Remembering Marilou

FILMS - Relasyon (1)

31 Years has passed since Vilma Santos did Relasyon. As we all know, this film gave her first grand slam best actress, winning four best actress from URIAN, FAP, FAMAS and CMMA (the four major award giving bodies that time). It is worth noting that the film has been successfully transferred into DVD and VCD and everyone can buy a copy (see REGAL.com). Relasyon has been exhibited in many international film festival. Sub-titled, “The Affair” is scheduled to be screen New York Filipino Film Festival. With its rival film, Himala, Relasyon has been tested by times. All award giving bodies agreed. Vilma’s performance outscored the intricate and overrated performance of her rival, Nora Aunor. To commemorate this triumphant feat, here are the comments made by critics, see if these comments are still valid.

“Sinasabi ng mga drumbeater ni Vi na ang kanyang role sa pelikulang ito ay pang-award, pang-FAMAS, pang-URIAN o pang-Film Academy Award kung matutuloy ito. Hindi kami tumututol sa kanilang palagay laluna’t napanood namin ang pelikulang ito. Masuwerte si Vi at sa ganitong maselang role ay dinirek siya ng isang katulad ni Bernal. Napakadramatiko ang pagkompronta ni Vi kay Chris sa direksyon ng kanilang relasyon. Higit sa lahat, sa pamamagitan ng huling eksena, ang pagsasara ni Vi sa pinto ng kanilang bahay, ang pugad ng kanilang “Rrelasyon,” inihayag ni Bernal na ang ganitong relasyon ay may hindi maiiwasang magwakas tulad ng sa tunay na buhay…” – Mando Plaridel, Star Monthly Magazine Vol. 1 No. 10 July 1982

“Vilma Santos represents womanhood in the film…commonly thought of as a martir or long-suffering masochist. Santos portrays a mistress who is an outand-out martir. She serves De Leon hand and foot, ministering to his every need, including fetching beer for him, washing his clothes, serving as his shoulder to cry on, even baby-sitting his child. In return, all she gets from De Leon is chauvinistic love, void of tenderness, full of immature aggressiveness. Santos’ acting is adequate and extraordinary…” – Isagani Cruz, Parade magazine – 21 July 1982

“Napakahusay ni Vilma Santos sa papel ng pangunahing tauhan, isang dalagang umibig sa isang may asawa. It’s one hell of a role and a heaven of a performance. Kasama si Vilma sa lahat ng eksena sa pelikula at talagang ito na ang pinakamabigat na papel na napaatang sa mga balikat ng isang local actress mula ng gampanan ni Gina Alajar and lead role sa “Salome.” This time, sigurado nang mano-nominate si Vilma sa Urian (ito lamang ang award na hindi niya napapagwagihan) at malamang na ang maging pinakamahigpit niyang kalaban dito ay si Nora Aunor na very demanding din ang role sa ‘Himala’ (na si Bernal din ang direktor)…” – Mario Bautista, People’s Journal, July 1982 (READ MORE)

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31st Year Anniversary of “Relasyon (The Affair)” – film review 2/2

FILMS - Relasyon feat Ishmael Bernal and Christopher de Leon

Finally in Ishmael Bernal’s Relasyon, we have a film made explicitly for adults. There is no explicit sex sequence (adults don’t really go for that sort of thing, only adolescent boys do). But the psychological problems faced by the film are comprehensible only to adults, those who know what it means to live with someone one loves (or, at least, used to love).

This film is, thus, not entertaining in the usual prurient sense, but in a deeper, psychological, intellectual sense. There are basically two themes that this film tackles: sex roles and divorce. Vilma Santos represents womanhood in the film: Christopher de Leon represents manhood. The Filipina woman is commonly thought of as a martir or long-suffering masochist. Santos portrays a mistress who is an out-and-out martir. She serves De Leon hand and foot, ministering to his every need, including fetching beer for him, washing his clothes, serving as his shoulder to cry on, even baby-sitting his child. In return, all she gets from De Leon is chauvinistic love, void of tenderness, full of immature aggressiveness.

De Leon represents chauvinist maleness. He portrays a character who is totally insensitive to his woman’s needs. He wants the house done exactly to his own taste. He expects his woman to be there when he needs her, but does not even think that he should be there when she wants him. He finds nothing wrong with having a wife and a mistress at the same time.

On the other hand, he sees everything wrong with Santos entertaining suitor Jimi Melendez in the house. He’s even jealous of Manny Castaneda, Santos’ gay acquaintance. In short, he is selfishness personified. – Isagani Cruz, Parade magazine, 21 July 1982 (READ MORE)

