Thursday, September 26, 2013

AMERICAN ADVENTURE (The Weekly Nation Magazine, 1965)

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Her fourth visit to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society afforded her a chance to relive experiences she had before in the US.
by George C. Alvarez

RECENTLY coming back from her fourth trip to the United States where she filmed GM's Romansa Sa World's Fair, Susan Roces smilingly told the Weekly NATION:  "It was really my fourth visit to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, but amizingly I felt like a first-timer.  The Great Society is really getting greater and bigger!"

Susan's first three trips to the US were when she represented the Philippines at the San Francisco Festival twice and when she did Sampaguita's Eddie Loves Susie, with Eddie Gutierrez and sister Rosemarie.

"My latest visit afforded me a chance of reliving the experiences I had before when we filmed Eddie Loves Susie.  Only this time, it wasn't Eddie with me but Bobby.  Still, Bobby was accommodating enough in accompanying me to the places which has already carved a special niche in my heart in the past," she pensively recounted.

Pasts Remembered

"During these memorable scenic jaunts, Bobby and I delved deep into the not-as-yet forgotten yesterdays.  And our reminiscing so took us off our feet that we went into a solemn renewal of our friendship.  Hearts, you know, have some common bond when they are away from home. -- and this tie that binds is loneliness.  Loneliness, it seems, has the supreme power of uniting and even rejuvenating friendships," Susan continued, a friendly smile playing on her lips.

Susan and Bobby were both introduced in Sampaguita's Miss Tilapia nine years ago.  According to Susan, both she and Bobby from that time on have become close friends.  Their friendship, however, was apparently severed when Bobby bolted Sampaguita.

Really Got Into It

During his absence  from the mother studio, Susan still kept in touch with Bobby but not so regularly as when they were still in the same outfit.  Since the time she also went freelancing, they have starred in three pictures together:  United Brothers' Pag-ibig, Ikaw Ang Maysala; LEA's Bayan Ko, Lumaban Ka; and GM's Romansa.

According to Susan, it was only in Romansa where she and Bobby really got into renewing a close friendship again.  "Bobby, of course, is still the same sweet guy I know of yore,  But he's a more mature person now," she stated.

"I had one of the greatest time in my life when I participated in the reenactment of our native Sunduan at the World's Fair.  Escorted by Bobby, I was one of th town belles, the others being Gemma Cruz Araneta, Louise Aurelio Vail, ad the Miss Philippines of New York for 1965, Dr. Lourdes Ascano," Susan continued on her reminiscences.

Biggest News

Reminiscing further, she told us that the biggest news when they were in the US was the recent successful launching of Gemini-5, the two-man space capsule which carried American astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad for eight days in outer space.  There is a huge and detailed replica of the space capsule in the Fair, Susan remembered, and she even posed in front of it, while sister Bennet, who was with her in the GM film, happily clicked away for posterity.

"This latest trip of mine to the US was the most!  While we were not busy in front of the cameras, Bobby and I toured scenic spots.  At night, we went theater-going or nightclub-hopping.  Two of the most enjoyable plays we thoroughly relished were Funny Girl and Golden Boy.  Barbra Streisand really sang, danced, and acted her best in the outstanding musicale.  I could just imagine that she immersed herself in her role like a lark.  And Sammy Davis again proved that he is __ all the raves he has been reaping as one of the world's best entertainers!

Traditional Hospitality

"We even went one night to Arthur, the instantly successful discotheque center of Sybil, Richard Burton's wife before the lissome Liz came in.  Her new husband, Jordan Christopher, I think, helped a great deal in the discotherie's immediate success with the New York crowd.  He's one of the Wild Ones, you know, the singing group which provides thumping music at the place.  We failed to see Sybil, though -- and even Carol Channing in her smash stage Hello, Dolly!

"We also went into the Copacabana where we were greeted with a raucous "Mabuhay!" by the crowd which teemed with Filipinos.  For the traditional hospitality which was exhibited to us by our fellow Filipinos, I was proud to be a Filipino myself.  While I felt the same thing in my first three trips to the US, I felt doubly proud this time!"

