Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw (1988)

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Basic Info: Direction: Mitos Villareal; Cast: Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Ernie Garcia, Vivian Foz, Vilma Santos, Tita Muñoz, Augusto Victa, Celina Chase, Julio Diaz, Melissa De Leon, Roland Montes; Released date: 17 March 1988

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1988 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Ernie Garcia

Film Review: Seeing this soporific melodrama is like a long journey into the night. One wishes that it soon ends for a radiant sunrise to follow. But alas this movie only ignites small sparks of interest to keep us from yawning. The film’s bleak cinematography makes it a visual turn-off, the script needs tightening, the cerebral plot is too familiar and that bit of social relevance has not been smoothly integrated into the story. Serna (Estrella) plays a young, pretty and brainy lawyer but who has not been using her mind well in her romance with company manger Concepcion (Gerry). She feels like a whore each time Gerry brings her to his home but is too weak to resist his bedroom charm. Estrella has just passed the bar and since she’s brilliant, her law office forthwith sends her abroad to handle some cases. It must have taken her several years because when she returns home her child sired by Gerry is already a grown-up girl (Celina Chase). Serna with her sweet and fragile looks, does not project the image of a bright lawyer who is making a headway in her career. We never see her in the law firm she works for or even scanning over some paperwork. She is not smart to tackle her problem from the legalistic point of view. She gets pregnant but we don’t see her wih a bulging tummy and she delivers a bay which she gives to her cousing Aida (Vivian Post) and her husband Roel (Ernie Garcia) for adoption. Estrella does not inform Gerry of her pregnancy when she should have. So off he goes to Germany on official business with Carina (Melissa de Leon), daughter of company owner Dona Mercedes (Tita Munoz).

Melissa is a novice version of elder sister Pinky de Leon and for a new comer in a dramatic role, her acting is good enough. Munoz is noted for her strong personality on screen but here she delivers a restrained portrayal perhaps because her voice was dubbed by someone else. Dona Mercedes, as written in the script, is a confusing character. She is not an avaricious woman who is content with the profits Gerry brings into the company. Gerry employs fair labor practices but his assistant Atty. Cruz (Augusto Victa) is anti-labor. In a sudden change of heart, Dona Mercedes falls for the scheme of Cruz which triggers a labor strike. Gerry is already home but Cruz calls the shots. And yet, before this, Dona Mercedes has made it clear to her daughter that she needs Gerry. Gerry, by the way, has gotten married to Carina abroad but their relationship turns sours. Once home, Carina immediately seeks her old beau Randy (Julio Diaz) who is now married. Villareal’s treatment is not cinematic. She relies too much on dialogue to make the story move. Estrella’s pregnancy delivery of her baby and developments in her career are simply verbalized. Carina orders Randy to abandon his wife in exchange for a juicy position in her company but we don’t see him working. The illicit lovers vanish from the scene after their poolside dalliance and resurface much later.

The film’s main weakness is in the script. The trips of Estrella and Gerry and Carino go beyond realistic expectations. And to think that Estrella has only been sent by her office to handle a case or some cases and the couple to close a deal with a business associate. It takes years before they return. In one scene, Carina realizes her love for Gerry who is by then packing his bags to leave her for good. Carina pleads for him to stay but he has already made his decision. The next scene shows Carina in a hotel room with Randy and her she tells him that she is calling it quits. But why go to bed with him in the first place? Actually the central plot which has been complicated by too many subplots is about the romance between Estrella and Gerry. We know that they have to be back to each other’s arms to fullfill a happy ending. Villareal and her scenarist contrive a familiar device. Randy kills Carina with a gun in Gerry’s house where she has sought refuge. And for the coup de grace, Randy’s wife (Vilma Santos) suddenly appears on the scene to kill her philandering husbang. So as not to waste the much vaunted acting prowess of Santos, she is made to deliver a passionate monologue after shooting Diaz. Santos appears too late in the story and she should have an ealier scene to motivate her criminal act in the end.

Being an avowed womanizer, Randy’s murder of Carina seems out of character. Unless he has fallen hard for Carina, which is unlikely, Randy can simply hook another rich woman to replace her in case his wife rejects him. The most incredulous scene happens in a hospital where the doctor refuses to give medical aid to labor leader Roel who has been shot by a security guard during the strike. “I don’t think he’s gonna make it,” says the negligent doctor who should be shot too. And yet, Roel is able to tell Gerry that Lilet is his daughter by Estrella. Concepcion shows traces that he is intent on tackling mature roles but he doesn’t strike us as a believable young executive. The most powerful performer in the film is Vivian Fos. Garcia suits the role of a labor leader but the script does not give him much to do. The same applies to Diaz whose debonair look makes him a credible playboy but his character lacks depth. This meadering melodrama shows no promise of a brighter tomorrow for the local cinema. – Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard, Mar 28, 1988 (READ MORE)

