Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos-Recto (born Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos November 3, 1953 in Bamban, Tarlac), commonly known as Vilma Santos-Recto or Ate Vi is a Filipino actress and box office queen for almost four decades. One of the original Philippine movie queens, she rose up to become the versatile actress that has been given the fitting title of “Star for All Seasons” because of her capacity to adapt to the changing mores and values of the Filipino woman, giving a face to their plight and struggles, albeit in success both critically and box-office wise in some of Philippine cinema’s classics such as Trudis Liit (1963), Lipad, Darna, Lipad (1973), Burlesk Queen (1977), Relasyon (1982), Sister Stella L. (1984), Alyas Baby Tsina (1984), Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (1989), Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Anak (2000) and Dekada ’70 (2002). She is currently the governor of Batangas, Philippines (2012)(Wikipedia).

For More Informations, Visit: Vilma Santos-Recto's Official Web-site

Thursday, May 30, 2013

PULOT-GATA, PWEDE KAYA? (1977)


Basic Information: Directed: Leonardo L. Garcia; Story, screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cast: Romeo Vasquez, Vilma Santos, Suzanne Gonzalez, Rodolfo Boy Garcia, Tange, Ruel Vernal, Ricky Manalo Jr., Vanessa Lopez, Tita De Villa, Richard Santiago, Paraluman, Palito; Original Music: Restie Umali; Cinematography: Ricardo Herrera

Plot Description: An intrigued filled love affair between Baby Abueva a poor lass of Baguio and Teddy Burgos a millionaire from Zamboanga. An affair married with the appearance of Lota. - Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...Romeo Vasquez is an oddity in Vilma's life. Hindi akalain ng lahat na ang isang notorious playboy and balikbayan actor would capture the heart of the then elusive Ate Vi. Nagkaroon sila ng affair which lasted for more than a year. Kilala si Bobby sa pagiging bohemyo kaya naman walang kakilala si Ate Vi na bumoto sa aktor. Ate Vi was love struck at talagang na head-over heels in love. Nagsimula ang kanilang affair sa set ng kanilang pelikulang "Nag-aapoy na Damdamin". True to this title, nagliyab silang dalawa at tunay ngang nag-apoy ang kanilang damdamin. May plano pa nga sila ni Bobby na magpakasal sa Europe. Talagang Ate Vi was ready to give up her life as an actress and would settle with the actor abroad. And with herb relationship with Bobby, nag-surface ang bagong Vilma Santos.Ate Vi realized that she cann't sacrifice everything for love. Nagising siya sa katotohanan at nagkamali kung kaya nagdesisyon siyang kumalas sa bohemyong aktor..." - Willie Fernandez (READ MORE)

"...But it was with handsome actor Romeo Vasquez that Vilma Santos had her most controversial relationship. Romeo was the former husband of Philippine movie queen Amalia Fuentes. He and Vilma first paired in the movie Nag-aapoy na Damdamin (1976). It was also during this year that they became a couple. They made several movies together, all of which did well at the box-office. Vi and Bobby (Romeo's nickname) became the most-talked about reel and real love team at the time. The relationship was always on the pages of showbiz magazines and tabloid entertainment section pages because of the intrigues and the personalities who got involved with them..." - Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

"...And came her romance with Romeo Vasquez, boosting both their stocks at the box office (their two starrers, Nagaapoy Na Damdamin and Pulot-Gata where Vilma did her own wet style, were big moneymakers). The tandem, although it did help Vilma, actually helped Vasquez more in reestablishing himself at the box office (without Vilma, his movies with other leading ladies hardly create any ripple). In Susan Kelly, Edad 20, Vilma played a notorious-woman role that required her to wear skimpy bikini briefs in some scenes, following it up with two giant sizzlers (Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon and Madakit Masarap Ang Umibig) that catapulted her as the newest Bold Queen..." - Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek, Jan 19 1978 (READ MORE)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2002 Star Awards Best Actress


Novel to Film "..."Dekada '70," the eagerly awaited filmization of Lualhati Bautista's seminal novel in the explosive '80s, has eight nominations. Best director nominee Chito Rono successfully focuses the novel's many-sided dimensions on a mother's stirring from domestic conventions and sensibilities as her family copes with the changes wrought by a collapsing order. The movie, written by Bautista herself and nominated for best screenplay, manages to provides viewers, particularly the young, with the feel of the Marcos years, reacquainting them with a particularly sordid passage in history when innocence was ravaged and continuity was ruptured. The wonder is that the movie did not get the lion's share of the technical design (Manny Morfe), and sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc) - should at least suggest its achievement. Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon are strong contenders for best actor and best actress, while yound actor Piolo Pascual is nominated for best supporting actor. The 26th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the society of respected film critics, will be held on May 17 at the AFP Theater..." - Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2003 (READ MORE)

The Light "...Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to "Dekada '70" and "Mga Munting Tinig," This was unexpected because "Dekada" was a major production that took many months to make, while "Munting Tinig" was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be "Dekada" is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while "Munting Tinig" is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films' contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian's Best Picture award...The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in "Dekada '70" is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively "passive," "colorless" and "undramatic" portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie's central Bartolome family, spent most of the film's running time meekly following her husband's dictates, like most women in the '70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn't true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie's time frame, this "passivity" was an astute artistic decision on Vilma's part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in "Dekada" was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian..." - Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer - May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

