#Larawan, #LolitaRodriguez, #RitaGomez, #CharitoSolis, #CeliaRodriguez, #EddieRodriguez, #FernandoPoeJr, #HildaKoronel, #IshmaelBernal, #CarmenRosales, #LuisGonzales, #SharonCuneta, #JayIlagan, #AgaMuhlach
Best Actress – “…When she felt she already had enough of Europe, Celia returned to the Philippines to resume her acting career. It was Mike Velarde (now of El Shaddai fame) who gave her the chance to make a spectacular comeback in the movies. Velarde, who is also from Bicol like Celia, had suddenly come into money and wanted to produce a movie. Never mind that he was a geodetic engineer by profession and probably didn’t know the first thing about moviemaking. Since Velarde wanted only the best, Celia got no less than Gerry de Leon as director and Pierre Salas as writer. The result was Lilet, a mystery drama that was shot in three long months (“We worked everyday,” cried out Celia) and had used enough raw materials to make four movies. The effort was worth it though because it won for Celia her FAMAS Best Actress trophy. Lilet may have put her back on track in the movies, but it also spawned malicious rumors about a romance between Celia and Velarde. “But that is not true!” Celia flatly denies this piece of gossip that had been hounding her the past three decades. “If there was any truth to that, I would have admitted it. He would have been a feather in my cap-considering his popularity. But it’s not true,” she insists. To that, we say Amen. Or as Mike Velarde would say it, “Ehmen!” Lilet and the subsequent Best Actress trophy she got for it actually inspired Celia to finally take the business of acting seriously…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)
Celia Rodriguez ay isang artista sa Pilipinas. Una siang nakitang gumanap sa mga pelikula ng Premiere Production noong huling dekada 1950. Siya ay nanalo ng apat na FAMAS Awards: isa bilang pinakamahusay na aktres ng 1971 para sa pelikulang Lilet at tatlo pa bilang pinakamahusay na pangalawang aktres ng 1964 (Kulay Dugo ang Gabi), 1966 (The Passionate Strangers) at 2003 (Magnifico). – Wikipedia (READ MORE)
Celia Rodriguez and Vilma Santos
Celia Rodriguez and Vilma Santos did eight films together. The most memorable were: Lipad Darna Lipad where Celia played the Snake Queen, Valentina and Vilma as Darna; and Kampanerang Kuba were Celia played the evil sex starved villain and Vilma played the hunch back bell ringer, their fight in the pig pen was one of the highlight of the film.
Hiwalay (1981) – “…Dagdag pa ni Vilma, “Pero isa rin sa pinakapaborito ko is Dindo Fernando. Si Dindo, na yumao noong 1987, ay nakapareha ni Vilma sa mga pelikulang gaya ng Langis at Tubig (1980), Hiwalay (1981), T-Bird At Ako (1982), Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan (1982), Baby Tsina (1984), at Muling Buksan Ang Puso (1985)…” – Rico Jr (READ MORE)
Darna at Ding (1980) – “…The climax of this “Darna vs. the Dragon Lady” part of Darna At Ding sees Lei Ming conjure up an evil double of Darna to keep our heroine busy while, elsewhere in her lair, a towering robot bears menacingly down upon Ding. It’s a suitably whiz-bang finale to this loopy, kitchen sink confection, and one that makes the long, strange and circuitous route that we’ve taken to get to it seem perhaps less arduous in retrospect. Still, at a solid two hours, Darna At Ding is an example of a movie that pulls out all the stops, but perhaps shouldn’t have. While it’s combination of horror movie chills, superhero thrills and slapstick spills might have been catnip for the Filipino audience of its day, for the rest of us it might prove mildly exhausting. Nonetheless, I find Vilma Santos so appealing in her role that it’s hard for me to imagine hating any Darna movie that she appears in, and this one’s no exception…” – Todd of “luchadiaries” (READ MORE)
Coed (1979) – “…Mula sa VS Films at Bancom Audiovision Films ang pelikulang Coed (January 25, 1979) ay nagtatampok kina Vi, Jay Ilagan, Delia Razon, Allan Valenzuela, Romeo Enriquez, Romeo Rivera, Jun Soler, Angge, Jojo Santiago at Rosemarie Sarita sa panulat at iskrip ni Allan Jayme Rabaza at direksiyon ni Emmanuel H. Borlaza…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)
Mga Rosas Sa Putikan (1976) – “…Ang initial offering ng VS Films na Mga Rosas Sa Putikan (July 10, 1976) ay nagtatampok kina Vi, Celia Rodriguez, Barbara Luna, Trixia Gomez, Merle Fernandez, Romeo Enriquez, Arnold Gamboa, Ike Lozada at Sandy Garcia sa panulat at direksiyon ni Emmanuel H. Borlaza…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)
Karugtong Ng Kahapon (1975) – “…Vilma Santos, on the other hand, gave a notable performance in Roma Films’ Karugtong ang Kahapon. That time, Nora and Vilma were in their peak, their career and the movies they made were being followed closely, compared, watched, praised, scrutinized both by fans and critics. Their storied and fierce rivalry dominated our movie industry for years…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)
Biktima (1974) – “…In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the m rder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim?…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)
Kampanerang Kuba (1974) – “…With limited dialouge, a young Dindo Fernando portrayed Tateng’s lover convincingly. All the other supporting roles including Perla Bautista, Ernie Garcia and others gave a forgettable performances. About the two main lead, Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos did what they can to portrayed their roles. Edgar Mortiz seems to be trying very hard to be effective as the priest but acting is clearly not his forte. Would this be different if Jay Ilagan did this role? Vilma Santos succeed more with her solo scenes, talking to the patron saints and the bell tower, eating with her bare hands and trying to beautify her ugly face…” – RV (READ MORE)
Lipad, Darna, lipad! (1973) – “…Ding, ang bato!” yells Narda, the adolescent country lass, to her younger brother. Ding obligingly hands over a shiny pebble which Narda swallows to turn herself into the vivacious super-vixen, Darna. Mars Ravelo’s superheroine, clad in crimson bikinis and knee-high stiletto boots, may perhaps be the most famous local fantasy character given life on the silver screen. Though not actually considered a career-defining role, portraying Darna is, nonetheless, highly-coveted. Darna has been portrayed by no less than nine actress in 12 feature films. Rosa del Rosario first wore the scarlet two piece in May 1951. She reprised the role after three months. Liza Moreno, Eva Montes and Gina Pareno followed her. The inter-galactic pebble found its way to Vilma Santos’ throat in 1973 via the flick “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” Santos, now a two-term mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, is probably the most popular Darna, with a total of four movies in a span of seven years. Some of these were made known to younger generations through afternoon airings on television in the late ’80s. Maybe RPN 9 should do that again so that even younger generations can marvel at Darna’s greatness, albeit antiquated, in such movies as “Darna and the Giants” and “Darna vs. the Planet Women…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 06, 2003 (READ MORE)
