I was at the Center for Kapampangan Studies yesterday afternoon for one of my regular visits which have been rare nowadays due to all the work and traveling. I got a copy of the Atin Ku Pung Singsing (Millennium Version) MTV which they produced and uploaded it in YouTube. On our way down, I realized that the death masks of Ninoy Aquino and Fernando Poe, Jr. were on display at the Center. So I checked them out.
The masks were done by National Artist Napoloen Abueva. Abueva said he was very careful when he cast the mask of Ninoy since his face had a lot of blood. In fact, you could still see the swelling, some of the bigger wounds and the spot where a bullet exited on his chin. FPJ's mask was more defined since Abueva did not have to deal with the same situation as Ninoy.
You may be asking what the hell is the death mask of Fernando Poe, Jr. doing in the Center for Kapampangan Studies. Now this is something I'm sure you did not know... GMA and FPJ are townmates from Lubao. Haha! No kidding!
It turns out, FPJ's mom Bessie Kelley was born in Candaba, Pampanga. Her full name is Elizabeth Gatbonton Kelley. She is the daughter of Arthur Kelley of Iowa, USA and Marta Gatbonton of Candaba. I was told that Arthur Kelley, for the longest time, was a resident of Lubao because of his interests in the Pampanga Sugar Mill (PASUMIL) in neighboring Floridablanca. In fact, there are Kelleys who still reside in Lubao up to today and rumor has it FPJ visited his cousins occasionally.
What a coincidence! GMA and FPJ are both Kapampangan and Pangasinense! I wonder why FPJ's Pampanga roots never came out during the elections. All of a sudden, all of us at the Center became silent, looked at each other and realized it was the 2nd death anniversary of FPJ. And we were looking at his death mask! Now that's another coincidence.