“…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

“…Ernie won many acting awards. He was Aliw Awards’ Best Actor in 1988 for his portrayal in Rolando Tinio’s Filipino translation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” He also garnered two Best Supporting Actor trophies from FAMAS and PMPC Star Awards for Movies in 1989, in the late Mitos Villareal’s directorial opus “Bukas Sisikat Din ang Araw” which starred Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna and where he played the role of a labor union leader…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen (READ MORE)

“…Ang tatay ni KC Concepcion na si Gabby Concepcion ay isa rin sa mga kaibigan ni Vi. Ilan ding pelikula ang ginawa ni Vi at Gabby katulad ng Pahiram Ng Isan Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso, Hahamakin Lahat, Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas at Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin. Sa pelikulang Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, kung saan si Gabby ang prodyuser ay naging special guest si Vi na sa totoo lang ay halos kasinlaki ang billing niya (Vi) sa mga major characters nito. Isa sa mga anak ni Gabby, anak niya kay Grace Ibuna ay inaanak ni Vi katuwang sina Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Snooky Serna at Maricel Soriano. Noong last episode ng Vilma show sa GMA 7 ay isa si Gabby sa mga special guests ni Vi at nag-compose pa ng tula si Gabby para kay Vi. Noon namang nagkaroon ng problema si Gabby dahil sa kontrobersiya sa Manila Film Festival noong 1994 ay isa si Vi sa mga naging sabihan niya ng kanyang mga problema. Si Gabby ay naging best supporting actor ng Star Awards for Movies noong 1992 para sa pelikulang Sinungaling Mong Puso, best actor ng Urian noong 1992 para sa Narito Ang Puso Ko at best supporting actor ng Urian para sa pelikulang Makiusap Ka Sa Diyos noong 1991…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Ang erpat kong Astig (1998)

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Basic Information: Directed: Felix E. Dalay; Cast: Jinggoy Estrada, Carmina Villaroel, Rufa Mae Quinto, Bea Bueno, Melisse Santiago, Efren Reyes Jr., Caridad Sanchez, Dick Israel, Alicia Lane, Veronica Veron, Benedict Aquino, Bernard Fabiosa, Gerald Ejercito, Jam Melendez, Martin Gutierrez, Bebong Osorio, Boy Gomez, Resty Hernandez, Manny Pungay, Falcon Laxa, Pong Pong, Nash Espinosa; Vilma Santos; Producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.

Plot Description: At a relatively young age, Joe Cuartero (Jinggoy Estrada) is already a widower.

Film Accomplishments: No Available Data

Film Reviews: Watch for the funny opening scene featuring Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz and Edu Manzano playing rival lawyers and Vilma as the presiding judge!

“…At a relatively young age Joe Cuartero (JinggoyEstrada) is already a widower. With his wife gone Joe’s life is now centered on his young daughter Tweety (Bea Bueno). But Tweety is under the care of his bothersome in-laws and for Joe to get back his child he must send Tweety to a private school. The devoted father that he is Joe agrees and does everything he can to provide Bea with good education. Bea for her part starts looking for someone who could be her second mother and she takes a special liking on Ms. Celia (Carmina Villaroel) her teacher. Everything seems to be going well for both father and daughter but one day Joe figures in a case of mistaken identity…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)


Apoy Sa Ibabaw, Apoy Sa Ilalim (1977)

Basic Info: Screenplay, Director: Ben Feleo; Cast: Romeo Vasquez; Chanda Romero; Lorna Tolentino; Barbara Luna; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Cinematography: Max de la Peña; Release Date: December 9 1977; Production Co: VS Films – IMDB

Plot Description: No information available except that the Vilma Santos’ birthday celebration was added as bonus feature of the film.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

Victoria Lorna Aluquin, better known as Lorna Tolentino, sometimes known as L.T., an abbreviation of her screen name (born December 23, 1961), is a Filipina actress, host, executive producer and widow of actor Rudy Fernandez. Together, they bore two sons named Ralph and Renz. She was born on December 23, 1961 in Concepcion, Tarlac and later moved to Manila. Her dad is from Liliw, Laguna. She is also the stepmother of actor Mark Anthony Fernandez. She is first cousin to actress Amy Austria and a niece of actor Jerry Pons. She was married to Rudy Fernandez from 1983 till his untimely death in 2008. They had two children. She attended the elementary grades at St. Anthony School where she also finished high school She took up a Bachelor of Arts course at St. Paul College in Quezon City, and also at the University of Santo Tomas and Maryknoll College. She started her career as a child actress. Later, she portrayed the young Susan Roces in Divina Gracia and has a total of at least 60 movies. She has won eight film awards and garnered 20 nominations (mostly for Best Actress in FAMAS). She’s also one of the Grandslam actresses in the Philippine Cinema together with Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta. She won her Grandslam Best Actress for Narito Ang Puso Ko (1993). – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Huwag Hamakin: Hostess (1978)

