MANILA, Philippines--Veteran actor Bernard Bonnin, who popularized the character ?Palos? in the 1960s, died of multiple organ failure on Saturday morning at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City. He was 71.
According to his son Melvin, Bonnin was confined at the intensive care unit of the Heart Center in July for severe pulmonary edema.
?When he was about to be discharged, Daddy had a cardiac arrest. His health had deteriorated since the attack,? Melvin told the INQUIRER on Monday.
Months later, Bonnin had a tracheotomy. He also suffered from kidney failure. ?He had dialysis three to four times a week. Shortly after that, his body started rejecting food and medicine,? Melvin said.
On Thursday night, Bonnin had a seizure. ?This was the time his doctors said he could go anytime. The family rang me and told me to get on the next available flight home,? said Melvin, who has been working in London, England, for three years now.
Bonnin died around 2:30 a.m. of Saturday. His remains lie at the Chapel 1 of the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.
?We?re still talking about when to schedule his interment. We?re still waiting for his brother Gabby [father of 1980s matinee idol JC Bonnin] to arrive on Nov. 26. My aunts Malou and Sitas, who were very close to dad as well, would be coming home, too,? Melvin explained.
Melvin said he last spoke with his dad on the phone on Thursday. ?The family put me on speaker phone. I told my dad, ?if you can?t hold on, you can go. You don?t have to worry about anything. You?ve raised us all well. You did a great job. We?ll miss you. I just don?t want to see you suffer anymore.??
Melvin added: ?It was fortunate that, since he was already on life support, Dad did not anymore give us the option to pull the plug. He just let go. At least it wasn?t that hard for us.?
Melvin said he last saw Bonnin in June when he went home to attend the wedding of his younger sister France. ?He was still very strong then. It was good that he was able to witness the wedding. We had a great time then. I took him out; we had long talks,? he recalled.
Bonnin was last seen on the TV program ?Alyas Palos,? on ABS-CBN. He played the role of the vicious and scheming general Vittorio Canavarro, founder of the secret agency called Neptune.
It was the 1960 adaptation of this Virgilio and Nestor Redondo graphic novel that made Bonnin a household name. ?Palos? was serialized eight times with only Bonnin playing the lead character.
?Dad had always loved being in front of the camera. He felt really good about the chance to work on the show. I remember him saying he enjoyed working with Cesar, whom he described as a good man,? said Melvin.
Bonnin is also the father of beauty queen-TV host Charlene Gonzalez and character actor Richard Bonnin. He was a contract artist of LVN Pictures.
He was also seen in movies like ?Casa Grande,? ?Ay Pepita,? ?Wala Kang Paki? and ?Limang Dalangin.?