In Appreciation of Writers

Here are some personality in some way have been defending Vilma in the past and

Cleo Cruz

“…Pero sa totoo lang, sa kanilang tatlo, si Cleo Cruz lang ang masasabi kong trusted at loyal kay Vi dahil si Cleo ay hindi nagsusulat ng mga negative write-ups kay Vi. Si Cleo ay asawa ng isa ring writer/reporter na si Chito Mimije (isa rin sa mga tagapagtanggol ni Vi). Nang pumanaw si Chito ay nangibang bansa na lang si Cleo at iniwan na ang Pilipinas…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…I think mommy Cleo, as Ate Vi calls her, is in Los Angeles. I read an article that Mario Bautista wrote a few years ago that he attended a wedding in Los Angeles and Cleo Cruz was there. If I am not mistaken she still gets in touch with mommy Santos in Los Angeles. Cleo Cruz was married to the late brother of the movie scribe Chit Ramos. Cleo was the P.R.O. of Ate Vi in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember reading her column Vilma Variety in Bulaklak at Paru-Paro Magazine. The column for Ms. Aunor was written by Baby K. Jimenez. There was a time when Cleo Cruz and Baby K. Jimenez had a series of heated argument in their columns on who is the real queen of the Philippine movies. It stemmed from the fact that at that time Ate Vi was being called as the Takilya Queen by the press. Now we know who is the real and longest reigning queen Vilma!…” – Fr. J Gutierrez (READ MORE)

Babette Villaruel

“…Sosyal! Si Babette naman ay nagkaroon ng Sunday noontime show sa Channel 13, kasama si OMB Chairman Edu Manzano na pinamagatang Sunday Special Iba Ito. Sino ang makakalimot sa kanyang portion na may pamagat na “Say, Say, Say” sa nasabing programa na tuwing papatugtugin ito ay kinakalog niya ang ulo niya. Si Babette ay best friend ni German Moreno at noong nagkaroon sila ng hidwaan ay palaging sinasabi ni Babette na nagtitirik siya ng kandilang itim. Pero bago pumanaw si Babette ay nagkabati din sila ni Kuya Germs. Nasaan na kaya ang mga koleksiyones niya na “PH” ng mga artistang lalaki? Samantala, ang kontrobersiyal talent manager na si Alfie ay nagkaroon ng radio program sa DZBB na pinamagatang “What Is All About Alfie?” Nagkaroon din siya ng mga tv talk shows katulad ng Rumors, Facts & Humor kasama si Janice Jurado, Troika kasama sina Oskee Salazar at Billy Balbastro at yung isa ding tv talk show sa ABS CBN 2 kasama sina Edu Manzano at Cristy Fermin na katapat ng Startalk sa GMA 7…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…I am thinking, what could be more “kabastusan” than showing a funeral cortege as a PIP ( Picture in Picture) in a noontime game show, full of gyrating dancers and contestants jumping and up and down, audience cheering and clapping? What was ABS-CBN’s motivation to do this? I can only think of one reason; TV rating – hitting two birds with one stone, so that viewers need not switch channels. In short, you’re “entertained” by both events by a single channel. I am reminded of a light hearted statement made by the late movie reporter Babette Villaruel when asked about the funeral of his deceased father “ Okay naman ho. Successful naman yung burol niya”. Clearly, he was adding a showbiz twist to the event, in levity of course….” – BW (READ MORE)

“…Catch a flashback of an evening of confidences written for a column on Jan. 5, 1989. It was an interesting mix to start with. Babette Villaruel, Mama Monchang, Bong de Leon and Mar Cornes hugging a corner of that magnificent garden at Forbes Park. We have come a long way, baby, since that time we all enjoyed the highlights of Aling Maring’s merienda at El Oro. But the elegant domain in this conclave of the rich is owned by banker Danny Dolor, a friend of Ronald Constantino, whose birthday was the reason for that evening of fun. It also turned out to be an evening of confidential declaration. June Torrejon, who has dropped Rufino from her name, was happy to note that her children will not have a half-brother or sister since Nena V. disclosed that during a religious confrontation, the real father came out in a confession while he was getting married to another one. If you find this had to follow, so do I. But the most incredible things happen in showbiz and this is one of those. “It was an answer from above,” June said. “He knows how to take care of his children.” The talk that night also centered on other separations, like that of Inday Badiday and Gene Palomo and as usual with such embellishment to make light of the situation…

