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#WinnieSantos, #EdgarMortiz, #ArnoldGamboa, #NancyVeronica, #RosaMia, #LeopoldoSalcedo, #RoderickPaulate, #Menudo, #RickyMartin, #DondonNakar, #EddieGarcia, #RudyFernandez, #EdnaDiaz, #CarmenRonda, #EmmanuelBorlaza, #PhilipSalvador, #ChristopherDeLeon, #EduManzano, #GracePoe, #GabbyConcepcion

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Si Atsay at si Rubia

“…Rubia Servios is Lino Brocka’s film, Atsay is Romeo Vitug’s. Nora does an excellent acting job; but so does Vilma Santos, and “Rubia” is a much more demanding and difficult role. Edgardo M. Reyes is an established literary figure, but Mario O’Hara is much better screenwriter. Overall, “Atsay” may be much more impressive than “Rubia Servios” in terms of challenging our moral and legal convictions, however, “Rubia Servios” is much more significant…” – Isagani Cruz, TV Times, 1979

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Rubia Servios (Director: Lino Brocka; Writers: Mario O’Hara, Aida Sevilla Mendoza (original story); Cast: Vilma Santos, Phillip Salvador and Mat Ranillo III) – “…Sa direksiyon ni Brocka, lumitaw ang galing ni Vilma Santos, at nakontrol ang labis na pagpapagalaw ng kanyang labi. Mahusay din ang eksena ng gahasa. Si Philip Salvador naman ay tulad sa isang masunuring estudyante na sinusunod lahat ang direksiyon ng guro. Kitang-kita mo sa kanyang pagganap ang bawat tagubiling pinaghihirapan niyang masunod: kilos ng mata, buntong-hininga, galaw ng daliri, kislot ng kilay. Limitado ang kanyang kakayahan at makikia ito sa kanyang mukha (na limitado rin). Walang-wala rtio si Mat Ranillo III, na parang pinabayaan para lalong lumitaw ang papel at pag-arte ni Salvador. Samantala, ang kamera ni Conrado Salvador ay hindi gaanong nakalikha ng tension at suspense, bukod sa napakaliwanang ng disenyo ng produksiyon ang pagbabago ng mga tauhan sa loob ng pitong taon batay sa estilo ng damit at buhok…” – Justino M. Dormiendo, Sagisag, February 1979 (READ MORE)

Atsay (Director: Eddie Garcia; Writer: Edgardo Reyes (story); Cast: Nora Aunor, Ronald Corveau and Armida Siguion-Reyna) – – “…Garcia assembled a uniformly first-rate cast from Armida and Angie to the nameless housemaid who befriends Nora. Even Ronald Corveau is less irksome here than in his weekly TV show. Nora Aunor’s performance bears the distinct marks of style and self, welding character and personality. As Nelia, the atsay, she delivers a muted performance that successfully treads the thin, delicate line separating genuine sentiment and mawkishness. Everybody worked hard and it shows. Romeo Vitug’s cinematography gives the film a very big boost and George Canseco’s musical score, for once knows when to shut up. The first time Eddie Garcia handled a film with a serious theme was in “Mga Anak sa Pagkakasala,” an underrated indictment of the injustices illegitimate children go through as society censures them fro the sins of their parents. With “Atsay,” he renews his credentials as one director to reckon with…” – Mario E. Bautista, The Philippines Daily Express, 1978 (READ MORE)

1978 MMFF (Entries: “Ang Huling Lalaki ng Baluarte,” Cast: Rey Malonzo, Tina Monasterio, Producer: SQ Film Productions, Director: Artemio Marquez; “Atsay,” Cast: Nora Aunor, Ronald Corveau, Armida Siguion Reyna, Producer: Ian Film Productions, Director: Eddie Garcia; “Garrote: Jai Alai King,” Cast: Christopher De Leon, Producer: VP Pictures, Director: Manuel ‘Fyke’ Cinco; “Jack n’ Jill of the Third Kind” Cast: Dolphy, Nora Aunor, Producer: RVQ Productions, Director: Frank Gray Jr.; “Katawang Alabok,” Cast: Lorna Tolentino, Producer: Agrix Film Productions, Director: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; “Kid Kaliwete,” Cast: Bembol Roco, Producer: Associated Entertainment Corp., Director: Manuel Cinco; “Rubia Servios,” Cast: Vilma Santos, Mat Ranillo III, Phillip Salavador, Producer: Sampaguita Pictures, Director: Lino Brocka; “Salonga,” Cast: Rudy Fernandez, Producer: MBM Productions, Director: Romy Suzara; “The Jess Lapid Story” – Lito Lapid, Beth Bautista, Producer: Mirick Films, Director: Gallardo) – “…is the annual film festival held in Manila. The festival, which runs from the 25th of December to the first week of January, focuses on locally-produced films. The MMFF was established in the year 1975, during which Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa (Water the Thirsty Earth with Dew) by Augusto Buenaventura won the best film award. During the course of the festival, no foreign movies are shown across the Philippines (except for 3D theaters and IMAX theaters). Moreover, only films approved by the jurors of the MMFF will be shown. One of the festival highlights is the parade of floats during the opening of the festival. The floats, each one representing a movie entry for the festival, parade down Roxas Boulevard, while the stars for films ride on them. On the awards night, the Best Float award is also announced, together with the major acting awards…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Eddie Garcia’s Vilma Santos Films

