Celebrities mourn passing of former President Noynoy Aquino

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2021 12:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 24 2021 03:56 PM

MANILA -- (UPDATED) As soon as the news broke out on Thursday morning, social media was filled with sympathies and condolences from netizens to celebrities, addressed to the family of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

In a Facebook post, Batangas 6th district Representative Vilma Santos Recto said, “Taos pusong pakikiramay sa pamilya ni former President 'NOYNOY' Aquino.”

"Rest in peace, former President PNOY. Thank you for your sacrifices and for serving the country. My condolences and prayers to the Aquino family," former ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio wrote in an Instagram post.

TV and film director Joey Reyes expressed, "Regardless of your partisan choice, today we mourn the passing of a past leader of our republic. We bow our heads in prayer and due respect. God bless you, Mr. Aquino."

Former senator and now Antique representative Loren Legarda tweeted, "I am deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing of former President Noynoy Aquino. Thank you for your firm leadership, hard work & integrity. More than these attributes, I will remember him as a kind, thoughtful childhood friend. RIP, PNoy. Prayers for the Aquino family."

"Paalam, Sir PNoy. Paalam. Lubos na pakikiramay sa iyong mga mahal sa buhay -- Kumareng Kris, Ballsy, Pinky at Viel at sa buong angkang Cojuangco-Aquino. Napakalungkot na araw," Ogie Alcasid said on Instagram.

TV host Bianca Gonzalez-Intal also posted her message of sympathy to the Aquino family: "Such a sad day. Rest in peace, former President Noynoy Aquino. Thank you for your service and love for our country. My sincerest condolences to the loved ones he leaves behind."

Gary Valenciano, meanwhile, recalled his memorable encounter with the former president during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC​) Summit held in the Philippines in 2015.

"On the concluding night of APEC Philippines in 2015, all foreign leaders had already left the MOA Arena as the main event had come to a close. The Arena no longer had many people around. There was, however, a local band that played music to celebrate the APEC’s success to the delight of the few remaining members of the Philippine delegation including none other than this man, the president himself... 

"As I slowly walked up to him I could see that he looked well pleased with how everything turned out. I stood by him and when he saw me he simply said 'haaay Gary' like one sigh of both relief and fulfillment. I then said congratulations and thank you. He then gave me a heartfelt response by saying in Tagalog na hindi talaga tayo match sa presentation ng China the year before dahil sa tindi ng kanilang teknolohiya. He, however, was so proud of the feedback he got from the foreign leaders that unanimously said that the Philippines’ presentation had so much heart. This is what mattered to him. This is what he wanted fellow world leaders to see, to hear, and experience; the heart of the Filipino through arts and music, and then he thanked me for being a part of it.

"We shook hands and as I walked away he stayed on to continue his simple joy of watching his team celebrate. That was my one and only solo moment with this man. I will never forget you sir. And now please allow me to say with all my heart…thank you," Valenciano shared. 

Close allies of the former President like Leah Navarro and Jim Paredes, through their posts, reminded everyone of Aquino's legacy such as “Daang Matuwid.”

"You insisted on calling us your Bosses. Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap -- you accomplished most of that dream. You paved our Daang Matuwid and kept to it. You made us proud to be Filipino. It was an honor to serve you. So much more to say, but always #SalamatPNoy," Navarro tweeted.

"A friend I greatly admired has passed on. It is shattering. I give you my fervent, respectful salute for all you have done," Paredes said.

Netizens on Facebook also started changing their profile photos with yellow ribbons as a way of respect and acknowledging the legacy of Aquino. -- with report from MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News