Remembering Chiquito

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Memorable Portrayals – “…Asiong Aksaya, Mang Kepweng, Kenkoy, Barok – all these comic characters have a common denominator. They are all portrayed on cinema by the king of slapstick humor, Chiquito. He was the archrival of Dolphy as the top comedian during his prime. However, he distinguished himself as the only actor who championed the Chinese people in his films by celebrating their industry and practical sense through his Mr.Wong character. Apart from his luminous showbiz career, Chiquito was also an accomplished politician. He was an undefeated councilor of Makati City until the time of his death in July 2, 1997. He even served as the city’s Vice Mayor for sometime. A man of various interests, Chiquito also excelled in sports. The only game that he did not try was bull fighting. He was a good boxer, a motor racer, a professional jai-alai player, a champion bowler and an excellent jockey. In fact, he was also one of Bata Reyes’ mentors, having notched a world championship title in billiard. On the artistic side, Chiquito did extremely well as a comedian but he also proved his mettle in the fine art of drama, when he won the Famas Best Actor award for ‘Lovingly Yours, Helen’…” – Movie Celebrities Then and Now (READ MORE)

The original Mr. Wong – “…He is a dancer, a very good one in fact and can sing. He started as a star in Vaudeville doing slapstick comedy. Chiquito when asked how he started as a star would simply replied he makes people laugh after each burlesques performance in a Burlesques theater in downtown Manila during the ’50s. He was then discovered by Lou Salvador Sr. and he started making movies and gradually stop and shun away from live stage performances. But he would always admit that he is proud of his roots as a performer. Unlike Dolphy, Chiquito is not a lady’s man but a devoted husband to his wife Vilma. He often said that he has no time for other extra activities as he is too busy with his other “Love” which is sports. He is a sportsman who loves horses and motor biking. His passion for motor bikes lead him to do action-comedy flicks using his own stunts. Because action was a great trend during the ’60’s, he made numerous action movie and one of this is the unforgettable MR.WONG movie series. Chiquito is lovable and funny as the China man crime-fighter Mr. Wong. Movie-goers love him in his black leather Chinese “Kamiseta” with long braided hair and protruding front teeth. He is funny and endearing each time he would make his famous “chattering” laughter. The Mr. Wong image fits him to a T.Mr. Wong is Chiquito and Chiquito is Mr. Wong…” – Edna Reyes (READ MORE)

Chorus Girl Vilma – “…Nagrarasyon ako ng pananghalian na nasa piambrera nang ma-discover na mahusay pala akong magsayaw,” pagkukuwento niya. “Ang Tawag nila sa akin noon, Tito Bogista. Magaling kasi akong sumayaw ng boogie at nanalo pa nga akong champion sa boogie-woogie sa buong pilipinas.” Nagpamalas siya ng galing sa pagsasayaw sa entablado ng Inday at Clover Theaters. Sa Manila Grand Opera House, naging regular chorus member siya. Noong 1952, naging ka-dance team niya ang isang chorus girl na may pangalang Vilma. Si Vilma ang napangasawa niya at ang kanilang pagsasama’y nagbunga ng pitong supling: limang babae at dalawang lalaki. 1957 nang unang lumabas sa pelikula si Chiquito. “Ako yong komedyanteng nagi-itsik sa Lutong Makaw,” aniya. “Si Larry Santiago ang nagbigay sa ‘kin ng break. ‘Yung screen name kong Chiquito, kinuha ko sa isang Intsik na siyang may-ari ng tindahang madalas kong pag-istambayan noong araw….Basta may nakita kayong directed by AVP or To-Chiqui sa credits, ako ‘yon,” aniya….Wala pang major award si Chiquito bilang artista. Minsan ngang namigay ng awards for top local comedians ay nakaligtaan pa ang pangalan niya. Pero hindi siya nagdaramdam sa kabila nito. Basta’t masya siya sa itinagal-tagal niya sa showbiz. ang buhay niya’y wala noong mga controversy at iskandalong bahagi na ng pagiging artista….” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash Magazine, May 5, 1983 (READ MORE)

Augusto Valdez Pangan, Sr. (March 12, 1932-July 2, 1997), better known as Chiquito, was a popular Filipino actor appearing mainly in comedy films. Chiquito was born John Merben Mercado, in Manila. His entertainment career began at the age of 13, when he appeared in a major musical production at the Manila Grand Opera House. In the next several years, he was a fixture in the Manila bodabil circuit, popular for his skill in dancing the boogie-woogie. Chiquito was befriended by Fernando Poe, Sr., and with Poe’s assistance, started a film career…Chiquito died at age 65 due to liver cancer at the Makati Medical Center on July 2, 1997. At present, his wife Vilma Pangan lives at their house in Daly City, California with son Augusto “Gus” Pangan, Jr. Chiquito has nine grandchildren. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Chiquito and Vilma Santos

Chiquito and Vilma Santos did two films together although the first one, they didn’t share screen time because the film was an all-star cast. The second one was they’re only film with them in lead roles and even though Chiquito wasn’t Vilma’s love interest in the film (it was Walter Navarro), they both gave a fine performances. – RV

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)

Teribol dobol (1975) – Teribol Dobol is a classic comedy movie. Maritess (Vilma Santos) asked for help from Frankie (Chiquito) a private investigator to investigate her father, who’s foolishly in love with a young lady. This lady & her family only wanted the wealth and fortune of her father. They will plan to poison Don Cosme (father of Maritess) and accuse Maritess for the caused of his death. Will they succeed to bring Maritess to jail?” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

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