How Fernando Poe Jr. Died: The Tragic End of the King of Philippine Movies

Fernando Poe Jr., also known by his initials FPJ, was a legendary Filipino actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and politician. He was widely regarded as the “King of Philippine Movies” for his long and successful career as an action star. He also ran for president of the Philippines in the 2004 election, but lost by a narrow margin to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

But how did Fernando Poe Jr. die? What was the cause of his death? And what was the impact of his passing on the Filipino people and the film industry? In this article, we will explore these questions and more.

The Stroke That Changed Everything

According to Wikipedia, Fernando Poe Jr. suffered a stroke on December 11, 2004, while attending the birthday party of his friend and fellow actor, Rudy Fernandez. He was rushed to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, where he was diagnosed with cerebral thrombosis with multiple organ failure.

Cerebral thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot forms in one of the arteries that supply blood to the brain. This can result in a stroke, which is a sudden loss of brain function due to lack of oxygen and nutrients. A stroke can cause various symptoms, such as paralysis, speech problems, vision loss, confusion, and coma.

According to IMDb, Fernando Poe Jr. slipped into a coma while being treated for his brain clot. Doctors described his condition as critical and irreversible. He was placed on life support and given medication to prevent further bleeding in his brain.

The Final Farewell

Fernando Poe Jr. died on December 14, 2004, at 12:01 am, without regaining consciousness. He was 65 years old.

His death was announced by his wife, actress Susan Roces, who said: “My husband is gone. He fought a good fight.” She also thanked the doctors, nurses, and staff of St. Luke’s Medical Center for their efforts to save her husband’s life.

Fernando Poe Jr.’s body was brought to his ancestral home in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, where he was born. His remains were then transferred to the Heritage Park in Taguig City, where he lay in state for public viewing.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life paid their respects to the late actor and politician. They lined up for hours to see his coffin, which was draped with the Philippine flag and surrounded by flowers and candles. Many of them wore white shirts with FPJ’s image and slogans such as “FPJ Forever” and “Da King Lives On”.

Some of his fans also expressed their anger and frustration over the alleged cheating and fraud that marred the 2004 presidential election. They believed that Fernando Poe Jr. was the rightful winner of the presidency and that he was robbed of his mandate by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies.

On December 23, 2004, Fernando Poe Jr.’s funeral procession took place from Heritage Park to Manila North Cemetery, where he was buried next to his father, actor Fernando Poe Sr. The procession lasted for more than 12 hours and covered over 40 kilometers. It was attended by millions of people who braved the heat, rain, and traffic to bid farewell to their idol and hero.

Among those who joined the procession were Fernando Poe Jr.’s family members, friends, colleagues, supporters, and political allies. Some of them delivered eulogies and tributes to honor his legacy and achievements.

The Legacy That Lives On

Fernando Poe Jr.’s death left a huge void in the Philippine film industry and the political scene. He was widely admired and respected for his talent, charisma, generosity, humility, and patriotism.

He appeared in around 300 films spanning from 1955 to 2003. He also wrote, directed, and produced several of the films he starred in under the pseudonyms Ronwaldo Reyes and D’Lanor. Some of his most notable films include Ang Panday (1980), Muslim .357 (1986), Ang Probinsyano (1996), Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko… (1999), and Ang Dalubhasa (2000).

He won numerous awards and recognitions for his work in film. He received five FAMAS Awards for Best Actor—a joint record that inducted him into the FAMAS Hall of Fame in 1988. He also won Best Director for his films Ang Padrino (1984) and Kahit Butas ng Karayom Papasukin Ko (1995). In 2004, FAMAS posthumously granted him the Natatanging Alagad ng Sining Award. He was also posthumously declared a National Artist of the Philippines in 2006 (accepted by his family in 2012).

He also made a mark in Philippine politics. He ran for president of the Philippines in the 2004 election under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) party. He campaigned on the platform of fighting poverty, corruption, and injustice. He garnered over 11 million votes, but lost to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by just over one million votes (3.48%)—the closest margin between the winner and runner-up in the history of Philippine presidential elections.

His supporters claimed that he was cheated out of his victory by massive vote-rigging and manipulation by Arroyo and her allies. They filed an electoral protest with the Supreme Court, but it was dismissed in 2005 due to lack of evidence and merit.

Fernando Poe Jr.’s legacy lives on through his family, his films, and his fans. His daughter, Grace Poe, followed his footsteps and entered politics. She became a senator in 2013 and ran for president in 2016, but lost to Rodrigo Duterte. She is currently serving her second term as senator.

His films continue to be shown on television and online platforms. Some of them have been remade or adapted into new versions, such as Ang Probinsyano (2015–present), a television series starring Coco Martin as the lead character originally played by Fernando Poe Jr.

His fans continue to celebrate his life and achievements. They organize events and activities to commemorate his birth and death anniversaries. They also support causes and advocacies that he championed, such as helping the poor and defending democracy.

Fernando Poe Jr. was a man of many talents and roles. He was an actor, a director, a producer, a screenwriter, a politician, a husband, a father, a friend, and a hero. He was Fernando Poe Jr., the King of Philippine Movies. And he will always be remembered.

Doms Desk

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