Angge: Ang Tagahangang Naging Artista

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Si Angge ay mas kilala ngayon bilang komikera sa radyo, telebisyon at pelikula kaysa isang masugid na tagahanga ng mga artista. May sarili na rin siyang hukbo ng mga tagahanga, na karamihan marahil ay mga kasamahan niya nang siya’y presidente ng Ronnie-Susan Fans Club, Ricky-Rosemarie Club at nitong huli’y ang Edgar-Vilma Fans Club. “Hindi ka siguro maniniwala na naging tagahanga rin ako ni Nora Aunor,” sabi ni Angge nang kapanayamin namin siya sa ABS-CBN, “pero kaya lang, alam mo na, kaming mga fans e masyadong maramdamin. Pero ‘yang si Susan, naku, siguro habangbuhay e mananatili akong fans n’yan. Ang bait kasi! Angelina de Ocampo ang buong pangalan ni Angge. Tubong Pako, Maynila. Enero 18, 1947 nang isilang ng kanyang inang si Remedios de Ocampo. Sampu silang magkakapatid na sina Reynaldo, Pedro, Juan, Oscar, Lilet at Mario. Si Direktor Pablo Santiago ang nagbigay sa kanya ng break sa pelikula. Turista siya sa pelikulang “Continental Playboy” na tinampuhan ni Helen Gamboa. Pagkatapos noon ay kinuha siya ni Doc Perez na noon ay nangangailangan ng isang ekstrang lalabas bilang isang Aprikana sa pelikulang “All Over the World” na pinangunahan noon nina Rosemarie at Ricky Belmonte. Pagkatapos ng “All Over the World” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula sa bakuran ng Sampaguita at iba pang kompanya. Kabilang dito ang pelikulang “Way Out in the Country,” “May Tampuhan Pa-minsan-minsan,” “Sitting in the Park,” “Pogi,” “Joaquin,” “Petrang Paminta,” “Servillano Zapata,” “Wrong to Be Born,” at iba pa.

Ano ba ang nakukuha ninyo sa pagsapi-sapi d’yan sa mga fans club? tanong namin kay Angge. “Wala. Kasiyahan na lang siguro. Hindi ka siguro maniniwala, nagpunta kami sa La Union, tatlo lang kami, sarili namin ang pasahe, para lang makita noon si Susan. ‘Yang La Mesa Dam na ‘yan, naku, nilalakad lang namin ‘yan para makita si Susan.”

Ano bang mga pamantayan n’yo sa pagtataguyod sa isang artista? “Unang-una tumitingin kami sa ugali. Hindi kami tumitingin sa ganda. Pangalawa, background ng pamilya.”

Sariling gastos ba n’yo ‘yong mga sampagitang isinasabit n’yo sa kanila? “A, oo. Hindi ka siguro maniniwala, maliit pa lang ako, gumagastos na ako para lang makakita ng artista. Kasi sidewalk vendor ako n’on. Nagtitinda ako ng bato ng lighter, blade at kung anu-ano pa.”

Totoo ba ang tsismis na kumakalat tungkol sa iyo? biro namin. “Na ano?” napamulagat si Angge, “anong tsismis ‘yon?” “Alam ko ho ‘yon,” sabad ng isa niyang kaibigan. “Loko, hindi biron ‘yan ha,” pinandilatan ni Angge ang kanyang kaibigan, “bibirahin kita!”

Hindi, biro ko lang ‘yon, palubag ko kay Angge nang mapansin kong galit na siya. Siyanga pala anon ang mga katangiang hinahanap mo sa isang lalaki? “Kahit pangit, basta masipag, mabait at mahusay magdala ng damit.”

Nakatagpo ka na ba? “Hindi pa,” sabi niya habang nakatitig kay Rody na aming potograpo.

Bakit mo nga pala nagustuhan si Vilma kaysa kay Nora? “Kasi noon, alam ni Vilma na fans ako nina Edgar at Nora. Pero binabati pa rin ako. Very sweet pa rin si Vilma sa akin. Si Nora naman ay parang matabang ang pagtingin sa amin. Kaya napagpasiyahan kong mahalin si Vilma nang sampung ulit kaysa pagmamahal na iniukol ko kay Nora. At saka alam mo, si Vilma e masyadong maalalahanin. ‘Yong bang maliliit na bagay e naaalala kami. Halimbawa, pinasasakay kami sa kanyang kotse, niyayayang kumain na talaga namang kahanga-hangang gawin ng isang artistang sikat katulad ni Vilma. Kaya naman mahal namin ang batang ‘yan.”

Lumaki ba naman ang ulo mo nang maging artista ka? “Naku hindi! ‘Yan ang hinding-hindi ko gagawin. Talagang hindi ako magbabago. Ako pa rin ang dating si Angge.”

