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Film and television director Maryo J. delos Reyes, 65

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ACCLAIMED film and television director, Maryo J. delos Reyes passed away Saturday night at the age of 65 after suffering a heart attack in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

“It is with deep sadness that we inform everyone that our beloved Maryo J. delos Reyes passed away at 10 p.m., Jan. 27, 2018. Details of his wake and funeral services to follow,” said Mr. Delos Reyes’ manager, June Rufino, in a statement posted on Twitter by ABS-CBN’s MJ Felipe.

“We have loved him in life, let us not forget him in this time of sorrow,” Ms. Rufino added.

Mr. Delos Reyes, who directed films for almost four decades, was the man behind two films that made a big impact on young people.

His first movie, Viva Films’s coming-of-age movie Bagets (1984) — which starred William Martinez, J.C. Bonin, Herbert Bautista, Raymond Lauchengco, Aga Muhlach, Eula Valdez, Yayo Aguila, and Jobelle Salvador — became a touchstone for that generation.

Then in 2003 he directed Magnifico (2003), a drama about an inspiring, determined boy. The film won the Crystal Bear in the 2004 Berlin Film Festival Children’s Category and Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix for Best Feature Film in the same festival.

Magnifico also won seven of the major FAMAS awards that year (Best Film, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Child Actor, Child Actress, Director, and Story) and another seven awards from the Gawad Urian including Best Film (tied with Ang Babae sa Breakwater by Mario O’ Hara), Direction, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Sound. The film was also given the Best Film of the Decade award by the award-giving body.

Mr. Delos Reyes’ Naglalayag (2004), also won the Special Jury Award in the international competition category at the Brussels International Independent Film Festival held the same year.

His first films were Disco Fever in 1978 and Annie Batungbakal in 1979.

His last film was The Unmarried Wife, released in 2016 from Star Cinema.

Beyond making films, Mr. Delos Reyes also directed a number of TV series including ABS-CBN’s Mga Anghel na Walang Langit (2005-2006) and GMA’s Rosalinda (2009), and Gumapang Ka sa Lusak (2010). He got his start in television in the 1970s, directing Ang Makulay na Daigdig ni Nora.

He was signed on to direct Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka which is set to premiere in February in GMA network’s Afternoon Prime lineup.

Mr. Delos Reyes was the festival director of the ToFarm Film Festival — now going into its third year — which is dedicated to highlighting the plight of the Filipino farmer.

Born on Oct. 17, 1952 in Santa Cruz, Manila, Mr. Delos Reyes was the son of a professor and a civil engineer. He started directing plays in high school at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary and went on to work with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), directing a number of its plays in the 1970s including Tatlong Manyika, Limot at Ligaya sa Rhumbacita, and Artista sa Palengke, aside from working with other groups.

“Thank you so much for the love and trust you gave me and Ice (Aiza Seguerra),” wrote Mary Liza Diño-Seguerra, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairwoman and CEO, in a Facebook post. “Since I started being one of your actresses way back in 2003 and even until now, you have always been there supporting me. When I became FDCP chair, you gave me even more support… You don’t know how much I was strengthened by your support. I learned so much from you every time we talk. It’s sad Direk, we had so many plans in developing the film industry,” she wrote in the vernacular. “This is a big loss. I still can’t believe it. Thank you for everything. Love you, direk. But I know you’re happy because you’re with the people you love,” she added.

“It is a sad day today for Philippine cinema to see the passing of another great movie director, Maryo J. delos Reyes,” wrote actor/politician Richard Gomez on his Facebook page.

“He was my first director in the movie Hindi Mo Ako Kayang Tapakan (1984) that top billed Ms. Charo Santos under Via Hoffman Productions. Direk Maryo shot my first scenes in the movie when I was a young boy together with Anjo Yllana and Nadia Montenegro.

“We will miss you direk. We were just reading a beautifully written script that was sent to me and Pia Campos by your office to consider a part. Sayang I thought we will be able to do one more movie together. We will miss you.” — ZBC