Filmography: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (1965)

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Basic Information: Direction: Mar S. Torres, Jose De Villa, Conrado Conde; Screenplay: Luciano B. Carlos, Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Additional Screenplay: Chito B. Tapawan; Cast: Luis Gonzales, Gloria Romero, Rosa Mia, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (as himself), Vilma Santos (as Imee), Chona (as Irene), Tony Cayado, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez, Jose Morelos, Marcela Garcia, Lourdes Yumul, Matimtiman Cruz, Renato Del Prado, Pablo Raymundo, Conrado Conde, Jose De Villa, Nenita Navarro, Sabas San Juan, Jaime Javier, Willlie Dado, Jimmy Evangelista, Mariano Honrado, Nellie Madrigal, Rey Tomenes, Emmanuel Borlaza, Marcelino Navarro, Naty Mallares, Aring Bautista, Ding Tuazon, Henry Stevens, Aurora Ilagan, Florencio Tarnate, Abner Villar, Pio Torres, Tita De Villa, Joseph Strait, Remedios Marcos, Vic Pacia, Teddy Valdemor, Joe Salazar, Jose Villafranca; Music: Restie Umali; Directors of Photography: Higino J. Fallorina, Steve Perez, Amaury Agra; President and Executive Producer: Alejandro S. Galang; Production Co.: 777 Films Productions (Philippines); Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Carved by Destiny) is a movie based on the life of Ferdinand Marcos prior to his ascendancy as President of the Philippines. The movie was chronological in setting, featuring Marcos as a young boy in his hometown, as a brilliant student, and up to the time that he was unjustly imprisoned as a suspect in the murder of the political rival of his father. The movie then moves up to his acquittal, his career as a young congressman and senator, and up to the time that he married Imelda Marcos. The movie was shown in Manila as additional campaign material for Marcos’ candidacy for the Presidential race, which he eventually won. The movie portrayed Marcos as a person who is more than just a politician. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Iginuhit Ng Tadhana chronicles the rise of one of the most powerful and controversial leaders the Philippines has ever had- Ferdinand E. Marcos. The movie shows details of his life from the time he was born to his days as a youth in his hometown, growing up in a political family, to his incarceration for allegations of murdering his father’s political rival, up to his eventual acquittal. The movie then continues to show Marcos in the prime of his political career, winning seats in Congress and the Senate, up to his highly-publicized whirlwind marriage to Imelda Marcos. Originally shown and produced during the run-up to the political elections where Marcos won the Philippine presidency for the first time. Iginuhit ng Tadhana paints this erstwhile leader as more than a political personality. – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: Entry to the 1966 1st Manila Film Festival; 1965 FAMAS: Best Picture Nomination – 777 Films; Best Actor Nomination – Luis Gonzales; Best Actress Nomination – Gloria Romero

Film Review: “…As a piece of hagiography, you can’t get more melodramatic or shameless than 1965’s Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Drawn by Fate). In this biopic covering the life of kleptocrat and Martial Law architect Ferdinand Marcos (Luis Gonzalez) from his childhood to his ascent to the Philippine presidency, there is crying beside windows (courtesy of the martyr mother to end all martyr mothers, Rosa Mia), nervous wiping of brows on witness stands (because apparently, trial judges are blind to obvious body language), and kilometric monologues—including interior ones spoken in voice-over! How these characters don’t bore themselves to death is beyond me…Iginuhit ng Tadhana wastes no time getting down to its primary objective: settling scores. Conceived as propaganda for Ferdinand’s debut presidential campaign, the first 45 minutes of Iginuhit’s 136-minute running time busies itself scrubbing the Marcos name off the first of its multitude of sins: the death by sniper of Ferdinand’s political rival in Ilocos Norte, Julio Nalundasan. On the night of the murder, the film insists, our hero was busy reviewing for a law exam. He couldn’t possibly have stolen a rifle from his ROTC bunker and shot the congressman while he was brushing his teeth! And still, despite his nerd cred (and the aforementioned nervous mopping of brows by the star witness), the court had the gall to convict him! Hopefully, having gone through his own travesty of justice, our hero will have the empathy and drive to strengthen the rule of law in his own presidency, right? Right? Anyway, having demonstrated Ferdinand’s brilliance as he mounts his own defense in front of the Supreme Court, the film gets down to its next order of business: the meet-cute between our hero and his wife-to-be, Imelda Romualdez (Gloria Romero). Imelda is a far cry from his own mother, who visits her son in jail wearing a baro’t saya—no, when Ferdinand meets Imelda in the congressional cafeteria, she is wearing a man’s shirt, pants…and mismatched shoes! I can imagine the young Imelda watching this sequence and thinking, That will never happen again. After that, Iginuhit ticks off all the obligatory boxes: portraying Marcos as a family man, conscientious lawmaker, and devoted mama’s boy. (If I were Imelda and I were watching my husband call his mother “honey,” as this film says he does, I would have ran screaming from his latent Oedipus complex.) Oh, and watch out for a young Vilma Santos playing the eldest child, Imee. The role doesn’t give her much to do, but I foresee great things from this young performer…maybe even a run in politics…” – Andrew Paredes, ANC, 21 September 2018 (READ MORE)

