Ronnie Henares and Vilma Santos

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Teen Heartthrobs – “…The ‘Two of Us’ story started when Jojit and Ronnie were invited to spend a weekend at the Laurel beach house in Matabungkay, Batangas. They sang on the beach with their acoustic guitars just hanging out with Suzie, Lynnie, and Cocoy Laurel, Vicky Lopez, and other friends who came to party. They were astonished by Jojit and Ronnie’s phenomenal vocal blending. The ‘‘two of them’’ were surprised by the clamor. By the sands of Matabungkay Beach, the ‘Two of Us’ was born. Shortly, they became widely popular among college and university campuses around Manila that they could not cope with invitations. In the early days their invitations were mostly from exclusive private schools. Later on they transcended socio-economic barriers and found themselves invited to school campuses public or private all over Metro Manila. They were spreading their fame by connecting rich and poor with the universal language of music. Their popularity exploded from school campus on to radio, print, and television. After their first appearance on “ABS Musical Extravaganza,” a noontime TV show, the phone board was jammed with calls. The next show they were back by popular demand. Their meteoric rise in Philippine showbusiness was phenomenal. Soon the ‘Two of Us’ had gigs on prime time TV doing musical specials, live shows, road tours, concerts, radio shows, and numerous personal appearances. Lem Balagot, Ronnie’s classmate at the Ateneo, introduced them to Tower Productions where they composed “Tina” for Tina Revilla and their first movie theme “Funny Girl.” Famous DJ celebrity Ike Lozada introduced them to Tony Santos, director of the highest- rated primetime TV show, ABS-CBN Ch. 3’s “D’Sensations” with Vilma Santos. They were offered “permanent cast” status on the spot by Director Tony Santos when the studio audience broke into a screaming frenzy at their first song. For a couple of years, every Sunday evening the ‘Two of Us’ serenaded audiences all over Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in a prime time TV show that transformed them from teen heartthrobs to Philippine Idols…” – Live from Los Angeles (READ MORE)

After The Two of Us – “…That time, The Two of Us (as managed by Ronnie’s younger brother Atom Henares) was more popular than the APO since the duo was more visible on TV than the APO (although both groups made a killing doing campus tours). I actually was more familiar with Jojit because his dad was the classmate of my parents in law school. The older Paredes, from Abra I was told, was a very good-looking man — as my parents pointed out in their school annual…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)

The Proposal – “…But it was Ronnie Henares, Jojit’s partner in Two of Us, who became Vilma’s next boyfriend after Edgar Mortiz,” Jojo told PEP. “Ayon sa mga balita noon, niyaya niya si Vi na magpakasal noon, kaya lamang ay hindi pa handa si Vi na lumagay sa tahimik noong panahong iyon. After ng breakup nila ni Vi, he married Merce Henares [na lumabas bilang anak nina Rosa Rosal at Ronald Remy sa TV show na ‘Yan ang Misis Ko].” Single again, a slew of suitors once again tried their luck with Vi. “Kabilang pa sa mga nanligaw kay Vi sina Richard La Torre na pamangkin ni Sylvia La Torre, si Joey Sonora na only brother nina Susan Roces at Rosemarie Sonora, yung mga basketball players na sina Dave Brodeth at Atoy Co, ‘tapos U.S. Air Force lieutenant pa na si Les McCoy at yung Fil-Am na si Nelson Anderson from San Francisco,” narrated Jojo…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

Ronnie Henares – Before becoming the manager of Regine Velasquez, Henares is famous member of a duo, Two of Us. He was also a television personality during the 70s with TV show, Penthouse at Seven.

Ronnie Henares and Vilma Santos

Let’s Do the Salsa (1976) – “…Ate Vi thus became the chief opponent of Nora Aunor as the movie queen of the 1970s. Her edge is that she also became the queen of hit disco movies filled with singing and dancing, like “Swing It, Baby,” “Disco Fever,” “Rock Baby Rock,” “Let’s Do the Salsa,” and the movie she did with Latin idol Junior, “Good Morning Sunshine…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

Darna vs. the Planet Women (1975) – “…In this 1975 film (the 3rd in a 4 Darna film franchise), the story of Darna is rebooted as this new installment is NOT a continuation of the 1st and 2nd films. In this revamped version, Narda (Vilma Santos) is a cripple who dreams of accomplishing great things for the betterment of humankind despite her physical limitations. One day, she discovers her suitor (Zandro Zamora) paralyzed after having been attacked by a UFO. Together with her brother Ding (Bentot Jr.), she prays for help and offers to sacrifice herself for the sake of her suitor’s survival. A voice from beyond answers and sends her an enchanted amulet of power. The power of Darna contained within the magic pebble. With her newfound powers, she battles The Planet Women- Alien Amazons who are trying to transport the Earth to their own star system…” – Eric Cueto, Mars Ravelo’s Darna (READ MORE)

