attack.
  • September 8: Former Camarines Sur Rep. and Governor Luis R. Villafuerte Sr. died at fhe age of 86. He was a public servant for over 40 years. He served as governor of Camsur for 15 years and as a three-term House representative from 2004 to 2013. Among the laws that he authored is the Republic Act 10157, which requires every child to go through preparatory schooling before going to grade one.
  • September 13: Former De La Salle team captain Rafa Dinglasan passed away after COVID-19 battle. was part of the first ever Green Archers team that won the 1989 UAAP men's basketball title against Far Eastern University. He was also with the La Salle team that retained the UAAP crown the following year. later played for Burger City in the PBL and had a short stint with the MBA as part of the Iloilo Megavoltz. His last stint in basketball was in 2014 when he served as assistant coach of the St. Benilde Blazers in the NCAA.
    • Retired Associate Justice and former presiding justice of the Court of Appeals (CA) Ruben T. Reyes passed away. He was appointed associate justice of CA in 1994 and was named CA presiding justice in 2005. He was appointed to the SC in 2007 and served until 2009, when he reached age 70, the mandatory retirement age for members of the judiciary.
  • September 15: Singer-songwriter Renee “Alon” dela Rosa passed away at age 61. He was the composer of OPM hit song “Pusong Bato.”
  • September 16: Former Northern Samar second district representative Emil L. Ong passed away. He was a certified public accountant and lawyer who also served as administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA) during the time of President Corazon Aquino.
    • Asia United Bank’s director and vice chairman Ramon Y. Sy passed away at age 91.
  • September 17: Listed property developer D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc.'s chairman Delfin Wenceslao, Jr. passed away at age 77. He was the 37th richest man in the Philippines according to the latest list of Forbes - with an estimated net worth of USD 385 million.
  • September 18: Roberto Rafael V. Lucila passed away at age 65. He was the corporate secretary of GMA Network Inc., a law school lecturer, and public servant during the presidency of Corazon Aquino. He was also a board member of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Philippine National Railways, and the Special Operations Team. He also served as chair of the Presidential Staff, Philippine Retirement Authority, and South China Sea Fishery Disputes Committee. He also gave lectures on Constitutional Law at the University of the Philippines, College of Law and the University of Asia and the Pacific, Institute of Law. He was the author of the Corporate Rehabilitation in the Philippines (2007), The Benefit of the Doubt (2020), and the Fundamental Powers of the State & Civil and Political Rights (2021).
    • Filipino contemporary artist Bree Johnson died of asphyxia. The police are still waiting for the histopathological examination of Johnson who was found dead inside a hotel room of a beach resort in La Union.
  • September 19: Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary and civil society leader Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman passed away at age 68. She was DSWD secretary and one of the original cabinet members under the administration of the late President Noynoy Aquino. She also held the same post in the government of former President Gloria Arroyo but she resigned in light of the Hello Garci scandal in 2005. Soliman studied Social Work and Non-Profit Management at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University.
  • September 20: Robert Donald “Bob” Couttie passed away after a short illness in Balangiga, Eastern Samar at age 71. He was a British writer, film director, actor, journalist, producer, radio playwright and a staunch campaigner of the return of the controversial Balangiga Bells in 2018. Couttie, who was born in England, came and stayed in Balangiga, where he finished writing the first volume of his book series Fool’s Gold. He also wrote the book Hang the Dogs: The True Tragic History of the Balangiga Massacre. He was a lifetime member of the Philippine National Historical Society and had lived in the country for nearly 30 years.
  • September 22: Filipino fashion designer Criselda Lontok passed away at the age of 81. Fellow designers and the women who wore her pieces posted tribute messages remembering her influence and celebrating her legacy.
    • Longtime Philippine sports official Mauricio "Moying" Martelino passed away at the age of 86. He was the chairman of Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. (SVMGI), operator of the first Filipino pro volleyball league, the PVL, and its male counterpart, Spikers Turf. He also served as secretary general of Philippine Bowling in the 1970s and the Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP). He was also the executive director of the 1978 FIBA World Championships held in Manila. He was also secretary general of the Asian Basketball Confederation, the forerunner of FIBA Asia. FIBA awarded him the Order of Merit in 1999 for his service to basketball. Martelino also served a senior advisory role to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) from 2011 to 2020 and as LOC Deputy CEO when the Philippines hosted the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in 2013.
  • September 23: Former actress Janet Bordon passed away at 66 years old. She battled cancer for 31 years and underwent nine major operations. Among her notable films were Ako si Emma, Babae!, Moises Platon, Virgin People, Tatak Yakuza, Star, and 4 na Maria.
    • DZBB Super Radyo radio announcer Ely "Mr. Cariñoso" Cruz Ramirez passed away at the age of 88.
  • September 24: Promising baseball player Jerome Yenson passed away at age 24. He was a pitcher who steered Adamson to the UAAP baseball title in 2018. That same year, he was hailed the Finals MVP at the Best Pitcher. He was also part of the national team which won gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games against Thailand.
  • September 26: Guimbal Mayor Mayor Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr., who was considered as the political patriarch of Southern Iloilo province, died at the age of 80 a week after he was hospitalized for COVID-19. He served as congressman of Iloilo 1st District for four terms and as administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority during the Arroyo administration.
  • September 28: Noted poet, literary critic, scholar, and librettist Bienvenido Lumbera passed away at age 89 due to stroke complications. He was proclaimed National Artist for Literature in April 2006. He was also the recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communications in 1993.
  • September 30: Former Quezon City Mayor Adelina Santos-Rodriguez passed away at age 101. As the first lady Mayor and the sixth of the city, she prioritized healthcare and established health centers across the city. She also addressed the needs of families by promoting family planning and birth control. She also instructed the installment of the Manuel Quezon monument and established an economic development council to encourage more businesses, jobs, investments, and livelihood in the city. She was the city’s Tandang Sora Awardee in 2016.
    • Leticia “Letty” Gempisao, the catcher of the fabled Blu Girls which put Philippine softball on the world map, passed away at age 69. She suffered from stroke last year and weakened in the last days. Gempisao, who was considered as the best catcher of the Philippine Blu Girls Team, has a great throwing ability and leadership at the plate which made her the best in her position.


