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)

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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

#OurLadyofPeñafrancia, #PatronessofBicolandia, #VilmaSantos, #RosaMia, #ZenyZabala, #RicRodrigo, #DindoFernando

One More Time T-Bird At Ako

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Starring: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Dindo Fernando, Tommy Abuel, Directed by Danny Zialcita

That Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird at Ako is entertaining cannot be doubted. The plot situations are funny. The lines are witty. The pacing is fast. The lesbian love of Nora Aunor for Vilma Santos, moreover, is extremely clever, since the two superstars in real life would not be caught dead in such a relationship. Zialcita has made a career of doing impossible things. He made he-man Dindo Fernando a homosexual in the Mahinhin series. He now makes Aunor a lesbian. When he tries to make Santos a low-class beerhouse dancer, however, he fails. That makes his record two out of three impossible things, not bad for normally sedate local cinema.

This film shows Zialcita at his best – irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, unconcerned with larger themes, focused on obsessive sexual relationships. Let’s take the dialogue first, which cleverly juxtaposes the fiction of the film with the reality of the careers of the two superstars. Thus references are made to Santos’ being a “burlesque queen.” One character is even named “Rubia,” after Rubia Servios (1978), Santos’ competition film against Aunor’s Atsay (1978). More than these allusions, however, the film features sparkling exchanges between Santos and Aunor. Most impressive of all the lines perhaps are those in the court room sequence, since the opposing arguments are easy to follow, yet logical in structure.

The direction is tight and masterful. Although one always gets reminded in a Zialcita film of sequences from foreign films, there is a minimum of unmotivated blocking in this film. Each sequence contributes to the whole film (if there is copying, in other words, and I do think there is in this film, the copying is not done simply to be cute or clever, but in accordance with the logical requirements of the plot). The performances, as expected of a Zialcita film, are excellent. Aunor is more effective as the confused lesbian, primarily because Santos is not able to get the rough and ready quality of low-class hospitality girls. Tommy Abuel is terrific in his role as the patient suitor. Fernando is given too little space to develop his character, but what he has, he makes good use of. Captivating is Suzanne Gonzales, though she has to learn to use her face a bit more to express varying emotions. In their brief roles, Anita Linda and Odette Khan are delightful. – Isagani Cruz, Parade, 22 September 1982 (READ MORE)

“…The restoration campaign focuses on directors primarily. In the case of the 33-year old ‘T-Bird at Ako,’ it’s vintage Danny Zialcita with his snappy dialogue and witty repartee. It’s also the last time that Nora and Vilma co-starred in a movie and with such a daring theme for its time. “T-Bird at Ako” tells the story of a sexy dancer (Santos) accused of homicide. She is defended by a female lawyer (Aunor) who tries to keep their relationship professional as the latter struggles with confusion as to her sexual preference. T-Bird at Ako is among the 75 films restored by ABS-CBN Film Archives, in collaboration with Central Digital Labs, since it started its restoration project in 2011. Some of these restored films were already screened internationally via film fests, screened locally via red carpet premieres, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes…” – LionhearTV, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…The 1982 blockbuster T-Bird At Ako was not the first movie to star rival screen icons Nora and Vilma, but it played up the rivalry of the two, even coming up with a circular “billing” so you couldn’t tell whose name appeared first. It also has a titillating premise: Nora Aunor plays Sylvia, a successful lawyer who finds herself sexually attracted to Vilma Santos’s Isabel, a nightclub dancer/hostess accused of murder. The movie is absolutely delightful, and its two stars never looked better, but if you’re looking for a serious discussion of LGBT issues, look elsewhere. As writer Portia Ilagan said in her introduction, she and the director had a spat over the “redeeming” ending, which in the tradition of old Tagalog movies suggests that homosexuality is a temporary phase that can be cured…In T-Bird at Ako, every character is a character, and even the most minor characters get to unleash verbal zingers. Many of these zingers seem like throwaway remarks, so you need to pay close attention. “Saan tayo?” says the taxi driver. “Sa impyerno,” says Vilma Santos, and the movie doesn’t make room for the audience’s laughter but barrels right into the next scene. It occurred to me that Danny Zialcita’s movies, which were marketed as melodramas, are really screwball comedies, the genre I love most in the world. The plots are preposterous, the story is only loosely related to real life, and everyone is clever. It doesn’t try to be like the actual world, it wonders why the world isn’t more fun like a movie…”

