Vi in Cage Pageant – Miss Vilma Santos, local movie superstar, adds glamour to the prestigious 7th Asian Basketball Confederation championship which opened yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Colliseum. With Miss Santos are Executive Secreatry Alejandro Melchor (L), BAP presidential Lito Puyat and the shotmen of India and Indonesia.
………..Vi In NYC – “…I was very excited to meet Vilma Santos in New York today. “Ate Vi” is a living legend in the Philippines. Fans have dedicated their lives for decades worshiping her. She’s in New York filming a movie written by my friend Raymond Lee. I think I’ll follow them around over the weekend. Over the past few years Vilma Santos transformed herself from an actress to a politician. She was the mayor of Lipa City for almost 10 years, until she became the Governor of Batangas Province (pop. 2 million) in 2007. There is talk that she might run for President of the Philippines in 2010. Filipinos have a habit of electing former movie-stars into public office. I’m excited…” – Rickey (READ MORE)
The Blockbusters of the Year – “According to reliable reports from varios sources – the public relation men, the bookers, and the producers themselves – the top box office hits of the year are, so far, the first five: 1. RVQ’s “Dancing Master” directed by Jett Espiritu statting Dolphy and Nida Blance; 2. D’Wonder Films’ “Kuwatog” directed by Baby Navoa, starring Nino Muhlach; FPJ’s “Mahal, Saan Ka Nanggaling Kagabi?” directed Pablo Vergara, starring Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces; Lea’s “Rock, Baby Rock!” directed by Oscar Miranda, starring Vilma Santos and Junior; 5. Regal’s “Disgrasyada” directed by Elwood Perez, starring Rio Locsin and Rolly Quizon….” – TV Times Magazine, December 30 – Jan 5 1980
Bravo Ate Vi! – My long overdue visit to my beloved alam mater, UP’s College of Mass Communication and out tambayan, the Broadcating Association, was a dejavu of sorts for me, and an overall enjoyable afternoon. Besided seeing the newer breed of young “broad-assers” as we call them (pardom the term of endearment), as well as my close professors-associates, I also witnessed the awarding of the Gawad Plaridel to the country’s premiere actress, Lipa Mayor Vilma Santos, which my friend Rome Jorge talks about in today’s banner story. Instead, let me fill you in on the glittering list of Ate Vi’s well wishers that day – from her industry colleagues to the academic multitude to her loyal Vilmanians – who all gave the gem of an artist a standing ovation at the end of her 45-minute speech. She had of course her husband the Senator Ralph Recto to escort her. I meanwhile, had the privilege of attending the event with the head of the Film Institute Prof. Ed Lejano and his birlliant namesake, my fave, Prof. Ed Piano. The audience, meanwhile, had such bigwig names like Atty. Esperidion Laxa, ABS-CBN and Star Cinema executive Charo Santos-Concio, film director Chito Roño, scriptwriter Ricky Lee and Pete Lacaba, fellow actor Tirso Cruz 3rd, film critics Bienvenido Lumbera and Mario Hernando, and National Artist Napoleon Abueva, who is the sculptor of the highly revered Gawad Plaridel trophy. To say that Ate Vi’s lecture was powerful is an understatement, as Rome will no doubt tell you. How I wish there were more intelligent and passionate individuals like her in local show biz. Inspiring rather than…never mind! Let’s just get on with my prowl! – Amiel Martin Cabantig (READ MORE)
The Critical Dressed List – “…Vilma Santos shined in favorite designer Danilo Franco’s beaded aqua halter with sheer accent to cover the cleavage – very Mayor Vi. It has been quite a while since she wore a sleeveless number, she said. The Star for All Seasons felt uncomfortable to show her arms. (Those killer dance routines she did in her defunct TV shows “Vilma” did serve a purpose, after all). Well, she found a way to partially hide them behind a matching tasselled stole. Actually, teh gown would probably look better without it. Those armholes could use some improvements too…” – Alex Y. Vergara, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 March 2001 (READ MORE)
Investigative Journalism – “…I follow up on events and I always add that dash of scoop by getting at the real story behind the news item.” Inday Badiday’s brand of gossip, therefore, is more akin to investigative journalism. Never mind the fact that her investigations always end up in the same way. For nobody can quite ransack a “ropero” as thoroughly as Inday can. Inday Badiday or Ludy Jimenez Carvajal also admits to having”sources” who relay precious information to her but she sifts these carefully and only follows up on the “more interesting” bits. “The hotel guest registry is not my cup of tea, I leave it to others to do that type of reporting. If I get a lead about so-and-so cheking in at this hotel, I sometimes pass on the information to another reporter and leave it up to him to follow the story if he cares to.” Inday’s chitchat being more issue-oriented has landed her into more controversies than she’s ready to bargain for. “In the Amalia-Romeo-Vilma affair, for instances, I was only a bystander. They were the ones who did all the talking, most especially Bobby. But it was my program which took the brunt of it all. Sabi ko nga, para bang