Celebrities pay last respects to Mario O'Hara

Posted at 06/28/2012 2:35 PM | Updated as of 06/28/2012 2:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Tributes poured in for veteran director, actor and screenwriter Mario O’Hara, who succumbed to leukemia Tuesday morning at 68 years old.

His remains now lie at a church in Magallanes Village, Makati City.

Family members have requested that they be allowed to mourn privately.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts calls O’Hara a giant in film while the numerous actors he worked with over the years sing nothing but praises for him.

Among them are Quezon City Councilor Alfred Vargas, who starred in O’Hara's "Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio," and one of the director's favorite actresses, Vangie Labalan.

Several industry stalwarts also paid their last respects to the O'Hara, including director Brillante Mendoza and actor John Arcilla.

“Si Mario kasi 'yung simplicity niya at humility niya katumbas na ng name niya 'yung salutation,” said Arcilla.

“Among all the directors na nakasama ko, siya talaga yung... pumupunta kasi sa screening eh. Bihira iyan sa mga directors na mag-aaksaya ng panahon para lang panoorin ang pelikula ng kapwa niya direktor,” Mendoza added.

A tribute was also dedicated to O’Hara at the Young Critics Circle Awards at the University of the Philippines. -- ANC