“…Sinabi ni Ernesto Maceda, abugado ng 777 Productions, na ang pagpigil sa “Press Preview” o hayagang pagtatanghal ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” ay ilegal at labag sa saligang batas. Ayon kay Maceda, ang pelikula sinuri na ng BCMP, at dahil doon ay itinatanghal na iyon sa walong lalawigan…Sa isang dako, sinabi ni Gng. Olympia Lozano, kalihim-tagapagpaganap ng BCMP na pinigil ang pagtatanghal ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” dahil sa pagtanggi ng 777 Productions na iharap sa lupon ang pelikula upang suriin…Nagharap kagabi ng pagbibitiw sa Pangulong Macapagal si Jose L. Guevara bilang tagapangulo ng Board of Censors for Moving Pictures. Ginawa ni Guevara ang ganitong aksiyon kasunod ng pagpigil ng pelikulang “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” na naglalarawan sa buhay ni Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, kandidato sa pagka-pangulo ng NP. Ipinaliwanag ni Maceda na marami nang nakapanood ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana”at nagkakaisa ng palagay ang lahat na walang batayan upang pigilin ang pagtatanghal nito. Upang masubhan kahit kaunti ang pagkayamot ng mga inayayahan sa “gala premiere” kagabi sa Rizal Theatre, ipinasiya ang pagtatanghal ng pelikulang Ingles, ang “The Thin Red Line…” – Leonardo P. Reyes, Taliba, 3 & 16 September 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Malamang makarating ngayon sa Korte Suprema ang hidwaan ng prodyuser ng Iginuhit ng Tadhana at ng lupon ng sensor na pumigil sa pagtatanghal sa publiko ng nasabing pelikula. Nakatakdang dumulog ngayon sa mataas ns hukuman ang mga abugado ng prodyuser ng pelikula matapos na pigilin ng hukuman sa paghahabol kahapon ang pagpapatupad sa utos ng mababang hukuman na nagpapahintulot sa pagtatanghal ng pelikula…Sa naunang hatol ni Hukom Edilberto Soriano ng hukumang unang dulugan ng Maynila ay ipinahintulot niya ang pagtatanghal sa masuliraning pelikula bagay na salungat sa pasiya ng lupon ng sensor na pumipigil sa nasabing pagtatanghal. Ang hatol ni Soriano ay idinulog ng mga abugado ng pamahalaan sa hukumang sa paghahabol sa kanilang matwid na walang huridiksiyon sa usapin ang mababang hukuman…Sinabi ni Abugado Claudio Teehankee, isa sa mga abugado ng prodyuser ng pelikula sa buhay ng Pangulong Ferdinand E. Marcos ng Senado na idudulog nila sa Korte Suprema ang desisyon inilagda kahapon ng Hukuman sa Paghahabol. Ipinaliwanag niyang ang dalawang sumusunod na matwid ang knailang ihaharap sa mataas na hukuman sa paghahabol: 2 Katwiran na Inilahad – 1. Na walang bisa ang kontrata na maaaring bawiin ang permiso sa isang pelikula upang maitanghal anumang oras. 2. Na hindi nagmalabis si Hukom Soriano sa pagpapasiya sa usapin…” – C. de Guzman, Taliba, 3 & 16 September 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Marcos knew the power of the medium of film. Earlier on, Marcos produced a film biography using the most popular stars for his first presidential campaign. He ran against Macapagal who also came up with a film biography to boost his reelection bid. Marcos would also use another film Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Written by Destiny, 1965) to campaign for a second term. The two Marcos film bios would be the only successful political films—commercial and election wise—as other film biographies in the post-Marcos period by senatorial and presidential aspirants would prove dismal, unhelpful for election bids. The post-Marcos period liberalized the political and economic scene. It conventionalized and intensified the election of movie and sports stars, and even television news hosts to national politics. Television stations were sequestered by the government, the largest of which, however, was returned to its pre-martial law owners. ABS-CBN would become the leading television station until after 2000, allowing two of its news anchors to become senators…” – Rolando Tino (READ MORE)

“…In 1965, the Board of Censors suspended the movie exhibition of Iginuhit ng Tadhana (a movie biography of Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos). Many believed and suspected that Malacanang had a hand in the board’s decision and such action was a wrong political maneuver and ploy that proved disastrous to the reelection bid of incumbent President Diosadado Macapagal. It practically ensured the Presidential electoral victory of Marcos…The suspension of the showing of a movie on the life of Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos stirred yesterday a political storm and precipitated the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures. Officials of the board said that the board voted to suspend the exhibition of the movie, “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” (Destined by Fate) because its producer failed to submit it for preview by the board en banc or by the entire board. The film had been approved for showing by a subcommittee of four headed by Mrs. Rosalina I. Castro last August 24. The board said it interpreted the refusal of the movie company, the 777 Film Productions, to comply with its order as defiance of the Board. The order of the board also suspends the showing of the movie in eight provinces and cities— Camarines Norte, Batangas, Marawi City, Pampanga, Cotabato, Aklan, Masbate, and Sulu. The film has been showing in theaters in these places since Aug. 24, the date of the approval of the picture by the subcommittee of four. In the wake of the suspension of the showing of the film, columnist Jose L. Guevarra, chairman of the board of censors, tendered his resignation. Guevarra did not state his reason for resigning in his letter to President Macapagal, but sources close to him said that the resolution of suspension, which was adopted in his absence, had something to do with it…” – Isagani Yambot, Sept. 3, 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Isa sa paborito ko ay ang Iginuhit ng Tadhana,” ayon pa kay Conrado, “because that film helped President Marcos win the elections in 1965. If you remember, that film was banned by the Macapagal administration and the people naturally became curious. The movie was a big hit.” Iginuhit ng Tadhana was divided into three parts: Marcos as student, Marcos after school and Marcos in his early years in politics. Conrado directed the portion with the President as a young man, during the Nalundasan case, a crucial part in the President’s life. Before he began shooting, according to Conrado, he made his own research and first visited Batac where they shot an important scene…” – Conrado CondeJingle Extra Hot Movie Entertainment Magazine, April 27 1981 (READ MORE)

“This rarely seen, authorized biography of former President Ferdinand Marcos stars Luis Gonzalez, Gloria Romero, Vilma Santos, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as himself. (The film starts with a flash of lighting as he is born on 9/11 in 1917.) ” – Vincent Nebrida (READ MORE)

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“Iginuhit Ng Tadhana” ng 777 Films (Setyembre 7 – 15, 1965)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

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

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (READ MORE)

“…And what many people probably didn’t know is that Bongbong played himself in Iginuhit ng Tadhana, produced by Sampaguita Pictures as a campaign pitch for Ferdinand when he first run for president in 1965, with Gloria Romero as Imelda, Luis Gonzales as Ferdinand, (now reelectionist Batangas Gov.) Vilma Santos as Imee and Gina Alajar as Irene (now Mrs. Greggy Araneta). A few years later, a sequel, titled Pinagbuklod ng Langit, was produced also by Sampaguita, directed by Eddie Garcia, with Gloria, Luis, Vilma and Gina reprising their roles and Jose “Jonjie” Aranda (first husband of Bongbong’s fellow Nacionalista, reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda; their marriage was annulled in 1986) playing Bongbong….” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…In hid 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)

“…A number of films suffered a similar fate at the hands of the censors, including so-called political films, no matter how mature or serious the treatment was. One such example is Gerardo de Leon’s Daigdig ng Mga Api (1965), a dramatization of the problem of tenancy in our country. Another one is Maliwalu Massacre, whose exhibition was stopped by influential groups with access to the censors. Political factions likewise used film to advance the cause of their party and enhance the image of their candidates in the elections. Even Ferdinand Marcos biography on film, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, was recalled during the incumbency of newspaperman Jose Guevarra but was nevertheless shown prior to the 1965 elections…” – Justino Dormiendo, Parade Magazine, September 25, 1983 (READ MORE)

