Remembering Ike Lozada

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Dambuhalang DJ – “…In the early 70s, the local entertainment industry was dominated by the love teams of Nora Aunor-Tirso Cruz and Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz. Arnold was a young teenager by the mid 70’s. Ike Lozada, a famous radio and TV host (known for his radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”) and part-time talent manager conceptualized a junior love team that would target the younger audience and would follow the footsteps of the Nora-Tirso and Vi-Bubot love teams. The young love teams will be introduced in a new TV show which was planned to compete with the Channel 7 show, “Eto Na Kami”, another TV show quite popular with the young generation back then. Ike gathered the team of Arnold and Maribel “Lala” Aunor, Winnie Santos and Dondon Nakar that gave birth to the “Apat na Sikat” in Channel 9. The show was an instant hit not just with teen-agers, but also for older audiences and it quickly acquired a high rating among viewers. It was aired during prime time, and lasted for five years. People who grew up watching “Apat na Sikat” often associate Arnold’s name to the TV show, as it made television history during its prime…“Apat na Sikat” in the 70s was borne out of the imagination of the late Ike Lozada. Ike made quite a name for himself on his TV show “Big Ike’s Happening” and his AM radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”. Like his colleague, Kuya Germs, Ike was also instrumental in launching the careers of young stars. The four young stars were easily brought to fame, because the two ladies were related to the star of the season. Winnie Santos is the younger sister of Vilma Santos, while Lala Aunor is the first cousin of Nora Aunor…” – Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

Apat na Sikat – “…In the early 70s, the local entertainment industry was dominated by the love teams of Nora Aunor-Tirso Cruz and Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz. Arnold was a young teenager by the mid 70’s. Ike Lozada, a famous radio and TV host (known for his radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”) and part-time talent manager conceptualized a junior love team that would target the younger audience and would follow the footsteps of the Nora-Tirso and Vi-Bubot love teams. The young love teams will be introduced in a new TV show which was planned to compete with the Channel 7 show, “Eto Na Kami”, another TV show quite popular with the young generation back then. Ike gathered the team of Arnold and Maribel “Lala” Aunor, Winnie Santos and Dondon Nakar that gave birth to the “Apat na Sikat” in Channel 9. The show was an instant hit not just with teen-agers, but also for older audiences and it quickly acquired a high rating among viewers. It was aired during prime time, and lasted for five years. People who grew up watching “Apat na Sikat” often associate Arnold’s name to the TV show, as it made television history during its prime. “Apat na Sikat” in the 70s was borne out of the imagination of the late Ike Lozada. Ike made quite a name for himself on his TV show “Big Ike’s Happening” and his AM radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”. Like his colleague, Kuya Germs, Ike was also instrumental in launching the careers of young stars. The four young stars were easily brought to fame, because the two ladies were related to the star of the season. Winnie Santos is the younger sister of Vilma Santos, while Lala Aunor is the first cousin of Nora Aunor. While doing my research on the internet, I chanced upon the Ukay-Ukay blog written by Guillermo “Ige” Ramos. He provided a vivid, though quite amusing takes on the “Apat na Sikat.” Nilampaso nya ang Apat na Sikat. Gigil na gigil si Ige sa kanyang characterization of Winnie Santos, and Lala Aunor. Ige, however, had kinder words for Dondon and Arnold. “Winnie tried to be her sister’s clone: she did a TV version of Vilma’s hit Trudis Liit, and she sang the Ate VI anthems, “Paper Roses” and “My Boy Lollipop”. Unlike her sister, who is still a terpsichorean wonder, Winnie could only dance the Lady Bump. The more she copied her sister, the more she receded into oblivion…” – Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

Vi’s Precious – “…Si kuya Ike Lozada ang nagbansag kay Ate Vi ng palayaw na “Precious” marahil dahil sa parang mamahaling kristal si Ate Vi sa paningin ng malusog na radio announcer na ito. Si Kuya Ike isa sa mga naging instrumento kung bakit naging sikat ang tambalang Vi at Bot. Kung si Guy at Pip ay mayroong German Moreno, si Vi at Bot naman ay mayroong Kuya Iking. Sa bawat radio commercial at mga kanta hindi mawawala ang mga balita’t dedikasyon niya sa kanyang nagiisang “precious.” Akmang akma para bigyan natin ng halaga ang isang taong malaking naitulong sa pagsulong ng career ni Ate Vi nuong mga dekada 70 at mga unang taon ng dekada 80. Ang isa pang mahalagang naitulong ni Kuya Ike ay pagpapahalaga niya sa mga Vilmanians. Kung hindi lang siya radio announcer marahil isa siya sa aktibong miyembro ng ating grupo…” – RV (READ MORE)

TV Host – “…Last Wednesday night, showbuz was once again thrown into unexpected mourning with the passing of Ike Lozada, comedian, singer, host and very much overweight. He was 54 at the time of his death. Ike, Enrique Lozada in real life, was last seen on TV with German Moreno on the late afternoon variety That’s Entertainment last Wednesday. He reportedly went to visit a friend, Rey Honrando, then proceeded to fastfood restaurant. Reports on where exactly he suffered from cardiac arrest are up to this time still sketchy. He was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center where attending physicians declared him DOA. The hefty comedian-singer was one of showbiz’ more colorful personalities and endeared himself to a lot of TV and movie fans, especially the elderly. His rise to popularity came almost at the same time Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos were winning admiration of millions of movie fans. Ike made his mark as host of the afternoon show Big Ike’s Happening. His closest friends in showbusiness were Inday Badiday and Kuya Germs…” – Isah Vaquez Red, Manila Standard, Mar 11, 1995 (READ MORE)

Amateur Singer – “…Movie and television talent Enrique “Ike” Lozada died of a heat attack Wednesday night at the Quezon City Medical Center. He was 54. Dr. Carlos Lagman, the attending physician, said the victim died of “secondary to massive biocardiac arrest” at around 8:25 p.m. A report said that after watching a moive Lozada reportedly ordered his driver to take him to a friend, Reynaldo Honrado, in Quezon City. Honrado said Lozada later complained of chest pains. As Honrado was talking to a friend on the telephone, he heard a loud thud. He said he saw Lozada fall head first on the floor. Lozada began his show business career after winning in an amateur singing contest in the television show Student Canteen. He hosted different television shows, and was a disc jockey; an entertainment writer and a talent manager…” – Manila Standard, Mar 8, 1995 (READ MORE)

