The Early Years – “…Nagsimula ako mag-build up ng stars more than ten years ago,” Rey goes down memory lane, “si Zandro Zamora ang una kong na-discover…” And then came somebody named Tessa Locsin, followed by Leila Hermosa, Susan Henson, Olivia O’Hara and Mitos del Mundo, Rio Locsin is his seventh discovery, Lucky 7th, you might say. “I discovered Rio in 1974,” Rey is now recalling the long and winding road that eventually led Rio Locsin to Stardom, “she was only 12 years old at that time, I saw her at the victory party given by her auntie, Juliet Garcia, who was chosen Miss Quiapo noong taong ‘yon. When I knocked on the door sa bahay nina Juliet sa Baesa Queezon City, a little girl came to meet me:maganda naka-ponytail, malaki ang mata, hindi mahiyain at vivong-vivo. Shrap pa mandin, kapag tinatanong, hindi pa natatapos ang tanong, sumasagot na kaagad. Smart na bata…Three months later, Rey brought Rio to Celso Ad. Castilo but one look at her and Celso Kid said, “Ne, magpalaki ka pa ng kaunti, She’s too young,” Celso Kid told Rey…
…In February 1976, Rio and her mama showed up unexpected at Rey’s clinic. When he saw how she had suddenly grown, he exclaimed, “Ay pude ka na! So pinagmake-apan ko, pinalagyan ko ng pula-pula sa pisngi, pinagbistida ko, pinaayusan ko ng tudo, I wrapped her properly, so to speak.”…At this point, towards the end of 1976, Celso Kid who was vacationing in USA wrote to Rey (Celso is Rey’s kumpare), telling him that he was making a movie called Burlesk Queen as soon as he came back and he was looking for a new face, Rey sent Rio’s photo and bio-data posthaste but the letter got lost in the mail. When Celso came back in early 1977, Rey brought Rio to him. By this time, tinuruan ko na siya ng mga seductive look, ‘yung pagpapapungay ng mata. Sabi ko, kapag nagusap kayo ni Celso at Ininglis-Inglis ka, Tagalog ang isagot mo, Si Celso kasi noong galing sa States, English nang English, Huwag kang kakabahan sa bi ko kay Rio, Whe he asked you if you wanted to go bold, tell him no, I want drama and musical…he didn’t remember having met Rio before.
Celso cast Rio as one of the burlesque dancers in Burlesk Queen, paying her P1,000. “Binago ko ngayon ang screen name ni Rio. Ayoko ng Leah Moran, dahil ‘yung Leah parang Lea Productions. Wala pa si Leah Navarro noon. Ayoko rin ng Moran dahil and dami ng Moran noon, may Margie Moran may Sofia Moran. At that time, kapapanalo lang ni Rio Diaz sa Mutya Ng Pilipinas of 1977 kaya Rio ang nagustuhan ko. “yung Locsin, ‘yan ang surname noong bini-build-up ko, si Tessa Locsin, I like the sound of Locsin, parang aristocratic, parang Aguilar, nice to the ears…During the kick-off parade for the film festival in December, 1977, Rio rode on the same float with Vilma Santos, the Burlesk Queen. “Maluha-luha ang beauty ko, Mahal,” Rey still sounds ecstatic up to now, “biro mo, katabi siya ni Vilma sa float at wave din siya ng wave sa mga fans bakit hindi pa siya kilala. Naka-white gown siya. The next day, nalagay din ang picture niya sa front page, wala nga lang pangalan, pero happy na kami. Umiyak uli ako, sa tuawa.” While Celso was shooting Pagputi ng Uwak, with Vilma Santos, and idea for a black and white movie came to his mind. He would call it Dalagang Pinagtaksilan ng Panahon and he would cast in the title role a fresh new face and he would make her into a big star like what he did with Rizza in 1970. So while budget and big stars were delaying the shooting of Pagputi ng Uwak, Celso decided to start work on Dalaga since he was not doing anything anyway on the set of Pagputi in the mountains of Majayjay, Laguna. Then bang, came the controversy, Vilma accused Celso of using her time and facilities to make his won movie and so on and so forth, in the process the name Rio Locsin kept cropping up in the headline and people became curious; who’s Rio Locsin and why is she in the middle of the battle between the screen giants? …” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)
Her Voice – “…Isa pang tsismis, nagpa-injection daw ako ng bust. Diyos ko, bakit ko pa gagastahin ‘yong pera para diyna? Di ipunin ko na lang, may savings pa ako. Pero in our family, ganoon talaga kami, my sister, she’s only 12 at mayroon na siya. Sa Mommy ko, ganoon din. Malaki. ‘Yong controversy between me and Lorna (Tolentino), that’s nothing. I never quarreled with her. There’s nothing for us to quarrel about. Hindi rin dapat i-compare kay Lorna. Unang-una, sabi ni Lorna, hindi daw siya bold star. Ako inaamin ko bold star ako. Bakit ko ipagkakaila? Everybody knows it. Besides, and sexy ni Lorna, di ba? Ako, deretsong-deretso…’Yong kaso namin ni Mommy, magulo. Up to now, hindi ko malaman kung saan napunta ang perang kinita ko. We did an accounting at lumabas that I earned some P1.7M in 15 months, payment for 33 films since August 1978 up to December 1979…That’s why we have a case. Hindi lang pera ang dahilan. May iba pa. But I rather not talk about them dahil masyadong personal. My point however, is that I want to decide for myself…Ngayon, I feel like I am starting anew. Masayang-malungkot. Mas gusto ko ang buhay ko noong hindi pa ako artista, Tahimik. Walang gulo. Ako, I never liked to be in the movies. Si Mommy lang ang may gusto. But now that I am her, I might as well make the most out of it. I want to save, I want to buy a house and lot. Papano ako kung wala na akong offers, ayoko namang magmukhang kawawa. Sayang naman, di ba, naghubad na ako pagkatapos wala pa ring mangyayari. I am now using my head.” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)
