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Contribution ni Josie – Did you know that as early as the ’80s, nagsusulat na ang award-winning scriptwriter na si Ricky Lee tungkol sa plight ng ating mga OFW (overseas Filipino workers)? He started with “Miss X,” filmed in Amsterdam in The Netherlands with now Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos in the title role. For an entire month, namalagi sa Amsterdam si Ricky kasama ang cast and crew ng pelikula. Naging simula ang Miss X ng ilang collaboration sa pagitan nila ng equally award-winning director na si Gil Portes. Ang next movie together nila ni direk Gil was “Carnival In Rio,” which was filmed naman in Rio de Janeiro. Alma Moreno, who was at the height of her popularity as a bold star then, played the lead role. Then came “Merika,” na isinapelikula naman sa New Jersey and New York with Nora Aunor playing the lead role. “Because of that movie,” ani Ricky, “I was able to explore New York, the city of my dream. After my travels to all these places, I wrote (direk) Gil a letter, thanking him for the rare chance he gave na marating ang mga lugar na ito na ’di ko Inakalang mararating ko,” pahayag ni Ricky. For Anak, which was filmed in Hong Kong, Ricky had the chance na makatrabaho muli si Vilma sa ibang bansa muli. This time, na-renew, wika nga, ang kanilang bonding. Ricky remembered that because Anak was a blockbuster, binigyan ng Star Cinema ng malaking bonus si Ate Vi. Nagulat daw siya when one day, he received a P40,000 check from the actress. Contribution daw ang pera ni Ate Vi sa isinagawa niyang workshop for aspiring scriptwriters. – Nel A., People’s Tonight, August 31 2005 (READ MORE)

Nice words for Vilma – Masayang kausap ang King of Comedy na si Dolphy. Paminsanminsan lang talaga naming nakaka-enkuwentro ang mga gaya niya, pero sulit na sulit naman kung magbigay siya ng oras sa mga gaya namin. At dahil mainit ang mga isyu sa pulitika, isa yun sa mga napag-usapan namin. Bilib na bilib si Mang Dolphy kay Mayor Vilma Santos dahil sa pagpapakita nito ng tapang at sinseridad sa gitna ng mga batikos at labanan sa pulitika. Nagpahayag din siya ng pagbibigay ng suporta dito kung sakaling hihingin ng aktres dahil bukod sa may maganda silag pinagsamahan, sobra sobrang respeto ang nais niyang ibalik kay Ate Vi na isang buhay na patunay diumano ng isang magaling na artista na nagsasakripisyo para magsilbi sa mas maraming mga tao. “Kung naging bata-bata lang ako, at medyo malakas-lakas pa at naging linya ko iyan, marahil ay nanaisin ko ang magsilbi rin sa ating mga kababayan,” dagdag pang pahayag ni Mang Dolphy. Puso daw ang pinagmumulan ng isang tapat na paglilingkod at sa pagkakakilala niya kay Mayor Vi sa halos buong buhay nito sa showbiz, walang dudang punumpuno ng magandang kalooban ang aktres. “Sa pagtataas niya ng antas at respeto sa hanay ng artista, kulang ang mga salita para sabihing isang mahusay at mabuting lider si Vi,” tsika pa nito. – Ambet Nabus, Taliba, March 15 2007 (READ MORE)

Stage Play – 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)

Flores De Mara – It was last year when we officially heard about “Flores De Mara.” It was an event. With the advent of gay-theme movies like Brokeback Mountain and TransAmerica in Hollywood, it would be another milestone project for Vilma and the Vilmanians! Imagine the conservative Filipino church condemning anything about the gay life, it promises a controversial, scandalous film. The plot was Ate Vi will play a mother of not one but three gay sons. Three young actors lined-up, willing to take the risk just to be billed with the Queen of Philippine Cinema. But like the unpredictable Philippine weather, Flores De Mara met its untimely death early this year. Reports of so many script revisions, casting and director changes, plus the restricted availability of Ate Vi were the cause of this Star Cinema’s project being shelved. By February of this year, a new development arised when Lily Monteverde, Regal films big momah, announced she is now doing the project. Same plot (a mother of three gays) tentatively titled, “Manay Po.” Cherie Pie Picache fresh from her best supporting actress win for another comedy, “I Will Survive” took the leading role from Ate Vi and Joel Lamangan in the driver seat as the director. It is worth noting that Lamangan ventured in a string of gay induced films in the past. The latest one was “Aishite Imasu,” where Dennis Trillo portrayed a transvestite who fell in loved with a rebellious soldier. Aishite was a good attempt to show how people tend to dehumanized the gay people. “Manay Po” is set in today’s society where people are more tolerant and accepting. It will be exciting to see if Lamangan will treat these three gay characters as normal, respectable people and not your typical Aids patient or flambouyant caricatures that has been portrayed in many Filipino films in the past. I believe its time for Filipinos to accept and respect our gay brothers and sisters. – RV, V Magazine, No. 7 (READ MORE)

