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The Critical Dressed List – “…Vilma Santos shined in favorite designer Danilo Franco’s beaded aqua halter with sheer accent to cover the cleavage – very Mayor Vi. It has been quite a while since she wore a sleeveless number, she said. The Star for All Seasons felt uncomfortable to show her arms. (Those killer dance routines she did in her defunct TV shows “Vilma” did serve a purpose, after all). Well, she found a way to partially hide them behind a matching tasselled stole. Actually, the gown would probably look better without it. Those armhole could use some improvements too…” – Alex Y. Vergara, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 March 2001 (READ MORE)

The Urian Nominees: It’s The “Man”-ununuri’s Turn – “…It’s a man’s world at the Man-unuri. After the Star Awards for Movies, here comes the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino with their Annual Gawad Urian. With their fiesta motif, the critics group is set to give out their awards on March 28 at the UP Theater. While these is a shortage of cited nominees in the female lead category, the list is beaming with nominations in the male acting department. Three of the seven best actor nominees and four out of the nine best supporting actor finalist played gay characters. And what Eddie Garcia is to FAMAS, Raymond Bagatsing is to the Manunuri. After winning the Urian Best Actor honor last year for Milagros, Raymond has again won the nod of the critics who are now giving him two much-coveted nominations for best actor and best supporting actor. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins in both categories. Here are the nominees for the major categories: Best Picture – Sa Pusod Ng Dagat; Jose Rizal; Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?; Sana Pag-ibig Na; Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion. Best Actor: Raymond Bagatsing (Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion); Romnick Sarmienta (Miguel/Michelle); Eric Quizon (Pusong Mamon); Cesar Montano (Jose Rizal); Gerald Madrid (Sana Pag-ibig Na); Ryan Eigenmann (Gangland); and Ricky Davao (Selya). Best Actress: Elizabeth Oropeza (Sa Pusod ng Dagat); Rosanna Roces (Curacha); Vilma Santos (Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?); and Nida Blanca (Sana Pag-ibig Na) …Given the different film orientations and backgrounds of each of the Manunuri members, we cannot really tell how different their decisions will be compared to the previous films awards. One thing is sure though, there’ll be no ties in this award-giving body. What can you expect from a group composed of just close to 10 members? Well, they should know better, I suppose…” – Isah V. Red, Manila Standard, Mar 14, 1999 (READ MORE)

Urian’s Choices“…Another major upset was Nida Blanca’s failure to clinch top acting honors. Her perfromance in Sana Pag-ibig Na by another first-time director Jeffrey Jeturian was considered by many worthy of an Urian trophy and could give popular choice Vilma Santos a tough time in all of the awards this year. Blanca shared the same honors with the Mayor of Lipa City earlier in Star Awards. Seventy-six-year-old-actress Mona Lisa was this year’s recipient of Natatanging Gawad Urian presented to her by Insiang co-star Ruel Vernal and Manunuri’s Grace Javier Alfonso. The actress recent work is a role in Nick DeOcampo’s Mother Ignacia. This is the 22nd year the Manunuri group have been handing out trophies to honor outstanding work of actors, directors, writers, film editors, sound engineers and music scorers in Filipino movies…The show looked like most local awards shows with musical numbers that has no relevance to the film medium punctuating the monotony of introducing the nominees and announcing the winners. Rosanna Roces’ licentious humor somehow livened up the perfunctory intros of presenters and performers. Osang was resplendent in an off-shoulder tangerine ballroom gown at the beginning and changed into a heavily beaded and sequined piece with partly see-through skirt. Many in the audience wondered if she was wearing a wig. With Osang as co-hosts were a slimmer Rustom Padilla and Albert Martinez who was struggling with an asthma attack and had to leave even before the show was over.

The stage was dressed up like a courtyard with facade of turn of the century houses as background. Rep. Imee Marcos presented the five nominated pictures wearing initially an outfit made from indigenous fibers and then later a Filipiniana-inspired two-piece number…As usual in local award shows, the bigger stars come in very late, just in time for the announcement of the nominations in their respective category. Vilma Santos came in at 10:30 p.m. escorted by husband and Batangas congressman Ralph Recto and followed by an entourage of bodyguards and her personal assistants. In her acceptance speech, she apologized for her tardiness saying she had to attend the graduation from high school of Luis Philip Manzano, aka Lucky, her son by former husband Edu Manzano. She also announced that the following day, her son by Ralph, Ryan Christian Recto, would be celebrating his birthday. Vilma’s fans once more showed their undying support for their idol, screaming at every instance the actress’ name is mentioned and holding up paper placards, on which they screamed their affection for her. When her name was announce winner of the most coveted award, they went gaga jumping out of their seats to cheer her as if they were watching a basketball game. This is the kind of awards show that somehow masks the sad realities in an industry struggling to survive the worst economic crisis ever and the continued and growing alienations of the middle class now more inclined to watch English-language movies from Hollywood on either the VHS and DVD formats in the comfort of their air-conditioned bedrooms….” – Manila Standard, Mar 31, 1999 (READ MORE)

