Special Film: Manila By Night retitled City After Dark

City After Dark, originally titled Manila by Night, is a 1980 drama film directed by Ishmael Bernal. Released at the height of the Marcos regime, the film uncovers the other face of Manila by depicting the ugly aspects of life in the city – unemployment, prostitution, drug addiction, and lack of decent housing. Considered as one of Bernal’s masterpieces, it is an epic multi-narrative of people who have shady pasts and are trying to exist in an unforgiving world. The film’s events take place in the course of one night, involving various protagonists and the city itself. William Martinez plays a folk singer from a rich family who becomes addicted to heroin through the influence of lesbian pusher and pimp, Cherie Gil. Martinez’s mother in the movie, played by Charito Solis, is herself a reformed prostitute who, like Lady Macbeth, is obsessed with cleaning her hands to remove the dirt of her past. She does her best to be respectable after marrying an ex-cop played by Johnny Wilson. Meanwhile, Cherie Gil’s character is in love with a blind masseuse, played by Rio Locsin, with two illegitimate children. Locsin lives with Jojo Santiago, whose character fantasizes of earning American dollars while working in Saudi Arabia. Another character, portrayed by Alma Moreno, is a nurse who, in reality, is a call girl. Her live-in taxi-driver lover, played by Orestes Ojeda, is fooling around with a waitress played by Lorna Tolentino, who is the presumed girlfriend of a gay couterier played by Bernardo Bernardo. As dawn breaks over the city, the bizarre lives of the characters of Manila’s nightlife seem like an alter-ego of the respectable, busy daytime world. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Ishmael Bernal (1938–1996) (30 September 1938 – 2 June 1996) was an acclaimed Filipino film, stage and television director. He was also an actor and screenwriter. Noted for his melodramas particularly with feminist and moral issues, his 1982 film Himala (Miracle) is often cited as one of the greatest Filipino films of all time. He is a National Artist of the Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Source: Pelikulapinoy101

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31st Year Anniversary of “Sinasamba Kita”

FILMS - Sinasamba Kita

1982 was a banner year for Vilma Santos. Aside from the acting gem, “Relasyon,” she also established her bankable status, thanks to Viva film’s “Sinasamba Kita.” This film grossed 6.2 million in just 6 days, a box office record! Directed by Eddie Garcia, the film featured Vilma as the “bitchy-rich” anti-heroine executive, Lorna Tolentino as the younger sister who idolized her older sister, Christopher DeLeon as Gerry the rich executive who work for Vilma’s rival company and Philip Salvador as the obsessed admirer of Lorna.

The intertwined love quadrangle between the four characters enhanced by crisp dialogue, glossy production design and catchy theme song made this movie effective and very commercial. Two scenes stands out, both involved Vi and Lorna. (By the way, Lorna’’s name in this film was Nora and Vilma, Divina, which made us wonder if this is supposed to be a Nora-Vilma film?)

In one scene, Vilma was waiting for her younger sibling Lorna, when she finally arrived, she accused the younger sister of wearing her perfume, the accusation made Lorna defensive and replied: “Hindi Ate…Bumili ako para sa sarili ko nagustuhan ko kasi ang amoy! (No sis, I bought the same perfume because I like the smell!)” In which Vilma countered: “For Godsake, Nora, bakit hindi ka magkaroon ng sarili mong identity!..Hindi kita anino! (For Godsake, Nora, Why don’t you have your own identity! You’re not my shadow!)”

Another scene, Vilma caught Lorna wearing the same designer clothe that her fashion designer, Fanny Serrano design:
Vilma: “Iniinsulto mo ba ako? Anong gusto mong palabasin…bakit ginagaya mo ang damit ko? (Are you insulting me? What are you trying to prove…why are you immitating my clothes?)”
Lorna: “Ate naman ano naman ang masama kung gayahin kita? (Sis, I don’t see anything wrong If I emulate you?)”
Vilma: “Alamin mo muna ang iyong limitasyon…baka nakakalimutan mo kung saan kita pinulot…kinikilala kitang kapatid pero hindi tayo magkapantay! (You have to make sure you know your limit…are you forgeting where I got you…I recognized you as my sibling but we are not equal!)”
Lorna: “napakaliit naman pala ng pagtingin mo sa akin…(I didn’t realized how small am I to you…)”
Vilma: “Imposible naman lumaki ang pagtingin ko sa taong tinutulungan ko lang?…kung sabagay magkaiba tayo ng ina…bakit kaya pinatulan ng papa ang iyong ina? (It’s is impossible for me to treat you like in high regard since I am just helping you…well, it is because we have different mother…it makes me wonder why did my papa had an affair with your mother?)”
Lorna: “huwag mo naming insultuhin ang inay, patay na siya… (don’t insult my mom, she’s already dead…)”
Vilma: “Hindi ko siya iniinsulto sinasabi ko lang sayo ang totoo! Magkaiba tayong dalawa, hindi mo ako matutularan at hindi kita tutularan! Nora, ang hindi mo maabot huwag mog pagpilitang abutin, wala kang pang pakpak kya huwag lumipad ng pagkataas-taas! (I’m am not insulting her, I’m telling the truth! We’re both different, You can never be me and I will never be you! Nora, don’t reach things that you can never reach, you don’t have wings, so don’t fly so high!” – RV (READ MORE)

Follow in her footsteps

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Although she’s still very much in demand and still on top, Vilma Santos’ supposed to be “heir to the throne” is still nowhere in sight.  Some says her throne  has been filled several times, but whoever came, faded – fast and furious. They had a taste of fame but like a flashing meteor, they fade. Some remain active but still pale in comparison to the longevity and popularity of the Star for All Seasons. They follow her footsteps, patterned their career decisions to hers.  They become popular but some gradually retired.  Those remained are the lucky ones…who learned from her experiences and  followed her footsteps…

