Jose Mari (Joey) and Liberty Ilagan (Libay) were a loveteam in the ‘60s in Sampaguita movies. Their contemporaries included Susan Roces and Eddie Gutierrez, Amalia Fuentes and Bobby Vasquez.
When Joey and Libay freelanced, Larry Santiago Productions continued their team-up in the 1966 picture Dearest One (A Million Thanks to You). Its theme song was the subtitle A Million Thanks to You, popularized by Asia’s Queen of Song Pilita Corrales, who has a featured role in the movie.
When their acting days were over, Jose Mari put up a recording studio and served as San Juan-Mandaluyong congressman. Liberty, daughter of National Artist Gerry de Leon, engaged in the restaurant business. —RKC