Star Awards "...Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos still gets the jitters when accepting acting awards. She bested five other equally worthy nominees to the best actress throne in last Saturday's Star Awards for Movies at the UP Theatre. She won for her moving portrayal of a timid mother empowered by the death of her son in Chito Rono's period drama, "Dekada '70," which was an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Ironically, Ara Mina, who edged out Vilma from the best actress derby in the MMFF, was not among those cited by Star Awards. Vilma competed with Sharon Cuneta ("Magkapatid"), Maricel Soriano ("Mano Po"), Claudine Baretto ("Kailangan Kita"), and Alessandra de Rossi ("Mga Munting Tinig")..." - Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 11, 2003 (READ MORE)

Actress-Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, new actor Yul Servo, and the independent film, "Mga Munting Tinig," proved that the local movie industry recognizes talent and good films, veteran or newcomer, when they bagged top honors at the 19th Star Awards for the Movies held last Saturday night at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Santos was named "Movie Actress of the Year" for her role as a mother who experienced awakening during the '70s turmoil in "Dekada '70." Santos, one of the country's most awarded actresses, admitted she still feels the tension from the announcement of nominees to the winner. "Nakakakaba pa rin po hanggang ngayon (I still feel nervous even now)," she said in her acceptance speech. Meanwhile, newcomer Yul Servo was named "Movie Actor of the Year" for playing a young husband subjected to extreme culture shock when he finds life hard in a Manila suburb in the controversial movie, "Laman." The rest of the major trophies went to Gil Portes, "Movie Director of the Year" for "Munting Tinig;" Piolo Pascual, "Movie Supporting Actor of the Year" for "Dekada '70"; and Kris Aquino, "Movie Supporting Actress of the Year" for "Mano Po."

"Mga Munting Tinig" won most of the awards, copping with seven out of 16, including Child Performer of the Year (Brian Ronquillo), Musical Score (Joy Marfil), Production Design (Arthur Licdao) and Original Screenplay. According to its director and scriptwriter, Portes, the group completed "Munting Tinig" in only 15 days. He added, "This movie just won in the Sta. Barbara International Film Festival and is the first locally produced movie bought by Warner Bros. for worldwide distribution." Other winners at the 19th Star Awards were "Agimat" for Best Special Effects; Jordan Herrera, New Movie Actor of the Year for "Gamitan;" Nancy Castiglione, New Movie Actress of the Year for "I Think I'm in Love;" Ogie Alcasid for "Kailangan Kita," Best Movie Theme Song; and Lualhati Bautista for Best Adapted Sceenplay, "Dekada '70." Special awards given were the "Darling of the Press" for Onemig Bondoc, the "Male Star of the Night" for Bong Revilla, the "Female Star of the Night" for Maricel Soriano and the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr. Trivia host was Charlene Gonzales. Hosts of last night's Star Awards were Cesar Montano, Bong Revilla, Philip Salvador, Kris Aquino, Maricel Soriano and Vilma Santos. Performers were Sharon Cuneta, Jolina Magdangal, Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Angelika de la Cruz, Patricia Javier, Karylle, and Zsa Zsa Padilla. - Sol Jose Vanzi, March 10, 2003 (READ MORE)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MAKAHIYA AT TALAHIB (1976)


Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Emmanuel H. Borlaza; Story: Anthony Taylor; Cast: Vilma Santos, Rudy Fernandez, Trixia Gomez, Gloria Romero, Anthony Rodriguez, Romeo Rivera, Rocco Montalban; Executive producer: Cherry Ong; Original Music: Tito Sotto; Cinematography: Oscar Querijero; Film Editing: Jose Tarnate; Art Direction: Gerry Guanlao; Sound: Gaudencio Barredo; Theme song: "Aking Bituin" Sung by Allan Castro; Composed by Tito Sotto; Released thru Vicor Music Corporation; Film Poster: Video 48

Plot Description: Wrongfully convicted Arturo (Rudy Fernandez) escaped from prison and went back to his hometown for revenge but was further framed by the same gang who initially concocted a crime that sent him to jail. Aurora (Vilma Santos), Arturo's girlfriend tried to convince him to surrender but it was too late, he was killed.

Film Achievement: One of the top box office hit of the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival (The first film of Vilma and Rudy in leading roles and their adult first screen kiss of Vilma Santos).

