Richard Gomez and Vilma Santos

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First Film and Award – “…It was his late manager Douglas Quijano who persuaded him to get into acting. “He always asked me bakit di daw ako mag-artista. I always said ayaw ko, ang yabang ko pa. Gusto ko modeling lang.” One time, Douglas asked him how much money he had in his wallet. Richard took it out and they both saw only P20. Douglas told him, “mag-artista ka na, tama na yang modeling-modeling na yan.” A week after, Richard recalls, Douglas came to him with a check worth P25,000. He was told he would be starring in a movie with Maricel Soriano and William Martinez, Inday Bote. He shares that the role was originally offered to Gabby Concepcion, and when he declined, Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Films was looking for another leading man. On Richard’s first shooting day, he was late. His call time was at 12 noon and he got to the set before 2 p.m. Maricel tells him, “Hoy, Richard, sa trabaho natin, di ka pwedeng late. Sa trabaho natin, di ka pwedeng masyadong mabait.” That being his first-ever time on set, he couldn’t help but wonder what kind of advice that was! Maricel went on to say, “Katulad ko mataray ako pero marami akong kaibigan, at ikaw mukha kang mataray, kaibigan na kita.” For some reason, he says, they clicked instantly. That was the movie that really launched his career…Most memorable awards won: Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit: “That was very memorable because it was my first acting award. After eight nominations, I finally won it. In fact I cried in my speech when I received that award. After that, tuluy-tuloy na….It (the film, “Dahas”) was supposed to be a grand slam. I should’ve won all the awards but I lost it, and I lost it pa sa Urian. I remember, every year I would win the Urian, and Dahas would’ve been my fourth year of winning that award. It was painful kasi pang-grand slam ko yun.” He says about the roles he takes: “I’m so good when I do bad roles and I’m shying away from those kind of roles already.” He may have scored his first acting job out of luck, but since then, he has been taking acting workshops that honed his craft. On the possibility of him doing a movie again, he says, “I wanna do a big one again. One day I will…” – Bianca Gonzalez, The Philippine Star, Feb 19 2012 (READ MORE)

Psychically Connected. – “…Minsan, Minahal Kita,” Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez’s “reunion” movie after their real-life romance ended years ago, is expected to do well at the box office when it opens today. To make sure that it’s a hit, the two stars have been going out of their way to promote the movie on TV. At first, they didn’t want to answer personal questions about their romance and why it went sour, because they didn’t want the movie press to “feast” on their private lives, especially now that they’re both happily married to other people, who might resent the past being brought up again. But the questions can be persistent, and a little controversy does add spice to a promotional campaign, so, two Sundays ago, Richard and Sharon found themselves opening up more than usual to guest interviewers Martin Nievera and Amy Perez on Sharon’s own TV show. The big question, of course, was: If Sharon and Richard were so in love when they were sweethearts, why did they have to break up? At first, the answers were rather tentative: “With us, it was always wrong timing” – that sort of thing. Then came Richard’s statement: “She loved me more than I loved her:” Surprised, Sharon retorted with a raised eyebrow, “I thought, pantay…” If they could change what happened, what adjustments would they make? Richard: “I should have focused more on Sharon.” Sharon: “I know now that nobody’s perfect. I should have waited it out, I should have been more patient.” Despite their being more forthcoming than usual about that shared chapter in their lives, the two stars still ended up keeping the details about the real reasons for their breakup to themselves -as well they should. In any case, the answer are moot and academic, because Sharon and Richard have found “happines apart,” with their respective spouses. But friends will continue teasing them about the fact that the Gomezes and the Pangilinans share the same wedding anniversary: April 28. Of course, Sharon and Richard swear that the unique conjunction is purely, absolutely coincidental, but some people see in this a small sign that they are still psychically connected…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb 23, 2000 (READ MORE)

Richard Gomez and Vilma Santos’ Films

  • Iputok mo…Dadapa ako! (Hard to Die) (1990) – A forgettable film directed Tony Y. Reyes that stars Joey de Leon, Vic Sotto and the late Francis Magalona. Several big stars appeared in cameo roles like, the late FPJ, Nora Aunor and ofcourse, Vilma and Richard
  • Kapag langit ang humatol (1990) – “…The whole-afternoon affair gave Ate Vi time to bond with Manay Ichu, the “second mother“ she hasn’t seen lately. Ate Vi recalled for the nth time how Manay Ichu and the late Atty. Espiridion Laxa saved her from the poor house, helping her with BIR (tax), financial, and career woes. The actress made memorable films for Manay Ichu, including “Rubia Servios,“ directed by Lino Brocka. Brocka triggered memories about a film she made for Vision, produced by Charo Santos and Simon Ongpin (Where is he?), in which this columnist had a “role.“ Vision offered Ate Vi two project. The true story of a crusading lady doctor to be directed by Brocka. A radio serial by Salvador Royales, “Kapag Langit ang Humatol.“ She wanted to do a Brocka film, but this columnist objected, telling Ate Vi, “You don’t need another award, you need a blockbuster.“ Ate Vi listened and “obeyed.“ The radio serial was a huge, huge hit. And even critically acclaimed, giving Laurice Guillen the best director award from the Manunuri (Urian)…” – Ronald Constantino, Feb 15 2012, Tempo (READ MORE)
  • Ibigay mo sa akin ang bukas (1987) – “…At present, Santos is completing Ibigay Mo sa Aking ang Bukas for producer Esperidion Laxa. The movie, slated for opening first week of March, was originally scheduled to be shown this week (simulaneously with Sharon Cuneta’s Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin, but Laxa apparently decided otherwise, “Medyo hilaw pa sa promotion,” said the actress. In the movie, Santos is once again playing the role she’s best known for, that of a liberated woman. “D’yan naman talaga ako nagustuhan ng tao, you know, women who fight for their personal happiness.” She is again paired with Gabby Concepcion, who incidentally, is rumored to be her boyfriend. There is definitely nothing between her and Gabby, she clarified. “Ah, si Mayor?” she gleefully replied to the question, “we’re just comfortable with each other. Minsan na akong napikon sa tsismis na iyan. We’re friends and I hope people would just leave it at that.” “Is she really that liberated in real life?” Parrying the question, Santos rationalized, “Well, I deserve to be happy, too!…” – Mario V. DumaualManila Standard, Feb 19, 1987 (READ MORE)
  • Tagos ng dugo (1987) – “…And what do we make out of Maryo de los Reyes’ Tagos ng Dugo, with its grossly improbable tale of multiple schizophrenia and made all the worse by the director’s penchant for pseudo-character changes? Personally, i would rate Vilma Santos here as having been last year’s most colorul character instead of a consumate performer…” – Justino Dormiendo, Manila Standard, Feb 23, 1988 (READ MORE)
  • Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (1986) – “…After a string of unsuccessful relationships with different men, Corina (Vilma Santos) finally settles down with Teodolfo/Teddy, (Eddie Garcia), an old widowed man whose daughter, Ana (Maricel Soriano) and sister Julita (Rosemarie Gil), never approved of his new wife. In her best attempt of being a good wife and stepmother to her new family, Corina gets smitten by Neil (Gabby Concepcion), a married man with a kid whom she had an affair with. Things get haywire as Corina starts to feel guilty about cheating on Teddy who has been good to her. Ana also discovers her adulterous acts and tries to kick her out of the family. Just when Neil is ready to leave his wife Vicky (Snooky Serna) and their kid for Corina, everything turns around when Teddy’s death revealed a secret that changed their lives forever…” – Regal Films (READ MORE)
  • Lamat sa Kristal (1988) – “…Vilma Santos went through with the taping of her first drama special, Lamat sa Kristal, during the rage of killer typhoon Unsang. While it wrought havoc in the entire nation and claimed numerous lives and destroyed properties, the whole production made good use of the terribly bad weather to set the mood for the top actress’ tele-movie. Indeed, there’s nothing like Mother Nature providing the real atmosphere, as teh stars and crew braced the strong winds and heavy rains. To the said stars and crew the showbiz rule “the show must go on” still holds true, no matter what the weather is…” – Meg mendoza (READ MORE)

