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Bela Padilla mourns sudden passing of her father: 'I will always wish for one more day'

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Aug 29, 2023 12:28 pm Updated Aug 29, 2023 2:54 pm

"He gave the best hugs, never letting go first."

This is how Bela Padilla describes her father, Cornelio Sulivan, who had to finally let go of his Earthly life on Aug. 28, 2023. Bela broke the news on Instagram that night, sharing throwback photos of her and her father, with a heavy heart.

Her update comes just a day after she wrote a lengthy congratulatory message to her longtime friend and actress Lovi Poe, who got married on Aug. 27 in a ceremony that Bela said was the "lightest, most fun but genuine one" she has been to.

Bela began her tribute to her late father by saying, "Life really is a series of highs and lows. 💔

"Our dad passed away last night in his sleep and that is my only consolation in all of this. He wasn’t in pain and he hopefully was dreaming of the happy times in his life. ❤️"

The 32-year-old actress went on to give a glimpse of how her British dad has lived his life with happiness, kindness, courage, and so much love for everyone around him—especially his family.

Bela continued, "My sister, Ceri, told me the most beautiful thing last night…my dad loved us, his children, deeply. And he also loved himself. And that certainly is true."

"My dad loved life and lived his life to the fullest he could. He always knew where all the cool places were in any country he was in and the bands in bars loved him because he always sang along," she added.

Bela noted that her love of freediving was one she developed from the lessons her dad taught her. She also highlighted how he has been an inspiration to her. 

"I love the water and I dive deeply because he taught me to swim and be fearless in the water at such an early age. His ability to see a problem and think of several solutions first before reacting is something I try to practice. He never took no for an answer when he believed something was right and he made sure that everybody knew what 'right' was," the actress wrote.

"I never saw him upset…or lose his cool. Never saw him get angry or mad at anybody (in front of me). He was very empathetic but still madly funny. And he gave the best hugs, never letting go first."

Although she is heartbroken and wishes that her father lived longer, Bela is holding on to their memories together to keep her strong for all that lies ahead.

"I will always wish for one more day, but that would be unfair. For now, and until paradise comes, the memories will tide us over ❤️," Bela concluded her post.

Prior to switching the comments section of her post to private, the 100 Tula Para Kay Stella star was showered with messages of condolences and love from her fellow celebrities. This includes Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, Kylie Verzosa, Jericho Rosales, Lorna Tolentino, and Sharon Cuneta, among others.

Bela, whose real name is Krista Elyse Hidalgo Sulliva, was born to her British father and Filipino mother, Margarette Cariño Hidalgo. She has three elder half-siblings from her father and one half-brother from her mother.

Apart from being an actress, Bela has been known for writing the screenplay for several local films, including Yung Librong Napanood Ko, 366, Fangirl Fanboy, Luck At First Sight, and Camp Sawi. The first two were also directed by the star.

Bela has been based in London after deciding to relocate there in 2021.