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Action director Toto Natividad packs up to COVID-19

Another show business icon has been claimed by the fatal COVID-19.

This was confirmed by his daughter Ayette Natividad de Guzman in her Facebook post: “It is with our deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved father, Direk Federico ‘Toto’ S. Natividad Jr, this morning (April 27, 2021) due to complications brought about by Covid-19.

“His longstanding career and legacy as a talented film director paved the way for many others in the industry and will never be forgotten.”

Toto lost his fight against the virus after almost a week in confinement in a Pampanga hospital when no health facility had admitted him in Metro Manila because of overcrowded health system.

Local show business is mourning the loss of an iconic action director.

Fellow directors offer eulogy to Natividad:

“The Directors Guild of the Philippines (DGPI) mourns the passing of one of the founders of guild, director Toto Natividad.

“Toto was a filmmaker whose pioneering work in local action cinema was instrumental in the resurgence of the genre back in the ‘90s. He also directed audience favorites for television such “Ang Probinsiyano” and “Cain at Abel…”

Film workers also pay tribute to the fallen filmmaker. Here are some of them:

“Icon na siya pagdating sa mga action films bilang nakatrabaho na niya ang mga pinakamalalaking action superstars. Nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataong makatrabaho siya bilang Creative Manager/Head Writer sa dalawang teleserye noon sa ABS-CBN. Isa siya sa iilang direktor na napakacool katrabaho, walang yabang at marespeto sa writers. Hindi kita malilimutan, Direk, pati ang mga ambag mo sa industriya at sa mga constituents mo nang naging Barangay Chairman ka. At ang mga kwentuhan nating masasaya at madadrama din. Si Direk Toto ay naging direktor nang matagal din sa ‘Ang Probinsyano’ bago pa nawalan ng prangkisa ang ABS. Hanggang sa naging busy na siya sa pagiging Barangay Chair. Mahusay siyang direktor at isang mabuting tao. Pahinga ka na, Direk. Pakikiramay sa kanyang Pamilya.  (He’s already an icon in action films when he was working with big action superstars. I had the chance to work with him as a Creative Director/Head Writer of two teleseryes in ABS-CBN. He was one of the few cool- headed directors. He was not boastful and respected the writers I cannot forget and your contributions to the industry and public service when you became Barangay Chairman. How happy and memorable conversations. Direk Too was directing ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ long before ABS had lost lost franchise until he became busy as a politician. He was an excellent director and a human being. Rest in Peace, Direk. My condolences to the family). This is so sad—Gina Marissa Tagasa

“One of my first major roles in ABS-CBN was under the direction of Direk Toto Natividad for ‘Ligaw na Bulaklak.’ I loved him! He had a warm vibe on the set, with little jokes here and there, the ‘action director’ who cared a lot about performances. He had a lot of faith in me and as a result gave me more confidence in myself. I am deeply saddened to learn about his passing. I know he had much more to offer in this world, pero ganun ang nangyari (but this happened)…”—Ina Feleo

Nakakalungkot…ang sakit sa dibdib…Paalam sa isa sa paborito kong magaling na director. Idol ko na napakasipag na Barangay Chairman. Kaibigan ko ng more than 35 years. Ninong ng anak ko…Di ko makakalimutan ng una mo akong kinuhang artista, ikaw mismo mag isa ang pumunta sa bahay namin para kausapin ako. Di pa nga ako naniwala nung una na Director ka kse ang bata mo. At Mula noon naging magkaibigan na tayo. Pag bored ka tatawag ka magyayaya na makinig ng banda sa isang paborito mong lugar. Hanggang naging Ninong ka ng anak ko… natuwa ako nung maging director ko ang mga anak mo kse ibig sabihin tumanda na tayo pero magkaibigan pa rin tayo… (It’s sad…vert painful…Goodbye to one of my favorite directors. My idol as a Barangay Chairman. My friend for more than 35 years. My child’s godfather. I won’t forget when you went personally to my house to offer me a role in a film. I couldn’t believe that time that you were a director because you were so young. After that, we were already friends. If you were bored, you just had to call me to listen to musical bands on one of your favorite hangouts…I felt happy when I was directed by your kids because it meant we had aged but still friends…”—Marithez Samson.

“Two of the movies I appeared in with Eddie Garcia were directed by Direk Toto Natividad. Thank you, Direk Toto for being very patient with me even as I forgot my lines several times. My deepest condolences to Direk Toto’s daughter Ayette Natividad de Guzman who was my student in Assumption College.”—Tato Malay           

Maraming Salamat sa lahat ng proyektong pinagsamahan at maraming gabing kwentuhan sa (Thank you so much for all the projects we were together and the many nights of chat inn 22nd Street Comedy Bar.” –Mon Confiado

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