"It was a shock to me. It broke to me into pieces,” said Dani Barretto about the death of Ryan Santiago.
Though she knew he had been "hospitalized for a long time” and that “he had fungal virus,” Dani did not expect he’d be gone so soon.
She referred to Ryan as “my first boyfriend” and “my only best friend in the world."
On Instagram, Ryan called her "BFF, baby girl, and crush."
Dani’s mom Marjorie Barretto and Ryan’s mom Marilou Coronel have been friends even before they were born.
Ryan turned 24 in November 2016, while Dani will turn 24 in October 2017.
REMEMBERING RYAN. At the first night of Ryan’s wake, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) had the chance to interview Dani.
She related, "We grew up together. He was my first friend. Literally yung mom namin, magkakilala na hindi pa kami pinapanganak so we grew up together na we were each other’s first friend.”
She didn’t get to visit Ryan in the hospital as often as she used to see him, “Nag-drastic kasi yung pagchi-change so medyo nahihiya siya magpakita sa akin, pero siyempre, mapagpilit din ako at one point so nakita ko rin siya.”
Seeing his condition then, "He was fighting for his family.
"That was one thing I noticed about him na lumalaban siya [para] sa family niya, sa mommy niya, sa kapatid niya, and he fought hard. Mga two years din."
When asked what she would miss about Ryan, Dani said, “Every memory…is a fun memory.
"Siguro lahat ng napagdaanan namin, fun memories, hindi ko makakalimutan.
"Or the latenight calls.
“Or when we were kids he would introduce me to everyone as his wife, I will never forget that.”
They were not able to say good bye to each other, but Dani said, “He knows naman how much I love him. He knows how much I love him.
"And siguro ang sasabihin ko lang sa kanya is I’m gonna live my life the way he would always want me to live it—full of adventures, fearless, and only a happy life.
“Kasi that’s what he brought to the table every single time to every one he knows, every one that knows him.”
On Instagram, Dani’s post was even more emotional:
"What I would give just to see your beautiful smile and feel your warm embrace again. Rest in Peace, Ry.
"Words cannot express the pain I am feeling right now, but what comforts me is that I know you're in a better place now and you're not hurting anymore.
"I love you with all my heart.
"Batukan mo ko pag tatanga-tanga ako ha. Mahal na mahal kita.
"Until we meet again.
"We have loved Ryan in life, let us not forget him after death. Urn viewing will be from August 14 to 16, 2017 at 5pm until 12 midnight at the La Salle Greenhills Chapel.”
Julia Barretto also posted a short message for Ryan, "You were a ray of sunshine. Thank you for all the laughter growing up…"
The Kapamilya actress' dad Dennis Padilla is a close friend of Ryan's dad Randy Santiago.