News Articles Links (2011)

Governor Vilma Santos on the relationship of her son Luis Manzano with Jennylyn Marcado: “Huwag nating pangunahan na baka ikakasal na ‘yan o magbubuntis…let them enjoy the relationship.” – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Dec 10, 2011 – Naroon si Luis bilang host kasama si Ruffa Gutierrez, samantalang si Jennylyn naman, kasama sina Ogie Alcasid, Jean Garcia, at ilan pang celebrities ay mga judges naman para sa kompetisyon. Hindi maitago ang sweetness sa isa’t isa nina Luis at Jennylyn kahit pa alam nilang ang daming taong nakamasid sa kanilang dalawa nang gabing iyon. At mukha namang masaya si Batangas Governor Vilma Santos para sa kanyang anak na si Luis at girlfriend nga nito na si Jennylyn. READ MORE

Risk-taking keeps Vilma Santos on her toes – By: Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec 10, 2011 | – There are good reasons why Vilma Santos is Tinseltown’s Star for All Seasons. Her prodigious stint as Batangas’ first female governor may no longer allow her to act for the cameras as often as she used to — but, Ate Vi’s occasional forays into acting still draw crowds, impress critics and win awards, as was the case with 2009’s “In My Life.” So, we expect nothing less from Chito Roño’s upcoming chiller, “The Healing,” the actress’ first movie with Kim Chiu. READ MORE

Vilma introduces Jennylyn as son’s GF –, Dec 08, 2011 – Star for All Seasons and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos formally introduced the girlfriend of her son, Luis Manzano, to the people of Batangas on Wednesday. For the first time, Santos publicly acknowledged actress Jennylyn Mercado as her son’s girlfriend during the commemoration of Batangas’ founding anniversary held at the town of Calaca. READ MORE

Batangas Ala Eh! Festival Opens at Calaca – By Rowena M. Diocton, Asia Journal, Dec 4, 2011 – “This year, we are bringing Ala Eh! Festival to the Municipality of Calaca (District 1) because we want to let more Batangueños to get involved in the fiesta atmosphere through the many activities that will fill everyone’s interests,” says Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. READ MORE

Season’s most inspiring series wraps up its storytelling – By Nestor U. Torre, Inquirere, Nov 30, 2011 – After its 100 titular telecasting days, “100 Days To Heaven” finally wrapped up its storytelling with a big bang in terms of guest star value — no less than Susan Roces and Vilma Santos figured in its concluding episodes. READ MORE

Philippine Air Force tagged in foiled abduction of fisherfolk leader in Batangas – By Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Bulatlat, Nov 24, 2011 – “Governor Santos should step in and investigate this matter. As the highest-ranking local official, she has the political and moral obligation to protect her citizens against human rights violations as perpetrated by elements of the military,” Hicap said. He also said Santos should also take a stand against the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan in the region. READ MORE

Vilma Santos all praises for 100 Days – By The Philippine Star, Nov 22, 2011 – Aside from following the happenings in the lives of Madam Anna Manalastas (Coney Reyes/Xyriel Manabat) and daughter Sophia (Jodi Santamaria), viewers were hooked in the finale week to watch out for the guest appearance of some of the biggest Kapamilya stars which recently included Jake Cuenca as the young “Tagasundo,” Coco Martin as the young “Tagabantay” and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos as “Tagabantay.” READ MORE

What Ate Vi gave me on her birthday holiday – By: Raymund Isaac, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov 19, 2011 – I was excited to see a good friend of mine in Malaysia to celebrate her birthday with her family, and to celebrate Ate Aida’s birthday, too. The only time I have been to Malaysia was on a cruise via Star Cruises, passing through Penang. So finally a trip to see Kuala Lumpur and Genting became a reality. Even if I was spending only two nights with the Vilma Santos, I welcomed the chance, and the break from the stress of Manila. READ MORE

Xyriel flattered with Vilma Santos’ praise –, Nov 19, 2011 – Child actress Xyriel Manabat said she feels flattered to know that she was able to impress the Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos with her acting prowess. In an interview aired on “Bandila” on Friday, Manabat said, “Masaya po ako, kasi po meron po akong kasi meron po akong, meron pong isang sobrang galing na artista na nagkakagusto sa akin.” READ MORE

Vilma Santos performs in ‘100 Days to Heaven’ finale –, Nov 15, 2011 – Star for all Seasons and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos is set to play an important role in the grand finale of the ABS-CBN television series “100 Days to Heaven.” Santos said she’s thrilled to be a part of the top-rated prime time television show. READ MORE

Guess what birthday gift Ralph gave to Vi – By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, Nov 15, 2011 – Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos took a two-week leave from work to spend her 58th birthday with family (husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, and son Ryan Christian; but minus Luis who was stuck at work) and friends, first in Phuket, Thailand (they skipped Bangkok which was threatened by the lingering floods), and then in Malaysia. READ MORE

Vilma Santos in a 1975 Produc AD – By Simon Santos, Video 48, Nov 07, 2011 – Vilma Santos in one of her early commercials endorsing Philips transistor radios in 1975. READ MORE

58 Lessons in Life: Let It Vi! – By Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star, November 06, 2011 – If I were to write the biography of Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, I would open it when she was around 14, a period when a girl is deemed too old for dolls but too young for guys. I was barely out of college then and Vilma was in her bobby socks stage. I fetched her and her mom, Milagros Santos (now into her mid-80s), from Torres Auto Supply on España St., Sampaloc, Manila, and we took a taxi to Manila Times office on Florentino St. in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Vilma was going to be featured on the cover of Variety, one of the then No. 1 broadsheet’s Sunday magazines, and I was tasked to do the cover story. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos on proposed signage on Taal Volcano: “To attract [tourists]—iyon ang intensyon. But again, na-misinterpret.” – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Oct 22, 2011 – Aware si Governor Vilma Santos sa maingay na kontrobersiya ngayon tungkol sa napabalitang plano niyang paglagay ng ga-higanteng signage na “Batangas” sa isang parte ng Taal Volcano na kasing-laki ng signage na “Hollywood” sa Los Angeles, California. READ MORE

Vilma Santos denies reports that she is not in favor of Jennylyn Mercado, rumored girlfriend of her son Luis Manzano – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Oct 22, 2011 – Katatapos lang mag-taping ni Vilma Santos bilang guest star sa top-rating primetime series ng ABS-CBN na 100 Days To Heaven nang dumating sa Kapitolyo ng Batangas kahapon ang (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ilang pang movie press. READ MORE

Kim kinakabahan kina Vilma at Janice – By Boy Abunda, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Oct 22, 2011 – Sobrang excited na ni Kim Chiu ngayon sa horror movie na kanyang gagawin na ipalalabas sa susunod na taon. Tatlong taon na ang nakalilipas nang huling gumawa ang young actress ng pelikulang horror. READ MORE

‘Cavite has money but Batangas has beauty’ – By Jerome Balinton, Jocelyn R. Uy, Inquirer, Oct 22, 2011 – This ought to comfort beleaguered Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto: “Cavite has the money but Batangas has the beauty.” The remark was made on Friday by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles in the course of defending Recto’s much-ridiculed idea of mounting a giant “Batangas” sign on Taal Volcano as a way of claiming it and the lake surrounding it as the province’s own. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos on proposed Batangas signage on Taal Volcano: “It’s not final yet.” – By Jocelyn Jimenez, Oct 21, 2011 – Isang kontrobersiya ang kinakaharap ngayon ni Governor Vilma Santos matapos batikusin ng ilan ang suhestiyon niya na lagyan ng signage na “Batangas” ang Taal Volcano. READ MORE

Eruption of ridicule greets Batangas signage plan – By Bayani San Diego Jr., Jerome Balinton, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 21, 2011 – It triggered an eruption of ridicule. A plan to erect giant letters on Taal Volcano Island similar to the iconic “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles, California, drew lava-hot criticism and Internet spoofs on Thursday, mostly directed at its proponent, the award-winning actress and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Hooray for Hollywood’ on Taal Volcano Island – By Jerome Balinton, Inquirer, Oct 20, 2011 – It was something only a movie star could have conceived. Why not put up a towering “Batangas” sign on Taal Volcano island similar to the “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles, California? The provincial council approved on October 5 a resolution supporting the idea of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, the award-winning actress, to erect a hard-to-miss landmark and potential tourism draw, according to Vice Governor Mark Leviste II. READ MORE

Vilma not surprised with Luis’ interest in politics – By, Oct 20, 2011 – Batangas governor and actress Vilma Santos said she was not surprised when her son, host-actor Luis Manzano, expressed desire to run for public office in the future. READ MORE

Women left behind – By Norma Japitana, The Philippine Star, Oct 14, 2011 – THEN: July 14, 1989 — 22 years ago. Stars are finding it hard to have a public pose on very private feelings. This is the pain of public women whose men left them. First of all, there is the public hurt, the image cry and then, the very private hurt. READ MORE

No Other Woman stars receive bonus; Direk Ruel Bayani says Anne Curtis has the same spirit as Vilma Santos – By Allan Sancon, PEP, October 10, 2011 – Direk Ruel Bayani: “Because, I’m truly a Vilmanian. Isa akong Vilmarian, when I was an assistant director to Ishmael Bernal, sobra silang close ni Vi, sabi ko sa sarili ko, I would one day how I wish one day find my own Vilma, someone na muse mo. Kami ni Anne kasi magkaibigan, napakadali para sa ‘min mag-communicate. At sinabi ko sa kanya na ‘Anne, Vilma to, Vilma mode tayo!’ Hindi ko dine deny yun, dahil sobrang hanga kay Vilma na wish ko na ma-idirek si Vilma at Anne together in a movie. Pareho kasi sila ng spirit.” READ MORE

Vilma’s multi-faceted life on TV5’s Anggulo – The Philippine Star, October 05, 2011 – Vilma Santos-Recto shares the different facets of her life in tonight’s edition of Anggulo on TV5 and Aksyon TV. READ MORE

Vilma Santos back on the big screen – By Nickie Wang, Manila Standard, Sep 14, 2011 – Seasoned actress and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos lists show business as one of her least priority at the moment. She said that her being a public servant and a mother and a wife are undoubtedly her main concerns. Since most of her time is devoted to being the mother of some two million people of the first class province, it is difficult for her to insert a showbiz engagement in her already busy schedule. READ MORE

Romeo Vasquez: Lover, prankster & star – By Bibsy M. Carballo, The Philippine Star, Sep 11, 2011 – Vilma Santos was another known girlfriend with whom he shot nine pictures. Another one was Alona Alegre with whom he lived in Beverly Hills, California. However, he is best remembered not only for his ways with women but for being a nice person, a good friend, a prankster, a generous individual. And a super affectionate, malambing human being. READ MORE

Moms urged to bring back habit of letting children drink milk – By Karen Boncocan,, Sep 10, 2011 – Moms, bring back the habit of making your children drink milk. This was the message Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto had for all mothers during a press conference Friday after visiting the latest school to be taught about proper nutrition: Bago Bantay Elementary School in Quezon City. READ MORE

Vilma Santos named one of the richest celebs in Philippine showbiz – By Jimi Escala, PEP, Sep, 05, 2011 – Noong September 1 ay ginanap ang Alay Lakad 2011 sa Batangas City. Ito ay pinangunahan siyempre ng governor ng Batangas na si Vilma Santos-Recto. READ MORE

Vilma Santos surprised and proud her son Luis Manzano is open to joining politics – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Sep 03, 2011 – Labis na ikinatuwa ni Governor Vilma Santos na maraming Batangueño ang nakiisa sa pinangunahan niyang Alay Lakad kahapon sa Batangas City. READ MORE

Luis Manzano on relationship with rumored girlfriend Jennylyn Mercado: “Lampas MU (mutual understanding) naman.” – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Sep 03, 2011 – Pagkagaling sa trabaho, kahit wala pang tulog ay dumiretso na si Luis Manzano sa Batangas City para makiisa sa Alay Lakad kahapon, September 1, na pinangunahan ng kanyang inang si Governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Luis Manzano, sasabak nga ba sa pulitika? –, Sep 03, 2011 – Malakas ang naging hiyawan ng mga tao nang ipakilala ang anak ni Batangas Gov Vilma Santos-Recto na si Luis Manzano, bilang susunod na alkalde ng Lipa City. READ MORE

Pacquiao donates P200K to Alay Lakad –, Sep 02, 2011 – Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao donated P200,000 to the cause of the provincial Alay Lakad, which aims to give financial assistance to out-of-school youths. READ MORE

Manny Pacquiao makes a hefty donation for Batangas out-of-school youth – By Rowena Joy A. Sanchez, Manila Bulletin, Sep 02, 2011 – Superstar boxer and Sarangani congressman Manny Pacquiao becomes the Good Samaritan once again with his P200,000 donation for the out-of-school youth in Batangas. READ MORE

Gov Vilma Santos, may request kina Pacquiao, Jennylyn Mercado –, Sep 02, 2011 – Very happy and thankful si Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto sa suportang ibinigay ng “Pambasang Kamao” na si Rep. Manny Pacquiao sa taunang Alay-Lakad na ginawa sa naturang lalawigan. READ MORE

Pacquiao supports Vilma’s Alay-Lakad in Batangas –, Sep 02, 2011 – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao showed his support for Star for All Seasons Batangas Governor Vilma Santos as he joined the annual “Alay-Lakad” in Batangas City on Friday morning. READ MORE

Direk Joey cites Vilma, Juday as ‘timeless’ stars – By Shiela Reyes,, Aug 30, 2011 – Veteran director Jose Javier Reyes has an idea on how one can be considered a “timeless” star. Speaking to ANC’s “View from the Top,” Reyes explained that having a mark in the entertainment scene does not only entail that one should have good looks. READ MORE

Sharon still hopes film with Vilma, Gabby will push through – By Jecelyn V. Macahndog, Manila Bulletin, Aug. 29, 2011 – While Vilma Santos’ supposed movie with Sharon Cuneta has been canceled (Vilma is doing another movie with Kim Chiu), a hopeful megastar still sees the project pushing through next year. READ MORE

A starlet who has no sense of gratitude – By Mario Bautista, Journal, Aug 26, 2011 – A recent ugly encounter we had with a minor starlet made us realize that one true mark of good breeding is the ability to say thank you. We’ve been writing about showbiz since 1976 and we’ve seen lots of stars come and go. READ MORE

Nora hopes to meet Vilma while taping series in Batangas – By Kaye Villagomez, Manila Bulletin, Aug 26, 2011 – Nora Aunor is literally in a closer position to meet Vilma Santos as the returning actress commits to taping duties for a TV5 serial in Taal, Batangas where the actress-politician is Governor. READ MORE

Gov. Vilma Santos’ next movie has her constituents’ thumbs up – By Alex Valentin Brosas, Manila Bulletin, Aug 24, 2011 – As before, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto sought the approval of her constituents before agreeing to do her forthcoming movie with Kim Chiu. READ MORE

Kim, Ate Vi excited over upcoming film –, Aug 24, 2011 – After confirming that she will be doing a movie this year, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos said she is looking forward to working with young actress Kim Chiu. READ MORE

Nora magko-courtesy call kay Gov. Vi – By Lolit Solis, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Aug 23, 2011 – At dahil sa Batangas ang taping, may plano ang cast at production crew ng Sa Ngalan ng Ina na magbigay-pugay kay Governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Vilma confirms film with Kim –, Aug 22, 2011 – After much speculation if she will do another movie this year, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos has finally confirmed that she will topbill another Star Cinema project. READ MORE

Gov. Vi: I never called for a presscon – By Mario Bautista, Journal, Aug 16 2011 – GOV. Vilma Santos is being accused by some folks of feeling insecure with all the publicity the comebacking Nora Aunor is getting so she reportedly called for her own presscon in Batangas. Her confidante, Jun Nardo, says she never called for a presscon. READ MORE

Robin: No Catholic wedding with Mariel…a movie offer with Vilma – By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, Aug 15, 2011 – First, the breaking news: Regal Matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde confirmed to Funfare Update that she has a standing offer for Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to star in a movie with Robin Padilla. READ MORE

Indie bug bites Ate Vi – By Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug 14, 2011 – While admiring behind-the-scenes photographs of “Sister Stella L” displayed at Cesar Hernando’s recent exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, actress and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos told Regal producer Lily Monteverde that she missed the good old days of Philippine cinema. READ MORE

Nora, Vilma, gagawa ng remake ng mga sikat nilang pelikula – By Mario Dumaual,, Aug 12, 2011 – Excited na ibinunyag ni Vilma Santos na binubuo na ng ABS-CBN ang TV show nila ng anak na si Luis Manzano. Showbiz-politics daw ang tema nito at may kawanggawa pa. READ MORE

Vilma Santos is now ready to become a grandmom: “Basta tawagin lang ako ng Momsie, okey na. Huwag lang Lola!” – By Ruben Marasigan, PEP, Aug 12, 2011 – May mga nagsasabi na kaya raw pinagbubuti nang husto ni Batangas governor Vilma Santos ang kanyang pagiging public servant ngayon ay dahil may posibilidad na tahakin din niya ang landas patungong Malacañang Palace. Pero aniya, “‘Yong sa politics, hindi ko ito plinano. Maybe it was meant. READ MORE

PEP: Vilma Santos on Nora Aunor’s return: ‘Masaya ako, oo naman.’ – GMA News, Aug 11 2011 – Nilinaw ni Batangas governor Vilma Santos ang napabalitang siya ang first choice upang gumanap bilang Maria Agoncillo, ang second wife ni Emilio Aguinaldo, sa biopic na El Presidente. READ MORE

Vilma-Nora rivalry revived? –, Aug 10 2011 – Batangas Governor Vilma Santos is appealing to the public not to pit her against Superstar Nora Aunor, who just got back in the country last August 2 after being away for so many years. In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Wednesday, Santos said she already left their showbiz rivalry in the past. Santos believes they are already mature enough not to be affected by such intrigues. READ MORE

Ronnie Henares: One of him – By Butch Francisco, The Philippine Star, Aug 09 2011 – Very few probably are aware that Ronnie was once a matinee idol in the music profession. He was the other half of the famous singing duo called The Two of Us. His partner was Jojit Paredes, the cousin of Jim Paredes, who was also a kilabot ng mga colegiala as part of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, now better known as the APO. Ronnie and Jojit were schoolmates in La Salle grade school, while Jim and his then large group were from rival Ateneo. READ MORE

Guy has no qualms being second choice to Vi – By Ethel Ramos, Malaya, Aug 8 2011 – “Actually, Guy and Gov. Vi are both special choices for the role,” Gov. .E.R. said. “It has been my dream to do a movie project with them.” READ MORE

Who said what again? – By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, Aug 06, 2011 – “Kung hindi mo ako kayang mahalin bilang anak, irespeto mo na lang ako bilang tao.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Who said that again? READ MORE

25 Most Memorable Films – By Mario A. Hernando, The Philippine Star, July 27, 2011 – This is not a list of the best Filipino films ever made, though it could well be. Neither does it purport to be a comprehensive list. The 25 titles cited may be considered very good or outstanding, but more importantly, memorable — to this writer and all other viewers of local films who could still relish the memory of these fabulous works. READ MORE

Gracious ladies – By Lauren, Tempo, Jul 27, 2011 – But of course there are gracious ladies in showbiz. Four names right away come to mind, all of them movie queens coming from different decades. READ MORE

Photos that touch the heart – By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, July 26, 2011 – Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos is the central figure in the exhibit and she found out only when she graced the opening, along with Regal Matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde and Cinemalaya festival director Nes Jardin. READ MORE

Field day in ‘shadow play’ – Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 21, 2011 – Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and Regal producer Lily Monteverde attended the photo exhibit opening of production designer/filmmaker Cesar Hernando at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. READ MORE

Behind the scene photos of Philippine cinema’s greatest films – By Terence Krishna V. Lopez, Bulatlat, July 20, 2011 – Case in point, the colored portrait of Vilma Santos at the center of the gallery from the Maryo J. Delos Reyes classic Tagos ng Dugo (1987) is definitely eye-catching. Two other photos of Santos are featured in the exhibit, from the set of the critically-acclaimed political classic, Mike de Leon’s Sister Stella L. READ MORE

Mula Sa Mga Aninong Gumagalaw: Behind The Scenes 1971- 2001 – Arkivista, July 12, 2011 – Cesar Hernando’s Mula Sa Mga Aninong Gumagalaw: Behind The Scenes 1971-2001 collects snapshots taken by the artist over the course of three decades working in Philippine cinema. READ MORE

Batangas demolishes 388 fish cages – By Ferdie F. Castro, Manila Bulletin, June 24, 2011 – “Task Force Taal Lake,” created by Governor Vilma Santos Recto to mitigate fish kill incidents in the province, announced Friday having cleared the lake of 388 illegal fish cages. READ MORE

Gov. Vilma Santos, other Batangas officials allay fish kill scare – GMA News, June 21, 2011 – Batangas governor Vilma Santos-Recto on Tuesday led provincial officials in feasting on bangus (milkfish) and tilapia to send a strong message to the public that these kinds of fish are safe to consume despite recent incidents of fish kill in Taal Lake. READ MORE

Lessons learned from top screen icons – By Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 03, 2011 – In the course of our TV-film-theater career as director, scriptwriter and performer, we’ve had the great good fortune of having been able to work with or otherwise interact with some of the best and most colorful icons of stage and screen. READ MORE

Vi helps ‘fish kill’ affected areas – People’s Journal , June 02, 2011 – Governor Vilma Santos-Recto created a team to assist local government units affected by the fish kill in Taal Lake. READ MORE

Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos admits negotiating with TV5 for possible movie project – By Jimi Escala, PEP, May 27, 2011 – Sa panayam ng (Philippine Entertainment Portal) kay Batangas Governor Vilma Santos noong Miyerkules, May 25, sa Batangas, tinanong namin siya tungkol sa napabalitang offer sa kanya ng TV5 at magiging “Kapatid” na raw siya. Sa ngayon ay identified ang Star For All Seasons sa ABS-CBN, bagamat sa film arm lang nitong Star Cinema siya lumalabas. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos airs opinion on blossoming romance between son Luis Manzano and Jennylyn Mercado – By Jimi Escala, PEP, May 26, 2011 – Matapos magsalita ang dalawa sa magkahiwalay na pagkakataon, marami naman ang naghihintay sa pahayag ng ina ni Luis—ang Star for All Seasons at Batangas governor na si Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Forced evacuation of Taal folks looms – By Efren Montano,, April 19, 2011 – MALACAÑANG yesterday poised mandatory or forced evacuation in the wake of a looming eruption at Taal Volcano even as Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto clarified that “Taal is safe” despite the alert status. READ MORE

Vilma lauds CENTEX – By Ferdinand F. Castro, Manila Bulletin, April 01, 2011 – “Strive hard, compete and never take your education for granted.” This was the challenge hurled by Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto to students of Ayala Foundation’s Center of Excellence (CENTEX) in Bauan, Batangas during their 10th Founding Anniversary celebration at the provincial auditorium, the other day. READ MORE

Batangas execs vow to erase classroom backlog – By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News, March 30, 2011 – Local executives of Batangas led by Governor Vilma Santos-Recto have partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) in erasing the shortage of classrooms in the province. Education Secretary Armin Luistro said Batangas lacks 510 classrooms and about 1,931 teachers out of the 152,000 classrooms and 103,000 teacher shortages nationwide. “While Batangas is not part of the list of priority areas, I thought of this partnership to make Batangas a zero-backlog province. I want the people to say ‘Dito sa Batangas, wala na kaming kakulangan, pinagtulungan na namin ito, kasama ng lahat ng sektor dito sa Batangas’. Sa larangan ng edukasyon, baka pwede na tayong magtulung-tulungan, wala ng pulitika,” he said. READ MORE

Health is no. 1 for Gov. Vi – Malaya, Mar 21, 2011 – AFTER nearly five decades during which she solidified her iconic status in the local entertainment world, Vilma Santos-Recto still managed to come into her own as a politician. She is now into her 13th year in politics, beginning with her victory as the first lady mayor of Lipa City and then the first lady governor of Batangas. READ MORE

ambush circulated clarified – Malaya, Mar 18, 2011- Over the weekend, rumors of Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos Recto having been killed in an ambush circulated and caused panic among the much-loved actress’ fans and friends in showbiz. READ MORE

Luis Manzano clarifies “ambush” report about his mom Governor Vilma Santos – By Rose Garcia, PEP, March 14, 2011 – Noong Sabado, March 12, may kumalat na balitang na-ambush diumano si Batangas Governor at Star For All Season Vilma Santos-Recto habang lulan ng kanyang sasakyan. Ayon pa sa ilang Twitter messages ay nasa “delikadong kundisyon” pa raw ang actress-politician. READ MORE

Batangas governor Vilma Santos “auditions” for Pilipinas Got Talent – PEP, March 14, 2011 – During the first part of the March 12 episode of Pilipinas Got Talent, the judges were asked to watch the “audition” of a special guest. Hosts Billy Crawford and Luis Manzano personally introduced the performer from Southern Luzon. Luis even quipped, “She’s hoping to make it big in the industry.” READ MORE

Entreps awarded at women’s summit– By Angeli Sabillo, The POC, March 06, 2011 – Headed by Go Negosyo and the GMA Network, the three-day event started last Friday with the awarding of Filipina “STARpreneurs” for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Large Enterprises and social entrepreneurs which included Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. READ MORE

Entertainment Central joins the big league– By Nickie Wang, The Manila Standard, March 03, 2011 – The script has already been refurbished and is written by Roy Iglesias. Seasoned director Tikoy Aguiluz will be at the helm. A possible entry to the MMFF this year, Estregan is wooing another governor, Vilma Santos to play the role of Maria Agoncillo, the president’s wife. READ MORE

Kris, Vi join hands for medical mission– By Rowena Joy A. Sanchez, Manila Bulletin, February 26, 2011 – TV host-actress Kris Aquino continues her philanthropic efforts with her recent medical and dental mission project with Batangas governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Sharon in advertising imbroglio – By Joey Aquino, Journal Online, February 13, 2011 – In fact, they say it is in preparation for her movie with Batangas Governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Batangas focuses on agri development – The Philippine Star, February 6, 2011 – The enhancement of agriculture is at the top of the list of priorities in a comprehensive plan for the development of Batangas province. The plan was drawn up during an Executive Legislative Agenda Alliance Building (ELA) cum Provincial Development Plans meeting attended by representatives from various national government bureaus and local chief executives in Batangas recently. READ MORE

‘Vilma to do suspense thriller movie with Cuneta’ – By Boy Villasanta,, February 1, 2011 – It seems that award-winning filmmakers Jeffrey Jeturian, Adolf Alix, Jr. and Armando Lao will have to give way to prizewinning senior film director Chito Roño. Roño will carry out a much delayed but largely anticipated project for Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Will Vilma be the next Kapatid? – By Ricardo F. Lo,, January 28, 2011 – First to sign up was Dolphy, followed by Maricel Soriano (how come she’s very scarce these days?) and then by several other big stars from other networks, the latest being Aga Muhlach who is now officially a Kapatid, having already signed up with TV5 which hasn’t stopped hiring in its aggressive effort to beef up its stable of talents, luring them with fat talent fees. READ MORE

Chito’s ‘scare tactics’ – By Mario Bautista,, January 28, 2011 – After the musical Emir and the horror-comedy Bulong, what do we expect from him next? I’m doing a suspense-thriller with Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Batangas Hosts Workshop On Crisis Management – Manila Bulletin, January 24, 2011 – The Police Regional Office (PRO) 4-A conducted Monday a seminar-workshop on Crisis Management Committee (CMC) at the Provincial Auditorium in the Batangas Capitol. READ MORE

Bigger New Products From PVB – By Remy Umerez, Journal Online, January 20, 2011 – WHENEVER we see Philippine Veterans Bank, we are reminded of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and how her awesome presence at the opening of the PVB Lipa branch last year made the event special and unforgettable. READ MORE

Vilma Santos orders creation of Verde Island Passage protection team – By Abigail Kwok,, January 19, 2011 – To protect its coastal waters, the province of Batangas created a special team that will specifically guard its bay area against illegal fishing and other attacks on marine life in the Verde Island Passage. READ MORE

Child stars as success stories; kiddie party hosting as a career – By Nestor Cuartero, Manila Bulletin, January 17, 2011 – MOST SUCCESSFUL CHILD STAR: Our story the other day on child actors whose lives have gone haywire is, but of course, only one face of showbiz. There is another face, the one chronicling the success of some of these so-called child stars of once upon a time. READ MORE

Sexist remarks ride on proposal to hire women as bus drivers – By Nestor Cuartero, Manila Bulletin, January 13, 2011 – HEARD: Why do celebrity girls – actresses of note – line up for the sexual services of a once inactive actor with exotic blood flowing in his veins? His conquests include the glamorous wife of a well-known personality and an equally glamorous singer-actress. The secret, they say, is in his weapon of mass destruction. READ MORE

Gov Vi urged to probe pollutant ship that escaped Batangas port – By Cris A, Ibon, The Philippine Star, January 09, 2011 – BATANGAS City – Environmentalists yesterday prodded Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto to pursue the investigation into the daring escape of a foreign vessel which caused massive pollution here and in Nasugbu since July 14 last year. READ MORE

Meeting the Mad Messiah: A conversation with filmmaker Celso Ad. Castillo – By Jessica Zafra, The Philippine Star, January 09, 2011 – When it was time to shoot the climactic dance scene in Burlesk Queen, Vilma Santos didn’t want to do it. She offered to return her talent fee. I’d already set up at the theatre with 500 extras when her assistant arrived and said she wasn’t coming. The following day I scheduled filming again. I informed William Leary who was her manager at the time. That night it was William Leary who showed up and said Vilma would return her fee. READ MORE