Richard Gomez (born on April 7, 1966 in Manila, Philippines) is a Filipino actor, comedian, model, athlete, television presenter, and director. He is one of the famous actors in Philippine Cinema. He graduated from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He is one of ABS-CBN’s contract actors. Gomez was raised by his grandmother. Before his entry in show business, he worked in at McDonalds. His dream came true when his modelling career began. After modelling, he pursued an acting career. His mother is the screen siren of 60s Philippine cinema, Stella Suarez. His cousin is Stella Suarez, Jr. aka Pinky Suarez, who was adopted by his parents and raised as his sibling. His father has Spanish-Mexican blood. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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FILM REVIEW: TAGOS NG DUGO

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The Plot – A young Pina was traumatized when her family was murdered while she had her first menstruation. She grown up into a serial killer transforming herself to different personalities as she seduced one man at a time grossly killing them while in the act of sexual pleasure. Eventually Pina was caught by the authorities. Considered by some critics as a feminist movie, Tagos ng Dugo has the feeling of claustrophobic but stylized European slasher movie that showcased the wide acting range of Philippines’ cinematic diva, Vilma Santos. The film lacks the usual long dialogue of her previous films but in this film, she was given a chance to show her body movements and “eye” acting that climaxed with tour de force ending, a mad lion being caught by armed hunters. – RV (READ MORE)

The Reviews: First of all, serial murder is almost alien to Philippine crime journalism, a fact that’s due certainly to our police force’s lack of records on such cases. Now, this police-records gap may of course in turn reflect a lack of local police coordination towards (or, worse, capability for) determining crime patterns as possibly serial. Unless those determinations have to do with the usual cop-out that goes like this: “it’s another NPA hit” blah blah blah, or “it’s another murder similar to the one that happened last week, and this is reflective of pornography’s…My above statements are meant to illustrate a national wont to demean our own police organization’s capability (or, worse, intelligence) that may neither be fair nor productive, but it would be a habit that certainly is not undeserved given the record — official and memorial — of the police’s prioritizing its own people’s interests and “rackets.” Given this background, therefore, Tagos Ng Dugo can be said to be a demonstration of serial crimes’ possible placement in local shores, and that would certainly be a valid view. Except, of course, that in effect Tagos is also — and probably should be read primarily as — a demonstration of possibilities other than the merely forensic. I say “should be,” since the police is portrayed fairly in the film, albeit not exactly generously. So what could be all the fuss about Tagos’ value? “Production values” is the often-heard reason, needing elucidation.

A breakthrough for Philippine psychological movies? Probably. Let me explore a few other angles on this seeming cross between Francois Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black and Luis Buñuel’s Belle du Jour – I don’t know if screenwriter Jake Tordesillas or De los Reyes himself should be congratulated for the cohesion of multi-resultants in this work. Part of this multi-readings would be the movie as a feminist take on womankind’s monthly pains as a form of excuse for female monthly insanities, insanities our machos regard as regular terrorism on the whole of mankind (men or society as a whole). It is with that reading that the ending apologies, by Vilma Santos in the lead role, might be understood as a plea for understanding of how all of woman’s monthly Eve-behavior should not be seen as a Biblical sin but as an equal (to, say, men’s beastly) naturalness….Another feminist reading, more radical perhaps, would treat the film as a view of how Philippine society (the men in it, primarily) approaches provincial innocence, educational weakness, and “females’ weaker sanity” as stimuli for abuse….There is, however, the possibly more general reading of the film as an apologia for insanity qua itself, how it should be treated as a disease instead of as a monster to be eliminated.

And finally, there’s the possibility that the film is actually a depiction of how crazy the world outside the insane mind really is, albeit this view would probably be the least successful direction for the film….As a bonus, maybe we can also bring the movie to more latent, more philosophical territory, say, how it depicts the sanity of innocence. But, given the validity and possible weight of all those approaches, what finally makes this movie a jewel in Philippine cinema history is how it brings forth — every time you watch it — its case achievements in directorial and film editing dramaturgy (including the recurring stage-like choreography, Hitchcockish camera positionings, and acting pacing within). For the serious student of third-world filmmaking, here is a requisite Philippine movie from where to cull precious fragments. In these fragments, he/she is sure to find sparkles that are in themselves gems. – Vicente-Ignacio S. de Veyra III (READ MORE)

“…Sa anggulong ito halos umikot ang kabuuan ng pelikula. Masasabing naging matapang ang mga bumuo ng pelikulang Tagos Ng Dugo dahil sa tahasan nitong tinalakay ang sekswalidad ng mga pangunahing tauhan. Mapapansing pinagtuunan ng pansin ang kabuuan ng karakter ni Pina na buong husay ginampanan ni Vilma Santos. Ang aktres ay halos nasa lahat ng eksena sa pelikula. Maituturing na hysterical ang pag-arte ni Bb. Santos ngunit sa pelikulang ito ay malaki ang naitulong nito upang maipahatid niya ang nararapat na emosyon sa epektibong paraan. Malaki ang naitulong ni Direktor Maryo J. de los Reyes sa pagsasalarawan ng kuwento ni Pina. Nailahad niya ng maayos ang mga problemang sikolohikal hindi lamang ni Pina kundi ng buong lipunan. Makikitang binigyang diin ang posibleng solusyon sa mga suliraning ipinamalas sa pelikula. Maaring may ilang pagkukulang ang pelikula sa naging takbo ng istorya ngunit naisalba ito ng mahusay na pagdidirehe ni de los Reyes. Sa anggulong ito naging malaking bahagi sa tagumpay ng Tagos Ng Dugo ang direktor dahil sa tuwiran niyang naipahayag ang patotoo sa mga isyung tinalakay sa buong pelikula. Dito rin natamo ni Vilma ang kanyang ikaapat na FAMAS Best Actress Award bago siya tuluyang naluklok sa Hall Of Fame nang sumunod na taon…” – Jojo De Vera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Pina is Vilma and Vilma is Pina. This is their story. This is their movie. This is acting at its best. Thank God, Mayor Vilma Santos has come to the rescue of the Pina’s in this world. Unlike the super heroine and fictitious Darna who kicks butt as she battles with the forces of darkness and defend the people, here is Vilma, the philanthropist and the Mother Theresa of her generation, in the flesh, reaching out to the poorest of the poor of her Lipa constituents. Through her loving heart and helping hands, she has actually helped thousands of society’s outcasts, the poor and the needy. This is the Vilma Santos today: successful, revered, in demand, a winner in all fronts. A National Treasure! Who would have thought that the second fiddle to another actress will become the greatest film practitioner of all time and a capable Mayor? A great actress and an excellent Mayor. Nobody does it better…” – Mar Garces, V Magazine 2006 (READ MORE)