“…Nora Aunor has the more difficult role. Her Sylvia is a cerebral woman who has never paid much attention to her feelings and suddenly finds herself swamped with them. Could she be a lesbian? The movie’s timidity and its fear of offending the traditionalist audience doesn’t help her: she is reduced to being petulant and jealous when Vilma’s Isabel stays out late at night. But Nora uses her famous power of understatement to convey the confusion, discomfort, and amazement of emotional awakening. It’s also refreshing to see her play an established, affluent character whom no one would think of oppressing. Make her api at your own risk. Vilma Santos is in her element playing the quintessential Vilma role: the woman of feeling who has no qualms about expressing them. She also has a nightclub dance sequence that, far from portraying her as a downmarket floozy, makes her look like she should be headlining a TV variety show. Oh right, she’s done that. And her line readings are hilarious. Under cross-examination by Tommy Abuel, who asks if she can understand his questions in English, she says, “Opo, hindi naman malalim ang English niyo.” Offhandedly, without turning it into a moment…” – Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang husay talaga ng director na si Danny Zialcita. And the actors in the movie were equally good. Sa court scene, hindi nagpatalo sina Johnny Wilson at Tommy Abuel as the prosecutors. Ang gagaling nilang magbitaw ng mga dialouges. At hindi rin nagpatalo ang Superstar as the defense lawyer. Superb ang exchange words sa court room. We wondered kung sino ang scriptwriter ng pelikula. But Manay Ethel Ramos said na si Danny Zialcita is an expert on that area. Halos hindi maalis ang tutok ng lahat kay Ate Vi with her sexy dance number and she was in a red skin tight outfit with the lower part exposing very shapely thighs and legs. Sabi nga ng anak naming si Julienne who was with us during the viewing of the film, “Ang ganda ni Vilma lalo na ‘yung ilong niya. Girl na girl talaga siya. Ang ganda rin ni Nora pero pang-masa talaga ang dating niya. Very convincing siya as t-bird. Paglabas ko, Mommy, ng film center, tumatak sa akin na t-bird talaga siya.” Nandun sina Aiza Seguerra at Liza Dino to support the film since the film is about same sex relationship. Nandun din si Direk Perci Intalan who is, as everywone knows, married to writer Jun Lana. Kay Portia Ilagan (the right hand of Sen. Bong Revilla) pala ang kuwento ng T-Bird at Ako. Kuwento diumano ito ng buhay niya. Dahil yung same sex relationship ay hindi pa masyadong accepted nung time na ginawa ang movie, sa ending, hindi nagkatuluyan sina Vilma at Nora. May mga dialouges pa si Ate Vi na “Nandidiri ako sa ‘yo.” nung mag-attempt si Ate Guy na haplusin siya. So, sa ending si Nora ay napunta kay Tommy Abuel at si Vilma naman kay Dindo Fernando. Sey kuno ni Portia sa isa namaing kasamahan sa panulat na nag-interview sa kanya, ang ayaw niya sa ending ay pinag-bestida raw si Ate Guy. She accepted the ending na napunta si Ate Guy kay Tommy Abuel pero ang di niya nagustuhan ay pinagsuot ito ng bestida. In real life kasi, never sigurong nagsuot ng dress si Kabsat Portia…” – Len Ramos Llanes, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Na-miss ng film critics at ng showbiz industry ang style ng yumaong Danny Zialcita sa pagdi-direk. Ilan sa kanyang mga obra ay ang Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi at marami pang iba tulad ng T-Bird at Ako na ipinalabas sa UP Film Center las February 25. Ang bida ng classic film na ito ni Danny ay ang dalawang superstars ng local film na sina Vilma Santos at Nora Aunor. Ang said film ay ilan lang sa mga restored film into its original na gawa ng ABS-CBN Film Restoration. Ang mga nauna nang restored films na ipinalabas sa said venue ay ang tatlong pelikula ni Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto like Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at Anak. Anyway, dumating si Nora sa UP Film Center nang mas maaga sa takdang oras ng palabas na 6pm. Unfortunately, walang Vilma na dumating although nagpasabi ito sa kanyang mga Vilmanians na hindi siya makakarating due to important committment sa Batangas. Bagama’t wala si Ate Vi, kumpleto pa rin ang Vilmanians sa pangunguna ni Jojo Lim na siyang nag-asikaso sa mga press people na kanyang inimbitahan. Pagkatapos ng welcome speech ni Leo Katigbak, ang head ng Kapamilya Film Restoration, sumunod na nagpasalamat si Ate Guy sa mga dumalo sa event, maka-Nora man o Maka-Vilma. Nasa 4th row nakaupo si Ate Guy habang ongoing na ang viewing. Binulungan kami ng aming katabing isang radio host-columnist na “Tumatakas na si Nora.” True, napansin ng lahat na nu’ng ipinapakita ng ilaw, bakante na ang kinauupuan ng Superstar. Tuloy, ‘di na naman nakalusot sa intriga ang bulilit aktress at biro ng aming katabi, “Nag-walkout yat? e, kasi nga, kahit wala si Vilma, mas malakas ang palakpakan sa kanya,”sey ng aming katabi. Bago pa ang screening ng T-Bird at Ako sa UP Film Center, nagpaunlak ng pahayag si Nora at naitanong ng katotong Morly Alinio kung papayag ba ito sakaling magkaroon ng T-Bird At Ako part 2 kahit na pareho na silang may edad? Sagot ni Ate Guy, “Why not? Depende siguro ‘yun sa istorya,” sey sa amin. “Wala namang problema sa amin ng mare ko,”na tinutukoy ay ang Star for all Seasons…” – Ador Saluta, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang kuwento ng T-Bird At Ako ay tungkol sa isang dancer (Vilma) na naakusahan ng homicide. Ipagtatanggol siya ng isang abogada (Nora) na susubukang panatilihing propesyunal ang kanilang ugnayan habang nilalabanan ang pagkalito sa kanyang sexual preference. Si Portia Ilagan ang sumulat ng script ng T-Bird At Ako at ayon sa kanya, magkakaroon daw ito ng remake. Ang gusto niyang magbida sa bagong version ng pelikula ay sina Angel Locsin (dancer) at Bea Alonzo (lawyer). Gusto rin niyang maging part ng pelikula sina Vilma at Nora, Aiza Seguerra at asawa nitong si Liza Dino…” – Leo Bukas, Journal, 28 February 2015 (READ MORE)

#noraaunor, #VilmaSantos, #TBirdatAko1982, #DannyZialcita

Everything About Her (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

Di mo naman sinabing impakta ang potah!” – Jaica Domingo

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Basic Information – Direction: Joyce Bernal; Screenplay: Irene Villamor; Story: Mia Concio; Cast: Vilma Santos, Angel Locsin, Xian Lim, Michael De Mesa, Nonie Buencamino, Khalil Ramos, Devon Seron, Alexa Ilacad, Jana Agoncillo, Vangie Labalan, Buboy Villar, Niña Dolino, Dante Ponce, Bart Guingona, Sharmaine Buencamino; Executive Producers: Malou N. Santos, Charo Santos-Concio; Production Company: Star Cinema; Official music video of the movie ‘Everything About Her’ titled ‘Something I Need,’ performed by Piolo Pascual and Morissette, Arranged by Paulo Zarate, Mixed and Mastered by Dante Tañedo; Original Song from band, One Republic; Music Production by Jonathan Manalo; Language: Tagalog, English; Release Date: 27 January 2016; Country: Philippines; Also Known As: All of My Life

Plot Description – Powerful but ill-stricken business woman, Vivian Rabaya (Vilma Santos) navigates her complicated relationship with her caregiver, Jaica Domingo (Angel Locsin) and her estranged son, Albert Mitra (Xian Lim) in this story about acceptance, love and forgiveness. – IMDB (READ MORE)

