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1973 FAMAS – “…Halos mangilid ang luha sa kanyang mga mata nang tanggapin niya ang kanyang FAMAS Awards. Sa wakas ay nagtamo rin ng karangalan at pagkilala ang kanyang pagsisikap at kakayahan. Baguhan pa lamang si Nick Romano sa pelikula at iyon ay ang una niyang nomination at nakamit din niya ang kanranagalan best bilang supporting actor nang gabing iyon. Kung naruwa man si Joseph Estrada sa inaning karangalan ng kapatid niya nang gabing iyon ay ganoon din si Tony Ferrer sa kapatid niyang si Nick Romano. Most applauded si Marrissa Delgado nang gabing iyon dahilan sa noong nakaraang taon ay siya ang nagkamit ng FAMAS award for best supporting actress at ngayon ay siya na naman na nagpapatunay lamang na talaganag karapatdapat siya sa karangalang natamo niya last year. Hindi mailarawan ang kagalakan niya ng gabing iyon. Umiiyak siya’t naliligayahan nang siya mismo ang tumanggap ng tangan niyang trophy na ang buong akala niya’y ibibigay niya sa bagong awardee. Dalawa ang best Actress ng gabing iyon. Nangangahulugang kapuwa mabigat ang labanan at walang itulak kabigin kina Boots Anson Roa at Vilma Santos kaya minabuti ng inampalan na bigyan kapwa ng best actress award sina Boots at Vilma…” – WikipediaAruy Tapusan Komiks Magasin, No. 32, 19 Hunyo 1973

“Nagwala” na rin si Vi! – “…Wll now, everybody clap your hands! “Nagwala na rin si Vilma Santos, something we never expected from her, and something that never happened to her in the 15 years she’s been in show business. The reigning box office queen has always been criticized for being the perfect movie queen: cool, poised, well-behaved, aloof, mysterious. Never did she ever forget this, and how many times did we see her smile even when she was in pain, how many times did she look happy even when she was broken-hearted. It was only when the door to her room is shut down she take off this mask. Its only when the rest of the world is kept out by that door that she allows herself to breathe, act and live like a preson. People said she came straight our of a plastic factory, for no matter how many needles were stuck into her, she still came out a well-posed, well-mannered young miss. Someone who does not even say “aray.” Well, not anymore. Sometimes last week, Vil lost her cool. Napilitan na ring magmura, napilitan na ring mambato ng baso. Tao rin pala si Vi. The occassion was Vi’s discovery that her favorite director Celso Ad Castillo was shooting another films, Ang Dalagang Pinagtaksilang ng Panahon right in Majayjay, Laguna where Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak has been shooting on ang off since Nov. ’76. It seems that Vi was not aware of the other picture. It was only when Vi with Cleo Cruz and a couple of friends dropped by the house where they were shooting did she find out that a completely different set of unit and crew were shooting another movie under the same director. Siyempre pa, away! Vi’s been a bit peeved over the fact that Celso can’t seem to finish Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak. This particular project begun exactly 14 months ago at that time, the one who caused all the trouble was Vilma herself. How many times did Celso wait for his leading lady to arrive, only to be told later on that she couldn’t come? Bembol Roco, Vi’s leading man in Pagputi ng Uwak… on the other hand, has this dissenchantment with Celso…” – Douglas C. Quijano, Klassiks Romantic Magasin, 07 April 1978

