Gina Alajar and Vilma Santos

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The Truth – “…When you are young, malakas ang loob mong maghiwalay because it marks new beginning in your life. There are options to take and it was easy to let go. I tried to save my marriage and worked hard for it, and every time we’re back into each other arms, I felt God heard my prayers,” she reveals…Gina hopes to regain her self-esteem and self-respect with the decision she made. “I finally accepted the truth that the situation is real. I used to entertain false hopes. Not anymore, I feel totally free…” – Remy M. Umerez, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 1, 2002 (READ MORE)

The Roles – “…Yes, I am aware that theater-owners have a say on the kind of movies they would exhibit in their theaters and they usually have suggestions on the stars producers should hire to recoup their investments,” she had said. . “But you can’t argue against formula movies. They make money for the producers and they are good business for theater exhibitors. However, I need not figure in those formula movies although I find myself in some of those predictable projects. But making movies is also about good craftsmanship, it is also about the fine art of acting and not always primarily about making oodles of money. In most of my movies, I sometimes sacrifice the fees I deserve to be identified with film projects you believe in.”…She garnered two trophies as a child star: one for Ang Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nińo (FAMAS) and Wanted: Perfect Mother (CMMA). She bagged three Best Actress awards from Urian (Brutal, Salome, Kapit sa Patalim) and one each from CMMA (Andrea) and Metro Manila Film Festival (Shake, Rattle and Roll). The last came from the Film Academy of the Philippines (Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit) and one each from Urian, CMMA and FAMAS (all for Biktima). She was the struggling singer Kathy in Moral, the guilt-ridden Cynthia in Brutal by Marilou Diaz Abaya or the unforgettable child-woman in Salome directed by Laurice Guillen. Lino Brocka farther honed her acting prowess when he got her as the dissident’s wife in Orapronobis and an ill-fated worker’s wife in Kapit Sa Patalim all of which made waves in film fests abroad….

…Lino (Brocka) taught me how to act straight from the heart; Laurice (Guillen) taught me how to make the most of my body as an acting instrument and Marilou (Diaz-Abaya) taught me the value of spontaneous acting by constant rehearsals, how to make the memorized lines come naturally. I credit all of them for what I am now. That they trusted me with those sensitive roles was something I would always remember regardless of how the films fared at the box office.” Even if well-made films did not always translate into box office triumphs, she remembered those films for something that they had imparted to the moviegoers. She had pointed out in the past. “I am proud of Orapronobis, Kapit Sa Patalim, Salome, Moral and Brutal because I find joy in being part of a film that gave us all a lesson. I watch other good pictures to pick up something and be compelled to think – regardless of whether they are about love, friendship or family relationship. I like a film if it gives me something I can adapt to my own life. I do not dislike a film just because I disagree with its message. I also watch film to see other people’s point of view…” – Pablo A. Tariman (READ MORE)

Child Star – “…Ms. Alajar was a child star herself. She started acting when she was eight years old, so she knows the pressures of being a child star. “I am not against child acting because we need child stars. In fact, there are many acting greats who started out as child stars. I just want to make sure that laws on children are properly implemented when dealing with these child stars, for example, not staying up late beyond their sleeping hours. Although, these children do it because of the fulfillment that they get,” she said. Ms. Alajar recalled that when she was a child actress, she couldn’t sleep after eight in the evening because there are still shots that need to be taken after dinner. “So, I slept at 10 in the evening. Then, they woke me up at 2 in the morning. When they did that, I didn’t want to get up. Now, I don’t sleep at 10 in the evening until one in the morning because I get irritable when people wake me up. Somehow, I traced it back to when I was younger,” she said. Now, Ms. Alajar is 42 years old and still looking young and flawless as ever. “I’m glad I lasted this long. Well, I had nothing else to do. I love acting. The passion for acting made me stay,” she said…” – Kathy M. Villalon (READ MORE)

Re-launched – “…After the breathing spell, the teenage Alajar was re-discovered by the late producer Dr. Jose Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, who signed her to an eight-year build-up contract. In Sampaguita, she did teen-aged supporting roles in such films as My Little Brown Girl, Isa, Dalawa, Tatlo, Magtago Na Kayo, Young Dreams and Sweet Sixteen. A year later, she starred in Cofradia, a re-make of a successful film in the 1950s starring Gloria Romero. In this production, which was to launch her career as a star in her own right she met Michael de Mesa, who would later become her husband. Unfortunately, her stint with Sampaguita was interrupted by the death of Dr. Perez. She was thereupon released from her contract and, for a time, her acting career was in limbo. The situation was made worse by the upsurge of sex films in the country. She was thus compelled to take roles that she now herself considers forgettable. Her days as a sex symbol were short-lived, she recalls, for she had neither the heart nor the guts for such vehicles. In the late 1970s, her career was re-launched a second time, there was no looking back. The early 1980s saw her metamorphose into a serious actress via such films as Brutal, Salome, Playgril, Manila by Night and Kontrobersiyal. In Brutal, she distinguished herself winning the best supporting actress award in metro Manila Film Festival. She was also chosen 1980 best actress by the film critics’ group, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, for Brutal. She duplicated the feat by winning the best actress for Urian in Salome in 1981. In 1988, Alajar did only three films: Hiwaga sa Belete Drive, Minsan Pa Yakapin Mo Ako and Birds of Prey. In 1989, she appeared in a film by Lino Brocka, which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The film Fight for Us, says Gina, “was inspired by certain people and events in the country…” – Justino M. Dormiendo (READ MORE)