7.3 Million in 1982 – “Gaano kadalas ang Minsan?” grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982 outgrossing “Sinasamba Kita” for Philippine movies’ all-time box office tally. With inflation and currency rate in consideration that will be around 95 million. But that’s not the only exciting thing about these film. It was the only film that Vilma Santos and Hilda Koronel did while atleast when Hilda was still at her peak. Ofcourse, Ate Vi’s career remained as hot as ever while Koronel now accepts supporting roles. It was obvious that year that Hilda was also more glamourous than Vilma but looking at the two right now, Vilma maintained that slim, youthful look while Hilda struggled and visibly gained so much weight she can be mistaken as Ate Vi’s aunt or mother (Now look slimmer than ever, Hilda staged a comeback via Star Cinema’s box office hit, “The Mistress” in 2012!). After Gaano Kadalas, Hilda did a few more leading roles under Viva Films even co-starred with Nora Aunor but didn’t get the same results as Gaano. But like what William Leary says, “mahirap matalbugan si Vilma, Vilma is Vilma in any season and whatever movie!” – RV, V Magazine, No 7 (READ MORE)

Still Grand Slam! – Relasyon was the only film with three screenings at the on-going Pelikua at Lipunan last March 3, 2006. No other films hold this record. We were enthusiastic about the students who reviewed the film of more than two decades. Talagang relevant and timeless ang theme at plot ng nasabing pelikuka at maituturing na isa sa great films of Philippine Movie history. Before the screening of the film ay masaya kaming nag-uusap and at times our attention was called sa mga updates and or instructions ni Jojo Lim (Pres. of VSSI Inc.) for the next group activity like March 8 sa U.P. sa Cine Adarna para sa Diwata Awards kung saan ay confirmed na darating si Ate Vi who is one of 4 distinguised honorees. Tumigil lang kami ng magsimula na ang screening. Wala ka ng makausap pa. Nakatuon lahat sa pelikula. Animo’y mga magagaling na kritiko ng gawad Urian na magre-review ng nasabing pelikula sa unang pagkakataon?! For the film’s final highlight, we all sat in real silence. Motionless. Then, the expected tour de force/acting coup cum real drama essayed by Ate Vi. Her solitariness remained absolute in this particular scene with her heart wrenching monolgue. Then I thought I caught a glimpse of some of our co-Vilmanians wiping away “precious tears” in between sobs. Several more moments passed in silence. Tinapos namin ang panonood ng pelikula with an ovation. ’Di lang kaming mga Vilmanians ang pumalakpak! We hope ay nakapag-contribute ang mga Vilmanians in support of Mowelfunds worthy projects. Mabuhay Ms. Vilma Santos, the Philippines Movie Queen for All Seasons! Mabuhay Vilmanians around the globe! – June Sison, V Magazine, No. 7, Mar 5 2006 (READ MORE)

Hit na Hit as Takilya – Patok at Hit na Hit sa Takilya, pang-Mr. & Miss R.P. Movies! Si Eddie at si Vilma ang nagkamit ng award bilang “Pinakamahusay na actor at actress sa pelikulang “Nakakahiya” At hindi lamang iyan. Nakamit din ng pelikulang ito ang mga sumusunod: “Best Picture, best screenplay, best director, best sound, at best film editing awards (Bacolod Film Festival).” Isang bagay lamang ang ikinalulungkot ng mga taga-Bacolod. Hindi nakarating sina Eddie Rodriguez at Vilma Santos upang tanggapin ang kanilang awards. At ang pinakahuling karangalang tinanggap ng dalawang sikat na tambalang Eddie at Vilma ay ang pagkakapili sa kanilang dalawa bilang Mr. & Miss R.P Movies ng taong ito. Isang karangalan ang mapiling Mr. & Miss R.P. Movies. Iisa lamang ang kahulugan nito – ang mataas na pagpapahalaga sa kanilang dalawa ng pelikulang Tagalog bilang mga pangunahing alagad ng sining. At hindi naman alangan ang pagkakahirang kina Eddie at Vilma sapagkat kapwa sila dedicated sa kanilang propesyon. Si Eddie, bukod sa isang mahusay na actor, director at prodyuser ay isa pa ring mahusay na scriptwriter. At hindi lamang sa pelikula nagdi-direct si Eddie Rodriguez. Maging sa kanyang weekly tv show, ang “Sanyugto” ay siya rin ang director. – Ely L. Jovez, Liwayway Magazine, Researched by Charlie Gomez, V Magazine No. 6 (READ MORE)

The Teaser – 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, V Magazine No. 6 (READ MORE)