“…The First Manila Film Festival was held for the first time in 1966. Reserved solely for Hollywood and foreign movies, first-run downtown theaters like Ideal, Odeon, State, Ever, Galaxy, Capitol, Lyric, among others were opened for exhibition to locally-produced or Tagalog movies. The filmfest was the brainchild of then Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. The 10-day festival which coincided on the city’s foundation day (June 24) was a huge success participated in by big names in the industry…A total of 18 movies (14 new, 4 reissues) were exhibited during the 10-day festival. Iginuhit ng Tadhana, Portrait of the Artist as Filipino and Daigdig ng mga Api, all released in 1965, and Zamboanga, shown a month earlier, were allowed to participate…” – VIdeo48 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Anak, ang Iyong Ina (1963)

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Basic Information: Directed: Mar S. Torres; Story: Fausto J. Galauran; Screenplay: Medy Tarnate; Cast: Gloria Romero, Mario Montenegro, Rita Gomez, Tony Marzan, Eddie Garcia, Vilma Santos, Etang Discher, Maria Victoria, Ely Roque, Aring Bautista, Totoy Torrente, Nenita Navarro, Naty Mallares, Rosa Mia, Tony Cayado, Jose De Villa, Charlie Davao; Original Music: Dick Zamora

Plot Description: “…Vilma has “two” mothers in Gloria Romero and the late Ms. Rita Gomez. Vilma’s name was itsy bitsy tiny in the theater marquees. She started her career right, to be acting with the brilliant and professional actors of the era…” – Mario Garces (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: One of Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero 13 films – (Anak ang Iyong Ina, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, De Colores, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Anak ng Aswang, Lipad Darna Lipad, Happy Days are Here Again, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Nakakahiya?, Hindi Nakakahiya, Makahiya at Talahib, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol) – RV (READ MORE)

Film Reviews: “Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“Rosita Quinto Stecza (1925–2006), known by her screen name Rosa Mia, was an award-winning actress and one of the few female directors in the Philippines. She was known as the “Queen of Tearjerker Movies” for her work mostly on the drama genre typified in motherly roles…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan!’ Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon!” natatawang kuwento pa niya sa PEP. Patuloy ni Ate Vi, “So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken…” – Ruben Marasigan (READ MORE)

“…Young and cute Vilma Santos is one of the few child stars who have hit the screen with continued success. Although not as well-publicized as the adult stars, she is gaining popularity with lot of fans who recognize her warm personality and talent. Her successful debut in Sampaguita Pictures’ Trusdis Liit gave her more movie offers. Vilma, who just turned 13 last Nov. 3, has been in the movies for three years and already has 16 pictures to her credit. A talented youngster, she often steals the spotlight from her senior colleagues. In Ging, Naligaw Na Anghel, Anak Ang Iyong Ina, and many other films, she was a standout in tear-jearking scenes. As a result, she is always in demand for such roles. Despite her success, Vilma remains unaffected as a child. At the St. mary’s Academy where she is a six-grader, she has more than her share of friends not because she is a celebrity but because of her natural chumminess. In fact, she is so fond of her friends that their house on Lunas St in La Loma, Quezon City is often filled with them. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Amado Santos, do not discourage her gregariousness and instead look upon it as part of her developing personality…Vilma’s movie commitments don’t prevent her from being a good student. She could have been easily way above average if only her shooting schedules sometimes do not prevent her from attending her classes. “Doing two tasks at the same time gave me a hard time at the beginning but I’ve adjusted to it now,” said this youngster who still goes for lollipops, ice cream, toys, and play. Vilma, who spends her leisure hours listening to radio dramas, dancing and playing with her three other sisters, will be seen in her coming films, Sigaw Ng Batingaw of Argo Productions…” – Julio F. Silverio, The Weekly Nation, 31 December 1965, reposted at Pelikula Atbp blog (READ MORE)

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Vilma Santos – The Child Star

Filmography: Big Ike’s Happening (1976)

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Basic Information: Directed: Pablo Santiago and Bobby Santiago; Writing credits: Tommy C. David, Santiago and Lozada; Cast: Tirso Cruz III, Walter Navarro, Ike Lozada, Aurora Salve, Gina Alajar, Jojit Paredes, Dondon Nakar, Arnold Gamboa, Maribel Aunor, Winnie Santos, German Moreno, Allan Valenzuala, Inday Badiday, Doyet Ilagan, Ben David, Edward Campos, Lilian Laing, Aruray; Special Guest Stars: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Perla Bautista, Charlie Davao, Esperanza Fabon, Bella Flores, Lito Legaspi, Christopher De Leon, Van De Leon, Pinky Montilla, Alma Moreno, Dencio Padilla, Eddie Perigrina, Andy Poe, jerry Pons, Ric Rodrigo, Gloria Romero, Daria Ramirez, Darius Razon, Marianne Dela Riva, Eddie San Jose, Ricky Santiago, Lorna Tolentino, Eddie Villamayor, and Vic Vargas; Executive Producer: Larry Santiago; Original Music: D’Amarillo; Cinematography: Joe Batac Jr.

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement:   Ranked 32nd on Top-US-Grossing Tagalog-Language Feature Films Released In 1976

Film Review: Enrique “Big Ike” Lozada (August 13, 1940-March 8, 1995) was a Filipino comedian, actor and TV host. He was born on August 13, 1940 in Iloilo City. He started acting at the age of 11 on the movie Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan with the younger Susan Roces. He died on March 10, 1995 in Manila, of heart attack. He was 54. His had lain at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Makahiya at Talahib (1976)

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Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Anthony Taylor; Cast: Vilma Santos, Rudy Fernandez, Trixia Gomez, Gloria Romero, Anthony Rodriguez, Romeo Rivera, Rocco Montalban; Executive producer: Cherry Ong; Original Music: Tito Sotto; Cinematography: Oscar Querijero; Film Editing: Jose Tarnate; Art Direction: Gerry Guanlao; Sound: Gaudencio Barredo; Theme song: “Aking Bituin” Sung by Allan Castro; Composed by Tito Sotto; Released thru Vicor Music Corporation

Plot Description: Arturo (Rudy Fernandez) is a convict on the run after being framed for rape. Aurora (Vilma Santos), a sculptress at odds with her overbearing mother (Gloria Romero), falls for him and is convinced of his innocence. When Arturo takes revenge on those who framed him, Aurora helps him plot his escape. This, while her sister Beatriz (Trixia Gomez) has a brief affair with Arturo. – Music & Laughter TV (READ MORE)

Film Achievement:  One of the top box office hit of the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival (The first film of Vilma and Rudy and the first screen kiss of Ate Vi).

