THE WEEK THAT WAS:

A death, a pregnancy and a wedding

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Nikki Gil and husband BJ Albert

Showbiz has been hounded with several deaths lately, but those that had passed most recently can be said to have lived their lives to the fullest —like directors Gil Portes and Soxy Topacio and talent manager-columnist Alfie Lorenzo.

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So when Randy Santiago’s second son Ryan, only 24, died on Sunday, August 13, showbiz denizens and the public too were saddened by the heartbreaking news.

Among those who immediately expressed grief were his childhood friends, sisters Julia and Dani Barretto, and Megastar Sharon Cuneta who said he died far too young.

In Santiago’s official statement, the singer said they find comfort in knowing that Ryan is no longer in pain.

Explaining the cause of death of Ryan Leonardo Coronel Santiago, the family said he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013 and suffered from demyelinating disease (this is when the protective covering of the nerves of the brain are damaged).

“These led to a condition called hydrocephalus. He underwent a major brain surgery to insert shunts in order to drain the fluid out. Given that a shunt is a foreign object, it could cause infections, which the doctors tried to address through medications. His health started to deteriorate because of loss of appetite as a result of the medications,” the statement said.

Ryan went to La Salle from grade school to college and was a blogger before he succumbed to sickness. Randy and Marilou have two other sons, Raphael and Raiko.

Randy Santiago with wife Marilou and late son Ryan

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Nikki Gil is just a few weeks away from delivering her first baby. The pretty mom-to-be posted a series of photos on Instagram showing her baby bump with husband BJ Albert.

Friends and fans commented that she is “magandang buntis,” spawning speculations that the baby could be a girl. Among those who commented and sent her wishes were Rica Peralejo, Camille Prats, Mariel Padilla and Carla Abellana.

Gil posted another photo of her showing her growing tummy with a group of girl friends on August 15.

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On August 12, former President and current Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Laarni Enriquez’s daughter Jerika wed Spanish triathlete Miguel Aguilar Garcia in a lavish wedding at the Manila Hotel.

The lavender wedding was said to be grandest in recent years with two tons worth of flowers imported from South Africa, Holland and Ecuador, and a 40-foot high floral wall adorning the stage and ceiling.

While she never entered showbiz like her parents, Jerika made headlines some years back when she had a son by actor Bernard Palanca. Clearly meant to be for someone else, Erap’s daughter finally had the wedding of her dreams, which was a star-studded one to boot.

Besides her parents and brothers Jacob and Jake (who was with his daughter Ellie by Andi Eigenmann), also in attendance were Eddie Garcia, Lorna Tolentino, Annabelle Rama, Tim Yap, Patrick Garcia with wife Nikka, musical artists Abby Asistio, Gabby Alipe of Urbandub and Armi Millare of Up Dharma Down.

ARLO CUSTODIO

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