Tiya Pusit dies of multiple organ failure
MANILA, Philippines—Veteran comedienne Tiya Pusit, who became a household name via the 1980s sitcom “Eh Kasi Babae,” passed away due to multiple organ failure at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City on Thursday night. She was 66.
Tiya Pusit, whose real name was Myrna Villanueva, died at 11:30 p.m., according to her son Christian Uybengkee.
Villanueva’s remains now lie at the St. Peter Chapels in Quezon City, with public viewing allowed starting Saturday until Tuesday. Interment details were to be announced later.
Uybengkee called for prayers from his mother’s fans. “The family is in pain but is trying to cope with her death the best way we can,” he told the Inquirer by phone on Friday.
Villanueva, who had fallen ill in April, battled several health problems, including kidney failure and aortic aneurysm. She underwent a double heart bypass surgery on Sept. 9, but failed to recover from it. In a statement, Uybengkee said Villanueva had had two episodes of stroke since the operation. Her kidneys also failed “rapidly.”
Villanueva’s friend, Elaine Lozano, was at the hospital at the time of the comedienne’s passing. “I was also with her last Monday. I even told her that she should get better because she’s too beautiful to be staying in a hospital. She just looked at me with her smiling eyes,” Lozano recalled.
Lozano said Villanueva “flat-lined right after the members of a prayer group present (on Thursday night) finished their prayer and said ‘Amen.’ It was a bittersweet moment. It was like she had been released and would no longer experience all the hardships.”
Lozano is the organizer of a benefit show set on Sunday, supposedly to raise funds for Villanueva’s treatment. She said her group would still push through with the “Concert For a Cause” to be held at 8 p.m., at the comedy bar Zirkoh in Quezon City.
“This will be a big help to her family, especially since I was told that P1.5 million is still needed to pay for her hospital bills,” Lozano said.
Singers like Nanette Inventor, Bimbo Cerudo and Richard Reynoso, comediennes Joy Viado and Pokwang, as well as celebrities Lotlot de Leon and Elmo Magalona have all promised to perform at the concert.
Villanueva was last seen in ABS-CBN’s drama series “Ikaw Lamang” and the TV5 sitcom “Confessions of a Torpe.” She was also in GMA 7 programs “Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas” (2013), “One True Love” (2012), “Bahay Mo Ba ‘To?” (2005), as well as in “Mara Clara” (ABS-CBN, 2011) and “Momay” (ABS-CBN, 2010).
Tiya Pusit was best known for her comedic roles in a career that spanned over three decades. On the big screen, she appeared in over a dozen movies like “Dorm Boys” (2012), “A Journey Home” (2009), “Bakit ba Ganyan (Ewan ko nga ba, Darling)” (2000), “Huwag na Huwag kang Lalapit Darling” (1997) and “Hulihin si…Nardong Toothpick (1990), and “Leroy Leroy Sinta” (1988).
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