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Canuto Francia

(1904-01-28)January 28, 1904
DiedSeptember 4, 1979(1979-09-04) (aged 75)
Occupation Filipino stage performer and magician
Years active1915–1950's

Canuto Francia (January 28, 1904 September 4, 1979), [1] better known as Canuplin, was a Filipino stage performer and magician who gained fame for his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin in Filipino movies and the local bodabil circuit.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

Charlie Chaplin British comic actor and filmmaker

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, "The Tramp", and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.



Canuplin was born in Tondo, Manila, but grew up in Divisoria. [1] At age 11, he won "best in costume" while dressed as Chaplin in a local fair. As his prize, he was employed as a barker at a circus. Soon, he was featured in the circus as a magician's assistant, and he learned to perform magic tricks as well. [1]

Tondo, Manila Place in National Capital Region, Philippines

Tondo is a district located in Manila, Philippines. It is the largest in terms of area and population of Manila's sixteen districts, with a Census-estimated 631,313 people in 2015 and consists of two congressional districts. It is also the most densely populated district in the city.

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila has been damaged by and rebuilt from wars more times than the famed city of Troy and it is also the second most natural disaster afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and most wealthy cities in Southeast Asia.

Barker (occupation) profession

A barker, often a carnival barker, is a person who attempts to attract patrons to entertainment events, such as a circus or funfair, by exhorting passing members of the public, announcing attractions of show, and emphasizing variety, novelty, beauty, or some other enticing feature of the show. A barker would often conduct a brief free show, introducing performers and describing acts to be given at the feature performance. Professional barkers strongly disliked the term and instead referred to themselves as "talkers".

Canuplin was noticed by the bodabil producer Lou Salvador, Sr. and hired as a Chaplin impersonator. He gained fame performing his Chaplin act and various magic tricks on the Manila bodabil circuit, appearing alongside stars such as Patsy and Bayani Casimiro. [1] He also ventured into such films as Tinig ng Pag-ibig (1940), Luksang Bituin (1941) and Princesa Urduja(1942). One of his most notable roles was as the court jester in the 1941 LVN Pictures production of Ibong Adarna. In many of his films, Canuplin would appear in his Chaplin guise, wordless as was the silent film star. [1]

Bayani Casimiro, Sr. was a Filipino dancer who was among the leading stars of bodabil (vaudeville) in the 1930s and 1940s. He also appeared in musical films and later in life, in comedic roles. A tap dancer, he was frequently dubbed as the "Fred Astaire of the Philippines".

LVN Pictures, Inc. is one of the biggest film studios in the history of Philippine cinema and its foremost establishment in motion picture post-production until 2005. In its heyday of motion picture production, LVN Pictures has been compared to that of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) of Hollywood because it had, under contract, the biggest stars and film craftsmen of the period. This was the oldest living film studio in the Philippines running for 68 years.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, film production was halted and Canuplin returned as a headliner in bodabil. He performed at the Life, Capitol and The Avenue theaters. After the war, he appeared in several other films until the 1950s. [1]

Canuplin ended his entertainment career at the bodabil circuit where he remained until its waning years in the sixties. His last years were spent in relative obscurity in Tondo, though still recognized by his peers.

After his death, the playwright Manny Pambid wrote a play, Canuplin, on the bodabil star's rise and fall. It was staged by the Philippine Educational Theater Association in May 1980. [2]



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ma. Lourdes Maniquis (1994). "Philippine Theater". In Nicanor Tiongson (ed.). CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art. V (1st ed.). Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines. p. 272. ISBN   971-8546-30-8.
  2. "Canuplin" (PDF). Agung. Retrieved 2008-02-20.[ dead link ]

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