At the premiere of Star Cinema’s Way Back Home last night, August 16, AJ Perez’s loved ones still mourned for the young actor who was originally cast in one of the lead roles of the film.
Amidst the excitement at the opening night that was attended by boisterous fans, AJ was remembered by his co-workers, friends, and family members.
Stephanie Ayson, the actor’s girlfriend before his tragic loss, was among the attendees.
"I’m doing much better now," she said in an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at the cast party after the premiere of Way Back Home.
There was calmness on her expression and an endearing smile that somehow assured one she was fine.
"Of course, I haven’t forgotten what happened, pero I think I’m doing well with it," she said with a frown and a tear almost breaking out.
It could have been difficult to face once again the limelight that loved AJ so much, but Steph was there and so were AJ’s parents and brother.
Steph mentions appreciating Way Back Home and its cast.
"It was a very touching story and I would say na sobrang galing nung pag-arte nila [at] paggawa nung movie."
She was specifically moved by the production being dedicated to AJ and Sam Concepcion who replaced AJ.
"Sobrang nakaka-touch, especially that Sam played the role for AJ
"It was very touching that they did it for him... [and] that they had him in their mind while doing this."
The 17-year-old beauty can only feel grateful for the unexpected support she has been getting from her own family and friends and as well as fans of AJ who she was never acquainted with.
"Even if I’ve never met them personally before it happened, they’ve been very helpful," she stated.
KEEPING BUSY. Life goes on for Steph who is now a freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University. She recently wrote on her Tumblr page that she is majoring in BS Psychology.
Apart from academics, she is also busy with the school organizations she just joined. Among them is the university’s Company of Ateneo Dancers or CADS.
Steph, a member of the jazz team, relayed, "I’m in my dance company with the school so I’ve been training with them every day... aside from studying."
She added that "being with family and friends" is what keeps her strong the most.