More Memorabilia 1/4

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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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Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw (1988)

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

Plot Description: No Available Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filmography: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1986)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Jose Javier Reyes; Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Eddie Garcia, Liza Lorena, Chanda Romero, Deborah Sun, Jimi Melendez; Executive producer: Lily Y. Monteverde; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Conrado Baltazar; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Dez Bautista, Rei Nicolas; Art Direction: Arlene Abuid, Judy Lou de Pio; Sound: Rudy Baldovino

Plot Description: After a string of unsuccessful relationships, Corina married Teddy, an old widow whose daughter, Ana and sister Julita never approved of his new wife.

An assertive young stepmother, a rebellious stepdaughter, and a working wife whose career provides tension between the wife and her husband are the portraits of the strong-willed woman of the 1980s. – ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

After a string of unsuccessful relationships with different men, Corina (Vilma Santos) finally settles down with Teodolfo/Teddy, (Eddie Garcia), an old widowed man whose daughter, Ana (Maricel Soriano) and sister Julita (Rosemarie Gil), never approved of his new wife. In her best attempt of being a good wife and stepmother to her new family, Corina gets smitten by Neil (Gabby Concepcion), a married man with a kid whom she had an affair with. Things get haywire as Corina starts to feel guilty about cheating on Teddy who has been good to her. Ana also discovers her adulterous acts and tries to kick her out of the family. Just when Neil is ready to leave his wife Vicky (Snooky Serna) and their kid for Corina, everything turns around when Teddy’s death revealed a secret that changed their lives forever. – Regal (READ MORE)

Film Review: “…Often pitted against then-rival Maricel Soriano, she made numerous blockbuster movies with her in the ’80s like Underage, Schoolgirls, Story of Three Loves and Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday, among others. She also had her share of TV shows including the weekly musical variety ‘Always Snooky’ and weekly drama feature on ‘Regal Drama Presents: Snooky’ in ABS-CBN Channel 2. As a mature actress, she tackled roles which earned acting nominations from various award giving bodies. She was also in Kapag Napagod Ang Puso with Christopher de Leon and Inagaw Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (Harvest Home – official Philippine entry to the 1995 Oscars) but unfortunately was snubbed during awards night. Her other major films include Aabot Hanggang Sukdulan, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Hahamakin ang Lahat with Vilma Santos, the fantasy films Blusang Itim, Rosa Mistica, and Madonna: Ang Babaing Ahas. It was with Koronang Itim, that she finally won Best Lead Actress trophy. She has starred in over (80) films from 1970 to 2004…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Statistically, there are really more husbands who betray their wives than the other way around. And since films basically mirror life, there are more movies about philandering husbands than adulterous wives. In the eternal love triangle of Eddie Rodriguez, Lolita Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden, it is always the man who is at fault. And then, there are those film bios of our super cops who are always portrayed as having mistresses – like Joe Pring (played by Phillip Salvador), who had a legal wife in the film (portrayed by Aurora Sevilla) and yet maintained a mistress (Maila Gumila) on the side. Films about wives fooling around are actually fewer. However, these movies seem to be more exciting because they often have drama and suspense. This is likely because the adulterous character has to dangerously tread on the ego of the husband. In local cinema, I remember a few films about women characters playing with fire. Amalia Fuentes playing a married actress in love with co-star Eddie Rodriguez in Pag-ibig Mo, Buhay Ko; Hilda Koronel (married to an older man, Mario Montenegro), who falls for the charms of Orestes Ojeda in Marupok, Mapusok, Maharot; Vilma Santos agreeing to become the mistress of Mario Montenegro in order to have a better life – in spite of being married to Phillip Salvador in Adultery; Vilma Santos again, bored with her old husband (Eddie Garcia) and carries on an affair with Gabby Concepcion in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Anna Marie Gutierrez in the aptly titled Unfaithful Wife…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

Filmography: Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989)

“Irene…Di ko kaya ang walong buwan! Kung mamatay rin lang ako…mamatay na ako ngayon o bukas o sa linggo pero hindi ko kaya ang walong buwan!” – Juliet Espiritu

“…Irene, ayoko ng mahabang burol kung maari kinabukasan rin ipalibing mo na ako.” – Juliet Espiritu

“Ayoko ko pang mamatay…paano si Chad?…hahanapin ako ng anak ko, hindi siya sanay ng wala ako…Ariel…gusto ko pang mabuhay, kahit ilang araw lang, kahit konting oras lang, kahit isang umaga lang…” – Juliet Espiritu

“Ariel maliwanag na ba?…anong kulay ng langit?…at ang dagat?…ang mga mangingisda nandiyan na ba?…Ariel…ang ganda ng mundo!…ang sarap mabuhay!” – Juliet Espiritu

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Basic Information: Directed: Ishmael Bernal; Story, screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Eric Quizon, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Billy Crawford, Olivia Cenizal, Tita Muñoz, Gil de Leon, Dexter Doria, Vicky Suba, Subas Herrero, Cris Vertido, Toby Alejar, Tony Angeles, Symon Soler, Gina Perez, Alma Lerma, Roy Alvarez, Becky Misa; Executive producer: Lily Monteverde; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Elmer Manapul; Sound: Joe Climaco; Theme Songs: “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” performed by Zsa Zsa Padilla

Plot Description: Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (English title: “To Live Another Day,” “On Borrowed Time” or “Lend Me One Morning”) revolves around Juliet (Vilma Santos), who finds herself struggling against an ever-escalating series of problems. A determined single parent, she manages to raise a child while remaining successful in her career as an advertising executive. Everything in her life seems to go well until she is diagnosed with a terminal disease. For her son’s sake, and without revealing her condition, she is forced to resolve her most important life relations: rekindling first her connections with her parents, and then with the very man who fathered her son. In the twilight of her life, she meets and falls in love with a beleaguered artist, Ariel (Eric Quizon), who is constantly depressed and perpetually contemplating suicide. She slowly loses her health but unknowingly reawakens Ariel desire to live, and they both engage in a meaningful affair – one that makes each day they live through together more meaningful than the last. – DVD cover description

