In the mid-1950s, Rosa Rosal was studying at the Cosmopolitan College taking business administration when she was discovered by LVN Pictures. Her first big project was Prinsipe Amante sa Rubitanya which starred Rogelio de la Rosa in the title role, Delia Razon, Ben Rubio, Alfonso Carvajal and comedian Oscar Obligacion in the role of a court jester.
The new actress was then seen in a string of big LVN films, like Higit sa Korona which starred Mario Montenegro, Delia Razon, Johnny Reyes, Jose Vergara, Alfonso Carvajal, Rosa Aguirre and Josephine Abelardo. It became an undisputed box office hit in 1956.
The first starring role of Miss Rosa Rosal was Biglang Yaman where she co-starred with Jaime dela Rosa and the comedy team-up of Togo and Pugo.
In 1957, National Artist for Film Lamberto Avellana directed her in Badjao with Vic Silayan, Josephine Cardona and Tony Santos as her leading man. The film was shot on location in an island off Borneo. The film won the Golden Harvest Trophy for best picture in the Asian Film Festival.
Then Director Avellana casted her in Anak Dalita which also garnered a Golden Harvest Trophy for best picture award at the Asian Film Festival. Anak Dalita which was about the pre-war world of squatters in Intramuros also co-starred her with Tony Santos, child actor Vic Bacani and Joseph de Cordova.
Miss Rosa Rosal also appeared in Biyaya ng Lupa, a classic film about the country’s lanzones plantations which dealt with the theme of the protection of environment in a time when ecology was not yet in vogue.
Another memorable film of Rosa Rosal was Behn Cervantes’ Sakada where she played the wife of Tony Santos, a Sakada leader who was killed. The film also starred Robert Arevalo, Alicia Alonzo and Hilda Koronel. In supporting roles were Pancho Magalona and Gloria Romero. The film was produced in 1975. The movie was only shown for a few weeks and then banned by the Board of Censors because of its controversial theme and it was then martial law in the country.
After twenty years, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) exhibited Sakada in its Pelikula at Lipunan Festival of outstanding Filipino films. On Febuary, 1994, the Board of Censors issued an approval for exhibition and Sakada was shown at SM Megamall.
Miss Rosa Rosal soon gravitated to her public service advocacy. When she was just a teenager, her mother Gloria Lansang was hurt during the war and the teenaged Rosa sought the help of the American Medical Facility. She even became a medical assistant to this unit and this might have been the reason she was in the future involved with the Red Cross to help her countrymen.
In her stint at the Philippine National Red Cross, she was one of the honorees in the 1999 Ramon Magsaysay Awards and she even provided the seed money for a foundation to help other patients with the prize money she received.
The real name of Miss Rosa Rosal is Florence Danon. Her showbiz name was given to her by Producer Luis Nolasco who once saw the new actress walking through a row of beds of roses in a garden and gushing in admiration. Thus, she became Rosa Rosal.
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/