Sunday, August 15, 2010

*209. Floridablanca's Muse of Philippine Movies: ROSITA NOBLE

NOBLE BEAUTY. The lovely star of the 50s silver screen with her trademark dimples was born in the sugar town of Floridablanca, of German descent. This photo is from an album of Lux Beauties, issued as a premium in the 1950s.

One of the most unforgettable faces ever to grace the Philippine theaters screens belongs to the Kapampangan actress, Rosita Noble. She, with her trademark dimples, had a film career that lasted for just under a decade but her body of work speaks well of her thespic talents that she put to good use in movies ranging from tearjerkers, rib-tickling comedy to action movies.

 Rosita Noble was born in 1934 in Floridablanca, then, a flourishing sugar town. She was the first-born of a German immigrant, Herman von Costenoble, who a married local girl—and his lavandera (washerwoman), Maria Panlaqui.

Despite the objection of relatives, their love defied all odds. The couple settled in Lubao where Costenoble had sugar cane fields, where they were blessed with 4 children: Rosita, Efren. The young Rosita went to Del Carmen Elementary School, a local grade school near the Pampanga Sugar Mills (PASUMIL). 

During the war, her father was killed in an ambush by the Japanese army that had invaded the province. As to how she got into the movies, we have no account, but at age 17, she was cast in the epic movie “Sta. Cristina”, under Premiere Productions. This was in 1951, an auspicious year for an ingĂ©nue.

 The executives of Premiere must have liked how Rosita registered on screen such that they gave her two more assignments that same year: “Bahay na Tisa” and “Taga-Ilog”. Her serene beauty was perfect for “Kalbaryo ni Hesus”, another movie with a religious theme. Then she shifted to melodrama with “Pagsikat ng Araw” and “Sa Kamay ng Tadhana” in 1953. Her star was at its brightest in 1954, making a record of six movies: “Is My Guy”, “Sa Kabila ng Bukas”, “Agua Bendita”, “3 Sisters”, “Sex Gang” and “Si Og sa Army”, where she co-starred with Mr. Philippines, Jess Ramos.

Costumed action movies were all the rage in the mid 50s (Ibong Adarna, Siete Infantes de Lara, Prinsipe Amante) and Rosita was quickly recruited to make “Anak ni Palaris” in 1955. She had the distinction of being the first leading lady to be paired with an up-and-coming young star—Fernando Poe Jr.

 It was also in 1955 that she appeared in the movie adaptation of “Torpe”, a story written by the prolific Mars Ravelo which was first serialized in Hiwaga Komiks. Rosita played the lead role opposite Carlos Padilla Jr. in this Eddie Romero directed movie produced by Deegar Cinema, Inc.

Her performance was noted as among the best of the year and when the FAMAS Awards season came, she found herself being nominated for Best Actress alongside accomplished actresses Lolita Rodriguez (“Rosanna”), Leila Morena (“Pandora”), Emma Alegre (“Higit sa Lahat”) and fellow Kapampangan Rosa Rosal ( she won for “Sonny Boy”).

 As the 50s decade closed, she moved to Sampaguita Pictures, then a rising production outfit, where she made a few more movies before calling it quits. In all the years she spent as a glamorous movie star, she was a model performer, a true professional who was never embroiled in controversies. Married to Turkish-Filipino, Antonio Basmayor Tani from Albay,

Rosita raised 5 children: Valentine (married to Cesar Canlas), Antonio (+, married to Rosanna Labrador),Christine (married to Greg Parham), Mary Rose (married to Joven Esguerra) and Herbert Costenoble. In 1984, with her showbiz years behind her, Rosita and her family moved to the U.S. and has not been back since. The Tanis spent 57 beautiful years together, until Antonio’s death at the age of 85 in 2008.

 Nowadays, Rosita she spends time with her Bible Study group. She loves to garden, and stays close to her 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

In 2010, Rosita Noble was honored alongside 50s screen icons Lilia Dizon, Delia Razon, Mila del Sol, Tessie Agana, Linda Estrella, Letty Alonzo, Gloria Romero, Rosa Rosal, Lolita Rodriguez and others, with a Gawad Parangal sa mga Ginintuang Bituin ng Pelikulang Pilipino, in celebration of the International Women’s Month—indeed, a noble tribute to the legacy of Floridablanca’s first lady of the silver screen, Rosita Noble.