“…A series of unfortunate events seemed to hound Nora’s career up to this point. October 1, 1989 was to be the last airing date of the 22-year-old musical-variety show Superstar on RPN 9. A month later, it was revived on IBC 13 with a new title, The Legend … Superstar, but this was short-lived lasting only up to early 1990. Naging mas masuwerte si Vilma Santos sa hinu-host na Vilma! on GMA 7, which started in 1981 as VIP (Vilma in Person) ng lumang BBC 2 (naibalik sa Lopez owners ang ABS-CBN after the EDSA Revolution). Nagbida si Vilma sa isa sa mga pinakaimportanteng pelikula ng Dekada ‘80: Regal Films’ Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (by Ishmael Bernal), na sinimulan in 1988 at ipinalabas in early 1989. In December 1989, Vilma headlined a period romance-drama (Viva Films’ Imortal, megged by Eddie Garcia) at nanalo sila ng kaparehang si Christopher de Leon ng acting plums sa MMFF. Sa awardings for that year, si Vilma ang nanalong Best Actress sa Star Awards (for Pahiram), her first form the Philippine Movie Press Club. ‘Kumpletung-kumpleto na ang career ko!” nasabi ni Vilma as she accepted her trophy. Later, it was Nora’s turn to get a Best Actress trophy for the first time from the Film Academy of the Philippines, for Elwood Perez’s three-year-in-the-making Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit. ‘Kumpletung-kumpleto na ang career ko!” sabi rin niya in her acceptance speech. Na-elevate si Vilma sa FAMAS Hall of Fame, for having bagged five Best Actress statuettes: Dama de Noche, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Relasyon, Tagos ng Dugo, and Elwood Perez’s Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos. Nora won her fourth Best Actress plum sa FAMAS, also for Bilangin. Walang itulak-kabigin sa dalawa, kaya marapat lang na mag-tie sila for Best Actress, as in the 1990 Gawad Urian, na ‘pantay na parangal ”ang ipinagkaloob ng Manunuri kina Nora (for Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit) at Vilma (for Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga)…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

The Director – Maryo J. De los Reyes is a film and television director from the Philippines. He began his career in the 1970s(Wikipedia). Reyes’ most significant works are the critically acclaimed Magnifico (2004), Tagos Ng Dugo (1987) and the commercial hits, Bagets (1983), Annie Batungbakal (1979) (Wikepedia). In 1987 Maryo De Los Reyes directed Vilma Santos that critics considered one of the shocking film that year, Tagos Ng Dugo. The film was hailed as a feminist film and earned Vilma Santos her fourth FAMAS Best Actress. Ironically, the conservative church award giving body will agree and also gave their 1987 CMMA Best Actress to Vilma Santos. Reyes will again direct Vilma in 1992.  (Tagos ng Dugo 1987 and Sinungaling Mong Puso 1992)

The Most Colorful Film Character of the Year – “…The decision of the film critics to inhibit themselves from conferring their annual Urian Awards is unprecedented in the group’s 12-year history…But the case of film year 1987 is truly abysmal. It is, in fact, beyond salvation. True, there were number of worthwhile efforts, in such specific categories as editing, cinematography or sound but again, this is taking film as if it were a highly segmented form, instead of a holistic and integrated medium of communication. The area of screenplay was, to my mind, the most borely abused; I cannot recall any single film where this can be considered outstanding. Blame it on the producers who were more concerned with much momentary fancies as inane fantasies, sexploitation flicks and anachronistic melodramas. Blame it, too, on the governement which doesn’t seem to care and which doesn’t realize the power of the cinema in the value reformation of a natin long shackled in a despotic rule…Then there was the dismal and embarraing Brocka opus, Magin Akin Ka Lamang, which is a far cry from what the director used to do with komiks genre, having elevated it to a level of respectability in Tahan Na Empoy, Tahan and Ang Tatay Kong Nanay, which is good enough melodrama. Even more sordid is his Pasan Ko ang Daigidg, which takes an egregiously compromising view of poverty with its Cinderella-like storyline. Even Ishmael Bernal was not spared of the spirit of idiocy which pervaded the past year and which threatens to hound us this year. Bernal, who often can be relied upon to transcend the limitations of the most trivial of storyline, simply failed to overcome the komiks convolutions of Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa. Also, quite unlucky was Peque Gallaga who was in bad shape in Kid, Huwag Kang Susuko, though he managed to score a few precious points in the action film genre. And what do we make out of Maryo de los Reyes’ Tagos ng Dugo, with its grossly improbable tale of multiple schizophrenia and made all the worse by the director’s penchant for pseudo-character changes? Personally, i would rate Vilma Santos here as having been last year’s most colorul character instead of a consumate performer….” – Justino Dormiendo, Manila Standard, Feb 23, 1988 (READ MORE)

“…She has lost some pounds (due to the gruelling shooting of her recent film, Tagos ng Dugo, but she is still the same radiant beauty…Santos is likewise bugged by the observation (presumably by some Nora Aunor supporters) that her performance in Tagos ng Dugo, wherein she portrayed a psychopath, was “Norang-Nora.” She could not divine how the comment was made in the first place. Was it becauise, in the film, she was handled by Maryo de los Reyes who is known to be a close friend and one of the favorite directors of Nora Aunor? Or, was it because her role in Tagos called for a lot of the so called Nora-style acting -expressive eye movements, prolonged byt quiet crying binges? Is she, in the eyes of some Aunor loyalist, as good as actress now as their idol? “Wala akong ginagaya,” defended the actress. “That was Pina, the role, I was acting out. I did not think of Guy or anybody else when I was doing the film. “But you know, that (comment) is good,” she said as an after thought. “Kinukumpara pa rin kami hanggang ngayon. That means kami pa rin – the rivalry is still strong.” On the other hand, one is hard put to imagine Aunor attempting Santos’ “patented” acting style (the ease and confidence in delivering kilometric line, among others). If and when she does in any of her future films, I told the actress, we would also say “Vilmang-Vilma” siya! She burst out laughing…” – Mario V. DumaualManila Standard, Feb 19, 1987 (READ MORE)

“…I had actually intended to evaluate the industry’s artistic accomplishments from January to June this year, but the consideration of causes simply overwhelmed the original subject. Anyway, in providing a listing of the more acceptable items, it would serve our purposes well to keep in mind that these titles were originally greeted with expressions of disappointment and frustration, with only passing acknowledgement of their respective merits – to which I now most carefully give mention…Tagos ng Dugo (Maryo J. de los Reyes, dir.): kinkiness rounded out with psychological backgrounding and propelled forward with a sense of conviction and sympathy for the plight of the subject…” – Joel David, National Midweek, 26 August 26, 1987 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1986)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Jose Javier Reyes; Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes; Cast: Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Eddie Garcia, Liza Lorena, Chanda Romero, Deborah Sun, Jimi Melendez; Executive producer: Lily Y. Monteverde; Original Music: Willy Cruz; Cinematography: Conrado Baltazar; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Dez Bautista, Rei Nicolas; Art Direction: Arlene Abuid, Judy Lou de Pio; Sound: Rudy Baldovino

Plot Description: After a string of unsuccessful relationships, Corina married Teddy, an old widow whose daughter, Ana and sister Julita never approved of his new wife.

