Remembering George Masangkay Canseco

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Musical Director – “…Arguably the best composer in the land, George Canseco was born on April 23, 1934. He took Liberal Arts at the University of the East, but did not finish his course…Aside from composing movie theme songs, he has also been musical director for many films, such as “Burlesk Queen,” “Pagputi ng Uwak , Pag-itim ng Tagak,” “Atsay,” and “Miss X.” The great songwriter has won almost every musical award for a composer: best composer, best theme song, song of the year, best musical director, and best musical scoring from several award giving bodies. His best theme song awards were for “Kapantay ay Langit,” 1971, and “Imortal,” 1989, for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF); “Huwag Bayaw,” 1979, “Langis at Tubig,” 1980, “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan?” 1982, “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?” 1983, “Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin?” 1984, and “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit,” 1991, all from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS). His other musical directing awards include “Hiram,” Star Awards, 1987 and “Sinasamba Kita,” 1982, “Misis mo, Misis ko,” 1988, and “Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit” from the film academy awards (FAP). He was also chosen as the Best Musical Director by the MMFF for “Bato-bato sa Langit,” 1975; “Burlesk Queen,” 1977; “Pagputi ng uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak,” 1978, “Huwag Bayaw,” 1979; “Miss X”, 1980, “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?” 1982, and “Palimos ng Pag-ibig,” 1988, by the FAP Awards for “Paano Tatakasan ang Bukas,” 1988, and by the Star Awards for “Magdusa Ka!” 1987. Among his award winning songs are “Sinasamba Kita,” 1982, and “Langis at Tubig,” 1983, both chosen by the Cecil Awards as best song written for a motion picture. “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?” gave George the Cecil Song of the Year award 1984, and “True love came too late,” Awit Awards’ Song of the year, 1970….” – Carrie B. Yan (READ MORE)

P1.5M for a song – “…Canseco said that Marcos paid him P1.5 million to write the song, which was interpreted by Kuh Ledesma. The song also became the theme for a bank’s television commercial. The songwriter also brought honor to the country by winning in foreign music festivals. The song “Ako ang Nagwagi,” interpreted by Dulce, lost in the Metro Pop Music Festival in 1978. But it brought home top honors for Canseco and the country from the Hong Kong Music Festival the same year. The following year, he bagged the grand prize in the Metro Pop Music Festival with the song “Ngayon,” interpreted by Basil Valdez. He also wrote music for the movies and won countless awards for his scores. However, Canseco was not proud of his movie scores, because “not one of them stands out.” He composed his last film score in 1989 for “Paano Ang Ngayon Kung Wala Nang Bukas,” which starred Kring Kring Gonzales and Ronaldo Valdes. He also wrote the movie’s theme song, “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” sung by Basil. Canseco wrote jingles for radio and television commercials. Like his songs, these jingles were also timeless. A jingle for a cigarette commercial which he wrote in the ’70s is still being used today….” – Nini Valera, Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 20, 2004 (READ MORE)

George Masangkay Canseco (23 April 1934 in Naic, Cavite, Philippines – 19 November 2004 in Manilla, Philippines) was a Filipino song composer…He died on November 19, 2004 in Manila, Philippines due to cancer. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

George Canseco’s Music in Vilma Santos Films

  • Imortal (1989) – George received the best musical score and best original song from the 1989 Metro Manila Film Festival, Vilma recieve the best actress.
  • Saan nagtatago ang pag-ibig? (1987) – George recieved the FAMAS hall of fame award this year while Vilma Santos recieved her fifth best actress award that elevated her to be the following year’s hall of famer awardee.
  • Palimos ng pag-ibig (1986) – George received the best musical score award from FAMAS while Vilma recieved a best actress nomination.
  • Muling buksan ang puso (1985) – George was ignored by the award giving bodies for his work on this film, Vilma received a nomination from FAMAS.
  • Minsan pa nating hagkan ang nakaraan (1983) – Basil Valdez performed the soundtrack, both George and Vilma weren’t recognized for their work on this Diaz-Abaya film.
  • Paano ba ang mangarap? (1983) – George received the best theme song from FAMAS for the soundtrack, “Paano ba ang mangarap” while Vilma did not received any acting award for this film but was recognized for another film, Bernal’s Broken Marriage.
  • Sinasamba kita (1982) – Both George and Vilma were big winners from the very first Luna Awards. He recieved the Academy Award for best original song for the soundtrack, “Sinasamba Kita” while she received the best actress trophy.
  • Gaano kadalas ang minsan? (1982) – Canseco received the FAMAS best musical score and best theme songs for the soundtrack, “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” while Vilma did not received any acting award for this film but instead recognized for her grand slam film, Bernal’s Relasyon.
  • Langis at tubig (1980) – Canseco received the best theme song from FAMAS for the soundtrack, “Langis at tubig,” performed by a very young, Sharon Cuneta, Vilma received a nomination for best actress from FAMAS.
  • Miss X (1980) – He received the best musical score award from FAMAS while Vilma did not received any acting award for this film but was recognized for Langis at Tubig.
  • Good Morning, Sunshine (1979) – George was credited as contributor lyricist for the single, “Yakap,” one of the soundtrack of this musical and sung by Latin singer, Junior but this clearly needs official citation.
  • Coed (1979) – Both George and Vilma did not received any awards or nomination for this film.
  • Pagputi ng uwak…Pag-itim ng tagak (1978) – George received the best musical score from FAMAS and a nomination from Gawad Urian (Pinakamahusay na Musika) and Vilma received the best picture trophies both from FAMAS and Gawad Urian as the film’s executive producer.
  • Bakit kailangan kita (1978) – The soundtrack, “Kailangan Kita” composed by George and performed by Leah Navarro was this year’s biggest hit song.
  • Burlesk Queen (1977) – Both Vilma and George were big winners at the 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival, she received the best actress while he got the best musical score. They also recieved nominations from Gawad Urian in their respective categories.
  • Mga rosas sa putikan (1976) – Both George and Vilma did not received any awards or nomination for this film but Vi performed the film’s soundtrack, “Mga Rosas sa Putikan.”
  • Vilma and the Beep Beep Minica (1974) – The very first film of Vi and George as actor and musical scorer. Although both did not received any award or nomination on this project, Beep Beep Minica was a huge hit.

