Phillip Salvador and Vilma Santos

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The Actor – “…Ever since Lino Brocka stumbled upon Christopher de Leon in a gas station and heard the bells ringing in his head, his reputation as director began to be exceeded only by his reputation as star-builder, “actors, not stars,” Brocka want to say but the patina of showbiz glamor has always rubbed off on his discoveries whether they like it or not….The bells have chimed once again. And now Phillip Salvador. With or without his first solo pucture, “Jaguar,” Phillip is already a star. He does not like the imposition it makes on his lifestyle – on his choice of friends, of clothes, even of habits, of favorite wateing places. Yet he, more than any of Lino’s other protegees knows the value of the status he has now achieved. Afterall, unlike Boyet and Bembol who were unknows catapulted to overnight stardom, Phillip was around for seven long years, aching for a break, knowing in his bones that he had what it takes, pitying himself at times, but never giving up. He was not one of showman Lou Salvador Sr’s hundred or so children for nothing…” – Bibsy M. Carballo, TV Times, August 1979 (READ MORE)

In his Blood – “…Remember him as Celia Rodribuez’s oversexed, ex-basketball star husband in the four episode comedy Spagkat Kami’y Mga Misis Lamang, his biggest role before his bigger break? Not likely, rmember him in Lirio Vital’s barrio sweetheart in Anino ng Araw, or as Vilma Santos’ gangmate in Batya’t Palu-palo, or as Jun Aristorenas’ side-kick in Tatak ng Agila, or as the young rebel in Adios Mi Amor, the Susan Roces-Eddie Gutierrez re-team up where he had his screen debut in 1971? I bet you don’t. Inconsequential roles all, yes, that hardly left any imprint in the public memory. But he is a Salvador, you remind him, and he could have gotten a better deal. The name may help open doors, agrees this youngest boy (he’s 24) in brood of, would you believe, 102 offspring (count them) but once the doors are opened, you will hvae to stand on your own and if you have talent, it will get you there, don’t worry. Not that Philip didn’t have talent he just didn’t get the right vehicle. Because the acting fever is in his blood, Philip acted true to his nature. He quit school when he was in second year of commerce at the Jose Rizal College and joined FPJ Productions, determined to land the role while, on the side, he played with Ronnie Poe’s all-star basketball team. For seven years, he drifted along, never losing hope, never losing enthusiasm…Last year, while doing the Gom-Bur-Za episode of Lahing Pilipino, Lino needed an actor to play the leader of the squad that captured the three martyr priest. Film editor Augusto Salvador suggested Phillip. “Lino made me walk,” Phillip recalls. What kind of walk, he asked. “Just walk,” Lino told him, “a casual walk.” And so Phillip walked, steadfast like a soldier, his body as firm and graceful as a leopard’s and Lino said to himself, “Eureka!” What Phillip didn’t know was, at that time, Lino was scouting around for an actor who could play Stanley Kowalski in Flores. It was only on the last shooting day of Lahi did he break the good news to Phillip…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

Phillip “Ipe” Salvador (born Phillip Mikael Reyes Salvador on August 22, 1953) is a three-time FAMAS award-winning Filipino actor. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Philip Salvador and Vilma Santos

Adultery: Aida Macaraeg Case No. 7892 (1984) – “…Vilma Santos’ restrained acting in Adultery: Aida Macaraeg 7892 was due to Brocka’s expert direction. We wish he did the same thing to Tolentino and Bonneive in this film. But then, Maging Aking Ka Lamang is a big box-office success. Brocka probably feels that it’s high time he gives the masses what they want. And on this score, Brocka succeeds enormously…” – Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard, May 19 1987 (READ MORE)

Baby Tsina (1984) – “…You know, I did a movie before, Baby Tsina, but I wasn’t really Chinese there. In Mano Po 3, I play Lilia Chong-Yang, a socially conscious anti-crime crusader and I get to know more about Chinese culture. We were even taught how to speak Fookien Chinese by a private tutor. Sa dubbing, the coach was there to make sure we’re perfect with our pronunciation of all our Chinese lines…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

Sinasamba Kita (1982) – “…Sobra pala ang lakas ng “Sinasamba Kita.” Tuwang tuwa sina Vic at Mina del Rosario. They started with 38 theatres, by the weekend, 41 theatres na ang nagpapalabas ng pelikula. After 6 days, kumita na ito ng P5,207,416.00. After a week’s time, almost P6 million na ito…” – Billy Balbastro (READ MORE)

Rubia Servios (1978) – “…Simplistiko ang materyal at lalong simplistiko ang pamamaraan ni O’Hara sa karakterisasyon. Nagmumukha tanga ang mga tauhan (si Rubia at si Norman) samantalang medical students at naturingang doktor pa naman sial. Tinatakot na sila’y hindi pa sila humingi ng proteksiyon sa pulis. Ginahasa na si Rubia ay nakipagtagpo pa sa sementeryong madilim nang nag-iisa at nagpaganda pa mandin siya nang husto. At ang asawa niya’y wala ring utak. Biro mong sinundan ang asawa sa sementeryo nang nag-iisa! Dapat nga palang magkaganito sila kung napakakitid ng kanilang utak. Sa direksiyon ni Brocka, lumitaw ang galing ni Vilma Santos, at nakontrol ang labis na pagpapagalaw ng kanyang labi. Mahusay din ang eksena ng gahasa. Si Philip Salvador naman ay tulad sa isang masunuring estudyante na sinusunod lahat ang direksiyon ng guro. Kitang-kita mo sa kanyang pagganap ang bawat tagubiling pinaghihirapan niyang masunod: kilos ng mata, buntong-hininga, galaw ng daliri, kislot ng kilay. Limitado ang kanyang kakayahan at makikia ito sa kanyang mukha (na limitado rin). Walang-wala rtio si Mat Ranillo III, na parang pinabayaan para lalong lumitaw ang papel at pag-arte ni Salvador. Samantala, ang kamera ni Conrado Salvador ay hindi gaanong nakalikha ng tension at suspense, bukod sa napakaliwanang ng disenyo ng produksiyon ang pagbabago ng mga tauhan sa loob ng pitong taon batay sa estilo ng damit at buhok…” – Justino M. Dormiendo, Sagisag, February 1979 (READ MORE)

Bato Sa Buhangin (1976) – “…I really felt very sad as he’s one of the kindest men I ever met. We’ve done three films together. The first one was when I was only 19-years-old, Batya’t Palo-Palo, a big hit. He was the one who taught me how to swim while we were shooting that movie. Before that, I did Dyesebel where I played a mermaid but I didn’t even know how to swim. This was followed by Bato sa Buhangin. Our last film together was Ikaw ang Mahal Ko, which I did after I gave birth to Ryan Christian. Kuya Ronnie is a gentleman in the strictest sense of the word. Talagang maasikaso siya sa lahat ng kasama niya sa shooting and he feeds everyone with great food all the time. He’s fun to work with kasi palabiro siya at masaya talaga kasama. The whole industry will miss him…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

