MANILA - Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares mourned the passing of director and veteran writer Emmanuel "Maning" Borlaza.
Borlaza, 82, died on Thursday morning in Mandaluyong due to cardiac arrest, according to information given by his nephew, Roy Ramirez, to ABS-CBN News' Mario Dumaual.
In a statement, Poe described Borlaza as "passionate" as she recalled the days working with the director at the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
Borlaza served as vice chairman of MTRCB until his death.
"Director Maning Borlaza can be described in one word: Passionate. He was my vice chair at the MTRCB. Before then, he was already a highly successful and respected director and writer. The films he directed included one of my personal all-time favorites, and a generational favorite, as well -- 'Bituing Walang Ningning,'" said Poe, who is the former head of MTRCB.
"We both shared an appreciation for the arts. Not just film, but also other visual arts. He gave me one of my first art history books when I was introduced to him by my mother, Susan Roces, when I was still a teenager," she added.
Poe went on to praise Borlaza for being "always candid and honest about his views."
"At the MTRCB, I will never forget the times he would drop by my office and recount even the most mundane topics with such animated gestures... He truly loved and fought for the movie industry: as a practitioner, regulator and advocate. I am grateful to have known a passionate filmmaker, director and person," she said.
Aside from being the vice chairman of MTRCB, Borlaza was also the chairperson of Directors' Guild of the Philippines.
He directed more than 20 films with award-winning actress Vilma Santos, including "Bakit Kailangan Kita?", "Gusto Ko Siya, Mahal Kita," "Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas," and the fantasy films "Dyesebel," "Darna and the Giants," and "Lipad, Darna, Lipad!"
Borlaza was also the director of the Sharon Cuneta films "Bituing Walang Ningning," "Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala," and "Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin."
His wake is set at Loyola Memorial Chapel in Sucat, Parañaque starting Thursday.