Boots Anson Roa is honored to be tapped to play Lola Basyang in TV5’s reimagined version of the classic children’s stories. In the past, Lola Basyang has been played by various actresses: Rosa Mia in the Sampaguita Pictures’ version in the 60s, comedian Chichay in the Regal Films’ version in the 80s, and Luz Fernandez on TV. On radio, it ran for several years in the 50s and was one of the hits of the heydays of radio during that era, along with the soaps “Ilaw ng Tahanan” and “Dr. Ramon Selga” and the horror hit, “Gabi ng Lagim”.
“I’m really glad na Direk Perci Intalan considered me for the role kasi bagay na talaga akong Lola Basyang now that I’m 70 years old,” she says. “I have nine grand children now and my husband (Atty. King Rodrigo) has eight, so bale 17 na lahat ang apo ko. But today’s Lola Basyang is so different kasi high tech na siya. Bale tatlo lang ang apo niya rito. One is with her in person, but two are abroad. One is in Guam and one is in Japan, pero kinukuwentuhan pa rin niya through Skype. So, global na siya in the age of the Internet, but her stories continue to impart good values and tradition.”
Did she ever think she’d play to get a title role again? “No, kasi kaming senior stars, accepted na naming the networks get us mainly to give strong support to the new stars that they’re building up. But God is good. With this, I come full circle on TV. Kasi my very first show was in the original TV5, “Dance o Rama”, in 1963, where I met my first husband, Pete Roa. And now, 50 years later, I’m doing ‘Lola Basyang’ with the new TV5. Actually, katatapos ko lang gawin with them ang ‘Baker King’ as Mark Neumann’s lola. My character just died last week. I’ve also taped a new soap on ABS-CBN, ‘Walang Iwanan’, with new child actors. Three weeks ang exposure ko roon since mamamatay rin ako on its 3rd week. And I’ll soon start another new soap on GMA7. I’m so blessed na nakakatawid ako sa tatlong top networks.”
She just celebrated her first wedding anniversary with Atty. King a few weeks ago. “Yes, we had a vacation in the States and we came back last Tuesday. By Thursday, nagte-taping na ako for ‘Lola Basyang’. We’re still on our honeymoon stage. I’m so happy. Iba magmahal ang nasa autumn na ng buhay. Maalaga.”
It’s good Atty. King allows her to be so busy as an actress. “He understands as he’s also working full time. We’re able to work it out. Ang dami ngang nagbibiro sa amin, paano raw kami magkaka-baby? Pati si Cardinal Tagle, binibiro kami, kailan daw darating si Jonjon? By the power of the Holy Spirit, para namang puwede pa akong magka-baby,” she laughs.
How is it working with Direk Perci in “Lola Basyang”? “Nasanay akong producer siya sa TV5. But he’s okay. I like his camera work and the way he handles the kids in the cast. Maganda ang tandem nila ni Direk Jun Lana. They complement each other.” (MNS)