MANILA–Celebrated filmmaker Celso Ad. Castillo passed away at age 69 early Monday morning in his home in Siniloan, Laguna.
According to wife Ophelia Lopez-Castillo, Direk Celso complained of chest pains late Monday night after he came home from the printing press to check on his book.
The book entitled “Celso Ad. Castillo: An Autobiography and His Craft,” is the Director’s detailed account of his life and is expected to be released soon
Lopez-Castillo recalled that, “He kept revising the last few chapters,” his wife related.
“He wanted it to have a beautiful ending,” she added.
Tributes from colleagues in the film industry seem to do just that.
Governor and actress Vilma Santos hailed the late director “as brilliant.”
Santos said that she worked with Castillo in the ‘Burlesk Queen’ and ‘Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak.’
The director was reported to have coordinated with the actress two days ago to ask pictures for his book.
Actress Maria Isabel Lopez, whom Castillo directed in “Isla,” said the director was “a passionate artist.
A “true maverick” said fellow filmmaker Elwood Perez of the director. Peque Gallaga on the other hand compared him to National Artists for Film Gerry de Leon and Ishmael Bernal.
For creating hit movies in the 1970’s that broke new ground like the action flick Asedillo” (starring Fernando Poe Jr.) to the erotic drama “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa” (Gloria Diaz), from the horror film “Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara” (Susan Roces) to the masterpiece on the dying days of bodabil “Burlesk Queen” (Vilma Santos), Castillo was dubbed the “Messiah of Philippine cinema.”
The body of Castillo lies in state at his residence in Siniloan, Laguna.