Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel

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La Koronel: Lovely as ever – “A still incredibly lovely Hilda Koronel was one of the guests of Edu Manzano in his TV show last Monday and were we surprised at her slimness? The “Haydee” girl is all of 118 pounds now and she looks slinky and sexy in her all-black mini outfit. There was a time when she was all bulges and even if she still has that beautiful Koronel face, she does not look all right on the screen. We remember that Koronel would not touch any food except steak before. How she loves steak! But all that has now changed. Determinedly, she is now into fruit juices, no rice, no fatty foods and eats only salmon. What didn’t change, one observer commented while viewing her in the show, is her being very blunt and outspoken especially when she said, “If they don;t like me, then, I won’t have anything to do with them” or something to that effect. Koronel is all set to do a film for Viva and we’re sure her fans are all agog about it. Will she be a threat to the throne now occupied by Vilma Santos as “The Actress” to be reckoned with? If we’d make a guess, Lino Brocka’s the right director for the first comeback film of this actress. There’s a certain chemistry between them in the same way there’s an “artistic symbiosis” between Santos and Ishmael Bernal,..” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Mar 2, 1989 (READ MORE)

Insiang at Cannes – “…Insiang has opened the door for Filipino filmmakers to the international market. The next move is ours and it better be good. “I stayed for only five days,” Hilda sighs, “because I missed home. Our plan was to make a side trip to Paris and see some more of Europe but I decided to come home ahead of Lino.” They left on a Monday, May 15, and Hilda was back the next Monday, May 22. Lino stayed behind to see as many films as he could to negotiate for the entry of Insiang to other film festivals and for its showing on a commercial basis in Europe. In July this year, Insiang will be entered at the Thormina Film Festival in Sicily; in August, at the Montreal Film Festival in Canada; and, before the year is over, at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, along with Maynila (also by Brocka), Ishmael Bernal’s Nunal Sa Tubig), Mike de :Leon’s Itim and Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon. Insiang has also been sold for showing in France (and other French-speaking territories), Belgium, Germany, Austria, Brazil and all over Scandinavia. “That, I believe, is our biggest achievement in Cannes,” says Hilda, “making other countries aware of our films. Now, people there have become curious about Filipino films. Whenever we were interviewed on TV they always asked what other films are we producing in the Philippines.” The Cannes Film Festival is divided into four; the Main Competition, Perspectives (avant-garde movies made in France), Critics’ Week (films made outside France and judged by an all-French jury), and the Director’s Forthnight (for first-time participants and new, independent and innovative directors). Insiang was entered in the Director’s fortnight, a non-competitive division, with films from 18 other countries. It was also in this division, considered a stepping stone to the Main Competition, where Oshima took his bow in 1976 with controversial film In The Realm of the Senses. This year, Oshima came back with bigger bang, joined the Main Competition with The Empire of Passion and bagged the Best Director award. “Cannes is not so big,” Hilda recalls. ‘there’s only one long boulevard along the beach and it looked like a marketplace. Everybody was there: actors, actresses, directors, producers, film distributors, critics, film buffs. You could see beautiful people everwhere you looked. May naka-damit, may nakahubad, may naka-jockey, may naka-topless, lahat ng klase nandoon. Everybody was trying to attract the attention of everybody’s else’s…” – Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek, June 15 1978 (READ MORE)

Making it Big Early – “…At 14, however, Hilda Koronel, is the prettiest face in local movies, a very good dramatic actress and a passable recording star…Lino Brocka, director of the much-awaited “Santiago,” says: “There are many pretty faces in movieland. But there are only a few fine actresses. Hilda is not only a pretty face. She’s superb actress. And she takes direction easily.” To date, Hilda has made seven movies: “Santiago,” “Happy Hippie Holiday,” Wanted – Perfect Mother,” “Tubog Sa Ginto,” “Haydee,” “Leslie,” and “Now!” Hilda has a regular radio program (Fiesta Extravaganza), two TV shows (D’Wow Generation, Thursday over Channel 4; and Hilda over Channel 9, on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p/m/). Recently she was named honorary member of Rustan’s VIP Council, a rare honor for an actress. “We have great plans for this kid,” says Mrs. Blas of Lea Productions. “We have already completed negotiations for the shooting of a big-budget movie in Japan which will star Hilda and Leonard Whiting.” The movie will be co-produced by MGM. Titled “Cherry Blossom” (Hilda will play the title role), the movie, which will be directed by Lino Brocka, will be shot during the cherry blossom season in February next year. “From there, who knows?” said Mrs. Blas. “We have ambitious plans of making a movie in Russia starring Hilda Koronel. We are negotiating for either Dustin Hoffmann or Eliot Gould to appear in the movie.” Fourteen-year-old Hilda Koronel has the whole world for a shooting location. Who can ask for anything more?” – Jose A. Quirino, Philippine Free Press, April 3 1971 (READ MORE)