After getting bumped up to vice president at her advertising firm, Juliet (Vilma Santos) is floating on cloud nine, but fate soon delivers a brutal shock that knocks her off her perch: a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. With just eight months to live, Juliet embarks on a mental and physical journey to erase her regrets. Along the way, she meets a painter (Eric Quizon) who changes her outlook in this poignant drama. – Netflix

To Live Another Day (Pahiram ng Isang Umaga) revolves around Juliet, who finds herself struggling against an ever-escalating series of problems. A determined single parent, she manages to raise a child while remaining successful in her career as an advertising executive. Everything in her life seems to go well until she is diagnosed with a terminal disease. For her son’s sake, and without revealing her condition, she is forced to resolve her most important life relations: rekindling first her connections with her parents, and then with the very man who fathered her son. In the twilight of her life, she meets and falls in love with a beleaguered artist, Ariel, who is constantly depressed and perpetually contemplating suicide. She slowly loses her health but unknowingly reawakens Ariel’s desire to live, and they both engage in a meaningful affair – one that makes each day they live through together more meaningful than the last. – Cine Filipino/Unico Home Entertainment

Film Achievements: 1989 URIAN: Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Cinematography – Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Best Director – Ishmael Bernal; Best Picture – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Screenplay – Jose Javier Reyes; Best Supporting Actor – Eric Quizon; 1989 STAR: Best Picture – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Cinematography – Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Best Director – Ishmael Bernal; Best Musical Score – Willy Cruz; Best Supporting Actor – Eric Quizon; 1989 FAMAS: Best Musical Score – Willy Cruz; Best Theme Song – Willy Cruz; 1989 FAP: Best Sound – Joe Climaco

Other Film Achievements 1989 FAP: Best Actress nomination – Vilma Santos; 1989 URIAN: Best Actor nomination – Gabby Concepcion; Best Editing nomination – Augusto Salvador; Best Music nomination – Willy Cruz; Best Production Design nomination – Elmer Manapul; Best Sound nomination – Joe Climaco; Best Supporting Actress nomination – Vicky Suba; 1989 FAMAS: Best Child Actor nomination – Billy Crawford; Best Director nomination – Ishmael Bernal; Best Picture nomination – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Supporting Actor nomination – Eric Quizon

Film Reviews: A Look at Death and the Affirmation of LifeWeepies are a common movie fare in the Philippines, along with extremely violent action thrillers and trite youth comedies. It is, therefore, a cause for cheer when a filmmaker tries to elevate the very common genre of the melodrama into a rich and intellectually rewarding film experience, such as director Ishmael Bernal has done with his Pahiram ng Isang Umaga.

Director Ishmael Bernal has seen in the material an opportunity to put substance to what has often been denigrated as the unthinking man’s entertainment, and to a considerable degree, his attempt has been a success. Pahiram is both effective as a tearjerker and meaningful as a depiction of people in crisis. Using a traditional element of the genre, the theme of death, Bernal and writer Jose Javier Reyes probe into the life of a woman who has been told that the end is near. Juliet (Vilma Santos, one of the two reigning Philippine female superstars for the past two decades now) is told that she has eight or maybe seven months to live. As a progressive advertising creative director who has been promoted (rather late) as vice president of her company, she has the means to attend to the less mundane demands of life, examine what may have been an unexamined life, and make the most of the limited time left.

In all these, Bernal explores the emotional and psychological condition of the person who lives on borrowed time. naturally visible here are the many symbols not only of death but also of life to serve as some kind of counterpoint or irony. Sometimes, they blend with each other, and at other times, they contradict. From the peasants’ ritualistic rice planting to the backyard harvesting of sun-dried patola cultivated as life-giving seedlings, the evidence of life renewing itself could hardly be ignored. Then there are the more obvious symbols of fire, daybreak and persistent rains (the latter of which are used to reinforce the gloomier mood at the second half of the movie, and also suggest the rains’ refreshing and replenishing results). But the most eloquent symbol here of life is the process of artistic creation, personified – again paradoxically – by the expressionist painter Ariel who befriends and then is smitten by Juliet.

There are ironies here. The painter creates life through his art, but at the same time, psychologically tormented, he wants to end his own life. Such a restless, free soul, grappling with the complexities of life, he has a whole life ahead of him, his artistic world limited only by his imagination, and yet he wants to quit. In contrast, Juliet who is dying, wants to live. Here is a woman who saves a man’s life (the artist’s) but cannot save her own. The idea of art as life or art vs. life is examined at length. Asked by the boy why he has to put on canvas the seascape, the artist makes the clarification that he is not copying the scenery. Ostensibly, he is recreating it on a different plane, art being something else, with a life of its own. This is suggested by the portrait the artist is making of Juliet. The model may soon die, as she will, but the portrait will live on. Life may indeed be short, an idea which used to be stated directly in previous Bernal movies, but art endures. It is the one thing in this world which is eternal. The briefness of life is suggested with the graphic sight of wet sand dripping down from the hand.

