Manila, OCTOBER 3, 2003  (STAR) By Ricky Lo  - "Don’t go away. I’ll be right back!"

Aside from "Careful, careful!" and "Saranghameda" (Korean for "I love you"), those were Inday Badiday’s favorite lines during commercial breaks on her TV shows "Nothing But the Truth," "Would you Believe," "See-True" and "Eye-to-Eye" which enthroned her as Queen of Intrigues, a "title" that was modified during her last few months when she shifted to shows gearing toward public affairs.

Born Lourdes Jimenez Carvajal but better known as Ate Luds, Inday Badiday was laid to rest yesterday afternoon at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City after a 2 p.m. Mass at the Capella de la Virgen (Chapel of the Virgin) of the Santuario de San Antonio at Forbes Park in Makati City, where her remains had lain since the night of Sept. 26 when she succumbed to multiple organ failure due to two strokes.

Inday was in a coma for more than one month at the intensive care unit of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, where she was diagnosed early last year with a kidney ailment that required dialysis three times a week.

But she soon sprang back, much to the amazement of her friends and colleagues — and even Inday herself — and hosted a celebrity show on GMA-7 called "Inday, Heart to Heart," produced by her bosom friend Kitchie Benedicto who hosted Inday’s last birthday (59th) last Aug. 6. Inday showed up at that affair even if her face was a bit distorted by Bell’s Palsy.

Inday left the same way she broke into the showbiz scene on the crest of the Guy-Pip (Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III) popularity in the early ’70s – that is, in style. Or bonggang-bongga in show biz parlance.

Her week-long wake went the way she would have wanted it — full of friends and fans and relatives amid flowers and wreaths that turned the Santuario chapel into a virtual flower shop. It was like a nightly party, enlivened by anecdotes about Inday and all her, as she would put it, "kalokahan," including the time she stood as godparent in the baptism of a dalag (mudfish). As Inday would say, Would you believe!?!

An icon in Philippine television, Inday not only revolutionized local TV but also bridged the gap between the so-called "AB" and "CD" crowds with her juicy scoops/exclusive on stars big and small, has-been or has-never-been.

In her coffin, Inday wore a red dress (her favorite color) accentuated by a Ferragamo scarf given as parting gift to her by her older sister, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, editor-in-chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Fans from all walks of life bade Inday a fond farewell as her casket was lowered into her final "timeslot" near those of her parents, former Ambassador Narciso Jimenez and Maria Clara Vega. Inday had three children, Dolly Anne and Ricky (from a previous marriage) and Clara (by her beloved Gene Palomo, the man Inday referred to in her famous parting shot, "Saranghameda, Bo").

Knowing Inday, she must have been Somewhere Up There doing a "live" coverage of her own funeral.

The only difference was that she wasn’t around to remind everybody, "Don’t go away. I’ll be right back!"

No, she won’t be back.

Farewell To An Icon

Inday Badiday, an icon in the local show business world for about 40 years, succumbed to diabetes, renal failure and heart problem on Sept. 26. A black Lincoln Navigator carried her casket at the Guardian of Serenity, Manila Memorial Park at around 4 p.m. yesterday.

Her three children and her husband, who were still grieving, begged off from being interviewed by the media.

Parañaque City Councilor and comedian actor Anjo Yllana was one of the first showbiz personalities to arrive at the burial.

"Inday was a mother figure to the artists. I started my television appearance at her talk show ‘See-True’. She is the queen of intrigues and formed a special bond with the stars hindi dahil ginagamit nya sila pero para makapagbigay ng magandang mensahe," he said.

Actor Tirso Cruz III said her death is a great loss to the movie industry. "She was not in the business for the sake of the business but she was there because she was passionate about it. It was her lifestyle," he said.

Cruz also gave thanks to Carvajal for all the support in building the "Guy and Pip" tandem he shared with the superstar Nora Aunor. "She is the high priestess of Guy and Pip love team. She would devote time on her radio program for question and answer regarding our love team. She gives out the latest developments and knows the truth from the rumors," Cruz said,

Some 500 to 700 people were patiently waiting for the arrival of their idol. Estelita Rosande, 68, said she is an avid fan of the deceased and decided to join a passenger-jeep full of admirers from Las Piñas to attend the burial. While Malou Mateo, 58, said she went on a one-week leave from work since Monday so she could spend time at the wake.

A representative of the Carvajal family said they arranged to allow the loyal fans of Inday Badiday to view her for the last time. The viewing lasted for about 35 minutes with the people placing orchids over her casket.

Although it may be contrary to tradition to wear red during burials, the color was prominent in yesterday’s event. The balloons which carried the inscriptions of "We will be right back, promise" and "Saranghameda" and Carvajal’s dress were red. — With Evelyn Macairan

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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