31st Year Anniversary of “Relasyon (The Affair)” – film review 1/2

FILMS - Relasyon Christopher de Leon Vilma Santos

“…The notion of the martir resurfaces in Relasyon (1982), a stellar example of a mistress movie with genuine depth. It portrays Marilou (Vilma Santos) as not just a mistress, but also a servant for the chauvinistic Emil (Christopher De Leon). There is a poignant scene in the aforementioned: in spite of catering to her lover’s every need, she is still left alone in the house on Christmas Eve, because he really isn’t hers to begin with. Santos’ brilliant, appropriately emotive acting in the movie gave the star her big break. Filipino Department faculty member Jayson Jacobo, PhD expounds on Santos’ role in Philippine media. “[Her] middle period presents us a social sphere of material conditions which articulate the context of amorous situations that persuade a woman to enter and exit a relasyon.” Jacobo finds that more recent mistress films are devoid of the dramatic sophistication that these older films presented. He points out their key faults, saying, “These films of late are too concerned with the calisthenics of sexual encounter, the scandalous confrontation, the fashionable hysteria, the publicity of neurosis and the contrivance of normative resolution…” – Rissa A. Coronel, Katipunan The Guidon Magazine, 30 January 2013 (READ MORE)

Dalawang magagandang pelikula ang sabay na itinatanghal ngayon. Ito’y ang “Relasyon” ni Ishmael Bernal at “Hubad na Gubat” ng baguhang si Lito Tiongson. Sa taong ito, tatlong pa lamang ang talagang namumukod tangi para sa amin. Ang “Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak” ni Bernal, “In This Corner” ni Brocka at ngayon nga’y ang “Relasyon” ni Bernal na naman.

Napakahusay ni Vilma Santos sa papel ng pangunahing tauhan, isang dalagang umibig sa isang may asawa. It’s one hell of a role and a heaven of a performance. Kasama si Vilma sa lahat ng eksena sa pelikula at talagang ito na ang pinakamabigat na papel na napaatang sa mga balikat ng isang local actress mula ng gampanan ni Gina Alajar and lead role sa “Salome.” This time, sigurado nang mano-nominate si Vilma sa Urian (ito lamang ang award na hindi niya napapagwagihan) at malamang na ang maging pinakamahigpit niyang kalaban dito ay si Nora Aunor na very demanding din ang role sa “Himala” (na si Bernal din ang direktor). Ito’y kung matatapos ang ECP project na ito sa taong ito na sa palagay nami’y hindi kahit gusto ng ECP na isali ito sa filmfest sa Disyembre.

Dinalirot ng “Relasyon” ang lahat ng mga anggulong maaaring suutan ng isang babaing nagiging kerida. Maraming madamdaming tagpo sa pelikula, lalo na ang death scene ni Christopher de Leon na tuhog ang pagkakakuha. Bagay na bagay kay Jimi Melendez ang papel niya bilang torpeng talisuyo ni Vilma. Hit na hit siya sa audience. Hanggang ngayon ay patuloy na dumaragsa dito sa amin ang mga sulat na pumupuri sa acting ni Vilma Santos sa “Relasyon.”

Sabi ni Nelda Santiago ng Arellano Street, Marikina: “Napakagaling ni Vilma at kahit hindi pa ako nagiging kerida, para bang na identify ako sa kanya.” Sabi naman ni Hector Cruz ng 14 Malaya Street, QC: “Maraming nasasabi ang mga mata ni Vilma lalo sa mga eksenang wala siyang dialogue. Pati pilikmata niya ay umaarte. Dapat lang na magka award siya rito. Magaling din sina Jimi Melendez at Beth Mondragon.” Ayon naman kay H. Santillan III ng UP Village: “Hindi kami fan ni Vilma pero kung ganito ng ganito ang performances niya, dapat siguro’y maging fan na nga niya kami. Tour de force ang acting niya at dapat ilagay sa textbook on acting. Hindi mapapantayan ang rapport nila ni Christopher de Leon.”

May iba pang mga sulat pero hindi na namin masisipi sa kakulangan ng espasyo. – Mario E. Baustista, Peoples Journal, July 1982 (READ MORE)

A Very Long Rivalry – 1982

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Pre-1982 – “…For Vilma Santos, The previous year, “Pakawalan Mo Ako” was a huge summer hit that earned her a surprised best actress in FAMAS. That year also, she released “Ex-Wife” and “Hiwalay,” both about marital problems. Art imitating life, as there were reports that Vilma and now, ex-husband, Edu Manzano were having some problems. But Vilma as trooper as she is, any personal troubles were not publicly noticeable as she goes on with her work, business as usual. Also, Vilma gave birth to her eldest son Luis “Lucky” Manzano. By December of 1981, her film festival entry, Karma earned her another surprise best actress trophy. In an unrelated news, the entertainment industry were shocked to found that matinee idol, Alfie Anido died on Dec 31st. Like the death of Julie Vega and Rico Yan, it is still unknown the reason behind Anido’s death. By the end of ’81, Vilma is determined to make the coming year another productive and successful year. She released a total of six films, out of six, two were certified record breakers, “Sinasamba Kita (I Idolized You)” released in August and “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (How Many Times is Onced),” released in November, both produced by Viva Films. The other four films (Relasyon, T-Bird at Ako, Never Ever Say Goodbye, Haplos) were mild hits. All of her hard work paid off because as early as January of the 1983 she was already poised to reap major awards. Meanwhile for Nora Aunor, 1982 were a mixed bag of mild hits and failed opportunities. “Mga Uod at Rosas,” her collaboration with Lorna Tolentino and director Romy Zusara produced a mixed reviews from the critics. Her excellent performance did not help as the film were just mild hit with the audience. Her follow up films, “Annie Sabungera” and “Palenke Queen” both comedies also didn’t do well at the box office making the expectation from her next film higher, as she teamed-up with the hottest star of 1982, her closest rival, Vilma Santos in Danny Zialcita’s fast paced film, “T-bird at Ako.” T-bird’s high expectation wasn’t realized as the film earned just a modest income. By December, all eyes were focused again on Nora and her most ambitious project to date, Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala,” produced by Imee Marcos’ Experimental Cinema of the Philippines. The film was an entry to the Metro Manila film festival. Nora Aunor was again proclaimed the “queen of local festival” as she won her third Metro Manila Film Festival best actress. Nora’s momentum was rising and she was conditioned to make some serious dent in the following year’s award giving seasons. Critics were all going “gagah” with Aunor’s gigantic performance as Elsa. They said, Himala was very effective in communicating its film’s message, it has moving moments and raw power….” – RV (READ MORE)

