How 'Ang Probinsyano' finale addressed Susan Roces' absence

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2022 07:27 AM | Updated as of Aug 13 2022 11:42 AM

Cardo (Coco Martin) visits the grave of Lola Flora (Susan Roces) in the final episode of ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.’ ABS-CBN
Cardo (Coco Martin) visits the grave of Lola Flora (Susan Roces) in the final episode of ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.’ ABS-CBN

MANILA — The conclusion of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” on Friday included a moving tribute to the late screen icon Susan Roces, who had been part of the original cast of the iconic series until her death early this year.

Roces, regarded as the “Queen of Philippine Movies,” died aged 80 on May 20.

As Lola Flora for over six years, Roces was grandmother to Coco Martin’s Cardo — a relationship that would the dramatic heart and symbol of unwavering love for family in the action-packed series.

Roces was last seen in “Ang Probinsyano” in a January 2022 episode, where Lola Flora prayed for the welfare and safety of Cardo and Task Force Agila, at the time framed fugitives who couldn’t return home.

Since then and after Roces’ passing, Lola Flora would only be mentioned a few times in the story. Notably, during the finale week, Cardo told Agila that once they accomplish their mission, he intends to return to the province to live a quiet life with Lola Flora.

In the final episode, titled “Mission Accomplished,” the series finally addressed the long absence of Roces’ well-loved character. Regaining consciousness in the hospital after getting shot, Cardo was met with the tragic news that not only all of his comrades were gone, but so too was Lola Flora.

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“Hindi ka na niya nahintay,” a tearful Yolly (Malou Crisologo) told Cardo after he asked for his grandmother. “Wala na si Lola Flora.”

The revelation shocked Cardo, who instantly broke down and who was later seen visiting Lola Flora’s grave. The tombstone notably reflected Roces’ real birth and death dates.

The cause of Lola Flora’s death was not explained.

A montage of Cardo’s happy moments with Lola Flora, which doubled as a tribute to the late screen veteran, was also shown.

Behind the cameras and like their characters, Martin and Roces formed a close relationship, dating back to the first time they co-starred in the 2012 series “Walang Hanggan.”

Time and again, Martin credited Roces for being instrumental in the success of “Ang Probinsyano,” saying she guided him through creative decisions and motivated him to live up to the legacy of her late husband Fernando Poe, Jr., whose 1996 film inspired the series.

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