Tribute to Vi – By Mario Bautista,, January 07, 2011 – BATANGAS Gov. Vilma Santos does not have an entry in the Metro filmfest but her presence is very much felt because two Star Cinema entries pay tribute to her past films. READ MORE

Gov Vi to call for dialogue with Star Tollway officials – By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News, January 04, 2011 – Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will again call for a dialogue with the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway officials to map out plans in implementing additional safety features, following the vehicular accident that killed 7 people last Sunday. READ MORE

Lingkod TV’s child star picks: Zaijian, Jillian and Bimby – By Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquire, January 01, 2011 – Comedy King Dolphy and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards “for their invaluable contributions to the industry, as well as for the programs they have implemented that benefited thousands of Filipino children.” READ MORE

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News Articles Links (2010)

Noted comics novelist Pablo S. Gomez dies of heart attack – By Annie S. Alejo, Manila Bulletin, December 28, 2010 – TV viewers know Gomez’ work like “Kampanerang Kuba,” an ABS-CBN soap starring Anne Curtis, inspired by the 1973 film of the same title, which starred Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz. Currently running on the same network is the afternoon drama-comedy series “Juanita Banana,” starring Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Bianca Manalo—also originally adapted into a movie in 1968 starring Rosemarie Sonora. READ MORE

Vilma guests in Balik-Bayan – The Philippine Star, December 29, 2010 – The holidays of the viewers will surely brighten up as the Star for all Seasons and now Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto (photo) guests in the two-part special of Star Awards Best Travel Show — Q-11’s Balik-Bayan. READ MORE

MMFF Best Actress Winners from 1975 to 2010 – Starmometer, December 28, 2010 – Second to Nora Aunor is the star for all seasons Vilma Santos with 4 wins (1977, 1981, 1989, 2004) and tied in third place with 3 wins each are Amy Austria (1980, 1988, 1996) and Maricel Soriano (1997, 2003, 2007). READ MORE

A look at the past MMFF controversies – ABS-CBN News, December 28, 2010 – It’s only the year, the faces and the names of participants to the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) that change, but the essence and politics of the event remain the same. Controversies and issues have been rocking the MMFF, year in and year out. It’s the struggle to perfection that makes the difference. READ MORE

Dolphy, Vilma honored by Children’s TV and DepEd – Malaya, December 27, 2010 – The National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) and the Department of Education (DepEd) will honor two of the most celebrated icons of Philippine television – Dolphy Quizon and Vilma Santos Recto, with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 1st Lingkod TV Awards tomorrow, Dec. 28 at the Rajah Sulayman Theater, Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. READ MORE

Stellar lessons in kindness and humility – By Rito Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 24, 2010 – There’s a good reason why Vilma Santos is successful at everything she does. The legendary actress is as sincere as she is lovely—and she hasn’t allowed success to go to her head. Barely half a day after we asked for an interview with the busy actress-politician, we were surprised to get a call from an unlisted number, and the cheerful voice at the other end of the line claimed that she was—Ate Vi! READ MORE

Sen. Recto to savor Ate Vi’s ‘cooking’ – By Hannah L. Torregoza, Manila Bulletin, December 20, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – Between politics and show business, there may be no other enduring love story that brings both worlds together than Ralph and Vi. Their very public lives have come together with such impact that their politics and their art have merged into one world, copied and recopied by celebrity couple after another from mega-couple Francis and Sharon to sweetie Chiz and Christine. READ MORE

Vilma and Dolphy to get Lingkod TV awards – By Boy Villasanta,, December 18, 2010 – Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos and Comedy King Dolphy will be presented Life Achievement Awards at the 1st Lingkod TV Awards scheduled on December 28, 2010 at the Rajah Sulayman Theater at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. The two veteran actors will be honored for their invaluable contribution in uplifting TV shows that are for the advancement of the interest of children. Santos’s and Dolphy’s TV programs have benefited thousands of Filipino youth. READ MORE

Vilma, Nora and the two faces of show business – By Nestor Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 03, 2010 – When we were writing film scripts decades ago, one of the movie companies that kept us particularly busy was Atty. Esperidion Laxa’s Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions. We did one screenplay after another for him and directors like Romy Suzara, Ishmael Bernal and Maning Borlaz—and many of them turned out to be for movies starring then teen sensation, Vilma Santos, who was one of TIIP’s hottest “properties.” READ MORE

Vilma Santos talks about possible movie projects with Nora, Sharon – By Rowena Joy A. Sanchez, Manila Bulletin, December 02, 2010 – Vilma Santos is willing to make a movie with her biggest showbiz “rival” Nora Aunor, who is set to return to the Philippines within the month. “Wala naman sigurong masama [kung gumawa kami ni Nora ng pelikula] pero siguro ang importante ang script,” said the veteran actress-turned-public servant in an interview aired on “Juicy,” Dec. 1. READ MORE

Gov. Vi remains fond of Angel – By Ethel Ramos, Malaya, December 01, 2010 – BATANGAS Governor Vilma Santos was happy to learn that one of the finalists in “Sharon’s Search for the Next Pop Superstar,” a reality show on ABS-CBN, is from Lipa. READ MORE

The sensation – By Ed Sicam, November 30, 2010 – “D’Sensations D’ Sensations This is where the action is So c’mon and join the fun.” This was the song that kept ringing in my ears as I watched Governor Vilma Santos enter the function room of Annabel’s last Friday. As every dedicated Vilmanian like my friend Rey Manalo and anyone who was around in the 1970s know, this was Vi’s theme song on her variety show “D’Sensations” aired on ABS-CBN. That was a turbulent decade for the country and for Vilma, who was just in her teens when she did the show. READ MORE

Gov. Vi willing to help Ate Guy but in secret – By Mario Bautista, Malaya, November 30, 2010 – GOV. Vilma Santos hosted lunch at Chef Jessie’s Enchante Resto at Oakwood Ortigas on Thanksgiving Day and she led the prayer giving thanks to the Lord for all the blessings we have all received during the year. We then lifted her up to God for her to be able to discern what she’ll do next after being Batangas governor since a lot of people are requesting her to run for higher office. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos comments on Nora’s return, Sharon-Aga feud, and Luis-Angel failed reconciliation – By Erwin Santiago, PEP, November 27, 2010 – Kailan lang nagkabati si Batangas Governor Vilma Santos at ang kaibigan niyang aktor na si Aga Muhlach matapos nang halos dalawang taon nilang “tampuhan.” READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos Wants to Have a TV Show on ABS-CBN –, November 27, 2010 – Higit sa kanyang pagiging isang public servant, unang nakilala ang isang Vilma Santos bilang isang artista. Nagsimula bilang isang child star sa pamamagitan ng Trudis Liit noong 1963, halos limang dekada nang nasa mundo ng showbiz ang Star for All Seasons. At hanggang ngayon, kahit nasa mundo na siya ng pulitika, hindi pa rin siya nawawalan ng movie offers. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos has many movie offers, but Batangas remains her priority – By Erwin Santiago, PEP, November 26, 2010 – Napuno ng press at Vilmanians ang second floor ng Annabel’s restaurant sa Tomas Morato, Quezon City, kaninang tanghali, November 26, dahil sa ipinatawag na get-together, thanksgiving, pre-Christmas party ni Batangas Governor Vilma Santos. READ MORE

Vi: Matagal din kaming may tampuhan ni Aga – By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, November 26, 2010 – Over lunch yesterday with the first batch of movie writers she’s treating to a thanksgiving salu-salo (the second, bigger, batch’s turn is at noon today at a Tomas Morato restaurant), Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos admitted that, like Sharon Cuneta, she also had a long-drawn “cold war” with Aga Muhlach (whom she fondly calls Agaton) for reasons that she didn’t reveal anymore. READ MORE

Nestlé breaks ground for P4B Batangas factory – Malaya, November 24, 2010 – Nestlé Philippines Inc. yesterday broke ground for a new P4.3 billion factory in Tanauan, Batangas, that will produce Coffee Mate non-dairy creamer and Bear Brand powdered milk drink. READ MORE

Vilma Santos-Recto to deliver keynote address in tomorrow’s 5th OTOP Luzon Island Fair opening –, November 17, 2010, Batangas City – Batangas governor and actress Vilma Santos-Recto will serve as the keynote speaker in the opening of the 5th OTOP (One Town, One Product) Luzon Island Fair tomorrow (November 18) in Megatrade halls 1 and 2 of SM Megamall. Aside from the Star for All Seasons, Department of Trade & Industry secretary Gregory Domingo and some of the governors and mayors from the participating provinces and cities are also expected to grace the event. READ MORE

Batangas launches program to promote tourism, trade and industry –, November 16, 2010, By Charlie S. Dajao – Batangas City (November 16) — The Provincial Government of Batangas launched on November 8 the slogan “Batangas: It’s all here, it’s so near” for its provincial tourism program, in time of the province’s 429th foundation year to promote tourism, business and investments, its distinct products, and human resources. READ MORE

Vilma Santos celebrates 57th birthday with constituents and fans –, November 07, 2010, By Rommel Gonzales – Ang inakalang pamisa lang organized by her constituents and fans in celebration of her 57th birthday last Wednesday, November 3, turned out to be a grand event for Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. “I truly, truly appreciate it! Fifty-seven years, I’ve been very, very blessed,” ang masayang bungad na pahayag ni Governor Vilma sa taped interview sa kanya kahapon ng StarTalk TX sa GMA-7. READ MORE

Governor Vilma Santos on Luis Manzano and Angel Locsin breakup: ‘Ang importante maiwan lang ang respeto sa isa’t-isa’ –, November 06, 2010, By Fionna Acaba – After publicly sharing how she likes Angel Locsin as a girlfriend for her son Luis Manzano, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos admitted that she feels sad about Luis and Angel’s decision to no longer try a reconciliation. “In a way, yes, kasi alam ko din naman yung naging samahan nilang dalawa kahit papaano alam kong nagmahalan yung dalawa—si Angel at si Luis—pero if it is not meant, it is not meant, you know. Baka hindi talaga pwede pero later on… We don’t know, e.” READ MORE

Vilma Santos offered 3 movie projects –, November 04, 2010, By Boy Villasanta – BATANGAS CITY, Batangas—A new movie project knocked anew at Vilma Santos’ door right on her birthday party at the provincial capitol of this city Wednesday afternoon. Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Adolf Alix, Jr. went straight to Santos to offer her a script sealed in an envelope.   READ MORE

Batangas first before movie projects — Vilma Santos –, November 04, 2010 – Bakas sa mukha ng Star for All Season ang kasiyahan sa surprised birthday celebration na inihanda sa kanya ng mga tauhan sa kapitolyo ng Batangas nitong Miyerkules. Bukod kasi sa kanyang mga constituents sa lalawigan, hindi rin nawala ang mga Vilmanians para bumati sa kanya sa kanyang kaarawan. READ MORE

Ate Vi reacts on Luis-Angel break up –, November 03, 2010, MANILA, Philippines- Batangas Gov. and “Star For All Seasons” Vilma Santos reacted on his son Luis and actress Angel Locsin’s decisions to move in different directions on Wednesday. In an interview with Showbiz News Ngayon, Santos, who has publicly supported the Luis-Angel off-screen relationship, expressed her sadness over the couple’s “separation of ways.” READ MORE

‘Ate Vi’ turns 57 –, November 03, 2010, MANILA, Philippines- Batangas Gov. and “Star For All Seasons” Vilma Santos is celebrating her 57th birthday today. Born Maria Rosa Vilma Santos, her legendary stardom started as a child wonder portraying “Trudis Liit” in 1963. The movie gave the then 9-year-old star her first Famas award as Best Child Performer. From then on, Santos’s star continues to shine. READ MORE

Pinakamagaling na aktres sa lahat ng panahon – SHOWBIZ WATCHER by Ogie Cruz, Asian Journal USA, October 31, 2010, Nalalapit na naman ang birthday ng pinakamagaling na aktres sa lahat ng panahon na si Vilma Santos sa November 3, kaya minabuti namin na maging topic namin siya sa aming column sa linggong ito. READ MORE

57 VIPs in Vi’s Life – October 31, 2010, CONVERSATIONS With Ricky Lo, Philippine Star – Fifty-seven looking Sweet Sixteen (to borrow the title of her hit song way back when she was, uhm, fresh as a daisy and thought that she could sing. Well, she could carry a tune but she eventually turned out to be not a singer but a great actress who has dozens of awards that have left no more space to display in. Name it, she has won it. READ MORE

Batangas governor campaigns ‘clean-up Fridays – October 30, 2010 – Manila Bulletin, Ferdinand Castro – Governor Vilma Santos Recto is rallying her constituents in the entire province to support and sustain a weekly province-wide clean up drive to improve health and sanitation, the environment, and traffic flow and reduce disaster risks. READ MORE

How stars reinvent themselves– STAR BYTES By Butch Francisco,, October 12, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – Everyone wants to reach the top. That’s not so easy to do in showbiz (or anywhere else for that matter). Harder still is keeping your name up there. Once you get to the peak, you never want to come down. Since there’s no such thing as forever, most people in entertainment look for alternative ways to keep their name ablaze by reinventing themselves. Even movie queens actually, especially movie queens try to hang on to their positions and most of them do succeed. Last Tuesday, I already traced how Carmen Rosales, Nida Blanca and Gloria Romero maintained their queenly status. Here’s what the rest of them did.  READ MORE

‘ALAY LAKAD’ NETS SCHOLARSHIP FUND –, October 9, 3020 – Some 7,000 participants joined the walk for a cause under the successful 2010 edition of the Batangas Provincial Government’s Alay Lakad, which concluded at the Capitol grounds from three kick-off points, which netted around P2 million for the province’s scholarship fund. Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos Recto led the annual march escorted by matinee idol Diether Ocampo, who personally advocates community service through his pro-children K.I.D.S. Foundation, and Roberto Huang, president of San Miguel Brewery, Inc., which donated P1 million to the educational aid organization.  READ MORE

Gov. Vilma Santos Opens Her Home to ‘Us Girls’ – Starmometer, September 23, 2010 – Find out what’s keeping Star for All Seasons, Vilma Santos busy these days as “Us Girls” visits her home in Batangas this Sunday (Sep 26). READ MORE

Be Beautiful, be Ageless – By Heizel Laruan Mainar, Manila Bulletin, September 21, 2010 – Eskinol’s visibility in the market for 65 years makes it a formidable brand. And as Sara Lee’s marketing manager Joanne Co explains, Eskinol’s Ageless line will continue the brand’s heritage to be a household name, just like the time when the Star-for-all-Seasons Vilma Santos, now Batangas Governor, graced the boobtube with her countless Eskinol endorsements. So, by choosing an anti-aging cream that works, any mother and daughter will have youthful skin without breaking the budget. READ MORE

Jueteng still rampant in Batangas – By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News, Sep 20, 2010 – Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, however, denied the report and insisted that her administration is against any form of gambling including jueteng. READ MORE

Bright spots on the entertainment scene – By Nestor Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug 29, 2010 – THE best show biz news this month is Sharon Cuneta’s decision to finally lose weight to get back into “fighting” trim, after several years of allowing herself to slide into “ample” mode. Sharon says she’s already lost more than 17 pounds—a testament to her determination and will power.   READ MORE

An evening with Vilma THEN & NOW – By Norma Japitana, The Philippine Star, Aug 27, 2010 – THEN: January 7, 1990 — 20 years ago. Vilma Santos is content, beautiful and full of cheer. That was the impression she gave us the evening we went out to celebrate her winning as Best Actress for her performance in Immortal. The party was an impromptu affair led by Vic del Rosario of Viva who wants to give his Best Actress time to unwind and talk with friends after a suspenseful week of waiting for the awards night.   READ MORE

Boyet: 53 lessons in life – FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, Aug 27, 2010 – In his 35 years as an actor, Christopher “Boyet” de Leon has portrayed every character in the book, from good guys (as he always does) to bad guys (as he sometimes does). In Sa’yo Lamang, the 17th-anniversary offering of Star Cinema directed by Laurice Guillen and opening nationwide on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Boyet is reunited with Lorna Tolentino in a family drama reminiscent of the 2000 award-winning film Tanging Yaman also directed by Guillen that swept the awards and finished the top-grosser of that year’s Metro Filmfest.   READ MORE

Gov. Vi: You won’t like me when I’m angry – By Remy Umerez, August 26 2010 – HOW much do you know about Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos Recto? During the Lipa branch inauguration of Philippine Veterans Bank where she was guest of honor, we discovered her love and devotion to her constituents and how eloquent Vilma has become as a public speaker. She also remains sincere, appreciative and so approachable. READ MORE

Vilma Santos supports protection of marine biodiversity areas – By Abigail Kwok, Aug. 19, 2010 – Local government officials led by Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto have pledged their support for the protection of marine biodiversity conservation sites in the country. READ MORE

“Noranians” asked Gov. Vilma Santos to suspend fishing zoning ordinance – By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Aug. 16, 2010 – Claiming the municipal fishing ordinances implemented have limited fishing activities in the first district and other coastal towns of the province, a loose alliance of small fishermen known as Network Opposed to Fishing Ordinance and Regressive Taxations (Noranians) had asked Batangas Gov. Vilma SantosVilma Santos to immediately and indefinitely suspend the implementation of these ordinances. READ MORE

The Things That Matter to John Lloyd Cruz -By Vic Sevilla, –, Aug. 12, 2010 – IF John Lloyd Cruz is beaming these days, it’s only because the shower of good luck falling on his side of the fence doesn’t appear to be letting up. Just days ago, Judge Alfredo Ampuan of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court junked the tax case filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue “due to technicalities and lack of probable cause,” as the ruling stated. READ MORE

Edu to host game show on GMA – By Mario Bautista, Malaya, August 12, 2010 – EVER since we wrote that independent films maven Atty. Joji Alonso wants to get Vilma Santos for an indie film meant to be shown in filmfest abroad, Ate Vi’s fans have been asking for the latest development about it. They’re excited for their idol as it might win her best actress awards in international film festivals, like what Atty. Joji did for Gina Pareno in “Kubrador.”  READ MORE

Jon says thank you to his mentors – By Leah C. Salterio, The Philippine Star, August 12, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – When one talks about comedians in the local entertainment scene — from comedy king Dolphy and the versatile Joey de Leon to newcomers like Vice Ganda, Pokwang or Eugene Domingo — the name of Jon Santos inevitably crops up.   READ MORE

Top 10 Most Wicked Pinay Contrabidas –    By Pietro Santos, August 3, 2010 – By Remy M. Umerez Philippine Daily Inquirer July 30, 2010 – Filipinas might be known for their refined and timid ways, but some of them can definitely bring out their bad sides when the need arises. Local soap operas and movies are more fun to watch with wicked female villains who’ll slap, splash some red wine, or throw some acid on someone’s face. lists 10 of the most memorable Pinay contrabidas whom we all just love to hate–from the divas who’ve been at it for decades to the younger baddies who are just getting their contrabida groove on.  READ MORE

Vilma Santos has so much to be thankful for  – By Remy M. Umerez Philippine Daily Inquirer July 30, 2010 – VILMA SANTOS-RECTO was the guest of honor at the inauguration of the Philippine Veterans Bank branch at SmB bldg., JP Laurel highway, Lipa City. After delivering a speech, she chatted with us.  READ MORE

Gov. Vi calls for action on Batangas coal spill – By Ferdinand F. Castro Manila Bulletin July 30, 2010 – Governor Vilma Santos Recto appealed Friday to concerned parties to take swift action in avoiding an environmental disaster in the coast of Nasugbu where an Indonesia-registered barge spilled coal two weeks ago. READ MORE

Gov. Vilma graces Philippine Veterans Bank opening – The Philippine Star July 30, 2010 – The inauguration of Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) Lipa City branch was graced by Batangas Governor Vilma Santos who also led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with PVB president and CEO Ricardo Balbido Jr. READ MORE

The ‘Star for All Seasons’ is now a true-blue politician – By Mario Bautista Malaya July 26, 2010 – WE can’t help but feel proud of our Ate Vi when she was called to deliver a speech as the guest speaker at the inauguration of the new Philippine Veterans Bank branch at SMB Bldg, JP Laurel Highway in Lipa City. Vilma Santos is definitely now not just the “Star for All Seasons” but a true-blue seasoned politician. Her speech was spontaneous but she delivered every word she said with sincerity and aplomb. No wonder the Batanguenos love her so much, and you can see this with the respect and admiration they accord her. READ MORE

Gov. Vi excited to go indie – By Crispina Mattinez-Belen Manila Bulletin July 25, 2010 – We had the chance to interview Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto last Wednesday during the formal inauguration of Philippine Veterans Bank’s Lipa City Branch. VP for Communications Mike Villa-Real brought us to Lipa City for this special occasion in which Gov. Vi, who was mayor of the city for three terms, was the special guest. READ MORE

Gov. Vi’s star power – July 24, 2010 – HAD Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto ran for Vice President she would have won in a landslide and no one would have protested. We witnessed the love and respect the Lipaeños showered the Star For All Seasons (and Generations) at the inauguration of the Philippine Veterans Bank in Lipa . At one point, she chose to walk on the street to shake the hands of her kababayans who supported her and her husband Ralph in the last elections despite the drizzle. READ MORE

Gov. Vi tempted to do serious film eyeing int’l market – By Nestor Cuartero Manila Bulletin July 24, 2010 – GOV. VI: Batangas’ first woman governor may have said earlier that she’ll keep off acting for sometime to focus on her governance work, but it looks like she’s ready to be seduced by a good offer any old time.  READ MORE

The story behind the storytellers – By Ronald Lim, Manila Bulletin, July 23, 2010 – Ask any ordinary Filipino moviegoer who Nora Aunor or Vilma Santos is, and they are bound to at least have an idea who these people are. But any mention of directors outside of Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, or those who helm today’s “kilig” films would probably result in a confused stare. READ MORE

Regal kicks off 50th anniversary celebration – By Jocelyn Dimaculangan PEP July 21, 2010 – When Mother Lily Monteverde faced the members of the press last night, July 20, she reminisced about the humble beginnings of Regal Films five decades ago.  READ MORE

Malnourished Batangueño kids down by 2,430 – Malaya July 20, 2010 – THE provincial government’s 2009 Operation Timbang results for pre-school children showed that the prevalence rate of malnourished Batangueños was lessened by 2,430 kids, or a significant drop from 6.30 percent in 2008 to 5.37 percent last year. READ MORE

Aid for ‘Basyang’ victims – By Ferdinand Castro, Manila Bulletin, July 17, 2010 – In the aftermath of typhoon “Basyang’s” unexpected onslaught, the provincial government, upon the orders of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, gave financial assistance to the families of victims, who lost their lives during the calamity. READ MORE

Mariel denies fighting with Luis Manzano –, July 13, 2010 – Actress-host Mariel Rodriguez broke her silence on a report saying Batangas governor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos called the attention of her son Luis Manzano for teasing her. The report said the governor asked her son Luis to take it easy when making jokes at Rodriguez especially during live shows. READ MORE

The workbooks that need more work – By Chelo Banal-Formoso Philippine Daily Inquirer July 12, 2010 – Giron said she had also ordered the superintendent to write to DLSL to correct the errors in another set of workbooks, the Project Vi Grades 1 to 3 English workbooks, revised versions of the Project K workbooks that have been distributed to eight municipalities in Batangas under the auspices of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. DLSL owns the copyright to both versions.  READ MORE

Cultural media tapped as tool for climate change education – By Rhodina Villanueva The Philippine Star July 08, 2010 – The MOA signing, witnessed by Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Quezon City councilor and Climate Change Ambassador Alfred Vargas, was also signed by DepEd Region 4-A director Dr. Paraluman Giron and National Council for Children’s Television director Frank Rivera.READ MORE

Luis says no to love scene with Vice Ganda – By Mario Bautista Malaya July 08, 2010 – “I’m very proud of her and my stepdad (Sen. Ralph Recto) as they really have so many plans to help other people. ‘Yun nga lang, bihira kami magkita as I’m doing two movies right now. Aside from ‘Hating Kapatid,’ I also play the love interest of Vice Ganda in ‘Petrang Kabayo.’ I also have a new daily show, ‘Panahon Ko To’ with Billy Crawford then I’m doing ‘E Live’ pa on Saturday and ‘ASAP’ on Sunday. So wala akong day off and I really work every single day of the week.”  READ MORE

Noel Cabangon says he didn’t have to give P-Noy singing tips – By Bayani San Diego Jr. Philippine Daily Inquirer July 05, 2010 – We’ve been doing that in all our campaign sorties in the past. I think the VIPs had no choice but to stand up because President Noynoy himself took the lead,” Cabangon said. “Sabi nga nila marami raw natamaan sa kanta. (I was told a lot of people got hit by the song’s lyrics). But that’s the whole point of the song, to remind everyone that we all need to be good citizens…that change has to come from within us.” READ MORE

Seven-kilometer painting on canvas – The Manila Times July 02, 2010 – On June 28, the country successfully achieved its target of creating a 7.3-kilometer painting on canvas in its bid to clinch the Guiness Book of Records title as the World’s Longest Painting. Focusing on the single theme of fishes and water, the painting, according to scenographer Rollie de Leon, head of the On the Spot Artists’ Association (OTSAA), which spearheaded the creation of such painting, involved about 6,000 artists since it was started in 2005.  READ MORE

Vilma pamilya pa rin ang prayoridad – Bandera July 01, 2010 – MATAGUMPAY na pamilya. Sa ganu’n lang namin mailalarawan ngayon ang pamilya Recto na siyempre pa’y binubuo nina Senator Ralph Recto, Governor Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano at Ryan Christian. Lahat sila’y matagumpay, wala na nga sigurong mahihiling pa ngayon si Governor Vilma, dahil matatagumpay sila sa kani-kanilang linya. Nakabalik sa kanyang posisyon si Senador Ralph, napanatili naman ni Governor Vilma ang kanyang asim sa mga Batangue?matagumpay na aktor-TV host si Luis at si Ryan naman ay isang matalinong estudyante. READ MORE

Gov. Vilma Santos warns fellow actors, politics is no picnic – By Rey Pumaloy PEP June 30, 2010 – Nanumpa nang muli ang Star for All Seasons na si Vilma Santos bilang gobernador ng lalawigan ng Batangas noong Lunes ng umaga, June 28, sa auditorium ng Batangas Provincial Office. Ito ang ikalawang term ng actress-politician sa naturang posisyon. Nauna rito ay nanungkulan siya bilang mayor ng Lipa City sa loob ng siyam na taon o tatlong terms.  READ MORE

Over half million attend Noynoy inaugural rites, police say – GMA News June 30, 2010 – At 10 a.m. Wednesday, over 500,000 people flocked to the Quirino Grandstand in Manila for the inauguration of President-elect Benigno Aquino III, police said. In an interview with GMANews.TV, National Capital Region Police Office head Director Roberto Rosales said “the area at the grandstand is not yet filled up. Later, the number [of people] might reach 700,000.” READ MORE

Governor Vi swears in Ralph Recto, Christopher De Leon – By Anya Santos Manila Bulletin June 29, 2010 – Two-time Batangas governor, Vilma Santos-Recto, was formally sworn in by Batangas RTC Judge Florencio Arellano on June 28, 2010. With her re-election, Governor Vi extended her gratitude to the people of Batangas for their trust and unwavering support. More than that, the Governor promised to step up her service to her constituents on her second term. READ MORE

Vilma Santos leads oath-taking of LP winners in Batangas – By Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News June 28, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – It was a family affair over at the Batangas Capitol building on Monday morning as re-elected Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto took her oath of office together with her husband, returning senator Ralph Recto. READ MORE

Bishop on Lipa casino: No dice – By Vito Barcelo Manila Standard Today June 28, 2010 – THE archbishop of Lipa has urged re-elected Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto to stop the construction of gambling facilities at an exclusive resort in the province, near the newly erected Parish of St. Therese church. “May I respectfully beg your honor not to allow these immoralities taint your good record,” Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said in a letter dated June 7. READ MORE

The cruise that refreshes – By Ricardo F. Lo The Philippine Star June 28, 2010 – Three weeks after the May 10 elections in which they both emerged winners (she reelected Batangas governor and he elected senator), Vilma Santos and husband Ralph Recto hied off to the States for a well-deserved R&R. “The past elections were the hardest I’ve been through,” admitted Vilma who first completed three terms as Lipa City mayor before she ran for governor (now on her second term). “Three parties merged against me and I fought a good fight. But as I’ve been saying, now that the elections are over, dapat magkaisa na kaming mga taga-Batangas para sa probinsya namin, at para sa bayan.” READ MORE

Censors celebrate the movies – By Bayani San Diego Jr. Philippine Daily Inquirer June 27, 2010 – It’s surreal, some filmmakers have pointed out, that the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) decided to honor the year’s best films and performances with a first-ever awards ceremony. In short, that’s celebrating, instead of censuring movie people. READ MORE

ABS-CBN big winner at GMMSF Entertainment Awards – June 24, 2010 – Luis Manzano accepted the Best Actress trophy in behalf of his mom Vilma Santos for the same family film and thanked her and her Vilmanians for the unwavering support. READ MORE

Governor Vi visits Taal evacuees — report – June 23, 2010 – Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto on Wednesday visited her constituents who fled their homes due to restive Taal Volcano, a radio report said. Radio dzRH reported late Wednesday that Santos-Recto visited the families staying at evacuation centers in San Nicolas, Balete and Talisay towns in the province to distribute relief goods. READ MORE