Relationship with Santos – ” …And speaking of talents, Ike Lozada is “starmaker” in his own right. At previously mentioned he was responsible for the rise of several actors, actresses, and singers. A lot of people know that if German Moreno is often associated with Nora Aunor, then he in turn is associated with Vilma Santos. But it seems that while Moreno is still close to Aunor, his relationship with Santos has cooled off. How does he feel about it? “I feel na nakalimutan lang niya ako. May pinagsamahan naman kasi kami (he’s know her even before she was 10 years old).” he had been hoping that he would somehow be invited to guest in Santos’show, specially at the time when “I lost my show and I was out of circulation. Baka hindi siya ang may ayaw; maybe she has her reasons.” He feels no resentment though, and to prove it he adds: “I still care for her.” The fact that he has mellowed since his trip to the US has helped him improved his relationship with his peers in the business. If he used to hold grudges against them, he has resolved to sort it out with them. “Willing akong makipagbati. Ayoko na nang may kaaway.” He has since reconciled with Angge in Inday Badiday’s show. Lately, Ike Lozada’s been busy with a lot of things. Aside from co-hosting a daily shows and managing his talents, he produces shows in nightclubs, has a hand in a jewelry business and helps build and sell houses. Not bad for someone who’s trying to revive his status in the business. With the proliferation of teen and variety shows, luck in on his side. “The more programs, the better. They would as outlets for my talents,” he says…” – Marie T. Dimapilis, Manila Standard, 01 Oct. 1988 p24 (READ MORE)

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. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Ike Lozada and Vilma Santos

Payaso (1986) – “…The 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival was considered the worst in the 12-year history of the annual 10-day festival of local movies. For the first time, it did not give out the traditional first and second best picture awards. Two other categories— best story and best screenplay were not also given. “No one of the seven entries deserved these awards,” according to Tingting Cojuangco, one of the jurors…” – J C Nigado (READ MORE)

Charot (1985) – “…As far as he can recall, his first gay outing was in the critically acclaimed High School Circa ’65. “Doon naman, I was nominated for Best Supporting Actor considering na 15 or 16 pa lang ako noon. I was the comic relief of the movie.” Bibeth Orteza, who played a teacher in High School Circa ’65, created a gay character for him in the sitcom “Tepok Bunot.” “Nag-hit ‘yon,” says Roderick. Then a producer gave him the lead role in Charot, a movie inspired by Dustin Hoffman’s gender-bending performance in Tootsie. Before Roderick knew it, other offers to do gay roles started coming his way, with one of them from a very persuasive line producer-actress. “After Charot, ayoko munang tanggapin ang mga gay-gay roles,” he says. “But it was Charo Santos who convinced me to do a gay movie where I would be paired with Maricel (Soriano).” The project was Regal Films’ Inday, Inday sa Balitaw which ended up being a huge success. “The rest is history!” Roderick exclaims. “Yun na! Sunud-sunud na sa box-office…” – Veroli1974 (READ MORE)

Darna at Ding (1980) – “…The climax of this “Darna vs. the Dragon Lady” part of Darna At Ding sees Lei Ming conjure up an evil double of Darna to keep our heroine busy while, elsewhere in her lair, a towering robot bears menacingly down upon Ding. It’s a suitably whiz-bang finale to this loopy, kitchen sink confection, and one that makes the long, strange and circuitous route that we’ve taken to get to it seem perhaps less arduous in retrospect. Still, at a solid two hours, Darna At Ding is an example of a movie that pulls out all the stops, but perhaps shouldn’t have. While it’s combination of horror movie chills, superhero thrills and slapstick spills might have been catnip for the Filipino audience of its day, for the rest of us it might prove mildly exhausting. Nonetheless, I find Vilma Santos so appealing in her role that it’s hard for me to imagine hating any Darna movie that she appears in, and this one’s no exception…” – Todd of “luchadiaries” (READ MORE)

Buhay artista ngayon (1979) – “…Finally, after almost a decade from their last outings and no longer his film daughter, Dolphy and Vilma did their last film (to this day), this time, Vilma played the leading lady, in a film, ironically, about show business…” – RV (READ MORE)

Mga mata ni Angelita (1978) – “…Julie Vega was only 10 years old when she was launched to full stardom in the 1978 movie, “Mga Mata ni Angelita.” She appeared in previous movie outings as Darling Postigo. The young Vega was ably supported by an all super star cast headed by the King of Philippine Movies, Fernando Poe, Jr. (in the role of Conrado, the ex-convict) and Comedy King Dolphy (as Tacio, the taho vendor). Also appearing in cameo roles were Joseph Estrada (as himself as Mayor); Nora Aunor (a metro-aide sweeper); Vilma Santos ( as a worried wife); Ramon Revilla (as barrio captain); Alma Moreno (as a jealous sweetheart); Christopher de Leon (as the lover) and many more…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Big Ike’s Happening (1976) – “…All star casts din ang pelikulang handog ng Larry Santiago at Ike Lozada Productions na Big Ike’s Happening (February 27, 1976) na tinampukan nina Vi, Tirso Cruz III, Walter Navaro, Ike Lozada, Aurora Salve, Gina Alajar, Jojit Paredes, Dondon Nakar, Winnie Santos, Arnold Gamboa, Maribel Aunor, Allan Valenzuela, Doyet Ilagan, Edward Campos, German Moreno, Inday Badiday, Ben David, Lilian Laing, Aruray, Nora Aunor, Perla Bautista, Charlie Davao, Esperanza Fabon, Eddie Peregrina, Bella Flores, Lito Legaspi, Christopher de Leon, Van de Leon, Pinky Montilla, Alma Moreno, Dencio Padilla, Andy Poe, Jerry Pons, Ric Rodrigo, Gloria Romero, Daria Ramirez, Darius Razon, Marianne de la Riva, Eddie San Jose, Ricky Santiago, Lorna Tolentino, Eddie Villamayor at Vic Vargas sa direksiyon nina Pablo at Bobby Santiago…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

King Khayam and I (1974) – “…Then veteran actress and much younger, Mary Walter in a cameo role, brought her just bought magic lamp. She complained to the king that the seller fooled her to buy the lamp and wanted a refund. She then caress the lamp and the gennie came out but instead of the expected giant gennie, a midget dwarf came out. Then from this moment the film went downhill. A singing bird, a transexual Ike Lozada being auctioned, Rod Navarro’s over the top villain antics, all failed to sustained our attention. The weak storyline did not help. Patterned with the Hollywood film, King Kayam & I’s only saving grace was the acting of its lead stars. Joseph Estrada’s precense was commanding and convincing as the playboy king and Vilma’s charming innocense despite the sexy dance number at the end complimented Joseph’s macho image…” – RV (READ MORE)

Biktima (1974) – “…In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the m rder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim?…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Kampanerang kuba (1974) – “…Despite of (or perhaps because of) her hideous appearance, she is held dear by the parish priest Padre Damaso but abhorred by the church caretaker, Edeng who maltreats her at every opportunity. Andang is ugly, ugly, ugly and deserves all the pain she can get…don’t think Mang Martin will give the miracle for free. Vilma emerges as the ugly hunchback Andeng! Sandra is gone! Death to fantasy!…” – Silver Screen Surfer (READ MORE)

Darna and the Giants (1973) – “…She reprised the role after three months. Liza Moreno, Eva Montes and Gina Pareno followed her. The inter-galactic pebble found its way to Vilma Santos’ throat in 1973 via the flick “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” Santos, now a two-term mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, is probably the most popular Darna, with a total of four movies in a span of seven years. Some of these were made known to younger generations through afternoon airings on television in the late ’80s. Maybe RPN 9 should do that again so that even younger generations can marvel at Darna’s greatness, albeit antiquated, in such movies as “Darna and the Giants” and “Darna vs. the Planet Women…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 06, 2003 (READ MORE)

