More Memorabilia 1/4

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#WinnieSantos, #EdgarMortiz, #ArnoldGamboa, #NancyVeronica, #RosaMia, #LeopoldoSalcedo, #RoderickPaulate, #Menudo, #RickyMartin, #DondonNakar, #EddieGarcia, #RudyFernandez, #EdnaDiaz, #CarmenRonda, #EmmanuelBorlaza, #PhilipSalvador, #ChristopherDeLeon, #EduManzano, #GracePoe, #GabbyConcepcion

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Inspirasiyon/Inspiration

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Inspirasiyon (1953) – Produced by Sampaguita Pictures; Released on October 27 to November 5, 1953 at Life Theater; Story: Mars Ravelo; Screenplay and Direction: Armando Garces; Cast: Carmen Rosales, Norma Vales, Vam de Leon, Katy de la Cruz, Rosa Mia, Pedro Faustino, Jose de Villa, Rebecca del Rio, Panchito Alba, Aring Bautista, Horacio Morelos, Pablo Raymundo and Introducing Ricardo ‘Ric’ Rodrigo. – Simon Santos, Video 48 (READ MORE)

Januaria Keller (1918–1991) was a noted pre-WWII Filipina actress better known as Carmen Rosales and Mameng and is noted for her skill in acting and sweet voice. A native of Pangasinan born to American father and Ilocana mother, Rosales’ film debut was in the 1938 movie Ang Kiri which she made a double to Atang dela Rama. When her friend brought her to Quisumbing the man rejected Rosales because the young woman did not have an aura of an actress. But she became the most famous Filipina actress of the 1940s and 1950s and rivaled Rosa del Rosario at the box-office. She is famous for her sweet voice and recorded numerous songs. Rosales made her first debut in Ang Kiri aka The Flirt under Diwata Pictures. She starred in her first leading role opposite Jose Padilla Jr in Arimunding-Munding 1939. She became the most bankable star in Sampaguita Pictures and the highest paid actress of the 1940s and 1950s. Her unforgettable roles as a martyr lover of Rogelio dela Rosa in Maalaala Mo Kaya 1954 and a club-singer in Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig. She got her first Famas Award in 1954 via Inspirasyon opposite Van de Leon and a strict auntie in 1960 movie Estela Mondragon. She garnered fame in a hacendera role in Pablo Gomez’s version of MN. Her last appearance was in Inday Badiday’s Eye to Eye. Arguably, she was the undisputed and lone reigning Queen of Philippine Movies in the 40s. Her films, topbilled by her, were once vehicles that ushered the emerging popularity of Gloria Romero, Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces, who all later became movie queens themselves decades after. Her royalty has been immortalized by naming a barrio in Rosales, Pangasinan after her, now currently divided into two barangays, Carmen East and Carmen West. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Her career spanned five generations of stars and superstars, in this wise: pre-war years – Rosa del Rosario, Rogelio de la Rosa, Leopoldo Salcedo, Jose Padilla, Jr., Fernando Poe, Sr., Angel Esmeralda, Ely Ramos, Corazon Noble, Mona Lisa, Rosario Moreno, Arsenia Francisco, Elsa Oria, Rudy Concepcion, Norma Blancaflor and Paraluman; second generation – Anita Linda, Lilia Dizon, Celia Flor, Lillian Leonardo, Alicia Vergel, Erlinda Cortes, Linda Estrella, Rebecca Gonzales; third generation – Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Delia Razon, Nestor de Villa, Tessie Quintana, Charito Solis, Edna Luna, Ric Rodrigo, Rita Gomez, Eddie Rodriguez, Ramon Revilla; fourth generation – Amalia Fuentes, Susan Roces, Marlene Dauden, Barbara Perez, Lita Gutierrez, Mina Aragon, Daisy Romualdez, Romeo Vasquez, Eddie Gutierrez, Jose Mari, Liberty Ilagan, Bernard Bonnin; fifth generation – Josephine Estrada, Rosemarie, Gina Pareño, Blanca Gomez, Loretta Marquez, and others. Carmen’s last movie was Gintong Recuerdo produced in early 1965. She co-starred with the then “Stars ‘66” of SPI. She was still billed above the title, ahead of her co-stars. But Mameng’s most memorable movies, today considered as classics of Philippine movies, in point of prestige and box-office records are Arimunding-munding, Señorita, Probinsiyana, Ang Guerrilyera, Takip-Silim, Debutante, Maalaala Mo Kaya, MN, Kamay Ng Diyos (directed by Eddie Romero), Hindi Kita Malimot, Sandra and Inspirasiyon. The last-mentioned movie won her a FAMAS Best Actress trophy in 1953. Like most artists any where in the world, La Rosales also had a “temper” on the set. “I hate co-stars who arrive late on the set. I arrive early or on time fully made-up,” she said. “I also hate scene-stealers. Kapag frame mo, kahit extra ka lang sa pelikula, e ibibigay ko. Pero kapag frame ko na, you better give what is due me!” But she is a natural scene-stealer. She can steal a scene with just a wink or movement of her eyes – this according to the late Doc Perez…” – Manny B. Fernandez, Pelikula, Atbp. (READ MORE)

