Eric Cueto’s Interview with VILMA (Repost)

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Eric C: Ate Vi, ano ang pinaka paborito mo sa lahat ng Darna movies mo? (“Vi, what’s your favorite among your Darna movies?”)

Ate Vi: Syempre Lipad Darna Lipad, yon kasi ang unang Darna ko at maganda talaga. May copy ka ba nito? (Of course, it’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” since it was my first. It was really well done. Do you have a copy of it?)

Eric C: Wala din ako nito eh, hayaan mo at kapag naka hanap ako bibigyan kita. Paano ka nag handa sa movie na ito, nagkaroon ka ba ng special training sa mga fight scenes mo dito bago nag umpisa ang filming? I heard si Tony Ferrer daw ang isa sa mga nag guide sa iyo. (I don’t have this movie either. But if I am able to find one, I’ll give you a copy. How did you prepare for this movie? Did you have any special “fight training” before you started filming? I heard that Action Star-Tony Ferrer guided you.)

Ate Vi: Walang training sa set na talaga bago mag umpisa ang shooting namin. Hindi si Tony ang nag guide sa akin, yong mga stuntman lile SOS daredevils. (No, there was no training on the set before filming. It wasn’t Tony Ferrer who guided me but the stuntmen called SOS Daredevils.)

Eric C: Hindi ka ba nahirapan sa mga stunts mo? (Did you have any difficulties with your own stunts?)

Ate Vi: Hindi naman, kasi may pagka tomboy din ako noong araw kaya madali kong napag aralan. Actually, minsan nga nag karoon ng aksidente na kailangan ko na mag tumbling at sasaluhin ako ng stuntman ang nangyari nasipa ko sya sa mukha kaya putok yong ilong nya at kailangang dalahin sya sa hospital, ako naman nauntog sa bato kaya ang sakit ng ulo ko. (Not really. I was a bit of a tomboy in those days so I learned things quickly. Actually, there was a time when an accident occured. I had to go and do the tumbling bit where the stuntman was supposed to catch me. I accidentally kicked him in the face and he got a bloody nose and had to be brought to the hospital. I, on the other hand, hit my head on a rock and got a splitting headache.)

Eric C: I heard din na nilagnat ka noong first time ka eksena mo ay mga ahas? (I head that you developed a fever the first time you had a scene with snakes?)

Ate Vi: Oo totoo yon! natakot ako sa mga ahas first shooting day yata namin yon sa may roof top ng isang building sa may Santa Mesa. Isang lingo akong nagkalagnat yata noon? then bago ulit kami mag shooting pinahahawakan na muna nila sa akin yong mga snakes para masanay na ako. (That’s true! I was terrified of the snakes the first day of shooting on a rooftop of a building in Santa Mesa. I think I kept getting fevers for a week. Then , they let me touch the snakes first before every shoot so that I could get over my fear)

Eric C: how’s Celia as Valentina and Gloria as Impakta?

Ate Vi: Celia, she’s really good! and Tita Glo was so scary as Impakta, I love her so much.

Eric C: How about Liza?

Ate Vi: She’s good too! I remember ang costume nya ay yong parang sheep skin at may pair of wings sya. Sa may Antipolo kinunan yong episode ng Babaing Lawin. (She’s good too! I remember her costume that was made of sheepskin with a pair of wings. We filmed the “Babaing Lawin” episode in Antipolo)

Eric C: May aerial fight scenes ba kayo ni Liza? (Did you have aerial fight scenes with Liza?)

Ate Vi: Wala, sa land lang kami nag laban mostly sa cave. I remember kami ni Tita Glo nag laban kami sa ere, naka tayo kami sa parang stage then madilim yong background at yong kalahati ng katawan ni Tita Glo ay may takip na itim na tela, at may malaking electric fan na naka tapat sa amin. (No we didn’t. We fought on land..mostly in a cave. I remember my aerial fight scene with Gloria (Romero). We were standing on a stage with a dark bacground and there was a black cloth covering the half lower part of her body and there was a large electric fan in front of us)

Eric C: May scene ba dito na nakuha mo yong bato mo sa shooting star? (Was there ever an origin scene where you received the magic stone with the coming of the shooting star?)

Ate Vi: May power na ako ni Darna sa umpisa pa lang ng story, sa Darna VS. The Planetwomen yong may nahulog na bato mula sa sky. (I already had the power of DARNA from the start of the movie. I only had an origin scene in “Darna Vs. the Planet Women” where the magic stone fell from the sky.)

Eric C: Excited ka ba ng i offer sa iyo ang Darna for the first time at may napanood ka ba na Darna movies before your Darna? (Were you excited when the role of Darna was offered to you for the first time? Also- Did you watch any of the Darna movies that came before you were offered the part?)

