‘Lolo Delfin’ bids farewell to ‘Lola Flora’: Jaime Fabregas pays tribute to ‘sister’ Susan Roces

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2022 02:22 AM

Jaime Fabregas pays tribute to Susan Roces during the film icon’s wake on May 22. Screenshot
Jaime Fabregas pays tribute to Susan Roces during the film icon’s wake on May 22. Screenshot

MANILA — Susan Roces was “not willing to give up” her acting career despite living comfortably and despite pandemic-related limitations, according to her “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” co-star and fellow screen veteran Jaime Fabregas.

Fabregas was among the cast and creative team of the ABS-CBN series who paid tribute to Roces during the May 22 wake of the late film icon.

In his eulogy, Fabregas recalled first hearing the news of Roces’ death on May 20.

Roces died at age 80 due to cardiopulmonary arrest, according to her only child, Sen. Grace Poe.

“Noong nabalitaan namin na pumanaw si Tita Susan, lahat kami nabigla, because we had no inkling. Aside from a problem with the back, she was healthy, so we really didn’t expect it… We were devastated,” Fabregas said.

Fabregas then shared one of his last conversations with Roces, whom he endearingly called Tita Su.

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At the time, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” had resumed production under the new normal, with Roces filming her scenes remotely to minimize risk of exposure.

“She said, ‘Kinausap ako ni Grace.’ Sabi niya, ‘Bakit ka pa nag-ti-taping, mom? Hindi mo na kailangan. Bakit ka pa nagtatrabaho?’ Ang sabi niya sa akin, ‘Ano naman ang gagawin ko, Jaime? Magmumukmok sa bahay?’ ‘Itong trabaha na ‘to,’ sabi niya, ‘ang nagbigay sa akin ng maraming kabutihan,’” Fabregas recounted.

Quoting Roces, Fabregas went on: “Dito sa trabahong ito, nakilala ko si Ronnie. Hindi ito trabaho na puwede mo lang tapusin nang ganu’n. Habang may lakas ako, ipagpapatuloy ko ang aking trabaho.”

Ronnie is the late Fernando Poe, Jr., Roces’ husband who had died in 2004.

“What I saw here was a person who loved her work so much that she was not willing to give it up. And she loved the people who she worked with,” Fabregas said.

 

The screen veteran related that Roces would always have “pasalubong” for the entire cast and crew of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” which she was a part of for six years starting in 2015.

“Everybody gets it. Walang pinipili. She treated everyone the same way, whether Coco Martin ka na big star ka, o utility man ka. She treated everybody the same way. That is something I admire in her. I remember, Mr. Poe was also like that. I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to work with the King and the Queen of Philippine Cinema,” Fabregas said.

“She will be missed. As we all miss Mr. Poe, she will be greatly missed. It will be very difficult to have another Susan Roces again in our lives,” he added.

Fabregas ended his speech by addressing Roces.

“Tita Su, although we will miss you, we say Godspeed. Rest in God’s eternal peace. And before you know it, we will probably see each other again. Thank you, Tita Su, for the love,” he said.