FILM REVIEW: KARMA

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Plot Description: Sarah (Vilma Santos) is forced to defer her wedding when she scheduled to flight was delayed. At a hotel where she is staying, Sarah encounters Eric (Ronaldo Valdez), a regular guest who forces himself on her. The incident leaves a stigma not just on Sarah but more so on her fiancé, Alfredo (Tommy Abuel) whose dream of marrying a “virgin” is dashed. Strangely, Sarah and Eric’s paths cross again at a time when their respective marriages are in disarray. Their meeting strikes both as “déjà vu.” Could it be that they have met each other in the past? Their suspicious are confirmed after Eric consults a psychic. As it turns out, Sarah and Eric are the reincarnation of Guada and Enrico, two lovers who had an illicit affair sixty years ago. When Guada’s husband, Limbo (Ruel Vernal), learned of her affair, he went on a murderous rampage. Now Sarah and Eric seem destined to follow the same path. But in whose spouse does the spirit of Limbo rest? Is it the disabled Alfredo? Or Eric’s estranged wife Cristy (Chanda Romero)? – Viva Films

Film Review: The technical preview of “Karma” the other night was delayed for about an hour but I did not mind waiting because I was quite certain that I’d be seeing a fine film. To while away the time, “Firecracker,” co-starring American actors with local talents like Chanda Romero, Vic Diaz, and Rey Malonzo was shown. Chanda and Vic delivered their lines themselves but surprisingly Rey didn’t. Before one whole reel could roll, the prints of “Karma” arrived. “Don’t stop it yet, a bed scene is coming,” Mario Bautista protested. Happily, “Karma” turned out to be as good as I expected. It’s performers are first-rate – Vilma Santos, Ronaldo Valdez, Tommy Abuel, Chanda Romero – so their award-winning acting didn’t surprise me at all. The script was outstanding but even that was expected, coming from director Danny Zialcita. What impressed me was that minor parts were played by name actors. The housekeeper who appeared in one short sequence could have been played by any elderly woman but those who made the movie wanted nothing less than Etang Discher. The psychiatrist could have been played by any decent-looking man but they didn’t settle for anybody less than Vic Silayan. The male lover at the start of the story had to be acted out by Dante Rivero, that at the end by Christopher de Leon. The movie boasted of several bold scenes. Those involving Vilma weren’t much as we know for a fact that Vilma could show only so much. One scene showing Chanda was a different story. It showed her with absolutely nothing on, yet it didn’t offend anybody as it was executed in style, shot with great care. There was just one thing, which looked unnatural to me – the way in which one of the main characters killed himself. “That’s all right,” Danny assured me. “Before we shot it, we double-checked its possibility.” Reincarnation and transference are undoubtedly mind-boggling subjects but, to his utmost credit, Danny managed to present them simply, bringing them down for everybody to understand. “Bala lang yan. Katawan lang ito. Babalik at babalik kami sa mundong ito,” Dante vowed. Come back they did as they promised building the foundation of the story. – Bob Castillo, People’s Journal Dec. 12, 1981 (READ MORE)

Sa pagbabago ng estado ni Vilma Santos, tila nagbabago na rin ang kanyang approach sa kanyang career. Dahil hindi na career ang unang priority niya sa buhay, lalong nagiging professional ang kanyang tingin sa trabaho. Dahil hindi na twenty-four hours a day ang kanyang buhay artista, alam na niyang I-apportion ang bawat minuto na walang aksaya. Sa set ng Relasyon ni Ishmael Bernal, hangang-hanga ang director sa bagong pang-unawa ni Vilma sa trabaho. Dumarating sa oras, kabisado ang linya (memorizing lines for Vilma, of course, was never a problem even the days she was shooting five pictures simultaneously), full attention sa sinasabi ng direktor, walang problema. Kung pagbabasehan sa naging resulta ng Karma, lalong maganda ngayon si Vilma, mas mariin ang kanyang pagganap, mas mature ang kanyang approach at understanding sa kaniyang papel. Swerteng-swerte ang pagkapanalo niya ng best actress sa nakaraang Film fest. Sayang at wala siya upang tanggapin mismo ang tropeo. Pero lalong naging makabuluhan para sa kanya ang sinabi ng kapwa niya artista sa Karma nang sabihin ni Chanda Romero na “napakaganda naman ng karma ni Vilma. Mayroon na siyang Edu, mayroon siyang Lucky, ngayon ay mayroon pa siya nito (ang ibig sabihin ay ang best actress trophy),” sabay tilian ng mga fans sa loob ng Cultural Center, walang makapigil, walang makasaway. Pero, gaya ng dati, hindi naging madali kay Vilma ang pananalo. Nagpatas ang botohan ng dalawang beses – triple tie sila ni Gina Alajar at Charo Santos, hanggang ma-break ang deadlock at nakaungos ng isang boto si Vilma sa dalawa pa niyang kalaban. Tinawagan si Vilma ni Cirio Santiago, pinasundo sa isang limousine, pero nagdahilan ang Vilma. Ayaw niya sigurong umasa dahil minsan, sa isang awards night din, sinigurong siya ang mananalo pero hindi ganun ang nangyari. (I understand that Vilma really won but the verdict was changed afterwards through the representations and machinations of some influential press sectors.) Kunsabagay, wala rin si Charito Solis noong awards dahil sabi sa akin ni Chato, talagang hindi niya inaasahang manalo ang maliit na papel na iyon sa Kisapmata. Noon pa mang preview pa lamang, maugong na ang balitang baka si Charito ang manalo bilang supporting actress pero hindi niya yun pinansin dahil tiyak na tiyak siya na si Vic Silayan ang mananalo. Sinabi pa niya sa interview niya kay Armida Siguion-Reyna sa Let’s Talk Movies na napakagaling ni Vic. Sa set pa lamang daw, natitiyak na niya halos na si Vic ay mananalo sa Kisapmata. Sa naturan ding programa, sinabi ni Armida sa pagre-review niya ng Karma na talagang magaling ang pagkakaganap ni Vilma sa Karma na parang nakuha nitong punuan ang ilang mahalagang kakulangan ng pelikula. – Oscar Miranda (READ MORE)

“26 years after we first seen “Karma,” the film remained Vilmanians’ favorites and one of Dany Zialcita’s best film. Glossy with crisp dialouge, the film was a big hit at the 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival and earned Vilma the festival’s best actress. Here was what movie reporter Mario Bautista said about her acting: “Ibang-iba” rin ang Vilma Santos sa “Karma.” Subdued na subdued ang performance ni Vi rito unlike in other films na all out ang emoting niya. Dito’y restrained siay at napaka-effective. Halimbawa sa eksena after the rape sa kanya ni Ronaldo Valdez. Nang sabihin niyang siya’y patungo sa kasal niya’y halos hindi na marinig ang kanyang tinig pero talaga namang damang-dama mo ang kirot sa kanyang dibdib. O kaya’y sa mga tagpong sinusumbatan siya ni Tommy Abuel na nanatili siyang kalmado at soft-spoken. We never thought Vilma can be that versatile!” – RV (READ MORE)

Zialcita’s first movie with Vilma was the 1980 festival entry, a drama about bigamy, Langis at Tubig. The following year, Zialcita and Santos joined forces again in antoher festival entry, Karma. The film earned Vilma her second Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress. The following year, Ziacita’s Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan broke box office record, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila and assured Vilma Santos the box office queen of 1982. The total number of Vilma Santos and Danny Zialcita colloborations were four (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? 1982, Karma 1981, Langis at Tubig 1980, T-Bird at Ako). – RV (READ MORE)

“One of the most misunderstood occult concepts. The nearest equivalent in European thought is contained in the idea of fate, though the oriental term indicates the fate is not a haphazard sequence of events of experiences, but is dependent on actions of previous lives or spiritual conditions. The idea is that a spirit undertakes to live in an earthy body for a given period of time, usually in order to learn something which cannot be learned in a disembodied state, and has to accept rewards and punishments for good and bad deeds committed in previous incarnations. In order that understanding may grow, any evil committed against another person will have to be experienced by the perpetrator. The working out of Karma is not done consciously by ordinary people. The real reasons for the majority of people’s actions and relationships may be understood only when nature of their Karma is grasped – which is tantamount to saying that it is virtually impossible to understand or judge another person when seen in the context of one material lifetime only. Vilma Santos fits the role to a T. For the past years that she has suffered a string of major misfortunes and setbacks in real and reel life, she has hone herself as promise, a common objective: to give the viewing public what it wants – entertainment with a capital E. For Danny Zialcita, aside from having a good screenplay, good direction and brilliant actors and actresses, the movie should have artistic values. Karma promises to be a very good vehicle not only for Zialcita but also for Vilma Santos and the rest of the cast. Will this movie be a good KARMA for director Danny Zialcita, Vilma Santos and the rest of the cast? Watch the movie! It’ll be a different kind of feeling you’ll get after viewing it.” – Bond De Leon (READ MORE)

