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Google celebrates Severino Reyes, a.k.a. Lola Basyang, with a doodle for his 161st birthday

By AYIE LICSI Published Feb 11, 2022 9:20 pm

Google honored Filipino writer and playwright Severino Reyes, a.k.a. Lola Basyang, with a doodle for his 161st birthday on Feb. 11.

The search engine's icon donned a portrait of the "Father of Filipino Drama" alongside a drawing of a grandmother telling stories to kids.

Reyes was born in 1861 in Manila and was fluent in Spanish and Tagalog. He took a deep interest in language, including Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other dialects in the Philippines.

The writer is also known for founding the theater group Gran Compania de Zarzuela in 1902 and his historical drama Walang Sugat, which was about the Philippine revolution.

He also served as editor in chief of popular Tagalog magazine Liwayway, wherein he contributed stories under the pen name "Lola Basyang."

Google homepage with the Severino Reyes doodle.

According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Lola Basyang was inspired by Reyes' neighbor named Gervacia de Guzman.

"His stories, full of seemingly ancient wisdom, became such an integral part of Philippine society that the name Lola Basyang is still used today to describe a grandmother who loves telling stories," Google said.

Many netizens were surprised by the doodle, as they learned that Lola Basyang wasn't actually a real grandmother.