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FILM REVIEW: PALIMOS NG PAGIBIG (Video)

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“Okay you’re fertile and I’m barren…pero sa mga pangyayari…para kang karinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain!” – Fina

The Plot: On the outside, it looks like a marriage made in heaven. But inside the thick walls of what they call home, theirs is a relationship waiting to crumble. They have been wanting a child for so long, but the wife does not have the capacity to bear a child. And when her husband cannot take it any longer, he decides to end his misery once and for all. – IMDB

The story is about an infertile couple who never had a child of their own. The husband, frustrated by his wife’s infertility, hired somebody who was willing to carry his child. The hired woman got pregnant but she fell in love with the child’s father. The husband falsely adopted the child, hiding the fact from his wife that the child was his own. All the attention the husband gave to the child drove his wife to jealousy. To complicate things, the husband eventually had a secret affair with the child’s mother, and this affair produced another baby. The mistress left the newborn baby at the footsteps of the husband’s house. The wife then took care of the baby, and the children grew without their adoptive mother knowing that the two kids were fruits of her husband’s secret love affair. – Wikipilipinas

The Reviews: “…Eddie Garcia first directed Vilma in the Marcos film, Pinagbuklod Ng Langit. She reprised the role of eldest of the Marcos children, Imee and again co-starred with movie queen, Gloria Romero and dramatic actor, Luis Gonzales. Garcia directed Vilma again in 1982′s box Office Record Breaker, Sinasamba Kita. Three more hit films follows that gave us memorable movie lines like “Para Kang Karinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain” in Palimos Ng Pag-ibig and “Si Val, si Val, si Val na walang malay!…” – (READ MORE)

“…Hit novels serialized in Aliwan Komiks were also adapted into movies:“Blusang Itim” by Elena M. Patron and Joey Celerio;“Pardina” by Jim Fernandez and Sonny Trinidad;“The Family Tree” by Pablo S. Gomez and Louie Celerio;“Palimos ng Pag-ibig” by Nerissa G. Cabral and Ernie H. Santiago;“Anak ni Zuma” by Jim Fernandez and Ben Maniclang;“Kamay ni Hilda” by Pablo S. Gomez and Louie Celerio…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

“…Palimos ng Pag-ibig (Filipino: “Begging for Love”) was a movie in 1985 and turned into a TV series in 2007 for the first installment of Sineserye Presents. This was from the original story by Nerissa Cabral. This movie was home of the famous tagline: “Para kang karenderiang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain!” (You’re like a restaurant that’s open to anyone who wants to eat!), In context of prostitution reference…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Ang surrogacy or womb for hire, eh isang katotohanan na na­pagtanto nating lahat. Tinalakay ito in all its melodrama splendor sa Palimos ng Pag-Ibig, ang pelikula nina Vilma Santos, Edu Manzano at Dina Bonnevie. Sa movie, si Fina Alcaraz (Ate Vi) ay may infertile uterus. Desi­rous ang kanyang husband na si Rodel (Doods) to have a biological child so he hired Ditas (Miss D) na isang baby maker for a fee. Walang pros and cons ang surrogacy issue sa movie lalo na’t galing ang material sa komiks. Ang pinaka­memorable sa movie eh ang linya ni Vilma na, “Para kang ka­rinderyang bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain.” Sosyalera si Ate Vi sa movie pero she can say lines like these…” – Alwin Ignacio, Abante Tonite, 22 March 2015 (READ MORE)

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IMDB: Palimos ng pag-ibig (1986)
IMDB: Eddie Garcia
IMDB: Dina Bonnevie
IMDB: Edu Manzano
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Vilma Santos’ Top 10 Film Directors (part three)
50 Famous Lines from Pinoy Movies (Video)

FILM REVIEW: PAGPUTI NG UWAK PAGITIM NG TAGAK

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“…sabi mo pa nga nuon mahal na mahal mo ako…sabi mo pa na hindi magbabago ang pagtingin mo sa akin…dahil papaano mo papatayin ang hangin? Paano mo papatayin ang ulan? Paano mo papatayin ang araw? Sabi mo pa nga hindi mo na ako iiwan kahit na anong mangyari…kaya naisip ko nuon magpaligaw na ako sa’yo…kahit hindi pa pumuputi ang uwak, o umi-itim ang tagak…” – Julie

The Plot: “Pag-puti ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” is a pulsating love story that recaptures the nostalgic fifties, the exciting era of mass hysteria, and the golden years of the rock and roll fever inflicted by screaming, wiggling hip-shaking foreign pop idols dominated by Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Pat Boone, Doris Day and the Platters. “Pag-puti ng Uwak,Pag-itim ng Tagak” is more than a love story. It is also a commentary – a satire rich with humor injected into a moral, psychological, sociological, and cultural aspect, outlook, and values of the said bygone era. “Pag-puti ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak”, is a poigant rich-girl-meets poor boy love story of Julie Monserat and Candido Ventura – two love-struck starry eyed youths who fought for their right to love each other, here is a story that touches social conflict – the perennial clashes and discrimination between the rich and the poor. Julie grew up under the custody of her two wealthy spinster aunts Beatriz and Miguela Monserrat. Julie enjoyed everything, except the right to love her own father – Maestro Juan Roque, the poor town teacher. Julie met Dido a student-combo player. They fell in love with each other and had secret affairs. The aunts hated Dido for his ” lowly breeding and ear-splitting music”, thus rejecting him in favor of the town mayor’s son. Julie eventually got pregnant. They planned an elopement but was foiled. The conflict between the lovers and the Monserrat exploded into a series of scandals that rocked the whole town of Sta. Inez…” – Celso Ad Castillo (READ MORE)

“…Malakas ang deconstruction ng “Romeo and Juliet” sa obra na ito. Maraming reference (pinaka-given na siguro na ang pangalan ni Vilma Santos dito ay Julie) sa tragedy ni Shakespeare. Dito ko nakita si Celso Ad in a different light. Nage-gets ko ang poesiya ng mga nature shots n’ya sa ibang pelikula pero rito, klarong klaro ang pagkahilig n’ya sa literary classic. Pinakagusto kong shot eh ‘yung terrace scene na malakas maka-tribute. Wala kasi akong katiting na abiso tungkol sa pedigree ng pelikula at masayang naglalaro sa isip ko ang mga reference hanggang sa sumabog ito sa dulo na nagbigay konklusyon sa mga hinagap. Maraming eksena na may kilometric line si Vilma rito. Napaalala rin sa akin ang era kung saan ang sukatan ng isang pagiging aktres ay nasa haba ng mga linya na kayang mamemorya. Pinagsamang sensuality at controlled acting ang pinamalas n’ya. Maigting din ang chemistry nila ni Bembol Roco rito…” – Manuel Pangaruy Jr., Tagailog Specials Presents, 02 August 2013 (READ MORE)

