Eight most recent celebrated deaths in showbiz

TOWARD the end of October and beginning of November saw some humans in the realm of showbiz (or their relatives ) moving to another dimension, namely but not necessarily in this order:

1. LEO RABAGO, top commercial model of his time. He was in the play “Hada Around The World,” a Balintataw Film & Theater Arts production which I directed for Cynthia Sol’s dinner show in Angeles City some years back along with Juan Rodrigo and Frannie Zamora in the lead and produced by colleague Eddie Littlefield.

Cynthia Sol by the way was “Talentadong Pinoy” weekly winner who at 63 can perk up her quick jazz routine with split flip-flap flat on the floor for all she cares.

Leo, appeared in some of Regal movies. I got wind of his demise only lately through stage and TV actor Loy Oladive, one of stage director Ces Aldaba’s pool of competent talents.

2. VIC SABADO, semi-retired movie reporter aka “shoulder bag” beauty along with Roland Lerum and Obet Serrano. That monicker stayed because they go around showbiz milieu carrying the ubiquitous shoulder bag. The same manner that movie reporters Ronald Carballo, Tonee Coraza, New York-based Phillip Garcia and the dear departed Devi Jemenea used to be known as “Gogo reporters” writing for the trailblazing Jingle Extra Hot fan magazine where I did also a column.

Vic was in the original cast of “Movie Reporters On The Loose” which I directed and premiered at Camelot Hotel and moved to Makati.

3. DIRECTOR BOOTS PLATA, the husband of talent manager Dolor Guevarra. Direk Boots is well-known and esteemed as a homegrown, competent movie director having come from the clan of showbiz greats like the veteran and famous actress Patria Plata.

4. LOREN BANAG, a giant name in the entertainment publishing industry, both for tabloids and broadsheets.

From being the editor of Jingle Sensation fan mag (sister publication of the top fan mag that time Jingle Extra Hot), Loren put up the phenomenal Mariposa Publication with Paparazzi/Juicy host at present Cristy Fermin editing scores of fan mags to come out simultaneously in a week. That was really tough.

He came out with a tabloid Daily Libangan for some years later of which I was one of his columnists. Loren is survived by the tabloid Tiktik.

5. RUDY FUENTES, favorite haute couture designer among celebs. Well-known for discovering Maria Isabel Lopez of Bb. Pilipinas fame. He was popularly known as Mama Rudy in showbiz. I remember having to visit Mama Rudy in his salon near GMA-7 compound. He was the discoverer of Allan Paule before Director Lino Brocka gave Allan the break via “Macho Dancer.”

6. RAM REVILLA, the grandson of a good friend of ours and former movie star Lyn Madrigal. I got to know a little of Ram when he was but a teener willing to join Tom Adrales’ annual search for commercial models called Circle of Ten of which I was its acting workshop facilitator. Lyn took Ram in that contest, but backed out due to scheduling problems. Lyn did not exactly play the doting stage grandma to Ram.

7. CHARICE PEMPENGCO’S DAD, we got to know him as Charice’ dad and all from tabloid fodders.

8. VIC JOSE, veteran radio commentator who used to be Viva’s consultant. I met him through Inday Badiday and Director Deo J. Fajardo, Jr. In more ways than one we became friends and we call each other thru first name basis. He died of cardiac arrest at the Heart Center right in the bed where the mother of former child movie/TV actor & commercial model Carlos De Leon (“High School Circa ’65,”  etc.)  Lolita De Leon was accommodated due to heart failure. Carlos’s mom went through successful angioplasty and is now in the pink of health.

To all the aforementioned dear departed, our prayers that you may all rest in eternal repose with God’s loving embrace. Dust to dust, and back to where we ought to belong, the promise of infinite paradise. And the coming to full circle in life on earth’s journey.  We will miss you just the same.

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