His first film was Malaya, Mutya ng Gubat (Malaya, Muse of the Forest), 1948, starring Mila del Sol and Teody Belarmino.He was assistant cameraman to Ray Lacap in Hantik (Black Ant), 1950, which won the Maria Clara best supporting actor award for Tony Santos Sr. He also photographed the prize winning Avellana documentary, El legado (The Legacy), 1959.Organized as the Actors Workshop in 1983, it originally functioned as the education committee of the Katipunan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (KAPP) aka Filipino Screen Actors Guild, conducting regular workshops for KAPP’s member- actors, professional extras, and bit players.In May 1985, the Actors Workshop became a private foundation and opened its doors also to nonprofessional actors and other acting enthusiasts.His partners in this venture were his wife and two high school buddies, film assistant director Gregg de Guzman and sound director Amang Sanchez.
He received the Natatanging Gawad Urian from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino in 1990 for his outstanding achievements in film. He started as a clapper boy in the films of director Carlos Vander Tolosa.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.He became a full-fledged cinematographer in Kandelerong Pilak (Silver Candlesticks), 1954, which won for Lilia Dizon the best actress award in the Cambodian Film Festival. As actor, Accion appeared in films like Ang Lalaki (The Male), 1947; Sierra Madre, 1948; Tambol Mayor (Big Drum) and Kandidato (Candidate), 1949; In Despair, 1950; and Donato, 1954.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.