Bukod sa matalik na magkaibigan, ninang si Susan Roces nang magpakasal si Boots Anson Roa-Rodrigo kay Atty. Francisco "King" Rodrigo noong June 14, 2014.
Ito ang dahilan kaya "Ninang Susan" ang tawag ni Boots sa kapwa beteranang aktres na binawian ng buhay noong Biyernes, May 20, 2022.
Dahil sa kanilang malalim na samahan, nakipag-ugnayan ang Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Boots, na isa rin sa mga iginagalang na aktres sa Pilipinas, para hingin ang kanyang saloobin tungkol sa pagpanaw ng kaibigan niyang Queen of Philippine Movies.
BOOTS PAYS TRIBUTE TO SUSAN
“Susan's passing on was so sudden that it caught us by surprise. A very private, proper, and considerate person, Susan always made sure she would not discomfort nor inconvenience others.
“She rarely talked about herself unless asked, specially about her problems; but she was always ready to give advice or offer help in terms of her insights, time and even material resources,” pagbabalik-tanaw ni Boots tungkol sa magagandang katangian ng kanyang namayapang kaibigan.
Pagpapatuloy niya, “Susan has helped countless people and church and charitable institutions, but almost always quietly and anonymously, never seeking acknowledgement nor credit, least of all, honors for her generosity.
"While she entered the movies some ten years ahead of me, we had done a few films together, two at least for her own Rosas Productions."
Susan Roces and Boots Anson-Roa Rodrigo in a magazine cover with their respective daughters Grace Poe (left) and Chiqui Roa (right).
THE FUNNY SIDE OF SUSAN
Ibinahagi rin ni Boots ang pagiging mapagbiro ni Susan.
Aniya, “She was very professional and ethical as a producer and co-actor. Susan was decent, very 'well put together,' righteous but never self-righteous nor holier than thou.
“In fact, madalas nga iyang magpatawa sa mga remarks niya, especially kung ang pinagtatawanan niya ay ang sarili niya.
“Minsan nag-reminisce kami about the years past when we were 20-lbs. lighter and our waistlines were smaller.
“Somebody asked her kung wala siyang planong mag-reduce. Ang sagot niya, ‘Ay naku, hindi na ako mag-aambisyong pumayat pa at magpabata ng hitsura, baka may ma-attract pa sa kin, nakakahiya naman kay Ronnie. Hayaan niyo na lang akong tumaba nang tumaba.’"
Ang "Ronnie" na tinukoy ni Susan ay ang kanyang namayapa na ring asawa na si Fernando Poe Jr.
Dagdag pa ni Boots, “Susan was most thoughtful. Mantakin ninyo, naggugupit pa iyan ng newspaper clippings ko at pag nakaipon na ay ibibigay pa personally. She did that for a few close artista friends too.
“She would underwrite some of our Balik Samahan retreats and seminars but would do it quietly. Susan shared her fruit orchards bounties.
“She would send fruits from her Batangas farm through my sister-in-law, Pempe Rodrigo.”
THE LAST CONVERSATION
Pinaniniwalaang si Boots ang isa sa mga huling nakausap ni Susan bago dinala sa ospital ang beteranang aktres.
Sa kanilang pag-uusap, tila may pahiwatig ang 80-year-old actress tungkol sa kanyang paglisan.
Lahad ni Boots, “A few weeks back, she sent some fruits. King and I, in return, sent her her favorite apple tarts and halayang ube.
“She called to thank me. I was surprised that she engaged in our phone conversation for almost an hour and talked about some health discomforts.
“She also repeatedly talked about how we seniors should always be prepared for the inevitable and should organize our lives and our resources, even down to personal effects, clothes, costumes, and other memorabilia to save family from the inconvenience when we have to go away.
“Four days ago, she sent us Chinese bamboo plants which she knew was our favorite.
"Three days ago, we sent her some cuchinta and Bulacan goodies to thank her but they no longer got to her. That was the day she was hospitalized."
Ayon kay Boots, ang mga huling pag-uusap nila at mga kaganapan ay tila may kinalaman sa biglaang pagpanaw ni Susan.
Saad niya, “Looking back now, the recent conversations and events were some foreshadowing of her sudden departure.
“To her death, it was so like her, like her 'French leaves' at events.
“She would quietly whisper, 'Hindi na ako magpapaalam para hindi na ako makaistorbo at pagkaabalahan pa.’
Mensahe pa ni Boots: “You will be missed, Susan. Looking back, we understand albeit deeply saddened by your final 'French Leave.'”
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