Film Review: “…Her metamorphosis began in late 1976 when she agreed to be kissed by Rudy Fernandez in Makahiya at Talahib. It was a “feeler” of sort and when the public clanked its tongue in obvious approval, Vilma shelved her lollipops-and-roses image and proved that she, too, could be a woman – a wise move indeed because at that time her career was on a down swing and her movies were not making money. Then she did Mga Rosas sa Putikan for her own VS Films where she played a country girl forced into prostitution in the big city. The movie did fairly well at the tills. Good sign. And came her romance with Romeo Vasquez, boosting both their stocks at the box office (their two starrers, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin and Pulot-Gata where Vilma did her own wet style, were big moneymakers). The tandem, although it did help Vilma, actually helped Vasquez more in re-establishing himself at the box office (without Vilma, his movies with other leading ladies hardly create any ripple). In Susan Kelly, Edad 20, Vilma played a notorious-woman role that required her to wear skimpy bikini briefs in some scenes, following it up with two giant sizzlers (Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon and Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig) that catapulted her as the newest Bold Queen. Then came Burlesk Queen…” – Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek Magazine January 19, 1978 (READ MORE)

“…Why Borlaza? Because Emmanuel H. Borlaza is a formula director, a tried and tested moneymaker for local film companies and an example of a commercial success who also hungers for artistic fulfillment. It was Maning Borlaza who directed the box-office hit revival of Darna and Dyesebel, those heroines of less demanding times, and followed of less demanding times, and followed them with more Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz starrers…Whether the lure was really Borlaza and not Vilma (as Darna) or Alma (as Eva), one would still not find out in Makahiya at Talahib, the Goodwill production that Maning is directing as a filmfest bet. Vilma is starring, you see, opposite Rudy Fernandez who portrays the man on the run. Maning, however, he has been quoted to have said that “My next 20 years are modestly provided for, I don’t think I will live more than that. Henceforth, I will split my movie work to what I want to do and what the public likes. He wants, it seems, to recover his old self, the Borlaza who filmed Pyscho-Maniac, a suspense thriller which cast Divina Valencia, Dindo Fernando and Ray Marcos and won him the Academy’s best screenplay award in ’68, who packed so much good action in Mindanao, the movie that bagged four statuettes in the Manila Filmfest of the same year, and who directed Vilma Santos’s way to the FAMAS best actress award for the performance in Dama de Noche. And yet, he is not that keen to do films that might suffer the fate of O’Hara’s Mortal or Bernal’s Nunal sa Tubig. “Their box-office results are not encouraging,” says Maning. He admits he still goes a little commercial. That is why there is a love scene between Vilma and Rudy in Makahiya that Maning expects people might be talking about, more than the torrid shots of Rudy and Trixia Gomez. The 41-year old director also wrote the story and screenplay of Makahiya…Nowadays, he even makes two pictures at a time. “I just finished Makahiya and Teatro Manila. It’s cheaper that way. You don’t waste any calendar day. No stars available for Makahiya, we would work on Teatro…” – Chelo R. Banal, Philippine Panorama Magazine, 26 December 1976 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Hindi Nakakahiya (1976)

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Basic Information: Directed: Luis Enriquez; Story: Ric Torres; Screenplay: Ric Torres Luis Enriquez; Cast: Eddie Rodriguez, Vilma Santos, Gloria Romero, Marissa Delgado, Ernie Garcia, Renato Robles Nello Nayo, Patricia Mijares; Original Music: Rudy Arevalo; Cinematography: Hermo U. Santos

Plot Description: A sequel to the box office hit about a May-December romance. Young Vilma Santos is reunited with old flame Eddie Rodriguez. Though already engaged to another man, Vilma finds herself falling in love again with the elderly gentleman. She is confused and mixed-up. Eddie’s presence makes it even harder for her to judge objectively her own feelings, but all’s well that ends well. Co-starring Gloria Romero, Marissa Delgado, Ernie Garcia, Renato Robles, Nello Nayo, and Patricial Mijares. Produced and directed by Luis Enriquez. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: One of Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero 13 films – (Anak ang Iyong Ina, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, De Colores, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Anak ng Aswang, Lipad Darna Lipad, Happy Days are Here Again, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Nakakahiya?, Hindi Nakakahiya, Makahiya at Talahib, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol) – RV (READ MORE)

One of film projects Rodriguez and Santos collaborated. (Ex-Wife 1981 (director), Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa 1979, Hindi Nakakahiya 1976 (director), Ikaw Lamang 1971, Kasalanan Kaya? 1968, Nakakahiya? 1975 (director), Simula ng Walang Katapusan (director) 1978) – RV (READ MORE)

Film Review: Luis Enriquez aka Eddie Rodriguez first directed a young Vilma Santos in 1968 Kasalanan Kaya, another love triangle genre starring the dramatic trio of Marlene Dauden, Eddie Rodriguez and Lolita Rodriguez. Vilma received an early acting recognitions from this film by receiving a FAMAS Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. When Enriquez directed Vilma again, it was a calculated risk that allowed a still young Vilma into a bikini-clad lead role opposite his director himself, Eddie Rodriguez. The film, Nakakahiya, a may-december affair between an older man and a young woman was an entry to 1975 Bacolod City Film Festival. Aside from making the the film a smash hit, Vilma received the festival’s Best Actress. Enriquez will direct Vilma in five more films, the last one was ExWife in 1981 where surprisingly Luis used in film credits his screen name, Eddie Rodriguez. Theri total number of colloborations were seven (Ex-Wife 1981, Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa 1979, Hindi Nakakahiya 1976, Ikaw Lamang 1971, Kasalanan Kaya? 1968, Nakakahiya? 1975, Simula ng Walang Katapusan) – RV (READ MORE)

Filmography: Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? (1987)

“…Si Val! Si Val! Si Val! Si Val na walang malay?! Si Val na ang tanging kasalanan ay naging anak ng mommy mo sa ibang lalaki! At nitong nasira na ang kanyang pagiisip…ay alam n’yo bang si Val pa rin ang pinanagot nila sa isang responsibilidad na dapat sana’y ikaw Rick ang nanagot!…ayan ang magaling n’yong apo, itanong n’yo sa kanya kung sinong ama ng batang binigyan ng pangalan ni Val!” – Stella

