In commemoration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, I asked some stars which celeb death impacted them the most.
Mine would be Michael Jackson’s sudden demise. As an MJ diehard, the pop icon’s death shattered my world. To this day, I still mourn and grieve. My kids tease me that the Jackson family has moved on, so I should do so, too. But I refuse.
To console myself, I keep in mind MJ’s famous quote: “Who wants mortality? We all want immortality. The creator goes, but the creation remains. That’s why I bind myself to my work, so that I will live on with it.”
Bravo, MJ and other icons like him, who have left such an incredible legacy. Even in their absence, their presence is still very much felt. May they inspire us to live a life worth remembering, so when it’s time for us to leave, the good seeds we planted will keep growing. Live, love, leave.
DAWN ZULUETA: Princess Diana. I went through my adolescent years following her fairy-tale life—from her wedding to Prince Charles, to the sons she gave birth to and raised, until the day of her tragic death—and everything in between.
Diana had such an endearing charisma that left a lasting impression on millions of people around the world. At her funeral, my heart broke for her sons. Hence, when Prince William married Kate, I had tears in my eyes, because I felt like I practically watched him and his brother grow up.
JOHN ESTRADA: Michael Jackson and Rico Yan. I listened to the music of Michael, my ultimate idol, growing up and it always lifted my spirits. When I heard about his passing, it was like my world stopped—my music god was dead! I was shocked. How could music go on without him?
On the other hand, Rico was like a brother to all of us. When he passed away, I was hosting the noontime show in ABS-CBN. I was astounded when I heard the news. How can a person with so much talent, intelligence and love to give go just like that? I was at a loss for words. Their passing had made so much impact on my life and truly touched my soul.
EUGENE DOMINGO: Direk Wenn Deramas’ death was shocking to me and our closest friends, because he was our friend, mentor and supporter. His very successful life wasn’t only because he was gifted. More than that, he was generous. He opened a lot of doors to actors like me.
I had a very good last meeting with him a month before he passed on, and we watched his last Metro Manila Film Festival entry, starring Vice Ganda and Coco Martin. I was laughing and clapping inside the cinema and I said to him, “Nakakatawa naman ito! May sequel ito ’no?”
Before we parted ways that day, he thanked me many times, and I said, “Direk, bumili lang ako ng ticket, hindi naman ako nagpa-block screening (laughs).” His impact and influence on me will always be a reminder to be better at what I do, and give what our audience deserves—which means the best entertainment we can deliver. And to let other artists shine in their own time.
GABBY CONCEPCION: My grandfather was still alive when I first watched Bob Hope. I enjoyed his humor. In my opinion, he entertained us more than any other comedian from the 1940s until his death on July 27, 2003. He was 100 years old. He was a hero not only to civilians in the United States, but also to all the troops around the world.
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