TV: VILMA (1986-1995) 1/2


The Title “…The camp of Gov. Vilma Santos credits movie journalist JC Nigado for giving the actress-turned-politician the tag Star for All Seasons. For the longest time — since the early ’70s, rival Nora Aunor was called Superstar. In 1986, Sharon Cuneta was built up as the Megastar and yet Vilma remained untitled. In 1988, when Vilma marked her 25th year in show business in a PICC extravaganza put up by GMA 7 with the help of Chit Guerrero for her weekly variety show, Vilma!, Nigado wrote a series of articles where he called her Star for All Seasons. Other titles were coined for other stars after that, but only a few managed to maintain those titles and Vilma is undeniably one of them….” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

Something To Look Forward To – “…Vilma could not compete with Nora’s singing so she concentrated on perfecting her skills as a dancer. Her opening production number on her weekly show on GMA-7’s “Vilma” was something to look forward to. She showed the audience that she was not only an excellent actress but a terrific dancer as well. That show lasted for nine years, 1986 to 1995, and attracted a wide viewership. When the show finally ended, the Metropolitan Theater, where she did her show, would stay idle until today. There have been plans to renovate the historic venue but nothing has materialized….” – Ed Sicam (READ MORE)

Smart Move “…There was no stopping Vilma Santos. She was about to conquer the TV musical-variety genre where Nora Aunor ruled for years. Early on, Vilma Santos had rough sailings with her musical variety show. VIP was being broadcast from Channel 2 which had a bad reception among TV homes nationwide, and was no match to the more modern RPN Channel 9 where Nora’s Superstar show was simultaneously shown from Luzon to Mindanao in vivid, crisp color. When VIP moved to GMA Channel 7, it was the best move that Vilma’s think tank ever did. With better satellites, shrewd marketing, state of the art facilities, and more ambitious production numbers and with the Dancing Queen Vilma at the center of it all, and with the genius of Maribeth Bichara’s choreography and musical concepts written all over the show – “Vilma!” became the most watched and the most awarded TV show in the musical/variety category…” – Mar Garces (READ MORE)

100 percent performance “…Minsan while performing nasabit ‘yong damit niya. But nobody noticed it at hindi naman nakita sa camera. Would you believe na ipinaulit pa ‘yong number niyang ‘yon despite our persistence na hindi naman nahalta sa screen ang nangyari? But she said, “I want it to do it again. I want a 100 percent performance na walang sabit-sabit kahit damit o anuman.” She insisted. That’s how concerned she is with her performance. Siya nga naman ang nakikita ng audience at hindi kami.
You don’t do things halfway with her. Ibang klase ‘yan. She is a perfectionist. In Vilma In Person, she got fitted every Monday. Thursday pag-isinuot na niya ‘yon, dapat walang kulubot, walang pin sa strap. Anything she noticed that she thinks wouldn’t be perfect in the eyes of the audience, hindi uubra sa kanya. If something happens, ayan tatakbo kami ng Rustans para ikuha ng eksaktong fitted na damit para sa kanya. She’ll never go onstage unprepared. She used to tell us, “Those people go out their way to see me. Some of them have traveled a long way so they could come.” She wanted to give her audience what they deserve to see…” – Super Morales, Len Llanes, Starstudio Magazine, December 2002 (READ MORE)

Most-Watched Episode “…The highlight of the evening was when Vilma introduced another special guest, the other Queen of Philippine movies, Amalia’s rival, Ms. Susan Roces. Radiant and regal in her Susan Roces hairdo and dark, glossy gown, Ms. Roces was polite and generous with her comments on her kumare-rival. Vilma, obviously starstruck, throws a question to Susan: “What can you say about Ate Nena as being mataray and you Ate Susan as soft-spoken?” Susan: “I’d like to make a correction Vi, Amalia is not mataray, she is just outspoken, pero nasa lugar, so there’s a difference there.” Applause from the audience. ”Alam mo ba Vi na my mother dotes on Amalia dahil pareho silang prangka? Sabi ng Mommy ko, iyang si Susan hindi pumaris kay Amalia, prangka at di iyakin.”…” – Mario O. Garces, V Magazine (READ MORE)

Vilma! is a Friday Primetime musical variety show formerly aired by GMA Network from 1986 to 1995 hosted by Vilma Santos. Formerly known as Vilma In Person, Vilma! (also known as Vilma on Seven) was debuted on August 8, 1986, the pilot episode is shown from the Metropolitan Theater as a temporary studio where Vilma Santos and the VIP Dancers are performed there. Until 1987, the Friday Primetime musical variety show moved to Broadway Studios as a new location and it is shown on the first StereoVision format which features dance and love song performances. Vilma! was competed by two other variety shows Loveli-Ness and Dance-2-Nite of ABS-CBN (originally debuted in 1987) as rivals, but the variety show maintained its ratings. Vilma! received four nominations in the PMPC Star Awards for TV from 1988 to 1990, 1992 and 1994, as well as Best Female Musical Variety Show Host from 1987 to 1988, they also produced anniversary and birthday specials from 1987 to 1994 as well. After nine years, Vilma! produced the 479th and the last episode on September 29, 1995, brought many fans and supporters bade farewell to the Star for all seasons, and made as the longest-running Musical Variety Show. Truly, Vilma! was ended on September 29, 1995 and it was replaced by Bubble Gang. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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