LOOK: Family, friends, fans remember FPJ on 13th death anniversary
MANILA, Philippines – Family, friends, and fans of the late “King of Filipino Movies” Fernando Poe Jr gathered at the Manila North Cemetery to commemorate his 13th death anniversary on Thursday, December 14.
In his homily at the mass held before FPJ’s grave, the officiating priest remembered the actor known to all as "FPJ" as a man for others who was always ready to help those in need.
“At ngayong katabi na ni 'Da King' ang Panginoon, puwede tayong humiling sa kanya at siya itong magbubulong sa King of the Kings (And now that 'The King' is beside the Lord, we can ask him to whisper our requests to the King of Kings),” he said.
Poe's wife, Susan Roces, and daughter Senator Grace Poe, were joined by the senator's husband, Neil Llamanzares, and other members of the Poe family who placed candles and flowers at the grave of FPJ, after blessing it with holy water.
After a brief message of gratitude to those who remembered her father, the senator and Rocesgave out gifts to children at the Manila North Cemetery.
Poe said that her mother recently shared to her that a few months before FPJ died, he visited Manila North Cemetery and promised the kids there that he would be back bearing gifts.
FPJ, however, failed to fulfill this promise as he suffered from a stroke in December 2004, which caused his death at 65 years old.
The Poe family had always held gift-giving activities in orphanages. This year, the senator, apparently after hearing her mother's story, decided to fulfill her father’s promise in time for Christmas.
She also remembered her father’s annual entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival, which she said he did “para sa masa (for the masses).”
“Si FPJ naman talaga, pang-masa. Kita naman ninyo ang mga dumadalo talaga ay mga ordinaryong mamamayan na nanood ng kanyang mga pelikula (FPJ is really for the masses. As you've seen, the people here are ordinary people who watched his films)," she said.
The senator noticed some other "guests" at the gathering and pointed them out to prove her point, in jest: “At hindi lang 'yun, pati mga pagala-gala na askal. Para talagang set ng pelikula niya (And not only that, we even have stray dogs here. It's really like his movie set)."
Responding to questions, she clarified that the gift-giving activity was in no way related to her reelection bid in 2019.
“Taon-taon naman nandito kami, taon-taon naman ginagawa namin ito. Libre naman sila sabihin ang gusto nilang sabihin. Basta tumutulong ka, at nakakapagbigay ka ng kaligayahan, wala naman sigurong masama doon,” Poe said.
(We've been here every year, and we do this every year. People are free to say what they want. There's nothing wrong with helping out and giving joy to others.)
Born Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, FPJ is best remembered for his long career as an action movie star. He ran for president in the 2004 elections, but lost to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the results of which had been hotly contested. – Rappler.com