Fashion and Beauty

'I wish I had told my dad Ito Curata how much I cared for him'

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star
'I wish I had told my dad Ito Curata how much I cared for him'
Designer Ito Curata (right) with Bob Miller and adopted son Taj.

Death without goodbyes, death without even knowing that your beloved has gone.

That is perhaps the most painful part of being afflicted with Covid-19.  Fashion designer Ito Curata and his partner, retired Visa executive Bob Miller, were both diagnosed with Covid-19.  Ito passed away a week ago, while Bob is still fighting for his life, unaware that his partner had earlier died in the same hospital.

That was exactly how Ito wanted it to be.

“Please don’t let Bob know that I am also ill,” Ito had requested his good friends and neighbors Rene and Ann Puno, perhaps not wanting to dampen Bob’s fighting spirit.

Last March 13, Ito drove Bob to the ER of a hospital for a bad case of pneumonia.  After two days, Ito told Ann that he drove himself back to the same hospital for he was feeling breathless.  After a series of tests, the hospital would not release Ito anymore.

Good friends: Rene and Ann Puno

Ito took a turn for the worse as his organs were failing and the doctors recommended dialysis.  A week later, Ito was declared brain-dead and his siblings decided to pull the plug.

Meanwhile, Bob was placed in an induced coma last week, and, according to Ann, the doctors informed her last Monday that Bob's condition has improved.

Most hopeful and tearful is the couple’s adopted son, Taj, 13, who is now in strict solo quarantine at home, with only the family gardener and his wife as his companions.  An uncle informed Taj that his Dad Ito had passed away and his Papa Bob was still fighting for his life.

“I was in complete disbelief,” Taj said.  “But soon after, I learned to accept that Dad Ito is not with us anymore.  I could not stop crying.  Looking back, I remember that my Dad Ito used to work a lot.  So I normally spent time with Papa Bob.  I wish we could have spent more time together.  I remember how we would watch movies together and, if it was scary, my Dad would curl up covered in a blanket and sometimes scream during the gory parts.  I found it amusing to see a grown man doing that.  That’s one of the many things I will miss about him.”

Taj continues: “If I knew that he would pass away, I would have tried to spend more time with him.  And tell him how much I appreciated him... because I never really showed him how much I cared for him... That is my biggest regret.”

* * *

Close friends are planning a memorial service for Ito Curata after the quarantine is lifted.


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