Vilma Santos’speech during the U.P. Gawad Plaridel 2005

Mula po edad nine hanggang 15 ay nakagawa na agad ako ng 25 pelikula halos 5 pelikula po bawat toan… Ilan sa mga pelikulang ginawa ko noon ay ang Trudis Liit, Anak Ang Iyong Ina…at ganun din ang mga Naligaw na Anghel, Hampaslupang Maton at De Colores… Para sa akin, maayos at magagaling ang mga pelikulang ito, nakakatawa lang ang mga titles. Pero ipinagmamalaki ko pong sabihin sa inyo na kumita ang mga pelikulang iyan. Kasi po wala pang mga pirated cds, wala pang dvd noon, wala pang mga cable television…at madalang pa po ang dating ng dayuhang pelikula.

Noong nagdadalaga na ako, ilan po sa mga pelikulang ginawa ko ay ang Song and Lovers, I love You Honey, Edgar Loves Vilma, kasama na dito ang Takbo Vilma Dali, Hatinggabi Na Vilma, meron pa pong isa, Vilma and the Beep Beep Minica, Dyesebel at ako po ay naging Darna din… pambihira po ang mga fans nung araw, ang ginagawa po nilaý ginugupit po ang articles ng kanilang mga idolo at inilalagay sa album…hanggang ngayon po sa aking tanggapan sa Lunsod ng Lipa ay nagpupunta pa rin sila sa akin, mga kasing-edad ko na rin at pinakikita po sa akin ang mga album, pinapipirmahan…minsan nga po ay nakita ko ang mga old pictures ko, sabi ko pwede ba mahingi..pwede ba sunugin? Kasi po yung bilog na bilog pa ang mukha ko…

Dumating po ako sa punto ng buhay ko na kailangang magpasya kung ano ang dapat na maging direksiyon ng aking buhay bilang isang artista. At nag-umpisa akong tumanggap ng mga pelikulang mas malaman kaysa doon sa mga naunang mga pelikulang aking ginawa. Malaman dahil mas may script, mas may istorya at direksyon. Naisip ko rin na lalo kong pagbubutihin ang pagganap sa pelikula. Mabuti na lamang at nariyan ang ating magagaling na direktor noong panahon na iyon katulad nina Ishmael Bernal, Lino Brocka, Mike de Leon, Laurice Guillen, Marilou Diaz Abaya…

Noong nanalo ako ng awards, grandslam pa, sa pelikulang Relasyon, sabi ko sa sarili ko: “Magaling na ako!” the next day pagkakuha ko ng isa sa apat na awards, first shooting day na agad ng pelikulang Broken Marriage at drama agad ang first scene namin ni Christopher de Leon. Aba! Na-take 7 ako sa first scene na ito. Sabi sa akin ni Ishmael Bernal: “Bakit Vi, ano ba ang nangyayari sa ýo? Nagda-drama ka pero bakit may twinkle-twinkle ang mg amata mo?! Anong arte yan!? Alam n’yo po ba ang ginawa nýa? Ipinasok nya ako sa toilet at ako po ay ikinulong nýa dito at pinag-jogging po ako ng minutes. Ang sabi niya sa akin: “Wag kang mag-ilusyon! Hindi ibig sabihin na tumanggap ka ng grandslam award eh, magaling ka na!” Pagkatapos ng insidenteng ito, tumanim sa isip ko na ang pag-aaral pala, paghahasa at pagdagdag ng kaalaman sa larangan aking pinili ay dapat tuloy-tuloy at hindi dapat ihinto

Maraming problemang kinakaharap ngayong ang ating industriya. Marami ang wala nang hanapbuhay ngayon, katunayan marami akong mga kasamahang actor at director na dumadalaw sa ating tanggapan sa Lipa para humingi ng tulong. Halos television na lamang ang bumubuhay sa kanila. Ngunit ang karamihan ay wala na talagang trabaho. Sa kabila nito ako’y naniniwala na kaya pa nating sagipin ang industriya. Sa palagay ko dapat pag-aralan ng ating pamahalaan kung paano mababawasan ang buwis na ipinapataw dito. Napakataas na at pataas pa ng pataas ang production cost ng paggawa ng pelikula. Kaya nagiging matamlay ang ating producers na gumawa ng pelikula.

