imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

The year that was: Goodbye, fellas

Year 2019 was good to some.

Personally, I like number 9, fellas. It’s my lucky number. Nine means “long lasting” and “eternity” in Chinese. At birthday and wedding celebrations, the number 9 is welcome as it represents longevity. It is also traditionally associated with the Chinese emperor. The emperor’s robes had nine dragons on them, officials were organized in nine ranks and the Forbidden City is known to have a total of 9,999 and a half rooms.

But literally, not all things associated with 9 are lucky.

Year 2019 was also the year of the demise of some of the biggest names in the movie and business industry. For the information of the fans, here they are:

1. Joey Pepe Smith Joey Pepe Smith passed away on January 28, 2019, at the age of 71 due to a cardiac arrest. Smith was a famous rock musician, responsible for hits such as Balong Malalim,” “Beep Beep,” and “Himig Natin.”

2. Armida Liwanag Ponce Enrile Siguion-Reyna or Armida Siguion-Reyna died on February 11, 2019 at the age of 88 after battling cancer. She was an actress and a former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson.

 3.Eddie Garcia, 90, died on June 20, 2019, after suffering a fatal accident while shooting an action scene for a GMA teleserye.

4. Tony Mabesa, a famous character actor, passed away at the age of 84 on October 4, 2019. The cause of death was not mentioned. He is best known for movies such as “Rainbow Sunset,” “Mano Po,” and “Maybe This Time.”

5. Mico Palanca passed away at the age of 41 and his family members have confirmed the tragic news. He worked quietly as an actor for many years, appearing on teleseryes such as “Bagani” and “Nang Ngumiti Ang Langit.”

6. Filipino comedian Domingo Vusotros Brotamante Jr. or known as “Bentong,” 55, died on February 9, 2019 due to diabetes and health complications.

7. Chokoleit passed away on March 10, 2019. He was 46. The comedian whose real name is Jonathan Aguilar Garcia experienced difficulty in breathing after his performance in an out of town show in Abra. The attending physician at the Abra Provincial Hospital said Chokoleit succumbed to pulmonary edema and heart attack.

8. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said his father, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, died on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Nograles succumbed to “respiratory failure, secondary to pneumonia”.

9. Veteran actress Amalia Fuentes (Amalia Amador Muhlach) passed away on October 5, 2019 due to cardiac arrest and multiple organ failures. She was 79.

10. Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. died on October 20, 2019. He was taken to the hospital after complaining of difficulty in breathing and was found to have pneumonia. Pimentel, a staunch advocate of federalism, was 85.

11. Businessman and philanthropist John Gokongwei Jr. passed away on November 10, 2019 at the age of 93.

Gokongwei passed away peacefully at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital surrounded by his loved ones.

12. Newly-appointed PAL Holdings Inc. President Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr. died on November 11, 2019 due to brain herniation. He was hospitalized after collapsing during a basketball game in Mandaluyong.

Earlier in 2018, we saw the demise of Rico Puno, Pitoy Moreno, Maryo de los Reyes, Bernardo Berbardo, Rolly Quizon, Mely Tagasa and Spanky Manikan.

Here’s also a list of those who have gone beyond, but you probably didn’t know, fellas.

1.) Raphael John “Ralph” Gil Eigenmann (25 September 1961 – 1 September 2014), better known by his screen name as “Mark Gil.” He died at age 52, of cirrhosis of the liver, stemming from cancer of the liver, just 24 days before his 53rd birthday. His last movie appearance was in ‘Ang Bagong Dugo’ in 2014 with co-veteran actor Dick Israel.

2.) Ricardo Vizcarra Michaca (10 December 1947 – 11 October 2016), popularly known as “Dick Israel,” was an actor who played mostly villain and sidekick roles in Pinoy movies. On 11 October 2016, Israel suffered blood vomiting, and later died in his home. Some people may recall Dick seeking help after his residence in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan was damaged in a fire in July of the same year. His last movie was also ‘Ang Bagong Dugo’ with aforementioned actor Mark Gil. The wife of Dick Israel has passed away less than a week after he died.

3.) Rolando Desembrana Aquino “Roldan Aquino” (May 2, 1948 – March 10, 2014) was a Filipino actor and director, best known for playing antagonist roles in films and television shows.

4.) Remedios Papa Dancel-Reyes “Bella Flores” (February 27, 1929 – May 19, 2013) was an iconic Filipino actress. She was best known for her portrayals of film villains. Her death was a result of complications from a hip surgery. After Flores’ blood pressure crashed, doctors were able to revive her several times before she eventually succumbed. Flores received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines in 1989.

5.) Teresita Joy De Leon-Viado “Joy Viado” (April 10, 1959 – September 10, 2016) was a Filipino actress, singer, and comedian. She died of a heart attack. She was diagnosed with diabetes for almost three decades and underwent four debridement surgeries to remove the wounds that she is suffering on her legs due to diabetes complications and to save her from possible amputation.

6.) Myrna Villanueva (Tiya Pusit) (March 23, 1948– October 2, 2014) was a veteran comedienne. Tiya Pusit passed away due to multiple organ failure at age 66.

7.) Elizabeth Indino Ramsey (December 3, 1931 – October 8, 2015) was a Filipina stand-up comedian, singer and actress known for her trademark Visayan-accented dialogues. Elizabeth Ramsey had 3 children with her first husband, who was of Jamaican heritage. After his death, Ramsey met Ray Kagahastian, a Filipino, with whom she had one daughter, ‘Jaya.’

She died in her sleep from a hyperglycemic attack at the age of 83.

8.) Lilia Cuntapay (September 16, 1935– August 20, 2016) was a Filipina actress well known to Pinoys for her ‘aswang’ or ‘white lady’ roles in Filipino movies. On August 5, 2016, it was confirmed that Cuntapay suffered from a spinal cord illness and that she was unable to walk. She sought help from her friends and colleagues in the film industry to be able to raise money for her treatment. On August 20, Cuntapay passed away in her son’s home in Ilocos Norte; she was 80. She was acclaimed for her first leading role, in the film Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, which won her an award as Best Actress in the 2011 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival. Before her death, she made a TV appearance in the teleserye Ang Probinsyano.

9.) Ricardo Reyes “Richie D’ Horsie” (September 13, 1957 – April 17, 2015) was a Filipino actor and comedian, a famous sidekick to Tito, Vic, and Joey. He died at the age of 58 due to complications brought about by diabetes, kidney failure and brain stroke.

10.) Joseph Amoto-Formaran known as “Blakdyak” (25 July 1969 – 21 November 2016) was a Filipino actor-comedian and reggae singer. Blakdyak was found dead inside his condominium unit in Sampaloc, Manila on November 21, 2016. His head was covered with a plastic bag, but the circumstances leading to his death are unclear. Blakdyak’s American serviceman- father (who was once stationed in Subic Naval Base in Olongapo City where he met Joey’s mother) is half-Jamaican. One of his movies was ‘Weyt a Minit, Kapeng Mainit in 2001,’ and thanks to him, the songs ‘Modelong Charing,’ ‘Good Boy (Ang Bait Mo Naman Sana Kunin Ka Na Ni Lord’) and ‘Magic Kapote’ will forever play in our memories.

11.) Ronald Fredrick William “Ronnie” Nathanielsz (November 2, 1935 – November 11, 2016), was a Sri Lanka-born Filipino sports journalist, commentator and analyst. He died at 81 years old due to cardiac arrest.

May their souls rest in peace. ●