THE 25 things susan remembers most about fpj

MANILA, JULY 25, 2011 (STAR)
FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricardo F. Lo  - (PHOTO - Susan Roces with late husband Fernando Poe Jr. Below: In one of their hit starrers.)

Zoom As I’ve been reminding readers these past 25 years, The STAR’s anniversary (the 25th on Thursday, July 28) coincides with the birthday of Susan Roces (her 70th) who should be, according to avid Susanian Bing Manalo (of the GMA Network’s Program Analysis Division), addressed as “Queen of Philippine Cinema or Queen of Philippine Movies” and, as her fans would insist, described as “the best first lady that we never had.”

What many people perhaps didn’t know is that the late Betty Go-Belmonte, Founding Chairman of The STAR who was a movie fan at heart, published best-selling movie magazines in the early ‘60s, one of them called Movieland which was devoted to Susan Roces (and the other one, Movieworld, to then Susan’s rival and now kumareng Amalia Fuentes). Trivia: The surname of the late Ricky Belmonte (real name: Jesus Cruz) was taken from the Belmonte Family.

In keeping with The STAR’s 25th year, Funfare asked Susan to do a list of the 25 things that she remembers most about FPJ. Featured are 25 choice photos from the collection of Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas.

Susan promptly did her “homework” overnight in her own handwriting:

For a heavily-built man, FPJ was (1) gentle in his movement. He was (2) a loving and (3) caring person to everyone. My hero, (4) very protective of me. He was (5) committed to whatever he got into. He was (6) a perfectionist who wouldn’t settle for anything half-baked. He was (7) passionate in everything he did and indulged in. He was (8) God-fearing; religion to him was very personal, very private.

He was (9) tender with his touch in spite of his huge hands. Ronnie was (10) the handsomest man in my life, from head to toe, and (11) the sweetest-smelling, too. He had (12) a good sense of humor; I guess the little boy in him remained with him through the years.

He was (13) a great story-teller, a talent he had inherited from his mother, Bessie Kelly Poe. He was (14) gifted with a good singing voice. I regretted that he did not record enough songs that I could have compiled into an album. One rare gift that Ronnie had was (15) his healing touch. The heat from the palm of his hand easily soothed whatever part of your body was aching.

He was (16) a lover boy; Valentine’s Day was never complete without his giving me flowers…he always made sure of that. He continued to write love notes and made harana whenever we had a spat. Ronnie was (17) adventurous with food; we both were.

He was (18) a positive thinker; his strong faith in God and fellowmen made him so. He was (19) reliable; when there was trouble, I considered it solved as soon as Ronnie was there. He was no Superman, however, even if that was how most people thought of him.

He was (20) adorable; I truly adored him. As I was keeping watch over him on his death bed, I realized this and asked God’s forgiveness for it’s only God Who should be adored.

In spite of his heavy frame, Ronnie was (21) light-footed. I often got surprised when he arrived home and me not hearing his footsteps. He was not a dancer, yet Ronnie was (22) graceful in his movements. It was obvious in the way he held his weapon (whether a gun, a knife or a sword), in his fight scenes, in the way he ran. Remember FPJ in the desert in Panday, his fencing scenes in Maestro, his horseback-riding scenes?

You saw it in his commercials for San Miguel Beer showing him holding a flag while on horseback. FPJ was (23) a serious director, (24) a serious actor and (25) a serious star and storywriter.

When I review his work, I can’t help but wonder how he was able to do all that at the same time in so many projects.

There’s never any moment that I don’t think of him. I miss him so much!

(Note: Bing Manalo said that if Funfare readers would like to see the 70 celebrity video greetings for Susan Roces, they should log on to Susan Roces Facebook Page and

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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