Kuwento ng magkasintahang pinaghiwalay, na ipinaloob sa isang panahong dinadaluyong ang lipunang Pilipinong rebelyong Hukbalahap. Iyan ang buod ng ‘Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak’. Dekada ng 1950 noon, at sa pista ng matandang bay an ng Santa Ines ay nagkatagpu-tagpo sina Julie Monserrat (Vilma Santos), Dido Ventura (Bembol Roco) at Maestro Juan Roque (Joonee Gamboa). Mula sa mayaman at makapangyarihang pamilya si Julie, isang ulilang pinalaki at pinapag-aral sa Maynila ng kanyang mga tiyang matandang dalagang sina Beatriz (Adul de Leon) at Miguela (Angie Ferro). Si Dido ay maralitang binatang ang Ina (Mona Lisa) ay may iwing poot sa mga Monserrat na kumamkam sa kanilang lupain at naging dahilan ng kanilang paghihirap. Si Maestro Roque naman ay kilalang kompositor at biyolinista na umuwi sa Santa Ines upang tapusin ang kanyang sarsuwelang pinamagatang “Pangarap ng Bagong Umaga.” Sa unang pagkikita pa lamang ay napusuan ni Dido si Jutie. Nagkahulihan ng loob ang dalawa, at isang gabi’ypinangahasang akyatin ni Dido si Julie sa kuwarto nito. Ang kanilang pagtatalik ay humantong sa pagtatanan. Nang magbalik ang magkasintahan upang humingi ng pahintulot na sila’y pakasal, si Julie ay pinamili ng kanyang mga tiya sa maginhawang buhay na kanyang kinagisnan, at sa walang-katiyakang hinaharap bilang asawa ni Dido. Nagdalawang-isip si Julie, at pinili niyang manatili sa pangangalaga ng kanyang mga tiya.

Masamang-masama ang loob ni Dido sa nangyari. Nang siya ay laitin ng kanyang kasintahang si Cristy (Olivia O’Hara), sinaktan niya ito. Nalaman ni Claro (Robert Talabis) ang ginawa ni Dido sa kanyang kapatid, at nagharap ang dalawa sa isang labanang mano-a-mano. Napatay ni Dido si Claro. Alkalde ng bayan ang ama (Mervin Samson) nina Cristy at Claro, kaya’t pinakitos nito ang mga pulis upang iligpit si Dido. Nang gabing lihim na kunin si Dido sa kulungan upang patayin, inambus ng mga Huk ang sasakyan ng mga pulis. Tiyo ni Dido ang pinuno ng mga Huk na si Kumander Salome (Lito Anzures). Sumamang namundok si Dido sa kanyang Tiyo. Minsang dumalaw sa bahay ng mga Monserrat si Maestro Roque, siya ay hinamak ng magkapatid na Beatriz at Miguela. Mula na rin sa mga tiya ni Julie, natuklasan niya na anak pala niya si Julie sa patay nang si Ana Monserrat. Nang magkahiwalay sina Julie at Dido, nalaman ni Maestro Roque na buntis si Julie. Ito ay dinalaw niya sa konserbatoryong pinag-aaralan ng dalaga sa pagka-biyolinista. Ipinagtapat niyang siya ang ama ni Julie. Tinalikdan ni Julie ang kanyang ama, subalit ang pagdalaw na iyon ang naging dahilan upang magpasiya ang dalaga na huwag ipaampon ang kanyang anak na isisilang. Nilakad ni Maestro Roque na pagtagpuing muli sina Julie at Dido. Isang gabi ng Mahal na Araw, nagkita ang magkasintahan at nakilala ni Dido ang kanyang anak kay Julie. Natunugan ng mga espiya ng gobyerno ang pagbaba sa bayan ng mga rebeldeng pinamumunuan ni Kumander Salome. Ang uha ng anak nina Julie at Dido ay nangibabaw sa masinsing putukang lumipol kina Dido at mga kasama. – Manunuri (READ MORE)

It is the 1950’s at the height of the Huk (local Communist armed forces) movement, in a part of the country beset with agrarian unrest. During the town fiesta of Santa Ines, Julie Monserrat is introduced to Dido Ventura and Maestro Juan Roque, an old musician. Julie, an orphan who comes from the local aristocracy, is on vacation from school in Manila, and is staying with her two spinster aunts Beatriz and Miguela. Dido Ventura, a young man from a poor family, lives with his mother who nurses an old grievance against the Monserrats; she believes they grabbed the Ventura’s property. Maestro Juan Roque, a well-known composer and violinist, has just returned to Santa Ines to finish a zarzuela he has been planning to write for a long time. Dido falls in love with Julie at their first meeting. One night, he sneaks into the spinsters’ house and spends a passionate night with Julie. The brief liaison leads to their elopement. When the two lovers return to ask for the aunts’ blessing, Julie is made to choose between a life of poverty and uncertainty with Dido, or a life of comfort and respectability with her aunts. Julie chooses to stay with her aunts. Dido is shaken by the turn of events.

He meets Cristy, his girlfriend, who insults him for the embarrassing situation he has gotten himself into. Dido turns roughly against the girl and beats her up. Cristy’s brother finds out about this and challenges him to a fist fight. Dido kills Cristy’s brother. Cristy’s father, who is the town mayor, decides to dispose of Dido immediately. But when his secret police nab Dido one night, the jeep taking them to Dido’s execution is ambushed by a band of Huk rebels led by Kumander Salome, Dido’s uncle. Saved, Dido decides to join his rebel uncle in the mountains. Meanwhile, Maestro Roque, on a visit to the spinsters’ old house to talk about Julie’s violin lessons, finds out that Julie is actually his own daughter by one of the Monserrat sisters now deceased. Julie herself is pregnant with Dido’s child. The old musician’s visit to her house and the ensuing revelatin make he decide to keep the baby. Maestro Roque arranges for Julie and Dido to meet again. On the night of Good Friday, Dido leaves the rebel camp to see his newborn child. Kumander Salome decides to go along with the young man. Government spies learn of this and an ambush is set. The child of Julie and Dido is the only survivor and witness of the masscre that ends the film. – Rosauro de la Cruz (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “…Compared to Burlesk Queen, Pagputi ng Uwak is less of a technical mess. Particularly exceptional are the shots of rustic religious rituals; unfortunately their use does not progress beyond the literal level. This makes for increasing predictability toward the picture’s end, as when the preparations for a military massacre are intercut with recitations of the tribulations of Jesus Christ. Attempts at authenticity appear to have been assiduous, but the project may have also proved too ambitious in this aspect. Thus one can find high-tension wires and Scotch-tinted car windows, not to mention recent beautification accomplishments, making their way into a 1950s period movie. Performance-wise Pagputi ng Uwak leaves a lot more to be desired. Among the cast, only Mona Lisa manages to pull off a convincing characterization as Bembol Roco’s mother. Angie Ferro and Adul de Leon, as Vilma Santos’ spinster aunts, are no better than caricatures: funny maybe, but quite incredible. Joonee Gamboa has mellowed since his rudimental portrayal of an impresario in Burlesk Queen; his role, however, is far less significant this time, reduced as it is to playing the intermediary between star-crossed characters. Executive producer Vilma Santos does better outside camera range. Her production is financially and artistically liberal, the sort the local audience has been deprived of since the dissolution of the previous censors board. Her performance though is about as effective as that of a drama guild’s star performer: she renounces her lover like she would a final exam, and later professors love for him like she would a teen idol. The same applies to Bembol Roco, about whose character more will be said later; suffice it to say that he still has yet to employ under-acting to his advantage. Meanwhile he and Santos are the industry’s star couple, and there one has the trappings of the star system at work again. Is there nothing at all to be said in favor of the movie? Come to think of it, Burlesk Queen did have a saving grace, and it is this same virtue – intention – which redeems Pagputi ng Uwak. In his works Castillo the artist seeks to depict the Filipino as only a fellow Filipino will understand, particularly in terms of pride and sentiment – values associated in Western aesthetics with melodrama. Which is what makes Castillo easy prey for local culture vultures: with technical excellence as a basic requisite for deserving favor, he falls short at first try; infatuation with alien modes of behavior further ensures their alienation from the obviously progressive statements he wishes to make…” – Joel David, Philippine Collegian/The Urian Anthology 1970-1979, 26 July 1978 (READ MORE)

