NAMAALAM NA ang loveable na direktor-aktor-aktibista na si Soxie Topacio noong Biyernes, July 21 ng 9:00 ng gabi sa sakit na cancer sa kanyang hospital bed sa Delos Santos Medical Center sa Quezon City sa edad na 65.
Isang kilalang personalidad si Direk Soxie sa Theater group na PETA bilang isa sa mga pagunahing katauhan sa likod ng grupo.
Mas kilala si Soxie bilang isang komedyante sa telebisyon at pelikula.
Naging direktor siya ng mga television shows tulad ng “Dear Diary,” “Pira-pirasong Pangarap,” “Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin,” “Nuts Entertainment,” “Marinara,” “Impostora,” “Takeshi’s Castle,” “Family Zoo” at marami pa.
Sa entablado, he directed plays tulad ng “Indarapatra,” “Joe Hill,” “Canuplin,” Pilipinas Circa 1906,” “Macli-ing,” “Halik ng Tarantula” (an adaptation of Manuel Puig’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman”), “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo” (a stage adaptation of the classic film, also starring Nora Aunor), “Hanggang Dito na Lamang at Maraming Salamat,” “Ang Palasyo ni Valentin” and “Bona” (adapted from the Nora Aunor movie and starring Eugene Domingo).
Ang huling gawa ni Direk Soxie as stage director ay ang “Noli Fili Dekada 2000” at ang huli niyang dinirek na pelikula ay ang comedy film na “Ded na si Lolo” starring Roderick Paulate, Elizabeth Oropesa, Gina Alajar na naaliw ang sambayanan sa interpretasyon niya sa iba’t ibang mga pamahiin ng mga Pilipino kapag may patay or wake ng mga mahal natin sa buhay.
Isa si Direk Soxie na love na love ng kanyang mga katrabaho. Cool na cool ang istilo ng pagdidirek niya na ang tensyon sa set ay idinadaan niya sa komedya para ang mga katrabaho (artista at mga production staff) ay mabawasan ang stress at pagod.
Sa pagkakataong ito, gusto ko lang bigyan espasyo ang sinulat ng kaibigang Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr, Director ng FACINE na isang Filipino-Asian-American Film Festival na nagaganap yearly sa San Francisco, California:
IN APPRECIATION: SOXIE TOPACIO, ACTOR & DIRECTOR (THEATER, FILM, TELEVISION), TEACHER/MENTOR, POLITICAL ACTIVIST, 65
His almost 50-year work in theater, primarily with PETA (he joined PETA in 1969, two years after its founding) – Philippine Educational Theater Association – as actor (ANG PAGLILITIS NI MANG SERAPIO [the court trial of elder Serapio]; KABESANG TALES [village chief Tales]; FLORES PARA LOS MUERTOS [flowers for the dead, an adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire”]; BOMBITA among others), as director [JOE HILL, CANUPLIN; PILIPINAS CIRCA 1906; and the Nora Aunor-starrers, the Superstar’s first forays in theater, MINSA’Y ISANG GAMUGAMO [once a moth, an adaptation from the film of the same title] and DH: DOMESTIC HELPER) and as theater teacher/mentor, is impeccable, making him one of the true giants of Philippine theater, one of the true pillars of nationalist theater in the country.
My main interest in Soxie Topacio’s work, of which are many, as earlier cited in theater, and lately, in television, but in film, which was rather slim, which is unfortunate, because in only one film I saw that he directed, the comedy film, DED NA SI LOLO [grandfather is dead], 2009 (according to a few friends, he did two more, which are not mentioned in his IMDB page), he showed great promise as a filmmaker. So self-assured as a film – a family is forced to confront long-standing conflict among the siblings after the death of the father – its sensibility reminds its viewer of the warmth and the good-natured humor of an Ading Fernando or Luciano B Carlos, succinctly evading the self-consciousness and irony of most comedy films at present; the film on the whole valiantly succeeds on the strength of Topacio’s skillful direction and outstanding ensemble performance (Gina Alajar, Roderick Paulate, Manilyn Reynes, Elizabeth Oropesa, Dick Israel).
The film went on to be the country’s entry to the Oscars Foreign Language Film in 2010; its selection however, drew some amount of disbelief, if not, derision from certain quarters so inclined to undervalue the genre in general and perhaps, to Topacio who might not have been accepted as one of their own, this could have dampened those who wished to champion its cause at the Oscars that year. This, I believe, was unfair and prejudicial to the merits of the film; personally, it may have been the best comedy film of the past two decades.
Full disclosure: Soxie Topacio reached out to me by email in 2014 asking me if I would be interested to screen the film at FACINE. He sent me the dvd copy on two occasions, unfortunately both were damaged copies that I was unable to program it in FACINE 21.
Soxie, I was in extreme sadness when I read your passing today here on facebook; you are indeed loved by many and will be sorely missed.
Myself, I am doubly saddened, that I will never have the chance to see another comedy film from you; it would have again, warm my heart immensely.
May you rest in eternal peace, dear Soxie!
– Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr, Director, FACINE
Sa mga gusto makiramay at mabigay ng kanilang huling repeto at pagpugay, ang kanyang labi ay nakahimlay ngayon sa St Peters Chapel (Quezon Ave) simula ngayong gabi, Sabado hanggang Lunes ng gabi (July 24).