MANILA - The showbiz industry is mourning the loss of another stalwart, Ester Chavez, who made her mark as a competent actress in scores of movies, radio and television shows.
Chavez, 93, died May 31 in a Metro Manila hospital due to old age complications, according to her daughter-in-law Boots Misa Chavez.
The family has yet to arrange her final resting place after her cremation last June 1.
“She was getting on in years but we were never really prepared for this moment,” the younger Chavez told ABS-CBN News Sunday.
As a radio talent in Dely Magpayo’s program, Chavez’s voice was recognizable to many generations in other popular shows like “Tangi Kong Pag-ibig” and “Ilaw Ng Tahanan” where she was known as Aling Chayong.
She eventually crossed over to films and television where she was typecast as the mother of the lead star or the wise elder relative in potboilers like “Anna Liza” with Julie Vega.
Director Joel Lamangan somehow broke that norm when he cast her as the exacting judge in the 1994 movie “Pangako Ng Kahapon."
“She was a very professional actress. Pagdating sa set, naka make-up na, ayos na, alam na ang mga linya," said Lamangan who also acted with Chavez in the 80s Lino Brocka movie “Orapronobis.”
She is well-remembered for “Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap” (1984), “Paano Kung Wala Ka Na?” (1987) and “Maging Sino Ka Man” (1991).
Up until six years ago, before she had a stroke, Chavez was still reporting at DZRH for her weekly radio program.
“That gave her a sense of purpose," Boots Chavez related. “She was an actor through and through and prepared for it well with her make-up and well maintained hair. Posteryosa siya! We were telling her baka yung pang taxi mo with an assistant mas malaki pa sa talent fee mo but she still worked. That is her passion! Showbiz was ingrained in her since she was 17.”
“She was a true professional and looked forward to each call with enthusiasm. No matter how small the part, she gave it her 100 percent,” her daughter-in-law added.
"She led her life simply and honestly. She was so humble, she was always surprised when the public recognizes her and called her 'Mommy' Ester."
A grandmother to 10 grandchildren and four great grand kids,
Chavez was married to the late Col. William Chavez. She is also survived by her sons Armando “Mandy,” and Andrew “Ji.” Her only daughter, Annabelle “Bebet,” passed in August 2020,
according to Boots Chavez.
The family is currently holding private novena masses for their matriarch. They have yet to confirm burial arrangements at the family plot at Loyola Marikina.