Deramas died of a heart attack at 49 years old. According to ANC tweets, Deramas “almost had a heart attack 2 years ago” and had an angioplasty the previous year.
At his wake, his family was not only mourning his death, but also that of his sister, Myra Ann Deramas, who also died of an heart attack on February 29. Wenn died shortly after his sister.
Lassy Marquez, who was one of the stars in Deramas’ 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Beauty and the Bestie, said that he will always remember the director as a friend and for his humor: “Nag-start ‘to nung time nung first movie na This Guy’s in Love with you Mare, na hindi ko makakalimutan na lagi niya ako tinutulungan. Kasi first movie, so andoon yung kaba ko… hindi lang sa pagiging direktor eh, as in parang naging kaibigan ko na rin… sobrang kulit niya, sobrang nagpapatawa, yung ganoon.”
(It all started with our first movie, This Guy’s in Love with You Mare, I will never forget that he would always help me. Because it was my frist movie, so I was nervous… and [I’ll remember him] not just as a director, but he became my friend as well. He was always trying to make us laugh.)
Lassy shared that the last time he saw Deramas was at the Beauty and the Bestie victory party. The movie was reportedly the highest grossing 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival entry.
He added that the late director would always text him excerpts from the Bible. “Yung huling nabasa ko yung about eternal life. Yun yung huling text niya. T’as kinabukasan, yun na pala.”
(The last text I read was about eternal life. That was his last text. And the next day, that was it.)
Watch the video below to hear Lassy’s message for the late director.
Though action star Cesar Montano never had the chance to work with Deramas, he was close to Deramas because they were next-door neighbors. Montano remembered that he would visit and talk to Deramas every New Year’s Eve.
“Mami-miss ko yung hindi ako na-direct ni Wenn Deramas kahit isang beses,” Montano joked. (I will miss that Wenn Deramas never directed me even once.)
On a more serious note, Montano praised Deramas’ contribution to the film industry. “[He contributed] a lot of beautiful comedy, drama, films na ginawa nila Ai-Ai (delas Alas) na talagang hindi na maipapalit, hindi na macocompare sa iba na nakapag-bigay kaligayahan sa mga kababayan natin at mga nagmamahal sa mga pelikulang Pilipino.”
([He contributed] a lot of beautiful comedy, drama films, with Ai-Ai (delas Alas) and others that really can’t be replaced, can’t compare to others, that gave joy to our countrymen and to those who love Filipino movies.)
John “Sweet” Lapus
John “Sweet” Lapus was at Deramas’ wake on March 4 as a member of the Teatro Tomasino, the University of Santo Tomas’ theater guild that both he and Deramas were a part of.
Hear his message to the late director below:
Unsurprisingly, many have been curious about what comedian Vice Ganda had to say about the late director, as he had worked with Deramas on several films including the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Beauty and the Bestie.
Vice spoke on Tonight With Boy Abunda on Thursday, March 3, live from the wake at Arlington Memorial, Quezon City.
On the show, Vice remembered the late director, sharing some things about Deramas’ life that not many people knew.
Among them were plans for a movie that Deramas always wanted to make with Vice: “May mga plano kami na gawing pelikula na superhero-superhero, gusto niya ako gawing Darna noon pa. Sabi niya, ‘Dapat mag-Darna ka.’ Lagi niyang project, laging next project niya Darna pero hindi namin magawa kasi may Darna na.“
(We had plans to make a superhero movie, he’s been wanting to make me play Darna since before. He said, ‘You should play Darna.’ It was always his next project, Darna, but we couldn’t do it because there was already a Darna.)
Vice explained that the Darna movie that is set to be released in 2016 had to made first before they could make their own version of it.
The comedian added that just that day, someone approached him with a certificate for Deramas. Vice said that Deramas had helped two children with congenital heart problems by donating money for their medical care. Deramas, however, had been a silent donor, and hadn’t told anyone.
Before his interview on Tonight with Boy Abunda, Vice also talked about his friendship with the late director during the mass sponsored by Star Cinema.
“Noong dumating ako dito una, ang akala ko ay makikiramay. Pero lahat ng taong dumadating dito, ako yung niyayakap at tinatanong kamusta ako. And I realized, ako pala yung nawalan. Akala ko makikiramay lang ako, ako pala yung nawalan, ako pala yung naulila,” Vice said.
