Rosanna Roces set to do remakes of 'Pieta,' 'Insiang'

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Jan 22 2021 05:22 PM

MANILA -- “Stupido talaga ako noong araw,” actress Rosanna Roces admitted to ABS-CBN News. “Hindi ako nag-iisip. Kahit na sino inaway ko noon. Akala ko lahat pwedeng gawin. Pero pinagsisisihan ko ‘yun.”

For seven years, Roces hosted a showbiz talk show that became her avenue to readily lash back on camera to whoever who maligned her.

“Akala ko noon kapag may showbiz talk show ka, may power ka na,” Roces said. “Umabuso din naman ako, pero hindi naman kasing grabe tulad ng iba. Naging vehicle ko para makaganti sa mga nanlalait sa akin o nang-aaway sa akin sa showbiz.”

She is thankful for signing up with Viva Artists Agency (VAA). “Nagka-edad na ako at hindi na ganoong ka-sexy, but Viva signed me up and took me to their stable,” Roces said. “Kahit ka-kumpetensiya nila ako dati dahil nasa Seiko ako. Naramdaman ko, importante pa pala ako sa showbiz.”

Roces is slated to work in the remake of “Pieta,” that Viva Films is set to do this year. Diego Loyzaga will play her son. 

“Magaling din ‘yang batang ‘yan,” she excitedly said of Loyzaga. The film has no director yet, but Roces was told she and Loyzaga will start to work together this year.

She will also do the remake of “Insiang,” the Hilda Koronel starrer directed by Lino Brocka in 1976. “Pero ang kaagaw ko sa lalaki ‘yung bading na anak ko,” Roces said.

The actress also expressed her fervent desire to work with Sharon Cuneta one day, now that she’s with Viva. “Diyos ko, sino ba naman ang hindi papayag na makatrabaho si Mega?,” Roces asked. “Kahit isang araw lang, Mega ‘yan.

“Nag-guest ako sa show niya before. Pumunta pa siya sa bahay ko to interview me. Malaking bagay sa akin ‘yun. Hindi basta-basta ginagawa ‘yun ng kahit na sinong host.

“I think may naka-line-up na movie si [director] Darryl Yap for Mega. Nagkakaroon lang siya ng conflict kay Mega. Gusto ni Darryl na makasama ako doon.”

When she was still in the prime of her acting career, Roces felt her importance then. “Parang naglalabanan noon ang mga producers sa pagbibigay ng cake kapag birthday mo,” Roces recalled. “Paramihan sila dahil sikat na sikat ka noon.

“Kapag pawala ka na, unti-unti ng nawawala ang cake. Hanggang wala na talagang nagbibigay. ‘Yun ang pinakamalaking palatandaan. Okay naman sa akin ‘yun. Alam kong walang nananatili sa itaas. Lahat ng tumataas, bumababa din naman.”

Roces launched her showbiz career as a sexy star in the '90s, appearing in such early films as Mauro Gia Samonte’s “Basa sa Dagat” (1995), and Abbo de la Cruz’s “Patikim ng Pinya” (1996).

“Wala akong hesitation, no limitation at wala rin akong inhibition noon,” she admitted.

Eventually, Roces graduated into a serious actress, where she made her acting mark in critically acclaimed dramatic films, starting from director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna in “Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin” (1997), which gave her first acting nomination.

That feat was succeeded by Roces’ award-winning turn in Chito Rono’s “La Vida Rosa” (2001), where she clutched the Urian best actress honors, and Adolf Alix Jr.’s “Presa” (2010), where she got the Urian best supporting actress plum.

She mentioned three important films that really changed the course of her career and she will always be thankful for. “’Yung ‘Patikim ng Pinya,’ hindi ko pwedeng isang-tabi,” she said. “Dati kasi, puro lalaki lang ang nanonood sa akin.

“Yung ginawa ko ang ‘Patikim,’ na ni-review ni Butch as ‘soft porn,’ dumami na ang nanood sa akin. Mayroon ng mga babae. Kahit naka-wheelchair, pumunta sa sinehan.

“After that, nabigyan ako ng corporate image sa ‘Ligaya’ at ng talent fee na lumampas ng one million, kahit hindi ko naman hiningi, pero ibinigay.

