Top 100 Vilma Santos Films (part four)

Spanning five decades with 197 films credits and almost two hundred awards, Vilma Santos’ filmography is a kaleidoscope picture of changes in times. Different genres, from teen musicals, folksy fantasies, campy horrors, animated actions to mature adult dramas, her films demonstrated her inner acting talents honed by directors, maneuvered by film producers/benefactors (who some are no longer with us) and supported by her ever loyal fanatics. The results were a long list of film titles that covered several social relevance that capture each decades. A long list of record-breaking box office returns that gave her the title, “the longest reigning box office queen of all time.” A long list of films that sustained her career to different transformation, ensuring her longevity no other Filipino movie queen ever enjoyed. We have painstakingly choose the best of the best. Basing our selection with three criteria. First, the financial success of the film. Cliche it maybe, financial success sustained her bankability and longevity. Second is the critical recognitions the film received. Third, is the other factors that contribute to the overall success of the film, namely, relevance, entertainment value, and the question of, is this film a career milestone or is this film contributed to her popularity. Here are Vilma Santos’ top 100 films.

Total score consists of (A) 10 points for box office records, (B) 10 points for critics recognitions, (C) 10 relevance/longevity, (D) “other factors” that contribute to overall success, gives us total score of 30 points.


70.  Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 1986
SCORE: 6(A) + 8(B) + 6(C) + 0.4(D) = 20.4(T)
Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza, co-starring: Snooky Serna, Maricel Soriano, Liza Lorena, Chanda Romero, Deborah SunGabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Eddie Garcia, Jimi Melendez – MORE INFO

69.  Kay Tagal ng Umaga 1965
SCORE: 6(A) + 8(B) + 6(C) + 0.5(D) = 20.5(T)
Directed by Lauro Pacheco, starring: Lolita Rodriguez, Eddie Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden with Vilma Valera. Film adaptation of Aning Bagabaldo’s radio drama broadcasted on DZRH. – MORE INFO (no available video)

68.  Anak, ang Iyong Ina 1963
SCORE: 7(A) + 8(B) + 5(C) + 0.6(D) = 20.6(T)
Directed by Mar S. Torres, co-staring: Gloria Romero, Rita Gomez, Mario Montenegro, Eddie Garcia – MORE INFO (no available video)

67.  Ging 1964
SCORE: 6(A) + 8(B) + 6(C) + 0.7(D) = 20.7(T)
Directed by Cirio H. Santiago, co-starring: Carol Varga, Olivia Cenizal, Jose Padilla jr, Ramon D’Salva. Written by Mars Ravelo. – MORE INFO

66.  Karugtong ang Kahapon 1975
SCORE: 5(A) + 8(B) + 7(C) + 0.8(D) = 20.8(T)
Directed by Fely H. Crisostomo, co-starring: Gloria Romero, Celia Rodriguez, Patria Plata, Edgar Mortiz, Eddie Garcia, Jay Ilagan, Romy Mallari, Joseph Sytangco. Entry to the 1975 MMFF. Film was written by Nerissa Cabral. – MORE INFO (no available video)

65.  Nag-iisang Bituin 1994
SCORE: 7(A) + 7(B) + 6(C) + 0.9(D) = 20.9(T)
Directed by Jose Javier Reyes, co-starring: Christopher De Leon, Aga Muhlach with Cherrie Pie Picache, Amy Perez, Jao Mapa, Orestes Ojeda. Vilma received a best actress nomination from PMPC’s 1994 Star. – MORE INFO (no available video)

64.  Takbo, Vilma, Dali 1972
SCORE: 5(A) + 10(B) + 6(C) + 0.04(D) = 21.04(T)
Directed by Joey Gosiengfiao, co-starring: Rita Gomez, Paquito Diaz, Max Alvarado, Romeo Rivera, Ernie Garcia – MORE INFO (no available video)