(When I first came here, I thought I was just going to condole like everyone. But a lot of those who arrived came up to me and hugged me and asked how I was. And I realized, I was the one who lost someone. I thought I was going to condole with others, but I also lost someone. )
He then shared about the roles he played in the movies he made with the director. Vice said he was not prepared for the role he was going to play next.
“Ang pinakamahirap na role na binigay mo sa akin, yung role na mamili ng kabaong noon isang araw,” Vice said as he broke into tears. (The hardest role you gave to me was the role to choose a coffin the other day.)
Vice also said that the director was always strict about time.
Vice during his speech before the people of Star Cinema about Direk Wenn. pic.twitter.com/LuhfYxNsrW— alexa villano (@alexavillano) March 3, 2016
Vice then said he made sure that what Deramas was going to wear was suitable. He later got the suit made by designer Avel Bacudio, whose design, according to Vice, the director would have used for the upcoming Guillermo Awards this April.
Deramas had produced many movies with Star Cinema, and on March 3, Star Cinema managing director Malou Santos spoke to ABS-CBN’s Bandila about the director.
“Malaking bahagi si direk Wenn ng Star Cinema kasi sa rami ng pelikulang ginawa niya sa amin, sa lahat ng kinita ng pelikulang binahagi niya sa amin at sa buong kumpanya, at hindi lang sa buong kumpanya, sa lahat ng mga nanonood ng mga pelikula niya sa Star Cinema. Kungbaga kapatid at kapamilya at kaibigan na namin siya,” said Santos.
(Director Wenn was a big part of Star Cinema becuase of the many movies he made with us, all that his movies earned that he gave to us and the company, and not only to the company, to all who watched his movies. He was like our brother, part of the family, a friend.)
Both Vice and Malou have both wondered who in the industry would continue to make Deramas’ signature comedies, which are staples at the annual MMFF.
A few days ago, actor DJ Durano told Bandila, “‘Di ako makapaniwala kasi kailan lang nakaktext na may gagawin kaming proyektong bago.” (I can’t believe it because it was just recently that we were texting about a new project.)
According to the same report, comedian Pokwang was reportedly in tears as she said: “Hindi siya maramot na tao, si direk Wenn, lalong-lalo na sa mga artista na alam niya may kakayanan. Parang feeling ko nawalan ako ng kapatid, nawalan ako ng ate… Aminin natin, tindi, ang laking dagok sa industriya ang pagkawala ng isang Wenn Deramas.”
(He wasn’t a selfish person, director Wenn, epecially to the artists he knew were capable. I feel like I lost a sibling, I lost an older sister… We must admit, it’s severe, it’s a big blow to the industry, the loss of one Wenn Deramas.)
Fellow Star Cinema director shared her memories of the late director with Pep at his wake: “Most of the time talaga, pag nagkikita kami, pinag-uusapan namin anak namin, kasi pareho kami ng anak ng edad… I think we respect each other. Talagang kapag nagkita kami sa Trinoma, papanoorin niya yung pelikula ko, papanoorin ng anak ko yung pelikula niya, so we have that respect para sa isa’t-isa.”
(Most of the time, whenever we saw each other, we would talk about our children, because our kids were the same age… I think we respect each other. Whenever we saw each other at Trinoma, he’ll watch my movie, my kids would watch his, so we have that respect for each other.)
Bernal also praised Deramas, remembering when she was an editor on the movies that he directed: Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita and Mula sa Puso.
Singer and actress Sarah Geronimo worked with Deramas on Hating Kapatid in 2010. She was at the wake with boyfriend Matteo Guidicelli, and spoke to Pep about the late director.
“Isa siya sa mga direktor na nakakakaintindi sa akin bilang baguhan na artista, bilang dalaga na may pinagdadaanan sa buhay nung kami ay nagkatrabaho. So lagi ko siyang naalala as yung very supportive, and siyempre lagi kong maalala yung sense of humor niya.”
(He was one of the directors who understood me as a young artist, as a young woman who was going through things in life while we were working together. So I will always remember hi as very supportive, and of course I’ll always remember his sense of humor.)