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Basic Information: Directed: Eddie Garcia; Story: Gilda Olvidado, serialized in Pogi Komiks; Screenplay: Armando Lao; Cast: Vilma Santos, Ricky Davao, Tonton Gutierrez, Cherrie Gil, Gloria Romero, Alicia Vergel. Alicia Alonzo, Perla Bautista, Jonee Gamboa, Rey Hipolito, Suzanne Gonzales, Eddie Arenas, Rose Rosado, Vangie Labalan; Executive producer: Vic Del Rosario; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Romy Vitug; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr, George Jarlego; Production Design: Manny Morpe; Sound: Rolly Ruta; Theme Songs: “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?” performed by Basil Valdez

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

Rick (Ricky Davao), an irresponsible, lecherous law student, always makes his brain-damaged half-brother Val (Tonton Gutierrez) his fall guy for fear of losing the inheritance from his wealthy authoritarian grandmother Doña Pacing (Alicia Vergel). This time he makes Val marry his pregnant girlfriend Stella (Vilma Santos) to save her face and to mollify her parents. Bankrupt with their house facing forfeiture, their mother Carmen (Gloria Romero) is completely fearful and subservient to her intimidating mother in-law Doña Pacing who hates and blames her for the suicide of her son due to Carmen’s past indiscretion. Though trapped in her dire circumstances, Stella stays faithful to her marriage and tries to be a good wife by diligently teaching the childlike Val who finds comfort and love for Stella. – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1987 FAMAS: Best Director – Eddie Garcia; Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Cinematography – Romy Vitug; Best Sound – Rolly Ruta; Best Story – Gilda Olvidado; 1987 FAP: Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; Best Director – Eddie Garcia; Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Supporting Actress – Gloria Romero; 1987 STAR: Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Supporting Actress nomination – Gloria Romero; Best Actor nomination – Tonton Gutierrez

One of Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero 13 films – (Anak ang Iyong Ina, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, De Colores, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Anak ng Aswang, Lipad Darna Lipad, Happy Days are Here Again, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Nakakahiya?, Hindi Nakakahiya, Makahiya at Talahib, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol) – RV (READ MORE)

Star Awards – “Lorna Tolentino leads the list of winners in the PMPC’s fourth Star Awards held last night at the Folk Arts Theater…The other winners are: Best actor – Tonton Gutierez (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best picture – Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (Viva Films); Best director – Eddie Garcia (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best supporting actress – Gloria Romero (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?)…Best screenplay (adaptation) – Armando Lao (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best cinematographer – Romeo Vitug (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?)…” – Manila Standard, Apr 21, 1988 (READ MORE)

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

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

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

“…When Eddie first entered show business, “I said to myself, I’m going to give myself 15 years to be able to direct my first movie. Fortunately, it took me 12 years–or three years earlier than I had planned.” He considers Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-Ibig as his most memorable directorial assignment…” – Sol Jose Vanzi (READ MORE)

“…Ah, how I love the Vilma-Gloria confrontations. “Si Val, si Val, ang kawawang si Val!…” The movie was again a monster hit from Viva Films. FAMAS Best Picture and a supporting actress award for Ms. Romero…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

“…He explained that a lot of craft likewise went into these glossy dramas. He cited two scenes in the Vilma Santos tearjerker “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-Ibig,” released in 1987: “Cinematographer Romy Vitug and I waited until late afternoon, when the columns at the back of the Manila Film Center formed long shadows. For another scene, we waited until dusk so the funeral procession would be reflected on a pond in the cemetery…” – Bayani San Diego Jr. (READ MORE)

The Bicol Festival Foundation, in cooperation with Philtanco, is sponsoring the movie premiere of the film Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, tonight at 7:30, at the Rizal Theatre in Makati. The movie, directed by Eddie Garcia, stars by Eddie Garcia, stars Vilma Santos, Gloria Romero, Ricky Davao, Cherie Gil, Alicia Vergel and Tonton Gutierrez. The Bicol Festival Foundation is headed by Justice Francis F. Gachitorena of the Sandiganbayan. Film director Garcia who is a Bicolano himself has offered this latest Vilma Santos starrer to the Bicolanos, many of whom have been devastated by typhoon Herming a few weeks ago. He said, ‘This is my little contribution in the Bicolano’s who will be celebrating the Penafrancia Festival next month.” The Bicolanos in Manila will hold teh Grand Bicolandia Festival from September 7-13 at the Manila Garden Hotel in Makati and many activities have been schedule to drum up support for the plight of the Bicolanos in the provinces. Tickets are available a the theater gate at Visual Horizons with telephone no. 815-0024 or Philtranco at telephone no. 833-7180.” – Manila Standard, Sep 01 1987 (READ MORE)

“…For sure, the film has been well-acted. Vilma, once again awes us with her astringent putdowns in her familiar facial expressions and pertinent body language. That long monologue in front of the dying Tonton is an eloquent testimony to her acting talent. Tonton is worthy of notice as the retardate but we have to be assured that he is capable of doing the things he does in the film. Can he really remember the past with such clarity despite his brain damage? Nevertheless, he has captured the mannerisms and speech of the character he portrays. Alicia Vergel comes on too strong as the aristocratic Nyora Pacing who wears an eyepatch and walks with a cane. Ricky Davao vies for attection in his anti-hero role. Cherie Gil as Ricky’s flighty sister is less fierry but more believable. Gloria Romero delivers a sensitive portrayal of the weak mother with a dark past while Alicia Alonzo plays her sister who is privy to the family’s secrets. Eddie Garcia should be commended for toning down his confrontation scenes. His familiarity with this film genre shows in the way he manipulates the characters and builds up the scene. Still, one cannot help but questions the logic behind that sham marriage…” – Luciano E. Soriano (READ MORE)

