The past few weeks of this month of June has been a harrowing time for 90-year-old veteran Filipino actor Eddie Garcia, his family and friends. It started on the 8th when he suffered a bad tumble while on the set of his latest urban fantasy soap on GMA 7. Rushed unconscious to Makati Medical Center, he was placed on intensive care in what was originally reported as a heart attack, but was actually a neck fracture sustained from his fall, which led to a coma. His being indisposed however has not stopped Garcia from winning a new accolade in the recently concluded Gawad Urian Awards.
CNN Philippines reports that this Tuesday, June 18, the Gawad Urian honored Eddie Garcia as Best Actor for his role in Cinemalaya indie film “ML.” Garcia portrays an Alzheimer’s-affected retired police colonel and Martial Law-era interrogator that abducts and tortures a visiting college researcher and his friends after perceiving them as anti-Marcos student activists. As the actor is still laid up at the Makati Medical Center, “ML” director Benedict Mique received the Urian on his behalf during the awarding ceremony. He later proceeded to the MMC where he left the award with Garcia, snapping a photo of the comatose actor’s hand with a rosary and lightly grasping the Urian award.
In a later interview, Mique noted the highly emotional atmosphere at the MMC ICU where Garcia was confined. The actor was surrounded at his bedside by his partner Lilibeth Romero, their children and grandchildren, and several family friends, and they were greatly moved by the “ML” director’s presentation of the Gawad Urian for Best Actor to them, before it was put on Garcia’s bed with his hand on it. “We were all happy and sad at the same time,” he said. “We were also hoping that he can hear us when we spoke to him.”
Eddie Garcia has a storied career in Philippine showbiz that has lasted for around 70 years, acting in movies and television, as well as directing and producing for the former. Even in his later years he was an imposing and active presence that made him viable for action scenes, such as his most recent TV appearance on ABS-CBN’s “Ang Probinsyano.” His GMA7 show, “Rosang Agimat,” is a “telefantasya” with elements of action that Garcia has always been at home with.
The actor remains in critical condition at the Makati Medical Center, on ventilator and blood pressure medication. Garcia’s family has also signed a “Do Not Resuscitate” agreement for him, mandating that MMC medical personnel are not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to revive the movie legend in the event his breathing or heartbeat should stop.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News