“THE 67TH ANGEL”
A CHILDHOOD CRUSH,
I KNOW I HAVE MET A LONG TIME AGO.
VIVIDLY HANDSOME, YOUTHFULLY SWEET.
YET, HE’S GONE TOO SOON, TOO.
HE IS THE “67TH ANGEL” OF SSSIP’S AWE BLOG SITE.
ONE OF THE FINEST ACTORS OF PHILIPPINE CINEMA.
HE WAS ONCE A MATINEE IDOL DURING THE LATE ’70’S AND EARLY ’80’S…
BUT HE TRANSFORMED INTO BECOMING A VERY FINE ACTOR.
TWO WOMEN ACTORS LOVED HIM SO DEARLY.
HE GOT MARRIED TO ONE.
BUT NOW, HE CAME BACK.
AS AN ANGEL.
HE JOINED A “GROUP OF FRIENDS” NOW.
AND WHATEVER IT TAKES,
AND HE WILL BE WITH US-
(as the words were written, august 24, 2015, in a light that optimatically changes the vision of space and eternity, as written in robert manuguid silverio’s “book of love”).*
JAY ILAGAN, BORN JANUARY 20, 1955/DIED: FEBRUARY 4, 1992.
“Jay Ilagan remembered for his exceptional gifts”
By: Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(Read more: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/131149/jay-ilagan-remembered-for-his-exceptional-gifts#ixzz3jhDP7FOC
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After discovering the nostalgic TV-film treats on the new Jeepney TV cable channel late last year, we’ve periodically watched its old shows and have been reminded of some gifted stars who are no longer with us.
Last month, the face and voice from the past who came through most vividly on the channel’s replay of a “Goin’ Bananas” episode belonged to—Jay Ilagan.
All of a sudden, we recalled how exceptionally talented he was, starting out as a child sidekick to no less than Fernando Poe Jr., and later quickly establishing himself in his teens as the young male lead most likely to make it big in the highly competitive world of Philippine entertainment.
Actor of choice
In fact, before he added too many unwanted pounds, Jay was the young lead actor of choice of many of the country’s top directors!
It was no surprise to learn that his performing genes were top-level: His parents, Angel Esmeralda and Corazon Noble, were both stars, and the entire Ilagan clan was one of local show biz’s “royal” lineages.
But, Jay was more talented than most. He looked cute as heck, but he also had a lot of depth to him.
That unusually compelling combination of stellar attributes wasn’t lost on film people and the viewing public, and Jay went from one stellar assignment to the next with no end in sight—until his unfortunate weight gain.
It was a truly tragic turn of events, because even his most avid fans among the country’s top filmmakers were forced to replace him with newer actors.
For instance, in Lino Brocka’s “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang,” the male lead role went to Christopher de Leon. And, in “Maynila, Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” it was assigned to Bembol Roco.
If the show biz grapevine is to be believed, therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say that, if Jay hadn’t gained all those pounds, there may not have been a Christopher or a Bembol—not as early as when they became stars on the rebound, anyway.
We were fortunate to work with Jay in the early ’70s, when we directed him and his “secret love,” Hilda Koronel, in a Lea Productions photoplay. Their love affair was absolutely forbidden by their producer, but they were such good actors that they fooled everybody!
Later, we wrote the script for “Inspiration” for Ishmael Bernal, and Jay starred in that memorable movie too, that time with Vilma Santos.
Full of zest
In both instances, Jay impressed us both as an artist and as a person—he was so full of zest for life and for acting. He was good not just at drama but also at comedy, hence his eventual stint on “Goin’ Bananas,” along with Christopher, Bobot Mortiz, Johnny Delgado and Al Tantay.
On the episode of that ’80s show that we recently caught on Jeepney TV, Jay was already overweight, but his deadpan wit still shone through, making today’s viewers chuckle, despite the passage of many years.
It was truly tragic, therefore, when Jay passed away in a motorcycle accident in the ’80s, leaving his many colleagues in the movie biz bereft and mourning the loss of a major talent. Had he survived that accident, imagine what other thespic accomplishments he would have racked up!
