Rosa del Rosario: âThe Queen Retiresâ
Rosa del Rosario in the Kitchen

Rosa del Rosario: ‘The Queen Retires’

REMEMBER WHEN? - From the collection of DANNY DOLOR (The Philippine Star) - August 22, 2020 - 12:00am

In 1982, right after the Walang Kupas awards night at the PICC, I had the honor and pleasure of hosting a dinner for two winners, Rosa del Rosario and Norma Blancaflor. It was a night of nostalgia and music. The Tribung Pinoy provided the entertainment, singing songs from way back when, including Bakya Mo Neneng, Bulaklak at Paru-paro and Caprichosa, Rosa’s starrers.

The guests included Lino Brocka, Susan Roces, Rosemarie Sonora, Ricky Belmonte, Ethel Ramos, Ricky Lo, Manny Fernandez, Norma Japitana, Bob Castillo, Manny Pichel, Ronald Constantino.

Sadly, some of them are gone now.

Rose quit the movies in 1952. Her last films were Darna and May Karapatang Isilang.

This columnist gladly shares this article on Rose which appeared on the May 18, 1957 issue of Philippines Free Press. It was titled ‘The Queen Retires’ written by Dalisay Bocobo Balunsat.

With daughter Geraldine


Whatever became of Rosa del Rosario, once the undisputed queen of Philippine movies? Quietly and graciously, the queen has retired from the glitter and the glory.

Rosa del Rosario (her real name is Rose Stagner) played in many box-office hits, such as Zamboanga and also starred in some Hollywood-made pictures. At present, she is playing her greatest role—that of wife and mother in real life.

In a suburban community among the rolling hills of South San Francisco, Rosa, as Mrs. John Samit, leads the life of a busy American suburban housewife—swapping recipes with the neighbors, exchanging little household anecdotes with other wives at the nearby grocery store, attending PTA meetings, keeping her home clean, preparing delectable meals for her hubby, and bringing up her child. Her neighbors would never suspect that a Filipino actress, formerly the top star of all, is living among them. For Rosa has been transformed wonderfully into a typical American homemaker.

She met her husband, John Samit, in Manila, while he was working with the U.S. Embassy. They married and decided to make their home in the States. Consequently, Rose abandoned her glamorous movie life. The Samits now have an active 4-year-old daughter, who loves to sing and dance. Her name is Geraldine Marie, a girl with a naughty twinkle in her dark-brown eyes.

John Samit and Geraldine

The retired queen lives in an attractive, old English-type bungalow with three bedrooms, two baths and a 2-car garage. When we paid Rosa a visit recently, she welcomed us into a living room with wall-to-wall carpeting, an attractive fireplace, and two Philippine paintings: one, above the fireplace, depicts a Moro girl and was painted on velvet by Serna: the other shows a Filipino with his two fighting cocks, and was painted on plywood by Alejo.

She enjoys cooking Filipino dishes for John, such as adobo and pancit. John just loves to eat rice! And he loves Filipino dishes. I would not change my place with anyone. Being a movie actress is all right. But there is a limit. One is bound that a woman’s greatest happiness is a happy home and marriage.

On weekends, John takes his wife to the country club in Marin; in the winter, the Samits go skiing-on snowy Mt. Diablo and the Sierras; in spring they tend to their garden; and in summer, they vacation in Hollywood, in Los Angeles, and other nearby resorts.

Rosa is indeed very contented and happy as a homemaker. Since her retirement, she has become even more beautiful and glamorous-looking.  — RKC

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