TV: VILMA (1986-1995) 1/2


The Title “…The camp of Gov. Vilma Santos credits movie journalist JC Nigado for giving the actress-turned-politician the tag Star for All Seasons. For the longest time — since the early ’70s, rival Nora Aunor was called Superstar. In 1986, Sharon Cuneta was built up as the Megastar and yet Vilma remained untitled. In 1988, when Vilma marked her 25th year in show business in a PICC extravaganza put up by GMA 7 with the help of Chit Guerrero for her weekly variety show, Vilma!, Nigado wrote a series of articles where he called her Star for All Seasons. Other titles were coined for other stars after that, but only a few managed to maintain those titles and Vilma is undeniably one of them….” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

Something To Look Forward To – “…Vilma could not compete with Nora’s singing so she concentrated on perfecting her skills as a dancer. Her opening production number on her weekly show on GMA-7’s “Vilma” was something to look forward to. She showed the audience that she was not only an excellent actress but a terrific dancer as well. That show lasted for nine years, 1986 to 1995, and attracted a wide viewership. When the show finally ended, the Metropolitan Theater, where she did her show, would stay idle until today. There have been plans to renovate the historic venue but nothing has materialized….” – Ed Sicam (READ MORE)

Smart Move “…There was no stopping Vilma Santos. She was about to conquer the TV musical-variety genre where Nora Aunor ruled for years. Early on, Vilma Santos had rough sailings with her musical variety show. VIP was being broadcast from Channel 2 which had a bad reception among TV homes nationwide, and was no match to the more modern RPN Channel 9 where Nora’s Superstar show was simultaneously shown from Luzon to Mindanao in vivid, crisp color. When VIP moved to GMA Channel 7, it was the best move that Vilma’s think tank ever did. With better satellites, shrewd marketing, state of the art facilities, and more ambitious production numbers and with the Dancing Queen Vilma at the center of it all, and with the genius of Maribeth Bichara’s choreography and musical concepts written all over the show – “Vilma!” became the most watched and the most awarded TV show in the musical/variety category…” – Mar Garces (READ MORE)

100 percent performance “…Minsan while performing nasabit ‘yong damit niya. But nobody noticed it at hindi naman nakita sa camera. Would you believe na ipinaulit pa ‘yong number niyang ‘yon despite our persistence na hindi naman nahalta sa screen ang nangyari? But she said, “I want it to do it again. I want a 100 percent performance na walang sabit-sabit kahit damit o anuman.” She insisted. That’s how concerned she is with her performance. Siya nga naman ang nakikita ng audience at hindi kami.
You don’t do things halfway with her. Ibang klase ‘yan. She is a perfectionist. In Vilma In Person, she got fitted every Monday. Thursday pag-isinuot na niya ‘yon, dapat walang kulubot, walang pin sa strap. Anything she noticed that she thinks wouldn’t be perfect in the eyes of the audience, hindi uubra sa kanya. If something happens, ayan tatakbo kami ng Rustans para ikuha ng eksaktong fitted na damit para sa kanya. She’ll never go onstage unprepared. She used to tell us, “Those people go out their way to see me. Some of them have traveled a long way so they could come.” She wanted to give her audience what they deserve to see…” – Super Morales, Len Llanes, Starstudio Magazine, December 2002 (READ MORE)

Most-Watched Episode “…The highlight of the evening was when Vilma introduced another special guest, the other Queen of Philippine movies, Amalia’s rival, Ms. Susan Roces. Radiant and regal in her Susan Roces hairdo and dark, glossy gown, Ms. Roces was polite and generous with her comments on her kumare-rival. Vilma, obviously starstruck, throws a question to Susan: “What can you say about Ate Nena as being mataray and you Ate Susan as soft-spoken?” Susan: “I’d like to make a correction Vi, Amalia is not mataray, she is just outspoken, pero nasa lugar, so there’s a difference there.” Applause from the audience. ”Alam mo ba Vi na my mother dotes on Amalia dahil pareho silang prangka? Sabi ng Mommy ko, iyang si Susan hindi pumaris kay Amalia, prangka at di iyakin.”…” – Mario O. Garces, V Magazine (READ MORE)

