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Rico Yan - His Untimely Death
THURSDAY night actor Rico Yan was at the piano bar of a Palawan resort singing a love song he dedicated to "the woman who's now out of my life."
He crooned Jamie Rivera's hit "Falling for You" for his ex-girlfriend Claudine Barretto, with whom he broke up early this month after a four-year relationship. He also sang David Pomeranz's "Got to Believe in Magic," the theme of the actor's recent movie of the same title opposite Barretto.
The next morning Yan was found dead in bed in a garden cottage of the Dos Palmas Resort. He was 27.
"He was in high spirits," recalled GMA-7 newscaster Arnold Clavio, who had jammed with Yan at Dos Palmas. "He sang other songs and we wrapped up around 4 a.m. He didn't have any premonition (of his death) at all."
According to a medical report released by Yan's family after an autopsy conducted Friday night at the Arlington Funeral Homes, the actor died of pancreatic hemorrhage.
Text messages that circulated Friday said Yan died from an overdose of Ecstasy pills, which he reportedly took the night before he died.
But show biz insiders, including director Olive Lamasan who worked with Yan in two movies, said he was never a user.
"I worked with him for eight months when we filmed 'Got 2 Believe' and we talked about life on the set," Lamasan told the Inquirer.
"He was very much against drugs and he took pride in not having tried drugs in any form. He was a staunch supporter of the anti-drug campaign."
Indeed, the education department appointed Yan in 1999 as spokesperson for the youth's anti-drug campaign.
At press time Claudine Barretto was reportedly still in a state of shock and under medication.
"She cannot make any statement as of now," her elder sister Marjorie said. "But she requests that we pray for Rico and that we respect the rights of those who are grieving."
At the time of his death, Yan was one of the most popular and sought-after young actors. (See related story on this page.)
He was part of the triumvirate Whattamen-with Dominic Ochoa, who was with him at the resort, and Marvin Agustin. Together they were mainstays of the weekly ABS-CBN program of the same name.
"I treat Rico as my brother," Ochoa said. "I don't have too many friends in show biz. He was a true friend."
But Yan was also a business-minded young man who made his millions even away from the cameras.
He was a franchise owner of the restaurant-bar Tequila Joe's (with Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Jean Henri Lhuillier, brothers Griffith and Eugene Go, Bobby Goco and Sandra Vidarte). He owned Orbitz Pearl shakes (with some Chinese friends), which has 150 stalls in Metro Manila.
He also opened a coffee shop called Timbuktu and another restaurant called Java Hut, both in Malate, Manila.
Yan was a commercial model when ABS-CBN resident director Johnny Manahan spotted him in the Eskinol Skin Master TV ad. He was asked to audition and was subsequently launched as part of Star Circle Batch '96.
His expressive face and boyish appeal enhanced the sales of such products as Greenwich Pizza, Nissin's Eggnog and Rainforest Mineral Water. He was also the image model of Molecules shirts.
He made the girls giggle playing wholesome romantic leads in movies like "Paano ang Puso Ko," "Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita," "Radio Romance" and "Flames." He also starred in soaps like "Mula sa Puso" and "Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan."
He even wrote a column, "Boys to Men," for the Manila Bulletin in 1999.
He was also one of the co-hosts of the daily noontime program, "Magandang Tanghali, Bayan."
All these have come to rest in a coffin now lying at the Divine Child Chapel in La Salle Greenhills. (Yan was a product of the De La Salle system.)
Fans may view Yan's remains tomorrow only, according to the actor's elder brother Bobby. But the family may have difficulty keeping out the fans. There's a long line of mourning fans leading to the chapel.
Reporter Joel Contrivida of radio station dyPR conducted what was to be Yan's last interview at the airport in Puerto Princesa City.
In the interview, Yan said he was going solo flight because Barretto, his co-star in "Got 2 Believe," was in Subic with her family.
Asked about his relationship with the actress, he said: "Let's not dwell on that. (We rest during) Holy Week."
It was actually Ochoa who answered most of the questions during the interview.
