Filipina singer Charice Pempengco penned an emotional tribute to her late “Glee” co-star, Cory Monteith, revealing she never thanked him for making her feel special on her birthday.
Charice – who played Sunshine Corazon on season two of the FOX show – wrote in a CNN op-ed that the Canadian heartthrob was “like his character Finn Hudson, Cory was so cool that everything seemed alright with him.”
She then described a May 9, 2011 shoot on the eve of her birthday where she felt alone without her family and friends back in the Philippines.
“I was a tad emotional when the clock struck 12 midnight – not because I was tired – but because May 10 was my birthday. And I, a girl from the barrio of Gulod in the far-flung Philippines, was alone in America,” she wrote. “My family was not there, my friends were not there, I didn’t have my loved ones there to celebrate my birthday.”
Charice then recalled Monteith – who had Googled her and found her birth date – coming to the rescue with a “sweet greeting: ‘Happy birthday, Charice!’” and a “big smile [across] his handsome face.”
“There was sincerity in his tone as he gave me a tight hug. He became family to me at that moment.”
She said that the actor told the rest of the “Glee” cast that it was her birthday, and was floored by their birthday wishes.