Vilma! is a Friday Primetime musical variety show formerly aired by GMA Network from 1986 to 1995 hosted by Vilma Santos. Formerly known as Vilma In Person, Vilma! (also known as Vilma on Seven) was debuted on August 8, 1986, the pilot episode is shown from the Metropolitan Theater as a temporary studio where Vilma Santos and the VIP Dancers are performed there. Until 1987, the Friday Primetime musical variety show moved to Broadway Studios as a new location and it is shown on the first StereoVision format which features dance and love song performances. Vilma! was competed by two other variety shows Loveli-Ness and Dance-2-Nite of ABS-CBN (originally debuted in 1987) as rivals, but the variety show maintained its ratings. Vilma! received four nominations in the PMPC Star Awards for TV from 1988 to 1990, 1992 and 1994, as well as Best Female Musical Variety Show Host from 1987 to 1988, they also produced anniversary and birthday specials from 1987 to 1994 as well. After nine years, Vilma! produced the 479th and the last episode on September 29, 1995, brought many fans and supporters bade farewell to the Star for all seasons, and made as the longest-running Musical Variety Show. Truly, Vilma! was ended on September 29, 1995 and it was replaced by Bubble Gang. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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VIEWPOINT (Videos)

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Dong Puno is a Filipino television public affairs host, media executive, newspaper columnist, and lawyer…His program, Viewpoint, won the Catholic Mass Media Awards as Best Public Affairs Programs for three consecutive years (1984, 1985 and 1986) and was elevated to the Hall of Fame. His television shows (Dong Puno Live, Viewpoint & Focus) have also received recognition from the Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon and Star Awards for Television – Wikipedia (READ MORE).

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TV: VIP – Vilma In Person (1985)

Wardrobes – “…My favorite job, by far, was at “VIP (Vilma in Person),” Ate Vi’s variety show in the ’80s. I loved this job because I got to go into Ate Vi’s van and bring out her wardrobe that wasa kept extremely well. All her clothes were hung neatly and covered with garment bags. Her shoes were kept in their original boxes. To this day, when I want to just stick something in my closet without hanging or folding it, I remember Ate Vi and her well-tended wardrobe. I also had the honor of collecting sampaguita, bouquets and Santo Ninos from her adoring fans. I would have made a lifetime career of it but, sadly, I had to finish college…” – Kitty Go, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec 29 2002 (READ MORE)

100 Percent Performance – “…Minsan while performing nasabit ‘yong damit niya. But nobody noticed it at hindi naman nakita sa camera. Would you believe na ipinaulit pa ‘yong number niyang ‘yon despite our persistence na hindi naman nahalta sa screen ang nangyari? But she said, “I want it to do it again. I want a 100 percent performance na walang sabit-sabit kahit damit o anuman.” She insisted. That’s how concerned she is with her performance. Siya nga naman ang nakikita ng audience at hindi kami.
You don’t do things halfway with her. Ibang klase ‘yan. She is a perfectionist. In Vilma In Person, she got fitted every Monday. Thursday pag-isinuot na niya ‘yon, dapat walang kulubot, walang pin sa strap. Anything she noticed that she thinks wouldn’t be perfect in the eyes of the audience, hindi uubra sa kanya. If something happens, ayan tatakbo kami ng Rustans para ikuha ng eksaktong fitted na damit para sa kanya. She’ll never go onstage unprepared. She used to tell us, “Those people go out their way to see me. Some of them have traveled a long way so they could come.” She wanted to give her audience what they deserve to see…” – Super Morales, Len Llanes, Starstudio Magazine, December 2002 (READ MORE)

The Move – “…Also dislocated with the closure of BBC-2 was Vilma Santos’ variety program Vilma in Person or VIP. Vilma in Person – in spite of the fact that it was given the VIP treatment by the Benedicto management – never did well in the ratings game when it was with the old Channel 2. But when it moved to Channel 7 – where it was called Vilma, the show immediately shot up in the ratings chart. Vilma! had grand productions week after week and was a consistent winner in the various awards races in the field of television. It went off the air in 1995 only because Vilma got pregnant with Ryan Christian and needed to have a complete rest…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

The Dancers – “…The Vilma In Person Dancers, better known as the VIP Dancers, started way back in 1987 as part of the popular television show of actress Vilma Santos. Ms. Maribeth Bichara, together with eight other dancers, made a dynamic group of talented and hardworking individuals worthy of popularity. In 1988 and 1997, the group received the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Awardee for The Most Popular Dance Group…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