Grand Slam – “…1982, Nauso ang so-called Grand Slam Best Actress in 1983, nang manalo si Vilma Santos for Ishmael Bernal’s Relasyon. That 1982 film was a small, low-budget drama of a husband and his mistress. Nag-hit ang tandem nina Vi at Christopher de Leon, starting in 1978, with Sampaguita Pictures’ Masarap … Masakit ang Umibig and Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali (both by Elwood Perez), after their first pair-up in Celso Ad Castillo’s 1975 romance-drama Tag-Ulan sa Tag-Araw. For Relasyon, Vilma won as Best Actress sa CMMA, Gawad Urian, FAMAS and the debuting Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards. Maging sa “minor” parangal, like the TV show Let’s Talk Movies ng RPN 9 (hosted by Armida Siguion Reyna, Behn Cervantes and Mario Bautista), si Vilma rin ang Best Actress for the Regal Films drama. With Nora Aunor as Vilma’s main competitor, it was an interesting, but utterly disappointing, acting duel. Sa FAMAS, Nora got nominated for Romy Suzara’s Mga Uod at Rosas – and lost. Sa ibang award-giving bodies, isang malaking pelikula at pagganap ni Nora – sa Himala, as the visionary Elsa – ang natalo kay Vilma. The Ishmael Bernal opus was produced by the Marcos government-established Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP).

Some were of the opinion na may bahagi ng pulitika sa pagkatalo ni Nora; marami raw sa movie industry ang anti-administration, kabilang ang sympathizers ng Free the Artists Movement na anti-censors. May malaking rally noon na hindi dinaluhan ni Nora, samantalang nakiisa sa protesta si Vilma. Gayon man, may parangal na natamo si Nora para sa Himala: the 1982 MMFF Best Actress, where it won 9 out of 13 awards, including Best Direction and Best Picture. Naging opening Film ang Himala sa 1983 Manila International Film Festival – organized by then First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos – at inilahok sa Berlin International Film Festival in February 1983. Ayon kay Bernal, Nora lost in Berlin to a Russian actress by a mere vote. Sa 7th Gawad Urian in 1983, nominated in almost all major and minor categories ang Himala but never won a single award. Ilang taon ang lumipas, sa tuwing titingnan ko ang Honor Roll ng Manunuri sa ipinamamahaging souvenir program, sadyang “walang Himala” na nagtamo ng parangal. But in 2002, sa 25th year ng Gawad Urian, kabilang ang Himala sa Pinakamahuhusay (Best Films of the past three decades) na naparangalan, with Nora Aunor personally receiving the overdue award para sa isang totoong klasikong pelikulang Pilipino. At bigla ngang naghimala ang Himala!…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

Nora Aunor’s Films (7): (Annie Sabungera; Himala; Mga Uod at Rosas; No Other Love; Palengke Queen; T-Bird at Ako; Tinimbang ang Langit) – Nora Aunor had a mix output of forgettable comedies and awards-worthy films. She did seven films, two of which were notable, Ishmael Bernal’s epic festival entry, “Himala” and Romy Zusara’s “Mga Uod at Rosad.” She also took some time to do the lesbian film, “T-bird at Ako” with her rival, Vilma.

Vilma Santos’ Films (6): (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?; Haplos; Never Ever Say Goodbye; Relasyon; Sinasamba Kita; T-Bird at Ako) – Compare to Nora, Vilma had a solid year, commercially and artistically, she had two major hits, “Sinasamba Kita” and “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan,” the other four were mild hits.

Nora Aunor’s 1982 acting recognition (7) – Best Actress from Metro Manila Film Festival and Parade Magazine Awards and nominations from URIAN; CMMA; Film Academy of the Philippines; Lets Talk Movies, all for “Himala” and a nomination from FAMAS for “Mga Uod at Rosas.”

Vilma Santos’ 1982 acting recognition (5) – Best Actress from FAMAS; URIAN; CMMA; Film Academy of the Philippines; Lets Talk Movies, all for “Relasyon.”