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204 films, 70 directors, 5 decades, Vilma Santos, one of the original Philippine movie queens, rose up to become the versatile actress that has been given the fitting title of “Star for All Seasons” because of her capacity to adapt to the changing mores and values of the Filipino woman, giving a face to their plight and struggles, albeit in success both critically and box-office wise in some of Philippine cinema’s classics such as Trudis Liit (1963), Lipad, Darna, Lipad (1973), Burlesk Queen (1977), Relasyon (1982), Sister Stella L. (1984), Alyas Baby Tsina (1984), Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (1989), Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Anak (2000) and Dekada ’70 (2002). This are top ten directors who contributed to her success. – RV (READ MORE)

Eddie Garcia first directed Vilma in the Marcos film, “Pinagbuklod Ng Langit.”  She reprised the role of Imee Marcos and again co-starred with movie queen, Gloria Romero and dramatic actor, Luis Gonzales after “Iginuhit ng Tadhana.”  Garcia directed Vilma again in 1982′s record breaker, “Sinasamba Kita.”  Overall, the two collaborated in five more films after “Sinasamba,” giving us two of the most memorable Filipino movie lines – confronting the mistress Dina Bonevie, Vi said: “Para Kang Karinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain (translated literally into “You are like food restaurant! Open to all who wanted to eat!”) from the movie “Palimos Ng Pag-ibig” and then confronting the rich snotty old Alicia Vergel, Vi said: “Si Val, si Val, si Val na walang malay! (literally translated to “Its Val! its Val!, Its always Val, The one who is innocent!”). – RV (READ MORE)

Pinagbuklod ng langit (1969) – “…Pero higit na tumatak si Luis nang gampanan niya ng dalawang beses si Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos. Ito’y sa kontrobersyal na pelikulang “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” bago tumakbo si Marcos bilang presidente noong 1965. Sinundan ito ng “Pinagbuklod ng Langit” noong 1969. Si Imee Marcos, na ginampanan noon ni Vilma Santos, naalala ang galing ni Luis na mahirap na daw tapatan ngayon. “His acting was understated. A great actor and a good friend. He played a big role in our lives. Halos naniniwala na ako na tatay ko siya dahil sa boses. Mahal na mahal namin si Luis Gonzales,” sabi ni Imee. Ayon sa kanyang kabiyak, huling hiling ni Luis na ipa-cremate ang kanyang labi…” – Mario Dumaual (READ MORE)

Sinasamba Kita (1982) – “…Sobra pala ang lakas ng “Sinasamba Kita.” Tuwang tuwa sina Vic at Mina del Rosario. They started with 38 theatres, by the weekend, 41 theatres na ang nagpapalabas ng pelikula. After 6 days, kumita na ito ng P5,207,416.00. After a week’s time, almost P6 million na ito….” – Billy Balbastro (READ MORE)

Paano Ba ang Mangarap? (1983) – “…A true blooded Vilmanian will not forget the time when a teaser (a very brief movie trailer – around 20 seconds) was shown to the theatres in the summer of 1983. It was Viva films’ “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?” Another box office hit from Vilma Santos and Christopher DeLeon. The teaser (almost worth the whole movie ticket) was the scene where Lisa, played by Vilma discovered that her son (to Eric’s brother, Jay Ilagan) was gone courtesy of her evil rich mother-in-law (Armida Sigueon Reyna). Here’s the lines and the explosive acting of the Queen. The scene: After running around looking for the baby in all the rooms in second floor of of this huge mansion, Lisa confronted Eric who were stunned to find Lisa’s hysterics. Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Saan n’yo dinala ang anak ko?!!!” Eric: “Hindi ko alam!” Lisa: “Hindi mo alam…Sinungaling!” Eric: “Lisa, makinig ka muna…” Lisa: “Kasabwat ka ng ina mo! Alam ko matagal n’yo nang plano ito!” Eric: “Ano bang pinagsasabi mo?” Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Mga Traydor Kayo! Traydor kayong lahat!” Eric: “Lisa, huminahon ka baka mapaano ang bata!” Lisa: “Wala akong pakialam! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin ang anak ko! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin….AHHHH” (mahuhulog sa hagdanan). Just this scene alone, Vilma should be rewarded that year’s best actress award! Bravo!…” – RV (READ MORE)

