DEAR FRIEND – My dear friend, Donna Villa, died more than two months ago, but it’s only now that I can write about her. Then I tried, but words wouldn’t come out of my mind. Perhaps, because her death came so unexpected, so sudden.
I couldn’t believe it when Ethel Ramos called to announce Donna’s passing. It was only when I saw her beautiful face resting in a coffin that it dawned on me that, yes, my dear friend was really gone. At the funeral parlor, grief was written on the face of her husband, Carlo J. Caparas, seated in one corner. Their children CJ and Peach welcomed guests who paid their respects.
Only last December, Carlo and Donna’s Christmas gift was delivered at home – as the couple had been doing so for some 30 years or so. Didn’t know that at that time, Donna was already confined in hospital. She didn’t want her friends to worry during the Christmas season. When I thanked her via text, Donna replied she was thankful we remained friends through the years.
THANKS TO – Got to know Donna and Carlo from way back, thanks to the late Mar Cornes, who was Donna’s long-time PR and manager. Then Donna would “scold” Mar for writing every so often about the actress’ “daing” business when she was only in her early teens.
Donna – Marian Patalinjug offcam – came from a landed family in Cebu. Early in life, she was already business-minded, engaging in that oft – written “daing” buy-and-sell.
By the way, Donna’s early friends in showbiz included Ethel Ramos and Ricky Lo, also thanks to Mar’s introduction.
Actually, Donna and Carlo were media-friendly, be they big or small name writers. All of them were welcome in their presscons.
GOLDEN LIONS TANDEM – Donna gave up acting when she married Carlo. They formed Golden Lion productions, with Carlo taking care of the creative side (writing, directing) and Donna in charge of production (marketing, booking, promo).
It was a perfect tandem…making hit after hit and also winning awards.
Golden Lion was identified with the so-called massacre movies, but actually the studio also produced action-dramas and comedies.
Think of “Pieta,” “Bubbles,” “Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang,” “Ayaw Matulog ng Magdamag,” “God Save Me,” Kahit Ako’y Lupa,” “Utol Dugong Buhay,” “Tuklaw.” Action-dramas all. The comedies: “Andres de Saya,” “Mong,” “Agatona,” “Lahing Pikutin.”
Carlo – the undisputed Komiks King – wrote novels directed by others: “Panday,” “Totoy Bato,” “Angela Markado,” “Sandakot ng Bala,” “Somewhere.”
Hopefully, even without his beloved Donna, Carlo will continue writing and making movies.
This columnist – and surely also Ricky, Ethel, and many others – will miss and always remember Donna Villa.