PEP EXCLUSIVE. Gabby Eigenmann still coping with death of dad Mark Gil

Gabby Eigenmann on his late dad’s legacy: "Mark Gil, the legacy that he left, aside from being one of the greatest actors that lived in showbiz industry, oh my god… Kami, yung generation namin, we will never reach kung anuman ang narating niya. Kung mapantayan, malabo pa rin yun, kasi Mark Gil is Mark Gil."


Halos dalawang linggo na ang nakalilipas mula nang pumanaw ang aktor na si Mark Gil noong September 1.

At sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay nagpaunlak ng panayam sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang panganay na anak ng yumaong aktor, si Gabby Eigenmann, kung saan ibinahagi nito ang kanyang mga alaala tungkol sa ama.

“Still coping,” sambit ni Gabby nang kumustahin namin siya sa fifth anniversary ng PPL Entertainment Inc.—ang talent management ni Perry Lansigan kung saan kabilang ang aktor—noong Martes, September 9.

Patuloy niya, “There are days na I thought everything’s okay. But there are still nights that I cry.

“Pero, ano lang… I cry because, siyempre, hindi naman maiaalis na nami-miss mo yung tao.

"At, siyempre, nami-miss ko daddy ko.

“Pero at the end of the day, you’ll say to yourself, he’s in a better place. Tinanggap mo na isa na siya sa mga angels ni God. Yung ganun.

“Sabi ko nga, the only thing that keeps me going and the whole family also are the memories that he left behind.

“Yun lang ang pinanghahawakan namin.”

Malaking tulong din daw ang mga taong naging malapit sa kanilang pamilya.

Ayon kay Gabby, “May mga close friends kami na namatayan din.

“Nandoon sila, nagbibigay sila ng advice na tipong, ‘It’s not gonna be easy, it’s never gonna be easy, but every day, you try to cope.’

“And Dad prepared us to accept his fate and, at the same time, to move on being happy.

“Kasi, bago siya nawala, prinepare niya kami isa-isa.

“He was contented with each and everyone’s life.

“Sa mga anak niya, siyempre,wala siyang doubt, pero may hoping na sana maging ganito si ganito, sana maging okey si ganito.”



MARK GIL AS A DAD. Bagamat hindi magkakasamang lumaki ang anim na anak ni Mark, halata kay Gabby ang pagmamalaki na hindi sila pinabayaan ng ama.

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Si Gabby ay anak ni Mark sa actress-commercial model na si Irene Celebre. May isa siyang kapatid, si Ira Eigenmann.

May dalawa ring anak si Mark sa dating aktres at model na si Bing Piementel—sina Sid Lucero at Maxine Eigenmann.

Si Andi Eigenmann naman ay solong anak ng yumaong aktor sa award-winning actress na si Jaclyn Jose.

Mula naman sa biyuda ni Mark na si Maricar Jacinto ay may isa rin siyang anak, si Stevie.

Ayon kay Gabby, “Si Daddy ko, never turned his back on anyone.

“Siyempre, hindi naman magkakasama talaga nang matagal sa iisang house.

“Pero ako, natutukan ko si Andi [Eigenmann].

“Si Timmy [Sid] and Maxine, na-guide din sila ng mommy nila.

“Aside from Dad, I was there also for my siblings.

“Hindi naman kami magkalayo ng edad ni Timmy. Five years older lang ako.

“Nakakasama ko sila growing up.

“Hinihiram ako, kami ni Ira ng daddy ko. Overnight sa bahay niya.

“Hanggang kay Tita Jane [Jaclyn], hanggang kay Maricar…

"I had my share of time with my dad, growing up."

Sixteen years old pa lamang daw si Mark nang isilang si Gabby.

Labing-isang buwan lang ang tanda ni Gabby sa kanyang kapatid na si Ira.

Kuwento pa ng Kapuso actor, “Nahihiram kami, nakakapunta kami sa bahay ng lola ko… kina Mama Rose [Rosemarie Gil], kina Papa [Eddie Mesa].

“Maaaring hindi weekly, but there are so many memories growing up.

“Hindi man ako lumaki sa bahay niya, pero yung mom ko was never selfish.

“That goes also with Tita Bing din naman.

