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2022 Wrapped

Annus horribilis: The biggest personalities who had gone too soon in 2022

By NICK GARCIA Published Dec 22, 2022 6:43 pm

2022 is about to end, but several personalities here and abroad had gone too soon.

From showbiz to music to politics, here are this year's biggest deaths that left a great void among family, friends, and fans.

F. Sionil Jose (Dec. 3, 1924 – Jan. 6, 2022)

Filipino writer F. Sionil Jose, National Artist for Literature, died in his sleep. He was 97.

Jose was supposed to undergo surgery the next day, Jan. 7, at the Makati Medical Center, according to his wife Tessie. (She passed away nine months later, or on Oct. 7)

In 1958, he founded the Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists), the local chapter of the leading international literary organization. In his five-decade writing career, the fictionist wrote over 35 books translated into 28 languages, as well as columns for The Philippine STAR.

Elizabeth II (April 21, 1926 – Sept. 8, 2022)

Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, died at 96 years old.

Elizabeth's death certificate states that she died of "old age," and listed no other cause.

She, however, had been in declining health in her twilight years. In October 2021, she spent an unscheduled night in a private London hospital, prompting her to cancel a string of official engagements. She had to use a walking stick and even a motorized buggy during a few public events. Last February, she tested positive for COVID-19.

She was the longest-serving monarch in British history, ruling as head of state for 70 years from 1952. She was succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.

Fidel V. Ramos (March 18, 1928 – July 31, 2022)

Fidel V. Ramos, the 12th president of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, died from COVID-19 complications at the Makati Medical Center. He was 94.

Ramos had suffered from a heart condition and dementia, going in and out of the hospital in recent years, his longtime aide Norman Legaspi said.

He led the Philippine Constabulary during the dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos, commanding a security force that arrested and detained activists during martial law.

But in 1986, he turned against Marcos and supported Cory Aquino during the EDSA People Power Revolution. Aquino would eventually be sworn in as president, ending two decades of dictatorship.

Cherie Gil (June 21, 1963 – Aug. 5, 2022)

Filipino actress Cherie Gil died in New York at 59 years old.

Gil's family said she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

She cemented her name in showbiz with her riveting portrayal of villains, earning her the title "La Primera Contravida." She's best remembered for her "You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat" line—and splashing of wine—in the 1985 blockbuster Bituing Walang Ningning.

Coolio (Aug. 1, 1963 – Sept. 28, 2022)

American rapper Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at 59 years old.

No cause of death was immediately given, but Coolio's manager later said that he appeared to have suffered from cardiac arrest.

He's best known for his 1995 chart-topping song Gangsta's Paradise featuring LV. It served as the soundtrack the high school drama Dangerous Minds, even outshining it.

The song's memorable opening line "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there's nothing left" is based on Psalms 23:4. It also samples Stevie Wonder's Pastime Paradise.

Robbie Coltrane (March 30, 1950 – Oct. 14, 2022)

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane passed away following multiple organ failure. He was 72.

According to multiple UK reports, Coltrane had also been suffering from sepsis, lower respiratory tract infection, and heart block. He was also diagnosed with obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

He famously portrayed the shaggy-haired and bearded half-giant Hagrid in the coming-of-age fantasy franchise Harry Potter.

Coltrane also starred in other popular movies such as GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough (James Bond series), Ocean's 12, and Van Helsing.

Danny Javier (Aug. 6, 1947 – Oct. 31, 2022)

Filipino musician Danny Javier died at 75 years old.

Javier's daughter said he passed on due to complications of his prolonged illnesses.

He's one-third of the legendary band APO Hiking Society, the others being Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo. Their group would eventually become the pioneer of Original Pilipino Music or OPM, a term Javier himself coined.

In a 2016 episode of Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, one of his final television interviews, Javier said he already had a near-death experience in 2011 due to his multiple illnesses but was granted a "second life." Still, he acknowledged the inevitability of death, saying it's the "destination" of everybody.

Aaron Carter (Dec. 7, 1987 – Nov. 5, 2022)

American heartthrob singer Aaron Carter passed away at 34 years old.

Aaron was found dead in a bathtub at his home in California. The official cause of death has yet to be announced, and is categorized as "deferred" pending more tests.

The brother of Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys released a self-titled album in 1997 at 9 years old. His 2000 studio album Aaron's Party (Come Get It), which came out when he was 12, was certified triple platinum.

He eventually became a teenage sensation starring in television shows.

Jovit Baldivino (Oct. 16, 1993 – Dec. 9, 2022)

Filipino singer Jovit Baldivino died following stroke complications. He was 29.

According to Baldivino's family, he was recuperating for a week with hypertension medicines when he got an invite for an event in hometown Batangas. Doctors advised him not to sing, but the singer gave in to the clamor of the crowd.

Baldivino was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 3. Doctors found a blood clot in his brain, a sign of aneurysm, while he was in a coma for five days. He, then, met his end.

He rose to fame as the grand prize winner of the first season of Pilipinas Got Talent. He inspired the judges and the public with his life story as a working student who sold siomai.

Jose Maria Sison (Feb. 8, 1939 – Dec. 16, 2022)

Filipino revolutionary Jose Maria Sison died at 83 years old.

Sison died after a two-week confinement in a hospital in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

He founded the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968, and its armed wing, the New People's Army, the following year.

He was arrested in 1977 under the Marcos dictatorship and was freed in 1986 when Aquino took over. But as peace talks with the Aquino administration fizzled out, Sison lived in the Netherlands in a self-imposed exile in 1987, spending the rest of his days there.