EDDIE Ilarde left us for the Great Beyond last Tuesday, August 4, at 85 years old. Born in Iriga, Kuya Eddie always acknowledged his Bicolano roots. He became very popular on radio in the 50s because of his afternoon show, “Kahapon Lamang”, the forerunner of such TV shows as “Magpakailanman” and “Maalaala Mo Kaya”.
Listeners would send their letters to him and he will read them while playing their favorite song. It became so popular that it was made into an omnibus movie of four different episodes. Later on, a song “Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie”, became a hit on radio and the late Lino Brocka also made a movie with the same title.
On TV, Eddie was a host of such noontime shows as “Student Canteen” and “Swerte sa Syete”. He later went into politics and became a councilor in Pasay, a congressman in the 1st district of Rizal, an assemblyman and a senator. We were the ones who pushed for his winning the Star Lifetime Achievement Award for Television and he’s acknowledges this everytime we bump into each other.
He asked to help his son, Rico (one of his seven kids), when Rico tried directing movies at Regal like "Sa Ilalim ng Cogon" and "Pridyider". We last saw him when his “Mga Batang Yagit” was made into a TV series by GMA-7, directed by Gina Alajar and invited us to join a group of senior citizens fighting for their rights that he organized. Rest in peace, Kuya Eddie. Many announcers have come and gone but only a handful can equal his accomplishments on radio, television and politics. Let's all offer a prayer for the repose of his soul.