Magkano nga pala ang ibinabayad sa iyo bilang artista? Off the record ito. “Huwag mong ilalagay d’yan ha?” Oo. “One.” One peso? “Basta one. Papatayin kita eh!” pumadyak si Angge.

Under contract ka ba sa isang estudyo? “Hindi. Pero pag lumalabas ako sa iba e humihingi muna ako ng permiso kay Doc Perez. Pag sa TV naman e nagpapaalam ako kay Direktor Tony Santos.’

Ano nga pala ang lihim mo ng pagpapaganda? Huling tanong namin. Pinapungay niya ang kanyang mga mata at nakinita namin ang isa sa mahigpit na makakaribal ng ating mga pangunahing komikera sa ngayon. Inspirado si Rody nang kunan niya ng larawan si Angge – ang tagahangang naging artista. – J. Ser Sahagun, Pilipino Magazine, 19 August 1970, re-posted at Pelikula Atbp blog (READ MORE)

Angge (Cornelia Lee) – a popular movie actress/comedienne from the 1970s. From the 1980s to the present, Angge worked as talent manager of young movie stars. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: PINAY AMERICAN STYLE


The Plot: PX, short for Paula Xavier (Vilma Santos) was an illegal alien in New York City. She’s broke and waiting for fiancé, Cocoy laurel to fulfill his promise of marriage despite the fact that Cocoy has already married an American to secure a green card. Hiding from the authorities, PX met two men who are willing to take care of her but conflicts arise as the two wanted to maintain a serious relationship with her. Played wonderfully by Christopher Deleon and Bembol Roco, the film resolved the love quadrangle between ex-fiancé, Cocoy Laurel and the two brothers when the jealous Cocoy reported Vilma to the immigration authorities. PX was deported back to the Philippines. But the films didn’t end in a sour note, PX found herself reunited with Christopher Deleon when the later followed her in the Philippines. – RV (READ MORE)

The Reviews: Shot in New York City and directed by Elwood Perez, this film seems to be a precursor to Miss X (1980) ’Merika (1984) starring Nora Aunor and Milan (2004), even Anak (2000) and Dubai (2005). Talaga bang masarap ang buhay sa ibang bansa? Bakit nagpapakamatay sa green card ang mga Pinoy? PX, mahal na mahal kita, PX, I love you walang iba. Paula Xavier or PX (Vilma Santos) is a TNT like boyfriend Victor Laurel (what an effective undersated performance) who leaves her as his live-in to be engaged to an American to get a green card who promises Vilma to divorce the White girl and to marry PX so they could live happily forever after. Not. Vilma is pissed that Laurel dropped her for good and he left her with unpaid rent and a broken heart. Enter Boyet De Leon, as Vilma’s next boyfriend who has two jobs who has been around long enough to know what he wants in life – women and the American Dream. Enter Bembol Roco, in a great performance as Boyet’s Kuya who is a bagito green card holder in America. He was in the opening scene of the movie where he owns his business and lives comfortably even have someone to make him coffee. Rosa Mia are Roco and De Leon’s battered mother who suffers from the physically abusive second husband (a geriatric Irishman), and verbalized regrets for leaving the Philippines. She has the best lines in the movie and summarized the movie’s theme: “Kung uuwi ako sa Pilipinas ay kung patay na ako. Ayokong umuwi ng buhay at malaman nila na ang hirap ng buhay dito – kayod ka talaga to survive, at di pinupulot ang dolyar, ubas at mansanas sa daan. Ang dami kong dinaanang hirap para lang magka green card.” Vilma Santos as PX is most effective in her scenes as a dumped/bitter girlfriend of Laurel, as a conflicted girlfriend of De Leon, and as a grateful soul who thank Roco for saving her from paying her overdue rent to her white landlord. Her PX is a toned down Sandra of Ikaw Ay Akin. She says to Roco: “Dati, sa konting pagkain, I offer myself to be laid. Napakabait mo.” Roco answers back: “Hindi ganoon kababa ang tingin ko sa sarili ko.” You see, Roco falls for the beautiful PX too and was upset to learn that PX is already making it with his brother, which drove him to drink and was depressed for a while. Panoorin na lang ninyo ang movie. The movie’s hopeful view of America begins with Perry Como singing White Christmas as Roco, in a dream scene, cavorts in the snow in slow motion. In his dying scene in the arms of his brother De Leon, Roco whispers “ni hindi ko man lang nakita ang snow and the above Winter Wonderland scene was replayed, while Boyet’s cry for help fell on deaf American ears. Vilma was deported after Laurel clandestinely reported her to the INS which arrested her at her birthday party. Her farewell scene with De Leon, handcuffed and all in a train station was one of the best scenes in the movie. The movie has a happy ending, with De Leon finding Santos, a flower picker amidst a field of white daisies with Benguet/Baguio as a backdrop. In a typical Elwood Perez slow mo fashion, amidst the daisy flower plantation, the box office love team of all time hugged and lived happily ever after. As credits rolled, Florante’s song Pinay played on. Pinay, American Style. Ang ganda! Vilma Santos yata iyan! – Mario O. GArces, V Magazine Issue No. 6 2006 (READ MORE)

Vilma was obviously under utilized as PX in these Elwood Perez experiment. Despite this predicament, Vilma was able to give us a splash of her abilities. While Nora was in full bloom as Mila in these quiet Portes film. She gave us a convincing portrayal of lonely woman who realized that she was being used by a man she truly loves. The contrast of style was the main point why I matched these two roles. As PX, Vilma was talkative, hiding her insecurity and vulnerability with her fragile disguise pretending to be a rich New Yorker with almost caricature gestures.

