Ama Quiambao

Amable Quiambao (January 19, 1947 – July 5, 2013), better known by her stage name, Ama Quiambao, was a Filipino film, television and theater actress in the Philippines. She was best known for her roles in the films Himala and Diablo.[1][2][3]

Ama Quiambao
Amable Quiambao-Viray

(1947-01-19)January 19, 1947
DiedJuly 5, 2013(2013-07-05) (aged 66)
Manila, Philippines
Resting placeArlington Memorial Chapel, Quezon City
OccupationFilm, stage and TV actress
Years active1982–2013
Spouse(s)Gamaliel "Gammy" Viray (deceased)
ChildrenIshmael Viray
RelativesMedgardo Quiambao (brother)
Lui Quiambao-Manansala (sister)
Miriam Quiambao (niece)

Early lifeEdit

She was born Amable Quiambao on January 19, 1947 in Bacacay, Albay and had two siblings: Medgardo and Lui.

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to former actor and bass-baritone opera singer Gamaliel "Gammy" Viray. The couple had only one son, Ishmael Viray. Her sister, Lui Quiambao-Manansala, is also an actress and her niece, Miriam Quiambao, was a former Binibining Pilipinas Universe winner and 1st runner-up at the Miss Universe 1999. She was also a former instructor of St. Paul University Quezon City for the students of AB Mass Communications.


Quiambao began her career as a theatre actress. Her first play was "Ang Mga Tagahabi", directed by Rolando Tinio (an adaptation of The Weavers by Gerhart Hauptmann), when she was a drama student at the Philippine Normal University in Manila in the 1970s.[2] She later earned her Master's degree in Drama Education from the University of the Philippines. She became a regular performer at the Teatro Pilipino and Bulwagang Gantimpala theatre groups at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. She played the role of President Corazon Aquino at the 1986 political satire "Bongbong at Kris" at CCP's Bulwagang Gantimpala in 1986.[1][2]


Ama made her film debut in 1982, when she starred in the movie Himala (Miracle), directed by Ishmael Bernal.[1] Film director Bernal wanted to cast theatre and radio actors in Himala, so theatre director Rolando Tinio recommended the casting of Quiambao. She was chosen for the role of Sepa, a disciple of the lead character Elsa, played by Nora Aunor. Her role in Himala earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Gawad Urian Awards in 1982. She subsequently appeared in many other films. A restored version of Himala was screened at the 2012 Venice Film Festival to mark its 30th anniversary.[2]

Three decades later, Quiambao was cast as Lusing in the 2012 film, Diablo, which was directed and produced by the married partners Mes de Guzman and Rhea Operaña de Guzman.[2] Lusing was a very serious, strict character in the film, which Quiambao described as the opposite of her own personality.[2]

Her work in Diablo earned Quiambao the first acting award of her career.[2][3] In 2012, she won "Best Actress in the New Breed category" at the 8th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.[1][2] In a later interview, Quiambao described her reaction to winning, "I was strangely calm,” she recalled. “I didn’t feel cold; I didn’t cry. I was glad that the trophy was presented to me by Iza [Calzado]. I’ve worked with her a number of times on TV and in the movies. I love that girl."[2] She also said that she was thrilled to see other veteran Filipino actors win Cinemalaya awards that year, including Anita Linda and Eddie Garcia, which she called "the night of senior citizens."[2]


Quiambao suffered a heart attack on June 28, 2013, while attending the premiere of the one-act play, Pamamanhikan, which she was performing in as part of the Virgin Labfest 9 theatre festival.[1][3] She died at Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City at 8:09 p.m. on July 5, 2013, at the age of 65.[1] Her funeral was held at the Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City.[1][3] Her younger sister, Lui Quiambao-Manansala, said that "she was surrounded by all members of her family and close relatives. Let us pray for the eternal rest of her soul... Let us all remember Ama with fondness as a colleague, a mentor and a friend." Quiambao's wake was held at Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City.

Quiambao appeared posthumously in her final film, Ang Kwento Ni Mabuti.



Title Role Year
Himala Sepa 1982
Misteryo sa Tuwa Ada 1984
Sex Object 1985
Virgin Forest Nana Isay 1985
Guwapings: The First Adventure 1992
Kailan Dalawa Ang Mahal? 1993
Guwapings Dos 1993
Ayoko Na Sanang Magmahal 1993
Gaano Kita Kamahal Rolly's mother 1993
Nag-Iisang Bituin 1994
Hataw Na! Linda Paguio 1995
Impakto Lumeng 1996
Bayarang Puso Pacita 1996
Bakit May Kahapon Pa? Madrigal's Sister 1996
Radio Romance Viring Palacios 1996
Mula Noon Hanggang Ngayon 1996
Sanggano Lady Judge 1997
Ikaw Pa Rin Ang Iibigin Tita Lena 1998
Curacha: Ang Babaeng Walang Pahinga Nun 1998
Isusumbong Kita Sa Tatay Ko Beth's Aunt 1999
Mahal Kita, Walang Iwanan Cynthia's Aunt 2000
Minsan, Minahal Kita Ellen 2000
Laro Sa Baga Nana Trining 2000
Ano Bang Meron Ka? Nun 1 2001
Masamang Ugat Alicia 2003
Let the Love Begin Aling Bella 2005
Tuli 2005
Kaleldo 2006
Moments of Love Old Ceding 2006
Pandanggo Aunt Hermie (segment "It Takes Two to Tango") 2006
Pisay Lola 2007
Sisa Lola Ising 2008
Tarot Nana Upeng 2009
I Love Dreamguyz Lola Lagring 2009
Layang Bilanggo Lola Maggie 2010
Diablo 2012
Loida Lola Tining 2012
Ang Misis ni Meyor 2013
Amor y Muerte 2013
Ang Kwento ni Mabuti (Her Last Movie) 2013


Year Title Role Network
1994–1995 A.T.B.P.: Awit, Titik, Bilang na Pambata Aling Tinay ABS-CBN
1998 Bayani Lola
2000 Marinella Carmen
1996–1997 Anna Karenina GMA Network
2003 Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw Pa Rin
2004 Krystala ABS-CBN
2007 Impostora Rosa GMA Network
Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap Hon. Amelia R. Santos
2008 Your Song: Superstar ng Buhay Ko Yaya ABS-CBN
Komiks: Tiny Tony Lola Marge
2009 Your Song: Boystown Aling Sion
The Bud Brothers Nay Enciang
2009–2010 Nagsimula sa Puso Dean dela Peña
2010 Your Song: My Last Romance Yaya Mel
2011–2012 Budoy Atty. Javier
Ikaw ay Pag-Ibig Flora Javier
2012 Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis Lola Anita GMA Network
2012–2013 Sana ay Ikaw na Nga Fortune teller
2008 MMK: Bus Formation Directress ABS-CBN
MMK: Isda Old Isiang
2012 MMK: Belen Belen
2013 Mundo Mo'y Akin Esperanza GMA Network


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Ama Quiambao dies at 65". ABS-CBN Corporation. 2013-07-06. Archived from the original on 2014-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j San Diego Jr., Bayani (2012-08-28). "Ama Quiambao scores first best actress win at age 65". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  3. ^ a b c d San Diego Jr., Bayani (2013-07-06). "Veteran actress Ama Quiambao, 66". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-07-30.

External linksEdit