“…First, Karma is a quality picture. According to Mr. Ernie Rojas ng Sining Silangan, it was produiced not only to make it good in the box-office kungdi maging sa mga awards. Kungsabagay, may laman ang sinabi ni Mr. Rojas simply because Langis at Tubig, which was also producede by Sining Silangan last year, placed second in the tops earners and bagged the Best Actor Award for Dindo Fernando. Second, matagal na ring naipalabas ang latest film ni Vi na Hiwalay. Samakatuwid, maganda ang spacing ng mga pelikula niya, ‘Ika nga, hindi over-exposed ang beauty ni Vi. Dahil dito, nandiyan pa rin ang pananabik ng manonood kaya’t siguradong dudumugin ang Karma. …” – Manny A. Valera (READ MORE)

“…In my limited understanding it takes lifetimes to work off one’s karma. Movies, however, only run for two hours so filmmakers have to take liberties. In Danny Zialcita’s 1981 film Karma the protagonists have the added advantage of knowing exactly who they were in their past lives, thanks to a psychiatrist (Vic Silayan) who practices regression hypnosis. Eric (Ronaldo Valdez, who is smoking, and not just in the library where he researches his former incarnation) and Sarah (Vilma Santos) have already met under awful circumstances, but it turns out they’ve known each other much longer than that. In the past they were Enrico and Guada, illicit lovers murdered by Guada’s husband, Limbo. Limbo vows to follow them to the next life, but which form does he take? Is he now Enrico’s mentally unbalanced, pathologically jealous wife Cristy (Chanda Romero), or Sarah’s cruel, sadistic husband Alfredo (Tommy Abuel). It’s not a whodunnit, it’s a who-will-do-it? Vilma Santos turns in another fine portrayal of emotional turmoil. Nora Aunor had the advantage of expressing volumes with her eyes; Vilma expresses with her face, hands, and entire body. Nora was inward, Vilma outward. Ronaldo Valdez gives an understated performance, coolly delivering lines like, “In love there’s no measure of time”. Tommy Abuel overacts ridiculously, even for a guy so suspicious that he has his wife examined by a gynecologist to see if she’s had sex. Chanda Romero is fabulous. Her Cristy is a psychotic who never raises her voice; you can tell she has tranquilizers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first time Cristy and Sarah meet is at the antique store Sarah manages at the old Virra Mall. Cristy breezes in, picks out a bunch of stuff, and announces that she doesn’t carry cash or credit cards, just send the bill to her husband. She points to another piece she buys, and Sarah says, helpfully, “That’s P9,500.” “Ok lang,” Cristy says, “Nagtanong ba ako? (Did I ask?)” One thing about Danny Zialcita movies: his rich people looked and sounded like rich people. He made movies for sophisticated grown-ups. If they don’t make movies like Zialcita’s anymore, it’s because people are no longer that articulate. Nobody casually tosses off bon mots anymore, everything has to be overstated for the dim. So we Zialcita fans are reduced to reciting favorite lines from his movies: “Puede bang makausap ang asawa ko na asawa mo na asawa ng buong bayan?” (May I speak to my husband who’s your husband who’s everybody’s husband?)…” – Jessica Rules The Universe (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Biktima (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Nilo Saez; Story: Laura Santos; Screenplay: Jose F Sabal; Cast: Helen Gamboa, Celia Rodriguez, Perla Bautista, Cristina Reyes, Divina Valencia, Leopoldo Salcedo, Bert Leroy Jr., Joe Sison, Tony Santos Jr., Yoyoy Villame, Tommy Abuel, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada, German Moreno, Max Alvarado, Renato Robles, Patria Plata, Elizabeth vaughn, Maribel, Danny Rojo, Joaquin Fajardo, Steve Alcarado, Lope Policarpio, Romy Luartes, Lex Amores, Boy Clinton; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Cinematography: Ricardo Dano

Plot Description: In a strange turn of events, Dolores (Vilma Santos) moves in to live with her grandfather, who has sole custody of her ever since her mother was imprisoned for the m rder of Dolores’ father. Mystery unfolds as Dolores stays with her grandfather when members of the household are murdered one by one. Will Dolores escape the chaos unraveling around her or will she be the next victim? – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

A gripping whodunit with young superstar Vilma Santos at the center of a terrifying murder whirlpool! In the style of Agatha Christie, the story is about Dolores (Vilma Santos), a poor girl who has suddenly found herself a member of a strange but wealthy household, thanks to her newly-discovered sick and aging grandfather. The family members, however, get murdered one by one, making every surviving member a suspect. An all-star cast supports Vilma in this murder mystery, including Helen Gamboa, Celia Rodriguez, Perla Bautista, Edgar Mortiz, Leopoldo Salcedo, Max Alvarado, and Bert Leroy Jr. A Tagalog Ilang-Ilagn Productions presentation. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: Entry to 1974 Manila Film Festival

Film Review: This was the ending scene (see video below) in the movie “Biktima”, Ate Vi’s entry in the 1974 Manila Film Festival. In the movie, she killed Cristina Reyes, Helen Gamboa, Divina Valencia, Celia Rodriguez, Yoyoy Villame to avenge her mother’s imprisonment who was wrongfully accused of murder. Perla Bautista played Ate Vi’s mother. I think Bobot played as a reporter. Ate Vi was caught and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. That’s why she was bald in the last scene. – moviefan808 (You Tuber)

Filmography: Now And Forever (1973)

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Basic Information: Directed: Ishmael Bernal; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Tommy Abuel, Mercy Pantamaria, Lorli Villanueva, Ernie Zarate, Buth Josue, Jaime Asensio, Ed Villapol, Tony Carrion, Carmen Jiongco, Chito Guerero, Chanda Romero, Elizabeth Vaughn, Randy Robledo; Executive producer: Espiridion Laxa; Cinematography: Benjamin Lobo

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Total Number of Bernal directed films = 8 (Broken Marriage, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Good Morning Sunshine, Ikaw ay Akin, Inspiration, Now and Forever, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, Relasyon)

Film Review: “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfons. Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…The following year, Santos made fourteen films, mostly forgettable musicals. It was also a year where her benefactor started to positioned her as more of a film actress than a singing film star. The results was successful experiments that showcased her comedic ability (Ang Kundoktora), screaming action stunts (Takbo Vilma Dali) and dramatic capability (Dama De Noche). Her followers was delighted when she earned her first acting recognition the next year receiving the FAMAS best actress via Dama De Noche. Most of her films in 1972 were directed by Emmanuel Borlaza however, she was able to do one film with Ishmael Bernal, “Inspiration” with the late Jay Ilagan, one of her regular film partner. According to Bernal, the film wasn’t as successful as what he expected, as the film flopped. Aside from Inspiration, Bernal did two other films, El Vibora (starring Vic Vargas and Boots Anson Roa) and Till Death Do Us Part (starring the young Hilda Koronel and Victor Laurel). 1973 turned out to be a banner year for Vilma Santos as she emerged on top with box office hits one film after another. Nine films altogether that featured her in different genres (comedy – “Tsismosang Tindera;” fantasy – “Maria Cinderella,” “Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe” and ”Ophelia at Paris;” action/fantasy – “Wonder Vi,” “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” and “Darna and the Giants;” horror – “Anak ng Aswang” and teenybopper – “Carinosa” and “Now and Forever”). While Vilma was productive Bernal, like the past two years did only two films, one was the comedy fantasy starring television host and comedian Ariel Ureta in a spin off of Superman, “Zoom, Zoom, Superman!” and “Now and Forever” the film that reunited him with Jay Ilagan and Vilma…” – RV (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Remembrance (1972)

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Basic Information: Direction, screenplay: Emmanuel H Borlaza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Jay Ilagan, Tommy Abuel, Ernie Garcia, Rosa Mia, Virginia Montes, Ven Medina; Music: Danny Subido; Story: Ben Arguelles; Cinematography: Fortunato Bernardo; Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: Set in the 1970’s, brothers Tony (Edgar Mortiz) and Robert (Jay Ilagan) go through a rough patch when their father is killed by one of the family’s tenants. Opposite in many ways, the brothers discover their similarity through their feelings for their childhood friend Cecille (Vilma Santos). Tony and Robert battle over Cecille’s affection while still in the process of recovering from their father’s death. Another tragedy befalls them and the three characters entangle in a web of events that will teach them a lesson in life and love. – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: Entry to the 1972 7th Manila Film Festival; Winner of Best Screenplay – Emmanuel Borlaza; Best Sound Recording; Best Editing; Best Musical Film

