Remembering Chichay

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The “Queen” – “…This movie was in tribute of the staff and crew behind the movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. They were played by Dolphy, Panchito, Chichay and other actors and actresses of the said film outfit. The title was about a popularity contest in the studio where some of the said staff and crew were the candidates. Here, the King of Comedy played a janitor named “Julio Antukin” who became involved in most of the hilarious situations in the movie studio premises like throwing the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade, when he replaced a bit player, at the site where a movie director, played by Ading Fernando, was standing giving instructions about a scene. Another one was when he was assigned in the sound room where his clumsiness in the operation of its equipment caused the switching of the male and the female voices of its contract stars, played by Jose Mari Gonzales and Liberty Ilagan, in a musical number scene. In the end, he redeemed himself, when he was able to help the studio from being robbed by a gang of criminals which made him the “King” while Chichay was the “Queen”. Vilma Santos appeared in this movie as Dolphy’s younger kid sister…” – Melcore’s CinePlex Blog (READ MORE)

Pamosong Komedyante – “…Samantala sa entablado naman ng mga eskuwelahan at sa mga syudad, ipinalabas din ang dulang New Yorker in Tondo, isang komedya tungkol sa isang balikbayan na mas Amerikano pa kaysa Amerikano pero kayumanggi naman. Nauso rin sa radyo ang komedya tulad ng Sebya Mahal Kita na pinalabasan nina Sylvia Guerrero at Eddie San Jose. Ang iba pang pamosong mga komedyante ay sina Oscar Obligacion, Chichay at Aruray atbp…Sa larangan ng pelikula, si Ai-Ai pa rin ang bida sa mga komedya, na marahil ay namana ang kanyang pagiging komedyante sa mga “greats” tulad ni Chichay at Aruray na sumikat noong mga 50′s at hanggang 60′s. Bandang 70′s o 80′s ginawang katatawanan ang isang artista na sobra ang dunong daw…” – Wilhelmina S. Orozco (READ MORE)

Patsy vs Chichay – “…Her best episode in Wanted: Boarders in the old ABS-CBN Channel 4 was when Chichay guested in the show. Chichay had a daughter, singer Geraldine, and Patsy could never pronounce the girl’s name correctly (she kept saying Gungadine). From the start, there was already animosity between Patsy and Chichay. It turned out that Chichay was the ex-girlfriend of Patsy’s husband, Pugo, and it was a riot in the show. That episode was a landmark on Philippine TV because there supposedly was a feud between Chichay and Patsy off-screen. Nobody ever knew if this was true or just a joke between them and no one knew the exact reason why they were feuding in the first place. The public waited for the answer when Patsy was featured as guest in the Joy Virata-Robert Jaworski talk show Celebrity in 1978 on Channel 4 (then already a government studio). Unfortunately, when Ms. Virata asked that question, Patsy evaded it by merely answering: “It’s a military secret.” The year after, Patsy died and buried along with her mortal remains was the mystery about her supposed feud with Chichay. But at the funeral, there was only one celebrity who went, Chichay….” – Butch Francisco, The greatest comedians of all time (Third of a series), Philstar, Aug 19 2006 (READ MORE)

Toothless Miss – “…During her absence, something “that I couldn’t figure out till now” occurred. When she returned, a new Chichay was born: the toothless Miss. By conservative estimate, Chichay has to date 120 photoplays to her credit, the most decisive and memorable of which is Buhay Pilipino, a movie she made with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran in 1951 because it gave birth to the masungit and tsismosa aunt-image that Chichay is now well-known for. She has a CAT Award (for Best TV Actress of 1967) to attest to her acting ability. Chichay the person is a far cry from Chichay the jester. whenever she is free from commitments (which is very seldom), she stays at home and reads her favorite fun magazines: 1001 Jokes, Mad and Taurus. She is fond of cats. She has not seen any movie for the past five years, even her own films. Her favorite comedienne is Lucille Ball. Fifty years old last January 21, Chichay professes she has a deep-seated devotion to show business: “I want to laugh away the rest of my life…” – Ricardo F. Lo, Sunday Times Variety, April 27 1969 (READ MORE)

Chichay (born Amparo R. Custodio; January 21, 1918 – May 31, 1993) was a Filipino comedienne. Her short and stocky stature, scratchy voice and prematurely aged appearance allowed her to portray grandmothers while only in her thirties. She was born in Tondo, Manila, the daughter of a ship steward, Jose Pacifico Custodio and Maria Robles of Bulacan. In 1945, she married Hercules Saenz Moya of Iloilo. She entered showbusiness as a teen, joining the “Samahang Antonieta” as a singer with her sister Iluminada. She also appeared as a chorus line dancer at the bodabil shows of Katy de la Cruz. Soon a regular at the bodabil circuit, she received her stage name “Chichay” from Atang de la Rama. The name was a corruption of the Japanese word “Chiisai”, meaning “short”, in reference to Chichay’s own short height and she got famous for her toothless appearance but in reality she still got 2 molars left…Chichay remained a contract star with Sampaguita Pictures for almost two decades. After her stint with Sampaguita, she remained in demand as a character actress, often in comic roles. In 1972, she was nominated for a FAMAS Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Bilanguang Puso. She was active in film until her death in 1993. Among her last roles was as Lola Basyang in the 1986 Regal Films fantasy movie, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Chichay and Vilma Santos

