News Clippings Collection is Back!

“Salubong” – “Forgive us for quoting a YA novel, but it seems pretty apt: “Art [isn’t] supposed to look nice; [it’s] supposed to make you feel something,” said Park in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. As if to prove that, many artists have gone from producing aesthetically pleasing works to creating art that triggers strong emotions, positive or not. Creations often become disputable when they go against the accepted norms. Let’s take a look at 10 works by Filipino artists that drew criticism, controversy, or outrage for exploring themes which were described as shocking, weird, or offensive. Read at your own risk…Dante Hipolito’s oil painting, “Salubong,” was intended to be a welcome gift for Pope Francis when he visited the Philippines in January 2015. It went from being viral to controversial as the painting that was supposed to depict everyday Filipinos instead featured celebrities and politicians like Gov. Vilma Santos, Gary Valenciano, Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Coco Martin, Sen. Grace Poe, and Kris Aquino dressed up as farmers surrounding the Pope. “The painting contradicts the concept of realism as it shows nothing about the submerged reality of the nation’s agricultural workers,” said Michael Beltran, chair of Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA), in a statement. Hipolito, however, explained that the painting was also a gift for his wife, who was a fan of celebrities. “Mundo ko ito, e. Ito, nag-e-exist ito sa utak ko lang na inilabas ko…Kaso, na-misinterpret ng tao…” – Dante Hipolito, The Most Shocking Works by Filipino Artists,, 16 May 2020 (READ MORE)

Spotlight on Vi – “Philippine Movie Press Club photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, trekked to Majayjay, Laguna two Sundays ago to take pictures of Vilma Santos, the first model in the club’s ongoing photo-journalism contest. Result of the said contest will be announced before July, when PMPC current president Ronald Constantino’s (first) term ends. Other models in the photo contest are Alona Alegre, Alma Moreno, Nora Aunor, Dolphy and Fernando Poe, Jr.” – Mod Magazine Vol X. No. 340, 24 February 1978 (READ MORE)

“Bold is the order of the day and even the “sweetest” of our stars are slowly being drawn into it. Vilma Santos, for one is doing a movie with Merle Fernandez, something with the suggestive title Mga Rosas sa Putikan. Editor-in-chief Ernie Evora Sicco serves you the piece, still piping hot, along with the juiciest bits concerning local filmdom in her Starliners.” – Mod Magazine Vol X. No. 340, 24 February 1978 (READ MORE)
Oh My Love – The romantic comedy drama show, “Oh My Love,” highlights two popular love teams of Pepito Rodriguez and Liza Lorena and Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos, with added star support of Ben David and Betty Mendez. Directed by Tony Santos, Sr., it is televised every Wednesday evening on Channel 2 from 7 to 8 o’clock. (READ MORE)

Kampus Star – “…The biggest fear of Borlaza was when Agrix Films’ “Kampus?” was booked one week after the opening of VS Films’ Pagputi ng Uwak, pag-itim ng Tagak. The Celso Ad. Castillo film was an artistic triumph, and Borlaza felt following it up with another Vilma-Bembol starrer would put them at a great disadvantage. The Vilma-Bembol fans might still be raving over Pagputi… instead of discussing Kampus. As it turned out, people let Pagputi pass and waited for Kampus judging from the comparative gate receipts of the two movies. What makes Maning Borlaza’s movies tick? We chanced on Maning during the shooting of VS Films’ current production, Coed. “Sabi ni Mama Santos, ako daw ang pumatay sa kanilang Pagputi…, eto ang parusa ko, bigyan ko daw sila ng isang Kampus? so I’m making for them Coed. You see, when I was working on Kampus? at the UP Los Baños, I has the opportunity to chat with some students, and I realized their problems and lifestyle can be source of even 10 movie materials. At kapag student force pala and nag-patronize sa Tagalog movie, and laki ng audience!” Borlaza revealed…Is star value the main thing in selling a movie? “In the case of Kampus?, yes, because Vilma Santos was my main star and she’s the curernt box office queen…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Expressweek, November 9, 1978, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Kasalukuyang Maligaya – “…Seryoso si Vi sa kanyang buhay. Anuman ang dumarating sa kanya, tinatanggap niya ng maluwag sa kanyang dibdib at pilit pa rin siyang nagpapakaligaya. Paulit-ulit nga niyang siansabi: “Si Lucky ang inspirasyon ko. Lahat ng ginagawa ko ngayon ay para sa kanya. Kung wala man kami ni Edu ngayon, gaya ng mga sinasabi nila, natatanggap ko na rin. Sanay na ako. Siguro, isa nga ako sa biktima ng mga sinasabing relasyong showbiz. Sa umpisa, maganda, pero sa bandang huli, nababalewala kahit gaano katatag, dahil na rin sa differences namin at intri-intriga!” Dugtong pa ni Vi, “Anuman ang mga nagaganap ngayon, wala akong pinagsisisihan. Kahit anupang intriga ang naririnig ko tungkol sa relasyon namin ni Edu, hindi ko iniintindi. Kung hindi man kasing tamis ng una ang relasyon namin ngayon, maligaya pa rin ako dahil sa sarili ko, wala akong ginagawang mali. Naniniwala akong hindi namin kagustuhan ang nangyari, kundi panahon ang may likha nun!” Kung minsan, inaamin ni Vi, nasasaktan na rin siya sa mga sabi-sabing kung sinu-sino ang dahilan nang hindi nila pagkakaunawaan ni Edu. Gaya nung magsama lang sila madalas ni Danny Zialcita sa pelikula natsitsismis na may relasyon na raw silang dalawa. Nung mili silang magtambal ni Romeo Vasquez, umusok naman ang balitan nagbalik ang datil nilang relasyon, na wala namang katotohanana. Dahil diyan, ito lang raw ang hulign masasabi ni Vi: “Alam ko, bahagi ng kapalaran ko bilang babae, bilang asawa, bilang ina at bilang artista ang lahat ng nangyayari sa akin. Pinagtitiisan ko, pero pinaglalabana ko rin. Kung sa mga sinasabi ko, hindi sila naniniwala, wala na akong magagawa. Basta bukod sa aking anak, ang higit kong inaasikaso, lolo akong pang pag-igihan ang pagaartista ko dahil matagal pa bago ako umalis dito. If ever na aalis na ako, gusto ko, matagumpay lahat ng nagawa ko. At ayokong aalis ng umiiyak, maski, anong mangyari, kailangan, maging maligaya ako, tulad ng kasalukuyan!” – Michelle Duenas, Movie Flash Magazine, 07 April1983, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Rich “Kumot” Queen – “…At 26, Vi still feels confident. “Kahit na sabihin nilang old maid na ako. I’d rather marry when I’m sure. ‘Yang kasal naman hindi mo alam kung kailan darating.” For the time being, Vi is paying full attention to her carer. “Iknow naman where my money goes. Mama takes care of that.” Contrary to what has been said by detractors, Mama Santos has invested Vilma’s earning well. To date, Vi has a big house in Magallanes Village, one in Tahanan where Vi will transfer to when she gets back from Amsterdam, and one in Los Angeles where she will run to when the pressure gets to be a bit unbearable. She’s worth about five million and half in assets which also include VS Films, seven and a half hectares of fruit bearing trees in Tanay and other investments in real estate. That, plus her jewelries and a personal savings account (sabi sa tsismis, almost a million in cold cash) indeed make Vilma Santos a very rich woman. Vi is the only actress whose films get patronized whether they’re meant for adult viewing or for general patronage. “People thought that came by accident, but Mama planned it that way. For every film I make that is meant for people above 18 Mama accepts one that is intended for general viewing. Tingnan mo, hindi ba’t after “Magkaribal,” there was “Rock, Baby, Rock?” Ang next month, after “Halik sa Paa, Halik sa Kamay” is shown, susundan naman ito ng “Buhay Artista Ngayon.” That, I guess is the secret of my success.” Another factor for Vilma’s consistency in the box office is the fact that she may be daring but so far she hasn’t gone so bold. “Hanggang takip lang ako ng kumot,” Vi said. “So far I still have to do a real bold wet look scene, but I don’t think I ever will.” Unlike most sex symbols, Vi has a sense of peace, self-esteem and contentment. She is not just acclaimed for her looks, she is also admired for her work…” – Douglas C. Quijano, Expressweek, September 20, 1979, Posted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Image Blockage -“…Alona Alegre was busy hustling fron one TV show after another, first in her brother, Leroy Salvador’s Showbiz with the Salvadors then in Nora Aunor’s Superstar and at the late hour in JQ’s Seeing Stars, all in one day. Actually, she could have just sat back and counted the terrific box office receipts, but like the new Alona that she is now, she would never leave anything to chance. At the last report, she was the top grosser with her Ishmael Bernal’s Isang Gabi Sa Iyo Isang Gabi sa Akin during last weekend, but a Romeo Vasquez fan spoke up, “That was because she had Bobby and Mat Ranillo III in the picture. Bobby especially because that guy is “buenas” no mater what you hear of him. Remember how Vilma Santos was a superstar since her teens, but it was not until her team-up with Bobby that she managed to hurdle her “image blockade.” After the Vi-Bobby team-up, she was accepted as a mature star, ready and convincing in any role she plays, as far as her audience was concerned!” This is just one man’s opinion, and a lot of Elizabeth Oropeza fans would surely have an opinion too!…” – Super Star-liners, MOD Magazine, 07 July 1978 (READ MORE)

Harmony on the Set – “The last time movie scribes were on Vilma Santos’ set of “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” in Majayjay they notice the most cordial atmosphere on the set. Someone even naughtily noted that Vi and her leading man, Bembol Roco seem to that “close” to each other. But both stars insist that they have become the best of friends since they were thrown together by their common interests, and their common respect for their career. Remember that one of the first “hassles” of this picture was reportedly Bembol’s having shaved his head for his role in another movie? This director Celso Ad Castillo did it too, shaved his head clean, that is, but Bembol has nothing to do with it. Remember that he is currently filming “Dalaga” with Rio Locsin in the tile role and himself, CAC, as the leading man. A picture of many “firsts,” this is filmed in black and white and is considered by the director as his personal baby, to prove that he is a starmaker indeed, and a best picture producer to boot. CAC plays the role a mentally retarded character in love with his leading lady. During the scribes’ visit, everyone was impressed by the harmony on the VS set. Vi said that they have four more days to go…to complete the picture. Then the “never” can be “now” showing in due time. She’s slated to to finish three more movies before leaving for abroad to make a picture with Atty. Espiridion Laxa as producer and Christopher as her leading man…” – Super Star-liners, MOD Magazine, 04 April 1978 (READ MORE)

Another Best Actress – “Actress for All Seasons Ms. Vilma Santos won another Best Actress trophy at the 5th Makati Cinemanila International Film Festival Awards Night held Aug. 21 at Onstage, Greenbelt, Makati. She earned the award for her performance in Star Cinema’s “Dekada ’70,” directed by Chito Roño and which received the Special Jury Award. We asked Mayor Vi how she felt and she said “I’m so happy Ate Cris, at least hanggang ngayon humahataw pa ang “Dekada ’70,” I did not expect to win yet another best actress trophy.” So how many has she amassed to date? “I don’t know, marami na. Including the citations and plaques of appreciations, di ko na mabilang.” Vi was evidently delighted by her latest award and at first she didn’t know what to say. But she went on to thank Star Cinema, her director Chito Roño, her co-star Christopher de Leon, her children in the movie (Piolo Pascual, Carlos Agassi, Marvin Agustin, Danilo Barrios and John Wayne Sace), her family and loved ones, her constituents in Lipa “for their love and support and for their understanding…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen, Manila Bulletin, August 2003

Ina ni Dophy, Vilmanian – “First shooting day ni Vilma Santos sa “Buhay Artista Ngayon” na ginanap sa Bohol Avenue, Quezon City, kasalukuyang kinukunan ang isang malaking tagpo sa pelikulang ito ng RVQ Productions, nang biglang dumating ang kanilang service jeep. Bumaba ang isang matandang babae, na agad sinalubong ni Georgie Quizon at humalik ng kama sa matanda. Tamang-tama na nakauupo ang matandang babae, nang matapos ang ekesena ng dalawa. Agad na lumapit si Dolphy sa matanda, at hinalikan sa noo. Kasunod pala si Vilma na niyakap ng matanda nang makalapit ito. Tatawa-tawang lumapit si Dolphy dito, “Ang nanay ko talaga, kahit na nahihirapan ay nagpunta pa rito sa set, makita lamang si Vilma. Kahit noon pa ay tagahanga na ‘yan ni Vilma, kaya’t tuwang-tuwa ng malamang gagawa ito sa RVQ Productions.” Ang mahal na ina ng pangunahing komedyante natin ay may 76 taong gulang. Siya’y si Ginang Salud Quizon, kung saan hinango ang pangalan ni Sahlee Quizon. Dati-rati’y bihirang makita sa set ng pelikula ni Dolphy si Ginang Quizon. Pero buhat ng gawin ng RVQ Productions ang “Buhay Artista Ngayon” ay naging madalas na ang pagdalaw sa set ng matanda, lalo na kung naroon at nagsisiyuting si Vilma. Kung minsan ay inaabot ng mahabang oras doon ang matanda, at buong kasiyahan pinanonood ang bawat eksenang gawin nina Dolphy at Vilma. Minsan pa nga any inaabot ng antok ang matanda sa set, at kapag pinakiusapan siya ni Dolphy na umuwi na ay tumatanggi at parang bulang nawawala ang kangyang antok. Sa ngayon kay Dolphy, laging ibinibilin ng kanyang ina na sa tuwing si Vilma ang kukunan ng eksena ay sunduin siya sa bahay. Kaya noong minsang hindi nasabihan at malaman na may siyuting si Vilma ay bigla na lamang dumarating ito na nakataksi, at napapailing na lamang si Dolphy. Si Vilma naman kapag nakita na ang matanda ay lumalapit agad, at niyayakap, Kaya tuloy, lalo siyang napapamahal sa mahal na ina ni Dolphy. At buhat nang magsimulang magsiyuting si Vilma sa nasabing pelikula, maka-apat na ulit na dumalaw sa set ng pelikulang ito si Ginang Quizon.” – Berting Paz, Unnamed magazine, 22 September 1978

