Honorata “Atang” de la Rama

Atang de la Rama was not only the queen of zarzuela and kundiman, she was also a war heroine. She was the first Filipino actress to appear in movies and was educated from elementary to college under the Centro Escolar University. Her advocacy centred on the promulgation of the Philippine kundiman, believing art was for everyone. To De la Rama, the kundiman and the zarzuela were mirrors of the Philippine identity and culture, and she travelled from theatres to provinces to promote this music. She even performed for revolutionary organisations such as Sakdal in the American occupation, and HUKBALAHAP in the Japanese occupation. De la Rama also promoted the music abroad to Hawaii, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and San Francisco to name a few countries (National Historical Institute, 1996). Her voice served as encouragement for the revolutionaries, fueling their patriotic spirit against the country’s oppressors, and this extended even to direct participation in the war effort.