Sensitive, Polished and Highly Passive – “…The small, dissipated and forgotten dusty town without rainfall awakens to exploitation and commercialism when an innocent girl called Elsa (Nora Aunor) claims to have seen an apparition of the Blessed Virgin. She later acquires healing powers. Along the lines of Lourdes, the whole village becomes a bustling commercial venue for mass-produced statue saints and bottled holy or tonic water. In later excursions into subplots, a close friend of Elsa who becomes a woman of easy virtue returns to Cupang, a virginal sister who is totally devoted to the religious mission, some enterprising matrons, then a kaleidoscopic look at hundreds of sick people with diseased bodies. A pivotal character is a cynical and young film director (Spanky Manikan) with a conscience. The latter becomes obsessed in capturing Elsa’s healing sessions on celluloid which leads to his candidly catching on film (by accident) a dark secret of Elsa, a secret which prompted the suicide of her sister. Here is an eloquent, powerful film that is full of grandeur and simple segments. It shows an atmospheric environment where illiterate but adulating, praying crowds desperate for a cure can be a hostile mob when the miracle they crave for doesn’t materialize. Nora Aunor as Elsa gives a sensitive, polished and highly passive and consistently low-key performance. She is letter-perfect for the role. Meanwhile, Gigi Duenas (a stage actress) as a girl on the wrong side of the tracks who operates a cabaret-whorehouse is singularly brilliant and provides a striking contrast to the spiritual life of Elsa…” – Variety, January 26, 1983 (READ MORE)

Peeled-off Apprehensions – “…Thee film has unblushingly spoken for the Filipino urban society and its increasing acceptance of adultery as a social habit. It could have been a repetitious tale of a man with two women. But the writers have interestingly conducted the story through the precarious steps of a young, single, beautiful and supposedly decent girl. Marilou (Vilma Santos) has fallen helplessly in love with Emil (Christopher de Leon), a married man. When Emil’s wife decides to leave for Mindanao because she couldn’t stand him anymore, Marilou then decides for them to live together. Overjoyed with the prospect, she presses on to keep their relationship thrilling, warmer and stronger. But her efforts over the months only depresses her as she sees Emil gradually locking himself into a door she couldn’t enter. The mutual delights she had previously imbibed had soured into irritating silence and alienation. Her mounting disillusion flares up into throwing a couple of dishes. She opts for a separation only to yearn for him again. They go back to each other. She becomes pregnant. Suddenly, Emil suffers an attack and dies in her arms. Marilou whirls in grief for a time but bounces back to being “single”, attractive but perhaps no longer “decent”. The writers have fed significance into the conversations by filling them with popular ideas on marriage and relationships, engaging the viewers to respond with their own beliefs. There is irony though in the confessions of Emil and Marilou, in happier times, that each had been a better person upon being loved by the other. But their life together contradicted that statement. Her selfishness is revealed. “Ikaw lang ang iniintindi mo” he says and it uncovered his insensitivity. “Ako rin, may ego”, She replies. Vilma Santos confidently showed she felt the character she was portraying. Her depiction of feelings and emotions easily involve the viewers to share in her conflicts and joys. In this film, she has peeled-off apprehensions in her acting. Christopher de Leon has also been supportive in emphasizing the characterization of Marilou. He suitably complements Vilma’s acting. The director, Ishmael Bernal, displays his flair for taking scenes of Vilma putting on make-up. Unwittingly, he has suggested that whatever make-up is put on over adultery, it is still adultery…” – Lawrence delos Trinos, Star Monthly Magazine, July 1982 (READ MORE)

Post-1982 – “…While Vilmanians celebrated their idol’s historical win, Noranians redeemed their broken ego by lining up to the 1983 Manila International Film Festival on June 24th, “Himala” was chosen as the opening gala film together with Hollywood film, “Gandhi” as the closing. After the awards season of 1983, Vilma Santos released three more films after the disappointment, “Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida.” On June 9th, Viva Films released “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?” that turned out to be another box office hit. Few months afterwards Regal films released Bernal’s “Broken Marriage,” the follow-up film after the successful grand slam film, “Relasyon.” And finally, four days after Vi’s birthday, Viva Films released Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s drama, “Minsan pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan,” another box office hit. This film plus the two films mentioned above confirmed her bankable status. Not to be outshine again, “Himala” continued its relentless fight for recognition, winning the bronze prize at the 1983 Chicago International Film Festival on November of 1983 (Nov 4-18 1983)….” – RV (READ MORE)

Related Reading:

Grand Slam film, Relasyon


The set-up – “In a time when the concept of divorce does not exist, much less imagined possible, we find Marilou, a planetarium guide who decides to pursue an affair with Emil, a college teacher sepatated from his wife. They seem perfect for each other, and soon decide to move in together. Their once happy affair turns sour as Marilou slowly discovers the real Emil, a chauvinistic, domineering, and emotionally abusive man who disctates everything to her, from how she should act and manage her life to the most inconsequentials details of running their house. They soon find themselves in an on-again, off – again relationship, with Malou going as for as laying a let’s meet only three times a week rule to protect herself.” – UP (READ MORE)

