Si Sister Stella L. at ang Musika ng Panahon

ARTICLES - Sister Stella L at Iba Pang Awit ng Panahon 5

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ARTICLES - Sister Stella L at Iba Pang Awit ng Panahon 1

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Premiere Nights

Premiere Nights 1

Oh, it’s October, month of the “Holy Rosary!” Kay bilis malagas ng mga araw, hindi natin namamalayan, bagong taon na naman. Nagkakaedad na tayong lahat subali’t andito pa rin tayo…..humahanga pa rin kay Miss Vilma Santos. Kung sabagay, sabi nga nila, age is just a number, hehehe! Sa tinagal-tagal sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino ni Vilma, apatnapu at anim na taon na siya sa pelikula to be exact, kulang-kulang sa limang dekada ay hindi pa rin siya matinag sa kanyang kinalalagyan. Nagsilaho na ang kanyang mga kakontemporaryo. Nagsusulputan na ang mga bagong mukha subali’t parang bulalakaw na mabilis ding nawawala. Si Vilma ay andiyan pa rin…nagniningning pa rin ang kanyang bituin…tinitingala pa rin hindi lang bilang isang magaling na alagad ng sining kundi isa na ring mahusay na public servant. Pero kahit na nasa itaas siya ay nakatuntong pa rin siya sa lupa kaya naman lahat halos ng mga nangyayari sa kanya ay pulos positibo, kahit na minsan ay may mga taong bumabatikos sa kanya. Ipinagsasawalang kibo na lang niya ang mga ito, para que pa nga naman eh pampa-stress lang yan noh! At dahil diyan, siya pa rin ang Nag-iisang Bituin…nakakapag-demand ng mataas na talent fee sa kanyang mga pelikula at commercials na ginagawa. Siya pa rin ang “premiere actress” ng bansang Pilipinas. At yamang napapag-usapan ang kanyang pagiging “premiere actress” kung kaya’t balikan natin ang mga “premiere night” ng mga pelikula ni Governor Vilma Santos-Recto.

Noong araw, madalang ang mga pelikulang may “premiere night.” Ang mga sinehang pinagdarausan ng mga “premiere night” noon ay mga nangawala o nagsipagsara na katulad ng Galaxy Theater sa Avenida Rizal, Lyric Theater sa Escolta, Rizal at Magallanes Theater sa Makati City, New Frontier at Remar Theater sa Cubao, Quezon City at Gotesco Theater sa Recto Avenue, Quiapo, Manila. Nauso na ang mga “malls” na karaniwan ay may apat hanggang labingdalawang sinehan na pinagpapalabasan ng mga pelikula. Nilamon na ng mga sinehan sa mga naglalakihang malls ang mga lumang sinehan noon. Eh bakit pa nga ba ikaw manonood sa mga dating sinehan samantalang kung sa “mall” ka pupunta ay andun na lahat…..supermarket, department store, food court, amusement center at may mga shows pa. Ngayon…..halos lahat ng pelikulang tagalog ay may “premiere night”…..na karaniwan ay may mga nag-iisponsor at ito ay ginaganap sa mga sinehan sa mga malls. Pati ang mga digital films ay may “premiere night” na rin na sa UP Film Center ipinalalabas.

Ang pelikulang Pakawalan Mo Ako na ipinalabas noong Mayo 29, 1981 ay nag-premiere showing sa Lyric Theater at sponsored ito ng Catholic Women’s League Manila Chapter. Natandaan ko pa noon na ang pases na ginamit ko para manood ng pelikulang ito ay ibinigay lang sa akin ng isa kong kaopisinang tagahanga ni Nora Aunor. Eksaktong alas siyete ng gabi ito nagsimula. Walang artistang dumalo sa nasabing premiere night subali’t nang ito ay muling nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater ay talagang may mga nabasag na salamin sa lobby ng sinehan dahil sa pagkakagulo ng mga manonood. Si Vi ay hindi nakarating dahilan sa siya ay kapapanganak lamang kay Luis. Ang pelikulang ito kung saan si Elwood Perez ang naging direktor ay tinatampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Anthony Castelo ay isa sa mga sumira ng takilya. Nakamit ni Vi ang pangalawang best actress award mula sa Famas sa pelikulang ito.

Nang mag-premiere night naman ang unang pelikula ni Vi sa Viva Films na Sinasamba Kita na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay talagang naging pandemonium. Ito ay ginanap sa New Frontier Theater, Cubao, Quezon City at nang makapasok na ang mga tao sa loob at magsisimula na ang pelikula ay nagkalat ang mga tsinelas sa lobby ng sinehan na naiwan ng mga tagahangang natapakan ng mga nais makapanood ng pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 19, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Philip Salvador at Lorna Tolentino.

Sunud-sunod ang mga pelikula ni Vilma sa Viva Films na nagkaroon ng premiere night at katulad ng mga nauna ay nagkakagulo pa rin ang kanyang mga tagahanga. Ito ay ang mga pelikulang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? at Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na sa New Frontier Theater din ginanap. Ang New Frontier Theater pala ay itinuturing na pinakamalaking sinehan sa buong Asia nang mga panahong yun. Ang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? na idinerek ni Danny L. Zialcita ay ipinalabas noong Nobyembre 11, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Hilda Koronel…..samantalang ang Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na idinerek naman ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas noong Hunyo 9, 1983 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Jay Ilagan.

Ang premiere night ng pelikulang Never Ever Say Goodbye ay sa Galaxy Theater naman ginanap. Bukod kay Vi ay dumalo din ang mga stars ng nasabing pelikula katulad nina Nonoy Zuñiga. Nagkaroon pa ng isang maliit na programa bago nag-umpisa ang pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Oktubre 7, 1982 sa direksiyon ni Gil Portes.

Sa Magallanes Theater ginanap ang premiere showing ng pelikulang tinatampukan ni Vi at ni Nora Aunor na T-Bird At Ako. Hindi dumalo ang dalawang lead stars ng pelikula, yung mga supporting stars lamang ang mga dumalo pati na rin ang prodyuser ng pelikula na si Irene Lopez. Si Danny L. Zialcita ang direktor ng pelikulang ito na ipinalabas noong Setyembre 2, 982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Tommy Abuel.

Sa Film Center sa Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikula ng Mirick Films na inilahok sa 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival na Haplos. Kasama ni Vi sa pelikulang ito sina Christopher de Leon na nanalong best actor at Rio Locsin sa direksiyon ni Butch Perez. Hindi nakadalo si Vi at Boyet subali’t andun si Rio Locsin na kasama pa noon ang asawang si Al Tantay.

Premiere Nights 2Samantala, nagkaroon ng double screening sa loob lamang ng isang gabi sa Rizal Theater ang pelikulang Sister Stella L. Punung-puno ang dalawang screening at grabe ang naging reception ng mga tao. Umaatikabong palakpakan ang maririnig sa loob ng Rizal Theater nang matapos ang pelikula. Nakita kong dumalo doon sina German Moreno at Babette Villaroel. Palibhasa’y ang Rizal Theater ay malapit lang sa Forbes Park, Bel-Air, Dasmariñas Village at San Lorenzo kung kaya’t karamihan sa mga nanood ay mga alta sosyedad. Sosyal talaga ang pelikula at ito lang yata ang pelikulang pinapalakpakan ng mga tao pagkatapos ng screening, maging ng mga class C, D at E. Nagkaroon din ng mga special screening ang pelikulang ito ni Mike de Leon sa iba’t ibang paaralan ng Metro Manila. Di nga ba’t isa si NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto na nanood nito na noon ay estudyante pa lang? Inilabas ito sa mga sinehan noong Hulyo 12, 1983 at napanalunan ng pelikulang ito sa Urian ang halos lahat ng awards sa iba’t ibang kategorya kabilang na ang tatlong taong sunud-sunod na best actress award ni Vi.

Ang una’t huling pelikula ni Vilma sa Via Hoffman Films na Tagos Ng Dugo ay nag-premiere night sa New Frontier Theater din. Bago pa dumating si Vi ay halos isara na ng mga guwardiya ang pintuan ng sinehan dahilan sa hindi na nila ma-accomodate ang napakaraming taong manonood. Nang dumating si Vi ay agad sinimulan ang pelikula. Sa loge ng sinehan naupo si Vi at ang kanyang mga co-stars. Nang matapos ang pelikula at magbukas ang ilaw ay walang humpay sa pagkaway si Vi sa mga taong nasa ibaba ng sinehan. Ang mga taong nanood ay walang pagod sa kasisigaw sa pagtawag kay Vi. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes ay nag-regular showing sa mga sinehan noong Enero 25, 1987. Sa pelikulang ito natamo ni Vi ang ikaapat na best actress award sa Famas at pangalawa naman niya sa Catholic Mass Media Award.

Ang pelikulang tinampukan ni Vi kasama sina Tonton Gutierrez, Ricky Davao at Cherrie Gil na may pamagat ng Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? ay sa Rizal Theater din nag-premiere showing. Sobrang dami ding tao ang nanood palibhasa’y dito noon ginaganap ang Vilma Show nang panahong yun. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Setyembre 2, 1987. Dito sa pelikulang ito nanalo si Tonton Gutierrez ng kanyang best actor award mula sa Catholic Mass Media Award at Star Awards for Movies. Si Eddie Garcia ay nanalo ring best director mula sa iba’t ibang award giving bodies.

