Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AMALIA'S & SUSAN'S REUNION: THE END OF THE BIG TIFF? (The Weekly Nation, October 16, 1967)

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The two movie queens appeared the sweetest of friends on the night their first picture together after five years was launched.

amalia's & susan's reunion:
By Baby K. Jimenez

AMIDST a cheering crowd, huge streamers, popping flash bulbs, grinding movie cameras and glaring kleig lights, the eventful reunion of local filmdom's two queens took place.  Before the happy happening took place it had been dubbed as close to impossible to get them together, considering that the two had been conducting a keen rivalry since their Sampaguita days.  Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces appeared the sweetest of friends that night of September 19 when FPJ Productions launched Cover Girls, their first picture together after five years.  (Their last movie together was Amaliang Mali-Mali V. Susanang Daldal at Sampaguita studios.)

A Rousing Welcome

On FPJ's billboard at the Philam Film Industries compound a message was written.  What proved a real eyecatcher was the way the names of Susan and Amalia were cautiously billed in the form of a crisscross.  In such manner both of them have a fair share of the billing.

Across the facade of the building was a white streamer that welcomed the members of the press and the Philippine Couture Association.  A yellow-silver thin material was spread at the stairs leaving a narrow path strewn with pots of flowers and plants at the sides.  At the dining table was a three-tiered giant cake with the caption Cover Girls at the topmost of the cake where two dolls stand side by side.  The two dolls obviously represented the two stars of the picture.

As the cameras began to grind the reporters and some of the stars like Tita Muñoz, Eddie Garcia and Tito Galla were asked to make their entrance to the decorated receiving hall.  Couturiers Pitoy Moreno and Rudy Dandan confirmed the news that both Susan and Amalia will be wearing twelve gowns each designed by them.

After thirty minutes of chit-chat a red and cream-topped Rambler approached the compound to the delight of enthusiastic fans who clogged the gateway.  Flashing that familiar sweet smile Susan Roces, glowingly attractive in a baby-pink chiffon dress, alighted from the car and went around greeting everyone.  Then she retired to a private room at the ground floor.  Barely had Susan taken her breathing spell when shrieks of admiration heralded the arrival of a white combi.  Stunning in a pastel-colored long-sleeved, above-the-knee outfit Amalia Fuentes emerged from the vehicle after whispering adieu to her hubby, Bobby Vasquez, who waved his hands before the combi retreated.

Tito Galla, Amalia's leading man in the picture, escorted Amalia and she mixed with the guests to say a hello or two.  Then she directed her course to the same room where Susan was stationed.  At this juncture photographers elbowed each other to get inside the room.

Excited Fotogs

Sensing that the photographers were creating a turmoil in that not-so-spacious room Susan and Amalia finally went out together -- looking like two persons who have found long-lost friends in each other.  They posed together for the photographers, who recorded their every move.  For a few minutes the two took refuge in the rest room after which they came out whispering sweetly into each other's ears and with their arms locked intimately.  They raved about the cake as movie cameras whirred and for the nth time they posed before it.

Almost everyone was asking where the producer himself was.  But according to his PRO, FPJ was having his hands full with his Erap's (Joseph Estrada) candidacy in San Juan, Rizal and had to be at the headquarters to attend to some important matters.

"I know why Ronnie isn't around.  Perhaps he doesn't want to take the limelight away from us," Amalia jestingly told me after which she kidded Susan about it, and later the two broke into sheer laughter.

Bob Soler, Susan's leading man, was the last to arrive and he moved to Susan's side in an apologetic manner.  the four of them -- Tito, Amalia, Susan and Bob -- made a toast together to wish luck for their picture.

As I write this, the manner of billing hasn't been resolved yet but that doesn't mean that Amalia and Susan care much about it.  Professionals as they are, they seen no reason why this matter could not be solved to both their satisfaction.

However, the film company is in a dilemma about it.  There was a suggestion that the names of both be spread all over in a circle form with title of the picture placed at the center; another suggestion was the crisscross billing with two versions, one bearing Amalia's name first, the other Susan's.

A Happy Reunion

Prior to the affair, Susan and Amalia, after some years of "separation", met at th LVN compound where Susan was shooting Maruja with Amalia's hubby, Bobby Vasquez, as her leading man.  Amalia visited Bobby on the set and it turned out that Susan was doing a scene with him.  Since Amalia and Susan had never been "enemies" in the first place, both were equally happy to see each other again.  This was the first time that they really had time to talk to each other again although during the FAMAS awards, Susan approached Amalia to congratulate her.  They had a very limited time together.  And so they had not seen so much of each other until Ronnie Poe thought of casting them in a picture.

On the set of Maruja, Amalia gave Susan a sample of her Kentucky chicken product (Amalia is a stockholder of Kentucky chicken) and a glass of orange juice.  They reminisced about their capers at their home studio, their happiest moments together.  The duo thought that their having attended the cursillo in the same locality -- Cabuyao, Laguna -- was such a coincidence.

And so, in one way or another, the two more or less hinted that there had never been any misunderstanding between them.  And whilt it looks that all's well with Susan and Amalia, will it ring true for their devotees?  The fans of both Amalia and Susan have yet to reach a sort of peace talk.  Anyway, their fans' rivalry only points to one thing:  that Susan and Amalia ar still "it".

Source:  The Weekly Nation
              October 16, 1967

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