Follow in her footsteps

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Although she’s still very much in demand and still on top, Vilma Santos’ supposed to be “heir to the throne” is still nowhere in sight.  Some says her throne  has been filled several times, but whoever came, faded – fast and furious. They had a taste of fame but like a flashing meteor, they fade. Some remain active but still pale in comparison to the longevity and popularity of the Star for All Seasons. They follow her footsteps, patterned their career decisions to hers.  They become popular but some gradually retired.  Those remained are the lucky ones…who learned from her experiences and  followed her footsteps…

Victoria Lorna Aluquin, better known as Lorna Tolentino, sometimes known as L.T., an abbreviation of her screen name (born December 23, 1961), is a Filipina actress, host, executive producer and widow of actor Rudy Fernandez. Together, they bore two sons named Ralph and Renz. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Vilma Santos, Lorna started her stellar career as child star. She gradually transformed her image from sweet innocent teens into a mature versatile actress. Like Rio Locsin and Alma Moreno, Lorna started doing minor roles in earlier Vilma Santos films. Most notably, “Batya’t palu-palo” together with another up and coming actor, the young Philip Salvador. She eventually became as famous as Vilma with hit films like “Dulce Amor,” “Moral,” “Luksong Tinik,” “Abakada Ina” and her most controversial off-beat role, Brocka’s “Maging Aking Ka Lamang.” She even wore the “Darna” customes on small screen. With a series of dramatic roles, she always end up empty handed with award nighs as both Vilma and Nora were playing tug-of-war, during their hey days. When the Vi and Guy rivalry slow-down, she was able to succeed, receiving several trophies and even recorded a grand slam best actress win like Vilma. Lorna and Vilma finally did a movie where both played lead roles, in Eddie Garcia’s record breaking, “Sinasamba Kita.” The two remained friends through the years. Lorna even guested several times on Vi’s television show in the ’90s.

Alma “Ness” Moreno (born Vanessa Moreno Lacsamana born on May 25, 1959) is a Filipina actress politician who has made her mark both as a popular movie and television personality. She was born in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to Frank Lacsamana, from Pampanga, and Jean Moreno. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Lorna, Alma played bit roles in a Vilma Santos starrer, Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw. Unlike Lorna whose acting talent was evident early on even as a child star, Alma lacks the intensity. She eventually realized she needed to accept more daring roles to survive in this business, accepting roles that required her to disrobe She almost surpassed the commercial success of Vilma with starring roles in smash hits like “Mrs Eva Fonda 16,” “Bomga Star,” “Bitayin si Baby Ama,” “Nympha,” and “City After Dark.” Alma’s stiff competition during the height of her career was Lorna Tolentino and later on, a more daring star, Rio Locsin. Rio and Lorna also had a competition goin’ on when they did a much publicized film, “Step-sisters.” Meanwhile, Alma and Lorna’s competition reached its pinacle when they did Bernal’s ‘City After Dark.” Their subdued comfrontation scene in a narrow street while rain was pourin heavily was one of the most memorable scene in the film. Alma held herself, acting wise. This is not the only time that the two were connected, in real life, they share the love of one man, the late Rudy Fernandez. Alma was Rudy’s live in partner in the 70s to the half of 80s while Lorna became Rudy’s wife in the later part of 80s until his untimely death. Both actresses have children with the late action star. If Lorna portrayed Darna like Vilma while Alma portrayed Dyesebel like Vilma. Alma and Vilma did one film during the height of Alma’s career, Elwood Perez’s hit film, “Magkaribal.” Like Lorna, she also guested a few times in Vi’s television show despite the fact she also compete with Vi with her own musical variety show, Lovely Ness. It was reported in tabloid during Dolphy’s funeral, that the two tried to avoid each other (by the way, Dolphy was Alma’s ex) for some unclear reasons, some think it was politically motivated as both are now politicians.

Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan, better known as Sharon Cuneta, is a multi-awarded Filipino singer, actress and TV host dubbed the Megastar of Philippine Entertainment, and fondly called “Mega” by fans and people from the entertainment industry. Her success in the movies (53 starring roles), television (10 shows) and recording (40 albums) make her possibly the greatest Filipino entertainer of all time. Her popularity has translated well into the field of advertising, where she is the highest paid and most effective Filipino celebrity endorser. Cuneta’s long list of endoresements run the gamut from fastfood chain to bank, from make-up line to electronics, from ice cream to tele-communication company. On November 22, 2011, following months of speculations, Sharon’s big move to TV5 was made official by signing a staggering 1 Billion contract with the Kapatid Network – the highest ever paid to a Filipino artist. She parted ways with ABS-CBN, her home network of 24 years, on a cordial note. Her daily afternoon talk show Sharon: Kasama Mo, Kapatid premiered on May 14, 2012 and has been hailed as an engaging program that aims to entertain and to inspire. The show provides the perfect platform for Sharon to be in touch with her audience, reaffirming her stature as a well-loved icon who is now more accessible to fans and viewers alike…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Alma and Lorna, Sharon Cuneta became part of Vilma Santos movie in their earlier showbiz career. This time, Sharon sings the theme song of a Vilma Santos starrer, “Langis at Tubig.” Self-confessed Vilmanian, she mentioned that she used to gawked at her idol whenever given a chance since they used to both live in a same closely gated subpision. As Sharon established herself as a huge star herself, the similarities in their career path were quite significant. Both became a singer, although Vi adminitedlly said singing wasn’t her forte, Vi recorded a string of hit albums. Both Vi and Sharon recorded their earlier albums titled “Sixteen.” Both became a bankable contract stars of Viva Films producing such record breaking films like “Bukas Luluhud Ang Mga Tala,” “Sa Hirap at Ginhawa,” and “Sana’y Wala Ng Wakas” for Sharon and “Sinasamba Kita,” “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” and “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig” for Vilma to name a few. During the 1990s, both became successful star on the small screen, Vi with her award winning show, “Vilma!” for GMA 7 and Sharon’s equally hit show, “TSCS” (The Sharon Cuneta Show) for ABS CBN Channel 2. In their long filmography, both became Darna, the Filipino flying-comic supershero and also did hit films with the late, Fernando Poe Jr. Sharon was quoted on several articles that she dreaming of one day doing a film with her idol, in an article written by Rose Garcia for PEP on May 14th 2009 she said: “…Bago pa man ang Sharon-Ai-Ai movie, matagal nang pinaplano ang pelikulang pagsasamahan sana ng Megastar at ng Star For All Seasons na si Gov. Vilma Santos. But how does she feel na mas nauna pa ang movie nila ni Ai-Ai sa movie nila ni Ate Vi? “Ay, naku, ‘yan naman talaga ang dream ko!” sambit ni Sharon. “I think, all actors, all actresses, we all have dreams, e, as to who we wanna work with. And I think, it’s a common knowledge na Vilmanian ako and I was never treated in a bad way palagi. And I think, I learn a lot from her on how to be a good idol at yung pakikisama sa tao at pag-appreciate. “I think, one of my ultimate dreams is to always work with Tito Dolphy. Isa sa dream ko, natupad na. Nakasama ko na si Ai and I always told her, before pa. Yung sa amin ni Ate Vi, probably will be a drama and by next year,” balita ni Sharon…”

Maricel Soriano (born Maria Cecilia Dador Soriano on February 25, 1965), known as the Diamond Star is a critically acclaimed Filipina film and television actress. She has starred in many films covering different genres including comedy, fantasy (Inday series), horror, suspense, action, romance and drama. She has appeared in hundreds of films and has scored a number of blockbuster hits. As well as acting, Soriano is also a singer and has recorded several songs including the theme song of her movie Oh My Mama in 1981. In 1987, she performed a sold out concert at the Araneta Coliseum titled “Hello, Hello Maricel.” – Wikipedia, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

When Sharon entered the scene, she find a stiff competition from the rival of her film studio Viva, Regal’s contract star, Maricel Soriano. Soriano like Vilma started as a child star and became a confident actress, tackling mature roles that her contemporary including Sharon didn’t dare to tackle. Like, Vi, she dared the public to accept her in such memorable films like “Hinugot sa Langit” and “Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa” where she played an abortionist and “bida-contrabida” sociallite. A similar career milestone movies patterned with Vi’s “Burlesk Queen” and “Sinasamba Kita.” The two finally did a film in the mid 1980’s in Regal’s commercial film, “Yesterday, Today and Tommorow.” Unlike Sharon who became known first as a singer, Maricel, like Vi were known for her dancing abilities. She did this in her own musical variety show, titled “Maricel Live!” and later in “Maria! Maria!” where she competed for TV ratings with Vi (and Sharon) during the 1990s (Like Vi, she also did TV drama anthology). During this time, Maricel became entangled with the controversial transfer of Vi’s TV co-host, Roderick Paulate to Maricel’s show. But in due time, all were forgotten and the three remained friends to this date. This is not the only time that Vi became part of Maricel’s personal relationships, Vi’s ex, Edu Manzano also became Maricel’s husband for awhile. Both Maricel and Edu, at one point, thought their relationship will last forever. But the two separated after a few years of bliss. Now, in her senior years, Maricel attempted several comeback after years of semi-retirement. Like, Sharon, Maricel confessed her respect and admiration for Vi in several movie articles. And after several year of semi-retirement, she is now reportedly starting some projects for ABS-CBN and also have some film projects lined up.

Claudine Margaret Castelo Barretto-Santiago (born July 20, 1979), popularly known as Claudine Barretto, is an entrepreneur, product endorser, film and television actress from the Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…The premiere actress admitted that she has her own acting idols. She named the likes of Meryll Streep, Lolita Rodriguez, Nora Aunor, and Gina Alajar. Gov. Vilma also commended Claudine for her versatility as an actress. “Claudine is a very flexible actress. Pwede siyang gumanap na kaaawaan mo siya. Pwede ring sexy and very believable. In any roles na ginagawa mo ibinibigay mo lahat and you’re very believable. Kaya mo lahat gawin, believe me. Drama, sexy, action, comedy, you can do it. For that I commend you.” For Claudine’s exceptional talent, the Gov. Vi said she will not be surprised if Claudine becomes the next Star for All Seasons. “When we did Anak, sa mga promo for the movie, tinanong ako kung nakikita ko ba si Claudine na pwedeng maging next Vilma Santos, ang sagot ko, ‘Of course!’ You have a long way to go,” said Vilma to Claudine who became teary-eyed because of the compliment…” – Push, 14 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

