With a heavy downpour falling over the city in the afternoon of June 20, 2019, it’s as if the skies mourned together with the whole Philippine entertainment industry as Eddie Garcia passed on at around 5 PM that day. The FAMAS Awards Hall of Famer actor-director, who boasted of over 600 movies and TV shows done in seven decades, died after suffering a neck fracture that induced him into a coma.
Manoy's body work has had him portraying a variety of roles, many of which boxed him as a menacing villain to the likes of comrade and another departed king Fernando Poe Jr. across many films. Apart from tackling mainstream pictures and primetime shows (the last Kapamilya TV series he's done being Ang Probinsyano with Coco Martin) and just like iconic actresses Lilia Cuntapay and Anita Linda in their senior years, Eddie became more active in the local indie scene late in his career. He was in his 80s and was still as fervent.
In 2012, for example, he starred in comedy-drama flick Bwakaw as a gay man in his 70s and his beloved dog Bwakaw. He won Best Actor for this film in several award-giving bodies, including the 2012 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival where it was first showcased, 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival which was the first time a Filipino ever bagged this award, and finally, the 7th Asian Film Awards.
[related: In Focus: Eddie Garcia, The Gay Ally]
Eddie dipped his toes in indie work anew via 2018 Cinemalaya entry ML. He starred as a retired METROCOM Colonel suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which caused his delirious thoughts of having to live within Ferdinand Marcos' regime. For this, he took home the festival Best Actor award.
In 2018, Eddie also starred in the LGBT-themed family drama movie and Metro Manila Film Festival entry Rainbow’s Sunset. He played Ramon Estrella, who in his retirement years just came out to his wife and children as he proceeded to take care of his sick lover and best friend Fredo. He eventually bagged the festival's Special Jury Prize.
[related: Eddie Garcia: an inspiring luminary]
Also in the same year, Eddie appeared in contemporary director Dan Villegas' Hintayan Ng Langit alongside Gina Pareño. Eddie and Gina starred as exes meeting again in purgatory—a delightful rom-com that only showed Manoy's talent, class, and versatility unbound by age or time.
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Photos screengrabbed from octobertrain (Bwakaw), Solar Pictures (ML), Pelikula Mania Trailers (Rainbow's Sunset), and globeph (Hintayan Ng Langit) YouTube accounts