Nico Santos bares devastating effect of COVID-19 on his family

/ 12:30 AM April 03, 2020

Nico Santos

“Devastating” was how Nico Santos described losing his stepfather to COVID-19—while his mother battles the same disease. In an emotional Instagram post, the Filipino-American actor paid tribute to the man he fondly calls “Tito Sonny.”

“He was a kind, caring man. Friendly to a fault. He always greeted strangers walking past him with a chipper ‘Good Morning!’ and a big smile. He had a great laugh that filled the room with joy,” he wrote. “Rest in peace, Tito Sonny. I love you.”


His mother, Tita, was also infected by the coronavirus, but doesn’t need hospitalization at the moment.

More than the death itself, what made the situation even more painful and difficult is his family being robbed of the chance to be with his stepfather in his final moments. (COVID-19-positive people and those who have had close contact with them are required to self-isolate.)


“What has gutted me is that the pandemic has kept my family apart. We were unable to be with him during his last days. I can’t hold my mother as she mourns her husband. I can’t hug my brother as he contemplates a world without his father. I can’t wipe away the tears from my nephews’ eyes as they wonder why their Lolo Sonny isn’t here anymore,” he said.

Stepfather Sonny (left) and mother Tita

Meanwhile, Nico asked his fans and followers to continue praying for his mother’s healing.

“I want to thank everyone of you who offered prayers, love and assistance to our family during this difficult time,” Nico said. “Please continue to pray and send healing energy to my mom. I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy.”

Nico, 40, is best known for portraying Oliver T’sien in the hit big-screen adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians” and Mateo Liwanag in the NBC series “Superstore”—a role that earned him a best supporting actor nod from the Critics’ Choice Television Award in 2018.

He was born in Manila. At 16, he and his family moved to the United States where he pursued stand-up comedy and acting.—ALLAN POLICARPIO


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