Film Reviews: "...Her metamorphosis began in late 1976 when she agreed to be kissed by Rudy Fernandez in Makahiya at Talahib. It was a “feeler” of sort and when the public clacked its tongue in obvious approval, Vilma shelved her lollipops-and-roses image and proved that she, too, could be a woman – a wise move indeed because at that time her career was on a downswing and her movies were not making money. Then she did Mga Rosas sa Putikan for her own VS Films where she played a country girl forced into prostitution in the big city. The movie did fairly well at the tills. Good sign. And came her romance with Romeo Vasquez, boosting both their stocks at the box office (thier two starrers, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin and Pulot-Gata where Vilma did her own wet style, were big moneymakers). The tandem, although it did help Vilma, actually helped Vasquez more in re-establishing himself at the box office (without Vilma, his movies with other leading ladies hardly create any ripple). In Susan Kelly, Edad 20, Vilma played a notorious-woman role that required her to wear skimpy bikini briefs in some scenes, following it up with two giant sizzlers (Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon and Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig) that catapulted her as the newest Bold Queen. Then came Burlesk Queen..." - Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek Magazine January 19, 1978 (READ MORE)

"...Why Borlaza? Because Emmanuel H. Borlaza is a formula director, a tried and tested moneymaker for local film companies and an example of a commercial success who also hungers for artistic fullfillment. It was Maning Borlaza who directed the box-office hit revival of Darna and Dyesebel, those heroines of less demanding times, and followed of less demanding times, and followed them with more Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz starrers...Whether the lure was really Borlaza and not Vilma (as Darna) or Alma (as Eva), one would still not find out in Makahiya at Talahib, the Goodwill production that Maning is directing as a filmfest bet. Vilma is starring, you see, opposit Rudy Fernandez who portrays the man on the run. Maning, however, has been quoted to have said that "My next 20 years are modestly provided for, I don't think I will live more than that. Henceforth, I will split my movie work to what I want to do and what the public likes. He wants, it seems, to recover his old self, the Borlaza who filmed Pyscho-Maniac, a suspense thriller which cast Divina Valencia, Dindo Fernando and Ray Marcos and won him the Academy's best screenplay award in '68, who packed so much good action in Mindanao, the movie that bagged four statuettes in the Manila Filmfest of the same year, and who directed Vilma Santos's way to the FAMAS best actress award for the performance in Dama de Noche. And yet, he is not that keen to do films that might suffer the fate of O'Hara's Mortal or Bernal's Nunal sa Tubig. "Their box-office results are not encouraging," says Maning. He admits he still goes a little commercial. That is why there is a love scene between Vilma and Rudy in Makahiya that Maning expects people might be talking about, more than the torrid shots of Rudy and Trixia Gomez. The 41-year old director also wrote the story and screenply of Makahiya...Nowadays, he even makes two pictures at a time. "I just finished Makahiya and Teatro Manila. It's cheaper that way. You don't waste any calendar day. No stars available for Makahiya, we would work on Teatro..." - Chelo R. Banal, Philippine Panorama Magazine, 26 December 1976 (READ MORE)




Monday, May 27, 2013

Coney Reyes and Vilma Santos


Student Canteen to Eat Bulaga - "...Matatandaang ang friendship nina Vi, Helen, Coney at Tina ay naging matibay at matatag dahilan upang mai-guest ni Helen ang tatlo sa kanyang programang Lovingly Yours. At biruin nyo ang talent fee nila ay ang trip to Singapore na silang apat lang ang magkakasama para lalo silang makapag-bonding. Noong binawian ng buhay si Helen noong early '90s ay sa isang fellowship building sa Makati City siya ibinurol at nakita namin sa kanyang coffin ang isang bouquet na nakalagay ang mga pangalan nina Vi, Coney at Tina. Sobrang nalungkot ang tatlo sa pagkamatay ni Helen at bilang pagpapatunay ng kanilang pagkakaibigan.....nang ikasal si Vi ay ginawa niyang mga secondary sponsors sina Coney, Tina at Princess na siyang pumalit kay Helen. Matatandaan ding noong 1991, sina Vi, Helen, Coney at Tina ay pare-parehong umakyat sa entablado para tanggapin ang kanilang award mula sa Star Awards for Television. Tinanggap ni Vi ang best musical variety show para sa kanyang VILMA show, si Helen naman ay bilang best female newscaster para sa GMA Balita, si Coney ay bilang best drama actress para sa Coney Reyes on Camera at si Tina ay bilang best female host para sa Lunch Date. Silang apat ay nagsama na din sa isang espesyal na okasyon ng Vilma Show ni Vilma at umawit pa nga sila ng awiting That What Friends Are For. Siyanga pala si Helen at Coney ay nagkasama rin sa television show na Student Canteen katuwang sina Eddie Ilarde at Bobby Ledesma. Samantala, sinabi ni Coney sa isang VTR ng Wowowee noong nakaraang kaarawan ni Vi na siya daw ang nagturo kay Vi para gumamit ng panyo. Ayaw daw kasi ni Vi na gumamit ng tissue paper dahil pag pinagpapawisan siya at ginamit niya ang tissue paper ay may naiiwang nakadikit na tissue paper sa kanyang pisngi kaya't hanggang ngayon ay panyo ang trademark ni Vi.