“…Ang sarap ng pakiramdam sobra, pero bilang isang Vilmanian ayokong may pumalit o sumunod sa yapak ni Ate Vi. There will never be another Vilma Santos. Nag-iisa lang siya. Ako mismo ayokong may magsabi na papalitan o ito ang susunod sa yapak ni Ate Vi unless anak niya parang ganun. Yun yung feeling ko bilang Vilmanian but I’m very honored na of course galing siyempre kay Ate Vi Star for All Seasons yun.” Claudine also said that she respects Ate Vi so much that the latter’s approval is like an award In itself. She said that she promised the Batangas governor that she’ll be the best Claudine Barretto that she can ever be and not a “replacement” for her. “Siya ang pinakamarami nang napanalunang award na grand slam, Hall of Fame award etc. ‘Pag galing kay Ate Vi na sobrang respetado sa industriya at pulitiko, grabe yung honor at privilege na napansin niya yun yung talent mo, para akong nag-grand slam sa sinabi ni Ate Vi,” Claudine shared…” – Push, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

Among the junior actresses that followed Sharon and Maricel, Claudine and Judy Anny were the most successful in terms of sustaining their popularity. Although Claudine’s career in now on its downward phase, she remained one of the most talented and was praised by Vi herself for being one of those versatile. Claudine, like Vi, started her career as a teen star with an on and off screen love partner, the late Rico Yan. Rico and Claudine was one rumoured to be engaged but his sudden death ruined this wishful dream for their die-hard fans. Prior to her teen transitions, Claudine was a regular cast in Dolphy’s TV sitcom, “Home Along da Riles.” After Yan’s death, Claudine became a serious contender for acting supremacy with several drama tele-series competing with her stiff rival Judy Ann and several drama films. She won acting recognitions with her performance in 2004’s “Milan” (where she competed for acting awards with her rival Judy Ann Santos and with veterans, Vi and Nora) and 2005’s “Dubai” and “Nasaan Ka Man” where she received several trophies and nominations. She also became a certified box office star with films, “Sukob” with Kris Aquino in 2006 and her sole movie with Vi, the blockbuster, “Anak” in 2000.

Judy Ann Santos (born Judy Anne Lumagui Santos-Agoncillo; May 11, 1978) is a Filipino film and television actress, product endorser, recording artist, and film producer. She began as a child actress and made her professional television debut in Kaming Mga Ulila (1986) before her screen debut in the film Silang Mga Sisiw Sa Lansangan (1988) where she appeared as part of the ensemble playing a supporting role. Her first leading role in a television series was in Ula, Ang Batang Gubat (1988), but she received media recognition in her breakthrough television series Mara Clara (1992). She has since spawned highly rated television series, amongst these are Esperanza (1996), Basta’t Kasama Kita (2003), Sa Piling Mo (2006) and Ysabella (2007). Santos starred in commercially successful films in the early 1990s following motion picture adaptations of Mara Clara (1996) and Esperanza (1999). She further achieved television and film success with pairings opposite Wowie de Guzman, Rico Yan and Piolo Pascual. Santos’ performance in the film Sabel (2004) received critical acclaim and earned her the Gawad Urian for Best Actress. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Claudine’s rival, Judy Ann also started as a child actress and a regular cast in several teleserye. Like Claudine she also transitioned into a teen star with her successful partner, Wowee de Guzman and later on, Piolo Pascual. Her rumoured real life relationship with Pascual was one of the most publicly dessiminated relationships in the local scene that did not resulted in happy endings, she ended up marrying a newcomer during that time, the more serious with intention to settle, Ryan Agocillio. Judy Ann with the guidance of Vilma’s former supporter Alfie Lorenzo, maintained her popularity compared to Claudine. She successfully turned her successful princess of teleserye career into a full-pledge serious actress with projects like “Magkapatid” (with Sharon Cuneta), and her more serious films “Sabel” and “Ploning.” Although many articles came that she prepared to work with Vi’s rival Nora, she recently clariffied this wasn’t the case, that she prepared to work with both.

Sarah Geronimo Sarah Asher Tua Geronimo, popularly known as Sarah Geronimo or Sarah G. is a Filipino recording artist and actress. Born and raised in Sampaloc, Manila she joined various singing and talent competitions with her father, Delfin Geronimo, as her trainer. In addition, she also joined the cast of now defunct ABS-CBN TV show, Ang TV. However, she rose to fame only after having won the Star for a Night singing competition in 2003. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Like Sharon, Sarah Geronimo’s career is similar to Vi’s rival Nora. Both became a singing contest winner. But because of her venturing into television musical variety hosting, her supporter wanted her to follow Vi’s television experience with Sarah venturing into more production numbers. Sarah’s recent success were her film projects opposite John Lyod Cruz, her recording albums and endorsements. She mentioned in several articles that it would be a dream come true to be cast in a Vilma Santos movie. She recorded the theme song of Vi’s 2009 film’s “In My Life.”

Kim Chiu (born Kimberly Sue Yap Chiu/Zhang Jinzhu; April 19, 1990), is a Filipina actress. She lived in Cebu City before she went to Manila for Pinoy Big Brother. Chiu was the first winner of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition and is currently part of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic contract artists. She also having launched her only album entitled ‘Gwa Ai Di’ which means “I Love you” in Minnan dialect. Kim Chiu sometimes speak Hokkien at home back in Philippines. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Among the new crop of stars, Sarah’s closes rival would be Kim Chiu. Like Sarah, Kim was a product of reality show. Kim won the pinoy big brother show. She capitalized her popularity venturing into singing and also doing teleserye that Judy Ann and Claudine used to do. Kim’s first encouter with Vi was in television special where she was able to impressed Vi with her intepretation of Vi’s film role, Dolzura Cortez. After this Vi requested her to be cast in this year’s smash hit, “The Healing.” Like her predecessors, Kim also ventured in love team path, first with on and off screen love, Gerald Anderson and lately Xiam Lim. Anderson was once linked to Kim’s contemporary, Sarah Geronimo. It would be a good project if the three reprised the film, “Ikaw Ay Akin,” the Vi-Christopher de Leon-Nora Aunor film. Kim’s recent success is in small screen, co-starring with Maja Salvador in highly rating tele-serye, “Ina Kapatid Anak.”