Kapuso remakes Ravelo’s Trudis Liit – By Isah V. Red Manila Standard Today June 21, 2010 – Vilmanians are reacting in a variety of ways with Kapuso’s decision to remake the landmark movie that made Vilma Santos a household name in the early ’60s. Some are happy, but very few I hear are not, especially those who are dyed-in-the-wool Kapamilya followers.  READ MORE

Batangas on alert for Taal Volcano – Manila Bulletin June 14, 2010 – The Batangas Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) together with Philippine National Police Provincial Office (PNPPO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and local disaster units held an emergency meeting at the Provincial Capitol to draw out plans for the immediate response and disaster management to affected towns around Taal Volcano as it shows signs of possible eruption. READ MORE

Comparing ABS-CBN ‘Wowowee’ hosts Luis Manzano and Willie Revillame –  By Lisa Bacani June 12, 2010 – As you know Willie Revillame has been absent from his hosting duties on the popular ABS-CBN variety show “Wowowee”, and a line-up of celebrities were alternating as host for Wowowee during Willie’s absence such as; Robin Padilla, Billy Joe Crawford, John Lloyd Cruz, Luis Manzano and recently Gabby Concepcion and his daughter KC Concepcion. READ MORE

Jovit Baldovino’s manager clarifies issue regarding ‘snubbing’ Governor Vi’s election sorties – By Anya Santos June 11, 2010 – On a June 1 tabloid report, “Pilipinas Got Talent” finalist Jovit Baldovino was reported to have reneged on a deal to sing during a campaign gathering for Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, who was then gunning for re-election. In that report, Baldovino’s camp was said to have canceled the young singer’s appearance at the last minute in lieu of accepting an invitation from Governor Vi’s opponent because of a much bigger talent fee.  READ MORE

My star-struck moments – By Butch Francisco The Philippine Star June 05, 2010 – In spite of the fact that I had been in the business of interviewing and interacting with celebrities for heaven knows how long, I never gave myself the chance to pause and ponder if I got star-struck by certain showbiz personalities. But first things first: If you are from the industry, it’s a different kind of star-struck feeling that you get when you are constantly exposed to movie stars. You get star-struck on a different — and definitely more personal — level. READ MORE

Ai Ai Delas Alas goes back to school – By Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News June 3, 2010 – Actor-politicians like Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, who earned a certificate course in the same college, and incoming QC Mayor Herbert Bautista have inspired her to go back to school, the actress said. READ MORE

GMA scraps mature drama in favor of ‘Trudis Liit’ – By Mario Bautista Malaya June 2, 2010 – Due to the huge success of “Momay” starring child actress Xyriel Manabat, GMA-7 is shelving the mature drama “Bakit Kay Tagal ng Sandali” with Maxene Magalona and replacing it with the remake of a movie also starring a child star, “Trudis Liit,” the first movie of Vilma Santos in 1963. READ MORE

No meddler, this Ate Vi – By Dolly Anne Carvajal Philippine Daily Inquirer May 30, 2010 – Angel Locsin denies rumors that Ate Vi (Vilma Santos) hurled invectives at her and told son Luis Manzano to break up with her. “Tita Vi never meddled in my relationship with Luis,” Angel clarifies. “She never treated me in a bad way. Super bait niya po sa akin until now, kahit split na kami ni Luis.” READ MORE

John Lloyd, Sarah named Box-office King and Queen  – Vilma Santos, was selected Film Actress of the Year – By Butch Francisco May 29, 2010 – John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo are again this year’s Box-Office King and Queen and they are being awarded for the huge success at the tills of their 2009 romantic comedy You Changed My Life (from Viva Films and Star Cinema). Last year, they also won the same titles for A Very Special Love, 2008’s monster hit. READ MORE

Kris releases ‘thank you’ K mag for stars who helped Noy – May 28, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – To express her appreciation to all the stars and personalities who helped her brother, president-apparent Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III during the campaign, Queen of All Media Kris Aquino released a “thank you” issue of her magazine “The Kris Aquino Magazine (K Magazine).” READ MORE

Vilma Santos throws star-studded victory party – By Boy Villasanta May 26, 2010 – BATANGAS CITY—As what actor Christopher de Leon expressed on Tuesday afternoon, “this is a powerhouse cast.” He was referring, of course, to the luminaries present during the victory and thanksgiving celebrations thrown by re-elected Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos at the front ramp of the provincial capital hall in this city. READ MORE

Ate Vi – Bandera May 19, 2010 – PINAKAMATAMIS ang tagumpay na hawak ngayon ni Governor Vilma Santos-Recto kumpara sa nakaraang apat na beses niyang pagtakbo. Mas mahigpit, mas marami, mas personal ang pinagdaanan niyang laban bilang gobernador uli ng Batangas. Sa mismong mga salita ni Governor Vilma, “‘Yung mga taong kumukuha sa akin noon para kumandidatong vice-president na naniniwala sa kapasidad ko, nu’ng tanggihan ko sila, ‘yun pa mismo ang mga taong nagkaisa para kalabanin at ilaglag ako.”  READ MORE

Edu Manzano disappointed over defeat, says son – By Napoleon Quintos May 17, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – Luis Manzano admitted that he felt sad for his father, Edu Manzano, who lost his bid for vice presidency in the national elections. Luis said he spoke with his dad over the phone when the counting of votes began, and he revealed that his father was disappointed that he lost in the elections.  READ MORE

For Krina Cayabyab, it’s in the genes – By Nestor Torre May 17, 2010 – LAST WEEK, we got word that Ryan and Emmy Cayabyab’s daughter, Krina, composed a song that had gotten into the finals of Filscap’s ongoing songwriting tilt.   READ MORE

FUNFARE: Sweet victory for Vi , Lucy – By Ricardo F. Lo May 15, 2010 – The first thing that reelected Batangas Gov. Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos did when she learned that she won by a landslide in the last May 10 elections was heave a big sigh of relief. “It was the hardest campaign that I ever survived,” Vi told Funfare in an exclusive interview. “Sa lahat ng laban ko, ito ang pinaka-mahirap. Three parties joined forces against me, so my team and I had to work harder. Ang daming issues na ibinato sa akin but fortunately, as the election results showed, my constituents didn’t believe them.” READ MORE

Vilma Santos re-elected as Batangas governor – May 13, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – Actress-turned-politician Vilma Santos has been re-elected governor of Batangas. The Commission on Elections’ board of canvassers on Wednesday night proclaimed her the winner of the gubernatorial race in the province. READ MORE

3-D graphics on GMA7 create buzz among viewers – By Candice Montenegro May 13, 2010 – A day after the May 10 elections, presidential front runner Sen. Noynoy Aquino was in his hometown in Tarlac but television viewers saw GMA News anchor Mike Enriquez interviewing him as if he were inside GMA Network’s Eleksyon 2010 studio in Quezon City.  READ MORE

Ate Vi, Boyet, Singsons, Dutertes win – By L Manalo, B Tesiorna, F Lazaro Tempo May 12, 2010 – Actress Vilma Santos-Recto was reelected governor of Batangas by a wide margin in the elections last Monday. She defeated Sto. Tomas Mayor Edna Sanchez by more than 200,000 votes. Mayor Sanchez substitued for her husband, former Gov. Arman Sanchez, who died a few days before the elections. READ MORE

Those who win, those who are leading – By Ricardo F. Lo May 12, 2010 – Last Monday’s elections were probably one of the most star-studded. I’m referring not only to actor-politicians but also to candidates who have showbiz affiliation. As everybody must have known by now, popularity is a double-edged weapon. It can either make or unmake a candidate. It’s not a guarantee that a popular actor is winnable.  READ MORE

Vilma Santos winning in Batangas – May 11, 2010 – Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial and official results from 25 out of 34 municipalities in Batangas showed that Santos was leading by a wide margin over Edna Sanchez.  Santos had 360, 028 votes votes while Sanchez had only 243,832 votes. READ MORE

Vilma Santos to be honored at 7th Golden Screen Awards – By Boy Villasanta May 05, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – By virtue of her illustrious string of performances on screen, re-electionist Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos will be feted with the Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement Award at the Entertainment Press Society, Inc.’s (Enpress) 7th Golden Screen Awards at Teatrino in Greenhills Wednesday night.  READ MORE 

Death lulls action-packed Batangas gubernatorial race – By Aie Balagtas See GMANews.TV May 03, 2010 – With only a week to go before election day, gubernatorial candidates all over the country are busy charming their constituents to ensure victory in the May 10 polls. But in the province of Batangas, all is quiet on the electoral front for now. It hardly seemed that way two Sundays ago, when former Governor Armando Sanchez was courting the support of the local village chiefs of Bauan town to help him claim back the post he had lost to film celebrity-turned-politician Vilma Santos-Recto in 2007.   READ MORE 

Re-electionist Gov. Vi resumes campaigning in Batangas – By Ferdinand F Castro Manila Bulletin May 01, 2010 – Re-electionist Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto resumed campaigning Saturday after resting for three days in deference to the death of her closest politic rival, ex-Batangas Governor Arman Sanchez. Her caravan traveled along the main thoroughfares of Batangas City, showcasing other candidates running under the Liberal Party.   READ MORE 

Elderly women share best actress award for ‘Lola’ – “You’re nominated for Best Actress but you’re running against Vilma, so you should be nervous” – By Marinel Cruz Philippine Daily Inquirer May 01, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines—Veteran actresses Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio, who play two elderly women at opposing ends of a murder case in the Brillante Mendoza drama “Lola,” shared the Best Actress award at the 33rd Urian Awards given by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino on Thursday night.   READ MORE 

Vilma Santos to postpone sorties after rival dies – By Aie Balagtas See GMA News April 28, 2010 – Batangas Governor and re-electionist Vilma Santos-Recto will temporarily postpone her campaign sorties as a sign of respect for her rival Armand Sanchez who died on Tuesday.   READ MORE  

Sanchez dies; Santos a shoo-in  – Manila Standard Today April 28, 2010 – Former Batangas Gov. Armando Sanchez died Tuesday night after suffering from a stroke while campaigning, a family doctor said Tuesday. The damage to his brain was so severe that the semi-comatose Sanchez had only “5 to 10 percent survival rate,” Isagani Bolompo, Sanchez’s family doctor and medical spokesman, told reporters earlier at the Mary Mediatrix Medical Center in Lipa City. Sanchez died at 7:20 p.m. from multi-pulmonary arrest and secondary cerebral hemorrhage, Bolompo said.   READ MORE

Disqualification case a ‘desperate move’ by rival – By Marrah Erika Lesaba Inquirer April 26, 2010 – BATANGAS CITY, Philippines — Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto called the disqualification suit filed against her by the camp of her rival, Armando Sanchez, as a political harassment and a “really desperate move” by her detractors.   READ MORE 

In My Life tops 26th PMPC Star Awards for Movies – April 26, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – Star Cinema’s In My Life topped the 26th PMPC Star Awards for Movies held last Saturday night at Ateneo’s Henry Lee Irwin Theater — Movie Actress for Vilma Santos (who was not present), John Lloyd Cruz, Movie Actor, Luis Manzano, Movie Supporting Actor, Olivia Lamasan, Movie Director, Charlie Peralta, Movie Cinematography, Raymond Lee, Olivia Lamasan and Senedy Que, Movie Original Screenplay, and Movie of the Year.   READ MORE 

Star Awards honors Carlo J. Caparas, In My Life big winner with seven nods – April 26, 2010 – In spite the tsunami of criticism that swamped over him after he was named a National Artist last year, komiks writer and film director Carlo J. Caparas received a special citation for his achievements at the 26th Star Awards for Movies on Saturday night.   READ MORE 

‘In My Life’ wins big in Star Awards – ABS-CBN April 25, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – It was a landslide victory for Star Cinema’s “In My Life” at the 26th Star Awards for Movies on Saturday. The film won best picture, best director for Olivia Lamasan, best supporting actor for Luis Manzano, best actor for John Lloyd Cruz, and best actress for Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos.   READ MORE 

Vilma Santos to appear in TV ad with Aquino – By Philip Tubeza Philippine Daily Inquirer April 18, 2010 – Batangas, Philippines – Will the Vilmanians vote for Noynoy? With only three more weeks to go before the elections, the Liberal Party (LP) is expected to come out with a TV ad showing one of its showbiz heavyweights, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos, endorsing LP standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. READ MORE 

The then and the now – By Norma Japitana The Philippine Star April 04, 2010 – MANILA, Philippines – THEN: Catch a flashback of an evening of confidences written for a column on Jan. 5, 1989. It was an interesting mix to start with. Babette Villaruel, Mama Monchang, Bong de Leon and Mar Cornes hugging a corner of that magnificent garden at Forbes Park. We have come a long way, baby, since that time we all enjoyed the highlights of Aling Maring’s merienda at El Oro. READ MORE 

Vilma, Ralph Join Noy-Mar Team boost LP Star Power – Inquirer Nov 17, 2009  READ MORE 

Vilma Santos will show viewers her house in Alabang – PEP August 12, 2009 – After her special dance production last Saturday, Vilma Santos will now open her home as viewers get to know the respected actress as a mother, sister and friend for the third episode of Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons on ABS-CBN.  READ MORE 

Most Memorable Moments in Philippine Movies from 1950 onwards– Pinoy Showbiz Portal, by Mario E. Bautista 2010 – Part kami ng tinatawag na henerasyon ng baby boomers na isinilang pagkatapos ng World War II at lumaki sa impluwensiya ng pinilakang tabing. Growing up as a child in the 1950s, wala pa noong telebisyon kaya ang pangunahing libangan ng aming pamilya ay manood ng sine tuwing weekends. Hindi na namin mabilang kung ilang local movies ang napanood namin sa Life, Dalisay at Center Theatres. Sa loob ng madilim na sinehan, the medium of cinema has the power to transport you to another world and, through the following decades, napakarami na ng unforgettable moments ang aming naranasan habang nanonood kami ng palabas sa higanteng telon. We want to share some of them here with you. READ MORE

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacy of actress, Ms. Vilma Santos-Recto and informations available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislations, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. For more info visit, Wikipedia

The Bernal-Santos Collaborations

Considered the number one director of Vilma Santos, National Artist, Ishmael Bernal contributed significantly to her success. Their collaborations as actor and director spanned three decades. Eight films in total, almost a dozen best actress for Santos and a several best director for Bernal not including nominations both locally and internationally. He was quoted saying: “In Ikaw ay Akin, Vilma was already conscious of her own particular style of acting…which can be described as minimal, less is more. The fewer and simpler gestures, the greater effect…(Working in Pahiram Ng Isang Umage, Bernal said)…she had become an artist, no longer a movie star and just following the director’s instructions..” Their films are still relevant, timeless and to this day, being celebrated by many.

The early seventies brought a new phase in Vilma Santos’ career. Now 18 and after a successful stints as a child actress, she faced the musical trend dominated by singing teen sensations like Perla Adea, Esperanza Fabon, Eddie Perigrina, Edgar Mortiz, Tirso Cruz III and rival, Nora Aunor. She was successful enough that she made nine films (including the film adaptation of the television musical variety show, The Sensations) in 1971, the year Ishmael Bernal started his film career as director. Fresh from film school and at a young age of 33 (he received a Film Directing diploma in Film Institute of India in 1970) directed two full length feature films, “Daluyong!” and “Pagdating sa Dulo.” Daluyong starred Rossana Ortiz, Alona Alegre and Ronaldo Valdez while Pagdating featured the late Miss Rita Gomez and Vic Vargas. Pagdating earned Bernal his first award for best screenplay and a nomination for best director from FAMAS, the local equivalent of OSCAR during that time. Both films, Pagdating sa Dulo and Daluyong were critically acclaimed and commercial success.

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).

1973 turned out to be a banner year for Vilma Santos as she emerged on top with box office hits one film after another. Nine films altogether that featured her in different genres (comedy – “Tsismosang Tindera;” fantasy – “Maria Cinderella,” “Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe” and ”Ophelia at Paris;” action/fantasy – “Wonder Vi,” “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” and “Darna and the Giants;” horror – “Anak ng Aswang” and teenybopper – “Carinosa” and “Now and Forever”). While Vilma was productive Bernal, like the past two years did only two films, one was the comedy fantasy starring television host and comedian Ariel Ureta in a spin off of Superman, “Zoom, Zoom, Superman!” and his film wih Vi, “Now and Forever” with Edgar Mortiz.

Vilma’s box office dominance continued the next year with twelve films mostly comedy, horror and action/fantasies. It also gave her the chance to work with veteran actors such as Charito Solis in “Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz,” Joseph Estrada in “The King and I,” Fernando Poe Jr. in “Batya’t Palu-palo” and international action star, Meng Fei in “Twin Fists of Justice.” Bernal and Santos will not do any films for a few years as he started directing Vilma’s rival, Nora Aunor in her television drama series Ang makulay na daigdig ni Nora. Aside from his TV work, he did “Pito ang asawa ko” and the film reuniting him with Ariel Ureta, “Si Popeye, atbp” after the success of Zoom Zoom Superman.

1975 was another productive year for Vilma Santos as she did nine films mostly title roles like Vilma Viente Nueve, Darna Vs the Planet Women, and Ibong Lukaret. It was the “prep” stage for the years to come as she was given more mature roles like the local festival entry, “Karugtong ang Kahapon” and Celso Ad Castillo’s “Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw.”  Tagulan was the first film of Vilma and Christopher De Leon. While Vilma was testing the water for more serious mature projects, Ishmael Bernal decided to return to his original forte, drama, after years of doing light comedies and television work. He came up with “Mister Mo, Lover boy Ko” and “Lumapit, Lumayo Ang Umaga.” Both films featured sexy star, Elizabeth Oropeza.

By mid decades, Vilma Santos’ career was gradully moving into dramas catering the adult audience and films with social-adult issues. She did the sequel “Hindi Nakakahiya” and “Nagaapoy na Damdamin” about the affair of a young woman with an older man and “Mga Rosas Sa Putikan” about the lives of prostitutes.  Aside from these films, she also did four light comedies and two notable ones: “Mga Reynang Walang Trono” a comedy with movie queen Amalia Fuentez and “Bato Sa Buhangin,” the box office hit that reunited her with the late Fernando Poe Jr. Bernal on the other hand, cemented his reputation as one of the most serious director with critically appreciated hit films, “Ligaw Na Bulaklak” staring the young sexy star, Alma Moreno and the drama film that featured two dramatic stars, Daria Ramirez and Elizabeth Oropeza in “Nunal Sa Tubig.”  He also directed a light comedy, “Tisoy,” Christopher De Leon in title role.

A turning point in Vilma Santos career came in 1977.  She was no longer the teen idol that Bernal directed in 1972.  She’s now 24 and ready for more serious film projects.  Her film load has dramatically decrease from nine/ten films a year to mere five.  But the films she did were noticeably heavy in terms of relevance and roles.  Aside from the light action, “Susan Kelly Edad 20” her other films were all heavy dramas. One reunited her with Christopher De Leon in “Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig” directed by Elwood Perez.  Another one was the box office hit and critically acclaimed, “Burlesk Queen” directed by Celso Ad Castillo.  The other two films paired her with off screen sweetheart, Romeo Vasquez in “Pulot-gata, Pwede Kaya?” and “Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon.” The last film, was directed by Bernal. “Dalawang Pugad” earned Bernal the 1977 best director from Gawad Urian, the Filipino critics’ award giving body. Aside from Dalawang Pugad Bernal also directed “Walang Katapusang Tag-araw” that featured veteran drama queen, Charito Solis.

While the previous year was less productive in terms of quantity, Vilma Santos came back with a big bang the following year with twelve films.  Most of these films were adult dramas.  Three notable films were the critically acclaimed “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” directed by Celso Ad Castillo and produced by Vilma herself.  The local film festival entry, “Rubia Servios” directed by the late Lino Brocka. And lastly, “Ikaw ay Akin” directed by Bernal. “Ikaw ay Akin” reunited Vilma with rival, Nora Aunor. The film also featured Christopher De Leon, who won the local critics’ best actor and best actress nominations for Aunor and Santos as well as best director nomination for Bernal.  Aside from Ikaw, Bernal also did two other films, both starring Alma Moreno, “Lagi na lamang ba akong babae?” and “Isang gabi sa iyo Isang gabi sa akin” with Elizabeth Oropeza.

The end of the decade gave Vilma eight more films. Mostly light dramas/comedies.  Some showcased her dancing talents like “Swing it Baby,” “Rock, Baby, Rock” and “Buhay Artista Ngayon.” In terms of notable projects, only four stands out. “Pinay, American Style” filmed in the USA and “Magkaribal” both directed by Elwood Perez. “Halik sa Kamay, Halik sa Paa” directed by the late Eddie Rodriguez. And the smash hit and local festival entry “Modelong Tanso.” Modelong Tanso paired Vilma with drama queen, Charito Solis. Bernal did not direct any Santos film this year instead he did the Nora Aunor film, “Bakit may pag-ibig pa?,” “Menor de edad” and “Salawahan” both films starring Rio Locsin, “Aliw” starring Amy Austria and Lorna Tolentino and “Boy Kodyak” starring Bembol Rocco.

Vilma Santos did seven films in 1980. Mostly light dramas. Two notable films were “Miss X,” the film was shot in Amsterdam and “Langis At Tubig” the local festival entry directed by Danny Zialcita. She also did “Darna at Ding” her fourth and last film as the comic hero, Darna, Filipino version of Wonder Woman/Superman. Despite the lack of serious projects, Vilma did a film with Bernal, the comedy/musical, “Good Morning Sunshine.” In addition to Good Morning, Bernal did the critically acclaimed ensemble film starring Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno and Rio Locsin’s “City After Dark,” “Girlfriend” starring Cherie Gil and “Sugat sa Ugat” starring Hilda Koronel and Christopher De Leon.

Bermal and Santos didn’t do any film together the following year. Now 28 and married, Santos has reduced her film projects. She did four films, all showcased her acting talents. “Ex-Wife” directed by Eddie Rodriguez paired her with local critics’ favorite, Beth Bautista. “Pakawalan Mo Ako” a drama directed by Elwood Perez earned her one of her five FAMAS best actress. “Hiwalay” teamed with Eddie Rodriguez this time, as her leading man. Romy Suzara directed the film. Then the local festival entry, “Karma,” the Danny Zialcita film that earned her the festival best actress. While Vilma reduced her film output to four, as usual, Bernal did only two films. Both were not as critically received. “Bihagin: Bilibid Boys” starred the late Alfie Anido “Pabling” the comedy starring teen idol, William Martinez.

Like 1972 of the previous decade, 1982 turned out to be a repeat in terms of success for Vilma Santos. If critics took noticed in 1972, her performance in Dama De Noche, a decade after, the critics went gagah over her performance in ”Relasyon,” directed by Bernal. The film earned Vilma all the local best actress trophies from all award-giving bodies. Aside from this success, she will also be crowned as the box office queen of 1982 (the next year for her body of work this year) because of the financial success of her six films notably, “Sinasamba Kita” a film directed by Eddie Garcia and “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?’ directed by Danny Zialcita. Bernal on the other hand not only was credited for Vilma success for “Relasyon” he also received accolades for “Himala” a film by Nora Aunor, Vilma’s rival. Both “Himala” and “Relasyon” were considered two of Bernal’s signature films. In addition to this, he did two Marecel Soriano films, the comedy “Galawgaw” and the drama, “Hindi Kita Malimot” and finally another Cherrie Gil film, “Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak.”

The following year, as Vilma Santos received honors/awards from her works from previous year, she continued her winning streak with four adult dramas: “Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida,” “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?,” “Minsan pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan,” and “Broken Marriage.” The last one was directed by Ishmael Bernal. The only film he did in 1983. Broken Marriage gave Vilma her second consecutive local critics’ best actress. It also earned Bernal her second best director from the critics and third overall.

The next year Bernal and Santos went separate ways with Vilma doing three films with three equally talented directors: Lino Brocka for “Adultery: Aida Macaraeg,” MiKe De Leon for “Sister Stella L.,” and Marilou Diaz Abaya for “Alyas Baby Tsina.” Meanwhile, Bernal did two films, an episode of the original horror trilogy, “Shake, Rattle & Roll” and the critically acclaimed comedy, “Working Girls.”

The next four years came with both Santos and Bernal in steady film works. In 1985 Santos did the hit “Muling Buksan ang Puso” and the disappointment, “Doctor, Doctor, We Are Sick” while Bernal did the Marecel Soriano melodrama “Hinugot sa langit” and the film starring the unknown Stella Suarez with veteran Rita Gomez “Gamitin mo ako.” Then in 1986 Vilma Santos did three commercial hit films: “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” “Palimos Ng Pag-ibig,” and “Asawa ko, Huwag Mong Agawin.” Bernal did his only film, “The Graduates” starring Regal babies – Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, and Dina Bonnevie.

Another three films for Vilma Santos in 1987, all commercial success. “Tagos ng Dugo” directed by Maryo De Los Reyes was a smash hit and critically well received. Vilma received her fourth FAMAS best actress for this film. “Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas” the last film directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza before his retirement was a mild hit that paired Vilma with new drama actors, Richard Gomez and Gabby Concepcion. “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?” directed by Eddie Garcia was a big hit. Bernal on the other hand did two films the drama”Pinulot ka lang sa lupa” starring Lorna Tolentino and Marecel Soriano and the sequel comedy “Working Girls 2” The next year, both Bernal and Santos did one film each, both a box office hits, Elwood Perez’ drama, “Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos” was a big hit and at the same time earned Vilma her fifth FAMAS best actress that elevated her to their hall of fame recipient category. Bernal’s only film was “Nagbabagang luha,” another Lorna Tolentino starrer.

The last time Bernal and Santos collaborated was in 1989. Santos, still active with her musical variety television show, did three films, all were commercial success. “Imortal” directed by Eddie Garcia was a local festival entry that earned Santos another local festival best actress. “Rizal Alih, Zamboanga Massacre” was directed by Carlo J Caparas. And “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” directed by Bernal. The film earned Santos the local critics best actress and Bernal the best director. Vilma her very first Star best actress, considered the Golden Globe local equivalent at that time. Pahiram also received nominations for best actress for Vilma and best director for Ishmael both from FAP, now the local equivalent of OSCAR.

In 1991, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal closest rival and friend died of car accident. It was a sad event both locally and internationally as Brocka was not only popular locally but in the international festival circuit. It wasn’t clear if his decision was related to the lost of his rival Brocka but Bernal retired his directing chair for the next two years. He went into acting and was the lead role in stage plays like “Kamatayan Sa Isang Anyo Ng Rosas” (Death in the Form of a Rose) in 1991 and “Bacchae” in 1992.  Vilma on the other hand, did “Hahamakin Lahat” in 1990 with Brocka, a year before his untimely death.  She also did “Kapag Langit ang Humatol” directed by Laurice Guillen.  She then reunited with Guillen in “Ipagpatawad Mo” the next year.  By 1992, Bernal and Santos did one film each, unfortunately not together, “Sinungaling Mong Puso” reunited Vilma with her Tagos Ng Dugo director, Maryo De Los Reyes while Bernal directed “Mahal kita walang iba” starring Kris Aquino.

Bernal went back to his semi-retirement the next year (except for a short film as himself in “Truth and Dare”) while Vilma did two films, both commercial hits and critically acclaimed. Chito Rono’s “Ikaw Lang” and the local festival entry, “Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story” directed by Laurice Guillen. Dolzura Cortez will earned Santos numerous best actress awards. By 1994, Santos did three films: “Relaks ka Lang, Sagot Kita” with Bong Revilla; “Nag-iisang Bituin” with Aga Muhlach and Christopher De Leon; “Lipa: Arandia Massacre” a film that reunites her with director Carlo J. Caparas. Meanwhile, Bernal did “Wating” his last film. “Wating” starred Richard Gomez.  The next year, Both artists, Santos and Bernal, went on hiatus.

In 1996 Vilma Santos did “Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko” with the late FPJ. The film did not do well, both critically and commercially. This year also was a bad year for the local entertainment industry as Ishmael Bernal died on June 2nd. It was reported that he was scheduled to direct a film about the life story of Lola Rosa Henson, the comfort woman during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The project was also reportedly offered to Vilma Santos. From 1997 to 2009, Vilma Santos completed 6 full featured films, two were considered record breaking films and almost all gave her acting recognitions including two international best actress recognitions.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bernal gave Vilma Santos her first grandslam best actress awards and consecutive Gawad Urian best actress (1982 and 1983). Their first film together was Inspiration (1972) and last was Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989).

Writing Credits: 11 – Galawgaw (1982); Relasyon (1982); City After Dark (1980); Girlfriend (1980); Pleasure (1979); Ikaw ay akin (1978); Walang katapusang tag-araw (1977); Dalawang pugad, isang ibon (1977); Lumapit, lumayo ang umaga (1975); Pito ang asawa ko (1974); Reaching the Top (1971)

Directing Credits: 46 and Total Number of Films with Vilma Santos: 8 (Broken Marriage, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Good Morning Sunshine, Ikaw ay Akin, Inspiration, Now and Forever, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, Relasyon)

Wikipedia: Bernal
Ishmael Bernal (1938-1996)
The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa1971-79, Part One The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa1980-96, Part Two
Tribute to Ishmael Bernal
The new ‘Working Girls’ front and center
Vilma Santos’ Top 10 Film Directors

Vilma Santos’ Top 10 Film Directors 6/6

Introductions: 204 films, 70 directors, 5 decades, Vilma Santos, one of the original Philippine movie queens, rose up to become the versatile actress that has been given the fitting title of “Star for All Seasons” because of her capacity to adapt to the changing mores and values of the Filipino woman, giving a face to their plight and struggles, albeit in success both critically and box-office wise in some of Philippine cinema’s classics such as Trudis Liit (1963), Lipad, Darna, Lipad (1973), Burlesk Queen (1977), Relasyon (1982), Sister Stella L. (1984), Alyas Baby Tsina (1984), Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (1989), Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Anak (2000) and Dekada ’70 (2002). This are top ten directors who contributed to her success.

