Remembering Charito Solis

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Body of Work – “…Sa 1983, ang mga mapagpipilian lamang ay…Karnal…Now that we have discussed this year’s better films and the directors who made them, tunghayan natin ang listahan ng best screen performances…Kung ang paraan sa paghatol sa Best Actress ay for the actress with most commendable body of work, tiyak nang ang mananalo, hands down, ay si Charito Solis. Charito Solis is very good as the bitter lola in Boyfriend Kong Kano, laudable as the stern mother who nearly ruined her children in Minsan May Isang Ina, terrific as the impoverished mom who slowly loses her sanity in Don’t Cry For Me, Papa and simply pathetic as the derange ex-prostitute in the released Pusakal. Idagdag pa nga rito ang matindi rin niyang pagkakaganap sa Karnal, talagang top contender si Chato for best actress this year…” – Movie Flash Magazine, January 5, 1984 (READ MORE)

Acting Trophies – “…Charito Solis’ “antics” were the toast of the tabloids when she was younger, from the admirable to the ridiculous. Her volatile outbursts on sets when professionalism was not observed was a common story written in the movie magazines. Ever a stickler for promptness and professionalism, she was said not to allow any one to make a noise during her performances because it detracts from her concentration. She would even go to the lengths of bringing her acting trophies on movie sets so that she can show the younger stars that they were dealing with a competent and award-winning actress that they have to respect in terms of promptness and performance. Both Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor, future FAMAS Hall of Famers, were said to have experienced this. She was also said to “meddle” with directors in terms of movie directing, an accusation that she had denied and explained: she was not meddling with the direction of the film but with the direction of her acting. She was an active artist; she would suggest ways on how to better her performance, but the director’s approval was needed to seal it, which she obeyed. She was just disappointed that because she was Charito Solis that her directors usually do not bring out the best in her, believing and excusing themselves that what she was giving was already the best. Other tabloid rumors were that she slept in a temperature-controlled room to preserve her beauty and that she brought her own arinola (potty) on film sets as she refused to use public toilets. She is also known to drum up interest with her name through her personal makings, such as the beggar garb in the 1968 FAMAS Awards. Her career was top one in her life, a probable reason why she never married. After her death, it was revealed that the only boyfriends she ever had were the King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe, Jr. when they were both starting out and film director Danny Zialcita…” – Gypsy Baldovino and Yolly Tiangco (READ MORE)

Lolita Rodriguez – “…Lolita and Charito maintained mutual respect and fondness, unusual to find in top actresses. Actually, the “clashes” exist largely in the minds of the public. Lolita says she has always been in the best of terms with LVN stars, among them Charito. Echoing the same sentiment, Charito say she works well with professionals “and who can be more professional than Lolita?” In the “clashes” in Larawanm one couldn’t say who really “won.” Lolita, having the stronger role (Candida) and being more familiar with the medium, dominated Larawan. But Charito turned her awkwardness with the stage into a virtue. She gave Paula an endearing quality…” – Ronald K. Constantino, Expressweek Magazine, April 19, 1979 (READ MORE)

Ishmael Bermal – “…So far, lahat naman siguro ng magagaling na directors noong araw, I’ve worked with na. Sa bagay, iba rin ang style nila noon, iba kaysa sa ngayon. At iba’ng galing nila, iba rin naman ang galing ng mga director ngayon.:” She paused and thinks awhile. “But I take special note of Bernie (Ishmael Bernal, who directed her late last year in “Walang Katapusang Tag-araw). Ibang klase siyang director, e. ‘yung bang pipigain ka niya nang husto. When he doesn’t like what you’re doing, he tells you. Kasi, kadalasan ang mga director ngayon, ano, just because I’m Charito Solis, it seems they don’t even bother to correct me. ‘Yung bang kundi pa ko magtatanong, hindi pa nila sasabihin. Si Bernie he can even tell me, “O, wala ka yata sa mood ngayon, a.” Things like that. And he really insists on what he wants you to do “hanggang sa makuha mo. Okey lang yon. Meron din naman akong ka-vives na director, kasundo ko sa shooting, I like him pero I cannot really, honestly respect him as a director, ganyan. Sa LVN din noon, iba. Mahigpit sila diyan. Hindi puwede ‘yung pa-wise guy wise guy ka. You have to obey everything they tell you…” – Mario E. Bautista, Philippines Daily Express, October 5, 1978 (READ MORE)