Stoned float at Festival Parade – “…The crowd started to gather along the route as early as 9 a.m. yesterday, some of them coming from as far sa Batangas in the sourth, and Tarlac in the north. The biggest response was given to Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. Wearing pink and black kimonos, the two superstars threw sampaguita flowers along the way as their fans, yelling friendship, waved their pinted thumbs wildly. The floar to the two superstars was also surrounded by 20 Manila policemen and 15 blue-uniformed private security guards. At one point at the Luneta, an old woman, between 60 and 70 years old, was hoisted by policemen to reach up to Nora, who gave the old woman a big hug in return. Nora and Tirso are appearing in “Winter Holiday,” a production of Sampaguita-VP Pictures filmed in Tokyo. The other float witht he wildest applause was that carrying Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz, who will appear in “Remembrance,” a Tagalog-Ilang-Ilang presentation. However, the float was stoned twice and it left the parade before it reached the Jones Bridge.” – Philippines Sunday Express, 18 June 1972

Box Office King and Queen of 1983 – “Pormal na namang iginawad kay Dolphy ang titulong Box-Office King at Kay Vilma Santos ang Box Office Queen sa isang maranyang seremonyang idinaos sa Celebrity Sports Plaza noong Marso 30 na kung saan ay sinaksihan ng maraming tagapagtaguyod ng Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. sa pamamahala ni Gng. Corazon Samaniego. Ang may dalawang oras na seremonya na tinampukan din ng mga awitin at sayawan ay isinatelebisyon ng BBC-2 sa direksyon ni Bernardo Bernardo na siya ring tumayong emcee kasama si Malou Maglutac. Itinampok din ang mga natatanging businessmen and businesswomen ng Bulacan na kung saan ay naging panauhingn pandangal si Minister Jesus Hipolito ng Publick Works and Highways, na recipient din ng recognition award for government services, together with Mayor Joseph Estrada an ang umabot ng plaque ay ang kanyang panganay na si Jinggoy Ejercito.” – Anonymous, 30 March 1984

Our Cover – “Before the camera is Vilma Santos, one of the better known young singers in the country today. In fact, in point of popularity, Vilma is considered among the top. She has branched out from recording to moviemaking and indications are she is making good in both. Cover photo is by E. F. Nievera.” – The Sunday Times Magazine, 03 December 1971

Billboard’s Manila Updates – “…Film artist Walter Navarro (Vicor) will have his first LP, “King of Balladeers,” this month. He is a contract star of Lea Productions and principal mainstay of the El Bodegon Club. Navarro is doing a film musical with Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) with Mirick Productions…the film musical “Winter Holiday,” which stars Nora Aunor (Alpha) and Tirso Cruz III (Vicor), was second top grosser in the recently concluded Manila Film Festival. The team’s movie musical “Guy and Pip” was the top grosser last year…”Remembrance,” another film musical was chosen “Best Musical” in the Manila Film Festival. The film stars Vilma Santos (Wilear’s) and Edgar Mortiz (Wilear’s). The film also won in the categories of best film editing, best sound and best script…Vicor artist Victor Laurel will do a film with Lea Productions opposite Hilda Koronel.” – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 29 July 1972 (READ MORE)

Star For All Seasons – “When she first appeared on the big screen in Trudis Liit, the fans already knew she was destined to be famous. The studio bigwigs knew they has a potential superstar in their hands, so they molded her to become a teeny-bopper, moving and grooving with the likes of 70s shakers Edgar Mortiz, Espie Fabon and Darius Razon. Before she hit 21, she won her first major acting award – as twins (one good, one evil) in the classic melodrama Dama de Noche. Soon, she became the most in-demand actress in the silver age of cinema; her projects ranging from action camp (Lipad, Darna, Lipad) to romance fantasy (Kampanerang Kuba) to sex drama (Burlesk Queen). Versatility was the name of the game, and Vilma Santos shone with a brightness never before seen in show business. More quality movies followed: Rubia Servios. Karma. Pagputi ng Uwak…Pag-itim ng Tagak, Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa. Throughout the eighties, she reigned as the Box-Office Queen. She was also the first Grand-Slam Actress in R.P. film history. She also had her share of controversies, but “Ate Vi” rose above them all. Last year, she gave an unforgetable performance as a housewife in both political and personal turnmoils in Dekada ’70. Today, as the incumbent mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, Vilma Santos-Recto continues to share her talents and her gifts with the public who can’t seem to get enough of her…” – J.R. Mercado, Woman Magazine 20th Anniversary Special Issue, 30 April 2003

REAL Wedding: Vi and Ralph

Wedding of the Decade – Wala na ngang makakahadlang sa pagpapakasal nina Vilma Santos at Ralph Recto. Isa si Fanny sa punong-abala sa gaganapin kasalan kaya minabuti na rin naming hingan ng opinyon si Fanny Serrano hingil sa nabanggit na espesyal na bahagi ng buhay ni Vilma. “Tama yung prediction nila na magiging wedding of the decade ang kasal nina Vilma at Ralph!” unang pahayag ni Fanny. “I can say na mas bongga ito kesa sa wedding nina Rudy at Lorna. Ang ikina-bongga lang naman ng kina Rudy-Lorna, sa tagal nilang nagsasama at kasal na, hindi ini-expect ng mga tao na magtsa-church wedding pa sila. “Tapos, nakapag-create pa sila ng motif ng wedding na Filipiniana at hindi showbiz na showbiz ang dating ng simbahan at pati sa reception. “After that wedding, marming nangarap na makasal din tulad ng Rudy-Lorna style. Actually maraming kumuha sa akin na ganun’ nga ang ginawa, minus lang ‘yung pagsakay ni Lorna sa karuaje. “Ngayon, itong kay Vilma, iba ‘to, magkasama kasi ang showbiz at saka politics. Sa nakita kong line-up ng kanyang mga bisita, talagang grabe. “Piling-pili rin ang mga artista at governement officials na naimbitihan. “Sa ninong na lang e, talagang bogga na. Pagsama-samahin ba naman si President Ramos, Cojuangco, naroon pa si Bong-bong Marcos e, wala, na talaga akong masabi sa kasalang ito!” Kasama si Fanny sa committee na namamahala ng kasalang pinakahihintay ng lahat. Anu-ano nga ba ang kanilang paghahanda? “Kasama namin sa committee si Danny Dolor, Super Morales, Danilo Franco, Marizette Recto at isa pang hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan. “Four months kaming nagmimeeting, tapos inaabot kami ng alas dose hanggang ala-una, samantalang nagsisimula na kami ng 7 pm. Pinag-aralan talaga naming mabuti ang lahat. “And then, ‘yung preparation ng wedding na gagawin sa Lipa, that is something? “Saan ka naman nakakita ng church na may video wall sa labas na ipinapakita kung ano ang nangyayari sa loob. Iyon ang regalo nina Ralph at Vi para sa mga taga-Lipa. “Kaya sa Lipa gagawin dahil imposible namang dalhin pa sa Manila ang mga taga-Lipa to attend the wedding. Hindi lang naman tagaroon, pati na ‘yung kalapit bayan, tiyak na dadalo. “Close door ang pagdarausang simbahan dahil ayaw ng paring magkakasal na maging magulo na parang palengke ang paligid kaya ‘yung may stub lang ang makakapasok. “After that, magpa-parade na sila patungong Manila Hotel. Siguradong mauuna ako sa reception. I’ll be the one riding the helicopter para i-prepare na ang mga gamit ni Vilma sa presidential suite. “Gusto kasi ni Vilma na mauna na ako roon. Baka raw kasi matraffic pa ako, paano naman ang re-touch ng make-up niya at another set-up ng damit para sa reception. “Ang masarap kay Vilma, nati-tense siya sa maaring mangyari, anthough taga-remind na lang siya dahil may humahawak naman.” kuwento pa ni Fanny. Bilang fashion designer, ano ang masasabi niya sa dalwang gown na isusuot ni Vilma? “Maganda!” may diin niyang sabi. “Danilo Franco is always Danila Franco. Bow ako at talagang hats off sa kanya. Eight pieces ‘yung pinagpilian namin although ang final yes na kay Vilma. “Magtu-two months na niyang ginagawa ‘yun at ang materials, hand made ‘yun na pinasadya pa ni Danilo. Talagang impressive, wala talaga akong masasabi!” – Ron Romulo, Unnamed magazine, 23 December 1992

Voloptuos Vi – “At 50, ibang-iba na siyempre ang itsura ni Baby Vi. Puwedeng makipagkumpitensiya na siya sa itsura ng favorite showbiz mother namaing si Milagros Santos. Voloptuos na. Tipong mga babae sa painting nina Raphael at da Vinci at Goya. Siyempre, sa edad na ‘yan, hndi niya pinangarap na makita pa rin ang sarili sa showbiz. Panahon na ang pagbawi ‘yan sa mga normal na bagay na hindi niya natikman. Nasa kanya na siyempre ang lahat ng panahon para gawin ang gusto niya…Tinatanong ko namang lagi noon si Baby Vi kung paano niya nakikita ang kangyang sarili sa edad na ganyan. Say naman niyang lagi, isang normal na buhay na walang syuting at call slip at interbyu. Inimdadyin din kaya niya ang pagiging stage mother din? Halimbawa’y magartista’t maging super-sikat din ang Lucky niya? Eh, lalaki naman daw ang anak n’ya. Basta’t ang gusto lang naman daw niya kay Lucky ay makatapos ng pag-aaral (obsesyon kasi ito ni Baby Vi at ang hindi niya nakamtam ay gusto niyang maabot ng kaisa-isang niyang anak) at pagkatapos ay bahala na siya? Vilma at 50? Ayokong mag-Carmen Rosales siyang drama_na pa-Greta Garbo. Gusto ko’y maging original siya. – Gil Villasana, Moviestar, 10 September 1986

Win some, Lose some – “Recent Famas best actress winner Vilma Santos looks like she is on her way to being elevated to the award giving body’s Hall of Fame. If that happens, she’ll be joining fellow artits Josephe Estrada, Fernando Poe Jr., Charito Solis and Eddie Garcia (the last one was elevated to Famas’ best supporting actor Hall of Fame). Vilma has scored four Famas trophies in a span of 15 years. Out of four Famas awards she got, Vilma if we look at it objectively, deserves only two of her trophies. Her first Famas statuette (for “Dama de Noche”) which she got in 1973 at the age of 20 should never have been given to her because lets face it, she still did not know how to act that time. She was also underserving of her second Famas trophy for “Pakawalan Mo Ako,” a mushy melodrama release in 1981. Gina Alajar should have won the Famas that time for her role in “Salome.” But there is no question about Vilma winning the Famas statuette the following year for playing the part of a sympathetic mistress in “Relastyon.” She was wonderful in that movie. All the award giving bodies that time agreed that she was that year’s best actress winner. Remember her grand-slam that time? She won the Famas, the Urian, the First Film Academy of the Philippines best actress trophy, the Catholic Mass Media Award and even in Arminda Siguion-Reyna’s “Let’s Talk Movies” which honored for its anniversary presentation some of the outstanding achievements in film that year. Vilma’s most recent Famas trophy (for “Tagos ng Dugo”) is also well-deserved, even if it was not a bad idea had the statuette gone instead to either Lorna Toletino (for “Maging Akin Ka Lamang”) or Susan Roces (for “Paano Kong Wala Ka Na?”). But looking at it fairly, and studying all the angles of her performances in “Tagos ng Dugo,” Vilma deserves her latest Famas best actress trophy. Vilma may have been undeserving of two of her four famas statuettes but at the same time, she was also robbed of two other Famas trophies. 1983 was a bad year for Tagalog movies. There were very few good film products that year. As a result, there were only a handful of outstanding performances among the actors and the actresses. Among the leading ladies we can only cite Loran Tolentino (for “Init sa Magdamag”), Cecille Castillo (for “Karnal”) and Vilma (for “Broken Marriage”). Lorna that time was still what we consider “hilaw” when it comes to acting. She was already improving as an actress that time, pero kulang pa. The same thing can be said of Cecille who has dissappeared since. Vilma should have won the Famas that year with her portrayal of a career woman temporarily separated from her husband (Christopher de Leon). But it was Charito Solis who won in the Famas that year for “Don’t Cry for Me Papa” which was ignored by the other award giving bodies. The following year, Vilma failed to bag the Famas prize for her masterful performance in Sister Stella L.” The Famas people did not think she deserved the award. Why? Because she was in the United States during the awards season and could not maek it to the Famas Night.” – Joone C. Reyes, Unnamed tabloid, circa 1989

