Pablo S. Gomez and Vilma Santos

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Golden Age – “…Pablo is the last of the great komiks-writers from the Golden Age of Philippine Komiks, an era when komiks writing reached its pinnacle because of Gomez’ and his contemporaries (Clodualdo del Mundo, Francisco Coching, Mars Ravelo, and Tony Velasquez)writings. Gomez’ more famous komiks-nobelas were Kurdapya, Eva Fonda, Pitong Gatang, MN, Kamay ni Hilda, Recuerdo, Susanang Daldal, Taong Buwaya, Batang Bangkusay, Pagbabalik ng Lawin, and of course, Kampanerang Kuba. “I was writing for as long as I can remember it”, he smiles. “Komiks writing comes naturally for me, its just like a normal thing to do everyday, just like eating” In 1963, when Ace Publications closed down due to labor strike, Gomez started his own publications company, the PSG Publications. It published such titles as United Komiks, Continental Komiks, Universal Komiks, Kidlat Komiks, and Planet Komiks. His publications company started the careers of many great komiks artists and writers like Alex Nino and Carlo J. Caparas, to name a few. For a time, PSG became the biggest rival of GASI, until Pablo was forced to close the company due to the slump in the komiks business because of Martial Law. Yet, he never stopped writing. He has hundreds of stories and scripts still unpublished to this day, all of them he kept stored in his steel file cabinet, or on top of his table, or under his oval bed (which was a gift by his friend Ms. Susan Roces). Up to now, Pablo never gets tired of writing, and everytime I visit him in his home, I usually find him in front of his vintage typewriter creating new stories and plots for the younger generation of komiks readers. One can only wonder at the sheer force of his imagination and the vastness of his knowledge. Indeed, like his craft, Pablo is ageless, and like his greatest works, he is immortal…” – Dennis Villegas, PilipinoKomiks, 07 December 2005 (READ MORE)

Proofreader – “…Gomez started as a radio announcer over DZRH in 1946. Later, he became a stage impressario, touring the entire archipelago. In 1949, he entered an utterly new and altered world: the world of letters. The publication of a prose story started him off, “Ang Baliw sa Libingang Luma”, followed later by a komiks short story, “Putol na Kamay”. The reading public then had interesting glimpses of superb examples of the craft of Pablo S. Gomez. Nevertheless, these were not stories that catapulted him to prominence. But these were enough to land him a job with the Ace Publications as proofreader. After a year, he moved on to become editor of Hiwaga Komiks, at the same time writing for Pilipino Komiks, Tagalog Klasiks and Espesyal Komiks. “Apat na Taga”, his first komiks novel, was such an instant hit that Sampaguita Pictures turned it into a movie. Mars Ravelo was the leading innovator of the era that everyone – including Gomez himself – was haunted by the former’s success. “MN”, “Recuerdo”, “Kurdapya” and “Susanang Daldal” were all calculated to give Ravelo a run for his money…” – Komiklopedia The Philippine Komiks Encyclopedia (READ MORE)

Action Writer – “…Gomez also headed PSG Publishing House, which published titles like United Komiks, Universal Komiks, Kidlat Komiks, Continental Komiks, and Planet Komiks in the 1960s and ‘70s. He was also screenwriter for a number of films starring the late King of Philippine Cinema, Fernando Poe Jr., including Eseng ng Tondo, Probinsyano, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Sta. Quiteria, Kalibre 45 and Mahal San Ka Nanggaling Kagabi? “I became an action writer for FPJ,” Gomez wrote back in 2004, in an article which appeared in the Film Academy of the Philippines website. “I wrote more than a hundred movies for him.” Gomez was also known for helming the ABS-CBN fantasy television series Wansapanataym and Kampanerang Kuba. In one of his last interviews, Gomez pointed out the irony that komiks were “enjoying a revival on television, the same medium that killed it.” These include some of his own works, such as Petrang Kabayo which is currently on its third movie version, and Juanita Banana which ABS-CBN is producing as a TV show. ABS-CBN is also set to bring Gomez’s Mutya to TV later in 2011…” – Fidelis Angela Tan, The POC, 03 January 2011 (READ MORE)

Best Friend – “…Ever since she started acting and appearing in movies made by Sampaguita Studios, Susan Roces hasn’t changed her style since this was stipulated in the contract she signed that she maintain her pageboy hairstyle. Suan and I became the best of friends and eventhough she got married to FPJ, we still have kept in touch and have been friends ever since. When Susan and ronnie got married, she gave all her personal belongings to me. She gave me her round bed, cabinert, dresser and other things. Many of Susan’s friends were offering to buy these from her while others were asking for them, but she chose to give all of them to me. “I know that you are my friend and you always take good care of the things I give to you, ” Susan told me. Every year when I celebrate my birthday, Susan would visit my home, look in my room and see if the things she gave me years ago are still there. I told her “I will never have them replaced, the things you gave me.” She replied that she was thankful that she didn’t go wrong in choosing me to take care of her treasured possessions.” Susan also loves to eat food and she would join us whenever we would invite her to go out to Muntinlupa, attend a stage show or partake of the delicious food offered to us at a fiesta. Both of us would take the jeepney whenever we would go shopping at Divisoria and people there would not even recognize her. Once you become Susan’s friend, she never forget you because for her, a friend is always a friend. She is always there when you need her help and she never forgets to greet you a happy birthday during your special day. Whe you get sick or hospitalized because of an accident, Susan is always the first by your side, ready to give you help when you need something…” – Pablo S. Gomez, Philippine Free Press, 03 January 2004 (READ MORE)