…Vilma Santos, looking as stunningly beautiful as you see her on TV, sat at our table. Which turned the talk now to Edu Manzano and current love Maricel Soriano. Details were again embellished, some outrageously so just for fun. Maricel is a great cook, someone said looking at Vi, now the butt of all jokes. “Perhaps he left because you never cooked for him!” “But I don’t know how to cook!” Vilma laughed. But I learned some recipes from my mother-in-law.” Our table decided to form the Edu-Vilma movement with Edu’s mom Mrs. Manzano as president and June as vice president. Vilma is their favorite but Vilma herself just flashed her Mona Lisa smile. Danny Dolor’s home sits on top of a knoll this side of Forbes. It is one of those houses with an open façade, giving it a more welcoming atmosphere than the usual high walls. At our corner table, gossip was the main menu. June consulted her lawyer to sue a starlet saying nasty things in print about her when the starlet became close to Randy Rufino. Vilma was the only actress at our table of movie writers which included Bibsy Carballo, Romy Vitug, Ethel Ramos, Letty Celi, Nena V. , Ricky Lo, Nestor Cuartero and Babette. “Oh Vi, don’t write about this, ha!” Now: March 26, 2010: Vilma is happily married to Ralph Recto who is running for the Senate. She is the very popular governor of Batangas. Her son with Edu, Lucky Manzano, is now a popular actor and TV host. Edu, who has moved on to other loves after Maricel, has become a popular TV host. He is running for vice president of the Philippines under the administration party. Babette Villaruel, Nena V. , Mar Cornes and Mama Monchang are dead. June and Randy are now friends but still separated…” – The Philippine Star (READ MORE)

Alfie Lorenzo

Alfie Lorenzo – “…Alfie interviewed Nora who professed her still lingering passion for Manny de Leon. Again it was duly reported by Alfie. Again he was belied, this time by Nora Aunor. This twin denials did not deter Alfie from pursuing a more rabid reporting stance. Now with the Vilma-Bobot group, he would rake coals and embers and fan the escalating Nora-Vilma war. Gradually the Nora-Vilma fight settled into a more subdued form of rivalry. From proing for movie stars, Alfie Lorenzo teamed up with the members of what would eventually be the Laperal Mafia and the Ligaya Brotherhood (or Sisterhood, whichever the case maybe) and went into proing for movie companies – Sine Pilipino, Juan de la Cruz, Lyra Ventures – moving into Regal where he is more or less a fixture. Before latching on to these companies, Alfie and Douglas ventured into movie production coordinating for a freelance producer and came up with forgettable movie called, “Wild, Wild Pussycat.” “Lahat kaming malas nagsama-sama sa Sine Pilipino. Elwood directed “Blue Boy,” flop. Joey directed for Tower, flop, buti na lang kumuwela si Vilma.” remembers Alfie. At Sine Pilipino, Vilma Santos finally made the big leap to superstardom then held solely by the dark girl from Iriga. With a couple of hits which raked in the box-office, Sine Pilipino was able to establish the careers of Joey Gosiengfiao, Elwood Perez, and even when Sine Pilipino went under because of what has been reported as faulty management, Alfie managed to breast the waves of bankruptcy and the board of censors’ ire to stay in business as a movie writer-pro-columnist-manager. At Lyra Ventures, Alfie was part of the project-makers of “Uhaw” parts I and II, the scenes of which caused a turnover in the board of censors. Today, Alfie Lorenzo’s cheek and guts have taken him around the world in pursuit of his own star. Managing of being pro for stars like Vilma Santos, Charito Solis, Al Tantay, Cherie Gil, Mark Gil and Dante Rivero has made Alfie more or less an indispensable fixture in the movie scene…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980

“…Noong dekada ’80 ay naging manager si Alfie ng Liberty Boys na kinabibilangan nina Rey “PJ” Abellana, Edgar Mande at Lito Pimentel to name a few. Liberty Boys ang itinawag sa kanila dahil nakatira sila sa Liberty Avenue, Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City. Si PJ ay naging manugang ni Ms. Delia Razon at ang anak niya ay si Carla Abellana, ang Rosalinda. Si Edgar naman ay nakasama ni Vi sa pelikulang Relaks Ka Lang Sagot Kita samantalang si Lito ay nakasama ni Vi sa mga pelikulang Broken Marriage at Tagos Ng Dugo. Sa mga Liberty Boys, tanging si Lito lang nagkaroon ng acting award. Siya ang best supporting actor ng Urian noong 1988 para sa pelikulang Kapag Napagod Ang Puso. Noong huling bahagi ng dekada ’80 na nauso ang mga musical variety show katulad ng The Sharon Cuneta Show ni Sharon Cuneta, Maria Maria ni Maricel Soriano, Always Snooky ni Snooky Serna, Loveliness ni Alma Moreno, Superstar ni Nora Aunor, Tonight with Dick & Carmi nina Roderick Paulate at Carmi Martin at Vilma ni Vilma Santos ay naging PRO si Alfie ng Loveliness. Nang mga panahong ito ay galit na galit si Alfie sa executive producer ng Vilma Show na si Chit Guerrero. Pati si Vilma ay nadadamay sa mga galit niya kay Chit. Talagang personal na ang banat niya kay Vilma. Posible kayang ang dahilan ng galit niya eh dahil hindi man lang makaangat ang Loveliness sa Vilma Show sa dami ng commercials, production numbers, guests at higit sa lahat ay rating? Ang Vilma Show ay palaging numero uno, walang makaabante maging ang sinasabi nilang longest-running musical variety show na Superstar. Si Vilma ang highest paid tv star at ang Vilma Show ang tinaguriang Central Bank ng GMA 7…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…Apparently, the two haven’t been on speaking terms ever since Vilma supposedly failed to meet up with him in New York while she was shooting the movie In My Life last summer. The controversial talent manager wrote at least two angry blog posts about Vilma having forgotten their friendship (plus loads of shocking allegations) which, he claimed, dates all the way back to the ‘70s. Despite the malicious remarks in the articles, Vilma kept her silence on the issue, stating that she and Alfie would surely mend their differences when the right time comes. “Hindi, si Alfie, aminin naman natin…nung bata ako kasama ko naman ‘yan, sa totoo lang. It’s just a matter of miscommunication…True to the title of her special A Woman of All Seasons, Vilma refused to take offense and kept her side open for reconciliation with the ever-feisty talent manager. “Naiintindihan ko si Alfie. Baka hinanap niya yung nagtravel kami nila Manay Ethel (Ramos) sa Amsterdam, Pinay American Style… Hindi lang siguro na-ano ni Alfie. But still, sa pinagsamahan namin, sinabi ko sa mga Vilmanians, ‘Huwag kayo sasagot. ‘Pag ako may narinig sa inyo…’ Kasi that’s out of respect for Alfie. ‘Kahit pinakagrabe na yung tinira ako talaga, walang sasagot.’ Kahit yung [fans ko na] taga-New York [hindi na nagsalita tungkol dun]. Nagtampo lang yun (Alfie),” she graciously stated…” – Rachelle Siazon (READ MORE)