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1973 FAMAS – “…Halos mangilid ang luha sa kanyang mga mata nang tanggapin niya ang kanyang FAMAS Awards. Sa wakas ay nagtamo rin ng karangalan at pagkilala ang kanyang pagsisikap at kakayahan. Baguhan pa lamang si Nick Romano sa pelikula at iyon ay ang una niyang nomination at nakamit din niya ang kanranagalan best bilang supporting actor nang gabing iyon. Kung naruwa man si Joseph Estrada sa inaning karangalan ng kapatid niya nang gabing iyon ay ganoon din si Tony Ferrer sa kapatid niyang si Nick Romano. Most applauded si Marrissa Delgado nang gabing iyon dahilan sa noong nakaraang taon ay siya ang nagkamit ng FAMAS award for best supporting actress at ngayon ay siya na naman na nagpapatunay lamang na talaganag karapatdapat siya sa karangalang natamo niya last year. Hindi mailarawan ang kagalakan niya ng gabing iyon. Umiiyak siya’t naliligayahan nang siya mismo ang tumanggap ng tangan niyang trophy na ang buong akala niya’y ibibigay niya sa bagong awardee. Dalawa ang best Actress ng gabing iyon. Nangangahulugang kapuwa mabigat ang labanan at walang itulak kabigin kina Boots Anson Roa at Vilma Santos kaya minabuti ng inampalan na bigyan kapwa ng best actress award sina Boots at Vilma…” – WikipediaAruy Tapusan Komiks Magasin, No. 32, 19 Hunyo 1973

“Nagwala” na rin si Vi! – “…Wll now, everybody clap your hands! “Nagwala na rin si Vilma Santos, something we never expected from her, and something that never happened to her in the 15 years she’s been in show business. The reigning box office queen has always been criticized for being the perfect movie queen: cool, poised, well-behaved, aloof, mysterious. Never did she ever forget this, and how many times did we see her smile even when she was in pain, how many times did she look happy even when she was broken-hearted. It was only when the door to her room is shut down she take off this mask. Its only when the rest of the world is kept out by that door that she allows herself to breathe, act and live like a preson. People said she came straight our of a plastic factory, for no matter how many needles were stuck into her, she still came out a well-posed, well-mannered young miss. Someone who does not even say “aray.” Well, not anymore. Sometimes last week, Vil lost her cool. Napilitan na ring magmura, napilitan na ring mambato ng baso. Tao rin pala si Vi. The occassion was Vi’s discovery that her favorite director Celso Ad Castillo was shooting another films, Ang Dalagang Pinagtaksilang ng Panahon right in Majayjay, Laguna where Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak has been shooting on ang off since Nov. ’76. It seems that Vi was not aware of the other picture. It was only when Vi with Cleo Cruz and a couple of friends dropped by the house where they were shooting did she find out that a completely different set of unit and crew were shooting another movie under the same director. Siyempre pa, away! Vi’s been a bit peeved over the fact that Celso can’t seem to finish Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak. This particular project begun exactly 14 months ago at that time, the one who caused all the trouble was Vilma herself. How many times did Celso wait for his leading lady to arrive, only to be told later on that she couldn’t come? Bembol Roco, Vi’s leading man in Pagputi ng Uwak… on the other hand, has this dissenchantment with Celso…” – Douglas C. Quijano, Klassiks Romantic Magasin, 07 April 1978

“Pag di gumawa ng retraksyon si Vilma, hindi ko tatapusin ang Pagputi ng Uwak!” – Celso Ad Castillo – “…Isang kalmadong Celso Ad. Castillo ang nakausap namin nang gabing iyon sa kanyang opisina. Kagagaling niya sa Majayjay , Laguna kung saan kinukunan ang Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak ng VS Films. Ang dahilan kaya lumuwas si Direk ay dahil sa isang lathalaing lumabas sa isang malaganap na pahayagan na binibintangan siya na diumano’y nagsisiyuting siya ng ibang pelikula ng ginagamit niya ang unit, ang mga tauhan, ang caterer at ang oras ng VS Films. “I don’t mind controversies. I don’t mind ciriticims but I do mind very much kung sasabihin nilang I am free-loading sa pelikula nila.” ito ang may kapaitang wika ni Direk Celso Ad Castillo. Kailan ba sinimulan ni Direk Celso Ad Castillo ang Pagputi ng Uwak, Pagitim ng Tagak at bakit natigil ito? “Oktubre 1976 nang umpisahan ko ang pelikulang iyan,” simual ni Direk Castillo. “Natigil ang pagsisiyuting noon dahil hindi sumisipot sa set si Vilma Santos. “Pagkatapos ng Burlesk Queen ay sinabi ko na sa sarili ko na I’m trough with her (Vilma’s) prima donna attitude. Pero pinakiusapan niya akong ipagpatuloy namin ang Pagputi… at ginarantuhan niya akong siguradong darating siya sa set. “So I resumed shooting ng Pagputi…noong Jan 26 nang taong ito despite many offers na dumating sa akin. Tulad ng pelikula kina Armida Siguion-Reyna at Alona Alegre. I assumed that everything would be alright. That Vilma Santos would apprear on the set sa Majayjay, Laguna nga. “Pero dalawang linggo na akong nagsisiyuting, wala pang Vilma akong nakikita. Sa Kalahatian ng ikalawang linggo ay dumating siya, pero dadalawang araw ang itinigil niya roon at nagbalik siya sa Maynila upang mag-guest sa programa ni Joe Quirino sa telebisyon. “Si Bembol, na siyang leading man dito, ay laging naroon. Gayunman ay hindi siya makukunan pagka’t ang natitirang mga eksena ay kailangan si Vilma. Tapos na ang ibang eksenang hindi kailangan ang presence ni Vilma. Dumating uli si Vilma at bigla namang nawala si Bembol Roco without my knowledge. At nanng mabalki si Bembol nagulat ako nang makita kong ahit na ahit ang kanyang ulo. Nagpakalbo siya nang si ako kinonsulta o pinasabihan kaya! Paano ang gagawin ko sa continuity…” – O. B. Pangilinan, Klassiks Romantic Magasin, 07 April 1978

Mga Hirap ni Vi – “…Nang ginagawa ni Vilma ang “Lipad, Darna, Lipad” nasabi niyang marahil iyon na ang pinakamahirap at challenging pic niyang nagawa. Kasi, dito’y nabilad siya nang husto sa init ng araw. Nalubog pa sa Putik. Alam naman ninyo ang balat ng top superstar…manipis, maputi, at sensitive. Tinubuan siya tuloy ng skin rashes. Sa Lipad, muntik na ring magkaroon ng nervous collapse si Vi. Dahil sa pakikipaglaban niya sa maliit na sawa. Heaven knows na gaano na lang ang takot ni Vi sa tulad nito and other slimy, crawling things. And so, akala nga ni Vi ay ang Lipad na ang pinakamahirap niyang pic na nagawa. But she was wrong, pagka’t sa Dyesebel ay lalong nabilad siya rito sa init ng araw, nababad pa siya nang todo sa tubig. Ang God, ang difficulties niya sa paglipat-lipat sa sets. Paano siya makakakilos e naka-buntot siya? At matatandaan pa ba niyo na ilang ulit naospital ang top superstar pagka’t nanganib na mapulmonya? Kaya, minsan pa’y nasabi ni Vi na ang Dyesebel na ang pinakamahirap na pic niyang nagawa. Ngunit sa paggawa niya ng Anak ng Asuwang para sa Roma Films, tambak na hirap na naman ang inabot niya. Masasasabi hindi naman gaano marahil. Pagka’t dito’y hindi naman naka-costume ang superstar di tulad sa Lipad at Dyesebel…” – Cleo Cruz, Bulaklak, No. 94, 03 Sep 1974

Anong Sey N’yo sa Vi & Bot Part III? – “…Na-shocked ang mga interviewers. Halos hindi makapaniwala sa kanilang napanood that evening sa “Ayan Eh” over TeleNINE. Edgar Mortiz guesting sa programa ni Vilma Santos! Sa panahong supposedly ay “they separate one from the other”? O baka naman daw isang replay lang ito of an old “Ayan Eh?” Pero NO! Kasi nga there’s the “Let’s Do The Salsa” bits of Lea Productions. It’s TRUE then, na muling nagkaroon ng buhay ang “pinakamatatag” (?) na Vi and Bot, Ah, Love? Nagkaroon na naman “pupunasan ng pawis, paayosayosan ng buhok” ni Bobot kay Vi sa kanilang pagduduweto. If Vi was but acting, ewan namin Maniwala ba si Bobot na muling umaaligid…with all those pakita ni Vi? Acting lang naman ;yon eh, and for the sake of our fans!…well…the poser ay itong supposedly ay may kaugnayan sa pelikulang “Lets Do The Salsa” ni Vi ang said presentation. Yep na naman nga ang young ones na ma-involved sa said movie, but nasaan naman sina Ronnie Henares, Walter Navarro at Rolly Quizon? Nag-iisnaban ba kasi’y naroroon ang original an king sa puso ni Vilma! Well, putting more strenght sa paniniwala namaing muling magkakaroon ng buhay ang Vi and Bot tandem, instant guest for that certain program nina Tony Santos Sr., at Eddie Ilagan. Kumpleto ang tropa, ika nga…huwag lang mabubulilyaso! Nakita ba n’yo kung papaano niyakap ni Direk Santos si Vi? Very apparent ang kasiyahan ni Direk and that wide smile on Eddie’s face? Iisa ang banta…Vi and Bot, Part III! And to top it all, sa closing portion ng show, may reminder pa si Vi na siya’y gaganti na naman sa “People” ni Bot. Tit-for-tat, tat-for-tit extendedly could only mean one thing…na pagkahabahaba man ng prosisyon, kung masiksik, matalima…este, saan ba ako nabunggo? Akala ko’y sa simbahan, ay mali!…” – Tito Nards, Kislap, No. 393, 25 Mar 1976

Nagbunga Ang Pagsisikap: Pang-apat sa survey ang show nina Vilma-Edgar – “…Masayang-masaya ang buong cast ng Vi & Bot TV Show sa ika-pitong regular taping nila…Ang dahilan ay may lumabas buhat sa KBS na ang kanilang show ay pumang-apat na sa ginawang survey para sa TV show. Lilimang ulit pa lamang sumasahimpapawid ang Vi & Bot sa Channel 9 ay nag-rate kaagad ng maganda. Ang katuwaan ay higit kina Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz, gayundin si Director Tony Santos, na masugid ang hangarin na higit na mapaganda ang show na ito. Ang Vi & Bot ay mapapanood tuwing araw ng Martes mula ika-pito ng gabi hanggang ika-walo. Every week ay may iba-ibang episode ang kanilang ipinamamalas sa lahat ng mga televiewer, kasama na rito ang pinakatampok na sayaw ni Vilma. Everyweek din ay may special guest sila na kilalang showbiz personality. Laging maagang gumarating ang dalawa sa tuwing mayroong taping kapag araw ng biyernes. Hindi tumatanggi sina Vilma at Edgar sa anumang bagay na ipaganap sa kanila ni Director Santos, basta’t sa ikagaganda ng show. Maging ang mga crew ng KBS na kasama nila sa paglalamay sa taping ay napupuri ang dalawa sa pagka-propesyonal. At ngayong nasa pang-apat na ang Vi & Bot ay walang tanging hangarin ang mga nagsisiganap rito at si director Santos, kundi lalong mapagbuti ang bawat pagtatanghal nila…” – Berting C. Paz, Sixteen Magazine, No. 112, 29 Dec 1972

Vilma Santos “Young Star of 1972” – “…Batay sa dami ng pelikulang ginampanan sa buong taon, muli na namang nanguna si Vilma Santos. Si Vilma, kung inyong natatandaan, ay nanguna rin nuong 1970, batay sa dami ng pelikulang nagampanan. Siya’y may 25 pelikula sa naturang taon. Sa kabuuan, narito ang kumpletong talaan ng mga pelikulang ginampanan ng mga young stars nong 1972 – 1. Vilma Santos – 14 (na pelikula); 2. Eva Linda – 13; 3. Jay Ilagan – 9; Roderick Paulate – 9; Nora Aunor – 7; Tirso Cruz III – 7; Desiree Destreza – 7; Edgar Mortiz – 7; Florence Aguilar – 6; Frankie Navaja Jr. – 6; Robin Aristorenas – 6; Barbara Monteiro – 6; Nympha Bonifacio – 6. Ang mga pamagat ng mga pelikulang kani-kanilang ginampanan ay ang mga sumusunod: Vilma Santos: Aloha My Love; Don’t Ever Say Goodbye; Dulce Corazon; Inspirations; My Little Darling; Remembrance; Sweet Sweet Love; Ang Kundoktora; Vilma, Takbo, Dali; Dama de Noche; 3 Mukha ni Rosa Vilma; Dalagang Nayon; Hatinggabi na Vilma; at Leron Leron Sinta…” – Boy Alejandro Silverio, Pogi Magazine, No. 97, 08 Jan 1973

