Filmmaker Peque Gallaga, 76

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    Director Peque Gallaga succumbed to pneumonia. He was 76. (Photo from philnews.net)

    FILMAKER Peque Gallaga died on Thursday from complications due to pneumonia. He was 76.

    The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) released a statement announcing the passing of Gallaga, a former president of the guild.

    “It is with great sadness that the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. (DGPI) announces the passing of filmmaker, film educator, and former DGPI president Peque Gallaga. The guild expresses its deepest condolences to Peque’s wife Madie, and children Bing, Michelle, Datu, Jubal, and Wanggo.”

    A few days ago, Gallaga’s family said he was being treated in a hospital for pneumonia. Media reports mention that the director passed away at the Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City.

    Gallaga’s passing is considered a huge loss in the local film industry. He was a masterful director and a great talent. His oeuvre included “Oro, Plata, Mata,” “Unfaithful Wife,” “Virgin Forest,” “Batang X,” “Magic Temple,” “Baby Love,” “Scorpio Nights” and the “Manananggal” episode in the first “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”

    He often worked with filmmaker Lore Reyes in projects, such as “Abandonada,” “Hiwaga sa Balete Drive,” “Kid, Huwag Kang Susuko,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Aishte Masu,” “Sonata” and “T’yanak,” among others.

    Gallaga was also an award-winning production designer, winning for his work in Eddie Romero’s “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?” (1976) and Ishmael Bernal’s “City After Dark” (1980).

    Gallaga also appeared in films, acting in Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Jose Rizal” and Mario O’ Hara’s “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos.” In 2008, he was featured as a character in the animated film, “Dayo,” as the voice of Lolo Nano.

    Later, he took a break from filmmaking to move back to his native Bacolod.

    Peque Gallaga was born Maurice Ruiz de Luzuriaga Gallaga on August 25, 1943 in Bacolod.

    His daughter, Michelle Gallaga, posted a photo of her hugging her dad with the words: “You were and always will be my North Star. My heart is broken but it will be healed by all the people you loved and who loved you in return.”
    Actress Anne Curtis lamented that her “Magic Temple” director won’t be able to meet her newborn daughter, Dahlia, named after her character in the film.

    “I will forever be grateful to him and Direk Lore for choosing me to be their Princess Dahlia…it breaks my heart knowing that he won’t get to meet my own little Dahlia. Direk Peque, thank you for giving me a role that would change my life forever. I will miss you and will treasure the memories and lessons you taught me in the craft of acting. Rest In Peace. I love you. My deepest condolences to the Gallaga Family,” she posted on social media.