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Basic Info: Direction: Joey Gosiengfiao ; Story, Screenplay: Toto Belano, Tito Sanchez; Cast: Nora Aunor, Alma Moreno, Orestes Ojeda, Bella Flores, Vilma Santos; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Cinematography: Rey de Leon; Film Editing: Segundo Ramos; Release Date: August 25 1978; Production Co: JPM Productions

Plot Description: This is a film directed by Joey Gosiengfiao and features Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Orestes Ojeda and Vilma Santos in a controversial guest appearance.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Mas dramatiko ring isinakonkreto ito ng mahusay na pagganap ni Nora Aunor bilang katulong na namasukan bilang hostess upang matustusan ang pag-aaral ng lalaking iniibig, pinapanood natin siya habang dumaraan sa proseso ng lumbay, pagkabigo at pagtanggap. Matingkad ang kanyang pagkakaganap dahil hinahatak niya tayong damhin ang kanyang mga dilemma habang nakikibaka siyang matanggap ang pagtataksil ng kasintahan. Katangi-tangi rin ang pagganap ni Alma Moreno at totoong nabawasan ang kanyang hysterical gestures sa pelikulang ito ngunit wala rin naman siyang ipinakitang bagong kakayahan para pangatawanan ang papel ng isang babaeng pilit ibinabangon ang sarili upang di-tuluyang masadlak sa kinagisnang uri ng pamumuhay…” – Jojo De Vera (READ MORE)

“…Si Orestes ay isa sa mga seksing aktor noong kalagitnaan ng dekada 70s kung saan ang dekadang ito ang pinakatugatog ng kanyang katanyagan. Kinahumalinag siya sa pelikula niyang Ang Boyfriend kong Baduy noong 1976 kung saan ipinareha sa kaniya ang limang naggagandahan babae na sina Amalia Fuentes, Barbara Perez, Celia Rodriguez at iba pa. Sa pelikulang Huwag Hamakin: Hostess dalawa sa mga sikat na artista ang itinambal sa kanya na sina Nora Aunor at Alma Moreno na gumanap bilang mga hostess sa kanyang buhay…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

“…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

“…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…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Expressweek, March 1, 1979 (READ MORE)

“…In the 15 movies he had appeared in since 1972, Orestes feels that he has not done roles that would demand from him the maturity of outlook as an actor…”I like to be known as an actor and not just a bold star. But cinema is a tremendous image-making machine. I realize that I cannot totally turn my back on my bold image,” Orestes lamented…he is back again in his bold role in “Huwag Hamakin: Hostess.” But Orestes is happy about this role. He is paired with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno. The picture is a tragic-comedy. “I play a bastard-gigolo who lives off two women portrayed by Nora and Vilma. The role offers me romantic and comedy situations. It also calls for some understanding of a misdirected and amoral character and I certainly find it a challenge,” stresses Orestes when we talked in a downtown hotel which was the setting of one of his love trysts with co-star Alma. ” I am centainly very lucky to have Joey Gosiengfial as a director. He has guided me in my interpretation of my roles. And of course, it’s a rare opportunity to be pitted against two real actresses like Nora and Alma and a veteran performer like Bella Flores (who plays Orestes’ sugar mommy in the flick)”, he adds…Observers in the local movie world believe that Orestes can be a good actor. The guy has looks and intelligence…” – Beth U. Castillo, Expressweek Magazine, 29 June 1978 (READ MORE)

Candy (1980)

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Basic Info: Direction: Joey Gosiengfiao ; Story: Ely de Guzman; Cast: Sheryl Cruz, Ricky Belmonte, Rosemarie Sonora, Ronaldo Valdez, Chichay, Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Aruray; Release Date: 11 April 1980; Production Co: Silver Screen Productions – IMDB (READ MORE)

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1981 FAMAS Best Child Actress Nomination – Sheryl Cruz; Sheryl Cruz has appeared with Vilma before in Candy (Vilma in a cameo role) and Good Morning Sunshine (1980) directed by Ishmael Bernal and Mano Po 3: My Love (2004) is their third film together.