Palimos Ng Pag-ibig (1986) – “…The year was 1986. Palimos Ng Pag-ibig directed by Eddie Garcia was a smashed hit. Vilma co-starred with her soon to be ex husband Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie. Despite the mixed reviews from the critics, the film gave us, arguably, one of the most memorable lines in Philippine movie history. The scene was, Vilma, playing Fina was about to leave the house when Ditas, (Edu’s mistress and baby maker) knocked on the door, with her was her husband’s child. She forced herself in. Confronting Ditas, Fina: “Ilang gabi kang binili ni Rodel?” Ditas (Dina): “Isang Gabi lang, malakas ang kanyang punla at nangangailangan lang ng matabang lupa!” Fina: “Okey! So you’re fertile and I’m barren…pero sa mga pangyayari, para kang karinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain! Paano mong mapapatunayang ang asawa ko nga ang ama ng batang iyan at wala siyang kasosyong iba?…” – RV (READ MORE)

Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? (1987) – “…Tulad ng “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap,” merong ‘dream sequence” ang pelikula kung saan kunwari’y hinuhusgahan si Val na isang baliw. Kung puputulin ang eksenang ito’y hindi magiging sagabal sa paglalahad ng buong istorya ni Gilda Olvidado. Mula sa lumang bahay hanggang sa eksena sa libingan ay mahusay ang sinematograpiya ni Romy Vitug at disenyong pangproduksiyon ni Manny Morpe. Mahusay ang mga katulong na artista mula kay Cherrie Gil, Alicia Alonzo at Alicia Vergel. Mahusay rin si Ricky Davao bilang Rick at Gloria Romero bilang ina ni Rick at Val. Ngunit ang pelikulang ito’y tungkol kay Val at bilang si Val ay nabigyan ng mahusay na pagganap ni Tonton Gutierrez ang papel na sinto sinto mula sa pagsasalita na utal utal haggang sa pisikal na mukha at pa-ika-ikang paglalakad. Tulad ng inaasahan, mahusay si Vilma bilang si Stella. At tulad ng maraming pelikulang ginawa niya sa ilalim ng Viva at sa direksiyon ni Eddie Garcia ay merong linya o dayalogo siya na hindi malilimutan, ito ay nang bigkasin niya ang linyang, “…si Val, si val na wala naman malay…” na magpahanggang ngayon ay natanim sa mga Pilipino na mahihilig sa pelikulang tagalog.” – RV (READ MORE)

Imortal (1989) – “…There are other laughable scenes. Vilma says, “My husband is (music rises ominously) — my husband is (music again) Impotent (music rises to a climax)!” You’d think the husband just contracted the AIDS virus or got castrated by Sparrow units! Shucks, I know several husbands who just can’t do it anymore, and I hear no heavy music when their wives complain. As a matter of fact, wives prefer their husbands to be impotent, rather than be sexually active with other women. Another terrible scene. The car ridden by Christopher and wife Cherie Gil falls off a cliff. Cherie who is pregnant is mortally wounded and dies. And Christopher looks at his dead wife, and holds aloft a new born baby complete with umbilical cord. This is absurd without a caesarian operation by a doctor. The worst scene is when Christopher digs up the corpse of Vilma at the cemetery, amidst thunder, lightning, wind and rain, and embraces her passionately, while she exhibits no rigor mortis, and apparently no smell of formalin. You don’t find this kind of idiocy in a television commercial. Most of my grandchildren, including Angeli who is only four months of age, enjoy commercials more than dramas….” – Hilarion M. Henares Jr. (READ MORE)

Eddie Garcia (born Eduardo Verchez García on May 20, 1929 in Sorsogon, Philippines) popularly known as Manoy is a Filipino film actor and film director…He is the most awarded and nominated person in the long history of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards. He garnered a total of 34 nominations (13 for Best Supporting Actor, 10 for Best Actor and 11 for Best Director). Out of these, he got 6 Best Supporting Actor wins, 5 Best Actor wins and 5 Best Director wins, 3 Hall of Fame Awards, 1 Lifetime Achievement Award and the Fernando Poe, Jr. Memorial Award. He was awarded his first FAMAS Award in 1957 and his last FAMAS, a Hall of Fame for Best Actor, in 2003. The first actor to be inducted in the FAMAS Best Supporting Actor Hall of Fame of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences in 1974. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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FILM REVIEW: IMORTAL