Ang hiwaga ni Maria Cinderalla (1973) – “…Besides teaming up with Edgar Mortiz during her teen years, Vilma Santos also starred and appeared in many movies opposite other leading men…Jay Ilagan — Inspiration (1972), Ang Konduktora (1972), Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma (1972), Tsismosang Tindera (1973), Ang Hiwaga ni Maria Cinderella (1973)…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Dyesebel At Ang Mahiwagang Kabibe (1973) – “…In the 1973 Dyesebel movie, Dyesebel lives in an undersea kingdom of mermaids far from the land of humans because the humans believe that the mermaids are the cause of misfortune. Dyesebel fell in love with a male human being. In order to be with the man that she likes, she swore to find a way to be transformed into a female human being. In the movie, “Si Dyesebel at Ang Mahiwagang Kabibe,” the role of Dyesebel was played by Vilma Santos and Fredo was played by Romeo Miranda…” – Jun B (READ MORE)

Tsismosang tindera (1973) – “…Jay Ilagan and Vilma Santos did twelve films with commercial success except for one, their most critically acclaimed film, Sister Stella L. Total Number of films: 12 (Inspiration, Ang Konduktora, Tsismosang Tindera, Ang Hiwaga ni Mariang Cinderella, Paano Ba Ang Mangarap, Sister Stella L, Coed, Leron Leron Sinta, Ito Ang Pilipino, Remembrance, Karugtong Ng Kahapon)…” – RV (READ MORE)

Ang hiwaga ni Maria Cinderalla (1973) – “…Besides teaming up with Edgar Mortiz during her teen years, Vilma Santos also starred and appeared in many movies opposite other leading men…Jay Ilagan — Inspiration (1972), Ang Konduktora (1972), Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma (1972), Tsismosang Tindera (1973), Ang Hiwaga ni Maria Cinderella (1973)…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Sweet Sweet Love (1972) – “…Film artist Walter Navarro (Vicor) will have his first LP, “King of Balladeer,” this month. He is a contract star of Lea Productions and principal mainstay of the El Bodegon Club. Navarro is doing a film musical with Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) with Mirick Productions…” – Oskar Salazar (READ MORE)

Don’t Ever Say Goodbye (1972) – “…Sa tuwing sumasapit ang Christmas at valentine’s Day ay nagtatapatan ang mga pelikula nila. Nang ginawa nina Guy at Pip sa Hawai ang pelikulang Blue Hawai, hindi nagpatalo ang Vilma at Edgar. Nagtungo rin sila sa Hawai at ginawa nila ang pelikulang Aloha, My Love bilang pantapat sa pelikula nina Nora at Tirso. Ganyan talaga kainit ang labanan noon ng dalawang parehang ito. Pagkatapos ipalabasa ang mga pelikulang Blue Hawai at Aloha My Love na parehong kumita sa takilya, nagtungo rin ang dalawang pangkat sa USa para gawin naman nila ang pang-Valentine’s Day offering nila. Don’t Ever Say Goodbye ang kina Vilma at Edgar, samantalang ang kina Guy at Pip naman ay ang Gift of Love. Hindi lang iyan. Tuwing sasapit naman ang Metro Manila Film Festival ay nagkakaroon din sila ng kanya-kanyang entry under their respective production companies – ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang for Vi and Bot at Sampaguita Pictures kina Guy at Pip. Halos sila na lang ang siyang pinapanood at iniidolo ng fans…” – Ely S. Sablan (READ MORE)

Aloha My Love (1972) – “…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career….” – RV (READ MORE)

Teenage Señorita (1971) – “…He became the leading man of Nora Aunor after Tirso Cruz III. Theirs was also a popular tandem. Decades later, when I finally got to talk to Nora during an interview, she revealed that their working relationship wasn’t really all that pleasant. Manny disappeared from the scene when Nora moved on to become a more serious actress. Whatever happened to Manny de Leon? When last heard from — many, many years ago — it was full of speculations and, sadly, those bits of information about him were unpleasant…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

Young Lovers (1971) – “…Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the “Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag” loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

The Sensations (1971) – “…Ang The Sensations ay produce ng ABS CBN at dinerek ni Tony Santos Sr. Consistent No. 1 Top rater ang show at kasama ni Vi & Bot sina Perla Adea, Romy Mallari, Rhodora Silva, Darius Razon, Baby de Jesus, Tony Santos Jr., Janine Frias, atbpa. Dahil sa kasikatan nila Vi & Bot ginawang movie ang The Sensations noong April, 1971, big boxoffice hit ito kaya sinundan agad ni direk tony ng ” Young Lovers ” noong August, 1971, big hit din ito. Ginawan din ng L.P. Album nila Vi & Bot ang The Sensations at muling tinangkilik ng masang pilipino…” – Jojo V. Lim (READ MORE)

Young Love (1970) – “…Ang “Young Love” ay puno ng walang kawawaang musical numbers ni Nora Aunor. Puno rin ito ng mga eksenang nakakaloka na kahit na ang batang paslit ay magkakamot ng ulo at sasabihin ang “huh?” Kung hindi mo hahahanapin ang matinong istorya at ang hangad mo lang ay makita kung gaano kagaling kumanta si Nora Aunor kahit pa sa burulan ng patay tiyak na mage-enjoy ka sa pelikulang ito dahil maraming eksena rito si Nora na kumakanta ng walang kawawaang kantang dayuhan…” – RV (READ MORE)

Ding Dong (1970) – “…Adapted into movie from comics written by Pablo S. Gomez; Illustrated by Alfredo P. Alcala for United Komiks, 1970…” – Komiklopedia (READ MORE)

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Film Review: Biktima (1974)

FILMS - BIKTIMA

Release Date: June 23, 1974 (Philippines)

The Plot: – In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the murder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim? – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

The Reviews: – Hired by Don Rafael Valdez (Joe Sison), Attorney Andrade (Leopoldo Salcedo) finally convinced Dolores (Vilma Santos) to live with her rich grandfather, Don Rafael. This is despite the warning of her aunt, Tiya Dadeng (Patria Plata) and the warning of her mother, Lourdes (Perla Bautista) who is in prison. She was framed-up and wrongfully convicted of her father’s death. When Dolores came to her grandfather’s mansion, one by one, people are starting to die. This includes her grandfather’s young wife (Elizabeth Vaughn); Monica Valdez (Celia Rodriguez); Magda (Divina Valencia); the gardener (Yoyoy Villame); and Marita (Helen Gamboa). By the time the last victim died, the surprise killer was expose, the killer was Dolores. She tried to revenge her mother’s imprisonment and her father’s death. It was also revealed that her aunt’s husband (Bert Le Roy Jr.) was the one who killed her father. Her father tried to rape their grandfather’s nurse, Marita (Helen Gamboa), she fought hard and stabbed her father. Bert Leroy Jr. framed-up Dolores’ mother who was the first person on the scene of the crime. In exchange for his silence he blackmailed Marita with sexual favors. Marita didn’t know that Dolores’ father was still alive but Leroy finished the job by stabbing him more.