Regal films’ Pinay American Style was as commercial as one can imagine. Regal films producer, Lily Monteverde hired three leading men to support the most bankable actress of 1979, Christopher DeLeon, Bembol Rocco and Victor Cocoy Laurel. It was a period in Vilma’s career where she is doing one commercial films after the other. Two dance/musical hits Swing it Baby and Rock Baby Rock and a string of sexy films like Rubia Servious the previous year, Coed and Magkaribal mostly targeting the mature adult audience established her status as the number one box office superstar of 1978-79. Vilma in 1979 was a picture of self-assured bankable star. She did two movies with Elwood Perez, Magkaribal and Pinay American Style both were box office hits. She also produced an Eddie Rodrigues starrer Halik sa Paa Halik sa Kamay, and teamed-up with comedy king, Dolphy in Buhay Artista. As the year 1979 ends, she battled the drama queen Charito Solis in the local festival entry, Modelong Tanso. The end of the decade marked her stronghold as the box office queen. Clearly, Vilma Santos’ versatility as an actress was the secret weapon of her box office success. And this weapon was in full display in Pinay American Style.

Pinay American Style was the story of PX, an illegal alien or TNT – “tago ng tago.” Her boyfriend played by Victor Laurel abandoned her for a rich American girl mainly to secure a green card. PX met an Americanized Filipino, Christopher DeLeon but found him not serious of having her as a steady girlfriend. It just so happened that PX also met Christopher’s brother, Bembol Rocco, a new immigrant. PX and Bembol fell for each other. And a love triangle surfaced the screen. Adding to the drama was Victor Laurel’s enraged, jealous appearances. Laurel eventually tipped the police ending PX stays in New York. As Bembol Rocco realized that America doesn’t fit his lifestyle, he reconciled with his brother and advised him to follow PX in the Philippines. Christopher and Vilma reconciled in a farm field in the Philippines. The end.

The film was so forgettable that the critics didn’t even bother to write any reviews. The lack of enthusiasm on the part of the critics was compensated with the box office success of the film. Vilma fits the role as the illegal alien, PX. Her attempt to speak fluent English and pretend that she’s rich when she met the boyish looking Christopher was funny and poignant. She was given enough scenes to shine. One was when she was harassed by her landlady, she promised her the rent money the next day and when she’s gone, she opened her refrigerator and found a staled piece of bread. She took bottled water and ate the staled bread, went to the bedroom and found her mom’s letter. Lying down in bed, she started to break down. A quiet scene without dialogue. A contrast from the earlier scenes where she was talkative as she tried to impress Christopher and telling him she’s rich and from a well-known family. It was obvious in 1979, Elwood Perez wasn’t the kind of director you will expect to produce a serious output. He wasn’t a Bernal or Brocka. He’s a commercial director. It was a better effort though, compared to a much more convoluted Magkaribal or their past successful projects like Nakawin natin ang bawat sandali and masakit masarap ang umibig. In Pinay, Toto Belano’s script wasn’t efficient in ironing out the “love quadrangle” plot twists and establishing the characters of four actors. So the blame can’t be put to solely to Perez’ shoulder. There was a scene were Vilma Santos and Christopher were watching a concert which was obviously not part of the script. – RV (READ MORE)

“…Elwood Perez and Vilma Santos colloborated in seven films (Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos 1988, Lipad Darna Lipad 1973, Magkaribal 1979, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig 1977, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali 1978, Pakawalan Mo Ako 1981, Pinay American Style 1979). The first one was the trilogy that he co-directed with two other director, Borlaza and Gosiengfiao (these three are the most underrated and under appreciated directors in the Philippines), the remake of Mars Ravelo comic super hero, Darna in Lipad Darna Lipad. The film was a record-breaking hit Box-office Film. They follow this up with a more mature projects as Vilma started to switched her image from sweet to a mature versatile actress, pairing her with Christopher DeLeon in five films starting with Masarap Masakit Ang Umibig in 1977. The Perez-Santos-DeLeon team produced seven blockbuster hits that gave Vilma two FAMAS best actress awards that secured her elevation to FAMAS highest honour, the FAMAS Hall of Fame award. She won in 1979 for Pakawalan Mo Ako and 1988 for Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos…” – RV (READ MORE)