Kailangan ding pag-aralan ng ating pamahalaan ang paglalagay ng regulasyon sa pagpasok ng mga dayuhang pelikula. Bigyan namang priyoridad ang ating sariling produkto. Nais ko ring idagdag na kailangan din naman pagbutihin ang mga istorya sa paggawa ng pelikula. Hindi yong nangongopya na lamang. Kailangang naman de-kalidad. May tatak Pinoy. Sa amin sa Lipa, nagpasa kami ng isang batas na nagbabawas ng amusement tax mula 30% to 16% sa lahat ng pelikulang Pilipino lamang na ipapalabas sa sinehan sa aming bayan. Ang buhay o ikabubuhay ng pelikulang Pilipino ay nasa ating mga kamay mismo. Nasa ating pamahalaan, sa ating mga movie producers, sa ating mga mismong manonood, sa ating mismong naririto ngayon. Tulungan natin makabangon ang industriya ng pelikula. – Excerpt of Gino Dormiendo‘s article for Mr. & Ms. Magazine, September 2005, reposted by: Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

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Book Launching of “Movie Queen”

ARTICLES - Movie Queen

February 13, 2007, Tuesday – Haller mga co-Vilmanians around the world! Musta na kayo? Meron na naman akong ise-share sa inyo. Pero bago ito let me greet everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day…..and also Happy Feast Day kay Father Juancho G. de Leon aka Father J or Dre, the first Filipino parish priest ng St. Valentine, New Jersey, US of A dahil tomorrow, February 14, 2007 ang fiesta sa kanilang parish. Ang aking ikukwento ngayon ay ang book launching of “Movie Queen.” Pagbuo Ng Mito at Kapangyarihang Kultural ng Babae sa Lipunan by Cesar D. Orsal, Ph. D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences sa Trinity University of Asia (well, for your information, silent Vilmanian itong si Dr. O. di ba Jojo Lim?). Sa invitation na ibinigay mismo ng author ng libro ay nakalagay na magsisimula ang programa ng mga 2PM at the Mandell Hall Auditorium, Trinity University of Asia at 275 E. Rodriguez, Sr. Avenue, Cathedral Heights, Quezon City. Dumating ako sa Trinity University of Asia ng mga 1:20PM at habang hinihintay ko si Jojo at Nar Santander sa entrance ng school, ay nakita kong may mga nag-parehistrong mga Noranians na naka-uniform ng Ganap. Nang makalayo na yung mga Noranians (2 lang naman sila) ay nagkatawanan kami nung lady guard sabay komento nung guard na. “aba at buhay pa pala ang mga fans ni Nora Aunor.”

Nang dumating si Jojo ay agad kaming pumasok ng school at dumeretso sa Mandell Hall Auditorium. Nakita agad namin ang author ng libro na si Dr. O (kilala namin personally ni Jojo itong si Dr. O) at agad naming binati habang ang mga Noranians ay nakamasid lang sa amin. Bumili kami ni Jojo ng libro sabay comment ni Jojo ng “si Vi talaga ang tunay na Reyna dahil s’ya ang nasa itaas ang picture” (please see attach file) sabay ngiti naman nung nagbebenta ng libro. Sa unahan kami umupo ni Jojo at maya maya naman ay dumating na din si Nar. Sinabi ni Nar na narinig daw niya na sinabi nung isang Noranian na si Vilma lang daw ang pangalawa kay Nora Aunor (haller!.. 2007 na tayo noh.. wala na tayo sa DEKADA ’70…..matatapos na nga ang term ni Lipa City Mayor Vi… juice ko po itik…..na naging pato…..itaas pa ba ang kanilang idolo…na hindi naman ka-ido-idolo…di ba naman Henry Llaneza?…anong masasabi mo Kuya Mar Garces?…huwag na bang patulan?…oo naman yan ang aming ginagawa…..matuk!). Eniwey nagsimula ang programa ng a little bit past 2PM via Invocation led by Ms. Gracia Sarao…na sya ding tumayong program host…na sinundan ng singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Ang director ng Research Center na si Dr. Angelita Bugnalen ang nag-opening remarks…..followed by an introduction of the author and lecturer by Ms. Lourdes Genevieve Martirez, PACSA President, Trinity University of Asia Chapter.

