Colette dela Cruz, the inspiration behind the name of iconic pasalubong brand Colette’s Buko Pie succumbed to COVID-19 on Sept. 12, 2021, at age 46. News about her death was shared by Manila Bulletin columnist Tonyo Cruz on Twitter.
“Na-ICU si Colette at na-intubate last week. Lumaban siya hanggang naging OK para ilipat sa regular hospital room. Kagabi, nagulat kami na pumanaw na siya. Wala na ngayong nanay ang anak niya, at naulila sa mahal na anak ang magulang niya, at malungkot ang maraming tao. Kami din (Colette was sent to the ICU and intubated last week. She fought until she was OK to be admitted to a regular hospital room. Last night, we were shocked to know she passed away. Her son doesn’t have a mother anymore, her parents are orphaned by their deceased child, and many are sad. Us, too),” he posted.
The life of Ruby Nicole, or Colette to many people, was been a celebration of Filipino food. In 1989, her father Plaridel dela Cruz, now councilor of Laguna, opened a buko pie business named after her. With its success in the coming years. Colette’s Buko Pie has been a big part of Filipino travel being one of the most recognizable pasalubong brands in the country. She also was the part-owner of Hiraya Bakery, a homegrown brand that champions distinct local produce through pastries and other baked goods.
Colette’s legacy lives in the hearts of the people she touched. From her time at the University of the Philippines Los Baños studying food technology and being the editor of its student publication Perspective to the artisan workers and farmers she worked with, they will remember her name much like the way everyone thinks of those delicious pies, sweet, comforting, and always uplifting.
Rest in peace, Colette.