Susan Roces: A Superstar For All Seasons

Bago pa man naikabit ang mga titulong Superstar at Phenomenal kay Nora Aunor, at Star For All Seasons kay Vilma Santos, nauna nang itinawag ang mga ito kay Susan Roces noong siya’y nasa pinakarurok ng kanyang katanyagan, Dekada 60.

Breathes there a star with box office success history of Susan Roces? Isa sa ating nation’s top story and magazine writers has added a new cliche to the thousand and one adjectives used to describe the most popular today ng ating pelikula, Susan. He calls her a “movie phenomenon” which ranks her among “cinerama, technicolor, zoom lenses, etc…” things na bahagi na ng motion picture industry, with their incalculable influence in its development and growth. At the rate Susan is going since 1961, mula sa hindi na mabilang na mga box office hits, winning one movie title after another, one popularity award after another, napakadaling sabihin na siya’y isang institution. Pero, tiyakang tututol dito ang millions of her fans…sa halip nito they would insist na their Susan is the best for them on the screen…her face that refreshes, her sweetness that just seems to creep into their hearts, her life and love story which simply feeds their need for vicarious and story-book existence. Susan is the fullfillment of every Walter Mitty dream: Kay Susan ang story ng isang babaing who became a national celebrity through her chosen profession, by proving herself as an actress. Pero, don’t call her an institution yet please naman. Kung magkakagayun nga naman, nangangahulugan ito na her glorious days of triumph are over.

For the purposes ng artikulong ito, it is more than apt to say na Susan is a phonomenon, period. What other star can boast of her success – magmula pa sa Sampaguita Pictures na doo’y isa siyang contract star, she hit big time una nang sila’y magkatambal ni Romeo Vasquez sa pelikulang “Sino Ang Maysala.” Ito ang pelikulang naglunsand sa kanilang dalawa bilang ganap na bituin. Indeed, it was a blessing in disguise for Eddie Gitierrez nang ipasya ni Bobby na maging free-lancer. Biglang-bigla, Eddie hit the big league bilang bagong screen sweetheart ni Susan, with “Eddie Loves Susie” as their biggest hit. It also heightened suspense in predicting a real life love teaming of the two most beautiful people of SPI. Kaya naman hindi nakapagtataka na nang magsimula nang nag-freelance si Susan, and Ronnie Poe entered her life, all kinds of expectations were fanned. Will the king of box office win the heart of the Queen of the box-office? Sabi ng mga fans ni Eddie Gutierrez, “We hope no.” Sabi naman ng mga fans ni Susan,” It will not be difficult for Susan is the answer to everyman’s prayer.” Singit naman ng mga tagahanga ni Ronnie, “There goes our movie idol who has never permitted any girl to come before him. Karaniwan, ang mga katambal na bituing babae ni Ronnie sa kanyang pelikula ay mga newcomers o bagong mukha.

Pero nang makatambal ni Ronnie si Susan, he shares the spotlight equally with her. That must be “love!” How rightly the FPJ fans sized up their idol. Sa daigdig na ito ng dog eats dog way of life, of calous take advantage of your neighbor, he will take advantage of you, Susan is like a whiff of fress air, na nagpipilit sa tuwina on keeping faith with principles, contracts, and high sense of values. When everyone was being tempted to free-lance, despite contract, Susan herself was being besieged with irresistibly tempting offers. She did not even struggle to say “no.” Basta, she just kept shaking her head, sa pagsasabing, “There is a time and place for everything.” How right she was! Susan Roces, the freelancer went from one box office hit to another. Mula nang gawin niya ang “Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw” na katambal ni Ronnie Poe, she seemed to have made the trend for later Susan Rocess successes. “Bayan Ko Lumaban Ka” opposite Romeo Vasquez was another box office phenomenon. “Zamboanga” reportedly broke the records of the pre-war version, at ito’y isa pang tambalang -Susan-Ronnie. Isang bagay lang ang masasabi natin kina Susan at Ronnie, they never tried to hit saturation point of the box office sa pamamagitan ng malimit na pagtatambal. By now, it is movie history how she gave a rebirth to Romeo Vasquez movie career when they made “Maruja” together.