Bernal and Reyes go farther by including a scene in which the artist explains the origins of art. By the fireside at the beach, and watching the flame cast a glow on them, he notes that prehistoric men “discovered” art when they made outlines of shadows on the caves. Those artworks, though crude and primitive, still exist. Implicitly, Juliet’s death, no matter how saddening, is not going to be the end. Philosophical musings like these are not standard soap opera fare, and may alienate a lot of ordinary moviegoers (even the more cerebral ones who cannot accept the conventions of the soap opera genre). Woven unobtrusively into the plot, however, they add texture and enrich the drama. Juliet in a way will continue to live – in that portrait, in her young son who will survive her and hopefully continue her legacy whatever it may be, and in her good deeds. In the last scene, the imagery and symbolisms of life and death abound. Juliet dies at the break of dawn, the start of a new day (and life), but not without first making her last sentimental paean to life. Supported by the artist, her eyesight having failed completely and with the waves caressing their feet, the weak and dying cancer victim remarks how beautiful life is. True enough, this dying scene set on a beach, with the woman in white, dainty night gown, is one of the most exquisite, breathtaking moments in Philippine movies.

But before giving us this grand, highly emotional death scene, the director has gradually introduced various motifs of death, from the artist’s pet black bird which at one point he cruelly squeezes in his hand, to the funeral rituals for Juliet’s father. This is a striking part of the movie, Juliet watching intently as morticians work on her father’s remains, as everyone weeps when the coffin is lowered to its final resting place, and during the ritualistic “pasiyam,” the nine-day novena for the dead. It’s as though Juliet can see herself in her father’s lifeless body while mourners mill around it. The attempts to raise the level of the melodrama and present insights on life and death provide the movie its greatest strength – and wide appeal. How strangely ironic that a movie dealing with death could have so much life. – Mario A. Hernando, Malaya – 5 March 1989

“…Epektibo ang Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga bilang isang tuwirang dramatikong pelikula naglalahad ng suliranin ng mga taong pumapasailaim sa isang krisis. Sa paggamit ng tradisyonal na pamamaraaan ukol sa tema ng kamatayan, si Bernal at ang manunulat nitong si Jose Javier Reyes ay sumilip sa buhay ng isang babaeng nalalapit na sa kanyang huling hantungan. Napag-alaman ni Juliet (Vilma Santos) mula sa kanyang doktor na mayroon siyang pito hanggang walong buwang palugit sa kanyang buhay at ninais nitong isaayos ang mga suliraning bumabalot sa kanyang buong pagkatao sa loob ng maikling panahong ilalagi niya sa mundo. Lahat ng emosyonal at sikolohikal na kundisyon ng isang taong nabubuhay na lamang sa hiram na panahon ay tahasang ipinakita ni Bernal sa mga manonood. Mababanaag dito amg iba’t-ibang simbulo ng pumapaimbulog sa konsepto ng kamatayan. Kadalasa’y naangkop ito sa mga situwasyong dinaranas ng karakter ni Juliet at taliwas din kung minsan. Mula sa pagtatanim ng mga magbubukid hanggang sa pag-ani nito bilang simbulo ng pagkabuhay ay mahirap maitanggi. May mga tagpong ipnapakita ang paglubog ng araw, at ang walang patumanggang pag-ulan ay pagpapahiwatig ng pagbuhos ng bagong hinaharap. Ngunit isang mariing simbulong ginamit sa pelikula ay ang proseso ng paglikha ng sining sa katauhan ng pintor na si Ariel (Eric Quizon) na kinaibigan ni Juliet. Maraming maihahalintulad dito. Sinasalamin ng pintor ang buhay sa pamamgitan ng paglikha ng mga larawang kadalasan ay naglalahad ng gulo at pagkalitong umabot sa pagnanasa nitong kitlin ang sariling buhay, dahilan sa hindi niya makayanan ang pakikipagsapalaran sa buhay. Napapalibutan ng imahinasyon ang kanyang mundo ngunit nais pa rin niya itong talikuran. ito naman ang pagkakaiba ni Ariel kay Juliet na gagawin ang lahat upang madugtungan ang nauudlot na buhay…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

Mas Mahusay si Vilma Kaysa kay Nora – Vi goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast at habang nagbabati siya ng itlog, doon pa lang ipinakitang una siyang nag-breakdown. And this is shown nang nakatalikod siya sa camera. No overly ornate kind of emoting na akting na akting ang dating. Pero damang-dama mo pa rin…she becomes the part (lalo na sa eksena nila ni Gabby Concepcion sa simbahan na binalikan nila kung paano sila nagkasira), and if you notice that she is good, well, salamat po…Sa second viewing ng movie namin lalong napansin ang subtle nuances ng performance ni Vi, up to her death scene which confirms our supposition that the movie is not really so much about death than a celebration of life..’yan ang opinion namin…” – Mario Bautista, People Journal 1989

“…Topping Vilma Santos’ showbiz career for 1988 was her winning the “best tv host” title and her tv program Vilma as the best musical variety show from the Star Awards of the Philippine Movie Press Club. Vilma is a constant top rater. Nobody can question the result of the survey for its popularity, because everybody could see the glitter of the show with all the grand seting, artistic costumes, and selected celebrities as guests plus Santos’ vibrance, enthusiasm and untiring efforts in entertaining her audience. The actress is meticulous even in the selection of the color scheme of her costumes. For 1989, Santos promises a much better show for Vilma with more expensive props, more interesting musical numbers and some attractive numbers and novelties to render it a delightful viewing. The actress is now resuming shooting of Pahiram ng Isang Umaga which did not make it at the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival due to certain delays, like Ibulong Mo sa Diyos her current movie Pahiram… is supposed to be Regal Films’s first main attraction for 1989. Some of the scenes were filmed in the virgin forest of Botolan, Zambales. The serenity of the rustic place enabled the actress to re-evaluate her life before the New Year sets in. Santos has Gabby Concepcion and Eric Quizon for leading men in the movie. Quizon has admitted that so far this is his most challenging role in his entire movie career. The drama flick is expected to be another blockbuster and will reap acting honors for the actress. She is back with Ishmael Bernal in this movie, the same director who made possible her bagging all the best actress awards in 1982 for the movie Relasyon…” – Eddie O. Libo-on, Manila Standard, Jan 9, 1989 (READ MORE)

