MANILA, Philippines – Actor Cesar Montano revealed that he was supposed to do a film biopic of hero Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino with the late multi-awarded director Marilou Diaz Abaya.
However, he said this did not push through because Abaya got ill.
“Gulat na gulat ako at noong umpisa parang hindi ko matanggap na ganun. We talked for a long time. Hindi ko malaman kung ano sasabihin niya. Marami siyang gustong sabihin, gawin,” the actor said.
“That was the time we were about to do ‘Ninoy.’ She started writing. Sabi ko sige gawin natin 'yan, kayo na ang sumulat. Biglang nangyari 'yun (sickness) kaya natigil ang pagsulat niya, hindi namin natuloy kasi hindi sya pwede ma-stress,” Montano added when he spoke with ABS-CBN News on Tuesday.
Mantano is known as one of Abaya's favorite actors, having starred in her award-winning movies "Muro-Ami," "Jose Rizal" and "Bagong Buwan."
Montano said he had a difficulty accepting the news when he heard that the award-winning director succumbed to cardio-pulmonary arrest on Monday night after years of battling breast cancer.
“Mahirap tanggapin. Kahit na sinasabi niya sa akin hindi ko pa rin gustong tanggapin. Parang in denial pa ako na ayaw ko maniwala. Sana hindi totoo. Everything's just false alarm parang, ganun ang dating sa akin,” he said.
Montano said though that Abaya’s loved ones should be happy now that she is already with the Creator.
“God has allowed it to happen. Lahat may purpose naman and how can you compare her situation right now to what we can offer to her? Nasa kingdom na siya ng Panginoon, in our great Creator. Iyon naman talaga ang ultimate goal natin, ang makasama ang great Creator in heaven. Kasama na niya eh. Ano pa ang puwede natin i-wish sa ating mahal na kaibigan na Marilou Diaz Abaya?” he said.
Montano said the last time he spoke to Abaya was last Saturday and the last thing he told her was “I love you.”