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The new Rosanna Roces

APRYLLE LIABRES (Contributor) / 27 August 2007

THERE’S A softer glow about her these days. You see it in her countenance, in her eyes and in the way she relates to people. She’s no longer as combative as before. Her speech is softer, gentler and kinder, and she seems to find delight in even the simplest things...

roselike spending time with her grandson. Rosanna Roces — who was never out of the news for long due to her well-publicised quarrels with Vicki Belo, talent manager Lolit Solis and Lani Mercado, among others — has become a different person. And it seems to be paying off, because her career is enjoying some sort of resurgence. After being forced into a temporary retirement by all the negative publicity and court battles she had to face (not to mention the breakup of her marriage to Tito Molina and severing her ties with GMA-7, where she was then hosting the showbiz talk show Startalk), Osang recovered and found her bearings just in time. She shed the excess weight she gained during the long layoff and returned to the small screen via a role as Roxanne Guinoo’s mother in Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos and as Judy Ann Santos’ mother in Ysabella.

Soon, she will be seen playing the antagonist in the return of the Book Two of the top-rating primetime drama Maging Sino Ka Man. But everyone can rest assured that whatever nastiness they’ll see is solely for the screen. “I found peace in silence, and I learned that being quiet can also be enjoyable,” says Osang, who adds that she is enjoying her off-camera role as grandmother to daughter Grace’s son by young actor Jolo Revilla.

She’s done fighting and quarrelling with people. Those who know her suspect this must be a result of the dismissal of the libel case filed against her by Dr. Belo in the courts. Without confirming or denying anything, Osang says things are really different now. “I’m more humble now. I learned how to humble myself. I didn’t know it could feel this good.”

Before, she wouldn’t even think twice about picking a fight or starting a word war with someone. Now, she feels guilty even when she has to hurt one of her co-stars in a scene, like she does with Roxanne Guinoo in Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos.  In the show, Roxanne plays the daughter of a rich couple who gets switched at birth with the son of their driver and his wife, who is played by Osang. Because Osang’s character Patria knows of the switch that her husband pulled, she acts cruelly toward Roxanne, subjecting her to all sorts of abuse.

“I pity Roxanne when I have to hurt her during our scenes together,” says Osang. “As a mom, I could really feel it. Even if we were just acting, I could feel the pain I was inflicting on her. But Roxanne is a trouper to put up with it. In addition to that, she’s a good actress.”

Although she has done lead parts before and even received a Best Actress trophy in the past, the new, more humble Osang didn’t have any qualms about playing a supporting role to a relative newcomer like Roxanne. “I don’t have that kind of an attitude anymore,” she says. “Now, I treat every piece of work offered to me as a blessing, and I’m grateful for it.”

Osang has left all of her bad habits in the past. “The Rosanna [you knew] before is dead,” she declares. “I’ve been delivered of all of my bad habits, and of everything that is bad. Everything that occurred in my life before that wasn’t good for me, I stopped. Before, I would take pills to get up, and more pills to sleep — and even when I did sleep, it was a troubled sleep. Not anymore.”

Her co-workers attest to Osang’s new and improved attitude. Dina Bonnevie, her co-star in Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos, says even her acting has improved.
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