When PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and YES! Magazine arrived at the wake of Anthony Linsangan, family members and friends were preparing for Mass held last night, September 23, at The Heritage Park.
Someone asked Anthony’s wife, Camille Prats, if she would want to serve as one of the readers in the mass.
"Parang hindi ko kaya," admitted the actress, who is now a widow at 26.
Anthony, who was born on October 12, 1979, was married to Camille for three years. They have a three-year-old son, Nathan.
John Prats, the brother of Camille, recalled how they found out about Anthony’s illness.
"Three months after their [church] wedding, na-diagnose siya ng Stage 4 nasopharyngeal cancer," revealed John.
He then described the symptoms that Anthony felt at that time. "Yung jaw niya, parang may bukol. Then yung hearing niya sa left side, naapektuhan.
"Nung na-diagnose, ang mag-asawa, full of hope, e. Parang, ’tara, gamutin natin ito.’
"Hanggang unti-unting inubos si Anthony ng chemo, radiation, medication, and kumalat ang cancer cells.
"Umabot na sa spinal [column], bone cancer hanggang sa lungs niya."
John then described Anthony’s last moments at the Makati Medical Center.
"Yesterday [September 22], I was really praying na, ’Lord, kung kukunin N’yo na siya, kunin N’yo na siya. Sobra, sobra ang pain, e.
"Kung ide-describe mo, isipin mo ang pinakamasama o pinakamasakit na death, this is one of them," he said.
John added, "He was really fighting. Kagabi [September 22], sobrang weak na siya, ang dami nang nakakabit, gusto pa niyang tumayo.
"Nung nakita ko siyang tumayo, alam mo yun, [parang sinasabi niya], ’I’ll fight.’
"Yung laban talaga, pero nakikita ko talaga, wala na. Pero hindi naman namin sinasabi yun."
John revealed: "Actually, three months ago, he stopped medication and puro pain management na.
"Kasi if he will undergo another level of chemo and radiation, that would kill him agad."
KEEPING IT PRIVATE. In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph last August 24, Camille admitted that her husband was undergoing treatment but she did not disclose his illness. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
John said they kept quiet about Anthony’s condition to allow them to focus on his treatment.
"They wanted to deal with it in private, yung pagsubok na ito.
"Siyempre, pag napasukan ng media ’yan, mas lalong mahirap. Imbes na yun ang focus mo, may iba ka pang iintindihin.
"Yun yung desisyon namin as a family: To keep it a secret."
How did Camille handle the situation?
"The last time I talked to her was six months ago, noong sinabi ng doctor na wala na talaga.
"I talked to her and sabi ko, ’Cams, I know I’m not in your position. I don’t know how you’re feeling. I don’t know how you will feel pag dumating ang time na wala na siya.’
"Sabi ko, ’I just want you to know we’re here and we’ll support you all the way. And you have to prepare yourself.’
"Tahimik lang siya at tumutulo ang luha niya."
He also described Camille’s breakdown earlier that day when Anthony passed away.
"Nakita ko nung final view before siya i-embalsa, nung kino-close na ang body bag. One year [since] nalaman niya hanggang kahapon, dun lang niya nilabas lahat.
"Kahit sinong artista, walang kayang gumaya ng breakdown niya kanina," he said.
John disclosed how they explained the situation to the couple’s three-year-old son, Nathan.
"Ang sabi namin, that’s daddy’s new car. Sabi niya, ’What is he doing? Sleeping again?’
"Tapos kini-kiss niya at ginigising niya."
CAR ENTHUSIAST. When asked to describe his brother-in-law, John said with a smile, "Maloko ’yan. Very giving and full of hopes and dreams. Mataas ang pangarap."
He also mentioned their common interests. "Mahilig kami sa relo saka mahilig kami sa kotse.
"Kung mapapansin n’yo, ang coffin niya made of pang-kotse talaga, carbon fiber and fiber glass.
"Kasi nagkwentuhan kami dati, sabi niya, ’Basta ako, pag namatay ako, gusto ko carbon fiber ang coffin ko. Tapos naka-seatbelt pa ako.’
"Pero hindi ko na kinabit ang seatbelt. Sabi ko, ’Bro, pasensiya ka na hindi ko ikakabit ang seatbelt.’"