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Behn Cervantes, 74

Stage actor, director and activist Benjamin “Behn” Cervantes passed away on August 15 due to pneumonia with diabetes complications. Cervantes was cremated the same day. He was 74.

Born on August 26, 1938, Cervantes obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama in 1962 from UP Diliman and Master of Fine Arts: Drama and Theatre from University of Hawaii in 1967.

He taught at the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts of the College of Arts and Letters for 22 years, starting as Instructor in 1967 until his early retirement as Associate Professor in 1989.  He was named Artist-in-residence in UPD from 1974 to 1976 and at the University of Hawaii in 1991.

Cervantes founded the UP Repertory Company  (UP Rep), a theater group that stages plays with social relevance. He was also a founding member of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Filipino.

Among his outstanding and memorable theater plays were Pagsamabang Bayan and Sigaw ng Bayan. He also directed the controversial movie Sakada.

This year, Cervantes was honored by the UP Alumni Association  (UPAA) with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his service as a teacher, actor, director and theater artist.
He was also a recipient of an Aliw award for Life Achievement in Theater, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines' centennial award.

Memorial services were held on August 19, 20 and 21 by the UP Upsilon Sigma Phi and UP Sigma Delta Phi, the UPAA and Concerned Artists of the Philippines, respectively. The UP Rep held their memorial services on August 26. — ACG

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