Sa lecture: Babae sa Pelikula at ang Pagbuo ng Kapangyarihang Kultural ng author na si Cesar D. Orsal, Ph. D. ay in-aknowledge ni Dr. O ang mga taong nakatulong sa pagbuo ng book launching na ito kasama na ang mga Noranians at Vilmanians (of course). Nang mabanggit ang pangalan ni Nora Aunor ay sigawan ang mga Noranians (para tuloy naging Awards Night ang okasyon). Ang sumigaw ay yung Noranian na nakasagutan namin sa programa ni Korina Sanchez…siya din yung taong nakasagutan ni Obet Sapin nung ipinalabas sa NCCA ang dalawang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Tag-ulan Sa Tagaraw at Love Letters samantalang si Nora Aunor ay isang pelikula lang…nagrereklamo siya sa organizer kung bakit isang movie lang ni Nora Aunor ang ipinalabas….hehehe…siya din ang isa sa mga nag-walk out sa Star Awards nang manalo si Ate Vi sa Mano Po 3: My Love…at sinabi pang nag-Intsik lang…nanalo na…siya din yung taong iniipon sa plastic ang mga upos ng sigarilyo ni Nora Aunor…siya din yung nasunugan ng bahay na ang iniligtas muna ay ang mga clippings ni Nora Aunor at hindi yung mga religious articles…siya din yung fan na nang magtampo kay Nora Aunor ay pumunta sa Vilma Show sa Broadway Centrum at nag-a-apply para maging Vilmanian. Lingunan ang mga estudyanteng nanonood.

Nang mabanggit naman ang pangalan ni Vilma Santos ay palakpak lang ang ginawa naming tatlo nina Jojo at Nar…subali’ t yung mga estudyanteng nanonood ay pumalakpak at sumigaw pa ng mas malakas pa sa mga Noranians para kay Ate Vi. May isa pa ngang estudyante…na katabi namin na sumigaw ng “basta ako ay para kay Ate Vi,” di ba Nar? May mga ipinakitang film clips ng mga Reyna ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Ipinakita sina Gloria Romero: Golden Girl of Philippine Cinema, Nida Blanca: Reyna ng Komedya, Babaeng Galawgaw, Susan Roces: First Lady of Philippine Cinema, Amalia Fuentes: Reyna ng Kagandahan, Nora Aunor: Superstar ng Masa, Vilma Santos: Star For All Seasons, Sharon Cuneta: Megastar, Maricel Soriano: Diamond Star, Rosanna Roces: Reyna ng Makabagong Magdalena, Kris Aquino: Cross Over Queen, Game Show Queen, Judy Ann Santos: Phenomenal Star of the Millenium. Pagkatapos ng lecture ni Dr. O…ay ang isang song number ni Mr. Danilo Ito, isang professor sa College of Education…na Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako. Halatang Noranian si Mr. Ito dahil nagbiro pa sya na sana daw…sa cover ng libro ay si Nora Aunor ang nasa itaas ang picture (sorry ka na lang sir…..Vilmanian si Dr. O).

