‘Andiyan lang sila’: Susan Roces' final scene in ‘Ang Probinsyano’ about departed loved ones

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2022 01:13 AM

Susan Roces and Coco Martin, who co-starred in ‘Walang Hanggan’ and ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’, share a light moment in this photo taken August 2017. Twitter: @cocomartin_ph
Susan Roces and Coco Martin, who co-starred in ‘Walang Hanggan’ and ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’, share a light moment in this photo taken August 2017. Twitter: @cocomartin_ph

MANILA — Until her final appearance as the well-loved Lola Flora, whom she portrayed for six years in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” Susan Roces’ character only sought to reunite with her grandson, Cardo, played by Coco Martin.

The ABS-CBN series premiered in 2015, with Martin and Roces among the original cast members, as a tribute to the screen veteran’s late husband, Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ), whose 1996 film of the same title inspired the ongoing TV adaptation.

That Roces personally approved of the retelling of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” was a non-negotiable for Martin, who is also its creative head, before going ahead with its production. Not only did Martin get the film icon’s green light, they also became co-stars anew, after first acting alongside each other in the 2012 series “Walang Hanggan.”

This time, Roces was grandmother to Martin’s hero cop character — portrayals that would become the dramatic heart and symbol of unwavering love for family in the action-packed series.

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Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Roces was a regular cast member of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” with frequent appearances as Lola Flora both as the leader of her family — and her barangay.

With safety protocols limiting participation of elderly actors, Roces was not seen for a long stretch of the show until mid-2021, when eased restrictions allowed the actress to film scenes — notably still in her own bubble, separate from the quarantined set.

Lola Flora, whose faith has been central to her character arc, would be seen praying for the welfare and safety of Cardo, who in the current season remains a fugitive after being framed by a seized government.

In one of Roces’ final appearances as Lola Flora — the 2022 New Year’s Eve episode of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” — she still prayed for the same, plus her long-awaited reunion with her grandson.

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“Diyos ko, magkaroon na sana ng katahimikan ang buhay namin pagpasok ng bagong taong ito,” Lola Flora said. “Maiba sana ang aming kapalaran at patuloy nang mapaglabanan ng aking apo ang mga pagsubok, para makauwi na sila at muli kaming magkasama-sama.”

With Roces’ passing on Friday, however, the physical reunion, as Lola Flora had hoped, will no longer happen. It remains to be seen how “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” will write into its story the absence of Lola Flora, who was one of the last two living relatives of Cardo after the deaths of his wife and son.

A tearful Lola Flora, in fact, reflected on the many lives lost within their family, as seen in a January 2022 episode of the series, with lines about remembering those who died now applicable to the actress’ own passing.

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“Nakakalungkot isipin, mga miyembro ng pamilya natin na nawala na sa atin. Sa isang banda, andiyan lang sila, nakamasid, pinanonood tayo. ‘Pag nakikita nilang lumuluha tayo’t nalulungkot, lumuluha din sila at nalulungkot. ‘Pag nakita naman nilang masaya tayo, nagiging masaya sila,” she said.

“Talagang ganiyan ang buhay — tanging Diyos lang ang nakakaalam.”

In a September 2021 message celebrating the 6th anniversary of the show, Roces spoke of the family she not only had as the character Lola Flora, but as a part of the series that was inspired by her late husband’s legacy.

“Sa loob ng anim na taon, masaya akong naging parte ako ng pamilyang ito. Maraming, maraming salamat sa pagtangkilik ninyo, sa pagtulong ninyo, sa pagmamahal ninyo. Pinagbuklod tayong lahat bilang isang pamilya, sa isip, sa puso, at sa gawa,” she said.

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