Vilma Tutulong Kay Nora sa NMH! – “Gusto kong makagaw ng mga bagay na makatuturan, Lalung-lalo na sa mga kilusang may magandang layunin at nauukol sa Charity. Love is giving and giving is love. Sa aking mga tagumpay ay nais kong pasalamatan ang lahat, sapagkat kung hindi sa ginagawa nilang pagtangkilik sa aking mga pelikula’y paano ko masasabing sarili ko ang tagumpay? Hindi tayo maaaring kumilos o magtagumpay nang nag-iisa. Siyempre, katulong natin ang ating mga kapwa tao. Walang sinumang nag-tagumpay o nakagawa ng magandang bagay na hindi kasama at katulong ang kanyang kapwa.” Ito ang pasimulang pahayag sa amin ni Vilma nang kapanayamin namin kamakailan. Noong Hulyo 27, matapos bumoto sa referendum, sinagot ni Vilma ang pagtulong sa isang kilusang may kinalaman sa Charity. Bukod dito, nagtatanghal din sina Vilma at Edgar bilang pagtulong sa National Mental Hospital. Tutulungan namin dito si Nora. At kahit sino pang artistang may project, tutulong kami, basta sa kapakanan ng kawang gawa.” Ayon pa rin kay Vilma hindi lamang siya ang dapat magkaroon ng ganitong adhikain kundi lahat din ng mga bituin sa pelikula. Kung maari ay makahati sila sa magandang simulaing ito. “Utang namin ang mga tagumpay na ito sa aming mga manonood. Kung hindi sa kanila, maaaring wala kami sa aming mga kinalalagyan ngayon, kaya tama lamang na kami’y makatulong din sa kanila…sa mga paraang alam naming kaya naming gampanan. At alam kong ito’y matutupad, pagkat ngayon pa’y nakikita ko na ang maraming artistang tumutulong sa kawanggawa. Sana’y magpatuloy ito at sana rin ay makatulong naman ang iba pang artista sa pelikula. Sa pagtatagumpay ng mga simulaing ito, ilan ang tiyak…maraming kulang-palad ang aming matutulungan, gayundin makatutulong ito sa pag-unlad ng ating pelikula at magkakaroon tayo ng magandang lipunan!” – Ric S. Aquino, Love Story Illustrated Weekly Magazine, No. 100, 24 Aug 1973

Superstar na si Vi – “…Tulad ng dati, humble pa rin si Vilma Santos. Hindi pa rin niya maamin na siya’y isa nang superstar. Sa katunayan kapag sinabi mo sa kanyang sikat na sikat na siya ay iiling lamang si Vi at magalang na magwiwikang “hindi ho naman.” Talagang superstar na si Vilma Santos pagkatapos patunayan ng kanyang mga pelikulang Dara, Lipad, Darna at Dyesebel. Biruin ninyo, nangitanghal ang Lipad Darna Lipad ay kasabay ng pelikula nina Joseph Estrada at Nora Aunor subalit mahigpit na pakikipagtunggali ang nasabing pelikula. Sa nakaraang Pista ng Pelikulang Tagalog, ang pelikula ni Vilma na Dyesebel ay sumunod naman sa lakas ng kita ng pelikula nina Fernando Poe, Jr at Joseph Estrada. Iyan ay pagpapatunay lamang na superstar na si Vilma Santos. Napakaraming pelikulang gagampanan ngayon si Vilma Santos. Isa na sa ginagawa niya ngayon ay ang Anak ng Asuwang para sa Roma Films. Sa pelikulang ito na pinamamahalaan ni Romy Susara, si Vilma ay gumaganap bilang anak ni Gloria Romero. Hindi batid ni Vi na ang kanyang ina ay isang vampira at asuwang. Kaya lamang niya natuklasan ang katotohanan ay nang mapatay ng mga tao ang kanyang ina datapuwa’t matapos iyong mailibing at masaksihan ng kanyang mga mata ay muli niyang nakita na kanyang inana buhay na buhay. Iyong pala, kampon ng kadiliman…” – Arnel Arcega, Movie Queen Magazine, No. 70

Ang Recording at si Vi – Basta’t araw ng Huwebes, makakapasa kayong nasa Cinema Audio si Vilma Santos at nagsasaplaka ng kanyang pinakabagong awitin para sa Vicor. Ito ang araw ng inilalaan niya sa recording upang sa gayon ay mapabilis ang pagtatapos ng kanyang unang plakang LP para sa Vicor, ang Sing Vilma Sing. Ilang mga awitin na lamang ang dapat niyang maisaplaka. Natutuwa naman si Vilma sapagka’t halos karamihan sa kanyang mga inaawit ay katugon ng kanyang panlasa. “Mahusay talagang pumili ng mga selection si Kuya Orly. Alam niya ang mga kantang babagay sa akin at iyong mga hindi. Isa lamang sa mga selection na kinalugdan ni Vilma ay ang “Tweedle Dee.” “Okay sa akin ito sapagka’t mabilis at madaling tandaan. Isa pa, paborito ko na ang awiting ito kahit noon pa man.” Kung hindi nagre-recording si Vilma, lubha siyang abala sa kanyang mga assignments sa pelikula. Marami siyang alok na tinatanggap at masusi niyang pinag-aaralan kung alin ang dapat tanggapin. Malapit ng matapos ang Wonder Vi at Anak ng Asuwang. Isusunod na niya ang pelikulang pagtatambalan nila ni Meng Fei. Anupa’t mapa-recording at mapa-pelikula, mawiwikang superstar ngang talaga si Vilma Santos.- Movie Queen Magazine, No. 70

Local Artists Score in Manila Listing – The July tabulations of the Philippine Record Dealers’ Association, listing the top artsts of the month in the point of sales, only lists two foreign artists, Elvis Presley and Petula Clark. Alpha artist, Nora Aunor, clinches the top spot. She holds the record of the only local artist who won the Awit Awards as best female singer in three consecutive years. Aunor is the highest-paid recording artst, film star, and also radio-tv-stage personality. The top ten artsts: Aunor (Alpha), Tirso Cruz III (Dyna), Presley, Sylvia La Torre (Villar), Victor Wood (Vicor), Clark, Ric Manrique (Villar), Eva Vivar (Alpha) and Mabuhay Singers (Villar). The association also released listings by categories, the top three in each local female (English) – Aunor, Vivar and Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Local male singer (English) – Cruz, Wood and Darius Razon (Alpha); Groups = Mabuhay Singers, D’Big Sullivan (Alpha-Vicor) and Ambivalent Crowd (Vicor); Instrumental: Relly Coloma (Villar), Amormio Cillan, Jr (Dyna) and Eric Dimson (Vicor). – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)

Wilear’s Top Company in Philippine Awards – The third annual presentation of the Awit Awards was held at the Manila Hotel with Senator Doy Laurel of the Philippine Congress as guest of honor and principal speaker. The sponsoring group was the Philippine Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (PARAS). The event criticized in the local circle because of its unpopular results and deglamourized presentation, gave posthumous awards of merit to Frankie Martin, a juror last year, and Santiago Suarez, one of Filipino musical stalwarts. The founder of the Awit Awards, Billboard correspondent Oskar Salazar, was also honored. Wilear’s Records scored heavily in the awards this year. The foreign division was permanently scrapped. Two major companies, Villar Records and Dyna Products, Inc. did not submit nominations this year. The 1970 winners are: Female Singer (English) – Nora Aunor (Alpha); Male Singer (English) – Eddie Mesa (Grandeur); Female Singer (Vernacular) – Amapola (Lapulapu); Male Singer (Vernacular) – Armando Ramos (Wilear’s). Most Promising Female Singer – Eva Vivar (Alpha); Most Promising Male Singer (tie) – Boy Mondragon (Vicor) and Jonathan Potenciano (D’Swan); Record Company of the Year – Wilear’s Records; Song of the Year – “Forever Loving You” by Bert Dominic (Billboard); Best Single – “Sixteen” by Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Vocal Group (Vernacular) – D’Big 3 Sullivans (Vicor); Vocal Group (English) – Reycard Duet (Alpha); Instrumental Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” by the Philippine Rondalla (Wilear’s); Original Movie Music Theme – Soundtrack of “Wanted: Perfect Mother” by Danny Subido (Neon); Special Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” (Wilear’s); Instrumental – Eric Dimson (Vicor); Instrumental Group – Pandacan Original Brass Band (Wilear’s); Musical Arranger – Doming Amarillo; Lyricist (Vernacular) – Philip Maninang; Lyricist (English) – Danny Subido; Composer (English) – Robert Dominic; Album Liner Notes (LP & Mini) – “Baby Vi” (Wilear’s); Album Cover (LP) – “I’m Sorry My Love” (Vicor); Mini-Album – “Something Stupid” by (Wilear’s); Album – “Phenomenal Nora Aunor” by Nora Aunor (Alpha). Other Awardees (receiving plaques): Best Recording Studio – Cinema-Audio, Inc.; Best Recording Engineers – Ric Santos (Cinema-Audio, Inc.) and Best Pressing Plant – Home Industries Dev. Corp. Given citations for their support were Tower Productions, stations DZTM and DZTR and Gloria Sevilla, a film producer. – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)

National Artist – “Recent headlines have been filled with news about different groups or personalities championing Comedy King Dolphy, Superstar Nora Aunor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos as National Artists for Film. All three are deserving candidates because they have enjoyed long and successful careers, achieved a remarkable body of work, contributed to popular culture and are much admired by their peers and the public, traits that define what a National Artist is…” – Stars Studio Magazine (READ MORE)

Ronnie, Vi team up for the first time – Two newly-proclaimed box office champions of Philippine movie star in FPJ Productions’ upcoming 13th anniversary presentations, “Batya’t Palu Palo,” a situation comedy about a rich heiress who disguises as a lowly washerwoman in order to find out for herself the true meaning of love. Delineating the lead roles are Fernando Poe, Jr. and Vilma Santos who star for the first together. Now being filmed among the lush greens of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, “Batya’t Palu Palo” hopes to make people forget the humdrum activities of this world. A wholesome family entertainment, the flick will have Ronnie step down from his throne as the country’s number one action star to the down-to-earth role of Berting, an hacienda hand who works in Vilma’s big landed estates, but who, nevertheless, catches the attention of the young, rich and quite spoiled Estella. Directed by ace megman Pablo Santiago, “Batya’t Palu Palo” is scripted by Fred Navarro, based on a story by Ronwaldo Reyes. – FPJ Da King (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos in June’s Metro – “This June, join us as Metro tags along with our cover girl, the legendary Vilma Santos, the star for all seasons, who has found a second calling as the mayor of Lipa City. Metro follows her from her City Hall Offices to the ABS-CBN studios for the press conference of her latest blockbuster film, “Anak…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 Oct 2004 (READ MORE)

Film Premiere Draws 28 Philippines Record Artists – Twenty-eight of the Philippines’ young recording artists singing in English presented one song at the gala premiere night of the locally produced film “Haydee” at the Rizal Theater in suburban Makati. The impressive convergence was a first in the Philippine entertainment history, local producers and artists gave all-out cooperation. Proceeds of the “Haydee” premiere were earmarked for the 1970 Awit Awards, the Philippine’s versions of the U.S. Grammys. Five record companies wre represented in the two-hour on-stage attraction, Alpha Recording System, D’Swan Recording System, Vicor Recording, Villar Records, and Wilear’s Records. The Alpha artists were Eve Vivar, Baby Alcaraz, Geraldine and Jay Ilagan. The D’Swan artsts were Ernie Garcia, Jonathan Potenciano, Linda Alcid, and Eddie Peregrina. Singer pianist Baby de Jesus guested under the label. The Vicor artists were Eric Dimson, Boy Mondragon, Freddie Esguerra, Sony Cortez, Millie Mercado, Victor Wood, Perla Adea, and Tirso Cruz III. Villar was represented by Roggie Nieto. The Wilear’s artists were Alice Cerrudo, Raul Aragon, Raquel Montessa, Elizabeth Ledesma, Romy Mallari, Esperanza Fabon, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz and Ed Finlan. The back-up group was the Blinkers. – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 06 June 1970 (READ MORE)

Burlesk Queen – “…Film critic Rafael Ma. Guerrero, in fact, picked out his best Tagalog films of all time from that era alone. “I have my own orientation in film criticism,” Guerrero clarifies. “Because we’re Third World, to me a film is, first of all, a social document, then an educational tool, and third, an aesthetic experience. If I have to name three important Tagalog movies of all time based on these criteria, they would have to be Brocka’s “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” – actually, I can name four – Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen,” Romero’s “Aguila,” Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata…” – Rafael Ma. Guerrero (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos stars in TV-Film Projects – When many of the country’s top dramatic stars started to act in the major networks’ TV soaps, people wondered when Vilma Santos would follow suit. After all, with the stellar likes of Nora Aunor, Eddie Garcia, Lorna Tolentino and Richard Gomez headlining them, local soap opera have become the biggest craze on weeknight television, upstaging even last season’s top favorites, the game and quiz shows. Ofcourse, Vilma didn’t have to jump onto the soaps’ bandwagon (bathtub on wheels?). After all, for the past few years, she has generally made herself scarce on the big and small screens to pay more attention to her work as mayor of Lipa City, and to her family, but her popularity hasn’t really suffered due to her lack of visibility. So, she could have stayed away from TV and just starred in a landmark film every two years, as has been her want for some entertainment seasons now. But when the acting bug bites, even veteran stars like Vilma feel the need to rackle new acting challenges. Especially since she was offered a TV soap of her own, with top talents also onboard to make sure that it would end up as the drama show to beat on the local TV screen. Trouble was, soaps take three days per week to shoot, and Vilma couldn’t get away from her duties for that long a stretch each week. So, she had to say no to the soap, but she’s agreed to do a weekly TV “dramedy” for ABS-CBN. This is still a very good deal for the veteran actress’ loyal followers. And, in a sense, it makes her comeback vehicle on TV different from Nora and Lorna’s, because she won’t be limited to just one basic situation, and can thus have more chances to show off different aspects of her thespic persona. We hope that Vilma’s new TV starrer will start telecasting before the end of the year, because it would complement her big year-ender movie, “Dekada ’70,” a shoo-in as an official entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, which is set to unreel during the Christmas season. That one-two, TV-movie punch would generate maximum audience impact and excitement, and make even younger viewers want to see for themselves what this renewed fuss over Vilma Santos is all about. And, chances are, they’ll like what they see, Vilma may already be in her late 40s, but she’s kept herself looking, thinking and feeling relatively young, and is still quite optimistic and dynamic. She insn’t called the Star for All Seasons for nothing, alfter all. Especially in “Dekada ’70,” where she has scenes set two or three decades back, so she has to be credible as a woman in her 30s. But with the help of director Chito Rono’s topnotch production team, she should be able to pull it off. The end result of all this should be renewed popularity for Vilma, despite the fact that her acting career is no longer her top priority. If younger viewers end up discovering the actress’ stronger points, which her followers have known all along, 2002 could end up, quite unexpectedly, as one of Vilma’s best years yet. – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 02 Nov 2002 (READ MORE)

