FILM REVIEW: SINUNGALING MONG PUSO


The Plot: An endearing romantic drama that tells of a very curious affair between an older woman (Vilma Santos) and a young unhappily married boy (Aga Muhlach). In between them are Vilma’s husband, Gabby Concepcion and Aiko Melendez as Aga’s wife. All told, the movie proves once again that love does not only happen in the most unexpected times and places. It also makes people do the strangest things. – Regal Films

The Review: Nagsimula ang movie with Clara (Vilma) had a visitor in a jail, ito ay ang ex-wife ng asawa niya. Kasabay nito’y nag-flashback na ang pelikula. Bakit nakulong si Clara? Unang nagkakilala sa isang disco sina Jason at Clara. Inalok ng batang-batang si Jason si Clara ng sayaw ngunit inignore lang nito ang istudyante. Makikita agad na parehong hindi masaya sa buhay may asawa si Clara (Vilma Santos) at Jason (Aga Muhlach). Si Clara ay asawa ng isang malupit at babaerong negosyate, si Roman (Gaby Concepcion). Samantalay si Jason naman ay laging nina-nag ng kasing edad niyang asawa na si Aiko Melendez at pati ang kani-kanilang mga magulang ay nadadaway at madalas na nase-sermunan si Jason dahil rito. Kasabay na pinakita ang problema sa pagaasawa’y ipinakita rin ang mga taong nasasangkot sa pag-iibigan ni Clara at Jason. Ang asawa ni Clara na si Roman ay ubod ng lupit, minsan ay may nahuli ang mga tauhan nito na nagnanakaw sa kanilang bahay ay binaril nito ang magnanakaw. Bukod sa kalupitan ay marami ring naanakan siya at ang laging solusyon nito ay perahan ang mga babae para manahimik ang mga ito.

Nang bumalik sa Pilipinas ang kanyang ex wife na si Leda (Alice Dixon), muling gustong makipagrelasyon ito. Dahil sa mga pambabae ni Roman ay gusto rin sanang makaganti ito sa asawa at maraming mga lalaki na gustong makipagrelasyon sa kanya ngunit napipigilan pa rin nito ang sarili ngunit nang makilala niya minsan ang batang-batang si Jason (Aga) ay hindi na nito napigilan ang sarili. Muling pinagtagpo si Clara at Jason nang masiraan itong una sa kalye at nagkataon na naruon si Jason at tinulungan siya na humantong sa isang dinner date. Nagkaroon sila ng relasyon at nagkikita sa isang apartment na pagaari ng kaibigan ni Clara. Sa kabila ng agwat ng kanilang edad at estado’y natutong mahalin ng dalawa ang kanilang isa’t isa hanggang sa matuklasan ng asawa ni Jason ang relasyon at mag-iskandalo pa ito sa harap ng mga tao’t sa apartment na tagpuan ng dalawa. Bukod sa iskandalo ay nagsumbong pa ito sa asawa ni Clara. Ang naging resulta ng pagsusumbong na ito’y ang pagkakabugbog ni Jason sa malupit na kamay ni Roman. Sinadista nito ang kaawa-awang si Jason. Nang malaman ni Clara ay hindi niya napigilan ang nangyari sa katipan at nang mapuntahan niya’y natuklasan niya ang sinapit ni Jason. Binaril niya ang asawa at pinatay. Dito siya nakulong.

Maayos na nailahad ni Maryo Delosreyes ang istorya nang pag-iibigan ni Clara at Jason. Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit tinangihan ni Vilma ang pelikulang Naglalayag na halos kapareho ng istorya, ang pag-ibigan ng isang batang lalaki sa nakakatandang babae. Merong mga eksena rito na hindi kapanipaniwala katulad ng bakit nabuhay pa si Aga Muhlach sa bandang huli dahil nakakapagtaka na sa kabila na sobrang torture na natanggap niya mula sa sadistang si Roman ay nabuhay pa ito. Hindi rin na-isplika ng pelikula kung bakit gustong balikan ni Roman ang ex-wife niyang si Leda (Alice Dixon). Mahusay ang cast ng pelikula, magagalit ka talaga sa kalupitan ni Gabby Concepcion at makikita mo rin na believable siya bilang isang babaerong negosyante. Bilang ex-wife ni Roman, parang tuod si Alice Dixon wala siyang kabuhay buhay na magdeliver ng mga lines. Samantala, litaw na litaw naman ang role ni Aiko Melendez bilang Ana, ang asawa ni Jason. Halos lahat ng eksena niya ay mahusay niyang nagampanan maliban sa bandang huli yung reconciliation scene niya kay Vilma kung saan hindi bagay ang lines niya ba…”pareho natin siyang minahal… blah blah blah…”

Magaling sina Aga Muhlach at Vilma Santos bilang nagtatagong magkasintahan. Lutang na lutang ang pag-arte ng dalawa at nakakatuwa sila sa kanilang mga eksena na nagtatagpo ng palihim tulad ng mag-kita sila sa department store. Dumating si Vilma at hinahanap niya si Aga, hindi nya makita ito hanggang sa mamataan niya ang binata na nakaupo sa may display area. Kinindatan ni Jason si Clara at napatawa na lang ang babae. Mararamdaman mo ang excitement ng mga pagkikitang ito. Nang mahuli ni Ana ang asawa at mag-iskandalo ito, nang umalis na ang asawa at balikan ni Jason si Clara sa loob ng apartment, makikita sa mukha ni Vilma ang pagtatapos ng kanilang affair. Ang sabi niya: “ Hinintay lang kita, guston kong maghiwalay tayo ng maayos…” Bukod sa maraming eksena na lutang na lutang ang pag-arte ni Vilma marahil ang pinaka-memorable ay ang eksena kung saan binaril ni Vilma si Gabby at sabihin niya ang line na: “mamatay kang kasama ng mga baboy mo…” ito ang pagpapatunay na talagang napakahusay niyang artista. – RV

“…In 1992, wala ni isang pelikulang tinampukan si Nora, samantalang si Vilma starred in only one: Maryo J. delos Reyes’ Sinungaling Mong Puso, na hindi niya pinagtamuhan ng anumang major Best Actress award. In 1993, gumawa si Vilma ng pelikula na ang kuwento’y base sa unang Pilipinang nag-reveal ng pagkakaroon niya ng AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), si Dolzura Cortez. Directed by Laurice Guillen for Octoarts Films, Dahil Mahal Kita (The Dolzura Cortez Story) won Vilma the Best Actress honors at the 1993 Manila Film Festival, Star, Gawad Urian and FAP…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

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Pinagtibay ng Panahon 1/2


Ang tambalang Vilma-Boyet ay pinagtibay ng panahon. Hindi basta-basta na maigugupo ng kahit sino o ng kahit anong tambalan. Tulad din ng alak na habang tumatagal ay lalong sumasarap. There have been many loveteams in Philippine cinema but the tandem of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon has chalked up the longest list of movies that have been given awards and made good records at the boxoffice. Until now, their tandem has been unsurpassed. Their loveteam is the most enduring tandem in local cinema. Siguro may iba pang loveteam na nakagawa ng mas maraming pelikula kaysa sa kanila like during the height of the Vi and Bot and Nora-Tirso but theirs did not span decades, nakakaahon lang sila within the short period of time at the height of their popularity. Hindi man naging magkapalad sina Vi at Boyet bilang lovers sa tunay na buhay ay nagklik naman sila sa masa bilang lovers sa pelikula. Matatandaan na sumibol din ang tambalang Nora-Boyet noon sa pelikula at kapag-daka’y nauwi sa totohanan. Sa kabila ng katotohanang ito ay hindi gaanong tinanggap ng publiko ang kanilang pareha sa puting tabing.

