NAKIKIRAMAY KAMI sa mga naulila ng kaibigang Bernie (Bernardo Bernardo) na pumanaw kaninang madaling araw (March 8).
Pang flashback Thursday, I remember yong panahon in the late 80’s ang mga halakhakan nights namin ni Bernie kapag pinaguusapan ang mga kalandian at kalalakihan.
Ayon sa pamangkin niya na si Susan Vecina Santos ay sa St. Peter’s Chapel (Quezon Ave. near Araneta Ave.) ang wake ng actor-comedian.
Last January ay nagpahayag si Bernie sa mga kapwa artista na may tumor siya sa pancreas na kinumpirma ng kanyang doktor.
Ang kaibigang Mau (Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr), a film reviewer and director ng FACINE based in San Francisco (California, USA) ay nag-share about his encounters with Bernie during the years na magkakasama sila sa Bay Area ay gusto ko i-share ang happy moments nila during those days.
Ayon sa pagkakasulat ni Mau sa kanyang Facebook account:
“I write this short tribute with deep sadness, in honor of a consummate actor, a community leader, a dear friend, as a matter of fact, a loyal rah-rah friend of FACINE who until his last visit here in San Francisco at FACINE 24 in October last year, on the occasion of his film, Lawrence Fajardo’s IMBISIBOL was the festival’s Opening Film, he would advise me to steer head on the festival because the community needs it. Little did I know, it would be the last time I was ever gonna see him. Bernardo Bernardo passed away this morning in Manila. He was 73.
“Bernardo Bernardo, I call him Bernie. we both celebrated our joint birthdays twice in Los Angeles years ago – his birthday falls on January 28, mine on the 30th – was always supportive of the festival, at one point, suggested just before he returned to the Philippines which we thought would be a temporary visit, to organize a FACINE-LA with him as the main point person. It would never materialize because he decided to stay in the Philippines for good.
“Bernie must belong to a rare breed of artist whose works encompassed performance in all media forms – theater, live entertainment, film and television, skilled in both English and Filipino, in both comedy, drama, musical – academe (he taught at UST and UP, University of San Francisco and UC Riverside and writing, a memoirist in particular, whose memoir – parts of it he posted in his fb page periodically – has been truly anticipated.
“His critically-acclaimed performance as Manay Sharon in Ishmael Bernal’s MANILA BY NIGHT (1981) remains iconic, now memorialized in the West, with a full-length interview of him by critic-academic Joel David in a recently-released book, MANILA BY NIGHT, A QUEER FILM CLASSIC, now available on Amazon. His much-lauded performance as Benjie, the older undocumented Filipino worker in Japan in Lawrence Fajardo’s IMBISIBOL (2015) brought to a close a much-respected career.
“Bernie, you will always be in my heart, thank you for your friendship and support, you will surely be missed. May you rest in eternal peace,” pagtatapos ni Mau.
By RK Villacorta