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July 4, 2014

Gigi Pirote, You Will Be Missed

Gigi Pirote will be missed.
By Bodjie Pascua

She was one of those brave, unheralded, uncelebrated souls who soldiered on in the background most of the time, fueled by their undying faith in the theater, enabling those stars onstage to do the shining.

But every now and then, I would see her on stage, tv or film, appearing in some supporting role, and I would feel not a small amount of pride, because I was her teacher.

She was in her early twenties then, and it was the first Acting class I handled for PETA in the 90s. Gigi was humble, quiet in class. But she was always a diligent worker. I remember her demure eyes that would break into a veiled tease when she smiled. It looked good on her dark-skinned face, framed by that ever-straight hair. She was very shy at first, but slowly, blossomed in class. She did well in the recital.

Through the years, she never stopped acknowledging me as her mentor, as our paths would often cross, and she would untiringly keep in touch. I almost worked with her again about two years ago. Unfortunately, schedules conflicted.

According to stories from friends, she was overworked, over-fatigued -- like most other theater "soldiers." She was in the midst of doing a lot of Theater Marketing work, attending to workshops, and appearing in shows when it happened.

It was only two months ago when her partner of many years succumbed to a stroke. Which makes it doubly sad that it was also a massive stroke that claimed her young life.

Gigi Pirote was only 48.

Mabuhay ka, Gigi. Paalam.

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