“…Koronel is all set to do a film for Viva and we’re sure her fans are all agog about it. Will she be a threat to the throne now occupied by Vilma Santos as “The Actress” to be reckoned with? If we’d make a guess, Lino Brocka’s the right director for the first comeback film of this actress. There’s a certain chemistry between them in the same way there’s an “artistic symbiosis” between Santos and Ishmael Bernal. And speaking of the last duo, we finally got to see “Pahiram ng Isang Umaga” and it’s true what they were all raving about. It’s Vilma’s best to date and we’re willing to bet that she’ll garner another grand slam next year for this movie. Ditto with Bernal. It’s not only an artistic movie; It’s very commercial. Only we should have brought a towel instead of a hankie…” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Mar 2, 1989 (READ MORE)

“…Eric’s role in “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” is the manic-depressive love of Vilma Santos. He was contrapuntal to Vilma’s existence who wanted to prolong her life while he wanted to end his. But the Method Acting-oriented scribes at teh Philippine Movie Pres Club saw in Eric the mere physicality in his attack of the role. No anxiety in the eyes; all overt body movements to the point of the Nora Aunor anxiety-laden eyes. Eric rationalizes; “That was exactly how I was supposed to attack my role according to Direk Ishmael Bernal – overacting at physical level lang talaga. Wala nang pa-anxiety-anxiety pa. All the other major characters in “Pahiram…” were already making lupasay na with heavy emotions. From Vilma to Zsa Zsa Padilla to Vicky Suba to Gabby Concepcion – silang lahat emotionally loaded na. If I do the same, boring di ba? Ayaw ni Direk Bernal na pa-heavy emotion approach for my role. But you know my homework for that role was to watch several English sad movies on tapes and was told to cry with the characers if I wanted to or feel like crying. I felt so stupid talaga, but that exercise paid off I tell you.” If you have watched “Pahiram…,” the scene where Eric has to strangle a Myna bird was such a memorable highlight. Eric recalls; “I had to do an improvisation for that scene. Sabi ni Direk Bernal, don’t plan anything with the bird. Basta you just confront the bird at bahala ka na sa sarili mo. So what I did was to make mura and kind of strangle pero acting lang out of my supposed madness. You know what happened? The day after, nagpakamatay ‘yung bird. Nagtampo siguro ‘yun. Kasi raw ang Myna bird ay very sensitive, di ba? Sayang ‘yung bird, ano?…” – George Vail Kabristante, Manila Standard, Feb 20, 1990 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Asawa ko Huwag Mong Agawin (1986)

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Basic Information: Direction: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Pablo S. Gomez (based on the novel “Paano Ba Sasabihing Paalam Na”); Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes, Jake Cocadiz; Cast: Vilma Santos, Amalia Fuentes, Eddie Gutierrez, Gabby Concepcion, Gretchen Barretto, Sheryl Cruz, Elvis Gutierrez, Romeo Rivera, Ramil Rodriguez, Deborah Sun, Debraliz, Noel Colet, Jaime Fabregas, Cris Castillo, Vicky Suba, Ena Alli, Kess Burias, Marie Barbacui, Malen Dela Trinidad, Wilson Ferrer, Reymond Rodriguez, Martin Santos, Archie Delos Santos, Alfred Barretto, Ferdie Fernando; Producer: Lily Y. Monteverde, Malou N. Santos, Charo Santos-Concio; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Rey Lobo; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Art Direction: Nonoy Fuentes; Release Date:1987 (Philippines); Production Company: Regal Films; Theme Song: Sung by Marissa Martin, Composer: Willy Cruz – IMDB (READ MORE)

Plot Description: Ayaw kong maging querida is a story about three people caught in a whirlwind romance bound in the norms of society class. Will love conquer all or will wealth and power dictate their destinies? – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

A middle-aged martyr wife loses her husband to an equally beautiful but much younger woman. – ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…To recall, the senior and junior movie queens appeared in these movies: Bulaklak at Paru-paro (1970), Mga Reynang Walang Trono(1976) and Asawa Ko, Huwag Mong Agawin (1986). Amalia directed Vilma’s episode in Mga Reyna and agreed to second billing to Vilma in Asawa Ko. No doubt about it, Amalia Muhlach Sumilang Fuentes, is a Vilmanian. To seal their sisterhood and camaraderie, Vilma is Ninang to Liezl Martinez and to the latter’s son Alfonso. Why, Liezl even sang a song ’’Wind Beneath My Wings’ to her surprised mother that night which drove the strong-willed and still beautiful Amalia to tears. A Kodak moment, indeed. Priceless! While interviewing the three Muhlach generations, Fuentes, Liezl and young daughter Aliyanna, Amalia revealed to Vilma that she is protective of her ’unica hija’ Liezl. ”Ay naku, I think I also have become like my Mom, I’m also very protective of my children,” Liezl remarks…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

“…You can never go wrong if you choose a Vilma Santos film and if you want a story that gives a different twist to the “other woman” issue, then Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin might give you the satisfaction you are aiming for. It shows two women in their usual roles and stereotypes: the other woman who knows all about pleasures and the wife who knows all about pain…” – Bon Ching (READ MORE)

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

Filmography: Sinungaling Mong Puso (1992)

