Actor Eddie Garcia poses with his Best Actor award at the 7th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong in this March 18, 2013 photo.
Eddie Garcia, beloved actor-director, 90
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Twelve days after suffering a bad fall on the set of a TV series, veteran actor Eddie Garcia died yesterday in a Makati hospital. He was 90.

The prognosis had not been good, but family, friends and fans of Garcia were hoping against hope, and praying that he would recover from injuries that he sustained from a fall on the set of the GMA TV series Rosang Agimat in Tondo last June 8.

Yesterday at 4:55 p.m., Garcia was declared dead at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), attached to a respirator that his family decided not to remove, and put on DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) status. He died from complications of “cervical vertebrae fracture,” MMC spokesman Dr. Tony Rebosa said.

According to the MMC medical bulletin prepared by Dr. Artemio Cabrera Salvador, head of the Patient Relations Department-Quality Management Division, “Mr. Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Garcia passed away today, June 20, at 4:55 p.m. We join the entire Filipino community in praying for the soul of Mr. Garcia and his dearly beloved family and friends. We extend our deepest condolence to the Garcia family.”

Lillibeth Romero was reported to have been at the ICU of MCC when Garcia breathed his last. Romero was Garcia’s partner for 33 years.

In her first and only interview (with The STAR) a few days after the accident, Romero said that Garcia instantly died during the fall, declared DOA (Dead On Arrival) at the nearby Mary Johnston Hospital where he was revived.

Although she said she wasn’t blaming anybody, Romero said that the accident could have been prevented had there been a medical team on standby at the set. Mostly bystanders lifted Garcia from the street and carried him to the taxi for the 20-minute drive to hospital.

At MCC where he was transferred from Mary Johnston, Garcia was declared in “Glasgow scale 3 coma, the lowest rating” (highest is 15) and never regained consciousness. According to the latest medical bulletin a day before he died, Garcia was showing “minimal brain activity.”

During the press conference of Bwakaw, one of Garcia’s last movies for which he won best actor in the Cinemalaya film festival, Garcia mentioned in passing that if he died, he wanted to be cremated right away and his ashes scattered around Manila Bay with no more wake.

Asked if Garcia left a will, Lillibeth said he did not.

Garcia won several awards for Best Director and Best Actor, the latest from the Gawad Urian for his performance in ML as retired Metrocom officer whose Alzheimer’s put him forever in a martial law realm. 

Among his last movies was Rainbow Sunset in the Metro Manila Film Festival last year, which got the lion’s share of awards. One of his first was Siete Infantes de Lara directed by Manuel Conde in 1950, now part of the canon of Philippine cinema.

At press time yesterday, the family was still deciding whether to hold the wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City, or at The Heritage in Taguig City.

Here’s the GMA statement on Garcia’s demise:

GMA Network deeply mourns the passing of veteran actor Eduardo “Eddie” Verchez Garcia.

“Manoy,” as he is fondly called, will be greatly missed by his family, loved ones, co-workers and fans.

An accomplished and respected actor and director, he was a movie icon and an industry pillar who has touched so many lives in the Philippine entertainment industry. He left behind a legacy of professionalism, dedication and love for his craft.

The Kapuso Network joins his family and the whole entertainment industry in mourning his passing.

Former president and outgoing Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada was saddened by the death of his fellow actor.

Estrada said Garcia’s death was a big loss to the Philippine movie industry.

“He is among the few who are my long-time friends in the showbiz industry. He was one of my closest friends. It was big loss for the movie industry and it saddened me and my fellow movie actors and actresses,” Estrada said.  With Jose Rodel Clapano, Robertzon Ramirez

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