“…When Gloria Romero won the best supporting actress award in Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, she almost ran onstage and was beside herself for atleast three minutes. The ’50s queen of Philippine cinema could just ohh and aah that the audience gladly saved her with a standing ovation. Thirty four years ago, in 1954, she won her first acting award; and now she was lovelier, this second time around. But with an almost sad certainty, she acclaimed, “…To all the press people. I love you! Baka hindi na ako makabalik.” The moment was on overpouring of emotion and elegant hysteria only a true silver screen queen could summon. At least Romero thanked her make-up artist, Monching Morato as if to acknowledge her eternal celluloid persona that had flickered across the screeen and inflamed popular imagination for almost half a century. That was real romance in the movies. And even for a fleeting moment, Romero gave us a vision of what stuff real romance was made of. She made us comprehend that sense of almost indefinable sadness and fragility of life and beauty, a heightened awareness that even the subtlest of things suggested the unalterable rule of fate. Tonton Gutierrez was visibly euphoric when he accepted his best actor award for his performance in Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? Dutifully, he thanked the movie’s cast and crew, his director, his family; and of course, he never forget to thank God who gave him the talent to uplift, in his own way, the human condition…” – Henry C. Tejero, Manila Standard, Apr 24, 1988 (READ MORE)

“Dahil Father’s Day ngayon, nais nating bigyan ng magandang tribute ang nakilala nang ama ng maraming­ artista ng iba’t ibang henerasyon na si Eddie Garcia. Hindi lang mahusay na bida at kontrabida si Eddie kundi mahusay rin siya bilang isang film director. Taong 1961 nang idirek ni Eddie ang kanyang unang pelikula titled “Karugtong Ng Kahapon” kunsaan bida sina Mario Montenegro, Rita Gomez, Ric Rodrigo at Marlene Dauden. Higit na 36 movies pa ang dinirek ni Eddie na iba-iba ang tema…Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig (1987), Kuwento ito ni Estella (Vilma Santos) na nabuntis ng boyfriend niyang si Ric (Ricky Davao), pero hindi ito pinakasal ng kanyang lola (Alicia Vergel) dahil pinapatapos niya ito ng pagiging abogado. Pinakasal nila si Estella kay Val (Tonton Gutierrez) na naging mentally retarded dahil sa isang aksidente sa bahay na pinagsisisihan habambuhay ng kanilang ina na si Carmen (Gloria Romero). Nabaling ang pagmamahal ni Estella kay Val hanggang sa mamatay ito sa isang aksidente nang dahil sa selos ni Ric. Nanalo rito si Eddie bilang Best Director sa FAMAS at FAP Awards. Nanalo namang Best Actor at Best Supporting Actress sina Tonton Gutierrez at Gloria Romero sa Star Awards. Nagwagi naman itong Best Picture sa FAMAS, FAP at Star Awards…” – Ruel Mendoza, Abante, 15 June 2019 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Kapag Langit Ang Humatol (1990)

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Basic Information: Directed: Laurice Guillen; Story: Salvador Royales; Screenplay: Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; Cast: Vilma Santos, Richard Gomez, Gloria Romero, Charo Santos-Concio, Kristine Garcia, Carmina Villaroel, Jeffrey Santos, Eula Valdez, William Lorenzo, Tony Carreon, Metring David, Lillian Laing, Vangie Labalan, Terence Baylon; Executive producer: Charo Santos-Concio; Original Music: Nonong Buencamino; Cinematography: Romeo Vitug; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Production Design: Edgar Martin Littaua; Art Direction: Bert Habal; Sound: Vic Macamay; Theme song performed by Dulce; Released: August 15 1999

Plot 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. – Database of Philippine Movies (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1990 Gawad Urian: Best Direction – Laurice Guillen; Best Editing – Efren Jarlego; Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; 1990 FAP: Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; Best Story Adaptation – Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; 1990 FAMAS: Best Child Actor Nomination – Terence Baylon; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Jeffrey Santos; 1990 Gawad Urian: Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos; Best Picture1990 Gawad Urian Nomination; Best Production Design 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Edgar Martin Littaua; Best Screenplay 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; Best Supporting Actress 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Kristine Garcia; Best Supporting Actress 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Carmina Villaroel; The 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival – Digitally Restored Selection

Film Reviews: At first glance, the story may look inane and stale. No question about women moviegoers and fans who eagerly lap up most soap operas indiscriminately. But the movie hasn’t been very popular with a lot of film buffs, intellectuals and the movie press. The most criticized part of the movie is when the oppressed heroine, a housemaid (Vilma Santos), is locked up and chained in a barn when the mean, witch-like mistress of the hacienda (Gloria Romero at her wicked best) hears about her pregnancy, with no other than the dona’s son (Richard Gomez) as the father-to-be. Absurd! Incredible! Too lowbrow! These were the common complaints hurled against the movie, as though recent real-life incidents reported in the front pages about supposedly civilized masters in southern Philippines torturing their servants never happened. That the script is filled with knots and tangles, compounded by intense, passionate and exag¬gerated situations, would seem to lend credence to the criticisms.

Fortunately, director Laurice Guillen has more faith in her material, more respect. For she has not only come up with a beautifully-photographed, well-edited and generally superbly-acted melodrama. She has also held up to us a mirror of the dreams and aspirations, the frustrations, suffer¬ing and uncomplicated lifestyle of the so-called masa. Moments of the heroine’s unmitigated oppres¬sion in the hands of her evil mistress is age-old reality in Philippine life and, quite logically, litera¬ture. Her soul nearly scarred by her excruciating, degrading experience, she somehow manages not only to survive but also to rise from her humble, bleak origins, when she leaves the hellhole and finds hope and rewards in the city. In true melodramatic fashion, she plots out her revenge, but alas, even in carrying it out, she must pay dearly, nearly tragically. Feminist observers may easily notice that in this picture – as in, they would say, Philippine society -it is the women who run things. They domineer and dominate, manipulating the men, even the men they love. True enough, from the very beginning, it is the mistress and her poor servant who move things, decide, and tell men what to do. It is they who plot out schemes and plan their destiny.