“Pag di gumawa ng retraksyon si Vilma, hindi ko tatapusin ang Pagputi ng Uwak!” – Celso Ad Castillo – “…Isang kalmadong Celso Ad. Castillo ang nakausap namin nang gabing iyon sa kanyang opisina. Kagagaling niya sa Majayjay , Laguna kung saan kinukunan ang Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak ng VS Films. Ang dahilan kaya lumuwas si Direk ay dahil sa isang lathalaing lumabas sa isang malaganap na pahayagan na binibintangan siya na diumano’y nagsisiyuting siya ng ibang pelikula ng ginagamit niya ang unit, ang mga tauhan, ang caterer at ang oras ng VS Films. “I don’t mind controversies. I don’t mind ciriticims but I do mind very much kung sasabihin nilang I am free-loading sa pelikula nila.” ito ang may kapaitang wika ni Direk Celso Ad Castillo. Kailan ba sinimulan ni Direk Celso Ad Castillo ang Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak at bakit natigil ito? “Oktubre 1976 nang umpisahan ko ang pelikulang iyan,” simual ni Direk Castillo. “Natigil ang pagsisiyuting noon dahil hindi sumisipot sa set si Vilma Santos. “Pagkatapos ng Burlesk Queen ay sinabi ko na sa sarili ko na I’m trough with her (Vilma’s) prima donna attitude. Pero pinakiusapan niya akong ipagpatuloy namin ang Pagputi… at ginarantuhan niya akong siguradong darating siya sa set. “So I resumed shooting ng Pagputi…noong Jan 26 nang taong ito despite many offers na dumating sa akin. Tulad ng pelikula kina Armida Siguion-Reyna at Alona Alegre. I assumed that everything would be alright. That Vilma Santos would apprear on the set sa Majayjay, Laguna nga. “Pero dalawang linggo na akong nagsisiyuting, wala pang Vilma akong nakikita. Sa Kalahatian ng ikalawang linggo ay dumating siya, pero dadalawang araw ang itinigil niya roon at nagbalik siya sa Maynila upang mag-guest sa programa ni Joe Quirino sa telebisyon. “Si Bembol, na siyang leading man dito, ay laging naroon. Gayunman ay hindi siya makukunan pagka’t ang natitirang mga eksena ay kailangan si Vilma. Tapos na ang ibang eksenang hindi kailangan ang presence ni Vilma. Dumating uli si Vilma at bigla namang nawala si Bembol Roco without my knowledge. At nanng mabalki si Bembol nagulat ako nang makita kong ahit na ahit ang kanyang ulo. Nagpakalbo siya nang si ako kinonsulta o pinasabihan kaya! Paano ang gagawin ko sa continuity…” – O. B. Pangilinan, Klassiks Romantic Magasin, 07 April 1978

Mga Hirap ni Vi – “…Nang ginagawa ni Vilma ang “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” nasabi niyang marahil iyon na ang pinakamahirap at challenging pic niyang nagawa. Kasi, dito’y nabilad siya nang husto sa init ng araw. Nalubog pa sa Putik. Alam naman ninyo ang balat ng top superstar…manipis, maputi, at sensitive. Tinubuan siya tuloy ng skin rashes. Sa Lipad, muntik na ring magkaroon ng nervous collapse si Vi. Dahil sa pakikipaglaban niya sa maliit na sawa. Heaven knows na gaano na lang ang takot ni Vi sa tulad nito and other slimy, crawling things. And so, akala nga ni Vi ay ang Lipad na ang pinakamahirap niyang pic na nagawa. But she was wrong, pagka’t sa Dyesebel ay lalong nabilad siya rito sa init ng araw, nababad pa siya nang todo sa tubig. Ang God, ang difficulties niya sa paglipat-lipat sa sets. Paano siya makakakilos e naka-buntot siya? At matatandaan pa ba niyo na ilang ulit naospital ang top superstar pagka’t nanganib na mapulmonya? Kaya, minsan pa’y nasabi ni Vi na ang Dyesebel na ang pinakamahirap na pic niyang nagawa. Ngunit sa paggawa niya ng Anak ng Asuwang para sa Roma Films, tambak na hirap na naman ang inabot niya. Masasasabi hindi naman gaano marahil. Pagka’t dito’y hindi naman naka-costume ang superstar di tulad sa Lipad at Dyesebel…” – Cleo Cruz, Bulaklak, No. 94, 03 Sep 1974

Anong Sey N’yo sa Vi & Bot Part III? – “…Na-shocked ang mga interviewers. Halos hindi makapaniwala sa kanilang napanood that evening sa “Ayan Eh” over TeleNINE. Edgar Mortiz guesting sa programa ni Vilma Santos! Sa panahong supposedly ay “they separate one from the other”? O baka naman daw isang replay lang ito of an old “Ayan Eh?” Pero NO! Kasi nga there’s the “Let’s Do The Salsa” bits of Lea Productions. It’s TRUE then, na muling nagkaroon ng buhay ang “pinakamatatag” (?) na Vi and Bot, Ah, Love? Nagkaroon na naman “pupunasan ng pawis, paayosayosan ng buhok” ni Bobot kay Vi sa kanilang pagduduweto. If Vi was but acting, ewan namin Maniwala ba si Bobot na muling umaaligid…with all those pakita ni Vi? Acting lang naman ;yon eh, and for the sake of our fans!…well…the poser ay itong supposedly ay may kaugnayan sa pelikulang “Lets Do The Salsa” ni Vi ang said presentation. Yep na naman nga ang young ones na ma-involved sa said movie, but nasaan naman sina Ronnie Henares, Walter Navarro at Rolly Quizon? Nag-iisnaban ba kasi’y naroroon ang original an king sa puso ni Vilma! Well, putting more strenght sa paniniwala namaing muling magkakaroon ng buhay ang Vi and Bot tandem, instant guest for that certain program nina Tony Santos Sr., at Eddie Ilagan. Kumpleto ang tropa, ika nga…huwag lang mabubulilyaso! Nakita ba n’yo kung papaano niyakap ni Direk Santos si Vi? Very apparent ang kasiyahan ni Direk and that wide smile on Eddie’s face? Iisa ang banta…Vi and Bot, Part III! And to top it all, sa closing portion ng show, may reminder pa si Vi na siya’y gaganti na naman sa “People” ni Bot. Tit-for-tat, tat-for-tit extendedly could only mean one thing…na pagkahabahaba man ng prosisyon, kung masiksik, matalima…este, saan ba ako nabunggo? Akala ko’y sa simbahan, ay mali!…” – Tito Nards, Kislap, No. 393, 25 Mar 1976

