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​The legendary actress and former beauty queen Pilar Pilapil graced yesterday’s “Lilas: An Illustrated History of the Golden Ages of Cebuano Cinema by Dr. Paul Grant and Prof. Misha Asinimov” book launching at the Activity Center of the Ayala Center Cebu. 

She came in this exquisite Amano creation by the Hablon advocate, Dexter Alazas, and was looking gracefully ethereal from head to toe as she climbed the stairs to the stage where she was called to share her thoughts on Cebuano films, Cebuano talent, and her frustration over our lack of support for both. 

Seven years before I was born, Pilar Pilapil was crowned as Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1967 and competed at the Miss Universe 1967 pageant in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. 

Today, forty-seven years later, the Cebuana beauty from Liloan is still looking like a vision of sublime beauty. When I approached her for a photo op, I could not keep my eyes off of her. I was looking for those lines of a sixty-five-year-old grandma, but I couldn’t find a wrinkle or two, which I thought ironic because she looks way older on television and in the movies. 

Seeing Pilar Pilapil yesterday made me feel visited by those days I wouldn’t miss an episode of ABS-CBN’s “Pasion de Amor” drama series. It felt so surreal, because she was very much a part of my daily passion for several months until her character, Maria Eduvina Suarez, was killed. 

I didn’t want to get distracted as I was listening to her speech. Pilar spoke with eloquence and class. It’s very humbling to hear that a Cebuana actress (and a Best Actress in some) who’s made more than a hundred movies in Manila and quite a number of telenovelas there is willing to lend a hand here for the love of Cebuano Cinema. 

This blogger, Ariel Allera, with Pilar Pilapil during Lila’s book launching at Ayala Center Cebu