Inihatid na sa kanyang huling hantungan ang ama ni Regine Velasquez na si Gerardo "Mang Gerry" Velasquez noong Biyernes, February 7, sa Manila Memorial Park sa Plaridel, Bulacan.
Sa panayam ng Buzz Ng Bayan kay Regine, na ipinalabas kahapon, February 9, ay kinilala ng Asia's Songbird si Mang Gerry bilang humubog sa kanya bilang isang mahusay na singer.
“I wouldn’t be who I am if he didn’t train me, if he didn’t believe in me.
"He’s my number one fan.
"Kahit sa defeat, he seems to know how to lift me up."
GREAT FATHER. Bilang ama, paano nga ba si Mang Gerry?
Sabi ni Regine, “He’s a great father, he’s very cool, very encouraging.
"Alam niya kung paano paapakin ang paa ko sa lupa na hindi lumaki ang ulo ko.
"Of course, everybody knows that story how he trained me.
"He never missed any of my concerts, except for this coming one.
“But I still kept thinking he’s still be there.
“I’m sure, he’s still be there.”
Ang tinutukoy ni Regine na concert ay ang Valentine concert nila ni Martin Nievera, ang Voices of Love, na gaganapin sa February 14, sa MOA Arena.
Habang nasa presscon ng Voices of Love si Regine noong February 3, Lunes, natanggap ng Kapuso singer ang balitang pumanaw na ang kanyang ama.
Lahad pa niya, “Actually, noong Sunday kasi, he didn’t even look well.
"We all noticed, he was very pale and very yellowish siya, which is very unusual, and very cold.
"And he was in pain but ino-observe lang siya ng mga doctors.
"And then, finally, 11 p.m., my mother decided to rush him na to the hospital.
“So, I stayed with them in the hospital.
"Then, I had to go home kasi nga, I have work.
"Right after my presscon, my sister Cacai was already calling me, and she said, 'Papa’s gone.'"
TIME TO BE READY. Cardiac arrest ang ikinamatay ni Mang Gerry dala na rin ng pabalik-balik na pneumonia nito.
Saad pa ni Regine, “Last year talaga, when he got really, really sick, he got operated on.
"Siyempre, he survived the operation, pero yung recovery was the difficult part actually.
"Yung pneumonia, I think he had like ten million pneumonia, but we were able to bring him home.
“Last year, we thought we're gonna lose him na. I was not ready.”
Pero sa kabila ng nangyari, nagpapasalamat si Regine sa ibinigay na panahon sa kanila ng Panginoon para mapaghandaan ang pagpanaw ng kanyang ama.
“I think all of us are doing actually a good job. Nagko-cope naman kami well.
"God gave us a little bit of time to prepare.
"We also didn’t want to see Papa like that na nahihirapan na siya.
“Sabi ni Lord, 'Halika na. Let’s go, Mang Gerry,'” nakangiti niyang sabi.
Naitanong din kay Regine kung ang anak nila ni Ogie Alcasid na si Nate ay naiintindihan nang wala na ang lolo nito.
“I don’t think so,” sagot naman ni Regine.
“Although, kapag sinasabi kong, 'Si Lolo, wala na. Sabihin mo ba-bye Lolo, ba-bye Lolo,' magbaba-bye siya.
"Kamukha siya ni Nate, e. Yun ang nare-remind ako kapag tinitingnan ko ang tatay ko."
Sa huli, nagpasalamat si Regine sa lahat ng mga taong nakiramay sa kanila at ganun din sa lahat ng networks, na bawat gabi ay may tinatawag na "network’s night" noong burol ni Mang Gerry.
Sabi niya, “Sobrang grateful talaga ako to everybody.
"I didn’t even realize na sobrang daming lives na na-touch ni Papa.
"At nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa lahat ng channels—mala-Mang Dolphy lang ang peg.
"Maraming-maraming salamat po.
"I’m sure he’s so yabang in heaven.
"I’m sure, Papa is so happy."