Top 5 respondents in Dacera case pay tribute to Claire dela Fuente

by Jerry Olea
Apr 6, 2021
The "Top 5" respondents in Christine Dacera case recall their most cherished moments with the late Claire dela Fuente; (clockwise) Valentine Rosales, Clark Rapinan, JP dela Serna, Rommel Galido, and Gigo de Guzman, Claire's son.

Tumatagos sa puso ang pagpupugay ng Top 5 kay Claire dela Fuente sa online memorial service nitong Abril 4, Easter Sunday, hosted by Gigo de Guzman and Maffy Soler-de Roza.

Si Gigo na panganay ni Claire ay kasama sa Top 5—limang pinaratangan sa Christine Dacera case.

Ang apat pang mga kaibigan ni Gigo ay itinuring ni Claire na mga anak-anakan.

Claire Dela Fuente remains

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VALENTINE ROSALES

Una sa line up si Valentine Rosales, na itinakwil ng ama matapos mabuking na bakla, “Right now, I promised myself to at least be strong, na hindi na maiyak.

“Kasi, every time I speak or talk about Tita Claire, I can’t help my tears to fall. Kasi, Tita Claire had a huge role in my life.

“Kahit hindi pa kami ganun katagal magkakilala, we just met noong nagkaroon ng issue or case, pero grabe iyong impact talaga na nagawa niya sa buhay ko.

“Kasi, iyong time na... she’s very motherly, si Tita Claire. Despite na she’s very strong and very tough, ahm, very ano siya, caring. And very selfless siya.

“Ahhm, kung tutuusin, iyong... we’ve had our issues. Grabe iyong struggle ko. And nahiya akong lumapit sa kanya pero siya yung nagri-reach out sa akin.

“Siya yung laging nagpapakalma sa akin when I feel worried or problematic. Na nandiyan siya palagi, lagi niya akong chini-cheer up.

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“Tapos, ahhm, naku, lagi siyang inaasar kasi. Gustung-gusto ko iyong kanta niya na 'Sayang.' Nagpapaturo ako sa kanya, paano ba yun gawin?

“Sinasabi niya sa akin, kantahin ko raw iyong part na ‘Sayang...’ Letter S pa lang ang nasasabi ko, sinasabi niya, sintunado na daw agad ako. Natatawa ako sa kanya.

“She’s very funny din. And she’s always... sobrang positive niya, sobrang selfless talaga ni Tita Claire.

“Gagawin niya lahat, matulungan ka lang niya. At ma-assure niya sa sarili niya that everything’s fine.”

Pigil na pigil ang pagluha ni Valentine, “Ahhm, ayun... it’s just so sad na she can’t... I won’t be able to hear her voice, or she can’t be here with us right now.

“Ahhm, yun... ahhh... I just want to say thank you, Tita Claire, sa lahat. Thank you dahil hindi ninyo ako pinabayaan.

“Thank you dahil lagi kayong naglu-look out for us. And I will forever... forever kong tatanawin na utang na loob ‘yon sa akin. Thank you sa lahat.”

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Sabi ni Gigo, “Thanks, Val. Thank you so much.”

JP DELA SERNA

Ang sumunod na nagsalita ay ang bunso sa Top 5 na si JP de la Serna. Konti lang ang difference ng edad nila ni Valentine.

Ipinaabot ni JP ang deepest condolences ng kanilang pamilya at mga kasama sa Top 5 sa pamilya ni Gigo.

Pahayag ni JP, “I know, mahirap. But still... stay strong lang. Ahhm, kay Tita Claire... Tita Claire, wherever you are, I just wanna say thank you for all of the nice things you’ve done to us.

“For being patient. For teaching us a lesson in life, na no matter what your situation is, you need to be brave.

“You need to be strong. And not only that, ahh, of course, kailangan mo na lumingon ka kung saan ka galing.

“And thank you so much for... for teaching me a lesson na give time to my family, and always open to my family if ever I need to para magaan yung pakiramdam.

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“Ikaw yung naging second mother ko. You’ve known all of my pain. And I thank you so much for that.

“And sobrang mami-miss kita, Tita Claire. Every time na tatawagin mo kaming lima, ‘Mga bakla, lapit kayo dito!’

“Tapos, sasabihin mo, ‘Ayan, ligwak ka na sa Top 5!’ I will miss those moments.

“Kasi, siyempre may Q & A process na ginagawa mo dahil maliligwak. Mami-miss ko ‘yon, sobra, Tita Claire.

