(This article was originally published on October 25, 2017.)
Today, November 4, 2018, marks the first death anniversary of actress-singer Isabel Granada.
She died on November 4, 2017 at Hamad General Hospital in Doha, Qatar, after slipping into coma for almost two weeks.
She was 41 years old.
Here, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) lists some tidbits about Isabel, her zest for life, her love for her family, and her enthusiasm for her showbiz career.
As she puts it, "I do everything 100 percent."
1. The first language she learned was Spanish.
Isabel was the only child of Filipino chief marine engineer Humberto Granada and Spanish mestiza Isabelle Villarama, who is better known in showbiz circles as Mommy Guapa.
Although she was born in the Philippines, on March 9, 1976, Isabel was raised in Spain where her family lived until she was six years old.
Isabel learned to speak in Spanish from childhood and English became her secondary language.
2. She was only six when she did her first commercial.
Isabel was six years old when her mom brought her back to the Philippines as she was offered to do a commercial.
When she was nine, Isabel landed her first acting role via the 1985 Seiko Films movie, Magchumikap Ka.
Seen below is a shot of Isabel during a scene with her co-star Freddie Webb.
3. She joined That’s Entertainment in 1986.
Isabel was cast as one of the members of Tuesday Group in the popular teen-oriented show That’s Entertainment, hosted by the late Master Showman German Moreno, better known in showbiz circles as Kuya Germs.
In the group with her were Manilyn Reynes, Ana Roces, Jean Garcia, and Billy Crawford.
Isabel also became part of the Monday Group together with Ruffa Gutierrez, Carmina Villarroel, and Ian Veneracion.
Kuya Germs once described Isabel as “very talented” in acting, singing and dancing.
Isabel, who was a member of the show for 10 years, enjoyed being an all-around performer.
In her 2014 interview for GMA Network's Tunay Na Buhay, she said, "Kung puwede lahat gawin at a time. In fact, ganun naman ang artista dito sa Philippines—they can sing and act."
4. Her first love-team partner was Chuckie Dreyfus.
Isabel and Chuckie were co-stars in the 1988 film Kambal Tuko, starring child stars Richard and Raymond Gutierrez.
They were eventually paired as a love team in their succeeding movies from 1989 to 1990: Magic To Love, Isang Araw Walang Diyos, Huwag Kang Hahalik sa Diyablo, Papa's Girl, Lessons In Love.
Looking back at their teenage years in showbiz, Isabel said of Chuckie, “Kami lagi magkaaway, kami lagi magkakulitan.”
Isabel and Chuckie were also partners in GMA Network’s reality show, Survivor Philippines Celebrity Doubles Showdown, in 2011.
5. She was a licensed pilot.
Isabel trained as a pilot under the tutelage of a “colonel” from Philippine Air Force, who agreed to give the actress lessons in between her showbiz engagements.
According to a November 2001 article from The Philippine Star, Isabel said some people had discouraged her from learning to fly a plane, but driven by her sense of adventure, she persisted.
She took inspiration from her Mommy Guapa, who has always been her number one supporter.
"I never feared death because my mom is always there. With her, I feel safe," said Isabel.
Her interest in flying started early. Isabel finished a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Philippine Air Transport And Training Services (PATTS) College of Aeronautics.
6. She was a competitive athlete.
Isabel was once a team captain in volleyball at PATTS.
She continued to join volleyball competitions long after she graduated from college.
When she became a mom, Isabel shifted to playing badminton to trim down her post-pregnancy weight.
“When it comes to sports, kina-career ko talaga. I’m very competitive. That shows [whenever I play]," said Isabel in her 2014 Tunay Na Buhay interview.
7. She had her right ovary removed in 2006.
Isabel underwent at least two medical surgeries to remove the cysts in her ovary.
In 2006, her right ovary was removed because of a cyst that grew as big as her ovary.
After two years, she had another surgical operation to remove a myoma from her uterus as well as two cysts that were found in her left ovary.
According to healthgrades.com, myoma—commonly known as a fibroid—is a non-cancerous tumor that grows in or around the uterus.
