Noel Trinidad recalls last moments with Subas Herrero
Actor urges tribute for late comedian
MANILA, Philippines -- The passing of comedian Subas Herrero on Friday came as a shock to his best friend and onscreen partner Noel Trinidad, as they had been celebrating his progress in his physical well-being only a week earlier.
In an interview during the "@ancalerts" newscast on Friday, Trinidad said Herrero, who was based in New York, had expressed excitement over slowly being able to walk again from being in a wheelchair.
"Last week, when I was talking to him he was very upbeat, because he was doing this new physical therapy... He said he could now stand up on his own, and if he would hang on to things, he could move from one place to another," said Trinidad, who rose to fame along with Herrero as a comedy duo in the '80s.
"Unlike before, especially when he was here in Manila," Trinidad added, "three people would carry him from one chair to another. And in the States, he had this machine to carry him, but this time he could do it on his own, very slowly, but he said he was very optimistic that he could walk again."
Trinidad said he learned of Herrero's passing Friday morning from the latter's wife Maripaz who, he said, was shocked over her husband's death. Herrero is survived by Maripaz and their children Sandra, Inez, Cutuy, Marimi and Choy.
Herrero's family had been preparing a surprise birthday party for him, according to Trinidad. The late comedian would have turned 70 on April 3.
"In fact I was asked to do a toast for him, which was going be delivered on that party, so everybody was shocked. Nobody expected this at all, you can imagine, especially the family," he said.
Owing to their long history as friends and as a hit comedy duo, Trinidad said he had always considered Herrero his brother.
It was during their grade school days when the pair started to perform together in plays and as part of the glee club. According to Trinidad, their friendship and stage partnership lasted until their college days.
In the '70s, Trinidad recalled, "we finally did a movie called 'Sinta.' It was the first time we teamed up professionally."
"After that, when people started saying 'you two look nice together,' I thought, I told him, 'You know, we should team up professionally,' and so we did, we had an act, which eventually turned into 'Champoy,'" Trinidad said.
"Champoy," which was aired on RPN-9 in 1981, was a sketch comedy show that also featured comedienne-singer Mitch Valdes.
"Luckily for us," Trinidad said, "that turned out to be a very successful show. We are so proud of that show, and it's because of the chemistry of the whole gang that we had there."
To this day, the comedian added, fans of the program would still approach him to ask where his "other half" is. "It's funny, because when they see Subas, they ask him, 'Where's Noel?'" he said.
Asked how he wishes Filipino viewers and the entertainment industry will remember Herrero, Trinidad said, "as a very professional entertainer, but more importantly as a terrific human being."
"His heart is in the right place, aside from the fact that he's very talented. So I hope we will pay him tribute now that he's passed away. I want people to remember him now again, and give him the tribute that he so well deserves," Trinidad said.