While showbiz was still mourning the death of Isabel Granada, news of another death in showbiz shocked the industry on Saturday. Tragically, ABS-CBN’s Hashtags member Franco Hernandez died from drowning in Davao Occidental.
The 26-year-old dancer—said to be the best among the second batch of the all-male group appearing on “It’s Showtime”—was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital of a nearby town where the accident took place.
First reported on DZMM by MJ Felipe, Hernandez’ death regrettably coincided with the Hashtag’s second anniversary and Showtime host Anne Curtis’ wedding to Erwan Heussaff in New Zealand.
Hernandez was said to be with his girlfriend, two other companions, and co-Hashtags member Tom Doromal, whose family owns the resort they visited, when the group fell off a motorized boat as strong waves hit them on their way back to North Lamidan’s coast in Don Marcelino town.
Hernandez’s girlfriend Janica Floresca said they were told to jump off the boat and swim to safety, but neither of them knew how, so that they struggled in the water for 30 minutes before they were pulled back on the boat. Rescued first, she kept telling the team to attend to Hernandez before her since she saw him in worse shape.
“I shouted, ‘Love, laban lang!” then I saw he just closed his eyes and stopped breathing. It was so hard [to help him]because we were [both]drowning,” she related.
The boat operators tried to resuscitate Hernandez with CPR but no longer got him to breathe.
Floresca shared the last video she took of them before boarding the boat that fateful day.
Hernandez’ talent management, Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc., also issued an official statement on Instagram, confirming the passing of the young dancer.
“It is with deep sadness and grief that we accept the news of Franco Miguel Hernandez Lumanlan aka ‘Hashtag Franco’s’ passing today. He was a very promising talent and a true star in every sense of the word. He was passionate, hardworking, humble and liked by all. He lived his life following his dreams and made every second count. Franco was not just our talent. He was part of our family. And our hearts break into a million pieces for such a young life gone too soon. We will surely miss him. Rest in Peace our ever dearest Franco.”
Hernadez’ remains are now at Davao City’s Cosmopolitan Funeral Parlor.