Flores de Mayo

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Fashion Show – “…The Sta. Cruz de Mayo, or popularly identified as the Santacuzan activity itself, as introduced by Franciscan Missionaries, is a retelling of biblical stories and characters climaxing with the “finding of the True Cross” by the Empress Helena and her son Constantine I, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. This Novena procession is normally held at the end of May. In the past, the Santa Cruz de Mayo participants were encouraged to dress up in biblical costumes and to hold the appropriate symbols of their role in their hands. Sadly, with multiple queens or reinas, the present Santacruzan has become a fashion show, an unfortunate turn of event discouraged by the Church. The Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. (FHFI), in celebration of Heritage Month last May, campaigned for the return of the original practice of the Santacruzan by encouraging people to be aware of its inherent religious significance as well as its cultural value in our nation’s history…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 15 2012 (READ MORE)

Hermana Mayor – “…Namukadkad ang samu’t saring klase ng bulaklak sa loob ng kapitolyo nang inalala ni Governor Vilma Santos Recto ang pagdiriwang ng Flores de Mayo kasama ang mga kawani at opisyales sa pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Batangas. Hangad ni Gov. Vi na muling maiangat ang kultura ng mga Batangueño lalo na at sila ang nagpalaganap ng paggunita ng pista ng mga bulaklak tuwing Mayo. Ang selebrasyong ito ay isang sagradong pagdiriwang ng pagbibigay parangal kay Birheng Maria sa pamamagitan ng paghahandog ng bulaklak sa kanyang taglay na huwarang kalinisan at kabutihan. Noong ika-7 ng Mayo ay pormal na binuksan ang tuklong sa Kapitolyo na hudyat ng pakikiisa ng buong Pamahalaang Panlalawigan sa Flores de Mayo at doon din ay masayang ginampanan ni Gov. Vi ang pagiging Hermana Mayor sa unang araw ng pag-aalay ng bulaklak sa Birheng Maria. Kaugnay dito ay nagtakda ng mga tanggapang magiging abala sa paghehermana hanggang sa ika-30 ng Mayo. Tulad din ng karaniwang parokya, magkakaroon ng isang Grand Santacruzan na magiging culminating event ng Flores de Mayo sa Kapitolyo…” – Mamerta P. De Castro, PIA, May 13 2012 (READ MORE)

True Cross – “…Tradition ascribes the Finding of the True Cross to Emperor Constantine’s mother, a Christian convert. As a token of piety, Helena had churches built, and, at an advanced age of 80, went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At Calvary, she had several excavations made in which 3 crosses were found. To determine the real thing, she had a dying man placed on each cross who recovered upon being touched by the authentic cross. Another story tells of her discovery of 3 nails that shone like gold. Although details of her life are vague and legendary, she was, at one time, considered one of the most important women in the world. The proper Santacruzan not only gives tribute to Mary and the finder of the Jesus’ cross but also gives recognition to characters from both the Old and New Testament. The procession opens with boys holding ciriales, poles topped with a cross and candles. Heading the cast of charcaters is the ancient Matusalem, followed by 2 Reina Banderadas, flagbearers of the Philippine and papal standards. Toddlers carrying placards spelling out AVE MARIA precede the parade of gorgeous sagalas. Three maidens representing the virtues of Fe, Esperanza, Caridad (Faith, Hope and Charity) come next, trailed by the Divina Pastora, with a lamb or goat. More queens make their appearance in this order: Reina Mora (the moorish queen, Reina Saba (Queen of Sheba), Infanta Judith (holding Holofernes’ decapitated head), Reina Sentenciada, Abogada and Reina Justicia. Next in line are more pretty sagalas bearing the symbols of Christ’s passion: 3 dice on a plate, 30 pieces of silver (supot ng Hudas), St. Peter’s rooster (manuk ng San Pedro), the spear, 3 nails, INRI sign and kuronang suksuk. The major beauties of the town follow, starting with Veronica, Maria Magdalena, Maria Salome and Rosa Mistica. The last 3 queens make their grand entrance in this order: The Reina de los Flores holding a bouquet of flowers, Reina Ester, the beloved Jewish Queen of Persia holding a scepter, and finally, framed by a flowered arch, the crowned Reina Elena, a role especially reserved for the town’s loveliest belle, dressed in a magnificent flowing gown with a small crucifix in hand. Walking by her side is Principe Constantino, representing her young son, with a cape, crown and sword. The use of handsome escorts is a fairly modern concept as well as the appearance of multiple Elenas (as in Reina Elena 1, Elena 2, etc). Sometimes too, the Reina Elena is treated separately from an Emperatriz, although both are one and the same. Often lost or ignored in the rear-end of the procession is a figure representing San Macario, the bishop who escorted Helena to Jerusalem…” – Alex R. Castro, Views from Pangpang, Sep 12 2007 (READ MORE)

