BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – On the morning of 1 October, Alfredo Marañon Jr. told some of his children inside a private hospital room here that he wanted to go home.
To the fishing village of Dalusan in Sagay City where he grew up.
“Where is the Starex?” he asked, referring to the van that he usually rides in when he was being brought to the hospital for treatment.
Shortly before his health deteriorated leading to his death yesterday before midnight, Gov. Freddie had a video chat with his grandchildren in the United States.
After he had his last breakfast of his favorite: chicken arroz caldo with a hardboiled egg and pureed boiled carrots, a former close aide of Gov. Freddie tells DNX.
This rice gruel is a seemingly comfort food for him, one that he usually eats at the popular Pendy’s Restaurant along Lacson Street where he sometimes meets with journalists for long interviews or where he holds power meetings.
“We deeply mourn his death, we are truly saddened with his passing,” Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer says as he described Marañon as a “political giant” of their party, the United Negros Alliance.
Marañon was 84, about to turn 85 on 21 December.
No details about his immediate cause of death were made available.
Marañon, an engineer by degree, spent more than half of his life as a public servant, becoming a councilor in the growing city of Sagay during the Marcos dictatorship, and rising to become the governor of the country’s sugar-producing capital.
It was a position he held for three straight terms of three years each.
DOTING FATHER, GRANDFATHER
The former close aide tells DNX that Gov. Freddie usually spends a lot of time with his grandchildren.
He would usually say in jest that “World War 3 will start in our home” as he has multi-racial grandchildren, some Japanese and Americans.
“Zero-Two,” as he is usually called by staff and those close to him, was married to a physician, Marilyn and has seven children,
Anna Marie, married to Todd McConchie, Aileen married to Armand Lontoc, Sagay City Mayor Thirdy married to Fe, Agnes married to Takayuki Iida, and Carmela married to Patrick Valderrama, Anthony married to Cathy, and Arthur married to Charisse.
His remains will be brought to Capitol today before being delivered to Sagay City.