Ricky Lo

“…Ricardo F. Lo, the very first movie writer who interviewed me when I was 12 pa lang yata and who even paid the fare for the taxi that he, my mom and I took to the Manila Times building on Florentino Torres St. in Sta. Cruz, Manila, where we did the cover pictorial for Variety, one of the paper’s Sunday magazines…” – Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star, October 31, 2010 (READ MORE)

“…Ricardo F. Lo, more popularly known as Ricky Lo, is an entertainment writer, showbiz commentator from the Philippines. He is of Chinese descent. He was born on April 21. He is a native of Las Navas, Northern Samar, where he finished grade school. He finished high school at the bilingual Tabaco Pei Ching School in Tabaco, Albay, and took up AB English at the University of the East. From 1969 to 1972, Ricky worked as editorial assistant of Variety magazine, the Sunday supplement of the old Manila Times where he started his Funfare column. After this, he joined the Philippine Daily Express first as staff writer of its Express Week magazine and then as deskman of The Evening Express and eventually its main broadsheet. He later went on to work as editorial assistant for its Sunday magazine, Weekend, until 1986. Lo did stint as entertainment editor- first at The Manila Times and then at The Manila Chronicle and currently at The Philippine Star where he also writes his revived FunFare column and his regular Sunday feature, Conversations with Ricky Lo. Ricky is the author of Star-Studded, the first compilation of his articles on movie stars, which he released in 1995. Another book, Conversations with Ricky Lo was released in 2001. The book bear Lo’s trademark sensitive, intelligent and penetrating style of handling interviews…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Mario Bautista

“…I started my professional career in Channel 5, the carrier station of the Manila Times, in 1965. I was with the film programming department. We got to screen old movies, both local and foreign before it was aired on shows like “Million Dollar Movies”, “Sinagtala” and “Bahaghari”. I also helped in the production of some TV shows, like “Magmahal ay Langit”, then directed by Celso Ad. Castillo, and “Pamilya Kontra-Partido”, a sitcom. The station was closed down by martial law in September of 1972. During that time, I was already the head of the film programming department. In 1976, I was invited to write film reviews for “TV Guide”, edited by Rod Reyes. I was invited to be a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino that gave out the Urian Awards. Newspapers then invited me to write entertainment columns and reviews for them, including “People’s Tonite”, “People’s Journal”, “Times Journal”, and “The Philippines’ Daily Express”. Later, I also wrote columns for “Ang Masa”, “The Manila Chronicle”, and “The Manila Bulletin”. I likewise had regular columns for several magazines, including Jingle Extra Hot, Movie Flash, Intrigue, Expose, Fame, Hot Copy, Parade, People’s, and others. On TV, I was a co-host of Armida Siguion Reyna and Behn Cervantes in “Let’s Talk Movies” and did film reviews on air for “The Big, Big Show”. In 1985, I became a member of the Philippine Movie Press Club that gave out the Star Awards for Movies. In 1987, I was instrumental in putting up the Star Awards for Television. When the Manila Times resumed publication in 1999, I was invited by then publisher Katrina Legarda to be its entertainment editor. I now write regular columns for People’s Journal and Malaya, and for the Japanese based fortnightly, Pinoy Gazette…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

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