Kung May Guy si Erap, May Vilma si Ronnie

Tuloy na tuloy na. Anytime now the cameras will grind. At ang magkakasama ay ang pinanabikan ng lahat sina Erap at Guy. Yes si Mayor Joseph Estrada at si darling bulilit Nora Aunor. Together, tiyak na theyèll be a riot twosome sa pelikulang Erap is My Guy. Sa titulo na lang, click na. And for sure, pipilahan ito. Just right for the new pair. No hindi sila love team. More of Magka-sidekick.

While showbiz is agog sa big news na ito, mukhang another equally gigantic happening ay nasa planning stage. The King himself, FPJ, ay makakasama naman ng sweet na si Baby Vi, Vilma Santos. So may Guy si Erap pero si Ronnie may Vi. Aba, sapak rin. Ano, mas mabigat ba? No huwag natin silang i-compare. Dahil hindi naman sila talu-talo. As far as some scribes are concerned, Nora and Vi have kissed and made-up.

Ngayon, kung may kaunti pang samaan ng loob na namamagitan sa kanila, despite publicities and printed materials na nagbati na sila, that is for the two to decide. Whereas kind Ronnie at Erap, alam natin ang real score…para silang magkapatid, parang nag-blood compact. Ilang taon nang tested ang friendship nila. Come hell or hi-water, nadoon pa rin ang dalawang chokaran, together they stand, divided they fall.

So, marmi ngang nagulat nang napadalaw si Ronnie sa shooting ni Vilma. More than once. At ang malimit na biro ni Ron, malapit silang magkasama sa isang super-production. Noon ngang unang dalaw ni Ronnie sa set ni Vi, ang biniro niya ay sina Jay Ilagan at Edgar Mortiz who happened to be her leading men sa ginagawang pelikula. At ang bulong ni Ron kay Vi, “Huwag mo na ngang pansinin ang dalawang iyan. Marami naman silang chicks.”

Kaya nga the loudest whisper ay ito, although it isn’t on the record yet. May kasunduan ang TIIP at FPJ. Na malamang, makasama si Ronnie sa war picture ng TIIP where he co-stars with Jay, Edgar and some young stars. Na matapos ito, sina Jay naman ang gagawa sa FPJ. Though maliwanag na malapit na ring magsama sina Ronnie at Vilma, malakas rin ang posibilidad na mag-change partners sina Joseph at FPJ.

Chances are matapos ang pelikula nina Erap at Guy, si Guy naman ang gagawa sa FPJ. And Erap’s next target might be Vilma. While patuloy nga ang paglakas pa sa takilya nina Erap at FPJ as the real McCoy superstars, marami rin ang nagtatanong kung darating pa ba raw ang panahon na maabot ng ibang young male stars ang kanilang kinaroroonan. Jay Ilagan in place of FPJ – that is if the latter decides to retire.

Kasi, hindi mo basta mapapalitan ang isang institusyon like FPJ. Para siyang haligi na kahit dumating pa ang lindol o bagyo ay maiiwang nakatindig. Ang who’ll succeed Erap? It could be anyone – like Pip? or Cocoy? Edgar? We can’t think of anyone na hindi bantog sa music world ang puwedeng kandidato. The trouble nga with out young stars ay napakarami nila. Pero kaunti lang ang gusto ng publiko. Kakaunti ang pumapasa.

Mas marami ang mga bumabagsak. At this stage, marami rin ang humuhula: If Erap is paired with Guy and Ronnie with Vilma, then malaki rin ang posibilidad na the following witll emerge: Susan-Jay starrer; and Amalia-Pip flick; at ilang pang combination ng senior at junior superstars. Pero ang maganda nga nito, beautiful ang kanilang samahan. Walang intrigue at no professional jealousy. – Bee Kay Jay, Bulaklak Magazine No.66, 05 February 1973, reposted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Advertisements