Here is a recap of our count-down…

…and our number one director is…

1. Ishmael Bernal – A filmmaker of the first order and one of the very few who can be truly called a maestro. Critics have hailed him as “the genius of Philippine cinema.” He is recognized as a director of films that serve as social commentaries and bold reflections on the existing realities of the struggle of the Filipino. His art extends beyond the confines of aesthetics. By polishing its visuals, or innovating in the medium, he manages to send his message across: to fight the censors, free the artists, give justice to the oppressed, and enlighten as well as entertain the audience. Among his notable films are “Pahiram ng Isang Umaga” (1989), “Broken Marriage” (1983), “Himala” (1981), “City After Dark” (1980), and “Nunal sa Tubig” (1976). He was recognized as the Director of the Decade of the 1970s by the Catholic Mass Media Awards; four-time Best Director by the Urian Awards (1989, 1985, 1983, and 1977); and given the ASEAN Cultural Award in Communication Arts in 1993 ( Bernal was born in Manila on September 30, 1938, the son of Elena Bernal and Pacifico Ledesma. He studied at Burgos Elementary School and Mapa High School before entering the University of the Philippines, and graduated in 1962 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts degree in English. For a time he worked with Lamberto Avellana’s documentary outfit. He went on to earn his Licentiate in French Literature and Philosophy at the University of Aix-en-Prevence in France, and then in 1970 his Diplomate in Film Directing at the Film Insititue of India in Poona, under the Colombo plan scholarhip. Bernal was a board member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and the Directors Guild of the Philippines, Inc., an organization that studies the role of film as an instrument of entertainment, education and development. He actively crusaded for the rights and welfare of artists for as long as he lived. He died in Quezon City on June 2, 1996 (Wikipilipinas).

HIGHLIGHTS: Bernal gave Vilma Santos her first grandslam best actress awards and two consecutive Gawad Urian best actress (1982 and 1983). Their first film together was Inspiration (1972) and last was Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989).

Total Number of Films in our list of VSR’s Top 50 films = 5 (#5 Ikaw ay Akin 1978, #7 Relasyon 1982, #8 Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga 1989, #9 Broken Marriage 1983, #30 Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon 1977)

Total Number of Films = 8 (Broken Marriage, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Good Morning Sunshine, Ikaw ay Akin, Inspiration, Now and Forever, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, Relasyon)

RELATED READINGS:Wikipedia: Ishmael Bernal
Ishmael Bernal (1938-1996)
The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa 1971-79, Part One
The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa 1980-94, Part Two
Tribute to Ishmael Bernal
The new ‘Working Girls’ front and center

Filipino Movie Queens with Vilma Santos in Films

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Gloria Romero (born December 16, 1933) is a Filipino a multi-awarded actress whose career spans 60 years. Acknowledged as the original Queen of Philippine Movies. She hold two record in FAMAS award history: She is the only actress in Philippine movie history to win the FAMAS Best Actress Award for a comedy role and the oldest FAMAS Best Actress winner, receiving the prestigious accolade in 2001 when she was 67 years old. (Wikepedia)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 13 (Anak ang Iyong Ina, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, De Colores, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Anak ng Aswang, Lipad Darna Lipad, Happy Days are Here Again, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Nakakahiya?, Hindi Nakakahiya, Makahiya at Talahib, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol)


Movie Queens – Vilma Santos & Gloria Romero from SFAS – VSR on Vimeo.


Nora Aunor (born Nora Cabaltera Villamayor on May 21, 1953) is a multi-awarded Filipino actress, singer and producer. Aunor has also topbilled several stage plays, television shows, and concerts. She is regarded as the “Superstar in Philippine Entertainment Industry”. In 1999, Aunor received the Centennial Honor for the Arts awarded by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). She was the only film actress included in the prestigious list of awardees. In 2010, she was hailed by the Green Planet Awards as one of the 10 Asian Best Actresses of the Decade. (Wikepedia)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 8 (Happy Days are Here Again, Dugo at pag-ibig sa kapirasong lupa, Young Love, Big Ike’s Happening, Mga Mata Ni Angelita, Ikaw ay Akin, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, T-Bird at Ako)

RELATED READING: Sino ba talaga ang mas mahusay umarte, si Vilma o si Nora?
Vilmanians and Noranians Surveyed


Marlene Dauden, (born in Philippines) is considered one of the greatest Filipina drama actresses of all time. She achieved her legendary status as a film thespian during her film career that spanned from the 1950s up to the 1970s. During the height of her fame, she was one of the most bankable stars of Sampaguita Pictures, which used to be one of the leading Philippine movie studios of the era. (Wikepedia)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 7 (Sa Bawat Pintig ng Puso, Kay Tagal ng Umaga, Maria Cecilia, Hindi Nahahati ang Langit, Kasalanan Kaya?, Sino ang may Karapatan?, Happy Days are Here Again)



Charito Solis (6 October 1935 – 9 January 1998) was a FAMAS and Gawad Urian award-winning Filipino film actress. Acknowledged as one of the leading dramatic actresses of post-war Philippine cinema, she was tagged either as the “Anna Magnani of the Philippines” or as “the Meryl Streep of the Philippines. (Wikepedia)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 6 (Happy Days are Here Again, Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz, Modelong Tanso, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story, Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal)

RELATED READING: Charito Solis, the Empress of Drama

Movie Queens – Vilma Santos & Charito Solis from SFAS – VSR on Vimeo.


Celia Rodriguez ay isang artista sa Pilipinas. Una siang nakitang gumanap sa mga pelikula ng Premiere Production noong huling dekada 1950. Siya ay nanalo ng apat na FAMAS Awards: isa bilang pinakamahusay na aktres ng 1971 para sa pelikulang Lilet at tatlo pa bilang pinakamahusay na pangalawang aktres ng 1964 (Kulay Dugo ang Gabi), 1966 (The Passionate Strangers) at 2003 (Magnifico). (Wikipedia)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 6 (Lipad Darna Lipad, Biktima, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Mga Rosas sa Putikan, Coed, Darna at Ding)

RELATED READING: Lilet’s Little Secret (Or How Celia Rodriguez made my life worth living.)


Lolita Rodriguez, {Dolores Clark in real life} was born on January 29, 1935 in Urdaneta Pangasinan. In 1953, at the age of 18, she entered the movies. She was given walk-on roles. As an extra, she used to earn 5 pesos per appearance. Her first movie was Ating Pag-ibig, followed by Gorio at Tekla, El Indio, Cofradia, Kiko, Reyna Bandida, Sa Isang Sulyap mo Tita and Diwani. (Video48)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 6 (Trudis Liit, Kay Tagal ng Umaga, Hindi Nahahati ang Langit, Kasalanan Kaya?, Sino ang may Karapatan?, Happy Days are Here Again)



Amalia Fuentez Amalia Fuentes was born on August 27, 1940 in Philippines and she is a famous TV and film actress. Fuentes started her career in 1956 with the film called “Rodora”. She acted in many other films and TV series such as: “Inang mahal”, “Pretty Boy”, “Kahit isang saglit.” (FamousWhy)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 5 (De Colores, Bulaklak at Paru-paro, Happy Days are Here Again, Mga Reynang Walang Trono, Asawa ko, Huwag Mong Agawin)



Barbarra Perez, dubbed as Audrey Hepburn of the Philippines was a famous Filipina movie star of the fifties and sixties. Born in the year 1938, Barbara is married to another actor Robert Arevalo. Barbara made several hit movies under the defunct Sampaguita Pictures. Both Barbara and her husband won the best actor awards in 1966 for the movie “Daigdig ng mga Api” or the world of the downtrodden. (Wikipilipinas)

Total Number of films with Vilma: 4 (Ito ang Pilipino, Hatinggabi Na Vilma, Nakakahiya?, Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos)



Nida Blanca Dorothy Acueza Jones, (January 6, 1936 – November 7, 2001) popularly known by her stage name Nida Blanca, was a Filipina actress. She starred in over 163 movies and 14 television shows and received over 16 awards for movies and six awards for television during her 50-year film career. She was named one of 15 Best Actress of all Time by YES magazine. She was stabbed to death in a parking lot in San Juan City on November 7, 2001.

Total Number of films with Vilma: 3 (Ibulong mo sa Diyos, Happy Days Are Here Again, Pag-ibig masdan ang ginawa mo)



Rita Gomez The first Filipino to be billed with a title before her name. On a comeback stint in the Bomba (Bold) Era of Philippine movies, the title “Ms.” was added by her manager before her name to maintain her stature as one of the Philippines’ most revered actresses. (

Total Number of films with Vilma: 2 (Anak ang iyong ina!, Takbo Vilma Dali)

10 Most Loved Babaeng Bakla

Other Filipino Movie Queens who are still active and who made films with Vilma are: Gina Pareno (Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas), Maricel Soriano (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrown), Lorna Tolentino (Sinasamba Kita), Claudine Baretto (Anak), Alma Moreno (Magkaribal), Rio Locsin (Haplos). Hilda Koronel (Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan).


Still a youthful movie queen at 32

When Vilma Santos marked her 32nd birthday recently (Nov. 3) she was exactly 22 years, 8 months and 12 days in the dog-eat-dog world of showbusiness. Her very first movie as a waif in Trudis Liit (the same movie that gave her a best child actress award in the FAMAS) was shown in Manila on February 21, 1963 where all in all she made five films including Anak, Ang Iyong Ina, King and Queen for a Day, Duelo sa Sapang Bato, and Aninong Bakal in that same year.

Vilma celebrated her natal day with a party at the Albergus (a catering service outfit adjacent to Broadcast City) with friends in and out of showbiz but minus estranged husband Edu Manzano, her mother, Mama Santos in the movie circle and current rumored beau, Ralph Recto. Beloved son, Lucky, was with the superstar celebrant though through most of the evening. For the record, Vilma celebrated two birthdays abroad. Her 20th in Las Vegas, USA and her 26th in Paris, France while shooting the movie, Miss X, in Europe in 1979.

Vilma Santos has come a long, long way from her Trudis Liit days. Who would ever think that the former child star who portrayed the young Imee Marcos at the age 12 in Iginuhit ng Tadhana (1965) and at 16 in Pinagbuklod ng Langit (1969) will someday essay the role of a nun who underwent a political awakening in Mike de Leon’s breakthrough film, Sister Stella L., at 30. Vilma was a successful child star who became even more successful as an adult actress earning more accolades and respect both from her colleagues and others.

From a teary-eyed tyke, the young actress has blossomed into one of the most successful (if not the most) performers on screen collecting such titles on her road to superstardom Movie Queen, Box-Office Queen, Superstar, GrandSlam Winner, The Only 3-Time Successive URIAN Awardee, Superactress, Megastar, and now the reigning Video Queen. Her climb to the top was not easy, and that’s putting it mildly because her uphill struggle was stormy to say the least.

During the early seventies the juvenile Vilma had to content herself playing second fiddle to the brown phenomenon. Like her arch rival, the young actress did and appeared most in nonsensical films with then favorite partner, Edgar Mortiz, giving the Guy and Pip loveteam a run for their money during the height of the bakya era. But until then Vilma was only generally considered a far second, almost like an afterthought to the then reigning Bicolana superstar. But things began to change as the years went by.

It was only in 1973 when the movie Lipad, Darna, Lipad (another Mars Ravelo innovative remake) hit the screens and became a certified and recordbreaking blockbuster did people begin to take real notice of her potentials as a bankable star. The new box-office champion made two more Darna movies and the last one, Darna at Ding, the fourth, with Nino Muhlach was shown on February 8, 1980. Vilma made several fantasy movies that catered mostly for children. The movie Dyesebel, another remake like Darna, was an entry at the Manila Film Festival in 1973. At this stage in her career Vilma was already an acknowledged Box-Office Queen.

The controversial movie Burlesk Queen reasserted her boxoffice supremacy when it created a lot of controversies after the awards night of the Metro Manila Film Festival in 1977. The movie was so successful that on its fourth-week run, it was still showing in some 15 theaters! Quite a record and a feat for any movie both local and foreign. Then came the real turning point in the actress’ career. Her film, Rubia Servios megged by Lino Brocka, was another festival entry in 1978. Not a few were expecting (including Vilma herself) her to win the best actress plum at the awards night on January 3, 1979, held at the CCP.

But she lost to Nora (for Atsay) but that defeat only made the moviegoers more curious as they came in droves to watch the film. And for several more weeks after the festival was over, Rubia Servios was still showing in downtown theaters long before all the other entries were already doing the rounds in the provincial circuits. As a proof of the producers and the public’s faith in the actress, she made 12 pictures in 1979. And from that year on, Vilma was a perennial absentee at the award giving ceremonies in the succeeding festival years. In fact, she doens’t seem to mind not having an entry movie at the festival.

Her last entry, the rated A, Haplos was shown in 1982. The birth of Vilma’s son, Lucky, on April 21, 1981 seemed to have harbored more luck for the actress’ career. After Lucky’s birth, more awards and blockbuster movies followed. Her movie Ex-Wife was shown the day after her son was born when all the newspapers in town were carrying Vilma’s delivery on the frontpage, and the movie was an instant hit. How’s that for perfect timing?  The string of hits for that year included Pakawalan Mo Ako (where she won her second FAMAS best actress award; the first one for Dama de Noche she received several years earlier – in 1972), Hiwalay and Karma, a festival entry which won for her another best actress trophy.

In July 1982, the movie Relasyon by Ishmael Bernal was shown.  It was the film that won for her all acting awards for best actress in all major award-giving bodies in 1983.  And thus, the grandslam.  Vilma gave Viva Films its first biggest hit in Sinasamba Kita earning over P7M in Metro Manila alone. Then came T-Bird at Ako (a mild hit), Never Ever Say Goodbye (a sorry miss), Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (her biggest hit for that year) and Haplos. As early as January 20, 1983, Vilma began to reap several victories when she was awarded by the Metro Manila Theaters Association on their first Cinehan Awards together with Fernando Poe, Jr. held at the Philippine Plaza.

 National Artist Nick Joaquin, in an article that came out in the Bulletin Today on February 11, 1983 wrote: “By emerging as box-office queen, Vilma Santos proved herself to be the Philippine Cinema’s Superstar – a title, it’s to be realized now, that can be bestowed only by the Cinehan.” So, on Cinehan Awards Night, Vilma was the very picture of the conquering heroine, drawing all eyes as she glowed and glittered, a rapture of radiance in her strapless white gown with lilac sash – and in white gloves yet! In her triumph joined both cinema and cinehan.

Her pictures were all well done – and they also did very well at the box-office. In the same awards night, Ambassador Jaime Zobel de Ayala, another recipient of the Cinehan, upon receiving his award from Dean Lucresia Kasilag said: “I’m only a little bit sorry that Vilma didn’t give me the award. But it’s all right, I’ll try again next year.  You’re my favorite star, you’re my muse!  I’ll suffer in silence.”

Vilma Santos won her first Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) on February 29, 1983 for Relasyon. As a matter of fact, she won all these awards (her first URIAN, Film Academy and 3rd FAMAS) in the span of three months!  She even won the Box-Office Queen trophy on the same night as the URIAN awards on April 15, 1983, she had to rush from the Celebrity Sports Plaza to the Film Center to get both trophies. And because the critically-acclaimed Relasyon was such a hit at the boxoffice, many producers thought that the public was ready at last for well-written, well-acted and well-crafted films.

And not a few writers and directors rejoiced at the prospect of good films being accepted by the public finally. And so, Sister Stella L. was born amidst fears and speculations that it would have a hard time with the censors. But the film was passed and to top it all, it was given the nod as a movie for general patronage. SSL had two screenings on its premiere night at the Rizal Theater in Makati. All the hopes of good filmmakers were nipped-in-the-bud when the film failed miserably at the tills during its regular screen.

While it’s also true that SSL was shown for two weeks in Metro Manila, still many expected it to earn more than it did if only for Vilma who has a string of blockbuster movies to her credit before SSL. She has four rated A movies (Haplos, Broken Marriage, Adultery and SSL) to her name but SSL earned the least at the box-office. But the movie was invited and screened at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. It was also invited at the Cannes Film Festival, but the film didn’t arrive in time for its screening because of some problems with the censors.

And so, Vilma and her producers are back to square one churning out comics rehash and light melodramas to regain lost grounds. Her first movie for this year, Muling Buksan ang Puso was again a hit and it proved once more that it’s the kind of movie the public wants to patronize. How sad. Vilma Santos is also the most successful actress-commercial model to date. She was made to endorse several products-from biscuits to radios to cough syrups to many other beauty products including her recent Eskinol Girl commercial to perk up their sales.

But the most notable of these is the Lux commercial she did in 1974 under the helm of no less than the late Gerry de Leon himself. The wedding scene was shot in a very old church as backdrop and it was the most beautifully photographed TV and magazine layout of Vilma during her younger days. Her team-up with Christopher de Leon is considered the most successful in the movies if only for the fact that they do not only make commercial movies but also critically-acclaimed ones as well like Relasyon and Broken Marriage. They made 15 films in all. The last one was Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan during the latter part of 1983.

It’s been two years since then and the fans are eagerly awaiting their next team-up.  Whatever the future holds for Vilma Santos, she’ll surely come out with flying colors. Right now, she’s twinkling brightly, free and easy, twirling sassily, more or less on top of her world of 21 seasons.  But her parting words perhaps convey her true intentions: “I can only say I’m fulfilled when I’ve quit this business.” The superstar actress doesn’t have to prove anything anymore.

Her achievements in the movies can no longer be ignored by anyone.  And while she has her faults, like all human beings do, she’s not the type of person who will intentionally hurt the feelings of others or she will not have lasted this long in the movies.  She has suffered a lot of tragedies in her life and still remained strong-willed and composed even in her most trying times. And so, to the strong woman who has served as an inspiration to a lot of people, many happy returns of the day. – Meg Mendoza, Prime Magazine, Nov 14, 1985

At 28, a changing maturing Vi

I didn’t snub the Metro Manila Filmfest by not attending the awards night. And it’s not true I didn’t expect to win. I did my best in Karma and modesty aside, I knew I had a good chance of winning. But then I had little time left to prepare for the occasion. Duds and I were busy attending to construction workers at the time,” said a more vivacious and vibrant Vilma Santos, adjudged best actress of the 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival for her scintillating performance in Karma, about reincarnation and love eternal.

Vi and hubby Edu are busy looking after the building of their two-storey house on a 683 sqm.lot in United Paranque, Metro Manila. “I’m proud and happy that this is Dud’s gift to me and Lucky,” said Vilma, beaming with joy. “This house is too big for a small family like ours,” she added, referring to the Magallanes house where they’re staying. “We hope to transfer to our new home before the end of the month.” Which also means that Vi is selling her five-bedroom home, complete with swimming pool. The house and lot are being sold for P 1.6 million. “What will I do with a big house like this? We only occupy one room. Maintaining and cleaning the other rooms will just eat up our time. We have other things to pay attention to,” rationalized Vi.

Does the sale have something to do with her BIR problems as some detractors would have it? “Some people are always watching to see what’s your next move. So what if I sell it? I’m not selling somebody else’s property. I know what’s good for me and I know what’s not! My detractors might also want to know that I don’t have any BIR problems any more. I’m thankful to the BIR for helping me,” said Vi, a little tense. At age 28, Vilma Santos’ life is now, “very different” from when she was single. She still has time for friends and reporters, “but I can no longer spend all my time with them now. If people can only see my timetable, they’ll know that I shoot six times a week. I only have Sundays for my family. That one day I don’t want to take away from them,” she said. “But I see to it that I meet my friends at least twice a month. I hope they’ll understand.”

As a married woman, Vilma does not keep a circle of friends. “Frankly, I’ve never had a barkada. Ang barkada ko talaga ay ang pamilya ko. Anyway, my female colleagues from the movies are all my friends.” Vilma denied reports that Edu has been limiting her public appearances. “I want it known that Doods is a very understanding husband. He has nothing against my movie career. He just wants me to give priority to my family and I think he is right. The freedom that he gives me is enough for me not to abuse it,” she said, to straighten out rumors that Edu had asked her to quit acting and that they plan to settle in Canada or in the States. “We’re planning to leave for the US but for a short pleasure trip only.”

Another remarkbale change in Vi is that she can no longer shoot several movies simultaneously. The most is two pictures at a time. Her own ceiling is five movies a year. Before, she used to make an average of one picture a month. She has become choosy about accepting film offers. “At this stage of my career, I can only portray roles that suit my status in real life. Can you imagine a wife and mother playing the role of a carefree, innocent, sweet teenager? I believe that an actress should grow up in her roles. One can’t be a nina bonita forever,” she philosophized.

So far, Vi has accepted only two major film assignments: Relasyon, where she plays mistress to Christopher de Leon; and a still untitled movie to be directed by Eddie Garcia under Viva Films. She has other offers from Sining Silangan, Cinex Films and Mirick Productions, but she is studying them carefully. Vi is managing her own movie career now. Before, she would ask somebody to transact the business with film producers in her behalf. “I was to spoiled and very dependent. But now, I talk business directly with them.” Vi has also limited her alalay to a few. The new set-up challenges Vilma.

This makes life for her more colorful and exciting, and she doesn’t have to have a battery of PROs. “Why should I hire so many of them if I’m trying to do some saving now? Of course, I still need them but I hope they give me a break.” Vilma’s latest MMFF best actress trophy is her fifth major award. She won the FAMAS best actress plum in 1972 for a superb characterization in Dama de Noche. She also won the MMFF best actress statuette for Burlesk Queen in 1977. As a child actress, she romped away (FAMAS) for Trudis Liit, aside from the best actress award she won in 1975 Bacolod City Film Festival for Nakakahiya? Vi sends her heartfelt thanks to Chanda Romero, her co-star in Karma, for her inspiring remarks on awards night:“Lucky girl this Vilma. may Edu na. May Lucky na, may trophy pa!” Vi said she was so touched by Chanda’s unselfish remarks, she tried to reach Chanda by phone, to thank her but she couldn’t.

Vi also extends warmest thanks to her Tito Ed (Rodriguez) for commenting that she, Vilma, is “your favorite and mine.” “For their superlative compliments, I look forward to 1982.” Right now, Vi’s main concern is her son Lucky (born Luis Philippe Manzano eight months ago). Vi and Edu do not approve of their son being public property. There’s nothing wrong with being a movie star, they say.  After all, acting can be ‘inherited’ by their son. But the couple will not go out of their way to force their son into the showbiz world. “I want him to lead a normal life and not to be deprived of the privacy he’s entitled to,” Vi reasoned. One thing sure, she will see to it that Lucky finishes his studies. “ We will not rule his future life. He will decide for himself. If he has artistic leanings, we cannot stop him.  But, repeat, we will not force him to pursue anything he doesn’t like!”

Vi has many things to thank for. First, she has survived keen and cut throat competition for the past many years. Despite new and fresh talents on the scene, she has managed to keep a steady following. All her recent movies have been blockbusters. She’s glad her fans when she was 16 are still her fans today. “Oh yes, just like me, they have matured and grown up. They are the type who do not invade one’s privacy. They know their limitations. But they’re always concerned whenever they hear unpleasant news about me and my family.” Vi is happy that people flock to her movies not because of the ‘boldness’ of the story but because of the character she plays. Posing with her festival trophy, she said with supreme confidence,“ I’ll continue acting so long as my fans like me. From hereon, I promise to make movies that are relevant and will be appreciated by the public.” – Manny B. Fernandez, People magazine, Jan 15, 1982

The Superstar at 18 Vilma Blooms

“Ay naku, musmos pa ‘yan talagang mahilig na sa drama!” And Mrs. Milagros Santos (or Mommy Santos, as she is fondly called by diehard fans), mother of Superstar Vilma, proceeds to relate how her darling daughter religiously followed her favorite soap-operas on the radio in her off-school hours, imitating the airlane actresses later on when the family gathered at the sala. “Umiiyak pa ‘yan,” Mommy Santos goes on, “and she really cried real tears.”

Of course, Vi’s histrionic potentials didn’t escape the attention of her teachers in school. Everytime there was an affair on the campus, she would be there on stage, either delivering a declamation, singing a song or making like a little Rosa Mia in a drama skit. One day in 1962, eight-year old Vi tagged along with her uncle Amaury Agra (a cameraman) to the Sampaguita Studios to watch her favorite actresses and actors act before the cameras. Doc Perez saw her and was so fascinated by Vi’s lovable ways that, there and then, he let her play one of the two waifs in the tearjerker, Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!, a Lolita Rodriguez-Luis Gonzales starrer, afilming at that time. “Doc didn’t even give me a screen test,” Vi cuts in.

Days later, during a shooting lull, Vi wandered around the huge studio and found herself in the office of Doc Perez where some 800 tots were being tested for the title role of the next Sampaguita film. By accident, Vi got into the contest and walked away with the coveted role hands down. “Doc asked me to cry, umiyak naman ako,” Vi recalls, “he asked me to laugh, tumawa naman ako ng husto, ganyan. He asked me to do many other things. He must have been impressed dahil he assigned the role of Trudis Liit kaagad to me.” That was how Vilma Santos broke into the big screen. “My real name is actually Rosa Vilma Santos.  Pero sabi ni Doc, there were several Rosa’s in the movies already, may Rosa Mia, may Rosa Rosal, may Rosa Aguirre, so he decided to drop Rosa from my name.”

For four years, from 1962 to 66, there was hardly any tearjerker without Vilma Santos in the cast.  A born actress, she was very precocious and had a notably alacrity for giving in to what her roles demanded.  She absorbed difficult and emotion-filled dialogues with ease and acted her parts very naturally.   As a child actress, she chalked up more than a dozen movies and had ably pitted acting talents with such drama stalwarts as Eddie Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden, Lolita Rodriguez and Luis Gonzales.  “I have two favorite pictures as a child actress, “ she says. “ang isa ‘yong Trudis Liit nga and the other is Ging where I portrayed the role of a child actress. When I saw the first movie sa sine, I cried because I pitied myself in the movie, kawawa kasi ako doon, e. It was s sob story you know, at kahit siguro ikaw maiiyak ka rin.

In Ging, nahirapan ako ng katakut-takot because it was heavy drama. Pero it gave me a very good chance to really act dahil it had a little of everything, a little drama, a little musical, a little comedy, a little of marami pang iba.” She had to stop appearing in the movies after finishing grade school. “I wanted to concentrate on my studies, that’s why I enrolled at the St. Mary’s Academy. I wanted to take up Fine Arts after graduation. I loved to paint noon, you know, pero ngayon, hindi na masyado.” But once an actress, so the saying goes, always an actress. Vi was in her third year high school when she felt an irresistable itch to work again before the cameras.

At first, her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Amado Constantino Santos) were reluctant but a compromise was reached: no shooting during her class schedules. By this time, Vilma was growing up to be a lady. This was mid-1969. The advent of 1970 brought new prospects for Vi and her young colleagues. Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes had got hitched and there was some sort of a “search for another queen” in local filmdom.   Because she had a strong public appeal and very endearing ways with her legions of followers (Vilmanians!) Vi was easily considered a possible successor to the throne left vacant by Susan and Amalia.

But she had a rival in the person of Nora Aunor. “There’s realy no personal rivalry between us,” she assures. “Friends kami, e.” It was when she got paired with Edgar Mortiz (Vi’s boyfriend on and off the camera) that Vi’s star shone doubly brighter in the movie firmament.   The team up also did good to Edgar. First paired in Sampaguita’s Young Love (where they appeared with Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III), Vi and Edgar have now finished more than two dozen films, all of them veritable box-office hits.  The two are under contract with Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions but they have an option to make pictures with other outfits with the proper consent of TIIP bosses. “I like Bobot (that’s how Edgar is called by Vi and their fans) naman because mabait siya at gentleman,” Vi smiles.

The crowning glory of their careers came early this year when they won as Mr and Miss Philippine Movies in a nationwide popularity contest conducted by a vernacular magazine. Their coronation grabbed the headlines when some fans of defeated stars staged a rampage, prompting Mommy Santos to announce on the microphone that “it was not our side that started the commotion. ” Aside from being good neighbors in a subdivision in Quezon City, Vi and Edgar are ‘always together’ anywhere they go. In addition to their movie work, they have also two regular shows on television, The Sensations (which was made into a movie) and Edgar Loves Vilma, both on Channel 2.

They also did several recordings together, all of them a sellout. Vi waxed her first (solo) single when she was 16 and the title of the song was Sixteen. But Vi has a drawing power all her own. No matter who her leading man is, her movies invariably attract moviegoers. Ikaw Lamang, where she had Paolo Romero for her love interest, was acclaimed topgrosser in the Quezon City Film Festival last September. One of her latest pictures, Teen-age Senorita with Manny de Leon, grossed no less than P40,000 on its first day showing in two theaters. (The movie was made by Zodiac Films, an outfit owned by Manny’s family.) Vi celebrated her 18th birthday last November 3 in a style befitting a superstar. There was a whole-day celebration; fans from as far north as Ilocos and as far south as Cebu came to greet her.  The unforgettable day was capped with a formal ball at The Plaza where Vi had no less than Manda Elizalde, the senatorial candidate she and Bobot had campaigned for in the last elections, as a special guest. And like a faithful boyfriend, Edgar stayed close to Vilma throughout the affair.