Victoria Lorna Aluquin, better known as Lorna Tolentino, sometimes known as L.T., an abbreviation of her screen name (born December 23, 1961), is a Filipina actress, host, executive producer and widow of actor Rudy Fernandez. Together, they bore two sons named Ralph and Renz. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Vilma Santos, Lorna started her stellar career as child star. She gradually transformed her image from sweet innocent teens into a mature versatile actress. Like Rio Locsin and Alma Moreno, Lorna started doing minor roles in earlier Vilma Santos films. Most notably, “Batya’t palu-palo” together with another up and coming actor, the young Philip Salvador. She eventually became as famous as Vilma with hit films like “Dulce Amor,” “Moral,” “Luksong Tinik,” “Abakada Ina” and her most controversial off-beat role, Brocka’s “Maging Aking Ka Lamang.” She even wore the “Darna” customes on small screen. With a series of dramatic roles, she always end up empty handed with award nighs as both Vilma and Nora were playing tug-of-war, during their hey days. When the Vi and Guy rivalry slow-down, she was able to succeed, receiving several trophies and even recorded a grand slam best actress win like Vilma. Lorna and Vilma finally did a movie where both played lead roles, in Eddie Garcia’s record breaking, “Sinasamba Kita.” The two remained friends through the years. Lorna even guested several times on Vi’s television show in the ’90s.

Alma “Ness” Moreno (born Vanessa Moreno Lacsamana born on May 25, 1959) is a Filipina actress politician who has made her mark both as a popular movie and television personality. She was born in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to Frank Lacsamana, from Pampanga, and Jean Moreno. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Lorna, Alma played bit roles in a Vilma Santos starrer, Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw. Unlike Lorna whose acting talent was evident early on even as a child star, Alma lacks the intensity. She eventually realized she needed to accept more daring roles to survive in this business, accepting roles that required her to disrobe She almost surpassed the commercial success of Vilma with starring roles in smash hits like “Mrs Eva Fonda 16,” “Bomga Star,” “Bitayin si Baby Ama,” “Nympha,” and “City After Dark.” Alma’s stiff competition during the height of her career was Lorna Tolentino and later on, a more daring star, Rio Locsin. Rio and Lorna also had a competition goin’ on when they did a much publicized film, “Step-sisters.” Meanwhile, Alma and Lorna’s competition reached its pinacle when they did Bernal’s ‘City After Dark.” Their subdued comfrontation scene in a narrow street while rain was pourin heavily was one of the most memorable scene in the film. Alma held herself, acting wise. This is not the only time that the two were connected, in real life, they share the love of one man, the late Rudy Fernandez. Alma was Rudy’s live in partner in the 70s to the half of 80s while Lorna became Rudy’s wife in the later part of 80s until his untimely death. Both actresses have children with the late action star. If Lorna portrayed Darna like Vilma while Alma portrayed Dyesebel like Vilma. Alma and Vilma did one film during the height of Alma’s career, Elwood Perez’s hit film, “Magkaribal.” Like Lorna, she also guested a few times in Vi’s television show despite the fact she also compete with Vi with her own musical variety show, Lovely Ness. It was reported in tabloid during Dolphy’s funeral, that the two tried to avoid each other (by the way, Dolphy was Alma’s ex) for some unclear reasons, some think it was politically motivated as both are now politicians.

Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, better known as Sharon Cuneta, is a multi-awarded Filipino singer, actress and TV host dubbed the Megastar of Philippine Entertainment, and fondly called “Mega” by fans and people from the entertainment industry. Her success in the movies (53 starring roles), television (10 shows) and recording (40 albums) make her possibly the greatest Filipino entertainer of all time. Her popularity has translated well into the field of advertising, where she is the highest paid and most effective Filipino celebrity endorser. Cuneta’s long list of endoresements run the gamut from fastfood chain to bank, from make-up line to electronics, from ice cream to tele-communication company. On November 22, 2011, following months of speculations, Sharon’s big move to TV5 was made official by signing a staggering 1 Billion contract with the Kapatid Network – the highest ever paid to a Filipino artist. She parted ways with ABS-CBN, her home network of 24 years, on a cordial note. Her daily afternoon talk show Sharon: Kasama Mo, Kapatid premiered on May 14, 2012 and has been hailed as an engaging program that aims to entertain and to inspire. The show provides the perfect platform for Sharon to be in touch with her audience, reaffirming her stature as a well-loved icon who is now more accessible to fans and viewers alike…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Alma and Lorna, Sharon Cuneta became part of Vilma Santos movie in their earlier showbiz career. This time, Sharon sings the theme song of a Vilma Santos starrer, “Langis at Tubig.” Self-confessed Vilmanian, she mentioned that she used to gawked at her idol whenever given a chance since they used to both live in a same closely gated subpision. As Sharon established herself as a huge star herself, the similarities in their career path were quite significant. Both became a singer, although Vi adminitedlly said singing wasn’t her forte, Vi recorded a string of hit albums. Both Vi and Sharon recorded their earlier albums titled “Sixteen.” Both became a bankable contract stars of Viva Films producing such record breaking films like “Bukas Luluhud Ang Mga Tala,” “Sa Hirap at Ginhawa,” and “Sana’y Wala Ng Wakas” for Sharon and “Sinasamba Kita,” “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” and “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig” for Vilma to name a few. During the 1990s, both became successful star on the small screen, Vi with her award winning show, “Vilma!” for GMA 7 and Sharon’s equally hit show, “TSCS” (The Sharon Cuneta Show) for ABS CBN Channel 2. In their long filmography, both became Darna, the Filipino flying-comic supershero and also did hit films with the late, Fernando Poe Jr. Sharon was quoted on several articles that she dreaming of one day doing a film with her idol, in an article written by Rose Garcia for PEP on May 14th 2009 she said: “…Bago pa man ang Sharon-Ai-Ai movie, matagal nang pinaplano ang pelikulang pagsasamahan sana ng Megastar at ng Star For All Seasons na si Gov. Vilma Santos. But how does she feel na mas nauna pa ang movie nila ni Ai-Ai sa movie nila ni Ate Vi? “Ay, naku, ‘yan naman talaga ang dream ko!” sambit ni Sharon. “I think, all actors, all actresses, we all have dreams, e, as to who we wanna work with. And I think, it’s a common knowledge na Vilmanian ako and I was never treated in a bad way palagi. And I think, I learn a lot from her on how to be a good idol at yung pakikisama sa tao at pag-appreciate. “I think, one of my ultimate dreams is to always work with Tito Dolphy. Isa sa dream ko, natupad na. Nakasama ko na si Ai and I always told her, before pa. Yung sa amin ni Ate Vi, probably will be a drama and by next year,” balita ni Sharon…”

