Rene Requiestas lives again on Maalaala
() - January 22, 2004 - 12:00am
He made us laugh in movies like Starzan, Pido Dida, Elvis and James, Long Ranger and Tonton, and many of the biggest comedy hits of the early ’90s. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Rene Requiestas made the world far less funny for his sudden passing on July 24, 1993. Nearly 11 years after his death, ABS-CBN re-acquaints its viewers with the true story of one of the most unforgettably funny people in Philippine cinema history when it features another unique comedian, Long Mejia. The Rene Requiestas Story will be replayed tonight in Maalaala Mo Kaya.

Rene was an unforgettable presence with his large eyes, gap-toothed smile, and impeccable comic timing. But decades before the rest of the Philippines met Rene Requiestas the comedian, he was a struggling theater actor from UP who had his heart set on making a career for himself as a serious actor. Poverty was his biggest hurdle – Rene had to take odd jobs as a messenger and construction worker to fend for his brothers and sisters living in Taguig’s Tenement Village in the middle of looking for acting jobs . But after impressing Ishmael Bernal, Behn Cervantes, Tony Espejo, Bien Lumbera, Tony Mabesa and Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Rene got his first break as a member of Diaz-Abaya’s Sic O’Clock News’ repertory of performers. Constantly cast as the hapless Juan de la Cruz, Rene became a familiar face to many viewers of the satirical "newscast."

His biggest break, however, came from a generous gesture by Joey de Leon, who fought to get Rene cast in their first film together, She-Man. The movie broke existing records by earning P100 million in its run. Their next film, Starzan was an even bigger hit, and from then on Joey and Rene were the most unbeatable comedy team of the late ’80s to early ’90s.

Eventually, Rene became such a bankable name that he was handpicked to become the first-ever leading man for Kris Aquino, who made her film debut with Rene in the smash Pido Dida.

But what were the demons that continued to follow Rene even after he became a box office success? What price did he pay? And what were the reasons for his sudden death at the young age of 37?

Charo Santos-Concio hosts while Long Mejia plays Rene Requiestas on Maaalala Mo Kaya on ABS-CBN.

BEHN CERVANTES BIEN LUMBERA CHARO SANTOS-CONCIO CLOCK NEWS ISHMAEL BERNAL JOEY AND RENE KRIS AQUINO LONG MEJIA PIDO DIDA RENE RENE REQUIESTAS
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