UPDATE as of 27 May 2017, 11:20 a.m. — VETERAN Thomasian filmmaker and writer Gil Portes was found dead in his apartment in Kamias, Quezon City last May 24. He was 71 years old.
Portes was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival.
“Apparently Gil passed away yesterday (May 24) but his body was discovered by his landlady today (May 25). We don’t know if it’s a heart attack,” said Mel Chionglo, Portes’ fellow director, in a text message.
A native of Pagbilao, Quezon, Portes graduated from the old Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 1969 with the degree Bachelor of Literature in Journalism. He received his master’s degree in theater from Brooklyn College, New York.
His latest film “Moonlight Over Baler” was released last Feb. 8. It starred Elizabeth Oropesa, Ellen Adarna, Sophie Albert and Vin Abrenica.
Known as the “Original Indie Director,” Portes is best remembered for the films “Andrea, Paano ba ang Maging Isang Ina?” (1990) and “Saranggola” (1999), which won him various awards at the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), including Best Director and Best Picture. He also directed the 1984 classic “Merika” starring Nora Aunor and Bembol Roco.
His film about a revolutionary religious leader of Quezon, “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli,” was the closing film of the 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival.
He intended to do another film for this year’s MMFF, titled “Mindanao,” and even attended the producers’ and director’s meeting last May 9.
Portes’ wake will be held at the Holy Trinity Memorial Chapel in Sucat, Parañaque on May 27. His funeral service will be on May 28.