Maja Ross Andres Salvador (born October 5, 1988) is a Filipina actress, dancer, model, and producer producer who is one of the latest in line of the showbiz clan of the Salvador family. She is currently under the management of ABS-CBN, and a member of Star Magic. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Maja Salvador, Kim’s co-star in TV’s “Ina Kapatid Anak” was onced Vi’s protege, she co-starred with Vi in 2006’s highly anticipated drama episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” titled “Regalo.” Her performance in this episode was highly praised and crtics even predicted that she is the one to watch. An article came that she was supposed to reprised Vi’s Burlesk Queen role but she clarified that she was too young to do a mature role. Prior to Ina Kapatid Anak, her recent success was her indie film, “Thelma” where she won a best actress trophy from the critic’s group, Gawad Urian.

Angel Locsin (born Angelica Colmenares; April 23, 1985) is a Filipina television and film actress, commercial model, film producer and fashion designer. She starred in the fantasy-themed television series Mulawin in 2004. Soon after, she starred as the superheroine Darna in the TV adaptation of the Mars Ravelo comics. When her contract expired on March 2007, Locsin did not renew her contract with GMA Network and signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN. Her first project under ABS-CBN was the television series Lobo. Locsin starred in her first box office movie under Star Cinema, Love Me Again, directed by Rory Quintos. In 2012, she starred in the film ÜnOfficially Yours which became her highest grossing film to date. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Angel’s recent project was the filmfest entry, “One More Try” where she played a mother of a sick boy reminiscent of Vi’s “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan.” The two first film together was in 2004’s Regal Film “Mano Po 3: My Love.” Prior to this, Angel was one of the two actress who recently wore the Darna customes (the other one was Marian Rivera), as you’ll probably known, Vi was one of the most successful Darna in the history of this franchise. Although Angel remained popular, she lacks a clear rival that other stars has, this maybe to her advantage. Recent articles mentioned that there are plans for a second film for Vi and Angel. Writer Ethel Ramos in her colum for Malaya on July 30, Jul 2012 said: “Two Darnas to join forces…Speaking of Angel, there are talks that she might finally co-star with “Star for All Seasons” Vilma Santos, in a movie. Probably next year, right after the 2013 elections. Ate Vi (as we in showbiz fondly call her), as we all know, is running for a third term as Batangas Governor. By the time she and Angel shoot their movie, she would have won the office anew. The Ate Vi-Angel movie, we also heard, will be Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary offering next year…By the way, come to think of it, Ate Vi, like Angel, has once appeared in a “Darna” movie….”

Snooky Serna (born Maria Milagros Sumayao Serna on April 4, 1966) is a Filipina film and television actress…Being the daughter of actors Von Serna and Mila Ocampo, she started acting early in life via her 1970 landmark debut Wanted: Perfect Mother, where she immediately captured the hearts of Filipino audience as a cute, sweet and smart-talking four-year old. That same year she earned her first acting nomination from FAMAS Awards as Best Child Performer for the film My Little Angel. Trained by acclaimed director and National Artist, Lino Brocka, Snooky showed promise as dramatic actress and later proved to be a fine one. In 1972, she won her first FAMAS Award as Best Child Actress for the film ‘Sana Mahalin Mo Ako’. As a mature actress, she tackled roles which earned acting nominations from various award giving bodies. She was also in Kapag Napagod Ang Puso with Christopher de Leon and Inagaw Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (Harvest Home – official Philippine entry to the 1995 Oscars) but unfortunately was snubbed during awards night. Her other major films include Aabot Hanggang Sukdulan, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Hahamakin ang Lahat with Vilma Santos, the fantasy films Blusang Itim, Rosa Mistica, and Madonna: Ang Babaing Ahas. It was with Koronang Itim, that she finally won Best Lead Actress trophy. She has starred in over (80) films from 1970 to 2004…As a mature actress, she tackled roles which earned acting nominations from various award giving bodies. She was also in Kapag Napagod Ang Puso with Christopher de Leon and Inagaw Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (Harvest Home – official Philippine entry to the 1995 Oscars) but unfortunately was snubbed during awards night. Her other major films include Aabot Hanggang Sukdulan, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Hahamakin ang Lahat with Vilma Santos, the fantasy films Blusang Itim, Rosa Mistica, and Madonna: Ang Babaing Ahas. It was with Koronang Itim, that she finally won Best Lead Actress trophy. She has starred in over (80) films from 1970 to 2004. – Wikipedia, 23 Jul 2009 (READ MORE)

Snook Serna and Vilma Santos first film together was the 1971 musical, “The Wonderful World of Music” where they co-starred with Tony Ferrer and Boots Anson Roa, Snooky was still a child star and Vi was in a teenage love team with reel and real life sweetheart, Edgar Mortiz. Both actresses started as a child star, Vilma in Trudis Liit in 1963, where she won a FAMAS best child actress while Snooky did seven film in her debut year in 1970 and won a FAMAS best child actress for My Little Angel. Both actress’ route to fame were similar, taking mature roles, started with Vilma in Burlesk Queen (1977) and Snooky in Bata Pa Si Sabel (1981). The two did three more films, in 1986 with the box office hit, “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” with Maricel Soriano; in 1988, Vilma appeared in a minor role in the forgettable film, “Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw,” with Gabby Concepcion; and finally in 1990 with Lino Brocka’s “Hahamakin Ang Lahat (All Be Damned).” Working with her former mentor, Brocka’s “Hahamakin…” earned both Vilma and Snooky several acting nominations but it was Snooky who was lucky enough to received a PMPC Star Award for supporting actress. Like Vilma, Snooky did television projects, she did a drama anthology for ABS-CBN in 1989 and several guest drama appearances after but her most successful stints was in 1987-88 where she tried to host a musical variety show titled, “Always, Snooky.” She earned two PMPC Star Awards nomination for TV Best Musical Variety Show Host but twice loss to Vilma.