Film Review: “…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…Sheryl Cruz has appeared with Vilma before in Candy (Vilma in a cameo role) and Good Morning Sunshine (1980) directed by Ishmael Bernal. Mano Po 3 is their third film together…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

Sheryl Rose Anna Marie Sonora Cruz (born April 5, 1974 in Makati City, Philippines), better known simply as Sheryl Cruz, is a Filipina actress and singer. She is known for her role as Divina Ferrer on 2007’s television drama series Sinasamba Kita and as Valeria on Bakekang and Rosalinda. Cruz started her career at a very young age. She won the FAMAS Best Child Actress award for her portrayal in the movie “Mga Basang Sisiw” opposite Janice de Belen, Che Che and the late Julie Vega. She also won best child actress for the movie “Roman Rapido” opposite her late uncle the King of Filipino Movies, Fernando Poe Jr. She was later contracted by Regal Films along with Kristina Paner and Manilyn Reynes to form the sensational group “TRIPLETS”. Among the three, Manilyn Reynes became the Star of the New Decade and Sheryl Cruz became the Princess of Philippine Cinema. At that time, GMA Network established the youth oriented TV show “That’s Entertainment” hosted by German Moreno, where she became part of the Wednesday group. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Aruray was a famous Filipina comedian of the Philippines. She made many movies produced by her home studio Sampaguita Pictures. Born in 1920, she is one of the most successful comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. She was once nominated as Best Supporting Actress in the movie Torkwata. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Filmography: Takot ako, eh! (1987)

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Basic Information: Director: Mario O’Hara; Writing credits: Mario O’Hara, Tito Rey; Cast: Ian De Leon, Lotlot De Leon, Matet De Leon, Caridad Sanchez, Jaime Fabregas, Richard Merck, Ronel Victor, Marilyn Villamayor, Kiko De Leon, Vida Verde, Irma Alegre, Vilma Santos, German Moreno, Romnick Sarmenta, Zorayda Sanchez, Dan Alvaro, Mario Escudero, Tony Angeles, Nora Aunor, Nanette Inventor, Maritess Ardieta, Arthur Cassanova, Lady Guy, Lucy Quinto, Josie Galvez, The Ramon Obusan Dancers, Remy Tabones; Producer: Nora C. Villamayor; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Cinematography: Johnny Araojo; Art Direction: Julius Dubal; Sound: Antonio Acurin

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Accomplishments: 1988 FAMAS Best Child Actor Nomination – Ian De Leon

Film Reviews: “…The only evidence that Takot Ako, Eh! could not have been made by just anyone with the right money and resources lies in one extremely exclusive instance. This would take a whole lot of paring down and possibly a radical revision of the exposition, but if our point of reference is Halimaw, then you’d now have the best installment available for that omnibus product. I’m referring to the subplot involving Caridad Sanchez as a way-out househelp, not quite in her right mind yet not quite obtrusive enough to arouse anyone’s suspicions. Before the time machine brings back the Nora Aunor character it first spews out Dracula (a wonderfully with-it Richard Merck), who like all the previous males on the scene doesn’t really fall for the maid’s advances, but, unlike the rest, doesn’t have the advantage of remaining intact during daytime and going without blood. When Sanchez starts turning on the charm for her captive lover, all hell, for him at least, breaks loose, and one wishes for the most part that the final Countdown hadn’t been sooner. And to return to where we started: wasn’t this the kind of role – the maid, I mean in particular – that Nora Aunor became famous for? A character performer like Caridad Sanchez can think of nothing about shifting from serious to comic interpretations within more or less similar characterizations (check out two temporally disparate Lino Brocka films, Santiago and Ano ang Kulay ng Mukha ng Diyos?, plus her critically underrated salvo in Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Alyas Baby Tsina, for a sober accounting of the lady’s prowess); on the other hand, a Nora Aunor can only work on a highly involved plane of acting, in fact as in film. Forced to a distance (considering her bygone stature as the superstar of Cebuano cinema), Sanchez takes full advantage by playing to the hilt, damn the consequences, and involves everyone else in her having fun even at her own expense; Nora Aunor offers a weak substitute of herself, four of them in fact, and politely takes her place in the background. Somewhere there’s a metaphor for the human capacity for excessive celebrity, and the sadness of losing a precious sort of genius when the condition begins to take its toll…” – Joel David, National Midweek, 25 November 1987 (READ MORE)


Filmography: Payaso (1986)

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Basic Information: Directed: Celso Ad. Castillo; Story & Screenplay: Celso Ad. Castillo; Cast: German Moreno (Payaso); Gene Palomo, Monique Castillo, Strawberry, Cris Castillo, Bong Agustin, Jograd de la Torre, Mon Alvir, Gary Lising, Julie Ann Juco, Troy Castillo, Dino Castillo, Darling Sumayao, Ruthie Ann Talplacido, Marife Montilla, Divine Grace Gallardo, Jaycee Castillo, Dave Bronson Tolentino, Myra Rigs Rinion, Wynette Bernardo, Arrizon Matienzo, Dania De Jesus; Guest Roles: (listed alphabetically): Jestoni Alarcon, Jojo Alejar, Nora Aunor, Inday Badiday, Ramon Christopher, Sheryl Cruz, Ricky Davao, Janice de Belen, Pops Fernandez, Rudy Fernandez, Eddie Garcia, Janno Gibbs, Eddie Gutierrez, Michael Locsin, Ike Lozada, William Martinez, Jovit Moya, Arlene Muhlach, Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kristina Paner, Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr., Manilyn Reynes, Ronnie Ricketts, Susan Roces, Miguel Rodriguez, Gloria Romero, Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, Mely Tagasa, Gary Valenciano, Helen Vela, Ronel Victor, Ivy Violan; Original Music: Vehnee Saturno; Cinematography: Romeo Vitug; Film Editing: Abelardo Hulleza; Production Design: Rod Feleo; Sound: Gaudencio Barredo; Visual Effects: Bobbit Pascual, Boy Quilatan; Stunts: Rod Francisco (IMDB)