Nobo Bono Jr. – “…There is a scramble among record companies to sign “Tawag Ng Tanghalan” national champion Nobo Bono Jr. The singer is contracted with the Talent Center of ABS-CBN which acts as his agent and personal manager. Bono is appearing weekly with Wilear’s artists Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos in the new live TV series titled “The Young Ones” on Channel 2…” – Oskar Salazar, Billboard, 08 Aug 1970 (READ MORE)

Keeping and Maintaining an Image, Negotiating for Change – “…Creating an image is easier than keeping and maintaining it. For oftentimes and soon enough, the talent rebels. A love team required to display affection toward each other in public soon shows true sentiments:one of both are in love with (an)other partner(s). For instance, Angelu de Leon exchanged sweet nothings with Bobby Andrews on- and off-screen for public consumption; for personal conception, however, she chose Joko Diaz, a junior action star from her mother studio, Viva Filma, and who, like other action heroes, needed no regular love interest. With her premarital teen pregnancy, the sweet image her studio wanter her to project collapsed, as did her love team with Andrews and, nearly, their respective careers. Thereafter, to salvage her name from early anonymity, and since her Viva handlers believed that she was still their prized possession and best bet for stardom, Viva’s image-builder tried to reinvent de Leon rather frantically, as a sweet bold star-cum-dramatic actress, via Joel Lamangan’s “Bulaklak ng Maynila;” as well as a liberated young woman of the new millennium, via Jose Javier Reyes’s “Bukas na Lang Kita Mamahalin,” where she appeared with Diether Ocampo. De Leon’s chopsuey imaginary did not last long. After a second pregnancy that resulted from a similarly indiscreet liason with another man, her studio finally gave up and downgraded her to character support roles for younger upstarts and hopefuls, as in the early-evening soap, Gil Tejada, Jr.”s “Sana ay Ikaw na Nga,” on GMA 7. A handful of other scenarios have continued to unfold, most significant of which is the attempt to negotiate a change of image.

If ever a local star had successfully managed to alter her screen image, it was Vilma Santos. She started out as a child star and became a teen star in romantic musicals, the other half of the love team with Edgar Mortiz. A poor second to Nora Aunor for many years when the latter, who like Santos was initially the other half of another teenage love team with Tirso Cruz III, turned serious actor and started winning awards and critics’ recognition, Santos made a drastic, crucial decision to show more flesh onscreen when she agreed to tackle the title role in Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen.” Fortunately, the public warmly accepted her new image and the critics took a second, hard look at her subsequent performances. From then on, she made a string of successful portrayals of variety of adult roles: mistress, prostitute, ex-convict, psycho killer -many of them kontrabida or antihero roles. In his article “Vilma Reads Her Fans,” Cesar D. Orsal, a local cinema observer and cultural studies scholar, analyzed the Vilma Santos exception in hindsight: “Feeling the cultural pulse of the society in the late 1970s, [Santos] took advantage of her growing liberalization of the Filipino audience. Her instincts proved her right. She made movies which she felt would not only cater to the expectations of her fans but to the changing community as well. In the early 1980s, different ideologies were affecting the Filipino audience, which redefined the image of role models. [Santos] for her part fostered the rise of career women, who, imbued with self-awareness, illustrate what Jackie Stacey observe: “The star gazes up the classical ideal of herself, becoming too, a spectator, examining herself represented through someone else’s imagination” (Star Gazing 34). She likewise took on the new representations of women, which she claims to have recognized in herself, and which, at the sme time, affected her female fans. (54-55)” Santos took a big risk, though, when she played the role of a politicized nun in Mike de Leon’s film of social realism, “Sister Stella L.” But then, for the “Star for All Seasons,” variety worked, something which not even Nora Aunor, her archrival to preeminence among the female actors in local cinema from the 1970s to the 90s, cold claim…” – Johven Velasco, Joel David, Huwaran/hulmahan Atbp: The Film Writings of Johven Velasco (READ MORE)

Makibaka, Huwag Matakot (fight and fear not) – “…Having ostensibly limited its agenda to censorship, the FTA rally was in fact supposed to be a party. Consider the following account of the lighthearted atmosphere at Liwasang Bonifacio: They were a sight to behold. [The aging acreen star] Anita Linda sat serenely on the pavement, unmindful of the two o’clock sun, [young actors] Philip Salvador and Bembol Roco keeping her handsome company. Peque Gallaga waved long locks and a tiny flag. No one remembered to get a rally permit, but someone remembered to bring the balloons…Then they saw that people at the far end had no idea what was going on up front. “Shouldn’t we use walkie-talkies and radios?” someone asked, but someone else shrieked: “But suppose the police answered on the other line?” There was so much democracy, it was a wonder anything monved…By the time Lino [Brocka’s] turn to speak came, the megaphone had lost its batteries. Did it matter? He simply shouted himself hoarse railing at the gods about the freedoms they promised to wrest back. Then [singer] Nonoy Zuniga sang about a bird struggling to be free, everybody joined in, and somebody finally remembered to release the balloons. At rally’s end, they were all 500 of them rather pleased with themselves. They had never done anything like this in show biz, and now that they’d pulled it off, nothing could dampen their spirits, not even the fact that moviedom’s current box office queen, Vilma Santos, came way after pack up.”

…resurrected, albeit haphazardly, the stubboleths of the first quarter storm. Protesters chanted “Makibaka, Huwag Matako (fight and fear not),” even singing the protest song that was associated with the people’s demonstration against the 1978 National Assembly elections. The upshot of the rally was that Marcos withdrew E.O. 868. An optimistic Brocka stated in an interview: “For me, that’s a start. Kahit papaano, nakikinig na rin; kahit papaano, may nagagawa (somehow, they’re finally listening; somehow, things can be done).” Emboldened by their first victory, the FTA movement expanded to become the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), which would soon align itself with the wide-spread multi-sectoral opposition to the Marcos regime. Brocka was named chairman, with the celebrated journalist and screenwriter Jose F. Lacaba (Jaguar) as secretary-general. The fight against censorship, though still a cornerstone of the movement’s political platform, was now broadened to encompass the political, economic and social concerns portrayed by Brocka and his fellow filmmakers in their films…” – Talitha Espiritu, Revisiting the Marcos Regime: Dictatorship, the Media and the Cultural… (READ MORE)

Film censorship in the Philippines – “…One of the most controversial scenes in Philippine cinema that went under the Censor’s knife is Vilma Santos’ 17-minute dance of death in Celso Ad. Castillo’s 1977 MMFf entry, “Burlesk Queen.” The penultimate scene was finally reduced to about seven minutes, but that didn’t stand in the way of the film’s winning 11 of the 14 awards at stake aside from running away as the festival’s top grosser…” – Regulo J. Baritugo, Manila Standard, 25 Dec 1987 (READ MORE)

International Talent Directory – “…Vilma Santos (Vocalist), Wilear’s Records: The Sensations (LP); Sweet Sweet Vilma (LP). PA: Cebu City, Iloilo City, Olongapo City. TV: Edgar Loves Vilma, Oh My Love, The Sensations. Films: Angelica, Love Letters, My Pledge of Love, Our Love Affair, The Sensations, The Wonderful World of Music. Awards: Loveteam of the Year, Queen of Philippine Movies. PM: William C. Leary…” – Billboard Magazine, December 25, 1971 (READ MORE)

The Young Stars – Sweet na naman ngayon sa isa’t isa sina Vilma Santos at Edgar. Sinasabing nagkasundo ang dalawa nitong nakaraang pasko. – Mercy Lejarde, Love Story Illustrated Weekly Magazine, No. 174, 24 Jan 1975

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The Critical Dressed List – “…Vilma Santos shined in favorite designer Danilo Franco’s beaded aqua halter with sheer accent to cover the cleavage – very Mayor Vi. It has been quite a while since she wore a sleeveless number, she said. The Star for All Seasons felt uncomfortable to show her arms. (Those killer dance routines she did in her defunct TV shows “Vilma” did serve a purpose, after all). Well, she found a way to partially hide them behind a matching tasselled stole. Actually, the gown would probably look better without it. Those armhole could use some improvements too…” – Alex Y. Vergara, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 March 2001 (READ MORE)

The Urian Nominees: It’s The “Man”-ununuri’s Turn – “…It’s a man’s world at the Man-unuri. After the Star Awards for Movies, here comes the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino with their Annual Gawad Urian. With their fiesta motif, the critics group is set to give out their awards on March 28 at the UP Theater. While these is a shortage of cited nominees in the female lead category, the list is beaming with nominations in the male acting department. Three of the seven best actor nominees and four out of the nine best supporting actor finalist played gay characters. And what Eddie Garcia is to FAMAS, Raymond Bagatsing is to the Manunuri. After winning the Urian Best Actor honor last year for Milagros, Raymond has again won the nod of the critics who are now giving him two much-coveted nominations for best actor and best supporting actor. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins in both categories. Here are the nominees for the major categories: Best Picture – Sa Pusod Ng Dagat; Jose Rizal; Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?; Sana Pag-ibig Na; Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion. Best Actor: Raymond Bagatsing (Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion); Romnick Sarmienta (Miguel/Michelle); Eric Quizon (Pusong Mamon); Cesar Montano (Jose Rizal); Gerald Madrid (Sana Pag-ibig Na); Ryan Eigenmann (Gangland); and Ricky Davao (Selya). Best Actress: Elizabeth Oropeza (Sa Pusod ng Dagat); Rosanna Roces (Curacha); Vilma Santos (Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?); and Nida Blanca (Sana Pag-ibig Na) …Given the different film orientations and backgrounds of each of the Manunuri members, we cannot really tell how different their decisions will be compared to the previous films awards. One thing is sure though, there’ll be no ties in this award-giving body. What can you expect from a group composed of just close to 10 members? Well, they should know better, I suppose…” – Isah V. Red, Manila Standard, Mar 14, 1999 (READ MORE)

Urian’s Choices“…Another major upset was Nida Blanca’s failure to clinch top acting honors. Her perfromance in Sana Pag-ibig Na by another first-time director Jeffrey Jeturian was considered by many worthy of an Urian trophy and could give popular choice Vilma Santos a tough time in all of the awards this year. Blanca shared the same honors with the Mayor of Lipa City earlier in Star Awards. Seventy-six-year-old-actress Mona Lisa was this year’s recipient of Natatanging Gawad Urian presented to her by Insiang co-star Ruel Vernal and Manunuri’s Grace Javier Alfonso. The actress recent work is a role in Nick DeOcampo’s Mother Ignacia. This is the 22nd year the Manunuri group have been handing out trophies to honor outstanding work of actors, directors, writers, film editors, sound engineers and music scorers in Filipino movies…The show looked like most local awards shows with musical numbers that has no relevance to the film medium punctuating the monotony of introducing the nominees and announcing the winners. Rosanna Roces’ licentious humor somehow livened up the perfunctory intros of presenters and performers. Osang was resplendent in an off-shoulder tangerine ballroom gown at the beginning and changed into a heavily beaded and sequined piece with partly see-through skirt. Many in the audience wondered if she was wearing a wig. With Osang as co-hosts were a slimmer Rustom Padilla and Albert Martinez who was struggling with an asthma attack and had to leave even before the show was over.