Maricel Soriano (born Maria Cecilia Dador Soriano on February 25, 1965), known as the Diamond Star is a critically acclaimed Filipina film and television actress. She has starred in many films covering different genres including comedy, fantasy (Inday series), horror, suspense, action, romance and drama. She has appeared in hundreds of films and has scored a number of blockbuster hits. As well as acting, Soriano is also a singer and has recorded several songs including the theme song of her movie Oh My Mama in 1981. In 1987, she performed a sold out concert at the Araneta Coliseum titled “Hello, Hello Maricel.” – Wikipedia, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

When Sharon entered the scene, she find a stiff competition from the rival of her film studio Viva, Regal’s contract star, Maricel Soriano. Soriano like Vilma started as a child star and became a confident actress, tackling mature roles that her contemporary including Sharon didn’t dare to tackle. Like, Vi, she dared the public to accept her in such memorable films like “Hinugot sa Langit” and “Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa” where she played an abortionist and “bida-contrabida” sociallite. A similar career milestone movies patterned with Vi’s “Burlesk Queen” and “Sinasamba Kita.” The two finally did a film in the mid 1980’s in Regal’s commercial film, “Yesterday, Today and Tommorow.” Unlike Sharon who became known first as a singer, Maricel, like Vi were known for her dancing abilities. She did this in her own musical variety show, titled “Maricel Live!” and later in “Maria! Maria!” where she competed for TV ratings with Vi (and Sharon) during the 1990s (Like Vi, she also did TV drama anthology). During this time, Maricel became entangled with the controversial transfer of Vi’s TV co-host, Roderick Paulate to Maricel’s show. But in due time, all were forgotten and the three remained friends to this date. This is not the only time that Vi became part of Maricel’s personal relationships, Vi’s ex, Edu Manzano also became Maricel’s husband for awhile. Both Maricel and Edu, at one point, thought their relationship will last forever. But the two separated after a few years of bliss. Now, in her senior years, Maricel attempted several comeback after years of semi-retirement. Like, Sharon, Maricel confessed her respect and admiration for Vi in several movie articles. And after several year of semi-retirement, she is now reportedly starting some projects for ABS-CBN and also have some film projects lined up.

Claudine Margaret Castelo Barretto-Santiago (born July 20, 1979), popularly known as Claudine Barretto, is an entrepreneur, product endorser, film and television actress from the Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…The premiere actress admitted that she has her own acting idols. She named the likes of Meryll Streep, Lolita Rodriguez, Nora Aunor, and Gina Alajar. Gov. Vilma also commended Claudine for her versatility as an actress. “Claudine is a very flexible actress. Pwede siyang gumanap na kaaawaan mo siya. Pwede ring sexy and very believable. In any roles na ginagawa mo ibinibigay mo lahat and you’re very believable. Kaya mo lahat gawin, believe me. Drama, sexy, action, comedy, you can do it. For that I commend you.” For Claudine’s exceptional talent, the Gov. Vi said she will not be surprised if Claudine becomes the next Star for All Seasons. “When we did Anak, sa mga promo for the movie, tinanong ako kung nakikita ko ba si Claudine na pwedeng maging next Vilma Santos, ang sagot ko, ‘Of course!’ You have a long way to go,” said Vilma to Claudine who became teary-eyed because of the compliment…” – Push, 14 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

“…Ang sarap ng pakiramdam sobra, pero bilang isang Vilmanian ayokong may pumalit o sumunod sa yapak ni Ate Vi. There will never be another Vilma Santos. Nag-iisa lang siya. Ako mismo ayokong may magsabi na papalitan o ito ang susunod sa yapak ni Ate Vi unless anak niya parang ganun. Yun yung feeling ko bilang Vilmanian but I’m very honored na of course galing siyempre kay Ate Vi Star for All Seasons yun.” Claudine also said that she respects Ate Vi so much that the latter’s approval is like an award In itself. She said that she promised the Batangas governor that she’ll be the best Claudine Barretto that she can ever be and not a “replacement” for her. “Siya ang pinakamarami nang napanalunang award na grand slam, Hall of Fame award etc. ‘Pag galing kay Ate Vi na sobrang respetado sa industriya at pulitiko, grabe yung honor at privilege na napansin niya yun yung talent mo, para akong nag-grand slam sa sinabi ni Ate Vi,” Claudine shared…” – Push, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

Among the junior actresses that followed Sharon and Maricel, Claudine and Judy Anny were the most successful in terms of sustaining their popularity. Although Claudine’s career in now on its downward phase, she remained one of the most talented and was praised by Vi herself for being one of those versatile. Claudine, like Vi, started her career as a teen star with an on and off screen love partner, the late Rico Yan. Rico and Claudine was one rumoured to be engaged but his sudden death ruined this wishful dream for their die-hard fans. Prior to her teen transitions, Claudine was a regular cast in Dolphy’s TV sitcom, “Home Along da Riles.” After Yan’s death, Claudine became a serious contender for acting supremacy with several drama tele-series competing with her stiff rival Judy Ann and several drama films. She won acting recognitions with her performance in 2004’s “Milan” (where she competed for acting awards with her rival Judy Ann Santos and with veterans, Vi and Nora) and 2005’s “Dubai” and “Nasaan Ka Man” where she received several trophies and nominations. She also became a certified box office star with films, “Sukob” with Kris Aquino in 2006 and her sole movie with Vi, the blockbuster, “Anak” in 2000.

