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  • Eddie Garcia's Onscreen Kids and Apos Pay Tribute To His Life and Work

    Legendary actor Eddie Garcia was in many ways a father not just to his kids and stepkids, but also to the many actors who played the role of his children and grandchildren onscreen.
    by Rachel Perez .
Eddie Garcia's Onscreen Kids and Apos Pay Tribute To His Life and Work
PHOTO BY Artu Nepomuceno for Esquire Philippines
  • More than a soldier, award-winning actor, film director, and producer, Eddie Garcia is a family man. But he had always kept his personal life private.

    On June 20, 2019, at 4:55 p.m., Eddie, who just turned 90 in May, passed away. This came two weeks after being comatose due to a neck fracture, following a freak accident that happened while filming an upcoming television series. He is survived by his partner of 33 years, Lilibeth Romero, and his stepsons Michael and Nikki Romero.

    Death is a familiar acquaintance for the legendary "Manoy" of Philippine showbiz. He had survived losing two of his children — a son who died in a motorcycle accident at age 22 in the 1970s, and his younger daughter, who suffered a heart attack at age 39.

    "That is inevitable," Eddie told Pep.ph. "Life must go on."

    As for himself, Manoy had said in a prior interview that he had already paid for his cremation, and is set on how he wants his remains to be handled. "I want to spread on a beautiful sunset," he said, adding that he had given instructions for his ashes to be scattered in Manila Bay. 

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    While Eddie was ready to kick the bucket any time and didn't want any fanfare when it happened, many people whom he had worked with had been giving him tributes online as they mourn his passing. He has left a mark in the lives of people, and those who have played his son, daughter, or grandchild onscreen all took a moment to remember him.

    "I will miss you, my Papa...I will love you forever. Your baby girl, April," actress Sharon Cuneta posted on Instagram. April is Sharon's character in the 1981 movie Dear Heart, which launched her career. Eddie played the role of her strict dad, Don Manolo Mondragon.

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    Ogie Alcasid described Eddie as "one of those actors that simply gave his very best no matter what role he portrayed," and thanked him for showing everyone how to be "a genuinely wonderful human being."

    Ogie's wife, actress and singer Regine Velasquez, said goodbye to the legendary actor by posting a still shot of both of them in a scene from the 2006 movie Till I Met You.

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    "Maraming maraming salamat po sa karanasan, inspirasyon at kabutihan," Vice Ganda tweeted. Eddie played grandfather to his movie character Praybeyt Benjamin.

    Dimples Romana addressed Eddie in her tribute as "dad." The late actor played her father in the teleserye The Gift Giver. "

    Ikaw talaga yun, Tito Eddie. You are the epitome of a true gift giver. You have given us the gift of your craft and generosity of spirit," the actress and mom of two wrote.

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    "We will miss you! I love you Daddy, and what an honor for an actor like me to have had the pleasure and privilege to work alongside Philippine television and Philippine Cinema’s true legend," Dimples added.

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    "I am honored to have had the distinct privilege of working with him in the 1996 Joel Lamangan film Bakit May Kahapon Pa? I will never forget his arresting professionalism, quiet handsomeness and gentlemanliness; such cool elegance!" actress Dawn Zulueta wrote.

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    Heart Evangelista posted a photo of her with Eddie and the late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. "Being given the chance to work with such an amazing actor like you is something I will treasure. You gave me not just the memories but also life lessons. May you rest in peace. You will be missed," she wrote.

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    "I always used to come up to this man when we would be in the same events and tell him that if I ever got to his age, I’d like to be as strong as he was," Gary Valenciano wrote. They worked together in two films.

    "I won’t forget you, sir. Thank you for being a part of the movie and TV industry. What a role you’ve played!!!" he added.

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    "Since bata ako napapanood ko na si sir Eddie Garcia and feeling ko part na siya ng buhay ko bilang isang Pilipino. Nakakalungkot," Alex Gonzaga, who had worked with Eddie in Babaeng Hampaslupa, tweeted.

    "Maraming salamat sayo 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," Coco Martin, who is deeply saddened by Eddie's passing, wrote on Instagram.

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    "Hanggang sa muling pagkikita natin Lo mabuhay ka at alam ko nandito kalang sinusubaybayan mo kami, he added. Coco vowed to not ever forget the wisdom Eddie shared and the great and noble example he was as a professional in showbiz. "Habang buhay kang nasa puso namin Lo mahal kita!!!"

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    "Rest In Peace to one of our industry’s giants. Besides talent, you epitomized strength and sex appeal. That you remained a force for as long as you’ve been active speaks volumes to your work ethic and professionalism. You will not be forgotten," Lea Salonga wrote.

    "Tito Eddie, we will never forget you," actress Bianca Manalo wrote.

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    Jasmin Curtis Smith was honored to have worked with Eddie just a few weeks before his death. She tweeted, "The rain is pouring so hard. I feel like the afternoon is crying its heart out because of a great loss in the entertainment industry, Tito Eddie Garcia. You are an amazing person and actor."

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    Sunshine Dizon, who worked with Eddie in the movie Rainbow Sunset wherein he played an LGBT character, wrote, "Rest In Peace Tito Eddie, you will be sorely missed."

    "Just started watching #HintayanNgLangit (Eddie's movie with Gina Pareño) when my kids arrived from school and broke the news. The heavens are crying and the whole industry. Rest In Peace Tito Eddie," she tweeted.

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    Together with Eric Quizon's father Dolphy and Fernando Poe, Jr. who had both already passed, Eddie was considered a king in show business. "I have been blessed to have worked with a master. We will never see him again, but he will always be with us. In our hearts. In our minds. Goodbye Tito Eddie. Please give my dad a hug," the director wrote.

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    Rest in peace, Mr. Eddie Garcia.

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