Former young star and erstwhile member of the defunct hit teenybopper TV show Apat na Sikat Eddie Villamayor is gone but his memories, especially his sister Nora Aunor’s heart and mind, linger.
Nora’s world crumbled when Eddie—Buboy to his friends and loved ones— succumbed to cardiac arrest recently after a lingering illness, which rendered him helpless most of the time.
Being the youngest in a brood of nine, Eddie Boy wasn’t only the pet of the family but of Nora’s. He had become sickly in the later years of his life and was always confined in hospital, so much so that those who knew of his condition thought he wouldn’t even last in 2015.
And Nora, even in the middle of her movie shoots, taping for TV and meetings, would always make time to visit him, spending days and nights at FEU Hospital just to support her brother during his pain.
It is an open book that when Eddie Boy was jilted for courting Vilma Santos’ younger sister Winnie (Eddie’s love team mate onscreen), he couldn’t take the heart break. His world was turned upside down, and I should know because I was one of Buboy’s high school teachers at St. Martin Technical Institute (now ULTRA).
More often than not, he wouldn’t attend his classes and we, the faculty members discovered it was because he was very hurt by Winnie’s rejection that his academics were affected. It turned out the younger Santos was in love with another matinee idol at the time, Bong Morales, whom she eventually married only to divorce in the US some time ago. Winnie was Eddie Boy’s first and only love.
Big sister Nora though would do anything for him. One amusing anecdote is was when she instructed her maids in her former Valencia home to closely attend to Buboy’s needs in school. I saw it with my own eyes that they may have overdone the pampering when Buboy’s attaché case which he carried as a school bag one day had literally been filled with sandwiches.
During one of the memorial masses at the wake, Nora became teary-eyed when someone sang “Tanging Yaman” obviously because the song speaks of the love she has for her family. Bembol Roco who sat beside her was touched as well by the song and its rendition.
Meantime, in the eulogy prepared by Noranians the day before Buboy was laid to rest, Nora’s adopted daughter Matet de Leon spoke of the kindness of his uncle.
Fellow “Apat…” member and first cousin Maribel “Lala” Aunor couldn’t contain her sadness as her daughter Marion sang a composition for Buboy.
At the burial, Nora’s only biological son Ian de Leon appeared to share his mom’s grief. It was like the dawn of a new day when Ian brought his eight-month-old son Jaden to his grandmother, whom the Superstar hugged and kissed with such love.
Life is indeed a cycle for as Eddie Boy breathed his last, little Jaden has come to the family.