Film Review: “…Remembrance,” another film musical, was chosen “best musical” in the Manila Film Festival. The film stars Vilma Santos (Wilear’) and Edgar Mortiz (Wilear’s). The film also won in the categories of best film editing, best sound and best script…” – Oskar Salazar (READ MORE)

“…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the “Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag” loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

“…Besides teaming up with Edgar Mortiz during her teen years, Vilma Santos also starred and appeared in many movies opposite other leading men…” – Simon Santos (READ MORE)

“…It was a wild, wild parade but the fans and the superstars enjoyed every minute of it. For the Pilipino movie fan, it was more than just an outing. He saw his favorite movie celebrity at the closest range possible. For the movie star, the wild response was more than a gauge of his popularity. A crowd close to 500,000 people bucked the hot afternoon sun to watch their movie personalities in a parade ushering in the seventh Manila Film Festival. The crowd paralyzed traffic in the downtown areas up to the late last night…The parade started at 3 p.m. and ended past 8 p.m. at the foot of the Quezon bridge…The biggest response was given to Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. Wearing pink ang black kimonos, the two superstars threw sampaguita flowers along the way as their fans, yelling friendship, waved their pointed thumbs wildly…The other float with the wildest applause was that carrying Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz, who will appear in “Remembrance,” a Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Presentation. However, the float was stoned twice and it left the parade before it reached the Jones Bridge…” – Romeo J. Arceo, Philippines Sunday Express, 18 June 1972 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: T-Bird at Ako (1982)

“Hindi naman ako ipokrita…ke tomboy ka, bakla ka, ok lang sa akin yon! Pareho lang yon! Kung saan ka maligaya duon sila…huwag na nating pakialamanan…alam mo kung nuong una sinabi na niya sa akin kung ano siya hindi na kami nagkaganito eh…akala ko tutoong tao siya!” – Isabella

“Putik nga ito! Pero kahit ganito ako, nagsisimba ako kahit papaano!…ang sabi ng nasa itaas, ang sala sa lamig, sala sa init, iniluluwa ng langit, isinusuka ng diyos!” – Isabella

“…ano ba naman ‘to katawan lang ‘to, ‘konting tubig, ‘konting sabon, wala na…tapusin na natin ang kaso, pagkatapos sabihin mo kung kailan, saan…darating ako, ang katawan ko!” – Isabella

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Basic Information: Directed: Danny Zialcita; Portia Ilagan; Screenplay: Danny Zialcita, Portia Ilagan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Dindo Fernando, Tommy Abuel, Tony Carreon, Baby Delgado, Rosemarie Gil, Suzanne Gonzales, Odette Khan, Liza Lorena, Alvin Enriquez, Adul de Leon, Rustica Carpio, Anita Linda; Original Music: Butch Monserrat; Cinematography: Felizardo Bailen; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Sr.; Sound: Rudy Baldovino; Theme Songs: “Hiwaga ng Pag-ibig” performed by Nora Aunor

Plot Description: An interesting and witty play of events and characters directed by avant garde filmmaker Danny Zialcita. The story of a woman confused of her sexuality (played by Nora Aunor) who worked in a man’s world as a lawyer. A chance meeting with a bar girl (played by Vilma Santos) who would change the course of her life. The film portrays a woman who runs and holds her life, but when matters of the heart are concerned, she just lets fate takes it toll. She believes to be in love with the bar girl, or she thinks she is! At the end, a sudden twists explodes making her more vulnerable that she has ever imagined. A parody on the comic love and life of people caught up in a the middle of strange questions of gender issues. A seriously funny picture of the drama of life! – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Lesbian lawyer Nora, tried to assist the accused dancer, Vilma with her legal battles and unexpectedly, falls in love with her. The poorly written plot compensate with crisped dialogues and fast paced editing from one of the most finest commercial director of the 80s, Danny Zialcita.

Confused lawyer Sylvia Salazar (Nora Aunor) is infatuated by the oozing charm of ago-ago dancer Isabel (Vilma Santos) whom she has volunteered to defend in a criminal case. Sylvia’s persistent and dedicated suitor (Tommy Abuel), another lawyer of intelligence and a strong conviction, however, does not give up on her and resolves to pursue her or wait for that time when she will be more receptive to a man’s affections. Also stars Dindo Fernando, Liza Lorena, Baby Delgado, Leila Hermosa, Suzanne Gonzales and Odette Khan. Written by Portia Ilagan and directed by Danny L. Zialcita for Film Ventures, Inc. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: The fourth Vilma Santos-Nora Aunor films (the other films are: Young Love, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, Ikaw Ay Akin.

Film Reviews: “…The remastered version of Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird AT Ako is clearly something that we can be proud of. At an age of total enlightenment, we no longer need to know who’s better between Aunor and Santos. What matters now is that we have a film we can return to, so we can once again, embrace the magic of cinema and understand why it continually touches our lives. Apart from a salute to a director, who has once graced our taste and tickled our sensitivities as Filipinos, it is also a celebration of two great actresses who will ceaselessly make us smile every time we wonder what magic they have that makes us submit to their bidding…”- Orly S. Agawin, Jellicle Blog, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…The restoration campaign focuses on directors primarily. In the case of the 33-year old ‘T-Bird at Ako,’ it’s vintage Danny Zialcita with his snappy dialogue and witty repartee. It’s also the last time that Nora and Vilma co-starred in a movie and with such a daring theme for its time. “T-Bird at Ako” tells the story of a sexy dancer (Santos) accused of homicide. She is defended by a female lawyer (Aunor) who tries to keep their relationship professional as the latter struggles with confusion as to her sexual preference. T-Bird at Ako is among the 75 films restored by ABS-CBN Film Archives, in collaboration with Central Digital Labs, since it started its restoration project in 2011. Some of these restored films were already screened internationally via film fests, screened locally via red carpet premieres, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes…” – LionhearTV, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…The 1982 blockbuster T-Bird At Ako was not the first movie to star rival screen icons Nora and Vilma, but it played up the rivalry of the two, even coming up with a circular “billing” so you couldn’t tell whose name appeared first. It also has a titillating premise: Nora Aunor plays Sylvia, a successful lawyer who finds herself sexually attracted to Vilma Santos’s Isabel, a nightclub dancer/hostess accused of murder. The movie is absolutely delightful, and its two stars never looked better, but if you’re looking for a serious discussion of LGBT issues, look elsewhere. As writer Portia Ilagan said in her introduction, she and the director had a spat over the “redeeming” ending, which in the tradition of old Tagalog movies suggests that homosexuality is a temporary phase that can be cured…In T-Bird at Ako, every character is a character, and even the most minor characters get to unleash verbal zingers. Many of these zingers seem like throwaway remarks, so you need to pay close attention. “Saan tayo?” says the taxi driver. “Sa impyerno,” says Vilma Santos, and the movie doesn’t make room for the audience’s laughter but barrels right into the next scene. It occurred to me that Danny Zialcita’s movies, which were marketed as melodramas, are really screwball comedies, the genre I love most in the world. The plots are preposterous, the story is only loosely related to real life, and everyone is clever. It doesn’t try to be like the actual world, it wonders why the world isn’t more fun like a movie…”

