Remembering Bella Flores

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hatred (poot) and Jealousy (inggit) – “…In the Joey Reyes short film, Bella gave her audience an idea of how she became a most hated screen villain. On the whole, the film was a funny but down-to-earth crash course on how to achieve immortality as a screen villain. The fool-proof ingredient, according to Bella, was to invest and perfect that art of hatred (poot) and jealousy (inggit) and make use of them to the hilt. Then she added another lesson on the fine art of slapping and hair-pulling and how to produce an equally important wicked laughter as she saw the object of her hatred expire from her equally malevolent stare. Declared Bella in her last film (Kontrabida 101) after dousing wine on the face of the poor waiter: “Bidas (heroines) they come and go. Pero kaming mga kontrabida, we never fade away.” There is a ring of truth in Reyes’s declaration: “There is one and only Bella Flores. She is indeed one of a kind.” Stage director Anton Juan can only agree: “Bella Flores, how many who tried to imitate your art in front of their own mirrors could approximate your wicked eyebrows, flaring nostrils, the sharp-lined lips that formed the word at the edge of gritting teeth, a voice that rasped deep through the breath of smoke. You created the Filipino archetype of the ‘kontrabida’ till your name itself was synonymous with villainy. Rest in peace, Ms. Bella Flores and flowers for you…” – Pablo A. Tariman, The Philippine Star, 20 May 2013 (READ MORE)

Roberta and Trudis – “…Contravida Queen Bella Flores was featured in “Showbiz Central’s” Most Influential segment as she plays a big part in GMA Films’ new movie with Rhian Ramos and Aljur Abrenica, “My Kontrabida Girl.” It’s also a tribute to Bella as she’s celebrating her 60th anniversary in showbiz. The screen name Bella Flores was given to her by the late Sampaguita Pictures’ boss Dr. Jose Perez. “I was so glad when I was told it means beautiful flowers,” she said. Her real name is Remedios Dancel and she was born on Feb. 27, 1936, which means she turned 76 yesterday, Monday (Feb 27/2012). She was only 15 when she did her first villain role maltreating child star Tessie Agana in the blockbuster “Roberta.” She recounted that Vilma Santos auditioned with her for her first movie, “Trudis Liit,” in 1963. “Natakot siya at tumakbo dahil nakita niyang pinahirapan ko ‘yung ibang batang nag-audition,” she said. “Ngayon, governor na siya. Sina Roderick Paulate at Gina Alajar, sa’kin din nagsimula as child stars sa ‘Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nino’…” – Mario Bautista, Malaya (READ MORE)

Female Eddie Garcia – “…There is nothing that I can ask for more,” sambit ni Bella. “I’ve played all kinds of roles. I played the madre roles. Meron akong mga action pictures…plus mga drama. “Even on television, all of my TV shows got the highest ratings. Honest to God! Katulad ngayon, itong Trudis Liit, nakadagdag na naman ako. Nakasama ako sa magandang ratings ng show. “I’m so proud and I’m so happy and so contented that after all those five decades, you know what I mean, I’m still standing up, not sitting down.” Marami nga ang naghahalintulad kay Bella bilang female counterpart ni Eddie Garcia sa patagalan sa showbiz industry. “They compare me always to Eddie Garcia when they interview me. It’s true that we have the most respected names in the world of showbiz. “Kapag sinabi mong Eddie Garcia, sold na lahat. Yari na ang lahat. Wala nang puwedeng ipalit. Ganoon din ang sinasabi nila sa akin,” aniya. Aminado naman si Bella na may mga pagkakataon din na hindi dumarating ang projects sa kanya….” – Paul Mata, PEP, 20 October 2010 (READ MORE)

