Eddie Garcia prays for recovery of Bella Flores

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2013 05:25 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2013 01:25 AM

Veteran actor honored to be part of 'Juan dela Cruz'

MANILA, Philippines -- Eddie Garcia said he continues to pray for the recovery of Bella Flores, his erstwhile film co-star who is currently battling health complications.

Eddie Garcia. File photo

"I'm praying for Bella. I hope she recovers and gets well soon," the 87-year-old actor told ABS-CBN News at the sidelines of a trade event held Friday night for his TV series "Juan dela Cruz."

He added, "Sayang naman, [Bella is] a very good actress, and I've worked with her in so many films in the past. Sana magpagaling ka, Bella."

In February, Flores' only daughter Ruby Arcilla said the 84-year-old actress is no longer able to walk after a recent hip surgery. The infamous "kontrabida" is also suffering from complications of diabetes, and is showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Born Remedios Papa Dancel, Flores became a prized contract artist of film production company Sampaguita Pictures in the 1950s. She rose to fame for her role as a villainous stepmother to two children in the 1951 film "Roberta."

Among the films Flores and Garcia co-starred in under Sampaguita Pictures are "Diwani (1953)," "Despatsadora (1955)," "Iyong-Iyo (1955)," and "Dalawang Kalbaryo ni Dr. Mendez (1961)."

Garcia, whose career now spans over 60 years, recently earned his latest internatonal acting nod for his portrayal of an elderly gay man in the independent film "Bwakaw" by Jun Robles Lana.

He is nominated as Best Actor at the 7th Asian Film Awards, which is presented by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

The veteran actor said he will fly to Hong Kong on March 17, in time for the awards night the next day, to attend the event.

Meanwhile, Garcia expressed joy over his part in the top-rating series "Juan dela Cruz," where he portrays Fr. Julio -- an extraordinary priest whose ties with the title character is slowly unraveled in the series.

"It's really an honor to be included in this very high rating show, at maraming salamat sa ABS-CBN for including me in 'Juan dela Cruz.' It's doing very well and I hope this will be a long-running show," he said.

Starring Coco Martin as the title character, "Juan dela Cruz" airs weeknights after ABS-CBN's flagship newscast "TV Patrol."