“…She quit toward the mid-’60s because she wasn’t getting any younger and had to throw in the towel (she had been on top since the pre-war). However, she kept the public interested in her by being a recluse, a la Greta Garbo and everyone kept speculating about her (did she age gracefully or was she in dire straits?). She refused interviews for both print and television and that all the more added to her mystique. For about a quarter of a century, she kept everyone guessing how she looked by hiding (no photographs, please!) from public view. Oh, she would be seen in Uni-Mart from time to time, but it was only people of her generation who recognized her, or maybe they didn’t anymore. The last image moviegoers had of her was when she was still a glamorous movie queen, and she kept it that way. She agreed to a VTR shoot for the FAMAS in 1983, but on the condition that it was just going to be a silhouette shot. But before she passed away in December 1991, she allowed herself to be interviewed by German Moreno and Inday Badiday in 1987 and the curious finally saw how age had caught up with her (she looked like a glamorous grandmother). But the mystery that she allowed to envelop her lustrous Carmen Rosales: First bona fide local movie queenname worked to her favor for more than 25 years and to this day, she is still regarded as the first bona fide movie queen of the local big screen…” – Butch Francisco, The Star, 09 Oct 2010 (READ MORE)

Related to Vi and Chato – “…Si Mameng ay Carmen Keller sa tunay na buhay, bunso sa apat na magkakapatid. “Ang mother ko ay Constantino ang apelyido kaya’t kamag-anak ko sina Charito Solis at Vilma Santos. Constantino ang lola ni Vilma at gan’on din ang lola ni Charito. Kamag-anak ko rin ang direktor na si Felicing Constantino.” Sa ngayon ay masaya na raw siya sa takbo ng kanyang buhay. “Kinatutuwaan ko ngayon ang mag-alaga ng mga manok,” aniya. May mga limang manok nga kaming nakita sa paligid. Parang pets ang pagtingin niya sa mga ito. Ang isang puting tandang ay mabulas ang tindig at pinangalanan niya ng Peter. “Mabagsik ‘yan,” kuwento niya. “’Yan ang watchdog ko rito.” Nang dumating nga kami ay agad itong sumugod at akmang manunuka kundi pinigilan ng katulong. Busy rin si Mameng sa pagtatatag ng bible reading at charismatic movement sa pook nila. “Satisfied ako sa buhay ko at masaya ako sa paggawa ng mga gawaing bahay,” dagdag pa niya. Hindi na ba siya muling magka-comeback sa pelikula? “Last year, may offer sa ‘kin si Atty. Laxa ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang. Pero tinaasan ko talaga ang presyo ko. Sabi naman niya sa ‘kin, “I cannot blame you, Mameng. You really deserve that much.” Pero ngayon, naisip kong ayoko na talagang bumalik pa sa pelikula. I retired while I was still on top at mataas pa ang rate ko. Gusto kong maging maganda ang alaala kong maiiwan sa publiko. Wala na naman akong dapat pang patunayan kahit kanino…” – Mario E. Bautista, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine (READ MORE)

Inspiration (1972) – Directed: Ishmael Bernal; Story, screenplay: Nestor Torre Jr.; Cast: Vilma Santos, Jay Ilagan, Carlos Salazar, Merle Tuazon, Geena Zabian, Lilian Laing, Richard La Torre, Mercy Sta Maria; Original Music: Danny Subido; Cinematography: Avelino Peralta (READ MORE)

“…In a musical era of 1970s, “Inspiration” was quite an experimental film, with no musical numbers, better screenplay, well-written characters. Nestor and Bernal works well in establishing the character of Jay and Vilma. Their dialouges are not “corny” and very realistic. There is no over the top dramatic scenes inserted between musical numbers here. The parent played wonderfully by Merle Tuazon and Carlos Salazar were convincing. Although both Vilma and Jay played their roles effectively, Lilian Laing steals the film as Lola Jane. She was bubly and funny, a sex-starved, karate black belter, polo game afficianado, who loves life and considering she playing the old grandma who is also the solution to all the complication in life. Bernal was on his element here, a good story teller, pre-”Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga and Relasyon.” Although he is directing a light comedy, written by Nestor Torre Jr., he managed to established all the characters without relying on corny dialouges common in this era…” – RV (READ MORE)

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FILM REVIEW: PINAY AMERICAN STYLE


The Plot: PX, short for Paula Xavier (Vilma Santos) was an illegal alien in New York City. She’s broke and waiting for fiancé, Cocoy laurel to fulfill his promise of marriage despite the fact that Cocoy has already married an American to secure a green card. Hiding from the authorities, PX met two men who are willing to take care of her but conflicts arise as the two wanted to maintain a serious relationship with her. Played wonderfully by Christopher Deleon and Bembol Roco, the film resolved the love quadrangle between ex-fiancé, Cocoy Laurel and the two brothers when the jealous Cocoy reported Vilma to the immigration authorities. PX was deported back to the Philippines. But the films didn’t end in a sour note, PX found herself reunited with Christopher Deleon when the later followed her in the Philippines. – RV (READ MORE)

