Remembering Fernando Poe Jr.

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National Artist – “…“Like all the characters he portrayed, from being ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to his becoming ‘Eseng ng Tondo’; from his struggles in ‘Alamat ng Lawin’ to being a defender in ‘Ang Panday,’ he is a hero to the Filipino masses,” he said. “With this award,’’ Mr. Aquino said, “we hope that thousands more like him will rise and use their talents to lift up the lives of their fellow Filipinos.’’ “Whoever in the coming generations will ask who is FPJ, we will answer them with one voice: He’s the king of Philippine cinema, a national artist who will continue to be part of the lights, camera, action in the life of the whole country…” – TJ Burgonio, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 17, 2012 (READ MORE)

Beyond Politics – “…Oh my God! It’s true what [the special’s] script says: He was the quiet type. Very sensitive and the most generous man I ever met in the entire industry. Please allow me to generalize. Among all my leading men, no one’s like him. It’s true that if you were his leading lady, he’d treat you like a queen. He’d give you everything you needed and wanted, just to make you feel comfortable. However, he extended the same respect and care to the staff. One time, I craved balut. He bought balut not only for me, but for the entire crew. The mambabalut ran out of balut so Ron asked him to call his vendor friends. Ron treated everyone on the set equally. That’s why he’s the most respected actor in the industry, along with Dolphy. It’s a well-earned respect. You cannot buy that respect. You have to work for it. He was not an overnight success. He started as a stuntman, as an extra. He started from scratch…That was something you shared? Yah! And we both joined politics. When I first ran as mayor [of Lipa in 1998], Ron was among the few people I sought, for advice. He told me one thing: “You can do it. You have the character for politics. But can you give up your earnings as an actress?” (Laughs.) The next time we saw each other was at the wedding of Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzalez in Baguio two years later. I was then running for a second term, so he teased me: “I thought you didn’t want to run?” Then, two years later, we saw each other again at the Metro Manila Film Fest parade, we both had entries then (hers, “Dekada ‘70;” his, “Ang Alamat ng Lawin”). It was my turn to tease him: “I heard you’re running?” I asked if he was really considering it and he told me that he’d rather not, but that he couldn’t ignore the public clamor. Unfortunately, we ended up in different political parties when he ran for president in 2004 (she’s with the administration; he was an oppositionist). We were even pitted against each other. There was a rumor that I didn’t allow him to campaign in Lipa. But our friendship went beyond politics….” – Bayani San Diego Jr., Inquirer, 12 02 2007 (READ MORE)

Leading Ladies – “…Walang itinatangi si Ronnie Poe sa kanyang leading ladies. Pare-pareho ang kanyang pagturing dito. Pag tinatanong mo sina Chat Silayan, Dang Cecilio, Baby Delgado, Coney Reyes, Marianne de la Riva at iba pang mga nakapareha niyang aktres ng ’80s. iisa lang ang kanilang sasabihin, “I feel like a queen on the set sa pag-aasikasong ginagawa sa akin ni ronnie Poe.” Palagay namin, kahit hindi namin naabutan ang mga naging leading lady ni FPJ sa nagdaang mga dekada, ganoon din ang kanilang pagpapalagay sa kanya. Sa ’50s siyempre, ang mga naging kilalang pangalan na nakapareha ni FPJ ay sina Edna Luna, Leonor Vergara, Lani Oteyza, Merle Tuazon, Teresa Mendez, Edita Clomera, Lily Marquez, Aura Aurea, Rosemarie Gil, at iba pa. Sa ’60s, nakapareha niya ang tulad nina Cecilia Lopez, Mina Aragon, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentez, Helen Gamboa, Divina Valencia, at iba pa. Sa ’70s, pumasok na ang mga pangalan nina Tina Revilla, Elizabeth Oropeza, Charo Santos, Boots Anson-Roa, Marianne de la Riva. Isang nakakatuwang bagay ang naganap kung minsan sa mga pelikula ni Ronnie Poe: nagiging ina niya ang naging leading ladies niya sa nagdaang panahon. Readon: ang mga babaeng kanyang nakakatambal ay napag-iiwanan niya sa panahon. Halimbawa, naging “mopther” ni Ronnie Poe sa ilang pelikula si Rosemarie Gil at si Amalia Fuentes na nakatambal niya noong araw. Walang imposible pagdating sa papel sa isang pelikula. Sa kaso lang ni Amalia sa pelikulang Aguila, sabi niya, “Wag n’yo akong patandain sa pelikula, ang problema niyo kung paano n’yo pababatain si Ronnie Poe!” Of course, kahit naman hindi make-up-an si Ronnie lagi naman siyang mukhang bata, di ba? In fact nagtatagka nga ang marami kung bakit at paano napapanatili ni Da King ang kyang youthful charm. This charm, of course, is what he uses to keep in touch with any of his leading ladies. “Friendship is foremost for my leading ladies,” sabi nga ni FPJ, “Kailangan kasi ang friendship to kep her cool on the set, make her feel relaxed para mas maganda ang chemistry the moment we have some scenes together…” – Arthur Quinto, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, May 31, 1985 (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)

