Eddie Ilarde, a trailblazing television host, radio anchor and politician, has died of natural causes on Tuesday, his family said. He was 85. To a generation that grew up with the internet, Ilarde was the prototype celebrity who parlayed his popularity into a career in politics and public service.
He was host of "Student Canteen," the precursor of "Eat Bulaga" and later, "It's Showtime." The jingle to his radio advice show "Kuya Eddie" rings familiar to children of the 80s and 90s. "Kuya Eddie" aired at a time when love and life problems were read on air from handwritten letters.
His rise from councilor to senator paved the way for television personalities to transition into politics. In the early 90s, "Eat Bulaga" host Tito Sotto topped the senatorial race after a stint in Quezon City politics. He is now Senate President.
Ilarde's passing was not COVID-19 related and came just before his 86th birthday, his daughter, Liza Ilarde said on Facebook. He will be cremated and as per quarantine rules, there will be no wake.
"Our dad lived a full and meaningful life. He started from very humble beginnings and worked very hard to reach his stature," she said.
"Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and well wishes. The family would love to hear some of your nice memories of him or how he touched your life by posting in the comments. I hope you enjoy listening to his voice one last time. Mabalos!" she said.
Ilarde was still hosting on GMA Radio dzBB before he died, GMA News reported.
Ilarde's daughter, Liza, included this video of her father in a public post announcing the death.