Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 22, 1961: "Lo’ Waist Gang" Actor Boy Sta. Romana Killed in Gunfight!

July 22, 1961: Movie Actor Boy Sta. Romana Killed in Gunfight!

On July 22, 1961, movie tough guy “Boy” Sta. Romana, 25, was killed in a gunfight wounding also a Quezon City policeman (Victor Buenaventura) and a wealthy textile industrialist’s son (Edgardo Pascual- of the Pascual family) at the LVN Pictures compound, Central Boulevard, Quezon City. Sta. Romana sustained three bullet wounds and died on the spot lying face down under a heavy drizzle in front of the LVN studio  where the shooting occurred with one hand still holding his gun- a .38 caliber Luger-type pistol.

It was reported that Buenaventura was the one who fatally shot Sta. Romana and that both Buenaventura and Pascual were shot upon by Sta. Romana during the gunfight. Different versions on how the gunfight came about were documented. This sensational and tragic story was a big scandal at that time where prominent personalities were brought in for questioning like Joseph Estrada and Perla Bautista y Garcia who were reportedly with Sta. Romana during the incident.

Sta. Romana was a member of a popular showbiz group of teenagers ("barkada" youth of the 50s) known as the Lo’ Waist Gang originally composed of Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) , Zaldy Zshornack, Berting Labra, Boy Francisco, Butch Bautista, Tony S. Cruz, Bobby Gonzales, and Mario Antonio. Chiquito and Paquito Toledo followed later. The public tended to see Lo-Waist Gang as a real-life gang but FPJ says the group was actually a gang only onscreen. Their first movie in 1956 was named after their gang- the first of the highly successful series of Lo' Waist Gang Movies which made FPJ a star.

Because of the gang's popularity, some members of the group were easily provoked by rival gangs out to test them where FPJ and the rest of the gang often found themselves in hot waters. It was believed that it was one of these provocations which led to the unfortunate incident with Boy Sta. Romana, a known hot-tempered member of the group who met his untimely death at a very young age of 25.

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