Filipino comedian Domingo Vusotros Brotamante Jr, better known as Bentong, died in the early hours of Saturday morning, aged 55.
His son-in-law, Arvin Vincent Anierdes, confirmed the news, saying Bentong died of a cardiac arrest at Quezon City's Fairview General Hospital. “Rest in peace Papa Bentong,” he wrote on Facebook.
Bentong was born in Albay, Philippines in 1964. He started his career as a production assistant at ABS-CBN, later going on to appear in a number of Filipino variety shows, including Wowowee and Magandang Tanghali Bayan, and famously starred in the 2012-2016 series Luv U, as character Mang Jules. Bentong also appeared in Tagalog comedy films, such as 2014's Shake Rattle & Roll XV, One Night Only (2008) and Jologs (2002).
After hearing the news, the hosts on Philippines TV show It's Showtime observed several seconds of on-air silence. They described Bentong as a "close friend" and "kapamilya" (family).
Kiray Celis, a well-known Filipina actress and comedian, paid her respects on Instagram, writing: “Rest in peace kuya bentong”.
Filipina actress Sherilyn Reyes-Tan also shared a heartfelt post:
Filipino actor Edgar Moritz shared a picture of himself with the late comedian:
Meanwhile, devastated fans also paid their respects, sharing memories of watching the comedian while growing up, or even meeting Bentong in person.
His wife, Cecille Bernal, confirmed to reporters that Brotamante Jr was taken to hospital after having difficulty breathing. Once there, he suffered a heart attack, she confirmed, also adding that he had diabetes.