Lasting in showbiz for a decade is already a tremendous feat, considering the burgeoning number of new breed of talents who try their luck in the industry almost every year. But what more if an artist has incredibly made it to seven decades and continues to be one of the biggest and brightest stars?
That’s definitely the reason why many of our beloved local celebrities, either seasoned or newbie, look up to veteran actor and director Mr. Eddie Garcia, who astonishingly remained active, not to mention multi-awarded, for over 70 years. He passed away on June 20 at the age of 90.
With over 600 film and television projects, more than 80 awards and nominations, a thriving career spanning to seventy years, it’s indeed undisputed for him to be hailed the “Greatest Filipino Actor of All-Time.”
As the whole nation mourns his unforeseen passing, let’s take this as an opportunity also to celebrate his life, contributions, and accomplishments as an illustrious and versatile actor by remembering his unforgettable stints on the Kapamilya channel through the years via this special feature.
Fondly called as “Manoy”, which translates to “brother” in the Bicolano dialect, Eddie began his accidental foray to stardom by taking part in the 1949 flick “Siete Infantes de Lara.” He had his TV debut in 2002, but it was only in 2008 when he first appeared in a Kapamilya program via the “Singsing” episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, which he topbilled alongside fellow veteran thespian Gloria Romero.
He landed his first Kapamilya serye in 2013 through the Coco Martin-starrer Juan Dela Cruz where he played Julian “Lolo Juls” Dela Cruz, the grandfather of the main character and a former Tagabantay ng Bakal na Krus.
On that same year, he was tapped to join two other child-oriented primetime series – Little Champ and Honesto. He was cast to give voice to horse named Champion in Little Champ and as the doting foster grandpa Lemuel Galang to the titular character in Honesto. He also guested in the sitcom Toda Max and made us laugh as the comical Engineer Manny Boy.
In 2014, he touched our hearts with his stint in Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon as Retired Police Sr. Inspector Magno Ruiz, the grandfather of the lead character Rose, played by Bea Alonzo, who persistently sought the truth and justice for his granddaughter who was presumed dead.
Later that year, Eddie gave us a wonderful and heartwarming present when he starred in the “The Gift Giver” book of the daytime drama anthology Give Love on Christmas as Ernest Aguinaldo, the patriarch who longed to be with his children, especially on Noche Buena and Christmas Day, as they stopped visiting their home after their matriarch’s death.
Manoy got reunited with Coco in 2015 when they worked together in the Yamashita’s Treasures mini-series of Wansapanataym. But unlike their first project, they weren’t consanguineous as he played Haring Dimetrius, the grandfather of the Prinsesa ng mga Engkanto Tanya (Julia Montes), who was the love interest of Coco.
He once again got included in a fantasy drama that same year when he had a special guest appearance in Nathaniel as Moises Macaraig, one of the people whose chaotic life was touched and renewed by the young beatific titular character.
In 2017, he gave us another Christmas treat when he made a comeback in Wansapanataym via the “Jasmin’s Flower Power” mini-series that was headlined by Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador. He played the role of Don Jose, the kindhearted grandpa of the former’s character.
From allies in their past collaborations, he and Coco became stiff rivals in the top-rating and long-running primetime series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. His longest TV gig ever, the legendary actor was cast as the cunning, corrupt, and cruel antagonist Don Emilio Syquia, who had been Ricardo Dalisay’s most terrible pain in the neck throughout its three-year run from 2016 up to the present. It was through this stint when he was able to showcase his incredible flair as an action star and kontrabida, to which he was initially known for, and made the show extra thrilling and hooking.
Don Emilio, who was later on recognized as the silver-teethed mining site owner Don Gustavo, was finally killed early this year when they figured in a bloody skirmish leading to his literally explosive death.
We may have lost an icon here on earth, yet we have gained a guiding star in heaven who will continuously serve as an inspiration and role model not only to his family, friends, and colleagues in the entertainment industry, but for the whole nation as well.
Thank you for the unforgettable memories, formidable contributions, and magnificent performances, Mr. Eddie Garcia. You will be missed and loved forever.