LUCENA, Philippines – Hundreds of supporters, friends, and kin paid their last respects to singer Jovit Baldivino during his funeral mass at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish Church in Rosario, the family’s hometown in Batangas province, and his burial at the Paradise View Memorial Park on Wednesday, December 14.
Officials of the Rosario local government also conferred a posthumous award on Baldivino, who died on December 9 at the age of 29 after suffering a stroke.
On the last night of Baldivino’s wake in the family home in Barangay Marilag, fans – some coming all the way from Metro Manila – wept and cheered as videos were played of the singer at his prime, singing his signature covers, like Journey’s “Faithfully,” and original Filipino music that showcased his powerful high and raspy voice.
Town officials also attended the singer’s burial, which followed a long procession of vehicles and people marching behind a white hearse with a large photo of Baldivino at his prime.
The rain did not drive away those who came to bid him farewell.
His father Hilario expressed gratitude for Jovit’s generosity, saying the singer had shouldered the education of three siblings, who have all graduated from college.
He also built the family a large concrete home.
Members of the Jovitnatics fan club, formed even before he won the 2010 talent tilt, said the singer had never changed and had treated them like family, not just fans.
Again and again, one word was used to describe the late singer – generous.
Childhood friends said they seldom had to approach for help, as Baldivino regularly touched base to inquire about their lives and problems.
Rosario Mayor Leovy Morpe, Vice Mayor Tany Zara, and the Sangguniang Bayan personally delivered a plaque of appreciation to Balidivino’s family on December 12.
The award said Baldivino’s exemplary craftsmanship and talent in singing helped put the town of Rosario in the limelight.
“Sa pagkakakila ko kay Jovit, isa siyang simpleng bata na masayahin; hindi namin siya nakitaan ng yabang sa kabila ng kanyang kasikatan,” the vice mayor said.
(I knew him as a simple, happy youth, and we never saw him become arrogant despite his fame.)
“His humility endeared him to supporters,” the official added.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa lokal na pamahalaan sa pagkilala sa aming anak at pamilya. Kahit na kami ay naglukuksa ay nakakabawas ito ng aming pighati,” said Hilario.
(We thank the local government for recognizing our child and family. Even at the height of our bereavement, this helps us deal with grief.)
“We are one with everyone’s sorrow at the loss of our talented hometown boy,” Zara told Rappler.
The vice mayor said the local government also raised funds for the family but did not disclose the amount.