It is a sad time for the country as it has lost another national treasure, veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who passed away on Thursday (June 20) due to an accident, at the age of 90. The Sorsogon born icon has contributed so much and has brought life to the silver screen for 70 years. Before making his mark in the entertainment industry, Eddie started out as a military policeman, who transmogrified into a lead actor, supporting actor, director and was hailed as a FAMAS three-time Hall of Fame Awardee for all three categories. He delivered outstanding performances in his latest movies such as “Rainbow Sunset,” and even bagged the Best Actor award at the 42nd Gawad Urian Awards for the independent film “ML.”
Magandang Buhay started its June 21 episode with on a somber note as hosts Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, along with the audience, payed tribute to the icon by having a few moments of silence and offered prayers. The momshies read out loud penned messages of Kapamilya stars namely Yassi Pressman. Agot Isidro, Gerald Anderson, Anne Curtis Smith. Vice Ganda, Jodi Sta Maria, Olgie Alcasid, Judy Ann Santos and Charo Santos, who sent their condolences and prayers to him.
Coco Martin, who recently worked alongside the main actor in the hit series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano wrote, “’Di ko mapaliwanag ang lungkot at sakit nanararamdaman namin ngayon. iniisip ko na lang po na ang Diyos ang may kagustuhan ng lahat ng nangyayari para sa atin. Maraming salamat sa’yo, Lo sa lahat ng ating mga kwentuhan at tawanan at sa ating mga masasayang mga oras na magkasama. malayo man ang edad natin pero tinanggap mo ako bilang kaibigan mo. Hanggang sa muling pagkikita natin Lo mabuhay ka at alam ko nandito kalang sinusubaybayan mo kami. Hindi namin kakalimutan ang lahat ng mga pangaral mo para sa amin isakang huwaran ng mabuting tao at mahusay na artista at director. Mahal na mahal ka namin Lo!!! R.I.P”.
One of his colleagues, Tirso Cruz appeared in a VTR stated that he was proud and honored to have him not just as a co-worker, but also as a friend. Tirso described him as a wonderful person and was that type that anyone could approach. He lauded Eddie’s artistic talents and thanked him for his many contributions to the industry. “He’s such a wonderful person. A very heart-warming person and a very giving person. Hindi siya madamot eh,” he elaborated.
The actor’s dying wish has been granted, as he has now been cremated. According to Dr. Tony Rebosa, the spokesperson of Eddies’s family, a public wake will be held at the Chapel 3 of Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City. The wake will begin on Friday June 21 until Sunday, June 23.
Tony Labrusca tackled on his special moments with the late artist. When he found out that he was set to come out in the film “ML” with Eddie, he was quite overwhelmed and pressured, knowing that he would be working with a legend. However, he was enlightened to discover that his co-star was such a giving, relaxed, funny and a light person to be with. “He never made me feel stupid. He never made me feel na kulang ‘yung ginagawa ko,” he narrated. Tony shared that he had learned so much from him, and recalled that Eddie advised him that when he is confused, he just have to focus on his eyes, because that’s where one gets his emotions. The young actor reiterated that Eddie told him that the eyes will capture the audience. When they are not working, Tony revealed that Eddie loved to tell stories and he was never really choosy about the people he wanted to talk to.
FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano cast members such as Hap Rice and Big Mac joined the MB hosts, and told them how it felt working with such a renowned artist. Hap Rice was immensely nervous to work with his idol in their first project together Wansapanataym, but was relieved to find out that he was a kind-hearted man who you can talk to about anything. They even had something in common since they could both speak Bicolano, thus their friendship became deeper. He stressed that he was able to learn a lot from the actor, particularly when it comes to throwing line and adlibs, something that he notes the late actor was very good at.
Meanwhile, Big Mac had his own fond memories of Eddie. He told him not to doubt his abilities as an actor, just because he started off as an athlete. According to Big Mac, the veteran star told him, “Hindi ka na basketball player, artista ka na. You have to accept in your heart and in your mind na artista ka na.” Eddie advised him that he has to do well and love the industry in order for the industry to love him.
They described him as a very light and positive figure, who took his craft very seriously. “He really loves the job. He really loves the industry. That’s why at 90 years old, he is still in this business. Kaya we will always miss Tito Eddie,” Big Mac emphasized. The two stars underlined that he would get along with everyone and bond during meal times, and it never really bothered him if they were noisy. He added that Eddie preferred to eat healthy food but wouldn’t mind to pig out on anything from time to time. Eddie was also known for always holding a script and would be punctual on set.
The MB momshies also shared their unforgettable moments with Eddie. The late actor played a very significant role in Melai’s family, as he was the godfather to their youngest daughter Mela. Melai and her husband, Jason Francisco, worked with Eddie in the teleserye Honesto. Because of his endearing persona, Jason chose him to be one of Mela’s baptism sponsors. “Kasi alam niya talaga na mabibigay ni Tito Eddie ‘yung responsibilities sa pagiging ninong kay Mela,” Melai said teary-eyed. She said she’ll never forget how much effort he would make for her family and even read the Gospel readings during Mela’s baptism. She could tell that the actor was enjoying himself during the reception, and was even one of the last persons to go home.
Karla, on the other hand, never had the chance to work with the legend, but has had the privilege of having a few casual conversations with him. According to Karla, Eddie once told her, “You fought a good fight for your son, because your son is a good man.” Eddie mentioned to her that every time her son Daniel Padilla would see him, he would always greet him. Karla exclaimed that it was an honor to hear those words from him, and said that she hopes that actors nowadays would follow Eddie’s footsteps.
Jolina praised Eddie for his professionalism and stressed that he is a true inspiration to all aspiring artists. “Sa lahat ng mga mahal ang trabaho na ito, sana maging ganoon tayo ‘di ba? Na walang yabang walang kahit ano at walang pinipiling role,” she said emotionally.
Sir Eddie was such a one of a kind figure that even the government took time to extend their condolences with the actor’s passing. In a statement, the Palace’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo wrote, “The Palace extends its deep condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, fans and loved ones of screen icon, as well as showbiz legend Eddie Garcia, who died yesterday afternoon at the age of 90. Mr Eddie Garcia, popularly known as Manoy, left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of Filipino moviegoers and audience, with a career that spanned nearly seven decades. His immense contributions were nonpareil for he was the only Filipino inducted in three categories in the FAMAS Hall of Fame as Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director by far. It is a heartbreaking loss for the entertainment industry, which he dearly loved. Manoy (Garcia) died with his boots on, in a manner of speaking, doing what he loved most – acting. As we pay tribute – and give honor to – his lifetime works, we pray to the Almighty to grant him eternal repose, and that perpetual light may shine upon him.
Thank you for all the iconic roles and memories you have given us, Sir Eddie. Showbiz will never be the same without you. You will be missed!