Ang true-to-life story ni Dolzura Cortez na pinamagatang Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story ay sa New Frontier Theater nag-premiere night. Dumalo sa nasabing premiere showing ang dating Secretary of Health na naging senador na si Flaviano Javier na umaming isang Vilmanian siya. Ito ang kauna-unahang pelikulang tumatalakay sa isang taong may AIDS (Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Ito ay inilahok ng Octo Arts Films sa Manila Film Festival kung saan nasungkit ni Vi ang best actress award. Ito ay sa direksiyon ni Laurice Guillen. Nakamit din ni Vi ang kanyang pangalawang grand slam sa pelikulang ito.

Sa Greenhills Theater naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikulang Nag-iisang Bituin na bukod kay Vi ay tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Aga Muhlach at ng isa ring Vilmanian na si Jao Mapa. Ito ang unang pelikula ni Vi kay Jose Javier Reyes na nag-regular showing noong Agosto 31, 1994. Isa sa mga sponsors ng pelikulang ito, kung saan si Vi ang endorser, ay ang Eskinol Facial kung saan namahagi sila sa pamamagitan ng paghahagis ng maliliit na bote ng Eskinol sa mga taong manonood. Isa sa mga Vis na nanood ay aksidenteng tinamaan sa mata subali’t ito ay kanilang ipinagamot.

Ang pelikulang pinagsamahan nina Vi, Gabby Concepcion, Aga Muhlach at Aiko Melendez na may pamagat na Sinungaling Mong Puso ay nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater. Tulad ng dati, nagkabasag-basag na naman ang mga salamin sa lobby ng sinehan. Nang mag-regular showing na ang pelikulang ito sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 27, 1993 ay bumabagyo at binaha pa ang ibang sinehang pinaglabasan ng nasabing pelikula subali’t super blockbuster pa din ito quesehodang nakababad ang mga paa ng ibang taong nanood. Ang pelikulang ito ay idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes. Dito nagwagi si Aga ng best actor award at si Gabby naman ay best supporting actor.

Sa Remar Theater naman nag-premiere night ang pelikulang tinampukan nina Vi, Cesar Montano at Ronnie Ricketts na Ikaw Lang sa direksyon ni Chito Roño. Hindi magkamayaw ang mga tao nang dumating ang mga lead stars. Ang pelikulang ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Enero 12, 1994.

Ang pelikula tungkol sa OFW na Anak ay nag-premiere showing sa dalawang sinehan ng SM Megamall. Hindi mahulugang karayom ang mga taong nanood ng nasabing pelikula. Dumating ang mga lead stars ng pelikula at talagang walang katapusang tilian at sigawan ang mga fans sa loob ng sinehan habang pinapanood ang nasabing pelikula. Ipinalabas ang pelikulang ito noong May 12, 2000 sa kasagaran ng mga bomb threats subali’t hindi ito naging hadlang para hindi pasukin ng tao ang pelikula. Ito na yata ang pelikulang pinilahan ng husto sa takilya. Ang pelikulang ito ay sa direksiyon ni Rory Quintos at dito muling nabigyan si Vi ng box-office queen award kahit na hall of famer na siya. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies at Pasado. Ang pelikulang ito din ang nanalong best film ng Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Nagkaroon ng ilang linggong exhibit sa lobby ng Robinson’s Galeria noong December 2002 ang pelikulang Dekada ’70. Mga damit, sapatos at iba’t ibang aksesorya noong dekada ’70 ang naka-display sa exhibit. Ang premiere showing naman nito sa isang sinehan ng Robinson’s Galeria ay dinaluhan nina Charo Santos, Malou Santos, Chito Roño at ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Piolo Pascual, Marvin Agustin, Carlos Agassi, John Wayne Sace at Danilo Barrios. Dumalo din si Marilou Diaz Abaya at panay ang bati niya sa mga stars at direktor ng pelikula. Dito sa pelikulang ito nasungkit ni Vi ang kanyang pang-apat na grand slam.

Sinabi noon ni Mother Lily Monteverde na ang final Mano Po movie ay itong pelikula nina Vi at Boyet na panlaban nila sa 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival na Mano Po 3 My Love, subali’t hindi ito nangyari dahil may mga sumunod na Mano Po pa. Nagkaroon ng red carpet premiere night ang nasabing pelikula sa SM Megamall. Dumalo ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Angel Locsin, Karylle, Dennis Trillo, Angelica Panganiban, Carlo Aquino, Jay Manalo, Boots Anson Roa, Eddie Garcia, Patrick Garcia, John Pratts at iba pa. Nanalong best actress at best actor sina Vi at Boyet. Nanalo ring best picture ang pelikula ganundin ang best float. Ito ang unang directorial job ni Joel Lamangan kay Vilma. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies, Gawad Tanglaw at Gawad Suri.

Sa kabuuan, ang lahat ng “premiere night” na pelikula ng tinaguriang “premiere actress” ng bansa ay talagang malaking tagumpay. Panalong-panalo talaga!!!. – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Premiere Nights 3Unprecedented Stella L Premiere – Kung ang batayan ay ang premiere night ng Sister Stella L na ginanap sa Rizal theater noong June 22, sigurado nang dudumugin nang masa ang pelikulang ito ni Mike De Leon kapag regula showing na ito sa commercial theaters. Talaga namang very, very successful ang nasabing premiere night at ayon nga sa mga nakakaalam, never in the history of local cinema na ang isang pelikula’y dalawa ang screenings sa premiere showing at parehong SRO. Obviously, maraming A-B crowd nung gabing ‘yon, tulad ng grupo ni Chona Kasten na namataan namin, pero marami ring mga manggagawa at mga miyembro ng iba’t ibang sektaryang pang relihiyon. Ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night na ‘yon ay ang The Organization for the Promotion of Church People’s Right/Response (PCPR). Ang Sister Stella L na pelikula ng Regal Films ay ipapaplabas umpisa sa July 14. – Movie Flash Magazine, July 12 1984

Paano malalaman kung magiging malakas sa takily ang isang pelikula? Isa sa mga sukatan ang premiere ngiht. Hangga’t maari’y ayaw ng ibang produser na magpa-premiere night. Usually kasi, may nag-iisponsor nito, at sa kanila, sa charity – kung tutoo mang sa charity – napupunta ang bayad sa takilya. At siyempre pa, dahil premiere night ekstra ang halaga ng tiket, P25 sa orkestra, P50-100 sa balcony at loge. Bukod sa malaking kawalan din yon sa produser sa regular run ng pelikula, puewede pang mapintas-pintasan ito, at pag kumalat iyon, bagsak ang pelikula! Sa isang dako, kung gustong makatulong ng produser sa charity, at kung sampalataya siya sa kanyang pelukula, mainam magpa-premiere night para higit na maipaalam sa lahat na maganda ito. Iyon ang nasa isip ni Mother Lily nang ipa-premiere night ang “Sister Stella L.” sa Rizal theater sa Makati. Umbrella organization ng mga madre ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night, dalawang screening iyon. Umuulan nang gabing iyon, pero dagsa pa rin ang mga tao. Siksikan. Gayunpama’y disiplinado. Marami rin kasi sa mga ito ang mga madre. Kung karaniwan nang umaasa pa rin sa walk-in ang ibang nagpapa-premiere night, iba naman ang nangyari sa “Sister Stella L.”

Bago pa ang first screening, dakong alas sinko-medya, sold out na ang tiket. Nakikiusap na talaga ang mga hindi nakabili ng tiket na bibili sila, pero ubos na. Dumating doon ang ina ng tunay na Sister Stella L. “No, my daughter is not an activist, she only wanted to help the needy,” sabi nito. Sa kasalukuya’y nasa abroad daw ito, nagtungo roon pagkaraang lumabas mula sa pagkaka-detain ng 11 months sa isang militar camp. Mula sa siyuting ng “Alyas Baby Tsina,” dumating si Vilma Santos. Kagulo sa kanya ang mga tao sa lobby. Magkasabay na pumasok sina Gina Alajar at Michael De Mes, at naisip namin, mali nga ‘ata ‘yung balitang nagkahiwalay sila. Very, very successful ang premiere night na iyon. Katunayan, gusto pa itong masundan ng isang labor sector, tumanggi na lang si Mother Lily. “They will give me raw three hundred thousand, but I said no. Paano naman ang regular run ko?” – Bibsy Estrella (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)

LATEST NEWS - Premiere Night Jul 25 2012 3The Healing’s Premiere Night – “…The entire cast of “The Healing,” led by multi-awarded actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and young actress Kim Chiu, arrived together, wearing red outfits and flashing smiles to fans who attended the event. Santos was escorted by her husband Senator Ralph Recto. Before the movie was screened, Santos said she is truly proud of this movie because she and the rest of the cast really worked hard to make it beautiful. “We’re all very excited and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for joining us in the premiere night of ‘The Healing.’ Pinamamalaki po naming lahat ito dahil pinagpaguran namin,” she said. Santos said she is hoping moviegoers would enjoy the film and feel scared at the same time. Among the celebrities who attended the premiere night were Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Matteo Guidicelli and Robi Dominggo. Chiu’s former boyfriend Gerald Anderson was also there as well as actor Xian Lim, who is currently being linked to her…The Healing was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and it opens in theaters nationwide today, July 25…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

LATEST NEWS - July 2013 Ekstra Gala 1Eksta’s Premiere Night – “…As early as 5:00 p.m., people were already queuing for the 6:15 screening. The line became longer in just a few minutes, while other people were excitedly awaiting the arrival of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. The Vilmanians were hoping to get a glimpse of their idol enter the Main Theater. The celebrities started arriving, which made the task of containing the crowd a little difficult for the ushers. But they politely obliged when they were asked to clear the area leading to the Main Theater. When the signal was given that the moviegoers could now enter the theater, the people dashed toward the main entrance, hoping to be the first to get inside. This could have been a scene straight from Philippine cinema’s classic eras, such as the pre-martial law Manila film festivals. And the star of the night was a veteran performer with 5 decades in the industry. Vilma said the premiere erased her apprehensions about venturing into independent cinema for the first time. “Yung pinaka-reception kanina, yun na ang pinaka-bayad namin (The reception was already the reward).” Jeturian was a PA (production assistant) in the 1984 production of Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Alyas Baby Tsina.” Vilma was the star of that film, and Jeturian remembers already dreaming of becoming a filmmaker at the time…” – Rappler (READ MORE)

Watching Vilma’s Films

FILMS - Lipad  Darna Lipad

The Beginning – When I was a little kid, I remember watching my very first Vilma movie with my aunt. It was “Lipad Darna Lipad.” The theatre was Cinerama on Claro M Recto near the underpass headin’ towards Quiapo. I remember the crowded theatre. The carpeted floor and velvet curtains. With no more seats and an SRO crowd, we sat on the stairs near the balcony area. People were screaming and into each fight scenes. I remember vividly how my aunt almost got into a fight because she wanted me to sit on one of the seat that was vacated and a man standing in front of us wanted the seat too. Celia Rodriguez was really scary with her head covered with snakes and her voice was so icy cold. Liza Lorena didn’t registered much on me but Gloria Romero was even scarier! This film brought me some nightmares but it also gave me and my cousins something to play about every afternoon after school.