They were first paired in 1975 in Celso Ad Castillo’s Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, as first cousins who fall in love with each other. With the success at the tills of the movie, sinundan pa ito ng sunud-sunod na pelikula that crossed over the 80’s, the 90’s and up until this new millennium. Ilan sa mga pelikulang ginawa nila sa bakuran ng Sampaguita Pictures na mahirap malimutan ay ang Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig, taong 1977 kung saan ka-triangle ang sumisikat na aktor noong si Mat Ranillo. Sinundan ito ng Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali ng VP Pictures, taong 1978 na pinamahalaan ng batikang director na si Elwood Perez, Disco Fever; (a rare Vi-Boyet musical); at Ikaw Ay Akin (with Nora Aunor megged by the late Ishmael Bernal). Nang kalagitnaan ng taong 1980, ipinadala si Ate Vi sa States ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang boss na si Atty.Laxa para gumawa ng reunion movie with Romeo Vasques and Boyet, ang “Gusto Kita, Mahal Ko Siya”. Habang buntis noon kay Luis ay ginawa ni Ate Vi ang “Pakawalan Mo Ako”, taong 1981 sa direksyon ni Elwood Perez at nanalo siya ng second FAMAS Best Actress award sa role bilang babaeng idiniin ng kanyang biyenan sa pagpatay sa asawang si Anthony Castelo. Pinaka-memorable naman para kay Ate Vi ang pelikulang Relasyon na idinerek ng mahusay na Ishmael Bernal sa ilalim ng Regal Films, taong 1982.Sa pelikulang ito nagtamo ng kanyang unang grandslam si Ate Vi bilang Best Actress sa lahat ng award giving bodies. Later, kinuha ang serbisyo ng aktres ng Viva Films na katatatag lamang noon at ginawa nila ni Boyet ang isang commercial hit movie na “Sinasamba Kita”. Komersyal na komersyal ang dating ng pelikula ito na hindi lamang umani ng tagumpay sa takilya, kungdi pati na rin sa mga kritiko. Taong 1983 nang gawin nila ni Boyet ang record-breaker na “Paano Ba ang Mangarap” kung saan papel ng isang api-apihang manugang ni Armida Siguion Reyna ang kanyang ginampanan. Sinundan naman agad ng “Broken Marriage” under Regal Films at sa direksyon pa rin ni Ishmael Bernal, ang director to whom Ate Vi is very much indebted dahil sa mga natamong best actress awards sa mga pelikulang idinirehe nito. Isa pa rin ito sa mga mahalagang pelikulang nagawa ni Ate Vi na nagbigay sa kanya ng karangalan bilang mahusay na aktres sa URIAN and of course kay Boyet bilang mahusay na aktor. Sa Viva Films sila nakagawa ng maraming pelikulang pinagtambalan dahil na rin sa isinasaad ng kani-kanilang mga kontrata. Kaya naman sa pagtatapos ng taong 1983, ginawa nila ni Boyet ang “Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan”, the only movie na namatay silang magkasama kung saan asawa siya ni Eddie Garcia sa pamamahala ni direk Marilou Diaz Abaya.

Taong 1989 nang gawin naman nila ni Boyet ang Imortal na kung saan natamo ni Ate Vi ang Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress at si Boyet naman ang tinanghal na Best Actor. Muling naulit ang kanilang pagtatambal ng taong 1991 sa pelikulang “Ipagpatawad Mo” ng Viva Films,sa direksyon ni Laurice Guillen at sa pagkakaga-nap niya bilang supportive mother of an autistic child ay napagwagian niya ang ikalimang URIAN Best Actress award. Taong 1993, nang gawin naman nila ang award winning movie na “Dahil Mahal Kita, Dolzura Cortez” sa ilalim ng OctoArts films at sa pamamahala ni direk Laurice Guillen na nagbigay kay Ate Vi ng ikalawang Grand Slam Best Actress award. Sinundan ito ng “Nag-iisang Bituin” under Regal Films na ka-triangle naman ang mahusay na aktor na si Aga Muhlach under the helm of Jose Javier Reyes. Muling naulit ang kanilang pagtatambal noong 1997 nang gawin nila ang “Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal” ng Neo Films na pinamahalaan naman ni direk Ike Jarlego Jr. Limang taon ang nakalipas at muling nagpugay ang kanilang tambalan sa pelikulang “Dekada ’70″ ng Star Cinema sa direksyon ng award winning director na si Chito Rono. Sa pelikulang ito nanalo si Ate Vi ng kanyang ika-apat na Grand Slam Best Actress.

Mano Po 3, My Love is Vilma’s 22nd film with Boyet kung saan nagwagi ang numero unong aktres ng MMFF, Gawad Tanglaw, Gawad Suri at Star Awards ng Best Actress awards. In most of these films, either Best Actress si Ate Vi(Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dulzura Cortez, Dekada ’70 at Mano Po 3) at si Boyet naman sa Best Actor ( Broken Marriage, Haplos, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dolzura Cortez at Dekada). Sa dami ng pelikulang ginawa nilang dalawa na pawang big hits at nagbigay sa kanila ng acting recognitions, hindi tuloy maiwasang itanong ng karamihan kung ano ang sikreto ng kanilang matagumpay na tambalan. “We’ve never been linked to each other and yet the public loves seeing our movies together. Siguro it’s because we have this unbelievable chemistry. We know each other so well that tinginan lang on screen, we already know what to do to make a take very good.” Ate vi relates. “Siguro yung respeto sa isa’t-isa at pagiging professional ni Boyet. Kapag trabaho, seryoso siya talaga. Ang galing niyang magdala. Alam niya kung paano niya ako sasaluhin kapag nahalata niyang nawawala na ako.” sabi pa ng actress-politician. In an interview, Boyet was asked why does he think his partnership with Vilma continues to thrive even after 30 years? “I just love working with Vi because she is such a giving co-actor. Hindi siya nangaagaw ng eksena. If the scene is yours, susuportahan ka niya nang husto for you to shine. You can’t help but get carried away kapag siya ang kaeksena mo dahil napakahusay niya..O di ba, very well said. Ang trabaho kina Ate Vi at Boyet ay hindi kailanman nahaluan ng malisya. They have over the years worked strictly on the professional level. Off camera ay best friends sila. Sa katunayan nga, si Boyet ang unang aktor na pinagtapatan ni Ate Vi na magpapakasal kay Senator Ralph at ng kanyang pagbubuntis kay Ryan. Platonic daw ang tawag sa uri ng relasyong namagitan kina Ate Vi at Boyet in the sense na alam nila kung hanggang saan ang limitasyon ng closeness nila. Platonic dahil hindi na kailangan an0g anumang physical contact upang ipahayag ang kanilang nararamdaman para sa isa’t isa.

Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag ang tambalang VILMA-BOYET. No other loveteam can compile such successes,award wise and box-office wise. Their tandem spells capital B-I-G-H-I-T at the box-office. Mula nang gawin nila ang first movie nila noong late 70’s hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin pinagsasawaan at patuloy na tinatangkilik ng publiko at kanilang mga tagasubaybay na mapanood sila sa silver screen.Loveteam for all seasons, ika nga.O may hihirit pa ba? – Willie Ferrnandez, V Magazine, Dec 2006

The List
01. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1976) – Directed by Celso Ad Castillo
02. Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977) – Directed by Elwood Perez
03. Ikaw ay Akin (1978) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
04. Disco Fever (1978) – Directed by Al Quinn
05. Nakawin Natin ang Bawa’t Sandali (1978) – Directed by Elwood Perez
06. Magkaribal (1979) – Directed by Elwood Perez
07. Pinay American Style (1980) – Directed by Elwood Perez
08. Gusto Kita, Mahal ko Siya (1980) – Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza
09. Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) – Directed by Elwood Perez
10. Karma (1981) (Christopher De Leon in cameo role) – Directed by Danny Zialcita
11. Relasyon (1982) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
12. Sinasamba Kita (1982) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
13. Haplos (1982) – Directed by Antonio Jose Perez
14. Paano ba ang Mangarap? (1983) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
15. Broken Marriage (1983) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
16. Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan (1983) – Directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya
17. Imortal (1989) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
18. Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
19. Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
20. Nagiisang Bituin (1994) – Directed by Jose Javier Reyes
21. Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal (1997) – Directed by Ike Jarlego Jr.
22. Dekada ’70 (2002) – Directed by Chito S. Rono
23. Mano Po 3: My Love (2004) – Directed by Joel Lamangan

GO TO PART TWO

Pinagtibay ng Panahon 2/2


Ang tambalang Vilma-Boyet ay pinagtibay ng panahon. Hindi basta-basta na maigugupo ng kahit sino o ng kahit anong tambalan. Tulad din ng alak na habang tumatagal ay lalong sumasarap. There have been many loveteams in Philippine cinema but the tandem of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon has chalked up the longest list of movies that have been given awards and made good records at the boxoffice. Until now, their tandem has been unsurpassed. Their loveteam is the most enduring tandem in local cinema. Siguro may iba pang loveteam na nakagawa ng mas maraming pelikula kaysa sa kanila like during the height of the Vi and Bot and Nora-Tirso but theirs did not span decades, nakakaahon lang sila within the short period of time at the height of their popularity. Hindi man naging magkapalad sina Vi at Boyet bilang lovers sa tunay na buhay ay nagklik naman sila sa masa bilang lovers sa pelikula. Matatandaan na sumibol din ang tambalang Nora-Boyet noon sa pelikula at kapag-daka’y nauwi sa totohanan. Sa kabila ng katotohanang ito ay hindi gaanong tinanggap ng publiko ang kanilang pareha sa puting tabing. – Willie FerrnandezREAD MORE

The List
01. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1976) – Directed by Celso Ad Castillo
02. Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977) – Directed by Elwood Perez
03. Ikaw ay Akin (1978) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
04. Disco Fever (1978) – Directed by Al Quinn
05. Nakawin Natin ang Bawa’t Sandali (1978) – Directed by Elwood Perez
06. Magkaribal (1979) – Directed by Elwood Perez
07. Pinay American Style (1980) – Directed by Elwood Perez
08. Gusto Kita, Mahal ko Siya (1980) – Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza
09. Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) – Directed by Elwood Perez
10. Karma (1981) (Christopher De Leon in cameo role) – Directed by Danny Zialcita
11. Relasyon (1982) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
12. Sinasamba Kita (1982) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
13. Haplos (1982) – Directed by Antonio Jose Perez
14. Paano ba ang Mangarap? (1983) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
15. Broken Marriage (1983) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
16. Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan (1983) – Directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya
17. Imortal (1989) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
18. Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
19. Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
20. Nagiisang Bituin (1994) – Directed by Jose Javier Reyes
21. Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal (1997) – Directed by Ike Jarlego Jr.
22. Dekada ’70 (2002) – Directed by Chito S. Rono
23. Mano Po 3: My Love (2004) – Directed by Joel Lamangan


TAGULAN SA TAGARAW


MASARAP MASAKIT ANG UMIBIG


IKAW AY AKIN


MAGKARIBAL


PINAY AMERICAN STYLE


PAKAWALAN MO AKO


RELASYON


SINASAMBA KITA


HAPLOS


PAANO BA ANG MANGARAP


BROKEN MARRIAGE


MINSAN PA NATING HAGKAN ANG NAKARAAN


IPAGPATAWAD MO


DEKADA 70


MANO PO 3: MY LOVE

GO TO PART ONE

Filmography: Never Ever Say Goodbye (1982)

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Basic Information: Directed: Gil M. Portes; Story, screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nonoy Zuniga, Jenny Ramirez, Ting Jocson, Allan Bautista, Ian Veneracion; Executive producer: Wilson Theng; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Ely Cruz; Film Editing: Edgardo Vinarao; Theme Songs: “Never Ever Say Goodbye” performed by Nonoy Zuniga

Plot Description:   No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1982 Aliw Awards for Record of the Year – Never Ever Say Goodbye; FAP – Best movie theme song nomination.

Film Review: “…After these two awards, Nonoy Zuñiga, Pops Fernandez and Ivy Violan performed a medley of the five nominated theme songs. Sinasamba Kita by the late George Canseco was voted the best original song, winning over Willy Cruz’ Never Ever Say Goodbye, Marita A. Manuel’s Puppy Love, Rey Ramos’ Paalam (from Get My Son, Dead or Alive) and Pablo Vergara’s Katumbas ay Buhay (from Vendetta). The late Ernani Cuenco won the best musical score award for Pedring Taruc. The other nominees were Ryan Cayabyab (Kamakalawa), Willy Cruz (Never Ever Say Goodbye), Lorrie Ilustre (Batch ’81) and Marita A. Manuel (Puppy Love)…” – Jose N. Carreon (READ MORE)

Filmography: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1986)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Jose Javier Reyes; Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Eddie Garcia, Liza Lorena, Chanda Romero, Deborah Sun, Jimi Melendez; Executive producer: Lily Y. Monteverde; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Conrado Baltazar; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Dez Bautista, Rei Nicolas; Art Direction: Arlene Abuid, Judy Lou de Pio; Sound: Rudy Baldovino

Plot Description: After a string of unsuccessful relationships, Corina married Teddy, an old widow whose daughter, Ana and sister Julita never approved of his new wife.

An assertive young stepmother, a rebellious stepdaughter, and a working wife whose career provides tension between the wife and her husband are the portraits of the strong-willed woman of the 1980s. – ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

After a string of unsuccessful relationships with different men, Corina (Vilma Santos) finally settles down with Teodolfo/Teddy, (Eddie Garcia), an old widowed man whose daughter, Ana (Maricel Soriano) and sister Julita (Rosemarie Gil), never approved of his new wife. In her best attempt of being a good wife and stepmother to her new family, Corina gets smitten by Neil (Gabby Concepcion), a married man with a kid whom she had an affair with. Things get haywire as Corina starts to feel guilty about cheating on Teddy who has been good to her. Ana also discovers her adulterous acts and tries to kick her out of the family. Just when Neil is ready to leave his wife Vicky (Snooky Serna) and their kid for Corina, everything turns around when Teddy’s death revealed a secret that changed their lives forever. – Regal (READ MORE)