The stage was dressed up like a courtyard with facade of turn of the century houses as background. Rep. Imee Marcos presented the five nominated pictures wearing initially an outfit made from indigenous fibers and then later a Filipiniana-inspired two-piece number…As usual in local award shows, the bigger stars come in very late, just in time for the announcement of the nominations in their respective category. Vilma Santos came in at 10:30 p.m. escorted by husband and Batangas congressman Ralph Recto and followed by an entourage of bodyguards and her personal assistants. In her acceptance speech, she apologized for her tardiness saying she had to attend the graduation from high school of Luis Philip Manzano, aka Lucky, her son by former husband Edu Manzano. She also announced that the following day, her son by Ralph, Ryan Christian Recto, would be celebrating his birthday. Vilma’s fans once more showed their undying support for their idol, screaming at every instance the actress’ name is mentioned and holding up paper placards, on which they screamed their affection for her. When her name was announce winner of the most coveted award, they went gaga jumping out of their seats to cheer her as if they were watching a basketball game. This is the kind of awards show that somehow masks the sad realities in an industry struggling to survive the worst economic crisis ever and the continued and growing alienations of the middle class now more inclined to watch English-language movies from Hollywood on either the VHS and DVD formats in the comfort of their air-conditioned bedrooms….” – Manila Standard, Mar 31, 1999 (READ MORE)

Top stars invited to grance Urian – “…Three-time Urian best actress awardee Vilma Santos lead tonight’s line-up of stars who have been invited and are expected to grace the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino’s 11th Gawad Urian, at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The show, telecast live on Channel 2, 8 p.m. is hosted by 1980 Urian best actor Bernardo Bernardo and Helen Vela. Other stars who have been invited to act as presenters include the President’s daughter Kris Aquino, Lorna Tolentino, Rudy Fernandez, Charito Solis, Ace Vergel, Pinky de Leon, Phillip Salvador, Jay Ilagan, Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, William Martinez, Cherie Gil, Orestes Ojeda, Pinky Suarez, Joel Alano, Anjo Yllana, Rita Avila, Beth Bautista, Aurora Sevilla, Roderick Paulate, and Nora Aunor. The annual Gawad Urian is the film critics’ awards founded in 1976. It also confers a lifetime achievement award or the Natatanging Gawad Urian to certain deserving veteran practitioners of the movie industry. This year’s awardee is actress Rosa Rosal…” – JC Nigado, Manila Standard, May 7, 1987 (READ MORE)

It’s Nora vs Vilma, Judy Ann vs Claudine in Gawad Urian – “Screen rivals Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, and Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto are pitted in the 28th annual Gawad Urian given out by the film critics. Aunor is nominated for “Naglalayag,” in which she plays a judge who finds herself in a relationship with a younger man, played by Yul Servo, who is also nominated for Best Actor. Santos is nominated for “Mano Po 3: My Love,” where she memorably plays a Chinese-Filipino anti-crime advocate who reunites with a long-lost love, played by Christopher de Leon, a Best Actor contender. Claudine Barretto is cited for “Milan,” where she plays a cynical migrant worker in Italy who falls in love with a countryman looking for his wife. The man is played touchingly by Piolo Pascual, another Best Actor nominee. Judy Ann Santos is nominated for playing the latent lesbian in the psychological study, “Sabel.” Other than the high-profile rivalry between the two senior movie icons and two young actresses, the biggest news is that “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino,” the 10-hour digital film by Lav Diaz, has been nominated for Best Film…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Apr 27, 2005 (READ MORE)

Indie films share critics’ top prize – “The sudden downpour and ensuing flash flood failed to dampen the spirit of independent film makers who eventually swept this year’s Urian Awards, the country’s top critics prize for movies. The 28th Gawad Urian, handed out by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino was held at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, on June 4. In spite of the “militarist” venue, independent filmmakers were calling for “revolution in Pinoy cinema” within earshot of army men in fatigues. “The floodgate are open; independent filmmakers are now free,” declared Paul I. Tanedo, who produced the 10-hour epic “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino,” which in turn shared the Best Picture award with another indie effort, “Panaghoy sa Suba,” produced by actor Cesar Montano’s CM Films…Another world-class Filipino artist, film editor Jess Navarro, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award (Natatanging Gawad Urian) for his impressive body of work – particularly for such internationally acclaimed films as “Batch ’81,” “Kisapmata,” “Sister Stela L.,” “Jose Rizal,” and “Dekada ’70.” Also, studio productions like “Sabel” (Regal), “Milan” (Star Cinema), and “Sigaw” (Megavision/Regal) were not completely shut out…”Sabel,” for its part, grabbed two trophies: Best Supporting Actor for Wendell Ramos and Best Actress for Judy Ann Santos…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jun 6, 2005 (READ MORE)

“Minsan Pa,” Cesar, Ara top Golden Screen – “The Entertainment Press Society, or Enpress, paid tribute on Saturday to two independently produced films: “Minsan Pa” and “Panaghoy sa Suba,” by bestowing upon them most of the major awrds in the second Golden Screen awards ceremony at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City…Jeffrey Jeturian was heralded best director for his work on “Minsan Pa,” while lady lead Ara Mina, who plays lovelorn pre-school teacher Luna, was declared best supporting actress….Judy Ann Santos beat veterans Nora Aunor (“Naglalayag”) and Vilma Santos (“Mano Po 3”) to the best dramatic actress trophy for her offbeat performance in the movie “Sabel.” Diamond Star Maricel Soriano was awarded best actress for a comedic role in Regal Films’ “I Will Survive.” Eric Quizon was declared best actor for comedy for his work on “So Happy Together,” also from Regal Films…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 7, 2005 (READ MORE)

Golden Screen Sights and Shrieks – “The Second Golden Screen Awards ceremony last Saturday lasted only two hours, but it was action packed, certainly to the people who turned up to watch the proceedings at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium of the RCBC Plaza in Makati City. One former couple deliberately and very noticeably avoided one another. So did one screen team. Two group of fans competed in screaming their lungs out. At least three winners were stunned for getting awards. The show began with a forceful speech from Entertainment Press Soceity president Jun Nardo, who lambasted “unfair” people questioning the group’s credibility. “Tadtarin man ng intriga, mapapatuloy pa rin kami,” Nardo said. Jomari Yllana, nominated Best Actor (drama) for his work in “Minsan Pa,” was spotted at the left side of the auditorium. Former girlfriend Ara Mina, who won Best Supporting Actress, stayed backstage almost throughout the show. In his acceptance speech, Jeffrey Jeturian said his Best Director award (for “Minsan Pa”) was unexpected, “kasi walang leakage.” The Vilmanians and Noranians occupied either side of the auditorium, screaming at every mention of their idol’s names and movies. Santos and Aunor were both nominated for Best Actress (drama). When Judy Ann Santos won as Best Actress (drama, for “Sabel”) several Vilmanians said: “Okay lang, Santos pa rin.” The Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement award was given to Mona Lisa, the consistently extraordinary character actress who played the vengeful mother of Hilda Koronel in the 1979 film, Insiang….” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 8, 2005 (READ MORE)

Improved fashion sense – “Black and certain dark colors were relegated to supporting roles at the recent Golden Screen Awards, as not a few of Tinseltown’s leading ladies opted to wear gowns in delicious shades and prints as if to herald the coming summer. And for a change, the celebrities who bothered to attend the fledgling event made up for its lack of star power by dressing up in something appropriate (matino) this time. Progress, at last! Those who dared don dark hues included Maricel Soriano, Iza Calzado, Donita Rose, and Judy Ann Santos, who looked more like a trophy girl than a Best Actress winner in a black V-neck outfit with a long slit in front. Judy Ann stuck to the clean mature look by wearing her hair up and confining the glitter to several jewelry pieces on her neck and ankles (yes, not one but two shining ankles peeked from beneath that slit). In fairness to the vertically challenged young star, she looked surprisingly svelte in her minimalist gown, especially next to a healthy but still shapely, Ara Mina. Judy Ann’s gambit to look understated paid off, as he later beat acting heavyweights Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos – who wore a hot pink corset and serpentine skirts – for the top acting plum….” – Alex Y. Vergara, Photos by Karl Sumbeling, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 10, 2005 (READ MORE)

Love, War and a scare – “three love stories, a war epic, and a horror flick are competing tomorrow for the coveted Best Picture trophy in the Philippine Movie Press Club’s 21st Star Awards for Movies. “Feng Shui,” the box office horror hit starring Kris Aquino, is up against drama films “Naglalayag,” “Aishite Imasu 1941,” “Mano Po 3: My Love,” and “Milan.” conspicuously missing from the list is “Panaghoy sa Suba,” winner of major awards in last week’s Golden Screen Awards (given by the Entertainment Press Society) and, earlier, the Metro Manila Film Festival. Kris, better known for the top-rating shows she hosts for ABS-CBN, will be challenging drama veterans Vilma Santos (“Mano Po3: My Love”), Nora Aunor (“Naglalayag”), Judy Ann Santos (“Sabel”) and Claudine Barretto (“Milan”) for Best Actress….I feel flattered that my work is being recognized,” Lamangan told Inquirer Entertainment on Wednesday. “My actors have been winning awards. I consider their awards my victory too. This inspires me to do better.” Lamangan referring to Judy Ann Santos, Maricel Soriano, Eric Quizon and Dennis Trillo, who all took home Golden Screen trophies on March 5…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 11, 2005 (READ MORE)

Trouble in the Stars – “…Quoting reports in the tabloids Pecho said 13 PMPC members, all part of the 24-man voting committee, received P5,000 each from “a woman from ABS-CBN.” This was to ensure that the Best Actor award would go to Piolo Pascual (for “Milan”) and the Best Actress award to Kris Aquino (for “Feng Shui”). “They claimed Joebar was behind the “switching” of the awards,”said Pecho. The payoff might have happened, in fact, he said, but he reiterated his confidence in Barrameda. Star Cinema, movie arm of ABS-CBN, produced both “Milan” and “Feng Shui.” “One story even said writer Allan Diones has admitted receiving money from the woman,” Pecho noted. Rumors that Kris and Piolo would win the top acting awards has started circulating days before the awards rites last Saturday. Several people who turned up for the program at the Cinema 5 of the Gateway Mall in Cubao, Quezon City and sported the two nominees commented: “They probably know that they would win. Why else would they be here?” But it was, Vilma Santos who took the Best Actress trophy for “Mano Po 3: My Love,” and Dennis Trillo was named Best Actor and Best New Movie Actor for Aishite Imasu 1941…Several write-ups identified the “woman” as Star Magic PR head Rikka Dylim, who denied the accusation…Vilmanians and Noranians, as well as fans of young stars Sandara, Hero, Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras, screamed at every mention of their idols’ name and movies. What supposed to be a “formal” ceremony instead looked and sounded like any noontime program, with spectator’s hollering, “Laban!” or “Bawi!” at the top of their lungs. Kris arrived at about the same time as Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his father, former president Joseph Estrada. A swarm of photographers jostled for the best shots. Kris is the daughter of another former president, Corazon Aquino…Pops Fernandez shared hosting chores with Vilma, and Martin Nievera was anchor man…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 18, 2005 (READ MORE)

Star Awards to be probed – “Officers of the Philippine Movie Press Club will form a committee to investigate the alleged vote-buying during the recent 21st Star Awards, according to Veronica Samio, head of the club’s grievance committee. “A deceitful act like this should not go unpunished,” said Samio, who was president of the PMPC from 1991 to 1993. “It’s not right to cheat. We will see to it that PMPC members involved in this will be expelled. Post-show reports alleged that 13 PMPC members, all part of the 24-man voting committee, received money from ABS-CBN Star Magic PR head Rikka Dylim several days before the ceremony. This was to ensure that Piolo Pascual would be named Best Actor for “Milan” and the Best Actress award would go to Kris Aquino for “Feng Shui.” The accused members included writer Allan Diones, who admitted to received P5,000 from Dyllim, Samio also identified former PMPC president Julie Bonifacio-Gaspar, incumbent vice president Jimi Escala and member Ador Saluta as among those involved. Star Cinema, movie arm of ABS-CBN, produced both “Milan” and “Feng Shui.” But Vilma Santos (“Mano Po 3: My Love”) took home the Best Actress trophy and Dennis Trillo (“Aishite Imasu 1941”) was named Best Actress and Best New Movie Actor. Samio said Diones confessed to the vote-buying on the day the committee members were to cast their vote. “The first reaction of our president (Joe Barrameda) was to strike Piolo’s name from the list of nominees. But we dissuaded him because it would not be fair to Piolo, who actually did well in “Milan,” Samio told Inquirer Entertainment last Friday. “Piolo probably didn’t even know what these people did for him.” According to Samio, writer-TV host Cristy Fermin was also seen reportedly handing out P3,000 to 12 PMPC members a few days before the PMPC was to announce the winners at the Cinema 5 of the Gateway Mall in Quezon City last March 12…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mar 20, 2005 (READ MORE)

Billie Joe and Richard – “…Male child star Billie Joe is a welcome addition to Vilma Santos’ show. He replaces rapper John Robinson in the “Music Watch” portion of the program. Actually, the said portion used to be the most boring part of the show and we’re glad the people behind the program did something about it. At six, Billie Joe is “articulate, witty and lovable, he is so much better than his predecessor. He could sing and dance with gusto and it is amazing how a little boy could breathe life into an otherwise stale portion…Richard Gomez is Vilma Santos’ leading man in the actress first tv drama special to be aired on GMA-7 sometime after her birthday on Nov. 3. The special is directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes. We remember that Gomez’s first tv appearance was in Vilma’s summer special in 1985 and that exposure proved advantageous to his budding career. Perhaps, now that he is considered popular, Gomez is returning the favor…” – Meg Mendoza, Manila Standard, Sep 10, 1998 (READ MORE)

Dina Bonnevie dreams of reaching the heights of Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor’s career – “…In a recent interview, Dina Bonnevie admitted that she had learned to accept the fact that her relationship with Vic Sotto is over and that her ex-husband is now Coney Reyes’ man. She even wished Sotto and Reyes happiness together and hoped she find her own happiness someday. Bonnevie said that at this point her career is her priority and that she wants to be a bankable dramatic actress. She also said if possible she wants to break into the international movie scene. “I want to see myself at the top one day,” she declared. “Parang gusto kong marating ang narating ng mga superstars like Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. I guess everybody dreams of getting to the top and I’m one of them.” Bonnevie has nothing but good words for her two leading men in the movie, Gabby Concepcion and Julio Diaz, and director Maning Borlaza. Aside from being an actress, Bonnevie also dreams of making it as a successful scriptwriter. She gets to practice her writing skills in her own tv show, Dina, where who is supposed to write a script once a month…” – Nitz Miralles, Manila Standard, Sep 10, 1998 (READ MORE)