“…nababaliw ka na noh…puro kabaliwan yang nasa isip mo…hindi Jason, meron iba tayong dapat nating sundin…meron iba! Gamitin natin ang sinasabi ng isip natin, ang ipinararamdam ng kaluluwa natin, yun! Dahil madalas yun ang nagsasabi ng tama, yun ang nagsasabi ng nararapat nating gawin hindi ang puso…hindi ang puso Jason, hindi ang sinungaling mong puso…huwag kang padadala, ililgaw ka niyan…ililigaw ka dahil marunong manglinlang ang puso dahil alam ko ang tama huwag kang magpapadala…huwag kang magpapadala, hindi mababago ang katotohanang mali ang ginagawa natin, mali…” – Clara

“hayup! Hayup!…Baboy! Mamatay kang kasama ng mga baboy mo!” – Clara

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Basic Information: Directed: Maryo J. De Los Reyes;  Story: Jose Javier D. Reyes, Jake Tordesillas; Screenplay: Jose Javier D. Reyes, Jake Tordesillas; Cast: Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Alice Dixon, Aga Muhlach, Aiko Melendez, Ricardo Cepeda, Dennis Baltazar, Charlie Davao, Philip Gamboa, Melinda Mendez, Mila Ocampo, Luz Valdez, Orestes Ojeda, Michelle Bautista, Lora Luna, Aris Bautista, Daniel Roa, Dax Rivera, Allan Laceda, Aida Carmona, Estrella Antonio, Alex Toledo, Nonoy Gates, Tato Malay, Lemuel Sales, Francis Ignacio, Chynthia Carriedo, Marvin Bellosillo, Veronica Medel, Jeff Long; Executive producer: Lily Monteverde; Original Music: Lutgardo Labad; Cinematography: Charlie Peralta, Jun Pereira, Caloy Jacinto; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Ronaldo “DO” Cadapan; Sound: Joe Climaco, Rodel Capule; Theme Songs: “Sinungaling Mong Puso” sung by Basil Valdez, composed by Willy Cruz

Plot Description: An endearing romantic drama that tells of a very curious affair between an older woman (Vilma Santos) and a young unhappily married boy (Aga Muhlach). In between them are Vilma’s husband, Gabby Concepcion and Aiko Melendez as Aga’s wife. All told, the movie proves once again that love does not only happen in the most unexpected times and places. It also makes people do the strangest things. – Regal Films DVD description

Film Achievement: 1992 FAMAS Best Actor – Aga Muhlach; 1992 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor – Gabby Concepcion; 1992 URIAN Best Actress nomination – Vilma Santos; 1992 URIAN Best Director – Maryo J. De los Reyes; URIAN Best Supporting Actor – Gabby Concepcion

Film Reviews: Nagsimula ang movie with Clara (Vilma) had a visitor in a jail, ito ay ang ex-wife ng asawa niya. Kasabay nito’y nag-flashback na ang pelikula. Bakit nakulong si Clara? Unang nagkakilala sa isang disco sina Jason at Clara. Inalok ng batang-batang si Jason si Clara ng sayaw ngunit inignore lang nito ang istudyante. Makikita agad na parehong hindi masaya sa buhay may asawa si Clara (Vilma Santos) at Jason (Aga Muhlach). Si Clara ay asawa ng isang malupit at babaerong negosyate, si Roman (Gaby Concepcion). Samantalay si Jason naman ay laging nina-nag ng kasing edad niyang asawa na si Aiko Melendez at pati ang kani-kanilang mga magulang ay nadadaway at madalas na nase-sermunan si Jason dahil rito. Kasabay na pinakita ang problema sa pagaasawa’y ipinakita rin ang mga taong nasasangkot sa pag-iibigan ni Clara at Jason. Ang asawa ni Clara na si Roman ay ubod ng lupit, minsan ay may nahuli ang mga tauhan nito na nagnanakaw sa kanilang bahay ay binaril nito ang magnanakaw. Bukod sa kalupitan ay marami ring naanakan siya at ang laging solusyon nito ay perahan ang mga babae para manahimik ang mga ito.

Nang bumalik sa Pilipinas ang kanyang ex wife na si Leda (Alice Dixon), muling gustong makipagrelasyon ito. Dahil sa mga pambabae ni Roman ay gusto rin sanang makaganti ito sa asawa at maraming mga lalaki na gustong makipagrelasyon sa kanya ngunit napipigilan pa rin nito ang sarili ngunit nang makilala niya minsan ang batang-batang si Jason (Aga) ay hindi na nito napigilan ang sarili. Muling pinagtagpo si Clara at Jason nang masiraan itong una sa kalye at nagkataon na naruon si Jason at tinulungan siya na humantong sa isang dinner date. Nagkaroon sila ng relasyon at nagkikita sa isang apartment na pagaari ng kaibigan ni Clara. Sa kabila ng agwat ng kanilang edad at estado’y natutong mahalin ng dalawa ang kanilang isa’t isa hanggang sa matuklasan ng asawa ni Jason ang relasyon at mag-iskandalo pa ito sa harap ng mga tao’t sa apartment na tagpuan ng dalawa. Bukod sa iskandalo ay nagsumbong pa ito sa asawa ni Clara. Ang naging resulta ng pagsusumbong na ito’y ang pagkakabugbog ni Jason sa malupit na kamay ni Roman. Sinadista nito ang kaawa-awang si Jason. Nang malaman ni Clara ay hindi niya napigilan ang nangyari sa katipan at nang mapuntahan niya’y natuklasan niya ang sinapit ni Jason. Binaril niya ang asawa at pinatay. Dito siya nakulong.