Nangangatog ako ng una kong ma-meet si Vilma Santos in person. Ganoon pala talaga ang feeling kapag naka face to face mo ang idol mo. – Ana Capri
Hindi complete at walang katuturan ang pagiging producer ko kung hindi ako makagawa ng pelikula na bida ang hinahangaan kong si Vilma Santos – Donna Villa
Kahit one-fourth lang ng tagumpay ni Ate Vi. Ang marating ko masayang masaya na ako. Talagang idol ko siya. Idol siya ng buong pamilya ko – Kristine Garcia
I first worked with Vilma when she was just a child star. From then, alam kong malayo ang mararating niya as an actor dahil bata pa mahusay na. Hindi ako nagkamali. Hindi lang siya basta naging artista, kundi naging isa sa pinakamahusay at pinakasikat. – Gloria Romero
Simula ng mapanood ko si Vilma sa Trudis Liit naging Vilmanian na ako. Nobody comes close to her. – Armida Siguion Reyna
Naging Huwaran ko si Ate Vi hindi lang sa career ko kundi maging sa personal kong buhay. I am very proud to be a Vilmanian. – Snooky Serna
Bata pa ako hindi pa ako artista talagang idol ko na si ate Vi. Pinupuntahan ko pa yan sa bahay niya para lang makita at maka-usap kahit ako lang mag-isa.- Sharon Cuneta
Vilma is the most versatile actress in our time. Kahit anong role kaya niyang gampanan ng buong husay. Ang sarap makatrabaho ang isang Vilma Santos – Celia Rodriguez
Kung alam lang ni ate Vi kung ilang beses akong nadapa sa paghahabol na makita siya. Siya ang naging inspirasyon ko sa pagpasok ko sa showbiz. – Ai-Ai Delas Alas
Simula noon hanggang ngayon pagbalibaligtarin man ang mundo Vilmanian pa rin ako. – Korina Sanchez
Once you encounter and know ate Vi, you will realized how nice and thoughtful she is. She is always been an inspiration to me. Masarap siyang maging kaibigan. – Kris Aquino
Si Vilma Santos ang idol ko. Maganda na, magaling pa. – Amy Austria
Mahusay talaga si Vilma kahit saang aspeto. Napakagaan niyang katrabaho. Isa sa mga dream ko ang mai-direct si Vi. – Gina Alajar
Vilma Santos can compete with the top caliber actresses in Hollywood. She is an epitome of a real queen of Philippine Cinema. I really look up to her. – Lea Salonga
Makasama ko lang si ate Vi sa pelikula gagawin ko kahit libre. – Dawn Zulueta
Ng makasama ko si Mama Vilma sa pelikula feeling ko puwede na akong mamatay. – Carlos Agassi
Ang isa sa pinakamagandang nangyari sa buhay ko sa pagpasok ko sa showbiz ay ang makasama ang pinakamahusay na aktres na hinahangaan at nirerespeto ng lahat. Marami akong natutuhan kay Mama Vilma – Piolo Pascual
It would be a great fullfilment if I make a movie with my favorite actress Vilma Santos – Alvin Patrimonio
Actually, mag-cousin pa kami ni Ate Vi. Walang hindi Vilmanian sa pamilya namin – Raymart Santiago
Vilma is my favorite actress. She is the only actress I love to watch on local screen. She’s Great. – Martin Nievera
Bago ako naging artista, die hard Vilmanian na ako. Nakikipag-away pa nga ako dahil kay Vilma. – Rosanna Roces
Bata pa ako ginagaya ko na ang mga acting ni Ate Vi. Idol siya ng Nanay ko kaya naging idol namin siya – Glydel Mercado
I am very flattered when Lino Brocka said that I am the next Vilma Santos. But Vilma Santos is Vilma Santos, she is incomparable. – Ruffa Gutierez
Vilma Santos is the Greatest Actress of all times. Walang Katapat – Eric Quizon
Si Vilma ang isa sa madalas magpadala ng tulong kapag may mga pangangailangan o project kami sa Red Cross at Damayan. Iilan lang ang katulad niya na kusang tumutulong na hindi na kailangan pang ipaalam sa publiko. – Ms. Rosa Rosal
I am a closet Vilmanian before, pero ngayon nagladlad na ako. Maraming katangian si Vilma na talagang hahangaan mo – Boots Anson Roa
Type ko siya. Ang husay husay niya. – Rio Locsin
Bago ako pumasok sa showbiz, die hard Vilmanian na ako. Nakikipag-away pa nga ako dahil kay Vilma. – Jaclyn Jose
For me Vilma Santos is the Greatest Actress of all times. – Gabby Concepcion
Somebody would come from the Philippines and they’d bring in Vilma Santos films, and I just remember, ‘Oh, this woman is making me so emotional, I think I’m a Vilmanian. That’s what they call it, I think. – Mig Macario
She crosses over from politics to showbiz and back. She can say one thing and it can be about motherhood, or love, or stardom, or politics….ang taong for all seasons – award season, holiday season, election season, even back-to-school season. Over time I’ve had the chance to meet her, and nabigyan niya ako ng acting tips. She has validated my work and given me her friendship. – Jon Santos
Source: V magazine Volume 1, Issue 4 2005 + Updates 2012
Release Date: June 23, 1974 (Philippines)
The Plot: – In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the murder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim? – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)
The Reviews: – Hired by Don Rafael Valdez (Joe Sison), Attorney Andrade (Leopoldo Salcedo) finally convinced Dolores (Vilma Santos) to live with her rich grandfather, Don Rafael. This is despite the warning of her aunt, Tiya Dadeng (Patria Plata) and the warning of her mother, Lourdes (Perla Bautista) who is in prison. She was framed-up and wrongfully convicted of her father’s death. When Dolores came to her grandfather’s mansion, one by one, people are starting to die. This includes her grandfather’s young wife (Elizabeth Vaughn); Monica Valdez (Celia Rodriguez); Magda (Divina Valencia); the gardener (Yoyoy Villame); and Marita (Helen Gamboa). By the time the last victim died, the surprise killer was expose, the killer was Dolores. She tried to revenge her mother’s imprisonment and her father’s death. It was also revealed that her aunt’s husband (Bert Le Roy Jr.) was the one who killed her father. Her father tried to rape their grandfather’s nurse, Marita (Helen Gamboa), she fought hard and stabbed her father. Bert Leroy Jr. framed-up Dolores’ mother who was the first person on the scene of the crime. In exchange for his silence he blackmailed Marita with sexual favors. Marita didn’t know that Dolores’ father was still alive but Leroy finished the job by stabbing him more.