“…Nora Aunor has the more difficult role. Her Sylvia is a cerebral woman who has never paid much attention to her feelings and suddenly finds herself swamped with them. Could she be a lesbian? The movie’s timidity and its fear of offending the traditionalist audience doesn’t help her: she is reduced to being petulant and jealous when Vilma’s Isabel stays out late at night. But Nora uses her famous power of understatement to convey the confusion, discomfort, and amazement of emotional awakening. It’s also refreshing to see her play an established, affluent character whom no one would think of oppressing. Make her api at your own risk. Vilma Santos is in her element playing the quintessential Vilma role: the woman of feeling who has no qualms about expressing them. She also has a nightclub dance sequence that, far from portraying her as a downmarket floozy, makes her look like she should be headlining a TV variety show. Oh right, she’s done that. And her line readings are hilarious. Under cross-examination by Tommy Abuel, who asks if she can understand his questions in English, she says, “Opo, hindi naman malalim ang English niyo.” Offhandedly, without turning it into a moment…” – Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang husay talaga ng director na si Danny Zialcita. And the actors in the movie were equally good. Sa court scene, hindi nagpatalo sina Johnny Wilson at Tommy Abuel as the prosecutors. Ang gagaling nilang magbitaw ng mga dialouges. At hindi rin nagpatalo ang Superstar as the defense lawyer. Superb ang exchange words sa court room. We wondered kung sino ang scriptwriter ng pelikula. But Manay Ethel Ramos said na si Danny Zialcita is an expert on that area. Halos hindi maalis ang tutok ng lahat kay Ate Vi with her sexy dance number and she was in a red skin tight outfit with the lower part exposing very shapely thighs and legs. Sabi nga ng anak naming si Julienne who was with us during the viewing of the film, “Ang ganda ni Vilma lalo na ‘yung ilong niya. Girl na girl talaga siya. Ang ganda rin ni Nora pero pang-masa talaga ang dating niya. Very convincing siya as t-bird. Paglabas ko, Mommy, ng film center, tumatak sa akin na t-bird talaga siya.” Nandun sina Aiza Seguerra at Liza Dino to support the film since the film is about same sex relationship. Nandun din si Direk Perci Intalan who is, as everywone knows, married to writer Jun Lana. Kay Portia Ilagan (the right hand of Sen. Bong Revilla) pala ang kuwento ng T-Bird at Ako. Kuwento diumano ito ng buhay niya. Dahil yung same sex relationship ay hindi pa masyadong accepted nung time na ginawa ang movie, sa ending, hindi nagkatuluyan sina Vilma at Nora. May mga dialouges pa si Ate Vi na “Nandidiri ako sa ‘yo.” nung mag-attempt si Ate Guy na haplusin siya. So, sa ending si Nora ay napunta kay Tommy Abuel at si Vilma naman kay Dindo Fernando. Sey kuno ni Portia sa isa namaing kasamahan sa panulat na nag-interview sa kanya, ang ayaw niya sa ending ay pinag-bestida raw si Ate Guy. She accepted the ending na napunta si Ate Guy kay Tommy Abuel pero ang di niya nagustuhan ay pinagsuot ito ng bestida. In real life kasi, never sigurong nagsuot ng dress si Kabsat Portia…” – Len Ramos Llanes, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Na-miss ng film critics at ng showbiz industry ang style ng yumaong Danny Zialcita sa pagdi-direk. Ilan sa kanyang mga obra ay ang Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi at marami pang iba tulad ng T-Bird at Ako na ipinalabas sa UP Film Center las February 25. Ang bida ng classic film na ito ni Danny ay ang dalawang superstars ng local film na sina Vilma Santos at Nora Aunor. Ang said film ay ilan lang sa mga restored film into its original na gawa ng ABS-CBN Film Restoration. Ang mga nauna nang restored films na ipinalabas sa said venue ay ang tatlong pelikula ni Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto like Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at Anak. Anyway, dumating si Nora sa UP Film Center nang mas maaga sa takdang oras ng palabas na 6pm. Unfortunately, walang Vilma na dumating although nagpasabi ito sa kanyang mga Vilmanians na hindi siya makakarating due to important committment sa Batangas. Bagama’t wala si Ate Vi, kumpleto pa rin ang Vilmanians sa pangunguna ni Jojo Lim na siyang nag-asikaso sa mga press people na kanyang inimbitahan. Pagkatapos ng welcome speech ni Leo Katigbak, ang head ng Kapamilya Film Restoration, sumunod na nagpasalamat si Ate Guy sa mga dumalo sa event, maka-Nora man o Maka-Vilma. Nasa 4th row nakaupo si Ate Guy habang ongoing na ang viewing. Binulungan kami ng aming katabing isang radio host-columnist na “Tumatakas na si Nora.” True, napansin ng lahat na nu’ng ipinapakita ng ilaw, bakante na ang kinauupuan ng Superstar. Tuloy, ‘di na naman nakalusot sa intriga ang bulilit aktress at biro ng aming katabi, “Nag-walkout yat? e, kasi nga, kahit wala si Vilma, mas malakas ang palakpakan sa kanya,”sey ng aming katabi. Bago pa ang screening ng T-Bird at Ako sa UP Film Center, nagpaunlak ng pahayag si Nora at naitanong ng katotong Morly Alinio kung papayag ba ito sakaling magkaroon ng T-Bird At Ako part 2 kahit na pareho na silang may edad? Sagot ni Ate Guy, “Why not? Depende siguro ‘yun sa istorya,” sey sa amin. “Wala namang problema sa amin ng mare ko,”na tinutukoy ay ang Star for all Seasons…” – Ador Saluta, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang kuwento ng T-Bird At Ako ay tungkol sa isang dancer (Vilma) na naakusahan ng homicide. Ipagtatanggol siya ng isang abogada (Nora) na susubukang panatilihing propesyunal ang kanilang ugnayan habang nilalabanan ang pagkalito sa kanyang sexual preference. Si Portia Ilagan ang sumulat ng script ng T-Bird At Ako at ayon sa kanya, magkakaroon daw ito ng remake. Ang gusto niyang magbida sa bagong version ng pelikula ay sina Angel Locsin (dancer) at Bea Alonzo (lawyer). Gusto rin niyang maging part ng pelikula sina Vilma at Nora, Aiza Seguerra at asawa nitong si Liza Dino…” – Leo Bukas, Journal, 28 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Humahantong ang resolusyon ng pelikula sa antas nang mapilitang magkasundo ang mga magkakatunggali. Sa pagtatapos nito ay bumalik si Aunor sa tunay na esensya ng kanyang pagkababae. Nagmula ito sa matagumpay na babaeng nagpasimula sa pagtagumpay ng mga tradisyonal na pagpapahalagang pang-kababaihan. Tulad ng inaasahan, napapalooban ang T-Bird At Ako ng mga kapani-paniwalang pagganap at pagtatapat. Higit na epektibo si Nora Aunor bilang isang lesbiyana sa pagpapahayag ng komplikasyon sa tauhang kanyang ginagampanan. Lubha namang nakakapagod ang pagganap ni Vilma Santos sa pelikula. Hindi makaramdam ng simpatiya ang manonood dito dahilan sa karton ang kanyang karakter. Samantala magiting ang suportang ipinamalas ni Tommy Abuel bilang matiyagang manliligaw ni Aunor, gayundin sina Dindo Fernando at Suzanne Gonzales. Sa maikling paggnap ay lubhang katangi-tangi sina Anita Linda at Odette Khan. Masasabing masinop ang mga elemento ng pelikula sa T-Bird At Ako, maliksi ang galaw ng mga biswal at masigla ang paggamit ng tunog upang mabisang mailarawan ang mundong ginagalawan ng mga tauhan nito.” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird at Ako is entertaining cannot be doubted. The plot situations are funny. The lines are witty. The pacing is fast. The lesbian love of Nora Aunor for Vilma Santos, moreover, is extremely clever, since the two superstars in real life would not be caught dead in such a relationship. Zialcita has made a career of doing impossible things. He made he-man Dindo Fernando a homosexual in the Mahinhin series. He now makes Aunor a lesbian. When he tries to make Santos a low-class beerhouse dancer, however, he fails. That makes his record two out of three impossible things, not bad for normally sedate local cinema. This film shows Zialcita at his best – irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, unconcerned with larger themes, focused on obsessive sexual relationships. Let’s take the dialogue first, which cleverly juxtaposes the fiction of the film with the reality of the careers of the two superstars. Thus references are made to Santos’ being a “burlesque queen.” One character is even named “Rubia,” after Rubia Servios (1978), Santos’ competition film against Aunor’s Atsay (1978). More than these allusions, however, the film features sparkling exchanges between Santos and Aunor. Most impressive of all the lines perhaps are those in the court room sequence, since the opposing arguments are easy to follow, yet logical in structure. The direction is tight and masterful. Although one always gets reminded in a Zialcita film of sequences from foreign films, there is a minimum of unmotivated blocking in this film. Each sequence contributes to the whole film (if there is copying, in other words, and I do think there is in this film, the copying is not done simply to be cute or clever, but in accordance with the logical requirements of the plot). The performances, as expected of a Zialcita film, are excellent. Aunor is more effective as the confused lesbian, primarily because Santos is not able to get the rough and ready quality of low-class hospitality girls. Tommy Abuel is terrific in his role as the patient suitor. Fernando is given too little space to develop his character, but what he has, he makes good use of. Captivating is Suzanne Gonzales, though she has to learn to use her face a bit more to express varying emotions. In their brief roles, Anita Linda and Odette Khan are delightful.” – Isagani Cruz, September 22, 1982, Movie Parade Magazine