The Reviews: Shot in New York City and directed by Elwood Perez, this film seems to be a precursor to Miss X (1980) ’Merika (1984) starring Nora Aunor and Milan (2004), even Anak (2000) and Dubai (2005). Talaga bang masarap ang buhay sa ibang bansa? Bakit nagpapakamatay sa green card ang mga Pinoy? PX, mahal na mahal kita, PX, I love you walang iba. Paula Xavier or PX (Vilma Santos) is a TNT like boyfriend Victor Laurel (what an effective undersated performance) who leaves her as his live-in to be engaged to an American to get a green card who promises Vilma to divorce the White girl and to marry PX so they could live happily forever after. Not. Vilma is pissed that Laurel dropped her for good and he left her with unpaid rent and a broken heart. Enter Boyet De Leon, as Vilma’s next boyfriend who has two jobs who has been around long enough to know what he wants in life – women and the American Dream. Enter Bembol Roco, in a great performance as Boyet’s Kuya who is a bagito green card holder in America. He was in the opening scene of the movie where he owns his business and lives comfortably even have someone to make him coffee. Rosa Mia are Roco and De Leon’s battered mother who suffers from the physically abusive second husband (a geriatric Irishman), and verbalized regrets for leaving the Philippines. She has the best lines in the movie and summarized the movie’s theme: “Kung uuwi ako sa Pilipinas ay kung patay na ako. Ayokong umuwi ng buhay at malaman nila na ang hirap ng buhay dito – kayod ka talaga to survive, at di pinupulot ang dolyar, ubas at mansanas sa daan. Ang dami kong dinaanang hirap para lang magka green card.” Vilma Santos as PX is most effective in her scenes as a dumped/bitter girlfriend of Laurel, as a conflicted girlfriend of De Leon, and as a grateful soul who thank Roco for saving her from paying her overdue rent to her white landlord. Her PX is a toned down Sandra of Ikaw Ay Akin. She says to Roco: “Dati, sa konting pagkain, I offer myself to be laid. Napakabait mo.” Roco answers back: “Hindi ganoon kababa ang tingin ko sa sarili ko.” You see, Roco falls for the beautiful PX too and was upset to learn that PX is already making it with his brother, which drove him to drink and was depressed for a while. Panoorin na lang ninyo ang movie. The movie’s hopeful view of America begins with Perry Como singing White Christmas as Roco, in a dream scene, cavorts in the snow in slow motion. In his dying scene in the arms of his brother De Leon, Roco whispers “ni hindi ko man lang nakita ang snow and the above Winter Wonderland scene was replayed, while Boyet’s cry for help fell on deaf American ears. Vilma was deported after Laurel clandestinely reported her to the INS which arrested her at her birthday party. Her farewell scene with De Leon, handcuffed and all in a train station was one of the best scenes in the movie. The movie has a happy ending, with De Leon finding Santos, a flower picker amidst a field of white daisies with Benguet/Baguio as a backdrop. In a typical Elwood Perez slow mo fashion, amidst the daisy flower plantation, the box office love team of all time hugged and lived happily ever after. As credits rolled, Florante’s song Pinay played on. Pinay, American Style. Ang ganda! Vilma Santos yata iyan! – Mario O. GArces, V Magazine Issue No. 6 2006 (READ MORE)

Vilma was obviously under utilized as PX in these Elwood Perez experiment. Despite this predicament, Vilma was able to give us a splash of her abilities. While Nora was in full bloom as Mila in these quiet Portes film. She gave us a convincing portrayal of lonely woman who realized that she was being used by a man she truly loves. The contrast of style was the main point why I matched these two roles. As PX, Vilma was talkative, hiding her insecurity and vulnerability with her fragile disguise pretending to be a rich New Yorker with almost caricature gestures.

Regal films’ Pinay American Style was as commercial as one can imagine. Regal films producer, Lily Monteverde hired three leading men to support the most bankable actress of 1979, Christopher DeLeon, Bembol Rocco and Victor Cocoy Laurel. It was a period in Vilma’s career where she is doing one commercial films after the other. Two dance/musical hits Swing it Baby and Rock Baby Rock and a string of sexy films like Rubia Servious the previous year, Coed and Magkaribal mostly targeting the mature adult audience established her status as the number one box office superstar of 1978-79. Vilma in 1979 was a picture of self-assured bankable star. She did two movies with Elwood Perez, Magkaribal and Pinay American Style both were box office hits. She also produced an Eddie Rodrigues starrer Halik sa Paa Halik sa Kamay, and teamed-up with comedy king, Dolphy in Buhay Artista. As the year 1979 ends, she battled the drama queen Charito Solis in the local festival entry, Modelong Tanso. The end of the decade marked her stronghold as the box office queen. Clearly, Vilma Santos’ versatility as an actress was the secret weapon of her box office success. And this weapon was in full display in Pinay American Style.

Pinay American Style was the story of PX, an illegal alien or TNT – “tago ng tago.” Her boyfriend played by Victor Laurel abandoned her for a rich American girl mainly to secure a green card. PX met an Americanized Filipino, Christopher DeLeon but found him not serious of having her as a steady girlfriend. It just so happened that PX also met Christopher’s brother, Bembol Rocco, a new immigrant. PX and Bembol fell for each other. And a love triangle surfaced the screen. Adding to the drama was Victor Laurel’s enraged, jealous appearances. Laurel eventually tipped the police ending PX stays in New York. As Bembol Rocco realized that America doesn’t fit his lifestyle, he reconciled with his brother and advised him to follow PX in the Philippines. Christopher and Vilma reconciled in a farm field in the Philippines. The end.