“And... wala na... wala nang... pag nasa bahay mo kami, wala nang kaaway si Gigo. Alam ko, mami-miss din ni Gigo ‘yon.

“Then, wala nang gigising sa amin kung mag-i-stay kami d’yan. Wala nang gigising na mantataranta. Wala nang maingay.

“Sobrang mami-miss ko, Tita Claire. I miss you so much. Kaya nga... ngayon, hindi pa rin nagsi-sink in sa akin ‘yung nangyari pero as time passes, I need to accept the fact na wala ka na.

“But I know, even though wala ka, you are guiding all of us, especially the Top 5, your family, and yung mga friends mo. Gina-guide mo ‘yan for sure.

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“And alam ko... wala ka man ngayon sa laban namin, but surely, pag natapos ‘to, maganda yung result, you will be proud of us.

“And gagabayan mo kami sa right path na magdudulot ng maganda sa amin, and alam naming hindi mo kami papabayaan kahit kailan.

“Sobrang-sobrang salamat, Tita Claire. We love you so much.” Sabi ni Gigo, “Thank you, JP.”

ROMMEL GALIDO

Fresh and fabulous si Rommel Galido sa pagpupugay, “Wala akong ibang masasabi kay Tita Claire kundi thank you so much. And...

“Ahhhm, ise-share ko lang ito, yung unang expression ko, unang ano ko noong nakita ko si Tita Claire habang nasa loob na ako ng detention room. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

“Noong pagpasok niya ng police station, sabi ko talaga, ‘Hala! Si Tita Claire, ang ganda niya! Andito siya!’ Gumaganun ako sa kanya,” pagmulagat ni Rommel.

Hirit ni Rommel with matching reenactment, “Wala akong pakialam sa media! Sabi kasi nila, i-close daw yung door para hindi kami makita ng media, pero binubuksan ko, sumisilip talaga ako, gumaganun ako dun!

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“‘Hala, si Tita Claire! Si Tita Claire, nandun siya!’ Naano ako sa kanya, na-starstruck ako sa kanya, kasi... siyempre, Claire dela Fuente, tapos nandiyan siya.

“Tapos, hanggang sa paglabas namin... hanggang sa pagpunta namin sa hotel, palipat-lipat kami. Kasi, maraming sumusunod na media, hinahabol kami.

“Tapos, noong nakita namin si Tita Claire, akala namin, papagalitan kami nang sobra-sobra.

“Pero hindi, iba yung ginawa niya. Cinomfort niya kami, kahit hindi niya kami kilala. “Parang... yung care and love niya, makikita mo talaga agad na, ahh, napakabait namang tao nito kahit siya si Claire dela Fuente.

“Wow! Parang blessing din na nakilala ko ang isang Claire dela Fuente na napakabait. Noong time kasi na iyon... mag-isa lang ako talaga dito sa Manila.

“Ang mom ko, nasa province. So, siya yung tumayong magulang ko, parang nanay-nanayan ko.

“Sobrang... thank you, thank you, Gigo! Thank you sa mom mo!

“Iyong hindi ko makakalimutan sa mom mo, yung... alam kong ipinamana niya sa akin, yung tibay ng loob. Yung tiwala sa Diyos.

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“Yun yung ipinamana niya sa akin. Yung dasal... grabe si Tita Claire, di ba?

“Pupunta siya sa room, at gigisingin niya tayo, ‘Hoy, mga bakla, gumising kayo! Magdasal tayo!’ Ganun siya, e. Yun ang mami-miss ko sa kanya.

“Isa pang mami-miss ko kay Tita Claire, yung sasabihin niya, ‘Hoy, bakla! Ganda ka?!’ Gumaganun siya. ‘Hindi ka maganda! Ligwak ka sa Top 5!’”

Natawa si Gigo.

Pagpapatuloy ni Rommel, “Sabi ko, ‘Hala, Tita!’ Tapos, pag kinontra mo siya, sasabihin niya, ‘Ah, gano’n?’

“Tapos, tatawa lang siya na parang... saang galing ‘yan?! Ang hilig niyang manukso! Alam mo yung... Claire dela Fuente siya pero pwede mo siyang biru-biruin!

“Hindi siya napipikon. Tapos, alam kong pinapagalitan niya kami most of the time, kasi matigas yung ulo namin.