An assertive young stepmother, a rebellious stepdaughter, and a working wife whose career provides tension between the wife and her husband are the portraits of the strong-willed woman of the 1980s. – ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

After a string of unsuccessful relationships with different men, Corina (Vilma Santos) finally settles down with Teodolfo/Teddy, (Eddie Garcia), an old widowed man whose daughter, Ana (Maricel Soriano) and sister Julita (Rosemarie Gil), never approved of his new wife. In her best attempt of being a good wife and stepmother to her new family, Corina gets smitten by Neil (Gabby Concepcion), a married man with a kid whom she had an affair with. Things get haywire as Corina starts to feel guilty about cheating on Teddy who has been good to her. Ana also discovers her adulterous acts and tries to kick her out of the family. Just when Neil is ready to leave his wife Vicky (Snooky Serna) and their kid for Corina, everything turns around when Teddy’s death revealed a secret that changed their lives forever. – Regal (READ MORE)

Film Review: “…Often pitted against then-rival Maricel Soriano, she made numerous blockbuster movies with her in the ’80s like Underage, Schoolgirls, Story of Three Loves and Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday, among others. She also had her share of TV shows including the weekly musical variety ‘Always Snooky’ and weekly drama feature on ‘Regal Drama Presents: Snooky’ in ABS-CBN Channel 2. As a mature actress, she tackled roles which earned acting nominations from various award giving bodies. She was also in Kapag Napagod Ang Puso with Christopher de Leon and Inagaw Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (Harvest Home – official Philippine entry to the 1995 Oscars) but unfortunately was snubbed during awards night. Her other major films include Aabot Hanggang Sukdulan, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Hahamakin ang Lahat with Vilma Santos, the fantasy films Blusang Itim, Rosa Mistica, and Madonna: Ang Babaing Ahas. It was with Koronang Itim, that she finally won Best Lead Actress trophy. She has starred in over (80) films from 1970 to 2004…” – Wikipedia (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)

Filmography: Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas (1987)

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Basic Information: Directed: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Mercy Lejarde; Screenplay: Raquel Villavicencio; Cast: Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Gina Pareño, Liza Lorena, Delia Razon, Orestes Ojeda, Gretchen Barretto, Amy Austria, Al Tantay, Romeo Rivera, Joko Diaz, Alfred Barretto, Julio Diaz; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Original Music: Mon del Rosario; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Nonoy Santillan; Production Design: Rei Nicolas

Plot Description: “…The neglected wife of a homosexual finds sexual fulfillment with a former boyfriend and student…” – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1988 FAMAS Nomination Best Child Actor – Joko Diaz

Film Reviews: “…His films lack the arthouse style and social relevance that critics loves most in a Brocka or Bernal films but who cares about the critics when the paying public loves them. And the producers demand his service, from Doc Perez of Sampaguita Pictures, Atty. Esperidion Laxa of Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions and later on, Vic Del Rosario of Viva Films and Lily Monteverde of Regal Films. Clearly, his films exists with one purpose, to entertain the masses not to depress or remind them with the country’s sad fate of economy or the below poverty line lives of many. The success of the Vilma-Borlaza films gave Vilma Santos versatility and preparation to a more serious acting career. It also narrowed the popularity gap between her and the musical era’s darling of the 70s, Nora Aunor. These are perhaps, the most significant contributions of Emmanuel Borlaza to Vilma’s career. Vilma who was considered only second to Nora couldn’t matched her singing talent and so, Borlaza countered this lack of singing with films that showcased Vilma’s acting versatility…- RV (READ MORE)

“…Ang tatay ni KC Concepcion na si Gabby Concepcion ay isa rin sa mga kaibigan ni Vi. Ilan ding pelikula ang ginawa ni Vi at Gabby katulad ng Pahiram Ng Isan Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso, Hahamakin Lahat, Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas at Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin. Sa pelikulang Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, kung saan si Gabby ang prodyuser ay naging special guest si Vi na sa totoo lang ay halos kasinlaki ang billing niya (Vi) sa mga major characters nito. Isa sa mga anak ni Gabby, anak niya kay Grace Ibuna ay inaanak ni Vi katuwang sina Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Snooky Serna at Maricel Soriano. Noong last episode ng Vilma show sa GMA 7 ay isa si Gabby sa mga special guests ni Vi at nag-compose pa ng tula si Gabby para kay Vi. Noon namang nagkaroon ng problema si Gabby dahil sa kontrobersiya sa Manila Film Festival noong 1994 ay isa si Vi sa mga naging sabihan niya ng kanyang mga problema. Si Gabby ay naging best supporting actor ng Star Awards for Movies noong 1992 para sa pelikulang Sinungaling Mong Puso, best actor ng Urian noong 1992 para sa Narito Ang Puso Ko at best supporting actor ng Urian para sa pelikulang Makiusap Ka Sa Diyos noong 1991…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…It seems that Vilma Santos has finally learned her lessons about money matters. The actress is reportedly eyeing a house in Greenmeadows which she plan to buy with her earnings from her latest starrer Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas. “Siguro kung marunong lang kaming mag-ingat ng salapi ng kumare ko (Nora Aunor), pareho na kaming may subdivision sa ngayon,” Santos reportedly said. Now, she insists on knowing where every peso goes. Perhaps, Santos has taken her cue from Amalia Fuentes, said to be the richest actress in the business. The actress, however, will keep her house in Magallanes ‘for luck’…” – JC Nigado, Manila Standard, Mar 6 1987 (READ MORE)

“…At present, Santos is completing Ibigay Mo sa Aking ang Bukas for producer Esperidion Laxa. The movie, slated for opening first week of March, was originally scheduled to be shown this week (simulaneously with Sharon Cuneta’s Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin, but Laxa apparently decided otherwise, “Medyo hilaw pa sa promotion,” said the actress. In the movie, Santos is once again playing the role she’s best known for, that of a liberated woman. “D’yan naman talaga ako nagustuhan ng tao, you know, women who fight for their personal happiness.” She is again paired with Gabby Concepcion, who incidentally, is rumored to be her boyfriend. There is definitely nothing between her and Gabby, she clarified. “Ah, si Mayor?” she gleefully replied to the question, “we’re just comfortable with each other. Minsan na akong napikon sa tsismis na iyan. We’re friends and I hope people would just leave it at that.” “Is she really that liberated in real life?” Parrying the question, Santos rationalized, “Well, I deserve to be happy, too!…” – Mario V. Dumaual Manila Standard, Feb 19, 1987 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Tagos Ng Dugo (1987)

“haaahhhh…haaahhhh….di ko sinasadya!…di ko sinasadya!” – Pina

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Basic Information: Directed: Maryo J. De los Reyes; Story: Via Hoffman; Screenplay: Jake Tordesillas; Cast: Vilma Santos, Michael De Mesa, Miguel Rodriguez, Francis Arnaiz, Richard Gomez, Mark Joseph, Lito Pimentel, Joey Hipolito, Joey Marquez, Tony Santos Sr., Caridad Sanchez, Lucita Soriano, Dante Castro, Bing Davao, Alicia Alonzo, Mia Gutierrez, Raquel Villavicencio; Executive producer: Via Hoffman; Original Music: Jaime Fabregas; Cinematography: Ely Cruz; Film Editing: Jess Navarro; Production Design: Cesar Hernando, Lea Locsin; Sound: Joe Climaco, Jun Martinez

Plot Description: A young Pina was traumatized when her family was murdered while she had her first menstruation. She grown up into a serial killer transforming herself to different personalities as she seduced one man at a time grossly killing them while in the act of sexual pleasure. Eventually Pina was caught by the authorities. Considered by some critics as a feminist movie, Tagos ng Dugo has the feeling of claustrophobic but stylized European slasher movie that showcased the wide acting range of Philippines’ cinematic diva, Vilma Santos. The film lacks the usual long dialogue of her previous films but in this film, she was given a chance to show her body movements and “eye” acting that climaxed with tour de force ending, a mad lion being caught by armed hunters. – RV