The Plot: The first time they laid eyes on each other, they knew from that very moment that they were destined to be together. But their love was not meant to be consummated instantly-they had to wait. But their waiting spanned not just year but lifetimes. The time comes that they meet again. But now, they must break the walls that have for so long kept them apart. They must fight for their love because now is their last chance. – Viva Films

The Reviews: We saw the movie “Imortal” starring Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon, and directed by Eddie Garcia, which won most of the awards in the last Metro-Manila Festival. It was awful. People who make such movies, and those who hand out awards to them, thoroughly deserve each other. In its asinine plot, “Imortal” tells of the immortal love between two siblings with a common father — a doctor Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos who becomes a nun, wife of an impotent husband, adulteress and a whore. They never make it because movie censor Manoling Morato would have gotten mad, but in the next generation, the daughter of the whore with foreigner (without AIDS, we hope) — also played by a younger Vilma Santos — marries the son of the doctor, played by a young Christopher de Leon, in a psychedelic wedding in the year 2016 AD. In the year 2016, youngsters Vilma (with brown skin and blue eyes) and Boyet are singing Happy Birthday to the father Old Christopher, a senile old man in a wheel chair. “Happy Birthday, Papa,” says Vilma as she kisses him on the cheek; he does not respond so she panics: “Papa… Papa… PAPA!” He does not answer because he is dead. According to the movie script, the father Christopher was born in 1954, which makes him in 2016 only 62 years of age — much younger than Director Eddie Garcia or even Dolphy, hardly an age to be senile and dying.

There are other laughable scenes. Vilma says, “My husband is (music rises ominously) — my husband is (music again) IMPOTENT (music rises to a climax)!” You’d think the husband just contracted the AIDS virus or got castrated by Sparrow units! Shucks, I know several husbands who just can’t do it anymore, and I hear no heavy music when their wives complain. As a matter of fact, wives prefer their husbands to be impotent, rather than be sexually active with other women. Another terrible scene. The car ridden by Christopher and wife Cherie Gil falls off a cliff. Cherie who is pregnant is mortally wounded and dies. And Christopher looks at his dead wife, and holds aloft a new born baby complete with umbilical cord. This is absurd without a caesarian operation by a doctor. The worst scene is when Christopher digs up the corpse of Vilma at the cemetery, amidst thunder, lightning, wind and rain, and embraces her passionately, while she exhibits no rigor mortis, and apparently no smell of formalin. You don’t find this kind of idiocy in a television commercial. Most of my grandchildren, including Angeli who is only four months of age, enjoy commercials more than dramas.

Some TV commercials can tell the story vividly, memorably, with impact in 30 seconds, better than two hours of unmitigated nincompoopery in filmed dramas. A simple love story is telescoped into a heartwarming half a minute of the Lizl Lebron commercial for San Miguel — boy meets girl against the parents’ wishes, in the tennis court, Fort Santiago in the rain, in the balcony — and ends as he gives her a engagement ring. Actresses with a roomful of acting awards can never match the birth of love and passion in the virginal innocence of this young girl. The same love story is retold in the Ligaw ad of Jollibee chronicling the Filipino traditional courtship — the chaperoned visit, permission to take the girl out for a snack, “Sigurado ka bang sa Jollibee?” the first tentative holding of hands, and the sudden appearance of papa — a slice of true life experience every young person can identify with, more than the bizarre events of “Imortal.” Movies are a director’s medium, the stage is an actor’s medium, a TV commercial is the medium of the advertiser who pays for the ad. The advertiser conducts enough studies to justify the expenditure in a logical way: product and consumer research to determine the most compelling reason to buy the product; careful attention to story boards, makeup, hair style, with no waste, irrelevances or digressions — long before shooting even starts.