“…Castillo-watchers who had to cringe at the amount of its acting that Castillo allowed or demanded from his actors and actresses, will be gratified at the quiet intensity of the performances in Pagputi ng Uwak. Although one is never convinced that Vilma Santos can indeed bow music out of violin, her characterization of Julie displays the maturing talent of an actress fast learning to explore and shape her emotional resources in creating a character. Bembol Roco is disadvantaged by the script’s focus on Julie, but he impressively communicates the change in Dido from reckless teenager to hardened rebel. The acting highlights in the film, however, are provided by the three capable stage performers playing supporting roles. At long last Jonee Gamboa has been allowed to shed the irritatingly mannered caricatures he has been made to do in his previous films. As Maestro Juan Roque, he gives a serene portrait of a man who sublimates the turmoil of his inner life into the music he plays and composes in a performance memorable for its restraint and sincerity. Angie Ferro tends to be over-empphatic in places, but her portrayal of Miguela effectively keeps the role from degenerating into a contra vida stereotype by touching it up with humor that is broad yet never out of character. It is Adul de Leon, however, who emerges luminously as a character actress of the first magnitude. Her interpretation of Beatriz is a piece of complex character portraiture all the more admirable for having made a role of rather limited range so persuasively human. Good performances are not unusual in Filipino movies. What is rare is that coming together of temperaments and skills that make film art possible. In Pagputi ng Uwak, Castillo’s work does not display anything that he has not already shown in his previous films. The fondness for story material that reeks of social overtones, the lyrical exuberance with which he invests starkly realistic situations, and the intensely theatrical confrontations among his characters – these have been qualities evident even in Castillo’s lesser works, where they are often pushed to absurd lengths. What has happened in Pagput ng Uwak is that the director has been able to bring to a focus his varied talents, and found fellow artists with temperaments congenial to his. With cinematographer Romy Vitug and musical director George Canseco, he seem to have found working partners who share his penchant for the poetic, and their collaboration has resulted in a film where narrative imagery and music fuse into a memorable whole…” – Bienvenido Lumbera (READ MORE)

Putting in place a dialectic that analyzes social reality as at once a corrupted condition and a transformable possibility. In this situation, Dido’s idealism is undercut as an illusion by Julie (Vilma Santos), a jaded but nevertheless sensible young woman who in turn opens herself up to a revision of consciousness. This dialectic, or reflexive reflection is important to scan the contradictions of milieu and to probe the context of whatever human action plays out. Without such dynamic, which eludes most films which dare to tackle historical reality of epochal significance, all manner of practice is ultimately facile and anomalous and rendering romance as a vital agent in the articulation of difference, the engagement with a higher force and the summoning of a love that transcends the limitations of conspiratorial cacophony. A film nourished by this premise cannot fail. The personas of spinster sisters Beatriz (Angie Ferro) and Miguela (Adul de Leon) along with Joonee Gamboa as music teacher and violinist Roque San Victores are rounded out. And society is a charged terrain of armed revolt, state control and resistance. Direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, music and the performance of a sensitive cast contribute to the comprehensive competence of Pagputi Ng Uwak… Pag-Itim Ng Tagak…” – Jojo De Vera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…This is the one film this year that could have made it to the classics, given good material, Romeo Vitug, and some good acting (Joonie Gamboa and Adul De Leon are stands out). There is too much background however; a weak establishment of relationship; an incredible move from the rebel group risking their lives for a solitary personal interest; the failure to bring out the Maestro’s (Joonie) reaction to the tragedy in an affair in which he is greatly involved. The triangle here is fascinating: arts, politics, and the heart. The maestro’s art recovers for him what frustrations of the heart reduce: the lover’s taking to underground activities plays a similar role; the woman’s art provides escape from emotional confusion. The heart, neglected, must sooner or later take its toll – and politics, strangely, because the least developed angle in the film (Bembol’s character is insufficiently portrayed), simultaneously takes its toll, in tragic proportions. It would be excellent if it were within the directorial intention to comment that, in fact, neglect of the political ultimately destroys everything. Such an extent, however, is believed by the fact that the ideal political figure in the film condones the needless risking of an entire group for a single romantic resolutions. Art, politics, and love come to a bad end, but what are the tones of this fatality? Or is it indeed fatality in the director’s vision? Let us close up on this vision. There are touches that have poetry and economy. The development of the courtship into a certain depth of involvement (undialogued lyrical scenes between Vilma and Bembol); a poignant moment of the affair is visually emphasized in a shot of the stairway, now empty, by which the woman seeks the lover she had just rejected; the agitation and the impending bid for resolution by the two aunts in the car coming from Manila where the heroine had refused to let them have their way in her affair as her mother before her had been too weak to do) – to name a few. It is discordant in a directorial angle that controls such elements rather well to splash local color profusely and allow the heroine’s talky summary in the end. If this show of extremes is calculated, an indication, let us say, of the nature of the Filipino character, the act of indicating is not established. That is, if the Filipino, as Castillo sees in him, is unfortunately often swamped by ceremonies, traditions and the like so much that he loses sense of self-direction, etc., this must be developed, and not slumped upon the final scene when the love-resolution is intruded upon by the pasyon, and finally by the deadly dogma of politics. Of course, again, it might be that this is how the view from the angle is, where by all comes to a tragic end, firstly, against all human idealism and praxis (an option that is too anti-man); sporadic superfluity which gives nothing, not even meaning. Many may not accept this as a valid realism. And, in any case, what happens then to art as an instrument not only of image-reflectiions, but also of reconstruction?” – Petronila Cleto, Pelikula, Atbp (READ MORE)

