'Pilipinas Got Talent' grand finalist dies of cancer
MANILA (UPDATED) -- One-half of a singing duo who finished runner-up in the third season of "Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT)" passed away on Sunday, as fans in Davao del Sur gathered to pay respects to a talent who brought pride to their hometown.
Known for his acoustic act with brother Jefferson, Kurt Bringas lost his seven-year battle to bone cancer on August 18.
According to his family, Kurt died beside his brother, who performed with him as the Bringas Brothers until the grand finals leg of "PGT" in 2011. As an act, the siblings last performed the Peter Cetera hit "After All."
"Alam niya na mahal na mahal namin siya. Alam namin na masaya na siya, wala na siyang sufferings. Hindi na namin siya makikita na nagsa-suffer pa sa sakit," Jefferson told ABS-CBN News.
Kurt's mother, Helen, recalled seeing her son in pain during his last moments in the hospital.
"Sa ospital, talagang umiyak ako. Sinabihan ko si Kurt, 'Mahal ka namin, huwag mo kaming iwanan.' Sabi niya, 'Mama, hindi ko na talaga kaya,'" she said.
During his "PGT" audition, Kurt, who was 25 at the time, said he first knew of his condition in 2006 when the cancer was already at stage 4. He said he had to amputate his right leg to prevent the spread of the cancer cells.
Kurt had already been on continuous medication when he joined the talent search, and even recalled being given only one month to live after the cancer cells reached his lungs and liver.
The singer's father, Amado, told ABS-CBN News on Wednesday he always had to put up a strong front so as not to discourage Kurt about his worsening condition. He recalled crying for the first time when his son succumbed to his illness.
"Ang sabi noon ni Kurt, matatanggap niya kung ang kanyang ina ang iiyak, pero 'di niya matatanggap kung si papa ang iiyak, kasi ibig sabihin niyan, 'Hopeless na talaga ako.' Kaya noong pagkamatay niya sa ospital, doon ko binuhos lahat ang aking naipong mga luha. Masakit talaga," Amado said.
Fans of the Bringas Brothers, including a certain Precious Villanueva who visited Kurt's wake, also expressed grief over the singer's passing.
"Hindi kami makapaniwala. Nabigla kami nang nabalitaan namin. Mula noong sa 'PGT,' suporta na talaga kami sa kanya," she said.
During their "PGT" stint, the Bringas Brothers competed with other singing acts, including the Maasinhon Trio and Khalil Ramos, who placed first and second, respectively, in the talent search.
The brothers' relationship amid Kurt's struggle with bone cancer was also dramatized in an episode of "Maalaala Mo Kaya" in 2012. -- from a report by Bonna Pamplona, ABS-CBN News