63.  Vilma Viente Nueve 1975
SCORE: 5(A) + 10(B) + 6(C) + 0.05(D) = 21.05(T)
Directed by Pablo Santiago, co-starring: Anita Linda, Jun Aristorenas, Max Alvarado, Lito Legaspi, German Moreno, Martin Marfil – MORE INFO (no available video)

62.  Ibong Lukaret 1975
SCORE: 6(A) + 10(B) + 5(C) + 0.06(D) = 21.06(T)
Directed by Tito C. Sanchez, co-starring: Alona Alegre, Marissa Delgado, Daria Ramirez, Lucita Soriano, George Estregan, Nick Romano, Rudy Fernandez, Arnold Mendoza – MORE INFO (no available video)

61.  Bertang Kerengkeng 1976
SCORE: 6(A) + 10(B) + 5(C) + 0.07(D) = 21.07(T)
Directed by Tito C. Sanchez, co-starring: Edna Diaz, Lito Anzures, Rudy Fernandez, Greg Lozano – MORE INFO (no available video)

70. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 1986
69. Kay Tagal ng Umaga 1965
68. Anak, ang Iyong Ina 1963
67. Ging 1964
66. Karugtong ang Kahapon 1975
65. Nag-iisang Bituin 1994
64. Takbo, Vilma, Dali 1972
63. Vilma Viente Nueve 1975
62. Ibong Lukaret 1975
61. Bertang Kerengkeng 1976

…continue with countdown, CLICK HERE!

Filmography: Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? (1987)

“…Si Val! Si Val! Si Val! Si Val na walang malay?! Si Val na ang tanging kasalanan ay naging anak ng mommy mo sa ibang lalaki! At nitong nasira na ang kanyang pagiisip…ay alam n’yo bang si Val pa rin ang pinanagot nila sa isang responsibilidad na dapat sana’y ikaw Rick ang nanagot!…ayan ang magaling n’yong apo, itanong n’yo sa kanya kung sinong ama ng batang binigyan ng pangalan ni Val!” – Stella

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Basic Information: Directed: Eddie Garcia; Story: Gilda Olvidado, serialized in Pogi Komiks; Screenplay: Armando Lao; Cast: Vilma Santos, Ricky Davao, Tonton Gutierrez, Cherrie Gil, Gloria Romero, Alicia Vergel. Alicia Alonzo, Perla Bautista, Jonee Gamboa, Rey Hipolito, Suzanne Gonzales, Eddie Arenas, Rose Rosado, Vangie Labalan; Executive producer: Vic Del Rosario; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Romy Vitug; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr, George Jarlego; Production Design: Manny Morpe; Sound: Rolly Ruta; Theme Songs: “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?” performed by Basil Valdez

Plot Description: Stella got pregnant by boyfriend Rick. Unfortunately, Rick is not willing to gamble on his inheritance. He is tied up with a promise to his super snotty, super rich old grandmother that he have to finish law school before he can get any money. In order to avoid scandal Stella agreed to be married to Rick’s retarded brother, Val. Together with his adopted family Stella learned to love the retarded Val and at the same time discovered that Val is a product of infidelity that cause the suicide of Rick and Val’s father. Unfortunately Stella’s new found love ended when Val accidentally fell from a window when he had a fight with his irrational brother one night. – RV

Rick (Ricky Davao), an irresponsible, lecherous law student, always makes his brain-damaged half-brother Val (Tonton Gutierrez) his fall guy for fear of losing the inheritance from his wealthy authoritarian grandmother Doña Pacing (Alicia Vergel). This time he makes Val marry his pregnant girlfriend Stella (Vilma Santos) to save her face and to mollify her parents. Bankrupt with their house facing forfeiture, their mother Carmen (Gloria Romero) is completely fearful and subservient to her intimidating mother in-law Doña Pacing who hates and blames her for the suicide of her son due to Carmen’s past indiscretion. Though trapped in her dire circumstances, Stella stays faithful to her marriage and tries to be a good wife by diligently teaching the childlike Val who finds comfort and love for Stella. – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1987 FAMAS: Best Director – Eddie Garcia; Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Cinematography – Romy Vitug; Best Sound – Rolly Ruta; Best Story – Gilda Olvidado; 1987 FAP: Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; Best Director – Eddie Garcia; Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Supporting Actress – Gloria Romero; 1987 STAR: Best Picture – Viva Films; Best Supporting Actress nomination – Gloria Romero; Best Actor nomination – Tonton Gutierrez