Nagbunga Ang Pagsisikap: Pang-apat sa survey ang show nina Vilma-Edgar – “…Masayang-masaya ang buong cast ng Vi & Bot TV Show sa ika-pitong regular taping nila…Ang dahilan ay may lumabas buhat sa KBS na ang kanilang show ay pumang-apat na sa ginawang survey para sa TV show. Lilimang ulit pa lamang sumasahimpapawid ang Vi & Bot sa Channel 9 ay nag-rate kaagad ng maganda. Ang katuwaan ay higit kina Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz, gayundin si Director Tony Santos, na masugid ang hangarin na higit na mapaganda ang show na ito. Ang Vi & Bot ay mapapanood tuwing araw ng Martes mula ika-pito ng gabi hanggang ika-walo. Every week ay may iba-ibang episode ang kanilang ipinamamalas sa lahat ng mga televiewer, kasama na rito ang pinakatampok na sayaw ni Vilma. Everyweek din ay may special guest sila na kilalang showbiz personality. Laging maagang gumarating ang dalawa sa tuwing mayroong taping kapag araw ng biyernes. Hindi tumatanggi sina Vilma at Edgar sa anumang bagay na ipaganap sa kanila ni Director Santos, basta’t sa ikagaganda ng show. Maging ang mga crew ng KBS na kasama nila sa paglalamay sa taping ay napupuri ang dalawa sa pagka-propesyonal. At ngayong nasa pang-apat na ang Vi & Bot ay walang tanging hangarin ang mga nagsisiganap rito at si director Santos, kundi lalong mapagbuti ang bawat pagtatanghal nila…” – Berting C. Paz, Sixteen Magazine, No. 112, 29 Dec 1972

Vilma Santos “Young Star of 1972” – “…Batay sa dami ng pelikulang ginampanan sa buong taon, muli na namang nanguna si Vilma Santos. Si Vilma, kung inyong natatandaan, ay nanguna rin nuong 1970, batay sa dami ng pelikulang nagampanan. Siya’y may 25 pelikula sa naturang taon. Sa kabuuan, narito ang kumpletong talaan ng mga pelikulang ginampanan ng mga young stars nong 1972 – 1. Vilma Santos – 14 (na pelikula); 2. Eva Linda – 13; 3. Jay Ilagan – 9; Roderick Paulate – 9; Nora Aunor – 7; Tirso Cruz III – 7; Desiree Destreza – 7; Edgar Mortiz – 7; Florence Aguilar – 6; Frankie Navaja Jr. – 6; Robin Aristorenas – 6; Barbara Monteiro – 6; Nympha Bonifacio – 6. Ang mga pamagat ng mga pelikulang kani-kanilang ginampanan ay ang mga sumusunod: Vilma Santos: Aloha My Love; Don’t Ever Say Goodbye; Dulce Corazon; Inspirations; My Little Darling; Remembrance; Sweet Sweet Love; Ang Kundoktora; Vilma, Takbo, Dali; Dama de Noche; 3 Mukha ni Rosa Vilma; Dalagang Nayon; Hatinggabi na Vilma; at Leron Leron Sinta…” – Boy Alejandro Silverio, Pogi Magazine, No. 97, 08 Jan 1973

