In the Filipino tradition, the 40-day death anniversary mass for Fernando Poe, Jr. was held in the Mowelfund Plaza exclusively for the movie industry people. Unlike the usual showbiz gathering, the event was simple with no fanfare perhaps to emphasize the solemnity of the occasion.
A video showing of FPJ’s last public appearance capped the gathering. It was taken during the September 24 inauguration of Mowelfund’s Tama Ng Cinema and Bulwagang Jose Nepomuceno, the father of Philippine cinema. In the video, FPJ was in his usual jolly mood. He jokingly said that the Mowelfund building needed funds for renovation particularly the lack of elevator. The target of his banter were Mother Lily and Mr. Ng Meng Tam.
Elizabeth Poe, FPJ’s eldest sister, gave a short but inspiring speech. She reminded everyone not to forget the ideals of his brother albeit continue FPJ’s work through the unity and solidarity of the movie industry.
The sponsors of the mass was led by Mowelfund’s Boots Anson-Roa, FAP Chairman Atty. Espiridion Laxa and FAP Director General Leo Martinez.
Seen in attendance were the couple Johnny Delgado and Laurice Guillen, film directors Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Joel Lamangan, Mel Chionglo, Baldo Marro, Efren “Kaka” Balagtas and Gil Portes. Tony Ferrer, the action star of yore, was beside Conrad Poe. Also present were producer Weng Reyes, scriptwriter Senedy Que, Josie Tagle and Amay Bisaya.
The night culminated into a simple dinner and animated chats among the movie industry people. As the priest said, “Life begins at forty.” For the movie industry, it can be said that life begins after 40 days of FPJ’s absence.