For the past six decades, Ms. Rosa Rosal has been an icon of the Philippine movie industry for her multi-faceted onscreen presence, most notably for films during her LVN days.
Last September 17, the actress who is best known as the face of the Philippine National Red Cross was given a tribute by indie filmmakers and Robinsons Movieworld for her valuable contribution to Philippine cinema. The effort to recognize Ms. Rosal's contribution to the movie industry was spearheaded by Prof. Clodualdo "Doy" del Mundo in cooperation with Robinsons and the Independent Filmmakers Multi-purpose Cooperative (IFC).
At 76 years old, Ms. Rosal still stands as elegant as ever and she carries herself with poise. She speaks softly but when it comes to talking about her chosen vocation for the PNRC, one can hear the passion in her voice.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) was able to interview her during the launch of Sine Klasiks in IndieSine, Robinsons Galleria. How does she feel about receiving a tribute?
"Alam mo, I'm in awe. Ako'y lubos na nagagalak na hangga't malakas pa ko, hangga't buhay pa ko, yung bang karangalan na ibinibigay sa akin hindi hinintay pa na ako'y mamatay. Ako'y talagang lubos na nagpapasalamat, tuwang-tuwang tuwa ako at nakita ko ang pagmamahal ng lahat sa akin, yun ay malaking bagay," she says gratefully.
Ms. Rosal recalls that her showbiz career started when she was just 16 years old. "Secretary ako noon, naglalakad ako, pagkatapos nakita ako ng crew, ginagawa nila yung pelikulang Fort Santiago so niyaya ako kung gusto ko mag extra, pumayag naman ako."
This 1946 movie started her illustrious career, one that is marked by numerous awards including a special citation from then President Ramon Magsaysay and the Natatanging Gawad Urian (Lifetime Achievement Award) in 1987.
What would she consider as the highlight of her career? "Nakagawa ako ng apat na classic movies na bagamat noong ‘50s unang nilabas, hanggang ngayon pinapalabas pa rin."
For the first quarter of Sine Klasiks, Robinsons Movieworld and the IFC bring back on silver screen, four of Ms. Rosa Rosal's critically acclaimed hits: Anak Dalita (1956), Badjao (1957), Biyaya ng Lupa (1959) and Sakada (1976). They will be screened at IndieSine, Robinsons Galleria until September 23, 2008.
Among those who attended the intimate event were Prof. Clodualdo "Doy" del Mundo, Mila del Sol, Delia Razon, Oscar Obligacion and his wife Myrna, Perla Bautista, and Danilo Jurado (the young boy in the movie Biyaya ng Lupa).
Behn Cervantes (her director in Sakada) also gave anecdotes about Ms. Rosal's acting prowess during her time. "I saw that she was so good that people would boo her because she played a kontrabida at the time. I saw Rosa Rosal as a kontrabida of Philippine movies but later on, I saw that she became good. The bad had become good. She has become a good actress. At the same time, I realized that she had become a good person because she was the epitome of the Red Cross blood letting program. This woman became bigger than life. She became bigger than the screen characters she portrayed."
The event was hosted by Ricky Davao, who admitted that he got into showbiz because of the intervention of Ms. Rosa Rosal. "I remember, I was only 12 or 13 years old. Guest ang tatay ko sa sitcom na ‘Yan ang Misis Ko, ang show ni Tita Rosa with Ronald Remy. Sumama ako sa daddy ko, tagadala ng damit. Tapos sabi ni Tita Rose, ‘Charlie yung anak mo cute, guest natin dito.' After that, three times lumabas na pamangkin ako, parang pinsan ni Tony Rose [Gayda, the daughter of Rosa Rosal]."
When Ms. Rosal went up the podium to accept her plaque, the audience gave her a standing ovation. In her acceptance speech, Ms. Rosal pointed out that Toni Rose is her diamond, her grandson John is her ruby while her other apo James is her emerald. She advices them: "Wala akong maipapamana sa inyong kayamanan, all I give you is a good name, pass it on."
Before she ended her speech, Ms. Rosal mentioned that she was so happy that she could have died the next day. However, her daughter Toni Rose Gayda waved her hand and indicated that she did not wish that would happen anytime soon.
SINE KLASIKS. This project aims to give commendation to the actors/actress who contributed most in the film industry with their talent and their craft. Their films who captured the heart of the Filipino moviegoers in the silver screen 50 years ago and after so many years hidden in the archives of history. Now, they will once again debut on screen in the 21st century at Robinsons Galleria.
For the first installment of Sine Klasiks, four films of Ms. Rosa Rosal will be screened at IndieSine, Robinsons Galleria. According to Prof. Del Mundo, the citation of her award reads: "Ang parangal na ito iginawad kay Rosa Rosal bilang artista ng natatanging pelikula tulad ng Anak Dalita, Badjao, Biyaya ng Lupa, at Sakada. Dahil sa kanyang inilambag na talino bilang aktor, malugod na tinatanghal ng Sine Klasiks ang mga natatanging pelikula ni Rosa Rosal. Ang pelikulang Pilipino ay napagyaman ng mga akdang ito."
September 18-23, 2008
Sakada 1-3 pm
Badjao 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Biyaya ng Lupa 6 - 8:30 pm
Anak Dalita 9 - 11 pm
For inquiries, please call 395-2188 local 23.