Plot Description: “…St. Peter inadvertently lost his heavenly keys that the Almighty sends his jester (German Moreno) on planet earth of all places to search for the misplaced keys. Wandering the streets, the petulant clown is greatly grieved by poverty and the moral degradation of man. Worse, the melancholy clown meets his adversary the red devil armed with supernatural powers. Vulnerable and dejected, the harlequin loses his faith and begrudges his master for flaunting his ministration and faithfulness. He demands to see his master and even dares Him to make his presence felt…” – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Accomplishments: 1986 MMFF Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug

Film Reviews: “…The 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival was considered the worst in the 12-year history of the annual 10-day festival of local films, but it set a precedent; it did not give out the traditional first and second best picture awards. Only a third best picture was cited…Romy Vitug won the best cinematography award for Celso Ad Castillo’s Payaso…No awards were given in two other categories, best story and best screenplay. According to Tingting Cojuangco, one of the jurors, the board decided that not one of this year’s seven official entries deserved these awards. The unprecedented move, according to another juror, Nick Deocampo, was arrived at after a heated discussion. An insider said it was spearheaded by Deocampo and another juror, Justino Dormiendo of the Manunuri. In a prepared statement read by Cojuangco during the ceremonies, the board of jurrors announced: “We, the members of the Board of Jurors of the 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival, would like to express our concern over the current state of the Philippine movie industry as reflected in the entries to this year’s MMFF. It added that the entries “failed to reinforce and inculcate positive Filipino values by portraying negative stereotypes, imitating foreign films and perpetuating commercially-oriented movies. “It is in this light that we, therefore, appeal to the Filipino filmmakers to explore other directions of this powerful medium to entertain, enlighten, educate and become a potent force in social change,” the jurors said…” – J C Nigado (READ MORE)


Filmography: Mga Mata ni Angelita (1978)

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Basic Information: Directed: Lauro Pacheco; Story: Ricardo Y. Feliciano; Screenplay: Jose Flores Sibal; Cast: Julie Vega, Gloria Sevilla, Amado Cortez, Mat Ranillo III, Roldan Rodrigo, Boots Anson-Roa, Alma Moreno, Christopher De Leon, Tony Carreon, German Moreno, Rez Cortez, Eddie Rodriguez, Paquito Diaz, Rosanna Ortiz, Naty Bernardo, Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Joseph Estrada, Ricky Santiago, Bert ‘Tawa’ Marcelo, Rey Malonzo, Trixia Gomez, Marissa Delgado, Etang Discher, Paquito Salcedo, Ramon Revilla, Didith Reyes, Ike Lozada, Aruray, Patria Plata, Helen Gamboa, Dolphy, Fernando Poe Jr.; Original Music by Carlos Rodriguez

Plot Description: A star-studded film featuring a blind orphan named Angelita (Julie Vega) who was found unconcious by the groups of nuns after Belen (Gloria Sevilla) attempted to kill her by letting her walk straight ahead on the edge of the cliff. In the monastery, she started her deep devotion to Virgin Mary in the convent which was last seen missing her pair of eyes. Angelita started to search for her parents and along her way, touched various lives both poor and rich until she found her mother, Janet (Helen Gamboa). – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

The story revolves around that of a blind girl named Anghelita who was given the eyes of the Virgin Mary. But having her sight back, she will see what the world really is, filled with pain and sins. So, in search for her long lost mother, she will be instrumental in changing the lives of people along her way. – Wikepedia

Film Achievement: 1978 FAMAS: Best Child Actress – Julie Vega

Film Review: Mga Mata ni Angelita was written by Ricardo Feliciano and became a number one hit radio drama from 1974 to 1978. It was made into a film by Larry Santiago Productions and catapulted the late Julie Vega into fame. The film was a phenomenal hit when it premiered in 1978, mainly because of its big name stars such as Ramon Revilla, Helen Gamboa, Dolphy, Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, the late Fernando Poe Jr., Christopher De Leon, Alma Moreno, Rez Cortez, Paquito Diaz, and Eddie Rodriguez, to name a few. – Wikepedia