Written by Jose Flores Sibal with writing credit from the film’s lead star, Vilma Santos, Biktima was surprisingly watchable. Compared to other Vilma Santos films that Nilo Saez directed like Kampanerang Kuba, he did a convincing job in ironing out the many characters of the film (maybe except for Divina Valencia’s role who was one of the first to die). This is perhaps due to the excellent cast. The one who stands out more were Celia Rodriguez and Helen Gamboa. Both gave subdued performances. Edgar Mortiz’ role as assistant investigator was just to appeal to the loyal festival followers of Vi and Bot. By this time, it was clear that Vilma’s career are heading upward while Mortiz was heading to a different path. The ending of the film, showing a bald Vilma Santos in preparation for her demise was the film’s dramatic highlight.
The Plot: After a long period of absence, Vilma Santos resurrected Filipino version of Wonder Woman, Darna, in a fantastic trilogy. Despite the lack of height familiar with previous Darnas, Vilma Santos’ bubbly youthful portrayal as Darna and the alter ego character Narda radiated the screen against Philippine cinema’s senior screen queens, Gloria Romero as the “Babaing Impakta (Vampire Woman),” Celia Rodriguez as “Babaing Ahas (Snake Woman),” and Liza Lorena as “Babaing Lawin (Hawk Woman).” The film was release on March 23, 1973 to a massive crowd in Metro Manila. Tagalog Ilang Ilang Production who produced the film reportedly distributed Darna dolls and Coca-cola drinks to the moviegoers. The film was a trilogy that focuses on the fights scenes between the Darna and her nemesis with great effect and with the help of Darna’s equally perky young brother, Ding portrayed by child star, Angelito. The special effect that’s way ahead of its time in were in full bloom in this film and the make-up goriness particularly Gloria Romero’s was a proof that Filipinos are creative and talented way ahead of Hollywood or even Bollywood. – RV (READ MORE)
The Reviews: In the Silver Age era of Darna, the movie “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” (“Fly, Darna, Fly!” 1973), played by the lovely Vilma Santos, made a new version of the story. In this time, Narda was a teenager in her late teens. She discovered the magic stone after the event of a falling star landed near her home one night. She discovered that the magic pebble gave her superpowers that made her Darna. She and her brother were the only ones who knew the secret and their grandmother was not aware of it in this version. Narda herself becomes Darna and were not two different characters. She was also not from Planet Marte but was just a champion warrior of the forces of light. Every time Darna turns back to her mortal self, the magic stone reappears in her mouth and she takes it out and hides it until she needs it again. Every time the need arises, she has to swallow the pebble again and say Darna to transform. – Supersexyheroines.com (READ MORE)
In 1951, 2 Darna movies were made starring Rosa Del Rosario, followed by another two starring Liza Moreno in the early 60’s, one by Eva Montes and one by Gina Pareno in 1969. But it was not until 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” starring Vilma Santos when “Darna mania” would be rekindled and made this version the highest grossing Darna movie of them all. A feat that has not been equalled to this day. In these 1970s films, Darna’s origin was slightly tweaked with a new twist yet remained faithful to Mars Ravelo’s vision. No longer a little girl, Narda was now in her late teens. Also, she herself becomes Darna, unlike the original where she just “channels” her. Only Ding knows her secret in this version unlike the original where both Ding and their Grandmother knew the secret. Also, the stone comes out of Narda’s mouth every time she changes back from being Darna; she has to swallow it every time she wants to transform (This became standard for following versions). Darna is not specified as coming from Marte, just as a “warrior of Light”. This version of Darna became most people’s idea of the character for about 3 decades. A famous catch phrase by Narda popularized by the movies and NOT the comics version is “Ding, Ang Bato !” (“Ding, the Stone!) – Nostalgia Manila (READ MORE)
The quintessential action-fantasy Pinoy flick that appeals to all ages, from generation to generation. This movie is a major milestone for Vilma because it proved that she could really carry a solo movie and bring in the dough (up to now of course!). Vilma’s Darna franchise is the most memorable and successful of all Pinoy fantasy-action genres. Imitated but never equalled, Vilma’s Darna lives on. Unforgettable. Memorable. It grows on you. No Pinoy kid ever grows up without being a part of the Darna magic. The enormous success of Lipad, Darna, and Lipad led to three more Darna movies with Vilma Santos. As a result, the star for all seasons became the star for all Darnas—Santos played her four times, more than any other actress in the super heroine’s history. Lipad, Darna, Lipad! were thus divided into three separate segments, directed by three different directors. In Darna’s case, the three directors were Maning Borlaza, Joey Goesiengfao, and Elwood Perez—three names that promised an adventure that could do Andy Warhol proud.
