Sunday, September 23, 2007


Tessie Agana

Tessie Agana

Tessie Agana (born 1943) is a Filipino actress who was a very popular child star during the 1950s, credited by some for saving Sampaguita Pictures with her work in the box office hit Roberta [1]. She is the daughter of actress Linda Estrella.

Even though she still enjoys watching on TV classic films in black and white that were produced by Sampaguita Pictures, former child actress Tessie Agana who starred in the 1949 movie "Roberta," which was written by Mars Ravelo and directed by Olive Latorre, said she did not miss the limelight.

Tessie admitted this to Manila Bulletin during her induction with actor Boy Alano (Tessie’s brother in "Roberta"), whom she hasn’t seen for 40 years, at the Walk of Fame–Philippines in Eastwood City’s Central Plaza last Wednesday.

"When I heard about the Walk of Fame I was really glad for the other stars who were inducted but I didn’t think that I would be one of them," told a teary–eyed Tessie who was in the country recently for the medical mission of her husband, Dr. Rodolfo L. Jao, in the latter’s hometown Marinduque.

As she looks back at the time when she was still in the movies, Tessie described her life then as far from normal. Although acting before the cameras felt more like a game than a chore, she said she was not comfortable with the adulation that fans showed her.

"My life as a child actress wasn’t easy. Whenever I would go out, fans would always pinch me and I couldn’t do anything because I was in the movies. I’ll tell you a secret. I’m an introvert. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been shy, I was never comfortable with interviews and being around people. There are only two reporters whose names I still remember. They are Ernie Evora and Lina Flor. They would just look at me without asking anything then they already know what to write," recounted Tessie.

Boy, on the other hand, said Dr. Perez and his wife Azucena Vera–Perez trained him, Tessie and other young stars of their time how to act graciously on and off cam.

"Dr. Perez explained that when people pinch us, that only shows that they admire us. Noong panahon namin, umiral sa amin ang disiplina kasi magaling magpatakbo ang Sampaguita Pictures. Whenever we’re asked of the reason why we’re acting, wala sa amin ang nagbibigay ng nakakainis na sagot like ‘gusto ko makatulong sa pamilya ko’ or anything of that sort. We say pointblank na gusto namin umarte," shared Boy.

If it was always Boy’s dream to become a movie star, Tessie felt the exact opposite. She stressed that she would never have entered the movies if she were not the daughter of actress Linda Estrella. Being famous, she said, was the farthest thing from her mind when she was a little girl.

"I wanted to become a nun. I didn’t expect my name to go this far," she confessed.

Tessie said she saw her life starting anew when she migrated to the US with her parents. Upon being informed by them that they would be staying there for good so that she could live a much normal life, Tessie was thrilled with the idea.

"I was 11 years old when we moved to the States and I just finished doing the movie ‘Nung Ako’y Maging Dalaga.’ When I got to the US, I did not have to make any adjustments with the new life I was about to face. I knew right away that I’m going to enjoy it. And honestly speaking, I never found myself missing the movies," she admitted.

However, Tessie’s exit from the movies saw the industry losing a gem claimed her friend Boy. According to the actor, "napakagaling na artista kasi ni Tessie. Wala siyang katulad. Once our director gives her instructions, alam niya agad ang gagawin niya. Noong panahon kasi namin hindi uso yung maglaro sa set. What we always had in mind was our main and sole purpose for being there."

As for today’s young actors and actresses who are still building their own niche in the movie industry, Tessie and Boy only have this to say: "Save up and don’t forget God. Most of all, be sincere to your fans and to the press people because without them you would be nothing."

* 1949 - Roberta
* 1950 - 13 Hakbang aka 13 Steps
* 1950 - Kay Ganda mo Neneng aka Neneng, You're Beautiful
* 1951 - Kasaysayan ni Dr. Ramon Selga aka The Story of Dr. Ramon Selga
* 1951 - Roberta
* 1951 - Anghel ng Pag-ibig aka Angel of Love
* 1951 - Ang Prinsesa at ang Pulubi aka The Princess and the Pauper
* 1951 - Batas ng Daigdig aka Rules of the World
* 1952 - Rebecca
* 1952 - Kerubin aka Cherubim
* 1952 - Ulila ng Bataan aka Orphan of Bataan
* 1953 - Munting Koronel aka Little Colonel
* 1953 - Anak ng Espada aka Daughter of Sword
* 1954 - Nagkita si Kerubin at si Tulisang Pugot
* 1954 - Kung Ako'y Maging Dalaga aka If I Become a Lady
* 1954 - at sa Wakas aka the End
* 1955 - Baril O Araro? aka Gun or Plow

For news articles about Tessie Agana
go to CelebritiesCorner.


1 comment:

neto said...