Asked if they were not afraid of the Abu Sayyaf striking again at Dos Palmas, Ochoa said in Filipino: "If your time's up, your time's up. Let's see if the government can do anything about that."
It was from Dos Palmas that the bandit group abducted in May last year a group including Martin and Gracia Burnham, the American missionary couple that it is still holding hostage to this day.
The resort reopened early this month after being forced to close as a result of near-zero occupancy in the wake of the kidnappings.
Dos Palmas management could not be reached for comment until press time.
Yan arrived in Palawan Tuesday with Ochoa, the latter's girlfriend Janna Victoria and friends from Smart's Talk and Text phone service.
It was Ochoa who found the body, which, according to Clavio, was in pajamas.
Ochoa said he went up to the second floor of the cottage around 9:40 a.m. Friday to awaken Yan. They were to go to the nearby Snake Island.
"The doctors said he must have been dead for hours," Ochoa said.
Physicians led by Dr. Rosalie Reyes from the Adventist Hospital in Puerto Princesa rushed to Dos Palmas.
"We tried to resuscitate him starting from his room in the resort up to the hospital, but to no avail," Reyes told the Inquirer in a phone interview. "He was already dead. We recommended an autopsy."
The actor's father and brother, Roberto and Bobby Yan, arrived after noon in a chartered Sea Air plane.
"This is the longest trip I have taken in my life, to fetch the remains of my son whom I dearly love," said Roberto Yan.
The Yans refused to have the body autopsied at the Adventist Hospital and brought it to Manila around 5 p.m. in a private plane sent by ABS-CBN chair Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III.
Throughout the flight, a weeping Bobby Yan stayed close to the body bag containing his brother's remains, occasionally unzipping it and touching the dead man's face.
The aircraft landed at the Meralco Hangar at the Manila Domestic Airport at 6:45 p.m. Gen. Edgardo Aglipay, whose wife Maui is the sister of Roberto Yan, was on hand to meet the group.
Sometime in the day a distraught Ochoa denied the text messages saying that Yan was using drugs.
"Please, whoever is saying that . . . he was using Ecstasy, it is not true," Ochoa said in Taglish. "Don't give my friend any headaches anymore. You have no right. He never took drugs. Whoever is saying that should die!"
Yan was the third in a brood of four children.
He was the grandson of former AFP chief of staff and ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Manuel Yan, who was appointed by deposed President Joseph Estrada as political adviser on the peace process.
In an interview last year with the Inquirer, Ambassador Yan said: "He (Rico) wanted to pursue a career in show business but we wanted him to finish his studies, and he obliged.
"When we got together, once or twice a month on Sundays for family reunions, Rico made it a point to be there. He was pilyo (naughty) but very thoughtful. Wherever he went, he always brought pasalubong for his lola and me."
Before he entered show biz in 1996, Yan earned a business management degree from De La Salle University. He completed his elementary education at the Xavier School and high school at La Salle-Zobel in Alabang.
"I will always remember Rico as a perfect gentleman, intelligent, extremely witty, an enthusiastic student who was always willing to discover and learn new things," Lamasan said.
The director has other memories: "I will never forget that he cooked his special soup for me last Valentine's Day and placed it in a basket with a rose. He made my day special."
A Farewell to Manila's role model to the youth
Greatness does not suffice in describing the life of Ricardo Carlos Castro Yan in the prime of his life. He has got the looks, the talent and brain, which he has shared with us generously.
His reputation, on and off camera, remained untainted until his last breath. He has been a role model to the youth and has inspired them to make the best out of their lives. This whattaguy may have his ups and downs but one may wonder how he managed to emerge victorious in his endeavors, be it in showbiz or business. In all his achievements, he has remained humble.
This self-driven whattamen can get away with anything through his bedimpled smile. When everyone else is frowning, trust this gentleman to coerce you with a twitch of smile on your face, which makes him really popular among his contemporaries. Should you need to speak to someone sensible, "co-Rics" is the right person to talk to. On love, this is what Rico has to say, "Love is never having to say I'm sorry."