Written by Jose Flores Sibal with writing credit from the film’s lead star, Vilma Santos, Biktima was surprisingly watchable. Compared to other Vilma Santos films that Nilo Saez directed like Kampanerang Kuba, he did a convincing job in ironing out the many characters of the film (maybe except for Divina Valencia’s role who was one of the first to die). This is perhaps due to the excellent cast. The one who stands out more were Celia Rodriguez and Helen Gamboa. Both gave subdued performances. Edgar Mortiz’ role as assistant investigator was just to appeal to the loyal festival followers of Vi and Bot. By this time, it was clear that Vilma’s career are heading upward while Mortiz was heading to a different path. The ending of the film, showing a bald Vilma Santos in preparation for her demise was the film’s dramatic highlight.

Remembering Joe Quirino, Inday Badiday, Eddie Ilagan and Ike Lozada

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I am urging all Vilmanians to say a little prayer to the late Joe Quirino on his 10th death Anniversary.  I just would like to share with you how JQ admired and fought for Ate Vi. During the MMFF when Ate Vi won in Karma.  It was a triple tie between Ate Vi, Gina Alajar and Charo Santos. JQ as one of board of jurors defended why Ate Vi should win. On the second deliberation JQ convinced one of the jurors and Ate Vi won by 1 point.  JQ lambasted on his TV program the jurors in the MMFF when Ate Vi was not even nominated for her performance in Langis At Tubig.  The nominees are Nora Aunor for “Bona” and “Kung Akoy IIwan Mo” and Amy Austria for Brutal.  Its good that Amy won. JQ said that Ate Vi is good in langis compared to Nora in “Kung Akoy IIwan.”  Obiously that was manipulated by Dean Lukresia Kasilag who was the Board Chairman that time and a certified Noranian.  Kawawa talaga si Ate Vi basta involved si Kasilag lagi syang nabibiktima.  Remember Rubia Serbios and Atsay. JQ always regarded Ate Vi as the real Queen of Philippine movies and a certified box Office Queen.  I remember one time in an awarding ceremonies when JQ has to present the Best Actress award with Pilar Pilapil. Nora Aunor won that time. And JQ said before he announce the winner. Sasabihin ko pa ba kung sino ang winner, alam na naman natin kung sino ang panalo. Obviously disappointed s’ya sa results. Nora got mad at JQ kinabukasan sa interview sa kanya. I dont remember what year was that. I remeber when JQ program was No. 1 noon at talagang basta nag guest sa kanya si Ate Vi laging special. Hindi s’ya pumapayag na hindi sasayaw si Ate Vi. JQ said that Ate Vi is the best dancer of all times. Nobody comes close to her said JQ. – Aries aka “egrollon2001”, V Magazine Issue Nos 6 Feb 23, 2005 (READ MORE)

Joe Quirino, more popularly known as Joe Quirino or JQ, was a Filipino entertainment columnist. He was also the host of the 1970s and 1980s television show, “Seeing Stars with Joe Quirino.” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Isa sa mga naalala ko noon yung radio programs nina Ate Luds, Inday Badiday (RIP) and Eddie Ilagan (is this his last name? where is he now?). Si Ate Luds identified kay Nora at that time. Si Kuya Eddie Ilagan naman maka-vilma. Then nagkagulo noon sina Nora at Ate Luds because of that hula-hula sa TV show ni Ate Luds na si Ate Vi raw ang wagi sa “Rubia Servios” (which unfortunately turned out wrong). However, majority of the movie going public thought that Ate Vi was robbed of the best actress award that year. Di ba nagtampo si Nora kay Ate Luds. One thing led to another and by the time you know it, naging magkaibigan sina Ate Luds and Ate Vi. During this time nagtampo naman si Kuya Eddie kay Ate Vi sa dahilang hindi ko na maalala. Kaya ng nangyari nabaligtad ang kanilang loyalty. Si Ate Luds panay si Ate Vi ang prino-promote sa radio program niya while si Kuya Eddie naman ay napunta kay Nora. Bumibisita ang mga Vilmanians noon sa radio program ni Ate Luds at ang mga Noranians sa radio program ni Kuya Eddie. This was also the time yung kainitan kung sino ang dapat gumanap na Annie Batungbakal. Many believed that na bagay na bagay yung role kay Ate Vi. Since she is considered as the Dancing Queen. But lo and behold, napunta yung role kay Nora. Balita ko she bought the rights to make it into a movie yata. Naalala ko rin noon si Kuya Eddie ilagan panay ang patugtog ng mga kantang ikaw ang superstar ng buhay ko (tama ba ang title, Kuya Charlz?) at yung ngang Anie Batungbakal dedicated kay Nora. Si Ate Luds naman may kantang dedicated kay Ate Vi. If I am not mistaken ito yung kantang “Pinakamagandang babae sa balat ng lupa” (Tama ba yung title, Kambal?) or is it “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko?” whatever the song was, palaging pina-patugtog ni Ate Luds iyon dedicated para kay Ate Vi at sa mga Vilmanians as well. Then one day just as nagkabati sina Ate Luds at Nora, nagkabati din sina Ate Vi at Kuya Eddie. So to be fair to both, ang ginawa ni Kuya Eddie Ilagan pinapatugtog niya pareho yung mga kantang dedicated for Ate Vi and Nora.

Then kuya eddie had this idea to have a debate on who is more sikat and mas magaling between Ate Vi and nora (now we know the answer: Ate Vi). Kuya Eddie asked Beth Malongat and his younger sis na artista din at that time na si Dolly Ilagan to have a debate on who is mas sikat at mas magaling kina Ate Vi and Nora. Beth was asked to represent the Vilmanians while Dolly represented the Noranians. Araw-araw yung portion na iyon sa radio program ni Kuya Eddie. Beth will say something good and positive about Ate Vi while Dolly will do the same for Nora. Until one day, they decided to stop it kasi both Beth and Dolly were receiving hate mails/phone calls from the two camps (but now we know kung sino ang mas capable of doing these nasty things, di ba Kuya Mar?) both Beth and Dolly admitted that they were being affected by the negative criticisms, that they are receiving from both groups. After that wala na po akong maalala kahit panay ang kain ko ng kalabasa to sharpen my memory buti na lang hindi panay kalabasa ang mga grades ko sa school at that Liam & Alfons time. Ang buhay talaga, parang life! – Father Juancho Gutierrez, V Magazine Issue Nos 7, Oct 28, 2005 (READ MORE)