No More Superstar Image – “…Isa iyong ikslusibong pakikipanayam sa aktress sa set ng “T-Bird,” isang pelikulang tumatalakay sa mariing iksistensiya ng isang tomboy, at sa pagkakataong ito, muli na naman siyang makakasama ang kaytagal na niyang kakontemporaryong aktress, si Vilma Santos. Sa intriga’t kontrobersiya ng naturang pelikula, (sapagkat kamuntik nang hindi matuloy ang proyekto) nagpapasalamat si Nora at nagkaroon din iyon ng katuparan. Nagtapat siya: “Malaki rin ang naitulong nang pagkikita namin ni Vi sa Manila International Film Festival. Kasi, magkatabi kami. Kinabukasan nun, Saturday, meron nang shooting…Tapos, ang laki rin ng tulong nu’n kasi nagkakuwentuhan na rin kami, ang sarap! Ewan ko, ang sarap talaga ng pakiramdam kung halimbawang magkalaban kayo sa career…magkalaban, pagkatapos ang tagal-tagal n’yo, ‘yung ganu’n. ‘Yong bang hindi mo akalain…Kahit nga mga problema nag-kakuwentuhan din kami, eh…So, ‘nu’nung shooting namin, medyo hindi rin ako masyadong nahirapan sa pag-a-adjust…” Ang totoo, ayon kay Nora, medyo ayaw din niyang tanggapin noong una ang papel na iyon sa “T-Bird.” Unang-una naipangako niya sa sariling gagawa lamang siya ng tatlong pelikula para sa 1982, at hindi nakalinya ang obrang iyon ni Danny Zialcita. Isan linggo niyang pinag-isipan ang alok na iyon ay gumuhit nang malalim ang isang intrigang kanya rin napaglabanan, pagkatapos. “Kasi, unang-una, iniisip ko rin naman, siyempre maraming tao na mag-iisip na naman, magsasalita na naman ‘O baka naman tinatanggap ni Nora ‘yan kasi kakapit sa pangalan ni Vilma dahil alam na down na down na siya!…So, ‘yon, nag-worry ako pero pagkatapos kong pagaralan, naisip ko, bakit ko naman pakikialaman ‘yung ibang tao? Sa ngayon naman, nag-matured na kami. Wala na ‘yung mga batang isipan d’yang Superstar image. Unang-una nga, magsasama kami ngayon as actresses. Hindi na mga dating pa-bandying-bandying ang mga pelikula ngayon…saka isa pa, bakit ko ba iintindihin ang mga sasabihin ng tao? Kung maraming mga detractors ang magsasalit at mag-iisip nang ganun, hindi maiiwasan ‘yon. Maski anong paliwanang ang gawin mo, andu’n pa rin ‘yung kaumakalaban sa iyo…” Isang seryosong pelikula ang “T-Bird” at isang seryosong direktor naman si Danny Zialcita. Ang kay Nora ay ang maranasan ang pagpapel ng isang tomboy hindi sa paraang kumedya kundi sa isang paraang dramatika. Gusto rin niyang maranasan kung paano maiderihe ni Danny sa unang pagkakataon…” – Arthur Quinto, photos by Fely Igmat, Artista Magazine, 04 March 1982, Re-posted by James DR, Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

RELATED READING:

#noraaunor, #VilmaSantos, #TBirdatAko1982, #DannyZialcita

Filmography: Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (1982)

“If he goes, you go, if he dies…dalawa na kayong nawala sa buhay ko.” – Lily

“You’re supposed to be the father of the sick boy, not the willing husband of the boy’s mother! That was the arrangement Louie!” – Elsa

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Basic Information: Directed: Danny Zialcita; Story: Tom Adrales; Screenplay: Tom Adrales, Danny Zialcita; Cast: Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel, Dindo Fernando, Chanda Romero, Tommy Abuel, Mark Joseph Enriquez, Suzanne Gonsales; Executive producer: Vic del Rosario Jr.; Original Music: George Canseco; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Jr.; Sound: Vic Macamay; Theme Songs: “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” performed by Pilita Corales, Basil Valdez; Released date: 25 November 1982

Plot Description: They are two women in love with one man. One is the wife, the other is the mistress. And between them, the man whose love and time they share. But even the most discreet of affairs can be laid open, and the most submissive of wives can lose her patience. Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel and Dindo Fernando lend their thespic talents to this moving tale of love, betrayal and retribution.. – IMDB

Lily (Vilma Santos) and Elsa (Hilda Koronel) have been friends for a long time but they both share loads of life’s difficulties. Elsa is married to Louie (Dindo Fernando) but unfortunately couldn’t bear a child. Elsa on the other hand, had a son out of wedlock and worse, is afflicted with congenital heart disease. Lily and Louie eventually fell in love until they had a child. Elsa’s hidden intention is to adopt their child. Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel and Dindo Fernando was able to portray their characters in a moving tale of love, betrayal and retribution. – Wikipilipinas

Film Achievement: 1982 FAP Best Sound – Vic Macamay; 1982 FAMAS Best Editing – Ike Jarlego, Jr.; 1982 FAMAS Best Musical Score – George Canseco; 1982 FAMAS Best Screenplay – Tom Adrales and Danny Zialcita; 1982 FAMAS Best Story – Tom Adrales; 1982 FAMAS Best Sound – Vic Macamay; 1982 FAMAS Best Theme Song – George Canceso; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Actor – Dindo Fernando; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Child Actor – Mark Joseph Enriquez; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Director – Danny Zialcita; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Picture; 1982 FAMAS nomination Best Supporting Actor – Tommy Abuel; Broke box office record of 1982, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila

Zialcita’s first movie with Vilma was the 1980 festival entry, a drama about bigamy, Langis at Tubig. The following year, Zialcita and Santos joined forces again in antoher festival entry, Karma. The film earned Vilma her second Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress. The following year, Ziacita’s Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan broke box office record, Earned P7.3 million during its first day of showing in Metro Manila and assured Vilma Santos the box office queen of 1982. The total number of Vilma Santos and Danny Zialcita colloborations were four (Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? 1982, Karma 1981, Langis at Tubig 1980, T-Bird at Ako). – RV (READ MORE)

“…Gaano kadalas ang Minsan? Grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982 outgrossing “Sinasamba Kita” for Philippine movies’ all-time box office tally. With inflation and currency rate in consideration that will be around 95 million. But that’s not the only exciting thing about these film. It was the only film that Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel did while atleast when Hilda was still at her peak. Ofcourse, Ate Vi’s career remained as hot as ever while Koronel now accepts supporting roles. It was obvious that year that Hilda was also more glamourous than Vilma but looking at the two right now, Vilma maintained that slim, youthful look while Hilda struggled and visibly gained so much weight she can be mistaken as Ate Vi’s aunt or mother! After Gaano Kadalas, Hilda did a few more leading roles under Viva Films even co-starred with Nora Aunor but didn’t get the same results as Gaano. But like what William Leary says, “mahirap matalbugan si Vilma, Vilma is Vilma in any season and whatever movie!”…” – MPL (READ MORE)

Film Review: Sa “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?,” minsan pang pinatunayan ni Danny Zialcita ang kanyang pambihirang abilidad sa pagbibigay ng bagong treatment sa lumang tema ng pag-ibig, na kadalasa’y umiikot sa pormula ng triangulo. (Hindi nga ba’t maging sa kanyang mga naunang obra, tulad ng “Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna” at “Ikaw at ang Gabi”, ay naitatak ni Zialcita ang kanyang makabagong sensibilidad sa pagtalakay sa mga kuwento ng pag-ibig? Mula sa istorya ni Tom Adrales (nagsilbing katulong ni Zialcita sa iskrip at sa direksyon), ang “Gaano kadalas” ay tungkol sa magkaibigang Lily (Vilma Santos) at Elsa (Hilda Koronel), na bagama’t kapwa nakaririwasa sa buhay ay magkaiba naman ang swerte. Matapos magpatingin si Hida sa doktor, nalaman niyang wala na siyang pag-asang magka-anak pa. Si Vilma nama’y may kaisa-isang anak nga sa pagkadalaga pero wala naman itong ama at, mas grabe pa, may taning na ang buhay ng bata (may congenital heart disease ito). Minsan, nagkahingahan ng problema ang magkaibigan, at sa kanilang pag-uusap, inalok ni Hilda si Vilma na gawing ama ng kanyang anak ang asawa nitong si Louie (Dindo Fernando). Bagamat ipinalabas niyang mahal din niya ang bata at gusto niya itong mapaligaya kahit pansamantala lang, ang kanyang tunay na pakay ay mapaglapit ang kaibigan at ang asawa nang sa gayo’y magkaroon siya ng maaampong anak na mula sa relasyon ng dalawang taong kapwa niya mahal.