The Ghost – “…Medyo mabagal ang unand bahagi ng pelikula, lalo na kung isa kang viewer na alam nang tungkol sa multo ang istorya dahil sa sunod-sunod na press releases na isinasaad ng buod nito. Sa simula pa lang ng istorya ay inaabang-abangan mo na agad ang multo na kay tagal bago unang lumitaw. Medyo nagda-drag na nga at bigla na lamang na-revive ang aming atensiyon nang lumabas na si Rio Locsin sa eksena. Biglang nabuhay ang pelikula and from thereon ay naging absorbing na. Isang malaking dahilan kung bakit nagtagumpay ang pelikula ay ang pagka-casting kay Rio sa papel na Auring. Ibang-iba ang aura ni Rio sa pelikulang ito. She looks so ethereal, out of this world, ibang-iba kaysa sa mga taong cast din ng pelikula. Terrific ang screen presence ni Rio at talagang she is oozing with sex. Na-eclipse niyang talaga si Vi at Boyet. Kung iisipin mo’y maikli lamang ang role but her memory lingers kahit wala na siya sa eksena. ‘Yung mga pangiti-ngiti niya at patakip-takip ng bibig, very effective talaga. Magaling din sina Vi at Boyet in their respective roles, pero talagang getting attention ang role ng multo at perfect pa ang casting ni Rio rito…Somebody from the ECP script’s screening committee told us na mas maganda raw ang orihinal na script ni Ricardo Lee sa naisapelikula. Isang istudyanteng nagbabakasyon sa lalawigan si Cristy at naging takilyera sa isang sinehan. Pero ipinabago raw ito ni Vilma kaya’t nagmukhang propaganda para sa family planning ang papel niya. Ang orihinal na Cristy ay mahilig mag-fashion model kaya’t hindi katakataka nang isuot niya ang damit ni Auring na nakita niya sa kama nito. May nag-aakalang sa ending ng pelikula ay na-possess si Cristy ng kaluluwa ni Auring but the writer never intended it to be like this…” – Mario E. Bautista, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, 1982 (READ MORE)
Important Actress – “…Matapos ang panimulang pag-buildup sa kanya bilang sexy star, nang lumaon ay agad na siyang itinuring bilang important actress, na idinidirek ng mga batikan sa larangan—the likes of Lino Brocka (Ina, Kapatid, Anak and Init), Ishmael Bernal (Manila By Night, Working Girls, Salawahan), Laurice Guillen (Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan). And, of course, ang isa ring multi-awarded director, Elwood Perez, na hanggang ngayo’y itinuturing ni Rio as her “launching director” at may likha ng Disgrasyada, na kanyang launching picture, shown on January 1979. Of Direk Elwood, Rio has a few good words to say. Simple, pero meaningful at kapani-paniwalang galing naman sa puso. Sa interview niya with PEP, walang pagbanggit o pahaging man lang, na regretful siya sa pagsisimula ng kanyang career, doing all those sexy roles na kinailangan upang siya’y pasikatin ng Regal Films. Nabanggit din namin ang magagandang pananalita ni Elwood sa isa sa mga aktres na sumikat sa idinirek niyang pelikula. “Wala kaming bad blood,” Rio now says about her former “launching director.” “Hindi ko makakalimutan si Direk Elwood… ‘Feel beautiful!'” lagi raw nitong bukambibig sa set. “O, wet your lips!” At sa simpleng pagbabalik-tanaw na yun, hindi makakalimutan ng aktres ang mga mabuting nagawa sa kanya ng nakatrabahong direktor. “Ang importante naman sa industriyang ito talaga, yung pakikipagrelasyon mo [sa mga katrabaho]. Kasi ‘yan naman talaga ang magiging legacy mo, ang iiwanan mo. Kung paano ka makipagkapwa-tao, kung paano ka makihalubilo sa mga tao. At least, may maiiwan ka.”…” – William R. Reyes (READ MORE)
Working with Charito and Lolita – “…The scene shows Rio intruding into the bedroom of Lolita, her balikbayan aunt, to gawk at the stateside dresses and beauty kit. It’s their first scene together and Brocka’s eager to know how Rio will fare. Rio fares very well. Lolit, as expected, delivers her lines flawlessly, Rio does the same. Lolit is pleased. So is Brocka. Rio giggles…An enthusiastic but respectful crowd meet the three stars as they walk down the stairs of the mansion for the pictorial in the spacious yard. The older women keep muttering they’ll be waiting for the showing of Ina… The younger fans call Rio Disgrasyada, referring to her blockbuster flick…” – Ronald K. Constantino, Expressweek Magazine, April 19, 1979 (READ MORE)