Film Review: “…Often pitted against then-rival Maricel Soriano, she made numerous blockbuster movies with her in the ’80s like Underage, Schoolgirls, Story of Three Loves and Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday, among others. She also had her share of TV shows including the weekly musical variety ‘Always Snooky’ and weekly drama feature on ‘Regal Drama Presents: Snooky’ in ABS-CBN Channel 2. As a mature actress, she tackled roles which earned acting nominations from various award giving bodies. She was also in Kapag Napagod Ang Puso with Christopher de Leon and Inagaw Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (Harvest Home – official Philippine entry to the 1995 Oscars) but unfortunately was snubbed during awards night. Her other major films include Aabot Hanggang Sukdulan, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Hahamakin ang Lahat with Vilma Santos, the fantasy films Blusang Itim, Rosa Mistica, and Madonna: Ang Babaing Ahas. It was with Koronang Itim, that she finally won Best Lead Actress trophy. She has starred in over (80) films from 1970 to 2004…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Statistically, there are really more husbands who betray their wives than the other way around. And since films basically mirror life, there are more movies about philandering husbands than adulterous wives. In the eternal love triangle of Eddie Rodriguez, Lolita Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden, it is always the man who is at fault. And then, there are those film bios of our super cops who are always portrayed as having mistresses – like Joe Pring (played by Phillip Salvador), who had a legal wife in the film (portrayed by Aurora Sevilla) and yet maintained a mistress (Maila Gumila) on the side. Films about wives fooling around are actually fewer. However, these movies seem to be more exciting because they often have drama and suspense. This is likely because the adulterous character has to dangerously tread on the ego of the husband. In local cinema, I remember a few films about women characters playing with fire. Amalia Fuentes playing a married actress in love with co-star Eddie Rodriguez in Pag-ibig Mo, Buhay Ko; Hilda Koronel (married to an older man, Mario Montenegro), who falls for the charms of Orestes Ojeda in Marupok, Mapusok, Maharot; Vilma Santos agreeing to become the mistress of Mario Montenegro in order to have a better life – in spite of being married to Phillip Salvador in Adultery; Vilma Santos again, bored with her old husband (Eddie Garcia) and carries on an affair with Gabby Concepcion in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Anna Marie Gutierrez in the aptly titled Unfaithful Wife…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

Filmography: Aida Macaraeg Adultery Case No. 7892 (1984)

“Huwag mo nang itanong. Baka mas masakit kung malaman natin ang sagot.” – Aida Macaraeg

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Basic Information: Directed: Lino Brocka; Story: Aida Sevilla Mendoza; Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Phillip Salvador, Menggie Cobarrubias, Tita De Villa, Alvin Enriquez, Anita Linda, Mario Montenegro, Deborah Sun; Executive producer: Lily Monteverde; Original Music: Lutgardo Labad; Cinematography: Conrado Baltazar; Film Editing: Rogelio Salvador; Production Design: Joey Luna

Plot Description: Dreaming to be released from her miserable life of poverty, Aida, a waitress, abandons her bedridden father, her moralistic mother, her jobless brother and her good-for-nothing sister to live-in with her boyfriend Carding, whom she believes could give her salvation. But her plan only gives her more misfortunes. Carding gets jailed for drug peddling. Aida opts for an abortion. She later lives with a wealthy man to feul her ambition. Carding is released from prison and finds out about his wife’s illicit affair. – ctfabian (READ MORE)

Aida Macaraeg’s only dream is to be released from her miserable life of poverty. She is sick and tired of working day and night as a waitress to be able to feed her jobless brother and his family, her good-for-nothing sister, moralistic mother and bedridden father. One day, Aida decides to turn her back on them and settles for a live-in arrangement with her boyfriend Carding, who gives her a short-lived salvation. But her first attempt to escape a misfortune only brings her face to face with one after another. Carding gets jailed for drug peddling. Aida finds out she is pregnant and opts for an abortion. Forced by need and fueled by ambition, she lives with a wealthy man and has a son by him. Carding is released from prison and finds out about his wife’s illicit affair. They finally see each other again, in court. – Database of Philippine Movies

Film Achievement: 1984 Star Awards Best Actress nomination – Vilma Santos

Film Reviews: Adultery (Aida Macaraeg Case No. 7892) is not one of filmmaker Lino Brocka’s best works. It definitely cannot be lined alongside masterpieces like Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (You Were Weighed But Found Wanting, 1974), Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon, 1975), and Insiang (1976). At best, Adultery is a well-made melodrama that puts a social issue, that of marital infidelity as escape from poverty, at the center of its affairs. Jose Javier Reyes’ well-crafted screenplay (the story is credited to Aida Sevilla Mendoza) is supposedly sourced from a real life account, but one wonders if convenient happy endings (which the film unfortunately struggles with) exist in these kind of cases, especially ones as emotionally charged as in the film. In the Philippines, adultery cases stretch for years and any emotion resembling marital love and concern is replaced with scorching hate, the primary ingredient that fuels litigation.

Aida (Vilma Santos giving a very mature performance) is the sole breadwinner for her family, consisting of a bedridden father, a nagging mother, a good-for-nothing brother, his unemployed wife and baby. Unable to bear the hardships of living with her family, she takes the offer of her boyfriend Carding (Phillip Salvador) to simply live together, resisting his invitation to marry him despite the possible scandal that might arise out of their living arrangement. Carding gets caught peddling prohibited drugs and gets imprisoned, leaving Aida all alone to fend for herself. Years later, Carding gets released from prison and finds Aida, now a mistress of a wealthy executive (Mario Montenegro) and mother to a child that is not his. Aida is then sued for adultery by Carding, which if she is proven guilty would separate her from her son.

There’s one sequence in the film which clearly shows Brocka’s mastery. Aida visits Carding in prison, telling him of her pregnancy. Carding again offers to marry her, fearing that their child would be a bastard child. Supposedly out of pity, Aida agrees. The marriage is solemnized then and there. The prison chaplain officiates the ceremony where Aida is draped in an ordinary dress while Carding wears the orange colored uniform. Around are the witnesses of their marriage, felons all donning the same orange outfit Carding is wearing. Of course, these are mere background details, emphasizing the sullenness of the event that is ordinarily jovial and lively. Brocka concentrates on Aida. He closes up on her face, worried about the uncertainty of her future: she is after all pregnant and now married to a convict with absolutely no source of income. It is Aida’s point of no return and Brocka understands it as such, thus he presents it with understated elegance; no dialogue, just Lutgardo Labad’s swelling music and Brocka’s emphatic close-up of Vilma Santos’ apprehensive face.

The film attempts to criticize marriage, which is depicted not in its traditional sense (as the key to life’s bliss) but as a harrowing cage where women are left with no choices. It seems to advocate infidelity, especially when the requirements of life overtakes the facile concerns of societal and religious norms. Interestingly, Brocka does not antagonize any of his characters. Aida is a hardworking woman who we first see as the selfless sufferer who is charged with her family’s survival, a mere victim of fate and circumstance. Also, one cannot doubt Carding’s affection for Aida. His decisions in life may have been off, leading to his incarceration and Aida’s continuing suffering, but it cannot be denied that his love for his wife is indubitable. The blame does not go to any person but to the social institution of marriage, its sometimes shallow roots and the unbendable veneration the law and society gives to it to the detriment of the unique needs of individuals.