FILMS - Pakawalan Mo Ako 1Pakawalan – The second memorable film experience for me was during early 80s where I saw the free sneak preview of “Pakawalan Mo Ako” at Gotesco Theatre near University of the East. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to get in. My college mates weren’t. They got stocked in the pandemonium outside. I was worried sick as I took the long escalator and saw them being crashed by the crowed. The security guards have to closed the gate of the lobby. Fans became so restless and broke the glass windows (where they displayed posters and still photos) . Inside, It was crowded, hot and wild. We were seeing a more mature Vilma Santos. From the very beginning, the crowed went along the story until one of the climatic scene – the courtroom scene where she cried and swear! Oh my god I still remember the crowd swearing and cursing too! It was so wild!

ARTICLES - Sister Stella L 1OF2 (6)Activism – The third movie experience was when I saw Sister Stella L at Capri near the Philippine Rabbit Bus Station on Rizal Avenue (it is always called Avenida). Now, the total opposite happened to me. The theatre was half empty but most of the people I noticed were students and office workers. This film affected me so much and I started to join rallies and demonstration along Mediola and at our school. I also remember that Sharon Cuneta had a film showing at the same time, and most of my friends watched this film instead. I was so disappointed that they decided to see this film instead of SSL. This film also became my mantra at school. It inspired me to take issues and voice out what I think, I became militant. I rebelled against my family who I believe were too strict. I wanted my freedom and so this film inspired me. The end result was my independence. Up to this day, I will never forget the time when I had an argument with my grandfather, it wasn’t funny back then. I told him: “Tama na, panahon na, hindi habang panahon pipigilan n’yo ako sa pagsasalita” – the line from SSL.

FILMS - Rubia Servios 12Why does he have to rape Rubia? – Another memorable experience was when my aunt got into a huge fight in front of Galaxy Theatre on Avenida. Being a true Vilmanians and with her deadly weapon, her umbrella, my aunt pulled the hair of this two crazy Nora Aunor fans. This was after the two said nasty things about Vilma while passing on in front of the theatre. I ended up on the cement floor hiding near the newspaper stands. Thank god she always came up on top because we were always able to go home uninjured. Rubia Servios was showing at the Galaxy Theatre back then. Again we have to sat down on floor, my aunt’s realized that she can’t put me on her lap anymore as I am a bit heavier now. As I observe, people are more serious this time. No shouting but silence as the story being told to us. The crowd was so into it too but no shouting instead a feeling of sighs and sadness. My aunt cried as she watched Rubia crawled on the sandy side of the beach. Rubia Servious was for adults only but my aunt’s sister was the ticket collector or “takilyera”. So I was able to get in. Philip Salvador was so “hot” in his black swimming trunk, I dreamt of him a number of times. As we watched the film, I remember asking my aunt about why does he (Philip) have to rape Darna? My aunt patiently explained, about love and lust. My innocent mind were corrupted that day. Eventually, I got over that rape scenes but revenge when Vilma killed Phillip using a boat paddle still stucked on my mind.

FILMS - Magkaribal 2Naked Christopher – Lastly, the one that was so special to me, was when I saw Magkaribal at Luneta theatre. I went to so many theatres to get in but at last the woman at the box office was so busy reading comics that she didn’t even bother to ask about my age. The film was “For Adults Only” and I agreed. Christopher De Leon here was so sexy, riding a horse, naked. And Alma Moreno was so young and thin. Even her boobs here are well proportioned to her body, although its already huge. And ate Vi here was at her best, acting wise. The crowd here are more mature, a combination of college students and office workers. The theatre was not SRO but all the seats are taken and it was obvious that the film was catered to couples.  – RV

Special Film: Sister Stella L.

Sister Stella L. (1984) is the award-winning masterpiece by Mike De Leon. It’s about a nun, Sister Stella Legaspi, who becomes involved in labor strikes after learning about the government’s neglect of the poor and the working class. Her sworn duty to fight for the poor and the oppressed turns personal when her journalist friend Nick Fajardo is tortured and the union leader Dencio is kidnapped and killed. What follows is her eye-opening and the tear-jerking battle against cruelty and injustice. The film broke censorship barriers back in 1984, during the final years of the US-backed Marcos dictatorship, for its realistic portrayal of labor struggles, and extrajudicial killings, hauntingly mirroring the reality of Philippine society today under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – Filipinas for the Rights and Empowerment (READ MORE)

Miguel Pamintuan de Leon, also known as Mike de Leon (born May 24, 1947) is a Filipino film director, cinematographer, scriptwriter and film producer. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Source: Pelikulapinoy103

FAIR USE NOTICE (NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE): This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacies of actress, Vilma Santos, and to make her career information available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislation, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Sister Stella L at Iba Pang Awit ng Panahon

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Sister Stella L at Iba Pang Awit ng Panahon

SIDE ONE:

  • Aling Pag-ibig Pa? – Pat Castillo; Music Ding Achacoso; Lyrics Jose F. Lacaba; Guitar Lyncir Lagunzad
  • Manggagawa – Rody Vera; Music Ding Achacoso; Lyrics Jose Almojuela
  • Sangandaan – Pat Castillo; Music Ding Achacoso; Lyrics Jose F. Lacaba; Guitar Lyncir Lagunzad
  • Aling Pag-Ibig Pa? (Instrumental)
  • Manggagawa (Instrumental)

SIDE TWO:

  • Bayan Ko – Wea Various Artists (Celeste Legaspi, Apo Hiking Society, Janet Basco, Marco Sison, Leo Valdez, Ivy Violan, Dulce, Noel Trinidad, Subas Herrero)
  • Prisoner’s Lament – Apo Hiking Society
  • Bayan Kong Pilipinas – Celeste Legaspi
  • Psalm 12 (Help Us) – Celeste Legaspi
  • Buntong Hininga – Paul Toledo

Philippine Copyrights by Wea Records 1984

The Lyrics

Sangandaan
Walang komplikasyon
Ang buhay mo noon:
Kalooban mo’y panatag,
Kalangitan ay maliwanag,
Ang daan ay tuwid at patag
Sa buhay mo noon.
Ngunit bawat pusong naglalakbay,
Dumarating sa sangandaan:
Ngayong narito ka,
Kailangang magpasiya.
Aling landas ang susundin ng puso?
Saan ka liligaya, saan mabibigo?
Saan ka tutungo?

Kay daling sumunod
Sa hangin at agos:
Aasa ka na ang dalangin,
Gagabay sa ‘yong damdamin.
Ngunit saan ka dadalhin
Ng hangin at agos?
Alam mong bawat pusong nagmamahal,
Dumarating sa sangandaan:
Ngayong narito ka,
Kailangang magpasiya.
Aling landas ang susundin ng puso?
Saan ka liligaya, saan mabibigo?
Saan ka tutungo?

Aling pag-ibig pa?
Aling pag-ibig pa
Ang hihigit kaya
Sa pag-ibig ko sa iyo,
Bayan ko?
Sa hirap at ginhawa,
Sa ligaya’t dalita,
Ako’y kasa-kasama mo.

Kung ang gintong palay
Ay kumakaway,
Katabi mo ako sa bukid,
Bayan ko.
Kung tigang ang lupa
At di ka makaluha,
Ako ang magdidilig.

Kung ang bulaklak
Ay humahalimuyak,
Igagawa kita ng kuwintas,
Bayan ko.
Kung namiminsala
Ang bagyo’t baha,
Ako’y may kubong ligtas.

May pag-ibig pa bang
Higit na dakila
Sa pag-ibig ko sa iyo,
Bayan ko?
Wala na nga, wala.
Wala na nga, wala.
Wala na nga, wala.

