Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The death of "Da King"

It is with great surprise that I found myself affected with the sudden demise of this contemporary Filipino icon who could have been President. It is not a surprise, however, that the people who have been touched by this man, individually, personally, or through his screen personage, grieve because of his death - grieving as if a family member died. Few men or women could share in such adulation.

He was the perennial action star. He was for most Filipino not just a reel but a real hero. It came to a point in his carreer that his character must not die in any of his films or else moviegoers will riot inside the theater. It came to a point in his carreer that a film viewer would literally draw his gun to shoot at the character projected on the screen that is about to "shoot" his idol. Such was the impact of this man. Bit players, stage hands, movie crew and personnel attests to his kindness and genorosity. More than a handful individuals were personally touched by this man; most of them having that faded photograph of themselves beside their idol. Such memento is treasured more that most material possession.

Throngs literally cried and not a few came from far away places and spent a considerable sum just to see his embalmed remains. As family, friends, and fans confess that they still cannot believe him dead, I found myself in empathy with them. Somehow, at the back of my mind, where hopeless hopes reside, I believe him not dead, that all this is a dream and at the end of this all, just before the credits are to be shown, he will rise up and proclaim himself alive.

Alas that cannot be so. I bid farewell to "Da King."


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