Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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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