I am impressed as to how Brocka directed the courtroom sequence, without the usual pomp and unnecessary drama. The courtroom sequence gives the impression as to how the justice is bookish and blind to personal plights. One lawyer asks Aida a question, and she shies away saying that the question is too personal. Of course, the judge demands that she answer the question, which she does so unwillingly. In the eyes of the law, emotions, circumstance, fate, and needs are denied materiality. This should have been the instance wherein we’ll fall for Aida’s plight: that despite her being guilty for adultery, she does not deserve to be punished because she was forced to infidelity not by innate evil but by circumstances in her life. However, instead of dishing out an ending that would operate as the culmination of such criticism, Brocka and Reyes decided to succumb to sentimentality. Husband forgives wife. Wife gets her son back. Everybody’s satisfied. Unfortunately, reality, which the film tried so hard to emulate, isn’t anything like that. – Oggs Cruz, Lessons From The School of Inattention, Oggs’ Movie Thoughts (READ MORE)

Dalawang pelikula ni Vilma Santos ang napanood namin sa special previews: Adultery at Sister Stella L. Pinatunayan ng mga pelikulang ito na Vi is still the leading actress of the season and performances in both movies make her again the actress to beat in next year’s award derbies. No doubt, Vilma, right now, is at her peak. Adultery is a well made melodrama deftly written by Jose Javier Reyes and masterfully directed by Lino Brocka. Ang pangunahing tauhan, si Aida Macaraeg, ay isang dalagang breadwinner ng kanyang pamilya. May sakit ang kanilang ama at siya ang bumibili ng mga gamot nito. Nag-asawa nang maaga ang kapatid niyang lalaki at siya ang nagpapakain pati sa asawa t anak nito. Siya rin ang nagpapaaral sa bunso nilang kapatid na babae. Receptionist sa isang restaurant, may boyfriend si Aida na wala namang regular na trabaho. Ito ay si Carding (Phillip Salvador) na kumikita lamang kapag sumasama sa mga illegal na gawain ng sangganong si Bumbay. Nang malaman ni Aida na nagdadalantao na naman ang asawa ng kapatid niya, niyaya niya si Carding na magsama na sila. May kapatid si Aida na isinumpa ng kanilang ina dahil nakisama ito sa isang lalaking may-asawa. Si Aida lamang ang nakauunawa kay Miriam (Deborah Sun) at wala siyang kamalay-malay susundan pala niya ang mga yapak nito. Akala niya’y malulutas ng pagsama niya kay Carding ang mga problema niya ngunit lalala lamang pala ito. Nahuli si Carding sa pagsama sa pangkat ni Bumbay at nabilanggo. Naiwang nagdadalantao si Aida. Nang malaman ito ni Carding ay pinilit siyang pakasal na sila para hindi maging bastardo ang isisilang niya. Ikinasal sila ng pari sa piitan.

Nagbalik si Aida sa kanyang trabaho ngunit natuklasan ng may-ari na buntis siya. Naiisip ni Aida na lalo lamang siyang maghihirap at nadadamay pa pati ang kanyang magiging anak kung itutuloy niya ang kanyang pagbubuntis kaya t ipinasya niyang ilaglag ito sa tulong ni Miriam. Nang magaling na siya y napasok siyang tagapamahala sa isang kantina at dito niya nakilala si Tito Pangilinan (Mario Montenegro). Nagsama sila at nagkaroon ng isang anak. Si Carding naman ay nalipat sa Davao Penal Colony at nagtaka na lamang siya nang huminto na sa pagsulat si Aida. Lumaya si Carding pagkaraan ngpitong taon at hinanap agad si Aida. Nakita niya ito at si Aida ay nagsimulang maglubid ng buhangin. Ang batang kasama niya’y anak daw ni Miriam at mahigpit ang bagong kinakasama nito kaya’t hindi sila maaaring laging magkita. Ngunit natuklasan ni Carding ang katotohanan at sa galit nito’y sinaktan si Aida. Inihabla siya ni Carding at ang kaso y humantong sa husgado. Mabibilanggo kaya si Aida sa salang adultery? That, you’d have to find out for yourself. Mawawala ang suspence kapag ibinunyag namin agad sa inyo ang ending.

Based on a true legal story, nagawa nina Reyes at Brocka na very convincing ang pagkakalahad ng kuwento. Maingat ang development at talagang magsi-sympathize ka sa mga tauhan. Ang kaso ni Aida ay isa ring moral dilemma. Dapat ba siyang sisihin sa kanyang ginawa? Sa kanyang paglalaglag sa sanggol and finding the easy way out through having an affair with a rich old man? Maraming katulad ni Aida sa ating lipunan sa ngayon. Nagipit sila, humanap ng lubid na makakapitan upang huwag tuluyang mahulog sa bangin, kasalanan ba ang kanilang praktikal na solusyon sa kanilang mga problema? Morally, masasabi agad na mali nga sila. Pero madaling humusga kung hindi ikaw mismo ang nakaharap sa mga problemang iyon. Tao lamang si Aida. At ang kahinaan niya ang siyang dahilan kung bakit naging very human ang istorya ng Adultery. Kung bakit naging tutoong-tutoo angmga sitwasyon at ang lahat ng characters dito. Alam mong melodramatiko ang kuwento pero alam mo ring nagaganap ang gayon sa tunay na buhay, na talagang maraming Aida Macaraeg sa ating paligid. Namumukod-tangi ang mga aspetong teknikal ng pelikula: ang sinematograpiya ni Conrado Baltazar, ang musika ni Lutgardo Labad, ang editing ni Rogelio Salvador, ang disenyong pamproduksiyon ni Joey Luna at pati pagkakalapat ng tunog.

Mahusay rin ang acting ng lahat ng tauhan: si Deborah Sun bilang Miriam, si Anita Linda bilang ina, si Tita de Villa bilang tiyahin ni Carding. Maikli lamang ang papel ni Mario Montenegro bilang Tito pero epektibo ang pagkakaganap niya, lalo sa tagpong sinumbatan niya si Aida: “Pitong taon na kitang tinutulungan at pitong taon mo na rin akong niloloko.” Napakahusay ni Vilma sa mga eksenang nagngingitngit siya sa mga kapatid niya sa pagkawala ng uniporme o muling pagbubuntis ng mga ito. You can really feel the sense of rage, and futility that she is experiencing. Pero maging sa iba pang quiet scenes ay mahusay rin siya, o kaya y maging doon sa eksenang muntik na siyang mabuko ni Mario, at nang magkomprontasyon na sila ni Phillip. Pero, sa tingin namin, mas lumutang si Phillip sa pelikulang ito at tiyak na in the running na naman siya for best actor next year. Kung minsan ay mata lamang ang kanyang pinaaarte at wala siyang dialogue (like nang mabasa niyang nakunan si Aida o nang makita niya itong sinasalubong si Mario sa gate). Very touching din ang final scene na tinanong siya ni Vi: “Ano ng nangyari sa ‘tin?” At sumagot siya ng: “Huwag mo nang itanong. Baka mas masakit kung malaman natin ang sagot.” Maraming iba pang magagandang touches ang pelikula, tulad ng pagdalaw ng mga babaing taga-block rosary kina Aida at ang sagutan sa court scenes.