The First Co-Host – “…Although Joey de Leon became very big in the movies and of course, on television and has recently returned to the world of recording with the release of his novelty album, Joey to the World (released by BMG Records, Pilipinas, Inc.), he will forever be indebted to radio, which paved the way for him to enter show business in 1968…After Okay Lang came a lot of other shows (around 44 by Joey’s estimate) and going over the list is like a walk through TV history. Here are the more significant ones…V.I.P. (Vilma in Person) — Aired over the old BBC-2, Joey was Vilma Santos’ first co-host…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

The Money – “…Before Lucky’s birth she had no contract with any studio but after his birth the two leading studios, Regal and Viva, asked to place her under contract and she signed up with both! ‘It was arranged that everything they paid me went straight to the banks, to pay off my debts. Not a centavo of my movie earnings passed through my hands. We lived on my television earnings. I had been offered this TV show, VIP Vilma in Person. It was a Sunday show and Sunday was the only day I could spend with my family but I had to sacrifice my day with them because that weekly show provided us with maintenance money. Unfortunately, my marriage suffered because of that. At that time, Edu wasn’t active in the movies yet; he was working in an office and, of course, his schedules and my schedules were in conflict. I think he suffered some kind of culture shock. Oh, he tried to be understanding but imagine him coming home at seven o’clock in the evening and me coming home at four o’clock in the morning. That won’t work – but I had to work.” She says…” – Quijano De Manila (Nick Joaquin), Philippine Graphic Magazine 05 November 1990 (READ MORE)

The Rival “…Samantala, si Vilma ay nagsolo sa television via Ayan Eh while si Edgar naman ay may People. Nawala din ang Ayan Eh at pinalitan ng Vilma Santos Very Special. Pansumandaling nawala sa television si Vi nguni’t noong 1981 ay nagkaroon siya ng tv show na Vilma In Person (VIP) sa BBC Channel 2. Noong una ay kasabay nito ang Superstar ni Nora Aunor tuwing Linggo ng gabi. Ang mga programa nila ay ginaganap sa Broadcast City kung saan magkatabi lang ang studio ng Superstar sa Channel 9 at ang Vilma In Person sa BBC 2, pero hindi naglaon at ang VIP ay ginawa na tuwing Sabado ng gabi. Noong unang mga episode ng VIP ay si Joey de Leon ang co-host ni Vi subali’t hindi naglaon ay si Roderick Paulate na ang permanenteng naging co-host ni Vi hanggang sa lumipat sila sa GMA 7 at ito ay ang Vilma. Dahil hindi na magkasabay ang Superstar at Vilma In Person ay nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na mag-guest sina Vi at Roderick sa Superstar at ito ay ginanap sa open air ng Ultra. “Solid As a Rock” ang inawit ni Vi at Roderick. Noon ay malapit nang umalis si Vi papuntang USA para sa isang show. Biniro pa nga ni German Moreno si Roderick na pag wala si Vi ay magiging Roderick In Person ang title ng show o RIP pag pinaikli…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

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Teleserye at Telemovie

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“…Nagteleserye si Vi via Larawan ng Pag-ibig na napanood sa Channel 3 noong 1963. Ang teleserye ay isinapelikula ng Vitri Films at tinampukan din nina Eva Darren, Willie Sotelo, Ben David at Rosita Noble na sinulat, iniskripan at dinerek ni Jose Miranda Cruz. Ipinalabas ang nasabing pelikula noong Hulyo 19, 1964.  Nagdrama anthology din si Vi sa pamamagitan ng Oh My Love! at Dulambuhay Ni Rosa Vilma.

The Sensations sa ABS CBN 2 ang unang musical variety show ni Vi kasama sina Edgar Mortiz, Perla Adea, Romy Mallari, Baby de Jesus, Tony Santos Jr., Ike Lozada, Rhodora Silva, Darius Razon at Angge. Katulad ng Larawan Ng Pag-ibig, isinapelikula din ito ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions na ipinalabas noong Abril 10, 1971 sa panulat nina Rose Reynaldo at Tony Dantes, iskrip at direksiyon ni Tony Santos Sr. Kasama din sa pelikula sina Vic Pacia, Ben David at Beth Manlongat. Nang ideklara ang martial law, napilitang magsara ang ABS CBN 2, kung kaya’t lumipat ang grupo ng The Sensations sa ibang tv station at ang naging titulo ng programa nila ay Santos, Mortiz & Associates. Hindi rin nagtagal ang Santos, Mortiz & Associates at nagsolo na lang sina Vi at Bobot. Ayan Eh! ang sumunod na programa ni Vi. Sumunod na programa ni Vi ay isang taped musical variety show na may pamagat na Vilma Santos Very Special kung saan si Mitos Villareal ang kanyang direktor. Huminto sa telebisyon si Vi nang mapangasawa si Edu Manzano subali’t nang madiskubre niya na baon pala siya sa utang dahil sa mismanagement ng kanyang VS Films kung kaya’t napilitan siyang tumanggap ng tv show via Vilma In Person sa BBC 2 kung saan si Bert de Leon ang kanyang naging direktor. Nang magkaroon ng Edsa 1, lumipat ang VIP sa GMA 7 via Vilma! Ang initial telecast ng Vilma! ay ginanap sa Araneta Coliseum kung saan punung-puno ng tao ang loob ng coliseum. Hindi naman kataka-taka na maging number one ito sa rating.

