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MANILA, Philippines – Friends, relatives, and celebrities took to social media to pay their tributes to dear friend and showbiz icon Cherie Gil, who died on Friday, August 5 at the age of 59.
The veteran Filipina actress – who played Lavinia Arguelles in 1985’s Bituing Walang Ninging known for the iconic line, “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!” – is fondly remembered by many for being a true friend, the sweetest person, and a one-of-a-kind icon in the industry.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Sharon Cuneta shared a photo of her at the hospital bedside of Cherie during her last moments. Sharon, who flew to New York, said she was hanging on to a “sliver of hope” that God would perform a miracle and allow Cherie to pull through. She said she was “eternally grateful to Him for giving [them] the few hours [they] spent together” and the love and words exchanged in person. Sharon and Cherie both starred in Bituing Walang Ningning.
Sharon expresed her grief over knowing that she would never see her friend again, that she still couldn’t process it, and that it seemed so unfair. “I will never be the same without you. I told you that you had to fight, please, because you couldn’t leave me and that you were my partner, that there is no one like you…. You said yes. But God took you home; took all your pain away,” Sharon said.
“My heart is in pieces again and now I don’t how to put it back together anymore-because among the many loved ones I have lost these past few years, you were and always will be one of my most loved…a most important part of my life and my history. Of my heart. I love you so very much. It is the end of an era now that you’ve left us…. What will I do without you now, Love?” Sharon added.
Actor Gabby Eigenmann, Cherie’s nephew, posted a set of lively throwback photos of his beloved tita, which he said was difficult to do.
“You guys are together again. I love you with all my heart. Thank you Lord for sharing them with us. I love you TITA,” wrote Gabby, the son of Cherie’s late brother, actor Mark Gil.
Actress Sunshine Cruz posted a set of photos with Cherie on Facebook. She said that it was “an honor” working with her in the 2016 series Dolce Amore.
“A really sad day for the industry. RIP Ms. Cherie Gil. Sending heartfelt condolences to the whole Eigenmann family,” Sunshine said.
Sid Lucero, who confirmed the news of his aunt’s passing, posted a photo of her on Instagram with the caption: “I love you. Big hug. #Bugluv.”
Actor Dennis Trillo, Cherie’s co-star on GMA-7’s Legal Wives, also paid tribute to his good friend, who played Zaina Macadato on the show.
“Paalam Inakolay…” he wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo of one of their scenes together.
Zsa Zsa Padilla
Actress and Ika-13 Kapitulo co-star Zsa Zsa Padilla reminisced about the times she worked with her dear friend Cherie, and the last time they saw each other at Antonio’s Tagaytay. She remembered how “beautiful and vibrant” Cherie was on her golden birthday, and how “wonderful it was to be in [her] company.”
“You danced the tango and I remember thinking, this woman can do anything she puts her heart into! You were always so passionate and full of life! That’s how I will always remember you, Cherie, my Gemini sister! I miss you, my beautiful friend. Until we meet again,” Zsa Zsa wrote.
Cherie’s Magpakailanman co-star Gabbi Garcia hailed her as one of the best actors she’s worked with, and called Friday, August 5, such a “sad, sad day for the industry.”
“I will forever treasure this. Truly an honor. So heartbreaking. I’m so honored to have been able to work with a legend. Rest in Power,” she wrote.
Singer and friend Pops Fernandez posted throwback photos of her, Cherie, and Jim Paredes in various goofy costumes.
Jon Lucas, who co-starred with Cherie on Tadhana, paid tribute to the “one of a kind” Cherie.
“She was something, not a second-rate, not trying hard, never a copycat,” he wrote, and expressed his condolences to the whole family.
Cherie also starred in Filipino classics such as Manila by Night in 1980, and Oro, Plata, Mata in 1982.
After taking an 11-year break from showbiz in 1994 to focus on her family, Cherie made her comeback in the film Sugatang Puso, which earned her the Best Supporting Actress award at the Metro Manila Film Festival. In 2018, she appeared briefly in the film Citizen Jake, for which she got her first Gawad Urian Award.
During the pandemic, she became an acting mentor, giving online masterclasses for aspiring and experienced actors. In February 2022, she revealed that she left the Philippines to move to New York and be with her kids.
Cherie had been receiving treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. – Rappler.com