In commemoration of Rico Yan’s 16th death anniversary, Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) published a tribute article tackling the late matinee idol’s life. The retrospective discussed his life before he entered show business, his prime years in the industry, and his death that shocked the whole country.
Rico Yan was a graduating student at De La Salle University (DLSU) when a talent scout discovered him. The late actor detailed in an interview that he didn’t expect to end up in the entertainment industry.
“I was eating in one of the fast foods in La Salle. A talent scout came over asking if I want to be a commercial model. Sabi ko, ‘Yeah, right.’ Because pumipila ako, and he just comes over. So, akala ko ginu-good time ako nito.”
Soon enough, he appeared in his first-ever TV commercial, advertising a men’s facial stringent brand. His appearance on the commercial earned him the title “Mr. Dimples.”
He eventually joined the cast of the teen-oriented series “Gimik” where he was initially paired with Judy Ann Santos. He top-billed the show along with other promising young stars of his time such as Jolina Magdangal, Marvin Agustin, Diether Ocampo, Mylene Dizon, Bojo Molina, Diego Castro, and Giselle Tongi.
Watch his first TV appearance below.
A few years into his showbiz career and he was paired with his reel-to-real-life sweetheart Claudine Barretto. Their love team took root in the hearts of their fans, entertaining countless Filipinos with their hit romance dramas “Mula Sa Puso” (1997-1999), “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” (1999-2000), “Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita” (1998), “Mula Sa Puso: The Movie” (1999), and “Got To Believe” (2002).
The same year that Rico and Claudine’s last film was released, the unfortunate news of his passing shocked his fans. The late matinee idol, according to reports, passed away due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.
He was on vacation in Palawan with his friend Dominic Ochoa and their non-showbiz pals. He was discovered lifeless by Dominic in his room and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Adventist Hospital in Puerto Princesa.
Rico’s career was at its peak when he passed away, which was why thousands of his loyal supporters were deeply saddened by his tragic demise. His remains were laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park wherein over 10,000 people attended to see him for the last time.
Claudine, in an interview with Boy Abunda on March 31, 2002, admitted that she and Rico had a “big fight” prior to the actor’s passing.
“He broke his promise again. Na when he gets back, we’ll fix everything, we’ll do something about the problem, and na hindi niya ako iiwan. Sabi niya, wala sa aming mang-iiwan, e. Pero he has to go, and I can’t do anything about it.”
A previous tribute also documented Rico Yan as a good friend and a loving brother and son. Until the end, he remained an inspiration to people. In a memorable quote from him, he said to always give one’s best in life.
“Hindi puwede yung, ‘Puwede na ‘yan.’ Kailangan palaging do your best. Kasi pag ginawa mo yun, pag yun ang prinsipyo mo sa buhay mo—pag nagkamali ka sa buhay mo, may nangyaring hindi kanais-nais, nahulog ka, natumba ka—at least, masasabi mo na, ‘I did my best.'”
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