Ama Viray: actress, mentor, mother

UPDATE: Poster below has been updated to reflect correct date and screening times. Thank you!

EDIT: I wrote the piece below on Wednesday, July 3. That same night, I dreamt of Mrs Viray. In it, she was still in the same hospital bed wearing the same hospital gown. But we were talking to each other, and I remember her saying “Oo Carmela, naaalala ko. (Yes Carmela, I remember)”. She was smiling, happy… almost back to her normal self.

Tonight (July 5), exactly one week after her heart attack, I received a call from Anj that Mrs Viray had passed away.

Thank you for visiting me for the last time in my dreams, Mrs Viray. I got to see you smile, hear you laugh and say my name even if it was just a dream. You will always, always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for the patience, guidance and confidence during my first ever ‘directorial’ assignment, and for instilling in me the value of ‘beg, steal, or borrow’.

Your last moment on earth was spent doing what you loved the most – the theater. We can now take comfort in the fact that you’re free from all worldly pains. You will forever be remembered through all the wonderful memories and lessons you shared with us. It’s time to draw the curtains and for the lights to fade out. You have given the world your best performance.

Thank you, and we love you ❤

We all hope you can find the time to attend any of the two screenings at Freedom Bar. Your presence and any form of help will be very much appreciated. Please refer to the poster at the end of the post. Thank you.

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No Masscom graduate from SPUQC wouldn’t include Theater Production as one of the majors that made college memorable. We’ve all got our own: from endless rehearsals, memorising lines, to costume design and the performances themselves. It’s that one time you get to experience to act onstage in front of an audience, and from there it either sparked your acting career or ended it (LOL)

But the main reason why Theater Prod was such an enjoyable subject was because of our professor, Mrs Amable Viray. Most of you would recognise her from teleseryes, couple of movies, indie films, and of course theatre plays. I’ve encountered some people who mistook her for Lilia Cuntapay, who is another icon of sorts in the film industry, probably because of their similar long, silvery-white hair.

Mrs Viray, or “Mamu” as the MC girls lovingly call her, is one amazing character. When she’s on Theater mode, she is firm, tough, and definitely cannot be messed with. But offstage, in the halls and outside the school, she’s everyone’s mother. She has eyes that scare the living daylights out of you when she’s mad, but they sparkle with delight when she’s genuinely happy.

It’s been ages since I last saw her. I’ve been meaning to catch up with her, Ms B, and other college friends but schedules always got in the way. Unfortunately last Friday, I learned through Facebook that Mrs Viray suffered from a heart attack during a Virgin Lab Fest performance. Within 24 hours, my News Feed filled up with posts of concern, memories, and prayers for her.

Thus, in an effort to help her family and only son in medical expenses, friends, colleagues and those people whose lives were touched by Mamu have organised a benefit film showing on JULY 27 at FREEDOM BAR in Anonas, Quezon City.

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