Press Release
May 23, 2022

Senate Resolution Nos. 1002, 1004, 1005 on the Death of Susan Roces Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto

23 May 2022

Mr. President, my dear colleagues:

A colleague has lost her mother, the people an icon, and the nation is all the more poorer for it.

Seventy years ago, a lissome lass from Bacolod, radiant in looks and refined in manners, charmed the country in her film debut.

The title of Susan Roces' first movie would later come to define the theme of her life: Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan.

For 80 years her star shone bright, her performances illuminating the traits which make us great, as well as the foibles that prevent us from being so.

For many young women, in tinseltown or out, she was the proverbial star in the sky one cannot touch, but by following it would lead you to your destination.

But, no, she was a reachable star, always displaying the true mark of class: by treating kindly and with dignity the people who work for her and with her.

She was also a profile of courage off the screen, displaying it not once...not twice...but many times.

She may not have rushed the barricades in real life, as her husband would in reel, but her heroism was of the daily, routinary acts of compassion to her fellowmen and respecting the rules which make our democracy strong and our society kind.

She paid her taxes. She queued like any citizen of the Republika ng Pila-pinas. She never felt entitled.

What she felt obliged to do, though, was help those whom society has left out or left behind.

As an artist, she practiced her craft in front of the camera, allowing it to capture her full genius. But as a person, she did charitable acts, without the need for one. She practiced altruism without Instagram.

She never scrimped on advice and gratitude, in notes penned in the elegant cursive which her daughter has inherited, so that when news of her demise spread, these were shared by recipients, proving that the most valuable help is not always monetary in kind, but sometimes motherly advice.

But of all the love and kindness she had shown in 80 fully lived years, none is perhaps greater than her decision to become a mother.

It has been said that there is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child -- but Susan Roces had a greater instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own.

Senator Grace once poignantly said, "I firmly believe that adopting one child may not change the world, but it will certainly change the world for that child."

No, Grace, let me amend your statement. Your mom's courageous and compassionate act 54 summers ago did change our world, because that child continues to make our world better.

So it came to pass that Susan Roces became a muse to her husband--but the role which perhaps gave her the greatest satisfaction, but no Famas award, was that of being a mother to their child.

In 70 years in the public spotlight, Susan Roces' star never dimmed.

She essayed roles from the Pinay Everywoman who henpecked her husband to the Pinay Extraordinary Woman who hectored her people to fight injustice.

She built a career on a solid portfolio of works without ever compiling a slum book of scandals.

And a nation that fell in love with her at first sight never lost their affection, as intensely as she was their Crush ng Bayan in her teens as their Pambansang Lola in her Seventies.

Paalam po at pagpugay, Ginang Jesusa Sonora Poe, ang matagal nagsilbing liwanag sa dilim.

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