Thursday, August 24, 2006



picture of armando goyena

MOVIE actor Armando Goyena had to play a woman in the '50s before he could become a star.

The part was the title role in the 1953 comedy "Tiya Loleng" with Tessie Quintana, which was filmed at least three decades before Dustin Hoffman made "Tootsie" and Robin Williams played "Mrs. Doubtfire."

"They imitated us," Goyena chuckles. "The movie became a big hit, and that's how I made some money to marry."

Goyena, now 80, was married to Francisca Roses, also called Paquita, the first Camay soap model, with whom he had seven daughters and a son. Two of these daughters first became movie stars themselves-Maritess Revilla, who was also a soap model, and Tina Revilla, who later became a television host.

He has 28 grandchildren, four of whom have also become celebrities -- Bianca Araneta, her brother Carlo, Bernard "BJ" Palanca and his brother Mico.

A portrait of Paquita is prominently displayed in Goyena's suite in a condominium unit at the Ortigas Center. He gazes at his wife's face and sighs.

"She was beautiful," he says, almost in a whisper.

Paquita died from an obscure disease, whose name Goyena could not recall. He also could not recall exactly when she died, "oh, about four or three years ago," he says. How old was she when she died? "Let me see, she was 11 years younger than I am."

But he remembers how she suffered the pain of her ailment.

"She suffered. Four years of suffering. She was on a bed in that corner of this room." He points at a part of the suite where an antique cabinet holding his acting awards is now displayed.

"It's funny," he says. "All these awards came late in my life. I missed these when I was younger."

He has a total of five awards, mostly tributes from award-giving bodies that gave him recognition for his enduring popularity in an industry that thrives on youth power.

When asked for the names of his 28 grandchildren, he says, "Forget it." He tries to name his eight children, but starts to fumble with the sixth child, saying he has not seen her in 10 years because she lives in the States. He also refers to another daughter only as Mrs. Shultz.

"Why are you asking me these questions?" he blurts out.

Despite the memory lapses and the bags beneath his eyes, Goyena has the build of a 40-year-old man.

"I work out in the gym for two hours, twice a week," he says. "I have been doing this for six years, after I had two open-heart surgeries. I can lift free weights, but not sacks of rice. I have muscles in my arms and I am fit."

He thinks he's lucky he can still do many things, like run a restaurant in Makati and appear in the movies.

His latest role is in the December film fest movie "Captain Barbell," and he is anxious to learn his lines. This has become harder now, he admits, unlike when he played the title role of "Kapitan Kidlat" in 1953, the local version of Captain Marvel.

"It was very different then," he says.

The difference in the movie industry then was the studio system as opposed to the star system of today.

"There was no jealousy among us contract stars," he says. "We were all good friends."

He recalls that as a contract star of LVN, he was part of a big family. He was paid a salary, and a bonus if his movie made money, like "Tia Loleng."

1 comment:

neto said...

hes in the movie,kaaway ng babae,lvn pictures,1948...he play jose padilla bestfriend