Sharon Cuneta on Cherie Gil’s passing: End of an era

Gil was married to violinist Rony Rogoff, with whom she had two children, Bianca and Raphael. Her eldest son, Jeremiah David (Jay), was from a previous relationship with actor Leo Martinez

SHARON Cuneta by Cherie Gil's hospital bed. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/REALLYSHARONCUNETA

SHARON Cuneta by Cherie Gil’s hospital bed. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/REALLYSHARONCUNETA

3 days ago

Cuneta and Gil were cast in the 1985 film ‘Bituing Walang Ningning,’ in which they played rival singers. Its most famous scene had the veteran Lavinina Arguelles (Gil) telling off the rising Dorina Pineda (Cuneta): ‘You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat!’

“It’s the end of an era now that you’ve left us,” Sharon Cuneta said of Cherie Gil’s death on 5 August of metastatic breast cancer at age 59.

Gil was dubbed La Primera Contravida or the quintessential villain of Philippine movies.

Cuneta posted on Instagram a photo of her beside a hospital bed, tears streaming down her face and holding Gil’s right hand.

In the caption, Cuneta said, addressing Gil, that she took an early flight to New York “with a heavy heart,” hanging on “to that sliver of hope of God performing a miracle (and) allowing you to pull through this.”

Cuneta and Gil were cast in the 1985 film Bituing Walang Ningning, in which they played rival singers. Its most famous scene had the veteran Lavinina Arguelles (Gil) telling off the rising Dorina Pineda (Cuneta): “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat!”

The two actors became close friends.

“We said ‘I love you’ and I said ‘I’d see you again today’ (and) you raised both arms and gave me (two) thumbs up with both hands,” Cuneta said in her online post. “Barely 11 hours after I left you, I was awakened by his call saying you had passed…”

It was Annabelle Rama, the talent manager of Gil, who broke the news on Instagram of the latter’s demise.

Actor Sid Lucero, Gil’s nephew, confirmed it in an interview on GMA.

Gil — born Evangeline Rose Gil Eigenmann to celebrity couple Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil on 12 May 1963 — appeared in numerous films, most notably in Manila by Night (1980), Oro, Plata, Mata (1982), Sugatang Puso (2001), Citizen Jake (2018).

She also performed onstage in the plays Full Gallop and Angels in America.

Gil conducted acting masterclasses online at the height of the pandemic.

Early this year, she disclosed to Mega Magazine that she sold all her things, packed up and moved to New York to be with her family. She also shaved head to symbolize rebirth.

Gil was married to violinist Rony Rogoff, with whom she had two children, Bianca and Raphael. Her eldest son, Jeremiah David (Jay), was from a previous relationship with actor Leo Martinez.


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