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‘Queen of Kundiman’ Sylvia La Torre; 89 

by Izel Abanilla

Singer Sylvia La Torre, dubbed as the “First Lady of Philippine Television” and “Queen of Kundiman,” passed away in her sleep Thursday, December 1 at 7:02 am. 

She was 89. 

Her granddaughter, actress Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, known for her stint at Disney series “Hanna Montana,” confirmed the death of her grandmother. 

“My grandmother was my first inspiration when it came to singing and acting,” she said in her Instagram post.

“She was my first vocal coach and taught me all of her kundimans,” she said.

“Thank you for passing on your love of music to me and I will surely continue your legacy. Gone too soon but always in our hearts. Your song has ended but your melody will linger on. Love you, Mama Cita.”

Among the famous personalities who offered their condolences were theater superstar Lea Salonga, stage actor Jon Jon Briones and Disney actress Christy Carlson Romano. 

Born in 1933, young Sylvia started singing at five years old after winning a singing competition in Manila. In 1941, she appeared in her first film called “Ang Maestra” and made her stage debut two years later. 

A scholar at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, she became a regular performer at the Manila Grand Opera House. 

Come the 1950’s, her recording career flourished, having recorded over 300 songs including “Sa Kabukiran,” “Mutya ng Pasig,” and “Waray Waray.”

She also appeared in a number of movies where she would always be seen belting out powerful notes as part of her roles. 

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