Film Achievement – The film earned ₱15 million on its first day of release; As of February 5, 2016 the film has earned ₱100 million; The film is graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) and is rated PG (Parental Guidance) by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (Wikipedia); All-Time U.S. and Canada Box Office – Weekend of Feb. 12, 2016 -Feb. 14, 2016 Weekend Gross #32 $245,000; Cumulative Gross for two weeks: $1,248,700 (59,474,956.65 Philippine Peso); # of Theaters: 50 (NY Times); Star Cinema’s most heartwarming movie of the season, “Everything About Her,” has already earned P208M worldwide since it opened in cinemas. Star Cinema Ad Prom director Roxy Liquigan posted the good news via his Twitter account last February 16. (Star Cinema ABS-CBN)

Film Reviews – “…Please note that there may be other services under each category that you may be aware of. We recommend that this list be a starting off point to a more comprehensive search for services. The Housing Help Resource Tool Kit’s Housing Stability section has been updated to include these news resources as well. The story is simply told thus giving it a natural flow. The direction makes the film appealing for both millennials and non-millennials alike. You are almost tempted to wish and hope the film would end ala-Ishmael Bernal or ala-Lino Brocka. But Direk Bernal is into her own generation and knows her present audiences at the palm of her hand. Some dramatic scenes actually ended up funny but the actors were so versatile you end up laughing and in tears at the same time. Indeed, the performances of both lead actors and supporting cast were so compelling you felt almost everyone in the cast deserved an acting award. The surprise actor in the cast was Xian Lim who delivered not just a focused performance but a highly stirring one. His hospital scene with Vilma Santos was a stand-out one could hear people quietly sobbing behind me. Angel Locsin has no match as a supporting actress, the part of Nonie Buencamino (as the padre de familia) has all the hallmark of a good actor and the part of Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Vangie Labalan (no matter how brief) registered with layers of pathos. Most of all, this could be Vilma Santos’ best performance todate. The transition of her character from corporate mogul to repentant mother revealed the true artist in her. The musical scoring blended with the story but my favorite part is the household scenes with the character of Vilma Santos noting the significance of the chandelier in the living room with a movement from Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in the background. The grandness of the music matched the leading character’s grand ambition. It is also gratifying to find classical music find its way in a family drama…” – Pablo A. Tariman, Arts News Service, 6 February 2016 (READ MORE)

