Movie producer Donna Villa, 57

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PHILIPPINE SHOW business is in mourning over the passing of actress-turned-movie producer Donna Villa late Tuesday at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital in Manila. She was 57.

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Her illness was kept a secret until she was reportedly brought to the hospital on January 10 suffering from the final stage of lung cancer. Her passing rocked social media when entertainment writers and editors known to be close to the movie producer broke the news in their respective accounts.

Arguably one of the most loved personalities in the local movie industry, Villa is the wife of popular director Carlo J. Caparas, touted as the “Komiks King” for writing epic stories-turned-blockbuster movies, among them the late Fernando Poe Jr.’s Ang Panday.

As a husband-and-wife tandem, the director and producer spawned the so-called massacre movies–undeniably the biggest hits in the 1990s–including The Vizconde Massacre: God, Help Us starring Kris Aquino; Lipa “Arandia” Massacre: Lord, Deliver Us From Evil starring Vilma Santos; and The Lilian Velez Story: Till Death Do Us Part starring Sharon Cuneta, all under their outfit, Golden Lion Film Productions.

On Wednesday, the couple’s daughter, Ysabelle Peach–who was named Best New Female Artist in the 64th Famas Awards held in December 2016 for her parents’ most recent production Angela Markado–posted on her Instagram account a photo of her beautiful and smiling mother, captioned with a long message.

@ysabllepeachc: “The outpouring love and support has been a great big help to our family. Family, friends and colleagues, your kind words have been received and appreciated. That being said, I know most of you found out through the media, I am sorry our close loved ones had to find out such terrible news in the most impersonal manner but we had no way of stopping it …

“My mom, despite her image, was an incredibly private person. But my heart is filled with love seeing how much tears are being shed and how many hearts are breaking because of this beautiful human being’s passing, the lives you have touched are truly countless. We will remember you as the big, bright, beautiful spirit that you always were. We will continue what you started, we will help those who need us and live every damn day full of love because that’s what you would’ve wanted. My son will hear of your love for him, mom.

Peach also thanked her mother’s doctors who “did their very best and cared for her above and beyond their Hippocratic oath.”

The young Caparas ended, “I know you’ll continue to give us your love and guidance just from higher up. I love you, my Queen.”

Villa and Caparas also have a son, CJ, who has also appeared in several movies.

Close family friend and talent manager Girlie Rodis posted on Facebook that Villa’s wake will be held at the Cosmopolitan Memorial Chapels and Crematory along Araneta Avenue, Quezon City after her cremation on Wednesday night until January 20.

At press time, Caparas has still not issued a statement over his wife’s passing but has sent messages through friends in show business that the family requests privacy at this very difficult time.

Son CJ on his social media account, posted a message for his dad, however, which said, “You are the epitome of poise and perseverance. You showed grit and resilience even if I knew that the burden was already too much for you to bear.”

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