In Memoriam

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Pepe Pimentel

“…Along with fellow “Kuarta o Kahon” co-hosts Encar Benedicto-Ordoñez and Plinky Recto, Amy Perez had been planning to visit mentor, pioneering TV host and comedian Pepe Pimentel for the longest time. Pimentel passed away on Thursday. He was 82. (He was found lifeless in the bathroom of his home by wife Cecil.) “It’s shocking. It’s sad,” said Perez. Ordoñez, who co-hosted the long-running game show “Kuarta o Kahon” with Pimentel for 11 years, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she would usually call him on his birthday on April 27, just to keep in touch and thank him for teaching her the basics of hosting…Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos recalled: “He surely left his mark in the Philippine entertainment industry. ‘Kuarta o Kahon’ was a classic.” Pimentel also appeared in movies (like the comedies “Ang Tatay Kong Kalbo” in 1963 and “I Won! I Won!” in 1985) and commercials…” – Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, 26 January 2013 (READ MORE)

Subas Herrero

“…Actor Subas Herrero, one half of the comic tandem “Champoy,” loved sweets, his youngest son Choy recalled. Herrero, who passed away in Rochester, New York, on Friday (Manila time), was diagnosed with diabetes at age 30. Still, show biz colleagues related, he managed to live a full and fulfilling life until his passing at the age of 69. He was a true-blue foodie, for one. Mitch Valdes, costar on “Champoy,” also a groundbreaking gag show, said: “He was a big, passionate man with big appetites. A gentle giant”….Herrero was a versatile performer, too. “Although he was previously known as a comedian, Subas delivered a powerful performance as a villain in my film ‘Pakawalan Mo Ako,’” recounted filmmaker Elwood Perez. Actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, star of that 1981 movie, asserted: “No one can deny the extent of his contributions to both the movie and television industries…” – Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Danny Zialcita

“…Danny Zialcita, who passed away last March 10 at the age of 73, is Philippine cinema’s poet of modern love — a distinction that evolved from his long stint, starting with espionage and his other variations in the ’60s. The most widely discussed facet of Zialcita’s work in the wake of his passing is the writing — the swinging repartee of his dialogue that is by turns smart and shoddy, saucy and snappy. This bright, popcorn dialogue articulates the expressive amorality of his characters and also drives the pacing of the narrative, even if it’s not exactly a visual element per se. Apart from that compelling feature, a Danny Zialcita film is a delirious and earthy spectacle, evoking the lost art of the hand-painted movie billboard, and animated all the more by his actors, who demonstrate how a great ensemble is itself a visual ingredient…The rampant femininity of Zialcita’s films is what finally distinguishes their identity. Vilma’s body of work is amazing — with Zialcita, and also with Garcia and Bernal — such that she might have been endeavoring to be a comprehensive interpreter of the contemporary Filipina. But every actress in the alluring roster of Zialcita’s canon has wielded her singular, tonic presence ― from Beth Bautista, torchbearer of the Charito Solis school of acting, to Lyka Ugarte, a flighty embodiment of the spirit of Zialcita’s sex comedies, to several other ladies…” – Ricky S. Torre, Rappler, 21 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Bella Flores

“…Bella Flores, the legendary character actress best known for kontrabida roles in films and on TV, passed away early Sunday morning at 1:27AM. In an interview with radio station DZBB, singer Imelda Papin who helped bring the 84-year-old actress to the Quezon City General Hospital, said doctors tried to revive Flores three times but to no avail. A source who declined to be identified said the remains of Flores can be viewed starting Sunday night at the Loyola Memorial Chapel in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. Early this year, Flores was confined at the San Juan Medical Center due to complications from a recent hip surgery. At the time, daughter Ruby Arcilla was already resigned to her mother’s fate and wished nothing more than for her to be around long enough to celebrate her 84th birthday last February 27…She was nominated a total of seven times for a FAMAS Best Supporting Actress award, the first in 1957 for “Busabos” and the last in 1985 for her unforgettable turn in “Mga Batang Yagit”. She won the award in 1967 for “Kaibigan Kong Sto Niño”. Playing kontrabida roles in most of the more than 100 films to her credit, Flores made life miserable onscreen for generations of lead stars that included Tessie Agana, Charito Solis, Lolita Rodriguez, Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Alma Moreno, Dolphy, Joseph Estrada, Fernando Poe, Jr., Ramon Revilla, Maricel Soriano and Gelli de Belen…” – Edwin P. Sallan, InterAksyon, 19 May 2013 (READ MORE)

Ama Quiambao

“…Ama Quiambao is a familiar face to many Filipinos. She has played mother, grandmother, maid, storekeeper, or ordinary taongbayan (crowd) in countless movies and television shows that her name does not seem important to many – people simply recognize her as an actress even if they do not know her name. People associate roles with her. When a group of friends watched a play at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last year, my companions nudged me when they saw her in the audience. They didn’t know who she was, but each one had a distinct memory of a movie or TV show where she played a memorable role. My distinct memory of her as an actress was her performance as Sepa, one of Nora Aunor’s devotees in Himala. She’s the actress that declares Elsa as a saint and rallies the faithful to come back to the hill to pray at the end of the film. To say that Quiambao was a constant and steady presence in the lives among those of us who were babysat by television would be apt. Supporters of local theatre, however, know Ama Quiambao as a magnificent theatre actress. Quiambao collapsed onstage at the Huseng Batute Theatre of the CCP last Friday while playing Ester in Pamamanhikan, a one-act play on the special friendship between two middle-aged women. The Play is one of 13 plays being staged as part of the ninth edition of Virgin Labfest, a festival featuring – as the blurb says – untried, untested, unstaged plays. Quimbao had a heart attack while doing what she loved doing best – being an actress. Quiambao was therefore top of mind all throughout the Virgin Labfest this week. Performances began with an appeal for prayers and donations for her…” – Bong Austero, Manila Standard Today, 07July 2013 (READ MORE)

