'Bomba' star Yvonne, 4 decades later
MANILA, Philippines -- One of the most daring "bomba" stars of the '70s, who made headlines for allegedly going nude in public, is now 60 years old. And she's raring to make a comeback.
Josephine Samson, popularly known by her screen name Yvonne, celebrated her 60th birthday on Tuesday in the Philippines. Now married to a Japanese national, the former sexy actress has been based in Tokyo for the past 26 years.
Apart from her award-winning portrayal in Ishmael Bernal's "Ligaw na Bulaklak" in 1976, Samson may best be remembered for her controversial appearance at the premiere of her film "Climax of Love" six years earlier.
Seen as a "gimmick" of sorts to promote the sexy flick, Samson allegedly showed up at a theater in Manila wearing a see-through mini with nothing else underneath.
Since starring in her last sexy film in 1986, the Chito Rono-directed "Private Show," Samson has been largely out of the limelight.
Last year, however, she made a comeback of sorts by appearing in the indie film "Talo, Tabla, Panalo" alongside film veterans Eddie Garcia and Boots Anson-Roa.
But Samson intends to make a bigger splash.
"Gusto ko, bakit hindi?" she told ABS-CBN News shortly after her birthday celebration. "Sabi nga nila, once you're an actress, you'll always be an actress. Whether you're a dancer or a singer, you'll always be that."
At age 60, however, and with a daughter in her 20s, Samson acknowledges the impracticality of depending on showbiz as a source of income.
"Kung ano ang first love mo, 'yun talaga ang gusto mong balikan, but not for good, not permanently. Hindi ko gagawing bread and butter, ika nga. Gusto ko lang, siyempre, na lumabas," she said.
If given the chance to make a TV or film comeback, Samson is hoping to finally take on her dream role -- an insane woman.
"Alam mo, ang pinaka-dream role ko ay baliw, loka-loka. 'Yun ang gustung-gusto kong role," she said. "You can play around with it, eh. Malalaro mo 'yon eh. Puwede mong gawin kahit anong korte ng mukha mo, kaya 'yun ang gusto kong gawin."
Tied to her dream comeback is her plan to continue engaging in charitable causes, among them donating to organizations like Home for the Aged, a center for homeless senior citizens.
"Pag lumabas ako, kung anumang talent fee ko, gusto ko i-donate," she said. "Hope ko ay sana magkaroon pa ako ng maraming pera para makatulong sa kapwa."
"'Yun ang dream ko simula bata ako, na makatulong sa mga street children at mga homeless people, 'yun ang pangarap ko," she added.
'Don't ask for more'
Unlike a number of sexy stars in the '70s and the '80s whose fading careers also spelled a negative turn for their personal lives, Samson is grateful to have sustained a comfortable life.
Admittedly, she said, "I am not rich... Pero sapat lang na kayang kumain ng tatlong beses isang araw na may kasamang merienda."
Asked for her advice to actors currently enjoying some amount of success, Samson brought up the value of professionalism.
"Mahalin nila ang trabaho nila, maging professional na laging on time sa pagsu-shooting. Huwag silang male-late dahil 'yun ang makaksira sa kanilang career," she said.
She added: "Hangga't maaari, lumayo sa drugs, sigarilyo at alak. It will not good sa health nila."
For her part, Samson is thankful she gave up her vices in her youth before they became excessive. This, she credits as among her "beauty secrets."
More importantly, the former "bomba" star related that the easiest way to put off "aging" is to simply be happy.
"Actually, alam mo, wala naman akong ibang sikreto kundi lumapit ako sa Panginoon, at tinigil ko paninigarilyo ko, tinigil ko 'yung alak ko. Healthy living, ika nga," she said.
"Kaya kung gusto niyong hindi mag-grow old agad, be happy. Kung anong meron ka, tanggapin mo, matuwa ka na roon. Don't ask for more, ganoon lang," she said.