nag-away ang mga bisita mo sa bahay mo. Anong magagawa mo?” Inday confesses that her job is not exactly a bed of roses. “Anong gagawin mo pag sinabi sa iyo ng artista, “Ate Luds, ito ang tunay na nangyari pero huwag mong sasabihin. Ito na lang ang sabihin mo, Sasakit ang ulo mo talaga.” The constant ringing of the phone, the centenarian who came to visit Inday that day, the unending parade of people streaming in and out of Inday’s tiny office-all these attest to the queen’s popularity. “My sister (Letty Jiminez-Magsanoc of Panorama) tells me that I’m but a mere spectator of this circus.” What LJM meant was perhaps that Inday’s life is the anti-thesis of the sordid world of her occupation. Inday after all started out as a ballet teacher at Joji Felix’s dance studio (would you believe?) where perhaps the most awkward event of any given day was a ballerina’s lazy arabesque. Now that her world has changed from ballet to bod stars, she remains even more certain of her ground. “The point of interest being facets of the stars’ private lives,” says Inday, “and this means I cannot write or talk about how many times they go to church. I cannot imagine why some peole would like us to turn plastic, too, by writing plastic things about their plastic selves. Ang sabi nga kung naiinitan ka sa apoy ng nagluluto, di umalis ka sa kusina.” It is the movies where one worries most when the gossip stops. Very few attain that sought-after state of virtual imperviousness. Should anything truly sensational happen in their lives, who do you think will merit bigger headlines today, Vilma Santos or Tita Duran? What worries certain movie scribes, Giovanni Calvo included…” – TV Times, 27 April – May 3 1980
Vilma Santos “Young Star of 1972″ – “…Batay sa dami ng pelikulang ginampanan sa buong taon, muli na namang nanguna si Vilma Santos. Si Vilma, kung inyong natatandaan, ay nanguna rin nuong 1970, batay sa dami ng pelikulang nagampanan. Siya’y may 25 pelikula sa naturang taon. Sa kabuuan, narito ang kumpletong talaan ng mga pelikulang ginampanan ng mga young stars nong 1972 – 1. Vilma Santos – 14 (na pelikula); 2. Eva Linda – 13; 3. Jay Ilagan – 9; Roderick Paulate – 9; Nora Aunor – 7; Tirso Cruz III – 7; Desiree Destreza – 7; Edgar Mortiz – 7; Florence Aguilar – 6; Frankie Navaja Jr. – 6; Robin Aristorenas – 6; Barbara Monteiro – 6; Nympha Bonifacio – 6. Ang mga pamagat ng mga pelikulang kani-kanilang ginampanan ay ang mga sumusunod: Vilma Santos: Aloha My Love; Don’t Ever Say Goodbye; Dulce Corazon; Inspirations; My Little Darling; Remembrance; Sweet Sweet Love; Ang Kundoktora; Vilma, Takbo, Dali; Dama de Noche; 3 Mukha ni Rosa Vilma; Dalagang Nayon; Hatinggabi na Vilma; at Leron Leron Sinta…” – Boy Alejandro Silverio, Pogi Magazine, No. 97, 08 Jan 1973
Burlesk Queen – “…Film critic Rafael Ma. Guerrero, in fact, picked out his best Tagalog films of all time from that era alone. “I have my own orientation in film criticism,” Guerrero clarifies. “Because we’re Third World, to me a film is, first of all, a social document, then an educational tool, and third, an aesthetic experience. If I have to name three important Tagalog movies of all time based on these criteria, they would have to be Brocka’s “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” – actually, I can name four – Castillo’s “Burlesk Queen,” Romero’s “Aguila,” Gallaga’s “Oro Plata Mata…” – Rafael Ma. Guerrero (READ MORE)
Vilma is the first Filipino actress to be featured in Time Magaziine. – The Philippines: Let Them See Films. When politics became pretty much a one-man show in the Philippines, the people lost a prime source of entetainment. Part of the gap has been filled by a burhome-grown film industry, which displayed nine of its new productions at the Manila Film Festival last month. Some 2 million moviegoers saw the films. Some of the movies were historical dramas pointing up the search for a Filipino identity during the long years of Spanish rule. But the most acclaimed were contemporary stories with a heavy populist touch. The festival’s smash hit was Burlesk Queen, starring Filipino Superstar Vilma Santos. It tells the syrupy tale of a poor girl who turns to burlesque dancing to support a crippled father. She falls in love with the son of a politician, elopes with him, and then tragically loses him back to his possessive mother. The treacle is supplemented with some gritty argument about the rights and wrongs of burlesque, with a lefthanded dig at censors. Huffs the burlesque impresario at one point: “Who are they to dictate what the people should see?” – Time Magazine, Feb. 13, 1978 Vol. 111 No. 7