Judy Ann Santos (born Judy Anne Lumagui Santos-Agoncillo; May 11, 1978) is a Filipino film and television actress, product endorser, recording artist, and film producer. She began as a child actress and made her professional television debut in Kaming Mga Ulila (1986) before her screen debut in the film Silang Mga Sisiw Sa Lansangan (1988) where she appeared as part of the ensemble playing a supporting role. Her first leading role in a television series was in Ula, Ang Batang Gubat (1988), but she received media recognition in her breakthrough television series Mara Clara (1992). She has since spawned highly rated television series, amongst these are Esperanza (1996), Basta’t Kasama Kita (2003), Sa Piling Mo (2006) and Ysabella (2007). Santos starred in commercially successful films in the early 1990s following motion picture adaptations of Mara Clara (1996) and Esperanza (1999). She further achieved television and film success with pairings opposite Wowie de Guzman, Rico Yan and Piolo Pascual. Santos’ performance in the film Sabel (2004) received critical acclaim and earned her the Gawad Urian for Best Actress. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Claudine’s rival, Judy Ann also started as a child actress and a regular cast in several teleserye. Like Claudine she also transitioned into a teen star with her successful partner, Wowee de Guzman and later on, Piolo Pascual. Her rumoured real life relationship with Pascual was one of the most publicly dessiminated relationships in the local scene that did not resulted in happy endings, she ended up marrying a newcomer during that time, the more serious with intention to settle, Ryan Agocillio. Judy Ann with the guidance of Vilma’s former supporter Alfie Lorenzo, maintained her popularity compared to Claudine. She successfully turned her successful princess of teleserye career into a full-pledge serious actress with projects like “Magkapatid” (with Sharon Cuneta), and her more serious films “Sabel” and “Ploning.” Although many articles came that she prepared to work with Vi’s rival Nora, she recently clariffied this wasn’t the case, that she prepared to work with both.

Sarah Geronimo Sarah Asher Tua Geronimo, popularly known as Sarah Geronimo or Sarah G. is a Filipino recording artist and actress. Born and raised in Sampaloc, Manila she joined various singing and talent competitions with her father, Delfin Geronimo, as her trainer. In addition, she also joined the cast of now defunct ABS-CBN TV show, Ang TV. However, she rose to fame only after having won the Star for a Night singing competition in 2003. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Sharon, Sarah Geronimo’s career is similar to Vi’s rival Nora. Both became a singing contest winner. But because of her venturing into television musical variety hosting, her supporter wanted her to follow Vi’s television experience with Sarah venturing into more production numbers. Sarah’s recent success were her film projects opposite John Lyod Cruz, her recording albums and endorsements. She mentioned in several articles that it would be a dream come true to be cast in a Vilma Santos movie. She recorded the theme song of Vi’s 2009 film’s “In My Life.”

Kim Chiu (born Kimberly Sue Yap Chiu/Zhang Jinzhu; April 19, 1990), is a Filipina actress. She lived in Cebu City before she went to Manila for Pinoy Big Brother. Chiu was the first winner of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition and is currently part of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic contract artists. She also having launched her only album entitled ‘Gwa Ai Di’ which means “I Love you” in Minnan dialect. Kim Chiu sometimes speak Hokkien at home back in Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Among the new crop of stars, Sarah’s closes rival would be Kim Chiu. Like Sarah, Kim was a product of reality show. Kim won the pinoy big brother show. She capitalized her popularity venturing into singing and also doing teleserye that Judy Ann and Claudine used to do. Kim’s first encouter with Vi was in television special where she was able to impressed Vi with her intepretation of Vi’s film role, Dolzura Cortez. After this Vi requested her to be cast in this year’s smash hit, “The Healing.” Like her predecessors, Kim also ventured in love team path, first with on and off screen love, Gerald Anderson and lately Xiam Lim. Anderson was once linked to Kim’s contemporary, Sarah Geronimo. It would be a good project if the three reprised the film, “Ikaw Ay Akin,” the Vi-Christopher de Leon-Nora Aunor film. Kim’s recent success is in small screen, co-starring with Maja Salvador in highly rating tele-serye, “Ina Kapatid Anak.”

Maja Ross Andres Salvador (born October 5, 1988) is a Filipina actress, dancer, model, and producer producer who is one of the latest in line of the showbiz clan of the Salvador family. She is currently under the management of ABS-CBN, and a member of Star Magic. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Maja Salvador, Kim’s co-star in TV’s “Ina Kapatid Anak” was onced Vi’s protege, she co-starred with Vi in 2006’s highly anticipated drama episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” titled “Regalo.” Her performance in this episode was highly praised and crtics even predicted that she is the one to watch. An article came that she was supposed to reprised Vi’s Burlesk Queen role but she clarified that she was too young to do a mature role. Prior to Ina Kapatid Anak, her recent success was her indie film, “Thelma” where she won a best actress trophy from the critic’s group, Gawad Urian.