Met Madame Chiang

Susan revealed to us that she even met Madame Chiang Kai-shek, whom she succinctly appraised as a "charming lady."  She said that she looked at Madame Chiang in awe because of her stature in the world's political and ideological spheres.

"It's just great to be a part of the crowd even if only for once," said Susan. We were ourselves, we 'swam' with the crowd, and we just let ourselves get lost in the massive tide of humanity while we were there -- and we felt great!  We really felt great being at the other side of the fence; that is, being the beholder and not the beholden!

"We spent our time, in and out of camera range, undergoing an actual odyssey.  It wa an odyssey alright, if we are to consider that I spent most of the time walking.  My latest trip in the US was the longest walk I had ever taken in all my life!" Susan summed up.

Even as she is now at the top of the local movie heap, Susan has gone a long walk into life itself, seeking new adventures and searching for new horizons of success.

- The Weekly Nation Magazine, 1965

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


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Sinulat ni Monic L. Orian
Tagumpay Magazine, February 10, 1965

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THE VISIT: SUSAN IN BACOLOD (The Weekly Nation, June 24, 1968)

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Article by Marlecon Villanueva
The Weekly Nation Magazine, June 24, 1968

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ANG IDEAL MAN NI SUSAN ROCES (Manila Klasiks, 1957)

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Sa pakikipanayam ni Norma Enriquez-Concepcion
(Manila Klasiks, 1957)

Isang magandang paksa ang aming nabuksan ni SUSAN ROCES ng SAMPAGUITA PICTURES nang minsang maging panauhin namin siya sa BULAKLAK PUBLICATIONS.  Ito ay tungkol sa kanyang "ideal man" o ang lalaking pangarap niyang maging kabiyak ng dibdib balang araw.  Si Susan Roces na sa tunay na buhay ay si Jesusa Levy Sonory, may 17 taong gulang at butihing anak nina G. Jose Sonora, isang Pranses, at Gng. Purificacion Levy-Sonora, isang Pilipina, ay may magandang panuntunan ukol sa pagpili ng binatang magiging karapat-dapat sa kanyang pagtatangi.

--Kung sa bagay ay hindi ko pa naman binabalak ang lumagay sa tahimik pagka't ako'y bata pa, nguni't yamang napapag-usapan natin ang tungkol sa mga katangian ng nais kong maging "ideal man" ay ito ang aking masasabi, --Aniya at nangislap ang kanyang magagandang mata. -- Ang nais ko'y binatang marunong, may sariling pagpapasiya, maunawain, maispag, may katatamtamang kisig, mataas, ang buhok ay "crew cut", at may balat na kayumangging kaligatan.

-- Liwanagin mo nga kung ano ang ibig mong sabihin ng binatang may sariling pagpapasiya. -- Hiling ko sa kanya.

-- Ang ibig kong sabihin ng binatang may sariling pagpapasiya ay yaong hindi na kailangan sumangguni pa sa iba tungkol sa kanyang dapat gawin.  Kalimitan, ang paghingi ng payo sa mga kaibigan ukol sa isang bagay na mapapagpasiyahan mo naman sa iyong sarili ay lalo pang nakalilito.  Sa halip na magdulot ng kabutihan ay makaaantala lamang sa maganda mong binabalak.  Ang nais kong sabihin, kailangan sa isang lalaki ay may sariling paninindigan.

-- Bakit mo naman ibig ang isang binatang may kainaman lamang ang ganda o kisig, sa halip na talagang "guwapo", at may balat na kayumangging kaligatan, sa halip na maputi, at naka-"crew cut" sa halip na ibang uri ang gupit ng buhok?  --  paiba kong tanong sa kanya upang matarok ang lihim kung bakit ibig niya ang gayong mga katangian.

