May 03
THE LEGACY OF DA KING by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, May 3, 2013

A fine actor, a creative writer, a first-rate director, a brilliant producer. His was a legendary life, not only in his movies but also in reality. It’s surprising that a former messenger and stuntman would be the biggest action star in the Philippine movies.

Much had been said about his unparalleled pakikisama especially to the movie industry people. He had been extolled countless of times for his generosity. But perhaps only few had noticed his good business acumen.

FPJ a.k.a. Fernando Poe, Jr has been a very successful movie producer despite being unschooled. There was an article which says that FPJ started the business with a shoestring capital and much help from Dolphy and Amalia Fuentes.

FPJ, memorialized in a carton-made standee

His movie projects underwent informal viability studies taking into consideration the trend for the theme and the current female stars for the casting. Another aspect was the timing of the movie’s showing especially during the rainy season.

FPJ had written stories and scripts that he would pass on to scriptwriters for refinement. “Siya ang bida, siya ang director, siya ang scriptwriter. Eh di wala na tayong trabaho,” said a movie veteran of FPJ’s way in sharing work for the employment of people.

An interesting anecdote was related by an Assistant Director. While on location shoot in the province, FPJ was kind of exasperated by the slow development of the script so he summoned Direk Celso Ad Castillo to the set where a real jail would be used.

In the guise of doing an ocular of the cell, FPJ suddenly closed and locked the gate to the surprise of Direk Celso and his assistant. “Sige, tapusin mo muna ang script bago kita palabasin dyan,” FPJ said in jest. So the script was finished before the day ended.

Amid FPJ’s renowned generosity, he was able to build a sort of empire. Aside from the personal intention, another purpose of his movie production was to provide employment especially to those people who were close to him.

“Si FPJ iba yan. Pag kaibigan talagang kaibigan.” A friend means one who would spend time with you. And so FPJ was known for giving time not only to his friends and acquaintances but also to those unknown people who sought his help.

In location shootings especially in remoter areas, almost always, there would be beneficiaries of FPJ’s kindness. An artesian well, a needed roof for a dilapidated house, clothing needs, even items for a classroom.

Maybe his genuine concern for the poor was what pushed him to join politics. Looking back to the 2004 presidential elections, it would have had a different outcome if the right people stayed in their right places.

A director said that some people in the campaign team took advantage of FPJ’s kindness and trust. Some funds were misused and unaccounted for. That’s the basis of the talks that FPJ’s campaign was losing steam in the homestretch due to lack of funding.

Senatorial candidate Grace Poe during the Blogger’s Night held at the Imperial Hotel

I remember watching Susan Roces with her speech, “You stole the presidency. Not once but twice.” It was directed at President Gloria Arroyo referring to the 2004 elections and the 2001 coup d’ etat that installed her as president in lieu of Joseph Estrada.

It was a serendipitous moment when President Cory Aquino sided with Susan Roces on the issue of the election fraud (2004 elections). That was the time that they became good friends – with the former president admitting that she was actually a fan of Susan.

Even after Tita Cory had passed away, the bond continued. And when Noynoy became the president he placed someone in the MTRCB, someone who understands the movie industry and who has the capability to make improvements.

One innovation worthy of praise is the rating system in the television. The parents are now given notice if it is okay for the kids to watch the tv program that is to be shown. As one parent said, “Kahit paano may idea ka kung lilipat ng channel o hindi.”

By the way, Grace has a degree in political science from Boston College where she lived for a time. She stayed in the US to raise her family and only came back when her father succumbed to aneurysm in December 2004.

After 9 years from the fateful 2004 presidential elections, it is heartening to learn that Grace was convinced to continue the unfulfilled dream of her father. Tatak FPJ – a very apt tagline to mean sincere and with the heart for the people.

Mother Lily is an avid supporter of Grace Poe’s candidacy up to the extent of providing a place for the campaign team’s headquarters. And for Grace’s campaign manager? It is no less than Senator Serge Osmeña.

Senatorial candidate Grace Poe with her son Brian

Another senator, the celebrated Chiz Escudero, has given his full support to Grace. That may be another reason why the neophyte is now in the top 5 of the surveys, a big jump from the 16th to 20th place in the early going.

Grace’s son Brian acts as the main coordinator of the campaign team. It can be remembered that Brian told his grandfather – don’t make promises you can’t keep. I’m sure he also said that to his mother.

Grace Poe, married to Neil Llamanzares, is aspiring to serve the country by creating laws via the senate. I’m sure the entire movie industry is out to support her. And so the legacy will continue.

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