I went to their weddings… – “…Another memorable wedding was that of star for all seasons Vilma Santos and Ralph Recto at the century-old Lipa Cathedral in Batangas. I was a principal sponsor then and running late so I had to check into a cheap motel that was nearer the church than the house of Danny Dolor where I was supposed to dress up. The wedding was enchanting. Obviously, the townsflok loved the couple. For all intents and purposes, they were royalty. The adoring throng jampacked the church and the grounds surrounding it, wishing to catch even a glimpse of one of their own who came home to wed his exquisite bride. The newlyweds couldn’t make a graceful exit after the wedding. They ascended to the balcony of the church and waved to the crowd, who respond with tumultous applause, I had goosebumps. At that time, politics was farthest from Vi’s mind and Congress was yet in Ralph’s dream but, right then and there, I knew they were both destined for greater things…Some two decades earlier, Guy also figured in another controversial wedding, that of Winnie Santos to Bong Morales. Almost everybody who went to the wedding wore sunglasses -not because they needed protection from the sun but because they had to hide their tear-filled eyes. The bride herself was forever crying. At one point, seh even collapsed. Indeed, the story behind this is teh stuff of which soap operas are made. Winnie is the sister of Vilma Santos. She fell in love with Eddie Boy Villamayor, Nora Aunor’s brother. Due to that alone, their love already had the makings of a disaster. Eddie Boy was the jealous type and they’d forever be fighting. Until Winnie got tired of it all and broke off with Eddie Boy who become so distraught and heart-broken that he began to tread the path to self-destruction. At a show biz party, Guy saw Winnie. She went up to her and angrily asked, “Who are you to destroy the life of my brother?” or something to that effect. Winnie fled in tears, totally mortified. That was when she decided to accept one of her suitors, Bong Morales. Not too long after that, they were married. On the eve of the wedding, Eddie Boy sought Winnie out. Loaded with whatever it was he took, he walked from Project 8 in Quezon City where he lived, all the way to Magallanes Village in Makati where the Santoses resided. It was raining, (Why does it always rain when something dramatic is happening?). Eddie Boy knocked on the door of the Santoses’ home. He pleaded to speak to Winnie. He wanted to be one of the principal sponsors in the wedding. His pleas fell on deaf ears. Flashforward: Eddie Boy was never the same again after that. As for Winnie, after the wedding, she and Bong flew to the US to live, but they have divorced since. Their three children live with Winnie…” – Inday Badiday (READ MORE)
Charito Solis: “Vilma is a better actress than Nora” – OOPS! Keep your cool, dear Noranians, and listen to Charito Solis’ explanation before you accuse her of being, uh, “maka-Vilma.” “Vilma has a wider range as an actress while Nora is limited and typecast in certain roles,” Charito said in a tone devoid of intrigue, answering our question in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner. “Si Vilma, puede kahit anong role, kahit bold. You can’t imagine Nora doing a bold role, can you?” But, and that’s the big but, “Nora has more depth than Vilma,” Charito added, “and it’s because of her expressive eyes. Nora is very effective in scenes where she doesn’t say anything, just act with her eyes, at ‘yan ang kulang ni Vilma. Vilma has to say something to be effective.” Charito has worked with Vilma twice (in “Mga Tigre ng SierraCruz” and “Modelong Tanso”) and with Nora once (“Minsan May Isang Ina”). Speaking in general now, said Charito, “Vilma is the better actress.” We asked Charito that ticklish question during the lunch presscon for her latest movie, the star-studded Mother’s Day offering of Regal Films titled “Dear Mama”, which also stars Gloria Romero, Laurice Guillen, Snooky, Janice de Belen, Julie Vega, Manilyn Reynes, Jaypee de Guzman, Rey “PJ” Abellana and Alicia Alonzo in the title role. Our own personal opinion somehow jibes with that of Charito whose “throne”, I suppose, will be inherited by Vilma (while Nora will inherit the “throne” of the other drama queen, Lolita Rodriguez). – Ricardo F. Lo, The Philippine Star, April 03 1984
Ronnie, Vi team up for the first time – Two newly-proclaimed box office champions of Philippine movie star in FPJ Productions’ upcoming 13th anniversary presentations, “Batya’t Palu Palo,” a situation comedy about a rich heiress who disguises as a lowly washerwoman in order to find out for herself the true meaning of love. Delineating the lead roles are Fernando Poe, Jr. and Vilma Santos who star for the first together. Now being filmed among the lush greens of Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, “Batya’t Palu Palo” hopes to make people forget the humdrum activities of this world. A wholesome family entertainment, the flick will have Ronnie step down from his throne as the country’s number one action star to the down-to-earth role of Berting, an hacienda hand who works in Vilma’s big landed estates, but who, nevertheless, catches the attention of the young, rich and quite spoiled Estella. Directed by ace megman Pablo Santiago, “Batya’t Palu Palo” is scripted by Fred Navarro, based on a story by Ronwaldo Reyes. – FPJ Da King (READ MORE)
Enjoy! – Fernando Po Jr. gets a big kick watching Vilma Santos does the laudry in FPJ Productions’ rollicking comedy, “Batya’t Palu Palo,” which Pablo Santiago directs. Starring Dencio Padilla, Roberto Talabis, Angge, Royal Dahlen and the mainstays of FPJ. “Batya’t Palu Palo” is filmed in full color and will be shown sometime in April.
Stage Play – Contrary to popular belief, Charito Solis and Vilma Santos’ first project together wasn’t the festival entry, Modelong Tanso (this was their second film), It was a Cultural Center of the Phillipines’ passion play titled, “Ang Hari.”