Angel Locsin (born Angelica Colmenares; April 23, 1985) is a Filipina television and film actress, commercial model, film producer and fashion designer. She starred in the fantasy-themed television series Mulawin in 2004. Soon after, she starred as the superheroine Darna in the TV adaptation of the Mars Ravelo comics. When her contract expired on March 2007, Locsin did not renew her contract with GMA Network and signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN. Her first project under ABS-CBN was the television series Lobo. Locsin starred in her first box office movie under Star Cinema, Love Me Again, directed by Rory Quintos. In 2012, she starred in the film ÜnOfficially Yours which became her highest grossing film to date. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Angel’s recent project was the filmfest entry, “One More Try” where she played a mother of a sick boy reminiscent of Vi’s “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan.” The two first film together was in 2004’s Regal Film “Mano Po 3: My Love.” Prior to this, Angel was one of the two actress who recently wore the Darna customes (the other one was Marian Rivera), as you’ll probably known, Vi was one of the most successful Darna in the history of this franchise. Although Angel remained popular, she lacks a clear rival that other stars has, this maybe to her advantage. Recent articles mentioned that there are plans for a second film for Vi and Angel. Writer Ethel Ramos in her colum for Malaya on July 30, Jul 2012 said: “Two Darnas to join forces…Speaking of Angel, there are talks that she might finally co-star with “Star for All Seasons” Vilma Santos, in a movie. Probably next year, right after the 2013 elections. Ate Vi (as we in showbiz fondly call her), as we all know, is running for a third term as Batangas Governor. By the time she and Angel shoot their movie, she would have won the office anew. The Ate Vi-Angel movie, we also heard, will be Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary offering next year…By the way, come to think of it, Ate Vi, like Angel, has once appeared in a “Darna” movie….”

Snooky Serna (born Maria Milagros Sumayao Serna on April 4, 1966) is a Filipina film and television actress…Being the daughter of actors Von Serna and Mila Ocampo, she started acting early in life via her 1970 landmark debut Wanted: Perfect Mother, where she immediately captured the hearts of Filipino audience as a cute, sweet and smart-talking four-year old. That same year she earned her first acting nomination from FAMAS Awards as Best Child Performer for the film My Little Angel. Trained by acclaimed director and National Artist, Lino Brocka, Snooky showed promise as dramatic actress and later proved to be a fine one. In 1972, she won her first FAMAS Award as Best Child Actress for the film ‘Sana Mahalin Mo Ako’. 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…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, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

Snook Serna and Vilma Santos first film together was the 1971 musical, “The Wonderful World of Music” where they co-starred with Tony Ferrer and Boots Anson Roa, Snooky was still a child star and Vi was in a teenage love team with reel and real life sweetheart, Edgar Mortiz. Both actresses started as a child star, Vilma in Trudis Liit in 1963, where she won a FAMAS best child actress while Snooky did seven film in her debut year in 1970 and won a FAMAS best child actress for My Little Angel. Both actress’ route to fame were similar, taking mature roles, started with Vilma in Burlesk Queen (1977) and Snooky in Bata Pa Si Sabel (1981). The two did three more films, in 1986 with the box office hit, “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” with Maricel Soriano; in 1988, Vilma appeared in a minor role in the forgettable film, “Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw,” with Gabby Concepcion; and finally in 1990 with Lino Brocka’s “Hahamakin Ang Lahat (All Be Damned).” Working with her former mentor, Brocka’s “Hahamakin…” earned both Vilma and Snooky several acting nominations but it was Snooky who was lucky enough to received a PMPC Star Award for supporting actress. Like Vilma, Snooky did television projects, she did a drama anthology for ABS-CBN in 1989 and several guest drama appearances after but her most successful stints was in 1987-88 where she tried to host a musical variety show titled, “Always, Snooky.” She earned two PMPC Star Awards nomination for TV Best Musical Variety Show Host but twice loss to Vilma.

Related Reading:

Apoy Sa Ibabaw, Apoy Sa Ilalim (1977)


Basic Info: Screenplay, Director: Ben Feleo; Cast: Romeo Vasquez; Chanda Romero; Lorna Tolentino; Barbara Luna; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Cinematography: Max de la Peña; Release Date: December 9 1977; Production Co: VS Films – IMDB

Plot Description: No information available except that the Vilma Santos’ birthday celebration was added as bonus feature of the film.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

Victoria Lorna Aluquin, better known as Lorna Tolentino, sometimes known as L.T., an abbreviation of her screen name (born December 23, 1961), is a Filipina actress, host, executive producer and widow of actor Rudy Fernandez. Together, they bore two sons named Ralph and Renz. She was born on December 23, 1961 in Concepcion, Tarlac and later moved to Manila. Her dad is from Liliw, Laguna. She is also the stepmother of actor Mark Anthony Fernandez. She is first cousin to actress Amy Austria and a niece of actor Jerry Pons. She was married to Rudy Fernandez from 1983 till his untimely death in 2008. They had two children. She attended the elementary grades at St. Anthony School where she also finished high school She took up a Bachelor of Arts course at St. Paul College in Quezon City, and also at the University of Santo Tomas and Maryknoll College. She started her career as a child actress. Later, she portrayed the young Susan Roces in Divina Gracia and has a total of at least 60 movies. She has won eight film awards and garnered 20 nominations (mostly for Best Actress in FAMAS). She’s also one of the Grandslam actresses in the Philippine Cinema together with Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta. She won her Grandslam Best Actress for Narito Ang Puso Ko (1993). – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Lorna Tolentino and Vilma Santos

