For the first time in Eddie Garcia's nearly 70 years in showbiz with over 300 movies under his belt, the 89-year-old actor stars in a movie set in purgatory.
He plays one of the two lead roles in Hintayan ng Langit, a co-production between Globe Studios and Project 8 Corner San Joaquin Projects under the direction of Dan Villegas. This dramedy film is now being screened in cinemas nationwide.
Eddie is Manolo, a man whose soul goes to purgatory and meets there his long-dead ex-lover Lisang (played by Gina Pareño).
“It was a very good script and it was a good role,” he told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the movie’s presscon. “Kaya tinanggap ko.”
Hintayan ng Langit is written by spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo as adapted from his own one-act play of the same title that envisions purgatory as a hotel-like stopover for heaven-bound souls.
Eddie gave a big grin when asked if he believes in purgatory. “Sabi nila,” he said. “Hindi pa ako nakakapunta do’n, e!” And went on laughing at his own punchline.
He remained in a jolly mood when asked if, like Manolo, there’s an ex-lover of his that he’d like to meet in purgatory.
“Hindi ko alam kung magkikita pa kami,” he replied.
Turning serious, Eddie said, in reference to Manolo and Lisang’s after-life musings, he has no regrets in love.
“Wala na,” he pointed out. “Para sa akin, once you’re dead, you’re dead. Palagay ko, pag patay ka na, patay ka na.”
He also doesn’t have any regrets as far as his career is concerned. “Para sa akin, kung ano lang ang dumating, e. Yun lang ang binigay sa ’yo ng Diyos, e.”
He then gave this piece of advice on how to live a life without regrets: “Well, you do good to your fellowmen, and huwag kang mang-aapi ng tao, and you live a happy life.”
Eddie hopes that after watching Hintayan ng Langit, people “will think that after life, there is a chance to go to heaven if you do good on Earth.”
Does he think he’ll go straight to heaven or to purgatory first?
“It’s up to God to judge me,’ he said.
To date, Eddie remains one of the busiest actors in showbiz.
Last August, ML, the martial law-themed movie he co-starred in with Tony Labrusca, was screened as an entry to the 2018 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival.
Two months later, Hintayan ng Langit, premiered as part of the 2018 QCinema International Film Festival.
Come Christmas Day, Rainbow’s Sunset, in which he plays the lead role of an ex-senator who leaves his wife (played by Gloria Romero) to care for his cancer-stricken gay best friend (Tony Mabesa), will open as an official entry to the 2018 Metro Manila Film Festival.
Does he thinks has a chance to win Best Actor in MMFF 2018?
“Ay, kung kwan, kung idya-judge nilang okay, who am I to refuse, di ba? Hahaha!”
Eddie is currently part of the top-rating teleserye FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, which has been airing on ABS-CBN for the past three years.
He was initially known as the character Don Emilio and was not seen in the Kapamilya teleserye for several months. He recently returned as Senior Gustavo Toralba.
“Hindi namatay yung dati kong character. Nagbago lang ako ng pangalan. Disguise, oo.”
The show top-billed by Coco Martin was recently called out by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief director general Oscar Albayalde to “show a little respect” to the police force.
Officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) even announced that they were "seriously consider filing legal action and imposing sanctions" if Ang Probinsyano continued its "grossly unfair and inaccurate portrayal of our police force."
“Well, wala akong pakialam diyan because I don’t write the script,” said Eddie when asked to comment on the issue. “I’m just an actor there.”
But he made it clear that the teleserye is not giving PNP a bad name.
“Hindi naman,” he pointed out. “Kuwan lang yun, e, kathang-isip lang. It’s fiction.”
Will Ang Probinsyano be changing its storyline because of the comments of the DILG and the PNP?
“Uh, sa akin wala. Dahil ako kontrabida ako, e. Saka hindi naman ako pulis.
“Sa creative team, wala naman akong alam na gagawing pagbabago. Siguro doon sa grupo ni Coco, doon sila naguusap.”
Coco recently had a dialogue with the DILG to fix issues between the ABS-CBN program and the government agency.