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‘Pretty Boy’ and other stars no longer with us

‘PRETTY BOY’ – The death of Romeo Vasquez at 78, the “Pretty Boy” of the ‘50s and ‘60s, brings to mind the other stars of Sampaguita Pictures who are shining in another world. But let it be said that Bobby (Ricardo Allan Sumilang of Tayabas, Quezon) was more than a “Pretty Boy.” He was Asia’s best actor in 1958 for “Ako ang Maysala,” a distinction he shared with only two other Filipino actors, Rogelio de la Rosa and Efren Reyes.

Bobby was paired with top actresses, among them, Susan Roces, Vilma Santos, and Amalia Fuentes (his ex-wife), said to be recovering from a major stroke.

NO LONGER – And now other Sampaguita stars no longer with us.

Drama greats Lolita Rodriguez and Rita Gomez, Ric Rodrigo, Carmen Rosales, Rogelio de la Rosa, Van de Leon, Paraluman, Tito Galla, Tony Marzan, Oscar Moreno, Vic Vargas, Dolphy, Rosa Mia, Ricky Belmonte, Norma, Blancaflor, Norma Vales, Cesar, Ramirez, Alicia Vergel, Linda Estrella.

Of the Stars ’66, gone are Dindo Fernando, Edgar Salcedo, Ramil Rodriguez, and Loretta Marquez.

Outside Sampaguita, no longer with us are Fernando Poe Jr., Charito Solis, Nida Blanca, Zaldy Zshornack, Ronald Remy, Mario Montenegro, Nestor de Villa, Tessie Quintana, Armado Goyena, Ace Vergel, Mila Ocampo, Bernard Bonnin, Robert Campos, Nita Javier, Von Serna, Rebecca Gonzales, Shirley Gorospe, Pol Salcedo, Pempe Padilla, Amado Cortez, Rudy Fernandez, Paquito Diaz, Johnny Delgado, Rico Yan, AJ Perez, Liezl Sumilang-Martinez, Charlie Davao, Jojo Salvador.

The tragic sex symbols Stella Strada, Claudia Zobel, Halina Perez, Carmen Ronda, Pepsi Paloma.

‘FAMOUS HOUSE’ – Back to Romeo Vasquez on a personal note. Our home decades back in Lucena, Quezon, along Magallanes street was “famous” because the actor used to live there. Friends and classmates and neighbors would say, “Sa bahay ninyo dating nakatira si Romeo Vasquez.”

When I met Bobby many years later – no longer a “Pretty Boy” but still handsome – I asked him if he remembered Magallanes. He said hardly, but then, “A oo. Natatandaan ko si Aling Maria, ‘yung nagtitinda ng maruya sa harap ng bahay nila.”