DAVAO City (1st UPDATE) - Veteran actress Carmen Ronda passed away on Monday after battling ovarian cancer. She was 51.
Ronda was one of the popular sexy stars in the 70s. She made a big name in entertainment industry by starring in popular flicks such as “Piknik,” “Bata pa si Sabel,” “Kapag Tumabang ang Asin,” and many more.
Ronda gave up her career in show business after she married former action star Rhene Imperial. After years of being together, however, the 2 celebrities decided to part ways.
They have four children, namely Karen, JR, King and Benjo.
Days before she died, she was still able to talk and bid adieu to Imperial.
“Days before she died, nagkausap na kami ni Carmen sa cellphone. Nasa ospital siya. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, mahal na mahal ko siya. Ang sabi ba naman sa akin, ‘hindi ako naniniwala sa’yo’,” Imperial recalled.
But Imperial said Ronda laughed a little as if conceding, believing in him.
On Sunday, he and their eldest daughter, Karen, a flight stewardess, flew to this city and paid her a visit at Davao Doctors Medical Center.
“Alam mo na naman si Karen, hindi siya pupunta nang hindi ako kasama. Kaya no’ng pagkatapos ng laban ni (Manny) Pacquiao kay Margarito, we went to Davao. Hindi ko matitiis si Carmen. Si Karen, hindi rin niya matitiis na hindi makita ang kanyang ina,” he recalled.
Paquiao and Imperial are very good friends. Imperial used to manage the boxing and even movie career of Pacquiao. Jinkee Pacquiao’s twin sister is also Imperial’s former girlfriend.
Imperial and Janet, Jinkee’s twin sis, have two kids.
Before Ronda breathed her last, Imperial had ordered that his wife be transferred to another hospital suite.
The actor had to go back to Manila where his present family is based.
“Pero every now and then, mino-monitor ko ang sitwasyon ni Carmen. Tanong ako nang tanong sa mga anak ko, kina JR, King at Benjo. Hanggang sa ibalita nila sa akin no’ng Monday, wala na ang nanay nila,” he informed.
“Minahal ko talaga siya nang tapat. Siya ang pinakasalan ko. For more than 10 years, kami ang magkasama. Wala akong ibang babae kundi siya. Alam sa showbiz ‘yan,” revealed Imperial in an exclusive interview.
“It wasn’t true na pinabayaan ko siya at ng aming mga anak. Alaga namin siya. Pinupuntahan ko siya pag may time ako. Pinadadalhan ko siya ng pera. Nagkita kami n’yan no’ng 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 at ngayong 2010.
“Ewan ko ba kung bakit nagbalik pa siya sa Mandaluyong? Tumaba na siya no’n. Malusog siya,” he exclaimed.
There was even a time that Ronda was reported to have lived and resided under a bridge in Mandaluyong.
He and Ronda had been separated for more than three decades, but he confessed it wasn’t his fault.
“Siguro, ang naging kasalanan ko lang, ipinakilala ko siya sa mga kaibigan ko sa high places. Nakilala niya ang mga kaibigan kong general at ang kanilang mga misis. Tapos, nagsimula na siyang makasama nila.
“Hanggang nagkapamilya siya ng iba. Ako naman, meron din akong naging ibang pamilya,” he said.
Her remains will be brought to Manila on Thursday. Her family scrapped their earlier plan to cremate her.
“Hindi siya puwedeng i-cremate. Bawal sa Iglesia ni Kristo ‘yan,” Imperial said.