Natatanging Gawad – “…Fernado Poe Jr. will receive the Natatanging Gawad Urian (Lifetime Achievement Award) during the 25th Gawad Urian on May 11 at the Araneta Coliseum…In recognizing Poe (Ronald Allan Kelley Poe in real life), the Manunuri pays tribute to his nearly 50-year career as an actor, director, and producer. Starting as a teenage star and a stuntman in the 1950s, Poe rose to become a defining presense in Philippine movies. In 1956, he starred in “Low Waist Gang,” signalling a shift from the fantasy movies that had become the main fare in local cinema to a gritty realism in action movies. In his next movies such as “Tough Guy” (1957) and “Kamay ni Cain” (1957) and, much later, “Mga Alabok sa Lupa” (1967), “Assedillo” (1971) and “Durugin si Totoy Bato” (1979), Poe perfected the Filipino paragon of the action hero -a peace-loving, sensitive man who is pushed to the wall by oppressive forces and thereby fights back in the defense of the poor and the abused. Today Poe is known as the King of Philippine action movies and one of the stalwarts of the local film industry. The Manunuri is also giving the award in recognition of Poe’s achievements as producer and director. A visionary businessman and an artist in his own right, Poe invested his earning from acting and built his own movie company, FPJ Productions, which has since established a steady record of well-mounted productions that have reaped commercial success. As “Ronwaldo Reyes,” his non de guerre as director, Poe has shown a nearly unerring film sense, trasnforming mass-based but sometimes crude materials like the komiks and popular legends to movies with their own sense of logic and breataking spectacle. Poe as director is a master of locale, color and magic. He chooses his settings carefully and trains a nearly perfect cinematographic eye on everything he frames. His “Panday” series, based on the tawdy Carlo J. Caparas komiks novel, is an awesome orchestration of spectacle, setting and special effects. His more recent movies such as the comedy “Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko” and the action drama “Ang Dalubhasa” show Poe hasn’t lost his touch, retaining an uncanny feeling for the popular taste…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Apr 22, 2002 (READ MORE)

Role Model – “…Industry workers have access to information not readily available to ordinary fans. I learned that Ronald Allan Poe was born in 1939, and has five siblings. To be an actor, he dropped out of high school. He started in the movies as a stuntman. He read Hery Miller (“Tropic of Capricorn,” “Black Spring”). And unlike his role in the movies, he enjoys a drink. His name came from the original Pou, a Spanish name, and he is nor in any way related to Edgar Allan. A few years ago, I saw a video of “Shane,” and saw where the FPJ movie formula came from. (:Shane! Sane! Come back, Shane!) I understood why there had to be the young Jay Ilagan character, and why it was important for the boy to witness FPJ being beaten up. Shane never was shown in our sawaliwalled moviehouse, so none of my barkada ever saw it. And I dared reveal my discovery. they would have hated me for breaking their life-long suspension of disbelief. Perfect was the FPJ of our childhood, when characters could be neatly clasified as bida (hero), kontrabida (villain), or “extra.” I joined a concert tour in Mindanao in the early ’80s by the group They Call It Guns, composed of Michael de Mesa, Tirso Cruz III, Bembol Roco, Rez Cortez, and Ruel Vernal. As we prepared to go on a motorcade around Cagayan de Oro City, the organizers warned us not to take Rez, Bembol and Ruel. They were sure that FPJ fans would throw stones at the three kontrabidas in their hero’s life. FPJ was the only role model of my generation. This is why his stature has lingered beyond his prime. The next generations of bida -from Rudy Fernandez to Robin Padilla to Bong Revilla -experimented with the roles of the tarantado, the reformed convict, the womanizer, the man with dark past, the hero with hidden guilt, the coward. These roles played by Erap. While Erap shared the limelifht with FPJ, they seemed to have made an arrangement: FPJ would play the good boys and Erap the bad boys. Whenever they played together, Erap would be the one who got into troubles and FPJ the one who was decent and cautious. It was an excellent arrangement. It ended when Erap entered politics…” – Uro Q. Dela Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sep 27, 2003 (READ MORE)