Miss Bulaklak – “…Acting didn’t run in Bella’s family of eight brothers and seven sisters. Remedios Limson in real life (a mixture of Chinese, Spanish, and German bloods), Bella was a rice vendor on Blumentritt and Antipolo streets in Sta Cruz and eventually became “Miss Bulaklak of 1949” before she invaded the movies. She had her first taste of movies without the knowledge of her parents. “It was only when I arrived home with five stiches on the head I sustained from a freak accident during a shooting that they learned about it. My producer, the late Mommy Dolores H. Vera, took me home. So my parents couldn’t back out anymore!” Bella Flores started out in films as an extra in Ang Lumang Bahay Sa Gulod which was Premiere Productions’ first picture in color and starred Rogelio de la Rosa and Leila Morena. She transferred to Sampaguita Pictures where the late Dr. Jose R. Perez screen named her Bella Flores, which means “magandang bulaklak” in Pilipino. She was to be an extra again in Kilabot Sa Makiling but a sudden twist of fate landed her a longer role as the “other woman.” Bella’s biggest break came when she portrayed the stern and mean aunt to then child stars Tessie Agana and Boy Alano in Roberta, a tearjerker. The sob movie was a smash hit and literally revived Sampaguita Pictures, which was razed by fire in 1951. Bella was then signed up for 13 years and got P500 per picture with a P50 weekly allowance. On top of that, for every picture she made there after, she would be paid P3,000. “During those time, you could already buy a house and lot for only P10,000. Regular taxi fare was P10 and you could go back and forth to studio and home…Age is a state of mind. If you say you’re old, then you’ll look old. Me? I don’t believe I’m old because I always feel young!…” – Manny B. Fernandez, People Magazine, 05 February 1982 (READ MORE)

Bella Flores and Vilma Santos’ Films

  • Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko (1996) – ”…In 1996 Vilma Santos did “Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko” with the late FPJ. The film did not do well, both critically and commercially. This year also was a bad year for the local entertainment industry as Ishmael Bernal died on June 2nd. It was reported that he was scheduled to direct a film about the life story of Lola Rosa Henson, the comfort woman during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The project was also reportedly offered to Vilma Santos. From 1997 to 2009, Vilma Santos completed 6 full featured films, two were considered record breaking films and almost all gave her acting recognitions including two international best actress recognitions…” (READ MORE)
  • Pinay, American Style (1979) – “…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…” (READ MORE)
  • Huwag hamakin! Hostess (1978) – “…Do you always succeed in packaging a movie? “Often, yes, But, alas, I have failures too.” For instance? “Well, some reasons for failure are due to wrong chemistry of the cast, to the vehicle (story) and/or unsuitability of both elements. Let’s take the movie, Huwag Hamakin: Hostess, which with solid actresses, a move that proved to be contrary to the image of La Aunor. It would have been all right, if Alma Moreno, Nora’s co-star, was paired with another bold actress. But that, we learned only later and too late! I was aware of Guy’s image. But I wasn’t aware that her image wouldn’t go well with the combination. Not even the controversy of including Vilma Santos in the cast helped. It only antagonized both camps of Nora-Vilma fans…” (READ MORE)
  • Big Ike’s Happening (1976) – “…Enrique “Big Ike” Lozada (August 13, 1940-March 8, 1995) was a Filipino comedian, actor and TV host. He was born on August 13, 1940 in Iloilo City. He started acting at the age of 11 on the movie Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan with the younger Susan Roces. He died on March 10, 1995 in Manila, of heart attack. He was 54. His had lain at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City…” (READ MORE)
  • Ding Dong (1970) – “…Ding Dong, adapted into movie from comics written by Pablo S. Gomez; Illustrated by Alfredo P. Alcala for United Komiks, 1970…” (READ MORE)
  • Young Love (1970) – “…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…” (READ MORE)
  • Trudis liit (1963) – “Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito’y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, “the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang “Trudis Liit” na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat…” ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito’y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College…” (READ MORE)

Bella Flores (February 27, 1929 – May 19, 2013), was a FAMAS award-winning Filipino film actress. She was best known for her “iconic” portrayals of film villains. Flores was born in Manila. She was a college sophomore at the Far Eastern University when she appeared in her first film, Tatlong Balaraw (1950), at age 14. Flores was signed by Sampaguita Pictures. She was cast in Roberta as the cruel stepmother of Tessie Agana’s titular character, despite being 15 years old. The film was a box-office success, credited with saving Sampaguita Pictures from bankruptcy after a fire had destroyed its studio. The film’s success also elevated Flores into the upper tier of stars, and typecast her in villainous roles. The film critic Nestor Torre remarked that Flores had “been making life miserable for many generations of hapless stars—all the way back to little Tessie Agana and Boy Alano in ‘Roberta’ in the early 1950s, to her fresh batch of victims in the New Millennium… doing it without skipping a beat—and without aging (much) to boot.” She received the 1967 FAMAS Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Ang Kaibigan Kong Santo Niño. Flores died on May 19, 2013, in Quezon City General Hospital. Her death was a result due to complications from a recent hip surgery. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Related Reading:

