Remembering Direk Maryo J
Maryo J. delos Reyes and I fondly called each other “Tokyo Love” because of the fun bonding we, along with my mom, had in Japan many cherry blossom seasons ago. I also enjoyed our trip to his hometown in Bohol in 2015. He invited me to join the Sandugo festivities.
Direk Maryo had no mean bone in his body. He was a friend/mentor of perpetual help to many. More than his incredible body of work, he will never be forgotten because of his genuine kindness.
Pack up, change location, Direk. God has sent your call slip. Take a bow for a life well-lived and a job well-done. Heaven will be a zanier place with you around.
Here, celebs share their fondest “Maryo J memories”:
GLORIA ROMERO: On the set, he always wanted us all to eat together. Many people send him food because he was well-loved. I will miss his one-of-a-kind laughter.
VILMA SANTOS: I experienced my one and only workshop with Direk Maryo for our movie, “Tagos ng Dugo,” where I had seven leading men. I was quite shy because my costars were all men, and most scenes were delicate. He told me that it didn’t matter if my scenes were with a guy or a girl. He told me to focus on portraying my character. Because of his guidance, I won an award for that film.
He’s clannish. He had a permanent set of friends in show biz. He remained humble in spite of his stature.
CESAR MONTANO: Direk Maryo was one of my first mentors. He was like a brother to me. He’s my paisano, because we’re both from Bohol. Back in the ’80s, when I was just starting as an actor, he would let me spend weekends at his Laguna rest house with my girlfriend back then. He was always more than willing to help and share his blessings.
RICKY DAVAO: I owe Direk Maryo a lot as an actor and director. I could not help but break down at his wake. He opened many doors for me. He gave me my first bida role in “Rock en Roll” and encouraged me to try acting in theater. He told me to love my craft, not for the monetary rewards, but for the artistry and fulfillment that came with it.
JOSE JAVIER REYES: It was always a joy working with Maryo because of his infectious laughter and a disposition that was unruffled by chance or circumstance. He was one of the most genuinely giving people in the business, who always had a positive side to any situation and a love for life.
ROCCO NACINO: One time, he sat me down and asked me whether I wanted to be an actor or a matinee idol. This was during my first show for GMA 7, where he pulled me out of my 40-day workshop, post-“StarStruck.” It was then that I decided I wanted to be a versatile actor. Then, he gave me the “do’s and don’ts” in order to get to where I want to go. I won’t forget his selflessness and how he wanted others to succeed without asking for anything in return. The last time we talked was during his birthday. We exchanged a lot of hugs and laughter that night, not knowing that that would be our last conversation.
GABBY EIGENMANN: Whenever I greet Direk Maryo on the set, he would always look at me and even fix my hair so that I’d look good—that was how sweet he was. I won my first acting award for “Munting Heredera,” which he directed. He brought out the best in me.
YASMIEN KURDI: He turned everything into fun. For him, life was one big party.
MAX COLLINS: Direk Maryo, you were never just a director to me. You were a friend. I can’t forget that giggle of yours, your eccentric hair that always needs to have a pop of color, and your bear hug, which always made me feel better. I remember the last time I saw your sweet smile and those twinkling eyes after having had too much to drink at my wedding. You lived an adventurous life, and maybe this is your award-winning ending.
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