Private Person – “…That’s how she wants her life to be: quiet and uncomplicated, which is a herculean task really because she belongs (in a way, yes) to a profession laden with intrigues and sensationalism and everything but quietude. “I wish people would stop being curious about my private life,” Hilda would plead every once too often. Although she hides behind a veil of mystery, she is constantly being hounded by gossipmoners and the deeper she retreats into her shell, the more nosy the public becomes. “I mind my own business,” she would declare, “and I wish people would mind theirs, too.” But she being a public figure (a tag Hilda attaches so much aversion to), how can people leave her alone? And so they continue to prey into her personal life. Is it true that she has been actually married to Jay Ilagan and she now wants that marriage declared null and void because she wants to marry her new boyfriend from Ateneo? Or, have they really gotten nitched in Hongkong last month? No, you don’t ask Hilda such questions or you run the risk of being summarily dismissed: “Just because I’m in the movies doesn’t mean that I am duty-bound to tell the public everything about me. I, too, am entitled to a degree of privacy…I used to be bothered by gossip,” according to Hilda, “but now, no more…I’m just being myself…why should I pretend to like people whom I don’t like? I have to like a person before I go out of my way to talk to him or greet him. I’m just being natural. I’m just being myself…Like Lolita, Hilda doesn’t enjoy swinging in the Showbiz social whirl, she shuns parties (“Sometimes I do attend some, but only to show my face”), she reuses to talk about her private life, she seldom smiles, she carries with her an aura of enigma, and she has a few friends from amount the movie stars (“I have only ten close friends but all of them are true, real friends,” Hilda admitted. Jay, inspire of their split, happens to be one of them).” – Ricky F. Lo, Expressweek, February 2 1978 (READ MORE)

Healthy Living – “…According to Hilda, some people still expect her to deliver the same level of intensity that she displayed in the 1976 Lino Brocka masterpiece, “Insiang.” “The funny thing is people expect me to be as good as I was back when I was 18,” she pointed out. “They’ll say, ‘She’ll do well. She’s Miss Insiang after all.’ Wait a minute, I’m old now! But I know I’ll always try my best.” Luckily, Hilda said, it didn’t take long for her to get her groove back while shooting “The Mistress.”…At 55, Hilda has remained youthful and regal. How does she take care of her good looks? “It’s just healthy living, I guess,” she said. “Our diet’s very good. We eat organic things and lots of fruits and vegetables. I exercise and walk a lot, and I also play badminton.” Hilda said she never even considered going under the knife, or getting Botox injections. “No, I don’t need those. I’m not unhappy with my looks!” she said, laughing. She doesn’t mind being called “lola” by her three grandchildren either. …” – Allan Policarpio, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 26, 2012 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel

  • Hilda and Vilma’s only full length featured film, “Gaano kadalas ang minsan?” in 1982 was a record-breaking hit film, where Hilda plays Elsa, an impotent wife who desperately wanted to have a child.  She concocted a plan to make her friend impregnated by her own husband, Lily played by Vilma Santos.
  • The two agreed to be part of “Dugo at pag-ibig sa kapirasong lupa” in 1975 where they, together with Nora Aunor and other big stars like FPJ and Joseph Estrada, did not shared the same screen time but in separate segments.
  • Currently, Hilda and Vilma’s husband shared the same name, Ralph. Hilda’s husband is Filipino-American businessman Ralph Moore, Jr. while Vilma’s Filipino politician, Senator Ralph Recto.
  • Hilda and Vilma both have children from separate marriages.  Koronel has 5 children, Leona (with the late-actor Jay Ilagan); Ivy (adopted); Isabel (with the late Bambi del Castillo); Gabby (with Spanky Monserrat); and Diego (with Dr. Victor Reyes).  While Vilma’s children are Luis Manzano (with Edu Manzano) and Ryan Christian Recto (with Ralph Recto).
  • While both successfully handled by National Artists, Brocka and Bernal, Hilda was more identified with Brocka and Vilma with Bernal.  Hilda was praised for Brocka’s “Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” while Vilma was most acclaimed for Bernal’s “Relasyon.”
  • Both Vilma and Hilda were once linked to the late Jay Ilagan.  Hilda had a child with Jay and it was public knowledge that Jay courted Vilma when they’re both in their teens.  Both did several films with him, most notably, “Kasal” and “Happy Hippie Holiday” for Hilda; and “Sister Stella L.” and “Remembrance” for Vilma.
  • Both Vilma and Hilda were recognized by FAMAS at early age.  Hilda won a best supporting actress at the early age of 13 for 1970’s “Santiago” while Vilma won a best child actress at the early age of 9 for 1963’s “Trudis Liit.”
  • In 2003, Hilda plays Aling in Mark Meily’s dramedy, “Crying Ladies” with Sharon Cuneta.  Although not a Vilma Santos film, Hilda Koronel’s role has a connection to Vilma.  She plays, as the New York Times film review explained, “…a shopkeeper who clings to the fading memory of her movie career, whose high point was a bit part in a picture called ‘Darna and the Giants…” “Darna and the Giants” was of course a Vilma Santos film.
  • According to Ricky F. Lo on his August 3rd Philstar colum, being second choice for a role is as, “It happens all the time…second choices turning out to be, after all, the better choices.”  He pointed out, Hilda Koronel as the second choice for Lea Productions’ “Haydee.”  It was turned down by beauty-contest finalist Marilou Destreza, who later co-starred with FPJ but faded after that.  Then Vilma Santos was the second choice for Celso Ad Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen.”  It was initially offered to Lorna Tolentino.
  • In the early 70s, both Vilma and Hilda joined the musical bandwagon and recorded several songs. Some of their recorded songs were: for Hilda, “Prince and Princess” and “Abrakadabra Come Home” and for Vilma, “While the Clock Strikes One” and “Sixteen.”
  • In 1979 Vilma Santos did Pinay American Style where her role’s named was PX, an illegal alien in the U.S., three years after, Hilda Koronel played Lydia in the Lino Brocka film titled, PX.
  • Both Vilma and Hilda did a controversial films about labour unrest, Behn Cervantes’ 1975 film “Sakada” and Mike de Leon’s 1984 film “Sister Stella L.”
  • Lino Brocka’s “Insiang” starring Hilda Koronel was the Philippine’s entry to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 1978.  After seven years, Mike de Leon was supposed to repeat Brocka’s success with two of his films exhibited in the previous year’s Director’s Forthnight section of the festival, but unfortunately, it didn’t happened.  Instead, de Leon’s film, “Sister Stella L.” was entered as the Philippines’s entry to the oldest festival and equally prestigious, the Venice Film Festival in 1985.
  • Both Vilma and Hilda co-starred with John Lyod Cruz in record-breaking films, Vilma in 2009 ‘s “In My Life” and Hilda in this year’s “The Mistress.”
  • Last year, it’s a major comeback for the big three, Nora Aunor made headlines in her comeback movie, “Thy Womb,” Vilma Santos put a dent on the box office records with her horror film, “The Healing” and Hilda Koronel’s successful comeback was in the box office hit, “The Mistress.”

Burgos Filmbio – “…Speaking of Echo, he might just play Jason Burgos in the Filmbio of Edith T. Burgos, wife of the late crusading journalist Joe Burgos. To date, Jonas, himself an activist remains missing, in all probability dead. Director Joel Lamangan is negotiating with US-based Hilda Koronel to portray Edith in the filmbio, written by Ricky Lee and produced by Harlene Bautista. Who’ll play Joe Burgos? No final casting yet. Hilda and Echo co-starred in that engrossing drama-thriller “Nasaan Ka Man,” which also featured Gloria Diaz, Diether Ocampo, and Claudine Barretto, directed by Cholo Laurel. Whatever happened to Cholo? The filmbio chronicles the mother’s heartbreaking search for a missing son…” – Tempo, Feb 20 2013 (READ MORE)

Hilda Koronel, (born Susan Reid on 17 January 1957, Angeles City, Pampanga), is a FAMAS and Gaward Urian Award winning Filipina actress. Born to a Filipina mother and an American father who was a serviceman in Clark Air Base, she has starred in around 45 films, many of which are critically acclaimed, since 1970. Her career got off to an unprecedented start becoming the youngest winner of the FAMAS Best Supporting Actress award in 1970 right at the beginning of her career which she won at the age of just 13 for her role in the 1970 film Santiago. In 1975 and 1976 she starred in the Lino Brocka classics Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, which won six FAMAS awards in 1976, and Insiang, which won both a FAMAS and a Gawad Urian Award in 1977. To date she has won three awards and received 11 nominations. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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