MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Actor-comedian Redford White passed away Sunday morning at his home in Novaliches after losing his battle with cancer. He was 54.
According to a certain Edwin Ringo of Barangay 177 in Maligaya Park Subdivision, Novaliches, White, who died at 6:47 a.m., had a brain tumor.
“Ayon sa ating tanod, namatay [siya] dahil sa sakit sa tumor sa utak,” Ringo told radio dzMM.
Singer-composer Jim Paredes, a close friend of the comedian, said White had been sick since February. According to “The Buzz” report, it was in February of this year when the actor was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.
“I saw him yesterday (Saturday) to bring him Tita Cory's rosary given to her by Sr. Lucia of Fatima. We hugged the last time, exchanged 'love you, 'pre', had one good laugh, a few tears and an 'ingat 'pre' before I turned around and left his room,” Paredes said.
“The Buzz” reported that it was in July 2008 when the actor began to experience dizziness and difficulty in walking. He also complained of losing his balance.
|Redford White in ABS-CBN's "Kokey"
According to the report, his doctor had advised him to undergo Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but the actor refused. The report said White thought he was suffering from vertigo.
The report said his doctor also discovered a lung tumor.
Writer Woodrow Serafin, White’s close friend, said his body will lie in state at 139 Sto. Niño de Maligaya Shrine, Maligaya Subdivision, Novaliches.
He is survived by his wife, Elena Cermeno, and daughter Jeruie.
3 decades of entertainment
Born Cipriano Cermeno on Dec. 5, 1955, the comedian had been in the entertainment industry for 3 decades. He was last seen on television in the ABS-CBN primetime programs “Kokey” (2007) and “Palos” (2008).
He was last seen on the silver screen in the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After (The Ungasis and Escaleras Adventure).”
Incidentally, his first television appearance in 1977 was in the “Iskul Bukol” television series.
He was also known as “Sol” in the comedy program “Buddy en Sol” where he starred alongside Eric Quizon. Their successful TV tandem also headlined the movies “Buddy en Sol (Sine ito)” and “Buddy en Sol: Praybeyt depektibs.”
The comedian also starred in various films such as “Tar-San,” “Ala eh... Con Bisoy! Hale-hale-hoy!: Laging panalo ang mga unggoy,” “Haba-baba-doo! Puti-puti-poo!” and “I Do, I Die (Diyos ko Day).”
His earlier films include “Hee-Man: Master of None,” “Billy the Kid and the Sunshine Gid,” “Wrong Rangers,” “Rambo Tan-go,” “Darakula,” and “Tartan.”
‘Honest and good man’
In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Quizon described White as “a good friend, a wonderful father, a loving husband and a faithful son of God.”
“Today is one of the saddest days of my life. A truly honest and good man has passed away. Red was my partner. My sol. We were One. I was the body, he was the soul. I was the vessel, he was the spirit,” he said, adding:
“He was a man who believed in the craft and valued his work. He was a professional and dedicated actor that everybody admired…. He is now one with his creator. We love you Red. We will miss you.”
Quizon, along with Leo Martinez, visited White at his home last Tuesday before he was brought to a Quezon City hospital.
Paredes, on the other hand, said the actor-comedian had taught him many things including “simplicity, generosity, kindness, lightness of spirit, good humor, pure friendship and love.”
“Bahala ka na sa akin sa taas. My tears are welling as I write this. It's been a great wonderful life you have led. I will see you again. I know that. Ingat, p're!” he said. -With a report from The Buzz