Jun 20, 2019

Veteran actor Eddie Garcia, 90, has passed away today Jun. 20. This is weeks after he was hospitalized following a neck fracture he sustained while filming for an upcoming teleserye.

It’s dark and a little ironic, perhaps, that I heard of the news of Eddie Garcia’s passing just as I was halfway through rewatching Hintayan ng Langit, which was recently made available on Netflix. I was ecstatic; I watched this film alone in a cinema and cried, and had wanted to relive the beauty of the story. Now I could. I did. And then now, the leading man really gets sent up there—sa hintayan ng langit.

Eddie Garcia has become more than just a household name throughout his long and illustrious career as an actor. Having started in 1949, Garcia, who had just recently turned 90, has been part of over 600 films. He was a legend. He even recently just won the 2019 Gawad Urian award for Best Actor for his performance in yet another recent indie film, ML. (Another must-watch.)

There’s much to choose from in his long filmography, but to remember the man who has been regarded as the country’s greatest Filipino actor, here are just some of his films you can easily watch today:

Hintayan ng Langit (2018), Netflix

The film, an entry to 2018’s QCinema International Film Festival, starred Garcia in one of the lead roles—newly deceased Manolo, who finds himself in purgatory. In purgatory, he comes across Lisang (Gina Pareño), his ex, who had already been staying (waiting?) there for two years.

Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo (2014), iWant

Garcia takes the role of a museum curator in this historical film that takes a look into the life of Andres Bonifacio. It’s an interesting take on the genre as it challenges (and perhaps even makes a commentary) on history education in the country. How well do we really know our heroes? And are the things we think we know about them actually true?

Abakada…Ina (2001), iWant

Garcia takes the directorial reigns in this film, which stars Lorna Tolentino as an illiterate mother who struggles to care and provide for her children. It highlights not only the role mothers play in their family’s lives, but also heavily touches on the importance of education.

Deathrow (2000), iFlix

Garcia won the Best Actor award for this film at the 2000 Metro Manila Film Festival and at the Film Academy of the Philippines. The film revolves around 16-year-old Sonny (played by Cogie Domingo), who was sentenced to the death penalty for robbery. In prison, he meets Lolo Sinat, played by Garcia.

Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon (1976), remastered, iWant (Premium)

Perhaps one of the earliest Eddie Garcia films available online now, Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon, was an entry to the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival, where it won Best Film. The film is a romantic musical drama set during the country’s colonization era. It was restored and remastered by the ABS-CBN Film Archives in 2013.

In Hintayan ng Langit, Manolo, Garcia’s character, playfully asks his ex-girlfriend Lisang, “Am I that easy to forget?” just as the Engelbert Humperdinck song goes.

Today, and from here on out, I’m sure the answer we all have to that is no. No, Eddie Garcia is not that easy to forget. His memory and his talent will remain remembered now that we can easily relive his greatest onscreen moments, too.

 

 

 

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