Last Friday, the silence of the Holy Week observance was broken when seemingly far-fetched text messages saying that matinee idol Rico Yan is dead circulated the country. Though the public instantly sought out ways to confirm the news, there was still disbelief and outrage in their minds and hearts. Who could have spread such malicious stories? How could Rico, so youthful, so smart and so-alive, be dead?
But unbelievable as it may seem, after a few hours, the news was proven true. Matinee idol Rico Yan died in his sleep last Friday, March 29 at the Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan. People from all walks of life mourned with his sudden demise - a proof that Rico has made a difference in his 27 years of existence. This feature is dedicated to a soul that has touched numerous lives in one way or another.
So long, Rico - for now at least
Rico's remains were brought to his alma mater for his family, friends, and fans to pay their last respects. Flowers and photos reflected the radiance of the life that Rico led. A solemn mass was celebrated every night at 7 p.m., after which, Rico's loved ones would share their most treasured memories of the actor. Familiar encounters and songs would never fail to bring tears once again to the eyes of those close to Rico.
Talent managers, roadies, and artists from Talent Center, who have known Rico, not only as an actor but as a true person as well, were present to extend their deepest condolences to his bereaved family.
Coney Reyes, who came up in front to relive the purity of Rico's heart, talked about him being a role model for the youth. Having earned a degree in Business Management, Rico made people see the value of one's education; and with his foundation and other charity works, Rico Yan has not only become a star, but also a light and inspiration to those who know him. It's a bitter fact Rico can no longer be with us physically, however, his memory would always linger, giving all his family and friends the reason and determination to continue what he has started.
The grief-stricken ABS-CBN family aired special tributes in Rico Yan's memory. The actor's Magandang Tanghali Bayan family had a weeklong special, Isang Linggong Pasasalamat, in thanksgiving for all the joy and cheer Rico has brought to their lives. Other shows, which include The Buzz, Pipol, The Correspondents, and Isyu, also presented a loving remembrance of Rico Yan's intensity as an actor, a leader, and a servant.
Showbiz friends also gathered last Wednesday in WhattaGuy, Para Sa'yo 'to Bro to celebrate the life of the friend who will never be lost in their hearts and memories. The group, led by Rico's best friends, Dominic Ochoa and Marvin Agustin, gathered at the ABS-CBN Studios in song and prayer, bringing back to Rico the melody and hope he has so tenderly brought to all of us.
La Salle Gymnasium
Rico's remains were transferred to the La Salle Gymnasium where the final mass before the funeral was held. Special passes were given out to the fans who have waited in line for days to see the young actor for the last time. Countless friends joined Rico's family in a large but solemn gathering to thank Rico for bringing special meaning to their lives. Fr. Caluag, Rico's spiritual adviser, gave a homily that touched everyone, making them accept the truth of the Lord's plan, and His promise of eternal joy.
After the mass, Rico's Mom gave the eulogy, saying that she has finally come to understand meaning of her son's death. Mrs. Yan further said that she has lost a son, but that day, all of those present stood as one family, bound by Rico's loving memory.
Manila Memorial Park
As early as 8 am, Thursday, an estimated 4000 people were already waiting at the Manila Memorial Park. Thousands more arrived as the time to lay Rico to rest drew near.
At 12 noon, when the sun was at its brightest and highest point, Rico Yan--actor, son, brother, friend--was put to his final resting place. Friends from in and outside of show business, whom Rico has touched in one way or another, stood before the family mausoleum, offering flowers and unending love.
Guy & Pip will always be remembered the phenomenal love team. The legend.
Aunor's team-up with singer-actor Tirso Cruz III in the 1970s to the 1980s, called "Guy and Pip", produced several box office hit films including And God Smiled at Me, Guy and Pip and Till We Meet Again.As one of the greatest love teams in Philippine Cinema, their team-up even created a popular doll named "Maria Leonora Theresa".
Jericho Vivar Rosales (born on September 22, 1979 in Quezon City, Philippines) is a Filipino actor. He entered show business after winning Mr. Pogi (a male beauty contest in Eat Bulaga) in 1996. Echo, as he is fondly called, is a natural talent. He is an accomplished actor, singer, songwriter, dancer, and director (he directed two music videos and co-directed, with Gary Valenciano, his own two-night successful concert, Raw Energy, at the Music Music last Oct. 18 and 19, 2007).