Filmography: Young Love (1970)

“I hate you…dirty…you’re dirty! I hate youuuu!…huwag n’yo nang mabangit-bangit ang pangalan nyan! Kinasusuklaman ko siya!..ngayon ko lang nakita ang kapangitan ng buhay ang akala ko masaya’t maganda na ang daigdig…” – Tere

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Basic Information: Directed: Tony Cayado; Story: German Moreno; Screenplay: Medy Tarnate; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada, German Moreno, Raul Aragon, Bella Flores, Etang Discher, Tony Cayado, Evelyn Bonifacio, Tina Lapuz, Arlene Bautista, Angge; Executive producer: Jose Vera Perez; Original Music: Medy Tarnate; Cinematography: Felipe Santiago; Sound: Flaviano Villareal; Theme Songs: “Young Love” performed by Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Edgar Mortiz; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: Both Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III joined a singing contest and won. With a support from friends, Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz they became lovers. – RV

Film Achievement: First film of Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor together.

Film Review: Taong 1970. Gumawa si Vilma Santos ng dalawamput isang pelikula na puro musicals. Isa lamang ang nagawa niyang drama (Sapagkat Sila’y Aming Mga Anak). Nakakapagtaka dahil hindi naman siya singer. Marahil ito ay dahil sa love team nila ni Edgar Mortiz at ito ang “trend” ng panahong ito. Pito-pito kung gumawa sila ng pelikula ng panahong iyon kung baga dalawang pelikula ang pinapalabas nila sa loob ng isang buwan. Isa na rito ang pelikula ng Sampaguita Pictures, ang “Young Love” na tinampukan ni Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz.

Mapupuna na ang pelikulang ito ay bida si Nora at Tirso at supporting lamang si Vilma at Edgar. Mula sa istorya ni German Moreno at screenplay ni Medy Tarnate ang “Young Love” ay puno ng nakakalokang sitwasyon at napakababaw ng mga eksena at diyalogo. Ang director nito’y si Tony Cayado. At ang mga sayaw ay sa ilalim ng choreography ni Lito Calzado. Hindi natin alam kung bakit tinawag na “Young Love” ang pelikula samantalang hindi naman ito tungkol sa pag-iibigan ng mga kabataan rito kundi tungkol sa singing contest na sinalihan nina Ditas Aunor (Nora Aunor) at Joey Cruz (Tirso Cruz III). Naging tabla ang resulta ng singing contest at ginawa silang mga mainstay singers ng television show. Matapos ng contest ay makikitang naghahabulan na si Ditas at Joey sa may mga puno ng niyog at makikitang nagliligawan rin sina Tere (Vilma Santos) at Buboy (Edgar Mortiz) sabay kanta ang apat ng “Young Love.”

Sa tutoo lang, ito lang ang eksena kung saan maririnig na kumakanta rin si Vilma at nakipagsabayan siya kay Nora. Sa tuwing papasok sa eksena si Bella Flores ay tili ito ng tili at laging sinisigawan si Ditas which was very typical ng mga contrabida nuong panahong ito and very irritating. Narito rin si Etang Discher na isang ulyanin na lola ni Tirso at Vilma. Pilit nitong pinapapunta si Tirso sa Australia pero laging niloloko nito ang matanda at sinasabing natapos na pala ang isang taon at nakabalik na raw ito mula Australia. Tapos nito’y makikita si Ike Lozada na kumakanta sa harap ng mga batang lansangan.

Samantala si Bella Flores ay nakipagayos kay Tom Junes (Raul Aragon) upang sabotahin mismo nito ang show ng kanyang sariling pamangkin. Makikita ang nakakalokang sex scene ng dalawa. At ang sumunod na eksena ay ang drama scene ni Ate Vi. Dahil marahil sa walang eksena si Ate Vi na kumakanta ay binigyan siya ng sariling eksena at katapat ito ng maraming eksena ni Nora na kumakanta. Ito ay nang mahuli ni Ate Vi niya si Tom Junes at Bella Flores na nagse-sex. Takbo ito habang umiiyak. Makikita na dumating ito sa sariling bahay at sa kuwarto nito’y pinagsisira niya ang pictures ni Tom Junes kasama ng album nito. Devoted fan pala siya ni Tom Junes. Cut! Tapos na ang eksena ni Ate Vi. Pasok ang mga musical numbers, kanta ng ilang beses si Nora, Tirso, Edgar and Ike Lozada. Meron ding dance numbers, pero wala si Ate Vi sa mga dance numbers na ito. And then it’s the end. Napapakamot ako sa ulo.