“…Given that she plays a character that teeters towards caricature, Santos is tasked to humanize Vivian, which she does with astounding ease. She manifests a quiet understanding of the character, depicting the role of an uncomplicated woman without the histrionics that one often sees from comediennes who are required to portray dramatic roles and the discomfort that one often observes from serious thespians who are forced to be uncharacteristically comical. Locsin provides Santos more than ample support. She is charismatic and amiable but not to the point of patronizing a character that is written to champion the diligence of the working class, or in this film’s case, the members of the nursing profession. Their scenes together are mostly golden, with the two actresses effortlessly earning chuckles or tears from their innate understanding of their characters ludicrous situations. Lim plays the angst-ridden man-child well enough. The role only requires him to brood and be emotionally impenetrable. Unfortunately, when the story requires him to be softer, he persists to play the stoic son, squandering the opportunity to maximize a role that explores various spectrums of an adult who is still haunted by his childhood. Lim is simply unable to grant his character depth beyond calculated gestures, welling eyes and fumbled lines…It is a film that does not necessarily earn its fairy tale conclusion, but its efforts in allowing its audience to bask in feel-good escapism is not completely wrong. In the end, it deserves its rainbow, even though the rains that precede it is blanketed in all the conveniences formula affords. Bernal has the sense to treat all the tropes with levity, inflicting comedy when necessary, and then toning everything down when the story steers towards seriousness. This balancing act is commendable, as it results in a film that is initially silly and whimsical, but essentially heartfelt where it counts…” – Oggs Cruz, Rappler, 29 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Larger-Than-Life Portrayals – “…Vilma Santos’ latest starrer, “Everything About Her,” is a worthy addition to her pantheon of exceptional screen portrayals. Right from the get-go, she affirms her versatility by playing a “new” character for her, a powerful and abrasive property magnate who reduces her victims to quivering masses of protoplasm….the production’s thespic crown firmly rests on Vilma’s head, due to her daringly strong character choice and ability to come up with a suitable larger-than-life portrayal, despite her slight and light physical frame. Even more compellingly, Vilma is able to dig really deep and summon up the especially strong emotions needed to make her inordinately powerful character believable—while still being able to shift naturally and depict her at her most vulnerable. Finally, “Everything About Her” is a revelatory change of pace and tone for its director, Joyce Bernal, who’s usually identified with more light-hearted and “cheeky” film fare. Her adeptness at humor leavens this film’s tragic scenes, while not diluting them—a tough directorial feat to pull off! It’s a testament to Bernal’s maturing skills that she’s able to do it—and, in the process, show us a bracingly new facet and prism to her directorial scope and oeuvre…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Generous to Co-stars – “…Vilma Santos diehards will not be disappointed as Ate Vi handles her role with much understanding. At first, the character is almost caricaturish, with people she interviews shown breaking down or throwing up after talking to her. But Ate Vi knows how to humanize her Vivian with little knowing nuances here and there. Even in her heaviest dramatic scenes, she shows an intrinsic understanding of Vivian by not resorting to histrionics. Hindi na niya dinadrama pa ang mga dramang eksena, even in that scene where Angel is expecting to be fired and she just says quietly: ‘Kunin mo ang putanginang gamot ko.’ And she is so generous to her co-stars in their scenes together, allowing them to shine on their own, especially to Xian Lim in that hospital scene where he delivers a long aria of how much he hates his mother. Honestly, we were feeling uncomfortable for Xian on how he’d handle that scene of a son haunted by an unhappy childhood, but in all fairness to him, he manages to acquit himself quite well. Since this is a production of Star Cinema, you can expect a feel good happy ending. There is the obligatory fairy tale romance between the caregiver and her boss’ son. In photos, they’re even shown being wed and having a baby. Needless, as far as we’re concerned but, hey, the movie has to be very family friendly. So give escapism a chance. We’re sure Director Joyce Bernal was told to treat it all with levity. And that’s exactly what she did. If you want a more serious film about a dying woman, watch Ate Vi’s similarly themed classic film directed by the other Bernal…” – Mario Escobar Bautista, Journal, 12 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Credit to Make-up Artists – “…That is where I found out from E.R. Tagle that the movie “Everything About Her” was showing at a nearby cinema house. He was all praises for it, so I told him that any movie starring Ms Vilma Santos was worth watching. I am happy to catch a few on TV. The following day, I had to drag myself out of bed, fearlessly cross our busy street, risking life and limb to see the movie. It wasn’t the last full show; it was only 12:15 noontime, and the movie was just starting. But already we had to rise for the Philippine National Anthem. I told our “street facilitators” from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (“The joy of being useful,” Opinion, 1/29/16) that anyone who can sing our national anthem and not choke up with emotions rising from their breasts and leaving a lump in their throats do not love their country enough. They agreed with me, but I have my doubts about the last sentence—about dying for my country. Well, if push comes to shove, maybe. As expected, the movie was excellent despite a few things, but the main thing was I enjoyed the movie, was fully entertained even if more than half of it had tears rolling down my cheeks and, to top it all, I didn’t have any tissues with me. I must say, the cinematography was something to rave about; the acting was superb, the leading man was handsome as he should be, and the two leading ladies’ acting skills were flawless. Some credit must go to the makeup artist whose skilled hands transformed Ms Vilma’s character into a tough and uncompromising business person. I regretted it had to end, and I stayed for the credits to find out who performed the theme song and to give a chance for the crowd in the ladies’ room to clear…” – Shirley Wilson de las Alas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Pinakamahusay na aktres ng bansa sa kasalukuyang panahon – “…Mahusay si Vilma Santos sa kanyang papel bilang pangunahing tauhan ng pelikula. Sino pa bang kukuwestiyon sa kanyang husay bilang aktres? Wala na. Maituturing mo siya talagang pinakamahusay na aktres ng bansa lalo na sa kasalukuyang panahon. Every inch, every scene napakahusay. Dahil sa husay ng kanyang performance, mahirap malimutan ang pelikula at maaaring siya na uli ang best actress ng 2016. Makatuturan ang pagbabalik ni Vilma sa napakatalino niyang desisyong piling-pili ang uri ng ginagawa niyang pelikula. Mas effective sa akin si Xian Lim. Mahusay! Nauunawaan niya ang role niya. Sumabay talaga siya kay Vilma Santos na generously ay sinuportahan siya. Sa lahat ng eksena nila, nilalamon ni xian si Angel ng buung-buo. Napakasinsero umarte dito ni Xian na kita mong bawat bitiw niya ng emosyon ay galing sa puso…Sa kabuuan, typical Star Cinema pa rin ang pelikula. Maganda na sana pero dahil kailangang bigyan ng resolusyon lahat sa ending, pilit na pilit; very unrealistic; pumangit lang tuloy ang dulo. Ganda na sanang sa party na nag-end ang movie habang nagsasalita si Vivian (Vilma) at may hope na tatagal pa ang buhay niya. Bakit kailangan pang ipakita thru collage photos na kinasal at naging mag-asawa sina angel at xian?! Yuck! Ok na sana kahit wala silang romantic angle tatayo ang pelikula. To beginwith, mukhang tiyahing tibo ni Xian si Angel. Pero dahil Star Cinema nga ito, kailangang babuyin ng ganun ang ending ng pelikula na sinasabi nilang pang masa, na sa tutuo lang, iniinsulto nila di lang ang masa kundi ang mga manonood na nasa matinong pag-iisip…” – Ronaldo C. Carballo, Facebook, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Symbolism of the Chandelier – “…The cinematic devices and motifs the film employs to drive its narrative have given it much advantage. Particularly noteworthy is the symbolism of the chandelier that Vilma is shown to gaze at in one of the many heartfelt moments of quiet drama the film boasts of. The convulsion scene is carried out in a single take that only an actress of Vilma’s caliber could ever pull off with much aplomb. Vilma proves her comic mettle and efficacy in at least two scenes. One is the long shot of an open field with her voice heard clarifying with her staff the exact number of executive people she is about to have an exclusive meeting with. Another is the one upstairs at her residence as she confronts Angel’s character with the latter’s wrongly sent phone text referring to Vilma’s character as a creature from hell and a whore…” – Nonoy L. Lauzon, Young Critics Circle Film Desk, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 – “…Indeed, the performances of both lead actors and supporting cast were so compelling you felt almost everyone in the cast deserved an acting award. The surprise actor in the cast was Xian Lim who delivered not just a focused performance but a highly stirring one. His hospital scene with Vilma Santos was a stand-out one could hear people quietly sobbing behind me. Angel Locsin has no match as a supporting actress, the part of Nonie Buencamino (as the padre de familia) has all the hallmark of a good actor and the part of Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Vangie Labalan (no matter how brief) registered with layers of pathos. Most of all, this could be Vilma Santos’ best performance todate. The transition of her character from corporate mogul to repentant mother revealed the true artist in her. The musical scoring blended with the story but my favorite part is the household scenes with the character of Vilma Santos noting the significance of the chandelier in the living room with a movement from Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in the background. The grandness of the music matched the leading character’s grand ambition. It is also gratifying to find classical music find its way in a family drama…” – Pablo A. Tariman, Arts News Service, 06 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Iconic Maternal Roles – “…Everything About Her has good and bad parts. This can probably be said about most Star Cinema movies — as the fulfillment of formula has made these qualities distinguishable, knowing where it goes well and where it nose-dives — but with Vilma Santos and Joyce Bernal, the desire to endorse it, and make a good case for it despite its inevitable shortcomings, is strong. It is convincing at first, from the start when the characters and conflicts are established and all the way through the piling up of challenges for both female characters. But in an effort to close it with something remarkable and leave the audience with warmth, it decides to be generic and resort to platitudes that dilute the inspired moments, in turn weakening what could have been a moving depiction of female (and maternal) strength. Ate Vi gets away with the many times she repeats herself (her approach and sentiment) from her previous movies, and this showcase of recognizable maternal roles makes her iconic in this regard. But Everything About Her does not find its soul in her but in Angel Locsin, delivering what could be one of the best Star Cinema characters in years…” – Richard Bolisay, Lilok Pelikula, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Uber-Bitch – “…Vilma Santos has fun with her role, and she looks terrific. We do take issue with the scenes in which her character telegraphs to the audience that she’s not as bitchy as they think she is. As one who is extremely familiar with the species, a bitch does not care whether you like her or not. In fact an uber-bitch would prefer to be loathed so that she doesn’t waste time pandering to the tender feelings of people she doesn’t give a shit about. You know what words a bitch finds irritating? “You’re nice naman pala.” “Hugot” lines do nothing for us, but there is one line in the movie we especially like. In one scene, Vivian gets nauseous and starts to throw up on her bed. Jaica grabs Vivian’s designer bag and dives across the bed to catch it. “Kunin mo na rin yung Balenciaga bag ko,” Vivian says, deadpan, “Doon ko gustong sumuka uli.” Bitch, that’s a bitch…” – Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 05 February 2016 (READ MORE)