Top stars invited to grance Urian – “…Three-time Urian best actress awardee Vilma Santos lead tonight’s line-up of stars who have been invited and are expected to grace the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino’s 11th Gawad Urian, at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The show, telecast live on Channel 2, 8 p.m. is hosted by 1980 Urian best actor Bernardo Bernardo and Helen Vela. Other stars who have been invited to act as presenters include the President’s daughter Kris Aquino, Lorna Tolentino, Rudy Fernandez, Charito Solis, Ace Vergel, Pinky de Leon, Phillip Salvador, Jay Ilagan, Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, William Martinez, Cherie Gil, Orestes Ojeda, Pinky Suarez, Joel Alano, Anjo Yllana, Rita Avila, Beth Bautista, Aurora Sevilla, Roderick Paulate, and Nora Aunor. The annual Gawad Urian is the film critics’ awards founded in 1976. It also confers a lifetime achievement award or the Natatanging Gawad Urian to certain deserving veteran practitioners of the movie industry. This year’s awardee is actress Rosa Rosal…” – JC Nigado, Manila Standard, May 7, 1987 (READ MORE)

It’s Nora vs Vilma, Judy Ann vs Claudine in Gawad Urian – “Screen rivals Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, and Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto are pitted in the 28th annual Gawad Urian given out by the film critics. Aunor is nominated for “Naglalayag,” in which she plays a judge who finds herself in a relationship with a younger man, played by Yul Servo, who is also nominated for Best Actor. Santos is nominated for “Mano Po 3: My Love,” where she memorably plays a Chinese-Filipino anti-crime advocate who reunites with a long-lost love, played by Christopher de Leon, a Best Actor contender. Claudine Barretto is cited for “Milan,” where she plays a cynical migrant worker in Italy who falls in love with a countryman looking for his wife. The man is played touchingly by Piolo Pascual, another Best Actor nominee. Judy Ann Santos is nominated for playing the latent lesbian in the psychological study, “Sabel.” Other than the high-profile rivalry between the two senior movie icons and two young actresses, the biggest news is that “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino,” the 10-hour digital film by Lav Diaz, has been nominated for Best Film…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Apr 27, 2005 (READ MORE)

Indie films share critics’ top prize – “The sudden downpour and ensuing flash flood failed to dampen the spirit of independent film makers who eventually swept this year’s Urian Awards, the country’s top critics prize for movies. The 28th Gawad Urian, handed out by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino was held at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, on June 4. In spite of the “militarist” venue, independent filmmakers were calling for “revolution in Pinoy cinema” within earshot of army men in fatigues. “The floodgate are open; independent filmmakers are now free,” declared Paul I. Tanedo, who produced the 10-hour epic “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino,” which in turn shared the Best Picture award with another indie effort, “Panaghoy sa Suba,” produced by actor Cesar Montano’s CM Films…Another world-class Filipino artist, film editor Jess Navarro, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award (Natatanging Gawad Urian) for his impressive body of work – particularly for such internationally acclaimed films as “Batch ’81,” “Kisapmata,” “Sister Stela L.,” “Jose Rizal,” and “Dekada ’70.” Also, studio productions like “Sabel” (Regal), “Milan” (Star Cinema), and “Sigaw” (Megavision/Regal) were not completely shut out…”Sabel,” for its part, grabbed two trophies: Best Supporting Actor for Wendell Ramos and Best Actress for Judy Ann Santos…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jun 6, 2005 (READ MORE)