Rosales joined Star Circle 4 in 1997. On the small screen, he was featured in several Maalaala Mo Kaya episodes, Pangako sa 'Yo, Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas and Ang Panday. The telenovela Pangako sa 'Yo made him a common household name, not only in the Philippines, but also in other South East Asian Countries as well, such as Malaysia.
Rosales starred in the critically-acclaimed films Tanging Yaman, Bagong Buwan, Noon at Ngayon, Santa Santita, and Nasaan Ka Man. He was also the other-half of the hugely popular loveteam with Kristine Hermosa in Trip, Forevermore, and Ngayong Nandito Ka. His latest movie was the true-to-life story of the famous Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
In March 2006, EMI Malaysia signed Rosales and his band Jeans (in which he is the lead singer and songwriter) for their debut album Loose Fit. In June 2006, Rosales and longtime girlfriend Heart Evangelista began endorsing one of the Philippines' leading fashion apparel brand Penshoppe.
Title Year Producer
Subject: I Love You 2008 Radiant Films
Pacquiao 2006 Star Cinema/FLT Films
Nasaan Ka Man 2005 Star Cinema
Santa Santita 2004 Unitel Productions
Noon at Ngayon 2003 Star Cinema
Ngayong Nandito Ka 2003 Star Cinema
Kailangan Kita 2002 Star Cinema
Forevermore 2002 Star Cinema
Bagong Buwan 2001 Star Cinema
Trip 2001 Star Cinema
Tanging Yaman 2000 Star Cinema
Suspek 1999 Star Cinema
Wansapanataym: The Movie 1999 Star Cinema
Magandang Hatinggabi 1998 Star Cinema
Biyudo si Daddy, Biyuda Si Mommy 1997 Star Cinema
Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin? 1997 Star Cinema
Television (as an actor only)
Sineserye Presents : Boy Tornado 2008
Pangarap Na Bituin 2007
Love Spell presents Ellay Enchanted 2007
Ang Panday (TV series) 2005-2006
Bora: Sons of the Beach 2005-2006
Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas 2003-2004
Pangako sa 'Yo 2000-2002
Richard Loves Lucy 1998-2000
Ang Munting Paraiso 1999-2002
Esperanza (TV series) 1997-1999
Nagmamahal Pa Rin Sa Iyo 1995-1996
Movie/TV show Category Organization
Pacquaio Best Actor PASADO 2007
Pacquiao Best Actor (tied with Piolo Pascual) 23rd PMPC Star Awards for Movies 2007
Most Popular Loveteam (with Kristine Hermosa) Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards 2002
Most Promising Group (The Hunks with Piolo Pascual, Bernard Palanca, Carlos Agassi, and Diether Ocampo) Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards 2002
Prince of Philippine Movies Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards 2001
Most Popular Loveteam (with Kristine Hermosa) Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards 2001
Maalaala Mo Kaya "Pasa" Best Single Performance by a Lead Actor PMPC Star Awards for TV 2000
Best Young Male Performer Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards 1999
Maalaala Mo Kaya "Pampang" Best Single Performance by a Lead Actor PMPC Star Awards for TV 1998
Best New Male TV Performer Parangal ng Bayan 1998
Best New TV Personality PMPC Star Awards for TV 1998
Title Category Organization
Pacquiao Best Actor FAMAS Awards 2007
Pacquiao Best Actor (Drama) ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards 2007
Nasaan Ka Man Best Actor FAMAS Awards 2006
Santa Santita Best Actor LUNA (Film Academy of the Philippines) 2005
Santa Santita Best Actor PMPC Star Awards for Movies 2005
Santa Santita Best Actor(Drama) ENPRESS Golden Screen Awards 2005
Noon at Ngayon Best Supporting Actor Gawad Urian 2004
Tanging Yaman Best Supporting Actor Gawad Urian 2001
Tanging Yaman Best Supporting Actor Film Academy of the Philippines 2001
Tanging Yaman Best Supporting Actor FAMAS Awards 2001
Tanging Yaman Best Supporting Actor PMPC Star Awards for Movies 2001
Tanging Yaman Best Supporting Actor Metro Manila Film Festival 2000
Title Category Organization
Ang Panday (TV series) Best Drama Actor PMPC Star Awards for TV 2006
Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas Best Drama Actor PMPC Star Awards for TV 2004
Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas Best Drama Actor ENPRESS Golden Screen Entertainment TV
Pangako Sa 'Yo Best Drama Actor PMPC Star Awards for TV 2001
Her love-team pairing in Dear Heart with Regal Films heartthrob, Gabby Concepcion made the team the most popular love team in Philippine Movies during the 1980's. They later married (at age 19) in a civil ceremony then a Church wedding on September 23, 1984 with former President Ferdinand Marcos as Principal Sponsor (Ninong); however, the marriage did not last. In April 1985, Sharon gave birth to a daughter, Maria Kristina Cassandra Concepcion or KC Concepcion.