Di nga ba't isa si Julie Haglund na masuwerteng nakahingi ng panyo ni Vi noong dinalaw niya si Vi sa Batangas City? Nang magkasunod-sunod ang best actress award ni Vi noong early 80s lalo na noong naka-grand slam si Vi sa pelikulang Relasyon ay nasabi ni Coney na pinapakyaw talaga ni Vi ang mga awards. Napangasawa ni Coney ang basketbolistang si Larry Mumar at nabiyayaan din sila ng mga anak subali't hindi rin naging maganda ang kanilang pagsasama kung kaya't naghiwalay din sila. Nang mawala ang Student Canteen ay naging isa sa mga hosts ng Eat Bulaga si Coney. Dito nabuo ang relasyon nila ni Vic Sotto. Nagkaroon sila ng isang anak sa katauhan ni Vico at isa si Vi sa mga naging ninang ni Vico. Si Coney ay ilang beses ding naparangalan ng Star Awards for Television bilang best drama actress sa kanyang drama anthology na Coney Reyes on Camera noong taong 1987, 1990, 1991, 1994 at 1995 at ang kanyang drama anthology ay nabigyan din ng best daytime drama anthology noong taong 1996 at 1997. Naging best actress ng Metro Manila Film Festival si Coney noong 1983 para sa pelikulang Bago Kumalat Ang Kamandag. Si Vi at si Coney ay nagkasama sa mga pelikulang Basta't Isipin Mong Mahal Kita at Muling Buksan Ang Puso..." - Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)


Coney Reyes (born Constancia Angeline Reyes Nubla on May 27, 1954) is an award winning Philippine Film/TV actress, television host and producer with Chinese and Spanish descent. She has been one of the co-presenters of Student Canteen (1975–1982) and Eat Bulaga (1982–1991). She earned a degree of Bachelor of Arts major in Communication Arts at Maryknoll College (now Miriam College). Prior to her career on entertainment, Coney was a student leader and consistent dean's lister during her college days. Coney made her movie debut in "Return of the Dragon" in 1975. She hosted for Student Canteen since its first airing on GMA Network in 1975. In 1982, Coney Reyes left Student Canteen for Eat Bulaga on RPN. In exchange, Chiqui Hollmann filled the slot Reyes vacated. Coney's hosting stint with Eat Bulaga opened more opportunities for her and she has co-starred with Dolphy, Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Maricel Soriano, Helen Vela, Aiza Seguerra and Vic Sotto among others in several movies and TV programs. Her weekend afternoon drama anthology "Coney Reyes on Camera" (1984–1998), which she was also a producer, was one of the successful top-rating programs aired on Saturday afternoons and brought home several awards and citations including Star Awards for TV, Catholic Mass Media Awards and the CAMACOP. She recently appeared in programs like "Ysabella," "Rubi" and "100 Days to Heaven" (her first leading role in TV or movie appearance since "Biyudo si Mister, Biyuda si Misis" in 1997) - Wikipedia (READ MORE)


Coney Reyes and Vilma Santos


Muling Buksan Ang Puso (1985) - "...Jim (Dindo Fernando) is a doctor and Cristy (Vilma Santos) is his nurse. Good looking and successful Jim finds himself an ardent admirer in Cristy. But Cristy is not an ordinary lady – she’s daring and defiant. She’ll do whatever it takes to win him even if he’s very much married. Cristy’s persistence and Jim’s longing for a child leads to an illicit relationship. But too much love suffocates and covetousness can breed hate..." - Mavshack (READ MORE)


Basta't Isipin Mong Mahal Kita (1975) - "...And so, to prove them wrong, Vilma’s manager smartly plotted follow-up recordings. Not only did Vilma record her follow-up album, she recorded a string of mini-LPs. Mini-LPs are shorter version of the big vinyl record with two songs on each side. She ventured into Tagalog songs, recording six songs that include instants hits like Isipin Mong Basta’t Mahal Kita, a theme song to a film she did opposite Filipino chess grand master, Eugene Torre; Palong-Palo, where she received a golden record award in 1974 and an up-tempo opm, Tok-Tok Palatok, another theme song from one of her comedy film with the same title opposite Jojit Paredes..." - RV (READ MORE)



Related Reading:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

ANG GALING GALING MO MRS JONES (1980)

"Wala akong kamalay-malay na ang daratnan ko ruon ay isang halimaw na uhaw sa laman...ngayon ay dumating na ang pagkakataon para magkaharap kami ng taong dumurog ng aking puri... Ang rapist! Ang manyak! Ang hinahangan n'yo! Ang tinitingala n'yo! Ang iginagalang n'yo! Ang maginoong palsipikado! Si Eduardo Gomez!" - Mrs. Jones


Basic Information: Directed: Cirio H. Santiago; Story: Toto Belano; Screenplay: Ruben Rustia; Cast: Vilma Santos, Al Tantay, Mark Gil, Richard Romualdez, Anna Gonzales, Vic Salayan, Josephine Manuel, Anita Linda, Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia, Tintoy, Pepot, Original Music: A.S. Verdin

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...Cirio H. Santiago had grown up in the studio owned by his parents and in 1957, aged only 21, had enough business acumen to forsee the grim future for the Big Three studios. Of particular interest to Santiago were the opportunities to be made in the lucrative and ever-expanding American drive-in circuit. With dreams of taking his films to the world's screens, and with the American drive-in circuit firmly in his sights, Santiago took a huge financial risk for Premiere: along with Eddie Romero, he set up the Philippines' first production, The Day Of The Trumpet (1957), for the international market. Santiago himself continued to pursue a career in the international whilst keeping Premiere Productions afloat. By the early Seventies Premiere began seeking out co-production deals with countries including the United States; Premiere, one of the Big Three studios of the Fifties, was rapidly evolving to become primarily, though not exclusively, a production unit for international features and co-productions including those of Roger Corman. In Corman, Santiago found the perfect partner in crime, and would continue a working relationship and close friendship from their first meeting in 1970 until Cirio passed away in 2008..." - Andrew Leavold (READ MORE)