Nakakaloka talaga. Makikitang hindi pinag-isipan ang istorya nito. Ginawa nilang i-showcase ang pagiging singer ni Nora Aunor. Kadalasan ang mga kanta niya ay mga version ng mga English popular cover songs at hindi original Filipino songs. Tulad ng “I Believe” at marami pang iba. Kung tutuusin ito ang trend nuon, ang mga kantang galing sa amerika. So much of the fact that lahat ng mga drum beaters ni Nora ay sinisigaw ang kanyang pagiging isang ulirang Filipina dahil sa kanyang pisikal na itsura. Pero mukha ka ngang dalagang Filipina pero pagbuka naman ng bunganga mo eh lumalabas mga kantang banyaga anong klaseng dalagang Filipina yan? Sa sobrang inpluensiya ng mga banyagang kanta ng kalagitnaan ng dekada 70 ay nagkaroon ng rebelyon sa ere ng mga radyo.

Nauso ang Original Pilipino Music o OPM bilang sagot sa musikang dayuhan. Sumulpot ang mga musikerong Juan DeLaCruz, Hotdog, Cinderella, VST & Co., Sampaguita, Freddy Aguilar, Coritha, Mike Hanopol, at marami pang iba na ang mga kanta ay tagalog at pawang komposisyon ng mga Pilipino. Ang mga kanta ni Nora ay puro mga English kontradiksyon ng mga sinisigaw ng fans niya na isang imahen ng Filipino si Nora. Kung ang itsura man niya ay pilipinang-pilipina ang mga kinakanta naman niya ay – puro kanta ng dayuhan. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit wala siyang masasabing signature song dahil puro version niya lamang ang mga kantang ni-record ng panahong iyon. Samatala si Vilma Santos na hindi singer ay nagkaroon ng kanyang sariling signature songs bagamat English ang mga lyrics ng mga ito, original Filipino composition naman ang mga ito tulad ng “Bobby Bobby Bobby” at “Sixteen.” Kasabay nito’y ni-record din niya ang mga tagalog songs na “Isipin Mong bastat mahal kita,” “Bato sa buhangin,” at “Palong-palo.” Nang kalagitanaan ng dekada 70 ay kapunapuna na kaunti na lamang ang mga pelikulang kantahan at hindi na kumikita ang mga ito kung kaya mapupuna na nag-umpisa nang gumawa ng matitinong pelikula kapwa sina Nora Aunor at Vilma Santos.

Ang “Young Love” ay isang halimbawa ng pelikulang gawa ng unang bahagi ng dekada 70. Mabilisang gawa. Mababaw ng istorya at hitik ng mga musical numbers. Mayroon mga nakakatawang eksena tulad ng pagkanta sa mga burulan ng patay basta magkaroon lang ng eksena ng kantahan. Tutoo ito, may mga eksena na nagkakantahan sa ilalim ng punong kahoy. Mga sayawan, habulan, at ligawan sa mga beach at kahuyan. Nag-click ito sa mga tao nang unang bahagi ng dekada sitentat ngunit sinawaan rin ang mga tao at nang dumating na ang huling bahagi ng dekada ay nagbago ito. Dito dumating ang panahon na nagbago na ang imahen ni Vilma Santos at nag-umpisa na itong ungusan ang walang kawawaang pagkanta ni Nora sa mga basurang pelikula niya.

Ang “Young Love” ay puno ng walang kawawaang musical numbers ni Nora Aunor. Puno rin ito ng mga eksenang nakakaloka na kahit na ang batang paslit ay magkakamot ng ulo at sasabihin ang “huh?” Kung hindi mo hahahanapin ang matinong istorya at ang hangad mo lang ay makita kung gaano kagaling kumanta si Nora Aunor kahit pa sa burulan ng patay tiyak na mage-enjoy ka sa pelikulang ito dahil maraming eksena rito si Nora na kumakanta ng walang kawawaang kantang dayuhan. – RV, V Magazine 2007

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“My Darling Eddie” ng JBC (Disyembre 16 – 23, 1969, “Mardy” ng JBC (Disyembre 31 – Enero 6, 1969)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Walang makapaniwala na magiging gayon kalakas takilya sina Nora at Tirso. Nagimbal ang mga taga-pelikula. Bakit daw gayon kalaki ang kinikita ng unang dalawang pelikula nina Nora at Tirso? Tsamba lamang daw kaya iyon o biglang nagbago ng panlasa ng mga manonood? Hindi tsamba. Ang mga sumunod pang pelikula nina Nora at Tirso ay mas malaki ang kinita. Daang-libo ang kinita ng “Teenage Excapades” at “Halina, Neneng Ko.” Itinambal ng Towers si Nora sa iba pang kabataang artista, malaki rin ang kinita. Katunayan na malaki ang hukbo ng mga tagahanga ni Nora. Sinubok naman ng Barangay Productions na itambal si Tirso kay Gemma Suzara, hindi gaanong kinagat ng mga fans. Nag-produce ng pelikula ang mag-anak na Cruz, pinagsama sina Ricky Belmonte at Tirso sa “Ricky na, Tirso Pa” isinama naman sa magpinsan si Pilar Pilapil. Tinapatan ng Tower ng isang pelikula ni Nora ang pelikula ng mga Cruz. Resulta: mas maraming nanood sa pelikula ni Nora. Ano ang ibig sabihin nito? Gusto ng mga fans na maging magkatambal sina Nora at Tirso. Sinagot ng VP Pictures ang kahilingang ito sa pamamagitan ng “Young Love.” Bukod kina Tirso at Nora ay isinaman pa ang mga young ones na sina Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz. Patok sa takilya!…” – Romy Galang, Pilipino Magazine, 18 February 1970 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Baby Vi (1970)

