Friday, October 18, 2013

RONNIE-SUSAN: ROMANSANG NAKALILITO (Pilipino Magazine, July 31, 1968)

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Article written by Romy Galang
Pilipino Magazine, July 31, 1968

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Thursday, October 17, 2013


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By Baby K. Jimenez

"I'M dreaming of a white Christmas."  The words may sound trite but when they are spoken by a not-so-ordinary individual like movie queen Susan Roces, the hackneyed sentence glows with a special meaning.

"If I have my way, I would spend this Yuletide abroad and witness a real-white Christmas," Susan said.  "But with my shooting schedules and all, I doubt if this wish of mine would materialize."

Susan is being invited by a close friend in New York to spend a few days' vacation there this season.  Another friend, Pempe Rodrigo-Oreta, who is also bound on another pleasure trip, has repeatedly encouraged Susan to join her.  But at the moment Susan doesn't have the time.  Come March of next year though, she may jet to Japan with the cast of Sayonara, My Darling, after which she might consider accepting another assignment abroad from Gretas Productions which is scheduled to be lensed in New York and other US cities.

Perhaps the mostest godmother is Susan.  Right now she has, believe it or not, about 500 godchildren.  Another prospective godchild is Anna-Lissa or Liezl, the one and only child of Romeo Vasquez and Amalia Fuentes.  Now that Alex Muhlach, Amalia's brother, is back from the States, confirmation rites for Liezl will be taking place soon, with Alex and Susan as the principal sponsors.

"I'm always home on Christmas because that is the only day when I can see all my godchildren.  It's wonderful to play Santa Claus to such loving kids," Susan said.

This may sound surprising but true:  the Sonoras only get together for about twice of thrice a year.  Since most of them are involved in show business, Susan, Rosemarie, Tessie and Joey have a real family get-together on the few occasions that they are all free from their commitments.  Christmas has always been "reunion time" for them.

"All my Christmases have always been so memorable and colorful," Susan recalled.

Most of the memorable events in Susan's life took place during the Christmastide.  Like for instance when her father, Dr. Jesus Sonora, then a resident physician in America, decided to make his homecoming.  Christmas Day was fast approaching at that time and his arrival meant so much to the family.

The first coronation of Susan as Queen of Philippine Movies happened in a December too.  When Susan thought of venturing into the freelanching field, her producer, Doc Perez, gave her the go-signal during the Yule season.

So many other things which are more associated with her private life as Jesusa Sonora occurred immediately before or after December 25.

Does this mean too that the most awaited event in her life -- her wedding -- will be realized on Christmas?  Only she probably would know, but one thing is definite.  That come December 25 Susan will receive a gift from a special someone -- and that is the gift she really wants most for Christmas.

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Source:  The Weekly Nation Magazine
              December 11, 1967

HOMECOMING FOR SUSAN (The Weekly Nation, November 29, 1965)

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By George C. Alvarez

"She returns to home studio for romantic opus opposite Eddie Gutierrez".

"IT'S REALLY wonderful to be back.  There's no place like home."  Thus did Susan Roces say when she recently returned to the folds of her former mother studio to star in Portrait Of My Love.

Home for the thrice-crowned Queen of Philippine Movies is Sampaguita Studios.  It was in the Valencia movie lot where she had her start in the celluloid world nine years ago.  It was also here where she was laboriously and lovingly nurtured to her present enviable stature.

A mere movie fan when she was discovered in 1956 by the studio's big boss, Doc Perez, Susan hesitated at first when she was offered to appear in movies.  Thinking it over, however, and getting the reluctant consent of her family and relatives after conferring with them, Susan inked her signature to a long-term contract with Sampaguita.

Ballyhooed as "the face that refreshes," Susan created only a slight sizzle when she began her acetate career.  The movie queens of her studio -- and the nation's -- then were Gloria Romero and Amalia Fuentes (the latter was to prove to be her closest and sturdiest rival).

It was only when Gloria got hitched to Juancho Gutierrez and Amalia bolted from Sampaguita ranks that Susan got firm hold of her studio's crown.  Starring in almost all of the major productions of Sampaguita and its twin movie company, Vera-Perez Productions, Susan blazed her way to the heights of movie popularity alongside Amalia.