Darling Julie Pearl Apostol Postigo,better known as Julie Vega (May 21, 1968 May 6, 1985), was a great child actress and singer. She remains popular and well-loved, years after her sudden death at the age of 16 triggered a massive outpouring of nationwide grief that is still vividly remembered by Filipino showbiz fans. She won two FAMAS Awards for Best Child Actress during her brief showbiz career.
Vega, who was named after her own parents, was born into a devout Roman Catholic family and is the youngest and only girl in a brood of six children of dentists Julio Postigo (1931 - 1991) from Zamboanga del Sur and the former Perla Apostol (nicknamed Pearl, born 1932) from Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. This fact led her family to nickname her Darling.Her older brothers are (according to order of birth) James (nicknamed Jimmy), Jeffrey (nicknamed Joey, 1960-1983), Jonathan, Joseph (nicknamed Toti), and Jerry (nicknamed Steve).
Vega, who got her mestiza looks from her half-Portuguese father Julio, was discovered at a Christmas party in Quezon Institute by renowned film and stage director Lamberto Avellana and veteran actress Boots Anson-Roa, thus starting her showbiz career at the age of six as a television commercial model of a hotdog brand. She first used the screen name Darling Postigo and appeared in her first film entitled Ang Pag-ibig Koy Huwag Mong Sukatin as the young daughter of Anson-Roa and Dante Rivero. It was not until she appeared in her first major lead and breakthrough role in the 1978 film Mga Mata ni Angelita that she started using the screen name Julie Vega upon the recommendation of Dr. Larry Santiago. She had been chosen to play the title role of Angelita despite placing only third among over 200 applicants for the role.
Although Vega had to turn down the title role of Flor de Luna due to her hectic school and showbiz schedule,she would finally have her own soap opera when she was cast as the title character in GMA Networks Anna Liza. Her portrayal of the sensitive, sad-sack and frequently oppressed title character drew the sympathy and affections of the Filipino viewing public and further solidified her star status. The success of Anna Liza made Vega the chief soap opera rival of Janice De Belen, a fellow child star who also enjoyed success with Flor de Luna, the title role Vega herself previously turned down, as the two dramas rivaled each other for the attention of the television-viewing public. Yet in spite being showbiz rivals, Julie and Janice were best friends in real life. In fact, De Belen herself once mentioned, There could be no me if Julie accepted the role as Flor de Luna.
Aside from her work in Anna Liza, Vega also starred in several films and won two FAMAS acting awards overall. She won Best Child Actress for Mga Mata ni Angelita and Durugin si Totoy Bato and was nominated for Best Child Actress for Mga Basang Sisiw and Best Supporting Actress for Isang Bala Ka Lang!.
When Vega became a teenager, she was signed to Regal Films by producer Lily Monteverde, who also owned the film company since its inception in 1962. She was then included among the so-called Regal Cry Babies along with then fellow teenaged actresses Maricel Soriano, Snooky, and Janice De Belen. She did a total of six films for Regal, including Where Love Has Gone , Mother Dear , To Mama with Love, and Daddys Little Darlings, all of which became certified box office hits.
