Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A 60-SECOND LOOK AT A MOVIE IDOL (The Weekly Nation, April 28, 1968)

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By Ida Aguinaldo

ON MY way to the Fil-Am Film laboratory on Del Monte Avenue, Quezon City I made an embarassing discovery.  My signature skirt was showing signs of tear.  Should I go back and change?

Not on your life.  Fernando Poe, Jr., the screen's virile gift to women, was shooting Tatlong Hari at the Fil-Am compound and I'd rather be there than any place else in the world.

His back was turned to me when I entered the set.  Shoulders up to vaguely reminiscent of his late father's...

I popped up like a jack-in-the-box from behind.  He turned around and saw me.  He did not question my presence out of politeness.  Although I was an intruder he said nothing.

My heart leaped.  So this is Fernando Poe, Jr. whom I saw in Magpakailan Man.  His singing was marvelous.  I heard they pressed an album of his songs.

At the moment I thought of myself as the luckiest girl on earth to merit sixty seconds of his full attention.

I wanted to introduce myself but how does one go about saying, "I am the writer with more rejections than accepted materials?"

I did not even say "Good afternoon."  I was tongue-tied.

The wornout skirt bothered me no more.  The idol's checkered green and gray shirt with long sleeves wasn't any newer either.  Or does he don it for luck?

Ronnie moved around the set, hands on hips, taking stock, checking everything, giving instructions.  Many were the times when he gave out to good-natured laughs when someone cracked a joke.

I imagined that it was Fernando Poe, Sr. in his place and little Ronnie was only seven years old prowling around the set tinkering with the props.

It is not easy to connect the seven-year-old tot with the 26-year-old Ronnie who is doing a man-sized job as producer, director and Star.  He looks so cool and free, alert.  Simply professional.  Always in command of himself and the situation.

He injects jokes while he works.  While on a trial take of Jose Garcia, Ronnie cocked an impish eye on him.  "Das how the old actors do it," he remarked and grinned.

This man really deserves the honor and prestige that fans have given him.  He strove, sweated, dug new techniques, left no stone unturned to reach the place where he is at present.

He did not relax to rest on his father's laurels.  He made pictures to suit extraordinary talents.

I hope someday they give him a plaque with this inscription:  "To Fernando Poe Jr., who so painstakingly built a name for himself."

Like father, like son.  That's what they say.  But I think there's something more to it.

Source:  The Weekly Nation Magazine
              April 29, 1968
              Article written by Ida Aguinaldo

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