Fellow filmmakers, actors pay tribute to Gil Portes

May 25, 2017 - 10:26 AM
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Director Gil Portes in a publicity photo for 'Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli.' Right, on the set with his young associate producer, soon to be a filmmaker himself, Mike E. Sandejas (rightmost).

Shortly after news of the untimely demise of Gil Portes broke out Wednesday night, many of the fellow filmmakers and actors that he worked with posted their respective tributes to the fallen filmmaker.

Directors Guild of the Philippines president Mike E. Sandejas called himself the director’s adopted son and revealed that it was Portes who gave him his first big break in the industry.

“Many years ago, Gil Portes gave a law school dropout a chance to chase his childhood dream of working in the movie industry. He turned him into the youngest producer in the time of 35mm films. Direk Gil expressed his extreme pride in him twice. First when the dropout’s 1st film won in Cinemalaya. The 2nd was when the dropout became president of the directors’ guild. The tears have started to pour out in buckets as the memories have started flooding. I love you Direk. Goodbye and thank you,” Sandejas posted on Facebook.

Sandejas was the associate producer of several of Portes’ films, including the acclaimed “Saranggola” and “Gatas sa Dibdib ng Kaaway,” which were submitted as the Philippines’ official entries to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscars in 1999 and 2001, respectively.

Sandejas went on to direct the award-winning Cinemalaya entries “Tulad ng Dati” and “Dinig Sana Kita.”

Another filmmaker who posted his tribute to Portes was Jose Javier Reyes. “Rest well, Direk Gil Portes. Thank you for the years shared in priceless friendship. Have a safe trip back to our Father,” Reyes posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Another filmmaker who worked closely with Portes was Adolfo Alix, Jr. who posted on Facebook, “Rest in Peace Direk Gil Portes. He opened the doors for me through “Mga Munting Tinig” in 2002. Thank you Direk. You are always part of my success as a filmmaker. My prayers and condolences to his family.”

In addition to “Mga Munting Tinig,” Alix also co-wrote the screenplays of Portes’ “Beautiful Life” and “Homecoming,” which also starred Alessandra de Rossi.

The actress was a favorite of Portes, having appeared in many of his films which also included “Mga Munting Tinig,” “Barcelona,” and “Liars.”

De Rossi posted her heartfelt gratitude to Portes on Instagram.

Salamat.

A post shared by Alessandra De Rossi. EVER. (@alessderossi) on

Indie film actress Althea Vega who worked with Portes in “Two Funerals” and “Bayang Magiliw posted on Facebook, “2015 nung huli tayo nag usap at nag kape pa tayo sa Makati. Nitong taon, Mayo 17 ng alas dyes ng umaga bigla ako nag text sayo dahil naalala lang kita. Lilisan kana pala…Salamat sa tiwala at binigyan mo ako ng pag kakataon na makatrabaho ka sa Pelikulang Two Funerals at Bayang Magiliw. Rest in Peace Direk Gil Portes. Out of country ako bukas, hindi na kita madalaw. Paalam po. #rip #peace #love #filmdirector.”

Seasoned actress Elizabeth Oropesa, who headlined Portes’ last finished film, “Moonlight Over Baler,” posted a teary-eyed illustrated image of herself on Facebook and captioned it, PAALAM DIREK GIL PORTES. Tayo ang magkasama sa huling pilikula mo. Ikinalulungkot kong nagkatotoo ang sinabi ko. PAHinga ka na. Hindi ka namin malilimutan.”