Rio Locsin is the daughter of the movie actress Charito Garcia. Locsin appeared in sexy movies with Lorna Tolentino as her rival. She married Al Tantay, but they separated after a few years. Now she’s married to a former basketball player, Padim Israel. She had 3 daughters, Paula & Jabba (daughters of Al Tantay), and youngest daughter Joses (for Ptr. Padim Israel). She played Darna in 1979. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)
Rio Locsin and Vilma Santos
Haplos (1982) – “…The only good thing about the film is its sound, which imaginatively uses various background noises for thematic effect. The reason Haplos fails is due largely to its direction. Well-written scenes come off stale because they are not dramatized. In one scene, Cristy decides to scare Al by putting on a furniture sheet while acting like a ghost. The camera was positioned in such a way that we can see both Cristy, masquerading as a ghost and the unwary Al. The scene failed to elicit a scare and neither is Al whose face is hidden by Auring’s movement. Or take the first shot of Auring as she paddles behind Al who is on a boat. She becomes a mere speck in the background. Instead of focusing on Auring in some way, all we got is a straight, simple shot of two boats crossing. Because the director does not know how to direct his actors, they end up delivering uninspired performances. Rio Locsin is the best of the leads, with Christopher de Leon a poor second. Vilma Santos apparently cannot decide how to approach her role. Haplos, simply put is a bad horror film…” – Jojo Devera (READ MORE)
Disco Fever (1978) – “…I’d rather be known as Victor Laurel. But really, this Travolta is a sensation. I met him in Studio 54 and how the crowd loves him. He’s a wonderful actor, singer, and dancer.” Cocoy, too is a seasoned dancer even before the Travolta fever. He has a catlike grace that gives the impression of strenght and his dancing ability has helped tremendously in his career. “The Travolta dance is typical of hero worship even in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other big cities. Mondays, everyone who has caught the fever, even 30 year olds shop and prepare for the disco on Fridays and Saturday and stay up till the wee hours of the morning…We were about to ask another question about Vi, his leading lady in Lea’s Disco Fever but Ate Josie came in to remind Cocoy that the Sampaguita people were waiting with sketches of his costume for Dyesebel, the movie he was going to make for the Gilmore Studio. But didn’t. As a parting shot, Cocoy revealed that he’d soon put a disco. The Third Kind or something in Makati…” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Expressweek, November 16, 1978 (READ MORE)
Simula ng Walang Katapusan (1978) – “…Luis Enriquez aka Eddie Rodriguez first directed a young Vilma Santos in 1968 Kasalanan Kaya, another love triangle genre starring the dramatic trio of Marlene Dauden, Eddie Rodriguez and Lolita Rodriguez. Vilma received an early acting recognitions from this film by receiving a FAMAS Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. When Enriquez directed Vilma again, it was a calculated risk that allowed a still young Vilma into a bikini-clad lead role opposite his director himself, Eddie Rodriguez. The film, Nakakahiya, a may-december affair between an older man and a young woman was an entry to 1975 Bacolod City Film Festival. Aside from making the the film a smash hit, Vilma received the festival’s Best Actress. Enriquez will direct Vilma in five more films, the last one was ExWife in 1981 where surprisingly Luis used in film credits his screen name, Eddie Rodriguez. Theri total number of colloborations were seven (Ex-Wife 1981, Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa 1979, Hindi Nakakahiya 1976, Ikaw Lamang 1971, Kasalanan Kaya? 1968, Nakakahiya? 1975, Simula ng Walang Katapusan)…” – RV (READ MORE)
Burlesk Queen (1977) – “…Furor is really an understatement. “Burlesk” swept the awards in that year’s MMFF, resulting in a controversy that led to the wholesale return of trophies. In spite of the scandal, “Burlesk” is still regarded by critics as the “quintessential” Filipino film. “Hinamon ni Brocka si Tinio ng suntukan (Lino Brocka dared Rolando Tinio to a fight),” Celso remembers. “Tinio, who was the head of the jury, heralded “Burlesk as the most beautiful Filipino film” past, present and future.” Vi’s turnaround: Adding fuel to the fire, ?Burlesk? had stunned moviegoers because it unveiled a new Vilma Santos?from ingénue to wanton woman. Vilma says of “Burlesk?” – “It marked a transition in my career. Working with Celso Kid is a privilege. He’s a genius.” With good humor, Vilma recalls a “quarrel” on the set of “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak,” which she produced in 1978. “It took so long to finish. I lost money on that. But we’re still friends.” Burlesk and Pagputi brought a lot of honor to me…” – Bayani San Diego Jr. (READ MORE)
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