Bayan Ko
Ang bayan kong Pilipinas
Lupain ng ginto’t bulaklak
Pag-ibig na sa kanyang palad
Nag-alay ng ganda’t dilag

At sa kanyang yumi at ganda
Dayuhan ay nahalina
Bayan ko, binihag ka
Nasadlak sa dusa

CHORUS
Ibon mang may layang lumipad
Kulungin mo at umiiyak
Bayan pa kayang sakdal-dilag
Ang ‘di magnasang makaalpas

Pilipinas kong minumutya
Pugad ng luha at dalita
Aking adhika
Makita kang sakdal laya

Bayan Kong Pilipinas
Ang bayan kong minamahal
ang bayan kong Pilipinas
Sa dugong pinuhunanan
Makamtan lang ang kalayaan
O bayan kong minumutya
Ako’y handang magpakasakit
Ang buhay ko’y nakalaan
sa iyo mahal kong bayan
Perlas ng Silanganan
May likas kang kayamanan
Dahil dito’y inagaw ka ng mga dayuhan
Kaya dapat kang bantayan
Ingatan ka mahal kong bayan

The Singers

Pat Castillo – “…We met Pat recently at Jackie Magno’s show at the new Merk’s Place on Arnaiz opposite the Rennaissance Hotel. Starting with small talk, we asked Pat of her current activities and found she was busy with facilitating, mentoring and coaching. All three involve guiding the individual discover his fears, doubts and talents, while helping him improve on the positive and hurdle the negative. A lifestyle coach described her job akin to that of a sports coach saying, “I get to challenge my clients like no one else. I am their mentor, cheer leader and sounding board.” And obviously, the job is for one who loves people, has massive patience, and thrives on challenges. Pat has had movie stars, young girls preparing for a beauty pageant, political clients gearing up for an election. And for this job, Pat uses the name Patricia Castillo. Coaching and mentoring grew as a career in the US when organizational changes brought upon by mergers and acquisitions found the need for companies to prepare their key personnel for new challenges. Soon, its effects filtered down to the rank and file, and to individuals who found the exercise enhancing and inspiring. Pat relates one day getting interested in a book Coaching published by a behavioral institute in Australia, so off she went to Australia for lessons. Soon she was accepting clients who found out about her new career. “I realized I really liked performing in front of people, and that coaching was just another medium…” – Bibsy M. Carballo, The Philippine Star, May 01, 2011 (READ MORE)

Janet Basco – “…born as Janet Mabasco, is a Filipino singer. She is known for her hits “You Made Me Live Again”, “Minsan Pa” and “My Girl, My Woman, My Friend” in a duet with Jose Mari Chan. In the music video version of this song, she is seen sitting on the sofa eating popcorn and has a date with him…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Marco Sison – “…But even Imogene can’t dismiss the appeal of Marco who was responsible for some of the chart-topping songs of the ’80s and ’90s, among them Make Believe, Always, My Love Will See You Through and Si Aida, Si Lorna O Si Fe,” says Edmund. “While many of his contemporaries have gone gray, Marco seemed to have found the fountain of youth and managed to preserve not only his suave looks, physique and vitality, but also his impeccable Student Canteen voice that could put many younger singers to shame. Hear him sing the Latin beat Sway and see how a middle-aged man can bring sexy back.” Edmund was impressed by Marco’s jaw-dropping performance with his medley of Basil Valdez’s greatest hits. “Belting Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan, Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan, Tuwing Umuulan, Nais Ko and Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga, capped with Ngayon at Kailanman, he sent chills down the spine of his audience, who reciprocated him with defeaning applause and cheers.” “He never overdoes his singing because he knows his voice is superb just the way it is,” Edmund quotes Zoila Mendoza of Manhattan’s DNZ Travel and Tours as saying. “No screamfest, just pure talent…and sincerity…” – Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, October 24, 2007 (READ MORE)

Leo Valdez – “…Though Valdez is now established in the international and local musical theater scene, he used to see himself more as a singer than an actor. “Initially I thought it was quite daunting,” says Valdez on first trying his hand at performing in Manila. The boy from Negros shares, “Manila seemed so big… It was like New York – ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere’.” And, indeed, Valdez did make it in the big city. Valdez became a household name when he interpreted “Magsimula Ka” in the Metropop festival song writing contest. “It became, and still is, my ‘national anthem’,” Valdez says. Winning the contest led to invitations to perform and travel abroad. It also paved the way for Valdez to perform at the Metropolitan Theater, upon the invitation of the late Conching Sunico, where he headlined five musical extravaganzas. In one of these, he sang Sa Ugoy ng Duyan. “You could hear a pin drop,” he describes the performance, and how the hushed audience held on to every note…” – Ida Anita Q.del Mundo, The Philippine Star, Nov 04, 2012 (READ MORE)

Ivy Violan – “…Filipino singer most popular in the 1980s. She started singing at the young age of 2 1/2 years with her brothers in the group called Ivy and Velboys. As she grew up, she joined bands such as Sangkatutak Band and the Royal Flush Music Society. She later formed her own band called 8th of September band. In 1981, with the help of Rico J. Puno and musical director Homer Flores, she went solo…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Dulce – “…Maria Teresa Abellare Llamedo Cruzata, better known as “Dulce”, is a Filipino singer and theater actress most famous for the hit song ‘Ako Ang Nasawi, Ako ang Nagwagi’…Dulce was born to a poor family in Villa Bulsita, Bulacao, Pardo, Cebu City. She started singing at the age of two. Her highest educational attainment was only elementary. She immediately went to Manila when opportunity came to pursue a singing career. She went on to win on many singing competitions including the popular “Tawag ng Tanghalan”, upon which she started her career, and the Second Metropop Festival on which she sang one of the late George Canseco’s compositions. Gracing recording studios, she became a singing sensation…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Noel Trinidad – “…Comedy icon Noel Trinidad created the multi-award winning television show Champoy, which remains to this day a classic. He has done it all, movies, television and stage. He returned to performing on stage in Xanadu after a 10-year absence. Noel plays the role of Danny Maguire, a former musician who trades in his passion for arts for big business. It was the role Gene Kelly played in the feature film version of the stage musical. Noel joins Rachel Alejandro and Felix Rivera in the magical madcap roller skating musical comedy. Directed by Bobby Garcia, Xanadu will have repeat performances on Nov. 19 to Dec. 5 at…” – Boy Abunda, The Philippine Star, Sep 27, 2010 (READ MORE)

Subas Herrero – “…Ricardo Wright Herrero (born April 3, 1943), better known as Subas Herrero, is a Filipino actor, comedian and singer and he has an American and Mexican descent. He is the father of Cutuy Herrero, current vocalist of local Filipino band Chapter 2. As an actor, Subas Herrero has performed in movies such as “Bakekang”, released in 1978, “Karapatan ko ang pumatay… Kapitan Guti”(1990), and “Gao ya xian”(1995). He played his role as a main villain to Fernando Poe, Jr., Ramon Revilla, Joseph Estrada, Rudy Fernandez and lots of action stars in the past and present Filipino action films and as co-starrer in a comedy films with Dolphy, Chiquito, Redford White and Tito, Vic and Joey. In 1986, Herrero and Noel Trinidad went live on Philippine TV calling the public to join the crowds at EDSA calling for the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos. After the People Power Revolution, Herrero recorded “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” along with 14 Filipino artists, celebrating the peaceful revolt. After suffering a stroke in 2000, Herrero retired from the TV industry. Despite being sick, he took part in the EDSA Revolution of 2001 (EDSA II) to call for the ouster of then Philippine President Joseph Estrada….” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Rody Vera – “…a playwright, singer, and actor for the theater. He has written more than 20 plays, a few of which have won in national literary contests in the Philippines. He has also written plays for Filipino-American theater groups in Chicago, New York, and other cities. Rody has travelled extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing drama. He has participated in several collaborative productions with theater groups based in Japan (Black Tent Theater, Rinkogun, Setagaya Public Theater), Singapore (The Necessary Stage), and New York (International Wow Company). Rody is currently heading a group of young playwrights called the Writers’ Bloc, the major organizer of the annual Virgin Laboratory Theater Festival in Manila…” – Kyoto Views Sea (READ MORE)

APO – “…The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society or, simply, Apo, was a Filipino musical group, often called as the “Beatles of the Philippines.” The group had its fledgling beginnings in 1969 at the Ateneo de Manila high school, with thirteen members: Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Butch Dans, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto, Goff Macaraeg, Doden Besa, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garovillo. The group’s name was created from the acronym AMHS representing their school with a witty twist having an irreverent reference to the paralytic Philippine revolutionary intellectual and hero, Apolinario Mabini, and later shortened to “Apo”, an Ilocano term for a wise man or a Tagalog term of grandchildren, and later re-branded to “APO” (all caps). (Contrary to popular belief, the “Apo” name was not a reference to the Philippine volcano, Mount Apo.) As the students advanced into college, Danny Javier joined the group. After graduation, the majority of its members left to pursue individual careers, with only three members remaining, made up of Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier…In October 1987, during their annual US tour, the APO became the first Filipino pop artists with Marco Sison to perform at the Main Hall of New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. They also performed at the equally prestigious Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada’s music capital. Both concerts, as well as the other shows held during that particular concert tour, were sold out. The APO were also the first Filipino artists to perform in a public concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 1987, they were one of the first Filipino artists to be recorded on compact disc. And in 1994, they were awarded the first Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino by Awit Awards – the Filipino equivalent of the Grammy. They have also been conferred the Tanglaw Ng Lahi Award, the highest accolade given by Jesuits in the field of culture and arts…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Celeste Legaspi – “…born March 18, 1950, is a Filipino singer and actress. Her singles and albums reached gold or platinum status during the 1970s and 1980s. She is the daughter of National Artist for Visual Arts Cesar Legaspi. She spearheaded the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), a group which aimed to promote and propagate Original Pilipino music. She is married to Nonoy Gallardo, one of the premier OPM composers. Legaspi is a successful recording artist, having produced albums and singles that reached gold and platinum status during the ’70s and ’80s. Her album Ako si Celeste under Blackgold Records was awarded gold, and produced hit singles “Saranggola ni Pepe”, “Tuliro”, and “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal?”. The Celeste album spawned the famous “Mamang Sorbetero”. Her albums Bagong Plaka, Lumang Kanta Vols. 1 and 2 albums under Wea Records both reached the double platinum mark. She won several awards including Outstanding Performance award from the Song Festival in Tokyo, Japan, where she sang “Puso Mong Nagmamahal” (1976), Tinig Awards for live entertainment (1977, 1979, and 1990), and the Aliw Award for Entertainer of the Year (1978)…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Paul Toledo – “…Circa 1980s singer-songwriter Paul Toledo died 10 p.m. Thursday from a heart attack inside a taxi in a southern Manila suburb. His remains lie at the Funeraria Filipinas in Pamplona, Las Piñas City, along the Alabang-Zapote Road, fronting the Pamplona Uno barangay hall. The website of the Performers Right Society of the Philippines (PRSP) lists songs like “pasosyal-sosyal” and “Lumba, Lumba” as among Toledo’s compositions, which he also sang. These pieces are vaguely remembered now as novelty songs which became popular in the 1980s…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: SSL (Updated)

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If we do not act, who will act? If not now, when?