“…Julie Vega was only 10 years old when she was launched to full stardom in the 1978 movie, “Mga mata ni Angelita.” She appeared in previous movie outings as Darling Postigo. The young Vega was ably supported by an all super star cast headed by the King of Philippine Movies, Fernando Poe, Jr. (in the role of Conrado, the ex-convict) and Comedy King Dolphy (as Tacio, the taho vendor). Also appearing in cameo roles were Joseph Estrada (as himself as Mayor); Nora Aunor (a metro-aide sweeper); Vilma Santos ( as a worried wife); Ramon Revilla (as barrio captain); Alma Moreno (as a jealous sweetheart); Christopher de Leon (as the lover) and many more…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“…This study looks at the existence of Filipino films that are focused on the discourse of religiosity, featuring a female protagonist who imbibes the image and assumes the role of a female deity. The films included are Mga Mata ni Angelita (The Eyes of Angelita, 1978, Lauro Pacheco), Himala (Miracle, 1982, Ishmael Bernal), Ang Huling Birhen sa Lupa (The Last Virgin, 2002, Joel Lamangan) and Santa Santita (Magdalena, 2004, Laurice Guillen). In the four narratives, the female protagonists eventually incur supernatural powers after a perceived apparition of the Virgin Mary or the image of the Virgin Mary, and incurring stigmata or the wounds of Christ…While some were filmed for the purpose of screening during the Lenten season, there are those which were meant to be mainstream films. These went on to become both critical and commercial successes, carrying controversial topics which challenge the Filipino audience’s notion of religiosity and spirituality. Mga Mata ni Angelita, from which Julie Vega rose to fame, features a star-studded cast, including Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Dolphy, German Moreno, Boots Anson-Roa, Helen Gamboa and Fernando Poe, Jr. who shared very little screen time with the well-loved child star of the 80s…” – Erika Jean Cabanawan, Review of Women’s Studies, 2010 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Big Ike’s Happening (1976)

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Basic Information: Directed: Pablo Santiago and Bobby Santiago; Writing credits: Tommy C. David, Santiago and Lozada; Cast: Tirso Cruz III, Walter Navarro, Ike Lozada, Aurora Salve, Gina Alajar, Jojit Paredes, Dondon Nakar, Arnold Gamboa, Maribel Aunor, Winnie Santos, German Moreno, Allan Valenzuala, Inday Badiday, Doyet Ilagan, Ben David, Edward Campos, Lilian Laing, Aruray; Special Guest Stars: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Perla Bautista, Charlie Davao, Esperanza Fabon, Bella Flores, Lito Legaspi, Christopher De Leon, Van De Leon, Pinky Montilla, Alma Moreno, Dencio Padilla, Eddie Perigrina, Andy Poe, jerry Pons, Ric Rodrigo, Gloria Romero, Daria Ramirez, Darius Razon, Marianne Dela Riva, Eddie San Jose, Ricky Santiago, Lorna Tolentino, Eddie Villamayor, and Vic Vargas; Executive Producer: Larry Santiago; Original Music: D’Amarillo; Cinematography: Joe Batac Jr.

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement:   Ranked 32nd on Top-US-Grossing Tagalog-Language Feature Films Released In 1976

Film Review: 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. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)


Filmography: D’Lucky Ones (2006)

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Basic Information: Directed: Wenn V. Deramas; Story: Rose Colindres; Screenplay: Theodore Boborol, Rose Colindres; Cast: Sandara Park, Joseph Bitangcol, Pokwang, Eugene Domingo, Nikki Valdez, Candy Pangilinan, Guest appearance of Vilma Santos; Executive producer: Charo Santos-Concio, Malou N. Santos; Original Music: Jessie Lasaten; Cinematography: Sherman So; Film Editing: Renewin Alano; Production Design: Nancy Arcega; Sound: Addiss Tabong; Theme Songs: “Ang Ganda Ko” Performed by Sandara Park; “Toyang” Performed by Eraserheads; “Sweet Sixteen” Performed by Vilma Santos

Plot Description: Tina (Eugene Domingo) and Lea (Pokwang) are best friends who are also avid fans of Vilma Santos. They were inseparable until Lea decides to leave the country and go to Korea. They promise that someday they will really become one big happy family when their children get married. Years after, by virtue of an old vow, Lucky Girl (Sandara Park) and Lucky Boy (Joseph Bitangcol) are forced to be together by their mothers. Problem is, they hate each other’s guts. But, just when they’re falling for each other, love plays a trick on the meddling moms which threatens to bring the young lovers apart. – IMDB

