Cardo Dalisay and Lola Flora of the long-running and record-breaking series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano will forever be icons of a love between a grandmother and grandson in Philippine entertainment. The connection between Coco Martin and Susan Roces remains even after the actress’ death in 2022.
Proof to this is how the country’s leading pharmaceutical brand RiteMed has officially unveiled its new brand ambassador with the launch of its latest TV commercial (TVC) featuring the well-loved and highly respected actor-director Coco Martin.
Coco graciously accepted the challenge of continuing the legacy and advocacy of the Queen of Philippine Movies, Ms. Susan Roces, of empowering the masses in opting for quality and affordable healthcare.
Coco rightfully opened the TVC with the line “Ang sabi ng lola ko, ‘wag mahihiyang magtanong…at hanapin ang check”, which not only gives honor to Ms. Susan but also reminds the people of the Filipino culture of listening to the advice of their elderly loved ones.
Filipinos remember the wife of the late Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ), the King of Philippine Movies, for her famous lines in TV and radio commercials that espoused affordable medicines such as: “Bawal ang Mahal” and “Huwag Mahihiyang Magtanong”. Ms. Roces passed away in May 2022. Since then, RiteMed conducted a long and thorough selection process to be able to choose “The Rite One” to take the place of the late actress.
Coco, who became a hero of the masses for his role in “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”, one of the longest-running and most successful soap operas in Philippine TV’s history, emerged as the hands-down choice.
The actor-director even suggested the adaptation of Ms. Susan’s famous tagline, Huwag Mahihiyang Magtanong, well-aware that everyone should have the right to ask questions. “Una, para hindi tayo magkamali. Pangalawa, ang mga ang mga Pilipino po ay likas na mahiyain; tinuturuan tayo dito na may alternatibo. Pag naiisip natin na ‘mahal yan’, tinuturo sa atin ng RiteMed na may alternatibo na mas mura,” Coco stressed.
“Maraming maraming salamat po sa pagtitiwala. Napakalaking obligasyon po itong ipinasa po sa akin,” Coco said in his speech during the contract signing with RiteMed. “Naikwento ko nga po na kapag dumadaan ako sa Quiapo at pag nakikita ko yung overpass doon, ang laki laki ng billboard ni Tita Susan. Pumasok sa isip ko, ‘sino kaya ngayon ang papalit kay Tita Susan?’ kasi iba po talaga. Hindi lang bilang apo niya sa ‘Ang Probinsyano’ o sa mga proyekto naming. Alam na alam ko po kung anong klaseng tao si Tita Susan. Hindi po siya basta basta nagtitiwala sa mga produkto ng hindi niya nasusubukan dahil ayaw niyang masira ang kanyang pangalan.
The actor-director emphasized the impact and the legacy that Ms. Roces left and how she became the voice of every Filipino especially when it comes to affordable health care.
“Sobrang laki po ng naging impact. Alam naman po natin na mahirap ang buhay, lagi tayo nag-iisip kung paano makakamenos at paano pa rin natin maitatawid yung pangangailangan, lalo na yung kalusugan. Kasi si Tita Susan, silang mag-asawa ni FPJ, parang sila yung simbolo ng bawat Pilipino eh, na kapag may sinabi sila o may ginawa sila, lahat nakikinig. Napakalaking impluwensya nila sa mga Pilipino, kaya ingat na ingat si Tita Susan talaga sa mga paggawa niya ng mga proyekto at kung ano man ang mga ineendorso niya, lalo na po itong RiteMed.
Atty. Joey Ochave, RiteMed President, welcomed the new brand ambassador with great honor.
“It was 11 years ago when we had Ms. Susan and it was one of the best decisions that we’ve made. She was not just a face and a voice. She was a co-creator of the brand. The sudden shift on the lighter tone of ‘Huwag Mahihiyang Magtanong’ was her idea,” recalled Ochave. “From then on, RiteMed took this advocacy to heart.”
“Just a brief history, RiteMed was launched upon the request of the government then. Before, people had the impression that generics are sub-standard. Because of this, we strived to change that perception as people still wanted to associate themselves with a brand, because a brand is a badge of trust. Parang pangalan iyan, ang hirap magtiwala sa hindi mo kilala, sabi nga ni Ms Susan.”
RiteMed, thus, worked hard to make quality healthcare more affordable. “We want to assure everyone that [RiteMed] is a brand that you can trust. It’s a company branding and not just a product brand,” Ochave highlighted.
RiteMed General Manager Vince Guerrero said Coco possesses the traits that they are looking for in a brand ambassador.
“Coco not only understands but actually represents the aspirations of the masses, which is why he is esteemed by the common people for advocating what is right,” Guerrero said. “As the new face of the brand, we believe he will be a good reflection of RiteMed’s continuing thrust to provide affordable quality healthcare to our people.”
Coco acknowledges the weight of being the new face of a trusted brand. “Alam kong ang laki ng responsibilidad bilang brand ambassador ng RiteMed. Ito po ay legacy ni Tita Susan at iyon po ang panghahawakan ko.”