Elijah Canlas on late brother JM: ‘Magpapakatatag po kami, tayo, para kay JM’

Elijah Canlas emotional as brother JM is laid to rest

/ 09:12 PM August 08, 2023

(From left) Elijah Canlas, JM Canlas. Images: Instagram/@elijahcanlas, Facebook/Jerom Canlas.

(From left) Elijah Canlas, JM Canlas. Images: Instagram/@elijahcanlas, Facebook/Jerom Canlas.

Actor Elijah Canlas was emotional as he opened up about his late brother, up-and-coming actor JM Canlas, who struggled with his mental health prior to his death last Aug. 3.

JM was finally laid to rest during inurnment rites at the Sanctuario Divino in Bacoor, Cavite on Sunday, attended by family and friends.


During the rites, Elijah, his voice shaking, tearfully recounted JM’s struggle with his mental health, saying his younger brother “fought a good fight.”


“Maraming salamat po ulit sa pagpunta dito at sa pagsama po sa amin sa pakikiramay, maraming salamat po. Alam kong marami pong tanong, marami po tayong tanong kung bakit, kung paano, kung ano… Pero gusto ko lang po ipaalam na he’s been battling with this for a while now and he fought a good fight,” a video captured by one @paulchester2023 showed Elijah as saying.

(Thank you again, for coming here and for joining us in mourning. Thank you very much. I know that there are a lot of questions, questions like why, how, and what. But I want to inform you that he has been battling with this for a while now, and he fought a good fight.)

@paulchester2023 SOBRANG SAKIT MAGPAALAM LALO NAT AYAW MO PA BITAWAN ANG TAO, REST IN PEACE JM CANLAS😥😭🕊🙏#fyp #foryou #foryoupage #trend #trending #jmcanlas #elijahcanlas #blpinoy #depresion #anxiety #stress #mentalhealth #depressionisnotajoke #mentalhealthissues #jmcanlaspassedaway #abscbn #gmanews #news5 ♬ original sound – Paul chester

Elijah then confessed that he, too, dealt with mental health struggles, but it was JM who was “always there” to cheer him up.

“Malakas po si JM. No matter what. Hanggang ngayon, malakas po siya, napakalakas na bata na parang, ang sakit pa rin. Ako din po dumaan sa depression, nandiyan po siya para sa akin. He’s always there to make me laugh, he’s always there to cheer me up,” he said.

“Sabi nga po ni Daddy kanina, nakilala natin siya bilang masayahin, makulit, may facade na ewan. Pero mabigat na po talaga yung kinakarga niya. Kaya kahit siya na po mismo nagsabi na, he would like all of us to find solace in the fact that he’s in peace right now. Kaya magpasalamat po tayo doon. Ipagdasal po natin si JM,” he continued.


(JM is strong. No matter what. Until now, he’s strong. He’s a strong kid that until now, it still hurts. I, too, went through depression. He was there for me. He was always there to make me laugh, always there to cheer me up. My dad said a while ago, we knew him as someone who’s cheerful, naughty, and a funny facade. But he had been carrying something heavy. Even he himself, would like all of us to find solace in the fact that he’s at peace right now. Let’s be thankful for that. Let’s pray for JM.)

The “About Us But Not About Us” star also stressed that mental health is an enduring matter that needs to be discussed, while hinting that their family did their best to save him.

“Alam ko rin na marami ngang hindi naniniwala, maraming kine-kwestiyon kung ano po ba ang mental health. Kung totoo ba yan na pinapagpag lang yan, mag-joke lang or whatever, o itawa mo lang yan. Hindi po siya ganu’n kasimple,” he stated. “Ako na ang nagsasabi, matagal nga pong lumaban itong si JM. Sobrang tagal po niya lumaban at ilang beses po namin siyang naligtas.”

(I know that a lot of people don’t believe or question mental health struggles. If it’s true or not. That you must simply joke or laugh it off. It’s not simple… I would say this, JM fought for a long time. He battled with this for a long time and we tried to save him many times.)

The actor said he hoped his brother’s life would be a reminder for others to check up on one another “no matter what.”

“We got to talk about it. We were there for him, we would call, he would knock on our doors, talk to his friends. Kaya hinihiling ko rin po na huwag po nating maliitin yung sakit na ito. I-check po natin yung isa’t isa, no matter what age, no matter what,” he said. (We got to talk about it. We were there for him, we would call, he would knock on our doors, and talk to his friends. That’s why I’m hoping that we wouldn’t view mental health as a small thing. Let’s check up on each other.)

He further narrated that his brother was someone who cannot stand being talked down to, or engaging in conflict; he just wanted to be happy.

“That’s why we also want to celebrate his life. Let’s celebrate his life and let’s pray for him,” said Elijah.

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JM’s death was confirmed by his and Elijah’s older brother Jerom on Facebook last Aug. 3. He was 17 years old.

Among his appearances are the films “Kiko Boksingero, “ANi,” and “The Flaming History of the Dela Cruz Family.” He was also included in the ABS-CBN children’s show “Team Yey!” and the one-act play “Mga Bata sa Selda 43” and was among the hosts of the ABS-CBN children’s television show “Team Yey!” EDV


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TAGS: Elijah Canlas, obituaries

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