Negros Occidental and Bacolod City mourn the loss of veteran actress Susan Roces, who was regarded in the film industry as the “Queen of Philippine Movies”, officials said Sunday, May 22.
Roces, who died Friday evening, May 20, at the age of 80, was born Jesusa Purificacion Sonora in Bacolod City on July 28, 1941 to Dr. Jesus Tonggoy Sonora and Purificacion Levy.
“The province, together with the entire country, mourns over the loss of Filipino film icon Susan Roces,” Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.
“Negros Occidental will always be honored and proud that the Queen of Philippine Movies was one of our own, the province lost an outstanding daughter,” Lacson said. Roces was committed and passionate in her dedication to her craft and her timeless grace will always be remembered, he said.
“On behalf of the people of Negros Occidental, I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to Sen. Grace Poe and family.” Lacson added.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, on behalf of the people of Bacolod City, also expressed his condolences to Roces’ family, friends and legions of followers.
Her demise left a void in the hearts of millions of her fans and admirers, who followed her showbiz career that spanned almost seven decades, he said.
Leonardia said Roces, a co-alumni at La Consolacion College-Bacolod, was a student of his sister, Ninfa.
“Roces was a very warm and endearing person despite her celebrity status– a cinema icon and a valuable pillar of the Philippine movie industry,” he said, adding that she and her late husband, Fernando Poe Jr., are national treasures.
La Consolacion College Bacolod in a Facebook post said the “LCCB Community of Friends mourns the passing of one of her notable alumni, Jesusa Purificacion Levy Sonora – Poe” of High School Batch 1956.
Her last visit to the institution was in 2019 when she was awarded the Centennial Legacy Award for Excellence in Culture and the Arts during the 100th Founding Anniversary of La Consolacion College Bacolod, it said.
Roces belongs to one of the Philippines’s biggest clans, the Locsin family of Negros Occidental.*