—Well, that’s all wishful thinking now, but movie buffs can still honor Jay by accessing his exceptional screen performances, and comparing them to the feeble approximations being turned in by his TV-film counterparts today.
—When comes such another?
(BELOW, COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA.COM)
Jay Ilagan (January 20, 1955– February 4, 1992) was a Filipino actor. He hosted Stop, Look and Listen and starred in My Son, My Son and Going Bananas, and starred and participated in a number of movies.
He was married to movie personality, Hilda Koronel.
Title/ Year /Role
Moro Witch Doctor 1964 Mahmud
Santiago 1970 Danilo
Tubog sa Ginto 1971 Santi
Ato ti Bondying 1973 Bondying
Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa 1975 Noni
Kaming Matatapang Ang Apog 1975
Fe, Esperanza, Caridad 1975 Husband of Esperanza – 2nd Episode (“Esperanza’)
Ligaw Tingin, Halik Hangin 1976
Daigdig ng Lagim 1976
Minsa’y Isang Gamugamo 1976 Bonifacio Santos
Tisoy! 1977 Boy
Sino’ng Pipigil sa Pagpatak ng Ulan 1979
Aguila 1979 Osman
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? 1980
Brutal 1980 Tato
Mga Hiwaga ng Pag-asa 1982
M.I.B.: Men In Brief 1983 Anthony Phillips
Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing 1983
Sana Bukas ang Kahapon 1983
Soltero 1984 Crispin Rodriguez
Sister Stella L. 1984 Nick Fajardo
Mga Batang Yagit 1984
Bituing Walang Ningning 1985 Zosimo Blanco
Sa Totoo Lang 1985 Ipe
Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas 1986
Operation; Get Victor Corpuz, the Rebel Soldier 1987
Maging Akin Ka Lamang 1987 Ernie Balboa
Paano Tatakasan Ang Bukas 1988
Nagsimula sa Puso 1990 Jim
Alyas Pogi 2 1992 Bimboy (His last movie role.)
Title /Year/ Role /Network
Prinsipe Abante 1977–1980 GMA Network
Goin’ Bananas 1987–1991 host IBC/ABS-CBN
BONUS: ONE MORE ARTICLE ON THE LATE JAY ILAGAN, COURTESY OF: (GYPSYBALDOVINO.WORDPRESS.COM)
“Brutal”, “Sister Stella L”, “Soltero”, “Kisap-mata”, “Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa”, “Tubog sa Ginto”, “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo” and “Aguila” are true gems of Philippine cinema. But aside from being great classics, they have another plus factor— they all starred a truly gifted actor named Jay Ilagan.
Jay was from the famed Ilagan clan of showbiz. His parents were the top stars Corazon Noble and Angel Esmeralda of circa 40s. Hermogenes Ilagan, the father of Philippine sarzuela was his grandfather while national artist Gerry de Leon was an uncle.
According to his elder brother Leslie, Jay practically invited himself to showbiz. “When my mom was shooting “Mga Tigreng Tagabukid” in Pandi, Bulacan, she used to take Jay and myself with her every weekend. One day, director Manding Garces needed a child in a scene. To everyone’s surprise, Jay volunteered. ‘Uncle Manding, ako na lang,’ he said. My mom was surprised but Uncle Manding wasn’t. He said to my mom: ’Kataka-taka ba ‘yan. Pareho kayong artista!”
Jay did the scene in one take. And soon, he was accepting other films roles. In his next film, “Walang Duwag na Lalaki” under Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions, he already had a billing. His first screen name was Boy Noble.
Fernando Poe Jr. saw Jay’s first film and was very impressed. “Naku, idol na idol ni Jay si Ronnie,” relates Leslie. Saka, tinuturuan siyang mag – swimming niyan eh. So, binata pa si Ron noon, may rapport na sila niJay.”
“When FPJ started producing movies, he got Jay as his sidekick. When he did “Batang Maynila”, he billed Jay as Jay Ilagan”, Leslie says.
He was an instant sensation. FPJ was everybody’s favorite and every young boy wanted to be Jay Ilagan because he was FPJ’s perennial sidekick in the movies.