Susan was placed on equal footing with her chief rival when she also joined the freelanching ranks following the expiration of her contract with Sampaguita.  Before stepping out of her studio's roster, however, Susan this year still made three pictures with Sampaguita.  These were Hamon Sa Kampeon, a musical comedy which was partly shot in color and in which she was paired with Eddie Gutierrez; Mga Reynang Engkantada, a whimsical fantasy wherein she starred with her kid sister Rosemarie; and Ang Maganda Kong Kapitbahay, a slapstick comedy which reteamed her with her perrenial love interest, Eddie Gutierrez.

First Freelanching Pic

Although Fernando Poe, Jr.'s first teaming up with Susan, Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw was bruited about as her first freelance film, actually it was Pag-ibig, Ikaw Ang Maysala which was her maiden bow as a freelancer.  This latter picture was produced by Pepito Vera Perez under the aegis of his own production firm, United Brothers.  A moneymaker, the dramatic picture paved the way for Susan's successful freelancing.

Following the footsteps of the highly successful Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw, Susan made five movies in an equal number of months.  All blockbusters, these films were LEA's Bayan Ko, Lumaban Ka!; Ambassador's Ana-Roberta; Jafere's Dandansoy; GM's Romansa Sa World's Fair, and FPJ's Pilipinas Kong Mahal.

Regarding freelancing, with a witty mind, Susan says of it:  "Freelancing has given me more freedom to move around.  While the competition among freelancers is keener, at least for me, it spurs me to work harder and strive for more.  Competition has made me strive to be a better actress."

Susan likewise confesses that in the freelancing field, she has found more friends and encountered new experiences.  This, according to her, has given her a more wellrounded personality.

"And yet," Susan says, "Anyone sway from home gets homesick even if he enjoys his life outside.  There's nothing like home sweet home, you know, specially when there is love, respect, and companionship in the house."

Susan's homecoming picture at Sampaguita, Portrait Of My Love, teams her anew with Eddie Gutierrez, with whom she has been romantically linked on and off cameras.  Sampaguita's 29th anniversary presentation which is scheduled to be shown during the Yuletide season, Portrait will be filmed partly in Eastman color.  It will be directed by Luciano B. Carlos who helmed the top moneymaker of 1964, Eddie Loves Susie, Susan Roces-Eddie Gutierrez starrer.

More Pics For Susan

Susan is also scheduled to make Buhay Sa Buhay, her first team-up with Joseph Estrada for the latter's own film company, Emar Pictures.  The movie firm's first anniversary presentation, the color production stars Joseph as an escaped convict and Susan as his hostage.

In the story, sentenced to jail for slaying his father's murderer, Joseph escapes during a field trip after the prisoners' van meets with an accident that kills lall the convicts except Joseph.  A lone guard played by Gabriel Paile also survives the accident, and through him, Joseph's prey and his four sons learn of his survival and soon set out to kill him.

For his hostage, Joseph snatches Susan who is soon to be wed to one of his enemies.  He chains her to him so that she won't escape while he himself makes his dash to freedom.  He treats her with respect and admiration and subsequently falls in love with her.

Right after Sampaguita's Portrait Of My Love and Emar's Buhay Sa Buhay, Susan will plunge into other stints with other companies.  One of her next assignments is GM's Christmas offering which will be shot in Eastman color on location in several Oriental countries including Tokyo.  Eddie Fernandez will be her leading man.

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Source:  The Weekly Nation
              November 29, 1965

KAILAN NGA BANG TALAGA? (Pilipino Magazine, May 1, 1968)

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ni Romy Galang

Kasal na ba sina Ronnie Poe at Susan Roces?  Kung hindi pa ay kailan?  Kung kasal na sila nang lihim ay hanggang kailang mananatiling lihim?

Iyan ay ilan lamang sa maraming katanungang nasa isip ng daan-daang libong mga tagahanga ng "hari" at "reyna" ng pelikulang Pilipino.