"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)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

AYAW KONG MAGING QUERIDA (1983)


Basic Information: Directed: Leonardo L. Garcia; Story: Joey Papa; Screenplay: Joey Papa; Cast: Vilma Santos, Romeo Vasquez, Carmi Martin, Norma Blancaflor, Elizabeth Poe, Ric Arellano, atty. Milo Castello, Lyn Sabado; Executive producer: Experidion Laxa; Original Music: Idan Cortez; Cinematography: Eduardo Cabrales

Plot Description: Ayaw kong maging querida is a story about three people caught in a whirlwind romance bound in the norms of society class. Will love conquer all or will wealth and power dictate their destinies? - Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: Total Number of films of Vilma Santos and Romeo Vasquez: 11 (Nagaapoy na Damdamin, Pulot-Gata Puwede Kaya?, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, Bakit Kailangan Kita, Pag-ibig Ko Sa Iyo Lang Ibibigay, Swing it Baby, Gusto Kita Mahal Ko Siya, Ayaw Kong Maging Querida, Dugo At Pag-ibig Sa Kapirasong Lupa, Happy Days Are Here Again) - RV (READ MORE)

Film Reviews: "...Amalia Fuentes’ AM Productions made movies filmed abroad: Sta. Teresa de Avila and those light dramas with Liezl that were shot all over Europe and in the united States. This trend in the movies stopped because of the travel ban during the martial law years, but returned a decade later in the late ‘70s up to the early ‘80s. Vilma Santos did a lot of these films: Pinay American Style, Romansa, and Ayaw Kong Maging Querida in the US and Miss X in the Netherlands..." - Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

"...“I was so tense bago kami nagkaharap sa shooting. We worked na together about 30 years ago in ‘Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida’ with Romeo Vasquez, shot in the U.S. Ngayon lang kami uli nagkaharap and I wasn’t sure if she knew me. Pero napakabait niya. Suportahan kami sa aming eksena..." - Showbiz-Portal (READ MORE)

"Sometime in the mid 70s, matinee idol Romeo Vasquez returned to the movie scene after a long absence, his movie career in limbo after his failed marriage with popular actress Amalia Fuentes. His teamup with Vilma Santos somehow rekindled and revived his career. Their first movie together, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin in 1976 turned out to be a big hit. Despite their age gap, reel and real life sweetheart, Romeo, 34 and Vilma, 23, soon became the hottest love team, doing one hit movies after another..." - Video 48 (READ MORE)

"...Romeo Vasquez is an oddity in Vilma's life. Hindi akalain ng lahat na ang isang notorious playboy and balikbayan actor would capture the heart of the then elusive Ate Vi. Nagkaroon sila ng affair which lasted for more than a year. Kilala si Bobby sa pagiging bohemyo kaya naman walang kakilala si Ate Vi na bumoto sa aktor. Ate Vi was love struck at talagang na head-over heels in love. Nagsimula ang kanilang affair sa set ng kanilang pelikulang "Nag-aapoy na Damdamin". True to this title, nagliyab silang dalawa at tunay ngang nag-apoy ang kanilang damdamin. May plano pa nga sila ni Bobby na magpakasal sa Europe. Talagang Ate Vi was ready to give up her life as an actress and would settle with the actor abroad. And with herb relationship with Bobby, nag-surface ang bagong Vilma Santos.Ate Vi realized that she cann't sacrifice everything for love. Nagising siya sa katotohanan at nagkamali kung kaya nagdesisyon siyang kumalas sa bohemyong aktor..." - Willie Fernandez (READ MORE)

"...But it was with handsome actor Romeo Vasquez that Vilma Santos had her most controversial relationship. Romeo was the former husband of Philippine movie queen Amalia Fuentes. He and Vilma first paired in the movie Nag-aapoy na Damdamin (1976). It was also during this year that they became a couple. They made several movies together, all of which did well at the box-office. Vi and Bobby (Romeo's nickname) became the most-talked about reel and real love team at the time. The relationship was always on the pages of showbiz magazines and tabloid entertainment section pages because of the intrigues and the personalities who got involved with them..." - Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

