MANILA – The Philippines’ singing sensation Charice Pempengco failed to enter Manila Cathedral to pay her final respects to the late former President Corazon Aquino, but she asked singer Leah Navarro to extend her family’s condolences.
Charice, who arrived on Monday from the US where she recorded her first international album, went to Manila Cathedral with her mother, Raquel, early Wednesday to pay respects to the country’s first woman president. But they failed to enter the church since it was already closed to the public.
“Dadalaw nga kami at sana ay sisilip para makiramay sa dating pangulo pero nahuli na kasi kami ng dating sarado na siya sa publiko, ayon sa head ng secretariat na si Ms. Leah Navarro. Naiintindihan naman namin ‘yon kaya wala namang problema,” Mrs. Pempengco told abs-cbnNEWS.com in a telephone interview.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Charice said she fully understood why she was not allowed to see the former president at the altar.
“Hanggang pinto lang po ako, but that’s really fine, basta makarating lang po ako at malaman lang po ni Ate Kris na pumunta po ako, okay lang po sa akin yon,” Charice said.
Navarro apologized to Charice for not letting them go near the altar. She explained they were already preparing for the funeral mass. But she but vowed to tell the Aquino family, especially to actress-host Kris Aquino, youngest daughter of Mrs. Aquino, that Charice came to pay her respects.
“If you don’t mind po, kasi pini-prepare po ang simbahan, I hope you understand. Of course, certainly we will let the family know,” Navarro said.
Charice’s mom said they just came from a commercial shoot before they went to Manila Cathedral.
Charice also extended her condolences to the Aquino family. The singer said the former president’s death had affected her and her family in so many ways.
The funeral Mass started at 9 a.m. and was attended by the former President’s family and friends in and out of politics.
Mrs. Aquino died August 1 after more than a year-long battle with cancer.
By Rema Buan-Deveza >>> abs.cbn