First episode: “Ang Impakta” (Vampire Woman) – Starring Gloria Romero as Miss Luna, Narda’s school teacher who has a dark secret. She is actually a flying blood sucking creature at night. In this thrilling episode she knows the secret identity of Narda. The most memorable part was when Ms. Luna asked Narda to help her with some paper works. Little that she know, while she was busy checking the papers Ms. Luna excused herself, she then went to the next room and transformed into a scary vampire. Ding found out that Ms. Luna is the vampire and Narda forgot to bring the magical stone , he rushed to her sister who then was being strugled by the monster. As soon as he got there, he threw the stone to her much terrified sister and she immediately changed to Darna. Followed was the famous aerial fight scene. Nanette Medved and Bing Loyzaga tried to copy the infamous fight scene in 1990 Viva films Darna. Episode one was directed by Maning Borlaza.
Second episode: “Valentina” (Snake Woman) – Vilma also had to battle with Celia Rodriguez, who played a campy Valentina, a supermodel by day and a snake priestess by night. One scene has the actress naked in bed being caressed by a dozen snakes. Indeed, with the likes of Gosiengfao, Perez, and Borlaza at the helm, Darna is sure to get stuck in grotesque situations reminiscent of the Rocky Horror Movie. Their take on Darna is sometimes too risqué and violent for little children; but as a camp fest, the movie works. In this episode Valentina, tried to steal Narda’s magical stone. Also, there was a scene where Valentina dressed up as Darna. I love the exciting part where Darna and Valentina battled on top of a high rise building. Darna, was almost a no match to her mortal enemy. Dangerously armed with lazer beams coming out from Valentina’s eyes, Darna was helpless and knocked down several times. Until, she stumbled upon into a piece of broken mirror and used it as a shield againts Valentina’s deadly lazer beams. Darna quickly made her looked in the mirror. Her lazer beams bounced back and she turned into a stone. From the roof, Valentina fell hard on the ground and broked into shattered pieces. Anjanette Abayarri and Cherrie Gil almost did the same scene in ” Darna, Ang Pagbabalik ! ” Second Episode was directed by Elwood Perez. Vilma Santos with co stars Ernie Garcia and Celia Rodriguez as Dr. Valentina Vrandakapoor, Phd in reptilian zoology from the University of new Delhi. Not to be overlooked is Darna’s arch-rival Valentina. Celia Rodriguez breathed new life to the term antagonist with her classy portrayal of the serpent-haired villainess. Rodriguez set a new standard by which evil women are to be judged.
Third episode: “Babaing Lawin” (Hawk Woman) – Starring Liza Lorena as Babaing Lawin. I barely remember this one, there was this scene where Narda and Ding got caught and almost drowned in a quick sand. In Hawk Woman’s cave there’s this stream, that can make her wings disappear by walking across to it. There was also this character named Agila, a bird man played by Rod Dasco, he’s like the Hawk Woman’s mate. There was some fight scenes in the cave between Hawk Woman and and Darna. At the end of the story Darna and Hawk Woman, mend their ways. – Eric Cueto, Mars Ravelo Darna (READ MORE)
“…In the 1960’s, Gloria Romero portrayed Imelda Marcos in “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” and “Pinagbuklod ng Langit.” In the 1970’s she starred in two memorable movies: Behn Cervantes’s vanished movie, “Sakada” (1976), and earlier, 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” the biggest movie of its time in which she played a “manananggal” to Vilma Santos’s super heroine. Up to now, she considers the last as one of her most unforgettable…” – MPP (READ MORE)
“…Vilma, now 20, still looking virginal and sweet kicked 70s phenomenal superstar Noras butt at the boxoffice and earned her box-office wings via this monumental hit. The Emancipation of Baby Vi. Mariah Carey could not agree more. There was no turning back since then. The Fantasy Queen was born. Fortythree year old Tita Gloria gamely and bravely accepted the role of Ms. Luna, teacher by day and Manananggal by night. Movie Queen Gloria was deglamorized and became the evil incarnate as a vampire. Amalia Fuentes was the original movie queen who bravely accepted a daring role such as a vampire that won her a FAMAS statuette in Gerry De Leon’s Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin, and changed her goody-two-shoe image forever. Was she the original queen of reinvention that gave Vilma an idea to do the same via the landmark movie Burlesk Queen? Hmmm… For the first time, La Santos was billed above La Romero. Times have changed. The tables were turned. Vilma Santos is the New Box-Office Champ and Tita Glo and Co. could only “bow” to the Reel/Real Queen: Ms. Rita Gomez, Helen Gamboa, Boots Anson-Roa, Barbara Perez and others did not have second thoughts to do a movie with the resurgent Vilma. Who wouldnt want to be famous again and have fun working with the most hardworking and versatile actress? In my book, the aerial Good versus Evil fight of Vilma and Gloria as Darna and Impakta was one of the most thrilling and unforgettable scenes of my movie-going life. How I wish the movie resurfaces from Indonesia or from Timbuktu and my Vilma collection will be complete. That will be heaven! Where, oh, where is that classic movie? The Manananggal episode of Lipad, Darna, Lipad was so good that the two have to followed up their success via Anak Ng Aswang…” – Mario Garces (READ MORE)
