Vilma Santos will share who she is and what she went through in ABS-CBN’s Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons premiering tomorrow, Aug. 1 I have never been shy about my being a rabid fan of superstar Nora Aunor but neither am I coy about my being a great admirer of Vilma Santos, the Star for All Seasons. In my career as a TV talk show host, Vilma belongs to my Top 5 Best Interviewees. She is engaging, spirited, honest, intuitive, generous, vulnerable and powerful. She talks to you and the TV cameras seamlessly. Not many people understand this dynamics. You talk to her for hours and the sparkle doesn’t diminish a bit. And you realize humbly that you are in the presence of royalty. And what a privilege it is always to do a conversation with the queen. (I have no quarrel about the title, Star for all Seasons but with the cataclysmic global warming phenomenon, she deserves a more definitive title).
I will attempt to paraphrase some of her most interesting declarations and revelations from the conversation I had with her the other day at ABS-CBN. Read on.
On childhood. “As a child, I already loved to perform. When there were visitors in the house, mama and papa would make me sing and dance.”
On Darna and Dyesebel. “Darna (she did four Darna movies) and Dyesebel were very difficult to do. I wore body stockings underneath the Darna costumes. Just before I was presented to the press in my Darna costume, Douglas Quijano, Alfie Lorenzo and William Leary convinced me that the body stockings didn’t look good and there was nothing to be afraid of because, I had good skin. I took off the stockings and since then I wore the Darna costume without them. Dyesebel was harrowing. It took 10 people to help me into the costume and out of it. If I needed to go to the toilet, they created a hole on the costume to make my life bearable. When I did these movies, we weren’t as wired as we are today. In Darna, I was tied and lifted to simulate flying. It was physically punishing.”
On recording and dancing. “I recorded a couple of albums that spawned hits — one is the iconic Sweet Sixteen which I would still sing in private. My fans would still play my songs in the provincial capitol. I miss dancing.”
On Burlesk Queen. “Yes, I will never forget that seven-minute dance in the movie. I postponed the shoot of the scene five times. I was so afraid. I performed the dance in front of a real burlesk show audience.
I remember the controversy about the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards and the squabble between Rolando Tinio and Lino Brocka. They wanted us to return the trophies. I didn’t return mine. I deserved it. I worked hard for that trophy.”
On Relasyon. “I won my first grand slam with this movie. I shot this two months after I gave birth to Lucky. I was besieged with enormous financial problems. I owed the BIR, the banks. Thank you to Manay Ichu and Atty. Esperidion Laxa who guided me through this difficult phase in my life. My loans were re-structured. I produced five films which lost a lot of money. One was Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak which we did in three years. Life was miserable. Hinarap ko lahat ang problema ko. Everything that I earned went straight to the banks to pay off my debts. And I paid all of them. Thank God. “So when I was doing Relasyon, I was drawing a lot of emotions from the troubles, the pain I was experiencing. Yes, I will not also forget that tuhog scene I did with Boyet and his death scene. Ishmael Bernal our director was great. And Luis is really lucky.”
On Sister Stella L. “It will always be an important film. When I was doing this movie, I didn’t realize what it meant to me and the Filipino people. I only started to understand it when I became Mayor of Lipa and if you listen to one of the lines of the movie, you will realize that it is still relevant today. ‘Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan?’”
On Nora Aunor. “Kami ni Nora ang unang mga artistang binayaran ng milyon. If we only knew how to manage our money we would have owned subdivisions. Before when we would talk, I would ask her, are you stable? Do you have a dollar account? But you know what? In spite of all these that we hear about her, I know she will survive because she is a fighter.”
On politics. “It was not written in the wall that I would get into politics. As a movie star, everything is given to you. In politics baliktad. You give everything. But it’s the fulfillment that you are able to make a difference. My focus is on Batangas. No, I am not entertaining thoughts about the Vice Presidency.”
On the men in her life. – Bobot Mortiz. “Young love. I knew he was going to be a director. He was very creative. He was also conservative.”
Edu Manzano. “He brought me to places I haven’t been to before like a pizza parlor.”
Boyet de Leon. “We never got into anything serious. Kasi lagi mali ang timing.”
Ralph. “He is the most secure man I have known. I want to grow old with him.”
Luis. “Who he is today, he worked hard for. I am proud of him.”
Ryan Christian. “He is very passionate. One time he told me he wanted to get into politics and showbiz. And I told him, ‘It’s hard anak’ and he shot back ‘Bakit ikaw mommy?”
On motherhood. “It’s true that you truly appreciate your mother when you become a mother yourself. Mama is 83. I will do anything to make her comfortable, to make her happy.”
On the hanky. “Oh yes, it’s a trademark. I use it for many things. Wipe my sweat, wave it when I’m happy. Madalas mahingi ng tao. So when people ask what we can give the governor, on her birthday… simple lang po akong tao pajamas, hankie or pagkain.”
On Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons. “This is a TV special that will air in ABS-CBN starting tomorrow, Aug. 1 and all the Saturdays of August. It’s sharing who I am, what I went through, how I got here, what I have become, the excitement of what lies ahead.
Kwentuhan with the public that has given me so much. Pasasalamat to Him up there who has blessed me with a wonderful life.”
I brought out my imaginary mirror and asked her to describe what she saw, she quipped, “A woman who is content, a woman who has remained simple.”
Long Live the Queen! Source: Written by Boy Abunda, The Philippine Star, July 31, 2009 Philstar
Vilma Santos recalls highlights of her career for Inside the Cinema (Repost)
On its 15th year of airing on cable television, Cinema One celebrates with the Star for All Seasons, Ms. Vilma Santos. Hosted by Boy Abunda, this special two-hour episode of Inside the Cinema (September 15).
The multi-awarded and four time Grand Slam Best Actress is one of the iconic women of Philippine pop culture, and a successful politician and family woman whose charisma never waned until this day. Maria Rosa Vilma T. Santos was born in Tarlac in September 1953. She instantly catapulted to fame when she displayed arresting talent in the ’60s dramatic film Trudis Liit, allowing her to bag her first Best FAMAS Award as Child Actress.
After starring in over 300 movies, with most of them box-office hits and winning awards abroad, Inside the Cinema interviews the Star for All Seasons to allow her to share her thoughts about the evolution of her career from being an actress to public servant. Vilma points out: “Mahirap i-balanse noong una. In the long run napaghiwalay ko din kung ano iyong imahen ko bilang artista at ano naman bilang public servant lalo na when I’m with my constituents.”
Ever aware of the undying rivalry between her and Superstar Nora Aunor, she answers why theirs is a rivalry that transcended their decade and at one point even became subjects of discussions between cinema aesthetes to bickering fans as to who is the better actress. “Pareho kami ng kumare ko na hindi naapektuhan nun.”
But she becomes more animated when she describes the various leading men she shared the screen with. From Christopher de Leon to Edgar Mortiz, Matt Ranillo III to reel and one real-life partner Edu Manzano then to Albert Martinez and Ariel Rivera.
But when asked what her experiences were with the various directors who honed her acting skills, the Star for All Seasons becomes both serious and playful since here’s where she makes them distinct in her words and with their directing style. From Rory Quintos to Chito RoÃ±o. Danny Zialcita to Eddie Garcia. Laurice Guillen to Olivia Lamasan who directs her in her latest and highly anticipated movie In My Life where she acts opposite for the first time with son Luis Manzano and multi-awarded actor John Lloyd Cruz. – PEP (Telebisyon.net)