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Basic Information: Story: Robert Bornay; Screenplay: Henry Cuino; Music: Willears; Direction: Jose (Pepe) Wenceslao; Cast: Edgar Mortiz, Vilma Santos, Ed Finlan/ Also Starring Abraham Cruz, Lou Salvador, Sr., Ernie Vega, Romy Luartes, Er Canton Salazar, Dolores Pobre and Angge
Production Company: Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions; Release Date: December 13, 1970 at Globe Theatre; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

Filmography: Young Lovers (1971)

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Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Tony Santos; Story: Rose Reynaldo, Tony Santos; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada, Perla Adea, Rommy Mallari, Tony Santos Jr., Baby De Jesus, Janine Frias, Len Gutierrez, Angge, Dencio Padilla, Vic Pacia, Ben David, Eddie San Jose, Rosa Aguirre, Nita Carmona, Tony Dantes, Romy Luartes, Miguel Lopez, Jerry Reyes, The Peoples Worry Combo; Executive producer: Experidiun Laxa; Original Music: Freddie Delgado; Cinematography: Ben Lobo

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfons. Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the “Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag” loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

Filmography: Coed (1979)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story, screenplay: Allan Jayme Rabaya; Cast: Vilma Santos, Jay Ilagan, Celia Rodriguez, Allan Valenzuela, Romeo Enriquez, Romeo Rivera, Jun Soler, Angge, Jojo Santiago, Cora Tanada, Larry Leviste, Marilyn Villarruz, Rosemarie Sarita; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Mike Accion; Film Editing: Abelardo Hulleza

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Borlaza gave Vilma Santos her very first best actress, winning the 1972 FAMAS for via Dama De Noche. He is also credited in narrowing the popularity gap between her and the musical era’s darling of the 70s, Nora Aunor.

Film Review: “…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 UP Los Banos, I realized their problems and lifestyle can be a source of even 10 movie materials. At kapag ang student force pala ang nag-patronize sa Tagalog movie, ang laki ng audience!” Borlaza revealed…I’m very meticulous about is: the audience were to identify itself with my main character, will it be happy with the poetic justice I execute? Will they find it correct and realistic? In Kampus? for instance, students who were pleased with the movie told me they liked the ending very much. They agreed with it. Vilma was bedded first by Mat Ranillo III, but ended up with Bembol who was the right choice after all. They say in real life, the man you walk down the aisle with is not necessarily the first man you had sex with. Also they say the dialouges were very in – like the way actual students would speak them. Siguro, once they sit in the theater, they are not bothered by such questions as ‘Why” or “how come?” Is the star value the main thing in selling movies? “In the case of Kampus?, yes, because Vilma Santos was my main star and she’s the current box office queen…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Expressweek, November 9, 1978 (READ MORE)

“…Borlaza’s films lack the arthouse style and social relevance that critics loves most in a Brocka or Bernal films but who cares about the critics when the paying public loves them. And the producers demand his service, from Doc Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, Atty. Esperidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions and later on, Vic Del Rosario of Viva Films and Lily Monteverde of Regal Films. Clearly, his films exists with one purpose, to entertain the masses not to depress or remind them with the country’s sad fate of economy or the below poverty line lives of many. The success of the Vilma-Borlaza films gave Vilma Santos versatility and preparation to a more serious acting career. It also narrowed the popularity gap between her and the musical era’s darling of the 70s, Nora Aunor. These are perhaps, the most significant contributions of Emmanuel Borlaza to Vilma’s career. Vilma who was considered only second to Nora couldn’t matched her singing talent and so, Borlaza countered this lack of singing with films that showcased Vilma’s acting versatility…” – RV (READ MORE)

Jay Ilagan (March 6, 1953 – February 3, 1992) is a Filipino actor. He hosted Stop, Look and Listen and starred in My Son, My Son and Going Bananas. He was married and separated with another popular movie personality Hilda Koronel and a common-law husband of Amy Austria at the time of his death. He died in a motorcycle accident in 1992. He was 39. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Pinay, American Style (1979)

“I’m PX, short for Paula Xavier, I’m a Filipina…kyontiii…I can understand Tagalog but I’m having a hard time speaking it…actually, I’m not hungry…but on the second thought, why not?” – PX