A commercial of 30 seconds takes from P800,000 to P2 million to produce or as much as P67,000 per second. A movie of two hours or 9,600 seconds may take P5 million to produce, or P520 per second. A commercial costs as 128 times as much as a movie. Del Monte’s Spaghetti Sauce’s Godfather ad, mechado sauce’s Candida ad, and ketchup’s Family Dinner ad; the San Miguel series with Fernando Poe Jr., Tawa Marcelo and Freddie Aguilar; Jollibee’s Lola ad; and the Sarsi ad — are technical and artistic masterpieces. The Hope cigarette ads are colonial, sexist and insulting to the intelligence, as are those of Vos Brandy, White Castle Whisky and Old Captain Rum. But even the worst TV ad is better than “Imortal.” – Hilarion M. Henares Jr., Jan 14, 1990, Philippine Daily Inquirer READ MORE

Watching Imortal on ABS-CBN was purely out curiosity. At first I thought it was a remake of the old Vilma Santos-Christopher De Leon movie entitled Imortal. Gosh. Then only to find out the teleserye is about feuding wolves and vampires. You don’t have to be Twilight fan to realize how Twilight-y the plot is not even halfway into the first episode. And like any other Pinoy plot, the story line is just so darn predictable! The first episode isn’t over yet but you already know how it’s going to end. Why is it always like that? Can’t the writers think of new twists and be creative for once? (I’m already in my late 30s and they’ve been at it since I was in grade school.) Or is it that unpredictable twists don’t sell to the masses? Most probably! Either way, don’t blame me for being ‘unpatriotic’ because I get more satisfaction watching reruns of good old foreign films. – READ MORE

Related Reading:
IMDB: Imortal (1989)
Metro Manila Film Festival Recognitions
The 1989 Metro Manila Film Festival: “Imortal” Sweeps Awards
Pinoy Musicians: George Masangkay Canseco
Top 100 Vilma Santos Films (part nine)
Vilma Santos’ Top 10 Film Directors (part three)
Eddie Garcia, FAMAS Three Time Hall of Fame Awardee
A look at the past MMFF controversies
“Imortal”: Worst TV ad is better than best movie
Eddie Garcia: Actor, director, icon, Philippine cinema’s one-man totem pole

FILM REVIEW: PAANO BA ANG MANGARAP

The Plot: “Despite their different social backgrounds, Lisa (Vilma Santos) and Benny (Jay Ilagan) have found their match in each other. Unfortunately, Benny dies before they could marry, and Lisa is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But their arrogance is as lofty as their fortune, and to them, Lisa is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Lisa is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Liza with kindness is Eric (Christopher de Leon), Benny’s brother, who has secretly fallen in love with her…” – Kabayan (READ MORE)

“Despite their different social backgrounds, Lissa and Benny have found their match in each other. Unfortunately, Benny dies before they could marry, and Lissa is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But their arrogance is as lofty as their fortune, and to them, Lissa is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Lissa is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Lissa with kindness is Eric, Benny’s brother, who has secretly fallen in love with her, Eric even made a promise to Benny that he would find Lissa & take good care of her, a promise that Eric vowed he will never break.” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “Paano ba ang mangarap?” rates high for its slickness and production gloss, something that its producers, Viva Films, shouldn’t hope would last them more than two seasons.

Eddie Garcia is a good director. He stages his scenes well, with a minimum of fuss and a modicum of winning faith in narrative primacy. Viva’s movies are well-structured, well-paced, and at their best show how the cosmopolitan Filipino behaves under romantic stress. But if you get past that level and dig into substance, you encounter that self-same compost pit wherein all the biodegradable scraps of melodrama you can find southeast of your favorite mother’s kitchen have been thrown.

Such is the case, to a most lamentable extreme, with Paano Ba ang Mangarap? It’s well-acted, well-done, tastefully correct in elementary mode. But it is strictly local comics fare, this well-wrought turn of circumstantial twist and escalating conflicts which all spell high drama. Viva makes films that are at best our answer to Hollywoodian slick, the stuff of which The Other Side of Midnight and Imitation of Life are prime generational examples. The Barbra Cartlands and Harold Robbinses turned celluloid; Mills and Boon on the big screen.

Here you have two fine actors, Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos, waxing once again with their special chemistry. Boyet is so good he can, by merely varying his inflection, go through a simple line like “Tama na..” three times and prove positively sensitive and believable each time. Subtlety of feeling is shared equally well by Vilma Santos. They are both aware of the value of underplaying their emotional scenes, so much so that in any confrontation with other thespians who play their role to the hilt, these two, Boyet and Vilma, come out on top through the simple process of undercutting.

Vic Silayan and Perla Bautista are equally good in Paano Ba ang Mangarap?, but it is Moody Diaz who wins us over by applying a different tack in her “mayordoma” role, something that is usually played for laughs and other such effects by less gifted, or less imaginative, performers. Armida Siguion-Reyna is hampered by her termagant mother-in-law role, the catch-all character of cruelty spawned by all the soap opera dramas of Philippine comics and radio serials. And she plays this thoroughly unbelievable character, typecast as she already is, much to the hilt. That fantasy scene where she makes out like a satanic figure, though well-shot by Romy Vitug, is quite embarrassing for a picture like this, except of course we know that it is based on a comics serial where such fictive excesses may appear.