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Film Actress “…Tolentino first faced the cameras at age seven in the film Divina Gracia of FPJ Productions. She later landed parts in two productions of LEA. For a year or two, she disappeared from the movie scene, but later resurfaced as a singer who went on to do two single records. She returned to acting in 1976 and was launch as a full-fledge actress in Crown Seven Productions’ Dulce Amor in 1978. Tolentino, who has worked with a host of directors, has deep esteem for Marilou Diaz Abaya, Ishmael Bernal, Peque Gallaga, and Lino Brocka, the last for having been chiefly responsible for her two acting awards. “These directors,” she explains, “have their own distinct approaches in extracting the best from me. I would read the script and think that this or that scene would be easy or simple, but in actual shooting, these directors would make me realize that it wasn’t so.” The 26-year-old actress considers the films Moral, Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa, Maging Ka Lamang, Natutulog Pa Ang Diyos, Init Sa Magdamag and Sinasamba Kita as among the more memorable pictures she has done. She says, “The first thing I do is read the script. I turn it down if I feel that the storyline is not different from the films I’ve done before. If I didn’t do that then there would be no fulfillment on my part.” She claims that she owes husband Rudy Fernandez, a top-rated action star, her improved attitude towards work. He made her see that acting is not merely a job that earns. It is an art that demands dedication….” – Justino M. Dormiendo (READ MORE)

Victoria Lorna Aluquin, better known as Lorna Tolentino, sometimes known as L.T., an abbreviation of her screen name (born December 23, 1961), is a Filipina actress, host, executive producer and widow of actor Rudy Fernandez. Together, they bore two sons named Ralph and Renz. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Lorna Tolentino and Vilma Santos

Lorna Tolentino and Vilma Santos started their stellar career as child stars. Both transformed their career from sweet teens into mature versatile actress. Like Rio Locsin and Alma Moreno, Lorna started doing bit roles in a Vilma Santos starrer. She eventually became as big star as Vilma with Dulce Amor, Moral, Luksong Tinik, Abakada Ina and Maging Aking Ka Lamang. Lorna also wore the Darna costume and beame a grand slam best actress winner.

Muling buksan ang puso (1985) – “…Jim (Dindo Fernando) is a doctor and Cristy (Vilma Santos) is his nurse. Good looking and successful Jim finds himself an ardent admirer in Cristy. But Cristy is not an ordinary lady – she’s daring and defiant. She’ll do whatever it takes to win him even if he’s very much married. Cristy’s persistence and Jim’s longing for a child leads to an illicit relationship. But too much love suffocates and covetousness can breed hate…” – Mavshack (READ MORE)

Sinasamba kita (1982) – “…his best movies were domestic dramas that gripped audiences for their complex take on relationships and their tendencies toward tortured, twisted operations. Hallmarks of this genre were “Sinasamba Kita” in 1982 (Vilma Santos cruelly treating her half-sister), “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?” in 1983 (cruel mom-in-law seizing her grandkid from his mom, played by Santos)…” – Lito B. Zulueta (READ MORE)

Apoy sa ilalim, apoy sa ibabaw ( (1977)) – “…Direction, Story, Screenplay: Ben Feleo; Cast: Romeo Vasquez, Chanda Romero, Lorna Tolentino, Barbara Luna; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Cinematography: Max de la Peña; Release Date: December 9 1977; Production Co: VS Films…No information available except that the Vilma Santos’ birthday celebration was added as bonus feature of the film…” – RV (READ MORE)

Big Ike’s Happening (1976) – “…Enrique “Big Ike” Lozada (August 13, 1940-March 8, 1995) was a Filipino comedian, actor and TV host. He was born on August 13, 1940 in Iloilo City. He started acting at the age of 11 on the movie Mga Bituin ng Kinabukasan with the younger Susan Roces. He died on March 10, 1995 in Manila, of heart attack. He was 54. His had lain at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Batya’t palu-palo (1974) – “…Nang magkita sina Ronnie at Vilma sa first shooting day sa Montalban, Rizal, halos hindi mapatid ang batian, katiyawan at biruan. Pareho silang masayang-masaya. Sapagka’t at long last daw, natuloy din ang kanilang pagtatambal pagkalipas ng halos kulang sa isang taong paghihintay na ma-vacant si Vilma sa dami ng pelikulang ginawa. As sa simula ng siyuting, akala mo hindi sila magkakilala. Dibdiban ang acting at dialogue. Sunod-sunod ang take ng iba’t ibang angulo. Kalahating araw silang walang biruan at nang matapos ang maraming eksena ay saka lamang sila muling nagtawanan. “Mahirap na,” sabi ni Vi, “Kailangang makarami ng scenes para naman makabawi sa akin ang FPJ. Biruin naman ninyong ang tagal din ang ipinaghintay nila sa akin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa napakahabang patience nila. Kung tulad ng iba, baka pinalitan na lamang ako ng ibang leading lady. Masyado silang professional sa pakikipag-deal, lalo na si Ronnie kaya nahihiya man ako sa atraso, hindi naman makapag-back out doon sa mga naka-schedule ko na. Dapat na tapusain ko rin para walang magalit na producer sa akin…” – Letty G. Celi (READ MORE)

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The Campaign Against Vilma

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First the news, a voting member of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) reveals that some members of the group have reportedly approached Lorna Tolentino and Rudy Fernandez for the awards. When the controversy ove the best actress issue in tonight’s PMPC Star Awards started to rage early last month I opted to ignore it for two reasons. First, I thought it was petty, this business of comparing Vilma Santos’ acting (in Tagos ng Dugo) to Lorna Tolentino’s (in Maging Akin Ka Lamang). To begin with, how does one really measure acting? Second, the controversy was stirred by people behind the Star Awards so I figured it must have been a gimmick to drum up interest in the awards night, considering that the organizers had to sell the show. And what better way to do it than to fit two of the top contenders in the most popular and hotly contested category – best actress. Logically, those who thought up of building up Lorna’s chances at the expense of Vilma had made the right decision and got what they wanted. One only has to look at the media mileage that the constroversy had generated to realize how effective their strategy was. Had it been the other way around that is, had the Star Awards’ drumbeaters favored Vilma over Lorna – that is, would not have been as interesting. Or, it probably would not have been raised to the level of controversy that is had become. Let’s face it, Vilma is very much on top, and putting her at the forefront of the race is almost a froregone conclusion. So to stir up a hornets’ nest, so to speak, they had to put her down. And look what they’ve got: a potential hit show, thanks to Vilma. But granting that Lorna’s lobbyist in the Philippine Movie Press Club truly believed in her performance to win over Vilma’s, then there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s their right to express their own opinion as to who should win.