“Minsan Pa,” Cesar, Ara top Golden Screen – “The Entertainment Press Society, or Enpress, paid tribute on Saturday to two independently produced films: “Minsan Pa” and “Panaghoy sa Suba,” by bestowing upon them most of the major awrds in the second Golden Screen awards ceremony at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City…Jeffrey Jeturian was heralded best director for his work on “Minsan Pa,” while lady lead Ara Mina, who plays lovelorn pre-school teacher Luna, was declared best supporting actress….Judy Ann Santos beat veterans Nora Aunor (“Naglalayag”) and Vilma Santos (“Mano Po 3”) to the best dramatic actress trophy for her offbeat performance in the movie “Sabel.” Diamond Star Maricel Soriano was awarded best actress for a comedic role in Regal Films’ “I Will Survive.” Eric Quizon was declared best actor for comedy for his work on “So Happy Together,” also from Regal Films…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 7, 2005 (READ MORE)

Golden Screen Sights and Shrieks – “The Second Golden Screen Awards ceremony last Saturday lasted only two hours, but it was action packed, certainly to the people who turned up to watch the proceedings at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium of the RCBC Plaza in Makati City. One former couple deliberately and very noticeably avoided one another. So did one screen team. Two group of fans competed in screaming their lungs out. At least three winners were stunned for getting awards. The show began with a forceful speech from Entertainment Press Soceity president Jun Nardo, who lambasted “unfair” people questioning the group’s credibility. “Tadtarin man ng intriga, mapapatuloy pa rin kami,” Nardo said. Jomari Yllana, nominated Best Actor (drama) for his work in “Minsan Pa,” was spotted at the left side of the auditorium. Former girlfriend Ara Mina, who won Best Supporting Actress, stayed backstage almost throughout the show. In his acceptance speech, Jeffrey Jeturian said his Best Director award (for “Minsan Pa”) was unexpected, “kasi walang leakage.” The Vilmanians and Noranians occupied either side of the auditorium, screaming at every mention of their idol’s names and movies. Santos and Aunor were both nominated for Best Actress (drama). When Judy Ann Santos won as Best Actress (drama, for “Sabel”) several Vilmanians said: “Okay lang, Santos pa rin.” The Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement award was given to Mona Lisa, the consistently extraordinary character actress who played the vengeful mother of Hilda Koronel in the 1979 film, Insiang….” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 8, 2005 (READ MORE)

Improved fashion sense – “Black and certain dark colors were relegated to supporting roles at the recent Golden Screen Awards, as not a few of Tinseltown’s leading ladies opted to wear gowns in delicious shades and prints as if to herald the coming summer. And for a change, the celebrities who bothered to attend the fledgling event made up for its lack of star power by dressing up in something appropriate (matino) this time. Progress, at last! Those who dared don dark hues included Maricel Soriano, Iza Calzado, Donita Rose, and Judy Ann Santos, who looked more like a trophy girl than a Best Actress winner in a black V-neck outfit with a long slit in front. Judy Ann stuck to the clean mature look by wearing her hair up and confining the glitter to several jewelry pieces on her neck and ankles (yes, not one but two shining ankles peeked from beneath that slit). In fairness to the vertically challenged young star, she looked surprisingly svelte in her minimalist gown, especially next to a healthy but still shapely, Ara Mina. Judy Ann’s gambit to look understated paid off, as he later beat acting heavyweights Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos – who wore a hot pink corset and serpentine skirts – for the top acting plum….” – Alex Y. Vergara, Photos by Karl Sumbeling, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 10, 2005 (READ MORE)

Love, War and a scare – “three love stories, a war epic, and a horror flick are competing tomorrow for the coveted Best Picture trophy in the Philippine Movie Press Club’s 21st Star Awards for Movies. “Feng Shui,” the box office horror hit starring Kris Aquino, is up against drama films “Naglalayag,” “Aishite Imasu 1941,” “Mano Po 3: My Love,” and “Milan.” conspicuously missing from the list is “Panaghoy sa Suba,” winner of major awards in last week’s Golden Screen Awards (given by the Entertainment Press Society) and, earlier, the Metro Manila Film Festival. Kris, better known for the top-rating shows she hosts for ABS-CBN, will be challenging drama veterans Vilma Santos (“Mano Po3: My Love”), Nora Aunor (“Naglalayag”), Judy Ann Santos (“Sabel”) and Claudine Barretto (“Milan”) for Best Actress….I feel flattered that my work is being recognized,” Lamangan told Inquirer Entertainment on Wednesday. “My actors have been winning awards. I consider their awards my victory too. This inspires me to do better.” Lamangan referring to Judy Ann Santos, Maricel Soriano, Eric Quizon and Dennis Trillo, who all took home Golden Screen trophies on March 5…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 11, 2005 (READ MORE)

