By Jose Alejandrino

I had dinner with an American friend who gave me details of the Poe family as he knew them. However, he said they should be investigated as his memory is not as good as it used to be.

About 1912, he recounted, a half-Portuguese, half-African sailor jumped ship while calling at the port of Manila. This sailor was from Fernando Poe, a colony in West Africa. He met a Spanish-Chinese mestiza and they had a son, Fernando Poe Sr., who married an American girl called Elizabeth Kelly.

The couple had, if my friend remembers correctly six children, mostly girls. One of them was Ronaldo Poe who later became known as FPJ. He had a brother named Fernando but his stage name was Conrad Poe.

Ronnie Poe or FPJ had three kids by a first marriage: Ronian, Ryan, and Lovey. He later married Susan Roces, the sister of Rosemarie Sonora, but they had no children.

Rosemarie was the mistress of Ferdinand Marcos. It was the appointments secretary of Marcos, Mariano Ruiz, who acted as the go-between. US intelligence was aware of this affair. When Rosemarie became pregnant, Marcos got worried because it could affect his re-election bid in 1969 against Sergio Osmena Jr. particularly if his wife Imelda found out.

So Rosemarie was sent to Guam in 1968 where she gave birth to a baby girl. She returned to the Philippines after giving birth but when she thought of going to the US she could not bring her daughter with her.

So it was arranged that the baby girl be found in Jaro Cathedral by a peasant family then given to Susan Roces and FPJ for adoption. This baby girl was named GRACE POE.

Later Susan discovered the adoption papers were not complete. This scared Susan because of possible inheritance complications later on with FPJ’s children by an earlier marriage. Aside from properties FPJ had accumulated, there was his library of films that was worth a fortune.

So she advised Grace to return to the Philippines so that the properties could be transferred to her name. This was the reason why, according to my friend, Grace Poe came back.



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