Better Actress – “…Oops! Keep your cool, dear Noranians, and listen to Charito Solis’ explanation before you accuse her of being, uh, “maka-Vilma.” “Vilma has a wider range as an actress while Nora is limited and typecast in certain roles,” Charito said in a tone devoid of intrigue, answering our question in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner. “Si Vilma, puede kahit anong role, kahit bold. You can’t imagine Nora doing a bold role, can you?” But, and that’s the big but, “Nora has more depth than Vilma,” Charito added, “and it’s because of her expressive eyes. Nora is very effective in scenes where she doesn’t say anything, just act with her eyes, at ‘yan ang kulang ni Vilma. Vilma has to say something to be effective.” Charito has worked with Vilma twice (in “Mga Tigre ng SierraCruz” and “Modelong Tanso”) and with Nora once (“Minsan May Isang Ina”). Speaking in general now, said Charito, “Vilma is the better actress.” We asked Charito that ticklish question during the lunch presscon for her latest movie, the star-studded Mother’s Day offering of Regal Films titled “Dear Mama”, which also stars Gloria Romero, Laurice Guillen, Snooky, Janice de Belen, Julie Vega, Manilyn Reynes, Jaypee de Guzman, Rey “PJ” Abellana and Alicia Alonzo in the title role. Our own personal opinion somehow jibes with that of Charito whose “throne”, I suppose, will be inherited by Vilma (while Nora will inherit the “throne” of the other drama queen, Lolita Rodriguez)…” – Ricardo F. Lo, The Phil. Star, 03 April 1984 (READ MORE)

Charito Solis (6 October 1935 – 9 January 1998) was a FAMAS and Gawad Urian award-winning Filipino film actress. Acknowledged as one of the leading dramatic actresses of post-war Philippine cinema, she was tagged either as the “Anna Magnani of the Philippines” or as “the Meryl Streep of the Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Charito Solis and Vilma Santos Trivia

  • Contrary to popular belief, Charito Solis and Vilma Santos’ first project together wasn’t the festival entry, Modelong Tanso (this was their second film), It was a Cultural Center of the Phillipines’ passion play titled, “Ang Hari.”
  • According to film critic, Mario Bautista, on his interview with the screen legend, Carmen Rosales, both Santos and Solis are distant relative to her.
  • Charito Solis was one of the instigator of the Ralph Recto and Vilma Santos romance, she insisted on Vilma to give Ralph a chance after he asked her for a dance inside Kingkong Disco owned by director, Marilou Diaz Abaya. The group was unwinding after the rigid night of television work.
  • Charito Solis and Vilma Santos joined forces for the second time in the hit film, Modelong Tanso where Charito slapped Vilma several times. This scene was used to promote the film.
  • While Vilma Santos tried to be sexy in several films, it was Charito Solis who exposed herself literally. Her film, Igorota required her to show her breast, a very controversial scandal during that perod.
  • During her heyday and to make a point about professionalism, Charito Solis will bring her FAMAS trophies to the set, saying: “…tapatan mo ang mga trophies na yan (match these trophies),” probably insinuating, before you act like a diva, match these trophies! And Vilma Santos took noticed, she surpassed La Solis, in quantities and qualities.
  • Charito Solis and Vilma Santos both started their career through the help of their respective uncle, both connected in film productions.
  • Charito Solis played mother to Vilma Santos five times.
  • In 1963, Charito Solis won her third FAMAS best actress for Angustia and Vilma Santos her very first as best child actress for Trudis Liit.
  • Charito Solis and Vilma Santos both FAMAS Hall of Fame awardees
  • Charito Solis won the FAMAS best actress for: Kundiman ng Lahi, 1959; Emily, 1960; Angustia, 1963; Igorota, 1968; Don’t Cry for Me Papa, 1983 (also, she received 14 Best Actress nominations and 2 Best Supporting Actress nominations
  • Vilma Santos won the FAMAS best actress for: Dama de Noche, 1972; Pakawalan Mo Ako, 1981; Relasyon, 1982; Tagos Ng Dugo, 1987; Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos, 1988 (also, she received 12 Best Actress nominations, 2 Best Supporting Actress Nominations and won one Best Child Actress award).
  • Because of their talent, versatility and several acting awards, both Charito Solis and Vilma Santos are tagged at one point in their career, as the Meryl Streep of the Philippines.
  • Charito Solis’ Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak, was the Philippines’ entry to the Oscar’s best foreign film of 1969 while Vilma Santos’ Dekada 70 and Anak were the Philippines entries in 2003 and 2000.
  • Also in 1969, Charito Solis won the Asian Film Festival’s best actress honor for Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak (Because of One Flower) while Vilma Santos surpassed this by winning the best actress trophies in 1999 Brussels Festival of International Independent Films, for Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa? (Leah’s Story) and 2003 CinaManila International Films Festival, for Dekada ’70 (The Seventies).
  • Both Charito Solis and Vilma Santos did drama anthologies on small screen. Solis did “The Charito Solis show” while Santos did “Ang Talambuhay ni Rosa Vilma” both for ABS-CBN. Solis stiff competition was Marlen Dauden’s “Salamisim” while Santos’ was Nora Aunor’s “Makulay na Daigdig ni Nora,” these shows were from rival station, RPN channel 9.
  • Charito Solis and Vilma Santos transformed themselves into mature actress venturing into the sexy films, Solis via Araw-Araw, Gabi-Gabi and Santos via Burlesk Queen, both films were entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival. They both won the best actress awards.
  • Charito Solis and Vilma Santos portrayed the role of a burlesk dancer, Charito in Huwad na Mananayaw and Vilma in Burlesk Queen.
  • While Charito Solis did two films with Japanese actor Kojiro Hongo in 1960 (The Life of Gautama Budha) and 1961 (The Princess and I), Vilma Santos did Twin Fist of Justice in 1975, with Chinese actor, Meng Fei.

