By Tess Clarin
Dateline Manila, Dec. 13, 2004.
The entire Philippine industry is saddened by the news on Fernando Poe Jr., more popularly known as FPJ or Da King of Philippine movies.
Ronald Allan Poe, FPJ’s real name, suffered a stroke early morning of Sunday. After experiencing severe headache and dizziness during a party for his staff in his film studio, FPJ was rushed to St. Luke’s Medical Center on Saturday night.
In the midst of prank text messages, a press conference was held at the Quezon City Sports Club by FPJ’s political supporters headed by Makati Mayor Jojo Binay and Rep. Francis Escudero. According to Rep. Escudero, FPJ’s political spokesman in the last presidential election campaign, latest medical report indicated a blockage in an artery due to a blood clot in the brain. Surgery cannot be recommended because Cerebral Trombosis, according to his team of neurologists, is better cured by pumping blood. Although in a coma, FPJ is said to be in a stable condition, breathing on his own and with a good heartbeat rate.
First to arrive in the hospital is FPJ’s loving wife Susan Roces who is the only one allowed inside the ICU. Susan requested everyone to pray for the recovery of the stricken movie actor. Due to the anticipated outpouring of support from his multitude of followers, St. Luke’s Medical Center is implementing stricter security measures.
Ronian Poe, FPJ’s son, was said to be weeping. Others who came to show their support are Dolphy with wife Zsa Zsa Padilla, Eddie Garcia, Tito Sotto, Nino Muhlach, Rez Cortez, Richard Gomez, Jimmy Fabregas, Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama, Sharon Cuneta and Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
Led by Alona Alegre, a mass was held at Christ The King church in Quezon City on Sunday night for the intention of FPJ’s early recovery. Linggoy Alcuaz said that they had planned to hold a prayer vigil but the church administration did not give them permission. The prayer vigil will push through as soon as they find a venue.
President Joseph Estrada and his family arrived in the hospital on Sunday. Like a scene lifted from the movies, the former president was not able to control his tears. Erap, as he is fondly called, and FPJ are best of friends for more than 40 years. It was FPJ who first lent support to the political ambitions of Erap.
Aside from the Estrada family, other political supporters of FPJ who came were former senator and running mate Loren Legarda, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, former first lady Imelda Marcos with Rep. Imee Marcos and former senator Teresa Aquino-Oreta.
Former president Cory Aquino gave Susan Roces a miraculous rosary. It was said that the same rosary helped in the recovery of Vandolph.
Sheryl Cruz, who is in Thailand for a shooting, is deeply saddened that she could not rush home. She said that FPJ had requested her to bring home pomelos for pasalubong.
On a brighter note, messages of prayers and good wishes from FPJ’s political rivals are pouring in. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Senator Ping Lacson expressed their concern for FPJ’s health condition. Press secretary Ignacio Bunye already issued an official statement for the nation to pray for Mr. Poe’s swift and complete recovery.
Even Speaker Joe De Venecia appealed to his fellow Pangasinenses and the Filipino people to offer special prayers for FPJ. There’s also a joint statement by different parties in the lower house lead by Reps. Prospero Nograles, Mikey Arroyo, Prospero Pichay, Monico Puentebella and Marcelino Libanan.
The MTRCB, thru Edith Demetria, came out with a statement saying that Fernando Poe, Jr. should be recognized for his contributions to the movie industry. The MTRCB urges everyone in the movie industry to offer prayers for Fernando Poe, Jr.
FLASH!!! DA KING IS DEAD. Fernando Poe, Jr., the acclaimed king of Philippine movies passed away on December 14, exactly one minute after midnight. The sudden death of FPJ is a great loss to the movie industry and to the countless of Filipino people that he had helped in one way or another. The Film Academy of the Philippines is declaring a one week of mourning.
The Film Academy together with the Mowelfund and Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council is offering a mass for Fernando Poe, Jr. on Dec. 21, Tuesday, at the Sto. Domingo church. Everyone is invited to attend the mass which will start at 7:00 pm.