Eddie Romero

“…Eddie Romero, one of most best-known Filipino filmmakers, died of prostate cancer on Tuesday, May 28. Romero was 88. Named a National Artist of the Philippines in 2003, Romero (born on July 7, 1924, in Dumaguete City) began his film career in the late ’40s, when The Philippines were still recovering from the devastation of World War II. His international reputation rests chiefly on his low-budget horror and action movies; usually Filipino / American co-productions made in collaboration with actor-producer John Ashley. Among those are the the horror sci-fier Brides of Blood (1968), featuring veteran Kent Taylor, Beverly Powers, tropical-island natives, and radioactively mutated human-eating plants; Beast of Blood (1971), featuring John Ashley and a headless monster; The Twilight People (1972), which has no connection to either Stephenie Meyer or the Cullen Clan — in the film, reminiscent of Erle C. Kenton’s Island of Lost Souls (1932), a mad scientist living on an isolated island creates half-human, half-animal beings, among them Panther Woman Pam Grier…omero’s most prestigious film is probably the 1976 musical drama Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon?, winner of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences’ Best Director Award, and Metro Manila Film Festival Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay (Romero and Roy Iglesias). Set at the turn of the 20th century, Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon?, which translates more or less as “We Were So … How Are You Today?” tells the story of a country bumpkin who becomes a member of an imaginary community during the time The Philippines went from being a Spanish colony to a de facto American colony. All the while, the movie’s hero looks for his “Filipino identity.” Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon? starred Christopher De Leon and Gloria Diaz. Of note, as per the IMDb Eddie Romero was an associate producer in Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture Academy Award nominee Apocalypse Now (1979). Set in Vietnam but shot in The Philippines, Apocalypse Now featured Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Frederic Forrest, Robert Duvall, and Dennis Hopper…” – Andre Soares, Alt Film Guide (READ MORE)

Behn Cervantes

“…Stage and screen actor-director Behn Cervantes died Thursday, August 15. He was 74. Sources have confirmed to Rappler his death at about 10:00 Thursday morning at the Asian Hospital in Alabang, Muntinlupa, where he had been confined due to complications from pneumonia. Cervantes was due to turn 75 on August 26. His dying wish for a belated announcement had complicated the disclosure of his passing. According to a close family friend, the stage and screen actor-director had expressed his wish that his death be announced a week later…He takes pride in his 1976 film, “Sakada,” which counts among the great social-realist and allegorical films at the time. Cervantes’ other film credits, as listed in, include “Masikip, Masakit, Mahapdi” and “Bawal na Pag-ibig.” “Sakada” also featured a diverse cast representing the vital chapters of Philippine cinema — including Hilda Koronel, Bembol Roco, Alicia Alonzo, Robert Arevalo, Rosa Rosal, Gloria Romero, and Pancho Magalona (whose son, Francis, would fashion his own distinct milieu in our country’s pop culture). Together with the late film director Lino Brocka, Cervantes had been at the forefront of the anti-Marcos protest movement during the 14-year dictatorship. His wit and flair for drama still showed even in this theater, which, in hindsight, the actor-director jokingly qualified as the “ibagsak” genre…” – Rappler, 15 August 2013 (READ MORE)

June Keithley

“…Media and theater personality June Keithley, who was thrust into the historic 1986 EDSA Revolt as the voice that held the line for anti-dictatorship forces with her continuing broadcast from a renegade “Radyo Bandido,” died Sunday night, according to the ABS-CBN network, where she and her late husband Angelo Castro worked for many years. Keithley had been battling cancer for the past few years, alongside the equally cancer-stricken Castro, a broadcast journalist who anchored the network’s late-night English-language news program until several weeks before his death. Keithley succumbed to cancer at the St. Luke’s Medical Center. Few other details were available at press time. As a convent-bred colegiala who once admitted in an interview that she was in “rebellion” mode in her youth, the talented Keithley credited her most important mentor, the late Jesuit communicator Fr. James Reuter, with giving her direction and inspiring her to do social action work. It was also the influence of Reuter, once persecuted by the Marcos regime for encouraging churchmen critical of martial law, that was seen as instrumental in making Keithley a willing participant in the dramatic events that unfolded at EDSA starting on February 22, 1986. Ms. Keithley’s role became critical on the second day of the 4-day revolt after the Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas, the only one trusted by people to run independent live broadcasts of the unfolding developments, suddenly went off the air, its facilities having been damaged by loyalist forces. When Marcos forces bombed the broadcasting tower of Radio Veritas on February 23, it seemed the dictatorship had taken away from Filipinos the only access to news and information they had on the unfolding events…” – InterAksyon, 24 November 2013 (READ MORE)

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