CUE CARDS – “…Vilma Santos shared the coveted Movie Actress of the Year award with Nida Blanca in last Saturday’s Star Awards, the local counterpart of Hollywood’s Golden Globe, at a jam-packed UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Santos was honored for her role in Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?, a movie written for the screen by Lualhati Bautista based on her own novel and directed by Chito Roño for Star Cinema. Blanca, meanwhile, won her acting trophy for her role in the obscure Sana Pag-ibig Na by first-time director Jeffrey Jeturian for Golden Harvest. The two bested three other nominees: Elizabeth Oropeza (Tasulok), Rosanna Roces (Ang Lalake sa Buhay ni Selya), and Sharmaine Arnais (Sagad sa Init)…Eric Quizon was voted Darling of the Press. Quizon was also one of the hosts of the show. Joining him were Ronnie Ricketts and Vilma Santos whose fans punctuated the show with screams, cheers and applause. A female fan was reportedly escorted out of the theater by security guards after some members fo the audience complained that she has making too much noise. If the Vilmanians were rowdy, the Noranians was the opposite side of the theater were ferocious. They trooped to the theater when they learned Nora Aunor would make an appearance to present the Ulirang Artista Award to her friend Caridad Sanchez. They broke in wild cheers when their idol chilled out of the stage wing and stood on the right end of the stage. Vilma was on the opposite side waiting for her cue to introduce Nora. It was all right until the Mayor of Lipa announced Nida Blanca instead. The Noranians were irked and incensed and objected with catcalls. Vilma was compelled to make a public apology, saying she was merely reading a cue card given to her by the show’s writer. Nora was also the recipient of a special award, cited by the PMPC for bringing the local movie industry honors in international film festivals. She won Best Actress at Penang, Malaysia for her role in 1997’s Bakit May Kahapon Pa? The superstar’s acceptance speech was short, saying only, “Maraming salamat!” Many speculated that she must have been incensed by the earlier faux pas committed by her perennial rival. In justifying the mistake, the PMPC said that Nora was not really expected to arrive. But they were glad she made it. In case she didn’t, Nida Blanca had agreed to make the presentation of the Ulirang Artista Award which was already written on the cue card. The question though remained, “Didn’t Vilma notice Nora coming in?” If she didn’t she should have taken the cue from the screams of the Noranians. The incident reignited the heated rivalry of these two stars and made the Star Awards a peewee exciting…” – Isah V. Red, Photographs by Mike de Juan, Manila Standard, Mar 14, 1999 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos, Famas Lifetime Achievement Awardee – “…After her recent Young Critics Circle and Star Awards victories, Vilma like Nida is up for another surprise at the Urian night. And just a few days after, April 8 to be exact, it will be the FAMAS’ turn to give out its trophies. Now on its 47th year, the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences is considered the oldest and the most controversial award giving body in Asia, coming only second to the Oscar Awards. Vilma is actually disqualified from winning best actress honors in the FAMAS since she has already been elevated to the Hall of Fame – after having won five best actress awards from the said body. But in order to give due recognition for her continued excellence and longevity as a movie queen, not to mention her very popular career as a public servant hailed as the Mother of Lipa, Vilma will be bestowed this year’s FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award. Like the grand slam and the Hall of Fame honors, this forthcoming award set Vilma in another plane above her arch rival Nora Aunor. In any case, the Noranians may be quick to retort, “the FAMAS Lifetime Achievement honor are no match to Nora’s Centennial Artist Honor.” Good for Nora and Vilma, they’ve transcended and have gone way beyond what their drumbeaters have set up for them…” – Wikipedia, Manila Standard, Mar 22, 1999 (READ MORE)

Alfie Lorenzo – “…Alfie interviewed Nora who professed her still lingering passion for Manny de Leon. Again it was duly reported by Alfie. Again he was belied, this time by Nora Aunor. This twin denials did not deter Alfie from pursuing a more rabid reporting stance. Now with the Vilma-Bobot group, he would rake coals and embers and fan the escalating Nora-Vilma war. Gradually the Nora-Vilma fight settled into a more subdued form of rivalry. From probing movie stars, Alfie Lorenzo teamed up with the members of what would eventually be the Laperal Mafia and the Ligaya Brotherhood (or Sisterhood, whichever the case maybe) and went into proing for movie companies – Sine Pilipino, Juan de la Cruz, Lyra Ventures – moving into Regal where he is more or less a fixture. Before latching on to these companies, Alfie and Douglas ventured into movie production coordinating for a freelance producer and came up with forgettable movie called, “Wild, Wild Pussycat.” “Lahat kaming malas nagsama-sama sa Sine Pilipino. Elwood directed “Blue Boy,” flop. Joey directed for Tower, flop, buti na lang kumuwela si Vilma.” remembers Alfie. At Sine Pilipino, Vilma Santos finally made the big leap to superstardom then held solely by the dark girl from Iriga. With a couple of hits which raked in the box-office, Sine Pilipino was able to establish the careers of Joey Gosiengfiao, Elwood Perez, and even when Sine Pilipino went under because of what has been reported as faulty management, Alfie managed to breast the waves of bankruptcy and the board of censors’ ire to stay in business as a movie writer-pro-columnist-manager. At Lyra Ventures, Alfie was part of the project-makers of “Uhaw” parts I and II, the scenes of which caused a turnover in the board of censors. Today, Alfie Lorenzo’s cheek and guts have taken him around the world in pursuit of his own star. Managing of being pro for stars like Vilma Santos, Charito Solis, Al Tantay, Cherie Gil, Mark Gil and Dante Rivero has made Alfie more or less an indispensable fixture in the movie scene…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980

Investigative Journalism – “…I follow up on events and I always add that dash of scoop by getting at the real story behind the news item.” Inday Badiday’s brand of gossip, therefore, is more akin to investigative journalism. Never mind the fact that her investigations always end up in the same way. For nobody can quite ransack a “ropero” as thoroughly as Inday can. Inday Badiday or Ludy Jimenez Carvajal also admits to having”sources” who relay precious information to her but she sifts these carefully and only follows up on the “more interesting” bits. “The hotel guest registry is not my cup of tea, I leave it to others to do that type of reporting. If I get a lead about so-and-so checking in at this hotel, I sometimes pass on the information to another reporter and leave it up to him to follow the story if he cares to.” Inday’s chitchat being more issue-oriented has landed her into more controversies than she’s ready to bargain for. “In the Amalia-Romeo-Vilma affair, for instances, I was only a bystander. They were the ones who did all the talking, most especially Bobby. But it was my program which took the brunt of it all. Sabi ko nga, para bang nag-away ang mga bisita mo sa bahay mo. Anong magagawa mo?” Inday confesses that her job is not exactly a bed of roses. “Anong gagawin mo pag sinabi sa iyo ng artista, “Ate Luds, ito ang tunay na nangyari pero huwag mong sasabihin. Ito na lang ang sabihin mo, Sasakit ang ulo mo talaga.” The constant ringing of the phone, the centenarian who came to visit Inday that day, the unending parade of people streaming in and out of Inday’s tiny office-all these attest to the queen’s popularity. “My sister (Letty Jiminez-Magsanoc of Panorama) tells me that I’m but a mere spectator of this circus.” What LJM meant was perhaps that Inday’s life is the anti-thesis of the sordid world of her occupation. Inday after all started out as a ballet teacher at Joji Felix’s dance studio (would you believe?) where perhaps the most awkward event of any given day was a ballerina’s lazy arabesque. Now that her world has changed from ballet to bod stars, she remains even more certain of her ground. “The point of interest being facets of the stars’ private lives,” says Inday, “and this means I cannot write or talk about how many times they go to church. I cannot imagine why some peole would like us to turn plastic, too, by writing plastic things about their plastic selves. Ang sabi nga kung naiinitan ka sa apoy ng nagluluto, di umalis ka sa kusina.” It is the movies where one worries most when the gossip stops. Very few attain that sought-after state of virtual imperviousness. Should anything truly sensational happen in their lives, who do you think will merit bigger headlines today, Vilma Santos or Tita Duran? What worries certain movie scribes, Giovanni Calvo included…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980

Emmanuel H. Borlaza – “…Why Borlaza? Because Emmanuel H. Borlaza is a formula director, a tried and tested moneymaker for local film companies and an example of a commercial success who also hungers for artistic fulfillment. It was Maning Borlaza who directed the box-office hit revival of Darna and Dyesebel, those heroines of less demanding times, and followed of less demanding times, and followed them with more Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz starrers and such crowd-drawers as Kapatid Ko Ang Aking Ina; Artista And Aking Asawa; and I Love Mama, I Love Papa. Very recently, despite his many obvious fumbling, his Mrs. Eva Fonda, 16 raked in the moolah, as entertainment columnist would put it. Whether the lure was really Borlaza and not Vilma (as Darna) or Alma (as Eva), one would still not find out in Makahiya at Talahib, the Goodwill production that Maning is directing as a filmfest bet. Vilma is starring, you see, opposite Rudy Fernandez who portrays the man on the run. Maning, however, has been quoted to have said that “My next 20 years are modestly provided for, I don’t think I will live more than that. Henceforth, I will split my movie work to what I want to do and what the public likes. He wants, it seems, to recover his old self, the Borlaza who filmed Pyscho-Maniac, a suspense thriller which cast Divina Valencia, Dindo Fernando and Ray Marcos and won him the Academy’s best screenplay award in ’68, who packed so much good action in Mindanao, the movie that bagged four statuettes in the Manila Filmfest of the same year, and who directed Vilma Santos’s way to the FAMAS best actress award for the performance in Dama de Noche. And yet, he is not that keen to do films that might suffer the fate of O’Hara’s Mortal or Bernal’s Nunal sa Tubig. “Their box-office results are not encouraging,” says Maning. He admits he still goes a little commercial.

That is why there is a love scene between Vilma and Rudy in Makahiya that Maning expects people might be talking about, more than the torrid shots of Rudy and Trixia Gomez. The 41-year old director also wrote the story and screenplay of Makahiya. Writing was something that didn’t interest Maning while he was enrolled in Dr. Severino Montano’s Arena theater at the same time that he was majoring in English at the Manuel Luis Quezon University. “Dr. Montano was the rave of the drama world at that time,” recalls Maning. “That’s where I bumped into Lino Brocka, Behn Cervantes, Joonee Gamboa…they were coming in when I was leaving the group. I got much too engrossed in acting because I got good roles I didn’t write anything.” From acting in theater, however, Borlza switched to writing in the movies. To his credit are some 300 stories and screenplays from which Sampaguita stalwarts Carlos Vander Tolosa and Octavio Silos directed. But after 12 long years of scriptwriting, Maning struck up a partnership with ’60s bombshell Divina Valencia and formed the Queen Vi production on which he now says he lost a lot of money. Their first movie, Psycho-Maniac, was also Maning’s first directorial attempt. Another person would have thought things over and concentrated on scriptwriting instead after a victory like that but Borlaza was decided: he was going to make movies, not just write them. Nowadays, he even makes two pictures at a time. “I just finished Makahiya and Teatro Manila. It’s cheaper that way. You don’t waste any calendar day. No stars available for Makahiya, we would work on Teatro.” Work means gearing up in a sleeveless top and a pair of short shorts that expose his long smooth legs. Maning, in case you didn’t hear his very casual confession on Inday Badiday’s Nothing But the Truth, is “gay.” “That was the first time I opened up to the public,” he explaines. I thought if I didn’t open up, what’s the use of coming to a show like that?” Homosexuals are actually spilling all over the movie world, just as they do in other creative fields. One of these days, Emmanuel H. Borlaza might just complete a consciousness-raising classic and we’ll say it can happen to anyone regardless of sex…” – Chelo R. Banal, Philippine Panorama Magazine, 26 December 1976 (READ MORE)

News Clippings 2/2

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Sinong Mas Magaling – “…Both Nora and Vilma have proven their virtuosity in acting in a number of their films that can equal, if not surpass even the best performances of such internationally-acclaimed actresses such as Anna Magnani, Simone Signoret, Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway and Meryl Streep; (for Nora) Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Atsay, Minsaý Isang Gamu-gamo, Bona, Bakit Bughaw ang Langit, Merika, Condemned, (for Vilma) Rubia Servios, Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Adultery and Alyas Baby Tsina. Ang lumang kuwestiyon kung sino ang mas magaling umarte sa dalawang aktress na unwarranted, unfair, immaterial and irrelevant, to say the least. At most, comparing both actresses’acting capabilities is stupid. Sabi ng ni Meryl Streep: “It’s insane to have winners and losers in art. We live in a society plagued by sports mania. To say that one performances is better than the other is just plain dumb. You wouldn’t think of comparing two colors in a painting woul you?…” One thing is clear though both Nora and Vilma are terrific actresses. Sabi ng isang Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, Tezza Parel: “We had great difficulty in judging who between Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos should win for their work in Himala and Relasyon. I think we had several ties in judgements until we finally chose Vilma for Relasyon. But even after that there would still be somebody in the group who would protest!” Both Nora and Vilma have reached their peaks – as it seems at this time – as actresses in two of the most magnificens and staggering motion pictures (take note: walang word na “local”) ever made, namely Himal and Sister Stella L respectively. As the faithhealer Elsa in Himala, Nora proves that she is the master in underrated acting (said to be the most difficult acting style), calm as sea on the surface but raging with fire and passion within. It is a gripping and mesmerising performance, nothing less. And in Sister Stella L, Vilma mastered all her acting mastery in acting ans sense of gallantry to breathe lief in her potentially explosive nun character and than provoked, disturbed and conscientisized the moviegoing public on the socio-polical issues being presented in the film. It is a powerful performance…” – Anonymous, photo clip of the article posted at facebook acct of fb user, Mike Herrera (READ MORE)

