Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Carlo J. Caparas: ‘Pack up na Direk’

The Freeman

Comic strip writer and director Carlo J. Caparas, 80, has passed away. His daughter Peach Caparas confirmed her father’s demise and wrote an ode to the director on Facebook. The director’s cause of death has yet to be revealed as of this writing.

Titled “Sa Bawat Tipa ng Makinilya”, Caparas’ daughter looked back on her father’s achievements as a writer who had created some of the most memorable characters on comic strips and films. She added a note for her late father: “Dad, you will forever be loved, cherished, and honored…by all of us.”

“Halos umaga na, sa libliban ng Ugong / isang makinilya, pilitang binabasag ang katahimikan roon / Isang mananalaysay ng kwento ng buhay, nilalabanan ang antok, nagsusunog ng kilay / Sa kanyang taglay na brilyo mga obra maestrang nobela kanyang nabuo /Panday, Pieta, Elias Paniki, Bakekang, Totoy Bato ang ilan lamang sa mga ito…” wrote Peach, the youngest of Caparas’ two children with Lapu-Lapu City native and film producer Donna Villa (real name: Marian Patalinjug) who succumbed to cancer in 2017.

“Sa larangan ng komiks siya ang naghari, naging bahagi ng kultura, naging yaman ng lahi / Umabot sa lona ng pinilakang tabing, hinangaan, pinalakpakan ng bayang magiting. Subalit buhay ay sadyang may wakas…/ Pack up na Direk / Oras na ng uwian / Hayaang kasaysayan ang humusga sa iyong mga obra /Salamat Direk Carlo J. sa mga dibuho at istorya / Mga istoryang nabuo sa bawat tipa ng iyong makinilya…”

In the comments section of her Facebook post, Peach said that her father’s wake will start on Monday, May 27, from 12 p.m. to 12 midnight at the Golden Haven Memorial Chapels and Crematorium in Las Piñas City.

Caparas created some of the enduring popular fictional characters, including Panday (with artist Steve Gan), Bakekang, Joaquin Bordado and Totoy Bato. Many of his characters were made into TV shows and films.

In a 2018 interview with The FREEMAN to promote her directorial debut via “Jacqueline Comes Home” – about the controversial real-life rape and double murder 1997 case of the Chiong sisters in Cebu – which the elder Caparas also co-directed, she shared how her famous father dissuaded her from going to film school.

“I see that now,” she had said. “Sometimes, people who went to film school think that they’re better than the ones who actually work in the industry. They tend to have the same kind of style. There’s not much variety. We don’t judge by credibility through the school you went to, they [film industry] really want to see kung masipag ka, and if you’re open to learning things.”

At home, she said the industry icon was a lenient father who wanted to his children learn things for themselves and does not castigate their failures. But once he’s behind the camera, her dad transforms into someone who has full control.

“He’s super different when he’s a director. As a dad he likes to see us free, and making and learning from our mistakes but nung naging assistant director na ako, I had to follow every single thing that he said. You weren’t allowed to make mistakes,” she added.

Talking about the genre his father became synonymous with, Peach said, “It’s my favorite genre: crime and massacres. I used to watch documentaries about serial killers and murders.”

“I grew to be super fascinated with it, and when I found out that that was what they [parents] did as a team, that they introduced something provocative and that the Philippines accepted it, I thought that’s pretty damn good! It’s intriguing, it’s not like the love stories or the comedies, which we already have in our life anyway. It’s captivating.” –Philstar.com, VAB

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