Bernardo Bernardo has pancreatic tumor, appeals for prayers

Published January 16, 2018, 5:03 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Seasoned film and theater actor Bernardo Bernardo asks for prayers, this after doctors found “potentially life-threatening” tumor in his pancreas.

Bernardo Bernardo (
Bernardo Bernardo

In a lengthy Facebook post, the 72-year-old Bernardo shared the findings of a series of lab tests taken at the UST Hospital last month.

“January is my birthday month and I have a ‘little lambing…’ Please say a little prayer for me because I strongly believe in the power of prayer. Given my history of clinical depression and anxiety attacks coupled with a potentially life-threatening growth in my pancreas, it feels like it’s about time to call for support from FB Prayer Warriors,” he wrote.

“My pancreas is swollen because of a tumor, possibly malignant, growing in the head of the pancreas. As it grows it begins to press on the bile duct and the pancreatic duct and with increasing pressure. The ducts eventually get pinched off. I have lost my appetite for food and, consequently, lost a lot of weight at an alarming rate in such a short span of time.”

Bernardo revealed he is scheduled to undergo one or two procedures that would determine if the tumor is malignant and requires treatment.

“I’m scheduled for an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) that allows for fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy (to determine if the tumor is malignant); and/or ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), where diagnosis and treatment, using stents, can take place during the same procedure. We will deal with the abnormal growth of tissue next. One step at a time. One day at a time,” he shared.

The actor admitted his ailment involves “very real pain and fear of the unknown.”

“The hidden costs of this medical journey that has put me in Controlled Panic Mode. I know that in order to continue to fight this battle. I need Courage. I need Strength. I need Clarity of Mind… which is why, heart to heart, my friends, I hope you will find time to say a little prayer for me,” he said.

Bernardo (center) with co-stars in a scene from 'Ang Larawan' (
Bernardo (center) with co-stars in a scene from ‘Ang Larawan’

Last Jan. 14, friends of the actor organized a fund-raising dinner titled “To BB With Love.” Aiza Seguerra and wife Liza Diño, Lou Veloso, Elora Españo, Beverly Salviejo, Rachelle Alejandro, and Maryo J. de los Reyes, among others attended the event and lent a hand to Bernardo.

Bernardo, who is best known for gay roles, transitioned to films in the mid-1970s. He won his first Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actor award for his role as Manay Sharon in Ishmael Bernal’s “Manila By Night” (“City After Dark”).

In the early 2000s, he left the business then stayed in US. More than 10 years later, the actor returned to the country and regained his love for filmmaking. He starred in Nick Olanka’s indie drama “Ronda” starring Ai-Ai delas Alas and in Lawrence Fajardo’s “Imbisibol,” which won him his second Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actor award.

Bernardo was recently seen in the role of Don Alvaro in the Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture “Ang Larawan.” (Report by Regina Mae Parungao)