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Pilyang Engkantada (1976)

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Basic Information: Direction: Jose Miranda Cruz; Story and Screenplay: Artemio Marquez; Cast: Don Don Nakar, Ike Lozada, Winnie Santos, Luz Fernandez, Mar Quijano, Sylvio Ramiro, Allan Valenzuela; Original Music: Angel Cruz; Cinematography; Eduardo Cabrales; Release Date: 22 October 1976; Production Co: Tropical Films

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Those who grew up in the 70s would probably remember Winnie Santos and Dondon Nakar. The two belonged to the popular group “Apat na Sikat” with two other teen stars Lala Aunor and Arnold Gamboa…” – Simon Santos, Video 48 (READ MORE)

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Apat na Sikat

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The Creator – “…In the early 70s, the local entertainment industry was dominated by the love teams of Nora Aunor-Tirso Cruz and Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz. Arnold was a young teenager by the mid 70’s. Ike Lozada, a famous radio and TV host (known for his radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”) and part-time talent manager conceptualized a junior love team that would target the younger audience and would follow the footsteps of the Nora-Tirso and Vi-Bubot love teams. The young love teams will be introduced in a new TV show which was planned to compete with the Channel 7 show, “Eto Na Kami”, another TV show quite popular with the young generation back then. Ike gathered the team of Arnold and Maribel “Lala” Aunor, Winnie Santos and Dondon Nakar that gave birth to the “Apat na Sikat” in Channel 9. The show was an instant hit not just with teen-agers, but also for older audiences and it quickly acquired a high rating among viewers. It was aired during prime time, and lasted for five years. People who grew up watching “Apat na Sikat” often associate Arnold’s name to the TV show, as it made television history during its prime…“Apat na Sikat” in the 70s was borne out of the imagination of the late Ike Lozada. Ike made quite a name for himself on his TV show “Big Ike’s Happening” and his AM radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”. Like his colleague, Kuya Germs, Ike was also instrumental in launching the careers of young stars. The four young stars were easily brought to fame, because the two ladies were related to the star of the season. Winnie Santos is the younger sister of Vilma Santos, while Lala Aunor is the first cousin of Nora Aunor…” – Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

Google Search – “…The Apat Na Sikat were famous mostly for being related to bona fide famous people. Winnie Santos was the younger sister of Vilma Santos. She was the show’s resident mestiza. Her favorite shirt was a red blouse with butterfly sleeves, and the fact that I remember this makes me feel like a pathetic refugee from the Seventees. Winnie tried to be her sister’s clone: she did a TV version of Vilma’s hit Trudis Liit, and she sang the Ate Vi anthems Paper Roses and My Boy Lollipop. Unlike her sister, who is still a terpsichorean wonder, Winnie could only dance the Lady Bump. The more she copied her sister, the more she receded into oblivion. Vilma’s career soared in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Winnie’s nose-dived with the lifting of martial law in 1981, because we no longer required the services of a 17-year-old mestiza to remind us of our miseries. She eventually migrated to the US and never came back. Like Winnie Santos, Lala Aunor achieved stardom through cloning. Her famous relative was her “sister,” none another than Vilma’s arch-nemesis, Nora Aunor. Later it was revealed that Lala was not Nora’s sister, but her cousin. It didn’t matter because she was a carbon copy of the Superstar—if the carbon had been used 1,000 times previously. Lala sounded so much like Nora, it was as if she had been lip-synching to Nora’s records. The memory of Lala Aunor in a Minnehaha Indian costume by way of Disneyland, singing Karen Carpenter’s Top of the World, can only be erased by years of psychiatric therapy. No one knows what Lala is doing now. I did a Google search for her and got exactly one hit. I had more hits with Eddie Boy Villamayor, but that is another story…

…The boys of Apat Na Sikat led more interesting lives. Dondon Nakar, a.k.a. Guillermo Nakar III, was the grandson of the famous army general. A military camp in Laguna is named after him (the general, not Dondon). Of the four, Dondon Nakar had the most musical talent, which is to say that he could play the guitar and carry a tune. He was also the sexiest, and there was an edge to him. Dondon was a boy on the verge of manhood. He was quite a sex symbol; the problem was no one wanted him to be one. Among his notable film appearances was Lipad, Darna, Lipad with the aforementioned Vilma Santos. His most famous line was: “Ate Darna, ang bato!” With his smiling almond eyes and his moreno looks, Dondon was an early Richard Gomez prototype. Too bad he never achieved Richard Gomez status. Over the years he’s figured in minor drug offenses and sex scandals duly reported in the metro sections—not a good place for an ex-teen star to be mentioned. In the Eighties he tried to revive his music career by recording the theme of the TV soap Flor de Luna, but it didn’t work out. He was sighted recently in a Catholic Charismatic Renewal concert. I could compare Arnold Gamboa’s career to that of Mark Lester and Pepito Rodriguez. Arnold started out as a child star, and certainly was cute and innocent-looking. On Apat Na Sikat he was the resident mestizo, and was therefore paired with Lala Aunor. Of the four he had the longest showbiz career. He had a horde of fans, who lovingly called him Not Not. He was quite a looker, but in contrast to Dondon he always seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He always looked nervous onscreen, and later in his career, spoke in a voice two octaves lower. That is where the Pepito factor comes in. After about fifteen years in showbiz, Arnold retired to lead a quiet life of a hotel concierge and was regular fixture at the Manila Hotel. The last time I saw Arnold was at the Manila Diamond Hotel…” – Guillermo “Ige” Ramos (READ MORE)

