MANILA - Senators Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan and Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday mourned the death of radio legend and former senator Eddie Ilarde, who passed away due to natural causes last Tuesday.
Ilarde died just three weeks shy of his 86th birthday but was not afflicted with the coronavirus, his daughter Liza said.
Pangilinan said that even he did not get a chance to be with Ilarde in the Senate, the latter kept his communication lines open to him.
"Bagamat di kami nag-abot ni Senator Ilarde sa Senado, patuloy ang aming komunikasyon at ilang beses din niya tayong binisita sa ating opisina," he said in a statement.
Pangilinan recalled Ilarde tapped him to sing the former's favorite song "If I Keep My Heart Out of Sight" for the ex-senator's album Famous 'Singers."
"Maraming salamat, Senator Eddie sa pagkakaibigan at payo, mga kwento at halakhak na ibinahagi mo sa amin! You will be missed. Rest in peace."
Zubiri meanwhile said the "people can only aspire to become as ubiquitous and influential" as Ilarde when he dominated the airwaves as a prominent radio host.
"He was not just a host, he defined our idea of one. Articulate, incisive, but never self-serious, his voice earned the nation's trust and confidence," Zubiri said, adding Ilarde's "effortless ability to connect with audiences made him a fixture in millions of Filipino homes."
"This ability to connect, to key into the language of the people, also gained him their votes as he transitioned into the realm of public service," the senator said.
"We have lost a senator, a congressman, an assemblyman, and a pioneering voice in Philippine media, but his legacy will continue."
Ilarde rose to prominence in the 1950s with his hit advice programs including “Dear Kuya Eddie” and “Napakasakit Kuya Eddie.” Along with Leila Benitez and Bobby Ledesma, Ilarde hosted the epic “Student Canteen” program on radio and television.
He then went on to become a Pasay City councilor, a congressman of Rizal, before becoming a senator.