Film, Television, and Theater Actress and Radio Talent and Director
July 13, 1935 – March 5, 2022
Luzviminda Fernandez, known professionally as Luz Fernandez, was born in Manila. She was known for her work as a film, television, and theater actress, and as a radio voice talent and director.
Her radio career began in the 1950s, when Fernandez joined the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company, now known as the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). She worked at the MBC radio station DZRH located at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Her work with DZRH spanned six decades, and included performing on some 30 radio dramas.
During her time as a radio talent, she worked on programs such as “Ilaw ng Tahanan” and “Aklat ng Pag-Ibig.” Fernandez also worked on the serial “Dr. Romantiko” as its director. Among the people she worked with were radio broadcasting pioneers Augusto Victa and ‘Tiya Dely’ (Fidela Magpayo Reyes).
Fernandez was cast in some kontrabida roles, but was best known for her portrayal of the storyteller character ‘Lola Basyang’ in DZRH’s “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” starting September 2008.
The people she worked with knew Fernandez as a joyful person with a playful personality, whose professionalism and reliability shone during recordings. Fernandez was often referred to as “Ditse” (elder sister) by her co-workers in DZRH.
A highly professional person, Fernandez would be seen with script in hand before recordings, a solemn expression on her face as she scanned her lines, even after many years in the industry. It was said that she hardly ever fumbled her lines, expressing just the right amount of emotion for any character she played. Fernandez said that radio broadcasting was her first love, which is why she stayed and worked there for her entire career.
Fernandez also made a name for herself in the worlds of television and film. She appeared in various television series, their genres spanning fantasy, comedy, and drama. Her notable roles as a television actress included ‘Lola Torya’ in “Ora Engkantada,” ‘Lola Yolanda’ in “Pepito Manaloto,” ‘Magda’ in “Kambal Karibal,” ‘Gawas’ in “Amaya,” ‘Luka’ in “Okay Ka, Fairy Ko!,” and numerous roles in “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
In her work as a film actress, Fernandez shone in any genre or role. She had roles in significant films like Rodrigo de Villa, Ursula, Feng Shui, Sundo, Malinak Ya Labi, and many others. Her last film appearance was in And Ai, Thank You (2019). Fernandez worked with notable actors such as Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Dante Rivero, Christopher De Leon, and Nora Aunor.
Fernandez was also involved in theater, working in Wilfrido Maria Guerrero’s “13 Plays” and playing Lola Basyang in Severino Reyes’ “Tatlong Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” by Ballet Manila.
While at DZRH, Fernandez won the “Best Actress of All Time” award at the radio station’s 70th anniversary in 2009. She was also nominated twice by the Young Critics Circle in 2017 for her performance in Maniyak Ya Labi (2016) – for Best Performance by Male or Female, Adult or Child, Individual or Ensemble in Leading or Supporting Role. The first nomination was for her individual performance, and the second was for an ensemble performance she shared with Allen Dizon, Angeline Quinto, and other cast members.
She passed away at the age of 86 and is survived by her three children and grandchildren.
Comedienne Ai Ai Delas Alas said Fernandez once told her in a conversation, “Bakit ganoon, kapag mga kontrabida sa pelikula at sa TV, sila ang mababait sa tunay na buhay?” Delas Alas then described Fernandez as a person who was truly kind in real life, just like other actresses who often play villainous roles.
Fernandez herself once said that she would have wanted to have more serene characters in her acting repertoire, but many casting directors found the antagonistic roles supposedly fitting for her image.
Many comments poured in from fans after Christine Bellen Ang, writer for children, posted in her social media a bidding goodbye as she thanked Fernandez for her craft. Literary writer and visual artist Allan Derain wrote about her, “Glowing magkuwento, kahit sa tunay na buhay.” Fan Rizza Jaen wrote, “Isa ako sa masugid na tagapakinig sa radyo ng mga drama mo sa DZRH noong bata pa ako. Isa ka pong mahusay na tagaganap mapa-radyo o TV.”
Fernandez’s daughter, Erika, said her mother had no plans of ever retiring from acting. Until the very end, Luzviminda Fernandez remained dedicated to her craft.