Pablo S. Gomez and Vilma Santos

  • Mga Batang Bangketa (1970) – Directed by Armando De Guzman and from the original story and screenplay of Pablo S. Gomez, Mga Batang Bangketa was one of the early films of teen stars Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz.
  • Ding Dong (1970) – Tirso Cruz III played the title role while Vi was his leading lady. The film was directed by Mar S. Torres from the original story and screenplay of Pablo S. Gomez.
  • Kamay na Gumagapang (1974) – Directed by Tony Cayado and Mauro Bautista adapted screenplay from Pablo S. Gomez original story. Kamay na Gumagapang was first serialized in Pilipino Komiks, a Filipino local comic-magazine. The film featured Vilma Santos with 70s’ singing star, Romeo Miranda as her leaing man.
  • Kampanerang na Kuba (1974) – From the original comic story of Pablo S. Gomez, Kampanerang Kuba was similar to Hunchback of Notre Damme but the gender. The film was directed by Nilo Saez who also credited as one of the scriptwriter who adapted the comic material of Gomez. The other one was Jose Flores Sibal. Vi was in the title role opposite Edgar Mortiz. Celia Rodriguez and Dindo Fernando played supporting roles.
  • Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin (1987) – Pablo S. Gomez’ original novel titled “Paano Ba Sasabihing Paalam Na” was adapted by Jose Javier Reyes and Jake Cocadiz and directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza. The film featured Vilma Santos and Amalia Fuentez.
  • Ikaw ang mahal ko (1996) – Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos last film together before his untimely demise in 2004. Gomez wrote the script.

Pablo S. Gomez is one of the top komiks writers in the Philippines. He is also a movie scriptwriter and director. His most popular works include Kurdapya, Petrang Kabayo, among others. Born in Sampaloc, Manila on 25 January 1931, he is the son of Olimpio Gomez and Pacita Salonga. He studied at Legarda Elementary School, Jose Abad Santos High School, National Teachers’ College and Ateneo de Manila University…It was in the 50th FAMAS Awards in 2001 that he was given the Dr. Jose Perez Memorial Award for Journalism. On 26 December 2010, Gomez died due to cardiac and pulmonary arrest. He was 79 years old. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko (1996)

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Basic Information: Directed: Tony Cruz; Story: Fernando Poe Jr. aka Ronwaldo Reyes; Screenplay: Pablo S. Gomez, Manny R. Buising; Cast: Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Maritoni Fernandez, Bob Soler, Paquito Diaz, Max Alvarado, Dencio Padilla, Boy Alano, Bella Flores, Odette Khan, Melisse Santiago, Tony Bernal, Gamaliel Viray, Ruby Rodriguez, Jimmy Santos; Executive producer: Fernando Poe Jr., Susan V. Tagle; Original Music: Jaime Fabregas; Cinematography: Ver Reyes; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Ben Payumo; Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: The King of Philippine movies and the Star for All Seasons team up in this hilarious and heart-warming romatic comedy. FPJ is Pilo, a mild-mannered bodyguard whose only daughter considers every single woman she knows as a prospective new mother. Vilma is Miling, an old-fashioned probinsiyana who stows away when she learns that her aunt has bethroted her to the richest man in town. They meet in the most bungling of situations and they become fast enemies. But when two people are meant to stay together, it doesnt really matter if their first meeting was disastrous. – FPJ Production

In this highly entertaining action flick, Fernando Poe Jr. plays Pilo, a widow driver whose only daughter yearns for a mother. Vilma Santos stars as Miling, a beautiful but combatant single lady who comes to Manila to escape an old man who wants to mary her in the province. She lands a job in a department store owned by Pilo’s employer, Bianca, played by Maritoni Fernandez. The first time Pilo and Milling meet, it starts with a kiss and ends in jail. Pilo’s blunder makes Milling hate his guts, and she demands almost the impossible for her to forgive him. But for Pilo, it’s nothing that cannot be worked out. Bianca starts to notice Pilo’s growing interest in her newly-hired saleslady. Driven by jealousy, she makes life hell for Milling. Things take a turn for the worse when a group of men hunts her down for something she unknowingly possesses. Amidst the chaos, Pilo fights for her life, hoping that this woman he loves will also capture his child’s heart. – DVD Covers

Film Achievement: The last film of FPJ and VSR.

