We cannot forget you Donna

September 18, 2018

Marian Patalinhug, more known by her screen name of Donna Villa who very unfortunately passed away on January 17, 2017 of cancer more than a year and a half ago, is lamented to this day.  Donna was a beautiful person, in and out, and so full of life.

After having been Chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 1986, Donna was a young budding film producer who frequented the MTRCB for her projects; and I liked her as a person from the start.  She followed all the regulations imposed by the board and never requested for any consideration for a scene that the board reviewers felt improper.

Donna, to me, was one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful actress/producer in the movie and TV industries.  She even starred in a Chinese movie for international release when she was a very young actress in Taiwan as a Chinese princess.  She was so beautiful that she could even star in a Hollywood movie.

To be fair, there are some good-looking actresses in the film industry with a little make-up.  Our local make-up artists, I must say, are good, so good that a plain looking actress can be made to look so beautiful when without make-up (and I have seen many of them) nobody would look a second time.  Really ugly without modern make-up.  There is one rebel actress being considered a candidate whom a friend of mine in the film industry told me that “she is so ugly without make-up.”  This friend told me what a transition from without make-up to made up, like heaven with and like hell without.  My friend told me that he pitied the husbands who would have to see them at home at daytime and regret.  Nighttime is not a problem when the lights are off for in the dark the husband forgets the witch he sleeps with.  President Duterte could possibly dare any actress who challenges and criticizes him to appear on TV without make-up.  There are a few I’ve seen in the movie industry that I almost did not recognize them without make-up.

Donna hardly puts on any make-up and no one can deny how lovely she always was.  She would only apply some powder and a little lipstick on her lips, unlike the others whose make-up are like plaster of Paris, so thick you could not see their skin.

When she passed away, after suffering with tubes stuck on her arms and mouth which was supposed to help her breathe, prevented her to speak.

The day before she died in the UST Hospital, after I tried talking to her, but she only responded by pressing her hand I was holding.  Her vital signs were extremely low but she looked at me directly and I talked to her and caressed her forehead.  She would press my hand wanting to say something but could not.  But her vital signs went up to normal.  Up to the end, she was fighting for her life.  I saw tears in her eyes.

Indeed, she suffered.  The family wanted her cremated and taken to be buried in Cebu beside her mother, but Carlo asked me for my opinion.  I told him to please give Donna’s many friends and admirers a chance to see her in cuerpo presente, in her natural self, not cremated.  I told Carlo to consider not to cremate her for even only a day to give her admirers to see her for the last time.  But that will all depend after fixing her up, I will decide if she looks well, without the looks of suffering.  I do not also want for others to see her not as she was in life.

But when the coffin was brought to the chapel, I asked Carlo if I may see her.  He opened the casket and I saw how beautiful Donna was as if she was alive.  I told Carlo, please do not cremate her.  Give her friends the chance to see her for the last time.  The wake was extended for another day, and then another day until it lasted for four days before her cremated remains was brought to Cebu.  So many friends of hers came to say their farewell to Donna and prayed for her.  Prayers for the dead is the most important for the peaceful transition to the next life.

On Thursday, September 20, is Donna’s birthday.  Please let us all offer prayers for her from the bottom of our hearts for her kindness, her good heart; and for always ready to help to those in need which she never, never forgot on Christmas and on many other occasions.  She was constantly caring for the poor and the needy.  I cannot get over her passing to this day for every single night from midnight to four in the morning we talked on the phone.  She would call me and relate to me what she had done the whole day, like a child reporting to a father for indeed she had a father complex on me, since her father died when she was a young child.  We laughed a lot together on the phone.  She was a happy person, so full of life.

Inaanak ko sina Donna at Carlo sa kasal over 30 years ago at inaanak ko din ang dalawang anak nila sa binyag.  Basta ang wish niya ay a small church wedding before God and the Blessed Mother.  She was a very religious person, and a Marian devotee all her life.  Her real name, Marian, says it all.  She was brought up and schooled with the Nuns in an exclusive Catholic school in Cebu.

Donna now in heaven, please pray for me.  And tell my mother whom you also loved so much to help me.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAREST DONNA!

For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com

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