Last weekend, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) received an unconfirmed report that Liezl Martinez—wife of actor Albert Martinez and daughter of former movie queen Amalia Fuentes and former ‘50s matinee idol Romeo Vasquez—was diagnosed with cancer, but no details were given about the type of cancer.
This report started as a blind item in tabloids two months ago. PEP tried to confirm the news by getting in touch with people close to the Martinez family and even with a member of the family, but none of them confirmed or denied Liezl's health condition.
Showbiz talk shows have also asked Albert for interviews to clarify the rumors, but the multi-awarded actor refused.
Efforts were also made to get a statement from Liezl's mom, Amalia Fuentes. According to a source, the former actress did not answer immediately, but said that Albert will take care of the problem and that she is always praying for her daughter.
A close friend of the family, though, confirmed to PEP that Liezl has been visiting the hospital frequently. The source, however, did not disclose the purpose of Liezl's visits.
This leaves some members of the press asking, "Why aren't they talking about it?" Media people are used to getting classified information from famous personalities, such as former President Corazon Aquino and Francis Magalona, whose families have been more open about their health problems. The silence of the Martinez family and close friends only gives rise to speculation, if not genuine concern.
But whatever reasons they have for keeping mum, PEP hopes that Liezl is okay. The 41-year-old unica hija of Amalia is known to her close friends as the one keeping their family together.
Anna-Lissa Sumilang-Martinez, Liezl's real name, was better known as a child actress. She entered the movies in 1971 via Portrait of an Angel at age 4, using the screen name Anna-Lissa, though she already had a cameo role in Yes I Do in 1967 when she was just eight months old.
According to the blogsite of Video 48: "Portrait broke all box-office records during its theater run. More movie projects followed: Liezl at ang 7 Hoods (1971), Europe Here we Come (1971), Pinokyo en Little Snow White (1972), Poor Little Rich Girl (1972), and Anghel ng Pag-ibig (1972)."
Liezl was about to be relaunched as a young star via Ibulong Mo Sa Puso, where she was paired with one of the hottest Regal babies at that time, Albert Martinez. It was during the movie shooting that two fell in love and eloped; he was 25 and Liezl was only 19. The young couple lived in the United States and started their family.
Liezl and Albert have three beautiful children—Alyanna, Alfonso, and Alyssa.