-- Nais ko'y hindi masyadong makisig o kainaman lang pagka't baka migitan pa niya ako sa kagandahan ay hindi mainam tingnan sa magkabiyak ng dibdib na ang lalaki ay higit na maganda kaysa babae.  Gayundin naman, ibig ko'y may kayumangging kaligatang balat pagka't baka mahigitan niya ang kulay ng balat ko, at saka hindi mainam masdan sa isang lalaki ang masyadong maputi, higit na mabuti yaong kayumanggi at matipuno ang katawan pagka't iyan ang talagang "manly look".  Gusto ko rin ang nakagupit "crew cut" pagka't malinis tingnan.

-- Talagang matalino ka! -- puri ko sa kanya.  Natagpuan mo na ba ang iyong "ideal man", ang ibig kong sabihi'y may "B.F." ka na ba?

-- Ah, wala pa... -- agad niyang sagot, sabay iling. -- Hindi ko pa iniisip ang bagay na iyan.  Ang buo kong isip at puso ay nasa ika-pitong sining na aking ginagalawan ngayon.

Nang matapos ang pag-uusap namin ni Susan ay napaglimi kong may pambihirang katalinuhan siya.  Akalain ba ninyong sa gulang niyang labingpitong taon lamang ay may mainam na siyang panuntunan sa pagpili ng kanyang makakaisang-palad!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

SUSAN ROCES: ASK HER ANYTHING BUT... (The Weekly Nation, 1968)

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Article by Corazon U. Cruz
The Weekly Nation Magazine, 1968

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Sinulat ni Susana C. de Guzman
Tagumpay Magazine, May 15, 1966

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WHAT'S NEW ON THE RONNIE-SUSAN ROMANCE? (The Weekly Nation, June 12, 1967)

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There are things or battles one can fight in silence and that is happening to me now, says Susan concerning rumors about her and Ronnie.


AS THEY sat side by side, they really looked romantically right for each other.  So evident too was the flow of intimate companionship that surrounded them, with that special glow on their faces even as they talked casually.

Such was the beautiful picture I saw when Ronnie and Susan were watching a basketball game in the Fil-Am compound one Sunday afternoon.  I wished then that I could have caught that elusive moment on canvas like a painter.

People continue to talk and talk and talk.  Tongues wag that the king and queen of our movies have parted ways in the same breath that other pesky mouths insist that the two have already exchanged vows.

Ronnie, who at first would just give a naughty glance and a sweet smile whenever confronted about his feelings for Susan, is now more serious.

"I cannot confirm nor deny such items.  I only know what's happening to Susan and myself when I read magazines.  Sometimes they say we quarrel, reconcile and quarrel and reconcile and on top of all this, that we are already married.  Despite these talks I am not the least confused.  I am always firm in my decisions and it is useless to repeat for the nth time the name of the girl I love so much," Ronnie was heard to tell a close friend who seemed to be bothered also by the rumors.

A tipster informed me that Ronnie once was approached by a group of susan diehards who fired questions at him regarding Susan.  One of them even went to the extent of telling Ronnie that should he be untrue to Susan, their group would stage a "revolt" or something of that sort against him.  They were deeply affected by the news linking Ronnie to different women.

Ronnie reportedly tried to be gentle and cool in answering them.  "I can never do that to Susan.  Never...Don't you trust me any more?"

As if to prove that he is a guy true to his word, Ronnie vehemently denied to a lady reporter that he was paying court to another actress.

Other Gossips 

And what about the other gossips too?  Some say that the Poes now are quarreling over their shares in the production company hence Ronnie has decided to close shop.  But look how silly they can get.  The truth remains that Ronnie is extremely happy now that Andy Poe, his younger brother, has joined the movies.  And chances are that Ronnie will handle the direction.  And yes, it is going to be released through FPJ banner.

What about Susan's side?

Very recently I chanced to see a musical-variety program at the Philamlife auditorium and Susan happened to be sitting next to me.  As the program continued, Susan was the ever humorous gal injecting puns and wit whenever the situation demanded.  When somebody from behind whispered that Ric Manrique was around, many requested that the song Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw be sung.  It was at this juncture that Susan whispered jestingly to me, "Don't you know that I am supposed to sing a sad tune now?  Not that popular Tagalog ditty any more which they claim is our theme song but one which goes like this."  She sang the first line of Matt Monro's Who Can I Turn To, after which we both exploded in glee.  This proves how much Susan knows about the rumors concerning her and Ronnie.