The film was so forgettable that the critics didn’t even bother to write any reviews. The lack of enthusiasm on the part of the critics was compensated with the box office success of the film. Vilma fits the role as the illegal alien, PX. Her attempt to speak fluent English and pretend that she’s rich when she met the boyish looking Christopher was funny and poignant. She was given enough scenes to shine. One was when she was harassed by her landlady, she promised her the rent money the next day and when she’s gone, she opened her refrigerator and found a staled piece of bread. She took bottled water and ate the staled bread, went to the bedroom and found her mom’s letter. Lying down in bed, she started to break down. A quiet scene without dialogue. A contrast from the earlier scenes where she was talkative as she tried to impress Christopher and telling him she’s rich and from a well-known family. It was obvious in 1979, Elwood Perez wasn’t the kind of director you will expect to produce a serious output. He wasn’t a Bernal or Brocka. He’s a commercial director. It was a better effort though, compared to a much more convoluted Magkaribal or their past successful projects like Nakawin natin ang bawat sandali and masakit masarap ang umibig. In Pinay, Toto Belano’s script wasn’t efficient in ironing out the “love quadrangle” plot twists and establishing the characters of four actors. So the blame can’t be put to solely to Perez’ shoulder. There was a scene were Vilma Santos and Christopher were watching a concert which was obviously not part of the script. – RV (READ MORE)

“…Elwood Perez and Vilma Santos colloborated in seven films (Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos 1988, Lipad Darna Lipad 1973, Magkaribal 1979, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig 1977, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali 1978, Pakawalan Mo Ako 1981, Pinay American Style 1979). The first one was the trilogy that he co-directed with two other director, Borlaza and Gosiengfiao (these three are the most underrated and under appreciated directors in the Philippines), the remake of Mars Ravelo comic super hero, Darna in Lipad Darna Lipad. The film was a record-breaking hit Box-office Film. They follow this up with a more mature projects as Vilma started to switched her image from sweet to a mature versatile actress, pairing her with Christopher DeLeon in five films starting with Masarap Masakit Ang Umibig in 1977. The Perez-Santos-DeLeon team produced seven blockbuster hits that gave Vilma two FAMAS best actress awards that secured her elevation to FAMAS highest honour, the FAMAS Hall of Fame award. She won in 1979 for Pakawalan Mo Ako and 1988 for Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos…” – RV (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: IGINUHIT NG TADHANA


The Plot: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Carved by Destiny) is a movie based on the life of Ferdinand Marcos prior to his ascendancy as President of the Philippines. The movie was chronological in setting, featuring Marcos as a young boy in his hometown, as a brilliant student, and up to the time that he was unjustly imprisoned as a suspect in the murder of the political rival of his father. The movie then moves up to his acquittal, his career as a young congressman and senator, and up to the time that he married Imelda Marcos. The movie was shown in Manila as additional campaign material for Marcos’ candidacy for the Presidential race, which he eventually won. The movie portrayed Marcos as a person who is more than just a politician. – Wikipilipinas

The Film: “…Marcos knew the power of the medium of film. Earlier on, Marcos produced a film biography using the most popular stars for his first presidential campaign. He ran against Macapagal who also came up with a film biography to boost his reelection bid. Marcos would also use another film Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Written by Destiny, 1965) to campaign for a second term. The two Marcos film bios would be the only successful political films—commercial and election wise—as other film biographies in the post-Marcos period by senatorial and presidential aspirants would prove dismal, unhelpful for election bids. The post-Marcos period liberalized the political and economic scene. It conventionalized and intensified the election of movie and sports stars, and even television news hosts to national politics. Television stations were sequestered by the government, the largest of which, however, was returned to its pre-martial law owners. ABS-CBN would become the leading television station until after 2000, allowing two of its news anchors to become senators…” – Rolando Tino (READ MORE)

“…In 1965, the Board of Censors suspended the movie exhibition of Iginuhit ng Tadhana (a movie biography of Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos). Many believed and suspected that Malacanang had a hand in the board’s decision and such action was a wrong political maneuver and ploy that proved disastrous to the reelection bid of incumbent President Diosadado Macapagal. It practically ensured the Presidential electoral victory of Marcos…The suspension of the showing of a movie on the life of Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos stirred yesterday a political storm and precipitated the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures. Officials of the board said that the board voted to suspend the exhibition of the movie, “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” (Destined by Fate) because its producer failed to submit it for preview by the board en banc or by the entire board. The film had been approved for showing by a subcommittee of four headed by Mrs. Rosalina I. Castro last August 24. The board said it interpreted the refusal of the movie company, the 777 Film Productions, to comply with its order as defiance of the Board. The order of the board also suspends the showing of the movie in eight provinces and cities— Camarines Norte, Batangas, Marawi City, Pampanga, Cotabato, Aklan, Masbate, and Sulu. The film has been showing in theaters in these places since Aug. 24, the date of the approval of the picture by the subcommittee of four. In the wake of the suspension of the showing of the film, columnist Jose L. Guevarra, chairman of the board of censors, tendered his resignation. Guevarra did not state his reason for resigning in his letter to President Macapagal, but sources close to him said that the resolution of suspension, which was adopted in his absence, had something to do with it…” – Isagani Yambot, Sept. 3, 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Isa sa paborito ko ay ang Iginuhit ng Tadhana,” ayon pa kay Conrado, “because that film helped President Marcos win the elections in 1965. If you remember, that film was banned by the Macapagal administration and the people naturally became curious. The movie was a big hit.” Iginuhit ng Tadhana was divided into three parts: Marcos as student, Marcos after school and Marcos in his early years in politics. Conrado directed the portion with the President as a young man, during the Nalundasan case, a crucial part in the President’s life. Before he began shooting, according to Conrado, he made his own research and first visited Batac where they shot an important scene…” – Conrado CondeJingle Extra Hot Movie Entertainment Magazine, April 27 1981 (READ MORE)