Maayos na nailahad ni Maryo Delosreyes ang istorya nang pag-iibigan ni Clara at Jason. Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit tinangihan ni Vilma ang pelikulang Naglalayag na halos kapareho ng istorya, ang pag-ibigan ng isang batang lalaki sa nakakatandang babae. Merong mga eksena rito na hindi kapanipaniwala katulad ng bakit nabuhay pa si Aga Muhlach sa bandang huli dahil nakakapagtaka na sa kabila na sobrang torture na natanggap niya mula sa sadistang si Roman ay nabuhay pa ito. Hindi rin na-isplika ng pelikula kung bakit gustong balikan ni Roman ang ex-wife niyang si Leda (Alice Dixon). Mahusay ang cast ng pelikula, magagalit ka talaga sa kalupitan ni Gabby Concepcion at makikita mo rin na believable siya bilang isang babaerong negosyante.  Bilang ex-wife ni Roman, parang tuod si Alice Dixon wala siyang kabuhay buhay na magdeliver ng mga lines.  Samantala, litaw na litaw naman ang role ni Aiko Melendez bilang Ana, ang asawa ni Jason.  Halos lahat ng eksena niya ay mahusay niyang nagampanan maliban sa bandang huli yung reconciliation scene niya kay Vilma kung saan hindi bagay ang lines niya na: ”pareho natin siyang minahal… blah blah blah…”

Magaling sina Aga Muhlach at Vilma Santos bilang nagtatagong magkasintahan.  Lutang na lutang ang pag-arte ng dalawa at nakakatuwa sila sa kanilang mga eksena na nagtatagpo ng palihim tulad ng mag-kita sila sa department store.  Dumating si Vilma at hinahanap niya si Aga, hindi nya makita ito hanggang sa mamataan niya ang binata na nakaupo sa may display area.  Kinindatan ni Jason si Clara at napatawa na lang ang babae. Mararamdaman mo ang excitement ng mga pagkikitang ito.  Nang mahuli ni Ana ang asawa at mag-iskandalo ito, nang umalis na ang asawa at balikan ni Jason si Clara sa loob ng apartment, makikita sa mukha ni Vilma ang pagtatapos ng kanilang affair.  Ang sabi niya: “ Hinintay lang kita, gusto  kong maghiwalay tayo ng maayos…”  Bukod sa maraming eksena na lutang na lutang ang pag-arte ni Vilma marahil ang pinaka-memorable ay ang eksena kung saan binaril ni Vilma si Gabby at sabihin niya ang line na: “mamatay kang kasama ng mga baboy mo…” ito ang pagpapatunay na talagang napakahusay niyang artista. – RV

“…Strange Coincidence – There are funny coincidences going on in the lives of some of our more durable and interesting showbiz personalities. For instance, in the lives of Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor. So far it’s proving to be Vilma’s year (that’s why she comes first sa billing). First she plunged into politics and helped win for long time beau Ralph Recto a seat in Congress. Now she’s starring in Regal’s anniversary offering, Sinungaling Mong Puso, with loverboy Aga Muhlach. Next, she’s marching down the aisle to marry Ralph, a Recto no less, in what promises to be the social event of the year, bar none. It’s interesting how, the older Ate Vi gets (she’s in her late thirties now), the younger and more sosyal her men get (Ralph is ten years her junior, Aga more). It reflects awesome self-confidence, is all I can say. And she’s not alone. Ate Guy’s career may be on hold these days but, apparently, not her lovelife. This is where she and Ate Vi match points. Guy’s new beau is John Rendez, a rapper composer who’s all of 21 years old. Wala akong masabi except, wow, what a trip…”…” – Angela Stuart Santiago, Manila Standard, Aug 24 1992 (READ MORE)

“Vilma Santos did not expect that her first experience at the Lower House could be so pleasant. “They were very nice. I was expecting that they’ll just tolerate me kasi artista ako, but they even posed with me,” she shared. Gina de Venecia, wife of the Speaker, asked her to join the Congressional Ladies Group. Ate Vi said that as soon as “Things settle down after the December 11 wedding to be held at the Lipa Cathedral, she will organize a foundation for street children. First, in Lipa and later here in Metro Manila. Vi said that her latest movie, Sinungaling Mong Puso, slated to open today, is inspired by her tele-movie, Once There Was A Love which also starred Aga Muhlach. I really wanted Aga to be my leading man in this movie since we started our tele-movie.” The movie also reminded her of the time when she and Ralph met for the first time. He was then only 21, or 11 years her junior. Vi does not plan to stop making movies, “I’ll be bored with just being a housewife,” she averred. “Sinungaling…, she said, “is teh story of three women and how they relate to the men in their lives. This is more intense compared to Ipagpatawad Mo. She is set to do two more movies this year – – one for Moviestars with Cesar Montano and Ronnie Rickets to be directed by Chito Rono; and another for OctoArts with perennial screen partner, Christopher de Leon with Mike de Leon as director…” – Nena Villanueva, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“Scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 9.9!” – Oskee Salazar, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“It is well acted, with special mention going to Vilma Santos, Aga Muhlach, and Gabby Concepcion.” – Ricky Calderon, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“I realized I have lesser problem in life.” – Alfie Lorenzo, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“Best actress talaga si Vilma. Aga Muhlach is the best actor of his generation.” – Mario Dumawal, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“Acting superb. Plot realistic. It can happen to the best of families. Aga’s talent comes to the fore — award-winning. I like all his scenes…Pacing last. I’d like to see it again.” – Nena Villanueva, Manila Standard, Aug 27 1992 (READ MORE)

