Film producer and local movie pioneer Ma. Azucena "Manay Ichu" Vera-Perez Maceda has succumbed to cardio respiratory failure, her family confirmed. She was 77.
Fondly called as Manay Ichu by her colleagues in the film industry, Maceda was born on Dec. 23, 1942 to the family that owned Sampaguita Picture, one of the biggest film productions in the Philippines from the ‘30s to the ‘70s.
According to radio announcer Ali Sotto, in a flash report made on dzBB, Maceda had been ill for a long time before her demise today, Sept. 7.
“Matagal na pong may karamdaman si Manay Ichu, as she is lovingly called. So she has been ill for a long time. Lumalaban lang siya. For the past days, marami ang request for her healing but God, in His wisdom, has decided to bring her home,” Sotto said.
In a Facebook post, Maceda’s nephew Rep. Christopher De Venecia, son of her sister Gina De Venecia, confirmed the death of the local movie pioneer.
“I will really miss you Mama Tutu. You are a pillar of the Philippine film industry who took care of me as I grew up. Mahal na mahal ka namin,” the former TV personality wrote in his social media post.
As one of the pillars of local cinema, Maceda was one of the founders of the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund), the Film Developmental Council of the Philippines, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the Film Academy of the Philippines, the Philippine Motion Picture Producers Association (PMPPA), and the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP). She was widely known for producing films with Dyesebel and Batch 81 as two of her most popular and highly acclaimed projects.
Some of her notable works also include Just Married 'Do Not Disturb' (1972), Umibig ay Di Biro (1964) and Always in My Heart (1971).
(Maceda's family will honor her with a mass at 6:00 tonight in Arlington Chapel. Her remains will be cremated immediately. She will be inurned at Sampaguita Chapel beginning tomorrow from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m..In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to MOWELFUND.)
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