The Plot: Sister Stella L. is the award-winning masterpiece by Mike De Leon. It’s about a nun, Sister Stella Legaspi, who becomes involved in labor strikes after learning about the government’s neglect of the poor and the working class. Her sworn duty to fight for the poor and the oppressed turns personal when her journalist friend Nick Fajardo is tortured and the union leader Dencio is kidnapped and killed. What follows is her eye-opening and the tear-jerking battle against cruelty and injustice. The film broke censorship barriers back in 1984, during the final years of the US-backed Marcos dictatorship, for its realistic portrayal of labor struggles, and extrajudicial killings, hauntingly mirroring the reality of Philippine society today under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – Filipinas for the Rights and Empowerment

The Reviews: Hindi kami nakakilos sa aming inuupuan matapos panoorin ang “Sister Stella L”. Para kaming sinampal, tinamaan ng kidlat right between the eyes. Masyado kaming naapektuhan. Gusto naming sumigaw. Talagang gagalitin ka ng pelikula. Kay raming eksena ang talagang titiim ang bagang mo. Manggigigil ka, magngingitngit ka. At pahahangain ka. Gusto mong sigawan ng bravo, yakapin at suubin ng papuri ang mga gumawa nito. Si Mike de Leon na siyang direktor. Si Lily Monteverde na naglakas-loob na i-produce ito. Ang scripwriters, ang mga artista, at lahat na ng kaugnay sa pelikula. Alam mong itinataya nila ang kanilang kaligtasan sa paggawa ng ganitong uri ng pelikula. At bilang manunulat, naroon ang hangarin mo upang tulungan ang pelikulang ito na mapanood ng lalong nakararaming mga pilipino. ..nang walang putol!

Ang “Sister Stella L” ay kasaysayan ng isang madre, ng isang Pilipino, at ang pagkakamulat ng kanyang mga mata sa mga kaapihang sosyal na nagaganap sa kanyang paligid. Sa pagsisimula ng istorya as siyam na taon nang naglilingkod sa kumbento ng Caritas si Sister Stella Legaspi (Vilma Santos). Guidance counselor siya sa mga taong may problema na tulad ni Gigi (Gina Alajar), isang unwed mother. Minsa’y dinalaw siya ni Nick Fajardo (Jay Ilagan), isang peryodistang dati niyang katipan. May sinusulat itong artikulo tungkol sa mga aktibistang pari at madre. Agad inamin ni Stella na siya’y “walang masyadong alam sa socio-political involvement ng mga madre at pari.” Siya ang ginawang ehemplo ni Nick sa artikulo nito ng mga madreng kulang sa kamulatan. Nag-react dito si Stella at sinabi sa kanya: “ Hindi ba involvement din ang trabaho ko rito sa Caritas?” Madalas ma-depress si Gigi at kay Stella ito sumasandal. Nang minsang sabihin sa kanya ni Stella na kaya niyang dalhin ang kanyang mga problema ay sinumbatan siya nito: “Madaling magsalita. Hindi naman ikaw ang nahihirapan. Paano mo alam, hindi ka naman dumaan sa hirap? Nagbuntis ka na ba? Laging masakit ang suso mo. Nahihirapan kang tumae.” At nang patuloy pa ring malamig si Stella ay sinabi nito: “Bakit hindi ka gumaya sa ‘kin? Nagagalit, nagmumura, nagpapabuntis?”

May kaibigang madre si Stella, si Sister Stella Bautista (Laurice Guillen). Involved ito sa social action work at kasalukuyang tumutulong sa Barrio Agoho, isang factory town, na kung saan ang mga manggagawa sa Republic Cooking Oil ay nagbabantang mag-aklas. Naakit si Stella L. na tingnan ang uri ng trabaho roon ni Stella B. Sa araw ng kanyang pagdalaw sa Agoho ay tiyempo namang pagsisimula ng welga roon. Tuwang-tuwa si Stella B. Sumasama raw siya sa picket line dahil “pag may mga madre at pari sa picket line, nahihiyang pumasok ang mga eskirol.” Sa paglapit niya sa picket ay naabutan si Stella L. ng placard at siya man ay napabilang na rin sa welga. Puno pa siya ng mga katanungan: “Ano ba ‘tong napasukan ko? Anong gagawin ko?” Sabi naman ni Stella B.: “Basta gawin mo lang ang gagawin ko.” Sa paglipas ng oras ay nakausap niya ang mga manggagawang nagwewelga, nakitulong siya sa pagsandok ng kanin, sa paghugas ng plato. Nakilala niya ang lider ng mga welgista na si Dencio (Tony Santos) at ang asawa nitong si Auring (Anita Linda). Nang makita ni Nick ang mga larawang kuha sa welga at kabilang doon si Stella, nasabi nito sa kanyang editor (Liza Lorena): “Kilala ko si Stella. Madali siyang maimpluwensiyahan. Baka kung ano na ang napulot noon sa tokayo niyang radikal.” Nagsimula namang kuwestiyunin ni Stella ang trabaho niya sa Caritas. Binalaan siya ng kanyang superyorang si Juaning (Adul de Leon): “Hindi social action ang linya natin. At tandaan mo ang sabi ng Papa: huwag tayong humalo sa politika.” Sa kanyang mga alinlangan kung tama ang pasiya niyang maglingkod sa Agoho, ito ang payo ni Stella B.: “Paano mo malalaman kung hindi mo susubukan? Hindi ang mga tao ang dapat makinig sa ‘yo, ikaw ang dapat makinig sa kanila.” Dahil sa kanyang karanasan sa Agoho, nasabi ni Stella kay Gigi: “Ang kahirapang nababasa’t naririnig ko lamang ay naging buhay na sa akin. Ako pala’y nangangapa ring tulad mo.” Namulat ang mata niya sa “pang-aabuso sa mga naaapi” at na-touch siya ng “pag-aasikaso ng mga ito.” Aniya: “Sila na ang nangangailangan ay kami pa ang kanilang iniintindi.”

Duda pa rin si Nick sa involvement niya sa welga. Pasulpot-sulpot lang daw siya roon, patulong-tulong. “Kapag nagsawa ka,” anito, “uuwi ka rin sa komportableng kumbento.” Si Stella B. ay kinailangan namang magpunta sa Davao upang tumulong sa isa pa nilang kasamahan doon, lalong nangamba si Stella L. na iiwanan siya nito sa Agoho. “Baka hindi ko kaya,” aniya. Sabi naman ni Stella B. “Puro ka baka, e, kailan mo pa malalaman?” Pinatawag uli si Stella ni Juaning. Sabi nito: “Hindi payag ang kongregasyon sa trabaho mo sa Barrio Agoho.” Sa pagbabalik niya sa Caritas, nagpatiwakal naman si Gigi. Lalong naguluhan si Stella. “Parang bumaliktad ang mundo ko,” aniya. “Marami akong tinatanong. Bakit nga ba ako nag madre?” Sabi naman ni Stella B.: “Madreng lansangan ka pa rin hanggang mamatay ka.” Natuloy ang pag-alis nito, na ang akala’y pinoproblema niya na baka may pagtingin pa rin siya kay Nick. Bilin pa nito: “Kung mahal mo siya, sundin mong feeling mo. Marami namang paraan ngpaglilingkod sa Diyos.” Si Nick ay nagkaroon din ng problema sa trabaho niya. Isang artikulo niya tungkol sa karanasan ni Stella B. sa Isabela na pinamagatan niyang “A Nun’s Story: Military Atrocities” ang hindi pinalathala ng kanilang publisher. “I-rewrite mo,” sabi ng editor niya. “Bawasan mo’ng tapang.” “Ano?” balik niya. “Gawin kong love story?” “Sabi ko, i-rewrite mo, hindi babuyin,” anang editor. Pero sa bandang huli ay nag-give up na rin ito. Tanggapin na raw lamang ang kanilang mga limitasyon. “Hindi lahat ng legal ay makatarungan.” Nagbitiw si Nick sa trabaho niya sa Tribune at lumipat ng pagsusulat sa Malaya.

