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How loved ones commemorated Eddie Garcia’s death anniversary

/ 12:20 AM July 18, 2020
Eddie Garcia

Eddie Garcia

It’s been a year since Tito Eddie Garcia got his “call slip’ from heaven (June 20). But his incredible body of work will never get “packed up” in the biz. Legends like “Manoy” (his moniker) never die. His presence will forever be felt, even in his absence through the legacy that he left behind.

When I posted my pic with Tito Ed on social media in commemoration of his death anniversary, the message of his fab longtime partner, Lilibeth Romero, made me misty-eyed. It goes: Your Tito Ed loved and respected your mom so much. I wonder what Ed and your mom are talking about in heaven. So, you inherited that love. From now on, you will be my little sister, and I will be your big sister.I enjoyed chatting with my newfound sis, Lili, on the phone. I ribbed her about the TikTok dance she did with her “apos.” “Ed would have gamely joined our dance if he was still around,” she said, chuckling.

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After a year of losing Ed, Lili is in better shape now. Their love story transcends death. For 33 years, she was the wind beneath Manoy’s wings. Having a 23-year age gap didn’t matter at all because their love never grew old.

Here’s my chat with Lilibeth:

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How did you commemorate Tito Ed’s death anniversary?

By lunchtime, my ever-supportive sons, Mikee and Nikki, grandchildren and sisters arrived unannounced. Good thing I had preordered paella, lengua, salmon, crabs and lasagna, just in case.

We played Ed’s favorite songs “Greenfields” and “Those Were the Days” while sharing wonderful stories about him. We ended the evening toasting his fave red wine to a huge solo photo of Ed (Mikee’s gift to me).

Are you taking legal action [for what happened to him]?

I have decided not to press charges for the accident that happened to Ed during taping that led to his death. It won’t bring Ed back, anyway. No use in playing the blame game. He also won’t like that because he was understanding and considerate by nature.

I just hope that his accident will serve as a lesson to people in the biz, to observe stricter safety protocols at work so Ed’s death won’t be in vain.

Death is inevitable, so I have accepted it. But when I remember how Ed died while he was still very healthy, that’s the hardest part. Knowing that it could have been avoided really pains me.

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How are you moving on?

I’m not a grieving woman. I am adjusting to my new life of being all alone here at home. I cry when I miss his hugs, voice and touches. I cry when I recall happy events and see things I associate with him.

To this day, all his stuff are still stored in three rooms. Since he started in show biz, he never gave away clothes/hats because he said he might need to wear them again in movies or shows. So, you can just imagine how much stuff he left. They’re more than enough to fill a museum.

I am afraid of losing these happy memories because then it will make me sad. The very thought that I knew, felt and gave love is more than enough to start my healing. But the emptiness or void he left remains.

I am so grateful to family, friends and show biz folk for helping me cope well.

What stands out in your memory of Tito Ed?

There is no particular quality that stands out. He embodied all the qualities I looked for and admired most in a man. God-fearing, hardworking, loving, nurturing, romantic, proper, intelligent, a true friend and a real gentleman. Eddie did not carry an image. He was as real as could be.I did not look for love. Love found me at the right time.

What’s your advice to widows who are still in mourning?

Cry if you must. Immerse yourself in other activities, look back at happy memories, seek a support system, pray for your late husband, and pray to him to watch over you and help you smile again. As Mitch Albom puts it, “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

If Manoy were still around, how would you both spend quarantine?

We will be doing exactly the same things—I talk, he listens. I talk more, he listens more (laughs).

We would eat, pray and love every day. There was no dull moment with him.

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