“…The stellar achievement in politics, motion picture and television industries of Star for All Seasons and acknowledged Longest-Reigning Box-Office Queen Vilma Santos has necessitated the creation of yet another FAMAS special award: the Exemplary Achievement Award, an award given only to previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients who have shown continued blossoming and achievement in the movie industry, as well as in other fields. The actress, who is also the incumbent governor of Batangas province, was not able to make it to the Gabi ng Parangal due to short notice, but she was able to send a video message acknowledging her award. It can be remembered that the FAMAS created a special award for Vilma Santos’ portrayal in Sinungaling Mong Puso in 1992. By technicality as a Hall of Famer, she cannot receive a regular FAMAS Award, so she was awarded an accolade higher than the Hall of Fame: the Circle of Excellence. This year, that instance is again repeated, a testament to the Star for All Seasons’ durability and penchant for excellence and achievement. Santos is also the recipient of yet another special award this awards season, the Ulirang Artista (Lifetime Achievement Award) of the Star Awards for Movies…” – Nicolo Magundayao, The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (READ MORE)

“The film scene is not unlike the current weather – drab, gloomy, mostly uneventful. But the cinematic sky finally clears up and giving us reason to be hopeful once again. We are talking here of a pretty well-made Pinoy movie that comes like a benediction from above especially at a time when every producer in town has plunged deeper into the abyss of profitability. And what irony it is – the movie has come straight out of Mother Lily’s dump-site where every piece of film product is beyond recylability. The film is called Sinungaling Mong Puso which, discard its abominable title, is a darling attempt on the part of its makers to raise the genre of marital melodrama into a decent and mature form of filmmaking. The film concerns a May-December affair between Vilma Santos and Aga Muhlach with one major hitch. They both happen to be married – she to Gabby Concepcion and he to Aiko Melendez – and the problems arising from such relationship are apparent from the start. They are quite unhappy in their status, have problems relating to their partners, and now want a way out from the heckling, bullying and, especially in Santos’ case, insulting that characterize their married lives.

Santos’ problem is clearly more complicated than Muhlach’s. She is married to a man who’s been married before (to Alice Dixon, from whom he is separated on legal grounds that are not made clear) and who literally abuses her in bed. Worse, he thinks it’s perfectly normal for a man to engage in extra-marital affairs. Muhlach’s wife is a nagger and whom he was forced to marry at a young age after he impregnated her. Their affair is nothing extraordinary – they meet by accident, she phones him, they began to date and finally go to bed. What makes the story extraordinary is the reactions of their respective spouses to their problem. Melendez becomes hysterical and Concepcion is naturally violent. He orders his bodyguards to beat up Muhlach and leaves him badly battered. Santos comes to the scene and shoots her husband dead, right in the company of the swine that he raises and she calls him whenever he forces her to make love. At the end, she is sent to jail where a tearful reunion between the lovers takes place, with another plea for absolution from their past sins. What makes the film in a way absorbing is the firm, secure hand of its director, Maryo delos Reyes.

He has a nice way of working with the camera (three cinematographers are credited) and even more effective way of working with his actors. Though he occassionally lapses into using visibly commercial devices (such as the effects of slow-mo, freeze frame, and fragmentation shots), he manages on the most part to motivate his actors into giving their best. Ms. Santos is at her usual inspired level (But hasn’t she done this part in countless other movies?) though I often got distracted with her outfits, make-up and their age difference (Muhlach is 21 but we never find out Santos’ age, presumably 15 years older). Muhlach is a revelation, a natural in his acting even he indulges in pure histrionics. Concepcion has improved considerably and is now at home playing parts like this. Melendez is likewise adequate but a bigger surprise is Dixon’s portrayal of a career woman torn between her friendship and love. She has finally blossomed in time even if I do not completely trust the voice on the soundtrack (must be the dubber’s). The script is by two people – Jake Tordesillas and Jose Javier Reyes – and it is best with problems, structually mostly. The film is told as a flashback but the device is used only at the opening and closing of the film while Santos is in jail visited by Dixon. But the narrative is not told from her point of view nor anybody else’s. This is, however, a monor quibble compared to the merit of the film, not the least of which is its uncompromising view of the problems confronting married people, and the anachronistic standards that Philippine society uses in judging those who violate the sanctity of marriage…” – Justino Dormiendo, Manila Standard, Sep 6, 1992 (READ MORE)

“…Even now, the Sirkian influence could still be seen in many Tagalog movies. The framing makes sense, it adds drama, makes the scene visually beautiful. But, I only wish that the younger filmmakers eradicate the lugubriousness of Sirk’s orchestration of melodrama to solicit emotional response from the audience. But, sad to say, the Philippine movie industry seemed to have got stuck and has been suffering from a fixation known as the “heavy drama obsession.” ”Sinungaling Mong Puso” is just one example of Sirk’s influence. But what made this film even more horrific is that all the actors in this film, except Vilma Santos, were a hopeless case of “acting running amuck”. It was definitely patterned from Douglas Sirk’s smash hit films that many starred Rock Hudson: Magnificent Obsession (1954); All That Heaven Allows (1955); There’s Always Tomorrow (1956); Written on the Wind (1956); A Time to Love and A Time to Die (1958); Imitation of Life (1959); to name a few…” – Jose Mari Lee, Pinoy Comics TV Movies (READ MORE)

Filmography: Hahamakin Lahat (1990)

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Basic Information: Directed: Lino Brocka; Story, screenplay: Ricardo Lee; Cast: Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Eric Quizon, Dennis Roldan, Perla Bautista, Ruben Rustia, Maritoni Fernandez, Gina Perez, Pocholo Montes, Archie Adamos; Executive producer: Lily Y. Monteverde; Original Music: Jaime Fabregas; Cinematography: Pedro Manding Jr.; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Benjie De Guzman; Sound: Joe Climaco, Ramon Reyes