Nagbalik si Stella L. sa Agoho at naging mas aktibo na siya sa picket line. Nang minsang lalabas ang trak ng mga produkto mula sa pabrika ay siya pa ang nag wika: “Mga kasama, magkapit-bisig tayo.” Samantala’y nagsimula ang pangha-harass kay Dencio at sa pamilya nito. Una’y ginulpi ang anak niyang si Roger, pagkatapos ay binaril ang bahay nila. Ang huli’y kinidnap si Dencio. Nang papaalis na sina Stella at Nick upang humingi ng tulong, sila man ay kinidnap din. Nakita nila ang pagpapahirap kay Dencio. Sila man ay sinaktan din at si Stella ay binastos pa ng mga sanggano. Pinakawalan din sila. Di naglaon, ibinalik si Dencio. Patay na. Sa harap ng mga manggagawa, ipinahayag ng asawa nitong si Auring na tuloy ang welga. Nagsalita rin si Stella at sinabi niya: “Ilang beses akong pinaalalahanan na ako’y isang madre lamang. Pero una sa lahat, ako’y isang tao, ako’y isang Kristiyano.” At isinigaw niya: “Katarungan para kay Ka Dencio. Mabuhay ang uring manggagawa.” Sa last scene ng pelikula’y nagsasalita ng diretso si Stella L. sa mga manonood: “Marami pa akong hindi alam at dapat malaman tungkol sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng ating sistema ng lipunan. Kailangan pa ‘kong patuloy na mag-aral at matuto. Pero ang mahalaga’y narito na ako ngayon, hindi na nanonood lamang. Nakikiisa sa pagdurusa ng mga di makaimik, tumutulong sa abot ng aking makakaya. Kung hindi tayo ang kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?”

More than anything else, ipinakita ni Mike de Leon bilang isang socially committed at responsible na director ang iba pang posibilidad ng pelikula bilang art at bilang medium of communication. ‘Yung mga laging pumipintas sa pelikulang lokal at nagsasabing walang kuwenta’t saysay ang mga ito, panoorin ninyo and “Sister Stella L” for it is Filipino moviemaking at its best: aware, concerned, and with a universally relevant message. It also shows that an artistic film can be entertaining and as a matter of fact, is necessarily intellectually entertaining (but an entertaining film is not necessarily an artistic one).

The movie succeeds in delivering its message because all the elements that went into its completion are excellently executed. It is that rare kind of movie which has no false moves. The screenplay is brilliantly developed and constructed by Pete Lacaba, Jose Almojuela (who is also the assistant director), and Mike de Leon himself. The cinematography of Rody Lacap deserves nothing but superlatives and the musical score by Ding Achacoso is served in a silver platter (napakagaganda ng mga awiting “Sangandaan” at “Aling Pag-ibig Pa” na nilikha niya para sa pelikula). The editing by Jess Navarro and the production design by Cesar Hernando also deserve the highest commendation. We cannot help but gush dahil lahat ng aspeto ng produksiyong ito ay maganda.

The movie is sure to elicit all sorts of reactions from various quarters. The bigoted and the narrow-minded will no doubt readily brand it as the work of communists and subversives. The involved will merely find it interesting. But the enlightened will declare it as a socially committed work of art. No doubt that some concerned quarters will be offended. Some of the speeches are so frank and fearless. Dencio says in a May 1st rally: “Ang mga manggagawa ang lumilikha ng yaman ng bansa. Panahon na para ipakita ang lakas ng ating pagkakaisa, na makamtan ng bayan ang tunay na kalayaan. Ang manggagawa ang nagpapaandar ng makina, nagpapalago ng puhunan.” Pero ano ang nangyayari? Tayo ang namamatay sa gutom, ang naghihikahos. Hindi magbabago ang ating lipunan kung uupo lang tayo sa isang sulok at maghihimutok. kundi tayo ngayon kikilos, kailan pa?” Nang mamatay siya, sabi naman ng asawa niyang si Auring: “Noon, ang paniwala ko talaga, gano’n ang buhay, may nasa itaas, may nasa ibaba. May nag-uutos at may nagsisilbi. Pero kung tatahimik ka na lang lagi, ang konting meron ka, aagawin pa sa ‘yo. Patay na nga si Dencio pero tuloy ang welga.” Sabi naman ng anak niyang si Roger: “Kung kikilos tayo, dapat ngayon na. Ngayon pa lang, pinapatay na kami. Kaya mas mabuti pang mamatay ng lumalaban kaysa habang buhay kang nagtitiis.”

To make a film like this comes under the heading “they said it couldn’t be done.” Mike de Leon does it, splendidly. In these days when local film faces such problems as exorbitant production cost, commercialism, lack of an intelligent and responsive audience, and censorship, it is heartening to note that movies like this are still being made. Matthew Arnold said that art and society shape each other so artists should deal with serious subjects of moral and social value. This is exactly what Stella L. accomplished, for it allows the viewer to meditate on life and help him gain some insights. Surely no film is an island entire of itself because each movie is made by several men, but the distinguishable personality of an exceptional director is almost always imprinted on his film. We have never really liked the works of Mike de Leon that much and his movies (like “Itim”, “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising”, and “Kisapmata”) seemed nothing more to us as exercises in self-indulgence. Starting with “Kakaba-kaba Ka Ba?” though, he demonstrated a newfound cause in making movies, which is further reinforced by “Batch ‘81”. Now, Stella L., offers the pleasure of watching a director as he is hitting full stride, his craft and competence marching in step with history. His deft hand is quickly evident in the cinematography. There is no imposed prettiness in the photography, no straining for arty effects, but the texture is rich and palpable to validate reality, with the effective use of color-acting on the viewer to reinforce the temper and tenor of the story.

De Leon handles his intimate and delicate material powerfully, persuasively and penetratingly. He not only executes the technical aspects marvelously but also knows how to work with his actors, both individually and in the here all-important ensembles. The crowd scenes are a delight, with some sequences presented with the veristic quality of a documentary, and each scene is played for maximum impact, immaculately crafted and made with care and conscience, with dedication and devotion. If we now sound so much like an avid de Leon fan, it is because Stella L. is the kind of work that makes a reviewer long for new adjectives of praise. One knows very well that de Leon works for reasons other than money. This makes the strength, sensitivity and symetry of his direction deserve the highest praise and the sweet of music of thunderous applause for it is just better than perfect. Local cinema gives us very few occasions to rejoice and this is one of them.

In the large and uniformly excellent supporting cast, Laurice Guillen stands out as Sister Stella B. She is one film director and actress who is really ablaze with talent. As the instrument to Stella L.’s involvement in a much more worthy cause, she imbuesher role with just the right mixture of intensity and charm. Equally memorable are Tony Santos as the beleaguered labor leader, Anita Linda as his courageous wife, and Liza Lorena as the sympathetic magazine editor who is willing to compromise. Gina Alajar is very effective in a very short role as the unwed mother. In the male lead role, Jay Ilagan proves once more that he is indeed one of our most competent young actors available.

And now, Vilma Santos. Playing the title role, Vilma tries a part that is totally different from her past roles and proves that she has indeed become a highly skilled professional. Her role is somewhat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn’s in Fred Zinnermann’s “The Nun’s Story”, where a young nun discovers in a hospital at the Congo that she is first a nurse and only second a religious. But Stella’s awakening is much more vital and revolutionary than that of Sister Luke in the Hepburn movie. Vilma’s transformation from an innocent bystander to that of an active participant who is audacious enough to be in the thick of battle is truly quite awesome to behold. We could almost see and feel the internal changes in her. In a sense, the role is somewhat tailor made for her because her beauty is appropriate to the part of Stella L., but she also succeeds in transcending her established personality, delivering her lines and gestures with vigorous conviction and playing it to perfection that one can safely predict that she will again be running in the best actress derby come next year. And so, to Vi, Mike and Mother Lily, our heartfelt gratitude for giving us a film that has the power to cause insomnia. – Mario E. Bautista (READ MORE)

Must the ability to entertain the audience be the constant guiding criteria in the film and in the performing arts? While certainly, one does not minimize the importance of the entertainment function of the arts, the film Sister Stella L shows that it is not much the ability to entertain that is crucial as the ability to stir and maintain interest. For, as in this film, one cannot really say that the audience is entertained, regaled with spectacular sights, provided a pleasant diversion or titillated by teasing or amusing scenes, but the audience is invited, through the skills of the performers and director, to engage in immediate issues which concern us today. This film thus poses a challenge to our usual notions and expectations of Philippine cinema, as it is not a romantic or domestic drama, a comedy or an action film. The fact that such a film as this appears at this point implies a belief in the development and maturity of the local audience who can, at least from the responses of previewers so far, be receptive to harder stuff.

Sister Stella L deals with the contemporary social issues through the experience of various characters, among them Sister Stella L (Vilma Santos) and Nick, her former boyfriend now a journalist (Jay Ilagan), Sister Stella B (Laurice Guillen), the union leader Ka Dencio (Tony Santos) and his wife (Anita Linda). Again, the film differs from most productions nowadays in its immersion in contemporary social reality. The characters, too, possess a strong active aspect of people engaged in a meaningful cause, the people’s struggle for social justice. The nun that Sister Stella B portrays typifies in her strength and honesty the person who has gone beyond purely personal and selfish concerns to embrace the larger role of service to the people. No doubt, it is a refreshing and exhilarating experience to see characters who realize themselves fully as human beings by transcending petty selfish interest and giving of themselves to people in need of support and protection. Because of this, the spirit of the film is highly optimistic and reassuring because it makes us strongly aware of the forces in our midst working for change and of the fact that history is moving forward with these forces assuming the active role.