Since then, wala ng ibang musical variety show na umabante sa Vilma! Talbog silang lahat at tinawag pang Central Bank ng GMA 7 ang Vilma Show dahil sa dami ng commercial loads nito na sila na mismo ang tumatanggi sa ibang nais magpasok ng kanilang mga commercial. Hindi lang sa commercial nangunguna ang Vilma! dahil kahit sa concept, guests, awards at production numbers eh talagang number one ang nasabing show. Higit sa lahat, si Vi ang highest paid tv star nang mga panahong ‘yun.

Taong 1995 nang magpaalam si Vi sa Vilma! show dahil gusto niyang magkaanak kay Sen. Ralph Recto subali’t matapos maipanganak si Ryan Christian ay nagbalik telebisyon si Vi sa pamamagitan ng Vilma Tonite!. Isang season lang ang itinagal ng nasabing show. Kabilang naman sa ginawang telemovie ni Vi ay ang Lamat Sa Kristal, Katuparan, Once There Was A Love, Correctional, Bugso at Maalaala Mo Kaya: Regalo episode. Tele-Vi ang pamagat ng show sa Channel 4 kung saan ay linggu-linggong inilalabas ang mga pelikula ni Vi. Si Mario Hernando ang nagre-review ng mga nasabing pelikula…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…Richard Gomez is Vilma Santos’ leading man in the actress first TV drama special to be aired on GMA-7 sometime after her birthday on Nov. 3. The special is directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes. We remember that Gomez’s first TV apprearance was in Vilma’s summer special in 1985 and that exposure proved advantageous to his budding career. Perhaps now that he is considered popular, Gomez is returning the favor…” – Meg Mendoza, Manila Standard, Sep 10 1998 (READ MORE)

“…And she was its No. 1 fan, gaping to see Gloria Romero passing by and chasing after Amalia Fuentes for her autograph. ‘Ate Nena snubbed me. She just said: ‘Later!’ But I loved her and we’re very close now.” Vilma the child star was in a string of movies playing the daughter of Lolita Rodriguez or Luis Gonzales or Dolphy. And she was also in the TV soap opera Larawan ng Pag-ibig with Rosita Noble, Willie Sotelo and Eva Darren. That six o’clock p.m. tearjerker rose to No. 1 in the ratings. Meanwhile, what was happening to Vilma the growing girl? ‘What was happening was a lot of school absences and a lot of special exams. The Sisters at St. Mary’s were very understanding: if I had too many absences, they gave me special exams. But when I was in fourth year high school I was practically not attending classes any more because that was the height of the Nora-Vilma competition. What was done, with the permission of the Bureau of Education, was that I had a tutor during shootings and then I was given the test for the last grading period. Thanks to God, I passed it and I got my high school diploma. But there could be no thought of going on to college.” She had by then graduated from child star to teenage superstar…” – Quijano De Manila (Nick Joaquin), Philippine Graphic Magazine 05 November 1990 (READ MORE)

“Vilma Santos and Eric Quizon head the cast of “Rehas na Puso,” the pilot episode of “Correctional,” a new drama series which will premiere on Wednesday, May 3, 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Channel 9. The drama series is written, directed and produced (with wife Donna Villa) by Carlo J. Caparas. It takes a sympathetic look at the inmates of the country’s only prison for women. It hopes that through retelling their stories, televiwers will understand why women are forced to commit crimes. Here Vilma portrayeds the role of a woman who supports her lover (Eric) through medical school. However, he later on falls in love and marries another woman (Encar Benedicto). Vilma kills Eric and she is sentenced to a long termss in prison. “No scriptwriter can hope to portray the intensity of the lives of the women inmates. The dramatic element in their stories transcends the imagination of any scriptwriter,” Carlo said. Succeeding this episodes will feature different lead actresses. Those who have finished taping their respective episodes are Dina Bonnevie, Mia Pratts, Cherie Gil, Princess Revillame, Jean Garcia, Maribel Lopez, Janice de Belen, Chat Silayan, Ali Sotto and Carmi Martin…” – Manila Standard, Apr 30, 1989 (READ MORE)