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Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw (1988)

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Basic Info: Direction: Mitos Villareal; Cast: Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Ernie Garcia, Vivian Foz, Vilma Santos, Tita Muñoz, Augusto Victa, Celina Chase, Julio Diaz, Melissa De Leon, Roland Montes; Released date: 17 March 1988

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: 1988 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Ernie Garcia

Film Review: Seeing this soporific melodrama is like a long journey into the night. One wishes that it soon ends for a radiant sunrise to follow. But alas this movie only ignites small sparks of interest to keep us from yawning. The film’s bleak cinematography makes it a visual turn-off, the script needs tightening, the cerebral plot is too familiar and that bit of social relevance has not been smoothly integrated into the story. Serna (Estrella) plays a young, pretty and brainy lawyer but who has not been using her mind well in her romance with company manger Concepcion (Gerry). She feels like a whore each time Gerry brings her to his home but is too weak to resist his bedroom charm. Estrella has just passed the bar and since she’s brilliant, her law office forthwith sends her abroad to handle some cases. It must have taken her several years because when she returns home her child sired by Gerry is already a grown-up girl (Celina Chase). Serna with her sweet and fragile looks, does not project the image of a bright lawyer who is making a headway in her career. We never see her in the law firm she works for or even scanning over some paperwork. She is not smart to tackle her problem from the legalistic point of view. She gets pregnant but we don’t see her wih a bulging tummy and she delivers a bay which she gives to her cousing Aida (Vivian Post) and her husband Roel (Ernie Garcia) for adoption. Estrella does not inform Gerry of her pregnancy when she should have. So off he goes to Germany on official business with Carina (Melissa de Leon), daughter of company owner Dona Mercedes (Tita Munoz).

Melissa is a novice version of elder sister Pinky de Leon and for a new comer in a dramatic role, her acting is good enough. Munoz is noted for her strong personality on screen but here she delivers a restrained portrayal perhaps because her voice was dubbed by someone else. Dona Mercedes, as written in the script, is a confusing character. She is not an avaricious woman who is content with the profits Gerry brings into the company. Gerry employs fair labor practices but his assistant Atty. Cruz (Augusto Victa) is anti-labor. In a sudden change of heart, Dona Mercedes falls for the scheme of Cruz which triggers a labor strike. Gerry is already home but Cruz calls the shots. And yet, before this, Dona Mercedes has made it clear to her daughter that she needs Gerry. Gerry, by the way, has gotten married to Carina abroad but their relationship turns sours. Once home, Carina immediately seeks her old beau Randy (Julio Diaz) who is now married. Villareal’s treatment is not cinematic. She relies too much on dialogue to make the story move. Estrella’s pregnancy delivery of her baby and developments in her career are simply verbalized. Carina orders Randy to abandon his wife in exchange for a juicy position in her company but we don’t see him working. The illicit lovers vanish from the scene after their poolside dalliance and resurface much later.

The film’s main weakness is in the script. The trips of Estrella and Gerry and Carino go beyond realistic expectations. And to think that Estrella has only been sent by her office to handle a case or some cases and the couple to close a deal with a business associate. It takes years before they return. In one scene, Carina realizes her love for Gerry who is by then packing his bags to leave her for good. Carina pleads for him to stay but he has already made his decision. The next scene shows Carina in a hotel room with Randy and her she tells him that she is calling it quits. But why go to bed with him in the first place? Actually the central plot which has been complicated by too many subplots is about the romance between Estrella and Gerry. We know that they have to be back to each other’s arms to fullfill a happy ending. Villareal and her scenarist contrive a familiar device. Randy kills Carina with a gun in Gerry’s house where she has sought refuge. And for the coup de grace, Randy’s wife (Vilma Santos) suddenly appears on the scene to kill her philandering husbang. So as not to waste the much vaunted acting prowess of Santos, she is made to deliver a passionate monologue after shooting Diaz. Santos appears too late in the story and she should have an ealier scene to motivate her criminal act in the end.

Being an avowed womanizer, Randy’s murder of Carina seems out of character. Unless he has fallen hard for Carina, which is unlikely, Randy can simply hook another rich woman to replace her in case his wife rejects him. The most incredulous scene happens in a hospital where the doctor refuses to give medical aid to labor leader Roel who has been shot by a security guard during the strike. “I don’t think he’s gonna make it,” says the negligent doctor who should be shot too. And yet, Roel is able to tell Gerry that Lilet is his daughter by Estrella. Concepcion shows traces that he is intent on tackling mature roles but he doesn’t strike us as a believable young executive. The most powerful performer in the film is Vivian Fos. Garcia suits the role of a labor leader but the script does not give him much to do. The same applies to Diaz whose debonair look makes him a credible playboy but his character lacks depth. This meadering melodrama shows no promise of a brighter tomorrow for the local cinema. – Luciano E. Soriano, Manila Standard, Mar 28, 1988 (READ MORE)

