Film Review: Pulot-gata, Pwede Kaya? (1977)

FILMS - Pulot Gata Puwede kaya 2

The Plot:Pulot-gata, Pwede Kaya? (1977) – An intrigued filled love affair between Baby Abueva a poor lass of Baguio and Teddy Burgos a millionaire from Zamboanga. An affair married with the appearance of Lota. – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

The Reviews: – Serialized in Wakasan Komiks Magazine published by Nestor Leonidez, and under the direction of one of the most workaholic director of the 70s, Leonardo L. Garcia, “Pulot-Gata, Pwede Kaya?” started with rich man Bobby, who is trying to live a new persona as a poor bell boy to lure a hotel receptionist Baby Abueva (Vilma Santos). Abueva won Baguio City’s 1977 Summer Girl.  She then started some modeling gig while being pursued by the bell boy, Teddy/Bobby (Romeo Vasquez).  Teddy’s assistant played by comedian, Tange, took Bobby’s identity and became the boss.  They tried to cover up their secrets until Bobby’s long time ex-fiance, played by the young Suzanne Gonzales, found out what the two are up to.  Suzanne then, concocted a plan to destroy Bobby’s new affair by asking Bobby’s opportunist attorney played by Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia to produce a fake marriage contract.  She then confronted Baby with this document.  As a result, Baby broke-up with Teddy/Bobby, who earlier proposed to marry her.  Bobby discovered the fake marriage contract and fired his attorney.  He then explained this to Baby and they reconciled.  The End.  Pulot-Gata was one of the several hit films of Romeo Vasquez and Vilma Santos.  And one of the forgettable ones.  It exploits their real and reel life relationships.  Despite the film’s poor material, you can see their screen chemistry in several light comedic scenes.  Ruel Vernal’s fight scene with Vasques can be shortened or edited out.  Ditto with Susane Gonzales scenes in the hotel room, attempting to seduce back her ex-fiance.  In addition to some comedic scenes that can be edited, Vilma’s dramatic scene near end, can also be shortened.  A more watchable film of Vi and Romeo were “Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon” and “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin.”  After watching “Pulot-Gata, Puede Kaya?” (literally means, “Sweet-Coconut, Can it be?” which can be assumed about the May-December affair of Santos and Vasquez), one can clearly say, “YES” to the real relationship of Vi and Romeo but NO to this films. – RV

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FILM REVIEW: TRUDIS LIIT

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The Plot: Ang Trudis Liit ay isang pelikulang Drama kung saan inaapi ang kaawa-awang si Trudis (Vilma Santos) ng kanyang madrasta (Bella Flores). Ito ay ipinalabas noong Pebrero 21, taong 1963. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures box-office hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?” – Butch Francisco, Newsflash.org Feb 2004 (READ MORE)

“Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures boxoffice hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?…” – Butch Francisco, Philippine Star November 3, 2005 (READ MORE)

“Throughout the years, the local film industry saw a continuous parade of child actors and actresses who eventually became adult performers to take their rightful places in the pantheon of movie stars. Hereunder are some of those phenomenal thespian-turned-stars:..Vilma Santos—She was the original Trudis Liit in 1963. Paired with Edgar Mortiz as a loveteam, they appeared in Our Love Affair, My Love at First Sight, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye and Young Love. But her filmography is filled with outstanding films directed by top-notch directors. Her unforgettable films included: Bata..Bata..Paano Ka Ginawa? (Chito Rono) which won for her a best actress award from Belgium directed by Chito Roño; Anak (Rory Quintos); Dekada 70 (Chito Rono) with Christopher de Leon; Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (Ishmael Bernal); Relasyon (Ishmael Bernal) which gave her a gand slam of all local best actress awards from FAP,FAMAS, Star; Broken Marriage (Ishmael Bernal); Hahamakin Lahat (Lino Brocka); Rubia Servios (Lino Brocka); Kapag Langit ang Humatol (Laurence Guillen); Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-Itim ng Tagak (Celso Ad. Castillo); Burlesk Queen (Celso Ad. Castillo) and Sister Stella L. (Mike de Leon)…” – FAP (READ MORE)

“…Contravida Queen Bella Flores was featured in “Showbiz Central’s” Most Influential segment as she plays a big part in GMA Films’ new movie with Rhian Ramos and Aljur Abrenica, “My Kontrabida Girl.” It’s also a tribute to Bella as she’s celebrating her 60th anniversary in showbiz. The screen name Bella Flores was given to her by the late Sampaguita Pictures’ boss Dr. Jose Perez. “I was so glad when I was told it means beautiful flowers,” she said. Her real name is Remedios Dancel and she was born on Feb. 27, 1936, which means she turned 76 yesterday, Monday (Feb 27/2012). She was only 15 when she did her first villain role maltreating child star Tessie Agana in the blockbuster “Roberta.” She recounted that Vilma Santos auditioned with her for her first movie, “Trudis Liit,” in 1963. “Natakot siya at tumakbo dahil nakita niyang pinahirapan ko ‘yung ibang batang nag-audition,” she said. “Ngayon, governor na siya. Sina Roderick Paulate at Gina Alajar, sa’kin din nagsimula as child stars sa ‘Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nino’…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito’y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, “the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang “Trudis Liit” na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat…” ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito’y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (READ MORE)