One of Vilma Santos and Gloria Romero 13 films – (Anak ang Iyong Ina, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, De Colores, Pinagbuklod ng Langit, Anak ng Aswang, Lipad Darna Lipad, Happy Days are Here Again, Karugtong ang Kahapon, Nakakahiya?, Hindi Nakakahiya, Makahiya at Talahib, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol) – RV (READ MORE)

Star Awards – “Lorna Tolentino leads the list of winners in the PMPC’s fourth Star Awards held last night at the Folk Arts Theater…The other winners are: Best actor – Tonton Gutierez (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best picture – Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (Viva Films); Best director – Eddie Garcia (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best supporting actress – Gloria Romero (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?)…Best screenplay (adaptation) – Armando Lao (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?); Best cinematographer – Romeo Vitug (Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?)…” – Manila Standard, Apr 21, 1988 (READ MORE)

Film Reviews: Nang malaman ni Stella na buntis siya ay pinilit niyang managot ang kasintahan nitong si Rick, isang law student na tagapagmana na ariarian ng kanyang matapobreng lola. Dahil sa panakot na mag-i-iskandalo’y ipinakasal nila si Stella sa kapatid ni Rick na retarded upang hindi mawala ang mana nito at kasabay ay maiwasan ang kahihiyan ni Stella na mabuntis ng walang asawa at ama ang kanyang dinadalang bata. Kasabay ng pagbubuntis ni Stella ay natutunan nitong mahalin ang retarded na si Val. Kasabay rin nito’y natuklasan ni Stella na si Val ay anak sa labas ng kanilang ina at ito’y hindi sinilang na kulang-kulang. Dahil sa kalupitan ng matapobreng lola ng mga bata’y nahulog ito sa hagdanan ng pagbintangan si Val ng matandang nagnanakaw ng pera. Nahulog ang batang si Val habang pinapalo ito ng kanyang ina. Isang gabi’y nagwala si Val nang Makita nitong nakikipagtalo si Stella kay Rick. Sinunggaban ni Val si Rick at nagaway sila. Ang naging resulta ng pag-aaway na ito’y aksidenteng nahulog sa balkonahe ang kaawa-awang si Val.

Namatay ito at sa araw ng libing ay dumating ang matapobreng matanda para ibigay ang abuloy nito kay Stella. Isinauli ni Stella ang tseke sa matanda at ipinahayag na si Val ang ginawa nilang ama ng kanyang anak pero ang tutoo’y dahil sa takot na mawalan ng mana’y ito ang pinaako ng responsibilidad ni Rick. Galit na umalis ang matanda at tuluyang naglaho ang mana ni Rick. Nagdesisyon na iwan ni Stella ang bahay kasama ng kanyang anak. Mula sa direksiyon ni Eddie Garcia, ang Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig ay hango sa komiks. Bagama’t mahahalatang puro isang dimensiyon lamang ang halos lahat na karakter ng pelikula’y mahusay naman naihayag ni Direktor Eddie ang komiks na komiks na istorya nito. Bakit kailangang maging binata si Rick habang nagaaral ito ng abogasya? Bakit napakahalaga ito sa matapobreng si Alicia Vergel? Bakit may nakatakip ang isa sa mata ng matanda na parang bandido? Sa ubod ng yaman ng matanda hindi ba puedeng maglagay ng pekeng mata kesa sa bendang itim? Bagamat nakakatawa ang obserbasyon na ito’y dahil sa bisyuwal na kaanyuan ng matapobreng matanda kung kaya naman epektibong makikita ang pagiging kontrabida nito.