Vilma Tutulong Kay Nora sa NMH! – “Gusto kong makagaw ng mga bagay na makatuturan, Lalung-lalo na sa mga kilusang may magandang layunin at nauukol sa Charity. Love is giving and giving is love. Sa aking mga tagumpay ay nais kong pasalamatan ang lahat, sapagkat kung hindi sa ginagawa nilang pagtangkilik sa aking mga pelikula’y paano ko masasabing sarili ko ang tagumpay? Hindi tayo maaaring kumilos o magtagumpay nang nag-iisa. Siyempre, katulong natin ang ating mga kapwa tao. Walang sinumang nag-tagumpay o nakagawa ng magandang bagay na hindi kasama at katulong ang kanyang kapwa.” Ito ang pasimulang pahayag sa amin ni Vilma nang kapanayamin namin kamakailan. Noong Hulyo 27, matapos bumoto sa referendum, sinagot ni Vilma ang pagtulong sa isang kilusang may kinalaman sa Charity. Bukod dito, nagtatanghal din sina Vilma at Edgar bilang pagtulong sa National Mental Hospital. Tutulungan namin dito si Nora. At kahit sino pang artistang may project, tutulong kami, basta sa kapakanan ng kawang gawa.” Ayon pa rin kay Vilma hindi lamang siya ang dapat magkaroon ng ganitong adhikain kundi lahat din ng mga bituin sa pelikula. Kung maari ay makahati sila sa magandang simulaing ito. “Utang namin ang mga tagumpay na ito sa aming mga manonood. Kung hindi sa kanila, maaaring wala kami sa aming mga kinalalagyan ngayon, kaya tama lamang na kami’y makatulong din sa kanila…sa mga paraang alam naming kaya naming gampanan. At alam kong ito’y matutupad, pagkat ngayon pa’y nakikita ko na ang maraming artistang tumutulong sa kawanggawa. Sana’y magpatuloy ito at sana rin ay makatulong naman ang iba pang artista sa pelikula. Sa pagtatagumpay ng mga simulaing ito, ilan ang tiyak…maraming kulang-palad ang aming matutulungan, gayundin makatutulong ito sa pag-unlad ng ating pelikula at magkakaroon tayo ng magandang lipunan!” – Ric S. Aquino, Love Story Illustrated Weekly Magazine, No. 100, 24 Aug 1973

Superstar na si Vi – “…Tulad ng dati, humble pa rin si Vilma Santos. Hindi pa rin niya maamin na siya’y isa nang superstar. Sa katunayan kapag sinabi mo sa kanyang sikat na sikat na siya ay iiling lamang si Vi at magalang na magwiwikang “hindi ho naman.” Talagang superstar na si Vilma Santos pagkatapos patunayan ng kanyang mga pelikulang Dara, Lipad, Darna at Dyesebel. Biruin ninyo, nangitanghal ang Lipad Darna Lipad ay kasabay ng pelikula nina Joseph Estrada at Nora Aunor subalit mahigpit na pakikipagtunggali ang nasabing pelikula. Sa nakaraang Pista ng Pelikulang Tagalog, ang pelikula ni Vilma na Dyesebel ay sumunod naman sa lakas ng kita ng pelikula nina Fernando Poe, Jr at Joseph Estrada. Iyan ay pagpapatunay lamang na superstar na si Vilma Santos. Napakaraming pelikulang gagampanan ngayon si Vilma Santos. Isa na sa ginagawa niya ngayon ay ang Anak ng Asuwang para sa Roma Films. Sa pelikulang ito na pinamamahalaan ni Romy Susara, si Vilma ay gumaganap bilang anak ni Gloria Romero. Hindi batid ni Vi na ang kanyang ina ay isang vampira at asuwang. Kaya lamang niya natuklasan ang katotohanan ay nang mapatay ng mga tao ang kanyang ina datapuwa’t matapos iyong mailibing at masaksihan ng kanyang mga mata ay muli niyang nakita na kanyang inana buhay na buhay. Iyong pala, kampon ng kadiliman…” – Arnel Arcega, Movie Queen Magazine, No. 70

Ang Recording at si Vi – Basta’t araw ng Huwebes, makakapasa kayong nasa Cinema Audio si Vilma Santos at nagsasaplaka ng kanyang pinakabagong awitin para sa Vicor. Ito ang araw ng inilalaan niya sa recording upang sa gayon ay mapabilis ang pagtatapos ng kanyang unang plakang LP para sa Vicor, ang Sing Vilma Sing. Ilang mga awitin na lamang ang dapat niyang maisaplaka. Natutuwa naman si Vilma sapagka’t halos karamihan sa kanyang mga inaawit ay katugon ng kanyang panlasa. “Mahusay talagang pumili ng mga selection si Kuya Orly. Alam niya ang mga kantang babagay sa akin at iyong mga hindi. Isa lamang sa mga selection na kinalugdan ni Vilma ay ang “Tweedle Dee.” “Okay sa akin ito sapagka’t mabilis at madaling tandaan. Isa pa, paborito ko na ang awiting ito kahit noon pa man.” Kung hindi nagre-recording si Vilma, lubha siyang abala sa kanyang mga assignments sa pelikula. Marami siyang alok na tinatanggap at masusi niyang pinag-aaralan kung alin ang dapat tanggapin. Malapit ng matapos ang Wonder Vi at Anak ng Asuwang. Isusunod na niya ang pelikulang pagtatambalan nila ni Meng Fei. Anupa’t mapa-recording at mapa-pelikula, mawiwikang superstar ngang talaga si Vilma Santos.- Movie Queen Magazine, No. 70