Aside from acting, Vega also became a successful singer in her own right. She initially refused to pursue a singing career of her own, but after repeated proddings from her older brother Joey, who noticed her beautiful singing voice, she finally consented to doing so. She took formal voice lessons under renowned songwriter Cecille Azarcon to further hone her singing voice. With the training she received, she was able to sing many of the theme songs of the movies she appeared in like Dear Mama, Where Love Has Gone, Don't Cry for Me Papa, and Iiyak Ka Rin.
It was during one of her singing promotions for Where Love Has Gone that Vega was discovered by Bong Carreon, who then offered her to be a recording artist for the then newly-formed Emerald Recording Company owned by Carreon himself and his then wife, the famous Filipina singer Imelda Papin. Her debut single Somewhere in My Past, composed by Mon Del Rosario, was a major hit which became a certified gold record in only its first few weeks of release and would prove to be her most enduring hit and the one song she would be most identified with. The singles success prompted Carreon and Papin to launch Vega as a full-time solo artist by coming up with the latters 1985 debut album First Love, which included Somewhere in My Past and produced her further hit songs like Someone Special, The Memory Will Remain, and the title track itself.
According to Vega herself, she particularly liked singing because it is through this medium that she is able to best express her inner thoughts and feelings. This became especially true after the tragic loss of her brother Joey, to whom she was particularly very close to. Joey was stabbed to death by hired killers, who mistook him for another person they were hired to look for and then kill, while hanging out with his friends in 1983. His untimely death at the tender age of 22 proved to be devastating for the young Julie, who was then made to repeatedly wish to join him in death.
At the time of her death, Vega was supposed to promote First Love, do a second album for Emerald containing all Filipino language songs, and perform with Imelda Papin in singing engagements both in the Philippines and abroad.
In spite of her hectic showbiz schedule, Vega was still able to attend to her studies in school. She studied at the Our Lady of Sacred Heart School from grade school until first year high school before transferring to St. Joseph's College where she finished her high school education. The schools proved to be accessible to her since both are located not far from where her family used to live at 11th Avenue, Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City. She was supposed to attend the University of the Philippines for her college education at the time of her death.
Illness and early death
The tomb of Julie Vega in Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina City
Not long after her high school graduation in 1985, Vega began complaining of extreme weakness and lack of sensation, particularly on her lower body. This prompted her parents to bring her to a private hospital for diagnosis and treatment. She was later diagnosed with a form of demyelinating disease,which was highly suspected to be either Guillain-Barré syndrome or multiple sclerosis. As Vegas condition became worse, her parents were forced to have her confined to Quezon Institute as they could no longer afford the increasing amount of her hospital bills. Sometime after her confinement there, she contracted bronchopneumonia, making her condition even worse than before.
Vega was transferred to the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City at about 5:00 p.m on May 6, 1985 where she died suddenly and peacefully around ninety minutes later at the hospital's intensive care unit, just 15 days shy of her 17th birthday.Her cause of death was officially listed as cardiac arrest secondary to bronchopneumonia. Her untimely death left Anna Liza with an incomplete storyline and the Filipino people in total shock. After lying in state at Mount Carmel Church in Quezon City, her body was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City in a funeral attended by thousands of grieving fans and colleagues from Philippine showbiz.
Vega's life story was most notably shown on film through The Life Story of Julie Vega, which was shown shortly after her death, and on television through the October 2, 2003 episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya. Nadia Montenegro portrayed the ill-fated movie and soap opera actress and singer, Jimmy Morato and Alicia Alonzo portrayed her parents, while Vega's real-life brother Steve and babysitter Flor Argawanon appeared as themselves on the film adaptation. For the television adaptation, Angelica Panganiban portrayed Vega while Rio Locsin and Michael De Mesa portrayed her parents. The said episode was well-received by both critics and Julie Vega fans alike and is noted for its use of actual footage of Vegas burial which featured not only fans but also celebrities like Fernando Poe Jr. and Janice De Belen in mourning her death. The video footage was lent to the Maalaala Mo Kaya producers for the episode by the Postigos themselves.