“Pangatlo, ang ‘La Vida Rosa,’ kasi doon ako nakakuha ng major award from Urian.”

Roces once tried her hand at co-directing a film, “Baklas” (2009), with Neil Tan. “Mahirap,” Roces admitted. “Hindi para sa akin ang directing. Kapag director ka, iintindihin mo lahat. From continuity, kahit na cable.

“Ikaw na din makiki-usap sa mga tao kapag may crowd while shooting. I believe wala talaga akong mata for directing.”

There came a time in Roces’ life when she purposely detached herself from the showbiz world. “Twelve years akong hindi nanood ng TV, hindi nagbasa ng dyaryo o nakinig ng music sa radio,” she said.

“Pinagka-isahan ako noon. Tinadtad ako ng kaso. So, naririnig ko pa lang ang pangalan ko, na-trauma na agad ako.

“Hindi mo ako mapapabasa ng kahit na anong artikulo ng panahong ‘yun. Pero nung napag-daanan ko naman ‘yun at natapos ng lahat, I treasured my freedom. Inalagaan ko ang peace of mind ko. Alam ko hindi rin naman mangyayari ‘yun kung hindi ko rin binago ang attitude ko.”

She acknowledged the help and support of her writer-friend, Butch Francisco, who brought her to the altar in 2016, when she tied the knot with her partner, Blessy Arias. 

“Siguro kung may basement ‘yung rock bottom, ‘yun ang narating ko,” Roces disclosed. “I sold my paintings to Butch. ‘Yung mahal na mahal kong mga paintings, binenta ko sa kanya. Pinapa-utang pa ako niya ako at hindi ko na nabayaran.”

Roces credits her partner, Arias, for her life now, which turned for the better. When she was only 19, Roces already knew Arias. Then, they didn’t see each other for 27 years. “So noong nagkita kami ulit, hindi ko na pinakawalan,” she said.

“Nasa partner din talaga. Kapag gusto mong magbago, madaling gawin ‘yun, kung ang partner mo kaagapay mo. Hindi ‘yung hinihila ka pababa o nakikipag kumpetensiy sa ‘yo.

“Maganda ‘yung napuntahan ko ngayon. Kasi tahimik ang buhay. Walang away. Walang kwentahan. Walang pagalingan. Masayang kasama. Masarap. Tahimik. Walang selosan. Pareho kasi kaming babae. Walang gamitan.”

Playing second fiddle after her prime is not a big deal for Roces. That did not prove to be hard to accept for her, either. She clearly knows how to rise above the material given to her.

“Hindi ko masabing walang kwenta ang role, kasi kahit walang kwenta, kaya kong gawing importante.,” she maintained.

“I will just enjoy the project. Ang tagal kong nagpahinga, so I think wala akong karapatang magsabi ng ‘No.’ Ibibigay ko na lang ang presence ko or kung ano man ang mai-ambag ko sa pelikula para gumanda. Or ano ang gusto ng director. Kahit ano pa ‘yan, ginagalingan ko.”

Admittedly, Roces is ready for her decline from the time she started to be on top of the showbiz ladder.

“Ang pinakamahirap doon, isa-isang nawawala ang mga kaibigan mo na akala mo kaibigan mo,” Roces said. “Mga taong ginamit ka lang pala. Naging malinaw sa akin kung sino. Pero ‘yung pagtanggap ng not major roles, hindi naging mahirap sa akin. Wala namang maliit na role for me.”

Roces admires the longevity and dedication of late actress Anita Linda, who died in June last year at the age of 95.

In 2008, when Linda was 83, she starred in Alix’s “Adela.” Roces was in front at the premiere and she heard the veteran actress say “wala pa akong balak magpahinga." 

"Nasa harap niya ako, sa tabi ng stage. Gusto kong maging katulad niya. Hindi siya napapagod. ‘Yung spirit ng paggawa ng pelikula at pagpapa-igi sa craft niya, nandoon pa din. Hindi siya bumibitaw. Hindi na pera ang paggawa ng pelikula sa kanya. Nasa dugo na niya. Hilig na niya,” she said.