“…It was 1977 with an exceptional film, Burlesk Queen, that Castillo got his frist critical recognition. Entered in that year’s Metro Manil Film Festival, it was adjudged the Best Picture, won forhim a Best Director Award as well as nine other artistic awards. It told a young girl in Manila in the 50’s who wanted to become a burlesque dancer. It showed a subdued Castillo. He seemed in this film, to have held back his passion for visual impact to give way to his new mastery of film grammar. His characters cried and whimpered, they did not scream and curse. They delievered dissertations on art, not imprecations of wrath, which had set the pitch of his previous films. The critics fought bitterly over Burlesk Queen. In that festival, he was contending with film makers who enjoyed a high reputation among the country’s most avid film critics. Upon winning the award, Castillo instantly became the favorite beating boy of the critics who did not appreciate Burlesk Queen. To prove to them his worth, Castillo did Pagputi ng Uwak, a 50’s epic set in his favorite Southern Tagalog locale. It was the most lavish of all his productions and had all the elements of a “great” Filipino film. He exploited the many religious and social rituals typical of the region. The film featured the two most critically acclaimed performers of the time, Bembol Roco, Jr. and Vilma Santos, with the cinematography of Romy Vitug complementing Castillo’s visual sense. And it touched on civil unrest to underline the film director’s social awareness. Pagputi ng Uwak was a visual fest, an artistic and socially responsive film aimed at the critics. It was also Castillo’s first commercial failure after a string of more than 20 minor and major box-office hits…In just a decade, Castillo, with all his audacity and dramatic excesses, has claimed his place as one of the most versatile and genuinely interesting filmmakers in the Philippines today…” – Rosauro de la Cruz (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Vilma and the Beep, Beep, Minica (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Romy Susara; Story, screenplay: Nilo Saez; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nick Romano, Romeo Miranda, Ramil Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez, Max Alvarado, Angelo Ventura, Joaquin Fajardo, Elizabeth Ramsey, Renato Robles, Ruben Ramos, Romy Luartes, Romy Medalla, SOS Daredevils; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Tommy Marcelino

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…She was also a hit in “Dyesebel” and the thrillers “Takbo, Vilma, Dali” and “Hatinggabi Na, Vilma.” She also did other fantasy films like “Phantom Lady,” “Vivian Volta,” “Wonder Vi,” and “Vilma and the Beep Beep Minica…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“…Rodolfo “Rudy” Valentino Padilla Fernandez, screen name Rudy Fernandez[1] (March 3, 1952 – June 7, 2008), also known as “Daboy”, was a multi-awarded Filipino actor and producer. He came to prominence as an action star in the Philippine cinema during the 1980s up to the early 1990s…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (1982)

“If he goes, you go, if he dies…dalawa na kayong nawala sa buhay ko.” – Lily

“You’re supposed to be the father of the sick boy, not the willing husband of the boy’s mother! That was the arrangement Louie!” – Elsa

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Basic Information: Directed: Danny Zialcita; Story: Tom Adrales; Screenplay: Tom Adrales, Danny Zialcita; Cast: Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel, Dindo Fernando, Chanda Romero, Tommy Abuel, Mark Joseph Enriquez, Suzanne Gonsales; Executive producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Sound: Vic Macamay; Theme Songs: “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” performed by Pilita Corales, Basil Valdez; Released date: 25 November 1982

Plot Description: They are two women in love with one man. One is the wife, the other is the mistress. And between them, the man whose love and time they share. But even the most discreet of affairs can be laid open, and the most submissive of wives can lose her patience. Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel and Dindo Fernando lend their thespic talents to this moving tale of love, betrayal and retribution.. – IMDB

Lily (Vilma Santos) and Elsa (Hilda Koronel) have been friends for a long time but they both share loads of life’s difficulties. Elsa is married to Louie (Dindo Fernando) but unfortunately couldn’t bear a child. Elsa on the other hand, had a son out of wedlock and worse, is afflicted with congenital heart disease. Lily and Louie eventually fell in love until they had a child. Elsa’s hidden intention is to adopt their child. Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel and Dindo Fernando was able to portray their characters in a moving tale of love, betrayal and retribution. – Wikipilipinas

Film Achievement: 1982 FAP Best Sound – Vic Macamay; 1982 FAMAS Best Editing – Ike Jarlego, Jr.; 1982 FAMAS Best Musical Score – George Canseco; 1982 FAMAS Best Screenplay – Tom Adrales and Danny Zialcita; 1982 FAMAS Best Story – Tom Adrales; 1982 FAMAS Best Sound – Vic Macamay; 1982 FAMAS Best Theme Song – George Canceso; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Actor – Dindo Fernando; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Child Actor – Mark Joseph Enriquez; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Director – Danny Zialcita; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Picture; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Supporting Actor – Tommy Abuel; Broke box office record of 1982, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila

Zialcita’s first movie with Vilma was the 1980 festival entry, a drama about bigamy, Langis at Tubig. The following year, Zialcita and Santos joined forces again in antoher festival entry, Karma. The film earned Vilma her second Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress. The following year, Ziacita’s Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan broke box office record, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila and assured Vilma Santos the box office queen of 1982. The total number of Vilma Santos and Danny Zialcita colloborations were four (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? 1982, Karma 1981, Langis at Tubig 1980, T-Bird at Ako). – RV (READ MORE)

“…Gaano kadalas ang Minsan? Grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982 outgrossing “Sinasamba Kita” for Philippine movies’ all-time box office tally. With inflation and currency rate in consideration that will be around 95 million. But that’s not the only exciting thing about these film. It was the only film that Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel did while atleast when Hilda was still at her peak. Ofcourse, Ate Vi’s career remained as hot as ever while Koronel now accepts supporting roles. It was obvious that year that Hilda was also more glamourous than Vilma but looking at the two right now, Vilma maintained that slim, youthful look while Hilda struggled and visibly gained so much weight she can be mistaken as Ate Vi’s aunt or mother! After Gaano Kadalas, Hilda did a few more leading roles under Viva Films even co-starred with Nora Aunor but didn’t get the same results as Gaano. But like what William Leary says, “mahirap matalbugan si Vilma, Vilma is Vilma in any season and whatever movie!”…” – MPL (READ MORE)