“That’s where I became a kuya.”



KUYA GABBY. Bilang panganay sa kanilang anim na magkakapatid, mas mahirap ba sa kanya nang malaman niyang may malubhang karamdaman ang ama?

Sagot ni Gabby, “Of course, of course…

“Kasi, unang-una, I have to be strong for my siblings.

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“I don’t want to say pressure, pero doon pa lang, ang laki ng responsibility na yun.

“I have to be strong for my siblings and, at the same time, I have to be strong for the family.

“Kasi, ganoon nila ako nakilala.

“Yung up to the end talaga, they would always acknowledge how I am with the family.

“Kasi ako, may problema akong sarili.

“But siyempre, because I love them, yung nagiging problema ng pamilya, naa-absorb ko. Gusto kong i-solve.

“Ganoon ang pagkakakilala nila sa akin.

“So, it was heavy for me.”

Patuloy ng 36-year-old actor, “And since nga, eldest, alam mo yung, without words spoken, nandoon yung pinapasa na sa ‘yo.”

Nangyari ba ang ganoong pag-uusap o tagpo sa kanila ng daddy niya?

“Oo naman,” pagkumpirma ni Gabby.

“Few days before he passed, binanggit niya na, ‘Ikaw na ang bahala sa mga kapatid mo.’

“Ang daming ibig sabihin nun.

“Pero siguro siyempre, yun yung iga-guide ko sila to have a meaningful life.

“Actually, nung binanggit niya sa akin yun, sabi ko, ‘No, no, don’t worry about it.’

“Kasi, even if he was still strong, I’ve been there, helping, and alam niya yun.

“Kaya yung mga binanggit niya sa aking salita… I don’t wanna say na parting words or habilin, kahit hindi na niya sabihin, alam ko na gagawin.

“At gagawin ko yun dahil mahal ko mga kapatid ko. Hindi dahil binigyan ako ng responsibilidad.

“It was never really a responsibility given to me, inako ko talaga ito.

“And this is how I am. Ganito talaga ako.

“I never grew up yung buong family, but I made a choice growing up.

“Hindi ko na-experience na magkaroon ako ng nanay at tatay sa isang bahay.

“Ang iba, maaaring mapapariwara, maaano sa drugs, mababa ang grades… ako hindi.”

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Maging sa kanyang sariling pamilya ay sinikap ni Gabby na maging buo ito.

Saad niya, “Ipinaglaban ko.

“My relationship with Apples [his wife], hindi rin ganun kadali.

“Kasi siyempre, I was a bachelor. Si Apples, of course, has two kids already.

“So, sabi ko, hindi yun magiging basehan para masira ang buhay ko in the future. Hindi ganun, e.

“Ako, ipinaglaban ko talaga yun. It came to a point na may tampuhan sa family.

“Pero sabi ko nga, no one can really judge, especially my family, hindi rin naman ganoon ka-perfect.

“What is important is we stick together inspite of all our imperfections.”

Dagdag niya, “For me, growing up kasi, ang dami kong naging stepfather. Ang dami ko rin naging stepmother.

“So, sabi ko, I don’t say that these are people na coming in and out of our lives. Hindi, e.

“I accept them. They become part of my life.

“Mahal ko si Tita Bing. Mahal ko si Tita Jane, si Maricar. Minahal ko ‘yan, nirespeto ko sila.

“Sabi nga, blood is thicker than water.

“Blood, being related lang yun, but family is the one you love at mahal mo.

“At wala kayong tinitimbang ke magkadugo o hindi.

“The one who loves you, the one you love.”



MARK’S ILLNESS. Kailan siya unang umiyak nang malaman niya ang tunay na kundisyon ng kalusugan ng ama?

Na-diagnose na may liver cancer si Mark noong 2012, ngunit inilihim ito ng pamilya Eigenmann sa publiko dahil na rin sa kagustuhan ng yumaong aktor.

Lahad ni Gabby, “I cry when I’m alone.

“When we found out in the hospital, terminal na. Mabilis talaga.

"It hit me na parang, it’s no joke anymore."

May pagsisi ba na hindi nila nakumbinsi ang ama na magpa-treatment?

