LOS ANGELES — With more than 80 movies and numerous awards to her name, Lolita Rodriguez is considered one of the Philippines' all-time great actresses.
In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News' Steve Angeles, Maria Carmen Burkholder explained how her mother, after embracing the Philippine movie spotlight for more than three decades, eventually found some quiet time in Southern California, living a happy, retired life in the rural community of Hemet.
"It's a very quiet private community where nobody knows you," shared Burkholder, adding that Rodriguez passed her days by tending to her small garden.
It had become Rodriguez's life throughout the 1980s before shortly reviving her showbiz career in 1992 when she filmed "Lucia," which won the top prize at an international film festival in London. The movie was shot in the Philippines, the last time Rodriguez, whose birth name is Dolores Maiquez Clark, visited the Philippines.
In 2012, Rodriguez's husband passed away. Burkholder said her mom remained a jolly figure to her grandchildren in the succeeding years.
"She would spend time with my sister, her grandkids so it was good. She was very active until she got sick. She was still swimming, playing golf," Burkholder said.
Last September, Rodriguez suffered a stroke and eventually succumbed on Nov. 28 at the age of 81.
"Remember her the way she was. Remember how she was an outstanding artist that nobody can ever surpass," said Burkholder.
A memorial service will be set in Southern California this month.