Love her or hate her, Rose Flaminiano has seemingly become part of Filipinos' breakfast fare nowadays courtesy of her rift with talent Gabby Concepcion.
She is in the news menu every week, and that's not even a complaint but a simple fact brought about by the court case she had filed against ward Gabby and, recently, her heated exchange with former actress Nadia Montenegro.
Her visibility has come to a point that this question is begging to be asked: Who is Rose Flaminiano?
"Hubo," she uttered. "Hubo ang first na prinoduce ko starring Maria Isabel Lopez. Sa Film Center pa ito. [Kasi] nung pumasok ako nung pagpo-produce, bold era noon—yung mga sexy era. Kaya puro sexy ang pino-produce [kahit] ng Regal and Seiko, kasi nung time na yun, ‘di ka pwedeng mag-produce no'n ng drama-drama, mga R-18 ang hanap ng mga tao nun."
To sum it up, Rose Flaminiano or Mommy Rose as she would later be referred to, started out in the industry as a producer of bold films. "Before that, sa taxi business ako. Nagkataon lang dahil may mga kaibigan ako na nagsabi mag-produce daw ako. Sinuwerte naman."
She cited that her entry was in 1984. And her outfit, the FLT Films International, reigned supreme, "Kay [Pres.] Cory Aquino na nun. And sa MTRCB [Movie and Television Review and Classification Board] nung sa akin, si [Henrietta] Mendez and si [Manoling] Morato."
She stressed that there was nothing like making movies—and money—then. "Lucrative? Yes, yes. ‘Di katulad ngayon wala na talaga."
"Noon, we were spending, malaki na yung Ph 600,000. Ang balik nun 2 to 3 million pesos. Yung Hubo nga lang, Ph 600,000 lang ang linabas ko pero dun pa lang sa Film Center, Ph 5.7 million na ang kita," she added.
Aside from Hubo, Mommy Rose recalled other ‘bomba' films that were produced by FLT like: "Amanda, Hot Lips, Bernadette, marami pa at marami ang mga sexy [stars] nun, na wala na ngayon." Asked their names, she replied: "Naku nakalimutan ko na...kasi noon, they come and go. The more na bago ang artista, the more gusto nila. ‘Pag nakita na nila ng tatlong beses, ayaw na nila... I made [siguro] mga 30 sexy films... dyan lang ako kumita. Mas maganda ang kitahan nun... hanggang ‘90s ito. Until Bingbong Crisologo..."
She specifically mentioned The Bingbong Crisologo Story because the said movie marked FLT Films' turn towards more script and critique-conscious films. There are, of course, other movies which FLT had produced that touched on other genres: political satire in 1991's Mongolian Barbecue, starring Eric Quizon and Jun Urbano; comedy in 1994's Swindler's List, with Leo Martinez and Nino Muhlach; horror in Tabi Tabi Po (2001) starring Angelica Panganiban and Antoinette Taus; and a try at drama/ action/ love story in the Robin Padilla-Kris Aquino starrer, You and Me Against the World in 2003.
But what Ms Flaminiano noted were the ones near her heart: "Yung Bingbong Crisologo Story, yung kay Rudy Fernandez...That was 1990. And then Epimaco Velasco, yung kay Fernando Poe Jr. in 1995. 'Tapos may Chop-Chop Lady, Secret Love, Tatak ng Kriminal, Anak ng Pasig, marami pa, marami."
Being very upfront, she revealed, "'Yung kay Jericho Rosales and Bea Alonzo, yung Manny Pacquiao story [Pacquiao: The Movie]. It didn't do well. Zero! Siguro I lost 25 million [pesos]. This was 2006."
"Ngayon talagang," commenting on the film industry, "Wala na, ano na siya talaga, nakakahiya man sabihin pero... [The film industry] it's dying."
So is she closing her doors to producing yet again?
"Hindi naman," she denied. "Kaya lang nakikita ko mahirap na. Mahirap." But her love for challenges makes it difficult for her to abandon her producer's hat.