MANILA -- Theater and film artist Lito Casaje, known to many as the co-director of the award-winning movie "Tanabata's Wife," has passed away.
The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) made the announcement in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Citing a statement from Casaje's family, the Philippine PEN said he passed away due to cancer.
It added that there will be no wake for Casaje, who will be cremated on Wednesday, October 28, at the Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City.
Considered one of the most respected figures in Philippine theater, Casaje founded the theater company Dramatis Personae with the late dramatist Bienvenido Noriego.
He has been recognized by the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and Film Development Council of the Philippines for his works, and also taught at De La Salle University and La Consolacion College.
It was in 2018 when he returned to filmmaking after several years via "Tanabata's Wife," which he co-directed with Choy Pangilinan and Charlson Ong.
Also on Monday, the Facebook page of "Tanabata's Wife" mourned the death of one of its directors.
"It is with great sadness that the 'Tanabata's Wife' team announce that director Lito Casaje has just passed away. We join the mourning of his family and friends," the post read.