The late Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ, dubbed as the King of Philippine Cinema for many reasons, had the charm, acting prowess and the heroic guy appeal to succeed as a movie superstar. But more than that, he espoused positive moral values and honorable characteristics throughout his film career that he broke the conventions of a typical celebrity and endeared himself to the Filipino masses.
FPJ was a well-loved character on- and off- screen who symbolized love for family, concern for others, moral integrity, diligence and hard work, which he embodied in some of his memorable roles that identify with ordinary Filipinos.
Some of FPJ’s roles include the evil-fighting blacksmith Panday, loving father and mechanic Badong inIsusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, persevering boxer Totoy Bato, sympathetic taxi driver Nanding in May Isang Tsuper ng Taxi and respected village leader Berting in Dito sa Pitong Gatang.
ABS-CBN recently acquired the rights to FPJ’s exclusive movie library, one of the biggest and most important libraries in Philippine cinema, a collection of classic movie titles that FPJ starred in, wrote, directed and produced.
ABS-CBN, which has the widest reach in the country and worldwide, will showcase his iconic movies through its various free-to-air TV channels, cable TV channels, and The Filipino Channel following a deal it recently closed with the Poe family.
ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio said that many Filipinos love FPJ because for them, he was not only a hero in fiction, but also in real life as he made a conscious effort to tell the stories of ordinary Filipinos in his films.
“ABS-CBN is honored to have been entrusted with his body of works that represent FPJ and what he believed in. By showing his films on our different platforms on air and online, FPJ’s fans will be able relive their memories of the beloved icon and the new generation of Filipinos will get to know more about the King of Philippine Movies,” she said.
Susan Roces, meanwhile, said her family and FPJ Productions believe that only ABS-CBN can thoroughly showcase all of FPJ’s masterpieces as its reach is unmatched.
She also stressed that FPJ continues to be an enduring figure in Filipino cinema and culture, not only because the subjects in his films symbolized the Filipino masses, but because he had an affinity for underdogs.
“He liked playing a carpenter, a police officer, or a soldier. He did not play high-ranking officials, but rather ordinary police officers or soldiers because he believed their lives are more colorful. His principles and conviction were the real star in his movies, not the leading ladies. Even if he had leading ladies, he would leave and bid them goodbye, but would continue on his journey because of his principles and conviction,” Susan said.
She added, “When making films, FPJ took into account the beauty of the Philippines. Some of FPJ’s films were shot in far-flung, unknown areas but are now famous tourist spots.”
Some of the definitive FPJ blockbuster films that have made an indelible mark in Filipino culture are Ang Panday, Hindi Ka Na Sisikatan ng Araw, Batas ng .45, Totoy Bato, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Iyo Ang Tondo, Akin Ang Cavite, Agila, Dito sa Pitong Gatang, Batang Quiapo, Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, Batas ng Lansangan and Isang Bala Ka Lang.
Also known as Da King, FPJ was posthumously declared A National Artist of the Philippines in 2006. He was an award-winning actor who won several accolades from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) and was known for promoting the movie industry and the welfare of its workers.
Watch out for FPJ movies soon on ABS-CBN, Studio 23, Cinema One, Jeepney TV and TFC.