Eddie Ilagan “…I have been working since I was 8,” says Eddie Ilagan, “and I haven’t stopped working since then.” Eddie Ilagan is more popularly known to radio listeners and movie fans as “Eddielat:” Isa siya sa anim na anak ng batikang movie direktor na si Conrado Conde, ang panganay sa magkakapatid na Gerry de Leon, Tito Arevalo, Angel Esmeralda at iba pa. Isa si Eddie sa sikat na announcers ng DWWA at mapapakinggan siya araw-araw magmula alas-5 ng hapon hanggang alas-8:30 ng gabi. Puno ng mga balita (mostly movie news) ang kanyang programa at mahilig siyang magbigay ng komentaryo sa mga current events hindi lamang sa movies kundi pati na rin sa ibang fields. Nagsimula si Eddie sa Showbiz bilang child actor at karamihan ng mga ginawa niyang pelikula ay sa ilalim ng Sampaguita Pictures. He did some 20 movies as a child actor and his most important role was in his Uncle Gerry’s Noli Me Tangere where he played the role of Basilio. He also acted in radio shows, a difficult type of acting, according to Eddie, because you portray your character with your voice. “Kaya dapat mahusay ka sa vocal acting para lumabas na malinaw ang role mo,” he says. One of his memorable radio roles was as the sidekick of Kapitan Kidlat. Eddie took up several courses in college – Commerce, Computer Programming, etc. – but he never got to finish one. He also did stints on stage and in television but his world is really radio. “I’ve been a disc jockey since 1967,” Eddie says, “and I enjoy every minute of it.” Soon, if plans push through, Eddie might host a TV variety show to be called Most Beautiful Show, one feature of which is the Most Beautiful Contest he initiated in his radio program…” – Eddie Ilagan, JEH, April 27 1981 (READ MORE)

“…Inday Badiday (a.k.a. Ate Luds) doesn’t remember now who gave her the tableau containing that little prayer (“Ewan ko kung kaaway ko o kaibigan ko”) but that’s beside the point. The tableau stands on her headboard and it’s the first thing Inday sees when she wakes up every morning. Sa totoo lang, Inday has been trying, during the past many years, to observe that prayer — to no avail. “Para akong si Mother Lily,” says Inday, “pag hindi ko binuksan ang bibig ko, magugutom ako, hindi ako kikita. Aray ko!…Remember when Nora Aunor, displeased by a news report which she deemed favored Vilma Santos at her expense, asked her secretary to get back (that same evening!) a P5,000 check she had gifted Inday with a week earlier during the blessing of Inday’s house in Meycauayan, Bulacan?….Inday’s constant reminder to her children is this: “Don’t come to me crying!” That is also what the Ambassador would often tell his children: “Don’t ever come to me crying.” “Military man kasi ‘yon, e.” Inday hasn’t run back to Daddy crying ever since. “Alam mo,” she admits, “people can accuse me of not having been a good wife. Pero walang makapagsasabing hindi ako naging mabuting ina.” And that, would you believe, is the truth and nothing but.” – Ricky Lo, Weekend magazine, March 10 1985 (READ MORE)

Lourdes Jimenez Carvajal (August 6, 1944 – September 26, 2003), better known as Inday Badiday, was a Filipino host and journalist who was known as Philippine television’s “queen of showbiz talk shows” and “queen of intrigues”. Referred to by many in the entertainment industry as “Ate Luds”, Inday began her broadcasting career as a radio host who talked about show business. Her commentary and knowledge about the industry eventually brought her fame. One of her first shows was Nothing but the Truth and later See-True and Eye to Eye, which served as Philippine television’s template for showbiz talk shows. These shows were all produced by GMA News and Public Affairs and her production company, LoCa Productions (LoCa is the combination of the first two letters of her names, Lourdes Carvajal). She made her television comeback in GMA Network in 2002 with the show Inday, Heart to Heart. Inday Badiday died on September 26, 2003, from multiple organ failure due to two strokes at 59 years old, at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City. She had three children, Dolly Anne and Ricky from a previous marriage, and Clara (Klang-klang) by her beloved Gene “Bo” Palomo, the man Inday referred to in her famous parting shot, “Saranghamnida, Bo” (Korean for “I love you, Bo”) in her program Eye to Eye. She was also the grandmother of Juicy co-host IC Mendoza. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Naisip ko bigla si Ike Lozada for some reasons. Sayang kinuha na siya ni Lord, isa pa naman siya sa maituturing na tunay na kaibigan ni Ate Vi at mga Vilmanians. Lagi kong pinapanood ang mga TV shows niya noon, one of them was Big Ike’s Happennings. S’yempre laging guest si Ate Vi (at saka si Winnie). There was a time that he was interviewed about her side defending Ate Vi, the article’s title was “Si Vilma Santos sa paningin ni Ike Lozada” ito yung parang sagot niya sa colum ni Kuya Germs about “Si Nora Aunor sa paningin ni German Moreno.” Nakakatuwa ang mga banat ni Kuya Ike lalo na ng sabihin niyang “Si Vilma talaga dapat ang nanalo sa Rubia Servios sa opinion ko.” There was a time that he wrote a story for Vilma pero hanggang kwento lang siya hindi naman nagmaterialized dahil hindi naman niya ginagawa in writing. Binabangit lang niya sa Radio program niya yung plot ng story like yung “Kulaspira, Basag ang pula.” Kakatawa ang title pero gusto niya na luka-luka daw si Ate Vi dito or something like that. Meron pa ngang Annie Batungbakal na base sa hit song ng Hotdogs pero naunahan siya ng NV production at ginawang movie ni Guy. Inis na inis noon si Ike sa radio program niya pero wala naman siyang laban kasi nga hanggang kwento lang siya sa radio, walang black & white. Sabi pa nga niya si Guy daw ay mahusay kumanta pero sa sayaw daw ay mas bagay kay Vi ang Annie Batungbakal. Gosh, everyday ay naririnig ko sa radio program niya ang plot na plano niya for the said movie, naka-program na nga sa utak ko na para kay Ate Vi yon eh. Pero ganoon talaga, unahan lang yan. Ang isa pang di ko makalimutan ay during the shooting of “Yakapin mo ako Lalaking Matapang.” Vilma-Lito Lapid movie, ang working title noon ay “Ang Senyorita at ang Driver.” S’yempre may-I plug ang Ike sa movie ni Ate Vi kahit filming pa lang ito. Sabi niya “O mga Vilmanians, abangan nyo na ang Senyorita at ang Atsay.” Sabay tawa ng malakas si tabatsoy. “Sorry, slip of the tounge po, Senorita at ang Driver pala”. Hahahaha. Meron pang instance noon na nasa States si Ate Vi while shooting “Pinay American Style” nag-overseas call si Ike, collect pa ha. Tapos syempre on the air ito sa radio program niya. Ang daming kwento ni Ate Vi, nakatutok talaga ko sa radio noon pati Nanay ko. Nung medyo mahaba na ang conversation nila ay nag-paalam na si Kuya Ike kasi daw baka malaki na ang babayaran ni Ate Vi. Hirit naman ni Ate Vi “Ok lang Kuya Ike, akong bahala, mamaya mo na ibaba. Miss ko na kayong lahat eh” Hay naku, ang sarap ng buhay pag may isang Vilma Santos. And yes, miss ko na si Kuya Ike. May you rest in peace. – Franco Gabriel, V Magazine Issue Nos 6 (READ MORE)