Local Artists Score in Manila Listing – The July tabulations of the Philippine Record Dealers’ Association, listing the top artsts of the month in the point of sales, only lists two foreign artists, Elvis Presley and Petula Clark. Alpha artist, Nora Aunor, clinches the top spot. She holds the record of the only local artist who won the Awit Awards as best female singer in three consecutive years. Aunor is the highest-paid recording artst, film star, and also radio-tv-stage personality. The top ten artsts: Aunor (Alpha), Tirso Cruz III (Dyna), Presley, Sylvia La Torre (Villar), Victor Wood (Vicor), Clark, Ric Manrique (Villar), Eva Vivar (Alpha) and Mabuhay Singers (Villar). The association also released listings by categories, the top three in each local female (English) – Aunor, Vivar and Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Local male singer (English) – Cruz, Wood and Darius Razon (Alpha); Groups = Mabuhay Singers, D’Big Sullivan (Alpha-Vicor) and Ambivalent Crowd (Vicor); Instrumental: Relly Coloma (Villar), Amormio Cillan, Jr (Dyna) and Eric Dimson (Vicor). – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)

Wilear’s Top Company in Philippine Awards – The third annual presentation of the Awit Awards was held at the Manila Hotel with Senator Doy Laurel of the Philippine Congress as guest of honor and principal speaker. The sponsoring group was the Philippine Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (PARAS). The event criticized in the local circle because of its unpopular results and deglamourized presentation, gave posthumous awards of merit to Frankie Martin, a juror last year, and Santiago Suarez, one of Filipino musical stalwarts. The founder of the Awit Awards, Billboard correspondent Oskar Salazar, was also honored. Wilear’s Records scored heavily in the awards this year. The foreign division was permanently scrapped. Two major companies, Villar Records and Dyna Products, Inc. did not submit nominations this year. The 1970 winners are: Female Singer (English) – Nora Aunor (Alpha); Male Singer (English) – Eddie Mesa (Grandeur); Female Singer (Vernacular) – Amapola (Lapulapu); Male Singer (Vernacular) – Armando Ramos (Wilear’s). Most Promising Female Singer – Eva Vivar (Alpha); Most Promising Male Singer (tie) – Boy Mondragon (Vicor) and Jonathan Potenciano (D’Swan); Record Company of the Year – Wilear’s Records; Song of the Year – “Forever Loving You” by Bert Dominic (Billboard); Best Single – “Sixteen” by Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Vocal Group (Vernacular) – D’Big 3 Sullivans (Vicor); Vocal Group (English) – Reycard Duet (Alpha); Instrumental Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” by the Philippine Rondalla (Wilear’s); Original Movie Music Theme – Soundtrack of “Wanted: Perfect Mother” by Danny Subido (Neon); Special Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” (Wilear’s); Instrumental – Eric Dimson (Vicor); Instrumental Group – Pandacan Original Brass Band (Wilear’s); Musical Arranger – Doming Amarillo; Lyricist (Vernacular) – Philip Maninang; Lyricist (English) – Danny Subido; Composer (English) – Robert Dominic; Album Liner Notes (LP & Mini) – “Baby Vi” (Wilear’s); Album Cover (LP) – “I’m Sorry My Love” (Vicor); Mini-Album – “Something Stupid” by (Wilear’s); Album – “Phenomenal Nora Aunor” by Nora Aunor (Alpha). Other Awardees (receiving plaques): Best Recording Studio – Cinema-Audio, Inc.; Best Recording Engineers – Ric Santos (Cinema-Audio, Inc.) and Best Pressing Plant – Home Industries Dev. Corp. Given citations for their support were Tower Productions, stations DZTM and DZTR and Gloria Sevilla, a film producer. – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)

