Mark surrounded by family as he dies, 52

Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Except for his son Sid Lucero who was taping for his Kapuso show My Destiny, Mark Gil was surrounded by his parents Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil, sister Cherie Gil and brother Michael de Mesa, and other family members as he quietly closed his eyes with a faint smile on his face as he died at 8 o’clock yesterday morning. It was as if he only waited for Michael who flew in from the States at 5:30 a.m., barely three hours before Mark breathed his last. He was 52. Eddie and Rosemarie arrived also from the States last Saturday.

Mark (born Raphael John Eigenmann) succumbed to liver cancer, which was diagnosed two years ago but was kept secret by the family upon the request of Mark who didn’t want to be pitied if it was made public. He continued appearing on TV even as he kept losing weight, making people wonder what was ailing him. He was hospitalized almost three weeks ago and didn’t recover.

Aside from his immediate family, Mark is survived by his five children, including (aside from Sid) Gabby, Maxine, Ira, Andi and Stevie who were also at his bedside when he died. His widow, Maricar Jacinto (whom he married in March 1995), was also present.

As per his last request, Mark’s remains were cremated yesterday. The wake is being held at the Heritage Park.

Here is the official statement of the family, from Michael:

We, the Eigenmann Family, would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everybody who has shown their concern for Ralph these past few weeks.

It is with much sorrow that we announce that he passed away this morning (Sept. 1) at exactly 8 a.m. He died peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife, Maricar, and surrounded by family.

Ralph was first diagnosed with liver cancer two years ago, but it was only in June of this year that he found out that it was terminal. It was Ralph’s request that this should not be revealed, and we did not question his decision. 

To those who have asked us about his condition, especially his colleagues, the press and fans, we apologize for not being forthright, but we also ask for understanding.?

We would, however, like everyone to know that he spent his last days in comfort and in no pain. In fact, he was in good spirits and humor, and enjoying the presence of his entire family. Even then, he was still bringing us together, as he always has, and we are now all complete.

Until the very end, he was a warrior. Ralph faced death with courage and grace, while still bringing laughter to the room. That was his gift: The ability to make those around him better.

Ralph had told us that he only wanted to spend and cherish the remaining precious days of his life in the company of his family and closest friends.

For the outpouring of love for Ralph that we’ve received on his behalf, we thank you. It is deeply appreciated.

The family has now decided to celebrate Ralph’s life and the man Wednesday, Sept. 3, starting at 10 a.m. at the La Salle Greenhills chapel. We invite all — the friends and anyone who wishes to join us in honoring him. Everyone who loved Ralph is welcome.

For now, we would like to assure everyone that as long as Filipino films are being watched and appreciated, there will always be Mark Gil.

To quote a line from Batch ’81, one of the many movies he made his own, and characteristic of Ralph himself:

“Sa simula’t katapusan ay kapatiran.”












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