“This rarely seen, authorized biography of former President Ferdinand Marcos stars Luis Gonzalez, Gloria Romero, Vilma Santos, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as himself. (The film starts with a flash of lighting as he is born on 9/11 in 1917.) ” – Vincent Nebrida (READ MORE)

“…In the 1960’s, Gloria Romero portrayed Imelda Marcos in “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” and “Pinagbuklod ng Langit.” In the 1970’s she starred in two memorable movies: Behn Cervantes’s vanished movie, “Sakada” (1976), and earlier, 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” the biggest movie of its time in which she played a “manananggal” to Vilma Santos’s super heroine. Up to now, she considers the last as one of her most unforgettable…” – Lito Zulueta (READ MORE)

“…And what many people probably didn’t know is that Bongbong played himself in Iginuhit ng Tadhana, produced by Sampaguita Pictures as a campaign pitch for Ferdinand when he first run for president in 1965, with Gloria Romero as Imelda, Luis Gonzales as Ferdinand, (now reelectionist Batangas Gov.) Vilma Santos as Imee and Gina Alajar as Irene (now Mrs. Greggy Araneta). A few years later, a sequel, titled Pinagbuklod ng Langit, was produced also by Sampaguita, directed by Eddie Garcia, with Gloria, Luis, Vilma and Gina reprising their roles and Jose “Jonjie” Aranda (first husband of Bongbong’s fellow Nacionalista, reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda; their marriage was annulled in 1986) playing Bongbong….” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…In hid book, Don Jose & The Early Philippine Cinema, Joe Quirino credits jose Nepomuceno pioneer in producing movies that not only entertained but also informed. Wrote Quirino: “His screen adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal’s novel exposing the social cancer that festered during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, captured the sardonic and satirical contents of the imflammatory noel.” Satire was a popular device through which producer aired their views on social issues. In 1929, a satirical movie called Patria Amore caught the ire of the local Spanish community who went to court to stop its exhibition. A counterpart incident took place in 1965 when the Liberal Party tried to stop the showing of Iginuhit ng Tadhana, the propagandistic movie of the life of Ferdinand Marcos. The same motion picture propelled Marcos to the presidency. Movies of social significance often face this dillemma on their way to the big screen. Because of their strong public statement, they invite uproar from concerned sectors, an experience that became almost a daily ordeal for the late director, Lino Brocka. In recent years and until his death in 1991, Brocka had been the prime mover of Tagalog movies of social significance. Some of his works that easily fall under this category are, in no particular orderL Orapronobis (about vigilantes and rebels in the countryside), Bayan Ko (on labor unrest), Gumapang Ka sa Lusak and Hahamakin Lahat (on political corruption), Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (on moral degradation and exploitation)…” – Nestor Cuartero, Panorama, dated June 13, 1993 (READ MORE)

“…The First Manila Film Festival was held for the first time in 1966. Reserved solely for Hollywood and foreign movies, first-run downtown theaters like Ideal, Odeon, State, Ever, Galaxy, Capitol, Lyric, among others were opened for exhibition to locally-produced or Tagalog movies. The filmfest was the brainchild of then Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. The 10-day festival which coincided on the city’s foundation day (June 24) was a huge success participated in by big names in the industry…A total of 18 movies (14 new, 4 reissues) were exhibited during the 10-day festival. Iginuhit ng Tadhana, Portrait of the Artist as Filipino and Daigdig ng mga Api, all released in 1965, and Zamboanga, shown a month earlier, were allowed to participate…” – VIdeo48 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Morena Martir (1965)

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Basic Information: Direction: Jose De Villa; Story: Manuel Songco; Screenplay: Chito B. Tapawan; Cast: Luis Gonzales, Edgar Salcedo, Rosa Mia, Zeny Zabala, Vilma Santos, Elizabeth Bankhead, Loretta Marquez, Venchito Galvez, Jose Villafranca, Renato Del Prado, Nenita Navarro; Music: Restie Umali; Produced: VP Pictures; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Loretta Marquez was given top billing in the 1965 movie, “Morena Martir,” adapted from the popular DZRH radio serial.