The movie also offers another view of prison life. Sa mga pelikulang lokal na tungkol sa piitan, karaniwan nang nalalagyan ng tattoo ang bida, ginagahasa ng kapwa bilanggo at ginugulpi ng husto. Dito, maayos ang naging kalagayan ni Carding habang nasa bilangguan at wala siyang naenkwentrong mga problema na gaya ng usual na napapanood natin sa prison movies. Maganda talaga ang Aida Macaraeg. – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash May 31, 1983

“…Masinop ang mga elemento ng pelikula sa Adultery (Regal Films, Inc., 1984). Madulas ang daloy ng dulang pampelikula ni Jose Javier Reyes, konsistent ang disenyong biswal at sinematograpiya, malinis ang editing, akmang-akma ang tunog at musika. Ang maalam at matatag na pagganap ni Vilma Santos ay nagsasaad ng pagkaunawa at metodo sa layuning dramatiko ng kanyang pelikula. Ang pagganap ni Phillip Salvador bilang Carding ay nagpahayag ng mithiin sa lahat ng di magkatugmang aspeto nito at nagbigay ng naiibang sigla sa tradisyon ng pagganap sa pelikula. Sa halip na unidimensiyonal ang pagsasalarawan sa karanasan ng isang babae ay binigyan ito ng maramihang posibilidad sa pamamagitan ng sinematikong pagsasadula ni Lino Brocka, ang istereotipong ito ay isinalaysay sa paglalakbay ng kababaihan tungo sa sariling pagkilala at katuparan.” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Vilma Santos’ restrained acting in Adultery: Aida Macaraeg 7892 was due to Brocka’s expert direction. We wish he did the same thing to Tolentino and Bonneive in this film. But then, Maging Aking Ka Lamang is a big box-office success. Brocka probably feels that it’s high time he gives the masses what they want. And on this score, Brocka succeeds enormously…” – Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard, May 19 1987 (READ MORE)

“…Statistically, there are really more husbands who betray their wives than the other way around. And since films basically mirror life, there are more movies about philandering husbands than adulterous wives. In the eternal love triangle of Eddie Rodriguez, Lolita Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden, it is always the man who is at fault. And then, there are those film bios of our super cops who are always portrayed as having mistresses – like Joe Pring (played by Phillip Salvador), who had a legal wife in the film (portrayed by Aurora Sevilla) and yet maintained a mistress (Maila Gumila) on the side. Films about wives fooling around are actually fewer. However, these movies seem to be more exciting because they often have drama and suspense. This is likely because the adulterous character has to dangerously tread on the ego of the husband. In local cinema, I remember a few films about women characters playing with fire. Amalia Fuentes playing a married actress in love with co-star Eddie Rodriguez in Pag-ibig Mo, Buhay Ko; Hilda Koronel (married to an older man, Mario Montenegro), who falls for the charms of Orestes Ojeda in Marupok, Mapusok, Maharot; Vilma Santos agreeing to become the mistress of Mario Montenegro in order to have a better life – in spite of being married to Phillip Salvador in Adultery; Vilma Santos again, bored with her old husband (Eddie Garcia) and carries on an affair with Gabby Concepcion in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow and Anna Marie Gutierrez in the aptly titled Unfaithful Wife…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

“…When Aida (Vilma Santos), in Adultery (Aida Macaraeg Case No. 7892) (1984), offends the pride of her husband, he invokes the law to punish her. This mother, however, does not just accept the status quo. She actively fights for her rights — up to the extent possible for a woman judged by men — within the four walls of the courtroom which is ruled by patriarchal ideology. The mother finally reunites with her son in the end, notably, not because her husband pities her, but because her husband understands her as a person who fights for her rights…” – Jose C. Gutierrez III (READ MORE)

Working title – “Obsession (Separasyon Legal)” – “…By the time they got to be thirty, unti-unti nang nawala ang kanilang charisma sa publiko, at hindi na kagaya ng dati. Pero hindi ito nangyari kay Vilma. It is a fact na kung kailan pa siya nagkakaedad ay saka pa siya lalong tumatatag, lumalakas. And by almost all indications, it seems like magtatagal pa ito. Take a look at her harvest this year: “Ayak Kong Maging Querida,” “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?,” “Broken Marriage,” “Obsession (Separasyon Legal),” “Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan” and “Sor Stella L.” Although it appears na tila dalawang pelikula ang maaaring hindi na maipalabas sa taong ito (Obsession and Sor Stella L), hindi na rin maikakaila from the list above that Vilma Santos is still the biggest star of the season and the busiest among her contemporaries. At mayroon pa siyang mga nakatakdang gagawin sa pagpasok ng bagong taon. At the time when most stars are already collecting memoirs and reminiscing fond memories of past glories, Vilma is still soaring into newer heights as she goes from one competent film director to another and manages to become the highest paid actress in the country today. From Ishmael Bernal (Broken Marriage) to Lino Brocka (Obsession) to Marilou Diaz-Abaya (Misan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan) to Mike de Leon (Sor Stella L), the reigning movie queen is getting most of the choicest assignment these days and with the accompanying royal treatment…” – Julio Cinko N., Movie Flash Magazine, December 8 1983 (READ MORE)

“…Malalaking komplikasyon ang kinasuotan sa buhay ng isang babaeng nabilanggo ang asawa at naging kerida ng isang mayaman at may edad na lalaki. Ang tinamasang seguridad ni Aida Macaraeg, ang pangunahing tauhan sa istorya sa piling ng kanyang pangalawang “asawa” ay biglang naglaho ng lumabas sa piitan ang kanyang tunay na asawa. Humantong sa hukuman ang kaso, hanggang sa di-inaasahang masayang pagtatapos ng istorya, na lubhang taliwas sa mga naunang obra ni Brocka…Sa aspektong teknikal, superor ang pelikulang ito, ebidensiya ng mabusising pagkahawak ni Brocka ng renda niya bilang direktor. Ang akting ng mga pangunahing tauhan ay kapansinan din ng tatak Brocka. Tulad ng nangingislap na mata ni Phlip habang nagbibitiw ng mga mabibigat na linya, ng sinukat sa tiyempong pagpatak ng luha sa kaliwang gilid ng kaliwang mata ni Vilma Santos, ng masusing pagkaka-orkestrang komprontasyon ng dalawa mula sa salas hanggang kuwarto at maraming maliliit na tagpong dramatiko ang lapat…Kasabay ng kanyang pag-alsa bilang reyna ng takilya (si Vilma Santos), ay ang nakakakumbinse niyang pagganap sa no mang tauhang binibigyan niya ng buhay sa sinema. Sa hanay ng mga pelikulang ginawa niya sa nakaraang taon, namumukod ang kinang niyang iyon…sa “Adultery,” kung saan siya naging biktima ng isang materyalistikong kapaligiran…” – Star Awards 1984

Filmography: Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989)

“Irene…Di ko kaya ang walong buwan! Kung mamatay rin lang ako…mamatay na ako ngayon o bukas o sa linggo pero hindi ko kaya ang walong buwan!” – Juliet Espiritu

“…Irene, ayoko ng mahabang burol kung maari kinabukasan rin ipalibing mo na ako.” – Juliet Espiritu

“Ayoko ko pang mamatay…paano si Chad?…hahanapin ako ng anak ko, hindi siya sanay ng wala ako…Ariel…gusto ko pang mabuhay, kahit ilang araw lang, kahit konting oras lang, kahit isang umaga lang…” – Juliet Espiritu

“Ariel maliwanag na ba?…anong kulay ng langit?…at ang dagat?…ang mga mangingisda nandiyan na ba?…Ariel…ang ganda ng mundo!…ang sarap mabuhay!” – Juliet Espiritu

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Basic Information: Directed: Ishmael Bernal; Story, screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Eric Quizon, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Billy Crawford, Olivia Cenizal, Tita Muñoz, Gil de Leon, Dexter Doria, Vicky Suba, Subas Herrero, Cris Vertido, Toby Alejar, Tony Angeles, Symon Soler, Gina Perez, Alma Lerma, Roy Alvarez, Becky Misa; Executive producer: Lily Monteverde; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Elmer Manapul; Sound: Joe Climaco; Theme Songs: “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” performed by Zsa Zsa Padilla

