Kuya Mario’s Prerogative

Isang babaeng nakasakay namin sa dyip ang nakakilala sa amin at nagsabi: “O, ngayong tapos na ang Star Awards, siguro, isusulat mo na kung sino ang binoto mong best actress. Sinabi mo ‘yan sa column mo.” O, siya, Gigi (sorry, I forgot your last name), heto na ‘yon. Personally, we voted for Vilma Santos (na siya ring nagwagi sa “Movie Magazine” and we have a feeling, siya ring magwawagi sa darating na Urian Awards on March 31). Magaling si Nora Aunor sa “Bilangin” and we believe na ang hindi niya pagkakanominate man lang sa Catholic Awards is a big oversight on their part. Sa gagawin naming paliwanag for our choice, we don’t expect na maimpluwensiyahan ang diehard Nora fans dahil kapag fan mentality ang pinairal, no amount of rational explanation will do to change their opinion.

Pero kami, napatunayan na naming wala kaming ganyang kaisipan noong maging nominado si Vi for “Tagos ng Dugo” and we cited our reasons why we favor Lorna Tolentino in “Maging Akin Ka Lamang” over her. To the untained eye, very impressive si Guy sa “Bilangin” dahil ang performance niya is mainly a series of big highly emotional scenes that call for confrontations with Tirso Cruz III, Gloria Romero, Miguel Rodriguez and Ana Margarita. This is the kind of acting that call for grand, tour-de-force manner of emoting, with glaring eyes, flaring nostrils, quevering voice and all. Sabi nga, the works. All stops are pulled to really impress the audience n “Hoy, this is good acting and you should correspondingly be properly impressed.” To Nora’s credit, she relies entirely on her instincts and this works as Elwood Perez has never been known as an actor’s director and Nora naman is the kind of actress na even when she is left to her own resources, still manages to come up with an arresting performance, no matter how florid.

Sa kaso ng pagkakaganap ni Vilma as Juliet in “Pahiram,” it is a credit not only to the actress but also the director. Vi’s innate talent shines, pero alam mong malaki ang naitulong sa kanya ni Bernal to further hone it and polish it and make it truly oustanding in the totality of its effect. Makikita ito sa succession pa lang ng opening sequences. Nagsimula ang movie na masayang masaya ang tono nito, with Vi rambunctiously singing “Material Girl” sa kanilang Christmas Party, without a trace of the impending tragedy that she will face. Then she goes to the CR, starts to feel bad, and after that ay nalaman na niyang mgay cancer siya’t may taning na ang buhay niya. Vi is not shown vehemently reacting to this. Instead, ipinakita lang siyang tahimik na naglalakad, her shoulders hunched na tila ba nasa mga balikat niya ang daigdig. She then attends this family reunion sa parents niya, which ends in disaster dahil inaway lang siya ng ate niyang si Dexter Doria. Wala pa ring reaction dito si Vi kahit nilait siya ng mga kamag-anak niya.

Sa susunod na scene, nagwawala ang anak niya si Billy Joe dahil lumayas ang yaya nito’t ayaw nitong pumasok sa school. Vi goes to the kitchen to prepare breakfast at habang nagbabati siya ng itlog, doon pa lang ipinakitang una siyang nag-breakdown. And this is shown nang nakatalikod siya sa camera. No overtly ornate kind of emoting na akting na akting ang dating. Pero damang-dama mo pa rin (if you’re a trully perceptive, sensitive viewer) ang mga emotions the character goes through dahil sa buildup nito. This is apparent in various other scenes in the film. Bale ba, ang estilo rito ni Vi ay hindi ‘yung trying to ingratiate herself with the audience to please them, which she is went to do in the past. Dito, basta she becomes the part (lalo na sa eksena nila ni Gabbly Concepcion sa simbahan na binalikan nila kung paano sila nagkasira), and if you notice that she is good, well salamat po. Sa second viewing ng movie naming lalong napansin ang subtle nuances ng performance ni Vi, up to her death scene which confirms our supposition that the movie is not really so much about death than a celebration of life, what with all the panoramic shots showing the beauty of nature and the world around us, na enough reason for anyone to want to survive.

So…’yan ang opinion namin. You may agree or disagree but tha is our prerogative kaya you may take it or leave it. – Mario Bautista, People’s Tonight, 1990

About Mario E. Bautista, is a respectable and popular film critic and columnist in the Philippines. He regularly write articles for People’s Journal, Malaya, Pinoy Gazette and his own entertainement website, Showbiz Portal

Vilma On The Go

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Aminado si Vilma Santos na ang 1982 ay naging banner year para sa kanya. Bago pumasok ang taon ay napili siyang best actress sa Metro Manila Filmfest dahil sa pagkakaganap niya sa Karma. Kalahatian ng taon ay nahirang naman siyang Famas best actress para sa performance niya sa Pakawalan Mo Ako. At bago natapos ang taon ay nagwagi siya bilang unang best actress ng Let’s Talk Movies for her body of work sa mga pelikulang Relasyon, Sinasamba Kita, Never Ever Say Goodbye, T-Bird at Ako at Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? And very recently, tinanghal din siyang box office actress of 1982 sa kauna-unahang Cinehan Awards na ipinamigay ng Metro Manila Theatres Association. Ito’y dahil sa katotohanang ang mga pelikula niyang Sinasamba Kita at Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? ang siyang biggest blockbusters of the year.