“When Jay was a kid, biglang darating si FPJ sa bahay, nagkukuwentuhan sila. Soon, pati si Erap, si Jay na kinukuha basta may child role. Pati yung “Maruja”(1968) si Jay din yung batang Romeo (Vasquez), while Vilma (Santos) was the young Susan (Roces)”, he says.
Jay’s career never wavered until his teen years, when he reigned as one of the top three matinee idols, along with Tirso Cruz III and Edgar Mortiz.
But while his contemporaries banked on their musical and dancing skills, Jay concentrated on honing his craft, and appeared in worthwhile movies that helped define the golden age of cinema in the 70s and 80s.
Among Jay’s impressive body of works were: “Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing” (1983), “Kakabakaba Ka Ba?” (1980), “Kasal?” (1980), ”Salawahan” (1979), “Fe, Esperanza, Caridad” (1975), “Ato ti Bondying” (1973), “Dodong Diamond” and “Santiago” (1970).
To Leslie, Jay’s best performance was showcased in Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Brutal”(1980). “He was so convincing as the villain in that movie, and I know it was plain acting because his film character was his polar opposite in real life. He was also good in “Kisap-Mata”(1982), where he effectively employed under acting. He’s the type of actor, na hindi nakikipagsapawan. He loved to read and he did a lot of research in preparation for his roles.”
Jay was Corazon and Angel’s youngest child but he grew up with his mom and elder brother Leslie. His eldest sister Lourdes died when she was just ten months old while his dad, Angel was based in Guam. Despite the dad’s absence, Leslie claims, “Lumaki kami na parang buo ang pamilya because the Ilagan clan is really closed-knit”.
Despite the demands of showbiz, Jay was able to finish Advertising in Maryknoll College (Now Meriam). “He was among the first batch of male students accepted in Maryknoll when it turned co-ed,” adds Leslie.
Jay was a man of varied interests. “He didn’t know how to cook but he definitely loved to eat. He played basketball, did scuba. Mahilig siya sa outdoors, biking and motorcycling. He was close to Bobot (Edgar Mortiz), the Bad Bananas (Johnny Delgado, Christopher de Leon), barkada talaga ‘yan”, says Leslie.
“Jay was kind. Sa kanya, walang masamang tinapay. He’s exactly the same as my mom,” he continues. “He didn’t know how to say ‘no.’ Kakainin na lang, ibibigay pa sa ‘yo. He was super-generous, to a fault, and he wasn’t attached to material things.”
“When he died, there was a group of handicaps. They brought flowers to Jay at the funeral. ‘Hindi n’yo naitatanong, sumusuporta sa amin yan (Jay)’, they said. And no one knew it. We were raised that way. My mom used to say, ‘Never let your right hand, know what your left hand is doing”, he furthers.
“As a brother, I miss him,” admits Leslie. “When Jay was alive I wasn’t afraid of anything because I knew that Jay would take care of my family should something bad happen. I knew he would always be there for me.”
“He was emotional when it comes to love, but he would never show it”, he continues. “Marami siyang naging girlfriend but he wasn’t the type who would ‘kiss and tell’. He respected women. And he wanted to be the pursuer, not the pursued.”
“Pag sikat ang kapatid mo, lahat ng pinto nakabukas para sa ‘yo,” he philosophies. “When Jay died, I told his children not to take comfort, na dati bukas lahat ang pinto, dahil maraming pinto ang sasara”.
Jay was only 36 when he died in a motorcycle mishap in February 3, 1992. He was survived by brother Leslie and daughter Leona Paula (with erstwhile wife Hilda Koronel).
“People told me that FPJ cried when Jay died,” says Leslie. “He came to the wake at dawn. Nagalit pa nga yan, nung tumaba si Jay. Sabi n’ya kay Jay, ‘Paano ko magreretiro? Ayokong magretiro kung ‘di ko sa ‘yo ibibigay ang korona”.
“He died a rich man,” says Leslie. “He was comfortable as he wasn’t wanting of anything. He was simple. And as long as he had a good sound, good movies, okey na yun. And he knew na maraming nagmamahal sa kanya.”
(photos of mr. jay ilagan above, courtesy of the following: gypsybaldovino.wordpress.com blog site, mr. bobby fajardo, memories of old manila fb page and google.com).*