“No, I don’t want to say regret, because it was a choice he made already.

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“Pero siyempre, lahat yun, napag-usapan.

“Even if we wanted to, the big question is, does he want it?

“Siyempre kami, gusto namin na mas matagal, pero this is how dad wanted it to be. This is how he chose to live his life.

“But um-effort siya ng treatment, mas healthy na ang kinakain niya.

“Nagdi-detox siya. Nagdyu-juicing. So, tinray niya to live healthy.

“Kasi, yung cirrhosis, naging cancer.

“We thought it was a kind one. Pero naging aggressive. It is what it is.

“But he remained strong. There was no pain at all.

“He lived his life for two years.”

Dagdag niya, “Sabi ko nga, kahit naman magkaroon kami ng regret, wala naman nang magagawa ang regret na ‘yan.

“It will just be in our heads.

“But the fact that he was not living in pain, parang mas madali for us to let go without seeing him in pain.

“Sayang lang, he was still young.”

Si Mark ay namatay sa edad na 52.

Ayon pa kay Gabby, “Sabi ko nga, ang pagkakaintindi ko, he has given so much to the family.

“So much laughter, tears, pero the only memory that will remain is how happy he was when he was living.

“Kasi, he’s the funniest guy sa amin. Comedian ‘yan.

“Doon namin nakuha ni Timmy ang pagiging komedyante.”



MARK’S LAST MOMENTS. Tila eksena sa pelikula ang huling mga sandali ni Mark sa mundo, dahil habang ang isang kamay niya ay hawak-hawak ang kamay ng asawa niyang si Maricar, ang isa naman ay tangan-tangan ni Gabby.

Kuwento ng aktor, “Hawak niya yung left hand ko, then left hand niya... up to the last breath, hawak niya ang kamay ni Maricar.

“That was an unforgettable sight.

“But the past few days before it happened, he was really preparing for it.

“Kasi, he’s lucid pa talking to us. Kinakausap niya pa kami.

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“Hinahanap niya lahat na nasa States. So, hanggang sa nag-uwian lahat.

“Noong hinawakan ko ang kamay niya, binubulungan ko siya.

“Sabi ko, ‘I love you, this is Gabby…’ ‘tapos may luha.

“Nag-teary-eyed siya, catching his breath.

“Up to the last, hinawakan niya ang kamay ko, kamay ni Maricar.

“’Tapos, ginanun niya sa dibdib niya.

“’Tapos, pumikit lang, that’s it… iyakan na lahat.

“Yun ang hindi ko makakalimutan sa lahat.”

Masakit man ang pagkawala ng kanyang ama, masasabi ba ni Gabby na isa itong “beautiful death”?

Pagsang-ayon niya, “Yeah, he wasn’t in pain. That’s why mas madali for us to accept.

“Kasi, he’s a happy guy. Masayahing tao.”



CREMATION, NO EULOGY. Nasa wish list ba ng daddy niya na walang burol, walang mass, walang tribute?

“Hindi naman, hindi naman sa walang tribute.

“Ayaw niya ng eulogy ‘coz he wants us to celebrate his life.

“Pero isa sa mga wishes niya, after his death, gusto niya cremated immediately.

“Hindi naman sa wala kaming choice, but we will honor that, kung ano ang hiniling niya.

“One day wake sa La Salle [noong September 3]. Yun, request niya yun.

“Maraming taong na-touch si Daddy, maraming bumisita.

“The following day, may mga pumunta pa. Nagtataka sila kung bakit wala nang tao.

“But we have to respect what he wanted.”

Ano ang nalaman ni Gabby tungkol sa daddy niya mula sa mga kasamahan nito sa industriya na pumunta sa wake?

“Honestly, kasi the day after the cremation, nag-invite si Edu Manzano sa bahay niya.

“Doon pa lang, ramdam mo na these are my dad’s friends talaga.

“Pagdating namin dun, we saw Joel Torre, Tito Jaime Fabregas…

“Pagyakap ko, I felt my dad among his friends. Naiyak ako kaagad.

“The hugs, it’s like hugging my dad, ‘He’s with you guys.’

“Kahit doon sa wake… Kay Tito Rez [Cortez], Tito Bembol [Roco]… kasi nag-bond pa sila ni Daddy.

