She is many things to many peo­ple

The Philippine Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Pablo A. Ta­ri­man

There is no way you can avoid Lolit So­lis in the show­biz king­dom.

She is a main­stay on GMA 7’s Startalk ev­ery Satur­day with former col­lege class­mate Joey de Leon. She also re­ports the lat­est in show­biz hap­pen­ings for a ra­dio sta­tion.

Read­ers on the look­out for the hottest items read her reg­u­lar col­umn in Pilipino Star Ngayon. Ev­ery movie celebrity’s birth­day, wed­ding and an­niver­sary are in­com­plete with­out the pres­ence of La So­lis.

From what one can fig­ure out, Lolit is many things to many peo­ple.

For one, she is a good mother and a good provider.

She is eas­ily moved by friends and rel­a­tives in dis­tress; she could eas­ily write a check for ac­quain­tances in need of help.

She is a good tal­ent man­ager and on many oc­ca­sions, she will risk life and limb for her artists.

To many in the show­biz king­dom, there is no fury like a Lolit So­lis scorned.

Her pen is might­ier than the sword, in many sense.

Said Gretchen Barretto in her now fa­mous Manila City Hall ap­pear­ance 17 years ago: “Lolit So­lis is a name to reckon with in the movie in­dus­try. She can make or un­make you, she has friends, she has con­nec­tions, she can iso­late you in these awards events be­cause she han­dles the tal­ents like she did in this fes­ti­val. Like as soon as I came out with my rev­e­la­tion, she had the guts to an­nounce on TV she’d slap me if I don’t keep my mouth shut. She is per­fectly ca­pa­ble of do­ing that.”

Movie scribes swore Lolit had done just that to Mari­toni Fer­nan­dez, whom she used to man­age.

They re­called that she had thrown ash­trays at movie new­shen Nene Riego when the lat­ter wrote un­sa­vory things about Lolit’s tal­ents.

But alas, in those days, in­ci­dents like that were what make show­biz col­or­ful. Truth was, those in­ci­dents were con­sid­ered quite com­mon­place — as com­mon as the mi­cro­phone-hit­ting scene in a live tele­cast be­tween sex­pot Div­ina Va­len­cia and the late star man­ager Rey de la Cruz and as com­mon as the sight of Robin Padilla slug­ging it out in a disco joint with a punk who made the mis­take of ogling at his girl­friend.

When that film fes­ti­val con­tro­versy broke out in the mid-’90s, La So­lis edged out Frank Si­na­tra and the Abu Sayyaf from the front pages, and had even man­aged to steal the thun­der from the VAT is­sue. Even non-movie columnists wrote about her as though she’d just done some­thing to up­set the coun­try’s Gross National Prod­uct.

Even po­lit­i­cal columnists no longer found it be­neath them to tackle Lolit.

The late Teddy Benigno said that at any way you looked at Lolit, she looked like a mini-pat­ton tank po­si­tion­ing its gun tur­ret for a belch.

To this date, La So­lis’s col­umn ex­posés at­tracted quite a lot of li­bel cases and on TV prime­time news, Lolit was there be­ing asked for sound bites which to most TV view­ers were sources of fun and amuse­ment.

But as one watched Lolit in re­cent TV ap­pear­ances, it was ob­vi­ous she has come to terms with “the in­dis­cre­tions” of the ’90s and was just glad in her role as grand­mother.

How was Lolit’s life like be­fore she be­came movie writer, star builder and tal­ent man­ager?

She started as a movie reporter in the early ’70s, sub­mit­ting to komiks out­lets yarns on the movie beat. She could have had in mind a jour­nal­ism ca­reer since she took up Mass­com at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines where co­me­dian-ac­tor Joey de Leon was a class­mate.

She grew up in the squat­ters’ area in Lardiz­a­bal, Sam­paloc, near National Univer­sity, and in one jour­nal­ism sem­i­nar she at­tended, she met her hus­band-to-be Angie Pasa­monte, an en­gi­neer-ar­chi­tect. She had two daugh­ters — now aged 49 and 51 — from that mar­riage which didn’t last.

How did Lolit of 40 years ago look like?

“She was a very jolly per­son,” said a movie scribe who used to at­tend jour­nal­ism sem­i­nars with her. “But al­ready she had that kiti-kiti (wild streak) in her.”

The house she lived in Sam­paloc was a far cry from the man­sion she owned to­day in Fairview. It was an “ak­seso­rya” in Lardiz­a­bal Street shared with her par­ents and a large brood.

The job she set­tled in as soon as she got out of col­lege was writ­ing about movie stars. As a new­comer in the game, she lit­er­ally had to beg pub­lish­ers to use her story so her sub­ject would come across, so to speak. These ar­ti­cles soon got her movie passes. And her mar­riage? It was short-lived and the cou­ple never rec­on­ciled af­ter the first sep­a­ra­tion. They lived in a Pam­panga town where for a while, Lolit played the full-time house­wife. She opted to stay home un­til fi­nan­cial prob­lems cropped up. Her hus­band couldn’t pro­vide enough, and then stay­ing home be­gan to bore her. One Christ­mas in that short-lived mar­riage, Lolit found her­self star­ing at her two daugh­ters with no food on the ta­ble.

She left the mar­i­tal abode with her daugh­ters, went back to Sam­paloc and into movie reporting with a vengeance.

Then it dawned on her: If she pushed peo­ple’s show­biz ca­reer with her writ­ings, she might as well make the most of it. So she main­tained her movie col­umns, built stars, man­aged their ca­reers, han­dled tal­ents — a multi-faceted ca­reer which brought her from one fi­esta event in Lu­zon to as far as the West Coast and even Europe. Lolit had be­gun to en­joy the lux­u­ries of the job.

Movie scribes are a col­or­ful lot and Lolit holds the crown as the most inim­itable of them all.

Be­fore the punk hairdo, she’d tie her tresses on top, make them look like bizarre pies and she’d stray into a ho­tel’s func­tion room look­ing like she was the

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