In 1997, as part of the marketing strategy of Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin, the producer of the critically-acclaimed film, Armida Siguion-Reyna, thought of inviting the members of the artists’ group Saturday Club to have a nude painting session with the star of the movie, Rosanna Roces.
Although she was already a young mother of two that time, Osang still brought in the crowds to her films and was the undisputed sex goddess of cinema (to this day, the throne she left behind remains vacant — maybe because there really is no one like her).
Her nude painting session with the respected artists was hailed as a merging of art and popular culture and Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin became a box-office hit and established Rosanna as an actress of note (she eventually won an Urian four years later for La Vida Rosa).
A lot of events transpired after that — with Osang going on a roller-coaster ride both in her career and personal life.
But now, at 36 years old and a grandmother of two (with another one on the way — in April to be delivered by daughter Grace), she is once more posing in the nude for local artists.
The invitation to pose in the nude a second time happened last December — during the opening of the art gallery of Cristy Fermin. Yes, you may not know this, but Cristy had always been a supporter of young artists and had accumulated artworks through the years. With her vast collection of works, she decided to open in the Scout Lozano area her own gallery, which she called Mga Obra ni Nanay (quite apt since showbiz people call her Nanay).
It was in this art gallery where Osang met another group of artists who offered her to — why not? — pose again in the nude. Initially, she demurred. “But I’m now a grandmother of three!” she protested.
But they didn’t care — they still wanted her. Deep inside, Osang admits to me that she really felt flattered because after all these years “they still wanted me.”
She wished she had more time to prepare — lose weight actually since she was only 125 lbs. when she first did her nude painting session 12 years ago. Now, coming straight from the holidays, she tips the scale at a little over 150 lbs.
However, when she saw the list of artists and saw respected names — Popoy Cusi and Nik Masangkay, among others — Osang didn’t wait anymore to slim down. And so last Thursday afternoon, she showed up at the session held at Cristy’s Mga Obra ni Nanay gallery. (The finished works were put on display last night at the lobby of UP Cine Adarna during the premiere of her new movie, Aurora.)
The night before she posed she made sure she didn’t put on undies anymore so that the bra straps and garters don’t leave marks on her body. She left the house feeling nervous — not knowing what to expect this time.
Garbed in a loose dress with spaghetti straps and a long wig that the artists later asked her to remove, she chatted first with the people around her to ease her nerves. In no time, she felt relaxed in her presence and was ready for the nude painting session.
Days before that big day with the artists she actually had apprehensions about going through with it and decided to consult filmmaker Adolf Alix Jr. who advised her to go ahead, but make it different this time — like instead of just posing nude, perhaps she can try putting some emotions to it. As it turned out, that was exactly what the artists wanted.
This second time around, Osang discovered that most artists today frown on stiff poses. Oh, and she also felt different this time. She now admits that when she was doing that promotional jig for Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin, it was partly for the money. Today, she feels there’s more artistry in what she’s doing. And she also felt awkward and uncomfortable then.
Back in 1997, she had a husband. Of course, we’re talking about Tito Molina and Osang swears she hasn’t heard from him since the separation a few years ago and has no idea what became of him (the last news about Tito was that he was in Singapore working in a restaurant). That time Tito was watching from the sidelines and Osang knew it pained him to see her posing naked — never mind if it was for art’s sake.
Now, she doesn’t have to worry about anything — or anyone (she will have a one-on-one with Popoy Cusi soon), except perhaps for her grandchildren.
Osang had since removed paintings of her nude on the walls of her house so that the kids don’t start asking questions. But realizing she can’t shield them forever from what at times is required of her by her profession, she has decided to expose the oldest (Budoy), now four years old, to the arts by bringing him to art galleries.
Fortunately, Budoy is an intelligent kid (the second one, Leone, is only almost a year old and has no care in the world yet) and I’m sure he will understand in time. And when he does he will even be proud of the fact that his Lola Bombshell (which is how some friends now fondly call Osang) was once a great sex goddess admired, respected and won accolades in her career.
butch francisco/philstar online