  • 1980 – Yakapin Mo ‘ko, Lalaking Matapang – Chichay played the grandmother to Vilma Santos, Lito Lapid is Vi’s leading man.
  • 1974 – Happy Days Are Here Again – A collection of film segments of the big three – LVN Films, Premiere Productions and Sampaguita Pictures, Chichay was in Fred Montilla’s segment playing the titular role, “Bondying” while Vilma Santos, now a teen idol, was in the musical segments with her fellow teenstars, Edgar Mortiz, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III.
  • 1963 – King and Queen for a Day – Still a child actor, Vilma Santos played supporting to lead stars, Dolphy and Chichay.

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Filmography: Dalagang Nayon (1972)

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Basic Information:  Direction: Maning Sonco; Story, Screenplay: Johnny C. Panocunan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Walter Navarro, Ace York, Perla Adea, Romy Mallari, Chichay, Bert Tawa Marcelo, Kiti kiti, Arnold Mendoza, Raquel Monteza; Music: Danny Subido; Photograhy Versardo Bonen; Film Poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Besides teaming up with Edgar Mortiz during her teen years, Vilma Santos also starred and appeared in many movies opposite other leading men…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“…Walter Navarro—fans called him “Pogi” and rightly so. In the 1970s, Walter was known as the most handsome face in the movie industry. Well mannered, tall, slim and mestizo, he embodied the “Prince Charming” of every Filipina girl…” – Wikepedia (READ MORE)

“…Film artist Walter Navarro (Vicor) will have his first LP, “King of Balladeer,” this month. He is a contract star of Lea Productions and principal mainstay of the El Bodegon Club. Navarro is doing a film musical with Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) with Mirick Productions…” – Oskar Salazar (READ MORE)

Filmography: King and Queen for a Day (1963)

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Basic Information: Director: Mar S. Torres; Story and screenplay: Ading Bernando, Jose Leonardo; Cast: Dolphy, Chichay, Jose Mari Gonzales, Liberty Ilagan, Panchito, Aruray, Naty Santiago, Johnny Misa, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez, Vilma Santos, Herminia Carranza, Cora Maceda, Pepe Salameda, Naty Mallares, Apolonio Abadeza; Producer: Jose O. Vera; Original Music: Carding Cruz; Release Date:3 July 1963 (Philippines); Produced: Sampaguita Pictures; Film poster: Video48 – IMDB (READ MORE)

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: First movie with Dolphy and Chichay

Film Reviews: “…This movie was in tribute of the staff and crew behind the movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. They were played by Dolphy, Panchito, Chichay and other actors and actresses of the said film outfit. The title was about a popularity contest in the studio where some of the said staff and crew were the candidates. Here, the King of Comedy played a janitor named “Julio Antukin” who became involved in most of the hilarious situations in the movie studio premises like throwing the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade, when he replaced a bit player, at the site where a movie director, played by Ading Fernando, was standing giving instructions about a scene. Another one was when he was assigned in the sound room where his clumsiness in the operation of its equipment caused the switching of the male and the female voices of its contract stars, played by Jose Mari Gonzales and Liberty Ilagan, in a musical number scene. In the end, he redeemed himself, when he was able to help the studio from being robbed by a gang of criminals which made him the “King” while Chichay was the “Queen”. Vilma Santos appeared in this movie as Dolphy’s younger kid sister…” – Melcore’s CinePlex Blog (READ MORE)

“Chichay (born Amparo R. Custodio; January 21, 1918 – May 31, 1993) was a Filipino comedienne. Her short and stocky stature, scratchy voice and prematurely aged appearance allowed her to portray grandmothers while only in her thirties. She was born in Tondo, Manila, the daughter of a ship steward, Jose Pacifico Custodio and Maria Robles of Bulacan. In 1945, she married Hercules Saenz Moya of Iloilo. She entered showbusiness as a teen, joining the “Samahang Antonieta” as a singer with her sister Iluminada. She also appeared as a chorus line dancer at the bodabil shows of Katy de la Cruz. Soon a regular at the bodabil circuit, she received her stage name “Chichay” from Atang de la Rama. The name was a corruption of the Japanese word “Chiisai”, meaning “short”, in reference to Chichay’s own short height and she got famous for her toothless appearance but in reality she still got 2 molars left. Chichay appeared in her first film, Sampaguita Pictures’s Huwag Ka Nang Magtampo, in 1949. She became a star in 1953 after appearing in Gorio and Tekla, opposite Tolindoy. In the next decade, Chichay and Tolindoy became a popular comic duo, often paired together in films….” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“King ang Queen For A Day” (Hulyo 4 – 13, 1963)…ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya…Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…Pangkaraniwang papel niya ang Everyman na mula sa karalitaan ay humahantong sa tagumpay – at lover boy pa, tulad sa mga sumusunod na pelikula: “King And Queen For A Day” (1963), “Rodolfo Valentino” at “Tayo’y Mag-Up Up And Away” (1970). Matagal siyang nakakontrata sa Sampaguita, pero nang magsara ang pangunahing movie company ay gumawa si Dolphy sa iba’t bang studio, tulad ng Lea Productions at Regal Films, at sa sariling RVQ Productions…” – Mario A. Hernando (READ MORE)