Batya’t Palu-Palo (1974) – “…Two newly-proclaimed box office champions of Philippine movies 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. Dilineating the lead roles are Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos who star for the first time 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, a haceinda hand who nevertheless, catches the attention of the young rich and quiete spolied Estella. Directed by ace meg man Pablo Santiago, “Batya’t Palu Palo” is scripted by Fred Navarro, base on a story by Ronwaldo Reyes…” – FPJ-Da King Blogspot (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Batya’t Palu-Palo (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Pablo Santiago; Screenplay: Fred Navarro; Cast: Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Fred Montilla, Mila del Sol, Dencio Padilla, Robert Talabis, Vic Varrion, Janine Frias, Lorna Tolentino, Phillip Salvador, Liza Anzures, Angge, Paquito Diaz, Max Alvarado, Lito Anzures; Executive producer: Fernando Poe Jr.; Original Music: Ernani Cuenco; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Pete Herrera; Sound: Angel Avellana, Jun Ella; Release Date:4 May 1974 (Philippines); Production Co: FPJ Productions – (IMDB)

Plot Description: “Batya’t Palu Palo,” is a situation comedy about a rich heiress, Estella (Vilma Santos), who disguises as a lowly washerwoman in order to find out for herself the true meaning of love that she found in Berting (Fernando Poe Jr).

Film Achievement: The success of this film resulted with a follow-up film, Bato sa Buhangin (1976), the OPM hit, used as the theme song or soundtrack of this 1974 Box Office Hit. Total Number of Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos Films: 5 – Batya’t Palu-Palo, Bato sa Buhangin, Ikaw ang Mahal Ko, Dugo At Pag-ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita

Film Review: “…Recently, we spent an entire afternoon watching replays of three shows from Palibhasa Lalake and one from FPJ. Titled Batya’t Palo-palo, the FPJ film stars Fernando Poe Jr. with Vilma Santos as his leading lady. It presents a love story between Ronnie (Poe’s nickname) who plays a tubero working in the hacienda of the rich Saavedra family whose daughter (Vilma) he meets while she is cleaning her clothes by the river. The twist in the story comes when Ronnie mistakes Vilma for a laundry woman and she plays along, asking the women in the hacienda not to reveal her secret. Ronnie and Vilma begin to take a liking to each other while Vilma’s friends as well as Ronnie’s man Friday cooperate in keeping her secret. The parents of Vilma get wind of the situation, and are outraged that their daughter could fall for a man not in their class. Ronnie, who is unaware of all this secrecy, leaves the farm to board a bus for Manila. Vilma follows him to the station and while the bus is leaving, they get on board to their happy ending. We enjoyed this simple love story with only minimal fight scenes expected of a Ronnie Poe picture. Without question, there was definite magic in the Ronnie-Vilma team-up which kept us glued to the screen…Since these stories are re-runs of those produced many years ago, we can expect negative reactions from today’s young audience. We can already hear the words “unlikely storyline,” “ridiculous costuming” and “outdated locations.” We agree with all these accusations. However, to us such stories represent a period gone by, a part of our history that we should appreciate and be happy that some people took the pains to preserve…” – Bibsy M. Carballo, The Philippine Star, 11 March 2015 (READ MORE)

Two newly-proclaimed box office champions of Philippine movies 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. Dilineating the lead roles are Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos who star for the first time 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, a haceinda hand who nevertheless, catches the attention of the young rich and quiete spolied Estella. Directed by ace meg man Pablo Santiago, “Batya’t Palu Palo” is scripted by Fred Navarro, base on a story by Ronwaldo Reyes. – FPJ-Da King Blogspot (READ MORE)

“…Memories! I started reminiscing instantly. I want to ask Ate Susan (Roces, FPJ’s wife) nga for DVD copies of our three movies. I was only 21 when we made “Batya.” Ninety percent of the movie was shot in Hacienda Luisita (Tarlac) where we stayed for two months. He taught me how to swim in the hacienda’s swimming pool. We were with (co-star) Lorna Tolentino then. I admit that I didn’t know how to swim when I did “Dyesebel.” But the most memorable scene [from “Batya”] was the ending, where I ran after him, while he was aboard a train….” – RV (READ MORE)

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

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Filmography: Bato sa Buhangin (1976)

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Basic Information: Directed: Pablo Santiago; Story: Herminio ‘Butch’ Bautista; Screenplay: Fred Navarro; Cast: Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Dencio Padilla, Robert Talabis, Millie Mercado, Connie Angeles, Yvonne Salcedo, Tina Monasterio, Jun Soler, Jumbo Salvador, Phillip Salvador, Rowell Santiago; Executive producer: Fernando Poe Jr.; Original Music: Ernani Cuenco; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Theme Songs: “Bato sa Buhangin” by Cinderella

Plot Description: An intriguing revelation from a Fortune Teller leads the spoiled Bamba (Vilma Santos) restless to meet her destined Lover. One day, the anxious Bamba comes across the humble Taxi Driver Rafael (Fernando Poe Jr.) after crashing his vehicle on the street. To make up for Bamba’s blunder, Bamba’s father offers the poor Rafael to work as his daughter’s Bodyguard. Being the snotty brat she is, Bamba punishes Rafael by bossing him around and embarrassing him in front of her friends. Through it all, however, Bamba suddenly finds herself irresistibly falling in love with Rafael — the one man who has patiently put up with all her mischief. The only hurdle to Bamba and Rafael’s love story, though, is the secret Bamba has been keeping from everybody all her life – even to her beloved Rafael. Will this secret ruin the chance for Bamba to be with her fated Partner? – Pelikula.net (READ MORE)

Bamba (Vilma Santos) is eager to meet the love of her life after having her fortune told. Fate delivers her to the humble taxi driver, Rafael (Fernando Poe Jr.). And while their relationship is initially strained by Bamba’s poor treatment of Rafael, they inevitably find themselves falling for one another. But Bamba is hiding a secret that she has kept from everyone in her life. Will this secret destroy any and all chance she has to be with the one she is fated to love? – TFC (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1976 FAMAS Best Theme Song – Ernani Cuenco for the song “Bato sa Buhangin”