Film Review: “…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“Morena Martir” ng VP (Hulyo 20 – Agosto 9, 1965)…ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya…Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…Loretta Marquez was given top billing in the 1965 movie, “Morena Martir,” adapted from the popular DZRH radio serial…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

Filmography: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (1965)

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Basic Information: Direction: Mar S. Torres, Jose De Villa, Conrado Conde; Screenplay: Luciano B. Carlos, Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Additional Screenplay: Chito B. Tapawan; Cast: Luis Gonzales, Gloria Romero, Rosa Mia, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (as himself), Vilma Santos (as Imee), Chona (as Irene), Tony Cayado, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez, Jose Morelos, Marcela Garcia, Lourdes Yumul, Matimtiman Cruz, Renato Del Prado, Pablo Raymundo, Conrado Conde, Jose De Villa, Nenita Navarro, Sabas San Juan, Jaime Javier, Willlie Dado, Jimmy Evangelista, Mariano Honrado, Nellie Madrigal, Rey Tomenes, Emmanuel Borlaza, Marcelino Navarro, Naty Mallares, Aring Bautista, Ding Tuazon, Henry Stevens, Aurora Ilagan, Florencio Tarnate, Abner Villar, Pio Torres, Tita De Villa, Joseph Strait, Remedios Marcos, Vic Pacia, Teddy Valdemor, Joe Salazar, Jose Villafranca; Music: Restie Umali; Directors of Photography: Higino J. Fallorina, Steve Perez, Amaury Agra; President and Executive Producer: Alejandro S. Galang; Production Co.: 777 Films Productions (Philippines); Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Carved by Destiny) is a movie based on the life of Ferdinand Marcos prior to his ascendancy as President of the Philippines. The movie was chronological in setting, featuring Marcos as a young boy in his hometown, as a brilliant student, and up to the time that he was unjustly imprisoned as a suspect in the murder of the political rival of his father. The movie then moves up to his acquittal, his career as a young congressman and senator, and up to the time that he married Imelda Marcos. The movie was shown in Manila as additional campaign material for Marcos’ candidacy for the Presidential race, which he eventually won. The movie portrayed Marcos as a person who is more than just a politician. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Iginuhit Ng Tadhana chronicles the rise of one of the most powerful and controversial leaders the Philippines has ever had- Ferdinand E. Marcos. The movie shows details of his life from the time he was born to his days as a youth in his hometown, growing up in a political family, to his incarceration for allegations of murdering his father’s political rival, up to his eventual acquittal. The movie then continues to show Marcos in the prime of his political career, winning seats in Congress and the Senate, up to his highly-publicized whirlwind marriage to Imelda Marcos. Originally shown and produced during the run-up to the political elections where Marcos won the Philippine presidency for the first time. Iginuhit ng Tadhana paints this erstwhile leader as more than a political personality. – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: Entry to the 1966 1st Manila Film Festival; 1965 FAMAS: Best Picture Nomination – 777 Films; Best Actor Nomination – Luis Gonzales; Best Actress Nomination – Gloria Romero

Film Review: “…As a piece of hagiography, you can’t get more melodramatic or shameless than 1965’s Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Drawn by Fate). In this biopic covering the life of kleptocrat and Martial Law architect Ferdinand Marcos (Luis Gonzalez) from his childhood to his ascent to the Philippine presidency, there is crying beside windows (courtesy of the martyr mother to end all martyr mothers, Rosa Mia), nervous wiping of brows on witness stands (because apparently, trial judges are blind to obvious body language), and kilometric monologues—including interior ones spoken in voice-over! How these characters don’t bore themselves to death is beyond me…Iginuhit ng Tadhana wastes no time getting down to its primary objective: settling scores. Conceived as propaganda for Ferdinand’s debut presidential campaign, the first 45 minutes of Iginuhit’s 136-minute running time busies itself scrubbing the Marcos name off the first of its multitude of sins: the death by sniper of Ferdinand’s political rival in Ilocos Norte, Julio Nalundasan. On the night of the murder, the film insists, our hero was busy reviewing for a law exam. He couldn’t possibly have stolen a rifle from his ROTC bunker and shot the congressman while he was brushing his teeth! And still, despite his nerd cred (and the aforementioned nervous mopping of brows by the star witness), the court had the gall to convict him! Hopefully, having gone through his own travesty of justice, our hero will have the empathy and drive to strengthen the rule of law in his own presidency, right? Right? Anyway, having demonstrated Ferdinand’s brilliance as he mounts his own defense in front of the Supreme Court, the film gets down to its next order of business: the meet-cute between our hero and his wife-to-be, Imelda Romualdez (Gloria Romero). Imelda is a far cry from his own mother, who visits her son in jail wearing a baro’t saya—no, when Ferdinand meets Imelda in the congressional cafeteria, she is wearing a man’s shirt, pants…and mismatched shoes! I can imagine the young Imelda watching this sequence and thinking, That will never happen again. After that, Iginuhit ticks off all the obligatory boxes: portraying Marcos as a family man, conscientious lawmaker, and devoted mama’s boy. (If I were Imelda and I were watching my husband call his mother “honey,” as this film says he does, I would have ran screaming from his latent Oedipus complex.) Oh, and watch out for a young Vilma Santos playing the eldest child, Imee. The role doesn’t give her much to do, but I foresee great things from this young performer…maybe even a run in politics…” – Andrew Paredes, ANC, 21 September 2018 (READ MORE)

