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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 24, 2020



MS. LILIA DIZON in her heydays at LVN PICTURES

LILIA DIZON when she celebrated her last birthday, in attendance are Pinky, Melissa, Lotlot and Matet de Leon and Toni Abad

LILIA DIZON is one of the brightest stars of LVN Pictures in the 40s and 50s paired with the top leading men that time like Rogelio de la Rosa, Jose Padilla Jr, Armando Goyena and Mario Monetenegro.

Her real name is Claire Strauss (her dad is of German ancestry) and she started her acting career right after WWII in 1946.

Her luminous beauty easily shone in films where she portrayed the title role, like “Bathaluman” (where she played the statue of a goddess who springs to life), “Venus” (where she’s the goddess of beauty) and “Tucydides” (where she played a fairy living inside a balloon).

We saw those fantasy movies as a child and she’s truly just perfect for her title roles. In 1954, she won the best actress award in the Asian Filmfest held in Cambodia for “Kandelerong Pilak”, directed by Bert Avellana.

We also saw her in the movie she did for Premiere Production, a costume action flick, “Sanda Wong”, which was filmed in color and shot in Hongkong with Chinese actress Lola Young, directed by Gerry de Leon in 1955.

She married LVN character actor Gil de Leon and they had three kids: Pinky, Christopher and Melissa, who all went into acting like their parents, with Christopher becoming one of the country’s top matinee idols and multi-award winning actors.

Gil died of the big C and she later married Antonio Abad with whom she has two kids, Toni and Corazon.

She would later play mother roles and one of the best dramas she did is “Awit ng mga Dukha”, where she played the mom of LVN actresses Lourdes Medel and Mila Ocampo. When her son Christopher was discovered by Lino Brocka in 1974, she played his mom in the award-winning “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang”.

She retired in the U.S. in the 80s (where her daughter Pinky still resides) but she later returned to Manila and stayed with her son Bro. Boyet. Her daughter Toni is our friend in Facebook and we were so alarmed when we found out her mom is sick.

We’re publishing here her open letter on FB so that many people will pray for her mom's fast and full healing. Let’s storm the heavens praying for Ms. Lilia Dizon, one of the brightest stars in the history of the local movie firmament ever.

Here’s Toni’s very touching letter:

"It's been a month since the lock down. I've never imagined that I will experience a pandemic in my life time. I've been so sad especially for those who can't even have decent meal and shelter.

''I saw a couple of them while driving through South Super Highway the other day. I pray that God gives them their portion everyday.

“But the saddest thing that I’ve been going through is to see my MOM deteriorate before my eyes. Mom has cancer.

'If this were a normal day, I would’ve rushed her to the hospital so she can be admitted. She was supposed to start her immunotherapy last March 15th but how can she?

‘How can I send my 90-year-old mother when I know that people her age are prime targets of this disease? Sad to say that the safest place for her to be in is now the most dangerous.

‘This virus has taken over our lives in a very demeaning and dehumanizing way. I’m extremely mad about how this all came about; I don’t want to elaborate on it right now.

"I cried my heart out for days to GOD because all we had here in the house is her oxygen machine and her maintenance meds but by God’s grace I was able to find ACTIV Care through our good friend’s Angie Laborte and Dr. Mae Covera of Asian Hospital.

‘They are God sent. We were able to convert my Mom’s room in to a mini hospital with sufficient equipment for us to give her the most comfortable care and attention.

"Thanks to Dr, Rhea, Nurse John, and our two angel Nurses who are tirelessly taking care of Mom’s every need.

‘Thank you too to all my siblings Christoper, Pinky, Melissa, and Cori, and Sandy for always checking up on Mom. Thank you Tonyboy, Michelle, Albie for your prayers.

"Thank you to my husband Paolo, Bella, and Josh for your support. You are all Mom’s prayer warriors. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”