Coco’s ‘pamana’ from Susan Roces

Cease any Filipino on the road and say the phrases, “Pag kailangan ng gamot,” ten to 1 — regardless of the age — that individual will burst out singing, “Wag mahihiyang magtanong…”

[All together now] “Kung could RiteMed ba nito? Could RiteMed ba nito?”

Lyrics to the jingle of the nation’s most reasonably priced pharmaceutical line, the catchy ditty could be very a lot ingrained in native popular culture and completely so with its unique singer — the late however eternally beloved Queen of Philippine Motion pictures, Ms. Susan Roces.

The attractive, proficient and famously kind-hearted Tita Susan quietly handed on final 12 months on Could 20 at age 80. Spared from a lingering sickness, she succumbed to cardiac arrest solely a day after being hospitalized for chest ache and problem respiration. Spouse of the late and legendary Fernando Poe. Jr. — the king to her queen — she is survived by her daughter Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, and her brood in actual life.

In present enterprise and extra so within the eyes of the general public, Tita Susan can also be survived by the day’s reigning King of Philippine Prime Time TV, Coco Martin. To him, her loss is as heartbreaking as actual life, tightly bonded as Cardo and Lola Flor on and off-cam, because of the longest-running sequence on TV, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”

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Perpetually humble regardless of all his success — a major half maybe owed to “Lola Flor’s” knowledge and steering — Coco won’t ever assume he has the proper to any legacy Tita Susan had constructed and left behind, regardless of their closeness.

Living proof, on a really big day final Monday, Coco, nonetheless mourning Ms. Susan’s dying, recalled how he — similar to each motorist or passenger whizzing by the Quiapo space — puzzled in longing whose face would finally substitute the veteran actress’ image with the well-known RiteMed checkmark on the billboard that appeared to be hers eternally.

“Palaisipan sa akin kung sino ba ang papalit sa kanya? Kasi mahirap siyang palitan. Wala akong maisip, wala akong concept kasi nag-iisa talaga siya, eh. Parang siya lang ang puwedeng magsabi, ‘Gagaling ka, giginhawa ka,’ na maniniwala ka sa sasabihin niya,” he recalled.

The story defined why a considerably emotional and jittery-looking Coco Martin walked by means of the doorways of Luxent’s ballroom earlier than his speech, the place your complete staff of RiteMed executives waited to welcome him. That Monday, he was formally named Tita Susan’s successor for the model and advocacy she dearly beloved.

Coco clarified, nevertheless, that he can not regard himself as a successor however as somebody who has been lucky sufficient to be a part of Tita Susan’s life and deeply honored with the duty of carrying on her devotion to empowering high quality and reasonably priced healthcare for the lots.

“Alam naman natin kung gaano kabigat ang responsibilidad na aking kakaharapin. Siyempre po dahil ito sa aking lola, kay Tita Susan. Alam naman natin kung gaano ni-re-respeto at minamahal ng lahat ng Pilipino si Ms. Susan Roces. Kaya nakakatakot kasi isang napakalaking obligasyon ito para sa akin,” Coco confided within the viewers.

Involving Ms. Susan in each approach he considers and approaches the ambassadorship, he at all times retains in thoughts that the revered actress would by no means endorse any product or line she didn’t belief.

“Alam [ni Ms. Susan] ‘yung responsibilidad niya sa mga Pilipino. Kaya ngayon, bawat galaw ko pinag-iisipan ko talaga na ayokong makasira sa napakagandang reputasyon na iniwan ni Tita Susan.”

Valuing the RiteMed endorsement not as a challenge however as a difficult and significant “pamana” from Ms. Susan, Coco added, “Hindi ako nangangako, pero gagawin ko ang lahat para maitama ko ang sarili ko at maging karapat-dapat sa pagtitiwala niyo sa akin.”

Such then goes RiteMed’s new TVC and, finally, an adjustment to Ms. Susan Roces and RiteMed’s contribution to popular culture, courtesy of this era’s hero of the lots, Coco Martin: “Ang sabi ng lola ko, ‘wag mahihiyang magtanong…”