One of the greatest artists who shared his exceptional talent and skills in the local entertainment industry is Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ.
Having a laudable career in the local entertainment industry as an actor, a director and a producer, FPJ was awarded as a National Artist of the Philippines by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo years after his death on December 14, 2004. The award was confirmed on July 2012 by Former President Benigno Aquino III and was presented to his family on August 2012.
As we remember him on his death anniversary on December 14, let us discover the exemplary work ethics that Fernando Poe Jr. had always exuded during his career in the industry.
Losing her dad at 15 years old, Lovi Poe felt like she was not given much chance to get to know him and bond with him. Nevertheless, his co-artists in the entertainment industry became a testament about how good his father is. She expressed how thankful she is for having a kind and selfless father, now that she continues to experience many good things because of his father’s goodness. She described her dad as someone so compassionate, which makes her inspired to always strive to be a better person.
“’Yong mga nakakatrabaho ko, lahat sila, walang sinasabi kundi magagandang istorya tungkol sa kanya at lahat sila inaalagaan ako, ‘cause it’s their way of giving back to my dad… Kahit hindi ko man nakikita ‘yong example na ‘yan ngayon, up close and in person, nakikita ko ‘yon or nararamdaman ko ‘yong through everyone’s stories,” Lovi says.
2. Simple and Humble
Although we know that stardom might greatly change a person, FPJ always strived for simplicity and humility in his life. Senator Grace Poe shared how her father spends his free time back in the old days.
“Pumupunta siya sa mga karinderya o sari-sari store na paborito niya at do’n magpapainom… magpapa-ihaw-ihaw o kaya do’n sa kanyang studio, may basketball court do’n. Doon niya dinadala ‘yong kanyang mga stuntmen, mga crew, minsan may lechon baka, minsan may lechon at do’n sila nag-iinuman,” she said.
She further explained why her father does that, saying “Kasi hindi naman siya talaga lumaki sa karangyaan, kaya para sa kanya, masaya siya sa gano’n at ‘yong mga talagang kaibigan niya, ‘yong nakakasama niya sa pelikula. Hindi naman nag-o-office si FPJ ‘e, ‘yong kanyang studio ‘yon na ‘yon.”
While Senator Grace Poe was saying those things, the people whom her father worked with, which were all in front of her, couldn’t help but express how they strongly agree with the senator’s words. When it’s her son, Bryan Poe’s turn to reveal the life lessons he learned from his grandpa, he shared what according to him, was Da King’s favorite line “In victory,[in] humility.”
3. Always willing to take immediate actions
FPJ is the kind of man who knew how to understand other people, what their words mean and even their silence. Candy Pangilinan testified to that, explaining how sensitive enough FPJ was to know what other people needs before they say it. During one of the most complicated times in her life when she got separated from her husband, she revealed that FPJ was the only one who did not ask her what happened. Instead, he asked her what she needed.
“No’ng bagong hiwalay ako, kasi alam ko panahon ‘to no’ng mga eleksyon, saka no’ng kampanya… siya lang ang tumawag sa’kin na hindi nagtanong kung anong nangyari. Ang tanong lang niya sa’kin ‘Anong kailangan mo?’,” Candy said.
4. Knows how to keep his word
When FPJ promised something, he fulfills it no matter how complicated the situation is. Once, he promised Candy Pangilinan to become a leading lady on one of his films. However, Candy got pregnant at that time. But just when she thought that her dream wouldn’t come true, FPJ stayed true to his word and fulfilled what he promised Candy. He made her a leading lady in his film with Filipino billiard legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, titled “Pakners”.
“Doon sa pelikulang ‘yon, I was already pregnant! Sinabi ko sa kanya, ninong ko siya sa kasal, sabi ko ‘Ninong, buntis po ako. Pa’no po ito, baka ‘di na po ako pwedeng sumali kasi ho, siyempre ayaw n’yo naman na may buntis kayong kasama.’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘Ay nangako na ako sa’yo, okay lang. Gagawan natin ng paraan’,” Candy shared.
5. Seeks justice for others
One thing that FPJ couldn’t stand was injustice. This was according to one of his stuntmen named Nash Epinosa, who shared how the late action star fought for them whenever they were being oppressed by others. He said that FPJ wants to see everyone in his team, including the stuntmen, comfortable while working like him, so the Filipino movie legend fights for equality in everything, including for their food and places to stay.
“Sa oras ng pagkain, sa mga tulugan, hindi niya pinababayaan kaming mga maliliit na manggagawa ng pelikulang Pilipino. Sa umpisa po ng shooting or kainan, iikot na ‘yan… ‘Pag nakita niyang hindi tama, sasabihin niya bukas, papalitan natin ‘yong nagluluto dahil hindi tama ‘yong pinapakain sa inyo… dapat pare-parehas tayo ng pagkain. Saka sa tulugan, ayaw niyang mahihirapan kaming mga stuntman,” Nash said.
6. Willing to teach others
Like what the line from Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Gifted with extraordinary talent, FPJ knew that he had to pass knowledge so that it could make the next generation prosper. Luckily, veteran actor and filmmaker Rez Cortez had the chance to be with FPJ when the Pinoy film legend was still alive. Rez told us how FPJ was willing to impart his talent and mentor someone like him, who wanted to learn in the industry.
“Mako-consider ko siya na visionary. Siya nga nagturo sa’kin mag-direct. In one of his movies, kinuha niya akong assistant director, at talagang pinagtyagaan niya akong turuan,” Rez stressed.
7. Generous enough to give others an opportunity
Whenever he sees someone who hungers for the opportunity to grow, FPJ did everything he can to help that person. This is what he exactly did to actress/comedian Candy Pangilinan. Despite the risk of having a young student who has amateur skills when it comes to acting, FPJ gave Candy the spotlight back when she was still on her tertiary studies, and gave her a supporting role in one of FPJ’s films.
8. Keeps himself grounded
Even when he has already achieved so much in life, FPJ kept himself grounded by pursuing simplicity and humility at all times. Rez Cortez, who worked closely with FPJ, revealed that the esteemed Pinoy action star actually started his journey as a stuntman. That is why FPJ’s heart was always close with stuntmen and why he would always want to be with them despite having the option to be in elegant kind of parties.
Indeed, Fernando Poe Jr. was not awarded as National Artist of the Philippines and called as the ‘King of the Philippine Movies’ or ‘Da King’ for nothing. With his selfless heart, he is truly someone who is worthy of our admiration and respect.