Ernie Garcia and Vilma Santos

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The Painter – “…He took a break from acting in the ‘80s in order to shed his sexy image. He decided to resume his love for singing and performed in the United States and Japan. When he came back to the Philippines, he was glad to learn that movie fans as well as his friends in showbiz still remember him for his performances in movies. He was no longer the Ernie who appeared in sexy roles, but instead, he started doing roles in movies that would identify him as an “actor”, and not simply as a movie celebrity. He eventually ventured on painting and entered the world of theater. Ernie did a lot of stage work like “Noli Me Tangere,” and “El Fili.” He did “Hamlet” for the late Rolando Tinio in which he garnered an Aliw Award for best actor on stage in 1988. He received the FAMAS best supporting actor the following year (1989) when he made the movie, “Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw” He also received the Best Supporting Actor for the same movie given by the Star Awards. While he was busy acting on stage, Ernie discovered and harnessed his love for the visual arts. He started painting and experimented on the canvas and eventually explored other art mediums like tiles and fiberglass….” – Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

Sexy Actor – “…Ernie started his showbiz career on television in the ‘70s before trying his hand at the movies. Prior to acting, the then 16-year-old neophyte was more known as a singer whose repertoire would range from popular ballads to upbeat numbers. He had his first taste of real acting when he filled in for Eddie Peregrina in the soap opera Aliw ng Buhay, and was paired with fellow young upstart, Gina Alajar. Ernie’s TV drama stint caught the producers’ attention and eventually paved the way for his entry into the movies. “I was asked to play important roles in three Vilma Santos films—Takbo, Vilma, Dali; Hatinggabi na Vilma; and Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” said Ernie. He was soon paired with Chanda Romero in Uhaw na Bulaklak, which became a big hit, especially to the “Bisaya” audience. The success of the team-up resulted in three more movies—Alma Bonita, Ikaduhang Bathala, and Sabrina. All these films raked in huge box office sales, which gave Ernie the title King of Visayan Movies. Subsequently, the public also started seeing Ernie as a serious-sexy actor, an image he perfectly carried out in the movies Hubad sa Mundo, Araw-Araw, Gabi-gabi, Beer House, Sumigaw Ka Hanggang Ibig Mo, Amor Seko, Ingat Kayo, Playboy Ako, Pagmamahal Mo, Buhay Ko, Eva Fonda, 16, Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, among many others. He also starred in a Hong Kong-Korean-Philippines joint project titled Ang Mahiwagang Kris. But of all his films, Ernie was particularly proud of the 1982 Celso Ad Castillo obra, Virgin People. When the movie premiered at the Manila Film Center, the sizeable crowd applauded Ernie’s acting—which still gives him chills to this day, every time he recalls the event…” – Bong Godinez (READ MORE)

Ernie Garcia or Ernesto Garcia in real life, was born on August 12 in Caloocan City, Philippines. His father, Artemio Garcia, is a Caviteno but grew up in Masbate, and his mother, Marina Sta. Maria is from Bulacan, a pure Tagalog. He started schooling at San Sebastian College. He was a former University of Santo Tomas Architecture student. He is known as the Bold King of Philippine cinema due to his many daring scenes in movies that he starred in. Before becoming a movie actor, Ernie started his showbiz career on television in the ‘70s. – Buddhist Celebrities (READ MORE)

Ernie Garcia and Vilma Santos

Ernie Garcia and Vilma Santos did eight films together, seven of it was in the 70s. Their last film together was in 1988 where Vi appeared in a cameo role and Ernie Garcia supporting leading actor Snooky and Gaby Concepcion. He received a FAMAS nomination for this effort.

Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw (1988) – “…Ang tatay ni KC Concepcion na si Gabby Concepcion ay isa rin sa mga kaibigan ni Vi. Ilan ding pelikula ang ginawa ni Vi at Gabby katulad ng Pahiram Ng Isan Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso, Hahamakin Lahat, Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas at Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin. Sa pelikulang Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, kung saan si Gabby ang prodyuser ay naging special guest si Vi na sa totoo lang ay halos kasinlaki ang billing niya (Vi) sa mga major characters nito. Isa sa mga anak ni Gabby, anak niya kay Grace Ibuna ay inaanak ni Vi katuwang sina Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Snooky Serna at Maricel Soriano…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Amorseko Kumakabit Kumakapit (1978) – “…Ang first anniversary presentation ng Diamond Films na Amorseko Kumakabit Kumakapit (April 13, 1978) ay pinangunahan nina Vi, George Estregan, Ernie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Beth Bautista, Cloyd Robinson, Dick Israel, Laila Dee, Brenda del Rio, Anita Linda, Angie Ferro, Mary Walter at Odette Khan sa panulat at iskrip ni Ruben Arthur Nicdao at direksiyon ni Maria Saret…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Hindi Nakakahiya (1976) – “…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)