“1972 – Lipad, Darna, Lipad…di ko na nakuhang mag-supper and hurriedly went to Coronet 2 bagama’t the film had already started eh uber sa dami ang mga fans sa loob at labas ng sinehan. nakapwesto ako sa dilantera ng sinehan para malapitan kong matanaw sa pagdaan si Ate Vi dahil premier night ng pelikulang Lipad Darna. Nagsalubong ang kilay ko in exasperation nang lapitan ako ng mayordoma ni Johnny Wilson na kalapit-bahay namin sa Paco. May mga kasama sya at tinanong kung Vilmanian din daw ako. Sabi ko’y napadaan lang ako at paalis na nga. tiempong gumagawi ako sa may likuran nang biglang nagkagulo ang mga tao sa pagdating ni Vilma. Ang ganda nya! naka-costume pero naka-kapa para di gaanong malantad ang katawan nya. tuwang-tuwa pa naman ako nang muntik na akong masagasaan. Nasa gitna na pala ako ng E. Rodriguez at namura pa ako ng driver. Potah! Gumawi tuloy ako sa kabilang kalye at kahit malayo ako’y masaya pa rin ako. Sa pakiramdam ko’y ako ang kinakawayan nya. mangilan-ngilan kami sa kabilang kalye na kakaway-kaway rin sa kanya. i went home happy but bone-weary and hungry. kaya lang, nasinturon ako ng tatay ko. Di tuloy ako nakakakain. This sucks! But i will tell nothing of the story of Lipad, Darna, Lipad. Alam kong napanood na yon ng sambayanan. I just have to say kudos to Ate Vilma, she’s so awesome as Darna. There were Gloria, Celia and Liza…all of the evil creatures you need to see in order to make them truly appear as the antagonists of Darna. The story itself is too rich and wonderful, just enough of humor, just enough of banter. The box-office result made history. Almost everyone joined the jubilant partying that is Vilma. She worked hard for it…and effectively captured our national psyche…on her way on top. Some actresses also dared Darna roles, unfortunately, they lacked originality and creativity that we might just view them as a form of flattery. Iba pa rin ang Vilma! Inevitably, it was time for Vilma to take the helm, talagang panahon na nya at wala ng makakaawat pa sa kanyang pagsikat She was set to eclipse her contemporaries, including the brown girl from Iriga City.” – Bobby Lopez (READ MORE)
“…Maturing as a scriptwriter and film director, in 1973, commercially successful Lipad, Darna Lipad! was released. Award-winning actress Celia Rodriguez essayed the role of Medusa-like villainess, Valentina, nubile Vilma Santos played the Filipino supergirl (a role that launched her in a series of Darna flicks). To Filipino film industry insiders, Perez is known as the most sought-after movie director of his generation…” – Nickie Wang (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)
Sa paggawa ng pelikula, kung maringgan man ng pagdaing si Vilma Santos ay bihirang-bihira. Nangyayari lang ito kung ipagpalagay nating siya’y may dinaramdam, hapong-hapo at talagang hindi na makakaya ng katawang humarap sa kamera kahit ibigin niya. Gayon man, kung nagkataong napakahalaga ng eksena at kinakailangang gawin niya, khait anong sama ng pakiramdam niya’y humaharap siay sa kamera. At sa pagtungo niya sa set o location, lagi siyang nasa oras. Kung maatraso ma’y saglit lang. Ganyan ka-professinal si Vilma Santos. Ngunit sa Lipad, Darna, Lipad ay dumaraing siya. Hindi sa hindi niya enjoy gawin ito. Ang totoo’y sa pelikulang ito lang siya na-involved. Ibig na niyang matapos na ito’t makita ang pinagpaguran niya. Talaga palang mahirap gumawa ng costumes picture. Lalo pa’t kung tulad nito! Una ang naging suliranin namin ay ang Darna costumes ko. Kasi kinakailangan maging maliksi ang kilos ko bilang Darna, kaya kailangang alisin na ang padding. Kaso nga lilitaw naman ang malaking bahagi ng aking katawan. Mabuti na lang at sumang-ayon ang aking fans. “Pangalawa, nag-aalala ako sa mga eksenang bakbakan namin nina Gloria Romero, Celia Rodriguez at Liza Lorena. Kasi baka masaktan ko sila nang di sinasadya. Ang pangatlo ay ang likas ng pagkatakot ko…sa mga ahas. Kasi may bahagi roong tungkol sa Babaing Ahas, si Valentina. Dito, laging kailangan ang ahas sa mga eksena. Mga sari-saring ahas. Maliliit at malalaki. At makamandag! Ang pinakamahirap sa lahat ay ang pag-su-shooting. Kailangan naming tapusin ito anuman ang mangyari. Kaya nasasagap ko ang lamig ng gabi at init ng araw. At ang suot ko nga’y labas ang malaking bahagi ng katawan! At alam n’yo namang kailang lang ay naospital ako dahil sa respiratory defects!” Ito ang daing ni Vilma Santos sa pinakamahirap niyang pelikula, ang Lipad, Darna, Lipad. Ngunit mahihinuha naman ninyo na ang pagdaing niya’y parang paglalambing lang. Dinaraan pa nga niyang lahat sa biro. Pagka’t ang tutoo, mahal na mahal niya ang pelikulang ito. Dahil ito nga ang pinakamahirap. At sa isang artista, kung alin ang pinakamahirap ay siya namang pinakamasarap! – Cleo Cruz, Love Story Magazine, 1973
Kampanerang Kuba started with Andang (Vilma Santos), a hunch back bell-ringer running away from the people in the market. She was accuse of stealing. When she got back from the church (where she lives and work), she was confronted and physically assaulted by Tateng (Celia Rodriguez) for no justifiable reason. Thankfully, Father Damian, the old sick priest intervened. He has long been her protector. Andang felt sad when she found out that Father Damian is leaving. On his absence, a young priest, Father Agaton (Edgar Mortiz) will take over. Aside from ringing the bell, Andang clean and feed the piglets (owned by Ellen and Tateng, they are the church’s caretakers). She normally eats with her bare hands while talking to her patron saint, Saint Martin. She talks and treats the idol along side the church’s bell towers like they are humans. Meanwhile, Tateng, the daughter of the head caretaker, Ellen (Patria Plata), is a sex maniac who loves to abuse Andang. She also seduce men in exchange of material things like jewelry.