On the same occasion when two popular Tagalog balladeers hugged the spotlight, I suggested to Susan that she and Ronnie make another musical picture, with Ronnie using his own singing voice again.  She smiled and remarked that I have a one-track mind...I guess it's really like that.  When you talk to Susan, you can't avoid mentioning Ronnie and vie-versa.

She revealed that they will make a western movie together which will be shown perhaps in November or December.  She told me then not to print it yet but the word had already been going around so I am telling the readers now.

When I asked her if it's true that she wants to join the convent, she blurted out a naughty answer, "Nope!...I won't be a nun...Magpapari yata ako."

Let Them Talk

When I visited her on the set of her latest starrer Sitsiritsit Alibangbang, I tried to raise a question about the unfavorable news about Ronnie and herself but then on second thought I decided to keep mum.  I then remembered what she had told me in a chit-chat weeks ago, "Let them wag their tongues as much as they want...There are things or battles one can best fight in silence and that's just what's happening to me now..."

And in one instance when we happened to talk on some serious matters, Susan said, "Whenever you feel downhearted about anything just remember what He (God) said in the prayer He taught us...Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven... And that is just what I believe, whatever happens to me, whatever He gives to me, good or bad, is His will and it will be done according to what He wants..."

But are Ronnie and Susan really not on speaking terms?  Is there a misunderstanding between them now?

These questions I'd rather answer with a loud NO as I still see them together.  Specially when free from shootings they try to make it a point to hear Mass together on Sunday afternoons.  It is also a fact that Ronnie was among the very special guests of Rosemarie during her birthday.  And several days earlier, a happy couple in the persons of Ronnie and Susan were seen sweetly attentive to each other while attending a formal affair at the Manila Hotel where they stood as principal guests.

Rumors come and go about Ronnie and Susan because they are IT.  And when two popular faces such as theirs are in the limelight, it is to be expected that people will talk.  What happens then?  The pessimists naturally read in their tea leaves that Ronnie and Susan are now at the proverbial cat-and-mouse state while optimists watch the pair in their own crystal balls and predict something like this:  "Living in a nicely built home, filled with sunshine even on the darkest days and with happiness that lasts forever."

Anyway, let us all keep our fingers crossed that they will, someday, march down the aisle to put a happy ending to the rumors.

Source:  The Weekly Nation Magazine
              June 12, 1967

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SUSAN ROCES'S LOVE AND REWARDS (The Weekly Nation, March 28, 1966)

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She is getting a lot of attention in the marriage and acting departments.

IT WAS LATE afternoon, and on the Manila Times news desk was already a pile of news stories, press releases, and photographs for the following morning's edition.  Deskman Bernie de Leon was interrupted from his typing by a tall, middle-age mestizo who wanted to clarify an item which appeared in the front page of the daily earlier.

The man was Dr. Jesus Sonora and he visited the paper's editorial offices to deny reports of a reported wedding in Bacolod in which his daughter Susan Roces and Fernando Poe, Jr. were the principals.

Asked whether he had any objection to his daughter marrying the popular movie king, the doctor replied:  "I don't mind having Poe for my son-in-law."

Dr. Sonora's declaration is not merely a consensus of one, but the belief of many, specially the fans of the two popular stars who have been dreaming all the while for a marital union between their two favorites.

The Manila Times report last March 16 printed the rumor that Susan and Ronnie were married in the bishop's palace in Bacolod.  "A big crowd," the news item read, "around Bascon Hotel forced police to cordon off the area and reroute traffic.  Roces fans have even taken it upon themselves to try disbanding the crowd."

The report also stated that the Bascon Hotel manager denied the two were in the hotel, and Susan, in a handwritten note to the Manila Times delivered personally by her father the other Wednesday (March 16) viewed the whole thing as "rather amusing."

