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Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora-Poe (July 28, 1941 – May 20, 2022), known professionally as Susan Roces (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈɾɔsɛs]), was a Filipino actress. She was the wife of Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, better known as Fernando Poe Jr.[1]

Susan Roces
Susan Roces 2022 stamp of the Philippines.jpg
Roces on a 2022 stamp of the Philippines
Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora

(1941-07-28)July 28, 1941
DiedMay 20, 2022(2022-05-20) (aged 80)
San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Resting placeManila North Cemetery, Manila, Philippines
Other namesJSP
Years active1952–2022
(m. 1968; died 2004)
ChildrenGrace Poe (adopted)
RelativesRosemarie Sonora (sister)
Sheryl Cruz (niece)

Roces was regarded as the "Queen of Philippine Movies" and starred in more than 130 films.[2] She won five FAMAS Awards including two Best Actress wins. FAP Awards honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her long-standing career and contribution to Philippine cinema.[3] In 2005, Roces was one of the first inductees on Eastwood City Walk of Fame.[4] Months prior to her death, Roces was honored by The Philippine Post Office with a commemorative stamp.[5]

Early life and education

Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora[6] was born in Bacolod on July 28, 1941[7] to Jesus Tonggoy Sonora and Purificacion Levy.[8]

Roces finished her high school studies at the La Consolacion College (LCC) in Bacolod in 1956.[9] It was during her stay at LCC that she committed to pursue a career in acting. Her third year high school teacher Luisa Medel recognized her talent in public speaking and acting and advised her to take the same course as her for her tertiary education. After graduating from high school, Roces went to Manila to follow her mentor's advice.[8]


Roces began her film career as a child actress debuting in the 1952 film Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan at age 11.[10] In 1956, Roces went to Sampaguita Pictures' office in Quezon City to meet her idol Gloria Romero. Jose Perez, founder and head of the film studio, offered Roces a contract on the spot leading to her first starring role in Boksingera.[2] Roces also starred in several Philippine feature films such as Ang Daigdig Ko'y Ikaw (1965), Gumising Ka Maruja (1967), Patayin Mo Sa Sindak Si Barbara (1974), Maligno and Mano Po 2: My Home (2003).[11] She has also garnered five FAMAS Awards; two of which are Best Actress awards.[10]Roces had a number of Movie comebacks In the 1970s with Rosas Productions she did several films and produced and starred in the film Florinda in 1973 and Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara (1974) Maligno in 1977 and a sequel and remake of Gumising Ka Maruja in 1980. In 1997 she returned to film Isinakdal Ko Ang Aking Ina with acclaimed praise from movie goers and the 2002 MMFF Film Mano Po 2

She was also tapped as a celebrity endorser during her early career for brands such as Coca-Cola, Lux, Blend 45, and Lavoris. Roces in her later years would still appear in television commercials promoting brands such as RiteMed and Champion Detergent.[10]

Roces' final role was in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano and was part of the original cast when the series premiered in 2015. She portrayed the role of Flora, the grandmother of the protagonist Cardo Dalisay.[12]

Personal life

Roces married Fernando Poe Jr. and they have an adopted daughter, former MTRCB Chairperson and now Senator Grace Poe.[13] She married Poe on December 25, 1968, at the Santuario de San Jose Parish in Greenhills, San Juan.[10]

She was an advocate for her husband, who ran for president in the 2004 Philippine presidential election and later died of stroke in December 2004. Roces convinced that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won the election through electoral fraud at her husband's expense, demanded Arroyo to resign in June 2005.[14]

On September 29, 2007, ABS-CBN acquired the exclusive rights to the movie library of Poe after Roces signed the contract. ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio Lopez III, Cory Vidanes, Senior Vice President of TVP Production, and Poe's daughter, Grace Poe, were present.[15]

On December 23, 2007, 9:30 p.m. Alay ni Da King: a Fernando Poe Jr. Special was shown in ABS-CBN Channel 2 and was hosted by Charo Santos-Concio. Roces contributed on the feature of their married life. A 38-minute music video was also shown featuring various scenes from several Poe's movies, a project Poe himself had just finished working on before he died.[16]

She also spoke the Hiligaynon language.[9]


Roces died of a cardiopulmonary arrest on May 20, 2022 at the age of 80.[11][17] A day earlier, she was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila because of chest pain and difficulty in breathing.[18] The Senate and the House of Representatives passed resolutions to honor her legacy.[19] The ACT-CIS Partylist proposed to posthumously award Roces the National Artist of the Philippines Award for her contributions to the entertainment industry.[20] She is buried in Manila North Cemetery next to her husband.



