The Philippine entertainment industry mourns the passing of prolific and award-winning director Maryo J. delos Reyes.
The 65-year-old filmmaker died on January 27, 2018 after suffering a heart attack while attending a party in Dipolog City.
Direk Maryo’s last press conference was for the ToFarm 2017 entry Instalado starring McCoy de Leon.
The festival director of the ToFarm Film Festival was present at the January 23 press con held at the Cinematheque Manila of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
In an interview with PEP contributor Jennifer Dugena and other members of the press that day, Direk Maryo expressed his desire to continue making movies.
He expected the 2018 ToFarm Film Festival to push through but with delays.
“There will be a ToFarm this year but due to certain delays we are lining up our calendar for this year. Baka ma-extend lang ang timetable. We want to market muna the 12 films we have and bring them to the province. Maglalagay ng LED TV sa gym, barrios, and cooperatives para dun talaga sa farmers who are the target audience of these films.
“I also want to do good commercial films aside from the ToFarm festival.”
PEP contributor Mell Navarro recalled the other plans that Direk Maryo wanted to do for the entertainment industry.
The veteran director wanted to mount a film festival in his hometown in Bohol in order to promote tourism in the province.
Direk Maryo also wanted to put up a Children’s Film Festival in the Philippines. He wanted to share to the younger filmmakers his experience doing the 2003 movie Magnifico, starring then child star Jiro Manio.
CAREER. Direk Maryo’s nearly 40-year directing career produced over 60 movies and more than a dozen drama series.
Here are 7 of his career highlights:
- Direk Maryo made a successful directorial debut via High School Circa ’65, a drama about a batch of students, their parents, and their teachers that was actually released in 1979.
The students were played by some of that era’s young stars, including Roderick Paulate, who got a nomination from Urian for Best Supporting Actor.
Charo Santos, then a 24-year-old beauty queen-turned-actress, was cast as a teacher who gets romantically involved with the father of one of her students (played by Eddie Rodriguez).
In real life, Charo was crowned Miss Baron Travel Girl in 1976 and married businessman Cesar Concio in 1985.
She would go on building an illustrious career in TV and movie production, which was marked by her stint as president of ABS-CBN from 2008 to 2016.
High School Circa ’65 was both a critical and commercial success.
- Direk Maryo’s early foray into indie filmmaking produced the critically acclaimed drama, Magnifico (2003).
The movie tells the story of a young boy named Magnifico (played by JiroManio), who, despite being born to a poor family and environment, is filled with hope and faith.
It won two awards at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival Crystal: Crystal Bear (the top prize for youth films) and Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix (the Grand Jury Award.
It also swept the local awards season that year—Gawad Urian, Film Academy of the Philippines, FAMAS, Golden Screen Awards—winning the top honors, including Best Picture.
- Direk Maryo defined the 1980s youth culture with the coming-of-age flick, Bagets (1984).
Bagets launched the careers of then teen newbies Aga Muhlach, Eula Valdes, and Yayo Aguila, as well as theater actor-singer Raymond Lauchengco.
The movie also starred young stars William Martinez, Herbert Bautista, and JC Bonin.
It was a box-office hit that spun into a sequel, Bagets 2, featuring additional cast members Ramon Christopher, Francis Magalona, and Jon Hernandez.
- Direk Maryo elevated melodrama in his movies that had strong female characters.
In Hindi Mo Ako Kayang Tapakan (1984), Charo Santos’s character, Tacing, survives World War II and a string of failed relationships.
Maricel Soriano is the ambitious Clarissa, who stops at nothing to reach her goals in Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit (1984).
As Mae in Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig (1995), Lorna Tolentino chooses a lethal way to confront her husband’s mistress.
In Direk Maryo’s last film, The Unmarried Wife (2016), Angelica Panganiban is Anne, who leaves her philandering husband only to find herself getting involved with a married man.
He takes a different route in the psycho-thriller Tagos ng Dugo (1987), in which Vilma Santos plays serial killer Pina.
- Direk Maryo championed the ToFarm Film Festival, which tells stories of farmers and other stewards of agriculture.
As festival director, Direk Maryo helped participating filmmakers, such as Zig Dulay and Joseph Abello, come up with their winning entries Paglipay (2016) and What Home Feels Like (2017), respectively.
- Direk Maryo captured the disco era with Annie Batungbakal (1979) and Bongga Ka, Day! (1980), both starring Nora Aunor and featuring the music of the Hotdog band.
Direk Maryo and his lead star collaborated for one more music-inspired movie (Rock ‘n Roll), two comedies (Totoo Ba ang Tsismis and Ibalik and Swerti, and a pair of drama movies (Minsan, May Isang Ina and Naglalayag).
Hotdog was a leading proponent of the Manila Sound musical genre that was popular in the late 1970s.
The band’s other signature hits included “Beh,” “Buti Nga!,” “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko,” and “Pers Lab.”
- Direk Maryo turned his TV projects into movie-like productions.
Before he became known as a film director, Direk Maryo was an actor and an acting workshop facilitator at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).
He also wrote for the PETA-produced drama anthology, Balintataw, in the early 1970s, and later on directed episodes in Nora Aunor’s own drama anthology, Ang Makulay na Daigdig ni Nora.
In 2002, while still enjoying a successful career in filmmaking, Direk Maryo returned to TV via GMA-7’s primetime drama series, Habang Kapiling Ka.
Three years later, he made another teledrama, Mga Anghel na Walang Langit, which aired in ABS-CBN.
He has been directing one Kapuso series every year.
He turned his own film, Saan Darating ang Umaga, into a TV drama, as well as other movies, such as Magdusa Ka, Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin? and Gumapang Ka sa Lusak.
His best-known works are Impostora, Munting Heredera, Pari ’Koy, and Someone to Watch Over Me.
He directed the pilot week of the upcoming Kapuso teleserye Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka, starring Yasmien Kurdi, which tackles the HIV/AIDS issue.