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Ang Makulay na Buhay-Pag-ibig ni Rosa Vilma Santos (Repost)

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Makulay ding masasabi ang kabanatang may kinalaman sa buhay-pag-ibig ng ating hinahangaang at iniidolong aktres na si Rosa Vilma Santos. Bukod sa kanyang record bilang the greatest actress of all times and the reigning movie queen of the local cinema ay naitala rin ang kasaysayan ng kanyang pag-ibig. In her early stage of her career, ang dalagang si Vilma Santos ang most desired at most desirable actress, at ang record niyang ‘yon ang nangingibabaw in an industry which feeds on gossip and intrigue. Truly, the star for all seasons and reasons has the longest line of suitors and admirers, barring none. In and out of showbiz, Ate Vi would easily be the most desired star of them all. And to think that she’s not the typical sex symbol of our parochial mold. In matters of the heart, Ate Vi had many romantic interludes with these interesting men in and out of showbiz world. Considers the names that the rumor mill has linked to her: Edgar Mortiz, Eddie Peregrina, Jay Ilagan, Jojit Paredes, Ronnie Henares, Erik Espina, Bongbong Marcos, Dave Brodette, Junior, FPJ, Meng Fei, Dolphy, Jimmy Morato, Rollie Quizon, Bembol Roco, Eugene Torre, Boyet de Leon, Mark Gil, Zaldy Zshornack, Jun Arestorenas, Eddie Rodriguez, Ricky Belmonte, Romeo Vasquez, Mat Ranillo, Joey Stevens, Lito Lapid, Glenn Capacio, Paul Alvarez, Alvin Patrimonio, Dante Silverio, Edu Manzano, Philip Salvador, Miguel Rodriguez, Ronnie Ricketts, Aga Muhlach, Eric Quizon, Gabby Concepcion, Nonoy Zuniga, Jolly Benitez, and Senator Ralph Recto. Her lovelife is one of the movielands’ most colorful and also the stormiest. Like the other actresses who fell in love and fell out of love, Ate Vi has had her share of sad valentines. But while she loved, she loved to the fullest and gave her all. And when she got separated from her first husband, Edu Manzano, she did not linger on the broken pieces of a love affair turned sour.

There was no bitterness or rancour. After all, that bond gave her a son, Luis Manzano. Maraming makukulay na episodes sa buhay-pag-ibig ni Ate Vi. Merong totoo, meron namang nanatiling tsismis lang. Sa pagpapakasal niya kay Senator Ralph Recto ay naipinid na ang chapters na ito sa lovelife ng actress-politician. Mahirap ang maging Vilma Santos.Isa kang “Star for All Seasons”, libu-libo ang mga tagahanga, sinasamba at iniidolo. Napakahirap humanap ng Mr. Right Man na aangkop sa pagiging Vilma Santos niya sa loob at labas ng daigdig ng pelikula. Her being number one star-actress poses a different problem to suitors of lesser means. Of the sundry men that the rumor mill has identified with her, Ate Vi admits to having had real relationships with only five: Edgar Mortiz, her first boyfiend; Ronnie Henares, to whom she was engaged; Romeo Vasquez,her controversial beau; Edu Manzano, to whom she was married and eventually divorced; and Senator Ralph Recto, her longest affair, the only boyfiend she had after her first marriage broke-up and the father of her child, Ryan Christian.

Ate Vi learned different things in the seasons she spent with them. Si Edgar Mortiz ay isang bahagi ng puppy love ni Ate Vi. Itinuring na subok na matibay, subok na matatag ang kanilang tambalan.Mula nang magkatambal sa pelikula, nagkaroon din sila ng mga TV shows tulad ng “The Sensations” at “Edgar Loves Vilma”. Si Bobot ay ang first love ni Ate Vi. Tumagal din ang relasyon ng dalawa na umabot ng tatlong taon na mahigit. Akala nila ay panghabambuhay na ang kanilang relasyon but it suddenly ended on April 28, 1974. Sa kung anong tunay na dahilan ng kanilang break-up ay hindi naging malinaw. In fact, naging very close nga sila ni Edgar at pati ang kani-kanilang pamilya, to the point na angpatayo pa sila ng bahay na magkatabi lamang sa isang subarban subdivision. Dahil sa magkaibang estado nila, mas sikat si Ate Vi noon kaysa sa kanyang screen partner, at hindi pag-usad ng career ni Bobot ay nagbunga ng kanilang argumento. Siguro nga, isa sa mga dahilan ng kanilang paghihiwalay. Career move, ika nga. Even now that they lead separate lives, Vilma and Edgar have remained the best of friends.