Trouble in the Stars – “…Quoting reports in the tabloids Pecho said 13 PMPC members, all part of the 24-man voting committee, received P5,000 each from “a woman from ABS-CBN.” This was to ensure that the Best Actor award would go to Piolo Pascual (for “Milan”) and the Best Actress award to Kris Aquino (for “Feng Shui”). “They claimed Joebar was behind the “switching” of the awards,”said Pecho. The payoff might have happened, in fact, he said, but he reiterated his confidence in Barrameda. Star Cinema, movie arm of ABS-CBN, produced both “Milan” and “Feng Shui.” “One story even said writer Allan Diones has admitted receiving money from the woman,” Pecho noted. Rumors that Kris and Piolo would win the top acting awards has started circulating days before the awards rites last Saturday. Several people who turned up for the program at the Cinema 5 of the Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City and sported the two nominees commented: “They probably know that they would win. Why else would they be here?” But it was, Vilma Santos who took the Best Actress trophy for “Mano Po 3: My Love,” and Dennis Trillo was named Best Actor and Best New Movie Actor for Aishite Imasu 1941…Several write-ups identified the “woman” as Star Magic PR head Rikka Dylim, who denied the accusation…Vilmanians and Noranians, as well as fans of young stars Sandara, Hero, Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras, screamed at every mention of their idols’ name and movies. What supposed to be a “formal” ceremony instead looked and sounded like any noontime program, with spectator’s hollering, “Laban!” or “Bawi!” at the top of their lungs. Kris arrived at about the same time as Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his father, former president Joseph Estrada. A swarm of photographers jostled for the best shots. Kris is the daughter of another former president, Corazon Aquino…Pops Fernandez shared hosting chores with Vilma, and Martin Nievera was anchor man…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 18, 2005 (READ MORE)

Star Awards to be probed – “Officers of the Philippine Movie Press Club will form a committee to investigate the alleged vote-buying during the recent 21st Star Awards, according to Veronica Samio, head of the club’s grievance committee. “A deceitful act like this should not go unpunished,” said Samio, who was president of the PMPC from 1991 to 1993. “It’s not right to cheat. We will see to it that PMPC members involved in this will be expelled. Post-show reports alleged that 13 PMPC members, all part of the 24-man voting committee, received money from ABS-CBN Star Magic PR head Rikka Dylim several days before the ceremony. This was to ensure that Piolo Pascual would be named Best Actor for “Milan” and the Best Actress award would go to Kris Aquino for “Feng Shui.” The accused members included writer Allan Diones, who admitted to received P5,000 from Dyllim, Samio also identified former PMPC president Julie Bonifacio-Gaspar, incumbent vice president Jimi Escala and member Ador Saluta as among those involved. Star Cinema, movie arm of ABS-CBN, produced both “Milan” and “Feng Shui.” But Vilma Santos (“Mano Po 3: My Love”) took home the Best Actress trophy and Dennis Trillo (“Aishite Imasu 1941”) was named Best Actress and Best New Movie Actor. Samio said Diones confessed to the vote-buying on the day the committee members were to cast their vote. “The first reaction of our president (Joe Barrameda) was to strike Piolo’s name from the list of nominees. But we dissuaded him because it would not be fair to Piolo, who actually did well in “Milan,” Samio told Inquirer Entertainment last Friday. “Piolo probably didn’t even know what these people did for him.” According to Samio, writer-TV host Cristy Fermin was also seen reportedly handing out P3,000 to 12 PMPC members a few days before the PMPC was to announce the winners at the Cinema 5 of the Gateway Mall in Quezon City last March 12…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 20, 2005 (READ MORE)

Billie Joe and Richard – “…Male child star Billie Joe is a welcome addition to Vilma Santos’ show. He replaces rapper John Robinson in the “Music Watch” portion of the program. Actually, the said portion used to be the most boring part of the show and we’re glad the people behind the program did something about it. At six, Billie Joe is “articulate, witty and lovable, he is so much better than his predecessor. He could sing and dance with gusto and it is amazing how a little boy could breathe life into an otherwise stale portion…Richard Gomez is Vilma Santos’ leading man in the actress first tv drama special to be aired on GMA-7 sometime after her birthday on Nov. 3. The special is directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes. We remember that Gomez’s first tv appearance was in Vilma’s summer special in 1985 and that exposure proved advantageous to his budding career. Perhaps, now that he is considered popular, Gomez is returning the favor…” – Meg Mendoza, Manila Standard, Sep 10, 1998 (READ MORE)

