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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 30, 2016

Let's Say Goodbye To The Much Respected Lolita Rodriguez, The Actress Who Showed Why Restrained, Controlled, Subtle Acting Should Be

WE FIRST BECAME aware of what good dramatic acting really is when we saw Lolita Rodriguez in Sampaguita Pictures drama films like “Gabi at Araw” (she played a paralytic here and we can’t forget that scene where she fell from her wheelchair and makes an effort to walk), “Emma”, “Rosanna” (with Ric Rodrigo), “Gilda” (with her ex-husband Eddie Arenas), “Tanikalang Apoy”, “Babaeng Hudas”. She has this innate sense of restraint, control, subtlety, never going over the top when expressing her emotions.

We think that’s what the late Lino Brocka saw in her and the main reason why he worshipped her as an actress and later got her to star in his own films like “Stardoom”, “Tubog sa Ginto”, “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang”, “Lunes Martes”, “Bukas Madilim Bukas” from “Tatlo Dalawa Isa”, “Ina Kapatid Anak”, and “Ina Ka ng Anak Mo”. But Lolita also excelled in comedy films like “Jack en Jill”, “Sabungera”, “Binibining Kalog” and in action films like “Tarhata”, “Sa Bilis Walang Kaparis”, “Kapitan Lolita Limbas”, “Kilabot sa Makiling” (with Mario Montenegro) and “Diegong Tabak” (with Vic Vargas).

She also shone bright in the love triangle dramas she did with Eddie Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden, starting with “Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang”. They made several of such films and the best for us was “Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan”, directed by Fely Crisostomo. (Don’t they have an existing copy of this superb drama?) On stage, we’ll never forget Lolita as Candida in “Larawan”, the Tagalog adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s classic “Portrait of an Artist as Filipino” staged at the Fort Santiago by PETA, with Charito Solis as Paula. How we wish someone videotaped their performance.

And now, she is gone. She had a debilitating stroke two months ago and eventually passed on November 28, 2016, in California, where she has relocated, at the age of 81. Let’s pray for the repose of the soul of this legendary actress. Our condolences to her family.