Film Review: “…I really felt very sad as he’s one of the kindest men I ever met. We’ve done three films together. The first one was when I was only 19-years-old, Batya’t Palo-Palo, a big hit. He was the one who taught me how to swim while we were shooting that movie. Before that, I did Dyesebel where I played a mermaid but I didn’t even know how to swim. This was followed by Bato sa Buhangin. Our last film together was Ikaw ang Mahal Ko, which I did after I gave birth to Ryan Christian. Kuya Ronnie is a gentleman in the strictest sense of the word. Talagang maasikaso siya sa lahat ng kasama niya sa shooting and he feeds everyone with great food all the time. He’s fun to work with kasi palabiro siya at masaya talaga kasama. The whole industry will miss him…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

Kundiman – “…Although the kundiman (or the love song in Tagalog) and the balad are like sisters by emotional affinity, so to speak, the former is more plaintive than the latter. Whereas the ballad (such asd Jerome Kern’s All the Things You are or David Raksin’s Laura or Victor Young Stella by Starlight) speaks of the anguish of romantic love with the emotions held in full gear, the kundiman is so mournful that it becomes maudlin. In a way, this is not surprising since the Filipino is, by nature, extremely sentimental. No wonder, a local film of the tearjerker variety is milked to excess to the point of nauseato the delight of its audience. The kundiman, then, fits perfectly into the innate psyche of the typical Filipino. Tearjerkers in Philippine cinema prior to the outbreak of World War II on Dec 8, 1941 were understandably lachrymose to the nth degree and were studded with the necessary kundiman…Kapalaran (music by Orly Ilacad and lyrics by Ernie de la Pena) was recorded by Rico J. Puno in 1976 and sang in Inday Garutay, a Trixia Gomez starrer. The meaningful lyrics embellished by the bewitching melody created an emotional carthasis on the sensitive listener. That same year, Bato sa Buhangin (an Ernani Cuenco composition), which starred Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos, was also shown. As sung by Cinderella (or Yolly Samson) in the single, Bato sa Buhangin, fought it out with Kapalaran in jukeboxes and on the airlanes, aside from the mouths of people who date on the beauty of melodies falling under the label of the kundiman…” – Leo P. Sergio, Manila Standard, 01 April 1988 p11 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Rubia Servios (1978)

“Hayup! Hayup! Hayuuuup!” – Rubia Servios

“Nahihibang ako sa pagnanasa sa iyo, ilang libong beses na kitang hinuhubaran sa aking isipan, pinagsasamantalahan sa aking pangarap!…Ito’y isang pagsubok sa ating pagmamahalan, kahit ano pa ang nangyari sa iyo, mahal kita, kailangan kita!…” – Willie Trizon

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Basic Information: Direction: Lino Brocka; Screenplay: Mario O’Hara; Cast: Vilma Santos, Mat Ranillo III, Phillip Salvador, Estrella Kuenzler, Esther Chaves, Carpi Asturias, Jess Ramos, Leah de Guzman, Mark Verzosa; Cinematography: Conrado Baltazar; Editing: Jose H. Tarnate; Music: Freddie Aguilar; Production Company: Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.; Release Date: December 25, 1978; “Rubia Servios (Case No. 63572)” (1978); Office Entry to The 4th (1978) Metro Manila Film Festival Entry; Based on an “Unforgettable Legal Story” by Aida Sevilla Mendoza; Theme Song: “Pag-subok” composed and sang by Freddie Aguilar

Plot Description: Medical intern Rubia Servios (Vilma Santos) is engaged to Dr. Norman Ignacio (Mat Ranillo III), but persistent suitor Willy Trison (Phillip Salvador) refuses to give up. On the day of the death of Norman’s father, she is abducted by Willy and brought to an island. She is repeatedly raped and offered marriage by Willy. She turns him down and warns him that she will bring matters to the police. However, he is confident that she will not press a case against him as she will not want the stigma of a rape victim. Rubia is released and she brings him to court. Willy is sentenced to six to ten years in prison. Rubia discovers she is pregnant and the steadfast Dr. Norman Ignacio proposes marriage. She gives birth to Willy’s daughter, Vivian, and they leave for Canada. Rubia wants a child by Norman and they have a son. Years later, they return to Manila. There are mysterious calls on the telephone. It is Willy and he wants his daughter. Rubia and Norman hide Vivian and plan to leave for the American continent. However, Willy is able to kidnap the child with the help of an ice cream vendor. She is brought to the island and she begins to look to him as her real father. But she also wants her mother. Willy calls Rubia and tells her to join them in the island. Rubia refuses. There is a confrontation between Norman and Willy. Norman is beaten up. Still Rubia is adamant. She becomes terrified when Willy sets up a headless child in a remote area, the discovery of which is sensationalized in the tabloids. Finally Rubia agrees to join him. She takes the motorized banca with Willy as the pilot. In the middle of the sea, she takes a paddle and hits Willy. Willy falls into the water. Rubia takes her gun and shoots him. The banca reaches the island. Rubia is happy to see Vivian alive. As an epilogue, Rubia and Norman leave for the States where they are presently residing. – Lino Brocka: The Artist and His Times, reposted Simon Santos, Video48, 29 December 2018 (READ MORE)

Sa umpisa ng pelikula, makikitang nag-aaral pa lamang si Rubia (Vilma Santos), Norman Ignacio (Mat Ranillo III) at Willie Trizon (Philip Salvador). Masugid na manliligaw ni Rubia si Willie kahit na alam na nito na may nobyo na siya’t pakakasal na sila sa pagkatapos ng taon. Nang malaman ni Willie na pakakasal na si Rubia ay naging desperado ito’t plinano na kidnapin si Rubia. Isang araw habang naghihintay ito ng taxi sa kalye ay hinablot siya nga pat na lalaki na tauhan ni Willie. Dinalo siya ni Willie sa isang cottage sa Cavite. Nagtangka si Rubia na tumakas at tumakbo sa labas. Duon siya ginahasa ni Willie sa tabing dagat. Matapos gahasain ay nagtangkang magpakalunod si Rubia ngunit pinigil siya ni Willie at binalik sa cottage. Pinag-isipan ni Rubia kung paano niya mapipilit si Willie na pawalan siya. Tinanong niya si Willie kung anong gusto nitong mangyari. Sinabi nitong gusto niyang pakasalan siya. Pumayag si Rubia na magpakasal ngunit kailangan nitong ipaalam sa kanyang mga magulang ang nangyari sa kanya. Natagpuan naman ng pamilya ni Rubia siya sa ospital at duon nito nagpasya na maghabla. Matapos ang hearing sa korte sa kabila ng pagmamakaawa ng pamilya ni Willie ay nasentensiyahan siya ng anim na taon sa bilanguan at magbayad ng 70,000 pesos. Samantala nanatiling nakakulong sa kuwarto si Rubia matapos ang kaso. Pinilit ni Norman na kausapin ang katipan at dito nalaman niya na ang dahilan ng pagkukulong sa kuwarto ni Rubia’y buntis ito. Pinasya ni Norman na bigyan ng pangalan ang pinabuntis ni Rubia at nagpakasal ang dalawa.