The same is true even with the minor characters, those played by Kristine Garcia (who virtually drags the farm stud into a stormy affair and pushes him to run away with her), Eula Valdez (who pulls the trigger that ends a chapter in the drama), Charo Santos (the single mother and self-made tycoon) and Carmina Villarroel (the young woman who tries to extricate herself from the mess which her quarreling mother and grandmother have created). For their part, the men are pushed around, fooled and overtaken by events: the weakling lover (Gomez), the perpetually horny stablehand (Wil¬liam Lorenzo) and the young and rich heir (Jeffrey Santos). All in all, it is a glossy and well-crafted movie, with marvelous performances by Ms. Santos and Ms. Romero. – Mario A. Hernando, MPP (READ MORE)

The power of the script to carry weight to a movie works here, which shows that no matter how famous your actors are, it doesn’t guarantee critics’ approval. After being glued for depression and revenge for two and a half hours (even if you’ll know what will happen next), viewers will be put into sleep. There are many scenes that should’ve been erased and combined. Performances-wise, thumbs-up is given to Eula Valdez as the maid who falls in love with William Lorenzo, the gardener who uses Vilma Santos in the first half of the movie. Even the dialogue is weak. Barely watchable. 3.5/10 – OSCAR99, IMDB – (READ MORE)

“…The scene where the avenging Floreida (Vilma) to Gloria’s Octavia- wine-in-your face thing, followed by Vilma’s hysterical laughter is, to my mind the best scene in the movie. Catharsis at its best. Two great actresses. Bow!…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

“…Sino ba si Mr. Romantiko? Siya po si Mr. Salvador Royales…na siyang may concepto rin ng nasabing programa. Isa siyang magaling na writer sa radio at pelikula. Ayon sa kaniyang kuwento sa akin…siya ang kauna-unahang sumulat ng Maalala Mo Kaya sa ABS-CBN…na may pamagat na “Sapatos”. Marami siyang isinulat na pelikula sa Seiko Films…at may mga Radio Drama rin siya na ginawang pelikula….isa sa natatandaan ko ang “Kailan Mahuhugasan ang Kasalanan” at “Kapag Langit Ang Humatol” na pinagbidahan ni Vilma Santos, na pawang naging block buster. Kaya hindi matatawaran ang angking talino ni Mr. Romantiko sa pagsusulat. Mula sa kaniya marami rin akong natutunan na ini-aapply ko ngayon sa aking pagsusulat sa radio drama. Kaya masasabi ko na mapalad ako na nakilala ko ang isang taong tulad niya…” – Komixrama (READ MORE)

“…The whole-afternoon affair gave Ate Vi time to bond with Manay Ichu, the “second mother“ she hasn’t seen lately. Ate Vi recalled for the nth time how Manay Ichu and the late Atty. Espiridion Laxa saved her from the poor house, helping her with BIR (tax), financial, and career woes. The actress made memorable films for Manay Ichu, including “Rubia Servios,“ directed by Lino Brocka. Brocka triggered memories about a film she made for Vision, produced by Charo Santos and Simon Ongpin (Where is he?), in which this columnist had a “role.“ Vision offered Ate Vi two project. The true story of a crusading lady doctor to be directed by Brocka. A radio serial by Salvador Royales, “Kapag Langit ang Humatol.“ She wanted to do a Brocka film, but this columnist objected, telling Ate Vi, “You don’t need another award, you need a blockbuster.“ Ate Vi listened and “obeyed.“ The radio serial was a huge, huge hit. And even critically acclaimed, giving Laurice Guillen the best director award from the Manunuri (Urian)…” – Ronald Constantino, Feb 15 2012, Tempo (READ MORE)

“…Also in the Cinema One Originals Festival restored classics lineup are: Kapag Langit ang Humatol, a drama directed by Laurice Guillen starring Vilma Santos as an oppressed housemaid who transforms herself into a successful businesswoman. Richard Gomez plays the leading man of the Star for All Seasons…Completing the list is Anak, the heartwarming OFW story directed by Rory Quintos starring Vilma Santos and Claudine Barretto. Released in 2000, it was the highest-grossing movie of that year and one of the biggest blockbusters in Star Cinema’s history. The unveiling at 2014 C1 Originals marks the first time the restored version of Anak will be seen on the big screen…” – Isah V. Red, Manila Standard Today, 08 Nov 2014 (READ MORE)

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DIVA TO DIVA: TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

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(Or, Random Thoughts on Billing, My Favorite Movie Queens of All Time, and other Etchings)

In the egoistic world of movie stardom or stardoom, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. Stars may hate each other to death but in the name of “professionalism,” the show must go on. They dig into the characters once the director yells action! And quickly revert to their bitchy and selfish ways once the director says cut or pack-up. Dedmahan blues. ”Masquerade, paper faces on parade, masquerade!” Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces were the original “pabilog” billing movie queens, such as in Cover Girls, which was produced by the late FPJ. Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor followed suit via their “Ikaw ay Akin” and “T-Bird at Ako” projects. Susan and Amalia became friends at mag-kumare in real life, ditto with Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos.

Ego aside, Gloria Romero, forever the revered movie queen then and now, was billed second to the late Nida Blanca in such movies as “Huwang Kang Sumingit,” together with their ka-love teams Nestor De Villa (SLN) and Luis Gonzales. Interestingly, Nida and Gloria were close friends up to the time of Nida’s gory death (whatever happened to her murder case?). I recalled how the regal La Romero (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?) lovingly threw a flying kiss to her “rival” Nida (Kid, Huwag Kang Susuko) who defeated her for the best supporting race in the 1987 FAMAS when Nida said: “sorry, “Mare, di ko sinasadya!” Terms of endearment. Unfortunately, it did not happen between the late Charito Solis and the ‘60’s Uncrowned Movie Queen Amalia Fuentes. The volcanic and a stickler for details Charito Solis ignored the ‘60’s “taray movie queen” Amalia Fuentes and vice versa while doing a Regal Film Mother’s day film in the 80’s. La Solis enjoyed top billing over the former movie and box-office champ La Fuentes. They just did not click, period. Charito only allowed to be billed second to dramatic great Lolita Rodriguez (Ina, Kapatid, Anak), and to Vilma Santos in such movies as Dolzura Cortez and Ipagpatawad Mo. As far as I know, only Eddie Garcia and Gloria Romero are two stars who never had billingitis. There are no small roles. It is how you interpret them. That is why they are still very much around. Because of their stature in the movie industry, the studios respected them and knew how to put them in their proper place. As fate would have it, billing was never a problem between the Veteran Movie Queen Gloria Romero and the Philippines’ Movie Queen for All Seasons Vilma Santos. Ms. Romero, the ever practical and realistic auteur has so much respect and love for her “daughter” Ms. Santos that she allowed to be billed after the longest reigning box-office and movie queen since the 70’s (the monster hit “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” and the blockbusters “Nakakahiya I and II,” for example).

Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you act, you begin and end with humility and professionalism. The young Vilma acquired and inherited these traits from her favorite actresses Lolita Rodriguez and Gloria Romero. The dramatic child actress learned fast from her co-stars/mentors Lolita (Trudis Liit) and Gloria (Anak, ang Iyong Ina). As she was growing up, Vilma played daughter to Lolita, Gloria and Marlene Dauden. She even won a best supporting actress for her performance in the Lolita-Eddie-Marlene troika of a movie, Kasalanan Kaya? But it was the Gloria/Vilma collaborations that are forever etched in the minds and hearts of every Pinoy filmgoer, including yours truly. Ms. Romero was born in 1933 while Ms. Santos was born in 1953. Talk of 20 degrees of separation. And more than four decades as best friends and colleagues.

