DAMAGE from the fire that razed the house of musician Freddie Aguilar in Quezon City a day after the New Year festivities was estimated at about P14 million, a fire official told The Manila Times on Wednesday.
The better news, however, is that the eight people who were asleep when the fire broke out late Tuesday night in the home of the Aguilars at North Fairview all escaped unharmed.
Aguilar, who was not at home at that time, arrived after the flames were put out, salvaging one old guitar from his prized possessions that included records of his music and awards that he won over the years. “Dumating na lang siya nung tinawagan siya ng kanyang pamilya,” Derick said.
(He arrived after his family called him up.)
“Estimated P14 million [‘yung nawala] including ‘yung content ng bahay, properties, plaka, musical instruments niya,” Fire Officer 3 Caranto Derick of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Quezon City (BFP-QC) said.
(Damage is estimated at P14 million, including his belongings, property, records and musical instruments.)
The fire came from Aguilar’s music room on the ground floor at about 11:06 p.m. on Tuesday.
It reached the First Alarm at 11:15 p.m. and was put out at 11:38 p.m.
A First Alarm means four fire trucks in Quezon City are needed to put out the blaze, according to the BFP.
“Sabi po ni [Jeriko Aguilar], sa ceiling ng music room, doon dumadaan ‘yung wirings ng bahay…noong nakita niyang nasusunog na ‘yung kwarto, ginising na agad niya ‘yung mga kasambahay,” Derick said, citing the verbal account of Jeriko, Aguilar’s son.
(According to his son, on the ceiling of the music room, that’s where the wirings of the house are . . . when he saw that the room was on fire, he immediately woke up his companions.)
Aguilar’s pregnant wife, Jovie, who was on the second floor during the blaze, managed to jump from their rooftop to the rooftop of a neighbor’s house, with the help of some rescuers.
Derick said that investigation on the cause of the fire was ongoing but that he was looking at a short circuit.
Aguilar is best known for his original composition “Anak” (Child), which he submitted at the first Metro Manila Popular (Metropop) Song Festival in 1978, according to published reports.
Although the song did not win, it became an international hit, having versions in Chinese, German, and English while the original Filipino version turned double platinum weeks after its release.
Local artists Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, Noel Cabangon, and Side A have also covered the song.
In 2000, “Anak” was made into a movie starring now-Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto and Claudine Barretto, with controversial actor Baron Geisler.
During Martial Law, Aguilar recorded “Bayan Ko” (My Country) and was played on radios after the death of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983.
Aguilar, a favorite of singer of President Rodrigo Duterte, served briefly in government when he was appointed in 2016 to the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) but was later replaced by Virgilio Almario.
Aguilar, who was born in Santo Tomas, Isabela, stirred controversy when at 60 years old, he entered into a relationship with Jovie Albao, then 16, in 2013.
He married Albao in Islamic rites on November 23, 2013.
Before Albao, Aguilar was married to Josephine Quiepo from 1978 to 2000, Antonette Martinez from 2000 to 2005.
He has four children with Quiepo: Maegan, Jonan, Isabella, and Jeriko. GLEE JALEA, ARIC JOHN SY CUA