Anonymous said...

Floridablanca was truly a land of Beauty. It's people are as sweet as the sugar it produced during the early 1900s. I remember during the mid 1900s, there were so many beautiful women of Floridablanca that are known for their goddess Beauties.

I come from the town of Guagua which is next to Floridablanca. I remember there used to be a social group called Elysian Club in Floridablanca, they gather and organize a dance party yearly. This social event is where the beautiful faces of Floridablancan women are being flaunted. They invite people and VIPs from different towns of Pampanga and there are also visitors from all over the Philippines. Former President Diosdado Macapagal was one of Elysian's avid guests.

Many Floridablancans were of Spanish and American descents, which is the reason why there were so many mestizas and mestizos. To name a few of them are the Castellvi, the Leary, and the Gil.

Anonymous said...

The Castellvi were of Spanish descent, this is the family of Don Jaime Castelvi the father of Romano Castellvi and also a relative of the Gil. The house of the Castellvi is still around and was renovated if I am not mistaken. It was situated in the Cabalenan of Floridablanca near the Public Market. Jaime was an actor in the early 1900s and his son followed his footsteps. Romano was an actor in the mid 1900s he was a good looking guy who was married to Jean Lopez, also a beautiful actress of the 1970s. They started to become inactive when they got married and decided to migrate to Canada. When Romano and Jean got married, President Ferdinand Marcos and First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos were one of their Ninongs and Ninangs. During the Town Fiesta of Floridablanca, Romano Castellvi would go to his hometown and the ladies of the town would love and admire him so much.

The Leary were of Irish-American-Spanish descent. The well-known Leary of the Floridablanca town was Don Pedro Dinio Leary known as "Apung Iro" or "Apu Leary". He was a tall and very good looking guy and a devotee of Santa Lucia of Sasmuan, which explains why all his daughters were gifted of goddess beauty. During the mid 1900, the Leary Sisters were the "Helen" of Floridablanca; the talk of different towns when it comes to beauty. They were the all time muses of different towns. The house of the Leary was being visited by local gentlemen and lads from different towns to serenade and court the Leary Sisters. It is said that during that time the visitors have to ask for Tatang Leary permission first if they can come and visit. Visitors after another visitors would come with the same intentions. None of the Leary sisters had interest in going to show business except for the niece of Tatang Leary; Lydia Leary who was an actress in the mid 1900s and was taken care by Tia Dely. The Leary sisters may not be into Showbiz but they had a Recording Studio, the Willears Record. It was managed by Apu Leary nephew, the producer William Leary. This is where Vilma Santos was discovered and William Leary became the manager of Vilma Santos.

The Gil were not just mestizas and mestizos but they are true blooded Espanol whose ancestors were from Spain and also of German-Swiss descent. The Gil are the relatives of the famous Toledo and Toda Families and they are also related to the Castellvis. The Gil owned a Hacienda in Floridablanca during early 1900s and sugar was their business. All the Gil that you see on TV are from this Family; Rosemarie Gil, Mark Gil, Cherie Gil, Mark De Mesa and also the Eigenmann. Rosemarie Gil was an icon of the mid 1900s movie industry. She was married to Eddie Mesa who was the Elvis Presley of the Philippines. Eddie's success in movies and recordings extended towards the 60s and 70s. However, his Christian callings cut short of his movie career. He now devoted his time spreading the Gospel and preaching the word of God. In 1958, Rosemarie was given the title role for the film “Sta. Rita de Cascia (Patrona ng imposible).” She did more films later in her career. She starred in “Night of the Cobra Woman” in 1972 and “Naked Vengeance” in 1985. In 1978, she was nominated Best Supporting Actress in the Gawad Urian Awards for the film “Burlesk Queen.” The Gil don't fail to teach and expose their family members to show business which is why until now many of the Gil-Eigenmann are active in the movie Industry. During the Fiesta of barrio San Jose, Floridablanca the Gil visits their hometown and their relatives there, the Toledo-Gozun; the family apung Nena Toledo Gozun.