The Heart of the Story – “… Speaking of Albert, Xian Lim’s character was the central source of drama in the movie. The scenes of Vivian and Jaica were mostly comedic and amusing, but it was the introduction of Albert that brought more heart to the plot. Albert’s character is what drives the conflict – with Vivian struggling to re-establish ties with her son, and how Jaica’s job seemed to get more complicated with her feelings for Albert. Xian was definitely revelatory in this film, and my initial doubts of having him as the leading man faded with my impression that he’s only good for rom-coms. Surprisingly, he had great chemistry with Vilma Santos an Angel Locsin, and he was able to add more dimension to his otherwise uptight character by being emotional when needed. This and the fact that he had similarities with the features of Vilma Santos made it hard for me to think of anybody else more perfect for the role…Vilma Santos still has her charm and her performance was nothing short of remarkable. She was able to fuse the two sides of Vivian seamlessly together – one was this terror business magnate who’d go out of her way and ride a chopper to Tagaytay just so she could fire someone personally, and the other was this loving mother who longs for the forgiveness and embrace of her son. The role allowed her to once again showcase her versatility as an actress, and the heart and dedication that she gives out to every scene transcends effortlessly to the audience…Angel’s role was what brought comic relief and lightness to the story. She no doubt demonstrated her flexibility as an actress in the film however, there were several unnecessary comical moments from her character…” – Geoffrey Ledesma, GeoffReview, 03 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Biggest revelation – “…The iconic actress (Vilma Santos) embraces her character’s flaws and fortitude with affecting clarity in a superlative portrayal that is passionate but never coercive. Her meticulous insistence on honesty guarantees that no tear is unearned—and no emotion manipulated…Angel also comes up with a focused performance that, for the most part, benefits from the film’s propulsive dramatic proceedings…Xian may not have Angel’s earnestness or Vilma’s finely calibrated bravado, but he is the movie’s biggest revelation. He figures in some of the film’s most gripping dramatic sequences—and delivers his moving moments with aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that Xian is cast in a role that fits him to a T: Albert is distant, guarded and spiteful, and is armed with an emotional axe to grind! Bernal makes clever use of those elements to thrust the heretofore phlegmatic performer outside his self-limiting comfort zone. Result: Xian’s finest portrayal to date!…” – Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Affectionate Charm – “…Whereas the film’s proceedings come across as yet another orchestration of a familiar film cliché, it strikes a chord by remaining adherent to a formula, that maybe too predictable at times, but nonetheless works because of its relatability. There is an affectionate charm in its humor and subtle comic attempts, and it massively works when injected on the film’s emotional moments. It is barely a surprise how Santos pulled off Vivian with undeniable credibility here. She delivers her character and its layers with profound depth, believability, and artistry that probaly only someone with her caliber, could do. On her character’s most heartbreaking moments, Santos delivers exactly what a woman faced with the wrath of death, while also struggling to reach out for a son she might probably don’t have enough time to spend together with, would feel and look like, an act she easily carried out with searing capacity. Locsin, on the other hand, has an equally impressive maneuver of Jaica, who on most occasions, is presented as the film’s comic effort, acting as one of the narrative’s heart and its very symbol of hope. The character is commendably pulled by Locsin with irresistible charm and affection, a capacity she maintains even on the character’s very own moments of breakdown. But the biggest commendation, perhaps, should go for Lim, who emerges here, with an unfamiliar but convincing versatility. This is probably the actor’s strongest performance yet, having gotten across with the necessary power required by his character, whose wounds and struggles are equally as deep and excruciating as his mother’s…Rating: 3.5 out of 4…” – LionhearTV, 27 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Most Effective Actress – “…The film highlights the importance of family during hard times and how these obstacles bring forth understanding and forgiveness. I find myself crying at times and relate to scenarios that, we somehow deny or refuse to accept…Vilma Santos kept her promise and profile. She remains one of the most effective actress for all season. Her execution brought tears to every single scene. Bernal successfully defined her character at the beginning of the movie. They approach Vivian as a figure in a time-honored character template in which a convenient plot mechanism allows the bitch to revisit sad chapters in her life so that we can understand that it was quite a life, indeed. But she failed to understand motherhood that her son suffered from missed opportunities being with her because of her profession. It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters…9/10…” – Rod Magaru, Rod Magaru Show, 28 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Familial Attachment – “…Innate to Bernal as a filmmaker is her unmistakable grasp in comedy. On crucial points where comic relief might not be necessary, her cast carries out effectively—not just to call for laughter but to keep the audience drawn to these characters, their motivations as well as their individual dilemmas. It is just nice to laugh it all off and see how these characters react and clash with one another. Aside from the kinky Balenciaga scene (“Kunin mo na rin ang Balenciaga bag ko. Do’n ko gustong sumuka ulit”), notable is that one where Jaica, after getting confused with the text message from the hospital head doctor, mistakenly sends a hate text message to Vivian. “Di mo naman sinabing impakta ang potah!” is such a winning line (or at least a memorable one at that)…In spite of the predictability of the story right from the very beginning, the entire ride is memorable, granted how the story is weaved without compromise—without fear that the audience would not stay put. As it wants to stir up sadness towards its ends, it controls itself by giving into the tested formula of the outlet. True enough, it works fine on that note. There is a stinging sensation at the end of the line but happy thoughts prevail and make use of its impact. Before the last frame, Vivian cries, “But in the end, even if we die alone, we need other people.” As we hold onto her last words, there is really much to relate to in her story as there is much to believe in ourselves. Familial attachment is everything about her. And we are more than familiar with that…” – J Bestillore, Cinemabravo, 27 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Final Title – “…Everything About Her ang final title ng pelikula nina Batangas Governor Vilma Santos at Angel Locsin. Hindi natuloy ang balak ng Star Cinema na lagyan ng salitang “life” ang pamagat ng pelikula dahil sa paniniwala na masuwerte kay Vilma ang mga project na may title na “life…” – Nitz Miralles, Pilipino Star Ngayon, 07 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Theme Song – “…Ayan, may playdate na ang All of My Life movie ni Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos sa Star Cinema at kung hindi magbabago, pang-opening salvo raw ng Star Cinema ang nasabing pelikula for 2016. Mula sa hit song ni Diana Ross ang All of My Life na ang theme song ay kakantahin ni Kyla. Teka, parang si Kyla na ang favorite ng Star Cinema at ABS-CBN na kumanta ng theme songs ng kanilang movies at teleserye. Anyway, marami na ang excited sa All of My Life dahil for the first time ay magkasama ang future magbiyenan na sina Gov. Vi at Angel Locsin. Wise decision ang pagba-backout ni Luis Manzano sa movie, iwas kontrobersya dahil tiyak na uusisain sila ni Angel sa kanilang relasyon…” – Nitz Miralles, Pilipino Star Ngayon, 21 October 2015 (READ MORE)