Advertisements

FILM REVIEW: KARMA

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Plot Description: Sarah (Vilma Santos) is forced to defer her wedding when she scheduled to flight was delayed. At a hotel where she is staying, Sarah encounters Eric (Ronaldo Valdez), a regular guest who forces himself on her. The incident leaves a stigma not just on Sarah but more so on her fiancé, Alfredo (Tommy Abuel) whose dream of marrying a “virgin” is dashed. Strangely, Sarah and Eric’s paths cross again at a time when their respective marriages are in disarray. Their meeting strikes both as “déjà vu.” Could it be that they have met each other in the past? Their suspicious are confirmed after Eric consults a psychic. As it turns out, Sarah and Eric are the reincarnation of Guada and Enrico, two lovers who had an illicit affair sixty years ago. When Guada’s husband, Limbo (Ruel Vernal), learned of her affair, he went on a murderous rampage. Now Sarah and Eric seem destined to follow the same path. But in whose spouse does the spirit of Limbo rest? Is it the disabled Alfredo? Or Eric’s estranged wife Cristy (Chanda Romero)? – Viva Films

Film Review: The technical preview of “Karma” the other night was delayed for about an hour but I did not 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. Happily, “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 double-checked its possibility.” Reincarnation and transference are undoubtedly mind-boggling 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 Dec. 12, 1981 (READ MORE)

Sa pagbabago ng estado ni Vilma Santos, tila nagbabago na rin ang kanyang approach sa kanyang career. Dahil hindi na career ang unang priority niya sa buhay, lalong nagiging professional ang kanyang tingin sa trabaho. Dahil hindi na twenty-four hours a day ang kanyang buhay artista, alam na niyang I-apportion ang bawat minuto na walang aksaya. Sa set ng Relasyon ni Ishmael Bernal, hangang-hanga ang director sa bagong pang-unawa ni Vilma sa trabaho. Dumarating sa oras, kabisado ang linya (memorizing lines for Vilma, of course, was never a problem even the days she was shooting five pictures simultaneously), full attention sa sinasabi ng direktor, walang problema. Kung pagbabasehan sa naging resulta ng Karma, lalong maganda ngayon si Vilma, mas mariin ang kanyang pagganap, mas mature ang kanyang approach at understanding sa kaniyang papel. Swerteng-swerte ang pagkapanalo niya ng best actress sa nakaraang Film fest. Sayang at wala siya upang tanggapin mismo ang tropeo. Pero lalong naging makabuluhan para sa kanya ang sinabi ng kapwa niya artista sa Karma nang sabihin ni Chanda Romero na “napakaganda naman ng karma ni Vilma. Mayroon na siyang Edu, mayroon siyang Lucky, ngayon ay mayroon pa siya nito (ang ibig sabihin ay ang best actress trophy),” sabay tilian ng mga fans sa loob ng Cultural Center, walang makapigil, walang makasaway. Pero, gaya ng dati, hindi naging madali kay Vilma ang pananalo. Nagpatas ang botohan ng dalawang beses – triple tie sila ni Gina Alajar at Charo Santos, hanggang ma-break ang deadlock at nakaungos ng isang boto si Vilma sa dalawa pa niyang kalaban. Tinawagan si Vilma ni Cirio Santiago, pinasundo sa isang limousine, pero nagdahilan ang Vilma. Ayaw niya sigurong umasa dahil minsan, sa isang awards night din, sinigurong siya ang mananalo pero hindi ganun ang nangyari. (I understand that Vilma really won but the verdict was changed afterwards through the representations and machinations of some influential press sectors.) Kunsabagay, wala rin si Charito Solis noong awards dahil sabi sa akin ni Chato, talagang hindi niya inaasahang manalo ang maliit na papel na iyon sa Kisapmata. Noon pa mang preview pa lamang, maugong na ang balitang baka si Charito ang manalo bilang supporting actress pero hindi niya yun pinansin dahil tiyak na tiyak siya na si Vic Silayan ang mananalo. Sinabi pa niya sa interview niya kay Armida Siguion-Reyna sa Let’s Talk Movies na napakagaling ni Vic. Sa set pa lamang daw, natitiyak na niya halos na si Vic ay mananalo sa Kisapmata. Sa naturan ding programa, sinabi ni Armida sa pagre-review niya ng Karma na talagang magaling ang pagkakaganap ni Vilma sa Karma na parang nakuha nitong punuan ang ilang mahalagang kakulangan ng pelikula. – Oscar Miranda (READ MORE)