Here is where this otherwise finely-crafted film suffers. Viva knew it had to be faithful to the comics serial, so in effect opted for the surefire commercial draw at the expense of a truly artistic, credible film. I’m not saying that a character like Mrs. Monteverde does not, or cannot, exist. Perhaps one in a million. Filipino mothers can be as overbearing, prejudiced, unfeeling, and downright cruel. But to have a situation where an improbable character like her meets up with other improbable characters like the one Vilma and Christopher play, is stacking up the cards too much on the side of atrocious melodrama.

Vilma is the martyr type who would subject herself to indignities just so her coming child can have a name and possibly better upbringing. Boyet is the unloved son who would ditch his sophisticated girlfriend (Amy Austria, who is still uncomfortable in such role, so she doesn’t fare too well here) for this martyr-type who’s been impregnated by his brother. Now, any of these characters may exist, if by a long chance. But to have them all together living under the same roof is stretching the bounds of possibility much too much.

Furthermore, it could have been a better ending had the Viva bosses decided to stop at that scene where Vilma finds herself left alone on Christmas in the rich surroundings she has always dreamt of. Now only the household help can give her token solace by way of a collective gift. It is a poignant scene, stylistically done to proper effect with the usual Viva-film theme wafting through in support of silent montage. It could have been a good open ending, with overtones of irony laying themselves squarely on Vilma’s character. But no, of course one can’t disappoint the followers of the original comics serial. So the story goes on through further typical maneuverings until we’re given at least a semblance of a happy ending. A missed chance, I say. – Alfred A. Yuson, Philippines Daily Inquirer July 17 1983 (READ MORE)

“A true blooded Vilmanian will not forget the time when a teaser (a very brief trailer) was shown to the theatres in the summer of 1991. It was Viva films’ “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?” Another box office hit from Vilma Santos and Christopher DeLeon. The teaser (almost worth the whole movie ticket) was the scene where Lisa, played by Vilma discovered that her son (to Eric’s brother , Jay Ilagan) was gone courtesy of her evil rich mother-in-law (Armida Sigueon Reyna). Here’s the lines and the explosive acting of the Queen. The scene: After running around looking for the baby in all the rooms in second floor of of this huge mansion, Lisa confronted Eric who were stunned to find Lisa’s hysterics. Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Saan n’yo dinala ang anak ko?!!!” Eric: “Hindi ko alam!” Lisa: “Hindi mo alam…Sinungaling!” Eric: “Lisa, makinig ka muna” Lisa: “Kasabwat ka ng ina mo! Alam ko matagal n’yo nang plano ito!” Eric: “Ano bang pinagsasabi mo?” Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Mga Traydor Kayo! Traydor kayong lahat!” Eric: “Lisa, huminahon ka baka mapaano ang bata!” Lisa: “Wala akong pakialam! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin ang anak ko! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin! AHHHH! (mahuhulog sa hagdanan)” Just this scene alone, Vilma should be rewarded that year’s best actress award! Bravo!” – RV (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: SINASAMBA KITA (Videos)


The Plot: They are half-sisters, connected by blood. But to Divina (Vilma Santos), Nora (Lorna Tolentino) is just her late father’s illegitimate daughter. Yet, despite the harsh treatments she gets, Nora remains awestruck and continues to adulate her strong-willed older sister. But even the meekest of people can only bear so much. Nora leaves the confort of home to hid her own place under the sun, and in due time, she and Divina are to meet again to settle the score once and for all. – Viva Films

They are half-sisters, connected by blood. But to Divina, Nora is just her late father’s illegitimate daughter. Yet, despite the harsh treatment she gets, Nora remains awestruck and continues to adulate her strong-willed older sister. But even the meekest of people can only bear so much. Nora leaves the comfort of home to find her own place under the sun, and in due time, she and Divina are to meet again to settle the score once and for all. But will the scars of yesterday prevail or will they forget the wounds especially now that they direly need each other. – Wikepedia