1963 – Anak, Ang Iyong Ina – Vilma has “two” mothers in Gloria Romero and the late Ms. Rita Gomez. Vilma’s name was itsy bitsy tiny in the theater marquees. She started her career right, to be acting with the brilliant and professional actors of the era.

1965 – Iginuhit ng Tadhana – Vilma, all of 12, played the young Imee Marcos to Gloria’s Imelda. Of course, La Romero and Luis Gonzales enjoyed top billing over Junior stars Vilma and Gina Alajar.

1968 – De Colores – An all-star cast flick with such superstars as Joseph Estrada, Amalia Fuentes, and Gloria Romero. Despite multiple episodic stories of this movie about the “cult” “religious” revival among the elite Catholics, Vilma was in a forgettable episode. I wasn’t sure if she played a rebellious daughter turned good via the Cursillo, and whether she shared scenes with Ms. Romero. What mattered was that she bumped into her Tita Gloria on the set. More bonding, please.

1969 – Pinagbuklod ng Langit – Vilma, now 16, reprises her role as Imee. No longer a girl, not yet a woman, Vilma was competent in her role like her Mommy Imelda (Gloria).

1973 – Lipad, Darna, Lipad – Vilma, now 20, still looking virginal and sweet kicked 70’s phenomenal superstar Nora’s butt at the boxoffice and earned her box-office wings via this monumental hit. The Emancipation of Baby Vi. Mariah Carey could not agree more. There was no turning back since then. The Fantasy Queen was born. Forty-three year old Tita Gloria gamely and bravely accepted the role of Ms. Luna, teacher by day and Manananggal by night. Movie Queen Gloria was deglamorized and became the evil incarnate as a vampire. Amalia Fuentes was the original movie queen who bravely accepted a daring role such as a vampire that won her a FAMAS statuette in Gerry De Leon’s Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin, and changed her goody-two-shoe image forever. Was she the original queen of reinvention that gave Vilma an idea to do the same via the landmark movie Burlesk Queen? Hmmm…for the first time, La Santos was billed above La Romero. Times have changed. The tables were turned. Vilma Santos is the New Box-Office Champ and Tita Glo and Company could only “bow” to the Reel/Real Queen: Ms. Rita Gomez, Helen Gamboa, Boots Anson-Roa, Barbara Perez and others did not have second thoughts to do a movie with the resurgent Vilma. Who wouldn’t want to be famous again and have fun working with the most hardworking and versatile actress? In my book, the aerial Good versus Evil fight of Vilma and Gloria as Darna and Impakta was one of the most thrilling and unforgettable scenes of my movie-going life. How I wish the movie resurfaces from Indonesia or from Timbuktu and my Vilma collection will be complete. That will be heaven! Where, oh, where is that classic movie? The Manananggal episode of Lipad, Darna, Lipad was so good that the two have to followed up their success via “Anak Ng Aswang.”

1973 – Anak ng Asuwang – featuring the Vilma/Gloria mother and daughter team had to be made. Gloria reprised her role as the vampire minus Darna. Vilma was her “doomed” daughter. Gloria was so identified as Impakta that when the second Darna flick came about she have to do do a cameo appearance!

1973 – Darna and the Giants – was shown at the Manila Film Festival, Gloria had a cameo role as a “mysterious” woman who comes out at night. People couldn’t get enough of La Romero and La Santos together. The film was a top grosser at the festival. Vilma is Darna and vice-versa. No doubt, she is the real Box-office Queen! Isa pa nga!

1975 – Nakakahiya – Starring Eddie Rodriguez who was married to Barbara Perez who was the best friend of Gloria Romero whose daughter (again!) Vilma Santos fell in love with Mr. Rodriguez, Vilma’s first of May-December flicks. Oh, what a shame and a scandal in the family. A Morality play? You betcha. It’s the 70’s and the times they were changin’. Nakakahiya? Vilma donned a bikini for the first time and the public did not mind. Vilma and Eddie were so good that they triumphed at the Bacolod City Film Festival. Best Picture. Best Director. Best Actress. Best Actor. Beating the likes of Nora Aunor and Gerry De Leon. Ms. Romero and Ms. Perez did not mind second billings. It’s the role that mattered most.

1975 – Karugtong ng Kahapon – Starring Vilma, daughter of a “happy” couple Eddie Garcia and Gloria Romero. Throw in the other woman of Eddie, Celia Rodriguez and as expected, another morality play was born. Shown at the first MMFF. 

1976 – Hindi Nakakahiya? – Starring Eddie Rodriguez, Vilma Santos and Ms. Gloria Romero, a reprise of their first Nakakahiya film.

1987 – Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? – Ah, how I love the Vilma-Gloria confrontations. “Si Val, si Val, ang kawawang si Val!…” The movie was again a monster hit from Viva Films. FAMAS Best Picture and a supporting actress award for Ms. Romero.

1990 – Kapag Langit ang Humatol – The scene where the avenging Floreida (Vilma) to Gloria’s Octavia- wine-in-your face thing, followed by Vilma’s hysterical laughter is, to my mind the best scene in the movie. Catharsis at its best. Two great actresses. Bow!

As if Fate would have it, who would ever think that the Two Queens would duke it out in the 2000 awards derbies? Anak versus Tanging Yaman. Gloria may have won the Urian but she shared the award with her “daughter”: “I share this award with Ms. Vilma Santos who is so good in Anak.” So what do Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero have in common? Why are they still Philippine Cinema’s Regal Movie Queens? They are both professionals, humble in both defeat and victory, clean living, and have respect for the profession that is their bread and butter. They are the Katherine Hepburn and the Meryl Streep of the Philippines. Kate Hepburn disliked Streep in real life. She called Ms. Streep’s acting too cerebral. Was it envy, billingitis, or ego? Thank heavens for Gloria and Vilma. They respect and love each other. Terms of endearment. Friends for life. We shall never see their kind anymore. Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero. When will we see them on the big screen again? May their tribe increase! – Mario O. Garces, V magazine, Vol 1, Issue 4 Oct/Nov 2005

RELATED READINGS: Wikepedia – Gloria Romero IMDB – Gloria Romero