Nanatiling tahimik ang buhay ng dalawa’t nagkaroon pa sila ng isa pang anak. Nang 3 years old na ang batang naging anak niya kay Willie’y nag-umpisang mangulo na naman ito. Si Willie’y nakalabas ng kulungan pagkatapos ng tatlong taon lamang. Nung una’y pinagkaila ni Rubia sa asawa ang mga tawag ni Willie. Ngunit napuna na rin ito ni Norman nang mapuna niyang madalas ang asawa na umuuwi ng maaga sa bahay at nag-umpisang uminom ng valium at naging magugulatin ito. Pinagtapat na rin ni Rubia sa asawa ang panggugulo ni Willie at pumayag ito na payagan si Rubia na makipagkita kay Willie. Nang malaman ni Rubia kung saan sila magkikita’y si Norman ang pumunta sa usapan. Ang resulta’y nabugbog ito ng mga tauhan ni Willie. Dahil rito’y naging maliwanag na hindi sila titigilan ni Willie lalo pa’t minsa’y takutin si Rubia nang wala si Norman sa bahay at pumunta si Willie’t pinatay ang aso nila. Wala naman magawa ang mga polis dahil wala silang hard evidence na si Willie nga’y nanggugulo sa buhay nila. Pinasya ni Norman at Rubia na umalis na nang bansa at bumalik sa Canada kung saan sila ilang taon ring nag-aral bago naging doctor. Pinasya rin nila na ibigay sa kanyang mga magulang ang dalawang bata para sa kanilang safety.

Sa kasamaang palad, kinidnap ni Willie ang anak nila ni Rubia na si Vivian. Nagpunta sila sa mga pulis ngunit wala pa ring magawa ang mga ito dahil wala silang ebidensiya. Kinontak ni Willie si Vivian at gusto nitong makipagkita siya rito. Pumayag si Norman ngunit sumonod rin ito sa usapan. Kasama ng kanyang mga alagad iniwanan ni Willie ang magasawa at binantaan na sa susunod magsisisi sila sa kanilang ginawa dahil nga ang usapan ay si Rubia lamang ang gusto niyang makita. Tinakot pa ni Willie si Rubia’t kumuha ito ng bankay na bata at isinuot ang damit ng anak ni Rubia. Nalathala ito sa mga diyaryo at pinuntahan ni Rubia ang bankay laking pasasalamat nito’t hindi ang anak ang bangkay. Dahil rito’y nagpasya na si Rubia na kitain si Willie na hindi alam ni Norman. Kinita nga ni Rubia si Willie ngunit nasundan rin pala si Rubia ni Norman. Sa tulong ng mga alagad ni Willie ay itinali ng mga ito sa puno si Norman at muling ginahasa nito si Rubia sa harap ni Norman. Nagsisigaw ito ngunit walang siyang nagawa. Kahit ayaw ni Rubia ay napapayag rin siya dahil papatayin ni Willie ang kanyang asawa. Pagkatapos nito’y binugbog ng mga tauhan ni Willie si Norman at sinama si Rubia papunta sa kanilang anak. Sa dagat papunta sa isla kung saan naruon si Vivian ay kinausap ni Willie ang dino-dios niyang si Rubia. Pinangako nito na matututunan rin niyang mahalin siya. Hindi napansin ni Willie na nakahawak si Rubia sa sagwan ng bangka at ilang ulit nitong pinalo sa ulo ang nabiglang si Willie habang sinasabi ang salitang “hayup!” Hinanap nito ang baril at pinagbabaril rin niya ang nahulog sa dagat na si Willie. Narating ni Rubia ang isla at duon nito nakita ang kanyang anak na buhay na buhay at tinatawag ang kanyang pangalan. The End. – RV

Film Achievement: 1978 FAMAS: Best Picture Nomination; 1978 Gawad Urian: Best Cinematography Nomination – Conrado Baltazar; Best Editing Nomination – Jose Tarnate; 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival: Best Performer Nomination – Vilma Santos; Best Editing – Jose Tarnate; Best Screenplay – Mario O’Hara; Box Office Revenue – Top Grosser

Film Reviews: Mula sa screenplay ni Mario O”hara, ang Rubia Servios ay may mabilis na paglalahad ng buhay ni Rubia at ang mga kahayupang dumating sa kanya sa palad ng isang anak ng makapangyarihan pamilya. Halatang binusisi ni Lino Brockha ang pelikula’t binigyang pansin ang mga eksenang may pagkabayolente. Dalawang beses na ginahasa ni Philip si Vilma at sa bawat eksena’y makikita ang kahalayan at pagnanasa sa mga mata ni Philip at makikita ang sakit na dulot nito sa katauhan ni Vilma. Maraming eksena kung saan inalagaan ni Lino ang pagarte ni Vilma. Hindi lamang sa rape scenes kungdi sa mga tahimik na eksena. Una na nang umagang gumising siya pagkatapos ng unang rape scene. Makikita sa mukha ni Vilma ang pagkalito at ilang sandali pa’y ang pagtanggap ng nangyari sa kanya ng gabing una siyang ginaahasa sa tabing dagat. Pangalawa, nang pumayag si Philip na pakawalan si Rubia at mapunta ito sa ospital. Pagkabukas nang kanyang mata at makita si Norman, makikita sa mga mata niya ang hirap na dinanas. Sa court scene kung saan sinasabi niya na “gusto ko siyang patayin” ng paulit-ulit. Sa bandang huli kung saan nalaman niya na hindi ang anak niya ang putol putol na batang bangkay makikita sa mata niya’t mukha ang biglang pagkatuwa’t hindi ito ang kanyang anak. At sa bandang huli pa rin kung saan ginahasa siya muli sa harap ng kanyang asawa. Makikita ang pagsuko niya’t pagkatalo. Makikita sa kanyang mukha ang pagod at hirap hanggang sa boat scene kung saan pinalad siyang makuha ang sagwan at nagkaroon ng pagkakataong paluin si Willie ng pa-ulit-ulit at hindi pa ito nasiyahan at binaril pa niya ang nangahasa sa kanya. Sa eksenang ito makikita ang kaibahan ng kakayahan sa pagarte ni Vilma. Sa eksenang ito kung saan sinasabi niya ang salitang “hayup!” sabay palo sa nabiglang si Willie. Buong katawan niya ang umaarte. Ito ay hango sa tunay na buhay. Hindi katulad ng arte ni Nora Aunor sa Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo kung saan nahuli niyang nagsiping ang kanyang asawa sa kanyang ina. Nakapokos ang kamera sa mukha niya at nag-emote ng parehong salita: “Hayup!” ang paulit-ulit niyang salita. Aba kung sa tunay na buhay iyan eh nagkasabunutan na at nagwala na ang mag-ina!