“…In the opinion of Donna Villa, Carlo’s wife, she’d rather produce Carlo’s works as movies. “I really prefer movies kasi mas kaya kong i-handle after our Golden Lions Films that made 60 movies at walang nalugi roon,” she says. “Sa TV kasi, walang jackpot diyan, unless you own the network. We tried doing ‘Correctional’ for RPN 9 before, we had 42 commercials, but KBP called me to say hindi puwede ‘yun. Kaya mas kikita ka talaga sa movies at mas mabilis pa ang pacing…” – Mario Bautista (READ MORE)

List of Drama Television Series (Tele-series) and Movies for Television (Tele-movie):

8 PMPC Star Awards for TV – Best Musical Variety Show


Musical Variety Genre – “…Vilma Santos long successful television career started with musical variety show, The Sensations with love team, Edgar Mortiz and other teen singing sensations like Perla Adea, Esperanza Fabon, Rommy Mallari and Eddie Perigrina. She followed this up, with a drama anthology in Dalambuhay ni Rosa Vilma. The mid to late 70s, Vilma ventured again into the musical variety genre with a string of shows like, Ayan Eh, Vilma Santos Special Engagements and Vilma In Person until settling down with her top rated long-running show, Vilma! Vilma! became one of the most successful TV show in Philippines television history. Armed with its lavish opening production number, it became the highest rated and advertisement haven from early to late 1990s. Vilma’s decision to settled down with her marriage to Senator Ralph Recto and her pregnancy with her youngest son, Ryan Christian halted the success of Vilma! and eventually resulted to the shows ending…” – RV (READ MORE)

From Luzon to Mindanao, and even in the U.S. “…The Madonna Material Girl number, which would make Madonna proud. She sashays, gyrates and pirouettes ala Tina Turner for Vilma’s version of Private Dancer.? (“I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money, do what you want me to do?” Talbog ang Burlesk Queen! My most memorable Maribeth B. and Vilma Santos sexy number was when they showed their legs and swing those hips as the Swing Out Sisters belt out their number one hit Breakout… The “A Chorus Line” ensemble, “On Broadway” with Queen Vilma leading the group with a hat, gloves, a cane and a glossy costume. Who would ever forget her swing number with then sweetheart Ralph Recto? Or a dance number with the late Nida Blanca? Or a naughty, haughty dance number La Conga, sung by Gloria Stefan? And many, many more production numbers that were shot from Luzon to Mindanao, and even in the U.S., like The Raging Waters in California…” – Mar Garces, V Magazin, Volume1, Issue 2 2006 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos’ PMPC Star for TV Recognition: 1987 – 88 – Best Musical Variety Show Host – Vilma Santos; 1988 -1992, 1994 – Best Musical Variety Show – Vilma! – RV (READ MORE)

Vilma! is a Friday Primetime musical variety show formerly aired by GMA Network from 1986 to 1995 hosted by Vilma Santos. Formerly known as Vilma In Person, Vilma! (also known as Vilma on Seven) was debuted on August 8, 1986, the pilot episode is shown from the Metropolitan Theater as a temporary studio where Vilma Santos and the VIP Dancers are performed there. Until 1987, the Friday Primetime musical variety show moved to Broadway Studios as a new location and it is shown on the first StereoVision format which features dance and love song performances. Vilma! was competed by two other variety shows Loveli-Ness and Dance-2-Nite of ABS-CBN (originally debuted in 1987) as rivals, but the variety show maintained its ratings. Vilma! received four nominations in the PMPC Star Awards for TV from 1988 to 1990, 1992 and 1994, as well as Best Female Musical Variety Show Host from 1987 to 1988, they also produced anniversary and birthday specials from 1987 to 1994 as well. After nine years, Vilma! produced the 479th and the last episode on September 29, 1995, brought many fans and supporters bade farewell to the Star for all seasons, and made as the longest-running Musical Variety Show. Truly, Vilma! was ended on September 29, 1995 and it was replaced by Bubble Gang. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

