MANILA -- Andrei Yllana, the son of actress Aiko Melendez, has finished his Automobile Mechanic Course at Don Bosco Technical Institute.
Posting a screengrab from her 22-year-old son's online graduation ceremony on Instagram, Melendez greeted her son for his achievement.
“You've made your mother so happy and I couldn't be more proud of you! Congratulations my Panganay! @andreyllana after so many trials, dramas... This is legit. I love you anak! You've made your mother so happy and I couldn't be more proud of you! Thank you for keeping your promise. Graduate ka na," Melendez wrote.
In her another Instagram post, Melendez, a single mom, was emotional as she remembered the challenges she had to face to send her son to school.
"As I write this, I can’t help but be emotional. Una kasi 'di madali 'yung pinagdaanan ko para mapagtapos ko anak ko yes on my own. Single mom ako di ba. Not complaining. I remember there were days na I was lacking in terms of financial at that time, Mader Ogie Diaz somehow knows my story. It’s a story of my UPS and DOWNS. Kasi my son was going through a depression at that time, umabot sa time nag-campus tour kami ng anak ko from Ateneo, Lourdes, Colf pero sabi ko 'di ko susukuan anak ko igagapang ko 'yan. Panganay ko 'yan gagawin ko ang lahat just to make him finish college," Melendez shared.
"Remember nag-artista s'ya for a time kaso ang dami nangyayari so I spoke to him and he said he will finish school and if showbizness is still kind and will welcome him still babalik sya. Few of my friends know hirap ako talaga Pops Fernadez, Carmina Villarroel-Legaspi, Gelli de Belen, Cez Gella 'yan ang may alam ng lahat ng luha ko, hirap... May oras sunod-sunod tanggap ako ng tanngap ng work para to meet our payables and all. I'm happy and sad kasi dream 'yan ng Daddy Dan Castaneda ko kay Andre Yllana to finish school kaso wala na s'ya. So Dad finally eto na 'yun! Graduate na apo mo. I know you must be as proud as I am now," she added.
Melendez then thanked all those who helped her in raising his son.
"To my brother Angelo Castaneda thank you for being the 2nd dad of Andoy. And treating him as if your own. To my sisters Michiko Castaneda Bibit Erika Akiko Castaneda Jacinto thank you also for encouraging Andre to never give up. Jojon Jacinto salamat for constantly reminding how important education is. And to Marthena Jickain for always lifting your kuya’s morale when he felt the lowest. You are kuya Andre’s sunshine. Lastly, Jay Khonghun for convincing Andre in pursuing all his dreams, that in every downfall he must rise! To my mom who also never gave up on him. You know I just want only the best for you. Di man tayo kumpleto pero binuo mo and ni Marthena ang buhay ko. Love you son," Melendez concluded.
Andrei is Melendez's son with actor Jomari Yllana. Her youngest child, Marthena is her daughter with Martin Jickain.