Taong 1975, a year after she had ended her colorful involvement with Edgar, pumasok naman sa eksena ang elitistang singer na si Ronnie Henares. In a way, matagal nang magkakilala ang dalawa pero nagkaroon lang sila ng pagkakataong maging close nang mag-guest si Ronnie sa drama anthology ni Ate Vi ang “Dalambuhay ni Rosa Vilma”. Inamin naman ni Ate Vi sa mga interviews na si Ronnie ang siyang naging instrumento niya na matutong magsalita ng wastong English-bagay na hindi naman ikinahihiyang aminin ng aktres. He taught her how to pronounce English words. Malapit sa isa’t isa ang pamilya nilang dalawa. Muntik na rin silang lumagay sa tahimik pero hindi maiwasan ‘yung nagkaroon sila ng sigalot sa kanilang pagitan, at hindi na nga naisakatuparan pa ang planong humarap ng altar. Nangibabaw pa rin ang obligasyon ni Ate Vi sa kanyang pamilya at dedication sa career kaya eventually ay sa paghihiwalay rin nagtapos ang dapat sana’y makulay na episode sa kanyang buhay. Romeo Vasquez is an oddity in Vilma’s life. Hindi akalain ng lahat na ang isang notorious playboy and balikbayan actor would capture the heart of the then elusive Ate Vi.

Nagkaroon sila ng affair which lasted for more than a year. Kilala si Bobby sa pagiging bohemyo kaya naman walang kakilala si Ate Vi na bumoto sa aktor. Ate Vi was love struck at talagang na head-over heels in love. Nagsimula ang kanilang affair sa set ng kanilang pelikulang “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin”. True to this title, nagliyab silang dalawa at tunay ngang nag-apoy ang kanilang damdamin. May plano pa nga sila ni Bobby na magpakasal sa Europe. Talagang Ate Vi was ready to give up her life as an actress and would settle with the actor abroad. And with herb relationship with Bobby, nag-surface ang bagong Vilma Santos.Ate Vi realized that she cann’t sacrifice everything for love. Nagising siya sa katotohanan at nagkamali kung kaya nagdesisyon siyang kumalas sa bohemyong aktor. Nagkulay rosas noon ang mundo ni Ate Vi at ibinigay ng buong laya ang sarili’t pag-ibig sa isang Mr. Edu Manzano na kung saan nagbunga yun ng isang Lucky. Umusbong ang pagkakakilala nila ni Doods sa Cebu City, kung saan nagkasabay sila sa flight paluwas ng Maynila.Nag-shooting kasi noon si Ate Vi ng pelikulang “Yakapin Mo Ako Lalaking Matapang” at parang pinagtiyap ng panahon na magkrus ang kanilang landas. Ibang klase ang ginawang panunuyo ni Doods sa aktres.Naroon ang yayain nito si Ate Vi na kumain sa turo-turo.Nahulog ang loob ng aktres na siempre pa na humantong sa kanilang pagpapakasal. Bale sa abroad, sa Las Vegas naganap ang kanilang kasal. Hindi naging matagumpay ang kanilang pagsasama dahil na rin sa baon ng utang sa BIR nang panahong ‘yon. Akala ng lahat ay si Esu na ang Mr.Right Guy kay Ate Vi. Hindi pala.Ang isang masaya, makulay, masiglang simula’y sa paghihiwalay din nauwi. Mga tatlong taon lamang silang nagsama pero nanatiling mabuting magkaibigan sila.Sa Guam naaprubahan ang divorce nila on July 25, 1986 or thereabouts. Ang inaakala ni Ate Vi na mahihirapan niyang hanapin ang tamang lalaki sa kanyang buhay ay natagpuan sa katauhan ni Senator Ralph Recto. Despite a 10-year age gap, her marriage with Ralph has weathered all storms and is now into its 20 years. And it is still going strong.

Ang kay Edgar, kay Ronnie, kay Romeo, kay Edu- ay pawang mga kasaysayang puwede natin isapelikula. Dahil bahagi na lamang sila ng kahapong may tamis at pait sa gunita. Cute ang sa kanila ni Bobot. Masaya ang kay Ronnie. Maligaya ang kay Bobby. Makasaysayan ang kay Doods. Pero ang kay Senator Ralph Recto ay pinakamaigting na relasyong hinding-hindi malilimot ng isang Vilma Santos. One thing is most important at this time in Vilma’s life-her marriage with Senator Ralph Recto, ostensibly destined to be the most important in her life from now on. – Willie Fernandez, V magazine, 2005

Interview with Jojit Paredes

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Jojit Paredes was one of Ate Vi’s leading men during the ’70’s. (In this article, Vilmanian, Franco Gabriel  interviewed Jojit Paredes, the baladeer and teen idol of the 70s. – frv)

Franco Gabriel:  Who is Jojit Paredes before entering Showbiz?
Jojit Paredes:  A regular student of De La Salle University.