Hindi makakalimutan ni Ricky Belmonte and pangyayaring siya’y a virtual unknown… a Tirso Cruz member of the family, but just that, until he was given his first picture – a the leading man of Susan in “Si Sianang at ang 7 Tsikiting.” Then, he started hittign it big. May nagsasabi na Eddie Gutierrez seems to lack for good roles nowadays. Sa malas, movie fans any other way except as Susan Roces leading man. Gayunman, this article was inspired by the success that was “Kulay Rosas Ang Pag-ibig.” Ito ang kasaysayan taht established Susan the phenomenon that she is, of the local motion pictures today. Made in 12 shooting days, in Eastmancolor, “Kulay…” is reportedly the first venture ni Susan bilang prodyuser. Pero, sinasabi ni Susan na it is not fair to call her the producer. Why I don’t know. Pero the fact is, the movie was ready for screening after 15 days and it was shown in the first class Ever Theatre. It has even proved to be a complete hit, na masasabing a big break for a new leading man of Susan, namely Ramil Rodriguez, Susan, the box office star is a starmaker in her own right, don’t you think so? Kaya naman no wonder that this writer who has made many box office hits for movie stars, from the time of Tita Duran to Fred Montilla down to Joseph Estrada, feels justified in making this observation tungkol kay Susan.

She is a phenomenom, at maaaring star na may pinaka-mahabang reign as a movie queen, na pinatutunayan ng maraming titles & trophies na kanyang natamo, at higit sa lahat sa napakarami niyang box office successes. Hindi nakapagtataka na sime movie fans wrote in that they couldn’t care less na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nakapagtatamo si Susan ng FAMAS acting award. The time will come, they are sure. For how come that is convincing to her millions of fans, at hindi to a handful of movie reviewers? It should happen anytime now, these Susan Roces fans predict. Sang-ayon ba kayo? – Teena Cruzet, Tin-Edyers Songs & Shows, June 27, 1968 (READ MORE)

Susan Roces bares what saved her marriage with Ronnie Poe – “Despite the usual showbiz intrigues that have come their way, the marriage of Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces remains among the more durable relationship in showbiz. What could be their secret. “We’re friends! That’s very, very important in a relationship,” said Susan Roces. “Kasi, if you’re just lovers, it wears off easily. I love you, heart and soul. One hundred percent. Dapat ikaw din. Ako lang ang mahal mo, Ganoon. That’s when a person becomes so possessive na nakakasakal ba. If you’re friends, mas maganda. You can tell your wife or your husband certain things at puedeng magkaroon ng certain freedom. Hindi ‘yung sa kanya lang nakatutok ang mata mo that you see all the wrong things he has done and you start imagining what he can do when you’re not beside him.” According to her she and Ronnie agreed from the start to talk things over. “Let me explain,” Ronnie told her, “If there is something I should explain. Hindi ‘yung you’ve already made a conclusion based on what you read or heard na minsan naman eh hindi totoo.” She said there were times when a woman should be at home for her husband. Pero sa klase ng ating trabaho, this cannot always be so,” explained Susan. “Ako naman, whenever Ronnie shoots a film at alam kong medyo mahihirapan siya, I make it a point to be home para asikasuhin ko siya. I mean, you cannot let the maids take over. Tapos when he is settled at nakapahingana ang I have some other commitments I should attend to, that’s when I go. Wala namang problema doon. I guess it’s just a matter of understanding each other’s needs and the element of trust should always be there. Pag walang trust, malabo talaga.” – Lulubelle Lam Ramos, Manila Standard, May 10, 1991 (READ MORE)

Jesusa Purificación Sonora (born July 28, 1941), better known as Susan Rocés, is a Filipina actress and widow of Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, better known as Fernando Poe, Jr. Following the death of her husband in 2004, Rocés became a rallying point for the political opposition…Born to a French American mother and a Filipino father of Spanish and Chinese descent, Rocés is a member of one of the country’s biggest clans, the Locsin family of Negros Occidental. Their forebear Wo Sin Lok, a peddler from Amoy, had himself baptised into the Catholic Church as Agustín Locsin and married Cecilia Sayson of Molo. Rocés’s sister, Rosemarie Sonora, and niece Sheryl Cruz are also actresses. Rocés married Fernando Poe, Jr. and they have an adopted daughter, incumbent MTRCB Chairman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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