Aiko Melendez mourned the death of her stepfather Dan Castañeda, who passed away in the US on Sunday, February 22 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On Instagram, Aiko posted throwback photos with her stepdad with their family.
In the caption of her latest post Monday, she wrote a lengthy “open letter” to herself.
The actress said the passing of his dad has taught her so many things in life.
“I know I will still learn more as days go by,” Aiko began. “I slept crying and still I woke up crying and while composing this letter, tears just keep rolling down my face.”
Aiko said she was about 6 years old when her mother Elsie Castañeda and her father Dan Castañeda got married.
“So basically more than half of my life, he was the father I never had,” Aiko said, saying her biological father passed eventually passed away after he separated from her mom.
“I’m feeling so much pain now because I know in my heart that if only the ‘so-called friends’ of Dad was just honest enough to tell him their condition, then our dad might have been alive till now,” she said.
Aiko said she has been praying, “Lord knows how much I’m praying to forgive and to not just point fingers.”
If there’s anything she knows now which she prayed for, Aiko said it is that “there is a lesson that my Dad wants us to all learn from his story.”
“He wants us all to take COVID-19 seriously. My Daddy Dan wants us to be extra careful with the people we mingle with. Kahit pa kaibigan mo yan,” he added.
Describing her dad as “a selfless man” who was “too good with everyone around him,” Aiko pointed to herself as a living testimony of the fact. “He treated me as his own flesh and blood.”
“Daddy, You will be missed! Sobra… and like you always tell me ‘Be with a man who sees you like how I see you, and loves you and your mom,” she added.
The Prima Donnas actress even shared how her father told her partner Zambales Vice Governor Jay Konghun, “alagaan mo anak ko. Mahal ko yan.”
After thanking her dad for being the best lolo to her kids, Aiko wrote a message for her siblings, saying how much she admires her brother Angelo for his “strength from Day 1 Dad got sick” and expressing support for her sisters Michiko and Erika. “We got you covered,” she said.
She shared how much she admires her mother for her strength. “Grabe also the strength you have no, mama? We admire you even more now.”
Aiko couldn’t let her note to self end without mentioning COVID-19 and the need to take it seriously.
“For those who are fighting their chances to live due to Covid-19 we will be praying for all of you… And sa mga wala po Covid-19, pls be mindful… We also have our own family to come home too, being selfish might cost a life… be responsible,” she wrote.
In an earlier post, Aiko said her Daddy Dan “will always be my one and only Daddy! Thank you for always being here for me and my kids. You will be missed. Till we meet again.”
Later on, Aiko simply could not hold in her grief and in the caption of a photo that showed her hugging her father, asked, “How? Help me Dad.”