Actor Coco Martin paid tribute to the inspiration and lasting contribution of the late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. on the national artist's 80th birth anniversary Tuesday.
The lead of TV primetime hit "FPJ's Ang Probinsyano" came early in the morning to visit the tomb of Poe, popularly called FPJ, at the Manila North Cemetery.
Martin arrived with fellow actors of the long-running teleserye, particularly the members of his character Cardo Dalisay's police team, "Task Force Aguila."
Among Martin's companions were actors John Prats, Marc Solis, John Medina, CJ Ramos, Lester Llansang, Sancho delas Alas, and Bryan Lao.
They offered prayers in front of Poe's grave.
Martin said he would try to visit the grave during Poe's birth anniversary or when they would shoot scenes at the cemetery.
"Every time na kaarawan ni FPJ talaga ako nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon na pumunta dito, siyempre upang magpasalamat sa lahat ng kontribusiyon at ginawa niya para sa industriya natin," he said.
"Napakalaking pakinabang para sa atin lalong lalo na ang mga pelikula niya, 'yung pag-i-inspire niya sa bawat aktor, sa bawat Pilipino, sa lahat ng manggagawa ng pelikula," Martin added.
"Para sa amin, talagang sobra-sobra 'yung ginawa at naiambag ni FPJ sa industriya at sa buong Pilipinas."
The group left quickly an hour before a Mass and program was scheduled to be held in honor of Poe which was attended by his fans, supporters, and family members.
Poe, born on August 20, 1939, first played Dalisay in the original "Ang Probinsyano" movies.
Dubbed "Da King" of Philippine movies, he is also known for his role as the superhero "Panday."
Poe ran a failed bid to become the country's president in 2004.
The TV adaptation of "Ang Probinsyano", now on its fourth year, is currently ABS-CBN channel 2's most-watched program. It aired its 1000th episode this August 8.
"Kundi dahil kay FPJ, wala ang 'Probinsyano.' At siya ang inspirasyon namin. Saka hanggang ngayon, ginagabayan niya kami sa bawat kuwento na ginagawa namin para makapagbigay ng inspirasyon sa lahat ng Pilipino," Martin said.