“Kung anu-ano pinapagawa niya, e, parang chill lang kami, especially pag magkakasama kaming lima, wala, chill lang kami. So, nagagalit siya.

“Pero alam ko, yung galit niya is yung pure love, na para naman sa amin ‘to, para sa kabutihan namin. Yun yung isa sa mga hindi ko makakalimutan kay Tita Claire.

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“Yung pagiging mabait, sobrang napakabait na tao niya, grabe! Wala akong masabi sa kanya kundi napakabait na tao.

“And ayun, kahit wala na si Tita Claire, alam ko, andiyan lang si Tita Claire for us, Gigs!

“Don’t worry. Gagabayan niya tayo, as our guardian angel! And alam ko, matatapos din lahat ng ‘to at magiging proud na si Tita Claire sa ating lahat.

“We love you, Tita Claire! Mami-miss ka namin, sobra! Sobra! Sobra! And we will take good care of Gigo and Mick!”

Nakangiting sabi ni Gigo, “Thank you, guys!”

CLARK RAPINAN

Seryosong-seryoso si Clark Rapinan, ang panganay sa mga “kapatid” ni Gigo sa Top 5.

Pahayag ni Clark, “Today, as we say goodbye to Tita Claire, ahhm, it hit me how incredibly lucky I am to have met her, and spent the last few months with her.

“Because of our ongoing case, I witnessed how exceptionally kind of a person she was every single day I spent the time with her family.

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“Ahhm, she became a mother to us, took care of us. She accepted all of us to her home.

“Well, Tita Claire is a very strong woman, an alpha, a picture of elegance and grace. A dragon lady, what they used to describe her—yet very loving, and caring mother.

“She always put a strong personality and always give us what we should do in facing our problems.

“I was actually surprised na Tita Claire was so funny, and has a good sense of humor! Huh!”

Bahagyang ngumiti si Clarke, “When the tide is high and we are very stressed because of what’s going on, and what’s happening during our case, I remember, I always want her to sing for us.

“I always say na, ‘Tita Claire, kanta ka naman sa amin, please! Tita, kahit one-liner lang!’

“And she would automatically say, ‘No!’ And I would try to convince her, and she would say, ‘Wala na akong boses sa inyo, kaka-stress sa inyo!’ Ha! Ha! Ha! And then...”

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Natawang sumingit si Gigo, “Never ninyo siyang napakanta! Never ninyo siyang napakanta! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Pagpapatuloy ni Clarke, “And I would respond, ‘Sige na, Tita! Sige na, Tita, kahit hum lang.’ And she would say, ‘Hindi naman kayo magaganda!’

“And then we would all laugh. And the stress would be temporarily gone, and the mood be changed.

“So, ganon siya, e, every time we’re depressed and stressed. She would always make us laugh, and make the ambiance comfortable for us.

“Ahhm, she always pray for us, and she always say to us that, ‘This is your life. Fight for what is right. And the good will always win, and the truth will always prevail.’

“Ahhm, I just wanna say thank you, Tita Claire, for being mother to us. And thank you for your unconditional love.

“Thank you for the respect you always gave us when we’re about to give up. Mami-miss kita, Tita Claire, and we all love you...

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“Right now, Tita, there’s no pain na. You can now rest. You may rest now, Tita. And I love you, we love you... Thank you, Tita Claire, from the bottom of our hearts... Thank you, Gigs!"

Sabi ni Gigo, “Thank you, Clark.”

THE TOP 5 WERE VERY important TO CLAIRE

Ang Sentimental Songstress na si Imelda Papin na sana ang susunod na magbabahagi sa online memorial service, ngunit nagka-technical difficulty ang connection nito.

Kaya nagsalita na muna si Gigo tungkol sa relasyon ng mga kaibigan niya sa kanyang ina.

Matamang lahad ni Gigo, “Close to the end of her life, the Top 5 was very important for her.

“At first, she did it for me. I saw that she truly cared about Val, JP, Clarke, Rom, all of them.

“And we’d always constantly, ahhm, you know, look out for them. Ahhm, I really did want to... for them to speak today.

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“Because, ahh, yun nga... I always saw, parang... she always thought of them as her kids na rin, you know.

“Na she did a lot for them, and she took it to heart.”

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The "Top 5" respondents in Christine Dacera case recall their most cherished moments with the late Claire dela Fuente; (clockwise) Valentine Rosales, Clark Rapinan, JP dela Serna, Rommel Galido, and Gigo de Guzman, Claire's son.
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