MANILA, Philippines -- Long-time fans and supporters of the late film icon Fernando Poe, Jr. flocked to his resting place Thursday at the Manila North Cemetery in Santa Cruz in anticipation of All Souls' Day.
|The remains of Fernando Poe, Jr. lie at the Manila North Cemetery in Santa Cruz.
Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Poe's daughter with veteran actress Susan Roces, visited the veteran actor's tomb Thursday morning. She expressed gratitude to those who continue to remember her father's legacy to this day.
A celebrated actor, dubbed "Da King" of Philippine cinema, Poe's career in the local entertainment industry spanned over five decades.
In 2004, he passed away due to multiple organ failure after suffering from a stroke -- just months after his bid for presidency, which he lost to then-incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"Inaalala natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay na namayapa na," Llamanzares told ABS-CBN News on Thursday at the Manila North Cemetery. "Unang-una na dito si FPJ, ang aking ama."
"Humihingi tayo ng patnubay at basbas kung anuman ang gagawin natin, at syempre nagbibigay-pugay narin sa naging buhay niya," added Llamanzares, who is running for senator in the upcoming 2013 midterm elections.
The former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson also interacted with "Undas" visitors who paid respects to Poe.
"Ako'y nagpapasalamat, napakarami nila rito. 'Yung iba, may binibisitang kamag-anak, pero naging ritwales na nila na dumaan dito kay FPJ, para magbigay ng kaunting dasal," she said.
"Sariwa talaga sa puso nila, kasi parang naging relasyon ni FPJ sa mga kababayan natin personal. Doon sa big screen, pag nanonood sila, nailalagay nila 'yung sarili nila si sitwasyon ni FPJ," Llamanzares added.
Eight years since her father's passing, the aspiring senator said she hopes Poe's legacy as an actor and as a public figure will be remembered by his countrymen.
"'Yun lang talaga 'yung gusto ko sanang ipagpatuloy, na kahit paano, 'yung alaala ni FPJ ay hindi talaga mawala sa ating mga kababayan," she said.
Since announcing her plans to run for a seat in Senate, Llamanzares has said she feels that Poe would have supported her in her plans to become a public servant.
On the occasion of All Souls' Day, Llamanzares said she seeks the guidance of her father anew, as well as a sign of approval going into the elections next year.
"Alam naman ng marami 'yung plano ko sa darating na taon, pero ito'y panahon talaga ng pagdadasal, at para sakin, paghihingi ng basbas at gabay," she said.
"Kasi marami nga tayong plano, pero at least kahit minsan ay tumigil tayo, magdasal, mag-isip kung 'yung ating mga mahal sa buhay na namayapa na ay buhay, ano kaya ang masasabi nila sa atin," Llamanzares added. -- with a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News