Filmography: Phantom Lady (1974)

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Basic Information: Director: Leonardo L. Garcia; Writers: Cora M. Crisol (story), Nilo Saez (screenplay); Cast: Vilma Santos, Nick Romano, Paquito Diaz, Rodolfo ‘Boy’ Garcia, Cristina Reyes, Max Alvarado, Angero Goshi, Angel Confiado, Bino Garcia, Greg Lozano, Francisco Cruz, Angelito, Steve Alcarado, Pons De Guzman, Edward Torres, Jack Montes, SOS Daredevils, Pmp Commandos; Music: Tito Arevalo; Cinematography: Ricardo Herrera; Production Co: Silver Film Productions; Released Date: 28 February 1974 (Philippines) (IMDB)

Plot Description: Blind Vilma fights bad guys as Phantom Lady!

Film Achievement: Box Office Hit of 1974

Film Review: “…There was a time in the 70s, particularly in 1973 and 1974, when a spate of Pinoy fantasy films featuring Pinoy superheroes graced our big screens. I think it was Vilma Santos’ Lipad Darna Lipad that started it all. It ushered in this wave of so-called trend in fantasy movies. Besides Darna, Vilma came up with Wonder Vi (1973), Phantom Lady (1974) and Vivian Volta (1974); Nora Aunor had Super Gee (1973) based on a popular komik serial; Superman and Batman had their local counterparts in Zoom, Zoom Superman (1973) with Ariel Ureta and Fight Batman Fight with Victor Wood. Vilma came out with another sequel of Darna titled Darna and the Giants, also in 1973; Dolphy had his own version of Captain Barbell in Captain Barbell Boom (1973). It was the movie, Supergirl (1973) which starred Pinky, that made a major impact among the moviegoers that time. It was a surprise hit that year. It was reshown several times due to insistent public demand…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Filmography: Tok, Tok, Palatok (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: F. H. Constantino; Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Panchito, Bentot, Pugak, Dencio Padilla, Tange, Max Alvarado, Jojit Paredes, Ike Lozada, Ponga, Rodolfo boy Garcia, Alicia Alonzo, Mary Walter, Ange; Original Music: D’ Amarillo; Cinematography: Fermin Pagsisihan

Plot Description: Vilma Santos played a twin sister…of a snake.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…That was not the first time I met her. Actually, I know her way way back when she was only 8 or 9 years old, pumupunta sila sa amin. Kasi regular customer ng Mother ko ang Mama niya sa ready made clothes, yun kasi ang business ng Mother ko noon sa Rustans. I was about 10 or 11 years old then, and while her mom is making the selection of cloth, iniiwan naman niya si Vilma sa living room namin. Minamasdan ko siya, ang ganda-ganda ng mukha niya…Maasikaso sa set, malambing, mabait lalo na sa maliliit na crew. Doon kami nagkaroon ng bonding when we were doing that film. Mabuting tao talaga si Vilma, she has a good heart and always willing to help others. We became very close, di ko makakalimutan na minsan ay nag-drive ako ng 3 hours just to see her…Let’s split it up into two. Personality and how she relates to others. Personality wise, mabuting tao siya, she is so trusting to the extend that it becomes disadvantage on her part , she trusted people so much. About relation to others, she is so approciable, a perfect politician, she’s always ready to help, not skimming, she has social conscience and will do things to achieve her goal…” – Franco Gabriel (READ MORE)

“…And so, to prove them wrong, Vilma’s manager smartly plotted follow-up recordings. Not only did Vilma record her follow-up album, she recorded a string of mini-LPs. Mini-LPs are shorter version of the big vinyl record with two songs on each side. She ventured into Tagalog songs, recording six songs that include instants hits like Isipin Mong Basta’t Mahal Kita, a theme song to a film she did opposite Filipino chess grand master, Eugene Torre; Palong-Palo, where she received a golden record award in 1974 and an up-tempo opm, Tok-Tok Palatok, another theme song from one of her comedy film with the same title opposite Jojit Paredes…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Very few probably are aware that Ronnie was once a matinee idol in the music profession. He was the other half of the famous singing duo called The Two of Us. His partner was Jojit Paredes, the cousin of Jim Paredes, who was also a kilabot ng mga colegiala as part of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, now better known as the APO. Ronnie and Jojit were schoolmates in La Salle grade school, while Jim and his then large group were from rival Ateneo…After The Two of Us, Jojit eventually disappeared from the scene (he is now in L.A. married to an American and works as an assistant administrator in a hospital), while Ronnie’s popularity lingered, especially when he and Vilma Santos began dating. Ronnie also joined Penthouse 7 as executive producer/dancer and also part of the group was Ida Ramos, who many years later would become his wife. (Ida Henares now heads GMA Artist Center.) In between, he also hosted his own variety shows on TV, primarily in the Broadcast City stations…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