Susan explained that it was impossible for her to have flown to Bacolod Monday last week as she was busy filming Mariang Condesa.  After that, she said, she had to rush to a radio station to do a live program.

"If, and when I do get married, could you give me the same space in your paper to announce that wonderful occasion, picture included?" she asked the Manila Times.

Susan's "marriage" to Ronnie Poe circulates at the rate of one every three weeks.

The first time rumors flew that the two had gotten married was when news of Susan's trip to Calbayog, Samar for a short vacation last month leaked out, and saw print.

What made the vacation "newsy" was the fact that Susan and her companions (Emmanuel Borlaza, Lillian Laing, and uncle Nestor Levy) were joined a day after by Ronnie Poe and two of his friends (Tony Cruz and Manolo Robles).

Prior to the Samar vacation, fans of the two stars have been left guessing as to whether the two were in love or not.

The Manila Chronicle on February 13 confirmed the romance and even predicted the "long standing romance of Fernando Poe, Jr. and Susan Roces was set to culminate before an altar within this year.  However, the place and the date have not yet been set."

The writer of the news said that this was revealed to him in an intimate conversation between Rev. Fr. Basilio Rosales, parish priest of Calbayog, and Susan Roces herself.

In a jesting manner, the reporter wrote, Fr. Rosales asked Susan whether Ronnie (as Fernando Poe, Jr. is fondly known to his fans) was the man for her.

Answered Susan:  Kung gusto ba ninyo siya Father, ay gusto ko na rin.  (If you like him Father, then I like him.)

While the items clearly indicated that there was no marriage ceremony held in Calbayog, rumors nevertheless persisted that Ronnie and Susan tied the knot secretly.  "Or else," remarked one, "why should they bring along too many friends, if not to serve as witnesses?"

Susan was mum about the whole thing after she planed in from Samar.  Rather than deny nor confirm the rumor, she simply chose to evade the subject everytime she was asked about it.

Then, it happened again.  Rumors began circulating that Susan and Ronnie have gotten married in the afternoon of March 1st.  How this came about, we really do not know.  We only know for sure that the rumor was groundless in that Susan was busy sitting for the Weekly NATION cover of the University of the Philippines.

Then, last week, another rumor came into view.  This time, saying that Susan and Ronnie enplaned to Bacolod City to be married.

For somebody who has been in the movie business for the past ten years, Susan Roces has managed to stir enough public interest to keep her top position secure.  She has gained widespread adulation without benefit of scandal and this in itself is already something since to maintain popularity, most movie stars resort to gimmicks.

Susan has reaped rewards, professionally.

One of the most rewarding things that can ever happen to a star, aside from the financial rewards of course, is to be recognized as a capable actress who can emote the nuances of a character excellently.  Susan has never really been considered a dramatic actress, and it was only after she did Ana Roberta was her acting ability recognized.

Last Saturday, Susan Roces was included in the FAMAS magic circle of best five female performers of 1965.  Although she personally feels that her dual roles in Ana Roberta have given her a certain stature in the acting world, Susan nevertheless is not content with the honor.  "I have to show really that I can act, and there's no other way to prove that than to try harder the next time a good role comes along so I would be able to receive that elusive statuette."

Commandking a fabulous sum of P30 thousand per picture, Susan has been assigned pictures left and right.  At the moment, Mrs. Blas is trying to sign her up for a film to be shot in Tahiti.  Margapen Productions on the other hand wants Susan for a film to be lensed in Spain.

                                                      - DOUGLAS C. QUIJANO

Source:  The Weekly Nation Magazine
              March 28, 1966

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

WILL LOVE AND FAME SPOIL SUSAN ROCES? (The Weekly Nation Magazine, September 3, 1965)

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Article written by Douglas C. Quijano
The Weekly Nation, September 3, 1965

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013


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"Amaliang Mali-Mali Vs. Susanang Daldal"
VP Pictures
Release Date:  March 22, 1963, Life Theater

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