The artistic director of Gantimpala Theater, Tony Espejo, died at 1:50 p.m. today, June 21.
His remains currently lie at the Manila Doctors Hospital in Manila.
Mr. Espejo suffered a heart attack on June 9.
Last June 15, he celebrated his 63rd birthday in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the said hospital.
Gantimpala Theater’s publicist Alwyn Ignacio said that Mr. Espejo died “due to multiple organ failure secondary to septic shock secondary to hospital acquired pneumonia.”
Other details regarding his wake and interment will be announced soon.
Mr. Espejo founded Gantimpala Theater, previously known as Bulwagang Gantimpala, when it was still an in-house dramatic arts company at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Now celebrating its 35th year of existence, Gantimpala is known for mounting curriculum-oriented productions such as Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
It also mounts plays and short stories written by National Artists for Theater and Literature, as well as original Filipino musicals written by playwrights based on well-known fairy tales and Philippine folklore.
He received the Lifetime Achievement award for Theater during the 2006 Aliw Awards.
The renowned thespian was also named Outstanding Artist for Golden Years of Service in 2009. He was one of the theater stalwarts given recognition by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the International Theater Institute at the Malacañang Palace.
In 2011, Mr. Espejo received a Natatanging Gawad Buhay award during the 3rd PHILSTAGE Awards for the Performing Arts.