Harry Gasser. File Photo.
MANILA (1st UPDATE) - Veteran broadcaster Harry Gasser passed away early Thursday morning in a hospital in Quezon City.
"He was declared dead at 3:50 a.m. Doctors tried to revive him pero wala na talaga," said Gasser's son, Henry. "Ang nag-trigger talaga sa heart condition niya was iyung pneumonia last December. Na-pwersa, hindi ma-expectorate ang plema niya, na-pwersa ang puso niya and iyun na nga po, it led there."
Henry was with his father's bedside when he died. He recalled that he was about to go to sleep before midnight when nurses became frantic after noticing that his father's blood pressure was going down.
"I was trying to hold his hand, pini-pinch ko po, hinahawakan ko ulo niya," he said. But at around 3 a.m. Thursday, his father's blood pressure and heart rate dropped.
He said his father complained of having difficulty breathing last Thursday and was rushed to the Quezon City General Hospital. The following day, he suffered a stroke while he was about to undergo a series of tests.
The late Harry Gasser with fellow veteran broadcaster Sen. Loren Legarda. Photo courtesy of Joe Carlos
"Since nung stroke niya last Friday, iba na talaga, slurring na talaga. Half of his body was paralyzed already. Somehow, because of prayers din, nung Sunday, nagalaw niya body niya. Nung Monday, nag iba na naman," he said.
He said doctors also found blood clots in his father's brain.
Henry described his father as an active person, being the only one in the family who exercised and played golf.
"He was just an active person kaya lang lately, kasi ang mother ko, diabetic, he was the one really taking care of her," he said.
Gasser was married to veteran comedienne Flora Gasser. They have two children.
Gasser's remains will be brought to the St. Peter's Chapel in Commonwealth, Quezon City.
NEWSMAN TO 'KAY-MISIS'
Gasser anchored RPN 9's NewsWatch during the Marcos regime. He also worked with Radio Veritas as news manager and later moved on to ABS-CBN to anchor TV Patrol in Cebu.
Despite his deteriorating health, Henry said his father kept himself updated with the latest news in the country and abroad.
In fact, Henry said, before his father suffered a stroke last Friday, he sent him out to buy a newspaper.
"He was a wide reader. Every morning, he doesn't fail to read the paper and watch the news. That was what he does every morning: read the news, listen to Ted Failon and watch CNN," Henry said.
The last international news his father religiously monitored was the case of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that vanished last March.
"Sinubaybayan talaga niya," he said.
His 76-year-old father was also updated with the investigations on the pork barrel scam.
With former broadcasters Sen. Loren Legarda and Cathy Santillan Photo courtesy of Joe Carlos
"He would always make a comment on that kasi nga he's a newsman. Kaming family, when we would sometimes have lunch or dinner, he would really make a comment especially on what he read that morning. He would just say something about it," he said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star were his father's favorite newspapers, he said.
"He loves reading Inquirer, yun po talaga favorite niya, especially kay Conrado de Quiros po, mga editorial po talagang binabasa niya and of course yung headlines," he said.
For Henry, the eldest of two siblings, his father is his hero.
"He's my hero. He was really a hardworking person pagka he puts his heart into it especially if he knows it is his right, he would fight for it," he said.
The 52-year-old said he saw his father's dedication during the Marcos regime when the late broadcaster was among those who helped bring out the truth to the Filipino people.
"As a person, he's hard-working, kind and compassionate. But he is also stubborn kapag paniniwala niya, talagang ipaglalaban niya," he said.
In the end, he quipped that his father decided to assume another profession.
"Naging-chemist (kay-Misis) siya: kay misis po siya nagpa-under," he said. -- With reports from DZMM; Raffy Bosano, ABS-CBN News; Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com