Film Achievement: Box office hit of 2006

Film Review: “…Parang tribute kay Vilma Santos ang D’ Lucky Ones ng Star Cinema dahil galing mula sa mga hit movie ng aktres ang mga linya nina Pokwang at Eugene Domingo. Base sa trailer na napanood namin sa presscon, potential hit ang D’ Lucky Ones at may posibilidad ito na maging another Ang Tanging Ina sa takilya. May special participation sa pelikula si Vilma Santos at ayon ito kay Sandara Park na hindi yata aware na hindi pa pwedeng sabihin ang surprise ng project niya sa Star Cinema. Very Vilma Santos ang itsura ni Eugene sa poster ng D’ Lucky Ones. Mismong si Eugene ang nagsabi na “fans na fans” (fan na fan) siya ng Star for All Seasons. Take note, seryoso ang comedienne nang ipahayag ang sobrang paghanga sa award-winning actress kaya hindi niya napansin na sumobra ang kanyang letrang ‘s….” – Jojo Gabinete, Abante Tonite, March 19, 2006 (READ MORE)

Stand out sina Pokwang at Eugene Domingo sa D’ Lucky Ones, kung tutuusin supporting roles lamang sila dito. Nag-mukhang sina Sandara Park at Joseph Bitangcol ang supporting, dahil nadala nila ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng pagiging isang tagahanga. Litaw na litaw ang paghango ng mga linya mula sa mga pelikulang Sister Stella L., Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at iba pang pelikulang pinagbibidahan ni Ate Vi. Oo, sila nga ay die hard fans ni Vilma Santos, at dahil dito, ang pelikula ay isang SUCCESS.

Well, it’s a crime to say that Pokwang and Domingo are supporting roles, in the first place, they are the ones who named their kids “Lucky”. Lucky girl and Lucky boy. How sweet ain’t it? Every single bit revolves around the two mothers, they practically OWN the movie, everytime they are on screen they demand presence. Especially, on the Vilma quote bits, they deliver each line right to the pulp. It was so hilarious because i’ve seen those films, and they’ve captured Vilma’s nuances and mannerisms.There was one part in the film when Eugene Domingo started quoting Vilma Santos in the film, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, complete with the white free flowing dress, they even shot it on the beach, it’s oozing with cheese, it good, if you get my drift. If that wasn’t enough, they even had a dance showdown at a comedy bar, according to Pokwang, they’re just dancing just like Vilma did in the movie Burlesk Queen. Forget about Park and Bitangcol, the film belong to the two stars of all season. Majority of the jokes in the film will be lost in translation to those not familiar with Vilma’s films, and to this note, it is a film not for everyone. – Eboy Donato (READ MORE)

With Eugene Domingo and Pokwang heading the cast, D Lucky Ones can really make you laugh. But everything seems to end there. And though I know a number of people from the cast to the production staff, I just can’t help but write about the booboos of this movie. It is really disappointing. A good film should have cultural correctness and accuracy even in the smallest details that may seem unnoticeable to a number of viewers. And even though such a film is clearly fictionalized, a good research should let it convey a well-established story based from the realities of life. A comedy can sometimes deviate from realistic features. But this creative freedom is always justified for every story claiming for its use.

From Korea, Pokwang and Sandara return to the Philippines via an international flight of Cebu Pacific. In fact, Cebu Pacific looks like a sponsor of the movie because of its well-advertised treatment. But the problem is not the seemingly ‘product placement’ of the airline company as it looks valid and unexploited on screen. But never did I know that there’s an international flight courtesy of Cebu Pacific other than Hongkong to Manila and vice versa. I am open to corrections if there’s really a Korea to Manila flight via Cebu Pacific. Morever, Pokwang and Sandara go out of the airport’s Centennial Terminal under Cebu Pacific when the said terminal is only meant for PAL (Philippine Airlines) passengers. Is this the most that the location managers can do for the movie? And is this the best effort that the entire staff can have just to be able to shoot the movie without acknowledging a balance between creativity and correctness of what they are bringing to the viewers? On a personal note, for a movie of one of the top film production companies of the country, I just couldn’t get the point why they are supposed to let such simple things be overlooked. It’s like they let such booboos pass because they underestimate their audience.

I try to rationalize if all these things can be excused because it is meant to be like that for a comedic effect. But this one is not justifiable at all. I try to consider if it’s possible that Pokwang and Sandara have made a stopover trip to some Visayan islands first before finally riding a plane bound to Manila since they are riding a plane with the passengers all looking like Filipinos (it’s only Sandara who looks like a foreigner in the plane). But it just doesn’t make sense. Honestly, the production number Eugene Domingo presents at the Centennial Terminal looks a bit impossible when she is not established as a very influential person in the movie to have the power to get a permit for such at the arrival area of the airport. But this one I can let pass for creative license for such a comedy. But the other things I have initially mentioned, it really tends to underestimate the viewers.

