FILM REVIEW: IGINUHIT NG TADHANA


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filmography: Kamay na Gumagapang (1974)

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Basic Information: Direction:Tony Cayado; Story: Pablo S. Gomez; Screenplay: Mauro Bautista; Cast: Vilma Santos, Rosemarie Gil, Romeo Miranda, Alicia Alonzo, Dick Israel, Matimtiman Cruz, Tita De Villa, Jose De Villa, Venchito Galvez, Conrado Conde, Naty Mallares, Winnie Santos, Rey Tomenes, Elisa Robles, Louie Zapata; Original Music:Totoy Nuke; Cinematography: Felipe Santiago; Release Date:26 July 1974 (Philippines); Production Company:VP Pictures

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “Pablo S. Gomez is one of the top komiks writers in the Philippines. He is also a movie scriptwriter and director. His most popular works include Kurdapya, Petrang Kabayo, among others…Among the prolific writers in the Philippines, Gomez created more than 1,000 komiks novels and stories. Some 300 of which were given film adaptations by movie studios like Sampaguita Pictures, Lea Productions, FPJ Productions, Seiko Films, Viva Films, and Regal Films…In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, his list of works that became blockbuster movies were…Kampanerang Kuba (1973), Kamay na Gumagapang (1974)…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

“…My first big break as a kontrabida was given by Dr. Perez of Sampaguita Pictures in Kamay Na Gumagapang. In one of our press conferences, he told everyone “Watch out for this guy, Dick Israel, he’s going to be the next Eddie Garcia…” – Edwin P. Sallan (READ MORE)

“…Ang masterpiece ni Tony Cayado na Kamay Na Gumagapang (July 26, 1974) ay handog ng VP Pictures na pinangunahan nina Vi, Rosemarie Gil, Romeo Miranda, Alicia Alonzo, Dick Israel, Matimtiman Cruz, Tita de Villa, Venchito Galvez, Winnie Santos at Naty Mallares. Ito ay sa panulat ni Pablo S. Gomez at iskrip ni Mauro Bautista. “Beware: Kamay Na Gumagapang is creeping at your back!…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Young Love (1970)

“I hate you…dirty…you’re dirty! I hate youuuu!…huwag n’yo nang mabangit-bangit ang pangalan nyan! Kinasusuklaman ko siya!..ngayon ko lang nakita ang kapangitan ng buhay ang akala ko masaya’t maganda na ang daigdig…” – Tere

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Basic Information: Directed: Tony Cayado; Story: German Moreno; Screenplay: Medy Tarnate; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Edgar Mortiz, Ike Lozada, German Moreno, Raul Aragon, Bella Flores, Etang Discher, Tony Cayado, Evelyn Bonifacio, Tina Lapuz, Arlene Bautista, Angge; Executive producer: Jose Vera Perez; Original Music: Medy Tarnate; Cinematography: Felipe Santiago; Sound: Flaviano Villareal; Theme Songs: “Young Love” performed by Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Edgar Mortiz; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: Both Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III joined a singing contest and won. With a support from friends, Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz they became lovers. – RV

Film Achievement: First film of Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor together.

Film Review: Taong 1970. Gumawa si Vilma Santos ng dalawamput isang pelikula na puro musicals. Isa lamang ang nagawa niyang drama (Sapagkat Sila’y Aming Mga Anak). Nakakapagtaka dahil hindi naman siya singer. Marahil ito ay dahil sa love team nila ni Edgar Mortiz at ito ang “trend” ng panahong ito. Pito-pito kung gumawa sila ng pelikula ng panahong iyon kung baga dalawang pelikula ang pinapalabas nila sa loob ng isang buwan. Isa na rito ang pelikula ng Sampaguita Pictures, ang “Young Love” na tinampukan ni Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz.

Mapupuna na ang pelikulang ito ay bida si Nora at Tirso at supporting lamang si Vilma at Edgar. Mula sa istorya ni German Moreno at screenplay ni Medy Tarnate ang “Young Love” ay puno ng nakakalokang sitwasyon at napakababaw ng mga eksena at diyalogo. Ang director nito’y si Tony Cayado. At ang mga sayaw ay sa ilalim ng choreography ni Lito Calzado. Hindi natin alam kung bakit tinawag na “Young Love” ang pelikula samantalang hindi naman ito tungkol sa pag-iibigan ng mga kabataan rito kundi tungkol sa singing contest na sinalihan nina Ditas Aunor (Nora Aunor) at Joey Cruz (Tirso Cruz III). Naging tabla ang resulta ng singing contest at ginawa silang mga mainstay singers ng television show. Matapos ng contest ay makikitang naghahabulan na si Ditas at Joey sa may mga puno ng niyog at makikitang nagliligawan rin sina Tere (Vilma Santos) at Buboy (Edgar Mortiz) sabay kanta ang apat ng “Young Love.”