Si kuya Ike Lozada ang nagbansag kay Ate Vi ng palayaw na “Precious” marahil dahil sa parang mamahaling kristal si Ate Vi sa paningin ng malusog na radio announcer na ito. Si Kuya Ike isa sa mga naging instrumento kung bakit naging sikat ang tambalang Vi at Bot. Kung si Guy at Pip ay mayroong German Moreno, si Vi at Bot naman ay mayroong Kuya Iking. Sa bawat radio commercial at mga kanta hindi mawawala ang mga balita’t dedikasyon niya sa kanyang nagiisang “precious.” Akmang akma para bigyan natin ng halaga ang isang taong malaking naitulong sa pagsulong ng career ni Ate Vi nuong mga dekada 70 at mga unang taon ng dekada 80. Ang isa pang mahalagang naitulong ni Kuya Ike ay pagpapahalaga niya sa mga Vilmanians. Kung hindi lang siya radio announcer marahil isa siya sa aktibong miyembro ng ating grupo…” – RV, V Magazine Issue Nos 6 (READ MORE)

“…In the early 70s, the local entertainment industry was dominated by the love teams of Nora Aunor-Tirso Cruz and Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz. Arnold was a young teenager by the mid 70’s. Ike Lozada, a famous radio and TV host (known for his radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”) and part-time talent manager conceptualized a junior love team that would target the younger audience and would follow the footsteps of the Nora-Tirso and Vi-Bubot love teams. The young love teams will be introduced in a new TV show which was planned to compete with the Channel 7 show, “Eto Na Kami”, another TV show quite popular with the young generation back then. Ike gathered the team of Arnold and Maribel “Lala” Aunor, Winnie Santos and Dondon Nakar that gave birth to the “Apat na Sikat” in Channel 9. The show was an instant hit not just with teen-agers, but also for older audiences and it quickly acquired a high rating among viewers. It was aired during prime time, and lasted for five years. People who grew up watching “Apat na Sikat” often associate Arnold’s name to the TV show, as it made television history during its prime…“Apat na Sikat” in the 70s was borne out of the imagination of the late Ike Lozada. Ike made quite a name for himself on his TV show “Big Ike’s Happening” and his AM radio program, “Dambuhalang DJ”. Like his colleague, Kuya Germs, Ike was also instrumental in launching the careers of young stars. The four young stars were easily brought to fame, because the two ladies were related to the star of the season. Winnie Santos is the younger sister of Vilma Santos, while Lala Aunor is the first cousin of Nora Aunor…” – Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

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. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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FILM REVIEW: DARNA AND THE GIANTS


The Plot: The second film after the massive success of Lipad Darna Lipa (Fly Darna Fly), Vilma Santos returned as Darna/Narda in Darna and the Giants. Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Giants was about X3X (Helen Gamboa) who infected ordinary people with serum that made them giants. The giants played havoc to the city and thank goodness Darna eliminated them before demonic X3X conquered the whole world. Now paired with Don Don Nakar as Ding, Vilma radiated the screen for the second time. Kudos to the tricky special effects that made the giants realistic. Ike Lozada stole the film though. His scenes were the funniest in years. Darna used a huge church bell to defeat him. It was unclear why the fat giant, Ike, were allergic to the sound of the church bell. Darna rung the bell to great effects, making the giant Ike felt excruciating pain in his ears. Darna then threw the bell on Ike’s head suffocating him to his immediate death. That alone made everyone’s theatre tickets worth every penny! And lots of pennies as the film became the top grosser of the 1974 Christmas festival. – RV (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos Stars in “Darna and the Giants” – Darna fights Alien Invaders and battles “X3X”, an intergalactic Warrior-Queen whose science performs genetic engineering on earthlings and turns them into Giants to bring the Planet Earth to it’s knees. Until Darna eventually kicks the crap out of her and the Giants. – International Hero (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “…Unang ginampaman ni Vilma Santos ang papel ni Darna sa Lipad, Darna Lipad! (Sine Pilipino, 1973). Isang pelikulang may tatlong kasaysayan kung saan nakaharap nito ang palagiang kalabang sina Valentina, Ang Babaeng Lawin at ang Impakta. Sa pagkakataong ito ay mga higante naman ang kinaharap ni Darna. Masasabing, sa pagganap ng aktres bilang Darna tuluyang bumulusok ang kanyang kasikatan. Tunay na akmang-akma dito ang pisikal na kaanyuan ni Darna. Nabigyan din ito ng panibagong bihis nang umpisahan ng aktres ang paglabas sa papel ni Darna. Sa mga naunang pelikula, kadalasa’y dalagita si Narda, at nag-iibang anyo lamang ito kung nilunok na ang batong nagbibigay kapangyarihan bilang Darna. Dahilan sa si Vilma Santos ang naatasang gumanap bilang Darna ay kinailangang ito rin ang lumabas bilang Narda. Sinimulan ng nobelistang si Mars Ravelo ang pagsusulat ng Darna taong 1947 sa magasing Bulaklak. Unang isinapelikula ito ng Royal Films noong 1951 na nagtampok kay Rosa del Rosario samantalang ginampanan naman ni Cristina Aragon ang papel ni Valentina at si Mila Nimfa naman ang gumanap na Narda. Masasabing tanging si Vilma Santos lamang ang nag-iisang aktres na gumanap bilang Darna sa apat na pagkakataon. Isang uri ng pagganap na tunay na nagluklok kay Darna bilang malaking bahagi ng kulturang Pilipino. Sa bawat pagkakataong ito ay tunay na inangkin ni Vilma Santos ang katauhan ni Darna na patuloy na nagbigay aliw sa mga manonood ng sineng Pinoy…” – Jojo De Vera, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“Sine Pilipino got then hot young star Vilma Santos to essay the role of Darna. But the problem was, Vilma was hesitant to wear the two-piece costume. So, during their photo shoot for the publicity photos of the new Darna movie, she wore the Darna costume on top of her body stocking. Vilma was finally convinced by producers Douglas Quijano and William Leary to lose the body stocking and wear just the costume on the day of the press conference. The press people were surprised on seeing how sexy Vilma was in her Darna costume, which was back to the original red bikini and gold stars. Lipad, Darna, Lipad! (1973) is the first and only trilogy of the superheroine. It was a box-office hit on its first day of showing and considered a turning point in Vilma’s career. It was also the first Darna movie where Darna and Narda was played by the same actress. Unfortunately, there is no existing copy left of this classic film. Vilma starred in three more Darna films: Darna and the Giants (1974) and Darna vs. the Planetwomen (1975), which were both under Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions, and Darna and Ding (1980) under Niño Muhlach’s D’Wonder Films. Darna and the Giants was the continuation of Vilma’s first Darna movie and Darna again wore the gold bikini costume, while Darna vs. the Planetwomen was a rebooted version of the Darna origin, with Vilma’s Narda this time portrayed as a crippled teenager who was given a magical stone by a mysterious source. The costume is back to red this time with the stars on Darna’s bra also colored red and the headpiece, all gold. Darna and Ding was the last time Vilma played Darna. Her costume this time was sexier and more revealing. In this movie, she was joined by Ding who now has his own superpowers.” – Rico J Rod (READ MORE)