Plot Description: Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (English title: “To Live Another Day,” “On Borrowed Time” or “Lend Me One Morning”) revolves around Juliet (Vilma Santos), who finds herself struggling against an ever-escalating series of problems. A determined single parent, she manages to raise a child while remaining successful in her career as an advertising executive. Everything in her life seems to go well until she is diagnosed with a terminal disease. For her son’s sake, and without revealing her condition, she is forced to resolve her most important life relations: rekindling first her connections with her parents, and then with the very man who fathered her son. In the twilight of her life, she meets and falls in love with a beleaguered artist, Ariel (Eric Quizon), who is constantly depressed and perpetually contemplating suicide. She slowly loses her health but unknowingly reawakens Ariel desire to live, and they both engage in a meaningful affair – one that makes each day they live through together more meaningful than the last. – DVD cover description

After getting bumped up to vice president at her advertising firm, Juliet (Vilma Santos) is floating on cloud nine, but fate soon delivers a brutal shock that knocks her off her perch: a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. With just eight months to live, Juliet embarks on a mental and physical journey to erase her regrets. Along the way, she meets a painter (Eric Quizon) who changes her outlook in this poignant drama. – Netflix

To Live Another Day (Pahiram ng Isang Umaga) revolves around Juliet, who finds herself struggling against an ever-escalating series of problems. A determined single parent, she manages to raise a child while remaining successful in her career as an advertising executive. Everything in her life seems to go well until she is diagnosed with a terminal disease. For her son’s sake, and without revealing her condition, she is forced to resolve her most important life relations: rekindling first her connections with her parents, and then with the very man who fathered her son. In the twilight of her life, she meets and falls in love with a beleaguered artist, Ariel, who is constantly depressed and perpetually contemplating suicide. She slowly loses her health but unknowingly reawakens Ariel’s desire to live, and they both engage in a meaningful affair – one that makes each day they live through together more meaningful than the last. – Cine Filipino/Unico Home Entertainment

Film Achievements: 1989 URIAN: Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Cinematography – Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Best Director – Ishmael Bernal; Best Picture – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Screenplay – Jose Javier Reyes; Best Supporting Actor – Eric Quizon; 1989 STAR: Best Picture – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Actress – Vilma Santos; Best Cinematography – Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto, Nonong Rasca; Best Director – Ishmael Bernal; Best Musical Score – Willy Cruz; Best Supporting Actor – Eric Quizon; 1989 FAMAS: Best Musical Score – Willy Cruz; Best Theme Song – Willy Cruz; 1989 FAP: Best Sound – Joe Climaco

Other Film Achievements 1989 FAP: Best Actress nomination – Vilma Santos; 1989 URIAN: Best Actor nomination – Gabby Concepcion; Best Editing nomination – Augusto Salvador; Best Music nomination – Willy Cruz; Best Production Design nomination – Elmer Manapul; Best Sound nomination – Joe Climaco; Best Supporting Actress nomination – Vicky Suba; 1989 FAMAS: Best Child Actor nomination – Billy Crawford; Best Director nomination – Ishmael Bernal; Best Picture nomination – Lily Monteverde, Regal Films; Best Supporting Actor nomination – Eric Quizon

Film Reviews: A Look at Death and the Affirmation of LifeWeepies are a common movie fare in the Philippines, along with extremely violent action thrillers and trite youth comedies. It is, therefore, a cause for cheer when a filmmaker tries to elevate the very common genre of the melodrama into a rich and intellectually rewarding film experience, such as director Ishmael Bernal has done with his Pahiram ng Isang Umaga.

Director Ishmael Bernal has seen in the material an opportunity to put substance to what has often been denigrated as the unthinking man’s entertainment, and to a considerable degree, his attempt has been a success. Pahiram is both effective as a tearjerker and meaningful as a depiction of people in crisis. Using a traditional element of the genre, the theme of death, Bernal and writer Jose Javier Reyes probe into the life of a woman who has been told that the end is near. Juliet (Vilma Santos, one of the two reigning Philippine female superstars for the past two decades now) is told that she has eight or maybe seven months to live. As a progressive advertising creative director who has been promoted (rather late) as vice president of her company, she has the means to attend to the less mundane demands of life, examine what may have been an unexamined life, and make the most of the limited time left.

In all these, Bernal explores the emotional and psychological condition of the person who lives on borrowed time. naturally visible here are the many symbols not only of death but also of life to serve as some kind of counterpoint or irony. Sometimes, they blend with each other, and at other times, they contradict. From the peasants’ ritualistic rice planting to the backyard harvesting of sun-dried patola cultivated as life-giving seedlings, the evidence of life renewing itself could hardly be ignored. Then there are the more obvious symbols of fire, daybreak and persistent rains (the latter of which are used to reinforce the gloomier mood at the second half of the movie, and also suggest the rains’ refreshing and replenishing results). But the most eloquent symbol here of life is the process of artistic creation, personified – again paradoxically – by the expressionist painter Ariel who befriends and then is smitten by Juliet.

There are ironies here. The painter creates life through his art, but at the same time, psychologically tormented, he wants to end his own life. Such a restless, free soul, grappling with the complexities of life, he has a whole life ahead of him, his artistic world limited only by his imagination, and yet he wants to quit. In contrast, Juliet who is dying, wants to live. Here is a woman who saves a man’s life (the artist’s) but cannot save her own. The idea of art as life or art vs. life is examined at length. Asked by the boy why he has to put on canvas the seascape, the artist makes the clarification that he is not copying the scenery. Ostensibly, he is recreating it on a different plane, art being something else, with a life of its own. This is suggested by the portrait the artist is making of Juliet. The model may soon die, as she will, but the portrait will live on. Life may indeed be short, an idea which used to be stated directly in previous Bernal movies, but art endures. It is the one thing in this world which is eternal. The briefness of life is suggested with the graphic sight of wet sand dripping down from the hand.

Bernal and Reyes go farther by including a scene in which the artist explains the origins of art. By the fireside at the beach, and watching the flame cast a glow on them, he notes that prehistoric men “discovered” art when they made outlines of shadows on the caves. Those artworks, though crude and primitive, still exist. Implicitly, Juliet’s death, no matter how saddening, is not going to be the end. Philosophical musings like these are not standard soap opera fare, and may alienate a lot of ordinary moviegoers (even the more cerebral ones who cannot accept the conventions of the soap opera genre). Woven unobtrusively into the plot, however, they add texture and enrich the drama. Juliet in a way will continue to live – in that portrait, in her young son who will survive her and hopefully continue her legacy whatever it may be, and in her good deeds. In the last scene, the imagery and symbolisms of life and death abound. Juliet dies at the break of dawn, the start of a new day (and life), but not without first making her last sentimental paean to life. Supported by the artist, her eyesight having failed completely and with the waves caressing their feet, the weak and dying cancer victim remarks how beautiful life is. True enough, this dying scene set on a beach, with the woman in white, dainty night gown, is one of the most exquisite, breathtaking moments in Philippine movies.

