MANILA, Philippines – Acclaimed Negrense filmmaker, scriptwriter, and actor Peque Gallaga died on Thursday, May 7 at the age of 76, leaving behind an award-winning legacy both in the Philippines and abroad.
The loss of one of Philippine cinema’s greats, who was known for films like Oro Plata Mata, Scorpio Nights, and Magic Temple, hit many friends and fans hard as they remembered Gallaga’s work through the decades, and his impact on their lives.
Liway director Kip Oebanda paid tribute to Gallaga on social media, mourning the loss of “one of the greatest of all time.”
We lost one of the greatest of all time. 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.— Kip Oebanda (@kipoebanda) May 7, 2020
Anne Curtis-Smith, who played Princess Dahlia in Gallaga’s Magic Kingdom said “it breaks my heart knowing that he won’t get to meet my own little Dahlia.” Dahlia is the name of Anne’s daughter with husband Erwan.
“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,” she added.
Zsa Zsa Padilla posted a throwback behind-the-scenes photo taken during the filming of Gallaga’s 1988 film From Hiwaga Sa Balete Drive.
“Took his photo while he was giving me instructions for one scene. Maraming salamat, Peque Gallaga,” she wrote.
From Hiwaga Sa Balete Drive. Took his photo while he was giving me instructions for one scene. Maraming salamat, Peque Gallaga. pic.twitter.com/f7jTekfsIY
From Hiwaga Sa Balete Drive. Took his photo while he was giving me instructions for one scene. Maraming salamat, Peque Gallaga. pic.twitter.com/f7jTekfsIY— zsa zsa padilla (@zsazsapadilla) May 7, 2020
Actor Jake Ejercito also recalled two of his “childhood faves,” which were directed by the “great Peque Gallaga.”
I know he made a number of more notable films, but these 2 were my childhood faves. RIP to the great Peque Gallaga pic.twitter.com/vRUVn0hLbI— Jake Ejercito (@unoemilio) May 7, 2020
Actress Agot Isidro also remembered Direk Peque by with a sweet black and white photo.
Director Pepe Diokno also paid his respects to the “generous” Direk Peque, calling him “larger than life and unapologetic.” The young director said he wanted to “be like him one day.”
In my first job as a newspaper writer, I got to meet and interview Peque Gallaga. He was larger than life and unapologetic, and I wanted to be like him one day. Years later, as I was struggling w/ my first film, he took my call and gave me advice. He was so generous. RIP, Direk.
In my first job as a newspaper writer, I got to meet and interview Peque Gallaga. He was larger than life and unapologetic, and I wanted to be like him one day. Years later, as I was struggling w/ my first film, he took my call and gave me advice. He was so generous. RIP, Direk.— Pepe Diokno (@PepeDiokno) May 7, 2020
Solenn Heussaff, who starred in Gallaga’s 2013 movie Seduction, also thanked Direk “for always believing in me and being the best teacher I could ask for.”
“I will forever be your fan in all aspects of your art and the great human being you are. RIP, I love you,” she wrote.
Batang X actor Janus Del Prado also shared a throwback photo series of him and Gallaga.
Judy Ann Santos also paid tribute to Direk Gallaga, sharing that he will always have a “special place” in her heart, and that she “will forever be grateful for the chance” to have worked with him. She starred in 2014’s version of T’yanak.
Jacyln Jose, who was part of Gallaga’s 1998 comedy Puso ng Pasko, said that she “will always remember your compassion, your smile.”
Director Antoinette Jadaone wrote a lengthy tribute post about her memories with Direk Peque, in the end thanking him for his memory, that will forever “live with us.”
“Mula sa isang fan-turned-forever fan. There will never be another,” she wrote.
Actress Sandy Andolong, who starred in Oro, Plata, Mata wrote: “To one of the greatest directors I’ve had the honor working with, thank you direk Peque Gallaga. Praying for peace & comfort for the Gallaga family.”
Actress Cherry Pie Picache said: “My heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and to everyone who has been touched by his love and generosity.”
Cherie Gil, who starred in Oro, Plata, Mata and Sonata said that she became the actress she is because of Gallaga.
“It’s like a whole era has passed for me … my life as an actor has died along with him too… I am who I am as an actor because of him,” she said on Facebook account.
“How timely that both his films, the first being the epic ORO PLATA MATA and his last SONATA are now streaming. I was part of both. Like a beautiful message being sent. A full circle we both had gone through together.
“I will miss you Peque. But fly as big and wide as your wings can take you in the same way you always have here with us.”