October

  • October 2: Radio and television broadcaster Leo Obligar passed away at age 83.
    • Filipino businesswoman, teacher, and philanthropist Leticia Olalia Hizon died of renal failure at age 84. She is the woman behind the iconic Pampanga’s Best, one of the leading maker of meat products sold locally and overseas.
    • Veteran photojournalist Recto Mercene died peacefully in his sleep at age 77. He became known for his iconic photographs of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. moments after he was gunned down on 21 August 1983. He took the photos of Ninoy’s assassination while he was working for the Times Journal, which were featured in publications around the world. He was even called to testify in the investigation conducted by the Agrava Fact-Finding Commission. He was a former air traffic controller and private pilot who wrote eloquently and in greater detail, particularly when it came to plane accidents. He also covered disasters, defense, Malacañang, foreign affairs, and the Senate.
  • October 3: Former Kalinga governor Macario Duguiang died due to a lingering illness at age 72. He was the governor of the said province from 2011 to 2014. He was a lawyer by profession who also served as Lubuagan town mayor, Kalinga Philippine Red Cross Chairperson, and regional director of the Department of Transportation and Communication-Cordillera Administrative Region. He was noted for being a peace negotiator among the Kalingas.
  • October 7: Former DZBB Super Radyo anchor Henry Jones Ragas passed away at age 82.
  • October 9: Filipino lawyer, community organizer, and human rights activist Chito Gascon passed away following his bout with COVID-19 at the age of 57. He also suffered from diabetes, which made him most vulnerable to COVID. As Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair, he actively campaigned against Duterte’s war on drugs as well as for the release of political prisoners. CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia noted Gascon’s undaunted fight for human rights, rule of law, and democracy out of deep reverence to the equal rights and dignity of all.
  • October 10: National Scientist Dr. Ramon C. Barba died at age 82. He was recognized for his achievement in the field of plant physiology, which focused on the induction of flowering of mango and on micropropagation of crop species. He served as assistant instructor at UPCA’s Department of Agronomy, Fruit Crops Section from 1958 to 1960, assistant professor at the UPCA in 1969, and reappointed as professor in 1981. He also served as consultant for the Quimara Farms on Mango Production, project director of CORE Foundation, and part-time director at biotechnology company Plantek. Barba was also the recipient of the following awards: The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines for Agriculture by the Philippine Jaycees (1974), Rizal Pro Patria Presidential Award for Tissue Culture (1980), the Most Distinguished Alumni Award, University of the Philippines (2004), and the SEARCA-Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development (2011).
  • October 12: Century Pacific founder and chairman emeritus Ricardo Po Sr. passed away at age 90. He immigrated with his mother from China in 1947 then became a translator in Binondo. He also worked as a newspaper journalist and covered the police beat and Malacañang in the 1950s. He then went on to venture into marketing and advertising.
  • October 14: Vic Sison, one of Philippine football's best goalkeepers, died at age 84 due to COVID-19. Former Philippine Football Federation president Johnny Romualdez noted that Sison was the best goalie in the 1950s. He was always recruited by the Lions, who ruled the Manila Football League from 1955 to 1962. He retired at the age of 21 to earn a living. He was behind the creation of the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame which honors the alumni's achievements in Philippine sports.
  • October 15: Hiphop artist Wakin Bordado, popularly known as D-Coy, passed away at age 27. He was one of the most respected rappers in the country and a member of the group Madd Poets. He was one of Dongalo Wreckord’s first rap artists. He was also CEO of Wika Records and Managing Director of Cafe Tribu.




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