“…Sinabi ni Ernesto Maceda, abugado ng 777 Productions, na ang pagpigil sa “Press Preview” o hayagang pagtatanghal ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” ay ilegal at labag sa saligang batas. Ayon kay Maceda, ang pelikula sinuri na ng BCMP, at dahil doon ay itinatanghal na iyon sa walong lalawigan…Sa isang dako, sinabi ni Gng. Olympia Lozano, kalihim-tagapagpaganap ng BCMP na pinigil ang pagtatanghal ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” dahil sa pagtanggi ng 777 Productions na iharap sa lupon ang pelikula upang suriin…Nagharap kagabi ng pagbibitiw sa Pangulong Macapagal si Jose L. Guevara bilang tagapangulo ng Board of Censors for Moving Pictures. Ginawa ni Guevara ang ganitong aksiyon kasunod ng pagpigil ng pelikulang “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” na naglalarawan sa buhay ni Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, kandidato sa pagka-pangulo ng NP. Ipinaliwanag ni Maceda na marami nang nakapanood ng “Iginuhit ng Tadhana”at nagkakaisa ng palagay ang lahat na walang batayan upang pigilin ang pagtatanghal nito. Upang masubhan kahit kaunti ang pagkayamot ng mga inayayahan sa “gala premiere” kagabi sa Rizal Theatre, ipinasiya ang pagtatanghal ng pelikulang Ingles, ang “The Thin Red Line…” – Leonardo P. Reyes, Taliba, 3 & 16 September 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Malamang makarating ngayon sa Korte Suprema ang hidwaan ng prodyuser ng Iginuhit ng Tadhana at ng lupon ng sensor na pumigil sa pagtatanghal sa publiko ng nasabing pelikula. Nakatakdang dumulog ngayon sa mataas ns hukuman ang mga abugado ng prodyuser ng pelikula matapos na pigilin ng hukuman sa paghahabol kahapon ang pagpapatupad sa utos ng mababang hukuman na nagpapahintulot sa pagtatanghal ng pelikula…Sa naunang hatol ni Hukom Edilberto Soriano ng hukumang unang dulugan ng Maynila ay ipinahintulot niya ang pagtatanghal sa masuliraning pelikula bagay na salungat sa pasiya ng lupon ng sensor na pumipigil sa nasabing pagtatanghal. Ang hatol ni Soriano ay idinulog ng mga abugado ng pamahalaan sa hukumang sa paghahabol sa kanilang matwid na walang huridiksiyon sa usapin ang mababang hukuman…Sinabi ni Abugado Claudio Teehankee, isa sa mga abugado ng prodyuser ng pelikula sa buhay ng Pangulong Ferdinand E. Marcos ng Senado na idudulog nila sa Korte Suprema ang desisyon inilagda kahapon ng Hukuman sa Paghahabol. Ipinaliwanag niyang ang dalawang sumusunod na matwid ang knailang ihaharap sa mataas na hukuman sa paghahabol: 2 Katwiran na Inilahad – 1. Na walang bisa ang kontrata na maaaring bawiin ang permiso sa isang pelikula upang maitanghal anumang oras. 2. Na hindi nagmalabis si Hukom Soriano sa pagpapasiya sa usapin…” – C. de Guzman, Taliba, 3 & 16 September 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Marcos knew the power of the medium of film. Earlier on, Marcos produced a film biography using the most popular stars for his first presidential campaign. He ran against Macapagal who also came up with a film biography to boost his reelection bid. Marcos would also use another film Iginuhit ng Tadhana (Written by Destiny, 1965) to campaign for a second term. The two Marcos film bios would be the only successful political films—commercial and election wise—as other film biographies in the post-Marcos period by senatorial and presidential aspirants would prove dismal, unhelpful for election bids. The post-Marcos period liberalized the political and economic scene. It conventionalized and intensified the election of movie and sports stars, and even television news hosts to national politics. Television stations were sequestered by the government, the largest of which, however, was returned to its pre-martial law owners. ABS-CBN would become the leading television station until after 2000, allowing two of its news anchors to become senators…” – Rolando Tino (READ MORE)

“…In 1965, the Board of Censors suspended the movie exhibition of Iginuhit ng Tadhana (a movie biography of Presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos). Many believed and suspected that Malacanang had a hand in the board’s decision and such action was a wrong political maneuver and ploy that proved disastrous to the reelection bid of incumbent President Diosadado Macapagal. It practically ensured the Presidential electoral victory of Marcos…The suspension of the showing of a movie on the life of Senate President Ferdinand E. Marcos stirred yesterday a political storm and precipitated the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures. Officials of the board said that the board voted to suspend the exhibition of the movie, “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” (Destined by Fate) because its producer failed to submit it for preview by the board en banc or by the entire board. The film had been approved for showing by a subcommittee of four headed by Mrs. Rosalina I. Castro last August 24. The board said it interpreted the refusal of the movie company, the 777 Film Productions, to comply with its order as defiance of the Board. The order of the board also suspends the showing of the movie in eight provinces and cities— Camarines Norte, Batangas, Marawi City, Pampanga, Cotabato, Aklan, Masbate, and Sulu. The film has been showing in theaters in these places since Aug. 24, the date of the approval of the picture by the subcommittee of four. In the wake of the suspension of the showing of the film, columnist Jose L. Guevarra, chairman of the board of censors, tendered his resignation. Guevarra did not state his reason for resigning in his letter to President Macapagal, but sources close to him said that the resolution of suspension, which was adopted in his absence, had something to do with it…” – Isagani Yambot, Sept. 3, 1965 (READ MORE)