February 20th - "...Last Jan. 31, the Mowelfund, PMPPA, Film Academy of the Philippines and IMPIDAP threw a cocktail party at the Luzon room of the Philippine Plaza ballroom for the MIFF guests and delegates. Manny de Leon arrived promptly with Tierra Alexandra at 5:30 p.m. but decided to wait at the lobby when he learned there wasn't anyone yet in the hall except the waiters. The American vice consul arrived next and then Fred Marshall, Hongkong-based correspondent who's a fixture at Asian film festivals. Aling Miling Blas looked pleased as punch during the affair. She said German buyer bought her Hell Train for $15,000 which was directed by Cirio Santiago last year with American actors and actresses in the cast. She said she nixed another offer of $35,000 for the European territory rights to the film except Germany. Atty. Espiridion Laxa said she could get a higher price for it. Atty. Laxa's Vilma Santos stateside picture, Ayaw Kong Maging Querida, was already in the can and booked for Feb. 20, he said...Atty. Laxa reminded everybody that the First Lady was expecting to see producers and movie personalities at her Fort Santiago affair at eight that same evening. The coffee shop of the Philippine Plaza was a favorite spot of the movie crowd during the MIFF. After the coctail party, we saw Eddie Garcia in coat and tie dining with attractive girl at the coffee shop. Tony Ferrer later came in with Lando Navarette, Amay Bisaya and several other companions. Then Armida Siguion-Reyna walked in. We were sipping coffee at a table with Manay Ichu Maceda, Jesse Ejercito, Manny Nuqui, Nick Lizaso and Rolfie Velasco when Celso Ad Castillo joined us. The kid seem to have regained his confidence with the success of Virgin People." - Danny Villanueva, Movie Flash Magazine, 24 February 1983 (READ MORE)

Friday, May 24, 2013

MIKE DE LEON


Director For The Moment - "...The general public does not really know that Mike comes from the famous de Leon clan of showbusiness, his father being Atty. Manuel de Leon (erstwhile president of the Film Academy) and his grandmother being the late Donya Sisang, famous starmaker of LVN Pictures. Mike indeed grew up in a milieu that is purely showbiz. He is used to being surrounded by movie stars. Kaya naman hindi katakataka na sa kanyang paglaki ay hangarin niyang mapabilang din sa daigdig ng pelikulang kanyang kinamulatan. His first formal brush with moviemaking was in 1975 when he co-produced Lino Brocka’s Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. He was also the one who handled the film’s cinematography, and he won a Famas award for his marvelous first job. The following year, he produced and directed his first full length fils, Itim. Mike’s early movies, Itim and Kung Mangarap, were hailed as gems of technical excellence. One can really see the effort to make the cinematograph, the sound recording, the production design, the editing and the musical scoring highly polished. But Mike was chided for the scarcity of relevant content in his films. Itim was merely an excursion to the realms of the occult while Kung Mangarap is basically a small drama about a confused youth and his brief affair with a lonely wife. Some even concluded that Mike cannot be expected to deal with subject that are socially conscious for he was born with the proverbrial silver spoon in his mouth. With Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, Mike surprised his critics with a musical comedy that is a thinly disguised attack against the enroachment of foreign businessmen in our country. The Chinese and the Japanese were portrayed as wily capitalists earer to pillage their unsuspecting victims. For us, the movie was also a triumph for Armida Siguion Reyna and Johnny Delgado, who portrayed their neocolonialists roles with much fervor and enthusiasm. The movie also attacked organized religion and its involvement in deluding the people. Batch ’81 further enhanced Mike’s growing reputation as a conscienticized moviemake. It dealt with oppression and tyranny using the basically cruel initiation practices of fraternities as a allegory. In Sister Stella L., de Leon’s politicalization is in full bloom..." - Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash Magazine, July 19 1984 (READ MORE)

Focus on Filipino Director: Mike de Leon - "...de Leon spent his childhood in the family owned LVN studio, one of the three major studios of the forties and the fifties. He studied cinematography in Germany and the United States and worked to create the quality that LVN laboratory is known for. In 1975, he formed his own company, CineManila, whose initial offering was the monumental Maynila: sa Kuko ng Liwanga, of which he was also the cinematographer. In 1976, he directed his first film, Itim (Pitch-Black), a psyhological drama of a psychic who is haunted by a past muder, in which the supernatural is suggested rather than exploited. His second film, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (Moments in a Stolen Dream, 1977) touched on the bourgeois values of the upper class as two lovers meet and separate in Baguio ans Sagada. His film Kakaba-kaba Ka Ba? (Will Your Heart Beat Faster? 1980) is a fine, innovative sppof of the country’s sacred cows, using Mother Goose language to hit at, among others, the Japanese and Chinese presence in the Philippines. His fourth film Batch ’81 depicts the initiation rites of aspiring neophytes into quasi-tribal fraternities, and is injected with so much double meaning that the gory initiation rites become a disturbing metaphor of post-Martial Law Phlippines. His last film, Kisapmata (In the Wink of an Eye) delves into the misuse of authority in a closely-knit family. The Mike de Leon style always hints at meanings otehr than those plotted out and creates powerful, disturbing images. Mike de Leon’s last tow films Batch ’81 and Kisapmata were shown together at the 1982 Director’s Forthnight in Cannes, marking the first time in its history that two films by the same director were ever exhibited..." - Focus On Filipino Films, A Sampling 1951-1982 (READ MORE)