“26 years after we first seen “Karma,” the film remained Vilmanians’ favorites and one of Dany Zialcita’s best film. Glossy with crisp dialouge, the film was a big hit at the 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival and earned Vilma the festival’s best actress. Here was what movie reporter Mario Bautista said about her acting: “Ibang-iba” rin ang Vilma Santos sa “Karma.” Subdued na subdued ang performance ni Vi rito unlike in other films na all out ang emoting niya. Dito’y restrained siay at napaka-effective. Halimbawa sa eksena after the rape sa kanya ni Ronaldo Valdez. Nang sabihin niyang siya’y patungo sa kasal niya’y halos hindi na marinig ang kanyang tinig pero talaga namang damang-dama mo ang kirot sa kanyang dibdib. O kaya’y sa mga tagpong sinusumbatan siya ni Tommy Abuel na nanatili siyang kalmado at soft-spoken. We never thought Vilma can be that versatile!” – RV (READ MORE)

Zialcita’s first movie with Vilma was the 1980 festival entry, a drama about bigamy, Langis at Tubig. The following year, Zialcita and Santos joined forces again in antoher festival entry, Karma. The film earned Vilma her second Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress. The following year, Ziacita’s Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan broke box office record, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila and assured Vilma Santos the box office queen of 1982. The total number of Vilma Santos and Danny Zialcita colloborations were four (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? 1982, Karma 1981, Langis at Tubig 1980, T-Bird at Ako). – RV (READ MORE)

“One of the most misunderstood occult concepts. The nearest equivalent in European thought is contained in the idea of fate, though the oriental term indicates the fate is not a haphazard sequence of events of experiences, but is dependent on actions of previous lives or spiritual conditions. The idea is that a spirit undertakes to live in an earthy body for a given period of time, usually in order to learn something which cannot be learned in a disembodied state, and has to accept rewards and punishments for good and bad deeds committed in previous incarnations. In order that understanding may grow, any evil committed against another person will have to be experienced by the perpetrator. The working out of Karma is not done consciously by ordinary people. The real reasons for the majority of people’s actions and relationships may be understood only when nature of their Karma is grasped – which is tantamount to saying that it is virtually impossible to understand or judge another person when seen in the context of one material lifetime only. Vilma Santos fits the role to a T. For the past years that she has suffered a string of major misfortunes and setbacks in real and reel life, she has hone herself as promise, a common objective: to give the viewing public what it wants – entertainment with a capital E. For Danny Zialcita, aside from having a good screenplay, good direction and brilliant actors and actresses, the movie should have artistic values. Karma promises to be a very good vehicle not only for Zialcita but also for Vilma Santos and the rest of the cast. Will this movie be a good KARMA for director Danny Zialcita, Vilma Santos and the rest of the cast? Watch the movie! It’ll be a different kind of feeling you’ll get after viewing it.” – Bond De Leon (READ MORE)

“…First, Karma is a quality picture. According to Mr. Ernie Rojas ng Sining Silangan, it was produiced not only to make it good in the box-office kungdi maging sa mga awards. Kungsabagay, may laman ang sinabi ni Mr. Rojas simply because Langis at Tubig, which was also producede by Sining Silangan last year, placed second in the tops earners and bagged the Best Actor Award for Dindo Fernando. Second, matagal na ring naipalabas ang latest film ni Vi na Hiwalay. Samakatuwid, maganda ang spacing ng mga pelikula niya, ‘Ika nga, hindi over-exposed ang beauty ni Vi. Dahil dito, nandiyan pa rin ang pananabik ng manonood kaya’t siguradong dudumugin ang Karma. …” – Manny A. Valera (READ MORE)