Si Vi at si Erap

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Comeback – “…His last movie in 1989, after an eight-year lull, was seen as part of a campaign to stage a political comeback. He’d been unseated in 1986 after serving 16 years as municipal mayor, when the late dictator and his political patron Ferdinand Marcos fled into exile and Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency. Estrada was elected to the Senate in 1987, then vice-president in May 1992 and finally in May 1998 was elected the 13th president of the Philippines. His popularity as an actor is said to have contributed to him winning the largest majority vote in election history. Political pundits say Estrada still believes himself to be a hero in a real-life movie that is reaching its dramatic crescendo with his stepping down as president in January amid a wave of people power…” – Kirsty Alfredson and Rufi Vigilar (READ MORE)

Best Actor “…At first, Joseph wanted to become an engineer just like his hardworking dad. But his restless nature, coupled with his growing interest in acting, brought him to the world of showbiz. He first studied at the Ateneo de Manila University, but he was expelled after picking up a fight with a fellow student. He transferred to Mapua Institute of Technology, but he did not finish his engineering degree. In 1957, he went against the wishes of his parents and started appearing in movies as an “extra.” He quit schooling, pursued acting, and adopted the surname “Estrada.” His father forbade him to use “Ejercito” in his screen name. For his first name, “Erap” the backward spelling of “pare,” which means buddy or friend in English became his friends’ and fans’ preferred nickname for Joseph. In the 1960s, Erap did about 90 films and that’s like having a movie shown almost every month. But it was in Asiong Salonga and Geron Busabos where he was embraced by the masses as their hero. Erap’s movies were notorious for themes inspired by Robin Hood, an anti-hero who becomes a hero himself through his fierce yet understated qualities…

His showbiz career spanned 32 years, and Joseph starred in more than a hundred movies, which include Ito Ang Pilipino, Blacksheep Gang, Cuatro Cantos, Lo Waist Gang, Kandilang Bakal, Sa Baril Mag-Uusap, Moises Padilla Story, Tondo Boy, and Markang Rehas, among many others.
And he was good at his craft. In fact, he was the first FAMAS Hall of Fame awardee for Best Actor (1981), and he also became a Hall of Fame Award winner as a producer (1983).
Moreover, he was also considered as one of the early purveyors of independent filmmaking through JE Productions and EMAR Pictures, his own film outfits. …” – Bong Godinez (READ MORE)

Farming and Retirements “…Vegetable patches cover a portion of one of several hills in the farm. A tractor levels a winding road below leading to the resthouse. A solitary horse, a gift from Ronnie Poe, Joseph’s kumpare, nibbles the grass. The farm was originally 24 hectares, but three hectares of it was eaten up by the national highway which, incidentally, made the dirving to Tanay smooth, pleasant and fast. Joseph says the resthouse is temporary, which explains its light structure, mostly wood. he plans to build a permanent “hideaway” on the next hill, the highest site in the farm. But when is he retiring? “Its still a long way, perhaps 10 years from now. I still have a few things to do, to accomplish. Besides I like to think I’m still too young to consider retirement,” smiles Joseph who, but for thickening of the waistline, has the looks and traits of a young man: smooth skin, quick and easy movements…If and when he finally settles down to his Tanay farm, would he give up politics and movies entirely? “I guess I would. Aside from small-time farming, I’ll branch out to another business, construction. In fact, I’ve started setting up a construction frim. I also plan to put up a piggery, and raise some cattle. I just can’t do it right now as there’s no efficient water system yet in this farm.” Joseph says that in a few years, the seedings he planted will, hopefully, grow firm and tall and bear fruits. A few months ago they harvested corn and some vegetables. “Nothing much really, strictly for own consumption,” he says…” – Ronald K. Constantino (READ MORE)

Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada (born Jose Marcelo Ejercito on April 19, 1937) was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency. Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in an acting career spanning 33 years. He used his popularity as an actor to make gains in politics, serving as mayor of San Juan for seventeen years, as Senator for one term, then as Vice President of the Philippines under the administration of President Fidel Ramos. Estrada was elected President in 1998 with a wide margin of votes separating him from the other challengers, and was sworn into the presidency on June 30, 1998. In 2000 he declared an “all-out-war” against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and captured its headquarters and other camps. However, allegations of corruption spawned an impeachment trial in the Senate, and in 2001 Estrada was ousted by “People Power” 2 after the prosecution walked out of the impeachment court when the Senator Judges voted no in the opening of the second envelope. The EDSA 2 protests resulted from the concerted efforts of political, business, military, and church elites who were displeased by Estrada’s policies that included removal of sovereign guarantees on government contracts. In October 2000, the Daily Tribune reported about elite plans to “‘constitutionally’ oust President Estrada under ‘Oplan Excelsis.” Emil Jurado of the Manila Standard reported as early as 1999 about a PR demolition work designed to embarrass Estrada “by attributing to his administration all sorts of perceived faults and scams with the end in view of covering up anomalies and scams also committed during the Ramos administration.” Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo also admitted in an interview with Nick Joaquin that he and then-Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson and certain military officials plotted plans to oust Estrada in January 2001, with the alternative plan B being violent “with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila.” In 2007, he was sentenced by the special division of the Sandiganbayan to reclusion perpetua for plunder, but was later granted pardon by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He ran for president anew in the 2010 Philippine presidential election, but lost to then Senator Benigno Aquino III. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Vilma Santos

Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Vilma Santos did seven films, three of which were an all star cast that didn’t require them to share screen time. The first two films were in 1966, both a smash hit and critically acclaimed, Vi was just a child star then. Their only significant film as mature actor were in a fantasy film in 1974. The last film that featured them was the late Julie Vega starrer that also featured FPJ.

Mga Mata ni Angelita (1978) – “…The story revolves around that of a blind girl named Anghelita who was given the eyes of the Virgin Mary. But having her sight back, she will see what the world really is, filled with pain and sins. So, in search for her long lost mother, she will be instrumental in changing the lives of people along her way…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Dugo at Pag-ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa (1975) – “…A Must for the Filipino History Students and for everyone who wants to awaken the innate nationalism in them. These series of stories depicting the fight of the Filipinos against colonialism of Spain, Japan and even their fellow Filipinos abusing the power in the government. A seemingly serious film but spiced with the star-studded cast like Fernando Poe Jr., Ramon Revilla, Joseph Estrada, Nora Aunor, Dante Rivero, Eddie Garcia, Vic Vargas, Goerge Estregan and the other all time favorite artists. This movie even highlighted the comparison between the love of country and the other kind of love we offer to our family and to our beloved as the story featured love stories in the midst of tragic and bloody war happening in our society…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

KIng Khayam and I (1974) – “…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 didnt fly, Estrada suggested a lighter weight rider. 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)

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

Ito ang Pilipino (1966) – “…In 1966, Estrada was “just” an actor portraying a bandit fighting the Spaniards, led by Eddie Garcia. Directed by Cesar “Chat” Gallardo, an important scene in the film featured the late Vic Silayan telling the young Estrada that he would be the country’s next president-to which, Estrada’s character answered in disbelief, saying it was impossible, because he could neither read nor write! Prophetically, the historical film presaged the actor’s political career. Who would have known that he’d become the 13th president of the Philippines?! At the screening, Estrada’s leading lady, Barbara Perez, who was first seen in 195’6′s “Chabacano,” was in the audience to watch the “lost” film revived by the Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA). The actress shares: “Back then, I kept getting in and out show biz, especially when I had to give birth!…” – Rica Arevalo (READ MORE)

Batang Iwahig (1966) – “…Joseph Estrada was at his best appearing in ‘tough guy’ roles after striking it big as “Asiong Salonga” in 1961. He was rough and mean in movies like North Harbor (1961), Pulong Diablo (1963), Basagulero (1963); Geron Busabos: Ang Batang Quiapo (1964); Batang Angustia (1965); Batang Iwahig (1966) and many more where he essayed the role of a ‘kanto boy.’ However in the 70s and 80s, Estrada chose to do light-comedy films (remember the Tatay na si Erap series, Erap is my Guy, Mamang Sorbetero, among others) and more of a Dirty Harry type of movies, where he portrayed a determined and dedicated law enforcer. He did quite a number of these movies starting with Kill the Pushers in 1972 and so on with Panic (1973), Ranson (1974), among others…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Related Reading:

Vilma Santos’ MMFF recognitions

Aside from Gawad Urian, Star Awards, Film Academy Awards and FAMAS, the annual local festival, called MMFF or Metro Manila Film Festival has become a part of Vilma Santos’ film career. From the 70s to the new millennium, Vilma Santos was able to entered memorable films that earned her awards, record-breaking ticket revenues, career breakthrough performances and even some memorable heartache. Spanning four decades, the MMFF earned Vilma 7 acting nominations with four wins.

