Ricky Lo’s 2004 VSR’s Birthday Article

FILMS - Mano Po 3Vilma Santos, Star For All Seasons (and, if I may add, Reasons) is turning 51 today. She doesn’t look it, does she (although she’s “pure gold” any way you look at her)? She looks, hmmmmm, 25, doesn’t she? As a nod to Vilma (who will forever be Ate Vi to her fans no matter how old she may be) on this her red-letter day, Funfare is paying her a tribute with the following piece by Funfare’s Toronto-based “international correspondent” Ferdinand Lapuz who made a list of Ate Vi’s films in a span of four decades (beginning 1963):

  • Did you know that Ate Vi made around 197 films from 1963 to 2002? This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih and Engkanto.
  • Did you know that the only years Vilma did not make any film were in 1995, 1999 and 2003?
  • Did you know that she co-starred with her two favorite actresses in her two films? Lolita Rodriguez in Trudis Liit which opened on Feb. 21, 1963 and Gloria Romero in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina which opened on April 7, 1963 both at Life Theater?
  • Did you know that Eddie Garcia also appeared in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina? He later directed her in films like Sinasamba Kita (1982) and Imortal (1989) and will appear together in Mano Po 3.
  • Did you know that the late Rita Gomez was also in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina? She later appeared with Vilma in Takbo, Vilma, Dali in 1972 directed by Joey Gosiengfiao.
  • Did you know that her busiest year was 1970 when she made 25 films? That is having two Vilma Santos movies shown every month. These were Young Love, Mardy, I Do Love You, Song and Lovers, My Pledge of Love, Love is for the Two of Us, From the Bottom of My Heart, Bulaklak at Paru-Paro, Mother Song, The Young Idols, Sixteen, Because You’re Mine, Love Letters, Ding Dong, Sweethearts, Give Me Your Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, I Love You Honey, Edgar Loves Vilma, Sapagka’t Sila’y Aming Mga Anak, Vilma My Darling, Nobody’s Child, May Hangganan ang Pag-ibig, Baby Vi and Renee Rose.
  • Did you know that Vilma or Vi was used in some of her earlier films? Edgar Loves Vilma, Vilma, My Darling and Baby Vi in 1970; Takbo Vilma Dali , Hatinggabi na Vilma and Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma in 1972; Wonder Vi in 1973; Vilma and the Beep, Beep Minica in 1974 and Vilma Veinte Nueve in 1975.
  • Did you know that she is the only actress to portray Mars Ravelo’s Darna four times with different child actors as Ding? These were Angelito in Lipad Darna Lipad, a trilogy directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Joey Gosiengfiao and Elwood Perez, Dondon Nakar in Darna and the Giants (1973) directed by Borlaza; Bentot Jr. in Darna vs. the Planet Women (1975) directed by Armando Garces and Niño Muhlach in Darna at Ding (1980) directed by Erastheo Navoa Jr. and Cloyd Robinson.
  • Did you know that Vilma and arch rival Nora Aunor shared topbilling in four films? The first was Young Love in 1970 (with Tirso Cruz III and Edgar Mortiz) followed by Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig (Nora was paired with Tirso while Vilma with Romeo Vasquez), Ikaw Ay Akin (with Christopher de Leon) and T-Bird at Ako in 1982.
  • Did you know that after working together in Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz (1974) and Modelong Tanso (1979), Vilma and the late Charito Solis were co-stars in Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) and Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) both directed by Laurice Guillen?
  • Did you know that Vilma was only paired twice with ex-husband Edu Manzano as compared to Christopher de Leon’s 22 times? These were Romansa in 1980 and Palimos ng Pag-ibig in 1986?
  • Did you know that prior to co-starring with Snooky Serna in Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (1986) and Hahamakin Lahat (1990), Vilma and Snooky were in Sweethearts in 1970? Co-starring with them aside from Edgar Mortiz and former child actor Arnold Gamboa were Snooky’s parents Von Serna and Mila Ocampo.
  • Did you know that the late Ishmael Bernal’s first film with Vilma was Now and Forever (1973) with Edgar Mortiz?
  • Did you know that before he was Vilma’s leading man in Makahiya at Talahib, Rudy Fernandez played a supporting role in Ibong Lukaret? Both films were released in 1975.