“…In my limited understanding it takes lifetimes to work off one’s karma. Movies, however, only run for two hours so filmmakers have to take liberties. In Danny Zialcita’s 1981 film Karma the protagonists have the added advantage of knowing exactly who they were in their past lives, thanks to a psychiatrist (Vic Silayan) who practices regression hypnosis. Eric (Ronaldo Valdez, who is smoking, and not just in the library where he researches his former incarnation) and Sarah (Vilma Santos) have already met under awful circumstances, but it turns out they’ve known each other much longer than that. In the past they were Enrico and Guada, illicit lovers murdered by Guada’s husband, Limbo. Limbo vows to follow them to the next life, but which form does he take? Is he now Enrico’s mentally unbalanced, pathologically jealous wife Cristy (Chanda Romero), or Sarah’s cruel, sadistic husband Alfredo (Tommy Abuel). It’s not a whodunnit, it’s a who-will-do-it? Vilma Santos turns in another fine portrayal of emotional turmoil. Nora Aunor had the advantage of expressing volumes with her eyes; Vilma expresses with her face, hands, and entire body. Nora was inward, Vilma outward. Ronaldo Valdez gives an understated performance, coolly delivering lines like, “In love there’s no measure of time”. Tommy Abuel overacts ridiculously, even for a guy so suspicious that he has his wife examined by a gynecologist to see if she’s had sex. Chanda Romero is fabulous. Her Cristy is a psychotic who never raises her voice; you can tell she has tranquilizers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first time Cristy and Sarah meet is at the antique store Sarah manages at the old Virra Mall. Cristy breezes in, picks out a bunch of stuff, and announces that she doesn’t carry cash or credit cards, just send the bill to her husband. She points to another piece she buys, and Sarah says, helpfully, “That’s P9,500.” “Ok lang,” Cristy says, “Nagtanong ba ako? (Did I ask?)” One thing about Danny Zialcita movies: his rich people looked and sounded like rich people. He made movies for sophisticated grown-ups. If they don’t make movies like Zialcita’s anymore, it’s because people are no longer that articulate. Nobody casually tosses off bon mots anymore, everything has to be overstated for the dim. So we Zialcita fans are reduced to reciting favorite lines from his movies: “Puede bang makausap ang asawa ko na asawa mo na asawa ng buong bayan?” (May I speak to my husband who’s your husband who’s everybody’s husband?)…” – Jessica Rules The Universe (READ MORE)

2006 Diwata Awards

The Diwata Awards – “…The Diwata Award recognizes and honors women and bestows this award to women who have successfully contributed original text to the growing materials and narratives on women sensibilities that aim to empower women who have been marginalized in the traditional film text. It also pays tribute to their outstanding contributions to their field of cinema. The Diwata in Philippine folklore is likened to the muse that inspires artists in crystallizing ideas, concepts, and conversations as they interact with their materials…”

March 8, 2006 – “…Vilma Santos had a meeting with her Vilmanians the other Friday at Max’s Libis. She reported that she had finally finished shooting her Maalaala Mo Kaya episode with Ricky Davao and Maja Salvador, directed by Olive Lamasan. “One year in the making ito, bale two episodes, but it’s really worth it and I’m impressed with the work of Direk Olive,” she says. “It’s based on the true story of a woman from Lipa.” She said she got an offer to do a stage play at the CCP. She’s willing to try the theatre but when she was told she has to rehearse for two months, she had to turn it down as she still has her duties as Lipa City mayor to attend to. She revealed she has new movie offers, but most of them are heavy drama. She wants to do something lighter that will be more appealing to the masa. Last March 8, Vilma was given the First Diwata Award in celebration of International Women’s Day. That coincided with the 16th International Women’s Film Festival by the UP Film Institute, the longest-running women’s filmfest in the country. She was cited for her roles in films like Sister Stella L, Relasyon, The Dolzura Cortez Story, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa? and Dekada ’70, which are about women empowerment. She was honored with Lily Monteverde, Charo Santos-Concio and writer Lualhati Bautista. Vilma was warmly applauded by an adulating crowd and she delivered a very inspirational message, saying: “I strongly believe in these films with strong messages. It’s about time men believe in women empowerment. Don’t underestimate us, women and artists!” Ate Vi left Thursday with husband Sen. Ralph Recto to attend the investiture rites of our new cardinal in Rome (she was personally invited). After that, she will take a cruise with Ralph and meet with her family in Los Angeles…” – Mario Bautista, People’s Journal March 26 2006 (READ MORE)

University of the Philippines – “…In 2005, the University of the Philippines conferred to her the Gawad Plaridel Award for her achievements and contributions both as an actress and a public servant. In the same year, she was conferred an honorary doctorate degree (honoris causa) in humanities by the Lipa City College. She was again honored in 2006 by the University of the Philippines as one of the four awardees in UP’s First Diwata Awards. “Ako’y napakarelihiyosong tao sa maniwala ka o hindi. Sa aking kalooban, inaalay ko sa Diyos ang aking mga tagumpay at mga suliranin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Kanya sa mga magaganda’t mabubuting nangyari sa akin. Kung hindi naman, iniaalay ko pa rin sa Kanya kung iyon ang kalooban Niya. Ang hinihiling ko lamang sa Kanya’y tamang patnubay (“I’m a very religious person, whether you believe it or not. Deep inside, I offer all my success and problems to God. If they’re beautiful and good, I thank Him. If they aren’t, I still offer them to Him if that is what He wants to happen. What I only ask from Him is proper guidance),” she said…” – Rogelio Constantino Medina (READ MORE)