Film Achievement: 1987 FAMAS Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1987 CMMA Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1987 FAP Best Musical Score – Jaime Fabregas; 1987 FAP Best Actress nomination – Vilma Santos

Film Review: “…In Filipino movies, drama is synonymous with exaggeration. In many films, scenes of cruelty, violence and torrid sex are depicted with little restraint so that they border on distasteful. In Tagos ng Dugo (1987), a young girl is raped after her parents are mudered. While she’s being abused, blood from her murdered mother’s body drips through the ceiling and falls on her forehead. In Kapag Napagod and Puso (1988), a harassed movie director (Christopher de Leon) takes out his frustration on his young wife (Snooky Serna) by smashing her face, pounding her head on the wall and punching her pregnant body black and blue. Once it was sufficient to depict adult activities by implication. To speak of sex on screen, it was enough to show a couple closing a door as they entered a room. A passionate embrace or a kiss is always followed by a quick fade to black. But nowadays, with sexual liberation and the heightened sense of realism demanded by viewers, Filipino movies have become more graphic in their treatment of sexual matters. There is now a greater curiousity for the phenomenon of the woman’s body. It is a must to depict menstruation (Tagos ng Dugo), labor pains (Kapag Napagod ang Puso) and a miscarriage (Burlesque Queen, 1977) by showing blood stains on the garment near the area of the vagina and blood trickling down a woman’s leg. The first signs of pregnancy are always dramtized by showing a woman throwing up in asink (Pasan Ko ang Daigdig, 1987). Abortion scenes have a very clinical look: a woman must be shown lying down with her legs in stirrups as a doctor or quack performs the bloody operation. Since abortion is illegal in the Philippines, it is common to depict abortion scenes ending in tragedy. In Celso Ad. Castillo’s Nympha (1971), a woman is left to die naked, wallowing in her own blood on the floor after doctors fail to stop her bleeding following an abortion. Childbirth scenes are just as graphic. In Nunal sa Tubig (1977), a baby’s head is shown emerging from a vagina…” – Emmanuel Anastacio Reyes, Notes on Philippine Cinema (Collected Writings on Cinema)…” – Emmanuel Anastacio Reyes, Notes on Philippine Cinema Collected Writings on Cinema (READ MORE)

First of all, serial murder is almost alien to Philippine crime journalism, a fact that’s due certainly to our police force’s lack of records on such cases. Now, this police record gap may of course in turn reflect a lack of local police coordination towards (or, worse, capability for) determining crime patterns as possibly serial. Unless those determinations have to do with the usual cop-out that goes like this: “it’s another NPA hit” blah blah blah, or “its another murder similar to the one that happened last week, and this is reflective of pornograhy’s…”. My above statements are meant to illustrate a national wont to demean our own police organization’s capability (or, worse, intelligence) that may neither be fair nor productive, but it would be a habit that certainly is not undeserved given the record — official and memorial — of the police prioritizing its own people’s interests and “rackets”.

Given this background, therefore, Tagos ng Dugo can be said to be a demonstration of serial crimes’ possible placement in local shores, and that would certainly be a valid view. Except, of course, that in effect Tagos is also — and probably should be read primarily as — a demonstration of possiblities other than the merely forensic. I say “should be”, since the police is portrayed fairly in the film, albeit not exactly generously. So what could be all the fuss about Tagos’ value? “Production values” is the often-heard reason, needing elucidation. A breakthrough for Philippine psychological movies? Probably. Let me explore a few other angles on this seeming cross between Francois Truffaut’s “The Bride Wore Black” and Luis Benuel’s “Belle Du Joir” — I don’t know if screenwriter Jake Tordesillas or Delos Reyes himself should be congratulated for the cohesion of multi-resultants in this work. Part of this multi-readings would be the movie as a feminist take on womankind’s monthly pains as a form of excuse for female monthly insanities, insanities our macho’s regard as regular terrorism on the whole of mankind (men or society as a whole).

It is with that reading that the ending apologies, by Vilma Santos in the lead role, might be understood as a plea for understanding of how all of woman’s monthly Eve-behavior should not be seen as a Biblical sin but as an equal (to, say, man’s beastly) naturalness… Another feminist reading, more radical perhaps, would treat the film as a view of how Philippine society (the men in it, primarily) approaches provincial innocence, educational weakness, and “female’s weaker sanity” as stimuli for abuse… There is, however, the possibly more general reading of the film as an apologia for insanity qua itself, how it should be treated as a disease instead of as a monster to be eliminated… And finally, there’s the possiblity that the film is actually a depiction of how crazy the world outside the insane mind really is, albeit this view would probably be the least successful direction for the film… As a bonus, maybe we can also bring the movie to more latent, more philosophical territory, say, how it depicts the sanity of innocence.

But, given the validity and possible weight of all those approaches, what finally makes this movie a jewel in Philippine cinema history is how it brings forth — every time you watch it — its case achievements in directorial and film editing dramaturgy ( including the recurring stage-like choreography, Hitchcockish camera positionings, and acting pacing within). For the serious student of third world filmmaking, here is a requisite Philippine movie from where to cull precious fragments. In these fragments, he/she is sure to find sparkles that are in themselves gems. – Eric Nadurata

The story revolves around Pina, a woman haunted by her past traumatic experiences. She always feels afraid at the sight of blood. Whenever she is physically or emotionally injured, she experiences the so-called “post-traumatic syndrome,” which persuades her to kill every man who has hurt her. She disguises herself as a prostitute with different personalities, and becomes a mysterious murderer.

The Review – The future National Artist for Film and recent U.P. Gawad Plaridel and Gawad Suri awardee Vilma Santos has done a gamut of roles. She is the only Filipina actress on record who has the most impressive resume of great performances (and is credible in any role, including Darna, the Pinoy female version of Superman), and has amassed 50 plus acting trophies. The Variety magazine and the world film community has dubbed her the Filipino Cinematic Diva and the Meryl Streep of the Philippines. If her luck continues, she may end up in Guinness’ Almanac as an actor with the most number of acting awards. One of my favorite Vilma characters is that of Pina, a serial killer, in Tagos ng Dugo. Directed by Mario J. Delos Reyes, it won four best actress awards for Vilma: her second CMMA, fourth FAMAS, and two from magazine polls. When it comes to edgy, neurotic, complex roles, leave it to Versatile Vilma, the Meryl Streep-like cerebral and intuitive actress who was born to play them. Vilma’s foray into the “luka-luka” genre began in Dama De Noche where she plays twin sisters, one of which is, you bet, neurotic.

Bernal’s classic Ikaw Ay Akin is best remembered for the manic-depressive, chain-smoking, Valium-popping, liberated, free-spirit Sandra (Vilma). Says critic Mario Bautista in his review: As the uptight Sandra, Vilma Santos has the script’s choicest, wittiest lines. She makes the most of them and gives a fairly accurate portrait of an emotionally insecure young woman. She likewise handles her final breakdown exceedingly well. There is a common thread in classic films like Broken Marriage, Relasyon, Tagos ng Dugo, Bata, Bata, Dolzura Cortez and Hahamakin Lahat. Outstandingfilms, thanks to Vilma’s perfect portrayal of women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It is no wonder that the late National Artist Lino Brocka quoted: “Vilma can do any role now. She registers like water, she has overtaken Nora Aunor.” The U.P. MassCom jurors concurred with Brocka and gave Vilma that seal of approval by giving her the National Artist award precursor, the prestigious U.P. Gawad Plaridel for excellence in film acting. And oh yes, let us not forget the Gawad Suri Award. In layman’s terms, she is the best in the business, period!