Hindi miminsang pinabulaanan ni Susan ang balitang sila ni Ronnie ay kasal na nang lihim.  Tsismis lamang daw ito at walang katotohanan.  Sawang-sawa na raw siya sa tanong na iyan.  Nakukulili na ang kanyang tainga.  Kahit saan siya magpunta ay naririnig niya ang tanong na iyan.  Madalas tuloy na hindi na niya sinasagot.  Ngumingiti na lamang siya -- bagay na binibigyan ng ibang kahulugan ng ibang mga tagahanga.

Hindi naman makuhang magalit ni Susan sapagka't para sa kanya ay may karapatang magtanong ang kanilang mga fans.  Kahit na ang tanong ay paulit-ulit at ukol lamang sa iisang paksa:  ukol sa romansa nila ni Ronnie.

Lalong dumadalas ang pagtanong ngayon ng mga tagahanga sapagka't tila may nakikita silang mga palatandaan na malapit nang humarap sa dambana ang dalawang bituin.

Anu-ano nag mga palatandaang ito?

Una:  Lubhang napakatagal na ng romansa nina Ronnie at Susan.  Taon na ang binibilang.  Mahigit nang tatlong taon.

Kung ang layunin daw ng dalawa ay makilala muna nila nang lubusan ang isa't isa bago sila lumagay sa tahimik ay sobrang-sobra na raw ang panahong iyan.  At saka, pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon ay sa simbahan din ang tuloy.

Sapat na rin daw ang panahong ipinaglingkod nina Susan at Ronnie sa kani-kanilang mga magulang at mga kapatid upang simulan naman nilang harapin ang kanilang kinabukasan.

Nangauna nang nangagsipag-asawa ang mga nakababatang kapatid ni Ronnie.  May kanya-kanya na silang pamumuhay.

Sa panig naman ni Susan ay may matatag nang kinabukasan ang kanyang mga kapatid.  Hindi na siya ang inaasahan ng kanyang pamilya.  Ang kanyang mga kapatid na sina Rosemarie at Tessie ay kumikita na nang malaki bilang mga sikat na artista.  Samakatwid, talagang maaari nang mag-asawa si Susan.

Tiyak din daw na walang tutol ang pamilya ng mga Sonora at mga Poe sa pag-iisang dibdib ng dalawa.  Kapwa sila maluwag na tatanggapin ng katulad, kundi man higit pa, sa pagtanggap sa kanila ngayon.

Ikalawa:  Bilang mga bituin ay narating na nina Susan at Ronnie ang pinakamataas na maaaring maabot ng mga artista sa ating pelikula.

Kapwa sila nakapagdidikta ng kanilang presyo sa mga prodyuser.  Ang tinatanggap nila ngayon sa bawat pelikula ay hindi pa naging suweldo ng sinumang artista (maliban marahil kay Rogelio de la Rosa bilang kasosyo at bituin ng ilang pelikula).

Nalampasan na ni Ronnie ang inabot na kasikatan ng kanyang ama bilang bituin ng mga pelikulang aksiyon at bilang prodyuser.  Napatunayan na rin niyang siya ay isa ring mahusay na direktor.

Isa ngayon sa pinakamatatag na kompanya ng pelikula ang FPJ Productions.  Kamakailan ay bumili si Ronnie ng isang kompletong unit sa paggawa ng pelikula.  Hindi na niya kailangang umupa ngayon ng mga kagamitan.

Lahat halos ng pelikula ng FPJ ay dinudumog sa takilya, lalo na kung ang mga bituin ay sina Ronie at Susan.  Daan-daang libo ang kinikita.  Ito ay hindi maipagmamalaki ng ibang kompanya.

Walang kaagaw si Ronnie sa korona ng pagiging "hari" ng pelikula ngayon.

Sa pagiging "reyna" naman ay magkaagaw sina Susan at Amalia Fuentes sa titulo.  Maraming nagpapalagay na nakahihigit si Susan ngayon sapagka't nag-asawa na si Amalia.

