O n Oc­to­ber 24, 2017, Isabel Granada col­lapsed. She was then in the cap­i­tal city of Doha in Qatar as a celebrity guest of the Philip­pine Trade and Tourism Con­fer­ence. She was im­me­di­ately brought to the in­ten­sive care unit of the Ha­mad Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, where she slipped into a coma, from which she never re­cov­ered.

Isabel’s hus­band, Arnel Cow­ley, who was with Isabel at the time, is­sued an of­fi­cial state­ment on Face­book say­ing that the 41-year-old ac­tress “suf­fered from a brain hem­or­rhage which in­di­cates aneurysm and in turn af­fected her heart.”

An aneurysm oc­curs, ac­cord­ing to the med­i­cal web­site­line. com, “when an artery’s wall weak­ens and causes an ab­nor­mally large bulge” which can then “rup­ture and cause in­ter­nal bleed­ing.” It com­monly oc­curs in the brain, aorta, legs, and spleen. With Isabel, it oc­curred in the brain.

The news came as a shock to many, es­pe­cially be­cause Isabel was known to lead a healthy and ac­tive life­style. On her In­sta­gram ac­count, she reg­u­larly posted photos of her Zumba classes and badminton games, as well as of her per­sonal dis­ci­pline of “eat­ing in portions.”

Isabel’s only child, Hu­bert Aguas, her son from her pre­vi­ous mar­riage to Jeri­cho Aguas, im­me­di­ately flew to Doha. With him was Isabel’s mother, known in show­biz cir­cles as Mommy Guapa, who told ev­ery­one she was cer­tain her daugh­ter—her only child— would wake up. Both son and grand­mother spent the next days with the ac­tress un­til she breathed her last on Novem­ber 4, 2017, or 11 days af­ter her col­lapse.

Isabel, a Filipino- Span­ish beauty, en­joyed a show­biz ca­reer that spanned three decades. She was an in- de­mand

com­mer­cial model be­fore she ap­peared in her first movie, Magchu­mikap Ka!, in 1985, at the age of nine. Among her first movies were Bakit Madalas ang Ti­bok ng Puso? and Re­mem­ber Me, Mama, and she con­sid­ered her 1997 film Lig­aya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin, di­rected by Car­los Sigu­ion-Reyna, her most mem­o­rable. On tele­vi­sion, she be­came a reg­u­lar in the teen mu­si­cal­va­ri­ety show That’s En­ter­tain­ment, and acted in nu­mer­ous tele­seryes of the coun­try’s two ma­jor net­works.

Off-cam, she pur­sued her ed­u­ca­tion, earn­ing, in 2001, a Bach­e­lor of Science de­gree in Aero­nau­ti­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Philip­pine Air Trans­port and Train­ing Ser­vices Col­lege of Aero­nau­tics. Isabel was a li­censed pi­lot for pri­vate light air­craft.

In 2003, the mul­ti­tal­ented ac­tress took a break from work to give birth to her son Hu­bert, be­fore re­turn­ing to both act­ing and fly­ing. But she al­ways con­sid­ered her­self a mother first.

In a 2007 in­ter­view with PEP. ph, the on­line af­fil­i­ate of YES!, she de­scribed her­self as a full-time mother: “Kasi since his first day, kahit na cae­sar­ian ako, I was hands-on. Ngayon, pag may work ako, may yaya siya na la­hat ng bilin ko, naka­su­lat. But if I don’t have work, kahit nandiyan ’yang yaya, ako pa din ang paligo, mag­pakain, pat­u­log, to keep that mother’s touch.”

In another PEP in­ter­view, in 2011, she ex­plained why fam­ily al­ways came first for her: “While I would like to be­lieve that any­one can do what she wants to do, and be who she wants to be, at some point you need to step back and see where you want to go to make your life mat­ter.”

Her life mat­tered. To­day, those she left be­hind are con­soled by the won­der­ful mem­o­ries she made with them. As her son Hu­bert told dur­ing Isabel’s wake, “I’ll def­i­nitely miss ’yong pagyayakap namin, ’yong pagki-kiss niya, ta­la­gang ’yong mag pinaka-sweet na gi­na­gawa nam­ing dalawa.”

1 As a child star, Isabel Granada cap­ti­vated the pub­lic with her strong mes­tiza fea­tures, and she grew up to be an even more at­trac­tive woman. 2 She had a pos­ter­ity shot with another child star, Billy Joe, when they were main­stays in the 1980s TV show That’s En­ter­tain­ment. Billy Joe is now known by his full name, Billy Craw­ford. 3 Another That’s En­ter­tain­ment grad­u­ate, Jen­nifer Sevilla (left), posted this old photo of her­self with Isabel on her In­sta­gram ac­count to honor the mem­ory of the late ac­tress. “She was very sup­port­ive and a dear friend through the years,” Jen­nifer wrote. 4 In her youth, Isabel worked con­stantly with fel­low child star Chuckie Drey­fus. The on­screen part­ners re­united in 2011 to par­tic­i­pate in the re­al­ity-TV show Sur­vivor Philip­pines: Celebrity Dou­bles Show­down. In an in­ter­view with at Isabel’s wake, Chuckie shared this mes­sage for his dear friend: “Hind­ing-hindi kita makakalimu­tan, Isabel, ma­hal na ma­hal kita, alam mo ‘yon.”

5&6 Isabel loved post­ing photos of her­self and of her hob­bies, pas­sions, and loved ones on In­sta­gram. Last Oc­to­ber 18, she posted a snap with her hus­band Arnel in cel­e­bra­tion of their wed­ding an­niver­sary. It turned out to be her last post. 7 The ac­tress re­mained friends with her ex-hus­band Jeri­cho Aguas (fore­ground), with whom she had a son, Hu­bert (cen­ter). 8 Isabel shared many happy mo­ments with Hu­bert (left­most) and her Mommy Guapa. 9 Jeri­cho and Hu­bert paid their last re­spects to Isabel dur­ing the wake.

At Isabel Granada’s wake, her hus­band Arnel Cow­ley (left photo) was in­con­solable. “All in all, Isabel is a pack­age to me ta­laga,” he told “Kasi, she does not have any bad bone in her body.

“Al­though, there were some things that went on in her life na she kept it to her­self. But you never heard her say any­thing bad to­wards any­one ta­laga. I al­ways re­mem­ber my wife as the most beau­ti­ful and car­ing per­son.

“She’ll be very, very missed by a lot of peo­ple. And she will be ir­re­place­able for me ta­laga.”


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