'Bravo': Family, friends celebrate Eddie Garcia’s curtain call

MANILA, Philippines – Until the end, Eddie Garcia was Eddie Garcia.

The concelebrated mass on Sunday, June 23, for the last day of his wake started on the dot, at 6 pm. It was fitting, if only because the veteran actor and director was known for showing up hours before his call time, never mind that he was already Eddie Garcia.

"What you could do today, do it now, so you could do something else tomorrow," he would say.

His guests were star-studded but lowkey – just like the screen legend was, a commanding presence that never imposed himself.

It was unusual, with full military honors conferred to the former Philippine Scout in the silence of night – probably the first for the Philippine Army, his stepson Mikee Romero noted. Garcia's dream had always been to be a soldier. He was a Philippine Scout before deep diving into the entertainment world.  

Garcia served with the Philippine army in Japan during the second world war. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Garcia served with the Philippine army in Japan during the second world war.

Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler
Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

There were only but a few tears shed as Eddie’s closest friends and family took turns speaking and bidding their final farewell. Instead, it was story after story of a man who kept it real both on- and off-camera – of a doting grandfather, friend, and partner.

Eddie Garcia has lived a long life and career that most can only dream of.

He’s been inducted into the FAMAS Hall of Fame in 3 categories: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Director. And even in what would be his final years, “Manoy,” as he is popularly called, still reaped awards.

Garcia died on June 20, after spending close to two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of the Makati Medical Center. He was rushed to the hospital after an accident on set while taping Rosang Agimat, which would have been his GMA 7 comeback.

Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

Garcia leaves behind several great-grandchildren, grandchildren, a child, stepsons, siblings, and his partner of several decades, Lilibeth Romero.

As if the heart-warming tributes and stories were not enough, the memorial ended in the best way possible: with close friend and program host Bibeth Orteza asking family, friends, and fans to offer one last bravo and one last round of applause for a man who, until the end, lived a life without regrets. – Rappler.com