Memories of Mark Gil, icon and friend
Actors come and go. Only a few can enjoy the staying power that Mark Gil (Ralph Eigenmann) had. Even now that he’s gone, his presence can still be felt in his brilliant movies.
By watching his films, aspirants can take a master class in acting. But beyond his illustrious career, Mark was well-loved by industry insiders.
I am grateful that in this cruel business, we considered each other friends. I remember when his daughter, Andi Eigenmann, started making waves in the biz, the proud dad confided in me: “You can now call me the father of Andi Eigenmann.”
I wish he can hear us now hailing him an icon and a legend. Here’s to you, Ralph! You are one of the best things that ever happened to Philippine show business.
Here’s a mini-tribute from Mark’s colleagues:
I was about 16 when I decided to join show biz. Tita Rosemarie Gil was my mentor. She gave me a crash course on the biz. She was like a mother to me and her son Ralph (Mark) was like a brother to me. Mark owned the best car in our gang. The Mitsubishi Lancer L type 1.6L was one of the fastest porma cars in those days and he was the first to have it. He was our idol. There was never a dull moment with him on the set. He was always full of energy. I picked up not a few acting tips from him. His legacy will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Hermano.
Mark was such a sweetheart. He was a gentleman and so pleasant to be with. He had no arrogance in his body.
Tirso Cruz III
Mark was the kind of person who never dwelled on negative thoughts. He always loved and celebrated the beauty of life. Our term of endearment for each other was “El Bandido” (or Bandit).
Mark was a perfectionist. Once, we did a difficult scene way past midnight after a long taping day. He insisted on doing more takes than required. His execution was perfect.
I was still new in the industry when I won Best Actor for “Mulanay.” When I bumped into Ralph in Kuya German Moreno’s show, he congratulated me. He made me feel like a big star and I got embarrassed. I couldn’t believe how humble this great actor was. I told him that I was his fan. That his films inspired me. That I learned a lot from him, his brother Michael de Mesa and Christopher de Leon.
He blushed and said that my admission had given him goosebumps. He made me realize that not all actors were full of themselves.
I got the chance to bond with Ralph while doing the movie “Seduction.” He would share with me his escapades with (my husband) William (Martinez) in the 1980s. I love his being brutally frank. He speaks his mind regardless of the situation. I wish I was that open and fearless. I appreciate his sweetness, too. He always made sure I was okay in our scenes.
I am honored to be one of the few close friends of the intense Eigenmann family. Unknown to many, Ralph loved to cook. He always wanted to cook for us, but it never happened. A week before he passed, he whipped up bacalao for us in his home. The circle is now incomplete. Ralph now has space and energy … And we move on.
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