The Slam – “…1982, Nauso ang so-called Grand Slam Best Actress in 1983, nang manalo si Vilma Santos for Ishmael Bernal’s Relasyon. That 1982 film was a small, low-budget drama of a husband and his mistress. Nag-hit ang tandem nina Vi at Christopher de Leon, starting in 1978, with Sampaguita Pictures’ Masarap … Masakit ang Umibig and Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali (both by Elwood Perez), after their first pair-up in Celso Ad Castillo’s 1975 romance-drama Tag-Ulan sa Tag-Araw. For Relasyon, Vilma won as Best Actress sa CMMA, Gawad Urian, FAMAS and the debuting Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards. Maging sa “minor” parangal, like the TV show Let’s Talk Movies ng RPN 9 (hosted by Armida Siguion Reyna, Behn Cervantes and Mario Bautista), si Vilma rin ang Best Actress for the Regal Films drama. With Nora Aunor as Vilma’s main competitor, it was an interesting, but utterly disappointing, acting duel. Sa FAMAS, Nora got nominated for Romy Suzara’s Mga Uod at Rosas – and lost. Sa ibang award-giving bodies, isang malaking pelikula at pagganap ni Nora – sa Himala, as the visionary Elsa – ang natalo kay Vilma. The Ishmael Bernal opus was produced by the Marcos government-established Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP). Some were of the opinion na may bahagi ng pulitika sa pagkatalo ni Nora; marami raw sa movie industry ang anti-administration, kabilang ang sympathizers ng Free the Artists Movement na anti-censors. May malaking rally noon na hindi dinaluhan ni Nora, samantalang nakiisa sa protesta si Vilma. Gayon man, may parangal na natamo si Nora para sa Himala: the 1982 MMFF Best Actress, where it won 9 out of 13 awards, including Best Direction and Best Picture. Naging opening Film ang Himala sa 1983 Manila International Film Festival – organized by then First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos – at inilahok sa Berlin International Film Festival in February 1983. Ayon kay Bernal, Nora lost in Berlin to a Russian actress by a mere vote. Sa 7th Gawad Urian in 1983, nominated in almost all major and minor categories ang Himala but never won a single award. Ilang taon ang lumipas, sa tuwing titingnan ko ang Honor Roll ng Manunuri sa ipinamamahaging souvenir program, sadyang “walang Himala” na nagtamo ng parangal. But in 2002, sa 25th year ng Gawad Urian, kabilang ang Himala sa Pinakamahuhusay (Best Films of the past three decades) na naparangalan, with Nora Aunor personally receiving the overdue award para sa isang totoong klasikong pelikulang Pilipino. At bigla ngang naghimala ang Himala!…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

The Role – “…Sinasabi ng mga drumbeater ni Vi na ang kanyang role sa pelikulang ito ay pang-award, pang-FAMAS, pang-URIAN o pang-Film Academy Award kung matutuloy ito. Hindi kami tumututol sa kanilang palagay laluna’t napanood namin ang pelikulang ito. Masuwerte si Vi at sa ganitong maselang role ay dinirek siya ng isang katulad ni Bernal. Tulad nang binigyang diin namin sa unang bahagi, ang mga pelikula ni Bernal, ang “Pagdating sa Dulo”, “Nunal sa Tubig”, “Mister mo, Lover Boy ko” at “City after Dark” ay mga malinaw at makatotohang salamin ng buhay. Kaya sa “Relasyon” ay natural lamang na makakita tayo ng mga sitwasyong tila aktuwal na kinuha sa tunay na buhay at inilipat nang buong-buo sa puting tabing…” – Mando Plaridel, Star Monthly Magazine July 10, 1982 (READ MORE)

After the Slam – “…Like 1972 of the previous decade, 1982 turned out to be a repeat in terms of success for Vilma Santos. If critics took noticed in 1972, her performance in Dama De Noche, a decade after, the critics went gagah over her performance in ”Relasyon,” directed by Bernal. The film earned Vilma all the local best actress trophies from all award-giving bodies. Aside from this success, she will also be crowned as the box office queen of 1982 (the next year for her body of work this year) because of the financial success of her six films notably, “Sinasamba Kita” a film directed by Eddie Garcia and “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?’ directed by Danny Zialcita. Bernal on the other hand not only was credited for Vilma success for “Relasyon” he also received accolades for “Himala” a film by Nora Aunor, Vilma’s rival. Both “Himala” and “Relasyon” were considered two of Bernal’s signature films. In addition to this, he did two Marecel Soriano films, the comedy “Galawgaw” and the drama, “Hindi Kita Malimot” and finally another Cherrie Gil film, “Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak…Bernal gave Vilma Santos her first grandslam best actress awards and consecutive Gawad Urian best actress (1982 and 1983). Their first film together was Inspiration (1972) and last was Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989).” – RV (READ MORE)