National Artist – “Recent headlines have been filled with news about different groups or personalities championing Comedy King Dolphy, Superstar Nora Aunor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos as National Artists for Film. All three are deserving candidates because they have enjoyed long and successful careers, achieved a remarkable body of work, contributed to popular culture and are much admired by their peers and the public, traits that define what a National Artist is…” – Stars Studio Magazine (READ MORE)

Ronnie, Vi team up for the first time – Two newly-proclaimed box office champions of Philippine movie star in FPJ Productions’ upcoming 13th anniversary presentations, “Batya’t Palu Palo,” a situation comedy about a rich heiress who disguises as a lowly washerwoman in order to find out for herself the true meaning of love. Delineating the lead roles are Fernando Poe, Jr. and Vilma Santos who star for the first together. Now being filmed among the lush greens of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, “Batya’t Palu Palo” hopes to make people forget the humdrum activities of this world. A wholesome family entertainment, the flick will have Ronnie step down from his throne as the country’s number one action star to the down-to-earth role of Berting, an hacienda hand who works in Vilma’s big landed estates, but who, nevertheless, catches the attention of the young, rich and quite spoiled Estella. Directed by ace megman Pablo Santiago, “Batya’t Palu Palo” is scripted by Fred Navarro, based on a story by Ronwaldo Reyes. – FPJ Da King (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos in June’s Metro – “This June, join us as Metro tags along with our cover girl, the legendary Vilma Santos, the star for all seasons, who has found a second calling as the mayor of Lipa City. Metro follows her from her City Hall Offices to the ABS-CBN studios for the press conference of her latest blockbuster film, “Anak…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 Oct 2004 (READ MORE)

Film Premiere Draws 28 Philippines Record Artists – Twenty-eight of the Philippines’ young recording artists singing in English presented one song at the gala premiere night of the locally produced film “Haydee” at the Rizal Theater in suburban Makati. The impressive convergence was a first in the Philippine entertainment history, local producers and artists gave all-out cooperation. Proceeds of the “Haydee” premiere were earmarked for the 1970 Awit Awards, the Philippine’s versions of the U.S. Grammys. Five record companies wre represented in the two-hour on-stage attraction, Alpha Recording System, D’Swan Recording System, Vicor Recording, Villar Records, and Wilear’s Records. The Alpha artists were Eve Vivar, Baby Alcaraz, Geraldine and Jay Ilagan. The D’Swan artsts were Ernie Garcia, Jonathan Potenciano, Linda Alcid, and Eddie Peregrina. Singer pianist Baby de Jesus guested under the label. The Vicor artists were Eric Dimson, Boy Mondragon, Freddie Esguerra, Sony Cortez, Millie Mercado, Victor Wood, Perla Adea, and Tirso Cruz III. Villar was represented by Roggie Nieto. The Wilear’s artists were Alice Cerrudo, Raul Aragon, Raquel Montessa, Elizabeth Ledesma, Romy Mallari, Esperanza Fabon, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz and Ed Finlan. The back-up group was the Blinkers. – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 06 June 1970 (READ MORE)

Burlesk Queen – “…Film critic Rafael Ma. Guerrero, in fact, picked out his best Tagalog films of all time from that era alone. “I have my own orientation in film criticism,” Guerrero clarifies. “Because we’re Third World, to me a film is, first of all, a social document, then an educational tool, and third, an aesthetic experience. If I have to name three important Tagalog movies of all time based on these criteria, they would have to be Brocka’s “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” – actually, I can name four – Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen,” Romero’s “Aguila,” Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata…” – Rafael Ma. Guerrero (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos stars in TV-Film Projects – When many of the country’s top dramatic stars started to act in the major networks’ TV soaps, people wondered when Vilma Santos would follow suit. After all, with the stellar likes of Nora Aunor, Eddie Garcia, Lorna Tolentino and Richard Gomez headlining them, local soap opera have become the biggest craze on weeknight television, upstaging even last season’s top favorites, the game and quiz shows. Ofcourse, Vilma didn’t have to jump onto the soaps’ bandwagon (bathtub on wheels?). After all, for the past few years, she has generally made herself scarce on the big and small screens to pay more attention to her work as mayor of Lipa City, and to her family, but her popularity hasn’t really suffered due to her lack of visibility. So, she could have stayed away from TV and just starred in a landmark film every two years, as has been her want for some entertainment seasons now. But when the acting bug bites, even veteran stars like Vilma feel the need to rackle new acting challenges. Especially since she was offered a TV soap of her own, with top talents also onboard to make sure that it would end up as the drama show to beat on the local TV screen. Trouble was, soaps take three days per week to shoot, and Vilma couldn’t get away from her duties for that long a stretch each week. So, she had to say no to the soap, but she’s agreed to do a weekly TV “dramedy” for ABS-CBN. This is still a very good deal for the veteran actress’ loyal followers. And, in a sense, it makes her comeback vehicle on TV different from Nora and Lorna’s, because she won’t be limited to just one basic situation, and can thus have more chances to show off different aspects of her thespic persona. We hope that Vilma’s new TV starrer will start telecasting before the end of the year, because it would complement her big year-ender movie, “Dekada ’70,” a shoo-in as an official entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, which is set to unreel during the Christmas season. That one-two, TV-movie punch would generate maximum audience impact and excitement, and make even younger viewers want to see for themselves what this renewed fuss over Vilma Santos is all about. And, chances are, they’ll like what they see, Vilma may already be in her late 40s, but she’s kept herself looking, thinking and feeling relatively young, and is still quite optimistic and dynamic. She insn’t called the Star for All Seasons for nothing, alfter all. Especially in “Dekada ’70,” where she has scenes set two or three decades back, so she has to be credible as a woman in her 30s. But with the help of director Chito Rono’s topnotch production team, she should be able to pull it off. The end result of all this should be renewed popularity for Vilma, despite the fact that her acting career is no longer her top priority. If younger viewers end up discovering the actress’ stronger points, which her followers have known all along, 2002 could end up, quite unexpectedly, as one of Vilma’s best years yet. – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 02 Nov 2002 (READ MORE)