Tulad ng “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap,” merong ‘dream sequence” ang pelikula kung saan kunwari’y hinuhusgahan si Val na isang baliw. Kung puputulin ang eksenang ito’y hindi magiging sagabal sa paglalahad ng buong istorya ni Gilda Olvidado. Mula sa lumang bahay hanggang sa eksena sa libingan ay mahusay ang sinematograpiya ni Romy Vitug at disenyong pangproduksiyon ni Manny Morpe. Mahusay ang mga katulong na artista mula kay Cherrie Gil, Alicia Alonzo at Alicia Vergel. Mahusay rin si Ricky Davao bilang Rick at Gloria Romero bilang ina ni Rick at Val. Ngunit ang pelikulang ito’y tungkol kay Val at bilang si Val ay nabigyan ng mahusay na pagganap ni Tonton Gutierrez ang papel na sinto sinto mula sa pagsasalita na utal utal haggang sa pisikal na mukha at pa-ika-ikang paglalakad. Tulad ng inaasahan, mahusay si Vilma bilang si Stella. At tulad ng maraming pelikulang ginawa niya sa ilalim ng Viva at sa direksiyon ni Eddie Garcia ay merong linya o dayalogo siya na hindi malilimutan, ito ay nang bigkasin niya ang linyang, “…si Val, si val na wala naman malay…” na magpahanggang ngayon ay natanim sa mga Pilipino na mahihilig sa pelikulang tagalog. – RV

“…When Eddie first entered show business, “I said to myself, I’m going to give myself 15 years to be able to direct my first movie. Fortunately, it took me 12 years–or three years earlier than I had planned.” He considers Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-Ibig as his most memorable directorial assignment…” – Sol Jose Vanzi (READ MORE)

“…Ah, how I love the Vilma-Gloria confrontations. “Si Val, si Val, ang kawawang si Val!…” The movie was again a monster hit from Viva Films. FAMAS Best Picture and a supporting actress award for Ms. Romero…” – Mario O. Garces (READ MORE)

“…He explained that a lot of craft likewise went into these glossy dramas. He cited two scenes in the Vilma Santos tearjerker “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-Ibig,” released in 1987: “Cinematographer Romy Vitug and I waited until late afternoon, when the columns at the back of the Manila Film Center formed long shadows. For another scene, we waited until dusk so the funeral procession would be reflected on a pond in the cemetery…” – Bayani San Diego Jr. (READ MORE)

The Bicol Festival Foundation, in cooperation with Philtanco, is sponsoring the movie premiere of the film Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, tonight at 7:30, at the Rizal Theatre in Makati. The movie, directed by Eddie Garcia, stars by Eddie Garcia, stars Vilma Santos, Gloria Romero, Ricky Davao, Cherie Gil, Alicia Vergel and Tonton Gutierrez. The Bicol Festival Foundation is headed by Justice Francis F. Gachitorena of the Sandiganbayan. Film director Garcia who is a Bicolano himself has offered this latest Vilma Santos starrer to the Bicolanos, many of whom have been devastated by typhoon Herming a few weeks ago. He said, ‘This is my little contribution in the Bicolano’s who will be celebrating the Penafrancia Festival next month.” The Bicolanos in Manila will hold teh Grand Bicolandia Festival from September 7-13 at the Manila Garden Hotel in Makati and many activities have been schedule to drum up support for the plight of the Bicolanos in the provinces. Tickets are available a the theater gate at Visual Horizons with telephone no. 815-0024 or Philtranco at telephone no. 833-7180.” – Manila Standard, Sep 01 1987 (READ MORE)