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“A few days before, bumibisita pa siya sa bahay.

“Even Direk Ricky Davao, they’ve known me since I was a little boy.

“So, malaking impact yung barkada ni Daddy.

“They saw us growing up. They witnessed how dad was when he had us when he was young.

“Kaya yung mga anak nila, mga anak ni Tito Rez, Tito Bembol, mga kababata ko talaga ‘yan.

“So, when I hugged them, ramdam mo talaga.

“Again, this is just the body. Hiram lang naman talaga ‘yan, galing kay God ‘yan.

“The memories will always remain. I felt that he was there.”



MARK’S ASHES. Base sa Instagram posts ng pamilya Eigenmann ay nalaman naming nagpunta sila sa Tagaytay, Cavite at sa Calatagan, Batangas.

Kasama rin ba yun sa wish list ng kanyang ama?

Sabi ni Gabby, “Oo, favorite niya na kapag pupunta ng Tagaytay, mag-bulala, mag-tawilis.

“With family, so kasama namin siya. Yung ashes niya.

“Yung Calatagan naman, may relative kasi kami dun na may rest house.”

Yung ibang ashes naman daw ng daddy niya ay plano nilang isaboy sa Montemar Beach, sa Bataan, sa mismong kaarawan ni Mark sa September 25.

Ayon kay Gabby, “Marami kaming memories nila Daddy doon. He really loves Montemar.

“Yun ang gusto niya. Kami kasing magkakapatid, nakakuha kami... like sa pendant ko, nandito ang ash ni Daddy.

“May nagsasabi kasi na kapag naghihiwalay, parang kalat.

“Pero sabi ko naman, hindi sa kinontra ko, sabi ko, e, we’re family, we’re as one.

“Hindi man kami nakatira sa isang bahay, but we’re family.”

Ang urn daw ni Mark ay naiwan sa asawa nitong si Maricar.

“Yun din ang gusto niya, ‘I want my urn to be with my wife.’”



LESSONS FROM HIS DAD. Ano ang mga bagay na natutunan ni Gabby mula sa kanyang ama?

“Marami… I won’t be the man I am today without him. He played a big factor.

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“Why do I say that? It’s not because I want to praise him, I want to lift him up.

“No, he pushed me to be this way.

“Laking ano ako, e, laking mommy, laking tita, laking lola.

“Hindi ako… yun nga, I never had home wherein, ‘Good morning, Dad. Good morning, Mom.’ Walang ganun.

“Kung may ganun man, it would be a stepfather.

“Iba ang feeling na may tunay kang tatay sa iisang bahay.

“Hindi negative sa akin yun.

“For me, it made me strong at a young age. Na paglaki ko…

“Well, hindi ko sinasabi na hindi ko gagawin ‘to, hindi ko gagayahin ang daddy ko, ‘no…

“I’ll get all the good ones because he’s a good father.

“He was the one who made me realize na hindi naman niya kami iniwan.

“They started young, hindi nag-work ang relationship as a couple, but he tried to maintain his relationship with the kids, sa amin ng kapatid ko na si Ira.

“Sabi ko nga, sa buhay ng artista, mas nai-scrutinize ka.

“But when you look back, sa history who Mark Gil is, alam mo na Mark Gil, but they do not know the real story.

“What they are forgetting is, Mark Gil is Raphael John in real life.

“So, the people around him, yun na lang ang nakakaalam kung ano siya.”



THE LEGACY. Marami ang nagsasabi kung gaano kahusay na aktor si Mark, at kung gaano kalaki ang iiwan nitong puwang sa industriya.

Pero para kay Gabby, ano ang legacy na naiwan ng isang Mark Gil?

“Mark Gil, the legacy that he left, aside from being one of the greatest actors that lived in showbiz industry, oh my god…

“Kami, yung generation namin, we will never reach kung anuman ang narating niya.

“Kung mapantayan, malabo pa rin yun, kasi Mark Gil is Mark Gil.

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“Kami, most of us in the family, we played it safe.

“Meaning, kung anuman ang tinatahak ng career namin, as much as ayaw mong mabahiran ng negativity, gusto mo malinis palagi.

