Master Of The Stage: Remembering Theater Giant Floy Quintos

Loved ones, collaborators, and fans of the renowned Filipino playwright Floy Quintos gathered to pay respect in the wake of his passing at the age of 63. 

Philippine theater and film lost a great figure with the sudden passing of playwright and stage director Floy Quintos. The industry giant won several Palanca awards within his lifetime, for works like his 2000 screenplay Gabi ng Tinggiirin, 2003 full-length play Fluid, and 2011 one-act play Evening at the Opera, to name a few. He also wrote screenplays for films like 1992’s Waiting (The Tough Guys), which was also the final film of director and National Artist Ishmael Bernal, and 1994’s Koronang Itim. Additionally, he served as the creative director for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games opening and a council member of GMA Network’s reality-talent search StarStruck

Playwright and stage director, Floy Quintos
Playwright and stage director, Floy Quintos/Photo from Celina Quintos on Facebook

It was his niece, Celina Quintos, who broke the news of his sudden passing through a Facebook post detailing that her uncle had died from a heart attack in the ER on the morning of April 27, 2024. 

“Floy Quintos was a beacon of Philippine culture and the arts, but also shone so much firelight for the people closest to him,” she wrote. “The country, the world, and our home are much darker with this light snuffed out too soon. We hope to share our light with each other through this time.”

Quintos’ wake will take place from Monday (April 29) to Wednesday (May 1) at Arlington Memorial Chapels. Many of his collaborators and friends also took to social media upon hearing the sad news, paying their respects through tribute posts that celebrated his enduring legacy in the country’s entertainment industry. 

READ ALSO: Enduring Legacy: Nedy Tantoco’s Gifts For Future Generations

Man of the Arts

Besides being an exceptional playwright, Quintos also possessed a deep love for Philippine cultural artifacts, and was a curator and collector of Philippine folk pieces, antiques, and other local crafts. As such, many of the country’s esteemed galleries, auction houses, and museums paid their respects to the writer who often shared his expertise with them and even lent his collections. 

“His work regarding indigenous Cordilleran art continues to animate and inspire interest in the field, while his expertise in Filipino antiques is seemingly incomparable,” wrote León Gallery in an Instagram post. “Quintos’ light will undoubtedly shine on through his works, ideas, friends, and family.”

“Floy was an expert consultant and curator of Philippine ethnographic art, who recently collaborated with Salcedo Private View to mount its inaugural ‘Private Art, Public Lives’ exhibition featuring the collection of Edwin & Aileen Bautista,” wrote Salcedo Auctions in its own Instagram tribute to the playwright. “His loss will be deeply felt by the Philippine arts and culture community.”

In another Instagram post, ArteFino (the organization behind the eponymous art festival) wrote: “Aside from being a television and theater legend and a stalwart of Philippine culture, we recently got to know Floy as a creative mind and force as we collaborated on the production of the fashion and cultural show Pamana: Our Woven Legacies, which the Heritage Foundation and ArteFino are staging together this coming May.” 

Quintos also helped the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in a number of significant cultural projects, including adding annotations to the reprint of A.B. Meyer and A. Schadenberg’s Tipos Filipinos, and lending his collections of “Cordillera bulul and 19th-century images of the Santo Niño” to a 2021 exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal. 

A Theater Legacy

Fellow industry giants also paid their respects to Quintos. This includes Lea Salonga, who took to Instagram and X to write that she was “sitting here in silence, still in absolute shock,” sending her deepest condolences to Quintos’ loved ones for their loss. 

“You had written a one woman play for me and wanted to come and see me in Singapore for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. But apart from that your constant support and friendship is something I will always treasure,” wrote actress Pinky Amador in a Facebook post. “Go with the Angels my dearest Floy Quintos.”

A photo tribute and quote of Floy Quintos, which Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas posted on Facebook
A photo tribute and quote of Floy Quintos, which Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas posted on Facebook

Actor Cedrick Juan (who recently gave a critically-acclaimed performance as José Burgos in 2023’s GomBurZa) also wrote a post celebrating the playwright, who thanked Quintos for seeing his potential and encouraging him to pursue his dreams in theater. “For me, other artists might envy or regret not being able to meet you and work with you, now that you’re gone” [Para sa akin nakakainggit at nakakahinayang, Dahil ngayong wala ka na, para sa iba pang mga artists ang hindi ka nakilala at nakatrabaho], he wrote in a Facebook post

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas—the production arm of the University of the Philippines’ Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Program—also thanked the late playwright and director whose works they’ve staged throughout the years, including last year’s The Reconciliation Dinner, 2019’s The Kundiman Party, and 2014’s Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini


While theater lost a great talent all too soon, Quintos’ legacy lives on through his works, including the upcoming theater production Grace, which will run on Saturdays and Sundays from May 25 to June 16, 2024. Quintos wrote the play, while his frequent collaborator Dexter M. Santos will be directing it.

A poster for Quintos' upcoming production, "Grace"
A poster for Quintos’ upcoming production, “Grace”/Photo from GRACE in spotlight on Facebook

The production is based on the true story of Sister Teresita “Teresing” Castillo, a nun in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Lipa Carmel, Batangas who caused a stir in 1948 when she claimed to have seen several apparitions of the Virgin Mary, “Mediatrix of All Grace.” To this day, ecclesiastical authorities continue to doubt the veracity of Castillo’s accounts, which led to unfortunate outcomes for the nun and those associated with her.

“We cannot say that the Church is right and Sister Teresita was wrong or vice versa,” Quintos told in an interview about the play. “We’re saying that this is a Church of God run by men; things will happen, decisions will be made, but at the same time there’s the idea of resistance. That even if I’m obedient, even if I’m silent, I can resist without being loud.”

Banner photo from Celina Quintos on Facebook.

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]