LIST: Filipino celebrity deaths this 2023

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
LIST: Filipino celebrity deaths this 2023
Ronaldo Valdez
STAR / file

MANILA, Philippines — Apart from a year full of break-ups, the Philippines saw in 2023 some beloved individuals depart from this life, many of which touched the hearts of Filipinos in some capacity.

Throughout the year Filipinos mourned the deaths of several local celebrities, here are a few of them who passed away this 2023.

Lualhati Bautista 

The Women’s rights activist and novelist passed away last February 11, confirmed by one of her grandchildren in a social media post. Bautista was 77 years old. 

"With her ideals and advocacies all beyond reproach always with the intent of advancing the social consciousness especially about women's rights and toppling the macho-feudal society we collectively live in," Xyril Salazar wrote.

Bautista — an activist known for writing on stories of abuse and life under dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s Martial Law and after his fall in 1986 — penned "Dekada 70", "Desaparesidos", "'GAPÔ," and "Bata, Bata...Pa'no Ka Ginawa?" 

John Regala

The seasoned character actor who starred in a number of '90s films died last June. 

His wife Victoria Scherrer said he died of cardiac arrest due to liver and kidney complications at the New Era General Hospital.

She added that Regala had been "under critical care for three weeks until he expired."

In the 1990s, he became known mostly as the antagonist of action films with film credits that include "Alyas Baby Face," "Primitivo Ebok Ala: Kalaban Mortal ni Baby Ama," "The Vizconde Massacre: God, Help Us!," and "Batas Ko ay Bala."

Mario Dumaual

The veteran ABS-CBN showbiz reporter passed away last July several days shy of his 65th birthday.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of Mario Dumaual — Papa to his wife Cherie and children Luigi, Miguel, Maxine, William, and Thessa; Wowo to his grandchildren Sky, Alonzoe, and Tali; and Yayo to his siblings," one of Dumaual's family members posted on his Facebook account at the time. 

Dumaual had been battling a severe fungal infection, a complication during his recovery from a heart attack. Before his passing he was confined for a month at the Philippine Heart Center.

Ricky Rivero

The actor and comedian also passed away last July, as confirmed by his sister Beverly Salvador-Quintela. He was 51 years old.

Two months earlier, the actor was hospitalized at the Philippine Heart Center with his body slightly paralyzed.

Apart from starring in movies, Rivero was also a mainstay host of "That's Entertainment" from 1986 to 1996. 

JM Canlas

Actors Elijah and Jerom Canlas' youngest brother JM died last August 3 aged 17

On Jerom's Facebook account, the family announced the passing of the young actor who appeared in the indie movies "Kiko Boksingero" and "ANi" as well as the TV series "Unconditional."

"JM, as he was known to many, was a talented actor, athlete, musician, singer, debater, and gamer. He was always a proud Filipino with a bias and compassion for the poor and oppressed," Jerom wrote. "But most of all, JM will forever be remembered as an incredible young man, son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, student, and friend."

Mike Enriquez

The veteran broadcast journalist passed away at the end of August, a month shy of his 72nd birthday.

During the Aug. 29, 2023 broadcast of "24 Oras," reporters Mel Tiangco, Vicky Morales, and Emil Sumangil all wore black and dark-colored outfits to pay their respects for their deceased colleague.

At the end of the broadcast, Tiangco announced GMA's statement of Enriquez's passing and his history with the network, her voice breaking as she read it off-camera.

Enriquez is best known for his long stint with GMA reporting on the news and public affairs programs "Saksi," "24 Oras," "Super Radyo DZBB" and "Imbestigador," the latter he hosted himself.

Viewers will never forget Enriquez's iconic voice that blurted out statements like "Hindi ko kayo tatantanan!" and "Excuse me po!"

Joey Paras

The comedian passed away at the age of 45 last October 29, confirmed by his niece Zciara Shyne Sinchon-Fabian

On Facebook, Sinchon-Fabian mentioned that Paras' heart "wasn't able to recover anymore."

Seven years ago Paras revealed he had a heart condition was advised to take more resting time.

"Yung contraction ng heart ko, hindi na ganoon ka-powerful, so hindi na niya nasu-supply yung oxygen sa ibang parte ng katawan," he said at the time.

Sammy Manese

The social media personality died last November, announced by his sister Bea.

"May he be remembered for all the joy and laughter he shared with everyone," Bea said.

The family did not initially disclose a reason behind Manese's death, though in 2021 his brother revealed in a YouTube video that Manese was rushed to the hospital due to a heart condition.

Kokoi Baldo

The singer and contestant of "The Voice of the Philippines" Season 2 passed away during the early hours of December 8. He was 44 years old.

Aksyon Radyo Bacolod reported during its "Aksyon Balita Morning Edition" that Baldo was involved in a vehicular accident along Bacolod City's Circumferential Road past midnight.

Citing initial police reports, the radio show mentioned that Baldo was attempting to overtake a car around 1:30 a.m. on his motorcycle when he lost control and was run over by a 10-wheeler truck carrying sugarcane.

Ronaldo Valdez

The Quezon City Police District confirmed the death of Valdez earlier this month. The cause of his death has yet to be officially disclosed.

Valdez had been in the showbiz industry for six decades. Among his last prominent roles was "Lolo Sir" in the hit teleserye "2 Good 2 Be True" that stars Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. 

The actor was known for his movies "Seven Sundays," "Labs Kita Okay Ka Lang," and "The Mistress," among others.

He is survived by his son Janno Gibbs and daughter Melissa Gibbs.

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