Sa tutoo lang, ito lang ang eksena kung saan maririnig na kumakanta rin si Vilma at nakipagsabayan siya kay Nora. Sa tuwing papasok sa eksena si Bella Flores ay tili ito ng tili at laging sinisigawan si Ditas which was very typical ng mga contrabida nuong panahong ito and very irritating. Narito rin si Etang Discher na isang ulyanin na lola ni Tirso at Vilma. Pilit nitong pinapapunta si Tirso sa Australia pero laging niloloko nito ang matanda at sinasabing natapos na pala ang isang taon at nakabalik na raw ito mula Australia. Tapos nito’y makikita si Ike Lozada na kumakanta sa harap ng mga batang lansangan.

Samantala si Bella Flores ay nakipagayos kay Tom Junes (Raul Aragon) upang sabotahin mismo nito ang show ng kanyang sariling pamangkin. Makikita ang nakakalokang sex scene ng dalawa. At ang sumunod na eksena ay ang drama scene ni Ate Vi. Dahil marahil sa walang eksena si Ate Vi na kumakanta ay binigyan siya ng sariling eksena at katapat ito ng maraming eksena ni Nora na kumakanta. Ito ay nang mahuli ni Ate Vi niya si Tom Junes at Bella Flores na nagse-sex. Takbo ito habang umiiyak. Makikita na dumating ito sa sariling bahay at sa kuwarto nito’y pinagsisira niya ang pictures ni Tom Junes kasama ng album nito. Devoted fan pala siya ni Tom Junes. Cut! Tapos na ang eksena ni Ate Vi. Pasok ang mga musical numbers, kanta ng ilang beses si Nora, Tirso, Edgar and Ike Lozada. Meron ding dance numbers, pero wala si Ate Vi sa mga dance numbers na ito. And then it’s the end. Napapakamot ako sa ulo.

Nakakaloka talaga. Makikitang hindi pinag-isipan ang istorya nito. Ginawa nilang i-showcase ang pagiging singer ni Nora Aunor. Kadalasan ang mga kanta niya ay mga version ng mga English popular cover songs at hindi original Filipino songs. Tulad ng “I Believe” at marami pang iba. Kung tutuusin ito ang trend nuon, ang mga kantang galing sa amerika. So much of the fact that lahat ng mga drum beaters ni Nora ay sinisigaw ang kanyang pagiging isang ulirang Filipina dahil sa kanyang pisikal na itsura. Pero mukha ka ngang dalagang Filipina pero pagbuka naman ng bunganga mo eh lumalabas mga kantang banyaga anong klaseng dalagang Filipina yan? Sa sobrang inpluensiya ng mga banyagang kanta ng kalagitnaan ng dekada 70 ay nagkaroon ng rebelyon sa ere ng mga radyo.

Nauso ang Original Pilipino Music o OPM bilang sagot sa musikang dayuhan. Sumulpot ang mga musikerong Juan DeLaCruz, Hotdog, Cinderella, VST & Co., Sampaguita, Freddy Aguilar, Coritha, Mike Hanopol, at marami pang iba na ang mga kanta ay tagalog at pawang komposisyon ng mga Pilipino. Ang mga kanta ni Nora ay puro mga English kontradiksyon ng mga sinisigaw ng fans niya na isang imahen ng Filipino si Nora. Kung ang itsura man niya ay pilipinang-pilipina ang mga kinakanta naman niya ay – puro kanta ng dayuhan. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit wala siyang masasabing signature song dahil puro version niya lamang ang mga kantang ni-record ng panahong iyon. Samatala si Vilma Santos na hindi singer ay nagkaroon ng kanyang sariling signature songs bagamat English ang mga lyrics ng mga ito, original Filipino composition naman ang mga ito tulad ng “Bobby Bobby Bobby” at “Sixteen.” Kasabay nito’y ni-record din niya ang mga tagalog songs na “Isipin Mong bastat mahal kita,” “Bato sa buhangin,” at “Palong-palo.” Nang kalagitanaan ng dekada 70 ay kapunapuna na kaunti na lamang ang mga pelikulang kantahan at hindi na kumikita ang mga ito kung kaya mapupuna na nag-umpisa nang gumawa ng matitinong pelikula kapwa sina Nora Aunor at Vilma Santos.