Para sa akin naging matagumpay si Vilma sa kanyang pagganap bilang si Rubia Servios. Isang tour de force. Nuong una ko itong napanood sa Avenida ay namangha ako sa kanyang galing. Ngayon pagkatapos ng dalawanput siyam na taon pinanood ko muli ito’y hindi nababawasan ang aking pagkamangha sa galing niya. Paano mo ba isasalarawan ang babae na nagahasa? Paano mo ba isasalarawan ang babaeng nakidnapan ng anak at muling nagahasa sa harap pa mismo ng asawa mo? Isang mahirap na papel. At naisalarawan ito ni Vilma nang makatotohanan. Walang mga pagpopokos ng kamera para mag-emote. Makatotohanang pagganap. Special mention sina Mat Ranillo III at Philip Salvador. Dapat ay napahalagahan sila sa pamamagitan ng nomination subalit naging maramot ang organisasyon ng pestibal at isang acting awards lamang ang binigay nila. Panalo sana si Philip Salvador ng best actor award rito dahil damang dama mo ang kanyang karakter. Makikita rin kung gaano kaganda ng kanyang katawan. Meron eksena siya na nakaswimming trunks lang at talagang alaga pa niya ang kanyang katawan nuon. Si Mat naman ay sana nanominate bilang best supporting actor. Mahusay rin siya lalo na sa eksena kung saan nakatali siya sa puno at wala siyang nagawa ng pagsamantalahan muli si Rubia sa harapan niya ni Philip.

Technically, nang panoorin ko itong pelikulang ito ay maganda ang resulta ngunit nang panoorin ko muli ng ilang beses ngayon ay makikita ang ilang flaws. Una na ang cinematography ni Conrado Baltazar. Maraming eksena ay hindi nasa tamang angulo. Merong eksena na nagsasalita si Ate Vi pero ang nakikita lamang ay ang kanyang nuo. Ang musical score ni Freddie Aguilar ay parang hindi bagay sa tema ng pelikula. Pati ang theme song na “Pagsubok” parang pang-politika at very “folksy” ang dating. Merong isang butas ang screenplay ni Mario O Harra. Nang umalis si Philip para iwanan si Vivian, ang anak niyang kinidnap, nang umalis ito’y sumakay ito ng kotse, pagkatapos nang dalhin niya si Rubia sa banding huli’y sumakay naman sila ng boat. Medyo nakaligtaan nila ang isang detalye na ito. Mabilis ang pacing na pelikula at maraming mga eksena talaga si Vilma na makikita mo ang pagaalaga ni Lino. Sayang nga lamang at hindi ito nakita ng mga hurado ng pestibal at maging ang mga manunuri ng taong iyon. – RV

Undoubtedly, the two best entries in the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival are Atsay and Rubia Servios. Atsay is remarkable in several ways. It has a strong social message, aimed at primarily those who forget that house cleaners are also human beings. In the character of Mrs. Anton (Angie Ferro), screenwriter Edgar M. Reyes is able to embody the thousand faults which middle-class housewives are heir to. Atsay can also pride itself on being truly Filipino. Its mood is set by its Pilipino credits (in sharp contrast to the English credits of the other entries). The film deliberately exploits local color, dwelling not only on rural but also on picturesque urban scenes. The story, needless to say, can happen only in the Philippines, where domestics and beerhouses are national institutions. But the most striking thing about Atsay is its cinematography (Romeo Vitug). The slow dissolves, the multiple exposures (such as the brilliant train sequence), the surprising angles, the flawless composition—this border on genius. The cinematography is so extraordinary, in fact, that it covers a multitude of sins. The most grievous sin of all is the ending. In the end, Nelia (Nora Aunor), after having been humiliated, beaten, raped, dehumanized by the vultures of the city, decides to stay in the city anyway in the hope that an impoverished construction worker (Ronald Corveau) will make her live happily ever after. Such ending, while assuring the viewer that human nature is not totally evil, is unmotivated and, in fact, goes against the very theme of the story. For Atsay is the story of how the city dehumanizes, of how human beings become swine (this point is made through blatant symbolism in a shot of Nelia inside a cage-like jeep), of how Manila is a prison (note Vitug’s several shots of cage-like structures). “Atsay” is a story of how individuals are no match against the cruelty of the city. The construction worker, for example, becomes the victim of a construction accident. A young pretty virgin from the province is raped while she’s drugged. A kind-hearted old man is shot down while protesting against exploitation. The ending of Atsay contradicts the film’s affirmations. It would have been much more in keeping with the theme (not to mention the current concerns of the national human settlements program), if Nelia were shown rejecting the city and, in hope, returning to her province for a new life.

Rubia Servios, on the other hand, does not dilute the message. Willy (Phillip Salvador), the son of a powerful and wealthy figure, is portrayed as totally evil, devoid of any redeeming quality. To screenwriter Mario O’Hara and director Lino Brocka, the province is the same as the city. Rubia Servios (Vilma Santos) is raped both in the city and in the country. Rubia kills Willy in the country. Violence unites all places. It is the “unity” of conception, scripting, design, and direction, in fact, that Rubia Servios is superior to Atsay. Lino Brocka does not waste shots in his attempt to create a Filipino classical tragedy. He subordinates everything to the building up of one emotion in the viewer, that of hatred of Willy. So despicable does Willy become at the end that, when he is murdered by Rubia, no viewer can say that Rubia is at fault. And yet, morally speaking, no one is allowed to take the law into his own hands. The law, in fact, put Willy in prison for the first rape. There is no reason to think that the law will not put Willy to death for the second rape. By conditioning the reader to condone Rubia’s revenge, Brocka succeeds in questioning one of our deeply rooted moral beliefs. The unity that characterizes Rubia Servios contrasts sharply with the tendency of Eddie Garcia in Atsay to exploit Vitug’s versatility even at the expense of tightness. There are shots in Atsay, for example, which could easily be cut without hurting the film’s integrity. Even the train sequence, one of the best sequences in Atsay, is far too long. Rubia Servios is Lino Brocka’s film; Atsay is Romeo Vitug’s. Nora does an excellent acting job; but so does Vilma Santos, and Rubia is a much more demanding and difficult role. Edgardo M. Reyes is an established literary figure, but Mario O’Hara is much better screenwriter. Overall, Atsay may be much more impressive than Rubia Servios. In terms of challenging our moral and legal convictions, however, Rubia Servios is much more significant. – Isagani Cruz, TV Times, 1979