“…Ate Vi made around 198 films from 1963 to 2002. This includes cameo appearances in Dugo at Pagibig sa Kapirasong Lupa, Mga Mata ni Angelita, Huwag Hamakin Hostess (with Nora Aunor and Alma Moreno with Vilma getting Orestes Ojeda in the end), Candy, No Other Love, Charot, Rizal Alih, Engkanto, and ‘Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw’, a Gabby-Snooky starrer, produced by friend Gabby Concepcion…” – The 28th (READ MORE)

“…Ernie won many acting awards. He was Aliw Awards’ Best Actor in 1988 for his portrayal in Rolando Tinio’s Filipino translation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” He also garnered two Best Supporting Actor trophies from FAMAS and PMPC Star Awards for Movies in 1989, in the late Mitos Villareal’s directorial opus “Bukas Sisikat Din ang Araw” which starred Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna and where he played the role of a labor union leader…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen (READ MORE)

“…Ang tatay ni KC Concepcion na si Gabby Concepcion ay isa rin sa mga kaibigan ni Vi. Ilan ding pelikula ang ginawa ni Vi at Gabby katulad ng Pahiram Ng Isan Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso, Hahamakin Lahat, Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas at Asawa Ko Huwag Mong Agawin. Sa pelikulang Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw, kung saan si Gabby ang prodyuser ay naging special guest si Vi na sa totoo lang ay halos kasinlaki ang billing niya (Vi) sa mga major characters nito. Isa sa mga anak ni Gabby, anak niya kay Grace Ibuna ay inaanak ni Vi katuwang sina Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno, Snooky Serna at Maricel Soriano. Noong last episode ng Vilma show sa GMA 7 ay isa si Gabby sa mga special guests ni Vi at nag-compose pa ng tula si Gabby para kay Vi. Noon namang nagkaroon ng problema si Gabby dahil sa kontrobersiya sa Manila Film Festival noong 1994 ay isa si Vi sa mga naging sabihan niya ng kanyang mga problema. Si Gabby ay naging best supporting actor ng Star Awards for Movies noong 1992 para sa pelikulang Sinungaling Mong Puso, best actor ng Urian noong 1992 para sa Narito Ang Puso Ko at best supporting actor ng Urian para sa pelikulang Makiusap Ka Sa Diyos noong 1991…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Quotes from Peers (Repost)


Nangangatog ako ng una kong ma-meet si Vilma Santos in person. Ganoon pala talaga ang feeling kapag naka face to face mo ang idol mo. – Ana Capri

Hindi complete at walang katuturan ang pagiging producer ko kung hindi ako makagawa ng pelikula na bida ang hinahangaan kong si Vilma Santos – Donna Villa

Kahit one-fourth lang ng tagumpay ni Ate Vi. Ang marating ko masayang masaya na ako. Talagang idol ko siya. Idol siya ng buong pamilya ko – Kristine Garcia

I first worked with Vilma when she was just a child star. From then, alam kong malayo ang mararating niya as an actor dahil bata pa mahusay na. Hindi ako nagkamali. Hindi lang siya basta naging artista, kundi naging isa sa pinakamahusay at pinakasikat. – Gloria Romero

Simula ng mapanood ko si Vilma sa Trudis Liit naging Vilmanian na ako. Nobody comes close to her. – Armida Siguion Reyna

Naging Huwaran ko si Ate Vi hindi lang sa career ko kundi maging sa personal kong buhay. I am very proud to be a Vilmanian. – Snooky Serna

Bata pa ako hindi pa ako artista talagang idol ko na si ate Vi. Pinupuntahan ko pa yan sa bahay niya para lang makita at maka-usap kahit ako lang mag-isa.- Sharon Cuneta

Vilma is the most versatile actress in our time. Kahit anong role kaya niyang gampanan ng buong husay. Ang sarap makatrabaho ang isang Vilma Santos – Celia Rodriguez

Kung alam lang ni ate Vi kung ilang beses akong nadapa sa paghahabol na makita siya. Siya ang naging inspirasyon ko sa pagpasok ko sa showbiz. – Ai-Ai Delas Alas

Simula noon hanggang ngayon pagbalibaligtarin man ang mundo Vilmanian pa rin ako. – Korina Sanchez

Once you encounter and know ate Vi, you will realized how nice and thoughtful she is. She is always been an inspiration to me. Masarap siyang maging kaibigan. – Kris Aquino

Si Vilma Santos ang idol ko. Maganda na, magaling pa. – Amy Austria

Mahusay talaga si Vilma kahit saang aspeto. Napakagaan niyang katrabaho. Isa sa mga dream ko ang mai-direct si Vi. – Gina Alajar

Vilma Santos can compete with the top caliber actresses in Hollywood. She is an epitome of a real queen of Philippine Cinema. I really look up to her. – Lea Salonga

Makasama ko lang si ate Vi sa pelikula gagawin ko kahit libre. – Dawn Zulueta

Ng makasama ko si Mama Vilma sa pelikula feeling ko puwede na akong mamatay. – Carlos Agassi

Ang isa sa pinakamagandang nangyari sa buhay ko sa pagpasok ko sa showbiz ay ang makasama ang pinakamahusay na aktres na hinahangaan at nirerespeto ng lahat. Marami akong natutuhan kay Mama Vilma – Piolo Pascual

It would be a great fullfilment if I make a movie with my favorite actress Vilma Santos – Alvin Patrimonio

Actually, mag-cousin pa kami ni Ate Vi. Walang hindi Vilmanian sa pamilya namin – Raymart Santiago