Worshipped Idol – “…Unlike other folks, Ronnie has the heart for the underdogs so that it is often said that he is their champion and savior. Yet, this is one aspect of his public life that is least known. He does things without fanfare. The least known, he said, the better especially his acts of charity. And this spells a great difference between Ronnie and his colleagues. Yet, like any individual, Ronnie has also his faults. He acts on teh spur of the moment which sometimes proves unfortunate. Several times, he has been victimized by opportunists. Ronnie is a sucker for sob stories. Endowed as he is with feet – and feats – of clay, Ronnie is as human as you and I. He has his temper, yes, his idiosyncracies, his lifestyle and manner of dressing, but all told he is one guy who stands ten feet tall in tight and compromising situations. he is at his best when the going is rough, when things seem to go against his favor and this, indeed, proves once more that Ronnie is the idol that he is. A person worth emulating and worshipping for…” – Ross F. Celino, Expressweek, July 13, 1978 (READ MORE)

Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos

  • Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko (1996) – ”…In 1996 Vilma Santos did “Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko” with the late FPJ. The film did not do well, both critically and commercially. This year also was a bad year for the local entertainment industry as Ishmael Bernal died on June 2nd. It was reported that he was scheduled to direct a film about the life story of Lola Rosa Henson, the comfort woman during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The project was also reportedly offered to Vilma Santos. From 1997 to 2009, Vilma Santos completed 6 full featured films, two were considered record breaking films and almost all gave her acting recognitions including two international best actress recognitions…” – RV (READ MORE)
  • Mga Mata ni Angelita (1978) – “…Julie Vega was only 10 years old when she was launched to full stardom in the 1978 movie, “Mga mata ni Angelita.” She appeared in previous movie outings as Darling Postigo. The young Vega was ably supported by an all super star cast headed by the King of Philippine Movies, Fernando Poe, Jr. (in the role of Conrado, the ex-convict) and Comedy King Dolphy (as Tacio, the taho vendor). Also appearing in cameo roles were Joseph Estrada (as himself as Mayor); Nora Aunor (a metro-aide sweeper); Vilma Santos ( as a worried wife); Ramon Revilla (as barrio captain); Alma Moreno (as a jealous sweetheart); Christopher de Leon (as the lover) and many more…” – Simon Santos, Video 48 (READ MORE)
  • Bato sa Buhangin (1976) – “…I really felt very sad as he’s one of the kindest men I ever met. We’ve done 3 films together. The first one was when I was only 19-yrs-old, Batya’t Palo-Palo, a big hit. He was the one who taught me how to swim while we were shooting that movie. Before that, I did Dyesebel where I played a mermaid but I didn’t even know how to swim. This was followed by Bato sa Buhangin. Our last film together was Ikaw ang Mahal Ko, which I did after I gave birth to Ryan Christian. Kuya Ronnie is a gentleman in the strictest sense of the word. Talagang maasikaso siya sa lahat ng kasama niya sa shooting and he feeds everyone with great food all the time. He’s fun to work with kasi palabiro siya at masaya talaga kasama. The whole industry will miss him…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)
  • Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa (1975) – “…A Must for the Filipino History Students and for everyone who wants to awaken the innate nationalism in them. These series of stories depicting the fight of the Filipinos against colonialism of Spain, Japan and even their fellow Filipinos abusing the power in the government. A seemingly serious film but spiced with the star-studded cast like Fernando Poe Jr., Ramon Revilla, Joseph Estrada, Nora Aunor, Dante Rivero, Eddie Garcia, Vic Vargas, Goerge Estregan and the other all time favorite artists. This movie even highlighted the comparison between the love of country and the other kind of love we offer to our family and to our beloved as the story featured love stories in the midst of tragic and bloody war happening in our society…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)