PMPC Star Awards for TV is annual award giving body recognizing the outstanding programming produced by the several TV networks every year. It was founded by the association of the Philippine Movie Press Club in 1987. These are the award categories to be given away yearly. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Tele-Vilma (Videos)

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Regalo (TV 2006)

“Kung ang tawag sa mga namamatayan ng asawa ay byudo o biyuda at ang mga anak na nawawalan ng mga magulang ay ulila, ano ang tawag sa mga magulang na namamatayan ng anak?” – Daisy Hernandez

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Basic Info: Directed: Olivia M. Lamasan; Writing credit: Dado C. Lumibao; Cast: Vilma Santos, Maja Salvador, Ricky Davao, Erich Gonzales, Charo Santos-Concio; Producer: Ginny Monteagudo, Malou N. Santos; Cinematography: Neil Daza, Charlie Peralta; Editing: Aries Pascual; Production Design: Nancy Arcega, Malou Dugtong IMDB

Plot Summary: Daisy Hernandez (Vilma Santos), a mother must divide her time between work and taking care of her daughter April (Maja Salvador) who has cerebral palsy. Daisy’s heart is wrenched every time she sees her eldest child suffer because of her illness. But Daisy never loses hope, and April manages to live a normal life until she is 18. Just when Daisy thought things are doing fine with her daughter’s disability, a tragedy will further test her faith (Wikepedia).

Achievement: 20th Star Awards Best Actress by a Single Performance – Vilma Santos Wikepedia

Reviews: “Though the hurt you felt seeing the Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos excruciatingly depicting the harrowing tale of a mother deeply burdened by the travails of her ailing special daughter has been quite deep, the relatability and inspiration overcome you. But what really moves you apart from the inspiring story of Daisy Hernandez is the Vilma’s legendary and exceptional ability to transform into the character herself. You can see the anguish in her eyes and the profound suffering she felt in each second of her appearance. As such, Maalaala Mo Kaya’s classic 2006 episode “Regalo” is her televised dramatic opus beyond compare. Add to that Maja Salvador’s unprecedented breakthrough performance of Daisy’s precious child and cerebral palsy sufferer April, which made critics turn heads and focus intently on what she can offer as an actress. Maja truly matched the kind of thespic excellence an actor needs to show in the same frame as Vilma Santos, and more…The episode had its astonishing thespic highlights, yet with masterful guidance from Direk Olive Lamasan, who brought incredible emotive dimensions to every character in the story. You would feel their every utterance, dramatic expression, and character validation worthy of thought and emulation…Maja Salvador became an actress of note since this episode, and this started an eventful string of extraordinary dramatic performances both in film and TV. Her superb portrayal of a mentally and physically challenged individual became her rite of passage to the acting big leagues, and rightfully so, she has cornered a respectable and prominent place in the industry. Mere words cannot express or measure the immense dramatic reach of Vilma Santos. You just have to witness her to believe and get astonished with every eye movement, line phrasing, raw emotion, expressive gesture she makes on screen. Vilma just satisfies everyone’s insatiable appetite for drama perfection, great thespic talent personified, and MMK “Regalo” further elevates her as a more illuminating Star for All Seasons.” – Gerry Plaza, ABS-CBN, 04 July 2020 (READ MORE)

“…It’s a vintage Vilma Santos performance, packed full with so much emotion that perhaps only the stone-hearted won’t be moved, especially in the succeeding scene where, hesitantly resigning to her daughter’s final farewell, Vilma delivers the clinching dialogue: Bakit kapag ang asawa ay namatayan ng asawa, ang tawag sa kanila balo o kaya ay biyudo o biyuda? Kapag naman namatayan ng ama o ina ang isang anak, ang tawag sa kanya ay ulila. Ano naman ang tawag nila sa inang namatayan ng anak?  That scene is absolutely heart-tugging and there’s more of similar scenes in the two-part special for which, according to direk Olive, Daisy Hernandez herself (a native of Lipa City where Vilma is the mayor on her third and last term) wrote some of the dialogues in the story that Vilma herself chose as possible movie material (but, said Vilma, “no regrets that it ended up a Maalaala special”).  Regalo (with Ricky Davao as Vilma’s husband) is the 777th episode of Maalaala which has lasted longer than the ABS-CBN executive (now retired) who, 15 years ago when Charo broached the idea of hosting the drama series, told her, “Wala kang alam sa telebisyon; ang alam mo lang ay pelikula…” – Ricky Lo (READ MORE)