Gina Pareño and Vilma Santos

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Mellowed and Stronger – “…After my one-year rehab (thanks to Kapisanan ng mga Artistang Pilipino’s Rudy Fernandez and Rez Cortez and the late Inday Badiday), I realized how much I love my work. I appreciated the talent God gave me a lot more,” says Gina. Thanks to that momentous phase in her life, Gina admits she has mellowed and become stronger. “I used to ram my ambitions about Jannica becoming an actress down her throat. I’m not that pushy anymore,” Gina admits. There’s another reason behind Gina’s glowing skin: the inner peace that makes her exude an aura of calm and happiness. “I want to be remembered in showbiz as someone who made people happy,” she says with a smile. …” – Maridol Rañoa-Bismark, Star, Apr 05 2004 (READ MORE)

Accomplished Actress – “…Another successful comeback story is that of award-winning actress Gina Pareño. Before Jurado dominated the sexy comedy genre, Pareño flourished in that mold. She was discovered in the ’60s and enjoyed a robust career in the movies. But she was also stubborn and ignored the rigid rules imposed on contract stars. Her carefree ways led to an unplanned pregnancy in 1968, even before she could finish her launching movie, “Mama.” After giving birth in 1969, she staged a successful comeback when she donned Pinay super heroine Darna’s scarlet costume to star in the hit movie “Si Darna at ang Planetman.” She relished her success for over a decade but stumbled anew because of drugs. At one time, tabloid headlines bannered her reduced circumstances that had her selling dusters in Baclaran. A public admission of her drug problem and a plea for understanding resulted in a helping hand and a stint at the rehab center. Soon enough, the movie roles started coming again. Today, Pareño is one of the most accomplished actresses in the industry, with international acting awards attached to her name, especially for her role in the independent films “Serbis” and “Kubrador…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 01 2011 (READ MORE)

Gina Pareño and Vilma Santos

    • Vilma Santos and Gina Pareño’s only film together was Ibigay mo sa akin ang bukas, released in March 4, 1987. The film was first serialized in DZRH Radio and was directed by now the MTRCB chairman, Emmanuel H. Borlaza and produced by EDL Productions. Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas featured Vilma, Gabby Concepcion and Richard Gomez in leading roles while Gina Pareño together with Liza Lorena, Orestes Ojeda, Amy Austria, Al Tantay and Gretchen Barretto in supporting roles. The film was about a neglected married woman of a closeted homosexual who had an affair with her student.
    • Two of the original Tondo Girls who became famous celebrities, both Gina and Vilma were from Tondo. Gina from Gagalangin, Tondo while Vilma was from Trozo Magdalena, Tondo, both places were part of Manila. These two bubly stars became box office giants after portraying comics superheroine, Darna. Gina in 1969 in “Darna At Planetman” and Vilma in 1973 via “Lipad Darna Lipad” (Fly Darna Fly)
    • Both Gina and Vilma portrayed characters that ended up in jail, Gina in 1973 film, “Bakit May Bilanggo Sa Anak Ni Eba?” and Vilma in 1984’s Marilou Diaz-Abaya film, “Alyas Baby Tsina
    • Gina and Vilma had several leading men in several memorable films, one of the most notable was their films with dramatic actor, Dindo Fernando. Gina co-starred with Dindo in 1968 via “Dalawang Mukha Ng Anghel” while Vilma first co-starred wirh Dindo in “Kampanerang kuba” in 1974.
    • In their earlier years in showbiz, both Gina and Vilma co-starred with veteran movie queen, Gloria Romero. Both in title/lead roles and where their film directors were the same, Mar S. Torres. Gina was tested by Gloria in 1969 film, “Paula” and Vilma was still a child star in “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina” (“Child, This is Your Mother”) in 1963
    • In 2010 “Dalaw” (“The Visit”) Gina play support to Diether Ocampo and horror queen, Kris Aquino. The film has nothing to do with Vilma Santos but Gina’s film character named Aling Olga, the elderly servant with an open third eye, speaks mostly using lines from Vilma Santos films.
    • It was reported that the film “Kubrador” was intended for Vilma Santos, and the role landed in Gina and several international acting awards. Director Jeffrey Jeturian, like Raya Martin, wanted Vilma to do a movie that he is planning another project for her. Raya Martin ofcourse did La Indepedencia, with Techie Agbayani substituting for Vilma. The films had been screened in several film festival. With several local and international acting awards, Gina Pareño was not listed in 2006’s S magazine’s Philippine Cinema’s 15 Best Actresses of All Time.