The thin line between genius and sanity - "It's easy to call Mike de Leon one of the greatest if not the greatest Filipino filmmaker who ever lived; he's done only a handful (nine features and three shorts), but every one displays an amazingly high level of technical proficiency. In terms of sound design, cinematography, and editing, his films sound and look and flow better than almost any other Filipino filmmakers'; it may be argued that De Leon has never made a bad film--that his batting average runs a near-perfect 95 or even 100%. That said, De Leon does seem to have his blind spots. He's never done a big-budget picture before (the only one he's ever attempted, GMA Studio's "Jose Rizal," he walked away from after spending so many months and so many millions of pesos preparing). He never does explicit sex scenes, and almost never shows human sensuality in any form. He also seems to have trouble portraying women--they are either passive or impotent or almost totally absent from his films. For all of De Leon's supposed range and versatility, you could almost chart his career on what he will or will not do, as if some complex formula secretly ruled his life. And perhaps there is. De Leon's reputation for technical perfection is both boon and bane for anyone trying to assess his films; most critics only see the surface perfection--bow to it, hang garlands upon it, burn incense and chant hosannas to its holy presence. They don't seem in any way aware of the turmoil beneath that perfect surface, a hidden turmoil the dynamic of which mars as often as strengthens his films, and is the true source of their power....Judging from his recent work, De Leon seems to have exorcised his demons and is content to do clever, even brilliant, comedies; the anguished artist has given way to the urbane, sophisticated satirist. Which is fine and good, unless you happen to catch a screening of "Kisapmata," either in a retrospective or on cable, and notice how ten years later it still hasn't lost any of its power to disturb or shock--that, in fact, it's one of the greatest Filipino films ever made. Then you want to ask: "When is De Leon going to do something worth obsessing over again? When is he going to do films that matter again?..." - Noel Vera (READ MORE)

Miguel Pamintuan de Leon, also known as Mike de Leon (born May 24, 1947) is a Filipino film director, cinematographer, scriptwriter and film producer. He was born in Manila on May 24, 1947 to Manuel de Leon and Imelda Pamintuan. His interest in filmmaking began when he pursued a master's degree in Art History at the University of Heidelberg in Germany...De Leon explored subjects such as incest, fraternity violence, and the Filipino workers' cause. These were themes that were portrayed in the films Kisapmata, Batch '81 and Sister Stella L. respectively. These films became cinematic masterpieces in Philippine History of Filmography and were later listed as the Philippines's Ten Outstanding Films of the Decade: 1980-1989 by the Philippines’ Urian Awards. Later on, Batch '81 was voted best picture by the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) where de Leon also won a best screenplay award. For Sister Stella L., De Leon won best director and best screenplay in the Philippines's Urian Awards in 1984. Kisapmata and Batch '81 were presented during the Directors' Fortnight at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. The film Sister Stella L. was an entry during the 1985 Venice Film Festival...Mike de Leon received the Parangal Sentenyal sa Sining at Kultura at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in February 1999. His Batch '81 and Sister Stella L. had been among the 25 Filipino films shown in New York from July 31 to August 1999, organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in partnership with the Philippine Centennial Commission, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, IFFCOM, the Philippine Information Agency, the Consulate General of the Philippines in New York and the Philippine Centennial Coordinating Council - Northeast USA. These series of Filipino films were presented at the Walter Reade Theater of the Lincoln Center, in celebration of the 100th year of Philippine Independence. - Wikipedia (READ MORE)


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

MIKE DE LEON: DIRECTOR OF THE MOMENT


We were very much surprised to see Mike de Leon sitting at the presidential table at Mother China during the recent press conference of Sister Stella L. Alam naming pinakaiwas-iwasan niya ang ganitong mga klase ng "pakikipagtuos" sa movie press, always preferring to stay on the backstage when it comes to the publicity and promotions of his movies. Kaya naman sa simula pa lamang ng pagsasalit niya sa mikropono ay idineklara na niya agad:"I was told by Lily Monteverde that it's going to be a small press conference. Had I known that it would be this big, I wouldn't have come. But I guess this is her idea of small." But once he started talking, Mike became very open to all queries thrown his way. He never rejected any of them. As a matter of fact, one could very well see that he tried to answer all of them as best he could. Although he has been directing movies for the past eight years, Mike is not that well known to local moviegoers. Probably because he has a small output (only a total of six movies made in eight years). Probably because he generally tries to avoid the press. But despite the fact that he has made very few movies, he and his works have won a number of awards. Itim was the winner of best picture in Asian Film Fest. Kung Mangarap ka't Magising won the award for most technically well-made movie in the 1977 Metro Manila Filmfest. Kakabakaba Ka Ba? won the Urian best director award in the 1980. Kisapmata made sweep of several awards in the 1981 Metro Manila Film fest and also won Urian acting trophies for Vic Silayan, Charito Solis and Jay Ilagan. Batch '81 won the Urian best screenplay trophy and the Film Academy best picture prize last year, and a lot of people are predicting that Stella L. will harvest more awards next year.