But the fact that they are the prime movers of the Star Awards any public declaration of their individual preferennces would only make the body’s final verdict suspect. Simply put, they should have inhibited themselves from issuing any statements that would in any way jeopardize the entire proceedings. Besided, the way they did it was not a simple statement of fact or belief; it was nothing but an open campaign to lobby for the one they have favored to win. Unfortunately, Lorna’s campaigners’ ploy has backfired; without their being aware of it, they have only placed the Star Awards in a no-win situation. If, on the one hand, Lorna wins it would only confirm the nagging suspicion that the Star Awars can be “bought.” If, on the other hand, Vilma wins the general conclusion would be: the Star Awards only wanted to prove its credibility. If it has any. Perhaps, the least that they can do is to let the two actresses win in a tie. That was the Star Awards will have finally exposed its real worth – that everything can be arranged. As I said, either way, it is no-win situation. Why I have decided to break the ice and, as they say, join the fray is because things have gone out of hand. Recently, somebody asked me about my opinion as regards the best actress issue, but I declined to give any comment. The question sounded rather rhetorical and, frankly, it was. I thought my silence would put the issue to rest, as far as I am concerned, but to my horror, it has triggered an unexpected reaction from some concerned quarters. “Mas mabuti na ngang hindi nag-comment si JC dahil talaga namang Vilmanian iyan.” The truth is, I don’t think Vilma, at this point, needs any more awards. She has proven herself many times over and if that is not yet enough to some people she can’t do anything about it. She has to accept the fact that there are those – especially in the PMPC – who simply do not believe in her.

And a Star Award won’t change it and, if I may add, add any luster to her career. However, it doesn’t mean that people have to disregard her performances. An actor does not prove her/his mettle and win awards only to be ignored later because she has already made it. Vilma continue to explore new horizons in honing her craft and this is what she has demonstrated in Maryo de los Reyes’ Tagos ng Dugo. As Gina Alajar once said, “Mahirap nang talunin ang ginawa ni Vi sa Tagos. Talagang ibang-iba siya at napakagaling.” When the Manila Standard celebrated its first anniversary last Feb. 11, the editorial staff had planned to give out best achievement awards in the different sections of the paper. In this section, among the various awards considered were those for film – the others were for recording, live entertainment, television etc. – and the consensus was to limit them to the acting category, since it has been agreed that there’s no best film. This paper’s resident reviewers were asked to submit their choices in the four contested categories (best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress) and all those who responded voted Vilma as best actress. Former Fine Arts instructor and longtime film critic Luciano E. Soriano singled out Vilma’s performance in Tagos ng Dugo for its credibility and sincerity. As he explained, “Vilma’s role and performance was more human, and whatever flaws of the movie, they weren’t her fault.” He did not cite Lorna’s Maging Akin Ka Lamang simply because, as he stressed, the role was “stupid and one-dimensional.” Besides, “Lorna hardly looked credible for the role even as Lino Brocka tried to control her acting failed.” Initially, Manunuri member Mike Feria chose Vilma for her subtle performance in Saan Nagtatago ang Pagibig?,” citing her for breathing life to an otherwise vapid role.

He did cite Lorna in Maging – but as he said, “Marami pa siyang kakaining bigas para mapantayan si Vilma.” However, the Manunuri’s present stand vis-a-vis this year’s awards has caused certain problems. Former tv man and stage director Henry C. Tejero was casual but at the same time sweepingly cocksure about it: “Last year was really Vilma’s year at talagang wala namang ibang pagpipilian.” Former Manunuri chairman Justino M. Dormiendo, in keeping with the film critics’ group’s decision no to give out any awards this year, abstained himself from the deliberation. But had he not abided by the Manunuri’s decision, it’s almost certain that he would not vote for Lorna whose acting in Maging… he panned in an earlier review. Wrote Dormiendo in the 19 May 1987 issue of Manila Standard: “…While we admit that Tolentino gets to show off her often concealed thespic skills here, it is, however, not sufficient to convince us of her so-called exemplary acting prowess. Tolentino is hampered by her youthful ways and costenance to pass herself off as a scheming woman suffering from a perverted obsession…” Certain circumtances, however, have prevented us from annoucing the awards in time for the anniversary celebration until we decided to shelve it for the time being. It even crossed my mind to cancel the awards together, considering that no matter that I did not participate at the individual choice of the four reviewer, the doubts that I, being their editor, have influenced their choices, one way or the other, could not be avoided. But I believe these people – and their reputation and writings can speak well enough for themselves, I don’t have to belabor the point. Actually, whether Vilma wins or not is beside the point. The thing is, people have manipulated the whole issue to the extent of discrediting what the actress had done in the film. And to top it all, the brouhaha has becouded the real issue that, sad to say, has appalled over to the more personal concerns.