Gina Pareño (born Gina Acthley on December 17, 1949) is an actress in the Philippines born to a Filipina mother and German- American father. She first worked as an extra in some films and then later on became one of the artists of Sampaguita Films. She has worked in television and film in the Philippines since the 1960s. Recently her work has won international recognition; at the Osian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema held in New Delhi in July 2006 she won Best Actress award for her role in Kubrador (The Bet Collector). – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas (1987)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Mercy Lejarde; Screenplay: Raquel Villavicencio; Cast: Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Gina Pareño, Liza Lorena, Delia Razon, Orestes Ojeda, Gretchen Barretto, Amy Austria, Al Tantay, Romeo Rivera, Joko Diaz, Alfred Barretto, Julio Diaz; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Original Music: Mon del Rosario; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Nonoy Santillan; Production Design: Rei Nicolas

Plot Description: “…The neglected wife of a homosexual finds sexual fulfillment with a former boyfriend and student…” – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1988 FAMAS Nomination Best Child Actor – Joko Diaz

Film Reviews: “…His films lack the arthouse style and social relevance that critics loves most in a Brocka or Bernal films but who cares about the critics when the paying public loves them. And the producers demand his service, from Doc Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, Atty. Esperidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions and later on, Vic Del Rosario of Viva Films and Lily Monteverde of Regal Films. Clearly, his films exists with one purpose, to entertain the masses not to depress or remind them with the country’s sad fate of economy or the below poverty line lives of many. The success of the Vilma-Borlaza films gave Vilma Santos versatility and preparation to a more serious acting career. It also narrowed the popularity gap between her and the musical era’s darling of the 70s, Nora Aunor. These are perhaps, the most significant contributions of Emmanuel Borlaza to Vilma’s career. Vilma who was considered only second to Nora couldn’t matched her singing talent and so, Borlaza countered this lack of singing with films that showcased Vilma’s acting versatility…- RV (READ MORE)

“…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)

“…It seems that Vilma Santos has finally learned her lessons about money matters. The actress is reportedly eyeing a house in Greenmeadows which she plan to buy with her earnings from her latest starrer Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas. “Siguro kung marunong lang kaming mag-ingat ng salapi ng kumare ko (Nora Aunor), pareho na kaming may subdivision sa ngayon,” Santos reportedly said. Now, she insists on knowing where every peso goes. Perhaps, Santos has taken her cue from Amalia Fuentes, said to be the richest actress in the business. The actress, however, will keep her house in Magallanes ‘for luck’…” – JC Nigado, Manila Standard, Mar 6 1987 (READ MORE)

“…At present, Santos is completing Ibigay Mo sa Aking ang Bukas for producer Esperidion Laxa. The movie, slated for opening first week of March, was originally scheduled to be shown this week (simulaneously with Sharon Cuneta’s Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin, but Laxa apparently decided otherwise, “Medyo hilaw pa sa promotion,” said the actress. In the movie, Santos is once again playing the role she’s best known for, that of a liberated woman. “D’yan naman talaga ako nagustuhan ng tao, you know, women who fight for their personal happiness.” She is again paired with Gabby Concepcion, who incidentally, is rumored to be her boyfriend. There is definitely nothing between her and Gabby, she clarified. “Ah, si Mayor?” she gleefully replied to the question, “we’re just comfortable with each other. Minsan na akong napikon sa tsismis na iyan. We’re friends and I hope people would just leave it at that.” “Is she really that liberated in real life?” Parrying the question, Santos rationalized, “Well, I deserve to be happy, too!…” – Mario V. Dumaual Manila Standard, Feb 19, 1987 (READ MORE)