Definitely, you should expect it: Rosanna Roces will never hold back.
Especially those who pose or even just appear as a threat—including those people close to her.
Throughout her three decades in showbiz, she was the toast of provocative, daring cinema and no-holds-barred television. And, through it all, as she basked in the limelight, Rosanna herself became the object of scrutiny and controversy by her flabbergasted audience. All of them, either shocked, bewildered, and sometimes awestruck by her candor, audacity, and fearless persona.
These surely came at a costly price.
At the peak of her career, Osang slowly faded away from the scene as she tussled left and right with colleagues, friends and family. And this unfortunately dealt a serious blow on her public image and popularity, which transformed into folly and infamy.
The once alluring, captivating seductress has been relegated to the shadows—losing her top-rating talk show, being mired in a court case over breach of contract, getting ignored for years in the industry, and worse, allegedly falling in a downspiral of drug use. She also drew the ire of the entire teaching community over a supposed senseless remark against the profession in a judging stint on It’s Showtime.
But what really hit Osang the worst was the muck that landed right at home. Her erratic ties with daughter Grace and Onyok have hogged showbiz headlines through the years. Their feuds were public and disturbing, especially that physical brawl with her son on a Good Friday in 2013. Mother and son had exchanged blows to the face over a mere domestic issue—a glaring testament on the extent of the filial conflict.
She also got into a fracas with the entire Revilla family over the custody of Grace’s son Budoy, who had been under the father Jolo Revilla’s care since 2009 when the kid was diagnosed with primary complex.
Redemption in indie films
But while mainstream showbiz had shunned what it considers a troublesome, has-been who surely could not bring in hefty box-office returns because of her problematic personal journey, Rosanna Roces found her redemption in an area she really is good at—being a true-to-form, excellent, and versatile actress. And she made it all happen in one vehicle that truly respected her craft—independent cinema.
“Hindi naman ako mawawala, nandiyan lang ako sa tabi-tabi,” Osang said in an interview with PEP.ph two years ago. “Taun-taon, paganda naman nang paganda ang offer.”
This not only brought back Osang to the limelight, it also allowed her to regain the respect and recognition as an artist, not as a celebrity riddled with intrigues, brickbats, and controversies.
She had been a celebrated player in indie films, notching acting awards for her portrayal as a serial psychopathic killer in Wanted: Border and a women’s correctional inmate in Presa. While she did make occasional appearances in primetime teleseryes, Osang was more recognized by the indie circuit, landing roles in such films as Whistleblower, Padre de Familia, Hustisya, On The Job, Mater Dolorosa, Haruo, Isda, and her comeback film Pasang Krus. She also starred and served as a co-director in the film Baklas.
Her indie stints became her chance at redeeming her once lofty stature in the entertainment world and, slowly but surely, she is on the right track.
Coming to terms
Osang is now starting to get the attention she deserves as an actress, nailing an acclaimed portrayal recently as a grandmother gang-rape victim on Ipaglaban Mo. Her resurgence has already led to her coming to terms with her controversial, conflict-ridden past, which has evidently brought her much joy as seen in her recent public appearances.
“Puro galit ako noon, di ba?… Ngayon, hindi na. Natuto akong i-share ‘yung love,” Osang reveals in a Manila Bulletin report.
Osang has since been at peace with daughter Grace, whom she admires as a hands-on mother to her youngest grandchild Maja.
“Si Grace naman, akala ko tinatalbugan niya ako noon dahil 16, nanganak ako, siya naman 15. Yun pala, tinalbugan niya ako sa pagiging ina,” she further tells PEP.ph. “Grabe, hands-on, walang yaya. Sabi ko kasi, ‘Career ‘yang pagiging homemaker, galingan mo.’”
And, she also took it upon herself to settle her differences with the Revillas over the care of first grandson Budoy.
“Okay naman kami. Nagkakausap din, minsan text,” Osang reveals in an interview with Push. “Pagdating sa apo pinapaalam naman nila sa akin lahat. Pero kapag may mga hindi ako nagugustuhan tinetext ko agad sa kanila. Mabuti na ‘yung dinidiretso mo kaysa sa ibang tao pa nila malaman.”
However, she admitted she still has not reconciled with son Onyok.
“Ako, ipinapaubaya ko lahat sa Kanya. Kasi, unang-una, kahit anong pilit mo… basta, si Lord ang gagawa ng paraan,“ she tells PEP.ph. “At saka, ‘yan (Onyok) ang pinaka-spoiled sa akin, ‘di ba? Siya ang nahihirapan sa aming dalawa, hindi ako.”
But what made her even happier was the fact that she has found true love. After years of failed relationships, Osang has found the real love of her life, an unnamed lesbian partner whom she described as one she had shared a relationship with in her teens.
"I found my match," Osang said in a live interview on Tonight With Boy Abunda last month. "Alam mo kung paano ako magpalit ng lalaki noon, parang nagpapalit lang ng damit. ...Parang may something missing. So ayun, nakita ko na iyong something missing."
They even plan to walk down the aisle where lesbian marriages are allowed.
While the painstaking journey has not yet ended, Osang has surely focused more on what matters in her life. That is, having lesser headaches, peaceful disposition, enjoy her blessings to the fullest, and further hone and pursue a brilliant, noteworthy acting craft that should be her everlasting legacy, not her ill-fated controversies.
"Kapag pala tinatama mo ang buhay mo, lahat pala ng mga bisyo mo na hindi mo gusto nandiyan, kusang mawawala with the help of the Lord. God hates the sin not the sinner," she said.