Scriptwriter Jake Tordesillas passes away

June 30, 2017 - 10:30 AM
Jake Tordesillas. (Photo from his Facebook page)

Film and television scriptwriter Joaquin “Jake” Tordesillas passed away Friday, June 30.

GMA network senior vice president for entertainment Lilybeth Rasonable made the announcement on Facebook early Friday but did not state the cause of death.

Tordesillas was a creative consultant for the Kapuso network.

“[A]lmost 2 years ago, [J]ake had an unfortunate accident that resulted in a knee surgery. this has caused him extreme pain—not only physically but emotionally as well…furthermore, [J]ake underwent both physical rehabilitation and psychotherapy. [W]hen the excruciating pain continued, he got depressed and had to take personal leaves of absence from his work,” Rasonable wrote in the same post that was soon deleted.

Tordesillas started his career in 1979 when he was credited for the screenplay of Maryo J. delos Reyes’ critically acclaimed coming-of-age film, “High School Circa ’65.” From then on, he continued to collaborate with Delos Reyes in a series of comedy and musicals that starred Superstar Nora Aunor including “Annie Batungbakal,” “Bongga Ka ‘Day,” and “Rock n’ Roll.”

His longtime partnership with Delos Reyes continued throughout the 1980s and well into the 1990s. While majority of the films he penned were lighthearted comedies that also included his biggest critical and commercial success in “Bagets,” Tordesillas also ventured into more ambitious dramatic fare with films like “Don’t Cry for Me, Papa,” “Tagos ng Dugo,” “My Other Woman,” and “Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik,” which he co-wrote with Jose Javier Reyes and won the Young Critics Circle award for Best Screenplay.

Outside of Delos Reyes with whom he last collaborated on “Nandito Ako…Nagmamahal sa Yo” in 2009, Tordesillas also wrote for only three other film directors, namely Joey Gosiengfiao (“Tender Age”), Ike Jarlego, Jr. (“Proboys”) and Don Escudero (“Taguan”). All three filmmakers have already passed on.

On television, Tordesillas was known for his lengthy stints with ABC5 (now TV5), ABS-CBN and GMA Network.

As creative manager for ABC5, he shepherded hit shows like “Tropang Trumpo,” “Love Notes,” Eezy Dancing,” and “Wow Mali.” On ABS-CBN, Tordesillas was also the creative manager for series like “Maria Flordeluna” and “Banana Split” (now “Banana Sundae”).

After transferring to GMA in 2011, Tordesillas worked as creative manager for shows like “Amaya,” “Legacy,” the groundbreaking “My Husband’s Lover,” and “Magpakailanman.”

“Deeply saddened by the passing of brilliant screenwriter Jake Tordesillas. Thank you Sir Jake, not only did you share with us your genius, you did so with such kindness and sincerity. You will truly be missed by so many of us,” posted filmmaker and screenwrite Jun Robles Lana.

Industry colleagues who worked with Tordesillas at one point or another posted their tributes on social media upon learning of his passing.

On Facebook, GMA scriptwriter Suzette Doctolero posted, “Gentle. Soft spoken. Generous. Great soul. I will miss you. Paalam, sir Jake.”

Entertainment editor Nestor Cuartero wrote, “PASSERBY: Jake Tordesillas was a gentleman, soft spoken, mild mannered. Goodbye to a fine writer and good friend.”

In her earlier post, Rasonable also revealed that the remains of Tordesillas can be viewed at the Loyola Memorial Chapel starting this Friday at 5PM. Funeral service information will be announced later.