Young actor AJ Perez will be taken to his final resting place today, April 26, at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City.
A funeral mass officiated by Fr. Tito Caluag, S.J. was held at the main chapel of Christ the King Parish in Greenmeadows, Quezon City at around 9 a.m. Tuesday. Present in the mass were AJ’s family, friends in and out of showbiz, as well as his classmates from the La Salle Greenhills where he graduated from high school recently.
Celebrities who were at the venue included Empress, Sam Concepcion, Melissa Ricks, Enrique Gil, Raymond Bagatsing, Sam Milby, Albie Casiño, Nina, Tippy Dos Santos, Nel Gomez, Isabel Abiera, Arron Villaflor, Gab Valenciano, Rap Fernandez, Phytos Kyriakou and Joseph Marco.
ABS-CBN bosses Linggit Tan (Head for TV Production) and Mariole Alberto (Star Magic Head), as well as Tess Fuentes and Marivic Ong (Star Cinema producers) were also present in the service.
AJ’s friends and colleagues were given the chance to have a final look at the 18-year-old budding Kapamilya actor. After the mass, a funeral convoy marched its way to the Manila Memorial Park.
On the final night of AJ’s wake Monday, condolers continued to pour in, including President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, as reported by ABS-CBN. The chief executive is said to be close to the Perez family, as related by AJ’s mother, Marivic.
Actress Claudine Barretto, who worked with AJ in the defunct drama series “Iisa Pa Lamang,” also paid her last respects to the actor on April 24. Like AJ, her ex-boyfriend, matinee idol Rico Yan, also had a shocking death during the Holy Week in 2002.
Meanwhile, the actor’s corneas were donated to Lawrence Villanueva and eight-year-old boy Daniel de los Santos. Lawrence had a successful operation last week, while Daniel will undergo corneal transplant on April 26, as reported by ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda.”
AJ, or Antonello Joseph Perez in real life, died in a vehicular accident in Tarlac last April 17 (Palm Sunday). According to the autopsy, it is not multiple head injuries (as earlier reported) but his ribs which pierced through his heart and lungs that killed the actor.
Considered as one of the Kapamilya stars to watch out for, AJ starred io several TV series such as “Sabel,” “Lobo,” and “Your Song Presents: Boystown” and ‘Your Song Presents: Underage.” His last completed work, an episode for “MMK” with child actor Bugoy Cariño, will air on April 30.