Maulit kaya ang winning streak na ito ni Vi ngayong 1983? Isang matamis na ngiti ang agad na isinukli ni Vi sa aming tanong. “Sana,” aniya. “Kung patuloy na susuportahan ng publiko ang mga pelikula ko.” From all indications, hindi malayong maulit sa taong ito ang mga tagumpay na natamo niya noong kalilipas na taon. Katatapos lamang niya gawin sa Amerika ang Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida with erstwhile beau, Romeo Vasquez. Hindi matatawaran ang naging resulta sa takilya ng mga una nilang pagtatambal sa Nag-aapoy na Damdamin at Isang Pugad, Dalawang Ibon kaya’t malamang na muling tangkilikin ng madla ang muli nilang pagpapareha. Sinimulan na niya ang shooting ng Broken Marriage para sa Regal at ng Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? para sa Viva. Dito, ang makakatambal naman niya ay ang perennial box-office mate niyang si Christopher de Leon. With such project in hand, how can she afford to lose? Then, there’s the project Director Mike de Leon has planned for her. Hindi na ito ang Sister Stella L na tungkol sa isang rebeldeng madre.

Na-shelve na iyon dahil sa inaasahang magiging problema sa censors. Mike now wants her to do a romance-drama and we heard na baka sa bakuran din ng Viva gawin ang proyektong ito. Sa mga pelikulang nagawa niya recently at maging sa mga susunod pa niyang projects, nalilinya si Vi sa roles ng “the other woman.” A lot of people says it’s the kind of role she does best. Ano kaya ang opinyon tungkol dito? “Tutoong I’ve played the role of the other woman several times na,” tugon niya. “But it’s portrayed not in the usual way na nang-aagaw ako ng asawa kundi in a more sympathetic, understanding manner. Ang ikinatutuwa ko nga is the fact that the public has learned to accept me doing all sort of roles, like the mature roles na ginagawa ko ngayon. Even the sexy scences I did in some of my films. Kung hindi nila tinanggap ang transition ko from being a mere movie star to a serious actress tackling more demanding roles, I doubt very much kung nandito pa rin ako hanggang ngayon. They’ve been very kind to me and for that, it’s only proper that I should be grateful.” Kumusta naman ang current trip niya sa states? “Well, it was very fulfilling.

Talagang balak kong pumunta roon before the year ended para magbakasyon nga at tuloy dalawin ang mama ko at ang sister kong si Winnie. It so happened na nataon naman ang offer sa ‘kin ni Atty. Laxa to do a movie there kaya’t magkasamang pleasure at trabaho ang pagpunta ko roon.” Bakit na-delay ang kanyang pag-uwi? “We’re supposed to stay there sana talaga for fifteen days lang. Kaso mo, bumagyo naman habang nandoon kami. Imagine, ang tagal-tagal hindi bumabayo sa Los Angeles, tapos, nataon pang nandoon kami saka dumating ang ulan. So we had to stop shooting until the weather cleared up. In a way, talagang we took out time na rin. Nandoon na rin ako so I decided to spend Christmas with my mom. Matagal din kaming hindi nagkasama kaya missed na missed ko na silang talaga. Ang cute-cute ng second baby ni Winnie at buntis na na naman siya ngayon. Pangatlo na nila ni Bong! And they look very happy. Si Bong works at MacDonal’s while Winnie stays at home and attends to their kids.” Masayang-masaya raw ang kanyang pasko sa L.A. pero iisang bagay lamang ang talagang labis niyang ikinalungkot. At ito’y ang absence ng tanging anak niyang si Lucky sa kanyang tabi sa pagsapit ng kapaskuhan.

“Talagang-talagang hindi ko na ulit iiwan si Lucky kapag umalis uli ako,” aniya. “Akala ko kasi, sandali lang kami. Pero inabot ng one month and one week. There were times na gusto kong biglang umuwi para makita lang siya. Kaya lang, kailangang tapusin ang commitments ko roon. And what made me worry less is the fact that Lucky is with his father. Alam kong hindi siya pababayaan ni Edu and he’s in good hands. Pagkataon din naman npara magkasama silang mag-ama nang matagal-tagal. But the first thing I did pagdating ko rito e ipatawag agad siya.” Kumusta naman ang mga kasama niya sa Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida? “Okey si Carmi (Martin). Masarap siyang kasama. Maging si Direk Leonardo Garcia. Ilang beses na rin naman kaming nagkasama sa pelikula. Walang hassles sa shooting. Even the Filipinos there were all very cooperative.” And…how about Bobby Vasquez? Did sparks fly sa muli nilang pagkikita as some quarters predicted? Was there any talk about reconciliation? Napatawa agad si Vi as if she was expecting the question. “Bobby is an old friend,” and take note sa emphasis niya sa salitang “friend.” “We’re happy to see each other again at wala kaming naging problema sa trabaho.

But everything is strictly work na lang. We did go out once as a group. We’re caual friends na ngayon.” Vi admits that Bobby is slimmer now and is even more attractive than before, pero isa na nga naman siyang taong may asawa’t anak at ang priority na laging laman ng isip niya ay si Lucky. Malakas daw ang ugong na baka siya ang manalo sa Urian at Academy Awards dahil sa performance niya sa Relasyon. Ano ang reaksiyon niya rito? “Naku, ha,” napapatawa niyang pahayag. “Ayoko nang ganyan. Mahirap ang umasa. I admit, matagal ko nang gustong manalo ng Urian and it’s indeed a great honor to win sa Academy Awards dahil it’s a recognition from your peers. Kung darating, okey lang. Pero ayokong umasa, mahirap masaktan, e. Basta all I can say is lalo kong pagbubutihin ang aking pag-arte sa mga pelikulang gagawin ko this year. Buti ‘yung may panlaban ka taun-taon, di ba?” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash Magazine, February 17, 1983, reposted by James Dela Rosa, Pelikula Atbp, 25 May 2017 (READ MORE)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacy of actress, Vilma Santos, and to make her career information available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislation, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to non-commercial/not for profit research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. – Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use).

#VilmaOnTheGo, #MarioBautista, #Urian, #VilmaSantos, #VilmaSantosRecto