Ang “Young Love” ay isang halimbawa ng pelikulang gawa ng unang bahagi ng dekada 70. Mabilisang gawa. Mababaw ng istorya at hitik ng mga musical numbers. Mayroon mga nakakatawang eksena tulad ng pagkanta sa mga burulan ng patay basta magkaroon lang ng eksena ng kantahan. Tutoo ito, may mga eksena na nagkakantahan sa ilalim ng punong kahoy. Mga sayawan, habulan, at ligawan sa mga beach at kahuyan. Nag-click ito sa mga tao nang unang bahagi ng dekada sitentat ngunit sinawaan rin ang mga tao at nang dumating na ang huling bahagi ng dekada ay nagbago ito. Dito dumating ang panahon na nagbago na ang imahen ni Vilma Santos at nag-umpisa na itong ungusan ang walang kawawaang pagkanta ni Nora sa mga basurang pelikula niya.

Ang “Young Love” ay puno ng walang kawawaang musical numbers ni Nora Aunor. Puno rin ito ng mga eksenang nakakaloka na kahit na ang batang paslit ay magkakamot ng ulo at sasabihin ang “huh?” Kung hindi mo hahahanapin ang matinong istorya at ang hangad mo lang ay makita kung gaano kagaling kumanta si Nora Aunor kahit pa sa burulan ng patay tiyak na mage-enjoy ka sa pelikulang ito dahil maraming eksena rito si Nora na kumakanta ng walang kawawaang kantang dayuhan. – RV, V Magazine 2007

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“My Darling Eddie” ng JBC (Disyembre 16 – 23, 1969, “Mardy” ng JBC (Disyembre 31 – Enero 6, 1969)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…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)

“…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)

“…Walang makapaniwala na magiging gayon kalakas takilya sina Nora at Tirso. Nagimbal ang mga taga-pelikula. Bakit daw gayon kalaki ang kinikita ng unang dalawang pelikula nina Nora at Tirso? Tsamba lamang daw kaya iyon o biglang nagbago ng panlasa ng mga manonood? Hindi tsamba. Ang mga sumunod pang pelikula nina Nora at Tirso ay mas malaki ang kinita. Daang-libo ang kinita ng “Teenage Excapades” at “Halina, Neneng Ko.” Itinambal ng Towers si Nora sa iba pang kabataang artista, malaki rin ang kinita. Katunayan na malaki ang hukbo ng mga tagahanga ni Nora. Sinubok naman ng Barangay Productions na itambal si Tirso kay Gemma Suzara, hindi gaanong kinagat ng mga fans. Nag-produce ng pelikula ang mag-anak na Cruz, pinagsama sina Ricky Belmonte at Tirso sa “Ricky na, Tirso Pa” isinama naman sa magpinsan si Pilar Pilapil. Tinapatan ng Tower ng isang pelikula ni Nora ang pelikula ng mga Cruz. Resulta: mas maraming nanood sa pelikula ni Nora. Ano ang ibig sabihin nito? Gusto ng mga fans na maging magkatambal sina Nora at Tirso. Sinagot ng VP Pictures ang kahilingang ito sa pamamagitan ng “Young Love.” Bukod kina Tirso at Nora ay isinaman pa ang mga young ones na sina Vilma Santos at Edgar Mortiz. Patok sa takilya!…” – Romy Galang, Pilipino Magazine, 18 February 1970 (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Iginuhit ng Tadhana (1965)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…Vilma was talking about Trudis Liit, the ’60s Sampaguita tearjerker in which she played the title role, with Luis playing her father, now US-based Lolita Rodriguez her mother and Bella Flores as the kontrabida. Luis, whose real surname is Mercado, died of complications of pneumonia at 11:30 Thursday night, March 15, at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined for the last time (he had been in and out of the hospital). As in the case of movie greats, Luis’ age is confidential and maybe not even his wife Vina Concepcion, who belongs to the clan that owns Concepcion Industries, and their three children can be forced to reveal it. After Trudis Liit, Vilma would star with Luis years later when she was already a teenager, in Iginuhit ng Tadhana and in Pinagbuklod ng Langit, produced by Sampaguita Pictures, believed to have helped Ferdinand Marcos win when he ran for President and then for reelection. In both movies, Luis plays Marcos, with Gloria Romero as First Lady Imelda Marcos and Vilma as Imee Marcos (now Ilocos Norte Governor). In the second, Gina Alajar plays as Irene Marcos (Mrs. Greggy Araneta), Now-Sen. Bongbong Marcos plays himself in the first movie (it was Jonjie Aranda, ex-husband of Sen. Loren Legarda, who plays Bongbong in the second). “I shot Palimos ng Pagibig (a Viva drama, with Edu Manzano and Dina Bonnevie) at Luis’ house,” added Vilma. “I remember him as sobrang kalog, palabiro. Ang tawag namin kay Tito Luis palengke kasi nga Mercado ang real surname niya. I was nine years old then and he always reminded me to just enjoy everything. We were always shooting dramatic scenes at parati akong iyak nang iyak, but after every take, tawa na kami nang tawa because Tito Luis would start cracking jokes…” – RicoJr (READ MORE)