I have no question about the talents of Eugene Domingo and Pokwang when it comes to making people laugh. They know how to deliver. They give good punchlines. They can make both a simple dialogue or an already very funny line to come to terms with their humor altogether. Their characters as big Vilma Santos fans who have vowed to marry their children when the right time comes work for the comedy. But the thing is, removing all the other characters in the movie, the comedy can stand alone with Eugene and Pokwang only. Candy contributes to the humor but her character is not a vital thing in the story. Sandara doesn’t give the right timing to deliver a dramatic line or transcend the needed emotion for a scene. Nevertheless, her ‘krung-krung’ aura adds up to the comedy. Joseph has a very superficial acting. He has no depth for his character and he seems to just read and deliver his lines coming from the script. JR Valentin’s role is obviously made for the fun and for that added spice to the story’s conflict. He seems like the usual sex object exploited in the big screen (this time the sex object is a guy!) and he seems to work after all. He knows how to carry himself for the scenes without upstaging or downstaging Eugene and Pokwang. He blends with them for his sex object role.

The dance numbers remind me of the 80’s flicks where such production numbers are always present in a number of flicks of the era. It’s like the 80’s dance numbers meet present day novelty songs. They are fun and the masses seem too enjoy it well. The production design and lighting department are not so impressing for this movie. Eugene’s face has not changed a bit during the flashback scenes. Additional effort for the make-up could have saved it. The room of Joseph looks newly-arranged by the art department. The set and props all look brand new when in reality, some things should have looked a bit crumpled or fading. But the funny wardrobe of Pokwang and Eugene looks effective for the genre. The editing is not seemless. Though for just a few seconds, I have noticed an overexposed shot after the bus scene. The closeup shot of Sandara during a dramatic scene with Pokwang is out of focus.

This movie is incomparable with other well-made Star Cinema films. I am a witness to the standing room only second day/weekend showing of this movie at Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall. I have heard the laughter from fans and from those who just want to have a dose of comedy without noticing the booboos I have seen. But I would have to keep up with my stand that every film outfit and filmmaker have the utmost responsibility to come up with a film that is honest to the littlest details of make-believe. Creative license should be exercised towards excellence in all aspects of production. And they should always treat every viewer as either an intellectual or a street-smart person who deserves to watch something worth the hundred bucks s/he pays. – Rianne Hill Soriano, Jeu d’esprit (READ MORE)

D’Lucky Ones is one of those oddball, low budget comedies that still fill movie theaters in The Philippines. Hollywood would never make this movie, not because Americans have so much better tastes in films, but because it now costs too much to make B films (as they used to churn out in droves). That’s television’s job. Two best friends are both avid fans of actress Vilma Santos. They know her movies by heart. When one takes a job in South Korea, they promise that her daughter will marry the other one’s son when they both are old enough. They name the girl Lucky Girl and the boy Lucky Boy after one of Vilma’s children, Luis “Lucky” Manzano. Of course they don’t consult the children, who hate each other because of an incident they both remember differently, at a party when they were both young. When the one friend returns to The Philippines with her daughter, the girl is determined to get her revenge on Lucky Boy. What follows is a typical screwball sequence of events and misunderstandings. Lucky Girl winds up staying in the same apartment with Lucky Boy, to hide out from her mother and her plans to marry the girl to Lucky Boy, and doesn’t understand who Lucky Boy is, and gradually starts to fall in love with him. Lucky Boy, however, is working hard to get his revenge on Lucky Girl. He even gets her arrested for picking flowers at the entrance to Lunetta (Rizal Park). Considering the things that go on in the park, you’d think the police would have other things to worry about besides picking flowers, but it’s funny just for that.

Then there’s the silly subplot where the two friends, while trying to search for Lucky Girl, somehow fall in with a handsome young man, and both of them are fighting each other for his attention. It’s clear that he has no romantic interest in either one, who are both old enough to be his mother, but he’s hanging around as a friend. The two mothers go to a bar and join in a dance contest to impress the young man. They make their two children look incredibly mature by comparison. There’s one intense scene between Lucky Girl and her mother where Lucky Girl learns that her South Korean father abused her mother, and all the inlaws hated her because she was Filipino rather than Korean. Many times they would not allow her stay in the house with her daughter, but she begged for food on the streets. Watching Vilma Santos movies was her escape from this reality. This may also make Lucky Girl rethink her preference for living in South Korea over The Philippines (she’d been planning to return to the only country she knew as home. Heck, she only knew how to speak Tagalog from her mother forcing her to watch Vilma Santos movies.) The ending is obvious. Send the Vilma Santos fans to a Vilma Santos reunion party and get Ate Vi (Older Sister Vi) to patch up the two friends. And then everybody gets to dance. Hey, it’s The Philippines. Make sure you are better able to survive catastrophes than the crew and passengers of The Titanic. Get emergency preparedness kits now. Disabled and senior citizens need to check out an emergency medical alert system – That Awesome TV (READ MORE)

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