“…For the second time around Vilma, proves that her first Darna was no fluke. Darna And The Giants vanquished all of her box office competitors. Very creative special effects by Tommy Marcelino consider it was made early in the 70’s. Sex kitten Divina Valencia as one of the giants as well as Ike Lozada, Max Alvarado, Zandro Zamora and many more. Vilma was the third actress to play the dual role of a teen-age Narda, Darna. Gina Pareno had two alter ego’s in her own version as well as Liza Moreno played Narda and Darna in Sputnik VS. Darna. Vilma also changed Darna’s transformation in all of her Darna films by using a flash of light instead of the thick smoke. She dons a retro version of Darna with shiny gold and red costume and matching platform boots. In this film Vilma was no hold bars. Romy V. Susara and Leody M. Diaz choreograped Darna’s awesome fight scenes. Continuing where “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” left off, Narda (Vilma Santos) and Ding (Dondon Nakar) encountered their greatest challenge yet – The Alien Warrior Queen-“X3X” (Helen Gamboa) and her alien minions. In this latest adventure, X3X terrorizes Narda’s village and captures several of the townsfolk and transforming them into mindless Giants who went on a rampage across the countryside in the hopes of conquering the earth without the use of nuclear weapons. When Narda’s suitor Romy (Romeo Miranda) is captured, the threat of the alien Queen becomes personal. With a Global threat such as this, will Darna’s courage and powers be up to the challenge? Watch and find out!! “Darna and the Giants” Also stars- Katy Dela Cruz as “Lola”, and an all-star cast of 70’s icons with cameos from Leopoldo Salcedo, Edgar Mortiz, Eddie Peregrina, Nick Romano, Lotis Key, Tony Ferrer (as Falcon) & more. “Darna and the Giants” produced by Tagalog-Ilang Ilang production and directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza with Darna Theme composed by Sunny Ilacad (Vicor)…” – Eric Cueto (READ MORE)

“…Dramatically speaking, Darna and the Giants is more consistent (and coherent) than the later Darna at Ding (the only other of the series I’ve seen to date). The early narrative focuses on the home life of Narda, the romantic advances of a local young man and the bothersome antics of Ding. There’s quite a lot of singing here (Narda’s wooer is a musician), including an amusing moment where the cast spontaneously erupts into a Tagalog reworking of Singin’ in the Rain while doing household chores. There are the expected comic interludes, like a guitar-toting suitor realizing he’s been serenading a homosexual man as opposed to an attractive rural woman, but fewer than one might imagine, and once the aliens have landed things take a more serious turn. Darna and the Giants actually shows us the aftermath of a giant attack before introducing the giants themselves, with Darna and Ding visiting an impromtu outdoors hospital for the many victims. It’s not a happy sight, as a husband watches his wife die in agony and a young woman searches futily for her lost mother. When the giants are revealed they turn out to be intolerable bullies who fight amongst themselves before being sent out to frighten the local population into submission. And frighten they do! The giants prove to be a nasty bunch, crushing people beneath their feet and using uprooted power poles to swat at them like bugs. Houses are picked up and shaken about with their occupants still inside, only to be tossed casually aside when the giant’s attention is otherwise diverted. The death on display is quite graphic for all-ages entertainment, and ensures that our sympathies are squarely with Darna when she flies in to give the over-sized miscreants their just deserves…I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a simple political message to Darna and the Giants.

The film was released just two years after president Ferdinand Marcos instituted martial law in the Philippines. The resulting censorship of opposition opinions in the media (scripts for films had to be screened by the government before production was allowed to begin) would have prevented direct opposition to Marcos’ methods to be espoused, but the simple story of a 006giant army trampling on the rights of the general populace could easily have slipped by as pure fantasy. Even if not directly relatable to that contemporary situation, the conflict undoubtedly played well with a country occupied in the past by everyone from the Spanish to the English to the imperial Japanese. This was the big Christmas season release for Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions, and it’s obvious that a good deal of money was put into it. The plentiful special effects moments were devised by effects man Jessie Sto. Domingo and special photographer Tommy Marcelino. The giants are brought to life through simple photographic effects and, more frequently, the use of massive forced-perspective setups requiring hundreds of extras to run about in the background while the giants stand among scaled miniatures in the foreground. It all looks pretty quaint by the industry standards of today, but the shear enthusiasm of those involved is deserving of admiration all the same. I imagine this was quite a succesful domestic release in its time, the star power of the beautiful Vilma Santos being more the enough to guarantee healthy ticket sales. The rest of the cast is full of recognizable industry regulars. Divina Valencia [Pussy Cat, Queen of the Wild Bunch] receives second billing in spite of her few lines, but has definite screen presence as a giant in a Viking helmet. Max Alvarado, who seems to be in just about every Filipino film production since 1950, has a prominent role as a giant as well – a role he would reprise in the fantastic opener for Darna at Ding…” – Kevin Pyrtle, WTF-FILM (READ MORE)

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FILM REVIEW: KING KHAYAM AND I


The Plot: King Kayam’s search for another wife brought him the escapee, Princess Gracia. She doesn’t want to be wed to a man, she doesn’t love so she left her kingdom and ended up in King Kayam’s kingdom. They met and fell in love. – RV

The Reviews: King Kayam is the playboy king of the Vulcan kingdom played convincingly by the younger action star,  Joseph Estrada. King Kayam has several wives (Marissa Delgado, Lucita Soriano, Rossana Marquez) with several kids, the eldest played by teen star, Dondon Nakar. But with all these wives you might think the king will be satisfied sexually, wrong! He wanted more and asked his disciple (Rod Navarro) to find him more wives. Meanwhile on the kingdom of Salamanca, a young princess named Princess Gracia is being groom to be a wife. Her king father (Ruben Rustia) and queen mother (Anita Linda) are looking for suitable husband. When the princess discovered her three suitors, she decided to eloped. Wearing an ordinary disguise clothes and with the help of her sidekick (Lorli Villanueva), they left the kingdom and reached Vulcan.  Bad luck came into them as they were caught by a bad bandits who are selling slaves into the public by auctioning them into the public market like cattle. When the disguised princess turn to be auction, she caught the attention of the king’s disciple and bought her together with her sidekick.

He brought them to the palace and excitedly present the princess to the king but the princess ugly herself with makeup and the king was turned off. The disciple then madly sent them to kitchen to work. But because of her upbringing she can’t handle the hard work and decided to change her escape tactic by cooperating. The disciple then presented her again to the king and with her real beauty caught the king’s attention. The king and the disguised princess developed a romance. The princess explained to the surprise king that she is actually a real princess and the king agreed to return her to her kingdom in exchange, she will teach him what she knows about running a kingdom. The two went into a disguise and the king saw first hand how the ordinary people in his kingdom lives. With the romance blooming, the wives headed by Marissa Delgado, who is having an affair with the disciple, planned a revolt.  The two entrapped the king.  They jailed the king.  Fortunately, Princess Gracia convinced the other wives to fight back and they freed the King.  With the freed King Kayam, he allowed Princess Gracia to return to her kingdom.  KIng Kayam asked her parent if he can marry her and they agreed. The end.