Film Review: Sa “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?,” minsan pang pinatunayan ni Danny Zialcita ang kanyang pambihirang abilidad sa pagbibigay ng bagong treatment sa lumang tema ng pag-ibig, na kadalasa’y umiikot sa pormula ng triangulo. (Hindi nga ba’t maging sa kanyang mga naunang obra, tulad ng “Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna” at “Ikaw at ang Gabi”, ay naitatak ni Zialcita ang kanyang makabagong sensibilidad sa pagtalakay sa mga kuwento ng pag-ibig? Mula sa istorya ni Tom Adrales (nagsilbing katulong ni Zialcita sa iskrip at sa direksyon), ang “Gaano kadalas” ay tungkol sa magkaibigang Lily (Vilma Santos) at Elsa (Hilda Koronel), na bagama’t kapwa nakaririwasa sa buhay ay magkaiba naman ang swerte. Matapos magpatingin si Hida sa doktor, nalaman niyang wala na siyang pag-asang magka-anak pa. Si Vilma nama’y may kaisa-isang anak nga sa pagkadalaga pero wala naman itong ama at, mas grabe pa, may taning na ang buhay ng bata (may congenital heart disease ito). Minsan, nagkahingahan ng problema ang magkaibigan, at sa kanilang pag-uusap, inalok ni Hilda si Vilma na gawing ama ng kanyang anak ang asawa nitong si Louie (Dindo Fernando). Bagamat ipinalabas niyang mahal din niya ang bata at gusto niya itong mapaligaya kahit pansamantala lang, ang kanyang tunay na pakay ay mapaglapit ang kaibigan at ang asawa nang sa gayo’y magkaroon siya ng maaampong anak na mula sa relasyon ng dalawang taong kapwa niya mahal.

Nagtagumpay ang tatlo sa kanilang pagpapanggap, at gaya ng inaasahan, nagkaibigan nga ang dalawa. Pagkatapos mamatay ang anak, nagbuntis si Vilma. Dahil delikadong manganak siyang muli (diumano’y may sakit siya sa puso), nagtangkang ipalaglag ni Vilma ang nasa kanyang sinapupunan. Napigilan siya ng kaibigang si Chanda Romero at ni Dindo mismo. Pero, sa wakas, nang siya’y magsilang, nawalan si Elsa ng asawa, kaibigan at anak.

Mahusay ang pagkakdevelop sa kuwento ng “Gaano kadalas” at epektibo ang direksyon ni Zialcita. Nagawa nitong masangkot ang manonood sa problema ng mga tauhan. Absorbing ang naging tunggalian ng mga puso’t damdamin. Naipakitang may sapat na motibasyon ang kanyang mga tauhan para pumasok sa ganoong arrangement. Gayunpaman, may ilang katanungang hindi nasagot sa pelikula. Una, paano nakasisiguro si Hilda na ipagkakaloob sa kanya ni Vilma ang anak nito kay Louie sakali ma’t hindi namatay ang bata? Ikalawa, bakit masyadong naging hayagan ang relasyon nina Vilma’t Dindo lalo pa kung isasaalang-alang ang kanilang tayo sa sosyedad? At ikatlo, kung totoong mapera si Vilma, bakit nahirapan siyang kumontak ng abortionist at dahil nga dito’y isinugal pa ang buhay? Kung tutuusin, lalo pang naging prominente ang mga kakulangang ito dahil lubusang nagrely ang pelikula sa samut-saring medical convolutions ng plot: kesyo hindi pwede manganak si Hilda, kesyo may anak nga si Vilma pero blue baby naman at kesyo hindi rin siya pwedeng manganak ulit dahil sa sakit niya sa puso (at ang mga ito ay nakapagtatakang hindi pa nalalaman ni Dindo).

Ang madalas magpaangat sa pelikula ay ang acting ng cast. Dahil mas malaman ang kanyang papel at tila na perfect na ni Vilma Santos ang agony ng other woman, mas nangingibabaw ang kanyang performance kay Hilda Koronel. Kahit na mas marami ang nagsasabing si Hilda ang angat dito. Pasulpot-sulpot ang papel ni Hilda at may kahinaan ang motibasyon (isipin mong siya pa ang nagtulak sa sariling asawa sa ibang babae!). Medyo nakaka-distract ang kanilang mga kasuotan (mga gawa ni Christian Espiritu), gaya rin ng ayos ng mga bahay at kasangkapang tila nakikipagkumpetensiya sa tauhan. Epektibo rin ang pagganap ni Dindo Fernando bilang Louie na nahati ang puso para sa dalawang babae. Magaling din ang supporting cast, lalo na si Suzanne Gonzales, ang yayang sosyal, at ang batang si Alvin Joseph Enriquez. Kahit maikli ang kanilang papel, mahusay rin ang rehistro nina Tommy Abuel, ang doktor na nanliligaw kay Vilma, at si Chanda Romero, bilang matalik na kaibigan ni Vilma. – Justino Dormiendo, Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino

Ang pelikulang umiikot sa tatsulok ng pag-ibig ay isa na sa perennial favourites ng masang Pilipino. Maging ang kapanuhunan pa nina Rogelio dela Rosa at Carmen Rosales ay palasak na ito sa mga pelikulang tulad ng “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, “Tangi Kong Pag-ibig” at “Lydia”. Ang kadalasang katriangulo nila noon ay si Patria Plata o kaya’y si Paraluman. Nag boom ang love triangle movies noong 60’s matapos nag hit sa takilya at manalo ng katakut-takot na Famas awards ang “Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang” na siyang naglunsad kina Eddie Rodriguez, Lolita Rodriguez at Marlene Dauden sa di-mabilang na mga pelikulang pawang ganito ang tema. Halimbawa’y ang “Kasalanan Kaya”, “Babae, Ikaw ang Dahilan” at “Ikaw”. Ngayo’y muli na namang na-resurrect ang triangulo ng pag-ibig sa “Gaano Kadals ang Minsan?” sa katauhan nina Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel at Dindo Fernando. At sa tingin namin, sa mga nag-portray na ng ganitong klase ng roles lately, sila na ang pinakamalapit sa orihinal at tipong talagang magmamana ng trono nina Lolita, Marlene at Eddie. Ang istorya nga ng “Gaano kadalas” ay halos hawig din sa isang lumang pelikula nina Lolita, ang “Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan” na pinamahalaan ni Fely Crisostomo at nagwagi ng Famas best picture, best director at best actress awards (for Marlene) noong 1967. Mayroon din ditong batang may congenital heart defect na nasa sentro ng istorya. Hindi na rin bago sa direktor ng “Gaano Kadalas” na si Danny Zialcita ang love triangle. Ganito rin ang tema ng kanyang “Langis at Tubig” na nagpanalo kay Dindo ng dalawang best actor awards noong 1980. Pero dito sa “Gaano Kadalas” ay lalong tumingkad ang mahusay niyang pagha-handle, hindi lamang ng paksa kundi maging sa kanyang mga artista.