Winnie’s Wedding – “…Some two decades earlier, Guy also figured in another controversial wedding, that of Winnie Santos to Bong Morales. Almost everybody who went to the wedding wore sunglasses -not because they needed protection from the sun but because they had to hide their tear-filled eyes. The bride herself was forever crying. At one point, seh even collapsed. Indeed, the story behind this is teh stuff of which soap operas are made. Winnie is the sister of Vilma Santos. She fell in love with Eddie Boy Villamayor, Nora Aunor’s brother. Due to that alone, their love already had the makings of a disaster. Eddie Boy was the jealous type and they’d forever be fighting. Until Winnie got tired of it all and broke off with Eddie Boy who become so distraught and heart-broken that he began to tread the path to self-destruction. At a show biz party, Guy saw Winnie. She went up to her and angrily asked, “Who are you to destroy the life of my brother?” or something to that effect. Winnie fled in tears, totally mortified. That was when she decided to accept one of her suitors, Bong Morales. Not too long after that, they were married. On the eve of the wedding, Eddie Boy sought Winnie out. Loaded with whatever it was he took, he walked from Project 8 in Quezon City where he lived, all the way to Magallanes Village in Makati where the Santoses resided. It was raining, (Why does it always rain when something dramatic is happening?). Eddie Boy knocked on the door of the Santoses’ home. He pleaded to speak to Winnie. He wanted to be one of the principal sponsors in the wedding. His pleas fell on deaf ears. Flashforward: Eddie Boy was never the same again after that. As for Winnie, after the wedding, she and Bong flew to the US to live, but they have divorced since. Their three children live with Winnie…” – Inday Badiday (READ MORE)

Another “Sikat” – “…Citation is needed to confirm if Eddie Villamayor, the brother of Nora Aunor was the original partner of Winnie Santos or if he was the replacement of Dondon Nakar. For sure, he was part of the show and even bacame involved in real life with Winnie (Santos). In the 70s, Eddie did some memorable films like Misan’y Isang Gamu-gamo and Alkitrang Dugo. In the 1980s, he became involve in film production and was part Nora’s film, Condemned. The only film of Eddie Boy Villamayor that Vilma was also in it was the 1976’s Ike Lozada starrer, Big Ike’s Happening. Eddie, together with Maribel Aunor, welcomed the comeback of Nora Aunor after several years of staying there.

Apat Na Sikat (The Famous Four), TV show of RPN Channel 9 in the 70s. The four teen pop stars were: Maribel Aunor, Arnold Gamboa, Dondon Nakar and Winnie Santos.

Maribel “Lala” Aunor is the cousin of 70s actress, Nora Aunor. She recorded a string of hit records most notably, Dalaginding during the height of popularity of Apat na Sikat. Maribel Aunor films with Vi were: Dingdong (1970), Big Ike’s Happening (1976) and Let’s Do The Salsa (1976). Now retire, Maribel’s two children are trying to enter showbusiness.

Arnold Gamboa is the child actor who appeared in Lino Brocka’s Wanted Perfect Mother. The partner of Maribel Aunor in Apat na Sikat, Gamboa also recorded hit songs like Habang May Buhay and did several films with Vilma (Sweethearts; Sapagka’t Sila’y Aming Mga Anak; The Wonderful World of Music; Big Ike’s Happening; Let’s Do The Salsa; Mga Rosas Sa Putikan).

Don Don Nakar is also a child actor who is most popular as Darna’s side kick, Ding in Vilma Santos second Darna film, Darna and the Giant. Nakar also tried singing and recording while at Apat na Sikat. Aside from Darna & The Giants. he did Ang Hiwaga Ni Maria Cinderella (1973), King Khayam & I (1974) at Big Ike’s Happening (1976) with Vilma. He also did Ang Pilyang Enkantada (the naughty fairy) with Apat na Sikat’s partner, Winnie Santos.