The central issue of the film has to do with the involvement of religious like Sister Stella L and her senior, Sister Stella B, in socio-political affairs. We know, for instance, that one point of view will have priests and religious secluded behind convent walls where their activity is restricted to praying. They are to have nothing to do with life around them as social and political concerns are thought to corrupt their purity and bring in wordly moral dangers and temptations. Or that priests and religious should remain apolitical, not taking sides in socio-political issues, but as men of God, considering all men as brothers who will, in the end, become docile and receptive to preachings of love and unity. The other point of view believes that it is not as simplistic as all that. In fact, it believes that the adoption of a neutral attitude can only serve to dull one’s moral sensibilities and because one shirks from making moral choices, one also renouces one’s responsibility as a human being. In truth, it is of utmost importance, perhaps particularly so for religious, to have a fine and acute sense of moral discernment as applied to social relations, in which the idea of truth and justice operate. The religious who makes grand sermons on love and unity may not himself understand the meaning of truth and justice, because love and unity do not exist in the abstract but are social ideals possible of attainment – only and only when exploitative relationships are destroyed. Otherwise, one contents oneself with hypocrisies. What for instance, would be the love of the rich factory owner intent on profits for the worker, and vise versa. Workers’ wages are only to keep workers alive and in a measure of health for him to have enough strength to operate the machines of work in the fields. Is it enough for factory owner and worker to meet in church and perhaps occupy the same pew – or will religious feel sufficiently edified at the sight? But priests and nuns are citizens of this country as much as any of us and are thus part of the body politic in which they have the right to take active part. Likewise, they are as human as anyone else, and as human beings, they have the drive toward concreteness and totality realized only in social interaction. The Church, too, cannot afford to take a position of alienation and withdrawal, because by doing so it will only continually lose its influence in a time of urgent and pressing realities; otherwise, it will only end up as an outmoded medieval institution. The Church is continually called upon to make moral decisions, and it is through these that the people will know whether it truly supports their cause or whether it only acts as a liaison for exploitative interests.

In the film, for instance, there is a conflict between Sister Stella L and her superior who wants her to stay in the convent to act as guidance counsellor and not to engage in labor activities in Barrio Agoho where a strike in an oil factory is taking place. For a while, she obeys her superior to be spiritual adviser to an unwed mother, portrayed by Gina Alajar, who, however, throws her back the question of what does she know at all, as a nun, of human suffering. The task of counselling this individual soul lost in her private hell is fruitless and Gina eventually commits suicide, which serves to show the nun the narrow limitation of such a task. Sister Stella L henceforth knows that she must make the choice of the larger and more challenging field of the workers in struggle. It is also important to note that Sister Stella B tells her fellow nun that although her immediate superior may not approve of her social participation, it is possible that higher superiors will – thus showing that such is still possible within the fold of the congregation. Also, at one time, there arises the question of whether Sister Stella L will stick it out as a religious or continue her activities outside the convent. Upon consultation with her friend, Sister Stella B, she decides to carry on the struggle as a nun, and by so doing, show the importance of such a function for her fellow religious, as well as its validity as a position within the religious orders.

The central event in the film is the strike of workers in an oil factory in Barrio Agoho where nuns show their support for the workers by participating in the picket, thereby lending valuable protection. The factory owner (Ruben Rustia) sends goons to harass the picket line, and makes use of the military, which readily lends itself to protect the minority interests of wealthy property owners against the majority interests of the workers. When the strike continues despite inclement weather and hunger, the factory owner resorts to kidnapping the union leader, Sister Stella L, and her journalist friend. All are maltreated and tortured, but the old union leader is finally “salvaged” and thrown into a dump. In the confrontation between the factory owner and Sister Stella L, the former shows himself to be hostile to the workers and to the participation of the nuns: “Kung pati ang mga madre ay nagpapagamit sa mga Komunista, mabuti pang magbago na lang ako ng relihiyon.” To which the nun answers: “Mabuti na ngang magbago kayo ng relihiyon upang hindi parehong Diyos ang sambahin natin.” The murder of the union leader, Ka Dencio, only lends more fuel to the workers’ resolve to continue the strike, which is now led by his wife, with the militant participation of Sister Stella L. The latter’s exhortation to the workers – and by extension to the audience – to engage in the struggle ends the film.

A secondary theme is the issue of press freedom, which is explored, in the first-hand experience of Nick, the young journalist. He writes a series on the politicization of the religious and their active participation in mass actions. In the beginning, his motivations are somewhat confused – and this his editor points out clearly to him – because he may be using this as an excuse to follow and communicate with Sister Stella L, who used to be his girlfriend. The journalist, however, understands the futility of the religious confining themselves within convent walls and poses the challenge for involvement. Sister Stella L takes up the challenge – in fact, the journalist’s articles contribute to her politicization. When she gets more and more involved, he becomes protective and anxious for her safety. His articles on the subject barely squeeze through censorship and he experiences increasing difficulty in getting published. Sister Stella L and he are kidnapped by goons and they are physically assaulted even as they witness the torture of the union leader. Instead of intimidating them, the experience completes their politicization and in the end Sister Stella, militant and committed, finds her true social role.

Because this movie deals with issues, it has more than the usual amount of dialogue compared with other films. This, however, does not work against it. Since what is talked about is drawn from the very stuff of social reality and thus concerns a large number, it is able to sustain interest. Too much dialogue would be a defect if it dwelt on banalities or inanities or if it narrated incidents rather than portrayed them. In this case, dialogue is necessary for the exploration of issues, as well as for the portrayal of how the characters reckon with ideas and develop in their social consciousness. The audience is not bored provided the things talked about in the film have a bearing on their lives. Filipinos, after all, are a talky lot (think of the large amounts of time spent in coffee shops over coffee or beer). Moreover, these are talky times, because the larger public is rapidly developing critical awareness, and there is now a greater need for interaction and exchange in the interest of survival. There are references in the film which may, at first, seem extraneous, such as Sister Stella B’s mission to Davao where she joins a fact-finding group. However, such references serve to extend the “area of responsibility,” if we may borrow the expression, from Manila to the far-flung provinces. Thus, the unity of the film is not only in the events that engage the characters in Manila but also in a larger over-all spirit of solidarity in which vibrations of sympathy throughout the islands give strength and comfort to those of a common cause. For a heart-warming film, the entire cast deserves congratulations, particularly Vilma Santos who reveals another aspect of her multi-faceted talent. From her usual soft and sweet romantic roles, she can be transformed into a strong and militant woman without losing any of her charm and beauty. Jay Ilagan, Tony Santos, Anita Linda and Liza Lorena are also in their best form. Mike de Leon as director, Jose F. Lacaba as scriptwriter are likewise to be congratulated for making a truly human film and for contributing to the cause of workers for justice and of the religious for the recognition of their social role. Not to be overlooked is the producer Lily Monteverde of Regal Films who has this time shifted from puerile erotic dramas to make a courageous film for which she will always be well remembered. – Alice G. Guillermo, Who Magazine May 30, 1984 (READ MORE)

THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN two important Filipino films in this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival: Sister Stella L., directed by Mike de Leon and Kapit sa Patalim, directed by Lino Brocka. Both smuggled out to France and both vitally political in thrust, the two films were reportedly disowned by the Philippine embassy in France. Supposedly under instructions from the Philippine goverment, the embassy sent the following disclaimer to the festival directorate: “There are no Filipino films in the Cannes Film Festival.” The two films nevertheless made it to the festival site, though only one was screened as scheduled. Brocka’s film was in the category “In Competition,” and was tested against the works of such eminent directors as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, and Satyajit Ray. Early on, Kapit sa Patalim (which acquired a second title, Bayan Ko, in deference to another film project which had been approved before Brocka’s project) was rumored to be a strong contender for the Best Film award. Critic Bertrand Tavernier was quoted as saying, “It’s a toss-up between Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas and Brockas’s Bayan Ko.” De Leon’s film was to have had special screenings, on the unanimous request of the Cannes’ board of critics. Sister Stella L., however, suffered from the rush of subtitling work that descended upon Cannes’ select group of translators and De Leon opted not to show the film without subtitles. He nevertheless had the distinct honor of holding a retrospective under the sponsorship of the French Cinematheque right after the festival. The film eventually competed at the Venice Film Festival. Under its original title Sangandaan (Crossroads), Sister Stella L. was invited to the Venice Film Festival in 1984, the second Filipino film (after Genghis Khan in 1951) to be honored with such recognition. – – Agustin L. Sotto and Pet Cleto, Philippine Panorama Dec 02 1984 (READ MORE)

“…Sister Stella L is undeniably, an angry film. It reeks of the pungency of a dictatorial regime and immersed in the canker of political and social repression. It is Jose F. “Pete” Lacaba’s film more than it is Mike de Leon’s. It is ideologically furious and liberalistic that you might surmise the film as left-leaning rather than simply a hard nudge at the Marcos government. Interesting to note of Lacaba’s background in the underground movement after the imposition of Martial Law in 1972, which, as most of the intellectually enlightened ended being rounded up by the military, thus his exclamation is compellingly evident in Sister Stella L…in the film’s first minutes, we witness a kind of relevancy we could not deny exists nowadays: the separation of the Church and the state, particularly on affairs that have a lasting effect on the people. “Hindi ang mga tao ang dapat makinig sa yo, ikaw ang dapat makinig sa kanila” (“The people should not be the ones listening to you, instead, you should be the one listening to them”), Sister Stella Bautista quietly ripostes, summarizing the supposedly inherent role of the laity in its profession of faith and service. A reversal of such an adage practically prevails in the Church’s current social rearings, despite the invisible boundary. But is activism a justification for the intrusion? Probably dependent on the circumstances. The motivation is noble and not of selfish traditionalism, that the film likewise bestows the necessity of religious congregations to act as a force to mobilize. Maybe the film is too radical in its approach, and frankly, Mike de Leon would possibly agree to that. Like most people would notice, Sister Stella L. is undoubtedly, not a Mike de Leon film. He has a hand in its production, but it is certainly not his. It has all the footprints of Pete Lacaba firmly planted in, from its conception to structure, similarly like what he did with Lino Brocka’s hard-line Bayan Ko…Kapit sa Patalim (1985) and Orapronobis (1989).” – Etchie (READ MORE)