“…Isa sa paborito ko ay ang Iginuhit ng Tadhana,” ayon pa kay Conrado, “because that film helped President Marcos win the elections in 1965. If you remember, that film was banned by the Macapagal administration and the people naturally became curious. The movie was a big hit.” Iginuhit ng Tadhana was divided into three parts: Marcos as student, Marcos after school and Marcos in his early years in politics. Conrado directed the portion with the President as a young man, during the Nalundasan case, a crucial part in the President’s life. Before he began shooting, according to Conrado, he made his own research and first visited Batac where they shot an important scene…” – Conrado CondeJingle Extra Hot Movie Entertainment Magazine, April 27 1981 (READ MORE)

“This rarely seen, authorized biography of former President Ferdinand Marcos stars Luis Gonzalez, Gloria Romero, Vilma Santos, and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as himself. (The film starts with a flash of lighting as he is born on 9/11 in 1917.) ” – Vincent Nebrida (READ MORE)

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“Iginuhit Ng Tadhana” ng 777 Films (Setyembre 7 – 15, 1965)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…Pero higit na tumatak si Luis nang gampanan niya ng dalawang beses si Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos. Ito’y sa kontrobersyal na pelikulang “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” bago tumakbo si Marcos bilang presidente noong 1965. Sinundan ito ng “Pinagbuklod ng Langit” noong 1969. Si Imee Marcos, na ginampanan noon ni Vilma Santos, naalala ang galing ni Luis na mahirap na daw tapatan ngayon. “His acting was understated. A great actor and a good friend. He played a big role in our lives. Halos naniniwala na ako na tatay ko siya dahil sa boses. Mahal na mahal namin si Luis Gonzales,” sabi ni Imee. Ayon sa kanyang kabiyak, huling hiling ni Luis na ipa-cremate ang kanyang labi…” – Mario Dumaual (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)

“…And what many people probably didn’t know is that Bongbong played himself in Iginuhit ng Tadhana, produced by Sampaguita Pictures as a campaign pitch for Ferdinand when he first run for president in 1965, with Gloria Romero as Imelda, Luis Gonzales as Ferdinand, (now reelectionist Batangas Gov.) Vilma Santos as Imee and Gina Alajar as Irene (now Mrs. Greggy Araneta). A few years later, a sequel, titled Pinagbuklod ng Langit, was produced also by Sampaguita, directed by Eddie Garcia, with Gloria, Luis, Vilma and Gina reprising their roles and Jose “Jonjie” Aranda (first husband of Bongbong’s fellow Nacionalista, reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda; their marriage was annulled in 1986) playing Bongbong….” – Ricardo F. Lo (READ MORE)

“…In hid book, Don Jose & The Early Philippine Cinema, Joe Quirino credits jose Nepomuceno pioneer in producing movies that not only entertained but also informed. Wrote Quirino: “His screen adaptation of Noli Me Tangere, Jose Rizal’s novel exposing the social cancer that festered during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, captured the sardonic and satirical contents of the imflammatory noel.” Satire was a popular device through which producer aired their views on social issues. In 1929, a satirical movie called Patria Amore caught the ire of the local Spanish community who went to court to stop its exhibition. A counterpart incident took place in 1965 when the Liberal Party tried to stop the showing of Iginuhit ng Tadhana, the propagandistic movie of the life of Ferdinand Marcos. The same motion picture propelled Marcos to the presidency. Movies of social significance often face this dillemma on their way to the big screen. Because of their strong public statement, they invite uproar from concerned sectors, an experience that became almost a daily ordeal for the late director, Lino Brocka. In recent years and until his death in 1991, Brocka had been the prime mover of Tagalog movies of social significance. Some of his works that easily fall under this category are, in no particular orderL Orapronobis (about vigilantes and rebels in the countryside), Bayan Ko (on labor unrest), Gumapang Ka sa Lusak and Hahamakin Lahat (on political corruption), Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (on moral degradation and exploitation)…” – Nestor Cuartero, Panorama, dated June 13, 1993 (READ MORE)

“…A number of films suffered a similar fate at the hands of the censors, including so-called political films, no matter how mature or serious the treatment was. One such example is Gerardo de Leon’s Daigdig ng Mga Api (1965), a dramatization of the problem of tenancy in our country. Another one is Maliwalu Massacre, whose exhibition was stopped by influential groups with access to the censors. Political factions likewise used film to advance the cause of their party and enhance the image of their candidates in the elections. Even Ferdinand Marcos biography on film, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, was recalled during the incumbency of newspaperman Jose Guevarra but was nevertheless shown prior to the 1965 elections…” – Justino Dormiendo, Parade Magazine, September 25, 1983 (READ MORE)

“…The First Manila Film Festival was held for the first time in 1966. Reserved solely for Hollywood and foreign movies, first-run downtown theaters like Ideal, Odeon, State, Ever, Galaxy, Capitol, Lyric, among others were opened for exhibition to locally-produced or Tagalog movies. The filmfest was the brainchild of then Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas. The 10-day festival which coincided on the city’s foundation day (June 24) was a huge success participated in by big names in the industry…A total of 18 movies (14 new, 4 reissues) were exhibited during the 10-day festival. Iginuhit ng Tadhana, Portrait of the Artist as Filipino and Daigdig ng mga Api, all released in 1965, and Zamboanga, shown a month earlier, were allowed to participate…” – VIdeo48 (READ MORE)

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