Winnie Santos is the sister of Vilma Santos. The better singer and younger Santos, Winnie did Ang Hiwaga Ni Maria Cinderella, Kamay Na Gumagapang, King Khayam & I, Big Ike’s Happening. Let’s Do The Salsa (1976) with Vi. Her most notable film were: Modelong Tanso with Vi and Charito Solis and a minor role in Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion film, Dear Heart. Like the other three, she also did recorded a string of songs while doing Apat na Sikat and did the title role, Pilyang Engkantada with partner Dondon Nakar.

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FILM REVIEW: KING KHAYAM AND I


The Plot: King Kayam’s search for another wife brought him the escapee, Princess Gracia. She doesn’t want to be wed to a man, she doesn’t love so she left her kingdom and ended up in King Kayam’s kingdom. They met and fell in love. – RV

The Reviews: King Kayam is the playboy king of the Vulcan kingdom played convincingly by the younger action star,  Joseph Estrada. King Kayam has several wives (Marissa Delgado, Lucita Soriano, Rossana Marquez) with several kids, the eldest played by teen star, Dondon Nakar. But with all these wives you might think the king will be satisfied sexually, wrong! He wanted more and asked his disciple (Rod Navarro) to find him more wives. Meanwhile on the kingdom of Salamanca, a young princess named Princess Gracia is being groom to be a wife. Her king father (Ruben Rustia) and queen mother (Anita Linda) are looking for suitable husband. When the princess discovered her three suitors, she decided to eloped. Wearing an ordinary disguise clothes and with the help of her sidekick (Lorli Villanueva), they left the kingdom and reached Vulcan.  Bad luck came into them as they were caught by a bad bandits who are selling slaves into the public by auctioning them into the public market like cattle. When the disguised princess turn to be auction, she caught the attention of the king’s disciple and bought her together with her sidekick.

He brought them to the palace and excitedly present the princess to the king but the princess ugly herself with makeup and the king was turned off. The disciple then madly sent them to kitchen to work. But because of her upbringing she can’t handle the hard work and decided to change her escape tactic by cooperating. The disciple then presented her again to the king and with her real beauty caught the king’s attention. The king and the disguised princess developed a romance. The princess explained to the surprise king that she is actually a real princess and the king agreed to return her to her kingdom in exchange, she will teach him what she knows about running a kingdom. The two went into a disguise and the king saw first hand how the ordinary people in his kingdom lives. With the romance blooming, the wives headed by Marissa Delgado, who is having an affair with the disciple, planned a revolt.  The two entrapped the king.  They jailed the king.  Fortunately, Princess Gracia convinced the other wives to fight back and they freed the King.  With the freed King Kayam, he allowed Princess Gracia to return to her kingdom.  KIng Kayam asked her parent if he can marry her and they agreed. The end.

The Dance

The film started promising with funny scenes of Joseph Estrada facing his people seeking his advice or help. One was when a man presented his new product, a flying magic carpet but when the carpet didn’t fly, the king suggested, avoid a heavy/fat rider. Then a much younger veteran actress Mary Walter appeared, brought her magic lamp. She complain that the seller fooled her to buy a defected product. She demonstrated and caressed the lamp. The genie came out but instead of the expected giant gennie, a midget/dwarf genie came out. Then from this moment the film went downhill. A singing bird, a transsexual Ike Lozada (being auctioned), Rod Navarro’s over the top villain antics, all failed to sustained our attention. The weak storyline did not help. Patterned with the Hollywood film, King Kayam & I’s only saving grace was the acting of its lead stars. Joseph Estrada’s presence was commanding and convincing as the playboy king and Vilma’s charming innocence despite the sexy dance number at the end complimented Joseph’s macho image. The two did three films, although they didn’t shared a single scene in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, King Kayam was their only film together as mature actors. Their first outing was Batang Iwahig, when Vi was just a child star and Joseph was in his early years as a bankable action star. Produced by the late, Experidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production, the film was just a mild hit, probably the main reason why there was no follow-up project for the two. Two reasons why the film failed was probably the cheap set decorations and the weak story/screenplay of Nestor U Torre, Jr. The song lyrics of Levi Celerio can’t salvaged the mostly canned music of Resti Umali either. This was despite the splendid musical number in the kitchen (when Vilma protested to the cooks that she was a princess and should be treated like one). Die-hard Vilmanians would probably considered Vilma’s dance number at the very end as the highlight of the film.

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King Khayam and I (1974)
Pelikula Atbp: King Khayam and I (1974)

Filmography: King Khayam and I (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Cesar Gallardo; Story, screenplay: Nestor U. Torre Jr.; Cast: Joseph Estrada, Vilma Santos, Rod Navarro, Marissa Delgado, Lucita Soriano, Rossana Marquez, Lorli Villanueva, Ike Lozada, Anita Linda, Ruben Rustia, Greg Lozano, Jose Villafranca, Rudy Manlapaz, Avel Morado, Romy Nario, Robert Talby, Arturo Moran, Robert Miller, Delia Victorino, Carmen Romasanta, Elizabeth Vaughn, SOS Daredevils, Dondon Nakar, Winnie Santos, Princess, Big 3 Sullivans, Metring David, Bayani Casimiro, Mary Walter, Ronald Rei, Boy Marco; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Original Music: Restie Umali, Levi Celerio

Plot Description: King Kayam’s search for another wife brought him the escapee, Princess Gracia. She doesn’t want to be wed to a man, she doesn’t love so she left her kingdom and ended up in King Kayam’s kingdom. They met and fell in love.