Two weeks later, the two left to make two movies in Hawaii and USA. At 18, you may ask, what else does Vilma Santos crave for? “Not much”, she says. “I just hope that good things will continue to happen to me, that my fans will remain loyal and true.” Despite success, Vi has remained level-headed; she has admirably kept her sweet and charming disposition. Even when confronted with malicious gossip about her, she just remains calm: “I don’t mind rumors very much. As a movie star, I am susceptible to gossips, but I choose to ignore them.” And because she is truly aware that stardom is temporary, Vilma Santos doesn’t mind working hard now, accepting the many offers that come her way as long as they don’t endanger her health -and her image. “My philosophy is simple,” she says, “Make hay while the sun shines.” Mommy Santos could only nod in agreement. – Written by Ricardo F. Lo The Sunday Times Magazine – Dec. 5, 1971

Vilma, the Glad Girl

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Unlike Nora la Dolorosa, the durable Vi Santos has made happiness her career By Quijano De Manila

Durable is a word that shifts nuance when applied to Vilma Santos. Yes, you can say that, for instance, Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca and Charito Solis are durable because they are still on view as performers, if no longer at center stage. But when you say that Vilma Santos is durable you mean she is still at center, in front, on top. Now that’s phenomenal because in Philippine cinema 10 years seems to be the limit for female stardom. After 10 years you slip to character and supporting roles. But Vilma is on her 28th year in showbiz and the spotlight is hers yet as leading lady, the only one to match the record of Dolphy and Ronnie Poe. When she started out, Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces were the glamour queens. Then she and Nora outshone them. Today, after several changings of the guard, the prima donnas are Sharon Cuneta and Gretchen Barretto. Nora Aunor is no longer in the running, at least not at the moment. But Vilma is. Very much so. And she can romance a whole new generation of leading men like Gabby Concepcion and Richard Gomez with no sense of strain or disparity.

Ishmael Bernal, who claims to have directed Vilma’s best pictures, believes she has endured because she has physical, emotion and mental endurance. ‘She could work for 24 hours straight without getting tired, without flagging in her acting. There were times when we had to shoot for three or four successive days, getting very little sleep, but there Vilma would be: fresh, enthusiastic, rarin’ to go. Physical endurance is very important to a star. Another thing I noticed was her strong sense of competition. At that time, though of course, she didn’t say so, it was Nora she wanted to beat. Vilma was out to be the bigger star, the better actress. And so she geared her career for a zoom to the top.” Bernal first directed her in Inspiration (1971), produced by Tagalog Ilang-Ilang from a script by Nestor Torre. ‘This was at the height of the Nora-Vilma rivalry and the competing love teams were Nora-Tirso[Cruz] and Vilma-Edgar[Mortiz]. But in Inspiration, Atty. Laxa decided to pair Vilma with a rising new star: Jay Ilagan. That early, I noted that Vilma had the potential to become a great dramatic star. At that time she was not yet doing actress roles, only juvenile fan movies. Her assets were the expressiveness of her eyes, very important for the camera; the creaminess of her complexion, very important on the screen; and the ability to make her audience sympathize if not identify with her. Another thing I noticed was that she’s perfectly relaxed in front of the camera: no sense of compulsion. She just stands there and with a flick of the eye, a movement of the hand, she communicates whatever emotion has to be communicated to the audience. Unlike theater actors who feel they have to use the entire body to communicate, she achieves her effects with the simplest gestures. She already had perfect timing.” 

Inspiration was a comedy and Vilma, to Bernal’s delight, needed very little rehearsal. ‘She didn’t enjoy too much rehearsing, preferring to give all on take one, confident in her spontaneity. Which was what her director wanted. Another thing I remember about the early Vilma: she was a travelling department store. She had a van that looked like the fourth floor of Rustan’s filled with clothes, clothes, clothes, and hundreds of shoes, hats, bras, panties, and costume jewels, all of them nursed by loving alalays who followed her everywhere she went. If the director required an evening gown, a negligee, a pajama top, she had it in her van.” Bernal next worked with Vilma in 1972, on Now and Forever, scripted by Rolando Tinio and co-starring her with Edgar Mortiz and Tommy Abuel. It was a dismal flop, says Ishmael Bernal: ‘So let’s not talk about it.” It wasn’t until six years later that he and Vilma worked together again, on Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon. ‘It was written by Jose Nadal Carreon, the former police reporter and UP literary apprentice, and currently one of our best directors. It was an adult film and it started a new trend for Vilma: playing the other woman. The film was very hot copy because it was the comeback vehicle of Romeo Vasquez, with whom she was then having an affair. I found Vilma different: she had already matured. She must have been around 23 or 24. She was up in the clouds, being very much in love with Romeo Vasquez, and having already beaten Nora in the game of Who’s No. 1? This was in 1978. Nora was doing action movies like Super Gee that were flopping miserably. But Vilma’s career had taken a new path: heavy drama.”

The change in Vilma was not all to be good. ‘I noticed that she was often tired, often had difficulty keeping up her energy or concentration. The message projected was that the business of acting and the pressures of showbiz in general were beginning to tell on her.” The prime reason was the exhausting affair with Romeo Vasquez. ‘That affair was blown up by the press to scandalous proportions and I could feel that she was under pressure. Still, she tried to keep up a brave front, to be always polite: the smiling professional, and to hide from the public her inner turmoil. She was getting a bad press because of this affair with an older man, a notorious playboy, but the affair was a big factor in the maturing of Vilma Santos. When she made Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon she was saying goodbye to adolescence. She was saying: ‘I am a woman, I am entitled to happiness, I am entitled to the love of the man I want to love!’ It was during this period she uttered the most famous of Vilma quotes when she said of those who were bad-mouthing her: ‘To hell with all of them!’ this was her declaration of independence, of adulthood, of resistance. The film proved to be a very big success, nominated for various awards, though she didn’t gain an acting award.”

Vilma’s next Bernal film was 1978’s Ikaw ay Akin, again scripted by Joe Carreon, and starring Vilma and Nora together, with Christopher de Leon as their leading man. In this film, says Bernal, was set the persona Vilma would portray in a series of sex melodramas. ‘She played a liberated woman who had grown up in the States: very witty, very nervous, very aggressive, a chain smoker and fast talker, who’s trying to steal Christopher de Leon from Nora Aunor. Her character was neurotic, a free spirit, unpredictable; and I noticed again that Vilma herself was on edge from too much hard work. I could understand her arriving late on the set because I knew she was doing four or five movies at the same time. She would just sleep in the car while rushing from one location to another and she would arrive looking groggy and exhausted. Sometimes she would just give up and beg that the shooting be postponed because her body just couldn’t take it any more.”

She was then the top box-office queen and the top dramatic actress and it’s always a strain to keep on top. But the ‘glad girl” that’s the basic Vilma Santos continued to shine through the murk of those harrowing days, as Bernie Bernal recalls. ‘However tired or sleepy, she remained carinosa, always polite, and all smiles to the crew. She would buy them merienda and at the end of shooting would throw a feast for them: lechon and pancit. She was always considerate with the crew.

Some movie stars get carried away by a sense of their importance: they know they are carrying the movie, are responsible for its success, are making big money for their producers. And so they become temperamental. Vilma is quite aware of her importance and make no mistake about it: she has the qualities needed for survival in a cruel ungrateful world. She is a fighter, she has a killer instinct. All movie stars, especially the superstars, necessarily have this instinct. But in Vilma it goes with a real concern for others. And she wants her public image to be positive.”

So, even in a time of crisis, Vilma preserved her image as a glad girl – while Nora was busy setting herself up, or down, as la Dolorosa. If Vilma works at happiness, Nora has made a career of masochism. Bernal says that in Ikaw ay Akin Vilma was already conscious of her own particular style of acting, which can be described as minimal: less is more. The fewer and simpler the gestures, the greater the effect. The stripped style won her a grandslam when she did Relasyon with Bernie, which he rates as her most memorable film. It got her all the awards on the market. ‘In Relasyon Vilma made the character of a mistress very human and sympathetic, not just a contravida. The film was her comeback after her pregnancy. She and Edu Manzano had just had their baby boy, Lucky. Her next film, Broken Marriage, set another trend for her; the role of a modern urban working girl, as sophisticated as her Makati office and her personal problems. Her fans are growing up and Vilma’s image is becoming more and more complicated.

But it was in the last film we did together, 1988’s Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, that I noticed the big change in Vilma. She had become an artist. She was no longer just a movie star following the director’s instructions. She was very hyper, very high, eager to experiment: a cooperative and mature actress. She had studied the script in advance and she had sensible suggestions about it. I felt I was no longer working with a movie star but that she and I were two artists collaborating on an objective statement about life and death and human relationships.” How did a girl who began as purely ‘pang-masa” develop into so fine an artist? Vilma herself gives the credit to her willingness to learn. The process was sometimes painful but, says Vilma, she knew it was all part of her education. I am now 28 years in this business and everything I have learned has made me a stronger woman. Even the troubles, the intrigues – they have made me a stronger woman. I’m always learning. For example, there was a part of my career that was for me a very expensive education.” She had set up a production company of her own that, it turned out, was mostly producing debts.‘ That was about 15 years ago. I tried producing and I made about five movies for VS Films, my own outfit. It was managed by my mother, not by me personally, and Mama is so good people take advantage of her. Before I knew it I was drowning in debt. I was pregnant at the time, 1980, when I learned I had a debt of six million pesos! And I didn’t even know if, after giving birth, audiences would still accept me. How was I to survive? I prayed; I told God I was willing to work, sarado ang mata, just to pay off all those debts. And with his blessings I was given a second chance. After giving birth to my son, my career got a second chance and became even more successful: not only did I continue to be box-office but I was winning awards right and left.”

Before Lucky’s birth she had no contract with any studio but after his birth the two leading studios, Regal and Viva, asked to place her under contract and she signed up with both! ‘It was arranged that everything they paid me went straight to the banks, to pay off my debts. Not a centavo of my movie earnings passed through my hands. We lived on my television earnings. I had been offered this TV show, VIP Vilma in Person. It was a Sunday show and Sunday was the only day I could spend with my family but I had to sacrifice my day with them because that weekly show provided us with maintenance money. Unfortunately, my marriage suffered because of that. At that time, Edu wasn’t active in the movies yet; he was working in an office and, of course, his schedules and my schedules were in conflict. I think he suffered some kind of culture shock. Oh, he tried to be understanding but imagine him coming home at seven o’clock in the evening and me coming home at four o’clock in the morning. That won’t work – but I had to work.” She says

she didn’t feel guilty about the marriage breaking up. ‘Definitely not. If that was bound to happen to our life, what could I do? Even if I had just stayed at home, our marriage would have suffered, because of all my debts. And what would have happened to us without any money?” She knows the importance of money because she grew up in security and has learned that insecurity is being without money. ‘I wasn’t born poor but I wasn’t born rich either. I had a comfortable childhood. I went to a private school, St. Mary’s Academy, and I had a new pair of shoes whenever the school year opened. We could buy what we liked and though our house wasn’t very big it was a cozy home.” Her father was in the government service and she had an uncle, Maurie Agra, who was a cameraman for Sampaguita Pictures.

It was this uncle who got her to audition for Sampaguita when she was only nine years old. ‘Whenever he came to the house I’d sing and dance for him. I loved to watch TV and listen to radio dramas and at school I was always on the programs. Once, my uncle watched me imitating Pilita Corrales, a white sheet all over me for evening gown, and he asked would I be interested in going into showbiz and I said I’d just love to become an artista.” The role she was called to Sampaguita to test for was as Rita Gomez’s daughter in Anak, ang Iyong Ina, but on the same day Sampaguita was testing about a hundred other children for the role of Trudis Liit, a komiks character. The little Vilma kept wandering into that larger group where, as her mother kept telling her, she didn’t belong. But here was Doc Perez himself, head of Sampaguita, beckoning to the child. ‘Mama says I don’t belong there,”said the little Vilma. ‘But I want you,” said Doc Perez. Ang Mama consenting, Vilma took the test for Trudis Liit: speaking a line or two of dialogue, crying out when hit by Bella Flores, even ad-libbing already. ‘And I was chosen to play Trudis Liit! So, my first time in movies, I was into two movies right away: Trudis Liit and Anak, ang Iyong Ina. And I got the Tessie Agana treatment: chicken and apples every lunch. Sampaguita was very nice to me. I was its baby.”

And she was its No. 1 fan, gaping to see Gloria Romero passing by and chasing after Amalia Fuentes for her autograph. ‘Ate Nena snubbed me. She just said: ‘Later!’ But I loved her and we’re very close now.” Vilma the child star was in a string of movies playing the daughter of Lolita Rodriguez or Luis Gonzales or Dolphy. And she was also in the TV soap opera Larawan ng Pag-ibig with Rosita Noble, Willie Sotelo and Eva Darren. That six o’clock p.m. tearjerker rose to No. 1 in the ratings. Meanwhile, what was happening to Vilma the growing girl? ‘What was happening was a lot of school absences and a lot of special exams. The Sisters at St. Mary’s were very understanding: if I had too many absences, they gave me special exams. But when I was in fourth year high school I was practically not attending classes any more because that was the height of the Nora-Vilma competition. What was done, with the permission of the Bureau of Education, was that I had a tutor during shootings and then I was given the test for the last grading period. Thanks to God, I passed it and I got my high school diploma. But there could be no thought of going on to college.” She had by then graduated from child star to teenage superstar.

‘Despite showbiz, I was able to enjoy my childhood. It was my teens that suffered. Those were the days of jam sessions (no discos yet) and I missed them. I was dying to attend but I couldn’t. I was too busy promoting my love team with Bobot Mortiz. So I didn’t have the chance to be a teenager. But when I reached my 20s that was when I experienced iyong being a woman: going out on dates, candlelight dinners, enjoying life. I enjoyed my 20s.” During her teens she was mostly a song-and-dance girl on the screen, but after seeing The Miracle Worker she dreamed of tackling roles like the one done by Patty Duke in that film.  However, she felt her true line was dancing: ‘Definitely not singing; I sing just for the sake of my fans.” Doing pop teen movies by the score, would she ever have a chance to act like Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker?

Loveteams were then the wheels of teenage superstardom. Vilma and Edgar Mortiz were a prize pair of wheels. The Nora-Tirso tandem formed the rival pair of wheels. It was an endless frenzied race. Vilma says that during her Bobot Mortiz phase she was doing multiple movies at the same time. ‘Actually Edgar didn’t start with me. He started with Nora and Tirso: they were a triangle. My loveteam then was with Jay Ilagan: we were doing Operetang Putol-Putol on the radio and going out on personal appearances for the fans. Jay was still slim then, very good-looking. Bobot was already chubby but not as fat as he would become later: he was guapo and moreno. Tirso was truly the mestizo type. Nora was even shorter than me though I think she’s older by a year; she was very thin then, with long hair. It’s our complexion that’s usually compared: she is kayumanggi and they say I am fair. Edgar dropped out from their triangle when it was noted that the public preferred Nora to be paired with Tirso. And Jay Ilagan dropped out when I was paired with Edgar. So when we all went on TV, on rival programs, it was the loveteam of Bobot and me versus the loveteam of Guy and Pip. That was in 1967.”

Inevitably, Bobot Mortiz came to share more than the spotlight with Vilma. ‘He was my first boyfriend, though ours was no more than puppy love. He’s a nice guy, very intelligent. In fact, I suspect that the ideas in Going Bananas are mostly his. No, we never talked marriage. We were a team for about five years. Then I did movies solo.” More serious was her next love affair, with Ronnie Henares, son of the famed news columnist. ‘I met Ronnie on TV, when he was guesting on shows with Jojit Paredes. He started courting me – this was in the early ‘70s – and our relationship had the blessings of our families. His family and mine became very close. We planned to marry but I felt I was not ready yet: I was still too concentrated on my career – though at the time the movies I was doing were merely pang-masa, nonsense musical like Lets’ Do the Salsa. I was not yet very conscious of artistic cinema: I wanted my movies to be for the boxoffice, Ronnie was the kind of boyfriend who gifts you not with rings or flowers but with books. I never went to college but Ronnie was a good equivalent: I learned a lot from him. He corrected my English, improved my pronunciation, and introduced me to new words, all through the use of cue cards that he made for me and made me read aloud to him. He gave me books to read and helped me understand them by explaining their meaning. Our relationship lasted a year and a half. We had our lover’s quarrels and the sweet thing is that even during our breaks our families stayed close. And Ronnie and I are still friends today. He composed a song for me.”

Tantamount to the Erap episode in Nora’s life is Vilma’s moment of appasionata with Romeo Vasquez, an older man with a past. ‘Romeo Vasquez was a turning point in my personal life. I really gambled with my life when I fell in love with him. He had come back to the country after being away for years. He was already separated from Amalia. Then I met him and we were offered a movie to do together: Nag-aapoy na Damdamin, for the Santiagos. The time we were together he was okay. We also did Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon, and Pulot-gata. And the movie that had him and me together with Nora nad Tirso: Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig. Our relationship lasted two years. Even after we parted, we still did a movie together.”

Vilma dismisses as mere chismis the rumor that Ronnie Poe became wildly enamored of her after they did Batya’t Palupalo and Bato sa Buhangin. But local cinema legend has the King coming to blows with Romeo Vasquez because of this jealous rivalry. Even the scene of the duel is specified: the lawns of a Joseph Estrada abode, during an Erap birthday party. An amused Vilma, however, shakes her head in denial. ‘Fernando Poe and I became close but we did not have any relationship. I’ll admit I was very impressed by him when we made our movies together. Totoong humanga ako sa kanya. He knows how to ‘carry’ people, how to deal with them in such a way as to command their respect. He is really the King. We became very very close: he’d send me food, like a dish of fish, during shootings. But that was all.”

While recovering from Romeo Vasquez, Vilma became a disco habitue, and in these excursions to the haunts of night people she often bumped into a young man who thus became a nodding acquaintance: someone she knew by face long before she knew him by name. One movie she did during this period was Yakapin Mo Ako, Lalaking Matapang, with Lito Lapid, which was shot in Cebu City. And as usual at night she went disco-hopping. And one night, at one disco, there he was again, this young man who had become a nodding acquaintance: Edu Manzano. ‘That was the first time we had a chance to talk. He’s really a charming guy and very handsome. We danced, we chatted, we danced – gano’n. Then I went back to my hotel.” She was getting ready for bed when the phone rang: Mr. Edu Manzano calling. ‘But how did you get my number?” ‘You know me, I’m resourceful. When do you go back to Manila?” ‘Tomorrow,” said Vilma. ‘What time is your flight?” ‘Two o’clock. What time is your flight?” ‘Three o’clock,” said Edu. ‘Bon voyage. And good night.” Next day, loaded with the mandatory hojaldres and rosquillos, she boarded the afternoon plane for Manila. And who should be sitting across the aisle from her but Mr. Manzano. Well! He really was resourceful. But they couldn’t converse. She was sitting beside Lito Lapid; Edu was sitting beside an Iranian. Only upon landing could they snatch a moment of exchange. Of course he wanted to know if he could date her.  “Can I invite you out or do you have a boyfriend?” “No.” “No, I can’t take you out?” “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.”

But a week passed; two weeks; a whole month – and no word from Edu. He’s not taking me seriously, shrugged Vilma. ‘Ako naman, at that time,” she says now, ‘I wasn’t taking him seriously either.” Then one night, at the Alibi Bar, she saw him again. But she was with a date with whom she went nightclub-hopping until four in the morning. When she came back to her hotel, there was a note from Edu: he was waiting in the lobby. She went down to see him, and he invited her to breakfast. What a terrific topping for the night before and her morning after. ‘So we stepped out again and had breakfast at the Manila Hotel. We talked and talked until daylight. Then he brought me back to my hotel. And that was how it started. After that, we were seeing each other every day.” During the Grand Passion that was Romeo Vasquez, her critics had hooted that she was Vilma the mad girl. But La Belle, La Perfectly swell, Romance with Edu Manzano was the real coming-out party for Vilma the Glad Girl. Miss twinkletoes had met the boy next door. Of the men in her life, Vilma Santos says it was Edu Manzano who had the most stunning style of courtship. He didn’t treat her like the superstar, the love goddess, the sex symbol, the glamour queen that she was; he treated her as if she was an ordinary kanto girl.‘ He didn’t take me to dine at five-star hotels; we ate at small pizza houses. We didn’t go dancing at elegant ballrooms; he took me to little discos. It was completely the opposite of how I had been treated by other suitors: kabaligtaran ng lahat. And how I loved it! Once, early in our relationship, he invited me to lunch. I assumed we would be going to a luxury bistro and so I dressed to the teeth. But he arrived on a motorcycle, wearing Levi’s and rubber shoes. When he saw me in all my finery, he flipped. He told me to go back up and change. So I change to jeans and rubbers. And off we sped on his motorcycle, me behind clinging to him.” Naturally, all those who spotted her – bus passengers, street vendors, pedestrians on the sidewalks – could hardly believe their eyes. ‘Si Vilma! Si Vilma!” they cried in amazement. And there indeed was the superstar, the love goddess, the sex symbol, the glamour queen, in jeans and rubber shoes, riding bumper on a motorcycle.  Vilma says it was as if she had moved into another world. ‘I really enjoyed it: riding on his motorcycle, walking in the rain. And then, after three months, he asked me to marry him. This was in 1980.” She was about to leave for the United States, to shoot a movie. She said to him: ‘Let’s give ourselves time, let’s test each other. This movie will take two months to do over there. If after two months we still feel this way, then we are really meant for each other. And we’ll get married. But not now, not right now when I’m going away.”

The decision was to make no decision yet. And Vilma left for California. She really was testing herself, for the stateside movie she was doing was with Romeo Vasquez. Had she really and truly got over him? Was she really and truly in love with Edu? The answer hit her like a bolt from the blue when Edu Manzano suddenly showed up on location and she felt, not annoyed, but enraptured, though he had broken their agreement to stay apart for two months. That he had so impulsively followed her bespoke ardor on his part. She did wonder if her producer, Atty. Espiridion Laxa, had anything to do with the surprise. But: ‘Definitely, it pleased me!” The news that lover boy Edu had leapt across the Pacific to join his lady love had Philippine moviedom ga-ga with the thought of how bigger a blockbuster than a Vilma-Romeo movie would be a Vilma-Edu picture.

The Vilmanians, as her fans are tagged when arrayed against la Aunor’s Noranians, were clamoring for a view of their glamour queen’s consort. Vilma, ever astute as businesswoman, was only too glad to deliver. ‘But before making that movie, we got married in the States.” Actually, it was an elopement. ‘My Mama didn’t know about it. Edu and I simply ran away. We got wedded in Las Vegas and we honeymooned in Disneyland and at Knottsberry Farm. Two weeks we were in hiding. Then we went back to Los Angeles. And that was when we broke the news to Mama. She cried. Oh, my Mama is good: sobrang bait nga. She was never a stage mother – except in the matter of singing, which she was always pushing me into. ‘Go ahead, sing,’ she would tell me, even if I didn’t want to. Maybe I used to be too dependent on her, as in the time of VS Films, when her goodness was being abused and when I learned about that it was too late.  One thing about my marriage; there were never any differences between Mama and Edu.”

In Los Angeles Vilma really worked at housekeeping. ‘Edu and I made a home for ourselves, just for the two of us. And I was a real housewife. I made the beds, I swept the floor, I did the cooking, or tried to. But in the States you can buy everything ready to cook. I had to be housewife because Edu is conservative and I had to be the kind of wife he wants for a wife. He called me Babes, I called him Doods.” She says that as a husband Edu was ‘mabait’. ‘He had already done a movie, Alaga, but was not yet well known. I promised him that on returning home I would lie low as movie star and just attend to being housewife. Unfortunately, on arriving in Manila, I found I was pregnant: Lucky is a honeymoon baby. At the same time I learned I had a six-million -peso debt. I told Edu about it and he said he would find some way we could work it out. But there was really not much he could do about so huge a debt. So, after giving birth to my son, I returned to work. Of course, that meant I had little time for my husband and my baby. There was a yaya to take care of the baby and as much as possible I tried to mother him but of course I couldn’t give him one hundred percent attention. Edu wanted me to be home at least by ten o’clock in the evening but it was oftener four o’clock in the morning before I could rush home.” With her feeling so exhausted and him feeling so neglected, impatience could not but become their ambiance during their four years of marriage.‘ 

In fairness to Edu, he did try to understand the situation. And he did care for me. But I simply couldn’t give up my career until I had paid off my debts. I only finished paying in 1987. And by that time Edu had left.” Possibly, for Edu Manzano, the real cruz of the marriage was having to suffer being Mr. Vilma Santos. But she says that theirs was a very loving parting. ‘We had a beautiful talk, the two of us. We agreed that our love was still there but, because we kept clashing, we shouldn’t wait until we started hating each other. We should give ourselves time to breathe and to think, apart from each other. That was already our fifth separation; the first, second, third and fourth had all ended within two months. I was expecting the fifth to end just as quickly but when it had lasted eight months already I wondered if we had not indeed gone our separate ways. Kanya-kanyang buhay na. Then I learned he had a girlfriend. He was first.” If she had hoped for a happy ending to their fifth separation it was for the sake of their son. ‘ Before Edu and I parted, we stepped out, the three of us: Lucky was then four years old. And we explained to him what was happening. We felt it was better to be honest with the child: when he grew up he would understand. He himself would not be affected: Edu and I assured him that both of us would take care that he was not affected. He is nine years old now and his name is Louis Philippe Manzano. He weighed 7.7 pounds when he was born on April 21 – and 21 is a multiple of 7. That’s why we call him Lucky.”

Vilma says she felt bad when she heard that Edu was running around with another girl. ‘I said to myself: ‘My God, why should I go on suffering like this: I’ll only grow old.’ I decided I’d like to run around too, enjoy myself. So I went out but I chose a safe place: King Kong, a club frequented by movie people, owned by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. That was the first time I had stepped out since the separation and that was the first time I met Ralph Recto. He’s a nice young man, very intelligent, very down to earh. He has a degree in economics and is taking his masters now, at the UP. I learn a lot from him, my substitute for college, like Ronnie Henares. He is very interested in politics but I don’t meddle in his politics. Our relationship is now on its sixth year. When we met, Lucky was only four and now he is nine. Lucky and Ralph are very close. No, we don’t talk marriage.” The decade since her marriage has seen Vilma developing, as Ishmael Bernal says, into an artist. Vilma smiles to recall that she started out just wanting to dance. What’s singular about Vilma’s career is that, as a child star, she went through no awkward age, and now, as superstar, she seems to have been set no deadline.

The nine-year-old who starred in Trudis Liit had a steady four years of playing little daughter of Lolita Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden but never suffered an ugly-duckling phase of no-longer-a-child and not-yet-a-teener. The difficult 13-14-15 period was smoothly bridged by roles like that of Imee Marcos in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and Pinagbuklod ng Langit. And right afterwards she became the teen queen in the pop entertainments she did with Bobot Mortiz. Then at 19 she began to veer towards heavy drama. ‘I was 19 when I made a film with Eddie Rodriguez, playing a girl falling in love with an older married man. The wife was Barbara Perez. If I remember right, that was the first time I wore a bikini.” Nary a hitch in the Vilma career; no pauses in the action as she grows up from child to girl, or from sweet young thing to red-hot mama. Or from innocuous movies to daring films. ‘Compared to my teenage partners, Eddie Rodriguez was far and away the leading man, the actor, the gentleman. Very different in manner, in the way he moved, the way he carried his clothes. He helped me refine my acting and little by little I learned poise.”

The decisive divergence is Burlesk Queen. ‘I took a risk playing Burlesk Queen, Celso Ad. Castillo directing. I was 24. My American manager, William Leary, had persuaded me to accept the role. He had been my manager since he convinced me to do a record, Sixteen, that made good. I was no longer with Sampaguita but I went back there from time to time to make sweet sweet movies or musicals. That was my style. Then I did Burlesk Queen. It turned out to be a turning point. I won an acting award. Suddenly I was the drama queen. Celso Ad. Castillo is really good. In a way it was that film that made me a real actress. It changed my sweet image. And it made good at the boxoffice. ”However, later relations with Castillo proved to be painful. ‘I already had my production company, VS Films, and I got him as director for Pagputi ng Uwak. He really gave me a hard time on that film: it was two years in the making! And it sank VS Films into debt. Celso and I had a fight. As a director he’s very good but as an artist he has his quirks: merong sumpong. I hear he now works in Malaysia: sayang, he was good for Philippine movies. Pagputi ng Uwak nearly ruined me, financially and mentally, but it turned out to be a firstrate film and it won a lot of awards, it won VS Films a lot of prestige. But I still prefer Burlesk Queen.” The five productions of VS Films, which included Rosas sa Putikan, directed by Maning Borlaza, and Halik sa Paa, Halik sa Kamay, costarring Vilma with Eddie Rodriguez, all made money, including Pagputi ng Uwak. Nevertheless, by the time she had to shut it down, VS Films had her drowning in six million pesos’ worth of red ink. It took her some seven years to pay off that montrous debt. And it meant having to go back to making movies that were ‘pambata at pangmasa” movies like Darna and Dyesebel and Wonder Vi.

Still, this ‘comeback’ period (after the birth of Lucky) was also the start of a series of vintage pictures, beginning with Relasyon, where she played a free soul living in with her lover. The lover was played by her most compatible co-star, Christopher de Leon. ‘Christopher, of all my leading men, is the one I’m most comfortable with. We really make a team. And yet we never had any relationship, except on the screen.  Just how comfortable I am with him can be seen in the fact that it’s with him I have made the biggest number of movies: around 18 or 20. There was a year when we made four movies together! So often did we play opposite each other that we felt we had to vary the situations, to avoid becoming monotonous. We’d say: Let’s sit down and think of a new situation in which to find ourselves. But there came a time when we simply could no longer think of anything new for us to play. We seemed to have exhausted all the possible love angles. And that’s when we decided to stop teaming up for a while. I went on to trying other leading men. Actually it’s not I who choose my leading men but the producers. I just accept whoever they pick for me.” A kind of homage is paid her when she’s paired with younger stars like Eric Quizon and Aga Muhlach.

