Aiko Melendez shares reflections after stepfather succumbs to COVID-19

Aiko Melendez reflects on the death of her stepfather who lost his battle with COVID-19.

PHOTOS: @aikomelendez on Instagram

Aiko Melendez reflects on the death of her stepfather who lost his battle with COVID-19.

Aiko Melendez mourns the death of her stepfather, Dan Castañeda, who lost his battle with COVID-19 in the United States last Sunday, February 20.

The actress took to social media to pay tribute to him by posting family photos with him and saying how he is her “one and only Daddy.”

“Thank you for always being here for me and my kids... You will be missed..... Till we meet again,” she wrote.

In another post, she featured a photo of herself and Castañeda sharing a hug.

By Monday, February 22, Aiko reflected on Castañeda’s passing, saying it has taught her a lot of things in life while and that she has still got a lot to learn as the days pass by.

“I slept crying and still I woke up crying and while composing this letter, tears just [kept] rolling down my face,” she said. “I was my kids’ age about 6 years old when my mom Elsie Castañeda and Daddy Dan Castañeda got married. So basically more than half of my life he was the father I never had, because my Papa Jimi and mom got separated, and he passed away eventually.”

She went on to share how her stepfather got into contact with individuals that did not divulge their history of exposure to the deadly COVID-19 disease.

“I’m feeling so much Pain now because I know in my heart that if only the ‘so-called friends’ of Dad [were] just honest enough to tell him their condition, Then our dad might have been alive till now,” she said. “I have been praying, Lord knows how much I’m praying to forgive, And to not just point fingers.”

Aiko, then, thought about the lesson Castañeda would want her and her family to learn from what happened, which was to take COVID-19 in a serious manner.

“But if there’s something I know now, I prayed for this, I know there is a lesson that my Dad wants us to all learn from his story,” she said. “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.”

The Prima Donnas star, however, did not share more details of her stepfather’s COVID-19 exposure nor how long he had the virus.

“My Dad was a selfless man. He is too good with everyone around him,” Aiko said. “I am a living testimony he treated me as his own flesh and blood. Daddy, You will be missed!”

She also described Castañeda as the “best lolo” to her children Andre Yllana and Marthena Jickain, who she said are also “in pain” regarding his passing.

“Thank You, Lord Jesus for lending us our dad. We truly had a great time with him. I know it's time for him to be with you para naman he will also experience one great love without limits with you Lord,” she said.

Aiko concluded her post by addressing her mother and her siblings, who her stepfather survived, with love. She also conveyed a message towards people who are battling with the COVID-19 disease.

“Lastly! For those who are fighting their chances to live due to COVID-19, we will be praying for all of you,” she said. “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 ended.


An Open Letter To myself... The Passing of my dad has taught me so many things in life, And I know I will still learn...

Posted by Maria Kendra Melendez on Sunday, February 21, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Ms. Aiko!

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