Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

Tributes pour in for veteran Filipino filmmaker Peque Gallaga after he dies, aged 76

The celebrated and award-winning director passed away in Manila on Thursday

Peque Gallaga died in Manila on Thursday, May 7. Courtesy of Wikimedia commons
Peque Gallaga died in Manila on Thursday, May 7. Courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Celebrated Filipino filmmaker Peque Gallaga died aged 76 on Thursday morning in Manila.

The veteran director, who was best known for his award-winning 1982 film Oro, Plata, Mata, passed away from pneumonia in a hospital in the capital, according to various reports.

Both his brother and manager confirmed the news.

Before his death, fellow director Lore Reyes also posted a statement on behalf of Gallaga's family on Facebook confirming his hospitalisation was not related to the coronavirus.

“The family of Peque Gallaga would like to make this statement in regard to the news and [rumours] circulating about him," the statement reads. "[He] is in the hospital due to complications arising from past health conditions.”

Born Maurice Ruiz de Luzuriaga Gallaga, the filmmaker became something of a legend in the Philippine cinema landscape. His career spanned almost 50 years and he directed more than 37 films, starting with the 1973 romance Binhi. His last project listed on IMDb is a short drama from 2016 called Tabang. Before that, he directed the feature-length horror movie T'yanak in 2014 with Reyes.

Other works he's known for include the Shake, Rattle & Roll franchise, thriller Scorpio Nights and children's fantasy film Magic Temple – to name a few.

He was also an actor, screenwriter and production designer.

Gallaga is survived by his wife and five children.

'Your legacy as an artist will live on'

Following the news of his death, tributes poured in across social media from fellow celebrities and fans.

Actress Anne Curtis-Smith posted a gallery of photos of her with the director to Instagram, writing: "I will forever be grateful to him and Direk Lore for choosing me to be their Princess Dahlia in Magic Kingdom.

"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."

Fans also took to Twitter. "We lost one of the greatest of all time," wrote one user. "No one influenced my love for local cinema more than Peque Gallaga. RIP, sir. Your legacy as an artist and as a person will live on."

Author Richard Bolisay also paid tribute, citing Scorpio Nights as one of his favourites of Gallaga's films. "We are gradually losing some of our radical artists," he added. "What a terrible time."

Updated: May 7, 2020 05:01 PM

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