As soon as Sam Concepcion and Enrique Gil saw Mr. Gerry Perez at the Chef's Quarter restaurant in SM Megamall last night, August 16, they gave him a long hug.
Mr. Perez, the father of the late actor AJ Perez, attended the premiere night of Way Back Home along with his wife Marivic and son Gelo.
AJ should have been part of this Star Cinema movie if he didn't die in a vehicular accident that took place in Tarlac last April 17. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)
Today, August 17, marks the fourth month of AJ's death.
Mr. Perez says that he misses his son every day.
When PEP.ph asked Mr. Perez how he and his family are holding up, he said, "We're coping. We're doing it every day. It's AJ's fourth [month] anniversary."
He later added: "Hindi na 'ko masyadong nagmo-monitor ng ASAP kasi it brings back [memories]."
Before the start of the screening, the one who led the opening prayer hoped that AJ was smiling down on them last night.
"Na-touch talaga ako dun and I'm so grateful," admitted Mr. Perez.
"Somebody told me na dine-dedicate nila ang movie na ito kay AJ and we're so thankful."
When asked for his assessment of the performance of Sam and Enrique, Mr. Perez said, "They did a good job. They remind me of AJ," he said with a smile.
"I'm happy for them. I'm proud of these two guys."
He revealed his fondness not just for the two boys but their parents as well.
"I would like to look at them beyond showbiz. I know his father [Sam's dad] very well and his mom is a good friend."
Mr. Perez also disclosed a little known fact about the long history between AJ and Sam's family.
"Not everyone would know this but the first commercial of AJ was with Sam's dad. So, the resemblance is there."
As for Sam, he said that he is reminded of his good friend everytime he is called by his character's name named AJ.
Was it Sam's intention to mimic AJ's mannerisms in the movie?
"Siguro sa tagal na rin ng pagkakakilala namin, may mga napick-up ako," he said.
Way Back Home is topbilled by Mara Clara stars Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)