Amid our praises for Gilas Pilipinas's gutsy run at the FIBA World Cup, we take some time off from the sports-induced screaming to honor one of Philippine cinema's great figures.
Yesterday was a sad day for the local showbiz industry as veteran actor Mark Gil, 52, died of cirrhosis of the liver at 8 a.m., Monday morning (September 1), leaving fans and colleagues in mourning for the talented thespian.
Gil was part of a clan of actors known for their indubitable screen presence. He was the son of actors Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil, and brother to actors Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil. His legacy will live on in his children, Gabby Eigenmann, Sid Lucero, Andi Eigenmann, Maxine Eigenmann, and Ira Eigenmann–all of whom have inherited their father’s knack for working a script and are exceptional stars in their own right.
Although Gil was prolific both in film and television, it was his role in Mike de Leon’s AKO Batch ’81 that captivated audiences. The 1982 movie, which was an entry to the Cannes Film Festival Directors Fortnight, featured Gil as Sid Lucero (a name which would later be adopted by his son Timmy as his screen name), a college neophyte vying for the chance to be part of "Alpha Kappa Omega," an infamous fraternity on campus.
There was a raw yet very magnetic machismo present in the way Gil handled the material, a story of mounting moral corruption and its cyclicality. He seared through the silver screen, undergoing the initiation rites at the hands of their masters with a painful sincerity that haunted and disturbed. Plus, he made men the country-over want to grow a suave ’80s porn 'stache.
“Alpha Kappa Omega. Ang simula at wakas ay kapatiran!” goes the fictional fraternity’s motto. And although this might be the end, Mark Gil will live on in his work.
In memory of the exceptional actor, here’s a list of his five badass moments from the movie Batch ’81.
RIP, Mr. Gil. You will be missed.
SONG AND DANCE IN A MINISKIRT? TNL!
One integral scene features the neophytes performing for "Upakan ’81," an annual frat event where AKO and ΣOΣ (Sigma Omicron Sigma) take the stage. Together with their masters, Sid Lucero and the other neophytes channel Liza Minnelli in a remake of the Bob Fosse musical Cabaret. Laugh if you will, but it takes a real man to pull off drag.
PECS OF STEEL: UNLOCKED
The late Johnny Delgado plays a frat brod/doctor who gives Sid an agonizing physical examination: attaching forceps to his subject’s chest, testing his endurance for pain.