Comedienne Mahal dies at 46

MANILA — Mahal, the pint-sized comedienne who endeared herself to a generation of Filipino viewers, has died, her family announced on Tuesday. She was 46.

Mahal died due to digestive complications and COVID-19, her US-based sister, Irene Tesorero, told ABS-CBN News.

Noemi Tesorero in real life, Mahal is best remembered for her childlike portrayals and giggly personality, as seen in programs like “Magandang Tanghali Bayan” (MTB) in 2003.

Mahal, who lived with dwarfism and stood 3 feet tall, had been candid with her self-deprecating humor, and embraced roles using her height to comic effect, or to fulfill demands of fantasy characters.

Notably, she was the elfin daughter in “Anak ni Janice” in 1991, and donned the alien costume for the title role of “Kokey” in 1997. In 2003, she was paired with Dagul, who also has dwarfism, as the parents of Vhong Navarro in “Mr. Suave” in 2003.

Though mostly known for her girlish comedy, Mahal would later become the subject of controversies involving her romantic life, leading to anguished confessions in televised interviews.

Only weeks prior to her passing, Mahal made headlines for her reunion with Mura (Allan Padua in real life), her screen “twin” with whom she formed a tandem in “MTB.” — with a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

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