Dina Bonnevie dreams of reaching the heights of Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor’s career – “…In a recent interview, Dina Bonnevie admitted that she had learned to accept the fact that her relationship with Vic Sotto is over and that her ex-husband is now Coney Reyes’ man. She even wished Sotto and Reyes happiness together and hoped she find her own happiness someday. Bonnevie said that at this point her career is her priority and that she wants to be a bankable dramatic actress. She also said if possible she wants to break into the international movie scene. “I want to see myself at the top one day,” she declared. “Parang gusto kong marating ang narating ng mga superstars like Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. I guess everybody dreams of getting to the top and I’m one of them.” Bonnevie has nothing but good words for her two leading men in the movie, Gabby Concepcion and Julio Diaz, and director Maning Borlaza. Aside from being an actress, Bonnevie also dreams of making it as a successful scriptwriter. She gets to practice her writing skills in her own tv show, Dina, where who is supposed to write a script once a month…” – Nitz Miralles, Manila Standard, Sep 10, 1998 (READ MORE)

CUE CARDS – “…Vilma Santos shared the coveted Movie Actress of the Year award with Nida Blanca in last Saturday’s Star Awards, the local counterpart of Hollywood’s Golden Globe, at a jam-packed UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Santos was honored for her role in Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?, a movie written for the screen by Lualhati Bautista based on her own novel and directed by Chito Roño for Star Cinema. Blanca, meanwhile, won her acting trophy for her role in the obscure Sana Pag-ibig Na by first-time director Jeffrey Jeturian for Golden Harvest. The two bested three other nominees: Elizabeth Oropeza (Tasulok), Rosanna Roces (Ang Lalake sa Buhay ni Selya), and Sharmaine Arnais (Sagad sa Init)…Eric Quizon was voted Darling of the Press. Quizon was also one of the hosts of the show. Joining him were Ronnie Ricketts and Vilma Santos whose fans punctuated the show with screams, cheers and applause. A female fan was reportedly escorted out of the theater by security guards after some members fo the audience complained that she has making too much noise. If the Vilmanians were rowdy, the Noranians was the opposite side of the theater were ferocious. They trooped to the theater when they learned Nora Aunor would make an appearance to present the Ulirang Artista Award to her friend Caridad Sanchez. They broke in wild cheers when their idol chilled out of the stage wing and stood on the right end of the stage. Vilma was on the opposite side waiting for her cue to introduce Nora. It was all right until the Mayor of Lipa announced Nida Blanca instead. The Noranians were irked and incensed and objected with catcalls. Vilma was compelled to make a public apology, saying she was merely reading a cue card given to her by the show’s writer. Nora was also the recipient of a special award, cited by the PMPC for bringing the local movie industry honors in international film festivals. She won Best Actress at Penang, Malaysia for her role in 1997’s Bakit May Kahapon Pa? The superstar’s acceptance speech was short, saying only, “Maraming salamat!” Many speculated that she must have been incensed by the earlier faux pas committed by her perennial rival. In justifying the mistake, the PMPC said that Nora was not really expected to arrive. But they were glad she made it. In case she didn’t, Nida Blanca had agreed to make the presentation of the Ulirang Artista Award which was already written on the cue card. The question though remained, “Didn’t Vilma notice Nora coming in?” If she didn’t she should have taken the cue from the screams of the Noranians. The incident reignited the heated rivalry of these two stars and made the Star Awards a peewee exciting…” – Isah V. Red, Photographs by Mike de Juan, Manila Standard, Mar 14, 1999 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos, Famas Lifetime Achievement Awardee – “…After her recent Young Critics Circle and Star Awards victories, Vilma like Nida is up for another surprise at the Urian night. And just a few days after, April 8 to be exact, it will be the FAMAS’ turn to give out its trophies. Now on its 47th year, the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences is considered the oldest and the most controversial award giving body in Asia, coming only second to the Oscar Awards. Vilma is actually disqualified from winning best actress honors in the FAMAS since she has already been elevated to the Hall of Fame – after having won five best actress awards from the said body. But in order to give due recognition for her continued excellence and longevity as a movie queen, not to mention her very popular career as a public servant hailed as the Mother of Lipa, Vilma will be bestowed this year’s FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award. Like the grand slam and the Hall of Fame honors, this forthcoming award set Vilma in another plane above her arch rival Nora Aunor. In any case, the Noranians may be quick to retort, “the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement honor are no match to Nora’s Centennial Artist Honor.” Good for Nora and Vilma, they’ve transcended and have gone way beyond what their drumbeaters have set up for them…” – Wikipedia, Manila Standard, Mar 22, 1999 (READ MORE)