The Reviews: “Napanood namin ang “Sinasamba Kita” at hindi nga pala kayang iarte ni Lampel Luis ang role na napunta kay Lorna Tolentino. Parang komiks talaga ang istorya ng pelikulang hanggo nga sa nobelang komiks. Melodramatiko at kung minsan ay mahirap paniwalaan ang mga sitwasyon. Pero mapupuri na rin ang iskrip ni Orlando Nadres dahil nagawa niyang credible ang mga tauhan sa istorya. At talagang mahuhusay ang acting ng mga artista. Napakagaling ni Vilma Santos sa papel ng mataray na business executive. Para talagang alam niya ang bawat kilos at hakbang na ginagawa niya. Very sympathetic namang tunay si Lorna sa kanyang role bilang inaaping kapatid. At for once, hindi nasapawan si Christopher de Leon ng kanyang co-star. Kontroladong-kontrolado ang acting niya rito. Si Phillip Salvador nga ang nagmukhang dehado, iba pati ang hitsura niya sa pelikula. Mukha siyang tumandang hindi mawari. Maganda rin ang theme song ng pelikula. At dito kami naniwalang totoo ang kasabihang it’s the singer not the song.” – Mario E Bautista (READ MORE)

“Muli na namang ipinakita ni Vilma Santos ang kanyang husay sa pagganap sa pelikulang “Sinasamba Kita”. Consistent ang characterization ni Vilma sa naturang pelikula, at nagmukhang supporting na lahat ang kasama niyang may malalaki din namang pangalan.” – Arthur Quinto (READ MORE)

“Sobra pala ang lakas ng “Sinasamba Kita.” Tuwang tuwa sina Vic at Mina del Rosario. They started with 38 theatres, by the weekend, 41 theatres na ang nagpapalabas ng pelikula. After 6 days, kumita na ito ng P5,207,416.00. After a week’s time, almost P6 million na ito.” – Billy Balbastro (READ MORE)

“1982 was a banner year for Vilma Santos. Aside from the acting gem, “Relasyon,” she also established her bankable status, thanks to Viva film’s “Sinasamba Kita”. This film grossed 6.2 million in just 6 days, a box office record! Directed by Eddie Garcia, the film featured Vilma as the “bitchy-rich” anti-heroine executive, Lorna Tolentino, Christopher DeLeon and Philip Salvador. The intertwined love quadrangle between the four characters enhanced by crisp dialogue, glossy production design and catchy theme song made this movie effective and very commercial. Two scenes stands out, both involved Vi and Lorna. (By the way, Lorna’s name in this film was Nora and Vilma was Divina, which made us wonder if this is supposed to be a Nora-Vilma film.) In one scene, Vilma was waiting for her younger sibling Lorna, when she finally arrived, she accused the younger sister of wearing her perfume, the accusation made Lorna defensive and replied: “…bumili ako para sa sarili ko nagustuhan ko kasi ang amoy!” In which Vilma countered: “…for godsake, Nora, bakit hindi ka magkaroon ng sarili mong identity!..Hindi kita anino!” Another scene, Vilma caught Lorna wearing the same designer clothes: Vilma: “Iniinsulto mo ba ako? Anong gusto mong palabasin bakit ginagaya mo ang damit ko?” Lorna: “Ate naman ano naman ang masama kung gayahin kita?” Vilma: “Alamin mo muna ang iyong limitasyon…baka nakakalimutan mo kung saan kita pinulot…kinikilala kitang kapatid pero hindi tayo magkapantay!” Lorna: “Napakaliit naman pala ng pagtingin mo sa akin…” Vilma: “Imposible naman lumaki ang pagtingin ko sa taong tinutulungan ko lang?…kung sabagay magkaiba tayo ng ina…bakit kaya pinatulan ng papa ang iyong ina?” Lorna: “huwag mo naming insultuhin ang inay, patay na siya…” Vilma: “Hindi ko siya iniinsulto sinasabi ko lang sayo ang totoo! Magkaiba tayong dalawa, hindi mo ako matutularan at hindi kita tutularan! Nora, ang hindi mo maabot huwag mog pagpilitang abutin, wala kang pang pakpak k’ya huwag lumipad ng pagkataas-taas!” – RV (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: SAAN NAGTATAGO ANG PAGIBIG


The Plot: Stella got pregnant by boyfriend Rick. Unfortunately, Rick is not willing to gamble on his inheritance. He is tied up with a promise to his super snotty, super rich old grandmother that he have to finish law school before he can get any money. In order to avoid scandal Stella agreed to be married to Rick’s retarded brother, Val. Together with his adopted family Stella learned to love the retarded Val and at the same time discovered that Val is a product of infidelity that cause the suicide of Rick and Val’s father. Unfortunately Stella’s new found love ended when Val accidentally fell from a window when he had a fight with his irrational brother one night. – RV (READ MORE)