Habang umaawit si Mr. Ito ng kanyang pangalawang awitin na Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas ay may mga estudyanteng pa-isa isang lumalabas ng Mandell Hall Auditorium…bakit kaya? Pagkatapos ng awitin ng isang Noranian ay ang Introduction of the Book by Mrs. Bezalie Uckung, Executive Director of New Day Publishers, Inc…then ang Book Review ni Mr. Ricky Lee, Film and TV Scriptwriter (isa pa ring Noranian). Ang Presentation of Appreciation to Dr. Cesar D. Orsal ay iginawad ni Mrs. Bezalie Uckung and after the program ay ang signing of the books by the author. Unang nagpapirma ay si Mr. Ricky Lee na kinausap pa namin ni Jojo at sinabing mga Vilmanians kami. Alam pala ni Ricky na may gagawing pelikula si Vi at si John Lloyd at palagi daw may revision sa script. Well…anong masasabi mo, Franco Gabriel? Si Nar, si Jojo at si ako ay nagpapirma na din ng libro kay Dr. O. Around 3:45PM na natapos ang programa at agad na kaming lumabas ng school. So….yan muna ang aking maikling kwento (maikli daw o….). – Alfonso Valencia, V Magazine, December 2009 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos from Trudis Liit to Aida Macaraeg

ARTICLES - Vilma Santos-From Trudis Liit to Aida Macaraeg (Movie Flash, Jan 5, 1984)

From Trudis Liit to Aida Macaraeg spans 21 long years and that covers the film career of top actress Vilma Santos until now. Trudis Liit has already become synonymous with the famous actress’name in the same manner that Darna (which she shared with Rosa del Rosario, Liza Moreno, Eva Montes, Gina Pareño, Lorna Tolentino -on TV-, Rio Locsin, and would you believe, even Dolphy in Darna Kuno?), Dyesebel (Which she also shared with Edna Luna, Eva Montes – did she or didn’t she?-, and Alma Moreno), Wonder Vi, Maria Sinderela (in Mahiwagang Daigdig ni Maria Sinderela), Susan Kelly (in Susan kelly, Edad 20), Rubia Servios and Miss X have been identified with her. And now Aida Macaraeg. Aida Macaraeg: Adultery Case No. 3690 is the new and hopefully the final title of Vilma’s latest Regal film which is directed by Lino Brocka. Ilang beses ding nagpalit-palit ng titulo and pelikulang ito ni Vilma starting out with Obsession as its working title, then it was changed to Separasyon Legal, and still to Paano Kita Mamahalin? before finally setting for Aida Macaraeg: Adultery Case No. 3690. Maganda na sana ang unang titulo nito, ang Obsession. Bagay na bagay ito sa tema ng kuwento about an obsessed lover kaya lang medyo apprehesive ang pamunuan ng Regal na baka hindi ito bumenta sa mga probinsiya dahil masyadong high sounding ang titulong Obsession at hindi ito maintindihan. The most likely thing to happen ay maipagkakamali itong isang foreign film considering the fact na there was a Canadian film with the same title shown several years ago. That film was directed by Brian de Palma and its starred Genevive Bujold.