‘Definitely, I feel flattered. But then I feel very very secure in my age and with myself. It’s a matter of self-confidence, of knowing that when they look at you they see a woman, period. Age doesn’t matter: I have no insecurities about it.” She knows she can look as young as, or younger than, her new leading men – as long as she herself feels young inside. Her effect on the folk around her has been most graphically expressed by, of all people, director Lino Brocka, who directed her in three of her most applauded vehicles: Rubia Servios, Adultery and Hahamakin Lahat. ‘When you work with Vilma,” says Brocka, ‘you get this feeling of having just emerged from a bath and of being drenched all over with Johnson’s baby cologne. You feel so fresh, so youthful.” He adds that when they first worked together she seemed scared of him. Now he gushes: ‘Ang sarap niyang katrabaho.” The chief reason, of course, is: ‘She has matured and grown up as an actress. At this point of her career, she is very good, she is really big. Before, she had a hard time making herself cry, but now how fast she can do it. And she has become sensitive to direction: in that repect she has overtaken Nora.” Brocka says that the sensitivity he noticed at once in Nora Aunor was what he missed when he started directing Vilma. ‘So I assumed that, as an actress, she was really just second to Nora. But Vilma takes good care of herself not only physically – there’s always this aura about her – but intellectually too: so she grows and develops tremendously. The second time I worked with her, in Adultery, I realized she had become as good as Nora, or better. And by the time of Hahamakin Lahat there was the complete sensibility already – a difference in the way she expressed pain and hurt. Talent was welling out like spring water, and flowing from her most naturally, no longer courtesy of Vicks or whatever.”

What would explain this outburst of talent? ‘Possibly her coming of age as a woman. She had become more sure of herself. And this self-confidence grew as her private life became calmer, as she found herself with fewer problems, both financially and emotionally. How a director would feel about her at the moment is that he can do anything with her now. She has become so supple that his tendency would be to challenge her still further, make her come up still higher, open up more doors. She can give you so much more now.” Brocka snorts at the complaint Vilma is currently making: that so utterly has she done all the roles she can do there’s no new role left for her to do. ‘She can do the same role over and over again as long as, with the right direction, she does it always a bit more profoundly than the last time and makes it a bit more complex than the last time. She should have no problem at all with roles. In fact, I would advise her now to play roles that are not glamorous. Yes, she’s too associated with glamour to do that. But maybe in another year or two she can afford to take off her make up and act her age. Then she’ll really be on par with Nora, whose chief concern is seldom her looks. With Nora, it’s not her face that’s on sale. The problem with Vilma is that she feels she has to live up to her image as The Glamour Girl. I’m waiting for the day when glamour will have no truck -walang pakialam! – with the acting.

Bemusing how up to now Vilma continues to be bracketed together with Nora, so that to speak of Vilma is to speak of Nora. They have been rivals, opponents, antagonists for so long that it’s impossible to tell their careers apart. Spur to each other from the start, they have realized they need each other as goad and goal, the achievement of one goading the other to an equal, or greater, achievement. Vilma-Nora is the back-to-back monster of Pinoy showbiz. Vilma sees it as sibling rivalry. ‘If Vilma is there, Nora is there. There was a point in our career [note that Vilma uses the collective singular] when we were both so affected that the rivalry became a personal feud between us. There was even a point in our career when we were fighting each other – for honors, for awards, for acting prizes. But there also came a point in our career when we realized we were not getting any younger and we started becoming very close. I think that was the time her father died and I went to the wake. We hadn’t been together since we did a movie together when we were feuding hotly: no talking to each other during the shooting; she stayed on one side with her fans, and I stayed on the other side with my fans: no communication. But when I attended her father’s wake, that was when we realized we could be friends. And we started helping each other: she’d invite me to guest on her TV show, and vice-versa. Then her mother died and again I went to the wake. And that was the time when Nora and I became so close we were telling each other the most intimate details of our life.”

And the details range from ledger to boudoir. ‘Today Nora and I are still competing but it’s a friendly competition now; in fact, I’m the godmother of her adopted child. We want that there should still be a competing between us, but with nothing personal to it. So it has become a healthy competition. Nora is a very sensitive person. Me, I’m not very sensitive. But make no mistake about Nora: she is also a strong woman. What I know of Nora: though there may be many advising her, ultimately it’s her own feelings she follows. She does what she wants to do; it’s herself she obeys: that’s her attitude. I guess what she needs at present is the right person. Nora is 37 years old now. I am 36 – a true friend who loves her. A friend who will love her whether she’s down, whether she’s up, or whatever.”

What puzzles is the difference in image between Nora la Dolorosa and Vilma the Glad Girl despite the fact that actually both of them underwent very similar experiences: rash infatuations, career ups-and-downs, a failed marriage, business fiascos, the heavy cross of huge debts. Why did such ordeals produce the sad look in one but a glad look in the other? To be sure, there are those who say that Vilma’s image as the Glad Girl is just that: an image; and that the reality behind it may not be quite as pleasant. The real Vilma, aver these know-it-all’s, is cold-blooded: sweet na sweet pero deadly; nothing matters to her but her career. She was playing herself ruthless in films like Hahamakin Lahat. When she found she couldn’t displace Nora as the nation’s sweetheart, she did violence to her own persona by enacting Burlesk Queen, the kind of role Nora cannot do: she risked her career because that was the only way to beat Nora. Vilma herself shrugs off such misreadings of her history with the remark that the intrigues of others only help her become ‘a stronger woman.” Even the world’s malice can’t be made useful in building up character. ‘I am Rosa Vilma Santos, who grew up in Bambang, Trozo, and then in La Loma, and my life is an open book. What people say about me – that’s a problem I must live with. I guess it’s the price I pay for my career: the price of no privacy. I can’t do anything about that anymore. However I may want to keep my personal life private, it’s impossible: lalabas at lalabas talaga. However discreet I may try to be, I’m sure to be found out.” So she chooses to let it all hang out. ‘Of course, I hate having no privacy: I’m really suffering from that. Sometimes I wish I were an ordinary person so I can go where I like, go shopping for groceries with my son, go for a walk and enjoy it. But how can you enjoy it when you’re always getting mobbed? But, as I said, that’s the price you pay.” And certainly she has no intention of retiring just to gain that precious privacy. ‘Nor no plans either of getting married. Not yet. maybe someday, yes. As of now, I’m very comfortable and happy with my personal life. But another marriage? I’m not prepared for that.” 

What she’s prepared for right now is more career. ‘I have reached a position when I’m not contented with just acting: I’d like to experience all the other works of moviemaking. But most of all I want to be a director. I want to be given a chance to direct a movie. So that this time I myself will be the captain. I have ideas I want to try out.” She confounds the Cassandras by expressing hope and confidence in the Philippine cinema. ‘There has been progress, there has been improvement. We started in black-and-white: now we’re in color. Yes, there are frustrations. It’s frustrating to come up with a film of relevance, to upgrade the cinema in general, and see it fail at the box-office. A painful experience – like my movie Sister Stella L. I felt bad when it didn’t make good because I like that movie very much. It wasn’t my first time to do a quality movie that had to be yanked out in seven days. You can’t blame the producers: it’s their money at stake. If I were in their place, would I risk my money on something that won’t sell? And yet how I wish there were some producers willing to risk their money on movies with significance… I hear even the scriptwriters are feeling frustrated because, when they do a quality script, they only see it changed into something with lots of shrieking and slapping. But those are the movies that sell.” Nevertheless, she looks forward to a classier tomorrow for Philippine cinema.

‘And what’s tomorrow for Vilma Santos? I’m trying to be more stable because I know that show business is not stable. I’m planning to produce a movie next year. This time I’ll manage production myself. I’ve already started with telemovies. The first was Lamat sa Kristal, with Richard Gomez. Next was Katuparan, directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. And the third is this one I’m doing right now with Aga Muhlach, Once There Was a Love, directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes.” Her own TV show just celebrated its 10th anniversary – and with a scandal yet. It got kicked out of its usual venue, the Metropolitan Theater, because, complained the Met honchos, Vilma’s live audiences wrought havoc with the Met’s upholstery. Which, to take the Pollyanna, or Glad girl, approach, proves that Vilma’s audiences today are not matrons and seniors but still the young, the wild, the reb. She says she has no hang ups about age. But how does she keep herself looking young? ‘I don’t know. I don’t do anything special. I used to swim but I don’t have the time now. I don’t cut down on anything. I drink occasionally but I’m not really a drinker. My true enemy is tobacco:

I smoke. Aside from that, I know no other vices. On facing the camera, whether movie or TV, I put on make up. But Vilma Santos the person, when in her house, puts nothing on her face.” She is positive it’s not make-up that makes her go over on the little or big screen as young-looking. ‘But like the old beauties of Sampaguita Studios. I know that someday I will be the ex-superstar. When that time arrives, I hope I’ll be stable – financially stable enough to ensure a future for my son, present comfort for my family, and for myself a personal life that’s tranquil because I have a stable business and a comfortable income. Those are my dreams now that I am 36.” Not that she has any complaints about the present tense. ‘More than half of my life has been spent in show business,” says the Glad Girl. ‘For all the blessings I am enjoying, I should be thankful!” Happiness, Inc.

Publisher’s Note:  Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin) is a National Artist for Literature, while both Ishmael Bernal and Lino Brocka are National Artist for Film.  Our cover story is about the indestructible and unfading screen beauty, Vilma Santos, who has become even more accomplished and seductive as the years pass. Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin in journalistic disguise) captures the secrets and the charms of this enduring beauty, a triumph of art over time. – Juan P. Dayang

Source: Written by Quijano De Manila (Nick Joaquin), Philippine Graphic Magazine 05 November 1990

Quotes From The Stars (Part One)

Carlo Aquino: “Thankful ako sa pagtanggap niya sa akin na anak niya. Malaking malaking bagay iyon. Hindi siya nagdamot kahit isa na siyang Vilma Santos noon…Tinanggap niya ako, inalagaan niya kami ni Serena (Dalrymple) kaya sobrang thankful ako mommy na hanggang ngayon mahal mo ako…Malakas eh. Naging adult ako bigla,” he said in jest…Iba rin ‘yung pakiramdam nung time na ‘yun na ang kaeksena mo si Vilma Santos. ‘Yung hinihingi nga ni direk Chito (Roño) sa akin noon, pagkasampal, humarap ako kaagad. Hindi ako makaharap. Sobrang lakas pero kailangan mo humarap kaagad. Ang daming nangyayari, ang dami kong iniisip…Never nila pinaramdam na superior sila. Talagang kapag kailangan ko ng tulong or ni Serena ng tulong, nandiyan sila…” (ABS-CBS News, 18 May 2020)

Claudine Barretto: “I am really honored to be able to be a part of ‘Anak.’ Kung hindi niyo alam, Vilmanian talaga ako bata pa lang. For me, yun na ang ultimate dream come true ko. Sabi ko nga noon kay tita Malou (Santos) nung inoffer ang ‘Anak,’ okay na akong hindi mag-artista basta makasama si Ate Vi…I had the support of Ate Vi throughout the shooting. She never told me na, ‘Ito ang gagawin mo.’ Yung preparation ko is I had to step up and I really had to focus. Naintindihan ko sobra na kapag nanay ka, kahit ano talaga gagawin mo para sa anak mo. Especially si Ate Vi, kung hindi niyo alam is one of my mentors talaga. When I [was] going through my lowest talaga, nandoon siya…” (ABS-CBN News, 17 May 2020)

Kathryn Bernardo: “…Yes, a lot of times, but I’m good at hiding my feelings. I feel this especially with the senior actors. Kinikilig ako! I used to just watch them, but now I’m able to hug them, to bond with them….I would definitely feel starstruck with veteran actress, Vilma Santos…I hear a lot of stories about how it’s like to work with her, about how great an actress she is. I imagine that I won’t know how to react in front of her, too…” (Marinel Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 08 June 2020)

Rosa Rosal: “You know Vilma is really one of my favourites…at nuong pa talagang pinagmamalaki ko na ako’y talagang Vilmanian…naging 25 years na siya sa showbiz and the reason for this is because she is a very very good daughter, napakabait po niya na anak, napakabait na kapatid…and she is a wonderful person…alam ko marami sa inyo na hindi n’yo nakakaalam nito, alam ba niyo several times na I’ve been here in Damayan, pagkamayroon akong appeal, bigla-bigla na lamang may susulpot halimbawa, the next time I go on the air, na sasabihin na ganoon oh tita Rose padala ito ni Vilma Santos, I was so touch and siguro siya lang ang artistang nagganuon eh na sumasagot sa aking mga appeal…natatandaaan ko nung ikinasal siya tuwangtuwa ako, nung manganak siya bigla akong sumulpot sa Cardinal Santos, una kong nasilip si Lucky, when she got separated from Edu, I cried, I was hoping for a reconciliation and ofcourse aftwards they did reconciled but then again ngayon magkahiwalay na naman sila pero just to show you what kind of person she is look at the relationship that she has with Edu, and I think this is what makes Vilma, the Vilma Santos that well loved by everyone, so to you Vilma Happy 25th anniversary, I am sure you’ll be there for a long long time and may Gob bless you, not just personally but to everything that you do and also to your family.” (Vilma’s 25th Showbiz Anniversary, 13 Nov 1986)

Maja Salvador: “Hi Mommy Vi, ako po and inyong Baby, Baby April. Nagkasama po tayo sa MMK at hinding hindi ko po iyon makakalimutan dahil mas na-inspire po ako sa trabaho ko nang dahil po sa inyo. ‘Yun pong paguusap natin po sa set ng MMK dahil sobra-sobra po akong natutunan. Maraming-marami salamat po. kung anuman po ang mga na-achieve ko ngayon, isa po kayo sa mga dahilan nun at sana po maka-trabaho ko po kayo muli. I love you mommy.” (Magadang Buhay, November 2017)

Eugene Torre: “”I didn’t watch the premier. In fact, I just watched it in a theater somewhere in Bicol a year after it was released, but Vilma [Santos] is very professional, a good actress and she’s very kind. I don’t know if she will still remember me. It was a long, long time ago.” (Josef Ramos, Business Mirror, 25 April 2021)

Judy Ann Santos: “Sa totoo lang, hindi pa kami nakakapagusap ni Ate Vi kasi wala pang chance na magkaroon talaga kami ng moment na makapag-usap…Matagal ko ng nilalambing ‘yan sa Star Cinema, ang dami lang talagang ganap, kaya please! Please! Sana talaga matuloy [the movie project with Ate Vi]…Lagi ko talaga request kay Ms. Malou Santos na ‘Sana magkaroon ako ng movie with Ate Vi.’ Siya na lang kasi talaga yung hindi ko pa nakakasama. At parang kulang eh, kulang ang pagiging artista mo kapag hindi mo siya nakatrabaho. Lahat ata ng artista gusto talaga siya na makasama at isa ako doon. “Dapat maganda at isang obra yung materyal na ibibigay samin ng Kapamilya network.” She says she will make time for it when the right project comes along. “Ako kung ano ang i-offer ng Star Cinema sa akin, basta ready ako at maganda ang proyekto, bakit hindi Basta feeling nila kaya kong itawid, gagawin ko. I trust Star Cinema with so many things, naghihintay lang naman ako ng magandang istorya.” (Vance Madrid,, June 2017)

Kuya Mario’s Prerogative

Isang babaeng nakasakay namin sa dyip ang nakakilala sa amin at nagsabi: “O, ngayong tapos na ang Star Awards, siguro, isusulat mo na kung sino ang binoto mong best actress. Sinabi mo ‘yan sa column mo.” O, siya, Gigi (sorry, I forgot your last name), heto na ‘yon. Personally, we voted for Vilma Santos (na siya ring nagwagi sa “Movie Magazine” and we have a feeling, siya ring magwawagi sa darating na Urian Awards on March 31). Magaling si Nora Aunor sa “Bilangin” and we believe na ang hindi niya pagkakanominate man lang sa Catholic Awards is a big oversight on their part. Sa gagawin naming paliwanag for our choice, we don’t expect na maimpluwensiyahan ang diehard Nora fans dahil kapag fan mentality ang pinairal, no amount of rational explanation will do to change their opinion.

Pero kami, napatunayan na naming wala kaming ganyang kaisipan noong maging nominado si Vi for “Tagos ng Dugo” and we cited our reasons why we favor Lorna Tolentino in “Maging Akin Ka Lamang” over her. To the untained eye, very impressive si Guy sa “Bilangin” dahil ang performance niya is mainly a series of big highly emotional scenes that call for confrontations with Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Romero, Miguel Rodriguez and Ana Margarita. This is the kind of acting that call for grand, tour-de-force manner of emoting, with glaring eyes, flaring nostrils, quevering voice and all. Sabi nga, the works. All stops are pulled to really impress the audience n “Hoy, this is good acting and you should correspondingly be properly impressed.” To Nora’s credit, she relies entirely on her instincts and this works as Elwood Perez has never been known as an actor’s director and Nora naman is the kind of actress na even when she is left to her own resources, still manages to come up with an arresting performance, no matter how florid.

Sa kaso ng pagkakaganap ni Vilma as Juliet in “Pahiram,” it is a credit not only to the actress but also the director. Vi’s innate talent shines, pero alam mong malaki ang naitulong sa kanya ni Bernal to further hone it and polish it and make it truly oustanding in the totality of its effect. Makikita ito sa succession pa lang ng opening sequences. Nagsimula ang movie na masayang masaya ang tono nito, with Vi rambunctiously singing “Material Girl” sa kanilang Christmas Party, without a trace of the impending tragedy that she will face. Then she goes to the CR, starts to feel bad, and after that ay nalaman na niyang mgay cancer siya’t may taning na ang buhay niya. Vi is not shown vehemently reacting to this. Instead, ipinakita lang siyang tahimik na naglalakad, her shoulders hunched na tila ba nasa mga balikat niya ang daigdig. She then attends this family reunion sa parents niya, which ends in disaster dahil inaway lang siya ng ate niyang si Dexter Doria. Wala pa ring reaction dito si Vi kahit nilait siya ng mga kamag-anak niya.

Sa susunod na scene, nagwawala ang anak niya si Billy Joe dahil lumayas ang yaya nito’t ayaw nitong pumasok sa school. Vi goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast at habang nagbabati siya ng itlog, doon pa lang ipinakitang una siyang nag-breakdown. And this is shown nang nakatalikod siya sa camera. No overtly ornate kind of emoting na akting na akting ang dating. Pero damang-dama mo pa rin (if you’re a trully perceptive, sensitive viewer) ang mga emotions the character goes through dahil sa buildup nito. This is apparent in various other scenes in the film. Bale ba, ang estilo rito ni Vi ay hindi ‘yung trying to ingratiate herself with the audience to please them, which she is went to do in the past. Dito, basta she becomes the part (lalo na sa eksena nila ni Gabbly Concepcion sa simbahan na binalikan nila kung paano sila nagkasira), and if you notice that she is good, well salamat po. Sa second viewing ng movie naming lalong napansin ang subtle nuances ng performance ni Vi, up to her death scene which confirms our supposition that the movie is not really so much about death than a celebration of life, what with all the panoramic shots showing the beauty of nature and the world around us, na enough reason for anyone to want to survive.

So…’yan ang opinion namin. You may agree or disagree but tha is our prerogative kaya you may take it or leave it. – Mario Bautista, People’s Tonight, 1990

About Mario E. Bautista, is a respectable and popular film critic and columnist in the Philippines. He regularly write articles for People’s Journal, Malaya, Pinoy Gazette and his own entertainement website, Showbiz Portal

News Clippings Collection is Back!

“Salubong” – “Forgive us for quoting a YA novel, but it seems pretty apt: “Art [isn’t] supposed to look nice; [it’s] supposed to make you feel something,” said Park in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. As if to prove that, many artists have gone from producing aesthetically pleasing works to creating art that triggers strong emotions, positive or not. Creations often become disputable when they go against the accepted norms. Let’s take a look at 10 works by Filipino artists that drew criticism, controversy, or outrage for exploring themes which were described as shocking, weird, or offensive. Read at your own risk…Dante Hipolito’s oil painting, “Salubong,” was intended to be a welcome gift for Pope Francis when he visited the Philippines in January 2015. It went from being viral to controversial as the painting that was supposed to depict everyday Filipinos instead featured celebrities and politicians like Gov. Vilma Santos, Gary Valenciano, Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Coco Martin, Sen. Grace Poe, and Kris Aquino dressed up as farmers surrounding the Pope. “The painting contradicts the concept of realism as it shows nothing about the submerged reality of the nation’s agricultural workers,” said Michael Beltran, chair of Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA), in a statement. Hipolito, however, explained that the painting was also a gift for his wife, who was a fan of celebrities. “Mundo ko ito, e. Ito, nag-e-exist ito sa utak ko lang na inilabas ko…Kaso, na-misinterpret ng tao…” – Dante Hipolito, The Most Shocking Works by Filipino Artists,, 16 May 2020 (READ MORE)

Spotlight on Vi – “Philippine Movie Press Club photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, trekked to Majayjay, Laguna two Sundays ago to take pictures of Vilma Santos, the first model in the club’s ongoing photo-journalism contest. Result of the said contest will be announced before July, when PMPC current president Ronald Constantino’s (first) term ends. Other models in the photo contest are Alona Alegre, Alma Moreno, Nora Aunor, Dolphy and Fernando Poe, Jr.” – Mod Magazine Vol X. No. 340, 24 February 1978 (READ MORE)

“Bold is the order of the day and even the “sweetest” of our stars are slowly being drawn into it. Vilma Santos, for one is doing a movie with Merle Fernandez, something with the suggestive title Mga Rosas sa Putikan. Editor-in-chief Ernie Evora Sicco serves you the piece, still piping hot, along with the juiciest bits concerning local filmdom in her Starliners.” – Mod Magazine Vol X. No. 340, 24 February 1978 (READ MORE)
Oh My Love – The romantic comedy drama show, “Oh My Love,” highlights two popular love teams of Pepito Rodriguez and Liza Lorena and Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos, with added star support of Ben David and Betty Mendez. Directed by Tony Santos, Sr., it is televised every Wednesday evening on Channel 2 from 7 to 8 o’clock. (READ MORE)

Kampus Star – “…The biggest fear of Borlaza was when Agrix Films’ “Kampus?” was booked one week after the opening of VS Films’ Pagputi ng Uwak, pag-itim ng Tagak. The Celso Ad. Castillo film was an artistic triumph, and Borlaza felt following it up with another Vilma-Bembol starrer would put them at a great disadvantage. The Vilma-Bembol fans might still be raving over Pagputi… instead of discussing Kampus. As it turned out, people let Pagputi pass and waited for Kampus judging from the comparative gate receipts of the two movies. What makes Maning Borlaza’s movies tick? We chanced on Maning during the shooting of VS Films’ current production, Coed. “Sabi ni Mama Santos, ako daw ang pumatay sa kanilang Pagputi…, eto ang parusa ko, bigyan ko daw sila ng isang Kampus? so I’m making for them Coed. You see, when I was working on Kampus? at the UP Los Baños, I has the opportunity to chat with some students, and I realized their problems and lifestyle can be source of even 10 movie materials. At kapag student force pala and nag-patronize sa Tagalog movie, and laki ng audience!” Borlaza revealed…Is star value the main thing in selling a movie? “In the case of Kampus?, yes, because Vilma Santos was my main star and she’s the curernt box office queen…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Expressweek, November 9, 1978, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Kasalukuyang Maligaya – “…Seryoso si Vi sa kanyang buhay. Anuman ang dumarating sa kanya, tinatanggap niya ng maluwag sa kanyang dibdib at pilit pa rin siyang nagpapakaligaya. Paulit-ulit nga niyang siansabi: “Si Lucky ang inspirasyon ko. Lahat ng ginagawa ko ngayon ay para sa kanya. Kung wala man kami ni Edu ngayon, gaya ng mga sinasabi nila, natatanggap ko na rin. Sanay na ako. Siguro, isa nga ako sa biktima ng mga sinasabing relasyong showbiz. Sa umpisa, maganda, pero sa bandang huli, nababalewala kahit gaano katatag, dahil na rin sa differences namin at intri-intriga!” Dugtong pa ni Vi, “Anuman ang mga nagaganap ngayon, wala akong pinagsisisihan. Kahit anupang intriga ang naririnig ko tungkol sa relasyon namin ni Edu, hindi ko iniintindi. Kung hindi man kasing tamis ng una ang relasyon namin ngayon, maligaya pa rin ako dahil sa sarili ko, wala akong ginagawang mali. Naniniwala akong hindi namin kagustuhan ang nangyari, kundi panahon ang may likha nun!” Kung minsan, inaamin ni Vi, nasasaktan na rin siya sa mga sabi-sabing kung sinu-sino ang dahilan nang hindi nila pagkakaunawaan ni Edu. Gaya nung magsama lang sila madalas ni Danny Zialcita sa pelikula natsitsismis na may relasyon na raw silang dalawa. Nung mili silang magtambal ni Romeo Vasquez, umusok naman ang balitan nagbalik ang datil nilang relasyon, na wala namang katotohanana. Dahil diyan, ito lang raw ang hulign masasabi ni Vi: “Alam ko, bahagi ng kapalaran ko bilang babae, bilang asawa, bilang ina at bilang artista ang lahat ng nangyayari sa akin. Pinagtitiisan ko, pero pinaglalabana ko rin. Kung sa mga sinasabi ko, hindi sila naniniwala, wala na akong magagawa. Basta bukod sa aking anak, ang higit kong inaasikaso, lolo akong pang pag-igihan ang pagaartista ko dahil matagal pa bago ako umalis dito. If ever na aalis na ako, gusto ko, matagumpay lahat ng nagawa ko. At ayokong aalis ng umiiyak, maski, anong mangyari, kailangan, maging maligaya ako, tulad ng kasalukuyan!” – Michelle Duenas, Movie Flash Magazine, 07 April1983, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Rich “Kumot” Queen – “…At 26, Vi still feels confident. “Kahit na sabihin nilang old maid na ako. I’d rather marry when I’m sure. ‘Yang kasal naman hindi mo alam kung kailan darating.” For the time being, Vi is paying full attention to her carer. “Iknow naman where my money goes. Mama takes care of that.” Contrary to what has been said by detractors, Mama Santos has invested Vilma’s earning well. To date, Vi has a big house in Magallanes Village, one in Tahanan where Vi will transfer to when she gets back from Amsterdam, and one in Los Angeles where she will run to when the pressure gets to be a bit unbearable. She’s worth about five million and half in assets which also include VS Films, seven and a half hectares of fruit bearing trees in Tanay and other investments in real estate. That, plus her jewelries and a personal savings account (sabi sa tsismis, almost a million in cold cash) indeed make Vilma Santos a very rich woman. Vi is the only actress whose films get patronized whether they’re meant for adult viewing or for general patronage. “People thought that came by accident, but Mama planned it that way. For every film I make that is meant for people above 18 Mama accepts one that is intended for general viewing. Tingnan mo, hindi ba’t after “Magkaribal,” there was “Rock, Baby, Rock?” Ang next month, after “Halik sa Paa, Halik sa Kamay” is shown, susundan naman ito ng “Buhay Artista Ngayon.” That, I guess is the secret of my success.” Another factor for Vilma’s consistency in the box office is the fact that she may be daring but so far she hasn’t gone so bold. “Hanggang takip lang ako ng kumot,” Vi said. “So far I still have to do a real bold wet look scene, but I don’t think I ever will.” Unlike most sex symbols, Vi has a sense of peace, self-esteem and contentment. She is not just acclaimed for her looks, she is also admired for her work…” – Douglas C. Quijano, Expressweek, September 20, 1979, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Image Blockage -“…Alona Alegre was busy hustling fron one TV show after another, first in her brother, Leroy Salvador’s Showbiz with the Salvadors then in Nora Aunor’s Superstar and at the late hour in JQ’s Seeing Stars, all in one day. Actually, she could have just sat back and counted the terrific box office receipts, but like the new Alona that she is now, she would never leave anything to chance. At the last report, she was the top grosser with her Ishmael Bernal’s Isang Gabi Sa Iyo Isang Gabi sa Akin during last weekend, but a Romeo Vasquez fan spoke up, “That was because she had Bobby and Mat Ranillo III in the picture. Bobby especially because that guy is “buenas” no mater what you hear of him. Remember how Vilma Santos was a superstar since her teens, but it was not until her team-up with Bobby that she managed to hurdle her “image blockade.” After the Vi-Bobby team-up, she was accepted as a mature star, ready and convincing in any role she plays, as far as her audience was concerned!” This is just one man’s opinion, and a lot of Elizabeth Oropeza fans would surely have an opinion too!…” – Super Star-liners, MOD Magazine, 07 July 1978 (READ MORE)