The Reviews: Nang malaman ni Stella na buntis siya ay pinilit niyang managot ang kasintahan nitong si Rick, isang law student na tagapagmana na ariarian ng kanyang matapobreng lola. Dahil sa panakot na mag-i-iskandalo’y ipinakasal nila si Stella sa kapatid ni Rick na retarded upang hindi mawala ang mana nito at kasabay ay maiwasan ang kahihiyan ni Stella na mabuntis ng walang asawa at ama ang kanyang dinadalang bata. Kasabay ng pagbubuntis ni Stella ay natutunan nitong mahalin ang retarded na si Val. Kasabay rin nito’y natuklasan ni Stella na si Val ay anak sa labas ng kanilang ina at ito’y hindi sinilang na kulang-kulang. Dahil sa kalupitan ng matapobreng lola ng mga bata’y nahulog ito sa hagdanan ng pagbintangan si Val ng matandang nagnanakaw ng pera. Nahulog ang batang si Val habang pinapalo ito ng kanyang ina. Isang gabi’y nagwala si Val nang Makita nitong nakikipagtalo si Stella kay Rick. Sinunggaban ni Val si Rick at nagaway sila. Ang naging resulta ng pag-aaway na ito’y aksidenteng nahulog sa balkonahe ang kaawa-awang si Val.

Namatay ito at sa araw ng libing ay dumating ang matapobreng matanda para ibigay ang abuloy nito kay Stella. Isinauli ni Stella ang tseke sa matanda at ipinahayag na si Val ang ginawa nilang ama ng kanyang anak pero ang tutoo’y dahil sa takot na mawalan ng mana’y ito ang pinaako ng responsibilidad ni Rick. Galit na umalis ang matanda at tuluyang naglaho ang mana ni Rick. Nagdesisyon na iwan ni Stella ang bahay kasama ng kanyang anak. Mula sa direksiyon ni Eddie Garcia, ang Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig ay hango sa komiks. Bagama’t mahahalatang puro isang dimensiyon lamang ang halos lahat na karakter ng pelikula’y mahusay naman naihayag ni Direktor Eddie ang komiks na komiks na istorya nito. Bakit kailangang maging binata si Rick habang nagaaral ito ng abogasya? Bakit napakahalaga ito sa matapobreng si Alicia Vergel? Bakit may nakatakip ang isa sa mata ng matanda na parang bandido? Sa ubod ng yaman ng matanda hindi ba puedeng maglagay ng pekeng mata kesa sa bendang itim? Bagamat nakakatawa ang obserbasyon na ito’y dahil sa bisyuwal na kaanyuan ng matapobreng matanda kung kaya naman epektibong makikita ang pagiging kontrabida nito.

Tulad ng “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap,” merong ‘dream sequence” ang pelikula kung saan kunwari’y hinuhusgahan si Val na isang baliw. Kung puputulin ang eksenang ito’y hindi magiging sagabal sa paglalahad ng buong istorya ni Gilda Olvidado. Mula sa lumang bahay hanggang sa eksena sa libingan ay mahusay ang sinematograpiya ni Romy Vitug at disenyong pangproduksiyon ni Manny Morpe. Mahusay ang mga katulong na artista mula kay Cherrie Gil, Alicia Alonzo at Alicia Vergel. Mahusay rin si Ricky Davao bilang Rick at Gloria Romero bilang ina ni Rick at Val. Ngunit ang pelikulang ito’y tungkol kay Val at bilang si Val ay nabigyan ng mahusay na pagganap ni Tonton Gutierrez ang papel na sinto sinto mula sa pagsasalita na utal utal haggang sa pisikal na mukha at pa-ika-ikang paglalakad. Tulad ng inaasahan, mahusay si Vilma bilang si Stella. At tulad ng maraming pelikulang ginawa niya sa ilalim ng Viva at sa direksiyon ni Eddie Garcia ay merong linya o dayalogo siya na hindi malilimutan, ito ay nang bigkasin niya ang linyang, “…si Val, si val na wala naman malay…” na magpahanggang ngayon ay natanim sa mga Pilipino na mahihilig sa pelikulang tagalog. – RV (READ MORE)

“…Viva Films produced a movie adaptation of this story in 1987 that starred Vilma Santos as Stella, Ricky Davao as Rick and Tonton Gutierrez as Val. The movie received five citations in the 36th Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences including Best Picture, Best Director for Eddie Garcia, and Best Story for Gilda Olvidado. This line from the movie: “Si Val! Si Val! Puro na lang si Val! Si Val na walang malay!”, delivered by Vilma Santos is claimed to be one of the most memorable lines in Philippine Cinema in the June 11 episode of QTV’s “Ang Pinaka”, hosted by Pia Guanio…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)