Film Achievement: Vilma and Joseph’s first film together as an adult actors and third overall. Their first film was “Batang Iwahig,” where Vilma was just a child star. The other film was “Dugo at Pag-ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa” where they did not share any screeen time.

Film Review: The film started promising with funny scenes of Joseph Estrada facing his people seeking his advice or help. One was when a man presented his new product, a flying magic carpet but when the carpet didnt fly, Estrada suggested a lighter weight rider. Then veteran actress and much younger, Mary Walter in a cameo role, brought her just bought magic lamp. She complained to the king that the seller fooled her to buy the lamp and wanted a refund. She then caress the lamp and the gennie came out but instead of the expected giant gennie, a midget dwarf came out. Then from this moment the film went downhill. A singing bird, a transexual Ike Lozada being auctioned, Rod Navarro’s over the top villain antics, all failed to sustained our attention. The weak storyline did not help. Patterned with the Hollywood film, King Kayam & I’s only saving grace was the acting of its lead stars. Joseph Estrada’s precense was commanding and convincing as the playboy king and Vilma’s charming innocense despite the sexy dance number at the end complimented Joseph’s macho image. The two did three films, although they didn’t shared a single scene in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, King Kayam was their only film together as mature actors. Their first outing was Batang Iwahig, when Vi was just a childstar and Joseph was in his early years as a bankable action star. Produced by Experidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production, the film was just a mild hit, probably the main reason why there was no follow-up project for the two. Two reasons why the film failed was probably the cheap set decorations and the weak story/screenplay of Nestor U Torre, Jr. The song lyrics of Levi Celerio can’t salvaged the mostly canned music of Resti Umali either. This was despite the splendid musical number in the kitchen (when Vilma protested to the cooks that she was a princess and should be treated like one). Die-hard Vilmanians would probably considered Vilma’s dance number at the very end as the hightlight of the film. – RV, (READ MORE)

“…Naging very successful ang unang pagtatambal nina Vilma Santos at Joseph Estrada sa pelikulang King Khayam And I ng TIIP. Kahit bumabagyo ay hugos pa rin ang tao upang mapanood lang ang napabalitang pelikulang ito. Subalit nitong mga huling araw ng pagtatanghal ng nasabing pelikula, medyo naging mahina ang pasok ng tao. may nagsasabing talagang ganito lang ang panahon kapag magpapasko, sa halip na manood ýung iba, ipinamimili muna ng kanilang pamasko ang mga mahal nila sa buhay. At least, ang kaunting salaping gugugulin nila sa entertainment ay ipinagdaragdag nila sa kanilang Christmas savings…” – Levi, Modern Romances and True Confessions Magazine, 16 December 1974

Filmography: Ang Hiwaga Ni Maria Cinderella (1973)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Jay Ilagan, Blanca Gomez, Geena Zablan, Janet Clemente, Ike Lozada, German Moreno, Jannie Frias, Jingle, Winnie Santos, Maricel, Jonjon Salvador, Mary Rose Junco, Jerry Jackson, Dondon Nakar, Florence Aguilar, Romeo Miranda, Max Alvarado, Matimtiman Cruz, Joseph Sytangco, Elizabeth Vaughn; Original Music: Tito Arevalo; Cinematography: Tommy Marcelino

Plot Description:   Filipino version of Cinderella.

Film Achievement:   “…Jay Ilagan and Vilma Santos did twelve films with commercial success except for one, their most critically acclaimed film, Sister Stella L. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 12 (Inspiration, Ang Konduktora, Tsismosang Tindera, Ang Hiwaga ni Mariang Cinderella, Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma, Paano Ba Ang Mangarap, Sister Stella L, Coed, Leron Leron Sinta, Ito Ang Pilipino, Remembrance, Karugtong Ng Kahapon)…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…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. Total Number of Films in our list of VSR’s Top 50 films = 4 (#10 Lipad Darna Lipad 1973, #32 Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe 1973, #48 Darna and the Giants 1973, #49 Dama De Noche 1972)…” – RV (READ MORE)

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…Jay Ilagan — Inspiration (1972), Ang Konduktora (1972), Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma (1972), Tsismosang Tindera (1973), Ang Hiwaga ni Maria Cinderella (1973)…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“…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)

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)

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