"Nadagdagan yung angels ni God, ’coz he’s really like an angel here on Earth."
Ganyan inalala ni Jessy Mendiola ang kanyang leading man sa Sabel na si AJ Perez. Si AJ ay gumanap bilang Dido sa Sabel, ang afternoon series ng ABS-CBN.
Nakausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa burol kagabi, April 21, sa Christ the King chapel sa Green Meadows.
Unang nalaman ng young actress ang nangyari sa kanyang dating leading man matapos niya manggaling sa rehearsals ng ASAP ng araw na iyon.
"I heard about the news when I came home from ASAP rehearsals. That was around 12:30 or 1 a.m.
"And then I opened my Twitter account, then someone BBM-ed [Blackberry message] me. It was a friend of ours, of AJ’s and mine, he was Mark Salamat from Studio 23."
Kagaya ng lahat ng malalapit sa binata, hindi makapaniwala si Jessy sa kanyang nabalitaan. Naniwala lang siya noong makumpirma niya sa Twitter account ni Ogie Diaz ang nangyari.
"I opened my Twitter account and I saw tweets about it and I just couldn’t believe it, I thought they we’re just joking. So when I searched Ogie Diaz’s account, that’s when I really believed that it is true already."
"I just couldn’t believe it at first because it was really shocking, it was unexpected and surreal."
Matatandaan na bukod sa Sabel, nagkasama din si Jessy at AJ sa Your Song Presents: Abt Ur Luv. Kabilang din doon ang iba pang miyembro ng Gigger Boys, na sila Enchong Dee, Robi Domingo, Sam Concepcion, Arron Villaflor, at Dino Imperial.
Ayon kay Jessy, talagang positibo at mabait ang yumaong young actor.
"He’s very sweet, he’s very sincere with everything he says, so genuine with everything he does.
"Even when you look at him and he tells you something very positive—you know it’s true because that’s how he is, very nice to everyone."
Dagdag pa niya, wala daw siyang maisip na iba pang babagay na actor na pwede pumalit kay AJ sa karakter ni Dido.
"What he did for Sabel was very nice. I couldn’t think of anyone else who could do that part of Dido.
"He’s just the perfect Dido. He was their first choice and I don’t think they would found someone better else than him. "
Kinuwento ni Jessy kung kalian sila huling nagkita ng dati niyang leading man.
"That was last Sunday...last, last Sunday. It was ASAP, during ASAP, it was very brief lang.
"We said hi, hello, ganun, ’tapos nung rehearsals din. It wasn’t really matagal yung pagkikita namin ni AJ nung last naming pagkikita.
"But the last time I really had a talk with him was the last taping day of Sabel and the post party of Sabel."
Bagaman at iyon ang kanilang huling pagkikita, may mga katangian ang binata na hindi raw makakalimutan ng young actress.
"I will just miss his sweetness and his sincerity."
Bukod pa rito, hindi rin daw niya makakalimutan ang mga payo ni AJ sa kanya pagdating sa trabaho.
"Every time I’m down, for every time I’m sad or tired, he’ll just go to me and hug me, and tell me, ’You’re really awesome, you’re perfect, you can do this, you can do that, you’re beautiful. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you—because you’re here, because it’s for you.’
"For that alone, I’m just gonna miss him."
Kung bibigyan nga lang daw siya muli ng pagkakataon na makita ang young actor, sasabihin daw niyang, "I’m very proud of him, of what he did for everyone, in his eighteen years, he has accomplished a lot of things.
"I’m very proud of him and I’ll miss him very, very much."