“…Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, who’s now identified with ABS-CBN, told the Inquirer: “The whole country is saddened by the news. He was simple but someone with a big heart for Filipinos. He entertained us for over 60 years.” The actress-politician recalled that she first shared the screen with Dolphy when she was a child star. “I worked with him and the late comedians Panchito and Chichay when I was 11 years old in the Sampaguita movie ‘King and Queen for a Day.’ That was 1963…” – Bayani San Diego Jr, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jul 12 2012 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Let’s Do the Salsa (1976)

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Basic Information: Direction: Luciano B. Carlos; Cast: Vilma Santos, Walter Navarro and Rolly Quizon/ with Ronnie Henares, Chichay, Caridad Sanchez, Roderick Paulate, Arnold Gamboa, Winnier Santos, Maribel Aunor and Ike Lozada/ Also Starring Joe Garcia, J. Antonio Carrion, Estrella Kuenzler/ Featuring Trixia Gomez, Fanny & Mari Boquer (courtesy of Cabaret Royale), Raul Aragon, Lorli Villanueva, Eddie Mercado, German Moreno; Story and Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cinematography: Arnold Alvaro; Music: Doming valdez; Production Company: Lea Productions; Release Date: March 5, 1976 – Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Ranked 64th on Top-US-Grossing Tagalog-Language Feature Films Released In 1976

Film Review: “…Ate Vi thus became the chief opponent of Nora Aunor as the movie queen of the 1970s. Her edge is that she also became the queen of hit disco movies filled with singing and dancing, like “Swing It, Baby,” “Disco Fever,” “Rock Baby Rock,” “Let’s Do the Salsa,” and the movie she did with Latin idol Junior, “Good Morning Sunshine…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“…I credit Ronnie Henares for discovering me,” said Geleen. “He saw me in a fashion show in Hyatt in 1978. John Gaddi, my first dancing partner, and I were modeling na pa-sayaw-sayaw. I guess natuwa sa akin si Ronnie so he got me into Penthouse 7 hosted by Archie Lacson…I was Vilma’s choreographer for her movies (Disco Fever, Good Morning Sunshine, etc.) and at the same time I was also choreographing for Nora on her show Superstar. When Vilma had her own TV show, she got me as choreographer but I stayed with her for only one month. The network bosses told me that I shouldn’t be handling two superstars at the same time. Nora was on Channel 9 and Vilma was on Channel 13. Because of loyalty, I chose to stay with Nora kasi mas nauna naman ako sa kanya. I was with her for four years na at that time. But first, I talked to Vilma who is a ninang of my son Miggy. I left Vilma with a heavy heart…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…Very few probably are aware that Ronnie was once a matinee idol in the music profession. He was the other half of the famous singing duo called The Two of Us. His partner was Jojit Paredes, the cousin of Jim Paredes, who was also a kilabot ng mga colegiala as part of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, now better known as the APO. Ronnie and Jojit were schoolmates in La Salle grade school, while Jim and his then large group were from rival Ateneo…After The Two of Us, Jojit eventually disappeared from the scene (he is now in L.A. married to an American and works as an assistant administrator in a hospital), while Ronnie’s popularity lingered, especially when he and Vilma Santos began dating. Ronnie also joined Penthouse 7 as executive producer/dancer and also part of the group was Ida Ramos, who many years later would become his wife. (Ida Henares now heads GMA Artist Center.) In between, he also hosted his own variety shows on TV, primarily in the Broadcast City stations…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

“…This being Vilma Santos’ 50th year in show business (she started as a child star in 1963 with the dramatic tearjerker, “Trudis Liit”), her loyal fans are perfervidly recalling the highlights of her “golden” acting career…By 1976, Vilma was “going musical” again with “Let’s Do the Salsa,” unveiling the dancing ability that the would land her a long-running hit show on television years later. But, she also made sure to come up with dramas like “Makahiya at Talahib,” and romances like ‘Bato sa Buhangin’…What’s up next for everybody’s Ate Vi? Higher political office, quite logically and obviously. But, we hope against hope that, every couple of years or so, she will continue to gift us with another memorable screen portrayal, to further enhance her already exceptional filmography. She’s simply too good a thespian to surrender completely to politics…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 03 August 2012 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Yakapin Mo Ako, Lalaking Matapang (1980)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Lito Lapid, Chichay, Louella Albornoz, Renato Robles, Angie Ferro, Lucita Soriano, Rez Cortez, German Moreno; theme song performed by Lirio Vital

Plot Description: An Acress (Vilma Santos) hired a stunt man (Lito Lapid) as driver and fell in love.

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

Film Review: “…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…” – RV (READ MORE)