Tragic news about the death of Helena Belmonte shocked the local fashion and entertainment industries on March 20.
Helena was a 28-year-old Filipina-American fashion model and part-time host and actress.
She starred in various advertisements, including a 2011 campaign for local fashion brand SM Accessories.
She also did projects for foreign brands like the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Florida and L.A. Bridal boutique in the United States.
She also graced a number of fashion and beauty editorials, even covers, like the July 2007 issue of fashion magazine MEGA, which she shared with Kapamilya actress Kim Chiu.
Helena was a graduate of the Saint Pedro Poveda College in Ortigas and the Touro College in Berlin, Germany, where she took up business courses.
She also attended acting classes at the New York Film Academy and the Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles.
Helena acquired much of her knack for modeling at a young age when she used to hang out at her mom's, publishing executive Joan Lorraine Belmonte, workplace in MEGA.
She had her first big break at the age of 19 when she was cast in a series of print and billboard ads for the magazine.
As of this writing, Lorraine is flying in from Florida to be with her daughter.
APPARENT SUICIDE. Helena's death is believed to be a case of suicide.
According to reports, she allegedly jumped from the veranda of her condo unit on the 28th floor of a Pasig City high-rise.
Initial police reports indicated that Helena was intoxicated on the night of March 19.
Kristine Felisse Mangunay of The Philippine Daily Inquirer said in her March 21 report that Helena, her boyfriend, and another female friend had gone to a party earlier.
Sometime before 1:30 AM, Helena's boyfriend—who was later identified as businessman and art collector Marcel Crespo—and the female friend helped Helena to bed.
They left but eventually returned only to find Helena missing.
Non Alquitran of The Philippine Star, however, reported that she and some friends were having drinks at her condo on the night of March 19.
Helena was said to have left the "party area" and went to her bedroom.
When Marcel and their friends decided to check up on her at around 1:30 AM, they discovered that Helena was gone.
Her mangled body was later found atop an air-conditioning exhaust vent on the seventh floor.
PREMONITIONS? The suicide theory seems to coincide with a message posted by Helena on her Twitter account on March 10.
Slash my wrists and hope to die. (CC: @JosephDay_ )— Helena Belmonte (@helenabel) Marso 10, 2014
It was followed by another "upset" tweet on March 11:
So sick of waiting for your next excuse.— Helena Belmonte (@helenabel) Marso 11, 2014
According to reports, Marcel Crespo admitted to the police that he and his girlfriend quarreled but they had patched things up prior to the incident.
In a 2010 interview with The Philippine Star lifestyle columnist Mons Romulo, Helena, along with other celebrities, was asked the question: If you could communicate with the dead, what would you tell them?
Her response appeared to be foretelling of what would happen to her: "I prefer to speak with the living but if I had to speak with someone who has passed it would be Sylvia Plath.
"I’m a big fan of The Bell Jar and her poems, so I think it would be cool to discuss them with her. I want to know what her last thought was and if she regrets her decision to take her own life!" she said.
Pasig police chief Senior Superintendent Mario Rariza has ordered further investigation to determine if there was foul play involved in the death of Helena Belmonte.
REMEMBERING HELENA. Family and friends of Helena are all shocked and saddened by what happened.
Divine Lee, James Younghusband, Antoinette Taus and other celebrities honored their lost friend in their messages.
On Twitter, the Azkals football star posted:
Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of @helenabel . Always a positive girl and looking for a good time with her friends x— James Younghusband (@JYH7) Marso 20, 2014
Sportscaster TJ Manotoc, radio host Andi Manzano, and model Mikaela Lagdameo also expressed their condolences:
sad to hear the passing of @helenabel recall seeing her around the office in Mega back in the day. Condolences Loraine, Sari, Elbert, Liza— TJ Manotoc (@tjmanotoc) Marso 20, 2014
Rest in peace @helenabel ��— Andi Manzano-Reyes (@andimanzano) Marso 20, 2014
Oh no... @helenabel ������— Mikaela Lagdameo (@mikaelamartinez) Marso 20, 2014
Meanwhile, on Instagram, actress Antoinette Taus, who recently returned to the country to revive her showbiz career, also expressed her sadness.
"@helenabel your light will forever shine bright in our hearts. LA memories we will never ever forget. Rest in peace beautiful one. #gonetoosoon" she wrote.
TV5 host Divine Lee also posted this message for Helena: "You will be missed forever @helenabel. One of my funniest padawans. Will miss your visits. I love you"