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Carlo J. Caparas passes the torch to his children

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After the death of his wife, producer Donna Villa, Director Carlo J. Caparas’ life has been bluer than blue as she was his muse and source of strength.

CJ Caparas receives an award for his father at the 64th Famas Awards

CJ Caparas receives an award for his father at the 64th Famas Awards

The award-winning director and comic strip writer has seemingly turned into a recluse. His son CJ Caparas said his father just needs more time to grieve.

“Our family initially took a brief hiatus from show business due to what happened. But my sister Peachy and I are now ready to step up. Our mom wouldn’t want to see us falter especially now that we’re finally learning the ropes (of the business). We will continue on without her physically, but she will live on through each of us. Everything our family does from here on out is a manifestation of how she would’ve wanted things done,” he said at the premiere of “Kamandag Ng Droga.”

He continued: “Our dad currently resides in Cebu where he can be close to my mom. He goes to her resting place everyday with flowers and other offerings. He couldn’t bring himself yet to go back to the spotlight.

“My father knows the production is in good hands with my sister and myself. I see this moment as somewhat a passing of the torch. It’s not how we would’ve wanted to go about it. But this film proved to be my mother’s last foray into show business, so yes, it’s a testament to how passionate she was with her vocation.”

CJ thinks this movie defines Donna’s legacy. “Kamandag Ng Droga” aims to steer society (primarily the youth) in a direction free from drugs and other vices.

“She always wanted to engage in film projects that were socially relevant or true to life,” he said.

The film is not meant to glamorize the world of illegal drugs, but it paints the harsh reality of it. The message is that once you get in, there’s only one way out.

(FROM RIGHT): AJ Muhlach, Mark Neumann (center), Debbie Garcia, the author and Lance Raymundo

(FROM RIGHT): AJ Muhlach, Mark Neumann (center), Debbie Garcia, the author and Lance Raymundo

“We finished filming this project late last year, but didn’t proceed to editing it until almost a year later, due to unforeseen circumstances (namely, my mother’s passing),” CJ revealed. “We were all just so dumbfounded regarding her condition since we thought it was a regular case of UTI. We then thought it was myoma that had to be operated on, until we found out near the end that it wasn’t the case at all. I, myself, never even knew exactly what her condition was until after she passed away.

“It was truly a tragic chapter in our lives. A heartbreak that will never go away.”

In the movie, CJ plays a law student bent on upholding the integrity of the law. His high moral standards becomes the stem of the conflicts.

“Kamandag Ng Droga” is still in theaters.

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