MISS U FAN
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Date Posted: 10:32:54 04/25/06 Tue
Former MISS UNIVERSE 1980 3rd Runner-up MARIA ROSARIO SILAYAN of the Philippines died of Colon Cancer at the age of 46. Our deepest CONDOLENCE.
SHE WAS ONLY 46. MA. Rosario "Chat" Silayan--1980 Miss Universe third runner-up, actress and, most recently, TV host--died Sunday night after a two-year bout with colon cancer.
Only family and close friends had known she was sick.
"Chat kept her illness a secret to avoid a media circus. Also, she didn't want the public to see her in such a state," said Rene Salud, her fashion designer, friend and mentor.
Salud said even he didn't know Silayan had fallen ill until a year after the cancer was diagnosed.
"It came to me as a great shock," he told the Inquirer in a phone interview yesterday. "I wished I could do something to help her."
Silayan died at around 8 p.m. at St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City, according to her mother Antonietta Rivera.
The daughter of the late actor Vic Silayan, Chat is survived by her husband Mike Bailon and children Victor Anthony, Timothy and Michaela.
Her remains lie at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati City. Interment is set for Saturday at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque City.
"Chat died in her sleep," her mother said. "She didn't seem to be in pain. Mike had told me the night before that Chat wanted to see me. When I arrived the next day at 4:30 p.m., she was asleep. I thought of waking her up but changed my mind because I decided it was better for her to rest. Now I wish I did wake her up--at least she'd have known that I was around."
Silayan's friend, singer Kuh Ledesma, saw another picture.
"I know for a fact that she suffered a lot because of the cancer," Ledesma recalled. "But she was very courageous because she was certain that she would go to heaven."
The last time she saw Silayan, the singer said, was six months ago. "At the time, I had heard she was already in a bad way, but there she was at the mall with her family. I think they were going to see a movie."
Rivera said her daughter had started feeling pains in the abdomen and lower back two years ago, but that the actress, a health buff, had brushed off those symptoms, saying they were probably just the result of a rigid exercise regimen.
Finally, Rivera recounted, Silayan was alarmed when she passed blood in her urine and stool. She went for a checkup then, the mother said.
Her daughter had insisted that discussions about her illness be kept to a minimum, Rivera added.
"Michael was her faithful companion throughout this battle," she said. "Even while we accepted that death came to everyone sooner or later, we were all hoping for a miracle for Chat."
Silayan's colleague, Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano, shared Rivera's sentiment: "We never considered death as an inevitability for Chat. She was a good person. Whenever we saw each other, we always talked about healing."
For the past seven years, Silayan's show biz career had been handled by Valenciano's talent management company, Manila Genesis Entertainment.
Silayan also belonged to the New Life Christian Fellowship in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
"I will miss our prayer time together," said Valenciano.
Within an hour of Silayan's passing, her friend and fellow beauty queen Desiree Verdadero had sent text messages breaking the news to all interested parties, including the media.
Salud himself said he found out about Silayan's passing from 1979 Binibining Pilipinas Universe Dang Cecilio.
"Chat and I started our [separate] careers together. If it were not for her, Dang, Melanie (Marquez) and the other girls [I helped dress up as beauty queens], I wouldn't be where I am now," he added.
"I will always remember Chat as the one who made the serpentina famous [again]."
Silayan had worn Salud's creation, a light blue serpentina (tight-fitting terno that flares dramatically at the knees) for the 1980 Miss Universe competition in Seoul, South Korea.
Now for this, her final exit, Silayan is wearing another Salud creation--an ecru gown made from piña fabric, with an embroidered collar and long sleeves with ruffles.
He explained: "Chat was always a big lover of Filipiniana. I am at once glad and sad that her last outfit was something I had made."
Silayan was also a registered nutritionist-dietitian with a degree from the Philippine Women's University. She passed the board exams in 1979.
In the movies, she was last seen in Star Cinema's "My First Romance" (2003). Until recently, she cohosted with Dulce and Peter Kairuz the weekly show "700 Club Asia," which reports and dramatizes modern "miracles."
Her other films included "Kung Ako Na Lang Sana" (2003), "Esperanza: The Movie" (1999), "Ipaglaban Mo: The Movie Part 2" (1997) and "Dyesebel" (1990).
Along with other Born Again Christians like Ledesma and Coney Reyes, Silayan had taken an active part in the presidential campaign of Bro. Eddie Villanueva--founding director of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide--in 2004. -By Marinel R. Cruz, Inquirer