Kung uri ang paguusapan, de-kalidad ang Rubia Servios. Kaya lamang, may sabit. Maraming butas ang iskrip ni mario O’Hara. Ang istorya ng Rubia Servios ay batay sa mga legal story ni Aida Sevilla Mendoza, at ito’y pumapaksa sa babaeng ginahasa ng kanyang masugid na manliligaw. Si Rubia (Vilma Santos) ay isang medical student na may kasintahang kaeskuweala, si Norman (Mat Ranillo III). Balak nilang magpakasal pagkatapos ng kanilang pag-aaral. Karibal ni Norman si Willie (Philip Salvador) na ayaw tumanggap ng kabiguan sa pag-ibig. Anak siya ng mayaman at maipluwensiyang pamilya sa Kabite. Kaya nang tapatin siya ng dalaga na wala siyang maaasahan, kinidnap niya si Rubia sa isang bahay-bakasyunan at ginahasa ito. Nang magkaroon ng pagkakataon ang babae, tumakas ito at isinuplong si Willie. Idinemanda ang lalaki at nahatulang mabilanggo ng anim na taon. Paglabas ng lalaki sa bilangguan, ginulo na naman niya ang buhay ng babae na ngayo’y asawa na ni Norman at may dalawang anak (ang una’y anak niya kay Willie). Dahil sa pananakot ng hui, nakipagtagpo si Rubia, at muli na namang ginahasa sa sementeryo sa harapan pa naman ng asawa. Kinidnap ni Willie ang anak niya para gawing pain sa pagtatagpo nila ni Rubia at para sumama na tio sa kanya. Ngunit nagkakaroon na naman ng pagkakaton ang babae na lumaban at sa bangka, hinampas niya si Willie ng sagwan, at pagkatapos ay binaril ang lalaki hanggang sa ito’y tuluyan nang malunod.

Simplistiko ang materyal at lalong simplistiko ang pamamaraan ni O’Hara sa karakterisasyon. Nagmumukha tanga ang mga tauhan (si Rubia at si Norman) samantalang medical students at naturingang doktor pa naman sial. Tinatakot na sila’y hindi pa sila humingi ng proteksiyon sa pulis. Ginahasa na si Rubia ay nakipagtagpo pa sa sementeryong madilim nang nag-iisa at nagpaganda pa mandin siya nang husto. At ang asawa niya’y wala ring utak. Biro mong sinundan ang asawa sa sementeryo nang nag-iisa! Dapat nga palang magkaganito sila kung napakakitid ng kanilang utak. Sa direksiyon ni Brocka, lumitaw ang galing ni Vilma Santos, at nakontrol ang labis na pagpapagalaw ng kanyang labi. Mahusay din ang eksena ng gahasa. Si Philip Salvador naman ay tulad sa isang masunuring estudyante na sinusunod lahat ang direksiyon ng guro. Kitang-kita mo sa kanyang pagganap ang bawat tagubiling pinaghihirapan niyang masunod: kilos ng mata, buntong-hininga, galaw ng daliri, kislot ng kilay. Limitado ang kanyang kakayahan at makikia ito sa kanyang mukha (na limitado rin). Walang-wala rtio si Mat Ranillo III, na parang pinabayaan para lalong lumitaw ang papel at pag-arte ni Salvador. Samantala, ang kamera ni Conrado Salvador ay hindi gaanong nakalikha ng tension at suspense, bukod sa napakaliwanang ng disenyo ng produksiyon ang pagbabago ng mga tauhan sa loob ng pitong taon batay sa estilo ng damit at buhok. – Justino M. Dormiendo, Sagisag, February 1979 (READ MORE)

“…Mula sa isang real life legal story ang Rubia Servios, namumuhunan ito sa ideya na ang masasaksihan ng mga manonood sa iskrin ay hindi likhang-isip lamang kundi talagang nangyari sa tunay na buhay. Hinimok ni Lino Brocka sa kanyang pelikula na pagmasdan ang babae sa konteksto ng ating lipunan. Bakit ganito ang nangyayari sa kababaihan? Dahil tinatanggap nating maging ganoon ang kanilang kundisyon sa lipunan. Kung pagkakasala ang pabayaang maghari ang mayayamang may kapangyarihan, nararapat lamang na ituwid ang pagkakasalang ito. Sa mga nakakaalam ng mga pelikula ni Brocka, pamilyar ang paggamit sa estratehiya ng melodrama. Sa ganitong paraan, ang focus ay ang paghihirap na pinagdaraanan ng pangunahing tauhang babae at ito ang nakababagbag sa damdamin ng manonood. Ngunit sa pagpuntirya ng emosyon, hindi matamaan ang paglinaw sa tunay na isyu. Si Vilma Santos bilang Rubia Servios ay hindi lamang mahusay na gumanap sa buhay ni Rubia kundi naging isa ring makapangyarihang talinghaga na nakapagpalusog sa teksto ng pelikula. Sa kabuuan, inaangkin ng pelikulang Rubia Servios ang kapangyarihan nitong lumikha ng katotohanan mula sa masalimuot na materyal ng reyalidad. Sa ganitong proseso, nailalantad ang isang piraso ng reyalidad upang mapanood, masuri at mabigyang-kahulugan. Sa kabilang banda, hindi rin makakatakas ang pelikula sa mga diskursong kumakanlong sa mismong puinupuna at tinutuligsa nito…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

The Screenplay – “…Mario Herrero O’Hara (born April 20, 1946 – died 26 June 2012) was an award-winning Filipino film director, film producer and screenwriter known for his sense of realism often with dark but realistic social messages…In 1978, he wrote the screenplay for Lino Brocka’s Rubia Servos. This led to the first award in his film career (Best Screenplay at the Metro Manila Film Festival)…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…There are certain themes that keep the public captive and enthralled through relentless manufacture of a thematic repertoire which ensures the preponderance of sex in stories and daily narratives. These themes need not be perceived as always proferring false consciousness, but as reiterating the social problems implicated by cinematic and industrial mediation of sexual expression. The theme of rite of passage, from innocence and youth to carnal knowledge, fastens the narrative to the body of the virgin whose initiation into the desires of the world transforms her into a “whore.” The stigma of this rite of passage is exploited from every possible angle, from ablutions in the river to rape scenes and on to the erstwhile virgin suddenly craving flesh herself…Rape likewise presents an occasion for baring the body. Brutal (1980), Rubia Servios (1978), Angela Markado (1980), and even the massacre films hatched in the bizarre mind of Carlo J. Caparas discuss rape almost clinically and therefore subject the body of the woman to another round of autopsy, this time through the prying eyes of a public reared in a daily history of sex…” – Patrick D. Flores, Bodies of Work: Sexual Circulations in Philippine Cinema (READ MORE)