Vilma is my favorite actress. She is the only actress I love to watch on local screen. She’s Great. – Martin Nievera

Bago ako naging artista, die hard Vilmanian na ako. Nakikipag-away pa nga ako dahil kay Vilma. – Rosanna Roces

Bata pa ako ginagaya ko na ang mga acting ni Ate Vi. Idol siya ng Nanay ko kaya naging idol namin siya – Glydel Mercado

I am very flattered when Lino Brocka said that I am the next Vilma Santos. But Vilma Santos is Vilma Santos, she is incomparable. – Ruffa Gutierez

Vilma Santos is the Greatest Actress of all times. Walang Katapat – Eric Quizon

Si Vilma ang isa sa madalas magpadala ng tulong kapag may mga pangangailangan o project kami sa Red Cross at Damayan. Iilan lang ang katulad niya na kusang tumutulong na hindi na kailangan pang ipaalam sa publiko. – Ms. Rosa Rosal

I am a closet Vilmanian before, pero ngayon nagladlad na ako. Maraming katangian si Vilma na talagang hahangaan mo – Boots Anson Roa

Type ko siya. Ang husay husay niya. – Rio Locsin

Bago ako pumasok sa showbiz, die hard Vilmanian na ako. Nakikipag-away pa nga ako dahil kay Vilma. – Jaclyn Jose

For me Vilma Santos is the Greatest Actress of all times. – Gabby Concepcion

Somebody would come from the Philippines and they’d bring in Vilma Santos films, and I just remember, ‘Oh, this woman is making me so emotional, I think I’m a Vilmanian. That’s what they call it, I think. – Mig Macario

She crosses over from politics to showbiz and back. She can say one thing and it can be about motherhood, or love, or stardom, or politics….ang taong for all seasons – award season, holiday season, election season, even back-to-school season. Over time I’ve had the chance to meet her, and nabigyan niya ako ng acting tips. She has validated my work and given me her friendship. – Jon Santos

Source: V magazine Volume 1, Issue 4 2005 + Updates 2012

Filmography: Wonderful World of Music (1971)

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Basic Information: Directed: Armando De Guzman; Story: Quentin De Guia; Screenplay: Natalie De Guzman; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Snooky Serna, Arnold Gamboa, Beth Manlongat, Tweeny, Von Serna, Armando De Guzman Jr., Tony Ferrer, Boots Anson-Roa, Lourdes Medel; Original Music: Danny Subido; Cinematography: Fortunato Bernardo; Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Best Musical Picture – 1971 The Manila Film Festival; One of three films Vilma Santos and Tony Ferrer did together, one was Wonderful World of Music and the other one was Darna and The Giants where Vilma played Darna and Tony as Tony Falcon, Agent X-44 (ala-James Bond). Sapagka’t is also one of Vilma films with Boots Anson Roa, the others, “The Wonderful World of Music” and “Mano Po III: My Love.”

Film Review: “…She continued her singing stints with an album most Vilmanians seems to forget, All I See Is You carried the folk song, Ati Cu Pung Sing-sing and Wonderful world of Music. The later song became a title of a musical film that paired Vilma with Edgar and co-starred with Snooky, Tony Ferrer, and Boots Anson Roa. The demand for Vi & Bot’s recordings increased and Willears produced Sweetheart, perhaps a confirmation album of the real score between the two young teen stars. Out of 25 films Vilma and Edgar made in 1970, both Sweethearts and Sixteen stands out as two of their certified hits both as films and recorded albums…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Songwriter George Canseco won the Manila Film Festival best movie theme category for his work in the movie “Kapantay ay Langit,” produced by Virgo…”The Wonderful World of Music,” produced by Tagalog Ilang-Ilang, was judged best musical in the Manila Film Festival. The picture stars, Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz, both artist of Wilear’s…” – Oskar Salazar, Billboard Magazine, 24 July 1971 (READ MORE)

RELATED READING:

Filmography: Sapagkat Sila’y Aming Mga Anak (1970)

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Basic Info: Director: Armando De Guzman; Story & Screenplay: Quentin De Guia, Armando De Guzman; Cast: Tony Ferrer, Boots Anson-Roa, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Von Serna, Mila Ocampo; Original Music: Restie Umali; Release Date:4 October 1970 (Philippines); Produced: Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions

Plot Description: A couple, martial arts professional (Tony Ferrer) and social worker (Boots Anson Roa) cared for seven street beggars.

Film Accomplishment: Entry to the 1st QC Film Festival. One of three films Vilma Santos and Tony Ferrer did together, one was Wonderful World of Music and the other one was Darna and The Giants where Vilma played Darna and Tony as Tony Falcon, Agent X-44 (ala-James Bond). Sapagka’t is also one of Vilma films with Boots Anson Roa, the others, “The Wonderful World of Music” and “Mano Po III: My Love.”