2015–2022FPJ's Ang ProbinsyanoFlora "Lola Flora" S. Borja-de LeonABS-CBNRecurring role, last TV appearance
2014Sana Bukas pa ang KahaponRuth GasparSupporting role
Eat Bulaga! Lenten Drama Special: Karugtong ng PusoMaria
GMA Network
Guest appearance
2013Wansapanataym: Simbang GabiLola FennyABS-CBNEpisode guest
Muling Buksan Ang PusoDonya Adelina Laurel-BeltranSupporting antagonist role
2012Walang HangganVirginia "Manang Henya" CruzSupporting role
2011100 Days to HeavenAmelita Manalastas / Amelita SalvadorSpecial participant
Babaeng HampaslupaHelena See
Main role
2009May Bukas PaNieves Antazo
Recurring role
Sana Ngayong PaskoRemedios Dionisio
GMA Network
Main role
2008Iisa Pa LamangAurora "Aura" CastillejosABS-CBNSupporting role
Maalaala Mo Kaya: BasuraLola AnggeEpisode guest
Sineserye Presents: Patayin sa Sindak si BarbaraAmandaMain role
2006John en ShirleyEncarnation Ramirez
1996Maalaala Mo Kaya: Pahiram ng Isang PaskoAnita MarianoEpisode guest


YearOriginal titleEnglish titleStudio
1952Mga Bituin ng KinabukasanStars of the FutureNepomuceno Pictures
1956BoksingeraFemale BoxerSampaguita Pictures
Kulang sa 7Less than 7Vera Perez Pictures
Mga Anak ng DiyosChildren of GodSampaguita Pictures
1957Sino ang Maysala?Who Is Guilty?Vera Perez Pictures
Mga Ligaw na BulaklakThe Wild FlowersSampaguita Pictures
1958Prinsesang GusgusinUnkempt Princess
Ako ang MaysalaI Am the Guilty OneVera Perez Pictures
Mga Reyna ng VicksThe Queens of VicksSampaguita Pictures
Madaling ArawDawn
Tawag ng TanghalanCall of the StageVera Perez Pictures
Ulilang AnghelOrphaned AngelSampaguita Pictures
1959Wedding Bells
Mga Anghel sa LansanganAngels on the Streets
Pitong PagsisisiSeven Repentance
Ipinagbili Ko ang Aking AnakI Sold My Son
1964The Dolly Sisters
1965Portrait of My Love
Ang Daigdig Ko'y IkawYou Are My WorldFPJ Productions
Pilipinas Kong MahalMy Beloved Philippines
Pepe en PilarPepe and PilarRVQ Productions
1967MarujaLea Productions
Langit at LupaHeaven and EarthFPJ Productions
1968To Susan with LoveRosas Productions
Anong Ganda Mo?Sampaguita Pictures
Bakasin Mo sa GunitaTrace It Back to MemoryLea Productions
BandanaBandannaRosas Productions
SorrentoFPJ Productions
Magpakailan ManForevermore
Tanging IkawOnly You
Kulay Rosas ang Pag-ibigLove is Rose TintedRosas Productions
1969Perlas ng SilanganPearl of the EastFPJ Productions
Ikaw ang Lahat sa AkinYou are My Everything
1970Divina GraciaDivine Grace
1972Salaginto't SalagubangGoldbug and Junebug
FlorindaRosas Productions
1974Patayin Mo sa Sindak si BarbaraScare Barbara To Death
1978Gumising Ka, MarujaWake Up, MarujaFPJ Productions
1979Mahal... Saan Ka Nanggaling Kagabi?Love... Where Were You Last Night?
Mahal... Ginagabi Ka NanamanLove... You Came Home Late Again
Angelita... Ako ang Iyong InaAngelita... I Am Your MotherLarry Santiago Productions
1980TanikalaChainCine Filipinas
1982Manedyer si KumanderThe Wife Is the ManagerFPJ Productions
1984Hoy Wala Kang PakiHey It's None of Your BusinessVanguard Films
Twin Bee Production
1986Nasaan Ka nang Kailangan Kita?Where Were You When I Needed You?Regal Films
Inday Inday sa BalitawInday, Inday on the Balitaw
PayasoClownSialina Film Enterprises
1987Bunsong KerubinYoungest CherubRegal Films
No Retreat... No Surrender... Si KumanderNo Retreat... No Surrender... For the CommanderFPJ Productions
1 + 1 = 12 Plus 1Regal Films
1988Love Boat: Mahal Trip KitaLove Boat: Love I Like You
Kambal TukoTwin Geckos
Buy One, Take OneVIVA Films
1989Ang Lahat ng Ito Pati Na ang LangitAll of These and Even Heaven
Here Comes the BrideRegal Films
1990Mundo Man ay MagunawEven If the World EndsSeiko Films
Feel na FeelFeel to FeelRegal Films
1991Ubos Na ang Luha KoI Have No More Tears to ShedSeiko Films
1997Isinakdal Ko ang Aking InaI Accused My MotherVIVA Films
2003Mano Po 2: My HomeRegal Entertainment