Harmony on the Set – “The last time movie scribes were on Vilma Santos’ set of “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” in Majayjay they notice the most cordial atmosphere on the set. Someone even naughtily noted that Vi and her leading man, Bembol Roco seem to that “close” to each other. But both stars insist that they have become the best of friends since they were thrown together by their common interests, and their common respect for their career. Remember that one of the first “hassles” of this picture was reportedly Bembol’s having shaved his head for his role in another movie? This director Celso Ad Castillo did it too, shaved his head clean, that is, but Bembol has nothing to do with it. Remember that he is currently filming “Dalaga” with Rio Locsin in the tile role and himself, CAC, as the leading man. A picture of many “firsts,” this is filmed in black and white and is considered by the director as his personal baby, to prove that he is a starmaker indeed, and a best picture producer to boot. CAC plays the role a mentally retarded character in love with his leading lady. During the scribes’ visit, everyone was impressed by the harmony on the VS set. Vi said that they have four more days to go…to complete the picture. Then the “never” can be “now” showing in due time. She’s slated to to finish three more movies before leaving for abroad to make a picture with Atty. Espiridion Laxa as producer and Christopher as her leading man…” – Super Star-liners, MOD Magazine, 04 April 1978 (READ MORE)

Another Best Actress – “Actress for All Seasons Ms. Vilma Santos won another Best Actress trophy at the 5th Makati Cinemanila International Film Festival Awards Night held Aug. 21 at Onstage, Greenbelt, Makati. She earned the award for her performance in Star Cinema’s “Dekada ’70,” directed by Chito Roño and which received the Special Jury Award. We asked Mayor Vi how she felt and she said “I’m so happy Ate Cris, at least hanggang ngayon humahataw pa ang “Dekada ’70,” I did not expect to win yet another best actress trophy.” So how many has she amassed to date? “I don’t know, marami na. Including the citations and plaques of appreciations, di ko na mabilang.” Vi was evidently delighted by her latest award and at first she didn’t know what to say. But she went on to thank Star Cinema, her director Chito Roño, her co-star Christopher de Leon, her children in the movie (Piolo Pascual, Carlos Agassi, Marvin Agustin, Danilo Barrios and John Wayne Sace), her family and loved ones, her constituents in Lipa “for their love and support and for their understanding…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen, Manila Bulletin, August 2003

Ina ni Dophy, Vilmanian – “First shooting day ni Vilma Santos sa “Buhay Artista Ngayon” na ginanap sa Bohol Avenue, Quezon City, kasalukuyang kinukunan ang isang malaking tagpo sa pelikulang ito ng RVQ Productions, nang biglang dumating ang kanilang service jeep. Bumaba ang isang matandang babae, na agad sinalubong ni Georgie Quizon at humalik ng kama sa matanda. Tamang-tama na nakauupo ang matandang babae, nang matapos ang ekesena ng dalawa. Agad na lumapit si Dolphy sa matanda, at hinalikan sa noo. Kasunod pala si Vilma na niyakap ng matanda nang makalapit ito. Tatawa-tawang lumapit si Dolphy dito, “Ang nanay ko talaga, kahit na nahihirapan ay nagpunta pa rito sa set, makita lamang si Vilma. Kahit noon pa ay tagahanga na ‘yan ni Vilma, kaya’t tuwang-tuwa ng malamang gagawa ito sa RVQ Productions.” Ang mahal na ina ng pangunahing komedyante natin ay may 76 taong gulang. Siya’y si Ginang Salud Quizon, kung saan hinango ang pangalan ni Sahlee Quizon. Dati-rati’y bihirang makita sa set ng pelikula ni Dolphy si Ginang Quizon. Pero buhat ng gawin ng RVQ Productions ang “Buhay Artista Ngayon” ay naging madalas na ang pagdalaw sa set ng matanda, lalo na kung naroon at nagsisiyuting si Vilma. Kung minsan ay inaabot ng mahabang oras doon ang matanda, at buong kasiyahan pinanonood ang bawat eksenang gawin nina Dolphy at Vilma. Minsan pa nga any inaabot ng antok ang matanda sa set, at kapag pinakiusapan siya ni Dolphy na umuwi na ay tumatanggi at parang bulang nawawala ang kangyang antok. Sa ngayon kay Dolphy, laging ibinibilin ng kanyang ina na sa tuwing si Vilma ang kukunan ng eksena ay sunduin siya sa bahay. Kaya noong minsang hindi nasabihan at malaman na may siyuting si Vilma ay bigla na lamang dumarating ito na nakataksi, at napapailing na lamang si Dolphy. Si Vilma naman kapag nakita na ang matanda ay lumalapit agad, at niyayakap, Kaya tuloy, lalo siyang napapamahal sa mahal na ina ni Dolphy. At buhat nang magsimulang magsiyuting si Vilma sa nasabing pelikula, maka-apat na ulit na dumalaw sa set ng pelikulang ito si Ginang Quizon.” – Berting Paz, Unnamed magazine, 22 September 1978

Stoned float at Festival Parade – “…The crowd started to gather along the route as early as 9 a.m. yesterday, some of them coming from as far sa Batangas in the sourth, and Tarlac in the north. The biggest response was given to Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. Wearing pink and black kimonos, the two superstars threw sampaguita flowers along the way as their fans, yelling friendship, waved their pinted thumbs wildly. The floar to the two superstars was also surrounded by 20 Manila policemen and 15 blue-uniformed private security guards. At one point at the Luneta, an old woman, between 60 and 70 years old, was hoisted by policemen to reach up to Nora, who gave the old woman a big hug in return. Nora and Tirso are appearing in “Winter Holiday,” a production of Sampaguita-VP Pictures filmed in Tokyo. The other float witht he wildest applause was that carrying Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz, who will appear in “Remembrance,” a Tagalog-Ilang-Ilang presentation. However, the float was stoned twice and it left the parade before it reached the Jones Bridge.” – Philippines Sunday Express, 18 June 1972

Box Office King and Queen of 1983 – “Pormal na namang iginawad kay Dolphy ang titulong Box-Office King at Kay Vilma Santos ang Box Office Queen sa isang maranyang seremonyang idinaos sa Celebrity Sports Plaza noong Marso 30 na kung saan ay sinaksihan ng maraming tagapagtaguyod ng Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. sa pamamahala ni Gng. Corazon Samaniego. Ang may dalawang oras na seremonya na tinampukan din ng mga awitin at sayawan ay isinatelebisyon ng BBC-2 sa direksyon ni Bernardo Bernardo na siya ring tumayong emcee kasama si Malou Maglutac. Itinampok din ang mga natatanging businessmen and businesswomen ng Bulacan na kung saan ay naging panauhingn pandangal si Minister Jesus Hipolito ng Publick Works and Highways, na recipient din ng recognition award for government services, together with Mayor Joseph Estrada an ang umabot ng plaque ay ang kanyang panganay na si Jinggoy Ejercito.” – Anonymous, 30 March 1984

Our Cover – “Before the camera is Vilma Santos, one of the better known young singers in the country today. In fact, in point of popularity, Vilma is considered among the top. She has branched out from recording to moviemaking and indications are she is making good in both. Cover photo is by E. F. Nievera.” – The Sunday Times Magazine, 03 December 1971

Billboard’s Manila Updates – “…Film artist Walter Navarro (Vicor) will have his first LP, “King of Balladeers,” this month. He is a contract star of Lea Productions and principal mainstay of the El Bodegon Club. Navarro is doing a film musical with Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) with Mirick Productions…the film musical “Winter Holiday,” which stars Nora Aunor (Alpha) and Tirso Cruz III (Vicor), was second top grosser in the recently concluded Manila Film Festival. The team’s movie musical “Guy and Pip” was the top grosser last year…”Remembrance,” another film musical was chosen “Best Musical” in the Manila Film Festival. The film stars Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) and Edgar Mortiz (Wilear’s). The film also won in the categories of best film editing, best sound and best script…Vicor artist Victor Laurel will do a film with Lea Productions opposite Hilda Koronel.” – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 29 July 1972 (READ MORE)

Star For All Seasons – “When she first appeared on the big screen in Trudis Liit, the fans already knew she was destined to be famous. The studio bigwigs knew they has a potential superstar in their hands, so they molded her to become a teeny-bopper, moving and grooving with the likes of 70s shakers Edgar Mortiz, Espie Fabon and Darius Razon. Before she hit 21, she won her first major acting award – as twins (one good, one evil) in the classic melodrama Dama de Noche. Soon, she became the most in-demand actress in the silver age of cinema; her projects ranging from action camp (Lipad, Darna, Lipad) to romance fantasy (Kampanerang Kuba) to sex drama (Burlesk Queen). Versatility was the name of the game, and Vilma Santos shone with a brightness never before seen in show business. More quality movies followed: Rubia Servios. Karma. Pagputi ng Uwak…Pag-itim ng Tagak, Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa. Throughout the eighties, she reigned as the Box-Office Queen. She was also the first Grand-Slam Actress in R.P. film history. She also had her share of controversies, but “Ate Vi” rose above them all. Last year, she gave an unforgetable performance as a housewife in both political and personal turnmoils in Dekada ’70. Today, as the incumbent mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, Vilma Santos-Recto continues to share her talents and her gifts with the public who can’t seem to get enough of her…” – J.R. Mercado, Woman Magazine 20th Anniversary Special Issue, 30 April 2003

REAL Wedding: Vi and Ralph

Wedding of the Decade – Wala na ngang makakahadlang sa pagpapakasal nina Vilma Santos at Ralph Recto. Isa si Fanny sa punong-abala sa gaganapin kasalan kaya minabuti na rin naming hingan ng opinyon si Fanny Serrano hingil sa nabanggit na espesyal na bahagi ng buhay ni Vilma. “Tama yung prediction nila na magiging wedding of the decade ang kasal nina Vilma at Ralph!” unang pahayag ni Fanny. “I can say na mas bongga ito kesa sa wedding nina Rudy at Lorna. Ang ikina-bongga lang naman ng kina Rudy-Lorna, sa tagal nilang nagsasama at kasal na, hindi ini-expect ng mga tao na magtsa-church wedding pa sila. “Tapos, nakapag-create pa sila ng motif ng wedding na Filipiniana at hindi showbiz na showbiz ang dating ng simbahan at pati sa reception. “After that wedding, marming nangarap na makasal din tulad ng Rudy-Lorna style. Actually maraming kumuha sa akin na ganun’ nga ang ginawa, minus lang ‘yung pagsakay ni Lorna sa karuaje. “Ngayon, itong kay Vilma, iba ‘to, magkasama kasi ang showbiz at saka politics. Sa nakita kong line-up ng kanyang mga bisita, talagang grabe. “Piling-pili rin ang mga artista at governement officials na naimbitihan. “Sa ninong na lang e, talagang bogga na. Pagsama-samahin ba naman si President Ramos, Cojuangco, naroon pa si Bong-bong Marcos e, wala, na talaga akong masabi sa kasalang ito!” Kasama si Fanny sa committee na namamahala ng kasalang pinakahihintay ng lahat. Anu-ano nga ba ang kanilang paghahanda? “Kasama namin sa committee si Danny Dolor, Super Morales, Danilo Franco, Marizette Recto at isa pang hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan. “Four months kaming nagmimeeting, tapos inaabot kami ng alas dose hanggang ala-una, samantalang nagsisimula na kami ng 7 pm. Pinag-aralan talaga naming mabuti ang lahat. “And then, ‘yung preparation ng wedding na gagawin sa Lipa, that is something? “Saan ka naman nakakita ng church na may video wall sa labas na ipinapakita kung ano ang nangyayari sa loob. Iyon ang regalo nina Ralph at Vi para sa mga taga-Lipa. “Kaya sa Lipa gagawin dahil imposible namang dalhin pa sa Manila ang mga taga-Lipa to attend the wedding. Hindi lang naman tagaroon, pati na ‘yung kalapit bayan, tiyak na dadalo. “Close door ang pagdarausang simbahan dahil ayaw ng paring magkakasal na maging magulo na parang palengke ang paligid kaya ‘yung may stub lang ang makakapasok. “After that, magpa-parade na sila patungong Manila Hotel. Siguradong mauuna ako sa reception. I’ll be the one riding the helicopter para i-prepare na ang mga gamit ni Vilma sa presidential suite. “Gusto kasi ni Vilma na mauna na ako roon. Baka raw kasi matraffic pa ako, paano naman ang re-touch ng make-up niya at another set-up ng damit para sa reception. “Ang masarap kay Vilma, nati-tense siya sa maaring mangyari, anthough taga-remind na lang siya dahil may humahawak naman.” kuwento pa ni Fanny. Bilang fashion designer, ano ang masasabi niya sa dalwang gown na isusuot ni Vilma? “Maganda!” may diin niyang sabi. “Danilo Franco is always Danila Franco. Bow ako at talagang hats off sa kanya. Eight pieces ‘yung pinagpilian namin although ang final yes na kay Vilma. “Magtu-two months na niyang ginagawa ‘yun at ang materials, hand made ‘yun na pinasadya pa ni Danilo. Talagang impressive, wala talaga akong masasabi!” – Ron Romulo, Unnamed magazine, 23 December 1992

Voloptuos Vi – “At 50, ibang-iba na siyempre ang itsura ni Baby Vi. Puwedeng makipagkumpitensiya na siya sa itsura ng favorite showbiz mother namaing si Milagros Santos. Voloptuos na. Tipong mga babae sa painting nina Raphael at da Vinci at Goya. Siyempre, sa edad na ‘yan, hndi niya pinangarap na makita pa rin ang sarili sa showbiz. Panahon na ang pagbawi ‘yan sa mga normal na bagay na hindi niya natikman. Nasa kanya na siyempre ang lahat ng panahon para gawin ang gusto niya…Tinatanong ko namang lagi noon si Baby Vi kung paano niya nakikita ang kangyang sarili sa edad na ganyan. Say naman niyang lagi, isang normal na buhay na walang syuting at call slip at interbyu. Inimdadyin din kaya niya ang pagiging stage mother din? Halimbawa’y magartista’t maging super-sikat din ang Lucky niya? Eh, lalaki naman daw ang anak n’ya. Basta’t ang gusto lang naman daw niya kay Lucky ay makatapos ng pag-aaral (obsesyon kasi ito ni Baby Vi at ang hindi niya nakamtam ay gusto niyang maabot ng kaisa-isang niyang anak) at pagkatapos ay bahala na siya? Vilma at 50? Ayokong mag-Carmen Rosales siyang drama_na pa-Greta Garbo. Gusto ko’y maging original siya. – Gil Villasana, Moviestar, 10 September 1986

Win some, Lose some – “Recent Famas best actress winner Vilma Santos looks like she is on her way to being elevated to the award giving body’s Hall of Fame. If that happens, she’ll be joining fellow artits Josephe Estrada, Fernando Poe Jr., Charito Solis and Eddie Garcia (the last one was elevated to Famas’ best supporting actor Hall of Fame). Vilma has scored four Famas trophies in a span of 15 years. Out of four Famas awards she got, Vilma if we look at it objectively, deserves only two of her trophies. Her first Famas statuette (for “Dama de Noche”) which she got in 1973 at the age of 20 should never have been given to her because lets face it, she still did not know how to act that time. She was also underserving of her second Famas trophy for “Pakawalan Mo Ako,” a mushy melodrama release in 1981. Gina Alajar should have won the Famas that time for her role in “Salome.” But there is no question about Vilma winning the Famas statuette the following year for playing the part of a sympathetic mistress in “Relastyon.” She was wonderful in that movie. All the award giving bodies that time agreed that she was that year’s best actress winner. Remember her grand-slam that time? She won the Famas, the Urian, the First Film Academy of the Philippines best actress trophy, the Catholic Mass Media Award and even in Arminda Siguion-Reyna’s “Let’s Talk Movies” which honored for its anniversary presentation some of the outstanding achievements in film that year. Vilma’s most recent Famas trophy (for “Tagos ng Dugo”) is also well-deserved, even if it was not a bad idea had the statuette gone instead to either Lorna Toletino (for “Maging Akin Ka Lamang”) or Susan Roces (for “Paano Kong Wala Ka Na?”). But looking at it fairly, and studying all the angles of her performances in “Tagos ng Dugo,” Vilma deserves her latest Famas best actress trophy. Vilma may have been undeserving of two of her four famas statuettes but at the same time, she was also robbed of two other Famas trophies. 1983 was a bad year for Tagalog movies. There were very few good film products that year. As a result, there were only a handful of outstanding performances among the actors and the actresses. Among the leading ladies we can only cite Loran Tolentino (for “Init sa Magdamag”), Cecille Castillo (for “Karnal”) and Vilma (for “Broken Marriage”). Lorna that time was still what we consider “hilaw” when it comes to acting. She was already improving as an actress that time, pero kulang pa. The same thing can be said of Cecille who has dissappeared since. Vilma should have won the Famas that year with her portrayal of a career woman temporarily separated from her husband (Christopher de Leon). But it was Charito Solis who won in the Famas that year for “Don’t Cry for Me Papa” which was ignored by the other award giving bodies. The following year, Vilma failed to bag the Famas prize for her masterful performance in Sister Stella L.” The Famas people did not think she deserved the award. Why? Because she was in the United States during the awards season and could not maek it to the Famas Night.” – Joone C. Reyes, Unnamed tabloid, circa 1989

Si Miss X sa Amsterdam

“Kung nasa Roma ka, kumilos ka at magsalit na tulad ng isang Romano. At kung nasa sarili mo kang bansa, kumilos ka at magsalit sa iyong natural. Aywan ko kung ganito nga ang pagsasalin ng naturang kasabihan, ngunit sinunod ito ng superstar na si Vilma Santos ngayong siya ay nasa malayong Amsterdam, pook ng labingwalong oras na lakbayin sa eroplano mula sa Pilipinas. Isang Pilipina si Vi pero ngayon ay nagsasalita at kumikilos siya na parang siya ay tunay na tagaroon. Sa pamamagitan ng long distance, nakausap namin si Vi, si Mrs Santos at ang kolumnista at PRO na si Ethel Ramos. At sa may kulangkulang 20 minutong pag-uusap na pagsalin-salin sa tatlo ay nakakuha kami ng first-hand na impormasyon. “Mahigit na isang linggo na kaming nagsisiyuting,” ani Vi. “pero naisingit na namin ang pamamasyal. nalibot na namin ang pinakamagandang lugar dito sa Amsterdam gaya ng Valley Dome na kinaroroonan ng mga windmills, Queen Juliana’s Palace at Doms Square. “Nagcanal ride na rin kami at talaga palang napakaganda ng pook na ito” patuloy ni Vi. “Maginaw dito, daig pa ang Baguio at patuloy daw na lalamig pa sa mga susunod na araw. Kasama ko sina Mama, Papa at Ethel sa pamamasyal. Makaluma ang mga tao rito at makikia iyon sa kanilang pananamit.” wika naman ni Mama Santos. “Hindi rin gaya ng Maynila na napakaraming tao. Parang maliit lamang ang populasyon. Siguro ay aabutin ng mga isanlibo ang mga Pilipinong naninirahan at nagtatrabaho rito. Katunayan, sa bahay ng isang Pilipino kami nakatira.

Si Ethel Ramos ang sumuod naming nakausap at higit siyang maraming balita. Alam n’yo naman si Ethel reyna sa dami ng movie tsistmis. “Alam mo ba na nalibot na rin namin nina Via ang mga red house dito? Yaong tinatawag nilang red light district?” aniya. “Dito kasi ay legal ang prostitution business kaya para ka lamang pumasok sa isang department store. Sa mga banketa ay nagkalat sila, may nakaupo na parang namamasyal lamang sa parke. Lapitan mo at sasabihin niya agad ang presyo at iaabot ang kanyang palad. Gaya ng napabalita noon, totoong makikita mo lamang ang iba sa kanilang eskaparate,” patuloy ni Ethel. “Ituturo mo lamang ang prostiture na gusto mo na parang nagtuturo ka ng ulam at ayos na. Papapasuking ka sa kanilang cubicle na napakalilinis naman. Parang kuwarto ng isang masinop na dalaga at mabango pa ang mga silid. maraming magaganda sa kanila. Ipagpaunmanhin sana ng mga masasagasaan, pero alam mo ban na mayroon sa kanila na kahawig ni Rio Locsin at may kahawig pa ni Lourdes Medel? Excuse lang ha? Hawig lang naman e. Pero may roon ding matataba at mayroong mga payat at hindi magaganda. May halos kasintaba ng mga reporter na sina Mama Mocha (Ramon Teodoro) at kasingpayat ni Vir Gonzales. May ilan sa kanila na pumapayag lang pag may condom.” Ayon pa rin kay Ethel, si Vilma ay ilang araw munang nagmasid at nag-aral nang personal sa mga kilos, pagsasalita at paghalakhak ng mga tunay na puta at prostiture doon. Ibig kasi niyang makuha ang talagang tamang pagganap na parang natural na natural. nagtatanong pa rin siya at nakipag-usap sa ilan sa pamamagitan ng interpreter at makaraan lamang ang ilang araw ay may ialng nang salitang Dutch na alam si Vilma. May isang Dutch din na may crush sa kanya. Max ang pangalan. Mataas. Pero 23 years old lang.

Sa naturang pelikula ng Sining Silangan na “Miss X” ay isa ngang prostitute ang labas ni Vilma. Isang Pilipina siya na na-recruit para magtrabaho nang maganda roon pero sa isang bahayan nga ng mga kalapating mababa ang lipad ang kanyang binagsakan. Ngayon ano kaya ang magiging ayos niya? Makapal ang make-up? Malakas humalakhak? Kasabik-sabik ito sa mga fans ni Vi at tiyak na maganda ang pagkakagawa dahil Gil Portes ang direktor at walang magaganap na bitinan sa shooting. Kay Mrs Santos naman nakalipat ang telepono bago magpaalaman at ganito naman ang kanyang idinagdag: “Gilders ang tawag sa pera dito at masyadong mahal ang mga bilihin. Mas mataas ang gilders sa dollars. Ako ang cook nila rito at mayroon ding bagoong na mabibili. Tulad ng dati, hindi natutulog si Vi sa gabi at sa umaga natutulog hanggang tanghali. Pati tuloy kami ni Ethel ay nagkakaroon ng insomia. Pagkatapos ng shooting ni Vi ay tutuloy siya sa Europe, Paris at iba pang lugar para makapamasyal at makapamili nang gusto niya. Kami ni Papa ay pupunta naman sa Amerika at titingnan namin ang bahay na nabili namin doon. Mga second week na siguro ng Nobyember ang uwin namin. Iay ang mga unang repot mula sa Armsterdam. Sooth naman ang shooting nila at ang iba pang naroon ay sina Mark Gil, direktor Portes, Roger Vivero at mga prodyuser ng Sining Silangan. Naroon na rin daw sina Mother Lily ng Regal Films, Douglas Quijano at Lolita Solis. Sa susunod na tawg ay muli kaming magbabalita tungkol sa mga happening doon.” – Efren M. Esteban, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, 5 November 1979, posted by James DR, Pelikula ATBP, 26 January 2021 (READ MORE)

At whatever age, she will always be Ate Vi

Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, 3 Nov 2020

Note: This was Ricky F. Lo’s last birthday article for Film Legend, Vilma Santos-Recto.

As she turns 67 today, Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos (shown on her birthday last year) says she thanks the Lord for all the blessings, ‘Life has been very good to me’

Whether she was six ( when starting out in showbiz as Ging and Trudis Liit) or sixty- seven ( as she turns today, Nov. 3), Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos will always be Ate Vi not only to her Vilmanians but also to showbiz- watchers. She hasn’t changed at all and not a part of her was altered by science ( contrary to what some people may claim). Her life is an open book read and reread and dissected inside- out, every detail bared in public.

Her birthdays have always been a private affair with her husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, and their children Luis Manzano (“I love you, Lucky!” Remember how she would greet him at the end of her then show VIP?) and Ryan Christian ( who is getting good marks in school), and other members of the family ( her siblings and close friends).

But due to the pandemic that has kept her at home ( attending sessions via Zoom), Vilma is celebrating her 67th in another way. Here she is in an exclusive interview with Funfare: How different will your birthday be this year? “It will just be a very intimate celebration at home with my family unlike in the past years when we would go out- of- town for short trips to celebrate my birthday. Basta we are all together and healthy, happy na ako kahit dito lang kami sa bahay.” What are your thoughts as you turn 67? “It is yet another year for being grateful, for new learnings, of facing new challenges, for appreciating and loving the Lord, my family, friends and the people around me.”

As you look back, mayroon ba dapat baguhin sa buhay mo?

“I can’t wish for anything else, except for the continued protection and safety of my family, as well as continued guidance on how to properly serve the people who have trusted me. I am very grateful to our Lord for all the blessings. Life has been very good to me. Salamat, Lord!” Do you have any regrets about something that you did or didn’t do?

“I have been saying ever since that I do not have any regrets in life. For every downfall I experienced, there were always lessons learned. Ito ang nagpatibay sa pagkatao ko.”

During this pandemic, have you assessed what are the essentials that you have to focus on or things that you have taken for granted?

“I have learned to value and cherish life more, and not to take anything for granted. Life is a gift. Being healthy is a gift. Makalakad lang sa labas ng bahay mo is a gift. Magkaroon ka lang ng trabaho is a gift. Mabigyan mo ng pagkain ang pamilya mo is a gift. Patuloy akong nagdarasal na matapos na ang mabigat na pagsubok na ito hindi lamang sa atin kung hindi sa buong mundo.”

Among your many achievements, what are the three that you are proud of?

“As a wife and mother, my family. As an artist, my acting and box- office awards. As a public servant, my Presidential Lingkod Bayan award.”

Nasa iyo na ang lahat, ano pa ang kulang sa buhay mo? “Apo!” What are the top things on your bucket list? “To become a full- fledged grandmother, to visit the Holy Land and to become a film director.”

Aside from your famous panyolito, what is in your bag every time you leave the house? What’s the story behind your famous hanky?

“My rosary, cellphone, wallet, cologne, lipstick and powder. As for my panyolito, I have so many, I have lost count. I have given so many away. Dami humihingi! I was still single when one day, my very good friend Coney Reyes saw me na pawis na pawis. She advised me to always carry and use a handkerchief to keep me looking fresh. Since then, I always have a panyolito with me. It’s my ‘ security hanky’.” Are you not worried about getting old? “Of course, I am worried but I tend to focus more on how to live and lead a meaningful and fulfilling life. These are what matter more. Lahat tatanda pero ang mahalaga ay meron kang pinagkatandaan.” How do you want to be remembered? “I want to be remembered as a God- fearing woman who tried her very best to become a good wife and mother, a loving daughter, a supportive sister, an artist who has hopefully made relevant contributions to the industry, and a public servant who cared for and gave honest service to the people she served.” (READ MORE)

E- mail reactions at rickylophilstar@ gmail. com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www. philstar. com/ funfare or follow me on Instagram @ therealrickylo.

About Ricky: – Ricardo “Ricky” Fua Lo (April 21, 1946 – May 4, 2021) was a Filipino entertainment writer and commentator, and TV host. Lo died on May 4, 2021, from a stroke.

Lo, born of Chinese descent, was a native of Las Navas, Northern Samar, where he finished grade school. He finished high school at the bilingual Tabaco Pei Ching School in Tabaco, Albay, and took up AB English at the University of the East. A fan of feature films, he aspired to be a gardener of actress Susan Roces.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacy of actress, Vilma Santos, and to make her career information available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislation, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to non-commercial/not for profit research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. – Wikipedia.

#RicardoFLo, #VilmaSantos, #VilmaSantosRecto

Toast of The Manunuri on 40th Year is Brilliant Actress and Unfading Star

Butch Francisco, Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, 2017

It Took her almost a decade to win her first acting trophy from the Gawad Urian from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) which was created in 1976. Vilma Santos got her first Urian best actress award in 1982 (for Relasyon) – when both Nora Aunor and Gina Alajar had already won two trophies each. Vilma was already a superstar and a much-awarded actress then. The long wait gave her the impression that she wasn’t a “Manunuri favorite.”

“But it was only after I got the award from the Manunuri that I felt na actor na ako,” reveals Vilma. “Totoo ‘yan!”

She never could have guessed then that after her initial victory she was going to set a record by winning the Urian best actress award three years in a row and now holds the distinction of having the most number of Urian trophies: 11 in all – eight as best actress, two as best actress of the decade and one as producer of the 1978 best picture, Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak.

And as the MPP turns 40, Vilma Santos is given the organization’s highest honor, the Natatanging Gawad Urian – a fitting tribute to an actress who has displayed unparalleled excellence in her movies.

She is not the first in her clan to make it big in show business. Forties and Fifties superstar Carmen Rosales, like her, a legendary movie queen, was a grand aunt on her father’s side (esteemed movie journalist Ronald Constantino is also an uncle).

Vilma fondly remembers how Ms. Rosales – a recluse in her late years – would visit her at her Magallanes village home in the ‘70’s. “Lola mo ‘ko, ha!” Carmen would remind Vilma, who was always all ears, listening to her grand aunt’s tales and tips on “how to choose the right men.”

Oddly enough, the two women were unable to trace familial roots while they were both in Sampaguita Pictures, and Carmen, then one of the most influential women in showbiz, had no hand in Vilma’s entry to the movies.

It was cinematographer Amaury Agra who was instrumental in bringing Vilma to Sampaguita. The ace lensman, noted for his expertise with the hand-held Agriflex camera, was a regular guest at the Santos home during the La Loma fiesta. He noticed Vilma’s eagerness to perform before her parents’ visitors. Would she care to come with him to Sampaguita and get an audience with star-builder Dr. Jose Perez? The studio was about to start another drama, Anak, ang Iyong Ina. Maybe Vilma, then nine, could get a part in the film.

Her parents initially weren’t receptive to the idea. They didn’t’ see Vilma working at such an early age. They weren’t rich, but they could provide for their children’s needs, especially since both of them were gainfully employed. Vilma’s father, Amado, was working for the GSIS, while her mother, the former Milagros Tuazon, had a stable job at Aguinaldo’s department store (today’s version of Rustan’s). Eventually, they agreed to indulge the daughter’s dream of joining show business.