Alfie Lorenzo – “…Alfie interviewed Nora who professed her still lingering passion for Manny de Leon. Again it was duly reported by Alfie. Again he was belied, this time by Nora Aunor. This twin denials did not deter Alfie from pursuing a more rabid reporting stance. Now with the Vilma-Bobot group, he would rake coals and embers and fan the escalating Nora-Vilma war. Gradually the Nora-Vilma fight settled into a more subdued form of rivalry. From probing movie stars, Alfie Lorenzo teamed up with the members of what would eventually be the Laperal Mafia and the Ligaya Brotherhood (or Sisterhood, whichever the case maybe) and went into proing for movie companies – Sine Pilipino, Juan de la Cruz, Lyra Ventures – moving into Regal where he is more or less a fixture. Before latching on to these companies, Alfie and Douglas ventured into movie production coordinating for a freelance producer and came up with forgettable movie called, “Wild, Wild Pussycat.” “Lahat kaming malas nagsama-sama sa Sine Pilipino. Elwood directed “Blue Boy,” flop. Joey directed for Tower, flop, buti na lang kumuwela si Vilma.” remembers Alfie. At Sine Pilipino, Vilma Santos finally made the big leap to superstardom then held solely by the dark girl from Iriga. With a couple of hits which raked in the box-office, Sine Pilipino was able to establish the careers of Joey Gosiengfiao, Elwood Perez, and even when Sine Pilipino went under because of what has been reported as faulty management, Alfie managed to breast the waves of bankruptcy and the board of censors’ ire to stay in business as a movie writer-pro-columnist-manager. At Lyra Ventures, Alfie was part of the project-makers of “Uhaw” parts I and II, the scenes of which caused a turnover in the board of censors. Today, Alfie Lorenzo’s cheek and guts have taken him around the world in pursuit of his own star. Managing of being pro for stars like Vilma Santos, Charito Solis, Al Tantay, Cherie Gil, Mark Gil and Dante Rivero has made Alfie more or less an indispensable fixture in the movie scene…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980

Investigative Journalism – “…I follow up on events and I always add that dash of scoop by getting at the real story behind the news item.” Inday Badiday’s brand of gossip, therefore, is more akin to investigative journalism. Never mind the fact that her investigations always end up in the same way. For nobody can quite ransack a “ropero” as thoroughly as Inday can. Inday Badiday or Ludy Jimenez Carvajal also admits to having”sources” who relay precious information to her but she sifts these carefully and only follows up on the “more interesting” bits. “The hotel guest registry is not my cup of tea, I leave it to others to do that type of reporting. If I get a lead about so-and-so checking in at this hotel, I sometimes pass on the information to another reporter and leave it up to him to follow the story if he cares to.” Inday’s chitchat being more issue-oriented has landed her into more controversies than she’s ready to bargain for. “In the Amalia-Romeo-Vilma affair, for instances, I was only a bystander. They were the ones who did all the talking, most especially Bobby. But it was my program which took the brunt of it all. Sabi ko nga, para bang nag-away ang mga bisita mo sa bahay mo. Anong magagawa mo?” Inday confesses that her job is not exactly a bed of roses. “Anong gagawin mo pag sinabi sa iyo ng artista, “Ate Luds, ito ang tunay na nangyari pero huwag mong sasabihin. Ito na lang ang sabihin mo, Sasakit ang ulo mo talaga.” The constant ringing of the phone, the centenarian who came to visit Inday that day, the unending parade of people streaming in and out of Inday’s tiny office-all these attest to the queen’s popularity. “My sister (Letty Jiminez-Magsanoc of Panorama) tells me that I’m but a mere spectator of this circus.” What LJM meant was perhaps that Inday’s life is the anti-thesis of the sordid world of her occupation. Inday after all started out as a ballet teacher at Joji Felix’s dance studio (would you believe?) where perhaps the most awkward event of any given day was a ballerina’s lazy arabesque. Now that her world has changed from ballet to bod stars, she remains even more certain of her ground. “The point of interest being facets of the stars’ private lives,” says Inday, “and this means I cannot write or talk about how many times they go to church. I cannot imagine why some peole would like us to turn plastic, too, by writing plastic things about their plastic selves. Ang sabi nga kung naiinitan ka sa apoy ng nagluluto, di umalis ka sa kusina.” It is the movies where one worries most when the gossip stops. Very few attain that sought-after state of virtual imperviousness. Should anything truly sensational happen in their lives, who do you think will merit bigger headlines today, Vilma Santos or Tita Duran? What worries certain movie scribes, Giovanni Calvo included…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980