“one-fourth Japanese, one-fourth Chinese, one-fourth Indonisian, one-fourth Filipino but I was born in Hongkong…you see my mom was a tourist in Hongkong when she met my Japanese father, my Chinese father, my Indonisian father and my Filipino father!” – PX

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Basic Information: Directed: Elwood Perez; Story, screenplay: Toto Belano; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Bembol Roco, Cocoy Laurel, Rosa Mia, Alexandra Dulaney, Nova Villa, Bella Flores, Angge, Filipino Lou, Gloria Gaynor; Executive producer: Lily Monteverde; Original Music: Demetrio Velasquez; Cinematography: Felipe Sacdalan, Johnny Araojo; Editing: Rogelio Salvador; Sound: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes; Theme Songs: “Pinay” performed by Florante

Plot Description: PX, short for Paula Xavier (Vilma Santos) was an illegal alien in New York City. She’s broke and waiting for fiancé, Cocoy laurel to fulfill his promise of marriage despite the fact that Cocoy has already married an American to secure a green card. Hiding from the authorities, PX met two men who are willing to take care of her but conflicts arise as the two wanted to maintain a serious relationship with her. Played wonderfully by Christopher Deleon and Bembol Roco, the film resolved the love quadrangle between ex-fiancé, Cocoy Laurel and the two brothers when the jealous Cocoy reported Vilma to the immigration authorities. PX was deported back to the Philippines. But the films didn’t end in a sour note, PX found herself reunited with Christopher Deleon when the later followed her in the Philippines. – RV

Film Achievement: One of eight box office hit films Vilma Santos did in 1979

Film Reviews: Shot in New York City and directed by Elwood Perez, this film seems to be a precursor to Miss X (1980) ’Merika (1984) starring Nora Aunor and Milan (2004), even Anak (2000) and Dubai (2005). Talaga bang masarap ang buhay sa ibang bansa? Bakit nagpapakamatay sa green card ang mga Pinoy? PX, mahal na mahal kita, PX, I love you walang iba. Paula Xavier or PX (Vilma Santos) is a TNT like boyfriend Victor Laurel (what an effective undersated performance) who leaves her as his live-in to be engaged to an American to get a green card who promises Vilma to divorce the White girl and to marry PX so they could live happily forever after. Not. Vilma is pissed that Laurel dropped her for good and he left her with unpaid rent and a broken heart. Enter Boyet De Leon, as Vilma’s next boyfriend who has two jobs who has been around long enough to know what he wants in life – women and the American Dream. Enter Bembol Roco, in a great performance as Boyet’s Kuya who is a bagito green card holder in America. He was in the opening scene of the movie where he owns his business and lives comfortably even have someone to make him coffee. Rosa Mia are Roco and De Leon’s battered mother who suffers from the physically abusive second husband (a geriatric Irishman), and verbalized regrets for leaving the Philippines. She has the best lines in the movie and summarized the movie’s theme: “Kung uuwi ako sa Pilipinas ay kung patay na ako. Ayokong umuwi ng buhay at malaman nila na ang hirap ng buhay dito – kayod ka talaga to survive, at di pinupulot ang dolyar, ubas at mansanas sa daan. Ang dami kong dinaanang hirap para lang magka green card.”

Vilma Santos as PX is most effective in her scenes as a dumped/bitter girlfriend of Laurel, as a conflicted girlfriend of De Leon, and as a grateful soul who thank Roco for saving her from paying her overdue rent to her white landlord. Her PX is a toned down Sandra of Ikaw Ay Akin. She says to Roco: “Dati, sa konting pagkain, I offer myself to be laid. Napakabait mo.” Roco answers back: “Hindi ganoon kababa ang tingin ko sa sarili ko.” You see, Roco falls for the beautiful PX too and was upset to learn that PX is already making it with his brother, which drove him to drink and was depressed for a while. Panoorin na lang ninyo ang movie. The movie’s hopeful view of America begins with Perry Como singing White Christmas as Roco, in a dream scene, cavorts in the snow in slow motion. In his dying scene in the arms of his brother De Leon, Roco whispers “ni hindi ko man lang nakita ang snow”, and the above Winter Wonderland scene was replayed, while Boyet’s cry for help fell on deaf American ears. Vilma was deported after Laurel clandestinely reported her to the INS which arrested her at her birthday party. Her farewell scene with De Leon, handcuffed and all in a train station was one of the best scenes in the movie. The movie has a happy ending, with De Leon finding Santos, a flower picker amidst a field of white daisies with Benguet/Baguio as a backdrop. In a typical Elwood Perez slow mo fashion, amidst the daisy flower plantation, the box office love team of all time hugged and lived happily ever after. As credits rolled, Florante’s song Pinay played on. Pinay, American Style. Ang ganda! Vilma Santos yata iyan! – Mario O. Garces, V Magazine Issue No. 6 2006 (READ MORE)

Vilma was obviously under utilized as PX in these Elwood Perez experiment. Despite this predicament, Vilma was able to give us a splash of her abilities. While Nora was in full bloom as Mila in these quiet Portes film. She gave us a convincing portrayal of lonely woman who realized that she was being used by a man she truly loves. The contrast of style was the main point why I matched these two roles. As PX, Vilma was talkative, hiding her insecurity and vulnerability with her fragile disguise pretending to be a rich New Yorker with almost caricature gestures.