Back to Tagos ng Dugo. At best, it is Vilma’s most emotionally and physically, albeit, draining role. Maryo J. made Vilma succeed to say more with less as we will find out. In the opening scene, Pina’s medical history is revealed: schizophrenia, painful menstruation, manic-depressive. Then we see the pubescent Pina screaming and writhing in pain on her first menstruation, calls out to her mother: “Inay!” The luminous Alicia Alonzo plays her mother and tells her “dalaga ka na!” Menarche and puberty did not sit well with Pina. While menstruating, she discovers of her father’s affair with a circus girl who her father accidentally kills in the “knife roulette” show, as the victim’s blood spills on her face. The girl’s family gets even, kills her whole family one night, while she gets raped. Tagos ng Dugo. Here’s the message: hell hath no fury than a woman violated while having painful menstruation. She has bridges to burn and many losses in her life. She has become a lost and tormented soul. A victim. A monster is born. Oscar best actress Charleze Theron may have taken an inspiration from Vilma’s Pina. Flash forward: Orphan and just released from a mental institution, the grownup Pina is seen staying with her aunt Caridad Sanchez and her husband, a police officer, Tony Santos, Sr. This is where Pina’s “calvary” as victim (again) begins. So many men, so many abusers, or so we thought. Enter Michael De Mesa, Santos, Sr.’s nephew who has lust at first sight on Pina. “Malagu, ’ne?” (She’s beautiful), De Mesa gushes on the coy and evasive Pina. In Kapampangan, Tony tells De Mesa that she was just released from the mental hospital. Michael attempts to enter Pina’s room one night but is unsuccessful.

Next to Dekada ’70 perhaps, this is one movie where Vilma succeeded in quiet scenes, by just using her eyes. Whether she writhes quietly in pain during her period or is scared of the inevitable such as Michael’s evil intent, this is the vintage Vilma now. Less is more. The triumph of restraint and hard work. Versatile, Inc. She meets the nice and good-looking cop (Francis Arnaiz) in the police station where she works as a sloppy, unfocused canteen helper who gets easily rattled by men around her, earning the ire of her boss Lucita Soriano. “Ano ba Pina, ang tanga-tanga mo. Ang dami mo nang nabasag na baso, hah?” Arnaiz is different: caring, sensitive, a gentleman. She is Pina’s crush and hero. She steals her crush’s photo ID and in her secret hideaway, kisses the photo, followed by a nervous, hysterical laugher, reminiscent of her confrontation scene with Gloria Romero in Kapag Langit ang Humatol? Enter a notorious rapist who is now in jail who held Vilma by the neck and mashes her breasts. Vilma becomes hysterical and cries unconsolably even after Arnaiz and the cops come to her rescue. This scene is again Vintage Vilma. When the rapist is released from prison, he chooses Vilma as his first victim and in the rape attempt, Arnaiz shoots him dead. Again, blood droops on Pina’s face. Tagos ng Dugo. Next thing we know, De Mesa almost succeeds in raping her but falls off the window when Vilma fights back. She uses Michael’s knife to scare him off. Now wiser, stronger, sophisticated and smarter, Pina finds solace and a sanctuary in an abandoned house across from where she lives. She learns how to apply mascara and wig. A serial killer is born.

This is where she plans her revenge. So many men, so little time. It’s payback time. In the wise use of flashbacks, we learn that Pina is violated again and again by the very people who should be helping her cope with her unstable mental status, one of which is the evil warden Lito Pimentel. She falls in love with her therapist who politely turns her down. It is a series of painful abuse and rejection for the sad, sad life of Pina. We also learn that she has a brother/sailor who sends her monthly stipend which she never benefits from and in his last visit, Pina begs him to stay with him. In multiple flashbacks, we see a helpless victim, Pina crying out for love and acceptance. Nobody seems to listen. A dysfunctional family. Abused physically and emotionally. Neglected. Rejected. Unwanted. Tormented. Untreated chemical imbalance. A perfect scenario for the birth of a schizophrenic, manic-depressive serial killer. Disguised as a prostitute, she kills her tormentors one by one with a knife she steals from De Mesa, with the exception of a druggie, the excellent Richard Gomez in cameo role. Here is a performance that is Vilma Santos’ gift to the world, right there in the dark theatre and on the silver screen.

Are killers made or born? Is society or family to blame for sociopaths? Are menarche and the drive to kill symbiotic? In a touching scene where she literally shreds Arnaiz’s stolen photo with her teeth (Arnaiz reconciles with and will marry her fiancée) out of jealousy, and rejection, Pina plans to make it out with Arnaiz in a hotel where the cops hang out to have a good time and where Arnaiz will screw a prosti as the boys’ “gift” to him. Vilma is that prosti. When Aranaiz discovers it is the demented Pina, he takes pity on her and prepares to put on his clothes. What, rejected again? Pina pleads Arnaiz to love her, hug her, kiss her. She will take no for an answer. Like a raving lunatic, she strikes Arnaiz with the knife. Meanwhile, little did Pina know that Caridad and Santos, Jr. discovers her dark secret and desperately calls the boys to watch out for Pina, the deranged murderer who might be stalking on Arnaiz. Sanches and Santos, Jr. either fumbles with the phone number or gets a busy signal. Wala pa kasing cell phone noon, eh! Next thing we know, the cops run to save Arnaiz from Pina. The hunter is now the hunted. What they discover in the room is a wounded but still alive Arnaiz who cries: “Huwag!” as his colleagues aim their guns at the crazed woman with thick mascara and wig. In a memorable and touching scene, the camera pans on a screaming, out of control, bloodied, lost her sanity Pina, angry one moment, repentant (“di ko sinasadya!”) the next, and then mumbles incoherently. Prison bars are etched across her whole body, and the movie ends.

Pina is Vilma and Vilma is Pina. This is their story. This is their movie. This is acting at its best. Thank God, Mayor Vilma Santos has come to the rescue of the Pina’s in this world. Unlike the super heroine and fictitious Darna who kicks butt as she battles with the forces of darkness and defend the people, here is Vilma, the philanthropist and the Mother Theresa of her generation, in the flesh, reaching out to the poorest of the poor of her Lipa constituents. Through her loving heart and helping hands, she has actually helped thousands of society’s outcasts, the poor and the needy. This is the Vilma Santos today: successful, revered, in demand, a winner in all fronts. A National Treasure! Who would have thought that the second fiddle to another actress will become the greatest film practitioner of all time and a capable Mayor? A great actress and an excellent Mayor. Nobody does it better. – “Tagos Ng Dugo: The original Naglalayag Revisited” by Mar Garces, published in V Magazine 2006

First of all, serial murder is almost alien to Philippine crime journalism, a fact that’s due certainly to our police force’s lack of records on such cases. Now, this police-records gap may of course in turn reflect a lack of local police coordination towards (or, worse, capability for) determining crime patterns as possibly serial. Unless those determinations have to do with the usual cop-out that goes like this: “it’s another NPA hit” blah blah blah, or “it’s another murder similar to the one that happened last week, and this is reflective of pornography’s . . .”. My above statements are meant to illustrate a national wont to demean our own police organization’s capability (or, worse, intelligence) that may neither be fair nor productive, but it would be a habit that certainly is not undeserved given the record — official and memorial — of the police’s prioritizing its own people’s interests and “rackets.” Given this background, therefore, Tagos Ng Dugo can be said to be a demonstration of serial crimes’ possible placement in local shores, and that would certainly be a valid view. Except, of course, that in effect Tagos is also — and probably should be read primarily as — a demonstration of possibilities other than the merely forensic. I say “should be,” since the police is portrayed fairly in the film, albeit not exactly generously. So what could be all the fuss about Tagos’ value? “Production values” is the often-heard reason, needing elucidation.