Emmanuel H. Borlaza – “…Why Borlaza? Because Emmanuel H. Borlaza is a formula director, a tried and tested moneymaker for local film companies and an example of a commercial success who also hungers for artistic fulfillment. It was Maning Borlaza who directed the box-office hit revival of Darna and Dyesebel, those heroines of less demanding times, and followed of less demanding times, and followed them with more Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz starrers and such crowd-drawers as Kapatid Ko Ang Aking Ina; Artista And Aking Asawa; and I Love Mama, I Love Papa. Very recently, despite his many obvious fumbling, his Mrs. Eva Fonda, 16 raked in the moolah, as entertainment columnist would put it. Whether the lure was really Borlaza and not Vilma (as Darna) or Alma (as Eva), one would still not find out in Makahiya at Talahib, the Goodwill production that Maning is directing as a filmfest bet. Vilma is starring, you see, opposite Rudy Fernandez who portrays the man on the run. Maning, however, has been quoted to have said that “My next 20 years are modestly provided for, I don’t think I will live more than that. Henceforth, I will split my movie work to what I want to do and what the public likes. He wants, it seems, to recover his old self, the Borlaza who filmed Pyscho-Maniac, a suspense thriller which cast Divina Valencia, Dindo Fernando and Ray Marcos and won him the Academy’s best screenplay award in ’68, who packed so much good action in Mindanao, the movie that bagged four statuettes in the Manila Filmfest of the same year, and who directed Vilma Santos’s way to the FAMAS best actress award for the performance in Dama de Noche. And yet, he is not that keen to do films that might suffer the fate of O’Hara’s Mortal or Bernal’s Nunal sa Tubig. “Their box-office results are not encouraging,” says Maning. He admits he still goes a little commercial.

That is why there is a love scene between Vilma and Rudy in Makahiya that Maning expects people might be talking about, more than the torrid shots of Rudy and Trixia Gomez. The 41-year old director also wrote the story and screenplay of Makahiya. Writing was something that didn’t interest Maning while he was enrolled in Dr. Severino Montano’s Arena theater at the same time that he was majoring in English at the Manuel Luis Quezon University. “Dr. Montano was the rave of the drama world at that time,” recalls Maning. “That’s where I bumped into Lino Brocka, Behn Cervantes, Joonee Gamboa…they were coming in when I was leaving the group. I got much too engrossed in acting because I got good roles I didn’t write anything.” From acting in theater, however, Borlza switched to writing in the movies. To his credit are some 300 stories and screenplays from which Sampaguita stalwarts Carlos Vander Tolosa and Octavio Silos directed. But after 12 long years of scriptwriting, Maning struck up a partnership with ’60s bombshell Divina Valencia and formed the Queen Vi production on which he now says he lost a lot of money. Their first movie, Psycho-Maniac, was also Maning’s first directorial attempt. Another person would have thought things over and concentrated on scriptwriting instead after a victory like that but Borlaza was decided: he was going to make movies, not just write them. Nowadays, he even makes two pictures at a time. “I just finished Makahiya and Teatro Manila. It’s cheaper that way. You don’t waste any calendar day. No stars available for Makahiya, we would work on Teatro.” Work means gearing up in a sleeveless top and a pair of short shorts that expose his long smooth legs. Maning, in case you didn’t hear his very casual confession on Inday Badiday’s Nothing But the Truth, is “gay.” “That was the first time I opened up to the public,” he explaines. I thought if I didn’t open up, what’s the use of coming to a show like that?” Homosexuals are actually spilling all over the movie world, just as they do in other creative fields. One of these days, Emmanuel H. Borlaza might just complete a consciousness-raising classic and we’ll say it can happen to anyone regardless of sex…” – Chelo R. Banal, Philippine Panorama Magazine, 26 December 1976 (READ MORE)

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