One time Andang caught Tateng having sex with Crispin (Dindo Fernando) inside the church, when Tateng found out that she was around, she physically abuse her. Then the following day, while feeding the piglets, Tateng verbally abuse her. Andang retaliate and the two had mud-wrestling inside pig pen. Tateng’s mother Ellen was about to join the fight when Father Agaton arrived and intervened. The next day, a group of women arrived and accused Tateng of accepting gifts from their husband that they own. When Tateng overheard the loud complaints, she quickly went to Andang and pretended she wanted to make amends and gave her a necklace. When the group of women finally faced Tateng, she lied and told them to look for the jewelry at Andang.
The women then went to Andang and accused her of stealing. Afraid of her safety, Andang went to the church’s roof telling them that if they will not stop, she will jump. Tateng convinced Andang not to jump and that she is her friend. The trusting Andang came back and was welcome by the women with physical assaults. They tied her down with a long rope and dragged her on the ground until Crispin, who riding the horse (where Andang was tied down) reached the town’s mountain hill where he threw Andang’s lifeless body. When Andang miraculously regained consciousness, she was seen talking to her patron saint, Saint Martin. He blessed her and was able to bring her back to the church. There, she was blessed by the Virgin Mary. A holy miracle happened, flower petals falls down from the sky and holy lights beams Andang. She slowly changed from the ugly hunch back girl into a beautiful woman. As turned out she became Sandra Belmonte. A woman long gone and who were once the topic of town gossips. Sandra’s two sister found her into the church the next day. Surprised and very thankful, they brought her back to their big home. Andang now assumed the identity of Sandra. Sandra as it turned out has suitor, Roel (Ernie Garcia) who she didn’t like. She also discovered that she missed her life as Andang and now sure that she is in love with Father Agaton.
Can’t control her feelings anymore, she went to the church for the Catholic ritual of confession. And with Father Agaton, she confess her love for him. Tateng overheard this, and coerced the priest to have sex with her in exchange for her silence but failed. In retaliation, she spread this information to the town’s people. Headed by Tateng’s admirer, Max Alvarado, the priest was confronted by the angry people. The priest denied the affair. The town’s people decided to tied the priest into a post and burn him. This is because the priest doesn’t want leave the church. When Sandra who was with Roel, discovered what was happening, she luckily escape madness and went inside the church to pray to Saint Martin. Her pray were answered by the sudden ringing of the church’s bells followed by a loud thunder. It started to rain killing the fire and saving the poor priest. It was a miracle. Tateng’s sinful mind cleared and she ask Father Agaton’s forgiveness, who gladly obliged. Father Agaton then search for Sandra when her suitor Roel appeared. They both went to the church tower and saw Andang instead. The end.
Kampanerang Kuba’s convoluted long story maybe attributed to the original comics material written by Pablo Gomez. A good director should iron out all the unbelievable plots specially all the one-dimensional characters. For example, Celia Rodriguez character, Tateng. She is so masochistic that viewer might wonder why she is so mean. Also, with her tower-nesque beauty, why she decided to remained in a town where everything seems to be so trivial and everyone seems loves to gossip, even the men. Nilo Saez (with Jose Flores Sibal wrote the script) failed miserably in this regard. Shot in Nagcarlan Laguna, Kampanerang Kuba showcased the old Filipino beliefs in patron saints, religious rituals and miracles. It also demonstrates that people can be so cruel, can passed judgement, and can asked for forgiveness that quick when confronted with truth. All will be forgiving without taking into account all the harm that they have done. In the real world, these people will be punished. Celia Rodriguez seems to be wooden in so many scenes but equally infuriating when she started to do her verbal and physical abuse of Andang. With limited dialogue, a young Dindo Fernando portrayed Tateng’s lover convincingly. All the other supporting roles including Perla Bautista, Ernie Garcia and others gave forgettable performances. About the two main lead, Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos, both did what they can to portrayed their respective roles. Edgar Mortiz seems to be trying very hard to be effective as the priest but acting is clearly not his forte. Would this be different if Jay Ilagan did this role? Vilma Santos succeed more with her solo scenes, talking to the patron saints and the bell tower, eating with her bare hands and trying to beautify her ugly face. She appeared to be gearing up for more versatile roles that requires her not to sing but to act. – RV
Emmanuel H. Borlaza directed 24 films with Vilma Santos, mostly during the musical era of the 70s and in the 80s where movies were predominantly adapted from serialized comics/novel. His films became a lucrative moneymaker that he was allowed to brand them with the tag line: “an Emmanuel H. Borlaza film.” From musical, drama, comedy, fantasy, sex or horror genres, name it and Borlaza did them all.
His films lack the arthouse style and social relevance that critics loves most in a Brocka or Bernal films but who cares about the critics when the paying public loves them. And the producers demand his service, from Doc Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, Atty. Esperidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions and later on, Vic Del Rosario of Viva Films and Lily Monteverde of Regal Films. Clearly, his films exists with one purpose, to entertain the masses not to depress or remind them with the country’s sad fate of economy or the below poverty line lives of many.
The success of the Vilma-Borlaza films gave Vilma Santos versatility and preparation to a more serious acting career. It also narrowed the popularity gap between her and the musical era’s darling of the 70s, Nora Aunor. These are perhaps, the most significant contributions of Emmanuel Borlaza to Vilma’s career. Vilma who was considered only second to Nora couldn’t matched her singing talent and so, Borlaza countered this lack of singing with films that showcased Vilma’s acting versatility.
From the folklore mermaid in Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe to fighting giants in Darna and the Giants to a fast-talker-gossip-mongering vendor in Tsismosang Tindera and to good-hearted prostitutes in Mga Rosas sa Putikan, Borlaza let Vilma Santos experience a wide range of roles, from comedic fantasy to dramatic adult roles. These experiments prepared her to a later more serious and versatile acting career. Their success made other directors interested in giving her roles oftenly considered for her closest rivals. Projects lined up and awaits her availability. Borlaza and Santos’ collaboration produced a string of box office hits from early 70s’ Dama De Noche to their last outing in late 80s’ Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas. Their success established their career as one of the most bankable and in-demand director/actor team, making her the longest reighning box office queen of all time and him a money maker director.