Nobo Bono Jr. – “…There is a scramble among record companies to sign “Tawag Ng Tanghalan” national champion Nobo Bono Jr. The singer is contracted with the Talent Center of ABS-CBN which acts as his agent and personal manager. Bono is appearing weekly with Wilear’s artists Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos in the new live TV series titled “The Young Ones” on Channel 2…” – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 08 Aug 1970 (READ MORE)

Keeping and Maintaining an Image, Negotiating for Change – “…Creating an image is easier than keeping and maintaining it. For oftentimes and soon enough, the talent rebels. A love team required to display affection toward each other in public soon shows true sentiments:one of both are in love with (an)other partner(s). For instance, Angelu de Leon exchanged sweet nothings with Bobby Andrews on- and off-screen for public consumption; for personal conception, however, she chose Joko Diaz, a junior action star from her mother studio, Viva Filma, and who, like other action heroes, needed no regular love interest. With her premarital teen pregnancy, the sweet image her studio wanter her to project collapsed, as did her love team with Andrews and, nearly, their respective careers. Thereafter, to salvage her name from early anonymity, and since her Viva handlers believed that she was still their prized possession and best bet for stardom, Viva’s image-builder tried to reinvent de Leon rather frantically, as a sweet bold star-cum-dramatic actress, via Joel Lamangan’s “Bulaklak ng Maynila;” as well as a liberated young woman of the new millennium, via Jose Javier Reyes’s “Bukas na Lang Kita Mamahalin,” where she appeared with Diether Ocampo. De Leon’s chopsuey imaginary did not last long. After a second pregnancy that resulted from a similarly indiscreet liason with another man, her studio finally gave up and downgraded her to character support roles for younger upstarts and hopefuls, as in the early-evening soap, Gil Tejada, Jr.”s “Sana ay Ikaw na Nga,” on GMA 7. A handful of other scenarios have continued to unfold, most significant of which is the attempt to negotiate a change of image.

If ever a local star had successfully managed to alter her screen image, it was Vilma Santos. She started out as a child star and became a teen star in romantic musicals, the other half of the love team with Edgar Mortiz. A poor second to Nora Aunor for many years when the latter, who like Santos was initially the other half of another teenage love team with Tirso Cruz III, turned serious actor and started winning awards and critics’ recognition, Santos made a drastic, crucial decision to show more flesh onscreen when she agreed to tackle the title role in Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen.” Fortunately, the public warmly accepted her new image and the critics took a second, hard look at her subsequent performances. From then on, she made a string of successful portrayals of variety of adult roles: mistress, prostitute, ex-convict, psycho killer -many of them kontrabida or antihero roles. In his article “Vilma Reads Her Fans,” Cesar D. Orsal, a local cinema observer and cultural studies scholar, analyzed the Vilma Santos exception in hindsight: “Feeling the cultural pulse of the society in the late 1970s, [Santos] took advantage of her growing liberalization of the Filipino audience. Her instincts proved her right. She made movies which she felt would not only cater to the expectations of her fans but to the changing community as well. In the early 1980s, different ideologies were affecting the Filipino audience, which redefined the image of role models. [Santos] for her part fostered the rise of career women, who, imbued with self-awareness, illustrate what Jackie Stacey observe: “The star gazes up the classical ideal of herself, becoming too, a spectator, examining herself represented through someone else’s imagination” (Star Gazing 34). She likewise took on the new representations of women, which she claims to have recognized in herself, and which, at the sme time, affected her female fans. (54-55)” Santos took a big risk, though, when she played the role of a politicized nun in Mike de Leon’s film of social realism, “Sister Stella L.” But then, for the “Star for All Seasons,” variety worked, something which not even Nora Aunor, her archrival to preeminence among the female actors in local cinema from the 1970s to the 90s, cold claim…” – Johven Velasco, Joel David, Huwaran/hulmahan Atbp: The Film Writings of Johven Velasco (READ MORE)