Kampanerang Kuba (1974) – “…With limited dialouge, a young Dindo Fernando portrayed Tateng’s lover convincingly. All the other supporting roles including Perla Bautista, Ernie Garcia and others gave a forgettable performances. About the two main lead, Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos did what they can to portrayed their roles. Edgar Mortiz seems to be trying very hard to be effective as the priest but acting is clearly not his forte. Would this be different if Jay Ilagan did this role? Vilma Santos succeed more with her solo scenes, talking to the patron saints and the bell tower, eating with her bare hands and trying to beautify her ugly face…” – RV (READ MORE)

Lipad, Darna, lipad! (1973) – “…Ding, ang bato!” yells Narda, the adolescent country lass, to her younger brother. Ding obligingly hands over a shiny pebble which Narda swallows to turn herself into the vivacious super-vixen, Darna. Mars Ravelo’s superheroine, clad in crimson bikinis and knee-high stiletto boots, may perhaps be the most famous local fantasy character given life on the silver screen. Though not actually considered a career-defining role, portraying Darna is, nonetheless, highly-coveted. Darna has been portrayed by no less than nine actress in 12 feature films. Rosa del Rosario first wore the scarlet two piece in May 1951. She reprised the role after three months. Liza Moreno, Eva Montes and Gina Pareno followed her. The inter-galactic pebble found its way to Vilma Santos’ throat in 1973 via the flick “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” Santos, now a two-term mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, is probably the most popular Darna, with a total of four movies in a span of seven years. Some of these were made known to younger generations through afternoon airings on television in the late ’80s. Maybe RPN 9 should do that again so that even younger generations can marvel at Darna’s greatness, albeit antiquated, in such movies as “Darna and the Giants” and “Darna vs. the Planet Women…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 06, 2003 (READ MORE)

Takbo, Vilma, Dali! (1972) – “…Joey Gosiengfiao had his “sweet revenge.” “It was not wasy for us in the beginning,” Joey relates. “Just before the showing of our first film, Takbo, Vilma Dali!, Martial Law was declared. There were no newspapers then so we had to post bills all over the city, hanggang Pasay nagdidikit kami nina Douglas. We also distributed hand bills. Sa awa ng Diyos, kumita ang pelikula.” Of the films he has done, Joey considers Sunugin Ang Samar as the most difficult, not only because of its scope but also because action is not his forte. It took him three months to make the movie because the script (by Wilfrido Nolledo) called for different settings and they had to move from one place to another. Joey didn’t exactly follow Nolledo’s script but he saw to it that “the spirit was retained.” Of late, Joey has organized his own company called Juan de la Cruz Productions together with Elwood and Douglas. Their inital production, Asawa Mo, Asawa KO, was a moneymaker. SP specializes in home-movie types while JC makes more of the woman’s movie, “that’s because we are not good for action pictures.” Joey is now connected with SP only as a director…” – Expressweek, December 12 1974 (READ MORE)

Hatinggabi na Vilma (1972) – “…The following year, Santos made fourteen films, mostly forgettable musicals. It was also a year where her benefactor started to positioned her as more of a film actress than a singing film star. The results was successful experiments that showcased her comedic ability (Ang Kundoktora), screaming action stunts (Takbo Vilma Dali) and dramatic capability (Dama De Noche). Her followers was delighted when she earned her first acting recognition the next year receiving the FAMAS best actress via Dama De Noche. Most of her films in 1972 were directed by Emmanuel Borlaza however, she was able to do one film with Ishmael Bernal, “Inspiration” with the late Jay Ilagan, one of her regular film partner. According to Bernal, the film wasn’t as successful as what he expected, as the film flopped. Aside from Inspiration, Bernal did two other films, El Vibora (starring Vic Vargas and Boots Anson Roa) and Till Death Do Us Part (starring the young Hilda Koronel and Victor Laurel)…” – RV (READ MORE)

Remembrance (1972) – “…Remembrance,” another film musical, was chosen “best musical” in the Manila Film Festival. The film stars Vilma Santos (Wilear’) and Edgar Mortiz (Wilear’s). The film also won in the categories of best film editing, best sound and best script…” – Oskar Salazar (READ MORE)

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