Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda (born January 28, 1960), better known as Loren Legarda, is a Filipino broadcast journalist and politician. In the 2004 Philippines general election, she ran for the position of Vice-President as the running mate of Fernando Poe, Jr. As of 2007, she is serving her second term as an incumbent senator in the Philippines. As a journalist, she had received the national honor of the Ten Outstanding Young Men and Women (TOYM) award and more recently she has received awards in the Davos World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow (GLT) and from the United Nations Environment Programme for her advocacy for the environment.
Loren was born on January 28, 1960 in Manila to parents from Antique Province. She has Spanish and Karay-a lineage and speaks Ilonggo, Tagalog, English, and her native Kinaray-a.
She ran for the Senate in 1998 under the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party. She was elected with more than 15 million votes, becoming the senator with the highest number of votes in that year’s election. After the 2001 elections she was chosen to be the Senate’s Majority Floor Leader.
Senator Legarda played a crucial role in the expeditious release of five military and police officers and personnel held captive by the CCP-NPA-NDF in April 1999. The captives included General Victor Obillo of the Philippine Army. In April 2001, Senator Legarda again championed human rights when she led the Humanitarian and Peace Mission for safe and successful return of Army Major Noel Buan to his family after almost two years of captivity by rebel groups. She was also instrumental in the release of fellow journalist Arlene dela Cruz from her abductors in Jolo, Sulu.
Throughout her six-year tenure in the Senate from 1998 to 2004, she authored legislation benefitting women and children, such as the Anti-Domestic Violence Act and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. She is also the author of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law and the Tropical Fabric Law, which is consistent with her advocacy for indigenous fabric.
She has put to school dozens of former child laborers through the Libro ni Loren Foundation, and conducts regular medical missions benefiting indigent breast cancer patients through the Bessie Legarda Memorial Foundation.
She is an environmentalist, and is a recipient of the United Nations Environment Program Award (UNEP), in Turin, Italy, in 2001 for her outstanding work through Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines). With this program, she planted over two million trees all over the Philippine archipelago. She is also the recipient of the Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT), from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in the year 2000.
Born Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda in Metro Manila, she is the only daughter of Antonio Cabrera Legarda of Manila and San Pablo City, Laguna and of Bessie Gella Bautista of Metro Manila and Antique. She is the granddaughter of one of the pillars of Philippine journalism, Jose P. Bautista, editor-in-chief of the pre-Martial Law Manila Times.
She was a valedictorian from the Assumption Convent in grade school and cum laude graduate from the University of the Philippines. She was also a popular commercial model as a teenager, appearing in various television and print ads.
She started her career in journalism as a reporter of RPN-9. While working as a broadcast journalist, she obtained a master’s degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines, where she emerged as topnotcher (NDCP awarded her gold medals for Academic Excellence and Best Thesis) and where she was the youngest in the class. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserve Corps.
She reached the peak of her television career while she was with ABS-CBN, when she used to anchor The World Tonight (ABS-CBN). She also hosted the highly acclaimed current affairs program The Inside Story, also from ABS-CBN. She received more than thirty major awards during her 20-year television career, including the Catholic Mass Media Hall of Fame, KBP Golden Dove Award, and the Gawad CCP, among many others.
While she was with the Senate, prior to her candidacy for the Vice-President position, she hosted Kabalikat, a docu-drama show and Tara Tena, a youth drama previously aired at ABS-CBN When She left The World Tonight (ABS-CBN).
She is highly regarded by the Muslim population in the Philippines and the Maranao Sultanate League bestowed on her the title of “Bai Alabi,” or “Princess.”
- Name: Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda
- Also known as : Loren Legarda
- Birthday: January 28, 1960
- Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
- Residence : Manila
- Political party : NPC (2007 to date)
- Other political affiliations : KNP (2003-2004), Lakas-CMD (1998-2003)
- Schools Attended :
- Elementary school, Valedictorian, Assumption Convent
- Cum laude, University of the Philippines
- Father : Antonio Cabrera Legarda
- Mother : Bessie Gella Bautista
- Grandfather : Jose P. Bautista
- Children : 2
- Profession : Journalist
- Religion : Roman Catholic
- Senator of the Philippines, Incumbent (2007)
- Senate of the Philippines, Senate Majority Floor Leader (2001 – 2003)
- Senator of the Philippines, (1998 – 2004)
- TV Shows
- Discorama (GMA 7, 1975-1986), as a DJ
- Who Knows That? (GMA 7, 1980-1981)
- The World Tonight (ABS-CBN 2, 1986-1998)
- Pep Talk (ABS-CBN 2, 1986-1990)
- The Inside Story (ABS-CBN 2,1990-1998)
- Kabalikat (ABS-CBN 2, 2001-2003)
- Tara Tena (ABS-CBN 2, 2003-2004)
- Real Stories Kasama si Loren (ABC 5 “now TV5”, 2004-2007)
- Markova: Comfort Gay (2000)