Ai-Ai delas Alas, Marvin Agustin, Shaina Magdayao, Gerald Sibayan
Comedian Ai-Ai delas Alas posted a photo of herself with Marvin Agustin, Shaina Magdayao, Gerald Sibayan after they visited the wake.
As seen on Bandila, actress Meryll Soriano tried to hold back her tears when she was asked about Deramas: “Nako, nakakiyak ‘yan. Basta direk Wenn, I love you so much. Sabihin mo na yung punchline diba, [na] hindi totoo itong lahat.
(Oh that will make me cry. Wenn, I love you so much. Just say the punchline, right, that none of this is real.)
“Pinaglaban niyan ako eh (He fought for me). He really believed in me, so I owe him a lot. But the real essence of direk Wenn is really helping out people, and you know, fighting for people na wala namang boses (who don’t have voices).”
In the same report, Luis Manzano said: “He rarely uses a script. Minsan magsusulat siya ng script pero bigla niyang papalitan on the spot, magiging dictation nalang lahat. Second, hindi siya pwede magsulat ng script, kailangan yellow pad with red ink. Red na sign pen. All the time.”
In a separate report from Bandila at the wake, the TV host was asked about his fondest memory of the director. He recounted, “Sa premiere ng Everything About Her, bumili ako ng tubig sa mga nagbebenta. Noong babayaran ko na, sabi ko, ‘Ay, nawala. Hindi ko dala wallet ko.’ Tapos binigyan niya ako ng pambayad. Sabi niya, ‘Ako na ang bahala! Ang dami-dami mong show wala kang singkwenta!’”
(At the premiere of Everything About Her, I bought water from the cinema vendors. When I already had to pay, I said, ‘Oh no, I forgot my wallet’ Then he gave me some money and said, “This one’s on me! You have so many shows, but you don’t even have 50 to spare!”)
Along with his castmates in Moron 5 and the Crying Lady, Luis also told Bandila that he wanted to wear his costume at the necrological service. “Choice ‘yun ni Momski, na to be remembered this way na isang tao na nagpatawa, nagpasaya ng napakaraming tao,” Luis said. (That’s Momski’s choice – to be remembered as a person who made so many people laugh and be happy.)
Comedienne Candy Pangilinan shared with Bandila that Wenn once instructed her during the wake of Cherry Pie Picache’s mother to be happy even upon his death.
“Sabi ko, ‘Direk, Gaano kasaya?’ [He answered] ‘Masayang-masaya.’ Gusto mo ba pagdating ko, gaganun ako, ‘Ha ha ha, patay na si Wenn,’ ganoon ba kasaya? Sabi niya, ‘Gawin mo ‘yan kung hindi, hihilahin ko ang paa mo!’ Pero siyempre, ‘di ko nagawa.”
(I said, ‘Direk, how happy?’ [He answered] ‘Very happy.’ Do you want that when I get to your wake, I’ll be that way, ‘Hahaha, Wenn is dead,’ that happy? He said, ‘You better do it, or else I’ll pull you by your feet!’ But of course, I wasn’t able to do that.)
On March 3, many other celebrities paid tribute to the late director, including KZ Tandingan and Yeng Constantino, who each performed songs.
Vice and KZ Tandingan pic.twitter.com/HikBtyLX3j— alexa villano (@alexavillano) March 3, 2016
MJ Lastimosa, Bea Rose Santiago, Angeline Quinto, Karla Estrada were also seen at the wake that day. James Reid and Nadine Lustre, who starred in Beauty And The Bestie, and Kris Aquino, whose son, Bimby Aquino starred in Deramas’ The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin also visited.
On March 4, Derek Ramsay, Joey Paras, Alwyn Uytingco, Jestoni Alcaron, Beverly Salviejo, Tess Antonio, and Pen Medina paid their respects to the late director as well.
Many industry members have remembered Deramas on social media too. (READ: Stars mourn death of director Wenn Deramas)
Deramas’ wake began on Monday, March 1. He will spend a night at the Dolphy Theater at ABS-CBN’s studios on Saturday. The late director was loyal to the network.
His funeral will be held on Sunday at Himlayang Pilipino, Quezon City. – Rappler.com