Nagtagumpay ang tatlo sa kanilang pagpapanggap, at gaya ng inaasahan, nagkaibigan nga ang dalawa. Pagkatapos mamatay ang anak, nagbuntis si Vilma. Dahil delikadong manganak siyang muli (diumano’y may sakit siya sa puso), nagtangkang ipalaglag ni Vilma ang nasa kanyang sinapupunan. Napigilan siya ng kaibigang si Chanda Romero at ni Dindo mismo. Pero, sa wakas, nang siya’y magsilang, nawalan si Elsa ng asawa, kaibigan at anak.

Mahusay ang pagkakdevelop sa kuwento ng “Gaano kadalas” at epektibo ang direksyon ni Zialcita. Nagawa nitong masangkot ang manonood sa problema ng mga tauhan. Absorbing ang naging tunggalian ng mga puso’t damdamin. Naipakitang may sapat na motibasyon ang kanyang mga tauhan para pumasok sa ganoong arrangement. Gayunpaman, may ilang katanungang hindi nasagot sa pelikula. Una, paano nakasisiguro si Hilda na ipagkakaloob sa kanya ni Vilma ang anak nito kay Louie sakali ma’t hindi namatay ang bata? Ikalawa, bakit masyadong naging hayagan ang relasyon nina Vilma’t Dindo lalo pa kung isasaalang-alang ang kanilang tayo sa sosyedad? At ikatlo, kung totoong mapera si Vilma, bakit nahirapan siyang kumontak ng abortionist at dahil nga dito’y isinugal pa ang buhay? Kung tutuusin, lalo pang naging prominente ang mga kakulangang ito dahil lubusang nagrely ang pelikula sa samut-saring medical convolutions ng plot: kesyo hindi pwede manganak si Hilda, kesyo may anak nga si Vilma pero blue baby naman at kesyo hindi rin siya pwedeng manganak ulit dahil sa sakit niya sa puso (at ang mga ito ay nakapagtatakang hindi pa nalalaman ni Dindo).

Ang madalas magpaangat sa pelikula ay ang acting ng cast. Dahil mas malaman ang kanyang papel at tila na perfect na ni Vilma Santos ang agony ng other woman, mas nangingibabaw ang kanyang performance kay Hilda Koronel. Kahit na mas marami ang nagsasabing si Hilda ang angat dito. Pasulpot-sulpot ang papel ni Hilda at may kahinaan ang motibasyon (isipin mong siya pa ang nagtulak sa sariling asawa sa ibang babae!). Medyo nakaka-distract ang kanilang mga kasuotan (mga gawa ni Christian Espiritu), gaya rin ng ayos ng mga bahay at kasangkapang tila nakikipagkumpetensiya sa tauhan. Epektibo rin ang pagganap ni Dindo Fernando bilang Louie na nahati ang puso para sa dalawang babae. Magaling din ang supporting cast, lalo na si Suzanne Gonzales, ang yayang sosyal, at ang batang si Alvin Joseph Enriquez. Kahit maikli ang kanilang papel, mahusay rin ang rehistro nina Tommy Abuel, ang doktor na nanliligaw kay Vilma, at si Chanda Romero, bilang matalik na kaibigan ni Vilma. – Justino Dormiendo, Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino

Ang pelikulang umiikot sa tatsulok ng pag-ibig ay isa na sa perennial favourites ng masang Pilipino. Maging ang kapanuhunan pa nina Rogelio dela Rosa at Carmen Rosales ay palasak na ito sa mga pelikulang tulad ng “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, “Tangi Kong Pag-ibig” at “Lydia”. Ang kadalasang katriangulo nila noon ay si Patria Plata o kaya’y si Paraluman. Nag boom ang love triangle movies noong 60’s matapos nag hit sa takilya at manalo ng katakut-takot na Famas awards ang “Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang” na siyang naglunsad kina Eddie Rodriguez, Lolita Rodriguez at Marlene Dauden sa di-mabilang na mga pelikulang pawang ganito ang tema. Halimbawa’y ang “Kasalanan Kaya”, “Babae, Ikaw ang Dahilan” at “Ikaw”. Ngayo’y muli na namang na-resurrect ang triangulo ng pag-ibig sa “Gaano Kadals ang Minsan?” sa katauhan nina Vilma Santos, Hilda Koronel at Dindo Fernando. At sa tingin namin, sa mga nag-portray na ng ganitong klase ng roles lately, sila na ang pinakamalapit sa orihinal at tipong talagang magmamana ng trono nina Lolita, Marlene at Eddie. Ang istorya nga ng “Gaano kadalas” ay halos hawig din sa isang lumang pelikula nina Lolita, ang “Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan” na pinamahalaan ni Fely Crisostomo at nagwagi ng Famas best picture, best director at best actress awards (for Marlene) noong 1967. Mayroon din ditong batang may congenital heart defect na nasa sentro ng istorya. Hindi na rin bago sa direktor ng “Gaano Kadalas” na si Danny Zialcita ang love triangle. Ganito rin ang tema ng kanyang “Langis at Tubig” na nagpanalo kay Dindo ng dalawang best actor awards noong 1980. Pero dito sa “Gaano Kadalas” ay lalong tumingkad ang mahusay niyang pagha-handle, hindi lamang ng paksa kundi maging sa kanyang mga artista.

Magkaibigang matalik sina Lily (Vilma) at Elsa (Hilda). Nalaman ni Elsa na may sakit sa puso ang anak sa pagkakasala ni Lily at may taning na ang buhay nito. Gustong makita ng bata ang kanyang di-nagisnang ama at upang matupad ang huling hiling na ito ay ipinahiram ni Elsa ang asawa niyang si Louie (Dindo) kay Lily. Siyempre pa, ayaw ni Lily noong una pero alang-alang sa anak ay pumayag na rin siya (Noong una’y inakala naming magiging napaka weak ng bahaging ito ng istorya). Sino ba naman ang babaing buong pusong magpapahiram ng kanyang asawa sa ibang babae kahit na sabihin pa ngang best friend niya ito? Pero nalagyan nina Danny Zialcita at co-scriptwiter na si Tom Adrales ng justification ang pasiya ni Elsa. Talagang gusto niyang ibuyo si Louie kay Lily dahil natuklasan niyang siya’y baog at gusto niyang magka-anak ang kanyang asawa sa kanyang kaibigan. Without this ulterior motive on Lily’s part, magiging hindi kapani- paniwala ang buong pelikula. Tulad ng inaasahan ni Elsa, nagkaunawaan sina Louie at Lily habang nagsasama sa iisang bubong ang dalawa. Maganda ang pagkaka -develop ng pagkakalapit ng kanilang mga damdamin. Credible ang pagkakaroon nila ng affair dahil, to begin with, mukhang cold na asawa itong si Elsa (natitiis niyang magkalayo sila ni Louie nang matagal na panahon) at ito namang Lily ay may ekspiryensiya nang nabuntis ng lalaki kahit hindi sila kasal. Nang mamatay ang bata, nagbalik si Louie kay Elsa pero naging masalimuot ang lahat dahil nagdadalangtao na si Lily. Naging malungkot ang wakas para sa bawat tauhan, lalo na kay Elsa na siyang may pakana ng mga pangyayari. Sa tingin nga nami’y parang napakalupit ng ending para sa kanya.

Mahuhusay ang tatlong main stars. may kanya-kanya silang best scenes. Sina Dindo at Vilma sa unang komprontasyon nila matapos magbuntis ang huli nang mukhang hindi excited si Dindo sa pagdadalangtao nito. Si Hilda ay sa panunumbat niya kay Dindo matapos magbalik ito sa kanila, doon sa eksenang sinasabi niyang “That was the arrangement, Louie”. Pero sa lahat ng mga artista ay si Chanda Romero ang nagustuhan namin sa lahat. Kahit maikli’t halos supporting lamang ang role nito bilang kasosyo at confidante ni Vilma ay talagang markadongmarkado ang kanyang pagkakaganap. Napakaepektibo niyang magdeliver ng mga linya, lalo ng mga babala niya kay Vilma na tulad ng: “Huwag mo ng ituloy. Baka masaktan ka sa bandang huli. Babae ka, lalaki si Louie, siguradong gulo ‘yan.” Parang siya ang nag foreshadow sa mga sumunod na pangyayari sa buhay ni Lily. Nang magbuntis ito, siya rin ang nagbigay ng payo: “Pumatol ka rin. Pwede bang ikaw lang magdusa e kasama siya sa sarap?” Kaya’t siya ang nagsabi kay Louie na gustong magpa-abort ni Lily. Ang iba pang-guest supporting players ay magagaling din: si Ronaldo Valdez ay kwelang kwela sa dinner scene nilang apat nina Chanda, Vilma at Dindo; si Tommy Abuel ay napakagaling bilang doktor na may asawang nanliligaw kay Vilma; at si Gloria Romero bilang ina ni Hilda. Ang credit na ito sa pagkuha ng mga mahuhusay at kilalang artista kahit na halos guest role lang ang lalabasan ay dapat na mapunta sa direktor na si Danny Zialcita, na hindi nagtitipid sa pagkuha ng kung sinu-sinong ekstra na siyang kadalasang nangyayari sa ibang pelikulang lokal.