The Martial Law established the amalgamation of the surrounding cities in Manila. Prior to 1975, three local film festivals showcase Filipino films, Quezon City and Manila each has their own festivities and another one in Southern part of the country, Bacolod City. The local festivals started the acting competition between rival, Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor. In 1970 Manila Film Festival, Nora’s Nora in Wonderland and Young Heart compete with Vilma’s sole entry, Love Letters. Two years afterwards, the acting race will heat up in Quezon City Film Festival when the two collided with Nora’s And God Smiled at Me and Vilma’s Dama De Noche. After the Martial Law, cities were amalgamated with Manila. And the Quezon City Film Festival and the Manila Film Festival ends creating the December festival in 1975. Occasionally, Manila will have their own festival every summer in connection to city’s “Araw Ng Manila” celebration. Tthe last time Vilma entered a film at MFF was in 1993 via Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story where she won the best actress. Meanwhile, Nora Aunor’s last venture to MFF was in 2004’s Naglalayag where like Vilma, she won the best actress too.

The Metropolitan Manila Film Festival, now simply called, MMFF, (the “politan” was dropped eventually) or Metro Manila Film Festival exhibits only local films in all its theatres from Christmas Eve to the first week of the following New Year. The festival has its street parade at the eve of Christmas Day and each films contesting for best float. The festival has its awards night at the third or fourth nights.

Not surprisingly, both Nora and Vilma have competed in the first MMFF. Nora’s entry was her self-produced film directed by Luciano B. Carlos, Batu-Bato sa Langit and Vilma’s entry was the melodrama, Karugtong ang Kahapon. The big winner was the pre-presidential, Joseph Estrada. Directed by Augosto Bunaventura, Estrada’s Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa won the major awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Best Actress went to Charito Solis for Araw-Araw, Gabi-Gabi.

The second year, the festival was noticeably the precursor to the awards race. It was a showcase of who’s who in the local film industry. Lino Brocka, Eddie Romero, Lupita Concio were among the big name directors competing. Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon dominated the awards night winning the best director and Christopher de Leon the best actor. Hilda Koronel was proclaimed the best actress for her impressive performance in Insiang. Concio’s Minsa’y Isang Gamo-gamo, Brocka’s Insiang and Romero’s Ganito will be the top films competing for the first Gawad Urian.

The third MMFF, brought controversy to Vilma Santos. Now starting to accept offbeat roles and learning to adopt versatility to her arsenal, she bravely entered the festival with Celso Ad Castillo’s Burlesk Queen. The gamble paid off as the film became the top grosser and won eight awards out of ten. Burlesk won best picture and best in direction, lead actor, actress, screenplay, supporting actress/actor and cinematography.

Burlesk defeated Lino Brocka’s Inay, Mario O’Hara and Romy Suzara’s Mga Bilanggong Birhen, Mike de Leon’s Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, Eddie Romero’s Banta ng Kahapon, Ishmael Bernal’s Walang Katapusang Tag-araw, Joey Gosiengfiao’s Babae, Ngayon at Kailanman, Gil Portes’ Sa Piling ng mga Sugapa. A very impressive list, no wonder some critics loudly complained about the awards results. And according to Armida Sigueon Reyna, in her newspaper column, Brocka walked out the awards night in protest and even cursed the juror on the way out ot the auditorium. It was also reported that the organizer asked the winners to return their medals (they hand out medals that year) but no such things happened, Vilma still has her medal in her fully loaded cabinet of hardwares.

