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Writer-director Nestor Torre Jr. dies, 78

Veteran writer-director and journalist Nestor Torre Jr. passed away on Tuesday due to COVID-19 and heart disease complications, his nephew said. He was 78.

Nestor U. Torre Jr.
Jan Alexander Torre told ABS-CBN News his uncle expired at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila at 8:29 a.m. on Tuesday.

Boots Anson Rodrigo, a close friend of Torre and his family, said his remains will be immediately cremated at Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City.

His family has yet to finalize his inurnment at the Sta. Ana Church columbarium, where Torre’s mother Isabel is also buried.

Torre leaves behind a rich legacy in entertainment journalism and stage musicals. His rise in local showbiz started in the early 1960s

when Rodrigo’s late husband, Pete Roa, asked him to direct ABS-CBN’s “Two for the Road” talk show with Elvira Manahan, Joey Lardizabal, and Eddie Mercado.

Before this, the young Torre, fresh from earning his Master’s degree in journalism, radio and television at the Northwestern University in Illinois, had also taught at the University of the Philippines, where Rodrigo (more famously known as Boots Anson-Roa before she remarried) was one of his students in broadcast media.

Torre later co-hosted "Two for the Road II" with Manahan, Johnny Litton, and George Sison. He also directed Pete Roa in “Sanlinggo,” a PTV4 talk show.

He also dabbled in movies in the 1970s as writer or director of such projects as Hilda Koronel’s “Crush ko si Sir,” “Ang Isinilang Ko Ba’y Kasalanan,” and the Joseph Estrada-Vilma Santos starrer “King Khayam and I.”

Torre also made his mark writing religious musicals like “Magnificat,”

“Birhen ng Caysasay,” Pope John Paul II’s life story and the Padre Pio bio series, produced by Rodrigo’s foundation, PRIME, where Torre was a board member. He also directed musicals like “Katy” and “Chinoy.”

“He was an admired mentor, adviser, colleague, friend and loving son to his mother, and a decent man who nurtured professional and personal integrity to the end,” Rodrigo told ABS-CBN News.

Torre was also known for his incisive columns and features at the Philippine Daily Inquirer. With his wit and humor as a television authority, he reviewed many programs and policed the many grammatical errors on national television.

Mrs. Torre, who took care of Nestor after he suffered a stroke in February 2018, died at 100 years old last October 2020 due to advanced age complications.

“Tita Isabel’s death was a big blow to Nestor. That may have also precipitated the deterioration of his health,” Rodrigo told ABS-CBN News.

Torre’s last public appearance was at Rodrigo’s 75th birthday in January 2020 before the pandemic. Together with his late mother, Torre savored the company of friends and colleagues from his halcyon days.

Topics: Nestor Torre Jr , COVID-19 , Jan Alexander Torre , Arlington Memorial Chapels
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