When time for Vilma to moved on with other collaborators, Borlaza handled other stars with much success! He directed Alma Moreno in smash hit, Eva Fonda 16; Sharon Cuneta in her memorable rag to riches films, Bituin Walang Ningning and Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala; Snooky Serna in her fantasy hit, Blusang Itim and Marecel Soriano as the spoiled brat in Yesterday Today and Tomorrow. These films gave us some of the most memorable movie lines that most Filipinos would still remember like Cherie Gil’s campy dialouge: “You’re Nothing but second rate Trying hard, Copy Cat!” or Sharon’s promise of revenge: “pinapangako ko inay…bukas luluhod ang mga tala! (I’ll promise you mother, tommorow the stars will kneel down, something to that effect, litterally.)”
In 2003, Borlaza who was trained by National Artist, Severino Montano, received recognitions from his peers with the Gawad Direk award from the Directors Guild of the Philippines. He lamented, “If I were to live my life again, I would still choose the same line of work. It is now payback time to the industry that gave me the best years of my life.” Referring the “pay back time” with trying to do more for the industry who gave so much blessing in his career as he retired his director’s chair. He continue his “pay back” with his involvement with two organizations thats very dear to him, the directors and screenwriters guilds. In most recent years, he became more involve through his work for the NMPP or Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Pelikulang Pilipino (the united workers of Filipino films). One of NMPP initive, a project that Borlaza worked so hard was to have a low cost housing for movie industry workers. This year, he was appointed by President Aquino as the deputy chaiman of the Movie and Television Rating and Classification Board.
AWARDS: Palanca Awardee; DGPI’s 2003 Gawad Direk; FAMAS 1969 Best Screenplay – Pinagbuklod ng Langit (Heaven’s Fate); FAMAS 1968 Best Screenplay – Psycho Maniac; FAMAS 1988 FAMAS Best Director Nominations – Paano Tatakasan Ang Bukas?; FAMAS 1971 FAMAS Best Director Nominations – I Love Mama, I Love Papa; FAMAS 1969 FAMAS Best Director Nominations – Kapatid Ko Ang Aking Ina; FAMAS 1968 FAMAS Best Director Nominations – Psycho Maniac; FAP 1990 Best Story Adaptation – Kapag langit ang humatol; FAP 1988 Best Director – Paano Tatakasan Ang Bukas?; Gawad Urian 1994 Best Screenplay Nominations – Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?; Gawad Urian 1990 Best Screenplay Nominations – Kapag langit ang humatol
Some Trivia: (1) In addition to the box office hit films, Borlaza gave Vilma her very first best actress award via Dama De Noche. (2) They did two films in the USA, Aloha My Love and Don’t Ever Say Goodbye. Both films paired Vilma with on and off the screen love team, Edgar Mortiz. (3) Later on, Borlaza and Vilma did another film in the USA, Romansa, with now ex-husband, Edu Manzano. (4) Vilma did four Darna movies, two of which was directed by Borlaza and were considered the most successfull in terms of revenue. (5) Lipa Darna Lipad was considered the most memorable of the four. Unfortunately, there is no copies of the film in existence today. (6)The Darna role has been re-invented and redone so many time by so many local actresses but the most memmorable and considered the best Darna ever is Vilma Santos.
FILMS BY THE NUMBERS
NUMBER ONE: WITH 24 FILMS! EMMANUEL H. BORLAZA – 1970 I Love You, Honey; 1970 Renee Rose; 1971 Angelica; 1972 Aloha, My Love; 1972 Dama De Noche ; 1972 Don’t Ever say Goodbye; 1972 Leron, Leron, Sinta; 1972 Remembrance; 1973 Darna and the Giants; 1973 Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe; 1973 Lipad, Darna, Lipad; 1973 Maria Cinderella; 1973 Tsismosang Tindera; 1976 Makahiya at Talahib; 1976 Mga Rosas sa Putikan; 1978 Bakit Kailangan Kita?; 1978 Kampus; 1979 Coed; 1980 Gusto Ko Siya, Mahal Kita; 1980 Romansa; 1980 Yakapin Mo Ako, Lalaking Matapang; 1986 Asawa ko, Huwag Mong Agawin; 1986 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; 1987 Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas
…and other directors!
8 Films: ISHMAEL BERNAL- 8 (Broken Marriage, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Good Morning Sunshine, Ikaw ay Akin, Inspiration, Now and Forever, Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga, Relasyon); LEONARDO L. GARCIA- 8 (Edgar Loves Vilma, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida, Eternally, Little Darling, Phantom Lady, Pulot-gata Pwede Kaya?)