RELATED READING: Interview with Jojit Paredes

Filmography: Ophelia and Paris (1973)

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Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Celia Diaz Laurel; Story: Mars Ravelo; Cast: Victor Laurel, Vilma Santos, Marissa Delgado, German Moreno, Rodolfo Boy Garcia, Mary Walter, Subas Herrero, Jose Villafranca, Joonee Gamboa, Andres Centenera, SOS Daredevils, Celia Diaz Laurel, Ronald Remy; Executive producer: Victor Laurel; Original Music: Ryan Cayabyab

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: The first movie of Vilma Santos and Cocoy Laurel, the other films are: Disco Fever and Pinay American Style.

Film Review: “…As an actor, he has an enviable filmography. Among his films are “Pinay, American Style” (1979), “Disco Fever” (1978), “Waikiki: Sa Lupa Ng Ating Mga Pangarap” (1980), “Bawal: Asawa Mo, Asawa Ko” (1974), “Ophelia at Paris” with Vilma Santos, “Oh, Margie, Oh” with Margie Moran, “Impossible Dream,” “Till Death Do Us Part” and his last movie, Huwad Na Mananayaw…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…Mars Ravelo’s Ophelia at Paris: Prinsipe Paris Walang Kaparis (December 10, 1973) ay handog ng VL Productions na tinampukan nina Vi, Victor Laurel, Marissa Delgado, German Moreno, Rodolfo Boy Garcia, Mary Walter, Subas Herrero, Joonee Gamboa, Celia Diaz Laurel at Ronald Remy sa direksiyon ni Celia Diaz Laurel…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Love is for the Two of Us (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed: F.H. Constantino; Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cast: Helen Gamboa, Ricky Belmonte, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Rodolfo ‘Boy’ Garcia, Lucita Soriano, Manny Ojeda, Chuchi, Boy Mondragon, Peachy, The Flintstones; Original Music: D’Amarillo; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews; “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

Filmography: Trudis Liit (1963)

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Basic Information:Directed: Jose De Villa; Story: Mars Ravelo; Screenplay: Chito B. Tapawan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Connie Angeles, Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales, Bella Flores, Charlie Davao, Rodolfo ‘Boy’ Garcia, Ely Roque, Matimtiman Cruz, Ray Marcos, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez; Original Music: Pastor de Jesus; Executive producer: Dr. Jose Vera Perez

Plot Description: Ang Trudis Liit ay isang pelikulang Drama kung saan inaapi ang kaawa-awang si Trudis (Vilma Santos) ng kanyang madrasta (Bella Flores). Ito ay ipinalabas noong Pebrero 21, taong 1963. Wikipedia

Film Achievement: 1963 FAMAS AwardsBest Child Actress – Vilma Santos; The film was remade into a teleserye in 2010 starring Jillian Ward and into a film in 1996 starring Marijoy Adorable.

Film Reviews: “This is, of course, Vilma’s first film and it has all the elements of a melodrama – the good guys and one extremely bad woman (Bella Flores). This early, you can already tell that Vilma was to the acting profession born. (She won FAMAS Best Child Actress for this film). She doesn’t allow herself to be eclipsed by her veteran co-stars: Luis Gonzales and the Lolita Rodriguez. But with due respect to Vilma, even if she is the one who plays the title role here and is undeniably good in this Sampaguita Pictures box-office hit, the one who leaves a really lasting impression in the minds of most viewers is the character played by Connie Angeles – Oreng. After all, wasn’t it this girl who gets chewed up by a German Shepherd in the film?” – Butch Francisco, Newsflash.org, Feb 2004

“Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“…Contravida Queen Bella Flores was featured in “Showbiz Central’s” Most Influential segment as she plays a big part in GMA Films’ new movie with Rhian Ramos and Aljur Abrenica, “My Kontrabida Girl.” It’s also a tribute to Bella as she’s celebrating her 60th anniversary in showbiz. The screen name Bella Flores was given to her by the late Sampaguita Pictures’ boss Dr. Jose Perez. “I was so glad when I was told it means beautiful flowers,” she said. Her real name is Remedios Dancel and she was born on Feb. 27, 1936, which means she turned 76 yesterday, Monday (Feb 27/2012). She was only 15 when she did her first villain role maltreating child star Tessie Agana in the blockbuster “Roberta.” She recounted that Vilma Santos auditioned with her for her first movie, “Trudis Liit,” in 1963. “Natakot siya at tumakbo dahil nakita niyang pinahirapan ko ‘yung ibang batang nag-audition,” she said. “Ngayon, governor na siya. Sina Roderick Paulate at Gina Alajar, sa’kin din nagsimula as child stars sa ‘Kaibigan Kong Sto. Nino’…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito’y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, “the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang “Trudis Liit” na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat…” ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito’y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (READ MORE)

“…Bella Flores (born Remedios Dancel) began terrorizing lead actors and actresses since she was cast as the evil stepmother in the 1951 film Roberta. Since then, she has been cast in over a hundred films, making life miserable for the likes of little Vilma Santos in the 1964 film Trudis Liit and young Gina Alajar in the 1970 film Robina…Her screen name might mean “beautiful flowers,” but she has piercing eyes (always with tons of black eyeliner) and a husky voice that easily send shivers down one’s spine. She seems to excel in terrorizing kids in movies…” – Spot.ph (READ MORE)

Oreng, Trudis’ sister “…I was five when I did ‘Eskuwelahang Munti,’” Connie begins. “Maybe, my mother harbored a secret ambition to become an actress that’s why she took me there. Sintunado ako pero wala namang pinipili doon. As long as you can face the camera, and tumula ka d’yan, kumanta ka…Its products were Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada and Perla Adea. ‘Pag bata kasi, patatawarin ka kahit sintunado. May ribbon ako na malalaki, bungi pa ako noon. “In Trudis, we were 800 plus during the audition. Tita Lolit (Lolita Rodriguez) and Tita Bella (Flores) talked to my mother. Siguro, natutuwa sa akin. They told her na kukurutin daw ako para umiyak pero kailangan daw sabihin ko ang lines ko. So, nakuha ako, kasi the other children forgot to say the dialogue when they started crying. “I played Oreng, yung sister ni Trudis na kinagat ng aso. But I never became a dramatic actress, because I didn’t know how to cry. In one scene, inaagaw na yung baboy namin do’n, ipagbibili na ni Bella. When Ate Vi (Vilma Santos) cried, iyak na din ako pero boses lang. Wala talagang luha. Kakausapin na naman nila nanay ko. Kunwari papauwiin na ako. ‘Pag umiyak na ako, they would start shooting. After our scenes, Tito Luis (Gonzalez) and Tita Lolit would buy us Max chicken kasi pinahirapan nila kaming umiyak…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…a star, er, actress was born. Impressive start, easily cries on cue, rewarded by the FAMAS for best child actress. She had a movie with Gloria Romero and Rita Gomez in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina…” – anonymous (READ MORE)

Sampaguita vs LVN – “…During the 1950s and the early 1960s Sampaguita and LVN were acknowledged leaders of the industry. Dr. Jose Perez, Sampaguita general manager, went on to discover an array of luminaries including Gloria Romero (who won the FAMAS best actress award in “Dalagang Ilocana”), Rita Gomez, Greg Martin, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes, Romeo Vasquez, Barbara Perez, Tony Marzan, and Eddie Garcia who has won more acting trophies than any other Filipino thespian in the history of Philippine movies. It was also Doc Perez who gave both Vilma Santos and Rod Navarro their first movie breaks. Vilma was the child star of “Trudis Liit” while Rod appeared as an extra in a now forgotten Sampaguita movie. Meanwhile, LVN too was turning out blockbusters during the 1950s. Among its many stars were Pugo and Tugo (Doctor X, Pulo ng Engkanto, Dalawang Prinsepeng Kambal), Armando Goyena (father of Maritess and Tina Revilla), Celia Flor, Teody Belarmino, Tony Santos, Lilia Dizon, Tessie Quintana, Mario Montenegro, Jaime de la Rosa, Delia Razon, Rosa Rosal, Nestor de Villa and the uninhibited Nida Blanca. LVN produced such unforgettable musical comedies as Batanguena, Waray-Waray, and Saydwok Bendor (all starring Nida Blanca); such fantasy films as Tungkod ni Moses (where Director Richard Abelardo divided the Red Sea) and Rodrigo de Villa; and such dramatic tearjerker as In Despair (Mila del Sol and Jaime de la Rosa), Pag-asa (Armando Goyena and Priscilla Cellona), Yolanda (Celia Flor and Teody Belarmino), and Aklat ng Buhay (Rosa Rosal and Oscar Keesee)…” – Joe Quirino, Times Journal, August 19, 1977 (READ MORE)

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