Vi on her Directors – “…Masarap katrabaho si Mike (de Leon). Kaya ganado akong gumising ng maaga at hindi talaga ako nale-late. Kaya naman ako nale-late sa iba, kasi alam kong darating nga ako ng maaga pero maghihintay muna ako nang matagal dahil magse-set-up pa. Kay Mike, alam mo, pagdating mo, trabaho na agad. No more waiting, hindi na aayusing ang set at isasalang ka na. Very systematic kasi siya. Kahit minsan hindi ako naghintay nang matagal…” On Lino Brocka, “…He knows what he wants to get mula sa artista niya. Talagang iga-guide ka niya to get a particular reaction na gusto niyang iarte mo para sa kamera. He’s a real actor’s director. Kaya nang mahawakan niya ako noon sa Rubia, very confident ako dahil alam kong magandang lumabas ang acting ko, e. Gano’n din dito sa Adultery…” On Ishmael Bernal, “…Si Bernie, he’s really one of the best,”she say with great emphasis. “Talagang one of my favorites. Matagal na kaming magkatrabaho, way back sa Tagalog Ilang-Ilang in Inspiration, Now and Forever, Ikaw ay Akin. At saka ýung mga ginawa namin sa Lea, Like Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon. He can be very demanding, very strict. Naninigaw Lalo kapag hindi mo makuha ang gusto niyang ipagawa sa iyo. Like when we were doing Broken Marriage at sabi niya, Mukha raw akong masaya when I should look tired and depressed. So he sent me to the comfort toom at pinag-jogging ako roon…” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash, 1984 (READ MORE)

Nora’s Turn – “…Despite the overwhelming rivalry between the two actresses, the professinal lives of Nora and Vilma run parallel with each other. It Nora is up, Vilma is down. Kung si Vilma ay nakasakay sa tugatog ng tagumpay, si Nora ay parang lumalangoy sa iba’t ibang klaseng trahedya. Bago manalo si Nora for her marvelous performance in Eddie Garcia’s Atsay (1978), Vilma was the darling of Movie companies and the press, nage-enjoy ng tagumpay sa takilya at magagandang write-ups sa lahat ng movie magazines. It was bruised na Vilma Santos’convincing portrayal of the rape victim in Rubia Servios would cap the year that was one of Vilma’s best personally and professionally dahil Nora seemed to be at her lowest cob, a floundering movie and TV career and a turbulent private life. Sabi nga, Atsay was Nora’s “last card.” But the last card turned out to be an ace and after Nora’s tearful and moving award acceptance speech at the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards Night (“Mamay Tunying, Mali ang Hula nila!”), it wa Nora’s turn to be on top and Vilma seemed like typhoid to movie producers…” – Gerard Ramos (READ MORE)

Nahulog si Jean Garcia – “…Medyo napangisi kami nang nanalo si Redford White bilgn best actor in comedy. Sa labing isnag taon niya kasi na nilagi sa industriya ay ngayon lang talaga siya napansin. Habang tumatagal ay lalong nawawala ang mga manonood. Napansin namin si Mel Chnco na nakaarko ang kilay at ang kanyang mga kasamahan ay unti-unti na ring ngasisialisan. Narinig namin ang bulung-bulungan sa likod na na nag-walk-out daw ang mga taga-Channel 2 dahil panay taga-siyete ang nananalo. As usual ay parating magkakasama ang magkabarkada na sina Tina Revilla at si Coney Reyes. Para silang rugbyna hindi mawalay sa isa’t isa. Nandoon din ang isa pa nilang kabarkada na si Vilma ngunit hindi nila masyadong nakausap dahil nagho-host ang star of all season. Ang tanging wala lang sa kanilang magkakaibigan ay si Helen Vela. very dramatic and pagtanggap ni Coney nang kanyang award. Makikita mo talaga ang kanyang sincerity sa kanyang pagluha nang nabanggit niya ang pangalang Vic Sotto. Bakit kaya? Napatingin kami sa likod nang kinalabit kami ng aming katabi. Nginuso si Armida Siguion Reyna. nakatawag-pansin kasi ang kanyang suot nang gabing iyon. Naka-preggy look siya na tinernohna ng itim na tights may award ba sa worst dress?…Nahulog si Jean Garcia sa backstage pagkatapos ng kanilang production number dahil sa kanyang katangahan. Madalian kasi at hindi niya nakita ang hagdanan. Nanginginig siya sa takot at pagkabigla. Walang tigil siya sa kanyang pagluha. Ang pinagtataka lang namin, bakit yung iba niyang kasamahan hindi nalaglag? Bukod tanging siya lang…” – Joey Sarmiento (READ MORE)

Vilma-Nora Rivalry – “…Despite the emergence Sharon Cuneta and Maricel Soriano, who are predictedto dominate the movie scene of the ’80s, Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos manages to remain in the limelight. Their rivalry, which started in the late ’60s and reached its peak in the ’70s, continues until now, the mid ’80s. Undoubtedly, Vilma has a big, big edge this year over Nora. Vi wonan Urian Broken Marriage and appeared in two Rated A films, Lino Brocka’s Adultery and Mike de Leon’s Sister Stella L., which is currently showing in Metro Manila. Vi’s doing Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Alyas Baby Tsina. Nora, on the other hand, is lying low from the movie scene these days. Her ‘Merika, directed by Gil Portes is still in the post-production stage and has no playdate yet. She’s still shooting Mario O’Hara’s Ermita, which started late last year…and its completion is nowhere in sight. But for a FAMAS nomination, the other award giving groups “ignored” Nora..” – Ronald K. Constantino (READ MORE)

Talbog si Guy – “…Mas maraming aktor ang na-link kay Vilma Santos kaysa sa karibal-kaibigan niyang si Nora Aunor. Huwag nating ilista no! Nakakahiya lang. Pero sa totoo lang, Tita, pagdating sa lalaki, mga guwapong lalake, talbug na talbog Vi si Guy. Tested and proven ‘yan. Si Vi kasi maski asa mid-30s na, nakaka-attract pa rin ng mga baget kahit ten years ang bata sa kanya. Puwede pa ngang ma-link sa kanya ang isang Aga Muhlach eh! The Eskinol beauty of Vi kasi is so refreshing na mukhang mabangung-mabango hindi lang mga leeg. O di nga ba’t pati mga Gabby Concepcion at Eric Quizon ay puwedeng ipareha kay Vi?…Sa dancing, talbog din ni Vi si Guy. Napanood ba ninyo ang opening number ni Vi last Friday sa Vilma? Nakakaloka! Talbog talaga ni Vi si Guy pagdating sa sayawan at sirkuhan. Pati sa mga poging boys ay walang binatbat si Guy sa karisma ni Vi…” – Chito P. Alcid (READ MORE)

Welcome Back Joey – “…Ngayon, our mutual best friend, si Joey Marquez, player ng Ginebra ay nag-artista na rin. Tulad namin ni Anjo, “susubukan”daw muna niya kung okay sa kanya ang pag-aartista o hindi. He’s just anticipating for that day hen he could no longer be a professional basketball player, and there’s a second career for him. Oo nga naman. Kung kabado man si Joey, it’s not the usual nervousness most newcomer feel. Meron siyang konting confidence dahil unang-una, ang producer ng debut film niya, ang Tagos ng Dugo ay ang kanyang sariling kapatid Si Via Marques Hoffman. Mag-aksaya man siya ng negatibo, hindi siya masyadong titilian. Pangalawa, ka-vibes na n’ya si Maryo de los Reyes resident director ng VH Films. Pangatlo, being the youngest son of Artemio Marquez by his real wife Terrisita Perez (kapatid ng ama ni Elwood Perez, kaya magpinsan sial), sanay na si Joeysa ambience ng showbiz. Pang-apat, kontinglambing lang kay Ate Via, may pang-happening na naman kami. Katunayan nga, lagi kong naririnig si Ate Via an sinisita si Joey dahil bayad na ito “for four films!” Mahusay mangkarinyo kasi!…” – Richard Gomez (READ MORE)

Progress Report – “…Ang payat mo” ang bungad naming bati sa kanya. “Kailangan kasi,” was her reply. “Medyo tumaba na nga ako ngayon. nahinto kasi ang shooting namin ng ilang days. You should’ve seen me a week ako. mas payat ako noon.” But it become her. Mas mukha siyang teenager. She sure that by now, alam na niyang kailangang lang magpapayat ni Vilma Santos para sa kanyang pelikulang ginagawa ngayon, ang Alyas Baby Tsina. Since she is in between pictures, kakaunti ang makikitang artikulo ngayon sa kanya. That’s why we have to write this progress report on her latest films. We asked her kung malapit nang matapos ang Baby Tsina. “Malayo pa eh,”she replied. “Ang dami kasi naming re-shoot. Sabi ni Marilou (Abaya, her director), May nasira raw ang ilang negatibo kaya’t kailangang ulitin. At last week of September, tapos na siguro. Did she like the movie? “Naku, malaking pelikula.”sambit niya. “Three acts kasi ‘yon. Inuna naming i-shoot ‘yung third act nang nakakulong na si Baby sa Correctional. Tapos we went back to perion noong prostiture pa lang siya. Ang hirap maging prostitute! Ngayon, we’re on the second act, love triangle kami nina Dindo Fernando at Philip Salvador…We were quite hesitant at first to ask her…kung tutuong and Sister Stella ay hindi kumita na tulad ng inaasahan. “I was told by Mother Lily na kumita naman daw pero siyempre I still feel disappointed because of high expectations nga ng lahat ng tao…Pero nuong una pa, marami sa aking nagsasabi na baka hindi raw kikita dahil seryosong masyado ‘yung pelikula…Sa ngayon ngaý ipinadala ang pelikula sa Venice Film Festival na ginaganap ngayon. Nagpunta roon si Mike de Leon bilang kinatawanan ng pelikula at ng bansa at gusto ni Mother Lily na sumama na rin si Vi sa delegasyon roon. “Pero imposible nga akong umalis dahil sa commitment ko sa Baby Tsina, lalo na malapit nang matapos ang shooting namin…” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash, 1984 (READ MORE)

TIFF – “…At the sold-out premiere in Toronto, many in the long lineup awaiting the film’s start were excited to watch it given the critical acclaim at Cinemalaya. Arnold Manalac, a big Santos fan, organized about 20 of his friends to come watch the film. “These are all my college friends, friends here in Toronto, some of my relatives,” he said while pointing out the smiling faces with him, “so we organized and came up with a small group to support this film. The crowd of mostly Filipino-Canadians was abuzz with anticipation, including the very first people in the line, Danny Ong and Ricardo Obusan, who came to support independent Filipino films. Jeturian signed autographs before and after the film’s screening and took questions from the audience. The final showing of Ekstra at TIFF is Sept. 15, but the movie will have a theatrical release in eight Canadian cities including Mississauga and Scarborough from Sept. 13 to 26…” – Dyan Ruiz, The Philippine Reporter, 13 Sept 2013 (READ MORE)

Hindi Mabubuo Nang Walang Ekstra – “…Lahat ng pagod and kaba mo nawala lahat. Nagawa ko ito as contribution for art. Napatunayan na hindi lahat, kapag sinabing artista ay kailangan bayaran. Hindi eh. This is a contribution. They gave their all. Yung reception kanina, yun na yung bayad sa amin. This is very different, makikita niyo na ekstra talaga ako. Buong time ko, bida ako since 9, ngayon ekstra talaga ako. Maramandaman niyo naman ang pakiramdam maging ekstra. Ang isang pelikula ay hindi mabubuo nang walang ekstra…Ako naman, sa tinagal ko na sa pelikula, nakikita ko na sila. It’s about time bigyan natin sila ng importansya, tao din sila, may pangangailangan sila. Aminin natin, we take them for granted. Wag naman sana. Sa pelikula, may pamilya si Loida na nangangailangan ng tuiton, gagawin niya ang lahat maibigay lang iyon para sa anak niya. Positibo siya sa ending, baka may booking pa. See, hindi sya nawalan ng pag-asa. Iyon ang mahalaga, hindi mawalan ng pag-asa…” – Raj Bay, MadHouseMNL, 13 August 2013 (READ MORE)

Vilma, Robredo lead “Lingkod Bayan Awardees” – The late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jessy M. Robredo and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto were among this year’s Presidential Lingkod Bayan awardees. President Benigno S. Aquino III led the awarding yesterday of the recipeints – 22 government individuals and six government organization – at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang. The awardees were chosen from 383 nominations. The Presidential Lingkod Bayan award is conferred on an individual or group for exceptional contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest. Robredo’s award was received by his eldest daughter, Jessica Marie. His posthumous Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award was in recognition of his efforts in government, particularly in exemplifyingthe ideal in public service. “His principled leadership, compassion for the vulnerable, and pride in serving the Filipino people are manifestations of his outstanding servant leadership,”his citation said. “During his stint as Secreatary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, he institutionalized a full disclosure policy to help minimize, if not totally eradicate corruption in the local level. He also awarded exceptional local government units with the Seal of Good Housekeeping which, in turn, motivated local chief executives to improve their operations,” it added. Aquino also conferred the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award to Batangas Gov. Rosa Vilma Santos-Recto, who was accompanied by her husband Sen. Ralph G. Recto and children Luis and Ryan Christian. Vilma’s award was in recognition of her effort to addressed overcrowding in Taal Lake to improve water quality and prevent fish kills. She also made possible the improvement of road imfrastructures, modernization of district hospitals, and the establishment of the first provincial-based Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Center in Batangas. – Madel Sabater, Tempo