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

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

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

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

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Filmography: Anak, ang Iyong Ina (1963)

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Basic Information: Directed: Mar S. Torres; Story: Fausto J. Galauran; Screenplay: Medy Tarnate; Cast: Gloria Romero, Mario Montenegro, Rita Gomez, Tony Marzan, Eddie Garcia, Vilma Santos, Etang Discher, Maria Victoria, Ely Roque, Aring Bautista, Totoy Torrente, Nenita Navarro, Naty Mallares, Rosa Mia, Tony Cayado, Jose De Villa, Charlie Davao; Original Music: Dick Zamora

Plot Description: “…Vilma has “two” mothers in Gloria Romero and the late Ms. Rita Gomez. Vilma’s name was itsy bitsy tiny in the theater marquees. She started her career right, to be acting with the brilliant and professional actors of the era…” – Mario Garces (READ MORE)

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

Film Reviews: “Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963],” pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga ‘yon. Parang… Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila ‘yong gano’ng ano sa ‘yo. Parang may prize ka, gano’n. So, memorable sa akin iyon.” – Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

“Rosita Quinto Stecza (1925–2006), known by her screen name Rosa Mia, was an award-winning actress and one of the few female directors in the Philippines. She was known as the “Queen of Tearjerker Movies” for her work mostly on the drama genre typified in motherly roles…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, ‘Hindi ka diyan!’ Sabi ko, ‘Andito na, e!’ Makulit na ako no’ng time na ‘yon!” natatawang kuwento pa niya sa PEP. Patuloy ni Ate Vi, “So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no’ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken…” – Ruben Marasigan (READ MORE)

“…Young and cute Vilma Santos is one of the few child stars who have hit the screen with continued success. Although not as well-publicized as the adult stars, she is gaining popularity with lot of fans who recognize her warm personality and talent. Her successful debut in Sampaguita Pictures’ Trusdis Liit gave her more movie offers. Vilma, who just turned 13 last Nov. 3, has been in the movies for three years and already has 16 pictures to her credit. A talented youngster, she often steals the spotlight from her senior colleagues. In Ging, Naligaw Na Anghel, Anak Ang Iyong Ina, and many other films, she was a standout in tear-jearking scenes. As a result, she is always in demand for such roles. Despite her success, Vilma remains unaffected as a child. At the St. mary’s Academy where she is a six-grader, she has more than her share of friends not because she is a celebrity but because of her natural chumminess. In fact, she is so fond of her friends that their house on Lunas St in La Loma, Quezon City is often filled with them. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Amado Santos, do not discourage her gregariousness and instead look upon it as part of her developing personality…Vilma’s movie commitments don’t prevent her from being a good student. She could have been easily way above average if only her shooting schedules sometimes do not prevent her from attending her classes. “Doing two tasks at the same time gave me a hard time at the beginning but I’ve adjusted to it now,” said this youngster who still goes for lollipops, ice cream, toys, and play. Vilma, who spends her leisure hours listening to radio dramas, dancing and playing with her three other sisters, will be seen in her coming films, Sigaw Ng Batingaw of Argo Productions…” – Julio F. Silverio, The Weekly Nation, 31 December 1965, reposted at Pelikula Atbp blog (READ MORE)

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Vilma Santos – The Child Star