Having to receive the first best director awards from the Maria Clara and the FAMAS, Gerardo de Leon or also known as Manong Gerry, surely became notable to many even after the time of his death in 1981. He was born on the 12th of September 1913 and is the son of Hermogenes Ilagan and Casiana de Leon.
In 1938, de Leon directed Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut), his first film with a musical theme, after acting on a lot of movies while he was still at UST. He also directed for several known production studios such as RDR Productions, Sampaguita Pictures, Premiere Productions, Everlasting Pictures, AM Productions, Lea Productions, Adroit Films, Balatbat Productions, NV Productions.
The director then got elevated to the FAMAS Hall of Fame for having more than five awards in the best director classification. The awards were for Hanggang sa Dulo ng Daigdig, 1958, Huwag Mo Akong Limutin, 1960, Noli me tangere, 1961, El Filibusterismo, 1962, Ang Daigdig ng mga Api, 1965, and Lilet, 1971.
To grant recognition for the excellence de Leon showed in his works, he was declared National Artist for Film after his death and was honored the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines in 1983.