Seasoned actress Gloria Romero became very emotional at the 1st MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) TV Awards held last night, September 4, at Gateway Cinema 5, Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
The 75-year-old multi-awarded actress was given a standing ovation by the audience as her name was called to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award trophy—a tangible token symbolizing her exceptional contribution to the Philippine entertainment industry.
"Ako po ay nagulat at hindi ako makapaniwala. Akala ko po ay wala na. Tama na. Na sa edad kong 75 wala nang magbibigay sa akin dahil halos nagawa ko na ang lahat," said the Filipino-American native of Mabini, Pangasinan.
Gloria—whose career as an actress spans a staggering 59 years (and still counting)—revealed feeling both surprised and overwhelmed when she was informed two weeks ago by veteran entertainment columnist and MTRCB member, Mario Hernando, of the honor.
QUEEN OF PHILIPPINE MOVIES. A product of the long defunct but legendary film production outfit, Sampaguita Pictures, Romero started her showbiz career by doing bit roles until she was finally given a break by her home studio in 1952 through the film, Madame X.
Since then, Romero has appeared in almost 200 movies that cover the range of various types and genres. The title Queen of Philippine Movies was conferred on her by local film critics and enthusiasts owing to her talent, mass appeal, and bankability at the tills.
Incidentally, one of the three personalities who presented the award to Romero was Marichu Vera Perez Maceda—scion of the influential Vera Perez clan who owned and managed Sampaguita Pictures from its inception in 1937 until its demise in 1982. Joining Marichu in personally handing the trophy to Gloria was MTRCB Chairperson Consoliza Laguardia and acclaimed director and National Artist, Eddie Romero.
Gloria, who took considerable time to regain her composure amidst the applause and cheers of the crowd, offered: "Pero hindi ko po narating ang lahat ng ito kung hindi sa tulong ng napakaraming tao. Dahil kahit anong gawin ko po, hindi ko makakayang gawin 'to nang mag-isa. I would like to go back. Nung ako'y nag-e-extra pa lang, maraming salamat sa Sampaguita Pictures. Sila po ang nagtiyaga at nagmahal sa akin, hindi ako binitawan. They built me up. Ginawa nila akong isang Gloria Romero."
Aside from films, Romero also did several television shows, either as a regular mainstay or as a guest artist. Some of these shows were Palibhasa Lalake (1991), 50 Karats (1992), Familia Zaragoza (1995), Labs Ko Si Babes (2000), Ok Fine Whatever (2003), Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas (2003), Crazy For You (2006), Lastikman (2007), and I Love Betty La Fea (2008), among others.
During her speech, she thanked her home network ABS-CBN for consistently keeping her busy despite her age.
"Sana po hanggang ngayon e patuloy ninyo pa akong bigyan," Romero humbly announced onstage. "Dahil 'yon lang naman ang gusto ko sa aking katandaan, to continue working at mabigyan pa kayo ng konting kasiyahan."