John Estrada’s dad Vicente Vasquez Estrada passed away due to cardiogenic shock last Monday afternoon, November 5. In an interview with Push.com.ph, the actor/host shared that while he’s truly mourning the loss of his father, he finds comfort in the knowledge that he’s finally at peace with our Creator. He added that it was really painful for him to see his dad’s deteriorating health for the past few months. “Ako na magsasalita para sa buong pamilya namin. Panatag na ang loob namin dahil mas maganda nang kasama ng tatay ko ang Panginoong Diyos natin, yung kapatid kong bunso na bata pa nawala na sa amin, yung mga magulang niya kasama na niya. At saka hindi na niya mae-experience yung pain na na-experience niya dito sa mundo. Panatag na ang kalooban niya,” he said when Push.com.ph visited the wake of his father at the Heritage Memorial Park.
John further shared that his father survived a triple bypass 13 years ago as well as a stroke that paralyzed half of his body two-and-a-half years ago. Since that last heart attack, he had to use a wheelchair but was still able to walk a little with the use of a quad cane. It was only three months ago that his doctor broke the news to John that it was only a matter of time before his dad would pass away. Vicente died at the age of 65. “Nung na-hospitalize siya three months ago, kinausap na kami ng cardiologist na kailangan mag-prepare na kami. Kasi yung heart daw ng daddy ko 15 percent na lang nagwo-work. At the same time, naapektuhan na yung kidney niya, yung liver niya. Makikita mo deteriorating na yung health niya, bedridden na siya, until he passed away.”
Apparently, John and the other members of his family kept that piece of news a secret from his dad. All they wanted was to make him feel loved during his last remaining days. “Siguro a week before namatay daddy ko at alam namin malapit na talaga, ganon pala yun, ang masasabi mo lang, umabot ako ng libo-libong ‘I love you.’ Yung daddy ko wala siyang alam na malapit na. ‘Pag umiiyak ako at nakikita niya, ‘O bakit umiiyak ka? Mamatay na ba ako?’ Sabi ko, ‘Hindi natutuwa lang ako dahil [lahat tayong pamilya magkakasama dito].”
On the brighter side, John said that his dad’s love for his mom and their family will be his greatest legacy to him. He remembered that the one time his dad scolded him was when he was caught smoking as a kid. “Hindi perpekto yung daddy ko, siyempre minsan nag-aaway. Pero nakita ko sa parents ko yung nanay ko talaga ang mabunganga, medyo nagger. Pero yung daddy ko makikita mo nakaupo lang yun, ‘Okay, okay pasensya ka na.’ Lalo na ‘pag alam niya siya ang nagkulang. Pero kahit na nanay ko ang minsan may ganon, naintindihan ng daddy ko. At sinabi sa akin ng nanay ko yun, ‘Bakit ‘di mo gayahin ang tatay mo sa pagdadala mo ng [pamilya]? Siyempre magkaiba naman kami ng ano... Siguro din nakuha ko—hindi ko sinasabing nagger ako—pero nakuha ko medyo yung temper ko sa nanay ko kasi meron talaga. Pero yung daddy ko cool lang. Kaya kaming magkakapatid minsan lang magsalita ang daddy ko pero ’pag nagsalita na makinig ka talaga.”
Amidst these trying times, he is thankful to his wife Priscilla Meirelles for being supportive of him. “Actually, kahapon may taping ako, so siya ang tao dito mula umaga hanggang gabi. Sinundo ko siya 2 am, nagdasal lang ako. Sabi ko sa daddy ko, ‘Pasensya na.’ Priscilla was here from the first day [of his burial].”