At the peak of its success, an unfortunate event struck the production company, Sampaguita Pictures. When a fire burned the production’s film equipment and set, reducing what was then thousands of pesos worth of resources into ashes, Sampaguita Pictures made the most out of it. A movie was shot atop the aftermath of this tragedy, the movie, “Roberta”, would be later become a hit. Roberta was inspired from the illustrated novel of Mars Ravelo.  It showed how children from the less fortunate Filipino families are forced into child labor to cope with poverty and the negligence of their parents. But what tugged the hearts of those who watched this movie was the unwavering love the children had towards their parents; despite any flaws they may have. This was the same movie that brought child star Tessie Agana and Boy Alano into the spotlight, as they became iconic for a scene that depicted them begging for food and searching for scraps along the set. The movie was given compliments like “The motion picture that will tear your heart to pieces!” and “one of the 30 iconic Filipino Films’s.

Just as coincidental and as mysterious as the set burning down, copies of Roberta vanished. According to Lilibeth Vera-Perez Nakpil, who has searched through the studio archive, copies of the movie can no longer be found. Old ads and stills are the only remnants left of this once glorified movie.

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