Regina Alatiit also known as Gina Alajar was born on (June 28, 1959) in Manila, she is a FAMAS and Gaward Urian Award winning Filipino film actress and television director. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Gina Alajar and Vilma Santos

Sister Stella L. (1984) – “…Sa pagkamatay ni Ninoy, ang napagbuhusan namin ng panahon nina Mike at Ding ay isang documentary na pinamagatang Signos at ang pelikulang Sister Stella L. Isang kanta mula sa binabalak na Brechtian zarzuela ang ginamit na isa sa mga theme songs ng Sister Stella L: ang “Aling Pag-ibig Pa,” na binigyang-tinig ni Pat Castillo sa pelikula at sa plaka. Nang ipalabas ang Sister Stella L. sa 1984 Venice International Film Festival, ang pamagat nito ay Sangandaan (Incroci sa Italyano, Crossroad sa Ingles). Pinagtiyap na sa unang storyline ay Sister Corazon de Jesus ang pangalan ni Sister Stella L. Ang nasa isip ko noon ay hindi si Corazon Aquino, kundi ang Sagrado Corazon de Jesus…” – Pete Lacaba (READ MORE)

Big Ike’s Happening (1976) – “…All star casts din ang pelikulang handog ng Larry Santiago at Ike Lozada Productions na Big Ike’s Happening (February 27, 1976) na tinampukan nina Vi, Tirso Cruz III, Walter Navaro, Ike Lozada, Aurora Salve, Gina Alajar, Jojit Paredes, Dondon Nakar, Winnie Santos, Arnold Gamboa, Maribel Aunor, Allan Valenzuela, Doyet Ilagan, Edward Campos, German Moreno, Inday Badiday, Ben David, Lilian Laing, Aruray, Nora Aunor, Perla Bautista, Charlie Davao, Esperanza Fabon, Eddie Peregrina, Bella Flores, Lito Legaspi, Christopher de Leon, Van de Leon, Pinky Montilla, Alma Moreno, Dencio Padilla, Andy Poe, Jerry Pons, Ric Rodrigo, Gloria Romero, Daria Ramirez, Darius Razon, Marianne de la Riva, Eddie San Jose, Ricky Santiago, Lorna Tolentino, Eddie Villamayor at Vic Vargas sa direksiyon nina Pablo at Bobby Santiago…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Dugo at pag-ibig sa kapirasong lupa (1975) – “…A Must for the Filipino History Students and for everyone who wants to awaken the innate nationalism in them. These series of stories depicting the fight of the Filipinos against colonialism of Spain, Japan and even their fellow Filipinos abusing the power in the government. A seemingly serious film but spiced with the star-studded cast like Fernando Poe Jr., Ramon Revilla, Joseph Estrada, Nora Aunor, Dante Rivero, Eddie Garcia, Vic Vargas, Goerge Estregan and the other all time favorite artists. This movie even highlighted the comparison between the love of country and the other kind of love we offer to our family and to our beloved as the story featured love stories in the midst of tragic and bloody war happening in our society…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Mga Batang Bangketa (1970) – “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

Sixteen (1970) – “…The success of Sixteen can be attributed to the playfulness and simplicity of the song selections. It suited the sweetness and purity of Vilma’s almost child like voice. The album earned Vilma her first golden record award and a remarkable signature song, “Sixteen.” The album established her as a successful recording artist. If I will compare her to today’s list of contemporary artists, I will compare Vilma to the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and Madonna. Jennifer, Britney, and Madonna has thin but sweet voices just like Vilma. Like Vilma, these pop superstars have to work hard to achieve almost perfect products that their fans loved. Like Vilma, the three pop stars are great dancers which they all used to the max in their choreograph production numbers. The reluctant singer came out on top. Vilma Santos’s debut album made history. Sixteen made Vilma Santos a remarkable singer…” – RV (READ MORE)

Pinagbuklod ng Langit (1969) – “…Pero higit na tumatak si Luis nang gampanan niya ng dalawang beses si Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos. Ito’y sa kontrobersyal na pelikulang “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” bago tumakbo si Marcos bilang presidente noong 1965. Sinundan ito ng “Pinagbuklod ng Langit” noong 1969. Si Imee Marcos, na ginampanan noon ni Vilma Santos, naalala ang galing ni Luis na mahirap na daw tapatan ngayon. “His acting was understated. A great actor and a good friend. He played a big role in our lives. Halos naniniwala na ako na tatay ko siya dahil sa boses. Mahal na mahal namin si Luis Gonzales,” sabi ni Imee. Ayon sa kanyang kabiyak, huling hiling ni Luis na ipa-cremate ang kanyang labi…” – Mario Dumaual (READ MORE)

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