The Awardees – “…The following are the distinguished women who were awarded the Diwata Award…Ms. Charo Santos-Concio, Ms. Vilma Santos, Ms. Lily Monteverde, Ms. Lualhati Bautista, Ms. Laurice Guillen, Ms. Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Ms. Bella Flores…”

Vilma Santos, is the Philippines’ most awarded and critically acclaimed actress and longest reigning box office queen. One of the original Philippine movie queens, she rose up to become the versatile actress that has been given the fitting title of “Star for All Seasons” and more recently “Woman for all Seasons” because of her capacity to adapt to the changing mores and values of the Filipino woman, giving a face to their plight and struggles. She is currently in politics as the Governor of Batangas province, Philippines. She was also formerly Mayor of Lipa City, Batangas. – Agimat (READ MORE)

Maria Rosario Santos known as Charo Santos-Concio or Charo Santos (born October 27, 1953) is a Filipina television executive, host, actress, and film producer who hosts the network’s longest-running drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya. She is the President of ABS-CBN Corporation, and plays a powerful role in TV and film production in the Philippines. On March 3, 2008, Ms. Charo Santos-Concio was promoted as 5th president of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and in charge of the company’s total business portfolio, taking over from interim president Eugenio Lopez III. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Lily Monteverde – Lily Yu Monteverde (nickname Mother Lily) is a prominent Filipino film producer and businesswoman. Lily Monteverde has produced nearly 300 films in the Philippines since the early 1960s. She operated Regal Films, in the Philippines for many years. In August 1996 she invested much of her substantial wealth into hotels in Quezon City. She opened the Imperial Palace Suites on the site of an old gasoline station at the corner of Tomas Morato and Timog avenues in Quezon. In 2000, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Cinemanila International Film Festival. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Lualhati Torres Bautista (born Manila, Philippines December 2, 1945) is one of the foremost Filipino female novelists in the history of contemporary Philippine Literature. Her novels include Dekada ’70, Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa?, and ‘GAPÔ. Bautista was born in Tondo, Manila, Philippines on December 2, 1945 to Esteban Bautista and Gloria Torres. She graduated from Emilio Jacinto Elementary School in 1958, and from Torres High School in 1962. She was a journalism student at the Lyceum of the Philippines, but dropped out even before she finished her freshman year. Despite a lack of formal training, Bautista as the writer became known for her honest realism, courageous exploration of Philippine women’s issues, and her compelling female protagonists, who confront difficult situations at home and in the workplace with uncommon grit and strength. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Laurice Guillen is a Filipino actress and director. Guillen studied at St. Theresa’s College, Cebu City, before working on a Masters in Mass Communication at Ateneo de Manila University, followed by a television production course under Nestor Torre, in 1967. She then began work as an actress, starring in productions of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, before crossing over to film and television work, playing a seductress in Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, and Corazon Aquino in the drama A Dangerous Life. In 2009 she accepted a role in the indie film Karera, her first role in an independent production. Other credits include in the film Sister Stella L and Moral. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Marilou Diaz-Abaya (March 7, 1955 – October 8, 2012) was a multi-awarded film director in the Philippines. She was the founder and president of the Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute and Arts Center, a film school based in Antipolo City, Philippines. She was the director of the 1998 film José Rizal, a biopicture on the Philippines’ national hero. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Bella Flores – “…She is Bella Flores and proud that she has played the wicked tormentor of children from Tessie Agana in 1951 in Roberta, to Vilma Santos in Trudis Liit in 1963, to Maricel Soriano in Inday Bote in 1970. “I walk alone. I pray alone. I talk to God na huwag ako pababayaan. There are times I feel lonely, natural lang yun. I know God is always with me.” While she relates her story, of how she distrusts everyone which is why she opts to live alone and refuses to hire a live-in driver, there is something in her demeanor that tells you it is possibly just another role she is playing. “I don’t have close friends. We meet on the set, then go home. But there are people like Susan Roces, Gloria Romero, Pablo Gomez whom I like. Friends are the ballroom dancing friends, although I stopped dancing in 2002 when I became very busy,” she continues sounding much like the sure-fire recipe on how to be hated by an audience…” – Bibsy M. Carballo, The Star, 14 March 2008 (READ MORE)

Related Reading:

FILM REVIEW: TRUDIS LIIT

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Plot: Ang Trudis Liit ay isang pelikulang Drama kung saan inaapi ang kaawa-awang si Trudis (Vilma Santos) ng kanyang madrasta (Bella Flores). Ito ay ipinalabas noong Pebrero 21, taong 1963. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures box-office hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?” – Butch Francisco, Newsflash.org Feb 2004 (READ MORE)

“Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures boxoffice hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?…” – Butch Francisco, Philippine Star November 3, 2005 (READ MORE)

“Throughout the years, the local film industry saw a continuous parade of child actors and actresses who eventually became adult performers to take their rightful places in the pantheon of movie stars. Hereunder are some of those phenomenal thespian-turned-stars:..Vilma Santos—She was the original Trudis Liit in 1963. Paired with Edgar Mortiz as a loveteam, they appeared in Our Love Affair, My Love at First Sight, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye and Young Love. But her filmography is filled with outstanding films directed by top-notch directors. Her unforgettable films included: Bata..Bata..Paano Ka Ginawa? (Chito Rono) which won for her a best actress award from Belgium directed by Chito Roño; Anak (Rory Quintos); Dekada 70 (Chito Rono) with Christopher de Leon; Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (Ishmael Bernal); Relasyon (Ishmael Bernal) which gave her a gand slam of all local best actress awards from FAP,FAMAS, Star; Broken Marriage (Ishmael Bernal); Hahamakin Lahat (Lino Brocka); Rubia Servios (Lino Brocka); Kapag Langit ang Humatol (Laurence Guillen); Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-Itim ng Tagak (Celso Ad. Castillo); Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo) and Sister Stella L. (Mike de Leon)…” – FAP (READ MORE)

“…Contravida Queen Bella Flores was featured in “Showbiz Central’s” Most Influential segment as she plays a big part in GMA Films’ new movie with Rhian Ramos and Aljur Abrenica, “My Kontrabida Girl.” It’s also a tribute to Bella as she’s celebrating her 60th anniversary in showbiz. The screen name Bella Flores was given to her by the late Sampaguita Pictures’ boss Dr. Jose Perez. “I was so glad when I was told it means beautiful flowers,” she said. Her real name is Remedios Dancel and she was born on Feb. 27, 1936, which means she turned 76 yesterday, Monday (Feb 27/2012). She was only 15 when she did her first villain role maltreating child star Tessie Agana in the blockbuster “Roberta.” She recounted that Vilma Santos auditioned with her for her first movie, “Trudis Liit,” in 1963. “Natakot siya at tumakbo dahil nakita niyang pinahirapan ko ‘yung ibang batang nag-audition,” she said. “Ngayon, governor na siya. Sina Roderick Paulate at Gina Alajar, sa’kin din nagsimula as child stars sa ‘Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nino’…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito’y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, “the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang “Trudis Liit” na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat…” ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito’y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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)

RELATED READING:

Filmography: Trudis Liit (1963)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Basic Information:Directed: Jose De Villa; Story: Mars Ravelo; Screenplay: Chito B. Tapawan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Connie Angeles, Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales, Bella Flores, Charlie Davao, Rodolfo ‘Boy’ Garcia, Ely Roque, Matimtiman Cruz, Ray Marcos, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez; Original Music: Pastor de Jesus; Executive producer: Dr. Jose Vera Perez

Plot Description: Ang Trudis Liit ay isang pelikulang Drama kung saan inaapi ang kaawa-awang si Trudis (Vilma Santos) ng kanyang madrasta (Bella Flores). Ito ay ipinalabas noong Pebrero 21, taong 1963. Wikipedia

Film Achievement: 1963 FAMAS AwardsBest Child Actress – Vilma Santos; The film was remade into a teleserye in 2010 starring Jillian Ward and into a film in 1996 starring Marijoy Adorable.

Film Reviews: “This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures box-office hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?” – Butch Francisco, Newsflash.org, Feb 2004

“Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“…Contravida Queen Bella Flores was featured in “Showbiz Central’s” Most Influential segment as she plays a big part in GMA Films’ new movie with Rhian Ramos and Aljur Abrenica, “My Kontrabida Girl.” It’s also a tribute to Bella as she’s celebrating her 60th anniversary in showbiz. The screen name Bella Flores was given to her by the late Sampaguita Pictures’ boss Dr. Jose Perez. “I was so glad when I was told it means beautiful flowers,” she said. Her real name is Remedios Dancel and she was born on Feb. 27, 1936, which means she turned 76 yesterday, Monday (Feb 27/2012). She was only 15 when she did her first villain role maltreating child star Tessie Agana in the blockbuster “Roberta.” She recounted that Vilma Santos auditioned with her for her first movie, “Trudis Liit,” in 1963. “Natakot siya at tumakbo dahil nakita niyang pinahirapan ko ‘yung ibang batang nag-audition,” she said. “Ngayon, governor na siya. Sina Roderick Paulate at Gina Alajar, sa’kin din nagsimula as child stars sa ‘Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nino’…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito’y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, “the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang “Trudis Liit” na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat…” ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito’y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (READ MORE)

