Ex-Senator Eddie Ilarde, best known for his television show “Kahapon Lamang,” which dramatized the lives of common folk who narrated their sob stories and earned him the monicker “Kuya Eddie”, died of natural cause on Tuesday, August 4.
Ilarde was born in Iriga City, Camarines Sur on August 25, 1934. He migrated to Manila after finishing high school and became a shoe shine boy and a newspaper boy until his brother financed his college enrollment and obtained a journalism degree in journalism.
Life as Radio and TV Broadcaster
While in college, he drew the attention of a radio executive that he immediately found work in various radio stations in Manila such as DZBB, DZRH and DZKL. He became one of the most popular radio hosts of the 1950s.
Soon he ventured in Philippine Television that he hosted the following shows:
- The Eddie Ilarde Show (ABS-CBN, 1959–1962)
- Darigold Jamboree (MBC)
- Swerte Sa Siyete (GMA Network, 1976–1986)
- Student Canteen (ABS-CBN, 1958–1965; GMA Network, 1975–1986, RPN, 1989–1990)
- Kahapon Lamang (GMA Network, 1976–1986)
- Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie (ABS-CBN, 1986–1988)
- Alas Dose sa Trese (IBC, 1999–2000)
Life as Politician
Capitalizing on his popularity, Ilarde ventured into politics and won a seat in the City Council of Pasay in 1963. In 1965, he challenged the incumbent Congressman of the First District of Rizal and won the seat in the House of Representatives.
In 1969, Ilarde sought a Senate seat as an Independent candidate but lost. Two years later, he joined the Liberal Party ticket and was elected. Not only his media popularity contributed to his feat but also his being a part of the injured Senatorial candidates during the Plaza Miranda bombing. Unfortunately, the Martial Law was declared in 1972 so the Senate closed.
In 1978, Ilarde joined then President Ferdinand Marcos’s Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and won a seat as an Assemblyman representing Metro Manila. When Marcos was ousted, the KBL tag stuck on him that he lost his bid in the succeeding Senatorial elections.