Veteran actor and director Manuel "Jun" Urbano Jr., who is most known for his role as "Mr. Shooli," has passed away on Dec. 2 at age of 84.
The news was confirmed by his son Banots in a Facebook post. According to a report by ABS-CBN, Jun died of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
"I will cherish this moment for the rest of my life. I love you so much dad, until we meet again," his son wrote.
"A part of me has departed with you, love you," he captioned in a separate post.
The great Mr. Shooli
Jun gained fame as the Mongolian-inspired character Mr. Shooli whom he created and portrayed for his political satire show Mongolian Barbecue in the late 1980s. He has since been a significant figure on television, film, and the internet.
In later years, he decided to try directing and creating films such as Ibong Adarna, Vontes V, Juan Tamad at Mr. Shooli: Mongolian Barbecue, and M.O.N.A.Y (Misteyks obda neyson adres Yata) ni Mr. Shooli. He also directed over 2,000 commercials in the late 1970s through the early 1980s.
Eventually, all of Jun's hard work in the entertainment industry paid off as he was recently awarded this year's Gawad Plaridel, which is the University of the Philippines’ highest award. He was also given the Dr. Jose R. Perez Memorial Award in August earlier this year.
In a previous interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Jun said that he felt happy that his career made an impact on people, adding that he was not thinking about accolades when he was working.
"I feel so honored that somehow, I was able to make some people happy with what I’m doing. I didn’t know that it would have that effect with them. I was surprised, really," he said.
He added, "For a person who is now 84 years old and almost doing nothing, it’s such a great honor."
Many Filipinos were saddened by the news of his death and took the time to share some heartwarming words about him.
"Isa siya sa mga iilang icon sa Philippine media na inilagay sa mainstream ang malalim at progresibong pagtalakay sa mga isyung pampulitika sa paraan ng satire," former senatorial candidate Luke Espiritu wrote. "Para sa mga artists, creatives, at kabataan, ipagpatuloy natin ang legasiya ni Jun Urbano."
"Paalam direk Jun Urbano. Isang napakalungkot na araw para sa akin at sa movie industry ang araw na ito dahil sa pagpanaw ng isa sa aking itinuturing na pangalawang ama," The Voice Generations contestant Charlie Fry wrote on Facebook.
"Nawalan ako ng isang idolo at modelo sa aking karera sa mundo ng show business. Palagi kong isasapuso ang mga pangaral mo sa akin na maging mapagkumbaba at maging totoo sa laht ng aking ginagawa at ipinaglalaban," he added.
Writer and ventriloquist Ony Carcamo was deeply saddened by the veteran actor's passing.
He said, "Lagi kong ikinukuwentong si Jun Urbano ang isa sa mga unang tumulong sa akin upang maging ventriloquist. Decades ago, marami kaming ginawang TV commercials ni Banong (siya ang direktor, ako ang copywriter), at dahil sa maraming kuwentuhan nami'y naging mentor ko siya sa ventriloquism."
Ony added that Jun would watch his shows and give his critiques and tips afterward.
"Banong had been a major name pag pinag-usapan ang ventriloquism sa Pinas. Maraming salamat sa mga ambag mo sa artform na ito. Maraming salamat sa pagkakataong matuto sa iyo. Maraming salamat sa pagiging kaibigan.
"Napakarami ko pang kuwento tungkol sa iyo at sa pinagsamahan natin mula pa noong nasa advertising tayo. Pero sa ngayon... RIP muna, Mr. Shooli."
Comedian Jeffrey Tam also posted a tribute, adding that Jun was the one who inspired him to create one of his characters.
"[N]akakalungkot!!! paalam direk Jun Urbano ikaw ang naging impluwensya ko para mabuo ko ang character kong ito. maraming salamat po sa lahat mamimiss kita!!! MR. SHOOLI."
Details of the veteran actor’s wake and funeral have yet to be announced.