Denise Laurel on Celia Diaz Laurel as artist and grandmother: ‘The reason I’m on this path today’
Denise Laurel is paying tribute to her late grandmother, Philippine stage icon Celia Diaz Laurel, by looking back at her achievements and sharing them with fans.
“My Lola had so many wonderful hats she filled them all with greatness… Her biography would take anyone else [three] lifetimes to live out,” Denise said on Instagram last Tuesday, July 20.
The granddaughter’s post came with several photos of Celia, including some of them together; some others were throwback photos of the known thespian.
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“[Speaking five] languages saved her family from soldiers during the war at the age of 7, she has helped hundreds and even put amazing artists through school, a painter (studied with [Fernando Amorsolo), a director, actress, singer, writer, costume and set designer, devoted wife, mother of [eight], a multi-awarded human being,” Denise praised her grandma.
She also pointed out that Celia is “someone who also fought for our country many times even helped take down the death penalty at one point,” but also is the “best party thrower lol.”
“[I] could go on..but to me she was my Lola.. who taught me about Love, always lived not just talked about forgiveness, compassion, Gods love and Grace,” Denise said.
“She’s the reason [I’m] even on this path today,” the actress added. “[Since] Lolas passing [I haven’t] really been able to express myself or pen down how [I] feel about lola.”
While she admitted that she has “mixed feelings” and “for sure, shock,” Denise expressed her “gratitude for being able to see her before she passed and that [she’s] not in any discomfort or pain anymore.. and joy that shes up there in heaven.”
“[I] realize that [I haven’t] been able to express how [I] feel about her cause [I] feel words aren’t enough compared to the love she gave me.. [I] cant lie as much as [I] am relieved for her im flat out sad.. losing her seems like an amputation of sorts,” she stressed.
Denise also described her grandma’s love as an “invisible armor and blanket of comfort” that she wore everywhere she went. She also remembered Celia being with her “in every pivotal time in my life especially the hard parts.”
“[I] am so thankful that even with 19 grandkids she made all of us feel special as took all efforts to have a relationship with all of us!” she noted.
“How she loved and lived is something [I] would like to emulate and her death is a tangible absence that will be felt throughout.. Lola, thank you for life, for your grand love. [I] know [you] are having a blast up there! See [you] later [heart emoji] [I] love [you]!” Denise added.
Celia died at age 93 last July 12 due to complications from a stroke. She was a known Philippine stage veteran and patroness of the arts. She honed her artistic craft under playwright Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero, painter Fernando Amorsolo and sculptor Guillermo Tolentino, who all became National Artists.
Other than acting, she also directed, designed sets and costumes for over 70 plays under Repertory Philippines. Aside from her work in Philippine theater, Celia also dabbled in painting and wrote several books. Her 10th and last book, titled “My Lives Behind the Proscenium,” was launched online last May 29.
Despite her achievements, Celia, however, was not without controversy. Back in 2016, she supported the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani amid nationwide protests. Celia’s late husband, former senator and Vice President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, is, meanwhile, known for being one of the most vocal critics of the Marcos regime. /ra
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