MANILA, Philippines—More than a week after veteran actress Amable “Ama” Quiambao succumbed to heart attack, Philippine theater lost another prime mover, Elmar Beltran Ingles, who died Tuesday morning in his apartment.
Ingles, 49, reportedly died from complications of diabetes, his long-time friend Joel Saracho told INQUIRER.net
“Walang (There was no) official announcement. But he was diabetic and (the) last (time) I saw him at the (Virgin) Labfest, his weight loss was noticeable. Must have been some complications from diabetes. Grabe ang lungkot,” Saracho said.
Virgin Labfest was the recently concluded two-week long festival of new plays staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
“He was recently diagnosed as diabetic. His sister said he wasn’t feeling well last night (Monday),” said another long-time friend, actor-composer-musician-playwright Vincent de Jesus.
Ingles was Philstage’s Gawad Buhay! executive director and jury coordinator. Philstage is The Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, the country’s only organization of professional performing arts companies founded in 1997. Gawad Buhay! gives annual awards to key players and groups in the performing arts.
He was also known as writer, editor and cultural educator. He had written plays and news features, among others.
Ingles recently contributed two articles for INQUIRER lifestyle’s theater section regarding the nominees and winners of this year’s Gawad Buhay! awards.
Ingles was executive director of the Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM). He was also a former commissioner at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
His friends and former collaborators posted several tributes via social media.
Seasoned actress and Theater Actors Guild (TAG) president Kalila Aguilos wrote in her Facebook account: “I have no preconceived notions of Elmar Beltran Ingles. We never worked together until he invited me to a meeting at the NCCA, and my reaction to this meeting gave birth to the Theater Actors Guild. Since then for almost everything related to Artists Welfare, I turned to Elmar. He is the contact in OPM, the contact in Philstage, the contact in the NCCA. He is a fixture in my life that way. My unbiased opinion of the man is that he really cares and that he works hard for things to progress in the industry. I lost someone today.”
Theater actress Jenny Jamora wrote: “Words cannot express how grateful I am to Elmar Beltran Ingles for guiding us in the Theatre Actors Guild, specifically the Talent Development and Training Committee. Thank you for guiding us in our grant search, for helping address our hunger for continuous training in our art. You will be greatly missed. Sino na ngayon yung kukulitin ko? Rest in peace, Elmar.”
Saracho recalled how he and Ingles met as fellows at the University of the Philippines Writers Workshop years ago and how their friendship grew from there. He expounded how Ingles became an active “organizer, manager, coordinator and administrator” in various cultural organizations.
Sources said the wake for Ingles will be held Tuesday night and the whole Wednesday at Rizal Funeral Homes, Celestina Street, Libertad, Pasay City. His remains will be brought home to Lucena City, Quezon, on Thursday.