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Celso Ad Castillo dies at 69
The director has reportedly been 'battling disease' for quite some time

FAREWELL, 'MESSIAH.' Celso Ad Castillo (middle) with Rayver Cruz and Aiko Melendez. Image from the director's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Veteran Filipino director Celso Ad Castillo died on November 26 due to heart attack.

He was declared dead on arrival at 3am at Pakil General Hospital in Siniloan, Laguna, according to Interaksyon.

Ad Castillo is dubbed the “enfant terrible” and “The Messiah” of Philippine cinema. His films were akin to American director David Lean’s sweeping epics.

The director in a photo with his youngest, Roxanne, posted on his Facebook page last November 6

Among Ad Castillo’s most memorable classics are Paradise Inn (starring Vivian Velez and the now-reclusive drama great Lolita Rodriguez), Burlesk Queen (featuring Vilma Santos’ iconic “dance of death” scene), Virgin People (starring Myrna Castillo and Pepsi Paloma) and Pagputi ng Uwak… Pag-itim ng Tagak.

Director Elwood Perez relayed the news of his colleague and contemporary’s passing to Rappler. According to Perez, Ad Castillo was to be part of the 12 Masters Film Festival scheduled for 2013.

Here are some posts we found in Celso Ad Castillo’s Facebook page:

Posted by Andrew Leavold

Posted by Celsokid Castle

At the time of Ad Castillo’s death, he was on post-production work for his entry, a horror movie, a return of sorts to one of the genres he dabbled in in his long and quite illustrious career as a filmmaker (think Maligno and Patayin sa Sindak Si Barbara). 

He was also set to launch an autobiography.

Gorio Vicuna posted this video in the director’s Facebook page:

“I remember you telling this at our directing class… To achieve immortality: Make a child, plant a tree, MAKE A MOVIE,” posted his former student, Christiane Camat.

Siniloan, Laguna is also Ad Castillo’s birthplace. According to ABS-CBN, his family plans to bring his remains there. –


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