Filipino filmmaker Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez has died, aged 46, due to illness.
The news was confirmed by an ABS-CBN report on Tuesday (January 4). Barros-Sanchez’s widow Kaye confirmed that the director passed on at “around 6 p.m. on January 3 at the Philippine Heart Center due to stroke, kidney illness and other complications”.
Kaye also said that Barros-Sanchez “had been comatose for 11 days” and that doctors asked if they should revive him, but his family decided against it because of his condition.
Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez’s health struggles have been well documented. In May 2021, Kaye posted on his Instagram account, saying that Barros-Sanchez was rushed to a hospital after complaining about “loss of breathing and sudden drop in oxygen level due to excessive coughing”.
He was initially tested for COVID-19, but tested negative. Further tests revealed that he was “suffering from a recurring pneumonia he was suffering from since last year, anemia, and chronic kidney disease that causes water to fill his lungs”.
He was then put on “hemo-dialysis to easen out his problem to no avail until they decided to put a pigtail catheter on his right side to finally drain the water completely”. He also underwent two procedures for his lungs.
“Our resources are already depleted as his advertising company shut down last year due to the pandemic,” Kaye said in the post, claiming that they were dealing with “more than ten unpaid paychecks and, worse, unpaid PhilHealth and SSS contributions which the advertising company has not been paying”.
In September 2020, Barros-Sanchez shared a post on Instagram saying that he was turning blind due to diabetes.
In the wake of his passing, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help his surviving family members – his widow Kaye and their four children – pay for the medical fees, which have amounted to almost PHP2million, according to a relative.
The GoFundMe campaign has raised over US$15,000 so far, with a total goal of $85,000. The GoFundMe page has also shared a detailed description of the family’s medical and financial struggles over the past two years.
Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez is best known for films like Lasponggols, Tsardyer, Huling Biyahe and Magtanggol. In 2014, he also directed Ang Gitaristang Hindi Marunong Magskala, a documentary about Nitoy Adriano, the lead guitarist of veteran Filipino rock band The Jerks.
Barros-Sanchez also notably co-wrote the script for director Erik Matti’s 2002 film Prosti, and Topel Lee’s 2017 film Baklad.
Multiple tributes have been paid to the late director via social media since the announcement of his passing. See them below.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) mourns the passing of screenwriter and director Sigfreid…
The Directors’ Guild of the Philippines (DGPI) mourns the passing of independent filmmaker and writer Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez. We extend our sympathies to his family.
Sad day for Filipino films.
Screenwriter and director Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez has passed away, according to a Facebook post by his brother Seymour @meyorsanchez.
— Tonyo Cruz (@tonyocruz) January 3, 2022