Charito Solis and Vilma Santos Films

Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal (1997) – “…You know, it’s amazing because we’ve never been linked to each other and yet the public loves seeing our movies together. Siguro it’s because we have this unbelievable chemistry. We know each other so well that tinginan lang on screen, we already know what to do to make a take very good…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) – “…The 1990s saw Charito Solis graduate to mother and grandmother roles, which she had done with frequency in the 1980s. In another nod to her age, she finally allowed herself to be billed above Vilma Santos, then acknowledged as the Longest-Reigning Box Office Queen of Philippine Movies, albeit above-the-title in films such as Ipagpatawad Mo (1992) and Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993)…” – Gypsy Baldovino and Yolly Tiangco (READ MORE)

Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) – “…Ninety percent of these autistic children are very good-looking and are good in numbers but they have a world of their own. If you teach them something, yon kung ang alam nila, no other world exists. Autism is like virus and it is not hereditary. Hindi malalaman na autistic ang isang bata until they are about three or four years old. But doctors know, when a baby is born that he or she is autistic, only they don’t dare tell the parents about it. This movie should be an eye opener for such doctors and parents…” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Oct 28 1991 (READ MORE)

Modelong Tanso (1979) – “…The multi-awarded actress even related her personal experience about feeling inadequate when she did the 1979 movie Modelong Tanso with the late Charito Solis who played her mom in the story. “Ako ang naintimidate noon. Naranasan ko yun noong araw kay Ms. Charito Solis na ngayon parang yun naman ang nangyayari sa akin [with the young stars.] So tinuro ko sa kanila na kahit may ka-eksena kayo na senior stars, kapag sinabi ng direktor ni’yo na kailangan niyong sampalin/sigawan sila, wala kayong choice. Gawin ni’yo yun, kahit sabihin niyong senior or respected star man yun, hindi kayo pwedeng magpa-intimidate. Kasi lahat sila kinakabahan lalo na nung pinapasampal ako kay Megan…” – Rachelle Siazon (READ MORE)

Happy Days Are Here Again (1974) – “…In 1974, the Big 3 studios of the 50s, LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions reproduced a full-length movie showcasing a compilation of the musical comedies produced by the three studios. It was a painstaking job for the researchers since most of the best musicals produced by the three studios were either lost or destroyed. At the start of the project, director Lamberto V. Avellana was supposed to direct the film but eventually replaced by Cirio Santiago after so many changes in the project including the script. He ended up as consultant of the movie. The film was HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN, with brief narrations by movie stars like Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Susan Roces, Leopoldo Salcedo, Jaime de la Rosa, Eddie Gutierrez, Tirso Cruz III, Pugo, German Moreno and Ike Lozada…” – Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz (1974) – “…Charito Solis, who initially had a tempestuous and hostile relationship with Vilma while making the ill-fated but box-office MMFF champ Modelong Tanso, had a change of heart when the reborn versatile/professional/charismatic actress Vilma impressed her through the years, at idineklara niya sa buong mundo, without batting an eyelash. na di hamak na mas magaling na aktres si Vilma kaysa kay Nora Aunor. Walang kumontra kay Chato dahil totoo ang sinabi niya, si La Solis yata iyan, at pati nga si Amalia Fuentes, another certified Vilmanian, at “kaaway” na mortal ni La Solis, ay sumang-ayon sa kanya. Si Susan Roces, ano naman kaya ang opinion niya sa obserbasyon ni Chato? Ah, Nida Blanca. Ang dami nilang pinagsamahan ni Vilma, mula TV hanggang sa movies. Dati ay una sa billing si Nida, subali’t dahil nga sa gulong ng buhay ay kailangang maging praktikal at handa ka sa katotohanang magiging second lead ka lang in the future…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

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