7 Films: LUIS ENRIQUEZ – 7 (Ex-Wife, Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa, Hindi Nakakahiya, Ikaw Lamang, Kasalanan Kaya?, Nakakahiya?, Simula ng Walang Katapusan); ELWOOD PEREZ – 7 (Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos, Lipad Darna Lipad, Magkaribal, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Pinay American Style)
6 Films: ROMY SUSARA – 6 (Anak ng Aswang, Ang Kundoktora, Carinosa, Hiwalay, Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma, Vilma and the Beep Beep Minica); EDDIE GARCIA – 6 (Imortal, Paano Ba ang Mangarap?, Palimos Ng Pag-ibig, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Sinasamba Kita); ARMANDO DE GUZMAN – 6 (Basta’t Isipin mong Mahal Kita, Mga Batang Bangketa, Naligaw na Anghel, Sa Bawat Pintig ng Puso, Sapagkat Sila’y Aming mga Anak, Wonderful World of Music)
5 Films: PABLO SANTIAGO – 5 (Batang Iwahig, Bato sa Buhangin, Batya’t Palu-Palo, Big Ike’s Happening, Vilma Viente Nueve); JOSE DE VILLA – 5 (Give Me Your Love, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, Mother Song, Sixteen, Trudis Liit); FELY H. CRISOSTOMO – 5 (Karugtong ang Kahapon, Love is for the Two of Us, May Hangganan ang Pag-Ibig, Mga Reynang Walang Trono, Tok, Tok, Palatok)
4 Films: JOEY GOSIENGFIAO – 4 (Hatinggabi Na, Vilma, Lipad Darna Lipad, Promo Girl, Takbo Vilma Dali); DANNY ZIALCITA – 4 (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?, Karma, Langis at Tubig, T-Bird at Ako); CONSUELO P. OSORIO – 4 (I Do Love You, Mardy, My Darling Eddie, The Jukebox King); CIRIO H. SANTIAGO – 4 (Ang Galing-galing Mo Mrs. Jones, Ging, Happy Days are Here Again, Modelong Tanso)
3 Films: NILO SAEZ – 3 (Biktima, Kampanerang Kuba, Pag-ibig ko sa iyo lang Ibibigay); MAR S. TORRES – 3 (Anak ang Iyong Ina, King and Queen for a Day, Iginuhit ng Tadhana); LUCIANO B. CARLOS – 3 (Let’s Do the Salsa, Pag-Ibig, Masdan ang Ginawa Mo, Teribol Dobol); LINO BROCKA – 3 (Adultery: Aida Macaraeg, Hahamakin Lahat, Rubia Servios); LEODY M. DIAZ – 3 (Because You’re Mine, Dulce Corazon, Sweethearts); LAURO PACHECO – 3 (Hindi Nahahati ang Langit, Kay Tagal ng Umaga, Mga Mata Ni Angelita); LAURICE GUILLEN – 3 (Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story, Ipagpatawad Mo, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol); CHITO S. RONO – 3 (Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?, Dekada’70, Ikaw Lang); CELSO AD CASTILLO – 3 (Burlesk Queen, Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak, Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw); A. GREGORIO – 3 (From the Bottom of my Heart, My Pledge of Love, Songs and Lovers)
2 Films: VICENTE DE VILLA – 2 (Aninong Bakal, Larawan ng Pag-ibig); TONY SANTOS – 2 (The Sensations, Young Lovers); TONY CAYADO – 2 (Kamay na Gumagapang, Young Love); TITO C. SANCHEZ – 2 (Bertang Kerengkeng, Ibong Lukaret); MARYO J. DELOS REYES – 2 (Sinungaling Mong Puso, Tagos ng Dugo); MARILOU DIAZ ABAYA – 2 (Minsan pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan, Alyas Baby Tsina); MARIA SARET – 2 (Amorseko: Kumakabit Kumakapit, Susan Kelly Edad 20); MANING SONGCO – 2 (Sweet Sweet Love, Dalagang Nayon); JOSE MIRANDA CRUZ – 2 (Duelo sa Sapang Bato, Eagle Commandos); JOSE ‘PEPE’ WENCESLAO – 2 (Baby Vi, Teen-Age Senorita); GIL M. PORETES – 2 (Miss X, Never Ever Say Goodbye); DING M. DE JESUS – 2 (Maria Cecilia, Sino ang may Karapatan?); CESAR GALLARDO – 2 (Ito ang Pilipino, King Khayam and I); CARLO J. CAPARAS – 2 (Lipa: Arandia Massacre, Rizal Alih, Zamboanga Massacre); ARMANDO GARCES – 2 (Darna vs. the Planetwoman, De Colores); AL QUINN – 2 (Disco Fever, Swing it Baby);
1 Film: YANG SHIH CHIN – 1 – Twin Fists for Justice; WENN V. DERAMAS – 1 – D’ Lucky Ones; TONY CRUZ – 1 – Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko; RORY B. QUINTOS – 1 – Anak; RONALD REMY – 1 – Sa Baril Magtutuos; PABLO S GOMEZ – 1 – Ding Dong; OSCAR MIRANDA – 1 – Rock, Baby, Rock; OLIVIA M. LAMASAN – 1 – In My Life; MIKE RELON MAKILING – 1 – Doctor, Doctor, We Are Sick; MIKE DE LEON – 1 – Sister Stella L.; LEROY SALVADOR – 1 – Muling Buksan ang Puso; JOSE JAVIER REYES – 1 – Nag-iisang Bituin; JOEL LAMANGAN – 1 – Mano Po 3 My Love; J. ERASTHEO NAVOA – 1 – Darna at Ding; IKE JARLEGO JR – 1 – Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal; G. F. C. – 1 – Mapagbigay ang Mister Ko; FRANK GRAY JR. – 1 – Buhay Artista, Ngayon; DON WEIS – 1 – Longest Hundred Miles; DANNY OCHOA – 1 – Twin Fists for Justice; DANILO CABRERA – 1 – Relaks ka Lang, Sagot Kita; CONRADO CONDE – 1 – Iginuhit ng Tadhana; CLOYD ROBINSON – 1 – Darna at Ding; CELIA DIAZ LAUREL – 1 – Ophelia at Paris; GENEROSA SANTIAGO – 1 – Big Ike’s Happening; BOBBY SANTIAGO – 1 – Vivian Volta; BEN FELEO – 1 – The Young Idols; AUGUSTO BUENAVENTURA – 1 – Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz; ARSENIO BAUTISTA – 1 – Wonder Vi; ARMANDO HERRERA – 1 – Dugo at Pag-Ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa; ANTONIO JOSE PEREZ – 1 – Haplos; AMALIA MUHLACH – 1 – Mga Reynang Walang Trono; ABRAHAM CRUZ – 1 – Love Letters; (no data available: directors unknown) – Ito ang Dahilan, Hampaslupang Maton, Vilma My Darling, Morena Martir, Love at First Sight, Nobody’s Child, Our Love Affair, Bulaklak at Paru-paro