Showbiz mourns another death


By Boy Villasanta


Show business is again in mourning this time for prize winning film director Maryo  J. de los Reyes who succumbed to heart attack late this week in Dipolog City in Mindanao when he attended a party upon the invitation of a friend.


His body was flown to Manila today and lies in state at the Loyola Memorial Chapels in Commonwealth Avenue where a lot of movie and television stars gather to pay their last respects.


De los Reyes was known for his many landmark if not thought- provoking films such as “High School Circa ’65,” “Gabun,” “Bagets,” “Annie Batungbakal,” “Bongga Ka, Day,” “Tagos ng Dugo,” “Magnifico,” “Saan Darating ang Umaga?” among others.


Here are some of his friends’ musings:


Former Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member and Young Critics Circle founder Mike Feria who’s now based in the US posted in his FB page: “Perhaps, one of the very few remaining Filipino filmmakers, whose career has encompassed almost four decades, traversing two so-called golden ages of Philippine cinema, Maryo de los Reyes, died today of heart attack in Dipolog, Southern Philippines. He was 65.


“His death comes at a time when cinephiles/cineastes have feverishly looked back to the past, savor a cinema that is not burdened by imperative of social message so privileged by critics, but one that is not as self-conscious as the more-acclaimed filmmakers, past and present, yet imbued with dignity and truth so familiar in their rendering, so accessible to their audience.

“Ours is the greater loss, when we, as audience and students of Filipino cinema, have not yet fathomed the fuller breadth of his work, consider that his is not easily boxed in to specific category, that he was actually a multi-tasker of a filmmaker: De los Reyes started his career with Agrix Films, became a filmmaker, went to become one of the pillars of the theater company, PETA, went to television. continued making films for big studios like Regal and Viva, managed talents like the Maskulados (a member, Orlando Sol is also an actor), then most lately, acted as Artistic Director of a new grant-giving film festival unique in its focus on stories about peasants and fishermen, ToFarm Film Festival.”

Mike is also the founder and organizer of FACINE (Filipino-American Cine Festival) annually celebrated in San Francisco, California. Now on its 27th year, Feria showed de los Reyes’ “Bamboo Flowers” in 2013.


Award-winning film, television and stage actor and director Frank Rivera said of Maryo’s passing: “I remember the humid afternoons in the Dungeon of Fort Santiago where we rehearsed and presented the play in the early 70s and the long nights lying on stage of the Raha Sulayman Theater, gazing at the stars and the moon, pining for the "Mother Earth" to return. "Mother Earth" was the monicker Soxy Topacio fondly called Cecile Alvarez nee Guidote who founded PETA and its vision of a National Theater Movement. I remember the easily distinguishable chuckles at the "Hand sa Pukiki" jokes of Tom Adrales.


“Oh, I remember Mario then—Mario with an "i" which he would later change to "y" and we would initially call him "Mary-o" but fondly. He wanted the "y" to be different from the other PETA stalwart, Mario O'Hara. Later did we know that the change from "i" to "y" was an intimation of his immortality as he would forever be the Maryo to us all!


“I remember Maryo, freshly graduated from UP, Soxy & Jojo Purisima were with me in Cagayan de Oro in 1974 for the ‘Pulong ug Kahayag’ Holy Week Street Production which we directed for Kota. After which, we all visited Maryo's hometown, Alicia, BoholL before proceeding to Davao City for another PETA Outreach-Workshop where Nestor Horfilla was among the many participants.

“I could write a book on my experiences with Maryo and even if I don't, those landmarks in my memory map will remain etched there to be mined when I want to smile and warm up - but meanwhile, I just want to cry missing him.”


Entertainment writer Robert Silverio rants: “Ngayon, wala na siya. Galit ako, oo. Galit na galit!!! Pero tatanggapin ko ang pangyayaring ito baling-araw. Una, kalmado lang ako no’ng nalaman ko sa kapatid ko kanina ang pagyao niya. Siya ang nagbigay sa akin ng chance na makapagsulat ng screenplay. Palaam, Direk. Hindi ko alam kung paano mawawala ang galit ko. Pero kakayanin koi to.”


Entertainment editor Isah V. Red has this eulogy: “Goodbye, Maryo J., friend, University of the Philippines Institute of Mass Communications (UPIMC) classmate, film and TV director. I never thought you'd leave so soon, but you surprised me and lots of your friends with your unexpected passing. Your friend Jake Tordesillas, I am sure, is happy to welcome you in the afterlife. Rest in peace. Your friends and the industry will always remember you.”






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Friday, 23 February 2018
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