FG: How were you discovered?
JP: I was a member of a band compose of Paredes clan, that includes Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society, we usually performed in College Campuses. Doon ako nagumpisa, tapos nag-form kami ng “The two of us”, kami ni Ronnie Henares.  One time, we were invited to perform on TV, at naulit yon, maraming nag-request for our guesting, nag-click kami ni Ronnie.  I was discovered by Freddie Cochran, siya ang naglapit sa akin sa ABS-CBN, before I knew it ay member na ako ng “The Sensations.”

FG: Doon mo ba unang na-meet si Ate Vi?
JP: No. 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.

FG: What was your first movie?
JP: Super Gee with Nora Aunor.

FG: Can you tell us your unforgettable experience while filming Tok tok Palatok with Ate Vi.
JP: 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.

FG: Wow, nanligaw ka ba sa kanya?
JP: No comment.

FG: Favorite scene mo sa Tok, tok palatok?
JP: Nung malaman kong may kakambal na ahas si Vi. Kwela yon.

FG: May copy ka ba ng Tok tok palatok?
JP: Wala. How about you?

FG: How do you describe Vilma Santos?
JP: 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.

FG: Who is your favorite actress?
JP: Of course, Vilma Santos. Actingwise, she is so realistic, she takes on a new person to a new character.  Versatile.

FG: When did you leave the Philippines?
JP: 1985.

FG:  What was your last showbiz project before leaving the country?
JP: I produced Germside hosted by German Moreno. Then, another producer bought it and changed it to Germspecial, then, GMA-7 bought it and changed it to GMA Supershow.

FG: What is your job now?
JP: Paralegal.

FG: Last question, naging girlfriend mo ba si Ate Vi?
JP: No comment, baka ma-misinterpret. Franco Gabriel is based in California, USA. He is big fan of Ate Vi. – Franco Gabriel, V Magazine 2007

Filmography: Let’s Do the Salsa (1976)

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Basic Information: Direction: Luciano B. Carlos; Cast: Vilma Santos, Walter Navarro and Rolly Quizon/ with Ronnie Henares, Chichay, Caridad Sanchez, Roderick Paulate, Arnold Gamboa, Winnier Santos, Maribel Aunor and Ike Lozada/ Also Starring Joe Garcia, J. Antonio Carrion, Estrella Kuenzler/ Featuring Trixia Gomez, Fanny & Mari Boquer (courtesy of Cabaret Royale), Raul Aragon, Lorli Villanueva, Eddie Mercado, German Moreno; Story and Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cinematography: Arnold Alvaro; Music: Doming valdez; Production Company: Lea Productions; Release Date: March 5, 1976 – Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Ranked 64th on Top-US-Grossing Tagalog-Language Feature Films Released In 1976

Film Review: “…Ate Vi thus became the chief opponent of Nora Aunor as the movie queen of the 1970s. Her edge is that she also became the queen of hit disco movies filled with singing and dancing, like “Swing It, Baby,” “Disco Fever,” “Rock Baby Rock,” “Let’s Do the Salsa,” and the movie she did with Latin idol Junior, “Good Morning Sunshine…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

“…I credit Ronnie Henares for discovering me,” said Geleen. “He saw me in a fashion show in Hyatt in 1978. John Gaddi, my first dancing partner, and I were modeling na pa-sayaw-sayaw. I guess natuwa sa akin si Ronnie so he got me into Penthouse 7 hosted by Archie Lacson…I was Vilma’s choreographer for her movies (Disco Fever, Good Morning Sunshine, etc.) and at the same time I was also choreographing for Nora on her show Superstar. When Vilma had her own TV show, she got me as choreographer but I stayed with her for only one month. The network bosses told me that I shouldn’t be handling two superstars at the same time. Nora was on Channel 9 and Vilma was on Channel 13. Because of loyalty, I chose to stay with Nora kasi mas nauna naman ako sa kanya. I was with her for four years na at that time. But first, I talked to Vilma who is a ninang of my son Miggy. I left Vilma with a heavy heart…” – Ricardo F. Lo (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)

“…This being Vilma Santos’ 50th year in show business (she started as a child star in 1963 with the dramatic tearjerker, “Trudis Liit”), her loyal fans are perfervidly recalling the highlights of her “golden” acting career…By 1976, Vilma was “going musical” again with “Let’s Do the Salsa,” unveiling the dancing ability that the would land her a long-running hit show on television years later. But, she also made sure to come up with dramas like “Makahiya at Talahib,” and romances like ‘Bato sa Buhangin’…What’s up next for everybody’s Ate Vi? Higher political office, quite logically and obviously. But, we hope against hope that, every couple of years or so, she will continue to gift us with another memorable screen portrayal, to further enhance her already exceptional filmography. She’s simply too good a thespian to surrender completely to politics…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 03 August 2012 (READ MORE)