Mark Gil in a scene from his last film 'Mana' directed by Gabby Fernandez
MANILA - Mark Gil was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2012, his family said in a more detailed statement on his passing on Monday.
Born Raphael John de Mesa Eigenmann, Gil had wanted to keep his condition a secret, even as he found out in June this year that his cancer was terminal.
"It was Ralph’s request that this should not be revealed, and we did not question his decision," the statement read. "To those who have asked us about his condition, especially his colleagues, the press and fans, we apologize for not being forthright, but we also ask for understanding."
The veteran actor, who would have been 53 on September 25, is survived by his wife, Maricar, and their daughter Stephanie Cheri, and five other children from three previous relationships.
"It is with much sorrow that we announce that he passed away this morning at exactly 8 a.m.," the statement read. "He died peacefully in his sleep in the arms of his wife, Maricar, and surrounded by family."
The Eigenmann family added: "Ralph spent his last days in comfort and in no pain. In fact, he was in good spirits and humor, and enjoying the presence of his entire family. Even then, he was still bringing us together, as he always has, and we are now all complete."
"Until the very end, he was a warrior. Ralph faced death with courage and grace, while still bringing laughter to the room. That was his gift: the ability to make those around him better."
"Ralph had told us that he only wanted to spend and cherish the remaining precious days of his life in the company of his family and closest friends. He also wished that we be allowed to grieve his passing in private."
The family requested that they be given time to mourn privately.
"Please allow us this time as well to remember Ralph: husband, son, brother, father and grandfather," the statement read.
They thanked those who have expressed support for Gil in the past weeks and for the "outpouring of love for Ralph that we've received on his behalf," following the news of his passing.
An event celebrating the life and work of Gil will be held on Wednesday, starting at 10 a.m., at the La Salle Greenhills chapel.
"But for now we would like to assure everyone that as long as Filipino films are being watched and appreciated, there will always be Mark Gil," the statement read.
"To quote a line from 'Batch '81,' one of the many movies he made his own, and characteristic of Ralph himself: 'Sa simula't katapusan ay kapatiran.'"