The Queen of Philippine Movies, Susan Roces, and renowned theater veteran, Miguel Faustmann, have taken their final bows and left their fans, friends, and families to join the Creator.
The two icons of Philippine entertainment have left a hole in the Filipino people’s hearts, their larger-than-life legacies that shaped Pinoy entertainment as we know it, forever etched in our minds.
PalabasTayo looks back on their artistic history, and the impact that their talents and souls created on- and off-stage.
Miguel Faustmann, theater titan
Even as a youth, Victor Miguel Xavier Faustmann y Lago set his eyes on making it in the world of theater. He began joining stage plays in his elementary days in La Salle Green Hills, and eventually joined Teatro Fil-Harmonico in high school. These early stints would serve as his stepping stones into what would be an era of excellence in the theater industry in the Philippines.
The thespian would then go on to star, design, and direct hundreds of plays under Repertory Philippines, where he joined the likes of “Father’s Day”’s Liesl Batucan-del Rosario and “A Comedy of Tenors”’s Arman Ferrer. His role as actor, set designer, and director in plays that include “A Christmas Carol”, “Boeing, Boeing!”, and “Oliver!” established his image as a stage legend, but his relationships with his colleagues is what weighed heavier for the people he has collaborated with.
“I am not ready to say goodbye,” Faustmann’s “Father’s Day” co-star, Batucan-del Rosario, shared on a Facebook post commemorating the actor. “And so I will not. I will simply say ‘til we meet again, my utterly sweet, immensely gentle, and absolutely kind-hearted, lion-hearted V. Miguel Faustmann…you were impeccable perfection.”
“All throughout your stellar life you were virtuosity and generosity and kindness and humility personified,” she shared.
Actress Pinky Amador also posted, “Oh my dearest Miguel Faustmann, we have been together in so many plays, various roles, and creative relationships. And always, always with so much fun, and deeply memorable times. Vaya con Dios.”
“I will miss your friendship, always a joy to be with. May you keep them entertained in the high heavens, you kind and talented soul,” actor Gerard Sison also shared about his cherished friendship with Faustmann.
Faustmann’s most iconic roles in theater include King Arthur in “Camelot”, Juan Peron in “Evita”, and Captain Georg von Trapp in “The Sound of Music”.
Although a man of the stage, Miguel also starred in multiple television shows as well as movies. He most famously starred on ABS-CBN’s FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano and GMA’s Victor Magtanggol. One of his signature roles include World War II personality, General Douglas McArthur, which he played in Jerold Tarog’s “Heneral Luna” and “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral”, and Matthew Rosen’s film, Quezon’s Game.
Thank you, Miguel. Rest in peace. You leave behind a legacy of unparalleled excellence in the world of theater, and a heart of kindness, generosity, and love.
Susan Roces, prolific powerhouse
Backed by seven decades’ worth of acting prowess, Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora Poe was a multi-FAMAS-winning actress that exuded grace, charm, and ferocity in every project she was a part of.
Susan Roces began her acting career portraying an orphan in the film “Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan” when she was just eight years old. The young actress had dreams of making it to the big leagues and someday meeting and co-starring with her idol, the illustrious Gloria Romero, so she traveled to Sampaguita Pictures in Quezon City. There, she was offered a contract by the studio’s founder, Jose Perez, who was charmed by her looks.
Her dreams would come true a year later, when she starred with Romero in the 1956 film, “Miss Tilapia”.
From there, she would star in more than a whopping 130 films throughout her career, win five FAMAS Awards, and co-star in the Philippines’ longest-running television series, “Ang Probinsyano”, a TV adaptation of the 1996 film of the same name that starred her real-life husband, the legendary Fernando Poe Jr.
Her most notable cinematic works include “Maligno”, “Gumising Ka Maruja”, “Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara”, “Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw”, and “Florinda”. Seventeen of her films were produced by FPJ Studios, where she starred as Da King’s on-screen belle.
Susan Roces also played major roles in television. Aside from her lead roles in teleseryes like “John en Shirley” and “Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara”, a TV remake of her classic horror film, the superstar was most famous for portraying “Ang Probinsyano”’s Lola Flora, a stoic matron that symbolized faithfulness and pure-heartedness amidst a world full of chaos and corruption.
In real life, she carried herself with the same grace and conviction that Lola Flora had, but with a realer, more powerful devotion to the people of the Philippines.
In 2005, after then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo addressed the Filipino people and apologized for keeping in touch with a major COMELEC official during the national election season, Roces gave a fiery speech targeted to the leader accused of electoral fraud in Club Filipino, San Juan, where she uttered what may be her most infamous line: “The gravest thing that you have done is you have stolen the presidency, not once but twice!”
Larger than life as she may have seemed, her most important role was that of the mother to Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe–more commonly known as Grace Poe–who was adopted by the then-newlyweds. Grace once described her mother as her number one fan, acting as her closest friend and her biggest supporter, even throughout her adult life and political career.
“She lived life fully and gracefully,” Grace shared in an Instagram post announcing the passing of her mother. “Remember her in her beauty, warmth, and kindness. She is now with the Lord and her beloved Ronnie — FPJ. We will miss her sorely but we celebrate a life well lived.”
“Susan Roces — daughter, mother, grandmother, a true Filipina, and a national treasure.”
Salamat sa mga alaala, Susan. May you rest in peace.
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