Still Relevant? – “Relasyon was the only film with three screenings at the on-going Pelikua at Lipunan last March 3, 2006. No other films hold this record. We were enthusiastic about the students who reviewed the film of more than two decades. Talagang relevant and timeless ang theme at plot ng nasabing pelikuka at maituturing na isa sa great films of Philippine Movie history. Before the screening of the film ay masaya kaming nag-uusap and at times our attention was called sa mga updates and or instructions ni Jojo Lim for the next group activity like March 8 sa U.P. sa Cine Adarna para sa Diwata Awards kung saan ay confirmed na darating si Ate Vi who is one of 4 distinguised honorees. Tumigil lang kami ng magsimula na ang screening. Wala ka ng makausap pa. Nakatuon lahat sa pelikula. Animo’y mga magagaling na kritiko ng gawad Urian na magre-review ng nasabing pelikula sa unang pagkakataon?! Hmp. For the film’s final highlight, we all sat in real silence. Motionless. Then, the expected tour de force/acting coup cum real drama essayed by Ate Vi. Her solitariness remained absolute in this particular scene with her heart wrenching monolgue. Then I thought I caught a glimpse of some of our co-Vilmanians wiping away “precious tears” in between sobs. Several more moments passed in silence. Tinapos namin ang panonood ng pelikula with an ovation. ’Di lang kaming mga Vilmanians ang pumalakpak! We hope ay nakapag-contribute ang mga Vilmanians in support of Mowelfunds worthy projects. Mabuhay Ms. VILMA SANTOS The Philippines Movie Queen For All Seasons. Mabuhay Vilmanians around the globe.” – June Sison, 5 Mar 2006 (READ MORE)

24 years after its release, Relasyon remained relevant and fresh due to its social topic (the flight of many mistresses in society) and Vilma Santos’ performance in this film made it possible for everyone to sympathize their (mistresses) flight. Even critics agrred Here’s what one said: “…Napakahusay ni Vilma Santos sa papel ng pangunahing tauhan, isang dalagang umibig sa isang may asawa. It’s one hell of a role and a heaven of a performance. Kasama si Vilma sa lahat ng eksena sa pelikula at talagang ito na ang pinakamabigat na papel na napaatang sa mga balikat ng isang local actress mula ng gampanan ni Gina Alajar and lead role sa “Salome.” This time, sigurado nang mano-nominate si Vilma sa Urian (ito lamang ang award na hindi niya napapagwagihan) at malamang na ang maging pinakamahigpit niyang kalaban dito ay si Nora Aunor na very demanding din ang role sa “Himala” (na si Bernal din ang direktor). Ito’y kung matatapos ang ECP project na ito sa taong ito na sa palagay nami’y hindi kahit gusto ng ECP na isali ito sa filmfest sa Disyembre. Dinalirot ng “Relasyon” ang lahat ng mga anggulong maaaring suutan ng isang babaing nagiging kerida. Maraming madamdaming tagpo sa pelikula, lalo na ang death scene ni Christopher de Leon na tuhog ang pagkakakuha. Bagay na bagay kay Jimi Melendez ang papel niya bilang torpeng talisuyo ni Vilma. Hit na hit siya sa audience…” – Mario Bautista, Puna at Puri People’s Journal July 1982 (READ MORE)

Pinagtibay ng Panahon 1/2


Ang tambalang Vilma-Boyet ay pinagtibay ng panahon. Hindi basta-basta na maigugupo ng kahit sino o ng kahit anong tambalan. Tulad din ng alak na habang tumatagal ay lalong sumasarap. There have been many loveteams in Philippine cinema but the tandem of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon has chalked up the longest list of movies that have been given awards and made good records at the boxoffice. Until now, their tandem has been unsurpassed. Their loveteam is the most enduring tandem in local cinema. Siguro may iba pang loveteam na nakagawa ng mas maraming pelikula kaysa sa kanila like during the height of the Vi and Bot and Nora-Tirso but theirs did not span decades, nakakaahon lang sila within the short period of time at the height of their popularity. Hindi man naging magkapalad sina Vi at Boyet bilang lovers sa tunay na buhay ay nagklik naman sila sa masa bilang lovers sa pelikula. Matatandaan na sumibol din ang tambalang Nora-Boyet noon sa pelikula at kapag-daka’y nauwi sa totohanan. Sa kabila ng katotohanang ito ay hindi gaanong tinanggap ng publiko ang kanilang pareha sa puting tabing.

