What a man, that Rico Yan!
- Monique Buensalido () - April 6, 2002 - 12:00am
I couldn’t get the word "pretty" out of my head. It was Good Friday. I was lying in my parents’ bed with my brother, watching Seven Last Words, fanning ourselves even if the fan whirring in front of us was on high. Suddenly, my brother turned to me and showed me his cellphone. I read the message he was showing me. "Ngeeee," I told him, pushing the cellphone away. At that moment, there was a news update on TV and my brother nudged me. There it was being confirmed on national TV.

Just like the text message, the news report declared that Rico Yan was dead.

The first thing I felt wasn’t shock but denial. Everyone I know didn’t believe the news at first. Everybody refused to believe that Rico Yan was dead.

After denial came shock – when journalists confirmed his death on TV and the papers.

I was stunned. Just several weeks ago, I had been telling my friends that I thought Rico Yan would have been a perfect boyfriend. I had been telling my friends that he and Claudine Barretto were cute together, and that he called her "Pretty". I loved that—most guys cal their girlfriends baby, babes, honey, sweetie, or something similar, but he called her Pretty. It was that that made me smile when I watched their interview. It’s one of the things I really admired about him. I even told my friends that I hope my future boyfriend would call me pretty, too. Now, Rico Yan is gone.

Since then, I’ve been glued to the TV, watching reports about his death and his wake. I’ve talked about him with my family and friends, and, yes, I’ve even cried at the TV specials where they interviewed Rico’s friends.

I’m only really fond of a few Pinoy actors, and Rico Yan was one of them. I liked the fact that he was a boy-next-door with dimples and a boyins grin.. He was very clean-cut – he didn’t need a bad boy image or huge muscles to win hearts. He wasn’t pa-cute at all. I always viewed him as a decent, down-to-earth guy. I remember on of his commercials some years ago, where two girls were rating boys using cookies. When it came to Rico Yan, they decide he was worth nothing less than one whole box of cookies.

I also admired Rico for being intelligent in conversation. I’ve always enjoyed watching or reading his interviews because he had very good answers and could speak very well. His answers didn’t sound like he was trying to sensationalize them or himself. If he was being asked about a fellow actor, he was honest. If he was being asked about his upcoming movie, he was modest about it. There was one interview where several actors were asked to comment about a controversy against a certain movie. Some sounded like they were just saying whatever cliches come to mind, but Rico answered like he really sounded knew what he was saying. He sounded intelligent, informed and rational. That was the first time Rico Yan blew me away. After that, I really made it a point to listen whenever Rioc Yan was being interviewed, whatever it was for.

He also graduated from college, which is a praise worthy trait for an actor here in the Philippines. He had a keen business mind, probably because his course was Marketing Management. He ventured into a couple of businesses, like Orbitz, which sold pearl shakes, and Tequila Joe’s, a popular restaurant.

Of course, I also thought he was a good actor. I’ve watched a couple of his movies, and he’s really talented. I think Mula sa Puso would have to be the film with Rico Yan that I have watched most. I also recently watched Got 2 Believe, his last movie. I have to admit that I liked it a lot.

I’ve only mentioned what I know and admire about Rico Yan, and I’m sure that’s not all. He has done a lot more things and he has been a lot more to other people. That’s why in every interview that I watch, I learn something new about Rico – like he was fond of colors or that he often gave compliments to everyone. We may not understand why God decided to take him away now, but we must always remember to trust in His will.

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