OPM icon Claire dela Fuente passes away

MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2021 12:14 PM | Updated as of Mar 30 2021 02:12 PM

MANILA - OPM icon Claire Dela Fuente died due to cardiac arrest early Tuesday morning. She was 63. 

Dela Fuente’s son Gigo confirmed this to ABS-CBN News just hours after the veteran singer passed away.

In an interview, Gigo said his mom died in her sleep. He also shared that his mom had pre-existing conditions like anxiety, hypertension and diabetes.

“She died from cardiac arrest, believed to be a result of her stress and anxiety. My mom has anxiety, hypertension and diabetes and her tendency to worry, to stress a lot, led her to weaken and in her sleep her heart gave up,” he said.

Dela Fuente was admitted in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I myself am COVID-positive but showing no symptoms that’s why I cannot be beside her. She was supposed to turn 64 this year.”

In the same interview, Gigo also opened up about some of the last moments he had with his mom.

“Yesterday, she was fine, I got to speak to her. Got to argue with her one last time, because she gave me the wrong address and she didn’t tell me she was transferred to another hospital. She made me order food for her,” he said.

“All the while, she kept worrying about me and my symptoms. I told her not to worry about me because she’s the one who needs, who is more at risk.”

Looking back, Gigo realized that there were some signs that his mom was already saying goodbye.

“There were signs and moments na like, for example, she asked me to stay with her, beside her for the last night she spend here at the house before she has to go to the ER. She wanted company,” he said.

“I took it as a sign na they knew in a way, they were already telling me na, they always love me… ‘Anak, ikaw na bahala okay.”

Gigo said that there will be no physical wake for dela Fuente but he is planning to organize a virtual one for his mom "for her friends, for her relatives, for my friends who are deeply affected by this.”

Gigo describe his mom as an "amazing woman" who was with him through all the battles in his life despite their differences.

“Yes we had our issues, yes sometime we don’t see eye to eye at times, but I know she loved me. It’s just nice or amazing to see that until the end, she was fighting for me. And she wanted to show me how much she loved me. I just didn’t get to tell her lang na I saw it. After all we’ve been through, she’s trying to be the best mom the she could be.”

Dela Fuente became famous in the 1970s with her jukebox hit “Sayang.” She earned the tags “Asia’s Sweetest Voice” and "Karen Carpenter of the Philippines" during the peak of her singing career. 

Aside from being a renowned singer, dela Fuente was also an entrepreneur who ventured into different businesses including owning a bus company.