The change from Obsession to Separasyon Legal did not satisfy the Regal boss, Lily Monteverde, because the new title sounded like a take-off from two of Vilma’s most successful films, Relasyon and Broken Marriage. So they thought of another title and considered Paano Kita Mamahalin? na at first ay parang bagay rin sa nilalaman ng pelikual tungkol sa isang nakaw na pagmamahalan. Pero ang Paano Kita Mamahalin? ay parang kapareho ng titulo ng pinakamalaking hit ng pelikula ng Viva Filma na major competitor ng Regal. Ito iyong Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na pinangunahan din ni Vilma Santos. Matagal nang tapos ang pelikula at umalis at dumating na mula sa abroad ang direktor nitong si Lino Brocka ay hindi pa mapagpasiyahan ang talagang ipapamagat dito. So, nag-meeting uli ang mga taga-Regal and after a thorough brainstorming session may nagsuggest ng pangalang Aida Macaraeg (according to reports ay si Ronald Carballo raw ang nagbigay ng pangalang iyon) at dinagdagan na lang iyon ng Adultery Case No. 3690 dahil nga tungkol sa isang true-to-life adultery case ang pelikula na hango sa files ng manunulat na si Aida Sevilla-Mendoza. Finally, napagkasunduan na ring ang huling titulo at ito’y iri-release na tentatively in January 1984. The new title reminds one of the film Rubia Servios which was also a true-to-life account of a celebrated case (this time rape) and featured the successful triumvirate of Vilma Santos, Phillip Salvador and Lino Brocka. Maalala na sa pelikulang Rubia Servios nakaranas at natamo ng aktress ang pinaka-heartbreaking na kabiguan sa kanyang entire career during the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Sa nasabing festival, matunog na matunog ang pangalan ni Vilma – with the moviegoing audience, the film enthusiasts and the film critics – at hinulaan pa ngang siya ang mananalo peron nang dumating ang awards night ay si Nora Aunor ang nagwagi para sa pelikulang Atsay. Sabi pa nga noon ni Vilma: “Talagang doon ako sa pelikulang iyon umasa nang malaki at nabigo. Pagkatapos noon, parang nagkaroon na ako ng phobia na magdadalo sa mga awards night at lalong hindi na ako umaasa nang ganoon katindi. Kaya laking gulat ko nang mapanalunan ko ang lahat ng mga Best Actress awards sa taong ito dahil ayoko na talagang umasa.” Ang naging malaking konsolasyon lang ni Vilma sa Rubia Servios ay ang tinamong tagumpay nito sa takilya na kahit tapos na ang festival ay patuloy pa ring ipinalabas sa mga sinehan at humakot ng marami pang manonood long after its rival films were already withdrawn from exhibition. After Rubia and after a period of five years ngayon lang muling nagkasama sa pelikula sina Vilma at Lino Brocka. Although there was a time before that the director wanted the actress for one of his films (Kontrobersiyal), hindi nagkaroon ng katuparan iyon dahil sa very hectic na schedule ni Vilma noon at hindi na nakapaghintay si Lino. The role eventually went to Gina Alajar and the film became one of Lino’s most underrated movies. Sa Aida Macaraeg, muli na namang tatalakayin ang tungkol sa infidelities ng marriage na naging tatak na ng mga pelikula ni Vilma. Sa pagkakataong ito, hindi na siya ang “kabit” kundi siya na ang magkakaroon ng extra-marital relations o sa madaling sabi, siya na ang magkakaroon ng “kabit.”

Nangyari na rin ito sa ilang pelikula ni Vilma kung saan ginampanan niya ang papel ng isang babaing may asawa at nagkakaroon siya ng lover tulad sa Hiwalay, Karma, at Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan. Pero sa kakaiba ang mangyayari sa kanya sa Aida Macaraeg dahil dito ay madedemanda siya. How the actess will handle the role which in real life is the exact opposite of herself is something to watch especially now that husband Edu Manzano is back after almost a year of estrangement. For superstar and a highly successful actress who tries hard to hold on to her married life like their is no other, playing an adulterous wife is almost a life like departure for her. As she has always said time and again: “I’m trying my best to make marriage work. Kahit ano pa mang pambabatikos ang gawin nila hindi ko hahayaang masira ang aking married life nang ganoon na lang. Ang pinakamahalaga sa aking ngayon ay ang aking asawa’t anak. Sila ang dahilan kung bakit kinakaya ko ang lahat. Sabi nila, hindi raw puwedeng pagsabayin ang movei career at marriage. But I will try my best that what happened to most of my colleagues will not happen to me. Hindi ko mapapayagang mangyari iyan sa akin. I am willing to compromise for the sake of my marriage. I have always believed in my husband at kung kinakailangang isakripisyo ko ang aking movie career ay gagawin ko huwag lang masira ang aming magandang pagsasama. Hindi ko basta-basta isusuko na lang ang lahat. Mahal na mahal ko sila.” With that kind of belief and devotion, siguro wala nang makapipigil pa sa aktres na itaguyod ang kanyang sariling pamilya. Wala na. Not even her movie career. That a woman! This Trudis Liit now transformed into the “biggest” women in local film history namely Aida Macaraeg, Sister Stella L and Baby Tsina. With that kind of revolutionary women’s role in recent history, who needs a husband? Only Vilma Santos! – Julio Cinco N., Movie Flash Magazine, 05 January 1984 Posted at Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