Regal films’ Pinay American Style was as commercial as one can imagine. Regal films producer, Lily Monteverde hired three leading men to support the most bankable actress of 1979, Christopher DeLeon, Bembol Rocco and Victor Cocoy Laurel. It was a period in Vilma’s career where she is doing one commercial films after the other. Two dance/musical hits Swing it Baby and Rock Baby Rock and a string of sexy films like Rubia Servious the previous year, Coed and Magkaribal mostly targeting the mature adult audience established her status as the number one box office superstar of 1978-79. Vilma in 1979 was a picture of self-assured bankable star. She did two movies with Elwood Perez, Magkaribal and Pinay American Style both were box office hits. She also produced an Eddie Rodrigues starrer Halik sa Paa Halik sa Kamay, and teamed-up with comedy king, Dolphy in Buhay Artista. As the year 1979 ends, she battled the drama queen Charito Solis in the local festival entry, Modelong Tanso. The end of the decade marked her stronghold as the box office queen. Clearly, Vilma Santos’ versatility as an actress was the secret weapon of her box office success. And this weapon was in full display in Pinay American Style.

Pinay American Style was the story of PX, an illegal alien or TNT – “tago ng tago.” Her boyfriend played by Victor Laurel abandoned her for a rich American girl mainly to secure a green card. PX met an Americanized Filipino, Christopher DeLeon but found him not serious of having her as a steady girlfriend. It just so happened that PX also met Christopher’s brother, Bembol Rocco, a new immigrant. PX and Bembol fell for each other. And a love triangle surfaced the screen. Adding to the drama was Victor Laurel’s enraged, jealous appearances. Laurel eventually tipped the police ending PX stays in New York. As Bembol Rocco realized that America doesn’t fit his lifestyle, he reconciled with his brother and advised him to follow PX in the Philippines. Christopher and Vilma reconciled in a farm field in the Philippines. The end.

The film was so forgettable that the critics didn’t even bother to write any reviews. The lack of enthusiasm on the part of the critics was compensated with the box office success of the film. Vilma fits the role as the illegal alien, PX. Her attempt to speak fluent English and pretend that she’s rich when she met the boyish looking Christopher was funny and poignant. She was given enough scenes to shine. One was when she was harassed by her landlady, she promised her the rent money the next day and when she’s gone, she opened her refrigerator and found a staled piece of bread. She took bottled water and ate the staled bread, went to the bedroom and found her mom’s letter. Lying down in bed, she started to break down. A quiet scene without dialogue. A contrast from the earlier scenes where she was talkative as she tried to impress Christopher and telling him she’s rich and from a well-known family. It was obvious in 1979, Elwood Perez wasn’t the kind of director you will expect to produce a serious output. He wasn’t a Bernal or Brocka. He’s a commercial director. It was a better effort though, compared to a much more convoluted Magkaribal or their past successful projects like Nakawin natin ang bawat sandali and masakit masarap ang umibig. In Pinay, Toto Belano’s script wasn’t efficient in ironing out the “love quadrangle” plot twists and establishing the characters of four actors. So the blame can’t be put to solely to Perez’ shoulder. There was a scene were Vilma Santos and Christopher were watching a concert which was obviously not part of the script. – RV

“…Pinay, American Style carries such attributes. Shot entirely in America, it depicts the plight of some Filipinos living there – Filipinos who are obsessed with amassing fortunres and landing high-paying jobs and enjoying the dolce vita in the muchballyhooed “land of the brave and home of the free” and the “land of the mighty dollar.” Compared to foreign movies with explicit sex scenes, Pinay… would not even deserve the “For Adults Only” tag or an “X-rated” classification, according to Elwood. Basically, the movie is a relfection of the typical plight of Filipinos living abroad. It is a plight that runs counter to the optimism and false hopes entertained by potential Filipino immigrants. Arriving in the U.S. as tourists, some Filipinos would choose to stay behind in their search for “greener pastures.” Having done so, they have to play hide-and-seek with immigration authorities, accept odd jobs to survive in the asphalt jungle, get married to ward off deportation, and similar evasive maneuvers. These same incidents are what the cast – Vilma Santos, Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco and Victor “Cocoy” Laurel – portray in Pinay. Pinay is Elwood’s second movie shot abroad after Lollipops…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Expressweek, July 12, 1979 (READ MORE)