They were first paired in 1975 in Celso Ad Castillo’s Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, as first cousins who fall in love with each other. With the success at the tills of the movie, sinundan pa ito ng sunud-sunod na pelikula that crossed over the 80’s, the 90’s and up until this new millennium. Ilan sa mga pelikulang ginawa nila sa bakuran ng Sampaguita Pictures na mahirap malimutan ay ang Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig, taong 1977 kung saan ka-triangle ang sumisikat na aktor noong si Mat Ranillo. Sinundan ito ng Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali ng VP Pictures, taong 1978 na pinamahalaan ng batikang director na si Elwood Perez, Disco Fever; (a rare Vi-Boyet musical); at Ikaw Ay Akin (with Nora Aunor megged by the late Ishmael Bernal). Nang kalagitnaan ng taong 1980, ipinadala si Ate Vi sa States ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang boss na si Atty.Laxa para gumawa ng reunion movie with Romeo Vasques and Boyet, ang “Gusto Kita, Mahal Ko Siya”. Habang buntis noon kay Luis ay ginawa ni Ate Vi ang “Pakawalan Mo Ako”, taong 1981 sa direksyon ni Elwood Perez at nanalo siya ng second FAMAS Best Actress award sa role bilang babaeng idiniin ng kanyang biyenan sa pagpatay sa asawang si Anthony Castelo. Pinaka-memorable naman para kay Ate Vi ang pelikulang Relasyon na idinerek ng mahusay na Ishmael Bernal sa ilalim ng Regal Films, taong 1982.Sa pelikulang ito nagtamo ng kanyang unang grandslam si Ate Vi bilang Best Actress sa lahat ng award giving bodies. Later, kinuha ang serbisyo ng aktres ng Viva Films na katatatag lamang noon at ginawa nila ni Boyet ang isang commercial hit movie na “Sinasamba Kita”. Komersyal na komersyal ang dating ng pelikula ito na hindi lamang umani ng tagumpay sa takilya, kungdi pati na rin sa mga kritiko. Taong 1983 nang gawin nila ni Boyet ang record-breaker na “Paano Ba ang Mangarap” kung saan papel ng isang api-apihang manugang ni Armida Siguion Reyna ang kanyang ginampanan. Sinundan naman agad ng “Broken Marriage” under Regal Films at sa direksyon pa rin ni Ishmael Bernal, ang director to whom Ate Vi is very much indebted dahil sa mga natamong best actress awards sa mga pelikulang idinirehe nito. Isa pa rin ito sa mga mahalagang pelikulang nagawa ni Ate Vi na nagbigay sa kanya ng karangalan bilang mahusay na aktres sa URIAN and of course kay Boyet bilang mahusay na aktor. Sa Viva Films sila nakagawa ng maraming pelikulang pinagtambalan dahil na rin sa isinasaad ng kani-kanilang mga kontrata. Kaya naman sa pagtatapos ng taong 1983, ginawa nila ni Boyet ang “Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan”, the only movie na namatay silang magkasama kung saan asawa siya ni Eddie Garcia sa pamamahala ni direk Marilou Diaz Abaya.

Taong 1989 nang gawin naman nila ni Boyet ang Imortal na kung saan natamo ni Ate Vi ang Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress at si Boyet naman ang tinanghal na Best Actor. Muling naulit ang kanilang pagtatambal ng taong 1991 sa pelikulang “Ipagpatawad Mo” ng Viva Films,sa direksyon ni Laurice Guillen at sa pagkakaga-nap niya bilang supportive mother of an autistic child ay napagwagian niya ang ikalimang URIAN Best Actress award. Taong 1993, nang gawin naman nila ang award winning movie na “Dahil Mahal Kita, Dolzura Cortez” sa ilalim ng OctoArts films at sa pamamahala ni direk Laurice Guillen na nagbigay kay Ate Vi ng ikalawang Grand Slam Best Actress award. Sinundan ito ng “Nag-iisang Bituin” under Regal Films na ka-triangle naman ang mahusay na aktor na si Aga Muhlach under the helm of Jose Javier Reyes. Muling naulit ang kanilang pagtatambal noong 1997 nang gawin nila ang “Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal” ng Neo Films na pinamahalaan naman ni direk Ike Jarlego Jr. Limang taon ang nakalipas at muling nagpugay ang kanilang tambalan sa pelikulang “Dekada ’70″ ng Star Cinema sa direksyon ng award winning director na si Chito Rono. Sa pelikulang ito nanalo si Ate Vi ng kanyang ika-apat na Grand Slam Best Actress.

Mano Po 3, My Love is Vilma’s 22nd film with Boyet kung saan nagwagi ang numero unong aktres ng MMFF, Gawad Tanglaw, Gawad Suri at Star Awards ng Best Actress awards. In most of these films, either Best Actress si Ate Vi(Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dulzura Cortez, Dekada ’70 at Mano Po 3) at si Boyet naman sa Best Actor ( Broken Marriage, Haplos, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dolzura Cortez at Dekada). Sa dami ng pelikulang ginawa nilang dalawa na pawang big hits at nagbigay sa kanila ng acting recognitions, hindi tuloy maiwasang itanong ng karamihan kung ano ang sikreto ng kanilang matagumpay na tambalan. “We’ve never been linked to each other and yet the public loves seeing our movies together. Siguro it’s because we have this unbelievable chemistry. We know each other so well that tinginan lang on screen, we already know what to do to make a take very good.” Ate vi relates. “Siguro yung respeto sa isa’t-isa at pagiging professional ni Boyet. Kapag trabaho, seryoso siya talaga. Ang galing niyang magdala. Alam niya kung paano niya ako sasaluhin kapag nahalata niyang nawawala na ako.” sabi pa ng actress-politician. In an interview, Boyet was asked why does he think his partnership with Vilma continues to thrive even after 30 years? “I just love working with Vi because she is such a giving co-actor. Hindi siya nangaagaw ng eksena. If the scene is yours, susuportahan ka niya nang husto for you to shine. You can’t help but get carried away kapag siya ang kaeksena mo dahil napakahusay niya..O di ba, very well said. Ang trabaho kina Ate Vi at Boyet ay hindi kailanman nahaluan ng malisya. They have over the years worked strictly on the professional level. Off camera ay best friends sila. Sa katunayan nga, si Boyet ang unang aktor na pinagtapatan ni Ate Vi na magpapakasal kay Senator Ralph at ng kanyang pagbubuntis kay Ryan. Platonic daw ang tawag sa uri ng relasyong namagitan kina Ate Vi at Boyet in the sense na alam nila kung hanggang saan ang limitasyon ng closeness nila. Platonic dahil hindi na kailangan an0g anumang physical contact upang ipahayag ang kanilang nararamdaman para sa isa’t isa.

Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag ang tambalang VILMA-BOYET. No other loveteam can compile such successes,award wise and box-office wise. Their tandem spells capital B-I-G-H-I-T at the box-office. Mula nang gawin nila ang first movie nila noong late 70’s hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin pinagsasawaan at patuloy na tinatangkilik ng publiko at kanilang mga tagasubaybay na mapanood sila sa silver screen.Loveteam for all seasons, ika nga.O may hihirit pa ba? – Willie Ferrnandez, V Magazine, Dec 2006

The List
01. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1976) – Directed by Celso Ad Castillo
02. Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977) – Directed by Elwood Perez
03. Ikaw ay Akin (1978) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
04. Disco Fever (1978) – Directed by Al Quinn
05. Nakawin Natin ang Bawa’t Sandali (1978) – Directed by Elwood Perez
06. Magkaribal (1979) – Directed by Elwood Perez
07. Pinay American Style (1980) – Directed by Elwood Perez
08. Gusto Kita, Mahal ko Siya (1980) – Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza
09. Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) – Directed by Elwood Perez
10. Karma (1981) (Christopher De Leon in cameo role) – Directed by Danny Zialcita
11. Relasyon (1982) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
12. Sinasamba Kita (1982) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
13. Haplos (1982) – Directed by Antonio Jose Perez
14. Paano ba ang Mangarap? (1983) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
15. Broken Marriage (1983) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
16. Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan (1983) – Directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya
17. Imortal (1989) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
18. Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
19. Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
20. Nagiisang Bituin (1994) – Directed by Jose Javier Reyes
21. Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal (1997) – Directed by Ike Jarlego Jr.
22. Dekada ’70 (2002) – Directed by Chito S. Rono
23. Mano Po 3: My Love (2004) – Directed by Joel Lamangan

GO TO PART TWO

Pinagtibay ng Panahon 2/2


Ang tambalang Vilma-Boyet ay pinagtibay ng panahon. Hindi basta-basta na maigugupo ng kahit sino o ng kahit anong tambalan. Tulad din ng alak na habang tumatagal ay lalong sumasarap. There have been many loveteams in Philippine cinema but the tandem of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon has chalked up the longest list of movies that have been given awards and made good records at the boxoffice. Until now, their tandem has been unsurpassed. Their loveteam is the most enduring tandem in local cinema. Siguro may iba pang loveteam na nakagawa ng mas maraming pelikula kaysa sa kanila like during the height of the Vi and Bot and Nora-Tirso but theirs did not span decades, nakakaahon lang sila within the short period of time at the height of their popularity. Hindi man naging magkapalad sina Vi at Boyet bilang lovers sa tunay na buhay ay nagklik naman sila sa masa bilang lovers sa pelikula. Matatandaan na sumibol din ang tambalang Nora-Boyet noon sa pelikula at kapag-daka’y nauwi sa totohanan. Sa kabila ng katotohanang ito ay hindi gaanong tinanggap ng publiko ang kanilang pareha sa puting tabing. – Willie FerrnandezREAD MORE

The List
01. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1976) – Directed by Celso Ad Castillo
02. Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977) – Directed by Elwood Perez
03. Ikaw ay Akin (1978) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
04. Disco Fever (1978) – Directed by Al Quinn
05. Nakawin Natin ang Bawa’t Sandali (1978) – Directed by Elwood Perez
06. Magkaribal (1979) – Directed by Elwood Perez
07. Pinay American Style (1980) – Directed by Elwood Perez
08. Gusto Kita, Mahal ko Siya (1980) – Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza
09. Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) – Directed by Elwood Perez
10. Karma (1981) (Christopher De Leon in cameo role) – Directed by Danny Zialcita
11. Relasyon (1982) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
12. Sinasamba Kita (1982) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
13. Haplos (1982) – Directed by Antonio Jose Perez
14. Paano ba ang Mangarap? (1983) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
15. Broken Marriage (1983) – Directed by Ishmael Bernal
16. Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan (1983) – Directed by Marilou Diaz Abaya
17. Imortal (1989) – Directed by Eddie Garcia
18. Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
19. Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) – Directed by Laurice Guillen
20. Nagiisang Bituin (1994) – Directed by Jose Javier Reyes
21. Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal (1997) – Directed by Ike Jarlego Jr.
22. Dekada ’70 (2002) – Directed by Chito S. Rono
23. Mano Po 3: My Love (2004) – Directed by Joel Lamangan


TAGULAN SA TAGARAW


MASARAP MASAKIT ANG UMIBIG


IKAW AY AKIN


MAGKARIBAL


PINAY AMERICAN STYLE


PAKAWALAN MO AKO


RELASYON


SINASAMBA KITA


HAPLOS


PAANO BA ANG MANGARAP


BROKEN MARRIAGE


MINSAN PA NATING HAGKAN ANG NAKARAAN


IPAGPATAWAD MO


DEKADA 70


MANO PO 3: MY LOVE

GO TO PART ONE