Grace Poe pays tribute to ‘Da King’ on his 11th death anniversary
SHE WANTED to be a movie star like her acclaimed parents, but the glittery world of show biz has no room for her acting talent—or her lack of it.
Sen. Grace Poe on Monday paid tribute to her late adoptive father, movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., who died of aneurysm seven months after losing to the 2014 presidential election to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Wearing her signature white polo, Poe thanked the relatives, friends and avid fans of her father who joined her family in visiting his tomb in Manila North Cemetery to commemorate the 11th anniversary of his death.
She was joined by her mother, veteran actress Susan Roces, her husband, their two children and other members of the Poe clan.
Her voice cracking, Poe said she only had one regret in her life—her failure to personally thank her father before he died.
Popularly known as FPJ, Poe’s father was also acknowledged as the “King of Philippine Movies.”
“I have been through so many things and when I think about the life of FPJ, my only regret is that I was not able to thank him before he died,” said Poe, who was then living with her family in the United States.
“That’s why my life now is [an expression of] gratitude to FPJ,” she said. “This is a gathering of our family and those who love FPJ. This is an opportunity for us to thank you all because you have not stopped showing your love [for him].”
She recalled how she had fervently asked her father to let her appear in his films when she was a little girl.
“It’s obvious that like you, I’m a fan of my father when I was growing up,” she said.
“I really pleaded to him, ‘Let me appear in your movies even in bit roles.’ He eventually allowed me. That’s why I ended up being the daughter of villains [in his movies]. If I’m not the neighbor of Max Alvarado, I was the daughter of Paquito Diaz,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowd of about 200 people.
“He saw the quality of my acting, or the lack of it. That’s why he told me, ‘Daughter, you should just study hard,’” Poe said.
She said her mother enrolled her in a ballet class. “But less than a month later, the teacher told her, ‘I think this is not for your daughter.’ So I just took up taekwondo,” she said.
Poe choked back tears as she recalled her father’s advice, which, she said, had been guiding her as she faced legal challenges to her presidential candidacy in the 2016 general elections.
“Don’t give up if you’re fighting for what is right. Don’t give up if you’re fighting for your principles,” she quoted her father as telling her. “Most of all, don’t give up if you’re fighting for others and not just for yourself.”
Poe said she had also been reminding herself “not to lose myself,” like what her mother had been telling her.
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