Janno Gibbs stayed with dad Ronaldo Valdez in his final moments: ‘He was still breathing, I was talking to him’

Janno Gibbs has opened up about his father Ronaldo Valdez’s final moments.

In an exclusive interview with “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” the singer-actor revealed that he was able to stay with him “for a good 10, 15 minutes.”

“I stayed with him and since he was still breathing, I was talking to him,” Janno said. “Of course, wala nang response but I got to say goodbye.”

[“Of course, he didn’t respond, but I did get to say goodbye.”]

“I was kissing him. I was saying I love you. ‘I hope you’re okay. You will be okay.’ But I wish I got to say it, those things nang conscious pa siya,” he added.

[“I wish I could have said those things while he was still conscious.”]

Janno said that it’s been difficult for him to move on.

Ronaldo’s final days

“He started na nahihirapan na siyang lumakad bigla. Biglang parang nagli-limp na siya. That worsen until a few months ago,” he said.

[“He started having difficulty walking. He looked like he had a limp, and a few months ago, it had worsened.”]

The late actor then had to require a wheelchair in order to reach places. They went to several doctors, but there was no improvement because his dad didn’t want to go through an MRI.

“Takot ‘yun sa MRI. Parang nako-claustrophobic siya. He even walked out in one session. Until finally napilit ko siyang magpa-MRI. So he was scheduled to be operated on sa cervical something,” Janno said said.

[“He’s scared to get an MRI because he gets claustrophobic. He even walked out during one of the sessions. It wasn’t until I was able to convince him did he get an MRI done. That’s when we found out that he needed to undergo a surgery.”]

“He was scheduled nga on operation. But the days before it happened, it was getting even worse. Kasi kapag niyayaya, mahilig mamasyal ‘yun. But days before, ‘pag niyayaya ko siya, ‘Hindi na lang. Parang lalong sumasama ‘yung leg,” he added.

[“He was already scheduled for an operation. But in the days leading up to it, his condition only worsened. Usually, if we asked him to take a walk, he would go with us. But in those days, he would say no.”]

Janno said he thinks that was the reason behind his death.

“Parang hindi niya na ma-take ‘yung– he enjoyed life. He enjoyed living and eating out, watching movies, making pasyal. Siguro ‘yung condition niya was getting worse, he couldn’t take it. Plus I am just guessing, siyempre lalaki, parang siguro ayaw niya na to burden us, his children, his grandchildren,” he said.

[“My dad enjoyed life— he enjoyed living, eating out, watching movies, going on walks. So maybe when his condition got worse, he couldn’t take it. Of course, I’m just guessing. But maybe he also didn’t want to burden his children and grandchildren.”]

Moving on

Janno admitted that it has been hard, especially for him. Following his father’s passing, Janno addressed the public’s questions with a press conference to clear things up and to air his grievances

During their Japan trip, Janno uploaded a TikTok video, which received different reactions from netizens.

“Nag-post ako ng TikTok na sumasayaw ako. So may mga nagbash na, ‘Ano ba yan? Hindi man lang, ilang araw pa lang.’ ‘Yung iba ‘yan, araw-araw na lang nagpo-post ng malungkot, nagdadasal. You know, I didn’t want to use that situation. So I wanted life to go on,” he said.

[“I got bashed because I was dancing in the TikTok video. People were saying that it had only been a few days since my dad passed. But I didn’t want to use that situation. I wanted life to go on.”]

Janno continued, “Ang ipinakita ko lang, that was one happy moment. But, most of the time we’re still in grief.”

[“What I showed other people was that one happy moment. Most of the time, we’re still grieving.”]

Ronaldo’s legacy

Ronaldo, whose real name was Ronald James Dulaca Gibbs, entered showbiz during the 1960s. He married Maria Fe, and they had two children, Melissa and Janno.

Ronaldo made history in showbiz when he was named Best Supporting Actor in various major acting awards for the movie “May Minamahal” in 1993.

He had been living with Janno for almost a year prior to his death. Janno said that he’s been taking care of Ronaldo all that time. He said that what he will miss the most are his breakfast meals with his dad.

Janno also recalled his loving father as the comedian of the family, despite being a dramatic actor on camera.

“Diba tayo mga Pinoy mga tatay medyo kinakatakutan. ‘Pag sinabi kong..’ hindi siya ganun. He was parang equal kayo. Even when we were small kahit bata kami. Equal pwede ka mag explain pag nagkamali ka,” Janno said, adding that he was very sweet and affectionate.

[“Fathers are usually a bit intimidating. But he wasn’t like that. Even as kids, you could explain to him if you made a mistake. He treated us like an equal.”]

‘Itutumba ka ng Tatay Ko’

More than a month after his dad’s death, Janno will be making his directorial debut with the release of the film “Itutumba ka ng Tatay Ko,” which also stars Ronaldo.

“I think this is the perfect time to show it para mabura ‘yung last horrible image of him. And to see him again in his full glory. Yung masaya, guwapo,” he said.

[“I think this is the perfect time to show it so people will forget that last image of him and to see him again in his full glory— happy and full of life.”]

“Sabi ko nga this is the best parting gift he can ever give me. Supporting his son’s dream. It was very special kasi first time ko mag direct, daddy ko pa. You know, an award-winning actor. So I had this very nice memory of him,” he added.

[“I would say that this movie is the best parting gift he could ever give me— supporting his son’s dream. It was very special because it was my first time directing and my dad, an award-winning actor, was a part of it. I was left with this very nice memory of him.”]

Janno’s wish

Despite having no regrets after his dad’s death, Janno said that he has one wish. 

“Like I said, I was with him everyday, till the end. But, sorry. Ang wish ko lang is that I could have said goodbye, I said goodbye properly, clearly na, ‘Bye, Pa! I love you!'” Janno said in tears.

[“I wish I was able to say goodbye properly.”]

As for the rest of his family, he said they’ve been staying together as much as they can.

He has one thing to say to everyone: “To the children, please spend more time with your parents, love your parents. You’ll never know when they go. I-cherish ninyo na.”

[“To the children, please spend more time with your parents, love your parents. You’ll never know when they go. Cherish them.”]

—JCB, GMA Integrated News

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