Philippine Showbiz Today Vol 12 no 3 - Page 9

February 8 - 21 , 2017 Jan . 22-Feb . 7 , 2015 Philippine Showbiz Today 9

February 8 - 21 , 2017 Jan . 22-Feb . 7 , 2015 Philippine Showbiz Today 9

Feature Story

Susan Roces : A friend who is always there for you

by Jose K . Lirios PST Manila Correspondent
Susan in the ‘ 50s

Susan Roces ( born Jesusa Purificación Sonora on July 28 , 1941 in Bacolod ) had just graduated from high school and was preparing to enroll in college when she learned there was an open house at Sampaguita Studios . Since she was a big fan of Gloria Romero , she decided to visit the studio with her Aunt Tessie Alava . When Roces arrived at the studio , she didn ’ t pay much attention to a man with a moustache who was sitting in a corner quietly admiring her .

Suddenly , the man approached her and asked if she was there in the studio to audition for a role or if she wanted to become an actress . Surprised by the man ’ s offer , Roces didn ’ t answer and walked away .
Her Aunt Tessie Alava then whispered to her that the man was Doctor Perez , the owner of Sampaguita Studios . Her aunt added that she was told to go to the Vera Perez residence the next day . With nothing to lose , Roces went to the Vera Perez mansion early in the morning carrying her graduation dress .
She was accompanied by her uncle , Nestor Levi . Aring Bautista , a character actress living at the Vera Perez mansion , saw Roces and asked why she was there . When Roces said she wanted
to become an actress , Bautista pointed out that Sampaguita Pictures was not in need of new talent but LVN Pictures was . When Roces and her uncle Nestor Levi were about to leave the studio , they bumped into director Mar S . Torres .
“ Are you the lady who is scheduled to take the screen test today ,” Torres asked her . Roces just nodded , so Torres accompanied her to the set for her first ever screen test . When Doc Perez woke up the same morning , he asked Aring Bautista if a young lady went to the studio . Yes , said Bautista , but she told her to go to LVN Studios where they needed new talent .
Doc Perez was shocked but was able to let out a sigh of relief when Mar Torres told him that he already gave Susan Roces a screen test which she had passed . She was given the lead role in
Susan Roces paired with the late actor Eddie Arenas in Sampaguita Pictures ’ 1957 movie Torkwata , directed by Rosa Mia
the movie Boksingera but it was shelved after they finished filming because the people at Sampaguita Studios said it was too early
Susan Roces and with her late actor-husband Fernando Poe , Jr . with a young Grace Poe for her to star in a movie . Instead , the studio bigwigs decided to give Roces a supporting role in the movie Miss Tilapia which starred her idol Gloria Romero .
Roces starred in many movies after Miss Tilapia . Then Pablo S . Gomez wrote the movie Susanang Daldal where she proved to everyone that she was
With the late Pablo S . Gomez in the ‘ 80s a brilliant , exceptional actress and she was recognized as “ the face that refreshes .” When Gomez asked Doc Perez what acting skills or potentials he saw Susan Roces possesses , he just shook his head and told him , “ Honestly , I don ’ t know .”
Mang Ador Cruz , the owner and proprietor of Tropicana Studios where most of the popular actors and actresses had their pictures taken , has this to say about Roces :” Hindi sigurado si Susan na maganda siya . Kaya magandang ugali ang ginamit niyang pakikiharap sa tao .” Her kind heart earned her the title Most Popular Movie Star and she also became the ambassador of Filipino movies in San Francisco .
Ever since Roces started acting and appearing in movies made by Sampaguita Studios , she hasn ’ t changed her style since this was stipulated in the contract she signed that she maintain her pageboy hairstyle .
Roces and Gomez became the best of friends and even though she got married to Fernando Poe Jr ., they kept in touch . When Roces and Poe got married , she gave all her personal belongings to Gomez , like her round bed , cabinet , dresser and other things . Many of Roces ’ friends were offering to buy these from her while others were asking for them , but she chose to give all of them to Gomez . “ I know that you are my friend and you always take good care of the things I give to you ,” Susan told Gomez .
Every year when Gomez celebrated his birthday , Roces would visit his home , look in his room and see if the things she gave him years ago are still there . Gomez said to her “ I will never have them replaced , the things you gave me .” Roces was thankful that she didn ’ t go wrong in choosing Gomez to take care of her treasured
possessions .
Roces also loves to eat food and she would join Gomez whenever he would invite her to go out to Muntinglupa , attend a stage show or partake of the delicious food offered at a fiesta . Roces and Gomez would take the jeepney whenever they would go shopping at Divisoria and people there would not recognize her . Once you become Roces ’ friend , she never forgets you because for her , a friend is always a friend .
Roces is always there when you need her help and she never forgets to greet you a happy birthday during your special day . When you get sick or hospitalized because of an accident , Roces is always the first by your side , ready to give you help when you need something .
Gomez was also Roces ’ writer and he wrote the drama stories that she did on the radio , on television with titles like Ang Panahon and Tiptipitim where she co-starred with Eddie Gutierrez . Gomez also wrote movies for her : Torkwata , Susanang Daldal , Tulisan , Bandana and many more .
When Roces got married to FPJ , they rarely got to see each other because she became a fulltime wife and housemaker . Roces also put her acting career on hold if she needed to , to focus more on taking care of her husband ’ s needs at home .
This is the reason why her husband had a deep , profound respect for his wife . Gomez remembers the time when they were shooting a movie for FPJ in Vigan , Ilocos Sur , when Poe and Roces decided to celebrate their wedding anniversary and everybody who was close to the family became ninong and ninang and Gomez became one of them . The mere fact they remained a couple for so long is proof that the foundation of their marriage remained strong and stable as the day Poe and Roces were married .
Susan Roces is a real , true friend not only as an actress but also as a loving wife who is respected and regarded as the face that refreshes . ●
Susan now