But before giving us this grand, highly emotional death scene, the director has gradually introduced various motifs of death, from the artist’s pet black bird which at one point he cruelly squeezes in his hand, to the funeral rituals for Juliet’s father. This is a striking part of the movie, Juliet watching intently as morticians work on her father’s remains, as everyone weeps when the coffin is lowered to its final resting place, and during the ritualistic “pasiyam,” the nine-day novena for the dead. It’s as though Juliet can see herself in her father’s lifeless body while mourners mill around it. The attempts to raise the level of the melodrama and present insights on life and death provide the movie its greatest strength – and wide appeal. How strangely ironic that a movie dealing with death could have so much life. – Mario A. Hernando, Malaya – 5 March 1989

“…Epektibo ang Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga bilang isang tuwirang dramatikong pelikula naglalahad ng suliranin ng mga taong pumapasailaim sa isang krisis. Sa paggamit ng tradisyonal na pamamaraaan ukol sa tema ng kamatayan, si Bernal at ang manunulat nitong si Jose Javier Reyes ay sumilip sa buhay ng isang babaeng nalalapit na sa kanyang huling hantungan. Napag-alaman ni Juliet (Vilma Santos) mula sa kanyang doktor na mayroon siyang pito hanggang walong buwang palugit sa kanyang buhay at ninais nitong isaayos ang mga suliraning bumabalot sa kanyang buong pagkatao sa loob ng maikling panahong ilalagi niya sa mundo. Lahat ng emosyonal at sikolohikal na kundisyon ng isang taong nabubuhay na lamang sa hiram na panahon ay tahasang ipinakita ni Bernal sa mga manonood. Mababanaag dito amg iba’t-ibang simbulo ng pumapaimbulog sa konsepto ng kamatayan. Kadalasa’y naangkop ito sa mga situwasyong dinaranas ng karakter ni Juliet at taliwas din kung minsan. Mula sa pagtatanim ng mga magbubukid hanggang sa pag-ani nito bilang simbulo ng pagkabuhay ay mahirap maitanggi. May mga tagpong ipnapakita ang paglubog ng araw, at ang walang patumanggang pag-ulan ay pagpapahiwatig ng pagbuhos ng bagong hinaharap. Ngunit isang mariing simbulong ginamit sa pelikula ay ang proseso ng paglikha ng sining sa katauhan ng pintor na si Ariel (Eric Quizon) na kinaibigan ni Juliet. Maraming maihahalintulad dito. Sinasalamin ng pintor ang buhay sa pamamgitan ng paglikha ng mga larawang kadalasan ay naglalahad ng gulo at pagkalitong umabot sa pagnanasa nitong kitlin ang sariling buhay, dahilan sa hindi niya makayanan ang pakikipagsapalaran sa buhay. Napapalibutan ng imahinasyon ang kanyang mundo ngunit nais pa rin niya itong talikuran. ito naman ang pagkakaiba ni Ariel kay Juliet na gagawin ang lahat upang madugtungan ang nauudlot na buhay…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

Mas Mahusay si Vilma Kaysa kay Nora – Vi goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast at habang nagbabati siya ng itlog, doon pa lang ipinakitang una siyang nag-breakdown. And this is shown nang nakatalikod siya sa camera. No overly ornate kind of emoting na akting na akting ang dating. Pero damang-dama mo pa rin…she becomes the part (lalo na sa eksena nila ni Gabby Concepcion sa simbahan na binalikan nila kung paano sila nagkasira), and if you notice that she is good, well, salamat po…Sa second viewing ng movie namin lalong napansin ang subtle nuances ng performance ni Vi, up to her death scene which confirms our supposition that the movie is not really so much about death than a celebration of life..’yan ang opinion namin…” – Mario Bautista, People Journal 1989

“…Topping Vilma Santos’ showbiz career for 1988 was her winning the “best tv host” title and her tv program Vilma as the best musical variety show from the Star Awards of the Philippine Movie Press Club. Vilma is a constant top rater. Nobody can question the result of the survey for its popularity, because everybody could see the glitter of the show with all the grand seting, artistic costumes, and selected celebrities as guests plus Santos’ vibrance, enthusiasm and untiring efforts in entertaining her audience. The actress is meticulous even in the selection of the color scheme of her costumes. For 1989, Santos promises a much better show for Vilma with more expensive props, more interesting musical numbers and some attractive numbers and novelties to render it a delightful viewing. The actress is now resuming shooting of Pahiram ng Isang Umaga which did not make it at the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival due to certain delays, like Ibulong Mo sa Diyos her current movie Pahiram… is supposed to be Regal Films’s first main attraction for 1989. Some of the scenes were filmed in the virgin forest of Botolan, Zambales. The serenity of the rustic place enabled the actress to re-evaluate her life before the New Year sets in. Santos has Gabby Concepcion and Eric Quizon for leading men in the movie. Quizon has admitted that so far this is his most challenging role in his entire movie career. The drama flick is expected to be another blockbuster and will reap acting honors for the actress. She is back with Ishmael Bernal in this movie, the same director who made possible her bagging all the best actress awards in 1982 for the movie Relasyon…” – Eddie O. Libo-on, Manila Standard, Jan 9, 1989 (READ MORE)

“…Koronel is all set to do a film for Viva and we’re sure her fans are all agog about it. Will she be a threat to the throne now occupied by Vilma Santos as “The Actress” to be reckoned with? If we’d make a guess, Lino Brocka’s the right director for the first comeback film of this actress. There’s a certain chemistry between them in the same way there’s an “artistic symbiosis” between Santos and Ishmael Bernal. And speaking of the last duo, we finally got to see “Pahiram ng Isang Umaga” and it’s true what they were all raving about. It’s Vilma’s best to date and we’re willing to bet that she’ll garner another grand slam next year for this movie. Ditto with Bernal. It’s not only an artistic movie; It’s very commercial. Only we should have brought a towel instead of a hankie…” – Nena Z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, Mar 2, 1989 (READ MORE)

“…Eric’s role in “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” is the manic-depressive love of Vilma Santos. He was contrapuntal to Vilma’s existence who wanted to prolong her life while he wanted to end his. But the Method Acting-oriented scribes at teh Philippine Movie Pres Club saw in Eric the mere physicality in his attack of the role. No anxiety in the eyes; all overt body movements to the point of the Nora Aunor anxiety-laden eyes. Eric rationalizes; “That was exactly how I was supposed to attack my role according to Direk Ishmael Bernal – overacting at physical level lang talaga. Wala nang pa-anxiety-anxiety pa. All the other major characters in “Pahiram…” were already making lupasay na with heavy emotions. From Vilma to Zsa Zsa Padilla to Vicky Suba to Gabby Concepcion – silang lahat emotionally loaded na. If I do the same, boring di ba? Ayaw ni Direk Bernal na pa-heavy emotion approach for my role. But you know my homework for that role was to watch several English sad movies on tapes and was told to cry with the characers if I wanted to or feel like crying. I felt so stupid talaga, but that exercise paid off I tell you.” If you have watched “Pahiram…,” the scene where Eric has to strangle a Myna bird was such a memorable highlight. Eric recalls; “I had to do an improvisation for that scene. Sabi ni Direk Bernal, don’t plan anything with the bird. Basta you just confront the bird at bahala ka na sa sarili mo. So what I did was to make mura and kind of strangle pero acting lang out of my supposed madness. You know what happened? The day after, nagpakamatay ‘yung bird. Nagtampo siguro ‘yun. Kasi raw ang Myna bird ay very sensitive, di ba? Sayang ‘yung bird, ano?…” – George Vail Kabristante, Manila Standard, Feb 20, 1990 (READ MORE)

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