Magkaibigang matalik sina Lily (Vilma) at Elsa (Hilda). Nalaman ni Elsa na may sakit sa puso ang anak sa pagkakasala ni Lily at may taning na ang buhay nito. Gustong makita ng bata ang kanyang di-nagisnang ama at upang matupad ang huling hiling na ito ay ipinahiram ni Elsa ang asawa niyang si Louie (Dindo) kay Lily. Siyempre pa, ayaw ni Lily noong una pero alang-alang sa anak ay pumayag na rin siya (Noong una’y inakala naming magiging napaka weak ng bahaging ito ng istorya). Sino ba naman ang babaing buong pusong magpapahiram ng kanyang asawa sa ibang babae kahit na sabihin pa ngang best friend niya ito? Pero nalagyan nina Danny Zialcita at co-scriptwiter na si Tom Adrales ng justification ang pasiya ni Elsa. Talagang gusto niyang ibuyo si Louie kay Lily dahil natuklasan niyang siya’y baog at gusto niyang magka-anak ang kanyang asawa sa kanyang kaibigan. Without this ulterior motive on Lily’s part, magiging hindi kapani- paniwala ang buong pelikula. Tulad ng inaasahan ni Elsa, nagkaunawaan sina Louie at Lily habang nagsasama sa iisang bubong ang dalawa. Maganda ang pagkaka -develop ng pagkakalapit ng kanilang mga damdamin. Credible ang pagkakaroon nila ng affair dahil, to begin with, mukhang cold na asawa itong si Elsa (natitiis niyang magkalayo sila ni Louie nang matagal na panahon) at ito namang Lily ay may ekspiryensiya nang nabuntis ng lalaki kahit hindi sila kasal. Nang mamatay ang bata, nagbalik si Louie kay Elsa pero naging masalimuot ang lahat dahil nagdadalangtao na si Lily. Naging malungkot ang wakas para sa bawat tauhan, lalo na kay Elsa na siyang may pakana ng mga pangyayari. Sa tingin nga nami’y parang napakalupit ng ending para sa kanya.

Mahuhusay ang tatlong main stars. may kanya-kanya silang best scenes. Sina Dindo at Vilma sa unang komprontasyon nila matapos magbuntis ang huli nang mukhang hindi excited si Dindo sa pagdadalangtao nito. Si Hilda ay sa panunumbat niya kay Dindo matapos magbalik ito sa kanila, doon sa eksenang sinasabi niyang “That was the arrangement, Louie”. Pero sa lahat ng mga artista ay si Chanda Romero ang nagustuhan namin sa lahat. Kahit maikli’t halos supporting lamang ang role nito bilang kasosyo at confidante ni Vilma ay talagang markadongmarkado ang kanyang pagkakaganap. Napakaepektibo niyang magdeliver ng mga linya, lalo ng mga babala niya kay Vilma na tulad ng: “Huwag mo ng ituloy. Baka masaktan ka sa bandang huli. Babae ka, lalaki si Louie, siguradong gulo ‘yan.” Parang siya ang nag foreshadow sa mga sumunod na pangyayari sa buhay ni Lily. Nang magbuntis ito, siya rin ang nagbigay ng payo: “Pumatol ka rin. Pwede bang ikaw lang magdusa e kasama siya sa sarap?” Kaya’t siya ang nagsabi kay Louie na gustong magpa-abort ni Lily. Ang iba pang-guest supporting players ay magagaling din: si Ronaldo Valdez ay kwelang kwela sa dinner scene nilang apat nina Chanda, Vilma at Dindo; si Tommy Abuel ay napakagaling bilang doktor na may asawang nanliligaw kay Vilma; at si Gloria Romero bilang ina ni Hilda. Ang credit na ito sa pagkuha ng mga mahuhusay at kilalang artista kahit na halos guest role lang ang lalabasan ay dapat na mapunta sa direktor na si Danny Zialcita, na hindi nagtitipid sa pagkuha ng kung sinu-sinong ekstra na siyang kadalasang nangyayari sa ibang pelikulang lokal.

The lions’ share of credit should really go to Zialcita dahil nagawa niyang bigyan ng bagong bihis ang isang behikulong gamit na gamit na. As usual, naroon ang mga pakwelang dialogue na tatak niya. Halimbawa’y nang makita ni Hilda na nanonood si Vilma sa pagpapaalam niya kay Dindo: “Don’t look, Louie, but I think your wife is watching.” O nang sabihin ni Vilma kay Dindo: “Kung nagkataong ibang asawa mo, I’ll gladly be your willing mistress.” maganda rin ang sets, mga bahay at restaurant na ginamit sa pelikula. Mabilis ang pacing at mahusay ang editing, may eksenang out-of-focus si Felizardo Bailen pero as a whole ay mahusay ang trabaho niya. Nakatulong nang malaki sa ikagaganda ng pelikula ang madamdaming musical score at theme song na ginawa ni George Canseco. Sa lahat ng ginawang pelikula ng Viva Films, dito kami talaga nagenjoy. Ngayong nasa Viva na rin si Zialcita, dapat sigurong magpakitang gilas naman si Eddie Garcia na siyang dating solong direktor ng Viva. – Mario Bautista

“Gaano kadalas ang Minsan” Grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982 outgrossing “Sinasamba Kita” for Philippine movies’ all-time box office tally. With inflation and currency rate in consideration that will be around 95 million. But that’s not the only exciting thing about these film. It was the only film that Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel did while atleast when Hilda was still at her peak. Ofcourse, Ate Vi’s career remained as hot as ever while Koronel now accepts supporting roles. It was obvious that year that Hilda was also more glamourous than Vilma but looking at the two right now, Vilma maintained that slim, youthful look while Hilda struggled and visibly gained so much weight she can be mistaken as Ate Vi’s aunt or mother! After Gaano Kadalas, Hilda did a few more leading roles under Viva Films even co-starred with Nora Aunor but didn’t get the same results as Gaano. But like what William Leary says, “mahirap matalbugan si Vilma, Vilma is Vilma in any season and whatever movie!” – RV (READ MORE)

“…From 1979 to 1986, Zialcita was on a roll, doing one film after another, pulling off nine hits in a row beginning with Gaano Kadalas in 1981 up to his sex comedies that include May Lamok Sa Loob ng Kulambo. He could demand anything from a producer and his wish would be granted. When Viva Films asked him to do Gaano Kadalas, he told Vic and Mina del Rosario that he will only do it if they get George Canseco to write the theme song (most of his popular films had songs by Canseco), and that Hilda Koronel would be one of the leads. Viva granted him both—even if it had to pay more for Hilda than for Vilma. “May utang ako kay Hilda eh, I took her out of Langis at Tubig…” – Jerome Gomez (READ MORE)

Filmography: Minsan pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan (1983)

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Basic Information: Directed: Marilou Diaz Abaya; Story: Carlo J Caparas; Screenplay: Racquel Villavicencio; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Eddie Garcia; Executive producer: Vic Del Rosario; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Manolo Abaya; Film Editing: Mark Tarnate; Theme Songs: “Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan” performed by Basil Valdez

