His partners in this venture were his wife and two high school buddies, film assistant director Gregg de Guzman and sound director Amang Sanchez.
Their first movie production was Tanikala (Chain), 1980, a period film.
He was documentary photographer for the Department of Public Information in 1974 and stillman for the American produciton Hit Woman in 1976. He married Maria Saret, who is also a movie director.
Abaya has won awards both for his work in film editing and cinematography. He was educated at San Miguel Elementary School in Bulacan and Manila High School.
Abelardo was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Film Academy of the Philippines in 1985 for his outstanding contributions to the movie industry. In 1939 he was recruited to work in Sampaguita Pictures by Pedro Vera, a provincemate who was one of the founders of the studio.
He was also the cinematographer of Malvarosa, 1958, which won for Rebecca del Rio the best supporting actress award in the 5th Asian Film Festival held in Manila. In his later years, he turned to movie directing and made Kung Kaya Mo, Kaya Ko Rin (If You Can Do It, I Can Do It, Too), 1979, with Christopher de Leon, and Coed, 1979, with Vilma Santos and Jay Ilagan.The AWF specializes and offers courses in improvisation and the Eric Morris system of work. She is married to Rodolfo Jao, and their nine children reside with them in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA. This was followed by Campo O’Donnell (Camp O’Donnell), 1950, a war film, where she portrayed the daughter of Pancho Magalona and Linda Estrella.