Remembering Chichay

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The “Queen” – “…This movie was in tribute of the staff and crew behind the movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. They were played by Dolphy, Panchito, Chichay and other actors and actresses of the said film outfit. The title was about a popularity contest in the studio where some of the said staff and crew were the candidates. Here, the King of Comedy played a janitor named “Julio Antukin” who became involved in most of the hilarious situations in the movie studio premises like throwing the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade, when he replaced a bit player, at the site where a movie director, played by Ading Fernando, was standing giving instructions about a scene. Another one was when he was assigned in the sound room where his clumsiness in the operation of its equipment caused the switching of the male and the female voices of its contract stars, played by Jose Mari Gonzales and Liberty Ilagan, in a musical number scene. In the end, he redeemed himself, when he was able to help the studio from being robbed by a gang of criminals which made him the “King” while Chichay was the “Queen”. Vilma Santos appeared in this movie as Dolphy’s younger kid sister…” – Melcore’s CinePlex Blog (READ MORE)

Pamosong Komedyante – “…Samantala sa entablado naman ng mga eskuwelahan at sa mga syudad, ipinalabas din ang dulang New Yorker in Tondo, isang komedya tungkol sa isang balikbayan na mas Amerikano pa kaysa Amerikano pero kayumanggi naman. Nauso rin sa radyo ang komedya tulad ng Sebya Mahal Kita na pinalabasan nina Sylvia Guerrero at Eddie San Jose. Ang iba pang pamosong mga komedyante ay sina Oscar Obligacion, Chichay at Aruray atbp…Sa larangan ng pelikula, si Ai-Ai pa rin ang bida sa mga komedya, na marahil ay namana ang kanyang pagiging komedyante sa mga “greats” tulad ni Chichay at Aruray na sumikat noong mga 50′s at hanggang 60′s. Bandang 70′s o 80′s ginawang katatawanan ang isang artista na sobra ang dunong daw…” – Wilhelmina S. Orozco (READ MORE)

Patsy vs Chichay – “…Her best episode in Wanted: Boarders in the old ABS-CBN Channel 4 was when Chichay guested in the show. Chichay had a daughter, singer Geraldine, and Patsy could never pronounce the girl’s name correctly (she kept saying Gungadine). From the start, there was already animosity between Patsy and Chichay. It turned out that Chichay was the ex-girlfriend of Patsy’s husband, Pugo, and it was a riot in the show. That episode was a landmark on Philippine TV because there supposedly was a feud between Chichay and Patsy off-screen. Nobody ever knew if this was true or just a joke between them and no one knew the exact reason why they were feuding in the first place. The public waited for the answer when Patsy was featured as guest in the Joy Virata-Robert Jaworski talk show Celebrity in 1978 on Channel 4 (then already a government studio). Unfortunately, when Ms. Virata asked that question, Patsy evaded it by merely answering: “It’s a military secret.” The year after, Patsy died and buried along with her mortal remains was the mystery about her supposed feud with Chichay. But at the funeral, there was only one celebrity who went, Chichay….” – Butch Francisco, The greatest comedians of all time (Third of a series), Philstar, Aug 19 2006 (READ MORE)

Toothless Miss – “…During her absence, something “that I couldn’t figure out till now” occurred. When she returned, a new Chichay was born: the toothless Miss. By conservative estimate, Chichay has to date 120 photoplays to her credit, the most decisive and memorable of which is Buhay Pilipino, a movie she made with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran in 1951 because it gave birth to the masungit and tsismosa aunt-image that Chichay is now well-known for. She has a CAT Award (for Best TV Actress of 1967) to attest to her acting ability. Chichay the person is a far cry from Chichay the jester. whenever she is free from commitments (which is very seldom), she stays at home and reads her favorite fun magazines: 1001 Jokes, Mad and Taurus. She is fond of cats. She has not seen any movie for the past five years, even her own films. Her favorite comedienne is Lucille Ball. Fifty years old last January 21, Chichay professes she has a deep-seated devotion to show business: “I want to laugh away the rest of my life…” – Ricardo F. Lo, Sunday Times Variety, April 27 1969 (READ MORE)

Chichay (born Amparo R. Custodio; January 21, 1918 – May 31, 1993) was a Filipino comedienne. Her short and stocky stature, scratchy voice and prematurely aged appearance allowed her to portray grandmothers while only in her thirties. She was born in Tondo, Manila, the daughter of a ship steward, Jose Pacifico Custodio and Maria Robles of Bulacan. In 1945, she married Hercules Saenz Moya of Iloilo. She entered showbusiness as a teen, joining the “Samahang Antonieta” as a singer with her sister Iluminada. She also appeared as a chorus line dancer at the bodabil shows of Katy de la Cruz. Soon a regular at the bodabil circuit, she received her stage name “Chichay” from Atang de la Rama. The name was a corruption of the Japanese word “Chiisai”, meaning “short”, in reference to Chichay’s own short height and she got famous for her toothless appearance but in reality she still got 2 molars left…Chichay remained a contract star with Sampaguita Pictures for almost two decades. After her stint with Sampaguita, she remained in demand as a character actress, often in comic roles. In 1972, she was nominated for a FAMAS Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Bilanguang Puso. She was active in film until her death in 1993. Among her last roles was as Lola Basyang in the 1986 Regal Films fantasy movie, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Chichay and Vilma Santos

  • 1980 – Yakapin Mo ‘ko, Lalaking Matapang – Chichay played the grandmother to Vilma Santos, Lito Lapid is Vi’s leading man.
  • 1974 – Happy Days Are Here Again – A collection of film segments of the big three – LVN Films, Premiere Productions and Sampaguita Pictures, Chichay was in Fred Montilla’s segment playing the titular role, “Bondying” while Vilma Santos, now a teen idol, was in the musical segments with her fellow teenstars, Edgar Mortiz, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III.
  • 1963 – King and Queen for a Day – Still a child actor, Vilma Santos played supporting to lead stars, Dolphy and Chichay.

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