Seasoned film and theater actor Bernardo Bernardo is asking for prayers as doctors have found a potentially life-threatening tumor in his pancreas.
In a Facebook post last Friday, the 72-year-old actor shared the findings of a series of lab tests taken at the UST Hospital last month.
“[M]y pancreas is swollen because of a tumor, possibly malignant, growing in the head of the pancreas…I have lost my appetite for food and, consequently, lost a lot of weight at an alarming rate in such a short span of time,” Bernardo wrote.
The actor added that he was scheduled to undergo one or two procedures that would determine if the tumor is malignant and requires treatment.
“We will deal with the abnormal growth of tissue next. One step at a time. One day at a time…That’s the ‘In The Moment’ Snap Shot of my medical prognosis, thus far,” he further shared.
Bernardo admitted that his ailment involves “very real pain and fear of the unknown.”
“[T]he hidden costs of this medical journey that has put me in Controlled Panic Mode. I know that in order to continue to fight this battle — I need Courage. I need Strength. I need Clarity of Mind…Which is why, heart to heart, my friends, I hope you will find time to say a little prayer for me.”
Following the revelation, friends of the actor have organized “To BB with Love,” a fund-raising dinner at Salu Restaurant in Quezon City on January 14. The P1,000 per person dinner buffet will also feature entertainment from Bernardo’s friends.
Already a respectable theater actor when he transitioned to films in the mid-1970s, Bernardo went on to win his first Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Manay Sharon in Ishmael Bernal’s “Manila By Night” (also titled “City After Dark”).
After several more movies where he got typecast in gay roles, Bernardo was cast in what is probably his best role — as Dolphy’s nemesis Steve Carpio in the hit sitcom “Home Along Da Riles” and its subsequent movie offshoots.
He migrated to the United States during the early 2000s but it was during this period when he started to lose several members of his immediate family (mother, brother, sister) as well as adopted son and close friends. A period of depression led to a diagnosis of mild bipolar disorder which was subsequently treated.
More than 10 years later, he returned to the country and started doing theater and film projects again starting in 2014 with Nick Olanka’s indie drama “Ronda” starring Ai-Ai delas Alas.
This was followed by Lawrence Fajardo’s “Imbisibol,” which won him his second Gawad urian Best Supporting Actor award.
Bernardo was recently seen in the role of Don Alvaro in the Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture “Ang Larawan,” which is still currently showing in theaters.