  • Hotdog: Unang Kagat (1975) – “…Even earlier, in 1974, the first Hotdog album “Unang Kagat” resulted in a movie with the band in 1975 with cameos of FPJ, Erap, Guy, Ate Vi, and Boots Anson Roa. The 4th reunion concert showed the band headed by the unassuming genius of Dennis Garcia as still the leader of the Manila Sound genre that fused Tagalog with Taglish. In the show they paid tribute to contemporaries VST & Company, Boyfriends, and Hagibis. The disco group VST with Vic Sotto, Val Sotto, Joey de Leon, Homer Flores, and Spanky Rigor had made famous the songs “Awitin Mo isasayaw Ko” and “Disco Fever” while the audience rose to their feet when Hotdog interpreted VST’s “Rock Baby Rock.” The Boyfriends’ pop and disco hit “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal” covered by both Lea Salonga and Dingdong Avanzado in their albums was Hotdog’s next tribute. Then, of course, came the Hagibis with their campy imitations of the Village People in “Katawan,” which to this day is a favorite in dance parties…” – Bibsy Carballo, Journal, Dec 04 2011 (READ MORE)
  • Batya’t Palu-Palo (1974) – “…Nang magkita sina Ronnie at Vilma sa first shooting day sa Montalban, Rizal, halos hindi mapatid ang batian, katiyawan at biruan. Pareho silang masayang-masaya. Sapagka’t at long last daw, natuloy din ang kanilang pagtatambal pagkalipas ng halos kulang sa isang taong paghihintay na ma-vacant si Vilma sa dami ng pelikulang ginawa. As sa simula ng siyuting, akala mo hindi sila magkakilala. Dibdiban ang acting at dialogue. Sunod-sunod ang take ng iba’t ibang angulo. Kalahating araw silang walang biruan at nang matapos ang maraming eksena ay saka lamang sila muling nagtawanan. “Mahirap na,” sabi ni Vi, “Kailangang makarami ng scenes para naman makabawi sa akin ang FPJ. Biruin naman ninyong ang tagal din ang ipinaghintay nila sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa napakahabang patience nila. Kung tulad ng iba, baka pinalitan na lamang ako ng ibang leading lady. Masyado silang professional sa pakikipag-deal, lalo na si Ronnie kaya nahihiya man ako sa atraso, hindi naman makapag-back out doon sa mga naka-schedule ko na. Dapat na tapusain ko rin para walang magalit na producer sa akin…” – Letty G. Celi (READ MORE)
  • Happy Days are Here Again (1974) – “…In 1974, the Big 3 studios of the 50s, LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions reproduced a full-length movie showcasing a compilation of the musical comedies produced by the three studios. It was a painstaking job for the researchers since most of the best musicals produced by the three studios were either lost or destroyed. At the start of the project, director Lamberto V. Avellana was supposed to direct the film but eventually replaced by Cirio Santiago after so many changes in the project including the script. He ended up as consultant of the movie. The film was HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN, with brief narrations by movie stars like Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Susan Roces, Leopoldo Salcedo, Jaime de la Rosa, Eddie Gutierrez, Tirso Cruz III, Pugo, German Moreno and Ike Lozada…” – Chris D. Almario, Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Ronald Allan Poe y Kelley (August 20, 1939 – December 14, 2004), better known as Fernando Poe, Jr. and colloquially known as FPJ and Da King, was a Filipino actor and cultural icon. From the 1950s, Poe played steadfast film heroes who fight for the common man, which won him respect and admiration. He did not complete high school but went on to win numerous awards and prizes as an actor and film director. During the latter part of his career, he ran an unsuccessful bid for President of the Philippines in the 2004 presidential election against the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In 2011, witnesses revealed in a Senate inquiry that Poe would have won the 2004 elections had there been no cheating. He was honored on May 24, 2006 as Philippine National Artist through Philippine Proclamation No. 1065. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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