“…For sure, the film has been well-acted. Vilma, once again awes us with her astringent putdowns in her familiar facial expressions and pertinent body language. That long monologue in front of the dying Tonton is an eloquent testimony to her acting talent. Tonton is worthy of notice as the retardate but we have to be assured that he is capable of doing the things he does in the film. Can he really remember the past with such clarity despite his brain damage? Nevertheless, he has captured the mannerisms and speech of the character he portrays. Alicia Vergel comes on too strong as the aristocratic Nyora Pacing who wears an eyepatch and walks with a cane. Ricky Davao vies for attection in his anti-hero role. Cherie Gil as Ricky’s flighty sister is less fierry but more believable. Gloria Romero delivers a sensitive portrayal of the weak mother with a dark past while Alicia Alonzo plays her sister who is privy to the family’s secrets. Eddie Garcia should be commended for toning down his confrontation scenes. His familiarity with this film genre shows in the way he manipulates the characters and builds up the scene. Still, one cannot help but questions the logic behind that sham marriage…” – Luciano E. Soriano (READ MORE)

“…When Gloria Romero won the best supporting actress award in Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, she almost ran onstage and was beside herself for atleast three minutes. The ’50s queen of Philippine cinema could just ohh and aah that the audience gladly saved her with a standing ovation. Thirty four years ago, in 1954, she won her first acting award; and now she was lovelier, this second time around. But with an almost sad certainty, she acclaimed, “…To all the press people. I love you! Baka hindi na ako makabalik.” The moment was on overpouring of emotion and elegant hysteria only a true silver screen queen could summon. At least Romero thanked her make-up artist, Monching Morato as if to acknowledge her eternal celluloid persona that had flickered across the screeen and inflamed popular imagination for almost half a century. That was real romance in the movies. And even for a fleeting moment, Romero gave us a vision of what stuff real romance was made of. She made us comprehend that sense of almost indefinable sadness and fragility of life and beauty, a heightened awareness that even the subtlest of things suggested the unalterable rule of fate. Tonton Gutierrez was visibly euphoric when he accepted his best actor award for his performance in Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? Dutifully, he thanked the movie’s cast and crew, his director, his family; and of course, he never forget to thank God who gave him the talent to uplift, in his own way, the human condition…” – Henry C. Tejero, Manila Standard, Apr 24, 1988 (READ MORE)

“Dahil Father’s Day ngayon, nais nating bigyan ng magandang tribute ang nakilala nang ama ng maraming­ artista ng iba’t ibang henerasyon na si Eddie Garcia. Hindi lang mahusay na bida at kontrabida si Eddie kundi mahusay rin siya bilang isang film director. Taong 1961 nang idirek ni Eddie ang kanyang unang pelikula titled “Karugtong Ng Kahapon” kunsaan bida sina Mario Montenegro, Rita Gomez, Ric Rodrigo at Marlene Dauden. Higit na 36 movies pa ang dinirek ni Eddie na iba-iba ang tema…Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig (1987), Kuwento ito ni Estella (Vilma Santos) na nabuntis ng boyfriend niyang si Ric (Ricky Davao), pero hindi ito pinakasal ng kanyang lola (Alicia Vergel) dahil pinapatapos niya ito ng pagiging abogado. Pinakasal nila si Estella kay Val (Tonton Gutierrez) na naging mentally retarded dahil sa isang aksidente sa bahay na pinagsisisihan habambuhay ng kanilang ina na si Carmen (Gloria Romero). Nabaling ang pagmamahal ni Estella kay Val hanggang sa mamatay ito sa isang aksidente nang dahil sa selos ni Ric. Nanalo rito si Eddie bilang Best Director sa FAMAS at FAP Awards. Nanalo namang Best Actor at Best Supporting Actress sina Tonton Gutierrez at Gloria Romero sa Star Awards. Nagwagi naman itong Best Picture sa FAMAS, FAP at Star Awards…” – Ruel Mendoza, Abante, 15 June 2019 (READ MORE)