The success of Burlesk Queen commercially and critically brought down some senses to some Nora Aunor followers. Clearly, Vilma Santos’ willingness to accept mature and offbeat roles became a threat to Nora Aunor’s standing as the number one actress. Vilma Santos’ entry was Lino Brocka’s true to life film about rape victim, Rubia Servios. Critics and media have predicted Vilma was dead lock for the best actress. Come awards night, the juries’ award Nora’s film about a maid abused by her employer, Atsay won the major awards including best picture and best director for Eddie Garcia. The top acting award was changed to best performer that Nora Aunor won. A vindication from last year’s result? Wait, there wasn’t even an Aunor film last year. For some consolation, Rubia won two technical awards, one for editing and screenplay for Mario O’Harra. The film also became the top grosser of the festival even with the lost to Aunor. According to Isagani Cruz on his TV Times article in 1979: “…Nora does an excellent acting job; but so does Vilma Santos, and Rubia is a much more demanding and difficult role….Overall, Atsay may be much more impressive than Rubia Servios. In terms of challenging our moral and legal convictions, however, Rubia Servios is much more significant.”

1979 brought the tandem of Charito Solis & Vilma Santos versus Lolita Rodrigues and Nora Aunor. The clear winner was the latter team. Although Solis and Santos film did much better at the box office. Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo, a much better film, directed by Lino Brocka won the major awards, best picture, director and acting awards for Raul Aragon and Nora Aunor. For film aficionado, the scene where Solis slapped Santos in Modelong Tanso was memorable. Many reprised that scene, Vilma did it in Anak (with Claudine) and recently Sharon Cuneta with Heart Evangelist in the recent Mano Po.

By 1980, Nora Aunor kept on pushing for festival supremacy and like last year, she entered two films. This time, with Lino Brocka’s Bona and Laurice Guillen’s Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo. Vilma’s lone entry was Danny Zialcita’s Langis at Tubig. Nora came up short, as both of her film missed the major awards. The big winner was Christopher De Leon and Bembol Roco’s film Taga Sa Panahon. Taga won the top awards while Marilou Diaz Abaya’s film Brutal won directing and best actress for Amy Austria. Langis At Tubig won best actor Dindo Fernando.

After winning in 1977 and a big loss in 1978, Vilma’s enthusiasm in winning at the MMFF subsided significantly. Her film entries were now focused on entertainment value aimed at getting commercial success instead of awards. 1980 and 1981 was a big example. Danny Zialcita’s Langis At Tubig did very well at the box office in ’80 and her entry the following year was a glossy production, Karma. Karma was a big hit and earned nominations but one film dominated all the 1981’s MMFF, Kisap Mata, directed by Mike De Leon won eight out of ten awards except for best actress, that award went to Vilma Santos. Vilma didn’t attend the ceremony, her co-star, Chanda Romero, accepted the award.

Nora’s absence in 1981 add motivation to her camp, she entered the festival with the epic film, directed by Ishmael Bernal, Himala, now considered by many as one of the best Filipino film of all time. Himala won seven major awards including best picture, director, screenplay and actress. Vilma’s entry Haplos was a distant third, with a win for lead actor, Christopher De Leon. The following year, Himala harvested nominations from four award-giving bodies particularly the best actress nominations for Nora but failed to win any, all the trophies went to Vilma, earning her first grand slam best actress. The next six years, no film by Vilma Santos in the festival. The big winners during these years are: 1983 – Karnal, 1984 – Bulaklak ng City Jail, 1985 – Paradise Inn, 1986 – Halimaw sa Banga, 1987 – Olongapo, 1988 – Patrolman.

The 1989 MMFF brought back the team of Vilma Santos and Christopher De Leon. Viva film’s Immortal directed by Eddie Garcia won major awards including best picture, director and the acting for Christopher and Vilma. Not to be undone, Nora Aunor entered the race the following year via Elwood Perez’ Andrea Paano ba ang Maging Isang Ina. The film won best picture, director and actress for Nora. Best actor went to Dolphy for Espadang Patpat. Then 1991 was a repeat for Nora as her film, again directed by Perez, Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. won major awards.