Ate Vi: Napanood ko yong Darna ni Eva Montes sa sine at yong Kay Rosa Del Rosario sa tv. Napanood ko din yong Darna ang Pagbabalik sa tv, i don’t really care about it, kasi parang tinipid yong movie. Of course excited ako ng I-alok sa akin ang Darna. I remember nag paalam pa ako sa mga madre sa school na pinapasukan ko noon, kasi diba na ka two piece si Darna at okay naman sa kanila, kasi nga hindi naman daw bastos yong character ni Darna, superheroine nga sya eh. Tinanong ko rin yong mga fans noon at medyo nga worried din sila sa costume baka daw bastusin ako. Kaya nga noong una sa pictorials ng promo ng movie naka body stocking ako, kaya lang hindi talaga magandang lumabas nakakataba yong stocking. William Leary and Douglas Quijano convinced me na tangalin ko yong stocking sa press con ng Darna. I remember nasa bathroom pa nga ako noon at mag papalit na ko ng Darna costume ko, then tinangal ko na rin kasi sabi nila ” Vi, masagwa talaga yong stocking bakit di mo sila gulatin lumabas ka ng walang stocking tutal may ipapakita ka naman” . At yon na lumabas na ko ng walang body stocking. (I saw Eva Montes’ “Darna at ang babaing Tuod” at the movies and Rosa Del Rosario’s Darna on TV. I also watched “Darna: Ang Pagbabalik (The Return)” on TV but don’t care for it..it had bad production values. Of course, I was excited when I was offered the role of Darna. I even had to ask permission from the Nuns at my school because of Darna’s 2 piece costume. Besides, there’s nothing obscene about the costume because this is a Superheroine after all. But I asked advice from some fans and they were concerned that I might get criticized for being daring. This is why I wore body stockings in the promotional pics for the movie. It looked so terrible and made me look fat with body stockings. William Leary and Douglas Quijano convinced me to remove the body stockings before the Press Con. I remember changing into my Darna costume and I remember their words telling me- “Vi, the stockings look terrible so why don’t you surprise all of them by not wearing them. Besides, you have the looks anyway.” So there – I was at the Press con without the body stockings.”)

Eric C: What do you think of Angel (Locsin) as Darna?

Ate Vi: She’s doing great sa tv series niya na Darna. Napapanood ko ito at bagay sa kanya tama yong ginagawa nya sa mga fight scenes nya, believable talaga! kasi pag Darna ka kailangan di ka malamya at mai papakita mo na kaya mo talagang mag patumba ng mga kalaban mo. (She’s doing great on the TV series as Darna. I do watch it and she looks great as Darna. Even the fight scenes are believable. That’s because when you’re Darna, you cannot be lethargic. You need to look like you can really knockdown Super-Villains.)

Eric C: Do you mind na mag guest appearance sa Darna movie or tv? (Do you mind making a guest appearance in the Darna movie or on a TV series?)

Ate Vi: I don’t mind basta ba maganda yong role. Noong araw sa Darna ni Dolphy inalok ako na mag pasa ng bato kay Dolphy, pero pregnant ako noon kay Lucky. (I don’t mind as long as the role is good. A long time ago, in Dolphy’s Darna..I was offered the role of Darna turning over the stone to Dolphy’s character. But I was pregnant. (My Baby named Lucky.)

Eric C: Ano pa yong mga memorable experience mo about Darna? (What other memorable experiences did you have as Darna?

Ate Vi: Yong flying scenes, mahirap talaga yon kasi kailangang i balance mo yong katawan sa 3 maninipis na bakal na nakasasalo sa katawan ko, at may malaking electric fan na nakatapat sa may mukha ko kaya sakit talaga sa ulo after takes. Also, natatandaan ko rin yong lumilipad ako papuntang Maynila na background music na My Beautiful Baloon. I also remember si Angelito pa ang Ding ko sa Lipad Darna Lipad. (The flying scenes. That was really hard because you have to balance your body on 3 steel bars while a large electric fan in front of my face which gave me headaches after takes. I also remember the flying scene where Darna was flying towards Manila and the background music was the song – “My Beautiful Balloon”. I remember the boy- Angelito who played “Ding” in “Lipad, Darna, Lipad”.

Eric C: May naitabi ka ba na Darna memorabilla? (Were you able to take some Darna memorabilia?)

Ate Vi: Wala, binabalik namin yon sa studio like costumes. (None. We returned everything to the studios)

Eric C: Ano ang pagkakaiba ng Darna noon at ngayon? (What’s the difference between the your Darna and the version today?)

Ate Vi: Ngayon mas advance na ang technology at computerized na talaga, madali ng gawin yong mga mahihirap na scenes. Noon pag nag Narda ako naka steady talaga yong camera tapos bihis agad balif sa dating pwesto, ngayon halos computer na talaga lahat. (Technology is much more advanced today. The harder scenes are easier to make now. Whenever I shot my scenes as Narda changing to Darna, the camera remains steady as as I get dressed in costume and return to the same spot before the transformation.)