“Si Daddy, hindi. Siya yung, ’The hell, this is me! You watch me on the big screen, you watch me on TV.’

“His performance is amazing. Ano siya… mamamangha ka.

“Kahit anong ibato mo sa kanya, for him, ‘So what? I’ll do my best.’

“Sa buong pamilya, siya ang pinaka-passionate.

“The fact na he was sick and he still wants to work, ‘andun talaga yung drive niya.”

Ano naman ang legacy ni Raphael John Eigenmann para sa kanya?

“He never turned his back on us.

“He’s not a perfect dad, but he never gave up.

“Kung ididikit ko yung sarili ko sa mga natutunan ko, kumbaga, ‘eto ang naging bunga.

“Itinuro niya sa akin na I should care for the people I work with."

Aminado si Gabby na ang kanyang ama ang numero unong kritiko niya. Pero naramdaman naman daw niya kung gaano ito ka-proud sa kanya.

“At first, when it comes to my work and to my job, na-frustrate siya, ang bagal-bagal… ano ba ang nangyari sa career ko.

“Kunwari, may mga projects ako na nakakapanood siya minsan, he would always comment. He would always criticize.

“Pero noong magkita kami sa hospital, nagkasabay kami magpa-check-up, sabi niya, ‘Hey, I saw you, sa few episodes of Dading. You’re doing a good job.’

“Doon pa lang, okey na ako.

“He need not to say ‘I’m proud of you.’ Yung ‘good job’ na yun na sinabi niya, it meant alot to me."



THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE. Noong Lunes, September 8, bumalik na si Gabby para sa taping ng kanyang pinagbibidahang afternoon soap sa GMA, ang Dading.

Kumusta ang pagbabalik niya sa trabaho?

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“At first… kasi naman, tingin ko, yun ang ipinasa sa amin ni Daddy

“Kasi, my dad, up to the end, ano ‘yan, professional. He hates being late.

“Ano ‘yan, isa ‘yan sa mga good qualities ni Daddy, yung pagiging professional niya.

“Nag-taping pa nga siya ng Pepito Manaloto a month before he passed away.

“When we had a rest in a week after my dad passed, one week nakalipas, nag-taping ako, I was in work mode.

“Hindi ko puwedeng sabihin sa sarili ko na okey na ako.

“Siyempre naggi-grieve pa ako, there’s always time for that.

“But if it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday, it’s always work mode.

“’Tapos, lahat ng eksena ko pa, puro iyakan.

“I was in denial and they are saying that I’m just vulnerable.

“First take, iyakan. E, hindi ko kaya yung ganun.

“Pero walang qualms, sige, go. I want to go to work.

“I don’t want to say it distracts me because who the hell would want to be distracted?

“Of course, you’ll always miss someone who you truly love na nawala sa ‘yo.

“Pero dahil isa ito sa blessing na… mahal ko ang show na ito.

“Of course, my fad, he wants me to be professional and passionate about my work.

“May iba kasi sinasabi, ’At least may pinaghuhugutan ka.’

“No, that’s bullsh*t! Hindi ko ginagamit ang personal kong buhay para makahugot ako ng emosyon because it’s not gonna be the same.

“The emotion becomes different. I become the character.

“Yun ang natutunan ko kay Daddy. Puwede kang humugot from time to time sa personal mo.

“But at the end of the day, whatever works. At yun ang ginawa ko yesterday.

“At hindi kami puyat, 12 midnight lang, tapos kami.”

Kung sakaling may pelikula ang daddy niya na ire-remake, papayag ba siyang gumanap dito?

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“Wala, wala sa amin ang gusto. Mahirap. There can only be one Mark Gil,” nakangiti niyang sabi.

Dahil ba posible silang makumpara?

“Oo naman,” sagot niya.

“Starting nga lang in this business, ‘andiyan na ang comparisons.

“There’s only one Mark Gil in this industry. Walang puwedeng gumaya.

“Yun ang legacy niya.”

Payag ba siyang gawing pelikula ang buhay ng ama?

Sagot ni Gabby, “Mahirap, e, my dad’s life is so colorful.

“Yung pagkasabi ng colorful, baka marami kaming ma-miss out. Huwag na lang.”


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