Tikoy Aguiluz ‘ached to do more art to reach greater heights’

Tikoy Aguiluz ‘ached to do more art to reach greater heights’

/ 12:10 AM February 22, 2024

Tikoy Aguiluz ‘ached to do more art to reach greater heights’


Filmmaker and visual artist Amable “Tikoy” Aguiluz VI, who died on Monday morning, was “one of the industry’s intelligent minds” and was “protective but encouraging” of his talents, said actors Raymond Bagatsing and Michelle Aldana, respectively.

Raymond worked with Tikoy in the movie adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s “Tatarin,” while the former Miss Asia Pacific International (1993), was launched in “Segurista” in 1996.


Tikoy’s passing was announced by his daughter Anima Aguiluz Slangen via Facebook on Monday. In a statement, his family expressed their decision to “mourn in private for the time being … We assure you that once we are ready, we will share details about a public service where all who knew and loved Direk Tikoy can join us in paying tribute and saying our final goodbyes.”


“From my experience with Direk Tikoy, he was relaxed and easy to talk to. He would convey things in simple language, yet get across something of depth. There was also fun sarcasm to him. I really enjoyed his presence. He had a social alertness to him,” Raymond told Inquirer Entertainment on Monday night.

Raymond Bagatsing

Raymond Bagatsing

‘He will be missed’

“Upon his passing, I regret not being able to work with him again after ‘Tatarin.’ There were a couple of projects we were supposed to work on together, but they never materialized. He will be missed,” the actor said.

However, Raymond said Tikoy had kept in touch whenever the director had a new project in mind. “We’d meet and discuss. if he wanted to share a few insights regarding the projects. Direk Tikoy was always pleasant and had a bouncy belly laugh that I enjoyed.”

Meanwhile, Michelle, who is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa, said she was supposed to meet with Tikoy when she returns home later this year. “He has a painting he wanted to give me. I was looking forward to that,” she added.

The actress recalled her fondest memories with Tikoy while shooting “Segurista” in Subic. “I had to bungee jump and was freaking out. At the time, actors were not insured for those things. He took me aside and explained how the scene was crucial—as a cinematic metaphor—for my character’s transition. He knew exactly how to get to me. He didn’t push, but just dropped hints and pricked my actor’s ego. In the end, I even did the jump facing backwards to show my grit and fearlessness! That was unforgettable.”

Michelle Aldana


Protective, encouraging

Michelle then recalled their trip to Toronto, Canada, where “Segurista” was exhibited. “We were with my manager and the people from Viva/Neo Films. He was quite protective, but also encouraging in terms of getting the film recognized and on buddying up with distributors,” she said.


“My last get-together with him was on June 21, 2022 when he exhibited his artwork titled ‘Rara Avis.’ It was memorable for me because it sparked a different tone in our relationship. We were discussing art and his past as an artist instead of just talking about me. I can’t believe he’s gone.

“I think his return to painting was his way of trying to voice out an interior struggle—that’s how it felt for me, at least. He was aching to do more art to reach greater heights,” Michelle observed.

“Segurista” won for Tikoy the best director award from Gawad Urian, where Albert Martinez also won best supporting actor. It was the country’s official entry to the best foreign language category at the annual Academy Awards.

Tikoy’s 1984 debut film, “Boatman,” was exhibited at the 1985 London Film Festival, where it bagged the award for outstanding film of the year.

In 1997, he directed “Rizal sa Dapitan,” which tells the life of national hero Jose Rizal while in exile in Zamboanga del Norte. It bagged the Grand Jury Prize at the Brussels International Film Festival, as well as the best actor honor for Albert. Albert recalled communicating with Tikoy through the years via social media, “but not as frequent,” he added. “Direk would sometimes comment on my roles and characters. The last time we had a long engagement was in 2023, when Direk’s brother got sick.”

Tikoy graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in comparative literature and fine arts. He cofounded in 1976 the UP Film Center, now called the UP Film Institute. He was the founder of the defunct Cinemanila International Film Festival.

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In 2003, the French government awarded Aguiluz the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres prize for his contributions to Philippine cinema.

Other noteworthy films include “Balweg” and “Bagong Bayani.”
TAGS: Michelle Aldana, obituary, Raymond Bagatsing, Tikoy Aguiluz

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