Finally, the bad news, a PMPC insider says the Star Awards, like most other awards, is not for sale, but it can perhaps be negotiated. For inquiries please call former PMPC president (Ms) Nel Alehandrino of Tabloid, People’s Tonight. – JC Nigado, Manila Standard, Apr 20, 1988 (READ MORE)

Note: Lorna Tolentino won the 1987 Star Awards as well as the Film Academy of the Philippines. Vilma won the 1987 FAMAS and the CMMA. The Manunuri refused to hand out their Gawad on 1987. Vilma will not win the Star Awards despite several nominations until 1989 where she declared co-winner, together with Nora Aunor. Since then she had won several Star trophies.

FILM REVIEW: SINASAMBA KITA (Videos)


The Plot: They are half-sisters, connected by blood. But to Divina (Vilma Santos), Nora (Lorna Tolentino) is just her late father’s illegitimate daughter. Yet, despite the harsh treatments she gets, Nora remains awestruck and continues to adulate her strong-willed older sister. But even the meekest of people can only bear so much. Nora leaves the confort of home to hid her own place under the sun, and in due time, she and Divina are to meet again to settle the score once and for all. – Viva Films

They are half-sisters, connected by blood. But to Divina, Nora is just her late father’s illegitimate daughter. Yet, despite the harsh treatment she gets, Nora remains awestruck and continues to adulate her strong-willed older sister. But even the meekest of people can only bear so much. Nora leaves the comfort of home to find her own place under the sun, and in due time, she and Divina are to meet again to settle the score once and for all. But will the scars of yesterday prevail or will they forget the wounds especially now that they direly need each other. – Wikepedia

The Reviews: “Napanood namin ang “Sinasamba Kita” at hindi nga pala kayang iarte ni Lampel Luis ang role na napunta kay Lorna Tolentino. Parang komiks talaga ang istorya ng pelikulang hanggo nga sa nobelang komiks. Melodramatiko at kung minsan ay mahirap paniwalaan ang mga sitwasyon. Pero mapupuri na rin ang iskrip ni Orlando Nadres dahil nagawa niyang credible ang mga tauhan sa istorya. At talagang mahuhusay ang acting ng mga artista. Napakagaling ni Vilma Santos sa papel ng mataray na business executive. Para talagang alam niya ang bawat kilos at hakbang na ginagawa niya. Very sympathetic namang tunay si Lorna sa kanyang role bilang inaaping kapatid. At for once, hindi nasapawan si Christopher de Leon ng kanyang co-star. Kontroladong-kontrolado ang acting niya rito. Si Phillip Salvador nga ang nagmukhang dehado, iba pati ang hitsura niya sa pelikula. Mukha siyang tumandang hindi mawari. Maganda rin ang theme song ng pelikula. At dito kami naniwalang totoo ang kasabihang it’s the singer not the song.” – Mario E Bautista (READ MORE)

“Muli na namang ipinakita ni Vilma Santos ang kanyang husay sa pagganap sa pelikulang “Sinasamba Kita”. Consistent ang characterization ni Vilma sa naturang pelikula, at nagmukhang supporting na lahat ang kasama niyang may malalaki din namang pangalan.” – Arthur Quinto (READ MORE)

“Sobra pala ang lakas ng “Sinasamba Kita.” Tuwang tuwa sina Vic at Mina del Rosario. They started with 38 theatres, by the weekend, 41 theatres na ang nagpapalabas ng pelikula. After 6 days, kumita na ito ng P5,207,416.00. After a week’s time, almost P6 million na ito.” – Billy Balbastro (READ MORE)

“1982 was a banner year for Vilma Santos. Aside from the acting gem, “Relasyon,” she also established her bankable status, thanks to Viva film’s “Sinasamba Kita”. This film grossed 6.2 million in just 6 days, a box office record! Directed by Eddie Garcia, the film featured Vilma as the “bitchy-rich” anti-heroine executive, Lorna Tolentino, Christopher DeLeon and Philip Salvador. The intertwined love quadrangle between the four characters enhanced by crisp dialogue, glossy production design and catchy theme song made this movie effective and very commercial. Two scenes stands out, both involved Vi and Lorna. (By the way, Lorna’s name in this film was Nora and Vilma was Divina, which made us wonder if this is supposed to be a Nora-Vilma film.) In one scene, Vilma was waiting for her younger sibling Lorna, when she finally arrived, she accused the younger sister of wearing her perfume, the accusation made Lorna defensive and replied: “…bumili ako para sa sarili ko nagustuhan ko kasi ang amoy!” In which Vilma countered: “…for godsake, Nora, bakit hindi ka magkaroon ng sarili mong identity!..Hindi kita anino!” Another scene, Vilma caught Lorna wearing the same designer clothes: Vilma: “Iniinsulto mo ba ako? Anong gusto mong palabasin bakit ginagaya mo ang damit ko?” Lorna: “Ate naman ano naman ang masama kung gayahin kita?” Vilma: “Alamin mo muna ang iyong limitasyon…baka nakakalimutan mo kung saan kita pinulot…kinikilala kitang kapatid pero hindi tayo magkapantay!” Lorna: “Napakaliit naman pala ng pagtingin mo sa akin…” Vilma: “Imposible naman lumaki ang pagtingin ko sa taong tinutulungan ko lang?…kung sabagay magkaiba tayo ng ina…bakit kaya pinatulan ng papa ang iyong ina?” Lorna: “huwag mo naming insultuhin ang inay, patay na siya…” Vilma: “Hindi ko siya iniinsulto sinasabi ko lang sayo ang totoo! Magkaiba tayong dalawa, hindi mo ako matutularan at hindi kita tutularan! Nora, ang hindi mo maabot huwag mog pagpilitang abutin, wala kang pang pakpak k’ya huwag lumipad ng pagkataas-taas!” – RV (READ MORE)