#EverythingAboutHer, #VilmaSantos, #XiamLim, #AngelLocsin, #JoyceBernal, #SomethingINeed, #EAH, #RonaldoCCarballo

1977 MMFF

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The 3rd Metro Manila Film Festival was held in the year 1977. Previously known as Metropolitan Film Festival, it was changed to Metro Manila Film Festival. Burlesk Queen grabbed most of the awards. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Controversial Awards Night – “…In 1977, it was apparent that the actress in Vilma Santos fully emerged when she won the MMFF Best Actress award for the controversial Celso Ad Castillo period drama Burlesk Queen. Unfortunately, her winning was marred by nasty talks (na kesyo binawi ang mga napanalunan ng pelikula, including Vi’s trophy or medallion.) It seems nakaapekto ‘yun sa awarding na pambuong taon: at the FAMAS, Vilma lost to Susan Roces (for Maligno, also by Castillo); and, at the Gawad Urian, to Daria Ramirez (for Eddie Romero’s Sino ’ng Kapiling, Sino’ng Kasiping?). As for Nora Aunor, matapos ang grand entrance niya sa big league bilang major award-winning actress (with a double victory, unmatched at the time), isang actionromance- drama ang kanyang nagging panlaban: Augusto Buenaventura’s Bakya Mo Neneng, which paired her off with Tirso Cruz III and Joseph Estrada. The film won as Best Picture sa FAMAS. Nora’s and Vilma’s starrers were big moneymakers at the 1977 MMFF…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

“…Look ninyo kung paanong nag-away at nag-gantihan ang dalawang maka-Nora at maka-Vilma! In 1977, pinakyaw ng Burlesk Queen ni Vilma Santos ang halos lahat ng awards. May tumutol, nag-ingay at nag-away-away (Hello, Lolit! Ang Scam!) kaya nag-utos si Madam Imelda na bawiin ang mga award! Wala namang kumuha uli nu’ng mga tropeo. Parang Vangie Pascual na tumangging bumalik sa Miss World contest to claim her crown bilang pamalit sa nanalong “Miss World” na may anak na pala! Snob?…And so, pinakyaw nga ng Burlesk Queen (1977) ang mga award. Gumanti ng sumunod na taon ang Noranians! Para lang matalbugan at mas mataasan ang napakyaw na awards ni Vilma Santos at ng Burlesk Queen, only a single acting award was given the following year; Best Performer award for Nora Aunor in Atsay! Walang Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress. Wala. Sabi nang isang award lang ang ibinigay na para bang encompassing ang performance ni Ate Guy more than Ate Vi. Galing?!…” – Alfie Lorenzo, Abante Tonite (READ MORE)

“…Naalaala namin ang “gulo” rin noong 1977 na open ang awayan ni Lino Brocka na director ng Inay at ni Rolando Tinio na isang juror. Muntik pa silang magsuntukan after the awards. Ang dahilan: Nanalo ang Burlesk Queen ni Celso Ad Castillo ng lahat ng awards except three (art direction at cinematography na punta sa Mga Bilanggong Birhen nina Tita Midz at best technical film ni Mike de Leon, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising). May favoritism daw. Hate daw ng ilang jurors si Brocka. Dahil sa ingay ng print media, winidraw ng MMDA (si Mrs. Imelda Marcos ang big boss) ang mga tropeo. Ewan kung naisauli nina Celso, Vilma Santos, Rollie Quizon, Joonee Gamboa, Rosemarie Gil at producer Romy Ching ang mga tropeo nila na ‘binale-wala’ ng MMFF 1977 committee. Mabilis ang desisyon. Walang umangal…” – Billy Balbastro, Abante Tonite (READ MORE)