A breakthrough for Philippine psychological movies? Probably. Let me explore a few other angles on this seeming cross between Francois Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black and Luis Buñuel’s Belle du Jour — I don’t know if screenwriter Jake Tordesillas or De los Reyes himself should be congratulated for the cohesion of multi-resultants in this work. Part of this multi-readings would be the movie as a feminist take on womankind’s monthly pains as a form of excuse for female monthly insanities, insanities our machos regard as regular terrorism on the whole of mankind (men or society as a whole). It is with that reading that the ending apologies, by Vilma Santos in the lead role, might be understood as a plea for understanding of how all of woman’s monthly Eve-behavior should not be seen as a Biblical sin but as an equal (to, say, men’s beastly) naturalness. . . . Another feminist reading, more radical perhaps, would treat the film as a view of how Philippine society (the men in it, primarily) approaches provincial innocence, educational weakness, and “females’ weaker sanity” as stimuli for abuse. . . . There is, however, the possibly more general reading of the film as an apologia for insanity qua itself, how it should be treated as a disease instead of as a monster to be eliminated.

And finally, there’s the possibility that the film is actually a depiction of how crazy the world outside the insane mind really is, albeit this view would probably be the least successful direction for the film. . . . As a bonus, maybe we can also bring the movie to more latent, more philosophical territory, say, how it depicts the sanity of innocence. But, given the validity and possible weight of all those approaches, what finally makes this movie a jewel in Philippine cinema history is how it brings forth — every time you watch it — its case achievements in directorial and film editing dramaturgy (including the recurring stage-like choreography, Hitchcockish camera positionings, and acting pacing within). For the serious student of third-world filmmaking, here is a requisite Philippine movie from where to cull precious fragments. In these fragments, he/she is sure to find sparkles that are in themselves gems. – “Tagos Ng Dugo (1987): Maryo J. de los Reyes’ Jewel” by Vicente-Ignacio S. de Veyra III Geocities web-site (VISV III, July 2002 – April 2004)

“…Sa anggulong ito halos umikot ang kabuuan ng pelikula. Masasabing naging matapang ang mga bumuo ng pelikulang Tagos Ng Dugo dahil sa tahasan nitong tinalakay ang sekswalidad ng mga pangunahing tauhan. Mapapansing pinagtuunan ng pansin ang kabuuan ng karakter ni Pina na buong husay ginampanan ni Vilma Santos. Ang aktres ay halos nasa lahat ng eksena sa pelikula. Maituturing na hysterical ang pag-arte ni Bb. Santos ngunit sa pelikulang ito ay malaki ang naitulong nito upang maipahatid niya ang nararapat na emosyon sa epektibong paraan. Malaki ang naitulong ni Direktor Maryo J. de los Reyes sa pagsasalarawan ng kuwento ni Pina. Nailahad niya ng maayos ang mga problemang sikolohikal hindi lamang ni Pina kundi ng buong lipunan. Makikitang binigyang diin ang posibleng solusyon sa mga suliraning ipinamalas sa pelikula. Maaring may ilang pagkukulang ang pelikula sa naging takbo ng istorya ngunit naisalba ito ng mahusay na pagdidirehe ni de los Reyes. Sa anggulong ito naging malaking bahagi sa tagumpay ng Tagos Ng Dugo ang direktor dahil sa tuwiran niyang naipahayag ang patotoo sa mga isyung tinalakay sa buong pelikula. Dito rin natamo ni Vilma ang kanyang ikaapat na FAMAS Best Actress Award bago siya tuluyang naluklok sa Hall Of Fame nang sumunod na taon.” – Jojo Devera, saringsinengpinoy.blogspot.com READ MORE

“…And what do we make out of Maryo de los Reyes’ Tagos ng Dugo, with its grossly improbable tale of multiple schizophrenia and made all the worse by the director’s penchant for pseudo-character changes? Personally, i would rate Vilma Santos here as having been last year’s most colorul character instead of a consumate performer….” – Justino Dormiendo, Manila Standard, Feb 23, 1988 (READ MORE)

“…She has lost some pounds (due to the gruelling shooting of her recent film, Tagos ng Dugo, but she is still the same radiant beauty…Santos is likewise bugged by the observation (presumably by some Nora Aunor supporters) that her performance in Tagos ng Dugo, wherein she portrayed a psychopath, was “Norang-Nora.” She could not divine how the comment was made in the first place. Was it becauise, in the film, she was handled by Maryo de los Reyes who is known to be a close friend and one of the favorite directors of Nora Aunor? Or, was it because her role in Tagos called for a lot of the so called Nora-style acting -expressive eye movements, prolonged byt quiet crying binges? Is she, in the eyes of some Aunor loyalist, as good as actress now as their idol? “Wala akong ginagaya,” defended the actress. “That was Pina, the role, I was acting out. I did not think of Guy or anybody else when I was doing the film. “But you know, that (comment) is good,” she said as an after thought. “Kinukumpara pa rin kami hanggang ngayon. That means kami pa rin – the rivalry is still strong.” On the other hand, one is hard put to imagine Aunor attempting Santos’ “patented” acting style (the ease and confidence in delivering kilometric line, among others). If and when she does in any of her future films, I told the actress, we would also say “Vilmang-Vilma” siya! She burst out laughing…” – Mario V. Dumaual Manila Standard, Feb 19, 1987 (READ MORE)

“…At first, policemen manning the station likened Pina’s arrival in their canteen as a breath of fresh air in the dirty world they work in. Although she is not entirely all right up there she is pretty and quiet. An industrious helper she only absents herself once a month because of extreme dysmennorhea. Then men started getting killed within the vicinity of the police station. A vacationing overseas worker a prisoner on bail a handsome playboy a drug crazed youth… Is it only a coincidence that the murders seem to happen exactly on the days Pina is experiencing her very painful monthly period?…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)

“…I had actually intended to evaluate the industry’s artistic accomplishments from January to June this year, but the consideration of causes simply overwhelmed the original subject. Anyway, in providing a listing of the more acceptable items, it would serve our purposes well to keep in mind that these titles were originally greeted with expressions of disappointment and frustration, with only passing acknowledgement of their respective merits – to which I now most carefully give mention…Tagos ng Dugo (Maryo J. de los Reyes, dir.): kinkiness rounded out with psychological backgrounding and propelled forward with a sense of conviction and sympathy for the plight of the subject…” – Joel David, National Midweek, 26 August 26, 1987 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Kapag Langit Ang Humatol (1990)

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Basic Information: Directed: Laurice Guillen; Story: Salvador Royales; Screenplay: Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; Cast: Vilma Santos, Richard Gomez, Gloria Romero, Charo Santos-Concio, Kristine Garcia, Carmina Villaroel, Jeffrey Santos, Eula Valdez, William Lorenzo, Tony Carreon, Metring David, Lillian Laing, Vangie Labalan, Terence Baylon; Executive producer: Charo Santos-Concio; Original Music: Nonong Buencamino; Cinematography: Romeo Vitug; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Production Design: Edgar Martin Littaua; Art Direction: Bert Habal; Sound: Vic Macamay; Theme song performed by Dulce; Released: August 15 1999

