Twenty years after his death, actress Claudine Barretto has finally reunited with the mother of her former boyfriend, the late matinee idol Rico Yan.
Claudine joined Mrs. Teresita Yan, her family, and a handful of fans in commemorating the actor's 20th death anniversary at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque last Sunday, March 27.
In a video posted on Instagram, Mrs. Yan said she was the one who invited Claudine to join her family as they gathered to celebrate Rico on his death anniversary.
"She's been part of Rico. He loved her. She loved Rico. That won't change," said Rico's mother.
"Now, let's celebrate that. Not only the 20th death anniversary of Rico but... with Claudine by my side."
She also expressed her gratitude to those who have not forgotten and continue to love her son even after years have passed since he died.
“Tinatanong ni Bobby (Rico’s eldest brother) sa akin, sabi niya, 'How do you process the fact that Rico has been gone for twenty years?' Sabi ko, 'You know, I think I’m in a very unusual place, a very privileged place, because Rico is gone but people still love him,'" she said.
“I guess, you cannot find anybody who’s in that place because I have friends who have lost their children. But that’s it, they lost their children. Pero si Rico, buhay, buhay, buhay wherever I go, whether it’s here, whether it’s in the States... wherever I go."
Mrs. Yan added: “I know people who still love Rico and I am very, very grateful for that. Kaya even if he’s gone, of course we miss him, that’s natural, but I think he lives in your hearts, he lives in our hearts and, of course, in Claudine’s heart.”
Claudine dated Rico for four years before they broke up. Weeks after the breakup, Rico passed away due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis on March 29, 2002. He was 27.
The couple worked together on a number of projects including hit TV dramas such as Mula Sa Puso and Saan Ka Man Naroroon. They also starred in films such as Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita and Got 2 Believe.
Meanwhile, an emotional Claudine also thanked everyone who joined her and Rico's mother in remembering the late actor on his death anniversary.
“Salamat sa pagpunta ninyong lahat. Thank you, Tita, for inviting me. Rico is so happy right now, sobrang saya niya," she said.
"Isa lang talaga yung hinihingi ko, twenty years ago, na huwag natin siyang kalimutan. Pero ginawa niyo talaga so thank you so much," she added.