The next twelve years seems to be non-existent for Vilma followers as there were no entries from Vilma Santos in these years. There were no films that stands out compare to the high caliber films entered during the peak of the Vilma-Nora rivalry. There are six films that were praised by the critics though, Chito Rono‘s films Nasaan ang Puso (1997) and Bagong Buwan (2001), Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Jose Rizal (1998) and Muro-ami (1999) and Laurice Guillen’s Tanging Yaman (2000). In the acting category, only Elizabeth Oropesa win in 1999 for Bulaklak ng Maynila and Gloria Romero’s win in 2000 for Tanging Yaman stands out.

By 2002, it was déjà vu all over again, Vilma Santos convinced by many as a sure bet for the best actress lost again for her festival entry, Dekada 70. The award was given to Ara Mina for her supposed to be supporting role in the very first Mano Po. Dekada will dominate the awards race the following year, Vilma will win several best actress awards. Vilma’s co-star, Piolo Pascual will win all the best supporting actor making him a grand slam winner. The next year, Crying Ladies, starring Sharon Cuneta, Hilda Koronel and Angel Aquino won the best picture, best actor for Eric Quizon, best supporting actress for Hilda while Maricel Soriano snatched the best actress for Filipinas. The next year, Vilma came back again with Regal’s third installment to the Mano Po series. Titled, Mano Po 3: My Love and directed by Joel Lamangan, the film won best picture and the lead acting for Vilma and Christopher De Leon. Cesar Montano’s self-produced and directed film, Panaghoy sa Suba won best actor.

No Vilma Santos or Nora Aunor films the next five years. Vilma visibly concentrated with her political career and Nora retired in the United States. The film festival continued its annual fan fare with some memorable films. Zsazsa Padilla and Cherry Pie Picache continued the Mano Po series with a comedy, Ako Legal Wife, Mano Po 4 won the female acting awards in 2005. Judy Ann Santos comedy film, directed Joey Reyes, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo top the 2006 festival. Maricel Soriano received another best actress the following year for Bahay Kubo, The Pinoy Mano Po. Anne Curtis arrived in the big league as she wins best actress for Baler in 2008 and then this year, Bong Revilla won best actor for Ang Panday and Sharon Cuneta best actor for Mano Po 6: A Mother’s Love, both first time winner.

Vilma Santos’ MMFF Best Actress from 1975 to 2008

For some, Vilma Santos MMFF recognitions in terms of awards wasn’t as significant compare to lets say, her number of URIAN or FAMAS awards but all the shortcomings were forgotten when you think about the successful recorded revenue of her festival entries.  From Burlesk Queen, Rubia Servios, Karma, Langis at Tubig and to her last one, Mano Po 3, all did very well.  At the end of the day, producers would still prefer a little profit than trophies. – RV

RELATED READING:

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.

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

Filmography: King Khayam and I (1974)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Basic Information: Directed: Cesar Gallardo; Story, screenplay: Nestor U. Torre Jr.; Cast: Joseph Estrada, Vilma Santos, Rod Navarro, Marissa Delgado, Lucita Soriano, Rossana Marquez, Lorli Villanueva, Ike Lozada, Anita Linda, Ruben Rustia, Greg Lozano, Jose Villafranca, Rudy Manlapaz, Avel Morado, Romy Nario, Robert Talby, Arturo Moran, Robert Miller, Delia Victorino, Carmen Romasanta, Elizabeth Vaughn, SOS Daredevils, Dondon Nakar, Winnie Santos, Princess, Big 3 Sullivans, Metring David, Bayani Casimiro, Mary Walter, Ronald Rei, Boy Marco; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Original Music: Restie Umali, Levi Celerio

Plot Description: 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.

Film Achievement: Vilma and Joseph’s first film together as an adult actors and third overall. Their first film was “Batang Iwahig,” where Vilma was just a child star. The other film was “Dugo at Pag-ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa” where they did not share any screeen time.