Film Review: “…She continued her singing stints with an album most Vilmanians seems to forget, All I See Is You carried the folk song, Ati Cu Pung Sing-sing and Wonderful world of Music. The later song became a title of a musical film that paired Vilma with Edgar and co-starred with Snooky, Tony Ferrer, and Boots Anson Roa. The demand for Vi & Bot’s recordings increased and Willears produced Sweetheart, perhaps a confirmation album of the real score between the two young teen stars. Out of 25 films Vilma and Edgar made in 1970, both Sweethearts and Sixteen stands out as two of their certified hits both as films and recorded albums…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…It’s not all Agent X-44 roles for Tony Ferrer. The popular action star of the 60s appeared in other countless varied roles, notably as a ‘karatista’ or ‘karateka’ (karate fighter). Karate, a popular martial arts that time was popularized in movies by another action star Roberto Gonzalez. Growing up in this period, viewers were saturated with this kind of movie stuffs…He also did two drama movies in 1970, a complete turn-around on his usual action roles, Sapagka’t sila’y aming mga Anak and Living Doll, both with Boots Anson-Roa and child star Snooky…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

RELATED READING:

Filmography: Hahamakin Lahat (1990)

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Basic Information: Directed: Lino Brocka; Story, screenplay: Ricardo Lee; Cast: Vilma Santos, Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Eric Quizon, Dennis Roldan, Perla Bautista, Ruben Rustia, Maritoni Fernandez, Gina Perez, Pocholo Montes, Archie Adamos; Executive producer: Lily Y. Monteverde; Original Music: Jaime Fabregas; Cinematography: Pedro Manding Jr.; Film Editing: George Jarlego; Production Design: Benjie De Guzman; Sound: Joe Climaco, Ramon Reyes

Plot Description: Lucinda (Vilma Santos), a hard-nosed scheming power hungry woman is married to a young politico, Gerard (Eric Quizon). Theyère the ideal and perfect partners in life and in crime. Their lives take a new shape with the re-entry of Renato (Gabby Concepcion), Lucindaès first love and now married to cousin Teresa (Snooky Serna). What follows is another colorful drama – swapping partners to satisfy their burning passion. But the moment of truth arrives – Lucinda and Gerard outwits each other to assure power and reach the top to the extend of plotting their lover’s murder. – Regal Films (DVD box description)

An oppressed housemaid has transformed herself into a wealthy and powerful business mogul through sheer dint of talent, ambition and driving need to avenge herself on her tormentors. She comes back to the scene of her most abject debasement with the sole intent of humiliating the family who once made her life such a living hell. Unknowingly, she gets to exact revenge on the very person who turns out to be her own daughter by the son of her former mistress. – Databases of Philippine Movies (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1990 Star Awards for Movies Best Supporting Actress – Snooky Serna; 1990 FAMAS Nomination Best Supporting Actress – Snooky Serna; 1990 FAP Nomination Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1990 Gawad Urian Nomination Best Best Actor – Gabby Concepcion

Film Reviews: “…Can the specificities of a film genre dictate the nature of roles available to actors according to their sexual differentiation? In the instance of a specific local genre, melodrama, it appears that not only the nature of the roles but the advantage of the performer is predetermined in a manner opposed to the original foreign norm. Two of the better releases in 1990 by the country’s top competitors for studio supremacy prove this point indirectly, by applying for us one outstanding performance each – both by female actors essaying distinctively female roles…Regal Films’ Hahamakin Lahat has the reliable Vilma Santos in a successful (in popular terms) modification of her other-woman persona, placing her work here on the order of Tagos ng Dugo and Pahiram ng Isang Umaga. Both films can be roughly classified as melodramas of the Filipino variety, specifically by their emphasis on moral issues, complicated plots, and strong female roles – characteristics that serve the thesis that local melodramas are, for want of a better term, prejudiced in favor of women, complaints from feminists notwithstanding…while that of Vilma Santos resolves not to fall emotionally for her flavor of the moment; in the end, when Mr. Seemingly Right happens along, all their notions of self-sufficiency get discarded like so much excess baggage, as off they go after the walking incarnation of the True Meaning of Life…

Compared with the director-writer team-up’s previous effort, Gumapang Ka sa Lusak, Hahamakin manages to go deeper into the psyche of the female oppressor (a secondary character in the earlier film, which concentrated on the victim instead). On the other hand, several crucial establishing details in the latter work had to be relegated to lines of exchanges, and a demonstration of how social cancer spreads through the body politic is never pulled off, precisely because the filmmakers had to confine themselves to the major characters. Nevertheless both recent films, plus Gumapang Ka, represent our state-of-the-craft when it comes to melodrama movie making, and I can think of no higher compliment than posing a challenge for the future: since every conceivable female lead role has been explored, with varying degrees of success, in local melodrama, and since action films have long allowed for strong women characters even in lead capacity, how about refashioning the former genre to suit non-female leads? The clash between gender and genre might yet result in certain long-overdue insights into love and anarchy as only a truly confused culture can make it…’ – Joel David, National Midweek, 17 October 1990 (READ MORE)

Brocka did Hahamakin Lahat for Regal Films. This would be his third team-up with Vilma Santos. The role called for Vilma to be dark, daring, and innovative—something that totally deviated from characters usually portrayed by the sweet-faced actress . It showed a heroine entering into a marriage of convenience with a ruthless, scheming mayor—a character Brocka created to expose the hypocrisy and corruption of society. – Mario Hernando

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

Snooky Also Shines – “…Do you know who has improved a lot in her acting especially in her last movie? It’s Snooky. In “Hahamakin Lahat,” she was almost at par with the star for all seasons, Vilma S. kung acting ang paguusapan, says an ardent admirer. Nag-underacting siya but there were moments na akala mo siya ang bida sa pelikula. I remember a hysterical Snooky in highlights scenes of her movies. I think it’s only Lino Brocka who directed her in her first movie, “Wanted, Perfect Mother,” when she was only four or five years old, who can control her acting as he did in “Hahamakin.” Snooky has gained more character and a certain maturity in her acting. I’m sure she’ll garner several nominations for this movie come awards time next year…” – Nena z. Villanueva, Manila Standard, 05 Sep 1990 p16 (READ MORE)