TV host Boy Abunda was one of the people who accompanied family members of the late President Cory Aquino at the morgue where her body was embalmed. The talent manager of Kris Aquino talked briefly with Ted Failon during ABS-CBN's coverage of the first night of the wake of Mrs. Aquino at La Salle Greenhills last night, August 1.
First they discussed the yellow blazer that Mrs. Aquino was wearing inside the casket.
"Ang tawag namin diyan ay happy yellow," Boy mentioned. "Gawa po 'yan ng designer na si Paul Cabral, na napakalapit sa puso ng dating Presidente. If you're gonna ask me kung kelan ito ginawa ito ni Paul, two weeks yata. Ang kuwento niyan ay noong pumanaw ang ina ng former President Joseph Estrada na si Doña Mary, dumalaw doon si Pangulong Cory. Tinawagan niya si Paul Cabral at sinabi niya, 'If it's my time, I want something like that.'"
Ted pointed out that the shade of yellow picked by the fashion designer was very distinct.
"Tama," Boy said. "Base sa pag-uusap namin ni Paul kanina, nung binibihisan sa loob ng morgue, nagkataon na may dumating na material na ganitong klase ng yellow na masayang tingnan. Yun ang kanyang ginawa para kay Tita Cory."
How would he describe the state of emotion of Kris Aquino, the youngest daughter of Cory and Boy's friend and co-host in The Buzz?
"Kris is doing well. She's coping. Kaaalis lang niya dito [La Salle Greenhills] for the Mass. She went home dahil bukas dito po kami para sa The Buzz live," revealed Boy, who is a host of the showbiz talk show along with Kris and Ruffa Gutierrez.
He added, "For the first time, magkukuwentuhan kami ni Kris dahil kung maalaala niyo po, siya ay nag-leave mula July 20 hanggang August 1. Kaninang madaling-araw, 3:18 in the morning nung pumanaw si Pangulong Cory, hindi umalis si Kris sa tabi ng kanyang ina."
BOY BREAKS HIS OWN RULE. In a separate conversation, Boy said he "never, never" looks at the dead. But because of his love for Kris, he accompanied her in the mortuary and until the the embalming of the former president's remains.
"Di na 'ko nag-isip. Nandun na. Basta kumilos ako. Alam mo 'yon? Ngayon, kaya ko na tumingin," he said.
So it's not a surprise when Kris said during her mother's wake last night, "Boy is the only one I will grant an interview to."
THE YAP FAMILY. Here are some anecdotes from the wake last night:
Kris said, "I promised I would never leave her side, and I did not." From July 20 (hospital) to August 1 (mortuary), Kris was with her mom Cory.
Kris said that her mom's makeup was up by Juan Sarte, who flew in from a Cebu show. On Wednesday, August 5, before Cory's burial, Bambbi Fuentes will fly in, rush to the Manila Cathedral, and do the makeup retouch.
Also at the wake, Baby James, carried by his dad, basketball star James Yap, was so friendly with photographers, he looked like he was holding a presscon.
"Ganyan talaga siya," Kris said.
Late last night, Josh, Kris's eldest son, walked alone to the casket, touched it, stared inside, swayed his big frame a bit, then as if telling others who may not know who is lying there, said: "Lola Cory." The line waiting to view the casket stopped and watched respectfully.
PROMINENT PERSONALITIES. Mikee Cojuangco, one of the nieces of the former President—Mikee is the daughter of Cory's younger brother, Peping Cojuangco—was present during the wake and shared her observations about the people who paid their respects to Mrs. Aquino.
Among those who paid their final respects were incumbent Vice-President Noli de Castro, former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, Senator Loren Legarda, and ABS-CBN executives Charo Santos-Concio, Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, and former ABS-CBN President Freddie Garcia.
GABBY LOPEZ EXTENDS HIS GRATITUDE. The Kapamilya Network is holding a vigil until 5 a.m. this Sunday, August 2, to give viewers the chance to witness the events that will transpire at the auditorium of La Salle Greenhills.
They even staged a program at the Dolphy Theater last night, August 1, where key officials of the Kapamilya Network expressed their sadness over the death of Mrs. Aquino.
Gabby Lopez III, the current chairman and chief executive officer of ABS-CBN, recalled how the late President became instrumental in returning control of the TV station to the Lopezes.
"Many people did not want us to come back and take over ABS-CBN again," said Mr. Lopez in his speech. "They said it's like letting the oligopolies come back and take over from where they started before Martial Law. But the President put her foot down and she said that this [TV station] rightfully belongs to the Lopezes and it should be returned to them. So over the objection of her own advisers, ABS-CBN came back to us and so we at ABS-CBN are very grateful for this course of action that the President took. And this is something that we will never forget.
"I, for one, will promise the President that we will always uphold the principles that she stood for, we will always fight for the values that she has, and we will always walk the talk. Paalam, President Cory."