Film Review: 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 didnt fly, Estrada suggested a lighter weight rider. 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. 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 childstar and Joseph was in his early years as a bankable action star. Produced by 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 hightlight of the film. – RV, (READ MORE)

“…Naging very successful ang unang pagtatambal nina Vilma Santos at Joseph Estrada sa pelikulang King Khayam And I ng TIIP. Kahit bumabagyo ay hugos pa rin ang tao upang mapanood lang ang napabalitang pelikulang ito. Subalit nitong mga huling araw ng pagtatanghal ng nasabing pelikula, medyo naging mahina ang pasok ng tao. may nagsasabing talagang ganito lang ang panahon kapag magpapasko, sa halip na manood ýung iba, ipinamimili muna ng kanilang pamasko ang mga mahal nila sa buhay. At least, ang kaunting salaping gugugulin nila sa entertainment ay ipinagdaragdag nila sa kanilang Christmas savings…” – Levi, Modern Romances and True Confessions Magazine, 16 December 1974

Filmography: De Colores (1968)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Basic Information: Directed: Armando Garces; Story: Romeo N. Galang; Screenplay: Romeo N. Galang; Cast: Joseph Estrada, Amalia Fuentes, Leopoldo Salcedo, Gloria Romero, Jun Aristorenas, Divina Valencia, Mario Montenegro, Perla Bautista, Anna Gonzales, Eddie Garcia, Mila Ocampo, Paquito Diaz, Von Serna, Eddie Infante, Gil de Leon, Jose De Villa, Jose Vergara, Luis Castro, Vilma Santos; Executive producer: Rey Ylag; Original Music: Restie Umali; Cinematography: Fortunato Bernardo

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1968 FAMAS Best Actor – Eddie Garcia; 1968 FAMAS Nomination Best Actress – Perla Bautista; 1968 FAMAS Nomination Best Director – Armando Garces; 1968 FAMAS Nomination Best Picture

Film Review: “…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“De Colores” ng Arco-Iris (Marso 30 – April 10, 1968)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

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

Related Reading:

Filmography: Batang Iwahig (1966)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Basic Information: Directed: Pablo Santiago; Screenplay: Ding M. De Jesus; Cast: Joseph Estrada, Paquito Diaz, Diana Dean, Bessie Barredo, Boy Francisco, Jose Vergara, Vilma Santos, Miguel Lopez, Avel Morado, Joaquin Fajardo, Manding Riño, Ponching Tambol, Leo Buenafe, Robert Rivera, Fil Lizarondo, Mike Francisco; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: Iwahig Penal Colony is already a good haven for prisoners. Edgardo Alvarez (Joseph Estrada) was transferred to this place prior to his release. A hundred thousand pesos was the reason why he was detained. He, together w/ the group of Brando (Paquito Diaz) robbed the said amount and Edgar kept the same amount by burying it in a certain place before he was arrested by the police. Brando tortured him and his family even while he’s in prison because of the said money only to find out that they just fought for nothing. – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Joseph Estrada was at his best appearing in ‘tough guy’ roles after striking it big as “Asiong Salonga” in 1961. He was rough and mean in movies like North Harbor (1961), Pulong Diablo (1963), Basagulero (1963); Geron Busabos: Ang Batang Quiapo (1964); Batang Angustia (1965); Batang Iwahig (1966) and many more where he essayed the role of a ‘kanto boy.’ However in the 70s and 80s, Estrada chose to do light-comedy films (remember the Tatay na si Erap series, Erap is my Guy, Mamang Sorbetero, among others) and more of a Dirty Harry type of movies, where he portrayed a determined and dedicated law enforcer. He did quite a number of these movies starting with Kill the Pushers in 1972 and so on with Panic (1973), Ranson (1974), among others…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“Batang Iwahig” ng LSP (Oktubre 21 – 28, 1966)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…Edgardo (Joseph Estrada) is a safecracker. To help care of his blind sister Vina (Vilma Santos), he takes care a life of crime. Edgardo hooks up with Brando (Paquito Diaz) to steal a hundred thousand pesos from Don Joaquin. But the robbery goes wrong and Edgardo ends up in jail. But not before burying the money in a safe place. Several years later, Edgardo is pardoned and he swears to remain on the straight and narrow. But Brando and his cohorts would not let him. They have waited all these years for their share of the loot and they are not about to just let Edgardo go. What if Brando uses Vina to ensure Edgardo’s cooperation? Can Edgardo afford to risk his sister’s life?…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)