“…Vi’s mighty proud of “Regalo,” saying the long wait was worth it. She herself presented the story to Charo and her sister Malou Santos, Daisy being one of her constituents in Lipa City. The mayor describes Daisy as a strong woman, not easily given to tears, despite the plight of her daughter April who had passed away. In memory of her daughter, Daisy works with an NGO which helps sick and needy children in Lipa…Olive requested that Daisy be on the set so that direk could relate the story as accurately as possible. Olive noted that a most moving line said by Vilma, came from Daisy herself. Something like, “Ang babaeng namatayan ng asawa, ang tawag biyuda. Ang anak na namatayan ng magulang, ulila. Subalit ano’ng tawag sa magulang, sa inang nawalan ng anak? Wala…” Vilma said words are not enough to describe the grief of a mother who lost a child. How true. Ask Manay Gina de Venecia, and Ali Sotto. “Regalo” was written by Dado Lumibao with Mel Mendoza-del Rosario as script supervisor. Charlie Peralta is the cameraman…” – Ronald Constantino (READ MORE)

“IT’S obvious that ABS-CBN values Vilma Santos so much. After making a movie that is an unabashed tribute to her from start to finish, “D Lucky Ones,” they now feature her in the 15th anniversary presentation of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” “We love Vi as she’s not only a nice person but also a true professional, a committed artist who loves her craft,” says Charo Santos, top ABSCBN executive and host of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” “Fan na niya ako since her Vi and Bobot days and Iove seen her evolution as a person and as an actress. Kahanga-hanga talaga siya at ang kanyang magandang kalooban, it just radiates. You cannot fake that dahil galing talaga ‘yun sa loob. We’ve long been inviting her to guest in “Maalaala” and she was the one who gave us this story of Mrs. Daisy Hernandez, a mother so devoted to her eldest daughter who had cerebral palsy.” “I met Daisy at the SPED, special education school for special children, in Lipa,” says Ate Vi. “I met her daughter, April. Then I didn’t see her for sometime and I found April has died na pala. I told her to write down her story then I gave it to Malou Santos who thought of doing it for “Maalaala.” We started taping this last year, pero magka-conflict ang skeds namin ni Direk Olive Lamasan, so it took 6 and a half days to tape it over a period of one year at natiyempo sa anniversary ng “Maalaala” at pang-Mother’s Day presentation pa.” “This is the show’s 777th episode,” adds Charo. “Maalaala has been made into a film in 1994 that gave awards to its stars, Aiko Melendez and Chin Chin Gutierrez. It has given the break to many directors like Wenn Deramas, Jerry Sineneng, Rory Quintos, Gilbert Perez, Mac Alejandre, Lauren Dyogi, Ricky Davao and Michael de Mesa. We’re proud to have Vi for our anniversary show that will be shown on May 4 and 11.” We’ve seen the preview of the episode, entitled “Regalo,” and it’s really a tearjerker that aims to wring your tearducts dry. Her fans will surely be proud of their idol anew as she shines in several scenes where she gets to deliver kilometric lines.

It’s a great acting vehicle for any actress worth her salt and Ate Vi truly does justice to the role of a mother who does everything to support her disabled child only to lose her later to a viral infection. All throughout the death and wake of April” (convincingly played by Maja Salvador), Vilma is not shown crying at all. She finally breaks down after the funeral while talking to her husband (Ricky Davao, who’s equally great) and delivers some lines that will surely be added to the list of classic dialogues she has uttered in her past films and that were all used in “D Lucky Ones.” If you’re a parent with a special child, you’d be able to identify with her role. But even if you’re not, you’d still be affected by this true story of unconditional love and sacrifice. Incidentally, we finally got to see “D Lucky Ones” and we’d like to congratulate Director Wenn Deramas for succeeding to make us laugh. There are many hilarious scenes in the movie that even non-Vilmanians will appreciate, thanks to the fine performances of Eugene Domingo, Sandara Park and Pokwang. Eugene is the best among them as she doesn’t exert too much effort in tickling us. Sandy is also a natural comedienne, but Pokwang can go over the top at the times she should have been restrained a bit. The film has two highlights. First is the dance showdown between Eugene and Pokwang at the Phi Bar where they get to re-create the intricate production numbers Ate Vi used to do in her TV show. The second one is the film’s climax where Ate Vi makes a special guest appearance to reconcile the warring Eugene and Pokwang and then does a dance number with the entire cast. Most local comedies fail to make us laugh, but this one really works. – Charlie Gomez (READ MORE)

“VILMA Santos had a meeting with her Vilmanians the other Friday at Max’s Libis. She reported that she had finally finished shooting her Maalaala Mo Kaya episode with Ricky Davao and Maja Salvador, directed by Olive Lamasan. “One year in the making ito, bale two episodes, but it’s really worth it and I’m impressed with the work of Direk Olive,” she says. “It’s based on the true story of a woman from Lipa.” She said she got an offer to do a stage play at the CCP. She’s willing to try the theatre but when she was told she has to rehearse for two months, she had to turn it down as she still has her duties as Lipa City mayor to attend to. She revealed she has new movie offers, but most of them are heavy drama. She wants to do something lighter that will be more appealing to the masa. Last March 8, Vilma was given the First Diwata Award in celebration of International Women’s Day. That coincided with the 16th International Women’s Film Festival by the UP Film Institute, the longest-running women’s filmfest in the country. She was cited for her roles in films like Sister Stella L, Relasyon, The Dolzura Cortez Story, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa? and Dekada ’70, which are about women empowerment. She was honored with Lily Monteverde, Charo Santos-Concio and writer Lualhati Bautista. Vilma was warmly applauded by an adulating crowd and she delivered a very inspirational message, saying: “I strongly believe in these films with strong messages. It’s about time men believe in women empowerment. Don’t underestimate us, women and artists!” Ate Vi left Thursday with husband Sen. Ralph Recto to attend the investiture rites of our new cardinal in Rome (she was personally invited). After that, she will take a cruise with Ralph and meet with her family in Los Angeles.” – Mario Bautista, People’s Journal March 26 2006 (READ MORE)

“Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, a multi-awarded dramatic actress, an exemplary wife and mother and a model public official, is so work-oriented that she can only make a few television appearances every year…Mayor Vi gives a bravura performance, which has become her trademark. She gives up her acting mannerisms for a fresh attack of a mother’s role that makes it an outstanding interpretation. Regalo relives the tale of Daisy Hernandez, a devoted wife and dedicated mother whose child suffers from cerebral palsy…Although screened in black and white, Regalo’s exceptional quality was immediately evident during the media preview. Everything about this episode is non-artsy as director Olive opted for a straightforward presentation to bring out the drama without seeming contrived. Acting is likewise direct to the point, clearly the episode’s main strength. Although Mayor Vi is notches higher in delivering her role, Maja showed that she has the makings of another Vilma Santos. Pitting them together was a casting triumph. Although Regalo is a small story, cast and crew imparted it with enough realism to turn it into a domestic epic of sorts. Regalo, written by Dado Lumibao, is a clear proof of MMK’s superiority as a drama anthology, making it the longest running ABS-CBN show right now. It is not afraid to defy convention, tell real-life stories with themes of rape, homosexuality, or physical disability, just as it delivers contemporary stories of love and sacrifice, family dramas and teen stories. And it does this with critically acclaimed actors and directors, award-winning stories, and visual treats that have semblances of films rarely seen on television (read: high production values unconstrained by small-screen budgetary pegs). This makes Maaalaala Mo Kaya a world-class drama anthology. Regalo is MMK’s Mother’s Day presentation with excellent actors Ricky Davao and Erich Gonzales in supporting roles.” – Edgar Cruz (READ MORE)

“…A special 15th Anniversary prsentation of Maalaala Mo Kaya. “Regalo” is an inspiring story of a woman who goes through a painful journey of finding her fulfillment as a wife, a mother and as a person. Balancing her time between her career and family is rather difficult for Daisy Hernandez. Her eldest daughter April is afflicted with Cerebral Palsy and needs all the love, care and attention only a mother can give. What can a mother sacrifice to raise a daughter like April? How far can she go to fight for her daughter’s battles in life?…” – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

“…As for Vilma’s “MMK” replay, she and Ricky turned in emotionally charged and committed performances in it as the parents of a girl (Maja) with cerebral palsy. Vilma’s character, in particular, refused to capitulate to the dreaded illness’ terrible demands and tragic consequence, and the portrayal she turned in was one of her career bests. It’s good that our TV channels are replaying iconic shows and performances, because new generations of viewers are made more aware of and grateful for past thespic achievements, which make them more enlightened and demanding viewers today—to keep our TV-film people on their toes!…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 25 April 2015 (READ MORE)

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