“…In Mike de Leon’s “Sister Stella L,” Vilma Santos plays Catholic nun Sister Stella Legaspi. Searching for meaning behind the words in the Bible that teach people to serve the poorest of the poor, she is led to the picket line of striking workers. Gradually, she begins to see her role as a Christian to be amongst the poor and the oppressed in society. Eventually, the management (and military?) try to break the strike through terror and torture, something that is happening to this day. Different strategies of the strike are debated as well as the “sides” between the workers and capitalists. Although there is a simplistic framing of the “evil capitalist,” the issues raised by the union leaders ring very true today, especially in this economic crisis. No Filipino movie could be complete without a love story, or at least the background of one which thankfully doesn’t dominate this movie. Vilma Santos shines as the unsure but strong-willed nun in the beginning to a militant defender of the people by the end. It is a similar role she plays 18 years later in “Dekada ’70.” The movie ends in an almost-cheesy PSA but the message is clear and bold coming out after the Ninoy Aquino assassination. “If we do not act, who will act? If not now, when?…” – Identity & Consciousness (READ MORE)

“…Nearly a day after watching Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s deliverance of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Manila, Filipinos in New York, unconvinced by Arroyo’s speech, gathered for a in-door forum to discuss “the REAL State of the Nation Address” (SONA) at the BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center followed by an outdoor march along Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens. Amongst the special guest speakers at the forum was none other than the real-life inspiration for the 1984 Filipino film “Sister Stella L” featuring actress Vilma Santos, Mother Mary John Mananzan…Aside from serving as the Chairperson for the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Mananzan has the distinguished title of Chairperson Emeritus of GABRIELA Philippines, the largest federation of women’s organizations in the country working for fundamental economic and social reforms. While in New York, Mananzan was happy to be joined by fellow members of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), one of only a handful of Filipino women’s organizations in the US that are also members of GABRIELA-USA….” – Anakbayan New York-New Jersey (READ MORE)

“…When “Sister Stella L.” starring Vilma Santos was shown in 1984 by Regal Films, it was up against Viva’s new Sharon Cuneta komiks mo-vie, “Bukas Luluhod ang mga Tala,” which clobbered it at the box office. Although it didn’t succeed at the box office, “Sister Stella L,” the story of a sheltered nun who becomes an activist, withstood the test of time. It won many awards and has been constantly praised through the years for being an excellent example of socially relevant filmmaking. Last Friday, the UP Film Institute (the haven of pornographic gay films) did something right and paid tribute to “Sister Stella L” on its 25th anniversary. Ate Vi, now Gov. Vi of Batangas, was candid enough during the open forum that at the time she did the movie when she was about 28 years old, the political issues that were delineated in the film (made at the time that the protest rallies against the Marcos regime was raging after the murder of Ninoy Aquino) were not really that clear to her. “Hindi ko pa talaga ganap na naiintindihan ang mga sitwasyon noon,” she says. “Basta ginawa ko lang ang pinaaarte sa akin ng director naming si Mike de Leon. But now, I’m more aware of the conditions shown there. Talaga ngang relevant pa rin up to now ang “Sister Stella L.” dahil ang mga sitwasyon na pinakikita roon, lalo na ang labis ng kahirapan ng mga manggagagawa, nangyayari pa rin hanggang ngayon sa ating paligid. It was only when I ran for mayor in Lipa City that I came to understand what “Sister Stella L.” was all about. Kaya proud akong kahit hindi maganda ang naging resulta nito sa takilya, heto’t patuloy pa rin siyang pinupuri at pinararangalan ng future generations. Hindi gaya ng ibang movies na nakalimutan na. I’m really proud na sa career at buhay ko, nagkaroon ako ng chance na gampanan si “Sister Stella L.”. Hanggang ngayon, gaya ng tauhan doong si Ka Dencio, marami pa rin tayong kababayan na naghahanap ng katarungan. Sabi nga sa movie, “kung hindi tayo ang kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kundi ngayon, kailan pa?” In the panel discussion that preceded the showing of the film, the resource persons aside from Gov. Vi were Mother Lily Monteverde (the film’s producer), Pete Lacaba (the film’s scriptwriter), Laurice Guillen (who won best supporting actress for her role as the other Sister Stella in the film), production designer Cesar Hernando, and critics Mario Hernando and Roland Tolentino, with Prof. Ed Piano as moderator who cited Gov. Vi’s numerous accomplishments…” – Mario Bautista, People’s Journal March 25 2009 (READ MORE)

Top 100 Vilma Santos Films

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.

RANK, MOVIE TITLE, YR, DIRECTOR’S NAME, SCORE = (A) + (B) + (C) + (D)

RANK FILM (YEAR) SCORE
01. Burlesk Queen (1977) 30.90
02. Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa? (1998) 28.90
03. Dekada’70 (2002) 28.80
04. The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993) 28.70
05. Ikaw ay Akin (1978) 28.60
06. Rubia Servios (1978) 28.50
07. Relasyon (1982) 27.90
08. Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989) 27.80
09. Broken Marriage (1983) 27.70
10. Lipad, Darna, Lipad (1973) 27.60
…LINK

11. Imortal (1989) 26.90
12. Anak (2000) 26.80
13. Tagos ng Dugo (1987) 26.70
14. Adultery (1984) 26.60
15. Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak (1978) 25.90
16. Trudis Liit (1963) 25.80
17. Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (1982) 25.70
18. Paano Ba ang Mangarap? (1983) 25.60
19. Sinasamba Kita (1982) 25.50
20. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw (1975) 25.40
…LINK

21. In My Life (2009) 24.90
22. Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? (1987) 24.80
23. Ipagpatawad Mo (1991) 24.70
24. Mano Po 3 My Love (2004) 24.60
25. Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) 24.50
26. Karma (1981) 24.40
27. Hahamakin Lahat (1990) 24.30
28. Sinungaling Mong Puso (1992) 24.20
29. Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon (1977) 24.10
30. Ex-Wife (1981) 24.09
…LINK

31. D’ Lucky Ones (2006) 24.08
32. Dyesebel atang Mahiwagang Kabibe (1973) 24.07
33. Sister Stella L. (1984) 23.90
34. Kapag Langit Ang Humatol (1990) 23.80
35. Miss X (1980) 23.70
36. Ikaw Lang (1993) 23.60
37. Bato sa Buhangin (1976) 23.50
38. Nakakahiya? (1975) 23.40
39. Hindi Nakakahiya (1976) 23.30
40. Batya’t Palu-Palo (1974) 23.20
…LINK

41. Haplos (1982) 22.90
42. Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos (1988) 22.80
43. Pinay, American Style (1979) 22.70
44. Langis at Tubig (1980) 22.60
45. Palimos Ng Pag-ibig (1986) 22.50
46. Muling Buksan ang Puso (1985) 22.40
47. Kampanerang Kuba (1974) 22.30
48. Darna and the Giants (1973) 22.20
49. Dama De Noche (1972) 21.95
50. Hatinggabi Na, Vilma (1972) 21.90
…LINK

51. T-Bird at Ako (1982) 21.80
52. Alyas Baby Tsina (1984) 21.70
53. Halik sa Kamay, Halik sa Paa (1979) 21.60
54. Minsan pang Nakaraan (1983) 21.50
55. Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977) 21.40
56. Hindi Nahahati ang Langit (1966) 21.30
57. Susan Kelly, Edad 20 (1977) 21.20
58. Hiwalay (1981) 21.10
59. Rock, Baby, Rock (1979) 21.09
60. Mga Mata Ni Angelita (1978) 21.08
…LINK

61. Bertang Kerengkeng (1976) 21.07
62. Ibong Lukaret (1975) 21.06
63. Vilma Viente Nueve (1975) 21.05
64. Takbo, Vilma, Dali (1972) 21.04
65. Nag-iisang Bituin (1994) 20.90
66. Karugtong ang Kahapon (1975) 20.80
67. Ging (1964) 20.70
68. Anak, ang Iyong Ina (1963) 20.60
69. Kay Tagal ng Umaga (1965) 20.50
70. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1986) 20.40
…LINK

71. Magkaribal (1979) 20.30
72. Anak ng Aswang (1973) 20.20
73. Simula ng Walang Katapusan (1978) 20.10
74. Promo Girl (1978) 20.09
75. Biktima (1974) 20.08
76. Good Morning, Sunshine (1980) 20.07
77. Kasalanan Kaya? (1968) 19.90
78. Mga Rosas sa Putikan (1976) 19.80
79. Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali (1978) 19.70
80. Modelong Tanso (1979) 19.60
…LINK

81. Darna at Ding (1980) 19.50
82. Mga Reynang Walang Trono (1976) 19.40
83. Nag-aapoy na Damdamin (1976) 19.30
84. Pulot-gata, Pwede Kaya? (1977) 19.20
85. Kamay na Gumagapang (1974) 19.10
86. Young Love (1970) 19.09
87. Ito ang Pilipino (1967) 18.90
88. Ikaw Lamang (1971) 18.80
89. Kampus (1978) 18.70
90. Coed (1979) 18.60
LINK

91. The Sensations (1971) 18.50
92. Never Ever Say Goodbye (1982) 17.90
93. Asawa ko, Huwag Mong Agawin (1986) 17.80
94. Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida (1983) 17.70
95. Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas (1987) 17.60
96. Gusto Ko Siya, Mahal Kita (1980) 17.50
97. Amorseko (1978) 17.40
98. Pag-ibig ko sa iyo lang Ibibigay (1978) 17.30
99. Tatlong Mukha ni Rosa Vilma (1972) 17.20
100. Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig (1978) 17.10
…LINK

Criteria: Box Office Records, Critics Recognitions, Other Factors(Relevance, Longevity, Entertainment Impact)