MY condolences to the family of Tita Midz. Armida Siguion Reyna is one of the most colorful personalities in the history of local showbiz. She left quietly at the Makati Medical Center last Monday afternoon at the age of 88 after a terminal illness.
Very outspoken and straightforward, she’s not afraid of anything or anyone. She’s a late bloomer in showbiz. Although she did a movie as a child actress, her dad put his foot down when she wanted to be join showbiz and she was sent to New York for high school and college studies. She married Leonardo Siguion Reyna in 1951, but continued her love for music and performed in operas. In 1970, she started producing “Aawitan Kita” on TV that propagated local music and which lasted for more than 30 years. She also produced “Mga Kuwento ng Pag-ibig”, an anthology of well made love stories.
In 1975, she forayed into movies in “Sa Pagitan ng Dalawang Langit” which starred Gina Pareno and Miss Aruba, Maureen Ava Vieira. She played a leper and won the best supporting actress award in a local filmfest. In 1977, she did “Tahan Na, Empoy” for the late Lino Brocka and won the Urian and FAMAS best supporting actress award as the cruel aunt of child actor Nino Muhlach.
She gave similarly memorable performances in Mike de Leon’s “Kakabakaba Ka Ba?”, Mario O’Hara’s “Dung-aw” and “Mga Bilanggong Birhen”, Laurice Guillen’s “Salome”, Elwood Perez’ “Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M”, Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Paradise Inn”, Joel Lamangan’s “Filipinas”. As a producer, her Reyna Films did such acclaimed works as “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit”, “Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal”, “Saan Ka Man Naroroon”, “Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin”, “Azucena”, “Ang Lalaki sa Buhay ni Selya”, most of which won various awards.
A great fighter against censorship, she became the chair of the MTRCB during the time of Erap and it’s one of the most open-minded administrations ever. In the 80s, she hosted a movie talk show, “Let’s Talk Movies”, on RPN-9. She invited us to be a guest and later on asked us to be one of her co-hosts. After each show, we would go out to have late dinner and there was never a dull moment with her. We will miss you, Tita Midz, truly one of the most respectable and memorable grand dames of local showbiz.