Makibaka, Huwag Matakot (fight and fear not) – “…Having ostensibly limited its agenda to censorship, the FTA rally was in fact supposed to be a party. Consider the following account of the lighthearted atmosphere at Liwasang Bonifacio: They were a sight to behold. [The aging acreen star] Anita Linda sat serenely on the pavement, unmindful of the two o’clock sun, [young actors] Philip Salvador and Bembol Roco keeping her handsome company. Peque Gallaga waved long locks and a tiny flag. No one remembered to get a rally permit, but someone remembered to bring the balloons…Then they saw that people at the far end had no idea what was going on up front. “Shouldn’t we use walkie-talkies and radios?” someone asked, but someone else shrieked: “But suppose the police answered on the other line?” There was so much democracy, it was a wonder anything monved…By the time Lino [Brocka’s] turn to speak came, the megaphone had lost its batteries. Did it matter? He simply shouted himself hoarse railing at the gods about the freedoms they promised to wrest back. Then [singer] Nonoy Zuniga sang about a bird struggling to be free, everybody joined in, and somebody finally remembered to release the balloons. At rally’s end, they were all 500 of them rather pleased with themselves. They had never done anything like this in show biz, and now that they’d pulled it off, nothing could dampen their spirits, not even the fact that moviedom’s current box office queen, Vilma Santos, came way after pack up.”

…resurrected, albeit haphazardly, the stubboleths of the first quarter storm. Protesters chanted “Makibaka, Huwag Matako (fight and fear not),” even singing the protest song that was associated with the people’s demonstration against the 1978 National Assembly elections. The upshot of the rally was that Marcos withdrew E.O. 868. An optimistic Brocka stated in an interview: “For me, that’s a start. Kahit papaano, nakikinig na rin; kahit papaano, may nagagawa (somehow, they’re finally listening; somehow, things can be done).” Emboldened by their first victory, the FTA movement expanded to become the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), which would soon align itself with the wide-spread multi-sectoral opposition to the Marcos regime. Brocka was named chairman, with the celebrated journalist and screenwriter Jose F. Lacaba (Jaguar) as secretary-general. The fight against censorship, though still a cornerstone of the movement’s political platform, was now broadened to encompass the political, economic and social concerns portrayed by Brocka and his fellow filmmakers in their films…” – Talitha Espiritu, Revisiting the Marcos Regime: Dictatorship, the Media and the Cultural… (READ MORE)

Film censorship in the Philippines – “…One of the most controversial scenes in Philippine cinema that went under the Censor’s knife is Vilma Santos’ 17-minute dance of death in Celso Ad. Castillo’s 1977 MMFf entry, “Burlesk Queen.” The penultimate scene was finally reduced to about seven minutes, but that didn’t stand in the way of the film’s winning 11 of the 14 awards at stake aside from running away as the festival’s top grosser…” – Regulo J. Baritugo, Manila Standard, 25 Dec 1987 (READ MORE)

International Talent Directory – “…Vilma Santos (Vocalist), Wilear’s Records: The Sensations (LP); Sweet Sweet Vilma (LP). PA: Cebu City, Iloilo City, Olongapo City. TV: Edgar Loves Vilma, Oh My Love, The Sensations. Films: Angelica, Love Letters, My Pledge of Love, Our Love Affair, The Sensations, The Wonderful World of Music. Awards: Loveteam of the Year, Queen of Philippine Movies. PM: William C. Leary…” – Billboard Magazine, December 25, 1971 (READ MORE)

The Young Stars – Sweet na naman ngayon sa isa’t isa sina Vilma Santos at Edgar. Sinasabing nagkasundo ang dalawa nitong nakaraang pasko. – Mercy Lejarde, Love Story Illustrated Weekly Magazine, No. 174, 24 Jan 1975

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