Direk Gil Portes, PH’s ‘original indie director’ and Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan awardee, dies

It’s not everyday that you get to meet someone whose career was rocketing high above but still able to keep both feet on the ground. It’s not all the time that you encounter a person who remains humble and approachable whilst success. Even more, it’s not always that the Philippine movie industry gets someone as fine and passionate as Direk Gil Portes.

The Philippine television industry is now in grief as it just lost one of the best filmmakers this country ever had.

71-year-old Director Gil Portes, according to reports, was found unconscious in his apartment in Quezon City on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. He was brought to the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City but was pronounced dead on arrival. As of this writing, the cause of his death was still unknown.

Direk Gil, born Virgilio Merluza Portes on September 13, 1945, is a native of Pagbilao, Quezon. He was fondly called by his kababayans (particularly his neighbours in Barangay Tambak) as “Etay”. Aside from his twelve (12) Best Director awards and other numerous recognitions, he was also granted the Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan, bestowed upon him in 1985.

With a successful film career spanning four decades, Direk Gil was the man behind highly-acclaimed films such as Sa Piling ng mga Sugapa starring Bembol Roco in 1977, Saranggola starring Ricky Davao and Lester Llansang in 1991, and Mga Munting Tinig starring Alessandra De Rossi in 2002. The latter earned him a triumph in the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2003.

Direk Gil orphaned his wife, Telly and two sons, Carlo and Justin, who are all based in the United States. In his untimely passing, he also left his friends, relatives, and all the people who love him and look up to him.

From all of us here at the Local Government Unit of Pagbilao, our sincere condolences and prayers to Direk Gil Portes’ family. May he rest in peace in the Kingdom of God forever.

[Photo by Rob Reyes of Rappler]


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