Plot Description: Lucinda (Vilma Santos), a hard-nosed scheming power hungry woman is married to a young politico, Gerard (Eric Quizon). Theyère the ideal and perfect partners in life and in crime. Their lives take a new shape with the re-entry of Renato (Gabby Concepcion), Lucindaès first love and now married to cousin Teresa (Snooky Serna). What follows is another colorful drama – swapping partners to satisfy their burning passion. But the moment of truth arrives – Lucinda and Gerard outwits each other to assure power and reach the top to the extend of plotting their lover’s murder. – Regal Films (DVD box description)

An oppressed housemaid has transformed herself into a wealthy and powerful business mogul through sheer dint of talent, ambition and driving need to avenge herself on her tormentors. She comes back to the scene of her most abject debasement with the sole intent of humiliating the family who once made her life such a living hell. Unknowingly, she gets to exact revenge on the very person who turns out to be her own daughter by the son of her former mistress. – Databases of Philippine Movies (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1990 Star Awards for Movies Best Supporting Actress – Snooky Serna; 1990 FAMAS Nomination Best Supporting Actress – Snooky Serna; 1990 FAP Nomination Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination Best Best Actor – Gabby Concepcion

Film Reviews: “…Can the specificities of a film genre dictate the nature of roles available to actors according to their sexual differentiation? In the instance of a specific local genre, melodrama, it appears that not only the nature of the roles but the advantage of the performer is predetermined in a manner opposed to the original foreign norm. Two of the better releases in 1990 by the country’s top competitors for studio supremacy prove this point indirectly, by applying for us one outstanding performance each – both by female actors essaying distinctively female roles…Regal Films’ Hahamakin Lahat has the reliable Vilma Santos in a successful (in popular terms) modification of her other-woman persona, placing her work here on the order of Tagos ng Dugo and Pahiram ng Isang Umaga. Both films can be roughly classified as melodramas of the Filipino variety, specifically by their emphasis on moral issues, complicated plots, and strong female roles – characteristics that serve the thesis that local melodramas are, for want of a better term, prejudiced in favor of women, complaints from feminists notwithstanding…while that of Vilma Santos resolves not to fall emotionally for her flavor of the moment; in the end, when Mr. Seemingly Right happens along, all their notions of self-sufficiency get discarded like so much excess baggage, as off they go after the walking incarnation of the True Meaning of Life…

Compared with the director-writer team-up’s previous effort, Gumapang Ka sa Lusak, Hahamakin manages to go deeper into the psyche of the female oppressor (a secondary character in the earlier film, which concentrated on the victim instead). On the other hand, several crucial establishing details in the latter work had to be relegated to lines of exchanges, and a demonstration of how social cancer spreads through the body politic is never pulled off, precisely because the filmmakers had to confine themselves to the major characters. Nevertheless both recent films, plus Gumapang Ka, represent our state-of-the-craft when it comes to melodrama movie making, and I can think of no higher compliment than posing a challenge for the future: since every conceivable female lead role has been explored, with varying degrees of success, in local melodrama, and since action films have long allowed for strong women characters even in lead capacity, how about refashioning the former genre to suit non-female leads? The clash between gender and genre might yet result in certain long-overdue insights into love and anarchy as only a truly confused culture can make it…’ – Joel David, National Midweek, 17 October 1990 (READ MORE)

Brocka did Hahamakin Lahat for Regal Films. This would be his third team-up with Vilma Santos. The role called for Vilma to be dark, daring, and innovative—something that totally deviated from characters usually portrayed by the sweet-faced actress . It showed a heroine entering into a marriage of convenience with a ruthless, scheming mayor—a character Brocka created to expose the hypocrisy and corruption of society. – Mario Hernando

“…In his book, Don Jose & The Early Philippine Cinema, Joe Quirino credits jose Nepomuceno pioneer in producing movies that not only entertained but also informed. Wrote Quirino: “His screen adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal’s novel exposing the social cancer that festered during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, captured the sardonic and satirical contents of the imflammatory noel.” Satire was a popular device through which producer aired their views on social issues. In 1929, a satirical movie called Patria Amore caught the ire of the local Spanish community who went to court to stop its exhibition. A counterpart incident took place in 1965 when the Liberal Party tried to stop the showing of Iginuhit ng Tadhana, the propagandistic movie of the life of Ferdinand Marcos. The same motion picture propelled Marcos to the presidency. Movies of social significance often face this dillemma on their way to the big screen. Because of their strong public statement, they invite uproar from concerned sectors, an experience that became almost a daily ordeal for the late director, Lino Brocka. In recent years and until his death in 1991, Brocka had been the prime mover of Tagalog movies of social significance. Some of his works that easily fall under this category are, in no particular orderL Orapronobis (about vigilantes and rebels in the countryside), Bayan Ko (on labor unrest), Gumapang Ka sa Lusak and Hahamakin Lahat (on political corruption), Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (on moral degradation and exploitation)…” – Nestor Cuartero, Panorama, dated June 13, 1993 (READ MORE)

Snooky Also Shines – “…Do you know who has improved a lot in her acting especially in her last movie? It’s Snooky. In “Hahamakin Lahat,” she was almost at par with the star for all seasons, Vilma S. kung acting ang paguusapan, says an ardent admirer. Nag-underacting siya but there were moments na akala mo siya ang bida sa pelikula. I remember a hysterical Snooky in highlights scenes of her movies. I think it’s only Lino Brocka who directed her in her first movie, “Wanted, Perfect Mother,” when she was only four or five years old, who can control her acting as he did in “Hahamakin.” Snooky has gained more character and a certain maturity in her acting. I’m sure she’ll garner several nominations for this movie come awards time next year…” – Nena z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, 05 Sep 1990 p16 (READ MORE)