Ernesto Ocampo Olarte – Awardee 2006
Modest, down-to-earth, and with an easy going air, Ernesto Ocampo Olarte, who hails from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, was born on March 30, 1932.
He attended the Laoag Central Elementary School and the Ilocos Norte High School in Laoag. It was during his high school days that his singing talent was discovered.
He became a member of the West Riverside Rondalla, at the same time became skilled playing the violin and guitar. Endowed with musical talent, he started composing Ilocano songs which charmed his audiences at an early age. His songs were recorded with Villar and Dyna recording companies. As a prolific composer of Ilocano songs DZJC Radio Station, Laoag City, awarded him with a plaque bestowing on him the title “King of Ilocano Songs” in the year 2000, in recognition of his exceptional talent in composing songs for every occasion and event including commercial and campaign jingles. He proudly mentions the rare honor of being invited to Malacañang to sing on the birthday of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos for two consecutive years,
1984 and 1985, and recalls with pride the privilege of singing with Madame Imelda R. Marcos. He has composed novelty, children, wedding songs and even necrological service songs. Although he is very casual with his talents and keeps no copies of his recorded songs, he estimates to have composed around 40 songs so far.