The showbiz scene mourns yet another legend gone too soon. Raymund Isaac, a beloved veteran celebrity photographer, has passed away. He had just celebrated his 59th birthday last June 28.
News of his passing was confirmed on Saturday, September 4 by his younger brother Edward. "To those who prayed with us in different parts of the world for Raymund, thank you. He will be missed by many most of our family and those he touched," Edward wrote in a private Facebook post.
As of writing, the exact date and time of his death is unclear.
Raymund, who was based in the United States, was admitted to California Pacific Medical Center in the morning of July 24. According to a report, he had tested positive for COVID-19. "Friends I need all your prayers now. I was rushed to CMPC SAN FO hospital this morning due to lack of oxygen. I am alone here in the hospital due to Covid rules. It's scary to be in a place where you don't know anyone. Include me please in your prayers," he wrote in his last Facebook post.
After remaining in relatively stable condition for several days, he was transferred to the ICU unit on August 1. On August 6, he was intubated.
Raymund is survived by his loving husband, Jayson Vincente, who regularly posted Facebook updates regarding the photographer's condition all throughout his hospitalization. They had just tied the knot last July 15.
"My beloved husband, now my guardian angel. I love you. You'll be forever in my heart," wrote Jayson on Instagram.
Raymund was adored by many. Friends, colleagues, and loved ones took to social media to express their grief.
"Today we lost an ICON. No words can express how I feel right now… you will be missed my friend… REST IN POWER!" wrote fashion stylist Matt Gozun.
Beauty queen and actress Kylie Verzosa wrote, "A legend, thank you for being a part of our lives Sir Raymund."
"He is truly a joy to work with. He may be a top of mind photographer when it comes to the biggest celebrities, classy and cool yet humble and down to earth, always with a positive aura," wrote Randy Kanapi. "When the pandemic started, I constantly watched his late night streams on FB, enjoying his topics, while he would acknowledge my cover music videos in his show. Thank you for the friendship, Raymund. Will truly miss you. Would have wanted to work with you for another project.....Rest in peace, you are now in a better place."
"I'm still in shock... One of the first people to photograph some of my first magazine features in my career was @raymundisaac. And not to mention, way before that, going back to even as early as when I was still in diapers," wrote singer Jayda Avanzado.
"I’ll never forget you Tito Raymund. I was looking forward to working with you again one of these days. Thank you for the memories (both in front of and behind the camera), and the wonderful photographs my parents and I will always treasure and hold dear to our hearts. May you rest in peace," Jayda wrote.
You'll be missed. Thank you for all your great work throughout the years.. and most specially, thank you for your kindness," wrote Yassi Pressman.
"I was 13 when Raymund first took a photo of me. I knew then as I know now that it was a very big deal to sit in front of his lens. Even 25 years back, he already was THE ace photographer of the industry. But what was even more impactful than his talent was his heart. To be around him was to be blessed with his candor, his humor, laughter and generosity of spirit. We will miss you and your light, [Raymund]. We love you [Jayson]," wrote Chantal Umali.
"I love you, Raymund, and thank you for your kindness through the years. Condolences to Jayson Vicente and the whole Isaac clan. I hold you all in my heart," wrote Lea Salonga.
"You took my very first headshot, and these other shots of the briefcase-toting computer programmer before anyone ever booked her. You saw the beauty in everyone, even when they did not see it, taught them to own it, and captured it for all the world to see. You patiently taught us how to come alive and smoulder, not just in front of your lens but also in life, to seize it and live it to the fullest like you did. We knew we were doing a good job when we made you curse, "Putang ina, ang ganda!" You inspired us to no end, and never tired of collaborating to create the most beautiful pictures just for the sake of it.Your loss leaves a gaping hole in the worlds of photography, fashion, beauty, and entertainment, and in the hearts of all of us whom you generously taught and touched, inspired and motivated. You always said, “No light, no picture,” and on this day, the day you stepped out of the picture, we lost our bright and shining light. We will miss you but will never forget or stop loving you. Rest in peace, our friend," wrote Myrza Sison.
"Still in shock..[Raymund Isaac] was the first professional photographer to ever shoot me for a campaign..I was 11 years old then and it was for a teen cosmetics brand of Avon. Unang-unang project ko yun. I was so young and didn't know much about modeling, poses, or how to properly hold product. Felt so lucky na napili ako," wrote Pia Wurtzbach on her Instagram stories.
"He taught me so much and made me feel like, 'Uy, kaya ko pala ito.' When that Avon campaign launched it helped me land my first covers for Candy, Meg, etc. Sa shoot niya nag-jumpstart yung modeling career ko as a young teen. Fast forward to many years later and I got to work with him again after Miss Universe...Sobrang kilig ako kasi I felt like I finally earned the chance to work with him again. I asked him pa, 'Do you remember shooting me before? Sa'yo ako nag-umpisa.' And of course he remembered. And so we worked again for my recent endorsements...Dahil sa kanya ako nagstart lagi akong kinikilig pag nalalaman ko na siya makakawork ko ulit."
"I always look forward to shoots at your studio kasi ang saya mo katrabaho. Sobrang gaan, so much laughter and you're so generous. I will miss the bacon cupcakes you make. Thank you for the love advice, career advice, lahat. Thank you for sharing your heart with so many of us," Pia wrote.
Raymund had been behind the lens for thirty-six years, and is renowned as the premiere celebrity photographer in Philippine showbiz. It's safe to say that getting photographed by him confirmed that you were, in fact, a star.
Up until his death, Raymund thrived as an energetic, unstoppable multi-hyphenate. He was already a big name back in the 2000s, the heyday of print and physical magazines, but the digitalization of the industry did not dim his light whatsoever. Being the trooper that he was, he embraced the change and even became a dedicated live streamer, producer, host, content writer, and author—in 2016, he penned an inspirational book titled The Good Photographer, featuring his photography and all the life lessons he'd learned over the course of his illustrious career. He was also a dear mentor to many aspiring photographers and industry creatives.
Rest in power, Raymund. You will never be forgotten.
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