TSS’ Stars of 1970s

ARTICLES - News clipping TSS Stars of 1970

1:00 PM Summer: 7 Stars in Special Sunday Session – Summertime. And Sunday too. So it started like a summer day. Casual yet exciting. Carefree and promising. With a lot of expectations for the moment ahead. So it was with having seven young stars around, TSS Stars ’70: Vilma Santos, Tirso Cruz III, Nora Aunor, Eddie Peregrina, Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, and Hilda Koronel (in the order of their arrivals). There they were, prompt in their youth, bubbly in their youth, unassuming in their confident in their success amid an ancient backdrop, the UST Pharmacy Gardens. When age and youth meet in such a dramatic setting, there is bound to be communication, reaction, combustion. Effects! And what is a more fitting place to spend an early summer afternoon than staid, old UST with young, alive radiant stars for company and that peculiarly romantic, nostalgic summer air. And when the yound stars started posing, smiling, obliging and when the cameras went on clicking, popping shuttering and when scribes began talking, laughing directing, the summer day with its flair, laziness and air became an impromptu ball for all concerned. One fun-filled episode of a lifetime. A slice of real life to be kept in one’s heart for the memory. Now, you may wonder why we have seven successful young star this issue when TSS launched only six last January?

Blame the whole mess on Ed Finlan. Blame it on his personality, his promise, his name that just can’t be ignored. Blame it all on the zooming career of Edward Walter Valdes Finlan. So the special seven. On this photo-session hangs a story. A story of hope coupled with a little confusion from that time Kuya Bert planned to put out another issue as a follow-up. Timely enough. After all TSS started the whole pakulo. The session itself was postponed three times – just to be assured of the attendance of all – including Nora Aunor who missed it that first round. Every time it was moved to another date, we lost face some wasy, especially to Pip’s Mommy Elma with whom we played ulianin by reminding her each time we met. That first time, it was called off. Edgar and Vilma were in Baguio City for shooting. The next date, everybody can’t make it with TV programs and last time shooting to do. So it was finalized on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 piyem. It would have been Fort Santiago as rendezvous but Sunday is Sunday in the forth with the usual Sunday crowd being there. Why not a school campus since graduation and demos were in the air? And the stars came beyond modest expectation, ahead of schedule. Vilma Santos came with her Mommy Mila and Papa Amado. Tirso Cruz III came with uncle Joey and a group of friends while Nora entered the scene with a few fans.

A Mustang (aba, bago!) ushered in Eddie Peregrina with his man Friday. Edgar Mortiz with Dad Celso adn Mom Lucy with fans Angge, Mario Cay, Luz Orellano and Araceli Paraiso. Ed Finlan arrived with his usual confident self. And Hilda came with Mila Parawan to complete the magnificence. At little confusion resulted. It began with a comedy of errors. With Vilma, Pip, Nora and Eddie, there was only scribe Ched Gozales to entertain them and out they were in the Pharmacy Gardens before one one o’clock only to be told later taht the assembly point was the UST Arch along España. Under the heat of the summer sun, the group went to the Arch only to be told that the locale would actually be the Gardens. Since after all, a big number of movie fans and onlookers had already started to form at the UST entrance. The merry excited entourage made its way to the Gardens once again. Ed Finlan with his shocking humor and equally color-shocking attire of yellow shirt with loud-striped pants under the golden sun was summer in motion. Vilma on the other hand had a ball ribbing Eddie Peregrina for being “mayabang kasi Edong ka na ngayon.” Edgar Mortiz was extra solicitous and ultra-PR conscious that time. Hilda did her thing – more of a girl, rather than woman with self-conscious laughter and sweet and pretty flair. Pip was surprisingly in his calm self and ruffled impeccable long sleeve shirt.