New Screen Persona – “…After years of this unfair competition, Vilma decided to stop playing the also-ran, and opted to essay the roles that Nora preferred not to do, -the other woman, rape victim, burlesque dancer, etc. Vilma’s sexy movies were more suggestive than anything else, but they gave her a new screen persona that made her a distinct movie entity from Nora. Fact is, Nora could also have played sensual characters, but she felt awkward doing so, and Vilma benefited from her reticence. In time, Vilma was also winning acting awards and starring in big hits, so the competition between her and Nora peaked…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2002 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Alyas Baby Tsina (1984)

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Basic Information: Directed: Marilou Diaz-Abaya; Story: William C. Leary; Screenplay: Ricardo Lee; Cast: Vilma Santos, Rez Cortez, Rolando Tinio, Zeny Zabala, Cecille Castillo, Chanda Romero, Len Santos, Raquel Villavicencio, Johnny Delgado, Phillip Salvador, Caridad Sanchez, Maria Isabel Lopez, Dindo Fernando, Dexter Doria, Mary Walter, Vangie Labalan, Harlene Bautista; Executive producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Manolo Abaya; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Fiel Zabat; Art Direction: Charlie Arceo, Melchor Defensor, Jay Lozada; Sound: Vic Macamay

Plot Description: A woman hardened by the underworld, Elena Duavit falls in love with Roy, a notorious gang leader. Elena is raped by members of a rival gang who are killed in a gun battle with the police. Implicated, she goes into hiding with her boyfriend but is captured, resulting to a death sentence for Baby Tsina. This tested team-up of award-winning performers Vilma Santos and Philip Salvador gives credence to this true story that hit the headlines in the 60’s. From the educated direction of Marilou Diaz-Abaya and the cinematography by Manolo Abaya, the story is by perennial contest awardee Ricky Lee. – Pinoy Torrentz (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1984 FAP: Best Musical Score – Willy Cruz; Best Production Design – Fiel Zabat; 1984 FAMAS: Best Actor Nomination – Phillip Salvador; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Dindo Fernando; Best Supporting Actress Nomination – Caridad Sanchez; 1984 Gawad Urian: Best Actor Nomination – Phillip Salvador; Best Cinematography Nomination – Manolo Abaya; Best Director Nomination – Marilou Diaz-Abaya; Best Editing Nomination – Ike Jarlego Jr.; Best Music Nomination – Willy Cruz; Best Production Design Nomination – Fiel Zabat; Best Sound Nomination – Vic Macamay; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Dindo Fernando; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Len Santos

Film Reviews: “…Ang istoryang ito ay matagal nang ikinukuwento sa akin ni William. Wala pa akong asawa, pangarap na ni William na magawa ang pelikula. He had the story at hand. Siya talaga ang nag-negotiate para makuha ang istorya. Noong una nga raw, ayaw pumayag ni Baby Tsina at ng kanyang asawa dahil gusto na nilang kalimutan yun. Eh, si William alam ko yan kung magpilit, tsaka personal kasi niyang kilala si Baby Tsina, nakuha rin ang istorya,” salaysay ni Vilma…”Noong una kong mabasa ang script, ayoko sanang maniwala na nangyari talaga yun. Masyadong cinematic, eh. Para bang sa pelikula at sa komiks lang nangyayari. Until the day nga that I met the real Baby Tsina. Nang siya na ang makuwento sa akin ng naging buhay niya, lalo na after the crime at sa loob Correctional, saka ko lang nalaman na ang nakalagay sa script ay kulang pa pala. Mas matindi ang istorya niya, pero hindi na maaring isamang lahat sa pelikula. Baka namang masyadong humaba eh. Malakas ang istorya. I think the story alone will sell the movie. Lalo na kung iisiping isa itong celebrated case at nasundan ng mga tao noon sa mga diyaryo. Front page stories pa raw lagi iyang si Baby Tsina noon eh…” – Ariel Francisco (READ MORE)

“…You know, I did a movie before, Baby Tsina, but I wasn’t really Chinese there. In Mano Po 3, I play Lilia Chong-Yang, a socially conscious anti-crime crusader and I get to know more about Chinese culture. We were even taught how to speak Fookien Chinese by a private tutor. Sa dubbing, the coach was there to make sure we’re perfect with our pronunciation of all our Chinese lines…” – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

“…Marilou Diaz-Abaya will forever live with her magnum opuses like Brutal, Moral, Karnal, Muro Ami, Baby Tsina, Sa Pusod ng Dagat, Bagong Buwan and the multi-awarded period masterpiece Jose Rizal released in the ’90s and still gets screened to this day in schools and historical festivals even abroad…” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…What Marc found out only recently was that none of the original copies of the films Marilou directed in the 1980s had been preserved. “While movies like ‘Moral’ (1982) and ‘Baby Tsina’ (1984) were all on VCDs, their original reels are nowhere to be found. It’s frustrating. Archiving is really bad here in the Philippines,” he said. Marilou’s debut film, “Tanikala,” was released in 1980…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 30, 2012 (READ MORE)

Like A Mother – “…Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, who was directed by Diaz-Abaya in one of her landmark films, said, “Direk Marilou was like a mother to me, especially on the set of ‘Baby Tsina.’ I remember that she would always bring for the cast members pandesal and Spanish sardines, which we ate before shooting. “I love her and her husband, Direk Manolo, who I always requested to be my cinematographer in all of my Eskinol commercials before. “The last time I saw Direk Marilou was at the wake of actor Johnny Delgado. She was already sick then. She was a fighter. She told me, “kaya ko ‘to! I pray for her family and for the eternal repose of her soul…” – Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 09 2012 (READ MORE)

“…All the performances in Baby Tsina leave vivid portraits in the mind. Under Abaya’s direction, the actors and actresses do not seem to act, rather we seem to discover them as human beings whom the camera has espied. Vilma Santos projects a lusty but touching portrait of Baby, a victim who greedily looks forward to deliverance from the night-to-night struggle for customers, thrashing about wildly when her savior is killed initiating her into an even more debasing condition. Phillip Salvador weaves in and out of the story capturing the sinister charm of the grubby but good-looking creatures of Manila’s underbelly. Dindo Fernando’s Jorge engages our attention in a portrayal that is by turns comic, caustic and warm indicating an actor governed by intelligence and respect for the dignity of the character he is playing. As Baby’s mother Nena, Caridad Sanchez radiates a tenseness that effectively projects her determination to keep her dignity against all odds. With Abaya as the controlling intelligence behind husband Manolo Abaya’s camera, Fiel Zabat’s sharp eye for the authentic look and detail of the period, the shanties and apartments, the restaurants and the dives, the streets and the alleyways and the teeming crowds that come and go, these are familiar images in Philippine art and life that in Baby Tsina appear more real and feel more real…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…While there is a palpable sense of femininity in these movies, Abaya abstains from sanctimonious pageantry and puts things in perspective. She raises concerns of women and the violence committed to them, but she also recognizes their shortcomings and susceptibility to moral hypnosis, their fates determined by their resolve or lack thereof. The world is unfair to women, but so is to men.Karnal, for instance, has a strong and suffocating depiction of patriarchy, the overbearing father played by Vic Silayan controlling not just the women of the house but also the men. It’s a horrifying picture of a family maddened by circumstances, and the woman whose importance in the story is emphasized leaves a disturbing impression of subsistence, coming out alive in the end but bereft of spirit. By contrast, Moral is a lighter but sharper piece, one whose observations on the struggles of present-day women, lost in the mazes they create for themselves, are relevant up to now. WhereasBrutal and Alyas Baby Tsina dwell on the criminal and psychological, overplaying hopelessness and suffering, Moral rims its characters by emphasizing their faulty nature, placing them in more realistic situations but with less defined solutions to their problems…” – Richard Bolisay, Lilok Pelikula, Oct 23 2012 (READ MORE)