“…On its third year in 1977, the awards – won mostly by Burlesque Queen, were recalled by the organizer, then called the Metro Manila Commission, over some minor furor. I wouldn’t want to elaborate on this scandal anymore because most of the personages involved in the issue have long passed on to the other world. It’s not even clear to this day, in fact, if that recall was official because no trophies were returned and the festival’s annual souvenir program (at least the last time I saw one) still carries Burlesque Queen in its honor roll…” – The Philippine Star (READ MORE)

Award Winners:

Time Magazine – “…The Philippines: Let Them See Films. When politics became pretty much a one-man show in the Philippines, the people lost a prime source of entetainment. Part of the gap has been filled by a burhome-grown film industry, which displayed nine of its new productions at the Manila Film Festival last month. Some 2 million moviegoers saw the films. Some of the movies were historical dramas pointing up the search for a Filipino identity during the long years of Spanish rule. But the most acclaimed were contemporary stories with a heavy populist touch. The festival’s smash hit was Burlesk Queen, starring Filipino Superstar Vilma Santos. It tells the syrupy tale of a poor girl who turns to burlesque dancing to support a crippled father. She falls in love with the son of a politician, elopes with him, and then tragically loses him back to his possessive mother. The treacle is supplemented with some gritty argument about the rights and wrongs of burlesque, with a lefthanded dig at censors. Huffs the burlesque impresario at one point: “Who are they to dictate what the people should see?…” – Time Magazine, Feb. 13, 1978 Vol. 111 No. 7 (READ MORE)

Vi on Burlesk Queen – “…Yes, I will never forget that seven-minute dance in the movie. I postponed the shoot of the scene five times. I was so afraid. I performed the dance in front of a real burlesk show audience. I remember the controversy about the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards and the squabble between Rolando Tinio and Lino Brocka. They wanted us to return the trophies. I didn’t return mine. I deserved it. I worked hard for that trophy…” – Boy Abunda, The Philippine Star, July 31, 2009 (READ MORE)

Foreign Festival – “…One of the first Filipino filmmakers to invade foreign film festivals abroad with such output as Burlesk Queen and Alamat ni Julian Makabayan (Berlin Film Festival and World Film Festival in Montreal) and Nympha (Venice Film Festival), among others, Celso The Kid returned to his hometown Siniloan, Laguna where he led a quiet life while working on his autobiography…His 1977 film, Burlesk Queen, won 10 out of the 11 awards of the 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival but the results were contested by Lino Brocka and defended by juror Rolando Tinio (now National Artists for Film and Theater), respectively. He reflected: “I wanted to vindicate myself as a filmmaker in this movie. The media referred to me as a reluctant artist and a filmmaker who has yet to arrive. Not only did the film run away with awards. It was also the top grosser. It broke the myth that quality films don’s make money in the box-office and commercial films don’t win awards…” – Pablo A. Tariman, The Philippine Star, 28 November 2012 (READ MORE)

Film Entries:

    • Bakya Mo Neneng – Direction: Augusto Buenaventura; Story & Screenplay: Augusto Buenaventura, Diego Cagahastian; Cast: Joseph Estrada, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Sevilla, Angelo Castro Jr., Ramon D’Salva, Angelo Ventura, Romy Medalla, Ernie Zarate, Olivia Sanchez, Ernie Ortega, Boyet Arce, Francisco Cruz, Paquito Salcedo; Original Music: Ernani Cuenco; Cinematography: Fred Conde; Film Editing: Edgardo Vinarao; Production Design: Vicente Bonus; Sound: Gregorio Ella; Production Co: JE Productions
    • Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising – Direction: Mike De Leon; Story & Screenplay: Mike De Leon, Rey Santayana; Cast: Christopher De Leon, Hilda Koronel, Laurice Guillen, Moody Diaz, Danny Javier, Boboy Garovillo, Bibeth Orteza, Briccio Santos, Oya de Leon, Archie Corteza, Erwin Kilip, Jayjay de los Santos, Bert Miranda, Don Escudero, Sally Santiago, Marietta Sta. Juana, Belen Perez, Wilma Gacayan, Tess Dumo, Carol Gamiao, Joseph Olfindo, Wilma Cunanan, Alfie Alonso, Jojo Nacion, Dorai Montemayor, Annie Lazaro, Rikki Jimenez, Guiller Magalindal, Francis Escaler, Aida Rabara, Carmen Gayman; Executive Producer: Manuel De Leon, Narcisa de Leon; Original Music: Jun Latonio; Cinematography: Mike De Leon, Francis Escaler; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Mel Chionglo; Music: Nonong Buencamino; Production Co: LVN Pictures
    • Inay – Direction: Lino Brocka; Story & Screenplay: Jose Dalisay Jr.; Cast: Alicia Vergel, Dindo Fernando, Chanda Romero, Orestes Ojeda, Laurice Guillen, Ace Vergel, Dexter Doria, Fred Montilla; Original Music: Ernani Cuenco; Cinematography: Joe Batac; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Fiel Zabat; Production Co: Lotus Films
    • Banta ng Kahapon – Direction: Eddie Romero; Story & Screenplay: Eddie Romero; Cast: Vic Vargas, Bembol Roco, Roland Dantes, Chanda Romero, Lito Legaspi, Roderick Paulate, Ruben Rustia, Karim Kiram, Romeo Rivera, Henry Salcedo, Olivia O’Hara, Celita DeCastro; Executive Producer: Antonio Co, Dennis Juban, Jun C. Tavera, Beth Verzosa; Original Music: Vic Santiago, Berg Villapando, Marilyn Villapando; Cinematography: Justo Paulino; Film Editing: Ben Barcelon; Production Design: Gay Dolorfino; Sound: Angel Avellana; Production Co: Hemisphere Pictures
    • Babae… Ngayon at Kailanman – Direction: Joey Gosiengfiao; Story & Screenplay: Amado Daguio, Alberto Florentino, Nick Joaquin, Jose F. Lacaba, Wilfrido Nolledo; Cast: Charito Solis, Gloria Diaz, Chanda Romero, Vivian Velez, Dindo Fernando, Ronaldo Valdez, Tommy Abuel; Original Music: Lutgardo Labad; Cinematography: Jose Austria; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Betty Gosiengfiao; Production Co: Melros Productions
    • Walang Katapusang Tag-araw – Direction: Ishmael Bernal; Story & Screenplay: Ishmael Bernal, Oscar Miranda; Cast: Charito Solis, Eddie Garcia, Mat Ranillo III, Liza Lorena, Ruel Vernal, Ingrid Salas, Veronica Palileo, Rustica Carpio, Catherine Santos, Ernie Zarate; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Jun Rasca; Film Editing: Nonoy Santillan; Production Design: Mel Chionglo; Production Co: Lea Productions
    • Sa Piling ng mga Sugapa – Direction: Gil Portes; Story and Screenplay: Clodualdo Del Mundo Jr.; Cast: Mat Ranillo III, Bembol Roco, Chanda Romero, Julie Ann Fortich, Paul Lacanilao, Mely Tagasa, Bongchi Miraflor, Mart Martel, Cris Vertido, Peng Olaguera, Ral Arando, Fred Param, Telly Babasa, Tommy Yap; Original Music: Ramon Santos; Cinematography: Arnold Alvaro; Film Editing: Ben Barcelon; Production Design: Dez Bautista; Production Co: Silangan Films International
    • Mga Bilanggong Birhen (Captive Virgins) – Direction: Mario O’Hara, Romy Suzara; Story and Screenplay: Mario O’Hara; Cast: Alma Moreno; Trixia Gomez; Rez Cortez; Armida Siguion-Reyna; Mario Montenegro; Barbara Luna; Ruffy Mendoza; Leroy Salvador; Monang Carvajal; Rodel Naval; Panggoy Francisco; Ronnie Lazaro; Producer: Armida Siguion-Reyna; Original Music: Ryan Cayabyab; Cinematography: Romeo Vitug; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Laida Lim-Perez; Production Co: Pera Films
    • Burlesk Queen – Direction: Celso Ad Castillo; Story: Mauro Gia Samonte, Celso Ad Castillo; Screenplay: Mauro Gia Samonte; Cast: Vilma Santos, Rolly Quizon, Rosemarie Gil, Leopoldo Salcedo, Roldan Aquino, Chito Ponce Enrile, Dexter Doria, Yolanda Luna, Joonee Gamboa; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Benjamin L. Lobo; Film Editing: Abelardo Hulleza, Joe Mendoza; Production Design: Jose Tamayo Cruz; Sound: Gregorio Ella; Production Co: Ian Films

