WRITER, director, actor and former Cultural Center of the Philippines Board Trustee Nestor U. Torre died on April 6, 2021 at the age of 78.
A former Saturday Special editor and Entertainment columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Torre likewise had a column in the said publication entitled “Viewfinder,” focusing on in-depth entertainment news, interviews and commentaries, and complemented it with classroom teaching, conducting workshops, and writing, directing and producing for stage, film and television. He continued to write his popular daily column until he suffered a stroke in February 2018.
Torre’s rise in Philippine showbiz started in the early 1960s when he was asked to direct ABS-CBN’s “Two for the Road” talk show with Elvira Manahan, Joey Lardizabal and Eddie Mercado. He also dabbled in movies in the 1970s as writer for “King Khayam and I” and director for projects like “Crush ko si Sir” and “Ang Isinilang Ko Ba’y Kasalanan”.
Nestor played lead roles in the early plays of Repertory Philippines and in Rolando Tinio’s Teatro Pilipino productions. He won four Palanca Awards for his scripts, and later ended up hosting the talk show that turned him into a household name, “Two for the Road,” with Elvira Manahan.
Likewise, Torre’s talent and dedication as writer and director benefited the theater world, being sought after for religious musicals such as “Magnificat,” “Birhen ng Caysasay,” Pope John Paul II’s life story and the Padre Pio bio series. His directorial work in theater include “Magsimula Ka”, “Katy the Musical”, “Cory the Musical”, and the more recent Chinoy Series. The premiere productions of Magsimula Ka” and “Katy” started the careers of many musical artists.
In 2018, the Cultural Center of the Philippines hosted a concert tribute entitled “Loving the N.U.T.” organized by actors, creatives and production staff involved in the past productions of Torre.