Eric C: Ate Vi, nagawa mo na halos lahat ang hindi na lang is to play the role of Impakta or Aswang, will you consider na lumabas ng isa sa mga villainess sa Darna like Gloria Romero noon? (Vilma, You have done every role already except playing “Impakta” or an “Asuwang”. Would you consider playing a Darna villainess like what Gloria Romero did?)

Ate Vi: Naku! mukha na ba akong impakta? (sabay halakhak) actually may ginawa na kong Aswang yong ” Anak ng Aswang” pero hindi ako ang aswang si Tita Glo. Actually very interesting yang role na yan at challenging, i don’t mind playing those kind of roles na kontrabida, basta ba maganda ang story. (Yikes! Do I already look like a Vampire? (Laughs out loud) Actually I starred in a Vampire movie already “Anak ng Aswang” (Vampire’s Child) but I was not the Vampire. Gloria Romero played the Vampire. Actually I think that’s an interesting role and I don’t mind playing a Villainess as long as it’s a good story.)

Eric C: Teka muna ate Vi, kailan mo ba ipapasa sa akin ang bato? (Jokingly, by the way Vilma, when are you surrendering the “magic stone” to me?)

Ate Vi: ( sabay tawa) Hay naku! hindi pa panahon para ipasa ko sa iyo ang bato. (Laughs) Oh well, it’s not time yet for me to give up the “magic stone” to you.”)

Eric C: Ate for the last time sumigaw ka ng Darna please! (Vilma, could you do the “Darna yell” one last time?)

Ate Vi: Baka magising ang mga tao dito sa hotel madaling araw na. (We might wake up the people in this hotel. It’s really late.)

Eric C: Please ate Vi….Medyo pabiro pang isinigaw ni Ate ang Darna) (Please Vi. (Then Vilma gets playful with the “Darna yell”)

Ate Vi: Jworna (pa cute pa sya dito ha!) then di ba meron pang sumigaw ng Daarnaaa, na parang hirap sya sa pag sigaw di ba? (“Jworna!!! (makes funny expressions) Wasn’t there another Actress who sounded like she was having a difficult time yelling “Darna”??)

Eric C: kilala ko yong mga sumigaw ng ganoon ate Vi. (then finally medyo nag emote muna si ate at sabay taas ng kamay) (I know the actress who did the yell that way. ……….AND THEN….. VILMA REALLY GOT INTO CHARACTER)

Ate Vi: DARNA!!! (DARNA!!!!)

Eric C: no pa naman di halos hinimatay ako sa tuwa imagine in person talaga narinig namin na sumigaw si Ate Vi ng Darna at palakpakan ang mga Vilmanians na nakipag puyatan sa pakikipag chikahan sa Darna for all seasons, na kahit walang make up ay super ganda pa rin. (Hehehe I almost fainted with great joy. Imagine- I got to hear the most famous Darna of them all do the yell… in person !! All the Vilma Fans applauded as we all stayed up late into the early morning with the “DARNA OF ALL SEASONS” (who is still very pretty ..even without make-up) – Eric Cueto, Mars Ravelo Darna web-site

Written by Eric Cueto, Mars Ravelo’s Darna web-site READ MORE

About Darna – Darna is a fictional character and Filipino comics superheroine created by writer Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo. In her more popular incarnations, she is a deceased warrior from another planet manifesting herself through a girl from Earth, named Narda. She first appeared in Pilipino Komiks #77 (May 13, 1950). Darna is a retooling of Ravelo’s earlier character Varga, whose stories he wrote and illustrated himself. She first appeared in Bulaklak Magazine, Volume 4, #17 (July 23, 1947). Ravelo left Bulaklak due to differences with the editors…Starting in 1951, several Darna movies were made. Some made from 1973 onwards starred the future multi-awarded dramatic actress and politician Vilma Santos. In these 1970s films, Darna’s origin was changed; no longer a little girl, Narda was now in her late teens. Also, she herself becomes Darna, unlike the original where she just “channels” her (not unlike Jason Blood and Etrigan). Only Ding knows her secret in this version. Also, the stone comes out of Narda’s mouth every time she changes back; she has to swallow it every time she wants to transform (This became standard for following versions). Darna is not specified as coming from Marte, just as a “warrior of Light”. This version of Darna became most people’s idea of the character for about 3 decades. A catchphrase popularized by the movies and said by Narda runs, “Ding, ang bato!” (“Ding, [give me] the stone!”) (Wikipedia)

RELATED READING:
Filmography: Lipad Darna Lipa! (1973)
Official Mars Ravelo’s Darna Web-site
IMDB: Lipad, Darna, lipad! (1973)
IMDB: Liza Lorena, Actress
IMDB: Gloria Romero, Actress
IMDB: Celia Rodriguez, Actress
Darna and THE Giants (1973)
Fly Darna Fly! (1973) movie series
Vilma Santos: The Best Darna Ever
Celia Rodriguez and Gina Pareno: Memories of Darna
The five Darnas we love!
International Hero: Mars Ravelo’s Darna

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