Plot Description: An oppressed housemaid has transformed herself into a wealthy and powerful business mogul through sheer dint of talent, ambition and driving need to avenge herself on her tormentors. She comes back to the scene of her most abject debasement with the sole intent of humiliating the family who once made her life such a living hell. Unknowingly, she gets to exact revenge on the very person who turns out to be her own daughter by the son of her former mistress. – Database of Philippine Movies (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1990 Gawad Urian: Best Direction – Laurice Guillen; Best Editing – Efren Jarlego; Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; 1990 FAP: Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; Best Story Adaptation – Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; 1990 FAMAS: Best Child Actor Nomination – Terence Baylon; Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Jeffrey Santos; 1990 Gawad Urian: Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos; Best Picture1990 Gawad Urian Nomination; Best Production Design 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Edgar Martin Littaua; Best Screenplay 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Salvador Royales; Best Supporting Actress 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Kristine Garcia; Best Supporting Actress 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination – Carmina Villaroel; The 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival – Digitally Restored Selection

Film Reviews: At first glance, the story may look inane and stale. No question about women moviegoers and fans who eagerly lap up most soap operas indiscriminately. But the movie hasn’t been very popular with a lot of film buffs, intellectuals and the movie press. The most criticized part of the movie is when the oppressed heroine, a housemaid (Vilma Santos), is locked up and chained in a barn when the mean, witch-like mistress of the hacienda (Gloria Romero at her wicked best) hears about her pregnancy, with no other than the dona’s son (Richard Gomez) as the father-to-be. Absurd! Incredible! Too lowbrow! These were the common complaints hurled against the movie, as though recent real-life incidents reported in the front pages about supposedly civilized masters in southern Philippines torturing their servants never happened. That the script is filled with knots and tangles, compounded by intense, passionate and exag¬gerated situations, would seem to lend credence to the criticisms.

Fortunately, director Laurice Guillen has more faith in her material, more respect. For she has not only come up with a beautifully-photographed, well-edited and generally superbly-acted melodrama. She has also held up to us a mirror of the dreams and aspirations, the frustrations, suffer¬ing and uncomplicated lifestyle of the so-called masa. Moments of the heroine’s unmitigated oppres¬sion in the hands of her evil mistress is age-old reality in Philippine life and, quite logically, litera¬ture. Her soul nearly scarred by her excruciating, degrading experience, she somehow manages not only to survive but also to rise from her humble, bleak origins, when she leaves the hellhole and finds hope and rewards in the city. In true melodramatic fashion, she plots out her revenge, but alas, even in carrying it out, she must pay dearly, nearly tragically. Feminist observers may easily notice that in this picture – as in, they would say, Philippine society -it is the women who run things. They domineer and dominate, manipulating the men, even the men they love. True enough, from the very beginning, it is the mistress and her poor servant who move things, decide, and tell men what to do. It is they who plot out schemes and plan their destiny.

The same is true even with the minor characters, those played by Kristine Garcia (who virtually drags the farm stud into a stormy affair and pushes him to run away with her), Eula Valdez (who pulls the trigger that ends a chapter in the drama), Charo Santos (the single mother and self-made tycoon) and Carmina Villarroel (the young woman who tries to extricate herself from the mess which her quarreling mother and grandmother have created). For their part, the men are pushed around, fooled and overtaken by events: the weakling lover (Gomez), the perpetually horny stablehand (Wil¬liam Lorenzo) and the young and rich heir (Jeffrey Santos). All in all, it is a glossy and well-crafted movie, with marvelous performances by Ms. Santos and Ms. Romero. – Mario A. Hernando, MPP (READ MORE)

The power of the script to carry weight to a movie works here, which shows that no matter how famous your actors are, it doesn’t guarantee critics’ approval. After being glued for depression and revenge for two and a half hours (even if you’ll know what will happen next), viewers will be put into sleep. There are many scenes that should’ve been erased and combined. Performances-wise, thumbs-up is given to Eula Valdez as the maid who falls in love with William Lorenzo, the gardener who uses Vilma Santos in the first half of the movie. Even the dialogue is weak. Barely watchable. 3.5/10 – OSCAR99, IMDB – (READ MORE)

“…The scene where the avenging Floreida (Vilma) to Gloria’s Octavia- wine-in-your face thing, followed by Vilma’s hysterical laughter is, to my mind the best scene in the movie. Catharsis at its best. Two great actresses. Bow!…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

“…Sino ba si Mr. Romantiko? Siya po si Mr. Salvador Royales…na siyang may concepto rin ng nasabing programa. Isa siyang magaling na writer sa radio at pelikula. Ayon sa kaniyang kuwento sa akin…siya ang kauna-unahang sumulat ng Maalala Mo Kaya sa ABS-CBN…na may pamagat na “Sapatos”. Marami siyang isinulat na pelikula sa Seiko Films…at may mga Radio Drama rin siya na ginawang pelikula….isa sa natatandaan ko ang “Kailan Mahuhugasan ang Kasalanan” at “Kapag Langit Ang Humatol” na pinagbidahan ni Vilma Santos, na pawang naging block buster. Kaya hindi matatawaran ang angking talino ni Mr. Romantiko sa pagsusulat. Mula sa kaniya marami rin akong natutunan na ini-aapply ko ngayon sa aking pagsusulat sa radio drama. Kaya masasabi ko na mapalad ako na nakilala ko ang isang taong tulad niya…” – Komixrama (READ MORE)

“…The whole-afternoon affair gave Ate Vi time to bond with Manay Ichu, the “second mother“ she hasn’t seen lately. Ate Vi recalled for the nth time how Manay Ichu and the late Atty. Espiridion Laxa saved her from the poor house, helping her with BIR (tax), financial, and career woes. The actress made memorable films for Manay Ichu, including “Rubia Servios,“ directed by Lino Brocka. Brocka triggered memories about a film she made for Vision, produced by Charo Santos and Simon Ongpin (Where is he?), in which this columnist had a “role.“ Vision offered Ate Vi two project. The true story of a crusading lady doctor to be directed by Brocka. A radio serial by Salvador Royales, “Kapag Langit ang Humatol.“ She wanted to do a Brocka film, but this columnist objected, telling Ate Vi, “You don’t need another award, you need a blockbuster.“ Ate Vi listened and “obeyed.“ The radio serial was a huge, huge hit. And even critically acclaimed, giving Laurice Guillen the best director award from the Manunuri (Urian)…” – Ronald Constantino, Feb 15 2012, Tempo (READ MORE)

“…Also in the Cinema One Originals Festival restored classics lineup are: Kapag Langit ang Humatol, a drama directed by Laurice Guillen starring Vilma Santos as an oppressed housemaid who transforms herself into a successful businesswoman. Richard Gomez plays the leading man of the Star for All Seasons…Completing the list is Anak, the heartwarming OFW story directed by Rory Quintos starring Vilma Santos and Claudine Barretto. Released in 2000, it was the highest-grossing movie of that year and one of the biggest blockbusters in Star Cinema’s history. The unveiling at 2014 C1 Originals marks the first time the restored version of Anak will be seen on the big screen…” – Isah V. Red, Manila Standard Today, 08 Nov 2014 (READ MORE)

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