Eddie Peregrina was in paisley with that typical Peregrina grin. Nora, quiet and lady-like with a few smile here an a wave of hand there, was in a blue-orchid print. Hilda was the only one in pantsuit, a purple hablon, and she stood out really. Ditto with Haydee’s make-up and hair color on Ed. Oh what they had to forego just to make it to the appointment on time. Edgar and Vilma came from ABS where they had My Love For You at noon. But before that, Edgar came from Sta. Teresita Church where he acted as baptism sponsor. Hilda and Ed came from the Haydee set and they were expected back there in two. Pip was in a rush too, from ABS and then to the bingo social of his fans at their compound and the photo session as far as he was concerned. Eddie Peregrina had an appointment at 2:30 and it was Nora it seems who took her own sweet time. The Gardens yielded an old well, a gazebo-like concrete structure for photographic effects and possibilities. At half-past one, the poses were planned, the shots called for and everyone appearing swell putting their best faces forward, looking deserving of the TSS choice. An old well, very symbolic really, for the first shot and when that first one popped, the sessions began. And for a good forty minutes, the cameras aimed to catch for eternity the faces, the stances, the poses with the smile and bravura of that early Sunday afternoon. After all, that was what the session called for! And after all, what are photos for but for catching, freezing, preserving what is today for tomorrow?

The atmosphere was kept livelieer, dramatic with some curiosity-seekign fans and a number of scribes and last-minute guests. There was Jusyo C. Justo popping out of nowhere with his OBBB, OBWB, CTS and BAB, Doddie Alvarez, Donnie Ramirez, Mercy Lejarde, Marina Reyes and Ched made their presence felt with summery get-up. Late arrivals were Rene Tiosejo for a look-see and Oskar Salazar with a brand new-opera glasses (but Romy Mallari and Roldan de Villa weren’t around). Zeny Peralta of Roper’s was there for someone’s moral support. Two mothers managed to snae some attention – Lucy Mortiz in pink pantsuit and the latest Christian Dior hairdo and Mommy Milagros Tuazon Santos in blue pantsuit, with their respective male halves of course. At twenty past two, Ernie Alfonso had used u his one and half rolls of color film while Bert Verlidas had two black rolls. There was Fred Garces of Roper’s jiving in. The session, the main part of it, was now over. After all the camera clicks, the 1-2-3 shots, the photographers’ directions and the frozen poses were done and the thank-you’s and see-you were said, still one is left with the thought that so far, so good. TSS Stars ’70 are still unspoiled byt success and we hope as one that they all stay that way. And there is something more left in the memory, something better felt than described. For how can such feeling, or any feeling at all for that matter, be caught and pinned down as words in print? I am attempting to that now but I know that it would be the pictures of that special session which will speak a thousand words, a thousand feelings, a thousand hopes. Pictures, eloquent and feeling-filled, with a history of their own! – Billy R. Balbastro, TSS Komiks, 1970 (READ MORE)

Fine Film

FILMS - Karma 3

The Technical preview of “Karma” the other night was delayed for about an hour but I didn’t mind waiting because I was quite certain that I’d be seeing a fine film. To while away the time, “Firecracker”, co-starring American actors with local talents like Chanda Romero, Vic Diaz and Rey Malonzo was shown. Chanda and Vic delivered their lines themselves but surprisingly Rey didn’t. Before one whole reel could roll, the prints of “Karma” arrived. “Don’t stop it yet, a bed scene is coming,” Mario Bautista protested.