Plot Description: A heart rendering drama of love – resisted and revived. Rod leaves Helen for his career and she falls in love with another. Rod becomes successful and goes back to Helen who obviously still feels strongly for him. An illicit affair ensues. And the resulting conflict revolving around three of the Philippines’ most awarded stars makes this movie one of the most remembered love stories. From the powerful pen of Racquel Villavicencio and the dynamic direction of Marilou Diaz-Abaya. – Pelikula.net (READ MORE)

Helen (Vilma Santos) looks like a woman who has everything, a beautiful home, a loving husband and a baby on the way. But this serenity is only superficial, as the baby’s father is not her husband Cenon (Eddie Garcia) but her lover Rod (Christopher de Leon). Helen and Rod used to be lovers but Helen’s pride could not take Rod’s ambitions so she married Cenon thinking this is the life she wanted. But Rod comes back and refuses to give her up. He worms his way into Helen’s family by offering his services as the architect of their new house. Soon, Rod wants her to leave Cenon and make a new life with him and the baby. But Helen is torn by her loyalty to Cenon and the need to secure her baby’s future. Who will Helen chose? Or will fate choose for her? Award-winning filmmaker Marilou Diaz-Abaya directed this melodrama based from a story by Carlo J. Caparas. Written by Racquel Villavicencio, Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan was produced by Viva Films. – Jojo DeVera

Past lovers, Helen (Vilma Santos) and Rod (Christopher De Leon) revived their affair, complication is, the woman, Helen is now married to a rich old man, Cenon (Eddie Garcia). – RV

Film Achievement: The first Vilma Santos film directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya; 1983 FAMAS Best Actor – Eddie Garcia

Film Review: A heart rendering drama of love – resisted and revived. Rod leaves Helen for his career and she falls in love with another. Rod becomes successful and goes back to Helen who obviously still feels strongly for him. An illicit affair ensues. And the resulting conflict revolving around three of the Philippines’ most awarded stars makes this movie one of the most remembered love stories. From the powerful pen of Racquel Villavicencio and the dynamic direction of Marilou Diaz-Abaya. – Pelikulang Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Isa pa rin ito sa mga mahalagang pelikulang nagawa ni Ate Vi na nagbigay sa kanya ng karangalan bilang mahusay na aktres sa URIAN and of course kay Boyet bilang mahusay na aktor. Sa Viva Films sila nakagawa ng maraming pelikulang pinagtambalan dahil na rin sa isinasaad ng kani-kanilang mga kontrata. Kaya naman sa pagtatapos ng taong 1983, ginawa nila ni Boyet ang “Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan”, the only movie na namatay silang magkasama kung saan asawa siya ni Eddie Garcia sa pamamahala ni direk Marilou Diaz Abaya…” – Willie Ferrnandez (READ MORE)

“…Sa 1983, ang mga mapagpipilian lamang ay Broken Marriage…On a lower randk would be…Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan…Now that we have discussed this year’s better films and the directors who made them, tunghayan natin ang listahan ng best screen performances…ang pinagtaksilang aswang labis ang pagmamahal sa kanyang kabiyaksa Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan, ibang uri ng akting ang ipinamalas ni Eddie (Garcia) rito at talaga namang namumukod-tangi ang kanyang pagkakaganap… ” – Movie Flash Magazine, January 5, 1984 (READ MORE)

“…Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan (Viva Films) lingers on the sparks of an emotional connection. As the events turns into something more, the film captures a truth most others only imply. To love someone is an opportunity to rethink who you are, an invitation to shape and refine the self you wish to be….As the film unfolds, split-second decisions carry enormous weight, small gestures mean the world. Character-driven dramas are not supposed to make show of backstory, much of Minsan is devoted to defining these characters or rather to watching how they define themselves in streams of free-flowing but perfectly calibrated talk and in a few candid, tender scenes. A gifted director with an ear for naturalistic dialogue and a shrewd sense of structure, Abaya embeds several discoveries along the way, most crucially, the catch that defines the film’s time frame immediately lending its meandering conversations a heightened urgency. But it’s a testament to Abaya’s skill and maturity that Minsan dosen’t hinge on simple plot points, on will-they-won’t-they suspense on a twist that reveals an unexpected connection between the protagonists. What truly matters here is the vivid sense of individuals going about thoroughly ordinary lives, neither fully satisfied nor exactly depressed engaged in the day-to-day drama of figuring out who they are, in public and in private. While Abaya never turns his characters into mouthpieces, Rod and Helen’s husband, Cenon (Eddie Garcia) to an extent, embody conflicting impulses and Minsan shows that each have their attractions and that both exert a toll. If a film as unassuming as Minsan can feel profound, even downright revelatory, that maybe because the romance genre has never really had the chance to mature. For better and worse, most screen romances have always reflected the gender and sexual attitudes of their times. Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan is a wise, lovely, enormously moving film that’s both timeless and specific. A story about falling in love that is also a tale of identity and self-definition…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

Romantic Obsession – “…Two of Bernal’s successful domestic dramas, Relasyon/Relationship (1982) and Broken Marriage (1983), would have been in Abaya’s mind when she signed on with major production company Viva for her next project, also a domestic drama, Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan/Yesterday’s Kiss… Tomorrow’s Love (1983). Both of Bernal’s films had top-billed two of the country’s most enduring superstars, Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon, and Abaya’s own project would feature the same actors. That it shared so many common elements as the great master’s works would have been both cause for excitement and trepidation for Abaya. For the script, she hired a young writer, Raquel Villavicencio, who had co-written Relasyon with Bernal and Lee. Based on a story by popular komiks writer Carlo Caparas, the film follows the obsessive relationship between Rod (de Leon) and Helen (Santos) that broke up when Rod left to study in the United States and that reignited as soon as he came back. The only problem is that Helen is now happily married to a much older man, Cenon (Eddie Garcia). At first, Helen resists Rod’s renewed pursuit but her barriers eventually break down and she starts to meet him in guilty trysts. As Helen refuses to leave her husband, Rod insinuates himself into Cenon’s good graces and gets himself hired as architect for a house that Cenon is building for Helen. She tries to break their affair once and for all, but Rod can’t be easily shaken off, especially after Helen gets pregnant and Rod is convinced that the baby is his. This dance of obsession, temptation, and guilt leads the lovers to tragedy. Abaya displayed style and maturity in her handling of a story which in most hands would be an occasion for melodramatic excess. As with the majority of Abaya’s works, the attention to production design, cinematography (by Manolo) and pacing is evident. The film did not reach the sublime elegance and wit of Bernal’s best domestic dramas like Relasyon. But it was a cut above the majority of domestic dramas of the day and need not find an excuse for its unpretentious, modest study of romantic obsession…” – Asian Cine Vision (READ MORE)