Grueling Finale – “…Apolinario’s second feature can be regarded as an affirmation of heritage, that of Philippine cinema. Beholding the film’s exposition of life in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, one is reminded that this film operates in Daboy (Rudy Fernandez) territory — wherein the outsider holds his individuality and his dignity amid the dehumanizing confines of prison, and its extension that is Philippine society. Yet for all its filth and insidious atmosphere of violence, there is nothing in this picture that is as harrowing as the prison life one sees in Mario O’Hara’s “Bulaklak sa City Jail,” or in the grueling finale of Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Alyas Baby Tsina.” The solitary confinement endured, in one interlude, by Dingdong Dantes, Patrick Bergin and Joey Paras could have echoed the grimy horror of such detention as portrayed in “Baby Tsina,” to which its heroine (Vilma Santos) responds with a quiet, defiant fortitude — yet another striking facet of her long career with its comprehensive portrayal of the modern Filipina. Dingdong Dantes and Patrick Bergin, the renowned Irish actor, convey that Vilmanian, shall we say, serenity, amid their harsh confines — which, however, doesn’t look too harsh in this film, when one beholds that beautiful frame of a cockroach in its slow crawl on the dim prison floor…” – Ricky S. Torre, Rappler, 13 June 2013 (READ MORE)

Porcelain Skin – “…This is based on the story of Evelyn Duave, a woman who got sucked into a life of crime and eventually got jailed for murder. The Star For All Seasons plays the woman who was dubbed, “Baby Tsina” (or “Baby China” in court documents), simply because she looked Chinese. Other than that, there are no other Chinese references in the movie. Although, we have to say that Santos can easily pass for Chinese with her petite frame, porcelain skin, and delicate features. However, the movie is anything but delicate—what with the violent content…” – Spot, 23 Jan 2012 (READ MORE)

Production Values – “…Abaya and Lee’s next project, Alyas Baby Tsina/Alias Baby China (1984) was also based on a true legal story, that of Evelyn Duave Ortega, aka Baby Tsina. (She was called this alias in court documents because she looked Chinese. Otherwise there are no references to anything Chinese in her story or the film.) Duave was found guilty in 1971 of murder, and several appeals while on death row culminated in a Supreme Court decision seven years later that declared her innocent and released her from prison. A producer for major production company Viva had purchased the story rights and long wanted to turn the Duave story into an award-winning vehicle for superstar Vilma Santos. Abaya signed on and brought in Lee to adapt the story for film. As it turned out, as happens so often, the film strayed so far from the actual story, the producers might as well have spared themselves from paying story rights in the first place. The documents record that an Alfredo Bocaling was killed one night in a dark street by stabbing and hitting with blunt instruments. Accused of the killing were Baby China, a call girl, and her three male friends. She had allegedly told the men that Bocaling and his friend raped and robbed her and she wanted revenge. Their guilt by murder, adjudged by the Courts of First Instance and Appeal because of the consistency and corroborative nature of the three men’s confessions, were overturned by the Supreme Court due mainly to the inadmissibility of their extra-judicial confessions. The Supreme Court commuted their verdict from murder to homicide and their sentence from death penalty to reclusion perpetua. Baby herself, who did not confess, was found innocent after the extra-judicial confessions of the three men were rejected. One of course should never expect fidelity to an original story source, only a sense of integrity and believability in the adaptation. Did this adaptation succeed?In the struggle to fashion a crowd-pleasing story with an overarching social theme and an award-worthy role for its lead star, the film invented a number of characters and devices not in the actual story.

Baby’s lover Roy (Philip Salvador), with whom she plans to start a new life in America is fictional, and so is Roy’s death by shooting in a chase by rival gang members. In the real story all the principals were apprehended by the police while they were still in hiding. The Bocaling character has morphed into the film’s Toto (Johnny Delgado), a leader of an extortion syndicate that visits a sweeping wave of mass killings and rapes on Baby Tsina and her prostitute friends. The homicide scene of the real Bocaling is pumped up here into a chase and mass confrontation between gun-wielding gangs and the police. Neither did the real Baby (and Roy) seek refuge at the home of a lawyer friend, Jorge (played as an abugadong pulpol/cheap lawyer with sly wit by Dindo Fernando) where they debate the difference between what is law and what is right. When the fictional Baby is eventually committed to prison, she takes on a noble new role as resolute and impassioned advocate of more humane prison treatment for women, at one point making a speech before the whole prison population that spells out her message: “We are not robots that can be switched on and off! … We should be treated like human beings!” The film was a serious attempt to produce a work with significant social import that would be commercially entertaining all at the same time. But shoehorning the original into overused plotlines involving gang rivalries and populist heroine versus the system, add to this the blatant underlining of the “social message,” and credibility is lost, provoking instead a wearying wariness throughout the film. What succeeds in Baby Tsina is the care in production values that became such a prominent hallmark of Abaya’s works. It instilled trust in her, in that whether one liked her latest film or not, the keen attention to production design, lighting and photography at least showed that here was someone who took her craft and her audience seriously. With Baby Tsina, it is this gleaming surface, arising specially from Zabat’s production design and Manolo’s mood-infused lighting, that hints at authenticity and conviction that the narrative glaringly lacks…” – Asian Cine Vision (READ MORE)

Re-shoot of Alyas Baby Tsina – “…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…” – Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash, 1984

“…Isa pang kasaysayan hango sa tunay na buhay, ang pelikulang ito ni Marilou Abaya. Bawat tagpo ay pinalabukan ng mabusising sinematograpiya at detalyadong disenyong pampelikula…” – Star Awards 1984

RELATED READING: Baby Tsina meets Baby Tsina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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