FILMS - Karma 2Happily, “Karma” turned out to be as good as I expected. It’s performers are first-rate – Vilma Santos, Ronaldo Valdez, Tommy Abuel, Chanda Romero – so their award-winning acting didn’t surprise me at all. The script was outstanding but even that was expected, coming from director Danny Zialcita. What impressed me was that minor parts were played by name actors. The housekeeper who appeared in one short sequence could have been played by any elderly woman but those who made the movie wanted nothing less than Etang Discher. The psychiatrist could have been played by any decent-looking man but they didn’t settle for anybody less than Vic Silayan. The male lover at the start of the story had to be acted out by Dante Rivero, that at the end by Christopher de Leon.

The movie boasted of several bold scenes. Those involving Vilma weren’t much as we know for a fact that Vilma could show only so much. One scene showing Chanda was a different story. It showed her with absolutely nothing on, yet it didn’t offend anybody as it was executed in style, shot with great care. There was just one thing which looked unnatural to me – the way in which one of the main characters killed himself. “That’s all right,” Danny assured me. “Before we shot it, we doublechecked its possibility.” Reincarnation and transference are undoubtedly mindboggling subjects but, to his utmost credit, Danny managed to present them simply, bringing them down for everybody to understand. “Bala lang yan. Katawan lang ito. Babalik at babalik kami sa mundong ito,” Dante vowed. Come back they did as they promised building the foundation of the story. – Bob Castillo, People’s Journal, 12 December 1981 (READ MORE)

Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Patroness of Bicolandia) (1970)

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Basic Information: Screenplay and Direction: Romy Villaflor; Cast: Ric Rodrigo, Zeny Zabala, Dindo Fernando, Rosa Mia/ Also Starring Joseph de Cordova, Cora Maceda, Willie Dado, Tibo Legaspi, Ven Medina, Jimmy Javier, Angel Confiado, Dante Rivas, Rolly Lapid, Vilma Santos, Pedro Faustino, Priscilla Ramirez, Jose Villafranca, Pablo Raymundo, Sabas San Juan, Priscilla dela Paz; Cinematography: Tommy Marcelino; Original Music: Prof. Felipe P. de Leon; Production Company: NGI Movie Productions, Inc.; Release Date: 1970

Plot Description: “…Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in the Philippines, and Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia or Virgen de la Peña de Francia in Spain) is a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines patterned after the one in Peña de Francia (Salamanca, Spain). It is currently housed at the Basilica Minore. Millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists arrive in Naga City — also known as the Pilgrim City and the Queen City of the Bicol region — in the Philippines every September for nine-day festivities in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Principal Patroness and Queen of Bicol who is endearingly addressed by Bicolanos as Iná (mother). The shrine in Naga gathers more than five million devotees every year and is known as one of the biggest Marian pilgrimage sites in the world. On 3 December 2015, a mosaic image of the Virgin Mary under this title was officially enshrined at the Vatican Gardens for the 14th slot at the pontifical mandate of Pope Francis. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III who was given the honor of unveiling the image as among the selected 14 Marian images from around the world…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Pe%C3%B1afrancia

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: “…Please note, this film was posted by Video 48 blog and not previously listed in filmographies of any of the lead actors featured in this film, this include: Rosa Mia, Zeny Zabala, Ric Rodrigo or Dindo Fernando. The film poster credited Vilma Santos in special role…” – RV

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Remembering Vic Vargas

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Vic Vargas (March 28, 1939 – July 19, 2003) was a Filipino film actor and a three-time Philippine judo champion at the age of 17. He starred in well over 60 films between the late 1950s and early 1960s to 2002. Due to his swarthy looks he was often typecast in action and sexy comedy films. He died on July 19, 2003 from a stroke aged 64.- Wikipedia