Interesting Stories

One On One With A Filipina Icon: Lillian De Los Reyes


Lillian de Los Reyes is one of the most enduring icons of the Filipino-Australian entertainment scene. She is a veritable powerhouse of creative talent; who has performed in a steady line of major acts, both nationally and abroad.

At 63 years of age, she is a regular performer in the Northern Territory, gracing the stage at the MGM Casino and Club Darwin. This rounds out a stellar career, one that has seen this songbird traverse many exotic locales on the merit of her powerful voice and electric appeal.

InLife talked to Lillian about her life, her success and all that motivates her in her daily life and career and here’s what went down.

The road to stardom

It hasn’t always been roses, champagne and accolades for the talented songstress. For Lillian, the road to stardom was paved with adversity. Her sparkling smile and happy disposition hide a great sadness and a tragic event in her younger years.

Lillian becomes misty-eyed when asked her about her childhood, divulging that her father was kidnapped and killed by rebels in the Philippines. She was only two years of age at the time, and life would continue to prove difficult for her growing up. Her mother single-handedly raised her and her brother Paul, and as the eldest of four children, Lillian finished elementary in Polo (now Venezuela) in Bulacan.

Propelling into the entertainment stratosphere

Things really ignited for Lillian after high school. Blessed with natural good looks, she attended a prestigious modelling school and was invited to join beauty pageants such as ‘Miss Philippines’ and ‘Queen of Hearts’, where she was awarded as a finalist. Although she embarked on brief forays into nursing and business administration, Lillian’s real passion was always singing. So, she continued polishing her craft.

In her native Philippines, Lillian joined a Motown band and ventured into acting on television and in movies, where she found some success staring in ‘Anak ng Tatlong Hari’, ‘Gigi ang Munting Martir’ and a few other productions. She co-starred with international stars like Gerry and The Pacemakers, Lou Rowles, The Ink Spots, Del Shannon, and Al Martino, to name a few.

A regular on the scene

Now a rising star back home, Lillian migrated to Australia in 1975. She credits her big break in Australian entertainment to the television program ‘You’re A Star’. After she won the preliminary heat and placed in the finals; the Filipino-Australian community stepped forward to claim her. From there, Lillian would never look back.

Lillian’s show ‘Manila By Night’ (produced by Six Pak Productions) has been running in the club circuit for more than twenty years. Her dynamic and impressive stage presence has always provided the major drawcard. An authentic philanthropist and community-minded individual, Lillian is always one to donate her time and talent to a worthy cause.

An icon in her own right

In November 2011, Lillian was inducted into the “The Hall of Fame” and received an award given to outstanding Filipinos who have for many years contributed to the community in the name of art.

When asked what philosophy guides her in life, Lillian is all about gratitude. “Life is good. To wake up in the morning and find myself still alive is a blessing in itself. It’s to live the most of my life and try to always look at the good side.”

There can be no doubt that Lillian’s staggering rise to fame, her sustained success and her iconic status attest to her achieving just that!

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