Ruben Tagalog

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Ruben Tagalog
Born (1922-10-18)October 18, 1922
Origin Philippines
Died March 5, 1989(1989-03-05) (aged 66)
Genres Kundiman
Occupation(s) Actor, singer

Ruben Tagalog (October 18, 1922 - March 5, 1989) was a Filipino actor and musician, famous for his works in the Kundiman style. He was also a part of the Mabuhay Singers. When Ruben moved to the United States his children took on the last name Tagalog but his wife did not. His wife (Zoila Silva) is still alive as well as his children.


He first caught the attention of radio listeners in the 1940s when he hosted his own radio program, Harana ni Ruben Tagalog. His baritone voice filled his songs Ramona, Sayang, Azucena and Nasaan Ka Ngayon with emotion. He revived danzas and balitaws like Nahan Kaya Ikaw, Bakit Ka Lumuluha, Barong Tagalog, Dalagang Pilipina and Caprichosa. He was the first artist to record Bayan Ko and Ang Pasko ay Sumapit.

In spite of his last name being "Tagalog", he was actually a Visayan from Iloilo and was a speaker of the Visayan language Hiligaynon (aka Ilonggo). He released at least two Cebuano Visayan albums. "Ruben Tagalog sings Visayan Songs" and a duet album with Cebuana singer Nora Hermosa called "Duet In Visayan".

In the early 1950s he became the first to popularize the Tagalog version of the 1933 Visayan Christmas carol "Kasadya Ning Taknaa" as "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit". The Tagalog lyrics were written by Levi Celerio. He is also famous for performing Panahon 'tang Nagdaan, a Kundiman composed by Ambrosio Del Rosario.