The Dance

The film started promising with funny scenes of Joseph Estrada facing his people seeking his advice or help. One was when a man presented his new product, a flying magic carpet but when the carpet didn’t fly, the king suggested, avoid a heavy/fat rider. Then a much younger veteran actress Mary Walter appeared, brought her magic lamp. She complain that the seller fooled her to buy a defected product. She demonstrated and caressed the lamp. The genie came out but instead of the expected giant gennie, a midget/dwarf genie came out. Then from this moment the film went downhill. A singing bird, a transsexual Ike Lozada (being auctioned), Rod Navarro’s over the top villain antics, all failed to sustained our attention. The weak storyline did not help. Patterned with the Hollywood film, King Kayam & I’s only saving grace was the acting of its lead stars. Joseph Estrada’s presence was commanding and convincing as the playboy king and Vilma’s charming innocence despite the sexy dance number at the end complimented Joseph’s macho image. The two did three films, although they didn’t shared a single scene in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, King Kayam was their only film together as mature actors. Their first outing was Batang Iwahig, when Vi was just a child star and Joseph was in his early years as a bankable action star. Produced by the late, Experidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production, the film was just a mild hit, probably the main reason why there was no follow-up project for the two. Two reasons why the film failed was probably the cheap set decorations and the weak story/screenplay of Nestor U Torre, Jr. The song lyrics of Levi Celerio can’t salvaged the mostly canned music of Resti Umali either. This was despite the splendid musical number in the kitchen (when Vilma protested to the cooks that she was a princess and should be treated like one). Die-hard Vilmanians would probably considered Vilma’s dance number at the very end as the highlight of the film.

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King Khayam and I (1974)
Pelikula Atbp: King Khayam and I (1974)

Filmography: Biktima (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Nilo Saez; Story: Laura Santos; Screenplay: Jose F Sabal; Cast: Helen Gamboa, Celia Rodriguez, Perla Bautista, Cristina Reyes, Divina Valencia, Leopoldo Salcedo, Bert Leroy Jr., Joe Sison, Tony Santos Jr., Yoyoy Villame, Tommy Abuel, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada, German Moreno, Max Alvarado, Renato Robles, Patria Plata, Elizabeth vaughn, Maribel, Danny Rojo, Joaquin Fajardo, Steve Alcarado, Lope Policarpio, Romy Luartes, Lex Amores, Boy Clinton; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Cinematography: Ricardo Dano

Plot Description: In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the m rder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim? – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

A gripping whodunit with young superstar Vilma Santos at the center of a terrifying murder whirlpool! In the style of Agatha Christie, the story is about Dolores (Vilma Santos), a poor girl who has suddenly found herself a member of a strange but wealthy household, thanks to her newly-discovered sick and aging grandfather. The family members, however, get murdered one by one, making every surviving member a suspect. An all-star cast supports Vilma in this murder mystery, including Helen Gamboa, Celia Rodriguez, Perla Bautista, Edgar Mortiz, Leopoldo Salcedo, Max Alvarado, and Bert Leroy Jr. A Tagalog Ilang-Ilagn Productions presentation. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: Entry to 1974 Manila Film Festival

Film Review: This was the ending scene (see video below) in the movie “Biktima”, Ate Vi’s entry in the 1974 Manila Film Festival. In the movie, she killed Cristina Reyes, Helen Gamboa, Divina Valencia, Celia Rodriguez, Yoyoy Villame to avenge her mother’s imprisonment who was wrongfully accused of murder. Perla Bautista played Ate Vi’s mother. I think Bobot played as a reporter. Ate Vi was caught and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. That’s why she was bald in the last scene. – moviefan808 (You Tuber)

Filmography: Tok, Tok, Palatok (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: F. H. Constantino; Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Panchito, Bentot, Pugak, Dencio Padilla, Tange, Max Alvarado, Jojit Paredes, Ike Lozada, Ponga, Rodolfo boy Garcia, Alicia Alonzo, Mary Walter, Ange; Original Music: D’ Amarillo; Cinematography: Fermin Pagsisihan

Plot Description: Vilma Santos played a twin sister…of a snake.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…That was not the first time I met her. Actually, I know her way way back when she was only 8 or 9 years old, pumupunta sila sa amin. Kasi regular customer ng Mother ko ang Mama niya sa ready made clothes, yun kasi ang business ng Mother ko noon sa Rustans. I was about 10 or 11 years old then, and while her mom is making the selection of cloth, iniiwan naman niya si Vilma sa living room namin. Minamasdan ko siya, ang ganda-ganda ng mukha niya…Maasikaso sa set, malambing, mabait lalo na sa maliliit na crew. Doon kami nagkaroon ng bonding when we were doing that film. Mabuting tao talaga si Vilma, she has a good heart and always willing to help others. We became very close, di ko makakalimutan na minsan ay nag-drive ako ng 3 hours just to see her…Let’s split it up into two. Personality and how she relates to others. Personality wise, mabuting tao siya, she is so trusting to the extend that it becomes disadvantage on her part , she trusted people so much. About relation to others, she is so approciable, a perfect politician, she’s always ready to help, not skimming, she has social conscience and will do things to achieve her goal…” – Franco Gabriel (READ MORE)

“…And so, to prove them wrong, Vilma’s manager smartly plotted follow-up recordings. Not only did Vilma record her follow-up album, she recorded a string of mini-LPs. Mini-LPs are shorter version of the big vinyl record with two songs on each side. She ventured into Tagalog songs, recording six songs that include instants hits like Isipin Mong Basta’t Mahal Kita, a theme song to a film she did opposite Filipino chess grand master, Eugene Torre; Palong-Palo, where she received a golden record award in 1974 and an up-tempo opm, Tok-Tok Palatok, another theme song from one of her comedy film with the same title opposite Jojit Paredes…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Very few probably are aware that Ronnie was once a matinee idol in the music profession. He was the other half of the famous singing duo called The Two of Us. His partner was Jojit Paredes, the cousin of Jim Paredes, who was also a kilabot ng mga colegiala as part of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, now better known as the APO. Ronnie and Jojit were schoolmates in La Salle grade school, while Jim and his then large group were from rival Ateneo…After The Two of Us, Jojit eventually disappeared from the scene (he is now in L.A. married to an American and works as an assistant administrator in a hospital), while Ronnie’s popularity lingered, especially when he and Vilma Santos began dating. Ronnie also joined Penthouse 7 as executive producer/dancer and also part of the group was Ida Ramos, who many years later would become his wife. (Ida Henares now heads GMA Artist Center.) In between, he also hosted his own variety shows on TV, primarily in the Broadcast City stations…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

RELATED READING: Interview with Jojit Paredes