Colleagues pay tribute to Isabel Granada

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Isabel Granada and ex-husband Geryk Genasky Aguas in “Xenoa.” Photo courtesy of Sean Lim

Colleagues expressed sadness after the passing of singer-actress Isabel Granada last night.

Granada, who had been in a coma for the past week after suffering an aneurysm, passed away in a hospital in Qatar. She was only 41.

Filmmaker Lav Diaz, who directed Granada in the 1999 film “Hubad sa Ilalim ng Buwan,” told the Inquirer: “She gave a memorable performance in that movie. She was humble and simple.”

Diaz’s kind words were echoed by other directors—veterans and newcomers alike.

Carlos Siguion-Reyna, who guided Granada in her award-winning performance in “Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin,” recalled: “At a very young age, she was such a pro. She truly enjoyed performing and it came across so easily.”

Granada won a Famas best supporting actress trophy for “Ligaya” in 1998.

Lore Reyes, who directed her in “Isang Araw, Walang Diyos” (1983) and “Shake, Rattle & Roll 2” (1984),” described her as a “sweet, gentle girl.”

Young director Sean Lim, who worked with Granada in the sci-fi flicks “Xenoa” (2007) and “Xenoa 2” (2008), related that they had become immediately fond of each other upon their first meeting.

isabel granada

Isabel Granada (third from left) with director Sean Lim (left) and the cast of “Xenoa,” led by Paolo Ballesteros (third from right). Photo courtesy of Sean Lim

“We became very close at once,” Lim shared with the Inquirer. “She really helped us promote our films. We were planning to work on another project this year. I can’t stop crying. She was a very good friend.”

Indie director Borgy Torre collaborated with Granada in one of her last screen appearances, “Tisay”—an entry in last year’s Cinema One Originals film festival.

“We only worked on two scenes, but I quickly got starstruck,” Torre recounted. “She delivered a strong performance” exactly as he had envisioned it in the script.

Isabel Granada. Photo by Sean Lim

Sen. Tito Sotto portrayed Granada’s father in the old IBC 13 sitcom “Hapi House” in 1987.

“My wife Helen (Gamboa) and I are grieving,” Sotto told the Inquirer. “She was like a real daughter to me. Years later, Helen I would still call her Bimbim, the name of her character in the show.”

Singer-actress Lea Salonga, who was Granada’s fellow alumna in the 1980s youth show “That’s Entertainment,” pointed out that they were also schoolmates in OB Montessori.

Salonga volunteered that they knew each other as kids and that she first noticed Granada when the latter was in kindergarten. “She was level-headed and sweet,” Salonga said.

Lim, who is in touch with Granada’s ex-husband and “Xenoa” costar Geryk Genasky Aguas, said that the actress’ remains will arrive in Manila on Thursday. /cbb

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