The lions’ share of credit should really go to Zialcita dahil nagawa niyang bigyan ng bagong bihis ang isang behikulong gamit na gamit na. As usual, naroon ang mga pakwelang dialogue na tatak niya. Halimbawa’y nang makita ni Hilda na nanonood si Vilma sa pagpapaalam niya kay Dindo: “Don’t look, Louie, but I think your wife is watching.” O nang sabihin ni Vilma kay Dindo: “Kung nagkataong ibang asawa mo, I’ll gladly be your willing mistress.” maganda rin ang sets, mga bahay at restaurant na ginamit sa pelikula. Mabilis ang pacing at mahusay ang editing, may eksenang out-of-focus si Felizardo Bailen pero as a whole ay mahusay ang trabaho niya. Nakatulong nang malaki sa ikagaganda ng pelikula ang madamdaming musical score at theme song na ginawa ni George Canseco. Sa lahat ng ginawang pelikula ng Viva Films, dito kami talaga nagenjoy. Ngayong nasa Viva na rin si Zialcita, dapat sigurong magpakitang gilas naman si Eddie Garcia na siyang dating solong direktor ng Viva. – Mario Bautista

“Gaano kadalas ang Minsan” Grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982 outgrossing “Sinasamba Kita” for Philippine movies’ all-time box office tally. With inflation and currency rate in consideration that will be around 95 million. But that’s not the only exciting thing about these film. It was the only film that Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel did while atleast when Hilda was still at her peak. Ofcourse, Ate Vi’s career remained as hot as ever while Koronel now accepts supporting roles. It was obvious that year that Hilda was also more glamourous than Vilma but looking at the two right now, Vilma maintained that slim, youthful look while Hilda struggled and visibly gained so much weight she can be mistaken as Ate Vi’s aunt or mother! After Gaano Kadalas, Hilda did a few more leading roles under Viva Films even co-starred with Nora Aunor but didn’t get the same results as Gaano. But like what William Leary says, “mahirap matalbugan si Vilma, Vilma is Vilma in any season and whatever movie!” – RV (READ MORE)

“…From 1979 to 1986, Zialcita was on a roll, doing one film after another, pulling off nine hits in a row beginning with Gaano Kadalas in 1981 up to his sex comedies that include May Lamok Sa Loob ng Kulambo. He could demand anything from a producer and his wish would be granted. When Viva Films asked him to do Gaano Kadalas, he told Vic and Mina del Rosario that he will only do it if they get George Canseco to write the theme song (most of his popular films had songs by Canseco), and that Hilda Koronel would be one of the leads. Viva granted him both—even if it had to pay more for Hilda than for Vilma. “May utang ako kay Hilda eh, I took her out of Langis at Tubig…” – Jerome Gomez (READ MORE)

Filmography: Karma (1981)

“Ganuon naman pala eh, de alam mo na may asawa na ako…bitiwan mo ako…alright wise guy, gypsy pala ako nun hah…sinabi mo rin mahilig ako sa music, dancing, siguro may favourite song ako, huwag nang yung napakalayong kahapon, baka hindi mo mabasa eh, yun na lang natapos na kahapon, twenty, twenty five years ago…ano kayang favourite song ko?” – Sarah

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Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Danny Zialcita; Story: Sylvia Barreto; Cast: Vilma Santos, Ronaldo Valdez, Tommy Abuel, Chanda Romero, Christopher Deleon (guest appearance), Marianne Delariva, Dante Rivero, Aurora Salve, Suzanne Gonzales, Martha Sevilla, Odette Khan, Virginia Montes, Bella Flores, Etang Ditcher, Vic Silayan, Fred Montilla, Renato Robles, Ruel Vernal, Augusto Victa, Butch Aquino; Executive producer: Ernesto C. Rojas; Original Music: Gilbert Gregorio; Cinematography: Felizardo Baillen; Film Editing: Enrique Jarlego Sr.; Theme Songs: “Minsan Sa Isang Panahon” performed by Kuh Ledesma, “Its now or never”

Plot Description:  Sarah (Vilma Santos) is forced to defer her wedding when she scheduled to flight was delayed. At a hotel where she is staying, Sarah encounters Eric (Ronaldo Valdez), a regular guest who forces himself on her. The incident leaves a stigma not just on Sarah but more so on her fiancé, Alfredo (Tommy Abuel) whose dream of marrying a “virgin” is dashed. Strangely, Sarah and Eric’s paths cross again at a time when their respective marriages are in disarray. Their meeting strikes both as “déjà vu.” Could it be that they have met each other in the past? Their suspicious are confirmed after Eric consults a psychic. As it turns out, Sarah and Eric are the reincarnation of Guada and Enrico, two lovers who had an illicit affair sixty years ago. When Guada’s husband, Limbo (Ruel Vernal), learned of her affair, he went on a murderous rampage. Now Sarah and Eric seem destined to follow the same path. But in whose spouse does the spirit of Limbo rest? Is it the disabled Alfredo? Or Eric’s estranged wife Cristy (Chanda Romero)? – Viva Films

Sarah (Vilma Santos) is forced to defer her wedding when her scheduled flight is delayed. At a hotel where she is staying, she encounters Eric (Ronaldo Valez), a regular guest, who forces himself on her. The incident leaves a stigma not just on Sarah but more so on her fiance, Alfredo (Tommy Abuel)whose dream of marrying a virgin is dashed. – Telebisyon.net (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1981 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor – Tommy Abuel; 1981 FAMAS Best Supporting Actress – Chanda Romero; 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1981 Cebu City Film Festival Best Actress – Vilma Santos

Film Review: “…Maituturing na head of his time ang mahusay at napaka-innovative na direktor na si Danny Zialcita. Lahat nang nanood ng 1981 movie na tinatampukan nina Vilma Santos, Ronaldo Valdez at Chanda Romero, na ipinalabas ang restored version courtesy of the ABS-CBN Film Restoration last Friday sa Trinoma, ay sumang-ayon na very now pa ang tema ng pelikula. At very now pa rin ang approach niya sa pagsasa-pelikula nito. Bukod sa pagdidirek ng Karma, si direk Danny din ang sumulat ng story at script nito. Fresh from his performance bilang ama sa apat na ‘di magkasundong magkakapatid, hangga’t nalaman ng mga ito na malapit na siyang bawian ng buhay, sa blockbus­ter Star Cinema movie na Seven Sundays, Ronaldo already proved he was an actor to reckon with, yes, that early, sa pelikulang Karma. At kung looks ang pag-uusapan, sorry Janno Gibbs dahil mas guwapong ‘di hamak ang iyong ama. At the time na ginawa ni Ronaldo ang Karma, kaedad din niya si Janno. Of Ate Vi, dapat mapanood ng kanyang mga anak na sina Luis Manzano at Ryan Christian-Recto ang Karma. Pagkaganda-ganda ni Ate Vi sa said movie. Kasama rin sa pelikula si Tommy Abuel na isang lawyer sa tunay na buhay. Magaling siya sa kanyang role bilang mister ni Ate Vi, na hindi nito napatawad dahil sa hindi nito ipinagtapat bago sila ikinasal na hindi na siya virgin. Si Tommy ay napapanood pa rin paminsan-minsan sa mga teleserye at may nagsabing regular member ito ng Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB). As to Ronaldo, he was at the screening of Karma. At gumawa talaga siya ng oras para bumati sa lahat ng audience bago sinimulan ang screening. Of direk Danny, he died in 2013…” – Baby E, Pang-Masa, 29 October 2017 (READ MORE)

