It was on October 5, 2019 when movie queen Amalia Fuentes breathe her last.
One year after her passing, pikapika.ph’s resident movie critic and writer Butch Francisco (The Butcher), who’s the movie icon’s personal friend and neighbor, decided to pay her grandson—said to be her “favorite” apo—Alfonso Martinez a visit.
Alfonso, who is now the custodian of her Lola’s estates, actually lives in the New Manila house where the great Amalia spent her last days.
Together, Alfonso and Butch went down the memory lane, recalling moments in the movie queen’s storied past.
According to Alfonso, wala siyang idea noong bata siya about the “bigness” of her lola in terms of her stature in the Philippine movie industry firmament. In fact, kahit daw ang parents niyang sina Albert at Liezl Martinez, ay hindi nila alam na mga celebrities pala.
Sa States na kasi sila lumaki ng ate niyang si Alyanna and only came back here when he was ten or eleven years old.
Noon lang niya unti-unting naga-grasp na he was born into a not-so-ordinary showbiz royal clan.
He says he’s aware of his Lola’s fiery side. Kaya nga daw noong nag-aaral na siya sa La Salle at nabu-bully as a thin and sickly AmBoy (American Boy), panakot niya daw ang kanyang lola.
“Idedemanda kayo ng lola ko,” natatawang balik-tanaw ni Alfonso.
Aminado si Alfonso na “spoiled” silang magkakapatid sa lola Amalia nila but not in a grand fashion na tipong bibilhan sila ng kotse o gadgets. Kung books at travel daw, walang problema sa lola nila dahil ang konsepto nito ay best education sa lahat ang pagta-travel at makakilala ng iba-ibang cultures.
But in a very Pinoy lola way, spoiled daw sila sa mga “bad” food pag lola nila ang kasama; kabaligtaran kung ano ang bawal sa bahay nila dahil kapwa health conscious daw ang kanilang parents.
Along the course of the interview, dine-bunk din ni Alfonso ang ilang mga myths tungkol sa kanyang lola, including her allegedly being kuripot.
Dumanas kasi ng hirap noong World War II ang tinaguriang Elizanbeth Taylor of the Philippines kaya’t tila laging takot na may mangyayari. Ito raw ang dahilan kung bakit mahilig mag-hoard ng kung anu-ano ang lola niya at mahilig mamili sa mga sales.
“Buti di na niya naabutan those Lazada 99 sales kung hindi, she would have gone crazy with those.”
Pero para kay Alfonso, it’s even an endearing quality of his lola na ayaw niyang tawaging kuripot, kundi practical at rational lang daw.
Aminado din si Alfonso na just like other families, may mga tampuhan din silang pamilya—whether it’s between his lola ang his mom; or between his sisters and his lola, or maski between the two of them. Mas malala lang daw nang konti pag ang awat ay among the “girls” dahil matatapang daw talaga ang mga Muhlach women. In fact, kaya daw siguro sila ang pinaka-magkasundong dalawa ay dahil “kung larger than life siya, ako naman quiet lang.”
Myth lang din daw ’yong balita noong araw na ipinagdadamot sila ng Mom niya sa lola niya. It’s just Amalia’s way lang daw of calling attention dahil unlike other lolas na maraming apo, sila daw ay tatlo lang kaya gusto nitong lagi silang nakikita.
Ganoon lang naman daw ang lola nila na akala mo laging galit pero isang tawag o dalaw lang daw ay kumakalma na ito.
Alfonso was such a delightful interviewee. Ma-detalye siyang magk’wento kaya naman busog na busog kami throwback information. At hindi lang yon, he also allowed us to take a peek into his lola’s vast photo collection kaya naman kasali ito sa mapapanood n’yo—some never-before-seen photographs of the legendary actress that was Amalia Fuentes—in this first part (of a four-part series) ng aming interview with the good-looking and well-mannered Alfonso Martinez.
(Tune in for part 2)
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