Film Review: “…In 1996 Vilma Santos did “Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko” with the late FPJ. The film did not do well, both critically and commercially. This year also was a bad year for the local entertainment industry as Ishmael Bernal died on June 2nd. It was reported that he was scheduled to direct a film about the life story of Lola Rosa Henson, the comfort woman during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The project was also reportedly offered to Vilma Santos. From 1997 to 2009, Vilma Santos completed 6 full featured films, two were considered record breaking films and almost all gave her acting recognitions including two international best actress recognitions…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Memories! I started reminiscing instantly. I want to ask Ate Susan (Roces, FPJ’s wife) nga for DVD copies of our three movies. I was only 21 when we made “Batya.” Ninety percent of the movie was shot in Hacienda Luisita (Tarlac) where we stayed for two months. He taught me how to swim in the hacienda’s swimming pool. We were with (co-star) Lorna Tolentino then. I admit that I didn’t know how to swim when I did “Dyesebel.” But the most memorable scene [from “Batya”] was the ending, where I ran after him, while he was aboard a train…” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos were chosen the Box-office Actor and Actress for 1983 by the Metro Manila Theaters Association during the First Cinehan Awards held at the Philippine Plaza Hotel ballroom.” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“Action King Fernando Poe, Jr. and Vilma Santos were awarded the Box-Office King and Queen in 1974. That year, both stars starred and appeared in the movie, “Batya’t Palu-Palo,” a sensational hit.” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

After more than a year’s absence, Vilma Santos is back to where her heart really belongs – show business. “This is my life.” she told us at an informal dinner last Saturday. “I can’t imagine myself not making movies, or being on television.” In fact, the ‘star for all seasons,” as Santos is endearingly referred to, is very visible promoting Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko, the movie that officially signals her return to the big screen. She is reunited with Fernando Poe Jr. 20 years after Bato Sa Buhangin, their second team-up after the box-office smash Batya’t Palu-palo. The multi-awarded actress quit television and the movie last year when she and her husband Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto decided to have a baby. ” I just had to do it because I don’t want other people to accuse me later that I didn’t give importance to my marriage,” she explained. “That’s how I love Ralph so much, I can give up so many things for the sake of our marriage.” At one point, Santos almost gave up hoping that she could have another baby. She had one 15 years ago, Lucky, by then husband Edu Manzano. “But I prayed so hard that I even made a promise to Him to attend Mass every Sunday,” she recalled. I am so glad the Lord answered my prayers.” And, as if to return the favor, the Recto couple named their newborn baby Christian.

Santos remembered being house-bound for almost a year. “I am still lucky I wasn;t totally bedridden,” seh said. “My doctors allowed me some physical movements, although these were vey minimal like bathroom privileges or a short walk around the room. It was so boring I turned into a couch potato. Napanood ko na yat lahat ng palabas sa TV.” But even before she gave birth, she was already being besieged with offers. Santos said she never really intended to quit show business permanently. She studied all those offers carefully during her delicate pregnancy. When she finally emerged from her self-imposed leave, she found herself facing the cameras again. There is a whiff of anticipation in Santos’ eyes, especially on how the audience would react to Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko. Many are expecting to see her onscreen in a dramatic role something she is quite famous for. But to her, playing a light romantic lead to the country’s action king is just the right preparation for heavier stuff in the future. In a way, she is excited about this reunion with Poe. Despite having been together in just two movies, both had ignited a different kind of excitement among their respective fans. Poe feels the audience is ready for another one.

The Last Pinoy Hero – Come to think of it Philippine cinema has only one remaining screen hero – Fernando Poe Jr. His movies no matter how similar the stories and the characters he plays are, have always drawn moviegoers to the theaters nationwide. Many Filipino men look up to him as their role model. Women find him more than just a screen hero. He is to a lot of them, an enigma who subtly seduces them to watch him. Poe is possibly the only actor this side of the world that can slug it out in the local box office with Hollywood heavies like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenneger or Bruce Willis, and, perchance, even survive an alien invasion. He rarely goes on a promo blitz to generate interest in his movies. His leading ladies do the job for him.. But, cash register figures always prove his indubitable and formidable stature as the country’s box-office king. Remember Ang Syota Kong Balikbayan? Every industry doomsayer predicted its plunge in the tills. A least-promoted project, Ang Probinsyano similarly earned a dark forecast. Both, to every pseudopsychic’s shame earned more than what FPJ even expected. Now, will the FPJ enigma woek once again with Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko? Vilma Santos hasn’t made a movie for almost two years and her fans are eagerly awaiting her return. Poe’s fans apparently still enjoy watching their idol terminate his onscreen foes with the now-patented left-hand-multiple jab. – Isah V. Red, Manila Standard, Nov 27, 1996 (READ MORE)