As per Agra’s instruction, Vilma was simply to present herself to Dr. Perez, who was going to check her out for a possible part in Anak, ang Iyong Ina. When she and her mother reached the Sampaguita compound, there was a long line and Vilma joined the queue along with the other children, who were trying out for a small melodrama Trudis Liit.

She didn’t stay in the long line, though. Vilma even then already stood out from the rest of the crowd and was plucked from that long queue by the audition masters Bella Flores, Boy Alano and Dr. Perez himself. Vilma was made to cry and was instructed to memorize a dialogue. “Not only did I delivered the line. Nag-adlib pa ‘ko!”

For playing the title role in Trudis Liit, Vilma was paid P700. Part of the package included a whole fried chicken for lunch, plus an apple.

Vilma also shot Anak, ang Iyong Ina with Rita Gomez and, later, went to Premiere Productions to play another title role – Ging, with the studio’s resident villainess Carol Varga and comedians Aruray and Georgie Quizon.

While studying with the RVM nuns at St. Mary’s, Vilma appeared in the TV soap, Mga Batong Buhay, and co-starred with Katharine Ross and Doug McLure in the Hollywood B-movie The Longest Hundred Miles, which had principal location in Bicol.

In 1965, she was cast as First Daughter Imee Marcos in the Ferdinand Marcos biopic Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in 1969 the sequel, Pinagbuklod ng Langit.

In between, she appeared mostly as the teenage daughter of lead stars in dramatic movies and received a best supporting actress prize (for Kasalanan Kaya) in a film event organized by San Beda College.

By the late ‘60s, Nora Aunor had paved the way for a new generation of young female stars: petite and not necessarily of Castilian extraction. Nora was so popular that she was given two leading mean: Tirso Cruz III and Edgar Mortiz. Maybe because Nora and Tirso were truly in love with each other, Edgar was shut out from this love triangle. Edgar needed a new leading lady and it was Cornelia “Angge” Lee, a studio hanger-on back then, who suggested the name of Vilma.

Not quite 16, Vilma was chubby, had baby fat, but was gifted with translucent fair skin. More importantly, she had charisma. She was then doing radio with teen partner Jay Ilagan. “Nagtampo pa nga si Jay nu’n. He said: ‘Di ba tayo ang mag-partner? Bakit ka sasama du’n?’” Vilma recalls their parting.

The Vilma-Edgar tandem developed its own following and was pitted against Nora and Tirso. The rivalry was so intense between the two love teams that during the staging of one Mr. & Miss RP Movies tilt (the forerunner of today’s Box-Office Awards) at the Araneta Coliseum, Vilma was horrified to see fans hurling chairs and empty bottles at one another. At one premier night, she was pricked with a pin by a fan, obviously from the rival camp.

Although Vilma admittedly was behind Nora in terms of popularity, the people running her career made sure she stayed in the race. Nora’s obvious edge over Vilma then was in the field of singing and singing was never Vilma’s forte. But she was made to wax records anyway – which all sold! “Never underestimate this voice! Naka-gold record ‘to!” Vilma says, laughing at herself.

After a string of Vilma-Edgar movie hits, producers tried pairing her with other leading men – with equal success. Her FAMAS win as best actress for the 1972 film Dama de Noche helped boost her stock even further. It wasn’t long before she reached Nora’s level of popularity.

Vilma started attracting moviegoers who did not necessarily belong to the so-called “bakya crowd” (hoi polloi). The Filipino middle class who otherwise would not be caught dead watching Tagalog pictures patronized her Takbo, Vilma series, Dyesebel, and several editions of her Darna, movies. At an early age, she was a master of reinvention.

Viewers admits intrigued with Nakakahiya 1 & 2 (where she romances with an older, married man) and Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (about kissing cousins) signaled a fully grownup mature actress who appealed strongly to Filipino women who were still tradition-bound in spite of the women’s liberation movement that was sweeping western countries.

She was then ready for the most daring role of her career – that of a burlesque dancer and stripteaser in Celso Ad. Castillo’s Burlesk Queen. “That was the most difficult movie I ever did,” says Vilma.

The finale, re-shot four times and using multiple cameras, showed her gyrating on stage in a bikini for several agonizing minutes until she bleeds to death. It is a delicate scene that has her dancing half-naked in front of an all-male audience. The location was a theater in Cubao that featured real stripteasers.

That scene caused delays in production. Vilma kept begging off. Her mother mediated on her behalf: “Maybe my daughter is still young to do that!” The producer promised her everything – the moon, the stars, plus a brand-new Mercedes Benz – just for her to do the scene. The answer was still no. She relented when she was threatened with a lawsuit.

In the end, the film turned out to be the turning point of her career. It was box-office bonanza and she won as best actress at the 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival and gained the reputation of a serious performer. As for the Mercedes Benz, it was never delivered, prompting her to buy a blue Benz for herself.

The following year, she hoped for a two-in-a-row win as film fest best actress. Her entry was Lino Brocka’s Rubia Servios, where she plays a rape victim.

Everyone said she was a shoo-in for best actress. Even fortune tellers were unanimous in saying this at a gossip show on television. Her producer, Marichu Maceda, was so sure of her victory that she gifted the actress with a P10,000 dress to wear during the Gabi ng Parangal, an amount that could cover an entire bridal entourage.

But come awards night, Mrs. Maceda got hold of a copy of the winners before the show and broke to her the news: “Talo ka.” At the moment, she still had the option to leave, but graciously stayed on to watch arch rival Nora Aunor ascend the stage as the winner (for Atsay). After the show, she and Mrs. Maceda proceeded to the actress’ Makati condo and got drunk on champagne.

Things went downhill from there. Her career was rocked with a Betamax scandal which wouldn’t raise eyebrows in the more jaded early 21st century. Supposedly the video was in wide circulation but nobody really saw it. No copy ever surfaced because there was never one. Ironically, years later, Vilma truly became a Betamax Queen when videos of her Viva and Regal movies became the best sellers in video shops here and in Filipino communities in the US.

After the Betamax issue, she went through another trial: she found herself buried in debt. Vilma always had faith in real estate and had invested well in choice properties but dipping her hands into movie producing was a faux pas. While proud of her movie venture Pagputi, the production cost of the film wiped out her finances. For one, it took the director, Celso Ad. Castillo, three years to finish the project. “First time kong nagkaroon ng kaaway – at nabato ko pa si Celso,” grimaces Vilma.

And then, an aide she thought could trust mishandled her finances. Bills that were supposed to be settled remained unpaid – until the interest started accumulating. And in the meantime, BIR duties were neglected. She mortgaged properties, only later to be repossessed. Her posh Dasma residence, house in Marikina and Tahanan Village, plus a three-hectare lot in Tanay that had 52 mango trees – were all taken away from her. The Magallanes Village home where she lived that time was saved – “pero may utang pa rin du’n.” She lost even her blue Mercedes.

It was Mrs. Maceda and he late Atty. Espiridion Laxa who helped fix her money mess. First, the P80,000 monthly household was trimmed down to P5,000. “I practically measured even the patis (fish sauce) she used in the kitchen,” volunteers Mrs. Maceda, who also trafficked all talent fees from Vilma’s projects. “Many Ichu would only show me my cheques: ‘O, this was what you earned from making this movie.’ And then derecho pambayad na ng utang ‘yun. Never ko na-enjoy ‘yung kinita ko doing those films,” recalls Vilma of that dark period that went on for years.

By God’s grace, she remained a bankable star all throughout. There was even a bright light in this chapter of her life: She met her first husband and father of her first child.

It was the height of the disco craze when she was introduced to Edu Manzano. She and director Elwood Perez had gone discoing that night and had repaired to the Manila Pen for an early breakfast. Edu, a top model then, asked Elwood to introduce him to Vilma.

A short courtship followed until Edu, then already an actor, followed Vilma to the US (where she was doing two movies) and proposed marriage. “Edu arrived in LA, rented a car and off we went to Las Vegas to get married.”

While honeymooning in the US, they did one movie together (Romansa) before returning to Manila where Edu bade the movies goodbye in favor of office work. While Edu did not exactly expect Vilma to quit showbiz, he expressed his wish for her to at least slow down a bit. But how could she when she still had to settle her debts that by then had ballooned to about P8-M due to compounded interest?

To her relief, she never lost her fans in spite of the fact that she was already married with one kid (Luis, currently the busiest host on TV). She did Relasyon not only because she liked the story (about the sacrficies of a mistress), but also because – “pambayad din ng utang ‘yun.”

“And I won my first Urian there,” Vilma says with pride.

Although it was a grand-slam win for her, “pinaka-precious sa akin ‘yung Urian.” To her frustration, she wasn’t even able to deliver an acceptance speech. She had come from Celebrity Sports Plaza where she was crowned Box-office Queen. Hosts Behn Cervantes and Tessie Tomas were already wrapping up the show by the time her car pulled over at the Manila Film Center where the Urian was held. As soon as she entered the hall, the earth shook – literally – from some minor tremors. She was unfazed by the earthquake and as she charged in, she kept crying: “Bernie! Bernie!” (her director in Relasyon) sand cried on his shoulder.

Her marriage to Manzano had already totally collapsed by the time she worked on Broken Marriage, which gave her her second Urian. Vilma was still deep in debt that time and had to continue working. There was no time for domestic bliss, except to attend to the needs of her child, Luis.

To be fair to Edu, he offered to help settle her debts, but his income from office work was not enough to solve his wife’s financial problems. (He only returned to the movies in 1984, finally tasting showbiz success via Bernal’s Working Girls.)

By the mid-‘80s, Vilma could already command a salary of P700,000 per film. For Mayro J. de Los Reyes’ Tagos ng Dugo, she was paid a million pesos.

Although her financial recovery was already in sight, she still smarted from her broken marriage – until she decided to snap out of it. While getting ready for her VIP variety show one Sunday, she waited for Luis to come home from a father-son bonding with Edu. Rushing into her arms, Luis reported to his mother his pizza date with his father – “and some tita.” “Hmm, so there is already a tita,” Vilma muttered to herself.

After her show that evening, she decided “to have some fun” – clean fun, actually, since her dates were Charito Solis, long-time confidante Chit Guerrero and her VIP staff. They met up at the King Kong disco of Marilou Abaya and Ishmael Bernal, probably the most wholesome watering place that time since it was right across St. Paul College at Doña Hemady corner Aurora Boulevard.

Early in the night, a 21-year old La Salle college student approached Vilma and introduced himself as Ralph Recto. May he dance her? Vilma gave her a curt “later.”

Ralph kept coming back to her table every hour, but her answer was the same. At 4 a.m., a sleepy and exasperated Charito told Vilma: “Isayaw mo na nga para makauwi na tayo!” Ralph lost no time wooing her after.

All throughout the courtship, Ralph would watch over Vilma during shoots that lasted till the wee hours of the morning. They waited till Ralph had finished school and had himself elected as Batangas congressman before they got married – in grand fashion at the Lipa Cathedral in 1992.

The year after, she did The Dolzura Cortez Story and the experience was a bittersweet one for her. Sweet because she got the Urian one more time and eventually ended up with another grand-slam. It was bitter because she lost a baby (a case of ectopic pregnancy) while doing the movie.

The next time she got pregnant, she gave up all her work including her award-winning Vilma show, and stayed in bed for five months. That sacrifice gave her and her husband a very healthy boy they named Ryan Christian, now 21 and graduating from college.

In 1998, she entered politics, first as Lipa mayor, a job that kept her away from the movies and even posed a threat to her life. When the 2nd Urian anthology (with her on the cover) was launched in 2002, Vilma was all set to grace the event. But shortly before the affair, she had a shabu laboratory raided (with the help of the DILG). It was a major drug bust that yielded P1.5-B worth of shabu. She received a death threat and was not allowed to go out in public for quite some time and, was in fact, forbidden to talk about the incident.

After three terms as mayor, she completed another three terms as Batangas governor. In 2016, she was elected congresswoman representing the 6th district of the province. She humbly admits, “It was only when I was already a politician that I began to fully appreciate my lines in Sister Stella L.” In the Mike de Leon film, she played the role of a timid nun who grows into a militant labor activist.

As a public official, her name has remained untainted. In the movies, she is forever admired and respected for her artistry and her immeasurable contribution to the industry.

Screenwriter Ricardo Lee, a staunch Noranian, once shared how Vilma would hand him a cheque, telling him: “Ricky, para sa (writing) workshop mo.”

As a superstar, she lent her clout in the industry to make it possible for local directors to attain their dream projects, a lot of which turned out to be among cinema’s best. In fact, seven of her films were Urian best picture winners.

And even while at the throes of financial distress, she risked essaying roles that were not necessarily viable at the box-office, but gave her the chance to create fresh and strong characters, mostly championing the rights of women.

She agreed to do Sister Stella L, a film with strong anti-establishment sentiments, even while Marcos was still in power. Vilma also agreed to do something that was a-no-no in star vehicles – die in Pahiram ng Isang Umaga and in Dolzura Cortez, two films about death and illnesses, subjects that never appealed to moviegoers. Playing the mother of an autistic child in Ipagpatawad Mo was also a gamble given its depressing story.

During the few and rare times she had the opportunity to make movies, given her punishing schedule as a public servant, instead of choosing surefire box-office formulas, she experimented with sociopolitical films like, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa and Deka 70, both of which earned her more Urian best actress awards.

For the acting brilliance she displayed in all those films – from Relasyon, Tagos Ng Dugo, and Sister Stella L, to Deka 70 and the more recent Ekstra – she enjoys the Manunuri accolade as best actress both officially and unofficially, raising the level of film acting to unprecedented heights. (READ MORE)

Video credit: VSSI Global

Video credit: VSSI Global

Video credit: My Movie World

About Butch Francisco – Butch Francisco writes a column for Philippine Star. He has hosted TV programs and shows. He was the editor of TV Times, Parade Magazine, and We Forum, among others. He was part of the cast of Tukhang, a crime drama series.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacy of actress, Vilma Santos, and to make her career information available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislation, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to non-commercial/not for profit research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. – Wikipedia

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O, Ikaw Na!

Maraming pumupuna nuon na hindi raw pang-masa si Ate Vi at ang kalaban raw niya ang pangmasa. Eto na, matagal nang lumabas ang tutoo. Pero mas lalong lumutang ang katotohanan sa nakaraang dalawang dekada (2000-2020). Bakit hindi ito Tutoo? Dahil sa dami ng ginawa ng pelikula ng karibal, hindi ito tinangkilik ng masa, maging ang mga art house na pestibal o panatiko sa CCP, hindi pa rin ito kasing lakas kumpara sa ibang pelikula at nanood rito. At kung suwertihin naman na mapanood sa malaking sinehan ang pelikula ng karibal ni Vi, nakikiusap pa ang mga prodyuser at direktor na huwag tangalin agad.

Kung ang karibal ni Vi ay pangmasa, bakit pahirapan pa, na hiyakating panoorin ang pelikula niya? Samantala ng umuwi si Josie mula sa Hongkong para makapiling ang mga Anak nuong 2000, nabulabog ang mga sinehan sa haba ng pila, nagpatuloy at nagpatunay ang pagiging Reyna ng Masa ni Vi – sa pelikula man o sa politika. Lahat ng pelikula niya mula kay Josie hanggang kay Vivienne, tinangkilik ng masa, sa kanyang mga di pangkaraniwang papel sa puting tabing. Milyon-milyon ang kinita sa takilya. Maraming nabigyan ng trabaho sa industriya at maraming maliliit na taong pilipinong pinasaya niya sa panonood ng kanyang mga pelikula.

Dahil sa karangalang binigay ng PEP bilang numero unong pinakamahusay na pangunahing aktress ng taon 2000 hanggang 2020. Oh ikaw na! Si Vi na nga! At wala ng iba! Siyempre naman, maraming nagbunyi ngunit mayroon din namang nag-iingay. Patulan ko ba?

Maingay na director – May isang nagiingay na direktor na pilit pinagtatanggol ang karibal ni Vi. Hindi kaya niya nakita na ganuon pa rin ang pagarte nito -na niluma na ng panahon? Kung kaya wala ng nagkakainteres sa masa na panoorin ito? Katulad ng huling pelikula nito na hindi nakitaan ng bahaghari dahil sobrang pilit na drama at nakakatakot na pang-horror na mga mata ng nilumang aktres. Kung kaya naman maging ang mga baguhang starlets ay tinalo siya sa pangdisyembreng online na pestibal at sa kakatapos na Eddys.

Ang sasabihin ng ilan, nagbigay raw by karangalan sa ating bansa, sa mga pestibal sa labas ng bansa, ang pambato ng nag-iingay na direktor. Ang tanong ko lang naman may nakapanood ba ng mga pelikula nito? Anong naging halaga nito kung hindi naibalik ang puhunan mga prodyuser? Sampu-samperang pang-art house daw ang mga pelikulang ito, na aminin man nila o hindi, sila sila lang ang nakapanood.

Hindi ba puwedeng pagsabayin ang komersiyalismo at matinong obra tulad ng pelikula tungkol kay Loida, ang dakilang ekstra na naglakbay sa Amerika at Kanada at kumita ng husto? Kailangang bang paramihan ng pelikulang indie o mas mainam ang may maraming klaseng pelikula na inihahain sa masa at tumatabo sa takilya? Hindi ba nakikita ng direktor na ito na halos pare-parehong tema at pagarte ng kanyang pambato kung kaya walang interes na ang masa rito?

Ang tunay na dahilan – Bakit ba nagiingay ang director na ito? Hindi nga ba’t siya rin ang bumatikos kay Vi ng bumoto ito ng “yes with reservation” sa isang bill na pinasa sa kongreso? Alam n’yo ba na hindi si Vi ang unang bumoto ng ganito? Matagal na panahon na, pangkaraniwang gamit ito ng mga politiko upang magkaroon ng kooperasyon sa ibang partido. Ang pinakamakahulugang dahilan ay kung isa kang miyembro ng menor na partido, kailangang makipagkooperasyon ka upang maihangon mo ang iyong mga minimithi o isinusugod na pakay para sa ikabubuti ng iyong kapuluan na nirerepresenta mo sa kongreso. Kung hindi mo ito gagawin, wala kang maipapasang batas na magpapabuti sa mga mamamayan na iyong kapuluan. Ang mga mahahasang politiko nuon at bumoto na rin ng ganito upang makipagkooperasyon at magkaroon ng solusyong pangkalahatan.

Bagama’t may katapangan sa kanyang desisyon tumayo si Vi, sa kanyang posisyon, katulad ng pagtayo niya kontra sa death penalty o sa pagtutol niya sa pagputol ng prangkisa ng ABS-CBN. Ang tanong ko lang, kung hindi ba siya babae, at hindi siya si Vi magrereklamo ba ang mga reklamador? Ilang taon na rin ang nakakaraan may nangyari bang masama sa naging boto ni Vi? At kung nagkamali ba siya sa pagboto nito, wala na bang halaga ang mga daan-daang kabutihan nitong nagawa sa ating mga kababayang Pilipino, na patuloy na naghihirap? Ano ba ang nagawa ng mga maiingay na reklamador katulad ng bungangerong direktor na ito -na nagpupumilit na magkaroon ng boses ngunit wala namang entablado? Ano ba ang naiambag nila sa masa para magkuwestiyon?

Ganito na nuon, Ganito pa ba ngayon? – Tulad noon, ganito pa rin ngayon. Binigay na, magrereklamo pa. Hindi naman hiningi ni Vi ito, kusang binigay ngunit pinipilit pa nilang kuwesyunin. Tulad ng pang-masang karangalan, ilang ulit nang nilaglag ang bata nila, pinipilit pa rin. Naranasan mo bang lunukin ang sarili mong suka? Kasuklam naman sa panlasa di ba? Kung ipipilit pa rin hindi ba parang binabalahura na nila ang mga Tao sa likod into?

Kung ang masa na ang nagsasabi. Lagpas sampung obra man o hindi kung inayawan at hindi nila gustong panoorin ang mga pelikula ng karibal ni Vi, ano pa bang patunay ang gusto nila? Naluma na, kung kaya naman -tapos na ang laban.

Sa huli, sa haba na ng panahon, makikita sa “record book” ang marka ng kasikatan ni Vi. Hindi ito sa paramihan ng pelikula, kundi ang iba-ibang putahe na nagpasaya ang masang pilipino. Si Vi ang tunay na Reyna ng pelikulang Pilipino. Salamat sa PEP sa pagpapahalaga sa kanyang ambag sa masang Pilipino. Ito ay patunay na siya ang Nasyonal na Alagad ng Sining, Ng Masang Pilipino. – FRV, 06 May 2021

Ilang linya ng kanyang obrang pelikula (2000-2020)


Josie Agbisit (2000)

“Sana sa tuwing umiinom ka ng alak…habang hinihitit mo ang sigarilyo mo at habang nilulustay mo ang perang pinapadala ko! Sana maisip mo rin kung ilang pagkain ang tiniis kong hindi kainin para lang makapagpadala ako ng malaking pera rito. Sana habang nakahiga ka diyan sa kutson mo, natutulog, maisip mo rin kung ilang taon akong natulog mag-isa nabang nangungulila ako sa yakap ng mga mahal ko. Sana maisip mo kahit kaunti kung gaano kasakit sa akin ang mag-alaga ng mga batang hindi ko kaanoano samantalang kayo, kayong mga anak ko hindi ko man lang maalagaan. Alam mo ba kung gaano kasakit iyon sa isang ina? Alam mo bang gaano kasakit iyon? Kung hindi mo ako kayang ituring bilang isang ina. Respetuhin mo man lang ako bilang isang tao. Yung lang Carla…yun man lang.” – Josie Agbisit (2000)


Amanda Bartolome (2002)

“Buong buhay ko yan na lang lagi ang sinasabi nila sa akin…wala kang magagawa eto ang gusto ng asawa mo…wala kang magagawa eto ang kapalaran mo…wala kang magagawa dahil dapat…putris naman, dapat hindi ganuon…tapos sasabihin ng daddy n’yo hindi lang ang anak ko ang pinatay hindi lang ang anak ko ang dinukot…lalo akong nanggigigil, lalo akong nagagalit dahil kung nanay ka talaga, hindi ka lang dapat nanganganak kundi naipaglaban mo rin ang anak mo dapat kaya mong pumatay para sa anak mo…gusto ko lang malaman bakit nila pinatay ang anak ko…hindi masamang tao ang anak ko, kahit sa oras na ito humarap ako sa diyos kahit sa dimonyo hindi masamang tao ang anak ko…hindi masamang tao ang anak ko!” – Amanda Bartolome (2002)


Lilia Chiong Yang (2004)

“Pinuntahan n’yo ba ako rito para awayin?…silang dalawa,,,mahal ko silang dalawa, bago ko pa man naging boyfriend si Michael, naging asawa si Paul, magkakasama na kami, kaya mahal ko silang dalawa, mahirap bang intindihin ‘yon?…walang batas na nagsasabing bawal magmahal ng dalawa….” – Lilia Chiong Yang (2004)


Daisy Hernandez (2006)

“Kung ang tawag sa mga namamatayan ng asawa ay byudo o biyuda at ang mga anak na nawawalan ng mga magulang ay ulila, ano ang tawag sa mga magulang na namamatayan ng anak?” – Daisy Hernandez (2006)


Vivian Rabaya (2016)

“Pag nagkakamali ba ang nanay, di mo na siya nanay? Pag binigo ka niya, nababawasan ba ang pagkananay niya? Nanay pa rin kami. Nanay niya pa rin ako.” – Vivian Rabaya (2016)


Loida Malabanan (2013)

“…Itaga n’yo sa bato, sisikat din tayo!” “…okay lang po, it’s part of the job!” – Loida Malabanan (2013)

In The Eyes of Bunso

He’s always going to be known as Ryan Christian, althought he doesn’t mind if you call him just Ryan (He has also heard people call him by his dad’s name, Ralph, or by his brother’s name, Luis). Unless you’ve caught his very few TV appearances of late, you might still picture Ryan Christian Recto as a fair-skinned, brown-haired, doe-eyed little boy. He is still all that, except that now he is twice as tall as that little boy and is a 19-year-old college student, taking up management at the Ateneo de Manila University. At the time of the Yes! interview, Ryan is thinking of shifting to another business course, management economics. “I still haven’t made up my mind what to specialize in,” he says. “I’m just exploring everything now.” Yes, even including show business and politics.

Ryan dabbled in acting when he was younger. He had regular guesting stints on the long-running kiddie gag show Goin’ Bulilit (He was in the same batch as Kathryn Bernardo, Nash Aguas, and Jane Oineza). “I’m cool with it,” he says. “I think others want it more than me. It interests me, but not to the point where I’d go to the same lengths as others. More like, if it’s there, it’s there.” Just a normal teenage boy, except that he is not – at least not to us, the public. He is, after all, the son of the Star for All Seasons. He grew up in a world where his mom was already the Ate Vi. To this day, when he comes home from school, there are times when he would look for his mom and jokingly shout: “Ate Vi!” “I didn’t see her before she wasn’t well-known to everyone,” he says.

“I didn’t need to get used to it, you know what I mean? Kasi, for me, that was normal.” It was normal that one day he stumbled upon videos of the Darna series that starred his mother. “The feeling you get, you know,” he says animatedly. “You see Wonder Woman, but I can say my mom did it better! Hahaha! Kasi ako, I’m a big komiks fan and the fact that she played a superhero, that’s…ang galing!” Ryan lists the Darna series, particularly Darna and the Giants, as his favorite in his mother’s filmography. Not many can say that their moms had “playing Darna”in their resume, but Ryan says that, for the most part, his mother is a “regular Filipino mom.” Whenever Ryan had friends over, Ate Vi would welcome them and insist on feeding everyone. “Kahit busog ka, bibigyan ka pa rin.” At home, Ryan says his mom would typically be in a shirt, “short shorts,”and one of those workout headbands. Not in a duster? “She’s too young for that!” Ryan replies, chuckling.

“I’m kidding. Not just her thing.” He says Ate Vi, on her days off from work, can usually be found sitting on the couch in the TV are. “She does everything in that couch!” he says. She works out, eats, watches TV, and even falls asleeep there. “She sleeps with the TV on,” Ryan reveals. “If you turn off the TV, she’ll wake up.” Overall, he says, his mom is “a mix of strict and cool.” He even prefers talking to her when it comes to the subject of girls. Both of his parents “give good advice,” he says. “Pero I like mom’s advice better. Hahaha! If you want to know something about a woman, why would you ask a man? Might as well ask a woman! So girls -Mom. Dad -all of the serious stuff.” Ryan is currently in a relationship and has brought his girlfriend home to meet his parents.

“Napaka-welcoming ni Mom, fortunately. Every time we have a family thing, ‘O, invite your girl,’ like that.” Ate Vi has also encouraged Ryan in music. He had tried diffrent kinds of instruments, but he found that the drum “clicks with me.” he adds: “And like my mom said, pinakamalakas na appeal daw in a band is the drums. Hahaha! Siyempre, my mom, dancer siya, e. So my mom, sa beat siya. You can’t make people dance with the guitar, di ba? There has to be a beat.” He reiterates: “Kaya drummers siguro ‘yong may pinakamalakas na appeal. Hahaha!” Like other boys his age, Ryan is also allowed to have fun and have a few drinks with friends, but not without getting serious reminders from both his parents. They always remind him not to drink and drive, and not to go all out when it comes to alcohol.

“Magtira ka bago umuwi,” he says, repeating his dad’s words. “Let’s say you’re in a friend’s house and you get drunk. Don’t puke in their house. That’s very, very disrespectful to them. Don’t pass out in their house or something. Don’t do that.” Ryan takes his parents’ trust in him seriously. He knows that these freedoms were given to him out of trust. “It’s mostly a matter of me just being responsible. If they see that I am responsible, that I can manage myself when I go out of whatever, that’s fine. But if they didn’t see that, then no.” He makes it a point to give his parents updates on his whereabouts. “Not naman every five minutes, no. It’s more like letting them know where I am, how long I’ll stay.” But, of course, the cool-parenting part ends somewhere.

Ate Vi draws the line when it come to serious matters like schooling. One time, when he was in high school, Ryan got into huge trouble because he was always late for school, which was “literally 20 steps away from our house.” “Inaabuso ko ‘yong the fact na my house is near,” he recalls. “Napupuyat ako palagi. At night, I just think about the next day. Sometimes I watch movies. And because of that, nasanay na.” His tardiness got so frequent that the school sanctioned him and made him do community service. “I had to clean up a beach.” As a result, Ryan got an earful from his parents. Ate Vi tell us later, when it’s her turn to be interviewed by Yes!, about how she scolded her bunso. She told him: “Kahihiyan na ‘yan anak. Mahiya ka dahil ‘yong ginagawa mo, boomerang sa amin.

Parang wala kaming kuwentang mga magulang, you know. Five minutes away sa school, late pa? May memo pa?” Ryan has since learned his lesson. Now that he travels from Ayala Alabang in the south to the Ateneo campus in the north, he leaves the house an hour and a half before his scheduled calss. He is now very punctual, his mom tell us. These days, he even prepares his school stuff, including the clothes he will wear to school, the night before. Ate Vi reports: “Nagugulat ako! ‘Anak, are you sure?’ Nakikita ko na preparing na. ‘This is what I am going to wear tomorrow.’ Nilalabas niya na ‘yong rubber shoes, ayun.” By the looks of it, Ryan is growing up to be a stand-up man, someone who’s reliable and trustworthy, someone you can depend on to “stand up and be counted.” Ate Vi and Senator Ralph must be doing something right. – Candice Lim-Venturanza, Yes! Magazine October 2015 (READ MORE)