A surprise visit of The Eternal Movie Queen Susan Roces at Tina's birthday celebration and Susanians' get-together on October 17, 2015 at Pastry Passion Cafe, West Ave., QC., with Ms. Baby K. Jimenez, Simon, Abigail, Gershom, Julie, Jomjoy, Gloria and James.
It was also an opportunity for me to get the autograph of The Queen for the book (a compilation of her movie ads and stills, Vol. 1 & 2) which I started working on 2 years ago and just completed this year.
" I CANNOT UNDO WHAT HAS BEEN DONE..." - SUSAN ROCES
Only recently, cinema queen Susan Roces has been accused of being guilty of six sins. Thus when I visited her on the set of her current movie I started by asking her how her relations with the press is. Susan was quick to reply that she is not encountering any problems with the press because she tries to please each and everyone in the best manner that she can as long as she is not busy with her film commitments. "Or even if they visit me on the set I always try to make it a point to entertain them basta hindi ako abala sa harap ng kamera." Pushing her chair nearer to me, she continued, "but there are really very few movie reporters that I know personally."
I brought to her attention the article recently published in a movie magazine which accused her of certain sins. THE SIX SINS OF SUSAN ROCES, was how the article was called.
One of the so-called "Six Sins of Susan according to the article is her never getting angry and I quote: "Have you ever heard of a person who never gets angry or peeved, even if provoked?"
Personally, I think Susan is capable of being peeved and angry only she doesn't show such in full blast. Coming straight from Pepito Rodriguez' mouth, he said that when Susan came to read about an article which headlines her as saying DROP RICKY FOR PEPITO to her younger sister Rosemarie, Susan became mad. As Pepito reiterated to me, a week after he had arrived from Japan: "Susan was quite mad about that write-up. Susan said that she doesn't meddle with her sister's affairs and neither does Rose when it comes to Susan's affairs."
From my own personal encounter with Susan, I know that Susan can be provoked as when during the first time I interviewed her. The news at that time then was so hot that she got married to Ronnie in Bacolod. Susan denied having gotten married and when I repeatedly asked her "what then were you doing in Bacolod", she stoop up and left with an excuse saying that she was needed on the set. If by being mad, the writer wish to imply rudeness or hysterics on the part of doer, then definitely Susan is not capable of it. But being a normal person that she is, Susan can get mad just the same in the sense that she can be annoyed by reporters trying to pay too much into her private life, especially about her true relationship with Ronnie.
Sin number two accuses Susan of poking her nose into every pie, "which is certainly uncalled for, if not altogether un-professional."
"Take that time she allegedly proxied Ronnie Poe at some coronation rites in Bataan' says the article, customs and more dictate that those doing the crowning are usually a pair -- a man and a woman. And in that particular affair, Josephine Estrada was supposed to have been the partner of Ronnie in doing the honors of crowning the queen." To make the accusation brief, Susan is being accused of dipping her finger into every pie. Had the author of the article taken pains to interview the person concerned -- Matimtiman Cruz or Susan Roces herself, he might have come out with a good explanation of what really took place. As one reads the article, one is bound to get the impression that the shallow reasoning he gave were a result of what he heard and nothing else.
To start with, it was Larry Dominguez (movie reporter) who invited Josephine and Ronnie for that coronation rites. "I was also invited by Larry but I told him that I don't think I could make it. Besides, it is more fitting for Ronnie to go, for somehow, he knows them personally. That person in Bataan happens to be a childhood friend of Ronnie. Anyway, Ronnie and I were doing a movie together and in order for him to attend the coronation in Bataan, he made arrangement with the director to shoot his scenes in advance. But then somehow, along the way, something went wrong. The death of director Efren Reyes, a very close friend of Ronnie changed the whole schedule. When the date of the coronation came, Ronnie's scenes had to be shot. Inasmuch as someone had to explain to the people of Bataan what happened, Manding requested me to take the place of Ronnie. But I didn't go there to represent Ronnie in the coronation festivities. I went there to explain in behalf of my co-actor his inability to attend the affair. Andy Poe accompanied me. Honestly, I don't know where they get the idea that I was trying to outshine another. As I have said, I didn't go there with the intention of crowning anyone. Let somebody intended for that do that honor. Why don't you ask Matimtiman Cruz or Pepe Pimentel. They were there."
The article went on accusing Susan of practicing nepotism, of becoming thoroughly modern and not being honest with her age. To such accusations I could only answer with questions: Is Susan to blame if the producer who wanted her to appear in their production would also get the services of brother Joey and sisters Rosemarie and Teresita? If Susan really practices such, she could have easily done that in all the films she has appeared in -- why then settle with seven pictures as mentioned in the article? As for her being thoroughly modern, one must bear in mind that this is the twentieth century where everything, from prices to clothings have greatly changed. What is wrong with Susan wearing a mini if it fits her? Don't tell me the writer would rather see Susan walking in the streets of Manila dressed in a kimona and smoking layebana?
Everything now is in order. The lights, the cameras and the participants. Susan and Ramil were told to sit in the middle of the sala, looking into each other's eyes. It was past midnight already. Time for someone to say goodbye. Having said goodnight to Susan, she said, "O sige, Rem, basta next time, isulat mo ang mga questions, katulad ang dati para I can give you long answers. You know how it is naman when we are shooting. With regards to those accusations, bayaan mo na ang mga iyon. Besides, I cannot undo what has been done. Naiingit lamang siguro sila." The she turned her back to resume her work.
* * * * *
Published in Movie World Magazine,
Vol. 9, No. 5, 1968
(From the magazine collection/courtesy of Tina AL)
SUSAN ROCES ON: DIRECTION, CELSO AD. CASTILLO Published in Sixteen Magazine, July 24, 1974
"Though this is the first time I work with movie director Celso Ad. Castillo," Susan Roces who plays the title role in Rosas Productions' upcoming horror-drama, "Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara!" intimates on the set of her, "I find him to be a meticulous worker . . . A perfectionist to a point that now I understand why it takes him so long to finish a picture.
"For instance, in one scene alone," Susan went on "Celso would make us do it several times, even ten times. At first, I thought he was doing it out of caprice or whim but later he explained to us that he'd need more materials in order to get the desired effect. For example, raising my eyebrows. He'd let me do it for the nth time and the cameras would grind. First for a long shot. Then it comes closer and closer until it becomes close-up until the result would be that of penetrating the eyeballs.
"Or just a mere raising of one's arm. Celso would like us do it by cadence as he takes the shots. This way, he says, we will have all the necessary materials to choose from. And when we saw some of the unedited rushes, I must admit we really have a good picture," Susan further revealed.
Celso doesn't talk much. And yet he has a way of making his participants feel at ease. He'd joke with them, he'd make them more relaxed by teasing them, or something of the kind. He never throws his weight around.
"Unlike other directors that I had worked with before," Mrs. Poe continued, "Celso is different. Even in the taking of stills for layout purposes, he'd do it himself. Not because he doesn't trust our stillman, or the person in charge of the layout, but he feels as the director he can add his two cents' worth of suggestion and/or imagination."
This goes true even with the layout for advertising. He'd confer with the publicist, the layout artist and the people in the production. More often he would give his side on his choices.
True, Celso is not the yes-man type. He'd discuss with his stars (Dante Rivero, Rosanna Ortiz and producer Susan Roces and assistant director (Jesus Esguerra) and the cameraman (Ricardo Remias) and the scriptwriter (Mike Relon Makiling) on the next scene and after hearing the comments of each, he'd accede if he thinks his idea was overruled. But if he believes that his idea is still the best he'd go on follow his.
"Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara!" Susan explained is not being rushed to meet the playdate. It may be shown on the later part of July or middle of August. What is important to them is to turn out a truly good picture, something that is both entertaining and has quality. Not for a certain type of audience only but for everybody -- rich or poor, high or low, young or old and just about everybody.
"We have been shooting for the past two months now -- and without any let-up, you know -- and we still have a few more days to go before the picture is finished. We have to reshoot some scenes, especially those that require special effects after seeing the rushes that they are not well executed. Fortunately for us, we have a very cooperative cast that does not complain about the number of days they spend shooting. What matters, I like to think, is that we have a nice picture to show and to all lof us, the cast -- Beth Manlongat, Mary Walter, Ellen Esguerra, Angie Ferro, Edna Diaz, Venchito Galvez and Rosa Santos -- this is what counts," the star-producer said.
This is especially true with Celso. The hard working and very much in-demand director does not accept assignments until he has finished what he is doing. He is that type of person, you know, one who wants to finish what he has started first before accepting another assignment. Even if it would take him months to finish it, makes him, indeed, different from others.
"As a whole, I enjoy working with Celso and I certainly look forward to working with him in another picture given the time and chance to do it. This hard-working man, knows his business. For this, Celso has my respect and trust and confidence. I would not hesitate to work with him again in another picture," Susan mentions quite seriously.