  • Did you know that former movie queen Amalia Fuentes did not only co-star with Vilma in Mga Reynang Walang Trono (1976) but co-directed it as well with Fely Crisostomo? They were co-stars in Asawa Ko, Huwag Mong Agawin in 1986.
  • Did you know that before she shared equal billing with Vilma and Boyet in Magkaribal (1979), just like ex-boyfriend Rudy Fernandez, Alma Moreno played a supporting role in Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1975)?
  • Did you know that before she played the ghost role in Haplos (1982) with Vilma and Boyet, Rio Locsin had a below the title billing in Simula ng Walang Katapusan directed by Luis Enriquez (aka Eddie Rodriguez) and Disco Fever in 1978?
  • Did you know that Sheryl Cruz has appeared with Vilma before in Candy (Vilma in a cameo role) and Good Morning Sunshine (1980) directed by Ishmael Bernal? Mano Po 3 is their third film together.
  • Did you know that Vilma was directed by Lino Brocka in three movies but did not win any award? These were Rubia Servios (1978), Adultery: Aida Macaraeg (1984) and Hahamakin Lahat (1990). However, she won multiple Best Actress awards in three films directed by the late Ishmael Bernal considered as the rival of Brocka. These were Relasyon (1982), Broken Marriage (1983) and Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (1989).
  • Did you know that Vilma co-starred with Anthony Castelo in Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) directed by Elwood Perez and Nonoy Zuñiga in Never Ever Say Goodbye (1982) directed by Gil M. Portes?
  • Did you know that director Emmanuel H. Borlaza, who used to direct Vilma in the ’70s, last worked with her in Ibigay Mo sa Akin ang Bukas in 1987?
  • Did you know that Vilma is the only actress who has worked with the following award-winning Filipino directors? Aside from Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, Vilma was directed by Celso Ad Castillo (Burlesk Queen, Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak), Gil M. Portes (Miss X, Never Ever Say Goodbye), Danny Zialcita (Langis at Tubig, Karma, Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan, T-bird at Ako), Mike de Leon (Sister Stella L), Marilou Diaz Abaya (Alyas Baby Tsina, Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan), Laurice Guillen (Kapag Langit ang Humatol, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dolzura Cortez Story), Maryo J. de los Reyes (Tagos ng Dugo, Sinungaling Mong Puso), Chito Roño (Ikaw Lamang, Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?, Dekada 70), Jose Javier Reyes (Nagiisang Bituin), Rory Quintos (Anak) and now by Joel Lamangan in Mano Po 3.
  • Did you know that Vilma has won the following awards? Urian, eight; Famas, five; Star Awards, five; Film Academy, four; Movie Magazine Awards, four; Metro Manila Film Festival, three; Catholic Mass Media Awards, two; Young Critics Circle, two; Pasado Awards, two; Fame Magazine Awards, two; Cinema Rave, two and one each from Manila Film Festival, SIASI Jolo Critics Awards, Gawad Tanglaw, Let’s Talk Movies Awards, Cinemascoop Awards, Bacolod Film Festival and Channel 2 Viewers Choice. She has two international awards from the Brussels Independent Film Festival for Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa? and Cinemanila International Film Festival for Dekada 70 both directed by Chito Roño. She is the youngest actress to be elevated to the Famas Hall of Fame in 1989 at the age of 36. She won for Dama de Noche (1972), Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981), Relasyon (1982), Tagos ng Dugo (1987) and Ibulong Mo sa Diyos (1988). She has two Famas Circle of Excellence awards (1992 and 1993), Film Academy (1997) and Famas (1998) Lifetime Achievement awards and two Urian Best Actress ng Dekada for the ’80s and the ’90s.

For more information on Ate Vi, check out the Vilma Santos website http://www.vilmasantos.net managed by Vilmanian Eric A. Nadurata. It contains her filmography with layouts (I love the layouts of Tagulan sa Tagaraw and 1979 Urian and Famas Best Picture Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak) and reviews of some of her films, her acting awards, old articles and magazine covers. This website is truly impressive! – Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star 11/03/2004