Ang kulang na lamang kay Susan ay manalo ng gantimpala ng FAMAS bilang pinakamahusay na bituin.  At ito naman ay hindi malayong mangyari.  Malimit na maging nominee si Susan.  Ngayong taong ito ay isa na naman siya sa limang kandidata sa karangalang iyan dahil sa mahusay niyang pagkaganap sa "Maruja".

At saka hindi naman kailangang manalo pa ni Susan, ayon sa kanyang mga fans.  Hindi raw miminsang pinatunayan na ni Susan ang kanyang kahusayan bilang artista.

Sisikat daw ba ng ganyan si Susan kung talagang hindi siya magaling gumanap?

Ikatlo:  Ang malimit na pagtatambal ngayon nina Ronnie at Susan sa mga pelikula ng FPJ.

Noong una ay ingat na ingat sina Ronnie at Susan sapagtatambal sa pelikula.  Pinalilipas muna nila ang mahabang panahon bago sila magparehang muli upang huwag silang pagsawaan ng kanilang mga tagahanga.

Kung hindi kami nagkakamali ay "Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw" ang una nilang pinagtambalan tatlong taon na ang nakalilipas.  Sinundan ito pagkaraan ng isang taon ng "Pilipinas Kong Mahal".  Isang taon pa uli ay sumunod naman ang "Zamboanga".  Noong nakaraang taon naman ay ginawa nila ang "Langit At Lupa."

Noong nakaraang Pebrero ay ginawa nila ang "Magpakailan Man".  Dinudumog pa ito sa takilya hanggang ngayon.

Mainit pa, wika nga, ang nabanggit na pelikula nang simulan naman nilang gawin kamakailan ang "Sorrento".  Wala pang isang buwan ang pagitan ng dalawang pelikula!

De-kolor ang pelikula at si Manding Garces ang direktor.

Noong una ay taunan kung sila'y magtambal sa pelikula.  Bakit ngayon ay linggo lamang ang pagitan?

May mga palatandaan din na bago matapos ang taon ay gagawa pa sila uli ng isa pang pelikula.  Marahil ay ang pamaskong pelikula ng FPJ.

Marami ring nagtataka kung bakit ang ikaanim na anibersaryo ng FPJ ang binigyang-halaga ni Ronnie sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng malalaking pelikula.  Bakit hindi ang ikalima?

May malaki kayang okasyon na mangyayari ngayong taong ito?  Halimbawa ay ang pagpapakasal nila ni Susan?

Ang malimit ba nilang pagtatambal ngayon ay nangangahulugan na hindi na sila nangangamba na sila lay maaaring pagsawaan ng kanilang mga tagahanga?

Ikaapat:  Sa bibig na rin ni Ronnie nanggaling ang balita.

Ang isda raw ay sa bibig nahuhuli.  At "nahuli" ng isang mambabalita si Ronnie noong mga huling buwan ng nakaraang taon.

Ganito ang sinabi ni Ronnie:  "Mag-aasawa ako sa 1968!"

Sino ang pakakasalan niya?  May alam pa ba kayong iba?  Ulit-ulit namang sinasabi ni Susan na hindi niya kailanman ipaglilihim ang araw ng kanyang kasal.  Ito raw ay isa sa pinakamahalagang pangyayari sa buhay ng isang dalaga.  Kailangan daw malaman ng buong daigdig -- kung maaari -- ang maligayang araw na iyon.

Hindi na rin problema ang bahay.  Mistulang isang palasyo ang bahay ni Ronnie sa tuktok ng isang mataas na gulod sa Antipolo, Rizal.  Hindi bahay-bakasyunan lamang ito.  Kongkreto at kompleto sa mga mamahaling kasangkapan.

Bagay na bagay iyon kina Ronnie at Susan sapagka't tahimik ang lugar at mula sa balkonahe ay tanaw na tanaw nila ang Maynila.  Napakaganda kung gabi.  Libu-libong ilaw na parang nagkikislapang hiyas.

Samakatwid ay walang mabigat na dahilan upang patagalin pa ng dalawa ang pananabik ng mga tagahanga.

Kina Susan at Ronnie:  Kailan nga bang talaga?

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Source:  Pilipino Magazine
              May 1, 1968