The Metro Manila Film Festival-Philippines (MMFF-P) is the annual film festival held in Manila. The festival, which runs from the 25th of December to the first week of January, focuses on locally-produced films. The MMFF was established in the year 1975, during which Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa (Water the Thirsty Earth with Dew) by Augusto Buenaventura won the best film award. During the course of the festival, no foreign movies are shown across the Philippines (except for 3D theaters and IMAX theaters). Moreover, only films approved by the jurors of the MMFF will be shown. One of the festival highlights is the parade of floats during the opening of the festival. The floats, each one representing a movie entry for the festival, parade down Roxas Boulevard, while the stars for films ride on them. On the awards night, the Best Float award is also announced, together with the major acting awards. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

ARTICLES - MMFF 1977 7Related Reading:

Once There was a Love (1991)

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Basic Information: Directed by: Maryo J. De Los Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Aga Muhlach, Mari Kaimo; Broadcasted on Television by GMA Channel 7; Released on video by Viva Films

Plot Description: no available information

Film Achievement: First colloboration between Aga Muhlack and Vilma Santos (the other projects were Sinungaling Mong Puso in 1992 and Nag-iisang Bituin in 1994).

Film Review: – “…Aga’s on and off career worked to a great disadvantage, making producers and fans shun away from him. However, his wholesome, totally refreshing and boyishly-appealing look makes him adorable on screen. His latest TV opus with Vilma Santos titled “Once There Was a Love” was a success prompting many producers to get him again in the movies. Asked why his carer never really took off, he says: “Well, I lack the much-needed support in my career. There were many times I’m almost there, tapos wala namang kasunod agad; so napaglilipasan agad, di ba? I am also partly to be blamed because I was in a limbo for a while. All I know and care about is that I have the money spend on luxurious cars, squash, water sports and my nightlife. I also keep on changing managers.” This year, Aga is quite determined to become serious with his career. he’s slated to do movies outside Regal Films – for RJ Films, Seiko and Viva. It also means having to lose weight for his comeback on the big screen. He says: “I want to look really good when I start doing more movies this year. I’m on a liquid diet. I don’t eat anything. For the meantime I only drink juice, water and slim-fast.” Aside from cutting his food intake, Aga likewise cuts his expenses. “I’m really saving for the future now. I can’t afford to maintain more expensive cars (at the moment he only owns two European cars, a 230-E and a 7-35). I also have to do away with my water sports for awhile. Alam ko ang mawalan ng pera and one thing with me, I never run to my parents to ask for some if I need it. Ever since I started working at afe 14, I’m my own…” – Jackie R, Manila Standard, 9 Jan 1991, p17 (READ MORE)

“… 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…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…” – Quijano De Manila, Philippine Graphic Magazine, 05 Nov 1990 (READ MORE)

“…Vi said that her latest movie, Sinungaling Mong Puso, slated to open today, is inspired by her tele-movie, “Once There Was A Love” which also starred Aga Muhlach. I really wanted Aga to be my leading man in this movie since we started our tele-movie.” The movie also reminded her of the time when she and Ralph met for the first time. He was then only 21, or 11 years her junior. Vi does not plan to stop making movies, “I’ll be bored with just being a housewife,” she averred. “Sinungaling…, she said, “is the story of three women and how they relate to the men in their lives. This is more intense compared to Ipagpatawad Mo. She is set to do two more movies this year, one for Moviestars with Cesar Montano and Ronnie Rickets to be directed by Chito Rono; and another for OctoArts with perennial screen partner, Christopher de Leon with Mike de Leon as director…” – Nena Villanueva, Manila Standard, 27 Aug 1992 (READ MORE)