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On the Radar

Former househelpers remember PNoy on his 1st death anniversary

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — June 24, 2022 marks the first death anniversary of the late former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, and two of his former helpers, who each spent over a decade working at the Aquinos' home in Times Street, shared some of their favorite memories of "PNoy."

Yolly Yebes and Ivy Bermudo-Reanzares guested on the latest episode of broadcast journalist and Philstar.com columnist Jing Castañeda's web show "Pamilya Talk with Jing," each recounting what they remembered most about the late president.

Yolly and Ivy have been with the Aquino family for 30 and 13 years respectively, and because PNoy was not married when he took office, he was accompanied by the two ladies to his inauguration.

PNoy's constant companions

It was actually PNoy's mother, the late President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, who hired Yolly to assist PNoy back when he was not yet a politician and still working at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac sugar refinery.

Yolly looked back at the morning of PNoy's death when she entered his room after not being called since the evening before to serve any food; at around midnight, she and a nurse had checked up on him and his vital signs were stable.

"'Yun na 'yung last time na nakita ko siya," Yolly shared, adding that she was speechless and couldn't stop crying in the kitchen.

PNoy had mentioned Yolly several times in his public speeches, which Yolly admits she and her own parents cherish each time, "[Naramdaman ko] 'yung pagmamahal na sa kanya talaga ako."

Even with PNoy having deceased for a year now, Yolly has sworn to continue at the Aquino house for as long as her strength will allow her, as a way of giving back to the family.

Ivy's favorite memory of PNoy was when he gave her some money for her wedding last 2019. The two women even remembered the late president teasing Yolly if she would ever get married and if she knew who Ivy's boyfriend was.

Feeling his presence

Yolly recounted a recent incident wherein she thinks PNoy made his presence felt when an electric fan was shut off while she was in the kitchen.

At first, Yolly thought another person had turned the fan off but she was the only one in the room, so upon turning it on again, she said: "Sir, alam kong nandito ka lang... 'wag ka mag-alala, nandito pa rin ako."

She also mentioned there were times where she would dream of PNoy's face, especially whenever she misseed the late president.

Related: Tributes continue to pour in for late Noynoy Aquino a year after his death

Ivy, too, would have dreams of PNoy, but not as his sickly appearance when he passed away, but looking healthy and smiling.

Whenever this would happen, Ivy would share these dreams with Yolly, never feeling scared but happy for their former boss.

'Corned Beef a la PNoy'

Yolly reiterated many times that PNoy was a simple man even before he assumed the presidency, and that he had several favorite food like crab. But the most favorite among these was a corned beef that Jing dubbed, "Corned Beef a la PNoy."

For the episode, Yolly cooked the special food having not done so since PNoy died. Jing herself had not tasted PNoy's special corned beef since her last visit to the Aquino house in 2010.

While Yolly was preparing the meal, Ivy recalled one time when PNoy asked her to cook corned beef. Yolly had taught Ivy to prepare it since there would be times the former would go on vacation.

"Niluto ko na, pinatikim, at inakyat ko sa taas. Tapos nag-ring 'yung telepono, sabi ni sir akyat daw ako," Ivy shared.

At first, she thought PNoy was going to scold at her, but instead, he just asked her to make it crispier. Since then, Ivy's corned beef had passed PNoy's standards.

Yolly said the key to making "Corned Beef a la PNoy" was frying it for a long time while tossing it until it appears like it's about to boil, and without mixing anything like garlic or onions.

As Jing tasted the dish for the first time in over a decade, Yolly added that PNoy would always have it served whenever there were guests over dinner. — Video from Jing Castañeda via YouTube

RELATED: On Noynoy Aquino’s first death anniversary, opposition told not to lose heart

CORNED BEEF

JING CASTAñEDA

NOYNOY AQUINO

PNOY

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