FPJ supporters reminisce on memories of Da King’s life
Supporters of the ‘Da King’ Fernando Poe Jr. believe in two things: first, the action star should have won the presidential race more than a decade ago, and second, he has a heart for the public.
As white flowers and candles lit up the tomb of Fernando Poe Jr. on Monday morning, loyal supporters reminisced on memories of his life in front of and behind the camera.
Imelda Santos, a 79-year-old fan, came all the way from lower Bicutan all by herself to attend the 79th birthday of Poe, who is more popularly known as FPJ.
According to Santos, she has been at the Manila North Cemetery since the eve of the actor’s birthday.
“Ang lakas ng ulan, basang basa nga ako eh, wala pa kasing bubong iyan kahapon (It rained hard, I was wet. There’s no roof here yesterday),” Santos said referring to the tent that was assembled for the morning Mass.
She remembered the moment when FPJ asked her what she needed, and he gave her P3,000 in cash during his visit to their place.
Santos also shared that when FPJ died on December 14, 2004, she stayed at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City all throughout the wake.
“Nung buhay pa siya, lahat ng pelikula niya, pinanonood ko. Ngayon nung nasa ospital siya, nagpunta ako. Nung sinabi nila na patay na si FPJ, hindi ako makahinga, parang matutumba ako (When he was still alive, I watch all his films. When he was in the hospital, I went there. When they announced that he was dead, I couldn’t breathe. It felt like I was about to fall),” Santos said.
Lucena Magno, 56, said that despite her old age, she clearly remembers the movie houses in Quezon province where he watched the films of ‘Da King.’
“Noon ay sinehan pa hindi pa yung mga ano, talagang napunta kami sa Lopez o Calauag para lang manood ng kanyang mga pelikula, talagang hangang hanga kami sa kanya (There were movie theaters then. We go to Lopez or Calauag just to watch his movies. We admire him a lot),” Magno said.
“Kaya mula noon hanggang ngayon, supporter kami ni FPJ kahit kami nasa malayong probinsya sa Quezon ay napunta kami dito (Then and now, we were supporters of FPJ. We live in Quezon province but we come here),” she added.
Magno said that what she admired most about FPJ was that “he was very down to earth.
“Yung kabaitan niya, lalo na nung pumunta sa Quezon, doon sa Lopez, kahit madudumi yung mga ano, kahit na yagit na yagit, hindi siya na-aanong hawakan, kaya hangang hanga ako sa kabaitan niya (I admire his kindness, especially when he visited Lopez, Quezon. He never hesitated to be with the people),” Magno said.
Poe has become one of the most iconic personalities in Philippine cinema ever since he accepted the leading role in the hit movie series “Ang Panday.” He also starred in very popular movies such as “Isang Bala Ka Lang,” “Dito sa Pitong Gatang,” and “Ang Probinsyano.”
The good words of Magno and Santos on FPJ were echoed by another supporter from Quezon province.
Baby Arandela, 53, said that he had been a fan of the actor since he announced that he would run for President in 2004.
When asked what specific trait she liked about FPJ, she said pointed to “the noble life” of the actor.
“Nakikita natin kay FPJ ang pagiging huwarang ama, huwarang mamamayang Pilipino, at ang kanyang puso ay nakalaan sa sambayan (We saw in FPJ that he was a model father, a model citizen. His heart was with the Filipino people),” Arandela said, adding that this trait could also be seen in Senator Grace Poe.
Hence, she said she also supported the senator.
Since the death of the “King of Philippine Cinema,” Magno, Santos, and Arandela have always visited FPJ’s grave every year on August 20 to celebrate his birthday, and every December 14 to commemorate his death.
In 2012, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III conferred the National Artist award on FPJ.
About 50 supporters and friends of FPJ gathered at the Manila North Cemetery to celebrate the actor’s birthday this year. /ee
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