“…Bella Flores (born Remedios Dancel) began terrorizing lead actors and actresses since she was cast as the evil stepmother in the 1951 film Roberta. Since then, she has been cast in over a hundred films, making life miserable for the likes of little Vilma Santos in the 1964 film Trudis Liit and young Gina Alajar in the 1970 film Robina…Her screen name might mean “beautiful flowers,” but she has piercing eyes (always with tons of black eyeliner) and a husky voice that easily send shivers down one’s spine. She seems to excel in terrorizing kids in movies…” – Spot.ph (READ MORE)

Oreng, Trudis’ sister “…I was five when I did ‘Eskuwelahang Munti,’” Connie begins. “Maybe, my mother harbored a secret ambition to become an actress that’s why she took me there. Sintunado ako pero wala namang pinipili doon. As long as you can face the camera, and tumula ka d’yan, kumanta ka…Its products were Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada and Perla Adea. ‘Pag bata kasi, patatawarin ka kahit sintunado. May ribbon ako na malalaki, bungi pa ako noon. “In Trudis, we were 800 plus during the audition. Tita Lolit (Lolita Rodriguez) and Tita Bella (Flores) talked to my mother. Siguro, natutuwa sa akin. They told her na kukurutin daw ako para umiyak pero kailangan daw sabihin ko ang lines ko. So, nakuha ako, kasi the other children forgot to say the dialogue when they started crying. “I played Oreng, yung sister ni Trudis na kinagat ng aso. But I never became a dramatic actress, because I didn’t know how to cry. In one scene, inaagaw na yung baboy namin do’n, ipagbibili na ni Bella. When Ate Vi (Vilma Santos) cried, iyak na din ako pero boses lang. Wala talagang luha. Kakausapin na naman nila nanay ko. Kunwari papauwiin na ako. ‘Pag umiyak na ako, they would start shooting. After our scenes, Tito Luis (Gonzalez) and Tita Lolit would buy us Max chicken kasi pinahirapan nila kaming umiyak…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…a star, er, actress was born. Impressive start, easily cries on cue, rewarded by the FAMAS for best child actress. She had a movie with Gloria Romero and Rita Gomez in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina…” – anonymous (READ MORE)

Sampaguita vs LVN – “…During the 1950s and the early 1960s Sampaguita and LVN were acknowledged leaders of the industry. Dr. Jose Perez, Sampaguita general manager, went on to discover an array of luminaries including Gloria Romero (who won the FAMAS best actress award in “Dalagang Ilocana”), Rita Gomez, Greg Martin, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes, Romeo Vasquez, Barbara Perez, Tony Marzan, and Eddie Garcia who has won more acting trophies than any other Filipino thespian in the history of Philippine movies. It was also Doc Perez who gave both Vilma Santos and Rod Navarro their first movie breaks. Vilma was the child star of “Trudis Liit” while Rod appeared as an extra in a now forgotten Sampaguita movie. Meanwhile, LVN too was turning out blockbusters during the 1950s. Among its many stars were Pugo and Tugo (Doctor X, Pulo ng Engkanto, Dalawang Prinsepeng Kambal), Armando Goyena (father of Maritess and Tina Revilla), Celia Flor, Teody Belarmino, Tony Santos, Lilia Dizon, Tessie Quintana, Mario Montenegro, Jaime de la Rosa, Delia Razon, Rosa Rosal, Nestor de Villa and the uninhibited Nida Blanca. LVN produced such unforgettable musical comedies as Batanguena, Waray-Waray, and Saydwok Bendor (all starring Nida Blanca); such fantasy films as Tungkod ni Moses (where Director Richard Abelardo divided the Red Sea) and Rodrigo de Villa; and such dramatic tearjerker as In Despair (Mila del Sol and Jaime de la Rosa), Pag-asa (Armando Goyena and Priscilla Cellona), Yolanda (Celia Flor and Teody Belarmino), and Aklat ng Buhay (Rosa Rosal and Oscar Keesee)…” – Joe Quirino, Times Journal, August 19, 1977 (READ MORE)

RELATED READINGS: