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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FILM REVIEW: PAANO BA ANG MANGARAP

The Plot: “Despite their different social backgrounds, Lisa (Vilma Santos) and Benny (Jay Ilagan) have found their match in each other. Unfortunately, Benny dies before they could marry, and Lisa is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But their arrogance is as lofty as their fortune, and to them, Lisa is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Lisa is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Liza with kindness is Eric (Christopher de Leon), Benny’s brother, who has secretly fallen in love with her…” – Kabayan (READ MORE)

“Despite their different social backgrounds, Lissa and Benny have found their match in each other. Unfortunately, Benny dies before they could marry, and Lissa is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But their arrogance is as lofty as their fortune, and to them, Lissa is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Lissa is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Lissa with kindness is Eric, Benny’s brother, who has secretly fallen in love with her, Eric even made a promise to Benny that he would find Lissa & take good care of her, a promise that Eric vowed he will never break.” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

The Reviews: “Paano ba ang mangarap?” rates high for its slickness and production gloss, something that its producers, Viva Films, shouldn’t hope would last them more than two seasons.

Eddie Garcia is a good director. He stages his scenes well, with a minimum of fuss and a modicum of winning faith in narrative primacy. Viva’s movies are well-structured, well-paced, and at their best show how the cosmopolitan Filipino behaves under romantic stress. But if you get past that level and dig into substance, you encounter that self-same compost pit wherein all the biodegradable scraps of melodrama you can find southeast of your favorite mother’s kitchen have been thrown.

Such is the case, to a most lamentable extreme, with Paano Ba ang Mangarap? It’s well-acted, well-done, tastefully correct in elementary mode. But it is strictly local comics fare, this well-wrought turn of circumstantial twist and escalating conflicts which all spell high drama. Viva makes films that are at best our answer to Hollywoodian slick, the stuff of which The Other Side of Midnight and Imitation of Life are prime generational examples. The Barbra Cartlands and Harold Robbinses turned celluloid; Mills and Boon on the big screen.

Here you have two fine actors, Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos, waxing once again with their special chemistry. Boyet is so good he can, by merely varying his inflection, go through a simple line like “Tama na..” three times and prove positively sensitive and believable each time. Subtlety of feeling is shared equally well by Vilma Santos. They are both aware of the value of underplaying their emotional scenes, so much so that in any confrontation with other thespians who play their role to the hilt, these two, Boyet and Vilma, come out on top through the simple process of undercutting.

Vic Silayan and Perla Bautista are equally good in Paano Ba ang Mangarap?, but it is Moody Diaz who wins us over by applying a different tack in her “mayordoma” role, something that is usually played for laughs and other such effects by less gifted, or less imaginative, performers. Armida Siguion-Reyna is hampered by her termagant mother-in-law role, the catch-all character of cruelty spawned by all the soap opera dramas of Philippine comics and radio serials. And she plays this thoroughly unbelievable character, typecast as she already is, much to the hilt. That fantasy scene where she makes out like a satanic figure, though well-shot by Romy Vitug, is quite embarrassing for a picture like this, except of course we know that it is based on a comics serial where such fictive excesses may appear.

Here is where this otherwise finely-crafted film suffers. Viva knew it had to be faithful to the comics serial, so in effect opted for the surefire commercial draw at the expense of a truly artistic, credible film. I’m not saying that a character like Mrs. Monteverde does not, or cannot, exist. Perhaps one in a million. Filipino mothers can be as overbearing, prejudiced, unfeeling, and downright cruel. But to have a situation where an improbable character like her meets up with other improbable characters like the one Vilma and Christopher play, is stacking up the cards too much on the side of atrocious melodrama.

Vilma is the martyr type who would subject herself to indignities just so her coming child can have a name and possibly better upbringing. Boyet is the unloved son who would ditch his sophisticated girlfriend (Amy Austria, who is still uncomfortable in such role, so she doesn’t fare too well here) for this martyr-type who’s been impregnated by his brother. Now, any of these characters may exist, if by a long chance. But to have them all together living under the same roof is stretching the bounds of possibility much too much.

Furthermore, it could have been a better ending had the Viva bosses decided to stop at that scene where Vilma finds herself left alone on Christmas in the rich surroundings she has always dreamt of. Now only the household help can give her token solace by way of a collective gift. It is a poignant scene, stylistically done to proper effect with the usual Viva-film theme wafting through in support of silent montage. It could have been a good open ending, with overtones of irony laying themselves squarely on Vilma’s character. But no, of course one can’t disappoint the followers of the original comics serial. So the story goes on through further typical maneuverings until we’re given at least a semblance of a happy ending. A missed chance, I say. – Alfred A. Yuson, Philippines Daily Inquirer July 17 1983 (READ MORE)

“A true blooded Vilmanian will not forget the time when a teaser (a very brief trailer) was shown to the theatres in the summer of 1991. It was Viva films’ “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?” Another box office hit from Vilma Santos and Christopher DeLeon. The teaser (almost worth the whole movie ticket) was the scene where Lisa, played by Vilma discovered that her son (to Eric’s brother , Jay Ilagan) was gone courtesy of her evil rich mother-in-law (Armida Sigueon Reyna). Here’s the lines and the explosive acting of the Queen. The scene: After running around looking for the baby in all the rooms in second floor of of this huge mansion, Lisa confronted Eric who were stunned to find Lisa’s hysterics. Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Saan n’yo dinala ang anak ko?!!!” Eric: “Hindi ko alam!” Lisa: “Hindi mo alam…Sinungaling!” Eric: “Lisa, makinig ka muna” Lisa: “Kasabwat ka ng ina mo! Alam ko matagal n’yo nang plano ito!” Eric: “Ano bang pinagsasabi mo?” Lisa: “Dinaya n’yo ako! Mga Traydor Kayo! Traydor kayong lahat!” Eric: “Lisa, huminahon ka baka mapaano ang bata!” Lisa: “Wala akong pakialam! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin ang anak ko! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin! AHHHH! (mahuhulog sa hagdanan)” Just this scene alone, Vilma should be rewarded that year’s best actress award! Bravo!” – RV (READ MORE)

Remembering Vic Silayan

“Mr. Silayan, I would like to do a documentary on your career as an actor.” “A what?” came his voice over the telephone. “A documentary – on your life.” This was June of 1984. Sadly, he was perplexed at the idea of committing his life story for the screen. He didn’t know who I was and my request was even stranger. He hesitated for a few seconds. “Why don’t we talk about it. Are you busy right now?” “No,” I replied. ‘Why don’t you come over?” I got on the first bus to the Villamore Driving Range. It was his “office.” People who needed to get in touch with him called or went to this place. When I arrived, he was watching some golfers practice. Later, I found out that he spent most of his time in the driving range just watching. “I’m not allowed to play. I haven’t played in two years. Doctor’s orders, you see.” His heart trouble prevented him from doing a lot of things. Including accepting certain movie roles. But despite his precarious health, he persisted on taking certain risks. For instance, he drove his own car. I introduced myself as a preservor of films from De La Salle University. Our first meeting, a short one we both assessed, stretched to four hours. He was a fascinating storyteller. With some prodding, he unleashed a storm of details about his youth, his experiences in the war and his work in the movies. He capped the meeting with a fervid account of his close brush with death which happened towards the end of the second world war. “I was talking to a group of friends when a bomb exploded a ten meters away from where we were seated.” He was 16 at that time. “I remember getting up from my seat when the explosions came. As I was being helped back to the house, all I could hear was a sharp ringing sound in my ear. As we entered, my sister saw me and they started screaming. Later, they told me that while I was trying to explain what has happened, blood was profuse coming out from mouth.” he has shown wound all over his body. His right leg got partly burned and he lost his toenails. I remember the day flies crawling on the wounds on my upper legs. (later, he grew a mustache to cover the scar.) I was brought to San Lazaro where the doctors tried pulling the steel wires that got embedded in my chest. They pulled me up as they tried to pull out the wires.” Born in Manila on Jan. 31, 1929, Vic Silayan is unquestionably one of the finest Filipino actors of this century. A Bachelor of Arts graduate from Ateneo, 1951, he once said that his education had a strong influence on his acting style. As an actor, he is a multi-media talents: be excelled on stage, on radio, on TV and in film. “Acting came naturally to me.” He had done Shakespeare, Arthur Miller and even Broadway musicals. In the times that we met during and after the making of the documentary, he often talked about his own feeling about performing and creating character before an audience.

Among his early plays, Cyrafina J. Bergerac (1952), where he did the starring role, comes foremost to mind. “I remember the applause even though one is exhausted, the applause fills the heart. I remember Carlos P. Romulo being in the audience. I also remember Hilarion Henares, Sr. talking about Jose Ferrer’s Broadway performance and how I compared to it; he said the limited budget did not diminish the impact of my performance at all. I only overheard it and I cried in the dark.” A legend in his own time, Vic Silayan’s film career began in 1953 when he was cast by director Lamberto Avellana to appeal in the role of a PC captain in the film Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay. Since then he has appeared in over 300 films some of which where foreign production. Often, he was cast as a bad guy, a part which according to him, is more difficult to portray. Needless to say, he was a victim of typecasting – for a time he was the film industry’s favorite Japanese officer. But it’s to his credit that he has managed to make a mark in several Filipino classic. Among them are Anak Dalita, Badjao and Malvarosa. However, he is best remembered for his role of a psychologically imbalanced retired policeman in Mike de Leon’s Kisapmata. In the film, he portrays an over possessive father who murders his whole family and eventually kills himself. “I didn’t like the person I portrayed in that film,” the actor once said. “There have been bad-men roles that I liked. But that one I didn’t like. May diperensiya siya. He was mean to other people who couldn’t fight back.” Nonetheless, it was performance that earned him an Urian best actor award, his second. (In 1983, he won best supporting actor honors for Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Karnal.) Aside from his work as an actor, many remember him for the rich, deep quality of his voice. Yet, he is modest about it.

“My father had a better voice. He was good in public speaking. He spoke excellent English. He even had a good singing voice but he refused to sing professionally.” I say Vic Silayan for the last time at the Kidney Center, three weeks before he died. Obviously, his health had deteriorated – he had lost so much weight and he had difficulty in breathing. With his weak voice, he asked me how I was. I said, “Fine.” “It’s my heart,” he mumbled. “The doctors said they couldn’t do anything for me anymore.” He had aneurism, a lump on a blood vessel in his heart, which he said could rupture anytime and kill him. I promised to do all the talking that afternoon. And as if on cue, I started out on the subject of old movies, a subject which he always relished. Despite his condition, he tried recalling some films that he had seen as a boy. He also tried his best to show me that his memory has not failed him. We ended our talk on the subject of Filipino short films. “It’s quite promising,” I assured him. Before we parted, he asked me, “Do you think I should start thinking about another career?” “Why not try writing?” I replied. “I don’t know. Sometimes it’s fear that stops people from trying anything. Maybe I should.” When I learned about his death last August 30, my mind raced back to the time after we had our first meeting. At that time, a thought crossed my mind: If I had lived just to hear him tell his own story, I believe it was worth it. The same thought still holds true today. – Emmanuel A. Reyes, Manila Standard, Sep 06 1987 (READ MORE)

Vic Silayan and Vilma Santos

  • Paano Ba Ang Mangarap (1983) – Vic Silayan played the husband of domineering snotty rich, Armida Sigueon Reyna and Vilma Santos played the unwed pregnant fiance of their son, played by the late Jay Ilagan.
  • Sinasamba Kita (1982) – Vic Silayan played the rich death-stricken father of Vilma Santos whose last wish is for Vilma to find her illigitimate daughter played by Lorna Tolentino.
  • Karma (1981) – Vic Silayan played a hypnotist/psychiatrist who explained to Ronaldo Valdez the concept of reincarnation. Vilma played the lover of Ronaldo Valdez.
  • Langis at tubig (1980) – Vic Silayan played the judged who convict the bigamist, Dindo Fernando. Vilma played one fo the two wives Dindo wed.
  • Ang galing-galing mo, Mrs. Jones (1980) – Vic Silayan played a conniving politician who abuse, Mrs Jones played by Vilma Santos.
  • Dugo at pag-ibig sa kapirasong lupa (1975) – Vic Silayan played a forgettable role in one of the four segments, so as Vilma.
  • Ikaw lamang (1973) – Vic Silayan played the supporting role to the new team of Paolo Romero and Vilma Santos.
  • Ito ang Pilipino (1966) – Vic Silayan played one of the major role in this Joseph Estrada-Barbara Perez film. Vilma Santos played a minor child star role with another child protege, Jay Ilagan.

Victor Payumo Silayan (popularly known as Vic Silayan) is a veteran movie-stage Filipino actor. He was born in Manila on January 31, 1929 and died on August 30, 1987 due to heart attack. His acting prowess has been higlighted in the movie, Kisapmata where he played a man who had an incestuous attraction to his daughter, traumatizing everyone around them. Silayan’s sterling portrayals have earned him four awards. – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Film Review: LANGIS AT TUBIG


The Plot: Bobby (Dindo Fernando) is a man secretly in love with his neighbour and friend Cory (Vilma Santos) but who is living-in with her partner Charlie (Ronaldo Valdez). However, Cory decides to leave Charlie upon discovering his deepest secret that he is a married man. This gives Bobby the chance to show his true feelings for Cory and marries her even adopting the child Charlie has left in her womb. Bobby lives the life of a perfect husband with Cory and accepts a job assignment in Albay shuttling to and from Manila to support his new family. In the province, he meets Pilar (Amy Austria) a lovely town girl. His friendship with Pilar blossoms and they find themselves falling for each other, with Bobby concealing his real marital status. Soon the two learn that she is pregnant and the family forces them into marriage. Consequently, the women discover that Bobby is living a lie and is married to two women. He is forced to make a crucial decision, which of his marriages must be honour? Or will he faced the prospect of getting charged with bigamy? – Philippine Movies (READ MORE)

The Reviews: Nang magkaroon ng chance si Bobby (Dindo Fernando) ay sinamantala niya ang sitwasyon ng matagal na niyang nililigawang si Cory (Vilma Santos). Hiniwalayan ng kapitbahay niya ang ka-live in nitong si Charlie (Ronaldo Valdez) dahil sa panloloko nito. Natuklasan ni Cory na may asawa na ito at kinakuwartahan lang pala siya. Buntis si Cory at para maiwasan ang kahihiyan ay pumayag itong pakasal sa manliligaw na si Bobby. Nagpakasal nga ang dalawa at sa kabila ng mga tsismisan ay natutunan rin ni Cory na mahalin si Bobby. Sa kabila ng kanilang matiwasay na pagsasama ay hindi pa rin magkaanak si Cory kay Bobby hanggang sa madestino si Bobby sa Bicol kung saan nabuntis niya si Pilar (Amy Austria). Napilitang pakasalan ni Bobby si Pilar dahil sa pananakot ng pamilya nito. Nang malaman ng masugid na manliligaw ni Pilar (George Estregan) na may asawa na pala ang pinakasalan ng kanyang nililigawan ay sinabi niya agad rito’t lumuwas si Pilar upang alamin kung tutoo nga ang balitang ito. Rito niya nalamang dalawa nga silang pinakasalan ni Bobby at nagsampa ito ng demandang “bigamy.” Nang malaman ni Cory ang nangyari, una’y nasaktan ito ngunit inintindi niya ang asawa at handa itong magparaya para lang hindi ito makulong. Nagkasundo si Cory at Pilar at iuurong na ni Pilar ang demanda ngunit nagdesisyon si Bobby at hinarap ang pagkakasala nito. Sa harap ng husgado ay sinabi niyang siya ay “guilty” at nakulong siya.

“…In 1980, tatlong pelikula ni Nora Aunor ang maituturing na panlaban: two by Brocka (Nakaw na Pag-ibig and Bona) and the other by Laurice Guillen, Lea Productions’ Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo. She won the Gawad Urian for Bona. Ang panlaban ni Vilma was Zialcita’s Langis at Tubig. Hindi taon ni Vilma ang 1980, which saw the emergence of other young and talented actresses like Gina Alajar (Brutal), naka-tie ni Nora sa Urian, and Amy Austria, na tumalo kay Aunor sa Metro Manila Film Festival. In the 1980 MMFF, Amy won with a lone entry – Brutal – while Nora got nominated for Bona and Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo. (A case of split votes.) Sa 1980 Gawad Urian, nominated sina Nora, Gina (eventual winners) at Amy, samantalang si Vilma was “snubbed by the critics.” In 1981, nanalong MMFF Best Actress si Vilma for Zialcita’s Karma, besting Nora’s multi-character portrayal in Maryo J. delos Reyes’ musical-drama Rock ‘N Roll. Vi, however, failed to win any other nomination for that starrer, while Nora went on to win a trophy (Catholic Mass Media Awards) and Best Actress nomination (Gawad Urian) for Mario O’Hara’s Bakit Bughaw ang Langit?…” – William Reyes (READ MORE)

Sa direksiyon ni Danny Zialcita, ang Langis At Tubig ay isang pelikulang mabilis at nakakaaliw sa kabila ng pangkaraniwang istorya nito. Tinalakay ng pelikula ang tungkol sa bigami at inilahad ang mensahe na kahit na ano pa ang sitwasyong kinakaharap ng mga tauhan ng pelikula’y hindi maikakaila talaga na may kasalanan ang karakter na ginampanan ni Dindo Fernando. Sa bandang huli’y hayagan sinabi ng husgado na sa mata ng batas walang nangingibawbaw na kahit na sino, ang maysala ay dapat parushan. Isang lagda na ng director Zialcita ang nakakaaliw ng mga diyalogo at ang Langis ay hindi na naiiiba sa mga nagawa na niyang pelikula tulad ng “Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan” at “T-Bird At Ako.” Ang huling pelikulang ginawa ni Zialcita ay nuong 1986 pa, sana ay magbalik pelikula na siya. Napakahusay ng cinematography ni Felizardo Bailen at ang mabilis ng editing ni Ike Jarlego Sr. Bagama’t maganda ang themesong na ginawa ni George Canseco ay nakaka-distract naman sa ilang eksena na bigla na lang pumapasok ang kanta ni Sharon na dapat sanay tahimik na lang. Kung ang pag-uusapan naman ay ang pagganap, mahusay si Amy Austria bilang Pilar. Makikitang pinaghandaan niya ang kanyang pagganap. Muli, binigyan ng magagandang linya si Vilma Santos mula sa umpisa kung saan kinompronta niya ang manloloko niyang ka-live in at sinabing: “namputsa naman nahuli ka na ayaw mo pang aminin” at sa bandang huli nang intindihin niya ang asawa at handing magparaya, sinabi niya “…handa akong magparaya, kung gusto niya isang lingo sa kanya, isang lingo sa akin…” Pero halatang ang pelikulang ito ay pelikula ni Dindo Fernando. Deserving si Dindo sa kanyang pagkapanalo sa Famas bilang pinakamahusay na actor bagamat nang taong ito’y mahusay rin si Christopher Deleon sa Aguila at Taga ng Panahon at Jay Ilagan sa Brutal. Tahimik lang ang pag-arte niya’t makikita ang kanyang intensity sa kanyang eksena kung saan nagtapat na siya sa asawang si Cory tungkol sa kanyang kaso. Mahusay rin siya nang hinarap niya si Pilar at sabihin niyang, “mahal ko kayong dalawa.” Maganda ang location ng pelikula. Makikita ang mga ordinaryong tanawin ng Albay sa Bicol at ang mga ordinaryong manggagawa rito mula sa mga nagtatanim ng palay hanggang sa mga nagtitinda ng mga paninda sa palengke ng bayan. Sa kabila ng ordinaryong istorya ng Langis At Tubig, ang mahusay na direksyon at mahusay na pagkakaganap ng mga artista rito’y nangibabaw ang tunay na karapatan nitong panoorin muli ng mga mahihilig sa pelikulang Pilipino. Sayang nga lang at hindi na gumagawa ng pelikula ang ang gumawa ng obrang ito. – 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)

Kisapmata Wins Nine Awards

Kisapmata, a movie about a deranged retired policeman, got nine of the 13 awards, including best picture, in the 1981 Metro Manila film festival awards ceremonies held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last night.

The movie, earlier banned from being shown until the hearing on a suit involving it starts on Jan. 4, also won for Mike de Leon the best director award, De Leon, together with Clodualdo del Mundo and Raquel Villavicencio, also won the best screenplay award. Vic Silayan, the lead actor in Kisapmata, won the best actor award, Jay Ilagan and Charito Solis were adjudged best supporting actor and actress, respectively. Kisapmata, produced by Bancom Audiovision, also got the best production design, best sound, and best editing awards.

This year’s best actress is Vilma Santos, who appeared in Sining Silangan’s Karma. Other awards went to Pagbabalik ng Panday, for best cinematography and best child performer (Bentot Jr.); Kamlon, best musical scoring; Kapitan Kidlat, also for best child performer (Dranreb). Press photographers walked out shortly after the evening show started. A man who was directing people on the stage shooed the photographers away, saying they were not allowed near the stage. – The Times journal December 28, 1981,  Source: Video 48 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Ikaw Lamang (1971)

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Basic Information: Screenplay, Direction: Luis Enriquez; Story: Louise De Mesa; Cast: Vilma Santos, Paolo Romero, Connie Angeles, Robert Talabis, Raul Aragon, Mercy Oria Banong, Cathy Aresa Eddie Garcia, Vic Silayan; Music: Manuel Franco; Cinematograhy: Ricardo Remias; Production Co.: Virgo Productions; Film Poster: Video 48; Released date: October 3, 1971

Plot Description:No Available Data

Film Achievement: Best Picture – 1971 Quezon City Film Festival

One of film projects Rodriguez and Santos collaborated. (Ex-Wife 1981 (director), Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa 1979, Hindi Nakakahiya 1976 (director), Ikaw Lamang 1971, Kasalanan Kaya? 1968, Nakakahiya? 1975 (director), Simula ng Walang Katapusan (director) 1978) – RV (READ MORE)

Film Review: Luis Enriquez aka Eddie Rodriguez first directed a young Vilma Santos in 1968 Kasalanan Kaya, another love triangle genre starring the dramatic trio of Marlene Dauden, Eddie Rodriguez and Lolita Rodriguez. Vilma received an early acting recognitions from this film by receiving a FAMAS Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. When Enriquez directed Vilma again, it was a calculated risk that allowed a still young Vilma into a bikini-clad lead role opposite his director himself, Eddie Rodriguez. The film, Nakakahiya, a may-december affair between an older man and a young woman was an entry to 1975 Bacolod City Film Festival. Aside from making the the film a smash hit, Vilma received the festival’s Best Actress. Enriquez will direct Vilma in five more films, the last one was ExWife in 1981 where surprisingly Luis used in film credits his screen name, Eddie Rodriguez. Theri total number of colloborations were seven (Ex-Wife 1981, Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa 1979, Hindi Nakakahiya 1976, Ikaw Lamang 1971, Kasalanan Kaya? 1968, Nakakahiya? 1975, Simula ng Walang Katapusan) – RV (READ MORE)

“…Kahit love team na sina Vilma at Bobot Mortiz, ipina-partner pa rin si Vi sa iba’t ibang sikat na male heartthrobs noon.” Jojo mentioned singing sensation Eddie Peregrina (paired with Vi in Mardy and I Do Love You, both shown in 1970), showbiz royalty Jay Ilagan (Inspiration, Remembrance, Ang Konduktora all shown in ‘72, and Sister Stella L in ’84), young actor Paolo Romero (Ikaw Lamang in 1971), and even her rival’s partners, Tirso Cruz III (Dingdong, Give Me Your Love, and Nobody’s Child all in ’73) and Manny de Leon (Teenage Señorita in 1971)…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Samantala, Abril 28, 1974 nang maghiwalay ng landas sina Vilma at Edgar. Maraming Vilma-Edgar Fans ang nalungkot at inisip nila na magkakabalikan din ang dalawa subali’t hindi na ito nangyari hanggang sa si Vilma ay itinambal sa iba’t ibang leading men. Pero bago pa sila naghiwalay ay itinambal na din si Vilma kina Paolo Romero sa pelikula ng Virgo Productions na Ikaw Lamang kung saan nagkamit ito ng Best Picture sa 1973 Quezon City Film Festival, Manny de Leon sa mga pelikulang Teen-age Señorita at Cariñosa, Walter Navarro sa Sweet Sweet Love at Dalagang Nayon, Jay Ilagan sa Tsismosang Tindera, Ang Konduktora at Inspirasyon, Tirso Cruz III sa Dingdong, Nobody’s Child at Give Me Your Love, Victor Wood sa My Little Darling, Victor Laurel sa Ophelia At Paris, Prinsipe Paris Walang Kaparis, Jojit Paredes sa Tok Tok Palatok, Ronnie Henares sa Let’s Do The Salsa at nitong huli ay kay Christopher de Leon sa Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Paano Ba ang Mangarap? (1983)

“Dinaya n’yo ako! Saan n’yo dinala ang anak ko?…Hindi mo alam…Sinungaling!…Kasabwat ka ng ina mo! Alam ko matagal n’yo nang plano ito!…Dinaya n’yo ako! Mga Traydor Kayo! Traydor kayong lahat!…Wala akong pakialam! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin ang anak ko! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin…” – Lisa

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Basic Information: Directed: Eddie Garcia; Story: Nerissa Cabral; Screenplay: Orlando Nadres; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher Deleon, Amy Austria, Jay Ilagan, Peral Bautista, Armida Siguion Reyna, Vic Silayan; Executive producer: Vic Del Rosario; Cinematography: Romy Vitug; Theme Songs: “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?” performed by Basil Valdez

Plot Description: Despite their different social backgrounds, Lisa (Vilma Santos) and Benny (Jay Ilagan) have found their match in each other. Unfortunately, Benny dies before they could marry, and Lisa is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But their arrogance is as lofty as their fortune, and to them, Lisa is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Lisa is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Liza with kindness is Eric (Christopher de Leon), Benny’s brother, who has secretly fallen in love with her… – Kabayan web-site

Pregnant Lissa’s (Vilma Santos) misery starts when her wealthy boyfriend Benny (Jay Ilagan) dies in a motorcycle accident. Impoverished, Lissa seeks security for her child with Benny’s malevolent mother Doña Francia (Armida Siguion-Reyna). Her one request is to stay at their house until she gives birth, then leave the infant to their care. Doña Francia abuses Lissa who works for her like a maid, leading to the death of Lissa’s mother. Benny’s brother Eric (Christopher De Leon) falls in love with Lissa and marries her to the indignation of Doña Francia who denies Lissa of her son. Lissa marries Eric not for love but to be with her son and eventually gets pregnant but has a miscarriage. Disheartened, Eric turns to her ex-girlfriend Maya (Amy Austria) with whom Eric goes on a world tour. Meanwhile, Doña Francia surreptitiously brings Lissa’s son to the U.S. – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: 1983 FAP Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; 1983 FAMAS Best Cinematography – Romeo Vitug; 1983 FAMAS Best Screenplay – Nerissa Cabral, Orlando Nadres; 1983 FAMAS Best Story – Nerissa Cabral; 1983 FAMAS Best Theme Song – George Canseco; 1983 FAMAS nomination Best Director – Eddie Garcia; 1983 FAMAS nomination Best Picture; 1983 FAMAS nomination Best Supporting Actress – Armida Siguion-Reyna

Film Reviews: Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? rates high for its slickness and production gloss, something that its producers, Viva Films, shouldn’t hope would last them more than two seasons. Eddie Garcia is a good director. He stages his scenes well, with a minimum of fuss and a modicum of winning faith in narrative primacy. Viva’s movies are well-structured, well-paced, and at their best show how the cosmopolitan Filipino behaves under romantic stress. But if you get past that level and dig into substance, you encounter that self-same compost pit wherein all the biodegradable scraps of melodrama you can find southeast of your favorite mother’s kitchen have been thrown.

Such is the case, to a most lamentable extreme, with Paano Ba ang Mangarap? It’s well-acted, well-done, tastefully correct in elementary mode. But it is strictly local comics fare, this well-wrought turn of circumstantial twist and escalating conflicts which all spell high drama. Viva makes films that are at best our answer to Hollywoodian slick, the stuff of which The Other Side of Midnight and Imitation of Life are prime generational examples. The Barbra Cartlands and Harold Robbinses turned celluloid; Mills and Boon on the big screen. Here you have two fine actors, Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos, waxing once again with their special chemistry. Boyet is so good he can, by merely varying his inflection, go through a simple line like “Tama na..” three times and prove positively sensitive and believable each time. Subtlety of feeling is shared equally well by Vilma Santos. They are both aware of the value of underplaying their emotional scenes, so much so that in any confrontation with other thespians who play their role to the hilt, these two, Boyet and Vilma, come out on top through the simple process of undercutting. Vic Silayan and Perla Bautista are equally good in Paano Ba ang Mangarap?, but it is Moody Diaz who wins us over by applying a different tack in her “mayordoma” role, something that is usually played for laughs and other such effects by less gifted, or less imaginative, performers. Armida Siguion-Reyna is hampered by her termagant mother-in-law role, the catch-all character of cruelty spawned by all the soap opera dramas of Philippine comics and radio serials. And she plays this thoroughly unbelievable character, typecast as she already is, much to the hilt. That fantasy scene where she makes out like a satanic figure, though well-shot by Romy Vitug, is quite embarrassing for a picture like this, except of course we know that it is based on a comics serial where such fictive excesses may appear.

Here is where this otherwise finely-crafted film suffers. Viva knew it had to be faithful to the comics serial, so in effect opted for the surefire commercial draw at the expense of a truly artistic, credible film. I’m not saying that a character like Mrs. Monteverde does not, or cannot, exist. Perhaps one in a million. Filipino mothers can be as overbearing, prejudiced, unfeeling, and downright cruel. But to have a situation where an improbable character like her meets up with other improbable characters like the one Vilma and Christopher play, is stacking up the cards too much on the side of atrocious melodrama. Vilma is the martyr type who would subject herself to indignities just so her coming child can have a name and possibly better upbringing. Boyet is the unloved son who would ditch his sophisticated girlfriend (Amy Austria, who is still uncomfortable in such role, so she doesn’t fare too well here) for this martyr-type who’s been impregnated by his brother. Now, any of these characters may exist, if by a long chance. But to have them all together living under the same roof is stretching the bounds of possibility much too much. Furthermore, it could have been a better ending had the Viva bosses decided to stop at that scene where Vilma finds herself left alone on Christmas in the rich surroundings she has always dreamt of. Now only the household help can give her token solace by way of a collective gift. It is a poignant scene, stylistically done to proper effect with the usual Viva-film theme wafting through in support of silent montage. It could have been a good open ending, with overtones of irony laying themselves squarely on Vilma’s character. But no, of course one can’t disappoint the followers of the original comics serial. So the story goes on through further typical maneuverings until we’re given at least a semblance of a happy ending. A missed chance, I say. – “A missed chance” by Alfred A. Yuson, Philippines Daily Inquirer – 17 July 1983

A true blooded Vilmanian will not forget the time when a teaser (a very brief movie trailer – around 20 seconds) was shown to the theatres in the summer of 1983. It was Viva films’ “Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?” Another box office hit from Vilma Santos and Christopher DeLeon. The teaser (almost worth the whole movie ticket) was the scene where Lisa, played by Vilma discovered that her son (to Eric’s brother, Jay Ilagan) was gone courtesy of her evil rich mother-in-law (Armida Sigueon Reyna). Here’s the lines and the explosive acting of the Queen. The scene: After running around looking for the baby in all the rooms in second floor of of this huge mansion, Lisa confronted Eric who were stunned to find Lisa’s hysterics.

Lisa: Dinaya n’yo ako! Saan n’yo dinala ang anak ko?!!!
Eric: Hindi ko alam!
Lisa: Hindi mo alam…Sinungaling!
Eric: Lisa, makinig ka muna…
Lisa: Kasabwat ka ng ina mo! Alam ko matagal n’yo nang plano ito!Eric: Ano bang pinagsasabi mo?
Lisa: Dinaya n’yo ako! Mga Traydor Kayo! Traydor kayong lahat!
Eric: Lisa, huminahon ka baka mapaano ang bata!
Lisa: Wala akong pakialam! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin ang anak ko! Ibalik mo sa akin si Jun Jun! Ibalik mo sa akin…. AHHHH (mahuhulog sa hagdanan)

Just this scene alone, Vilma should be rewarded that year’s best actress award! Bravo! RV

“…The movie showed Garcia’s strengths as a director—able to motivate his actors, frame sequences and scenes, and efficiently tell a story. Those qualities would be very evident in the 1980’s when Eddie Garcia directed the biggest blockbusters of Viva Films…But his best movies were domestic dramas that gripped audiences for their complex take on relationships and their tendencies toward tortured, twisted operations. Hallmarks of this genre were “Sinasamba Kita” in 1982 (Vilma Santos cruelly treating her half-sister), “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?” in 1983 (cruel mom-in-law seizing her grandkid from his mom, played by Santos), and “Magdusa Ka” in 1986 (an illegitimate daughter claims her birthright but finds life in her rich dad’s mansion a cruel torture). His last most significant movie as a director was obviously “Abakada Ina” (2001). In telling the story of an illiterate mother struggling for her children’s attention against her mother-in-law who’s a schoolteacher, Garcia seemed to go back to the standard traits of his best domestic dramas, with their take on the meanness and cruelty that seem to underlie filial relationships…” – Lito B. Zulueta (READ MORE)

“…Despite their different social backgrounds Lisa (Vilma Santos) and Benny (Jay Ilagan) have found their match in each other. Unfortunately Benny dies before they could marry and Liza is left with no choice but to seek the help of Benny’s parents. But hteir arrogance is as lofty as their fortune and to them Liza is nothing but an opportunist. Their only concern is their late son’s unborn child that Liza is carrying in her womb. The only person who treats Liza with kindness is Eric (Christopher de Leon) Benny’s brother who has secretly fallen in love with her…” – Mav Shack (READ MORE)