  1. ^ Lu, Monet (August 3, 2012). "Susan Roces: The True Queen of Philippine Movies". Asian Journal. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Susan Roces: Queen of RP Movies". Philippine Entertainment Portal, Inc. Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  3. ^ "Absent ang mga major winner ng FAP" [Major winners of FAP absent]. Pilipino Star Ngayon (in Filipino). The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  4. ^ "Eastwood City Walk of Fame". Vigattin Tourism (ARTICLES) – Philippines. Archived from the original on April 1, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  5. ^ "Post Office stamps 'immortalize' 10 outstanding Filipinos". Philippine News Agency. February 28, 2022. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Lara, Tanya (May 9, 2021). "Grace Poe, Injap Sia, Rex Gatchalian: Lessons my mother taught me". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on May 22, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  7. ^ Co, Adrian (May 21, 2022). "Bacolodnon 'movie queen' Susan Roces passes away". Panay News. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Gomez, Carla (May 21, 2022). "A look back at Susan Roces' beginnings in Bacolod". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Susan Roces to grace alma mater's centennial celebration in Bacolod". Sunstar. March 5, 2019. Archived from the original on March 5, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d "Susan Roces: The Face that Refreshes". Philippine Entertainment Portal, Inc. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Veteran actress Susan Roces dies at 80". Rappler. May 20, 2022. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  12. ^ "'Andiyan lang sila': Susan Roces' final scene in 'Ang Probinsyano' about departed loved ones". ABS-CBN News (in English and Filipino). May 21, 2022. Archived from the original on May 22, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  13. ^ "Is Grace Poe a Marcos? DNA Test up GMA". TheJakartaPost. Archived from the original on January 4, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  14. ^ Mendez, Christina. "Susan ready to replace GMA". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  15. ^ Mario Dumaumal "ABS-CBN acquires right to 'Da King's' movie library" Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, 29 September 2009.
  16. ^ ‘Alay ni Da King: An FPJ Special’ encores tomorrow Archived May 21, 2022, at the Wayback Machine., 22 December 2007.
  17. ^ Nemes, Adrian III (May 23, 2022). "Negrenses mourn death of Susan Roces". Sunstar. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  18. ^ Cruz, Marinel (May 22, 2022). "Susan Roces, 80: Iconic in film, low key in charity". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 22, 2022. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  19. ^ Ramos-Araneta, Macon; Cruz, Maricel (May 24, 2022). "Senate, House honor Susan Roces". Manila Standard. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  20. ^ "Paggawad ng National Artist award kay Susan Roces isusulong ng asawa ni Raffy Tulfo; ano'ng reaksyon ni Grace Poe?" [Conferrment of the National Artist award to Susan Roces to be pushed by Raffy Tulfo's wife; what's the reaction of Grace Poe?]. Bandera (in Filipino). Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 23, 2022. Retrieved May 23, 2022.

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