The technical preview of “Karma” the other night was delayed for about an hour but I did not mind waiting because I was quite certain that I’d be seeing a fine film. To while away the time, “Firecracker,” co-starring American actors with local talents like Chanda Romero, Vic Diaz, and Rey Malonzo was shown. Chanda and Vic delivered their lines themselves but surprisingly Rey didn’t. Before one whole reel could roll, the prints of “Karma” arrived. “Don’t stop it yet, a bed scene is coming,” Mario Bautista protested. Happily, “Karma” turned out to be as good as I expected. It’s performers are first-rate – Vilma Santos, Ronaldo Valdez, Tommy Abuel, Chanda Romero – so their award-winning acting didn’t surprise me at all. The script was outstanding but even that was expected, coming from director Danny Zialcita. What impressed me was that minor parts were played by name actors. The housekeeper who appeared in one short sequence could have been played by any elderly woman but those who made the movie wanted nothing less than Etang Discher. The psychiatrist could have been played by any decent-looking man but they didn’t settle for anybody less than Vic Silayan. The male lover at the start of the story had to be acted out by Dante Rivero, that at the end by Christopher de Leon. The movie boasted of several bold scenes. Those involving Vilma weren’t much as we know for a fact that Vilma could show only so much. One scene showing Chanda was a different story. It showed her with absolutely nothing on, yet it didn’t offend anybody as it was executed in style, shot with great care. There was just one thing, which looked unnatural to me – the way in which one of the main characters killed himself. “That’s all right,” Danny assured me. “Before we shot it, we double-checked its possibility.” Reincarnation and transference are undoubtedly mind-boggling subjects but, to his utmost credit, Danny managed to present them simply, bringing them down for everybody to understand. “Bala lang yan. Katawan lang ito. Babalik at babalik kami sa mundong ito,” Dante vowed. Come back they did as they promised building the foundation of the story. – Bob Castillo, People’s Journal Dec. 12, 1981

Sa pagbabago ng estado ni Vilma Santos, tila nagbabago na rin ang kanyang approach sa kanyang career. Dahil hindi na career ang unang priority niya sa buhay, lalong nagiging professional ang kanyang tingin sa trabaho. Dahil hindi na twenty-four hours a day ang kanyang buhay artista, alam na niyang I-apportion ang bawat minuto na walang aksaya. Sa set ng Relasyon ni Ishmael Bernal, hangang-hanga ang director sa bagong pang-unawa ni Vilma sa trabaho. Dumarating sa oras, kabisado ang linya (memorizing lines for Vilma, of course, was never a problem even the days she was shooting five pictures simultaneously), full attention sa sinasabi ng direktor, walang problema. Kung pagbabasehan sa naging resulta ng Karma, lalong maganda ngayon si Vilma, mas mariin ang kanyang pagganap, mas mature ang kanyang approach at understanding sa kaniyang papel. Swerteng-swerte ang pagkapanalo niya ng best actress sa nakaraang Film fest. Sayang at wala siya upang tanggapin mismo ang tropeo. Pero lalong naging makabuluhan para sa kanya ang sinabi ng kapwa niya artista sa Karma nang sabihin ni Chanda Romero na “napakaganda naman ng karma ni Vilma. Mayroon na siyang Edu, mayroon siyang Lucky, ngayon ay mayroon pa siya nito (ang ibig sabihin ay ang best actress trophy),” sabay tilian ng mga fans sa loob ng Cultural Center, walang makapigil, walang makasaway. Pero, gaya ng dati, hindi naging madali kay Vilma ang pananalo. Nagpatas ang botohan ng dalawang beses – triple tie sila ni Gina Alajar at Charo Santos, hanggang ma-break ang deadlock at nakaungos ng isang boto si Vilma sa dalawa pa niyang kalaban. Tinawagan si Vilma ni Cirio Santiago, pinasundo sa isang limousine, pero nagdahilan ang Vilma. Ayaw niya sigurong umasa dahil minsan, sa isang awards night din, sinigurong siya ang mananalo pero hindi ganun ang nangyari. (I understand that Vilma really won but the verdict was changed afterwards through the representations and machinations of some influential press sectors.) Kunsabagay, wala rin si Charito Solis noong awards dahil sabi sa akin ni Chato, talagang hindi niya inaasahang manalo ang maliit na papel na iyon sa Kisapmata. Noon pa mang preview pa lamang, maugong na ang balitang baka si Charito ang manalo bilang supporting actress pero hindi niya yun pinansin dahil tiyak na tiyak siya na si Vic Silayan ang mananalo. Sinabi pa niya sa interview niya kay Armida Siguion-Reyna sa Let’s Talk Movies na napakagaling ni Vic. Sa set pa lamang daw, natitiyak na niya halos na si Vic ay mananalo sa Kisapmata. Sa naturan ding programa, sinabi ni Armida sa pagre-review niya ng Karma na talagang magaling ang pagkakaganap ni Vilma sa Karma na parang nakuha nitong punuan ang ilang mahalagang kakulangan ng pelikula. – Oscar Miranda

“…During the MMFF when Ate Vi won in Karma. It was a triple tie between Ate Vi, Gina Alajar and Charo Santos. JQ as one of board of jurors defended why Ate Vi should win. On the second deliberation JQ convinced one of the jurors and Ate Vi won by 1 point. JQ lambasted on his TV program the jurors in the MMFF when Ate Vi was not even nominated for her performance in Langis At Tubig. The nominees are Nora Aunor for “Bona” and “Kung Akoy IIwan Mo” and Amy Austria for Brutal. Its good that Amy won. JQ said that Ate Vi is good in langis compared to Nora in “Kung Akoy IIwan.” Obiously that was manipulated by Dean Lukresia Kasilag who was the Board Chairman that time and a certified Noranian. Kawawa talaga si Ate Vi basta involved si Kasilag lagi syang nabibiktima. Remember Rubia Serbios and Atsay. JQ always regarded Ate Vi as the real Queen of Philippine movies and a certified box Office Queen…” – V Magazine (READ MORE)

“…Nang minsang makapanayam namin si Vi sa set ng Karma, sabi niya, “Masaya ako ngayon. Sa darating na Filmfest kasi, maganda ang panlaban kong pelikula. Kung nagustuhan ng mga manonood ang Langit at Tubig last year, mas magugustuhan nila ang Karma. Hindi kiyeme-kiyeme ang sinasabi ko. Nakita ko na kasi ang mga rushes, “I consider Danny as one of the best among our movie directors. Pulido siyang magtrabaho. Pari iyong mga bold scenes namin, talagang artistically done. All praises ako sa kanya. Nakasama ko na rin siya before and because of that, may inter-action kaming dalawa. Vibes na vibes kami. Sure ako, hindi ako mapapahiya sa filmfest entry ko. “Karma will be my Christmas gift to all my fans who, until now, have not stopped loving me. Ang pagtingin ko sa kanila ay extra special kaya naman, extra-special ang regalo ko…” – Manny A. Valera, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, December 28, 1981 (READ MORE)

“One of the most misundertood occult concepts. The nearest equivalent in European thought is contained in the idea of fate, though the oriental term indicates that fate is not a haphazard sequence of events of experiences, but is dependent on actions of previous lives or spiritual conditions. The idea is that a spirit undertakes to live in an earthy body for a given period of time, usually in order to learn in a disembodied state, and has to accept rewards and punishments for good and bad deeds committed in previous incarnations. In order that understanding may grow, any evil committed against another persons will have to be experienced by the perpetrator. The working out of Karma is not done consciously by ordinary people. The real reasons and relatinships may be understood only when the nature of their Karma is grasped -which is tantamount to saying that it is virtually impossible to understand or judge another person when seen in the context of one material lifetime only. Vilma Santos fits the role to a T. For the past years that she has suffered a string of misfortunes and setbacks in real and reel life, she has honed herself as promise, a common objective: to gove the viewing public what it wants – entertainment with a capital E. For Danny Zialcita, aside from having a good screenplay, good direction and brilliant actors and actresses, the movie should have artistic values…” – Bong de Leon, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, November 2, 1981 (READ MORE)

“…Sarah (Vilma Santos) is forced to defer her wedding when her scheduled flight is delayed. At a hotel where she is staying Sarah encounters Eric (Ronaldo Valdez) a regular guest who forces himself on her. The incident leaves a stigma not just on Sarah but more so on her fiance Alfredo (Tommy Abuel) whose dream of marrying a virgin is dashed. Strangely Sarah and Eric’s paths crossed again at a time when their respective marriages are in disarray. Their meeting strikes both as deja vu. Could it be that they have met each other in the past? Their suspicions are confirmed after Eric consults a psychic. As it turns out Sarah and Eric are the reincarnation of Guada and Enrico twol lovers who had an illicit affair 60 years ago. When Guada’s husband Limbo (Ruel Vernal) learned of her arffair he went on a murderous rampage. Now Sarah and Eric seem destined to follow the same path. But in whose spouse does the spirit of Limbo rest? Is it the disabled Alfredo? Or Enrico’s estranged wife Cristy?…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)