Ever the go-getter, Isabel spoke about getting back to taping the defunct Kapuso primetime show La Lola right after her operation in 2008.
“Actually, after the first week of operation, nag-pictorial na ako for La Lola, then the next week, I started shooting for La Lola.
“Basta sabi ko lang, walang stunts,” said Isabel in an interview with PEP.ph dated November 5, 2008.
8. She became a victim of a death hoax twice.
The first time was at the height of the 2007 elections when her then husband Jericho Aguas ran and lost his bid for the position of vice mayor of Angeles, Pampanga.
In an article dated May 30, 2007, she told PEP.ph, “Ganito talaga sa pulitika, e. Kahit buhay na buhay ka pa, papatayin ka nila.
"Sabi ko nga, ibang mundo ito, kaya hindi ko iniisip na pumasok sa politics.
“Although siyempre, nandiyan lagi ang suporta ko kay Geryk dahil nasa puso niya talaga ang public service, e.”
In 2011, Isabel fell victim to another death hoax that made the rounds via text messages to entertainment editors.
The text message read, "DEAR FRIENDS, LET ISABEL GRANADA BE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. LET US BE HAPPY THAT SHE IS WITH THE LORD NOW, IN PEACE. WITH NO PAIN CAUSED BY OVARIAN CANCER."
Quashing the malicious text message, Isabelle issued an official statement that all is well with her health.
In a text message sent to PEP.ph, dated April 13, 2011, she elaborated, “Honestly, wala ako idea, sobra morbid po ang mensahe...
“And i just hope and pray tigilan ako ng taong nagkakalat ng death ko.
"God knows when. Huwag siya magkalat nega news."
9. She was first married in 2002.
Isabel married her long-time boyfriend Jericho “Geryk” Aguas on December 10, 2002.
On May 23, 2003, she gave birth to their only child, Hubert Thomas Jericho.
Best known as a councilor in Pampanga, Geryk was a former commercial model who appeared in the 2008 indie film Xenoa starring Isabel, Paolo Ballesteros, and Rafael Nanquil.
It was not clear when the couple separated.
But in 2013, Isabel and Geryk were still seen attending various social functions.
Among their charming family photos was the one taken on July 1, 2013, right after Geryk’s oath-taking as Pampanga councilor.
10. Her current "mi amor" is Arnel Principe-Cowley.
Isabel reportedly married her second husband Arnel Cowley in 2015.
The first time Isabel posted on Instagram a photo showing them as a couple was on August 14, 2016.
They were seen wearing matching red polo shirts.
She fondly called him “mi amor,” the Spanish translation of "my love."
Since then, the actress had been regularly posting photos of their travels in and out of the country.
Isabel and Arnel celebrated their “anniversary” last October 18—five days before Isabel was hospitalized and fell into a coma.
Her sweet message for Arnel was the last update seen on the actress's Instagram at press time.
Her caption read: "Happy Anniversary .. Yeehee .. Baby you know in our Hearts .. That even if we get really busy ..our love never will it fade . I love you very much baby..#miamor..@arnel1973
"Te quiero con todo mi Alma .thank You for The Love.. Thank you for Loving me and who i love ..
"What a Blessed Way to Celebrate it.. A Memorable Trip to Doha Qatar with our Pure Love for each other ..
"With God's Love in the center .. Nothing can go Wrong."
Happy Anniversary .. Yeehee .. Baby you know in our Hearts .. That even if we get really busy ..our love never will it fade . I love you very much baby..#miamor..@arnel1973 Te quiero con todo mi Alma .thank You for The Love.. Thank you for Loving me and who i love .. What a Blessed Way to Celebrate it.. A Memorable Trip to Doha Qatar with our Pure Love for each other .. With God's Love in the center .. Nothing can go Wrong.. #instaGood #instaMe #IsabelGranada #AloveToLast #nofilter #shoutouts #shoutout4shoutout #ilovemyfollowers #sobackteam #soback #follow #followback #followhim #followher #followall stayfit stayHealthy #justDoit #Determination #StrongIsBeautiful #Starnet #Dream #Believe #Receive #StarsYouCanReach #LiveLikeAStar30dayChallenge beautyAndWellness