The general public does not really know that Mike comes from the famous de Leon clan of show business, his father being Atty. Manuel de Leon (erstwhile president of the Film Academy) and his grandmother being the late Donya Sisang, famous star maker of LVN Pictures. Mike indeed grew up in a milieu that is purely showbiz. He is used to being surrounded by movie stars. Kaya naman hindi katakataka na sa kanyang paglaki ay hangarin niyang mapabilang din sa daigdig ng pelikulang kanyang kinamulatan. His first formal brush with movie making was in 1975 when he co-produced Lino Brocka's Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. He was also the one who handled the film's cinematography, and he won a Famas award for his marvelous first job. The following year, he produced and directed his first full length fils, Itim. Mike's early movies, Itim and Kung Mangarap, were hailed as gems of technical excellence. One can really see the effort to make the cinematography, the sound recording, the production design, the editing and the musical scoring highly polished. But Mike was chided for the scarcity of relevant content in his films. Itim was merely an excursion to the realms of the occult while Kung Mangarap is basically a small drama about a confused youth and his brief affair with a lonely wife. Some even concluded that Mike cannot be expected to deal with subject that are socially conscious for he was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. With Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, Mike surprised his critics with a musical comedy that is a thinly disguised attack against the encroachment of foreign businessmen in our country. The Chinese and the Japanese were portrayed as wily capitalists earer to pillage their unsuspecting victims.

For us, the movie was also a triumph for Armida Siguion Reyna and Johnny Delgado, who portrayed their neocolonialists roles with much fervor and enthusiasm. The movie also attacked organized religion and its involvement in deluding the people. Batch '81 further enhanced Mike's growing reputation as a conscienticized movie maker. It dealt with oppression and tyranny using the basically cruel initiation practices of fraternities as a allegory. In Sister Stella L., de Leon's politicalization is in full bloom. One surmises that the awakening of Stella Legaspi, the movie's central character, fundamentally parallels Mike's own realization of the wrongs in our society. And this is what Mike himself says: "It is a conscientization film, which is the start of politicalization. It's for those who still feel uninvolved." Wasn't he afraid that he, the producer, the film, would be branded as anti-government? "The film is critical of the government, yes, But I don't agree with some people who say that it's subversive. Because, what is subversive? It's the advocation of the overthrow of one's government. The film does not advocate that. What it advocate is organization. If you want to fight, you can't do it by yourself. You have to do it as a body, then you present your demands. They're asking me if it's critical, yes, it's critical of this government." Mike also emphasizes that the film is not propaganda. "This is not a propaganda of the united democratic front or the opposition. It is just a film about people who go through a particular process and came out changed in the end." Mike then narrates how the movie started as an idea in his head more than two years ago. He has met some members of the clergy whose views have grown from submission to the will of God to total awareness and involvement about socio-political issues.

The idea really is good material for a now movie. The movie was first offered to Viva Films with Vilma Santos playing the title role. Somehow, the project never pushed through and it was offered to other interested producers. When Vilma learned about it, she was immediately enthusiastic in playing the role and with the prospect of being directed by Mike de Leon. For a while, both Mike and Vilma felt the project would never get beyond the planning stage. Until Lily Monteverde of Regal called for Mike and said she is willing to finance it. Someone asked Mike if the L. in the tile really stands for the word Laban? "The title Stella L. was given to the project two years ago. The purpose is really to distinguish Stella Legaspi from Stella Bautista. A lot of people are really asking if it means Laban. But I always tell them na nagkataon lang. When Lily picked up the project, I think more than the story, it's the title that she really liked." The name of the establishment against which the workers in the story staged a strike is Republic Oil Factory. "Someone is curious if it is a symbol for our very own Philippine Republic. "Yes and no," Mike answered. "The word Republic is really the production designer's choice, Cesar Hernando. When we were hunting for a location, it so happened that Lily has this oil factory in Bankal, Makati. We made use of it in the movie. As with regard to the double meaning of the word republic, I guess that's true. It stands for our country. Some of my staff even wanted to name it New Republic Oil Factory, but I rejected it. Masyado nang garapal." Mike also narrated that because of the various changes that happened in the course of the movie's being offered to other producers, members of the original cast he had in mind were also changed.

"Chanda Romero was originally assigned to play the role of Sister Stella B.," Mike said. "But she was busy with some other projects when shooting started so she was replaced with Laurice Guillen. Joseph Sytangco was originally cast in the role of the reporter. When we brought over the project to Regal, Lily wanted Joel Torre instead. We tried revising the script to suit Joel. Pero talagang masyado siyang bata. So we suggested Jay Ilagan instead and Lily gave her approval." The rest of the cast like Tony Santos Sr, as the labor leader, Anita Linda as his courageous wife, Liza Lorena as the magazine editor and Gina Alajar as the unwed mother who later kills herself were all personal choices of Mike himself. It was common knowledge that he has an initial misunderstanding over shooting schedules with Vilma Santos when shooting of Stella L. started finally at Regal. Would he have continued with the project without Vilma in it? "No," Mike answered unequivocally. "The whole rationale behind the film was Vilma. Kung wala siya, hindi ito matutuloy." The film that will be released to local audiences ends immediately after Stella L. talks directly to the audience about her transformation from being a mere bystander to that of a more actively involved individual. The version that was meant for international film fest audiences shows another final scene. After that solo scene of Stella talking straight to the camera, a special footage on the now famous and historic Lakad ng Bayan (Lakbayan) is exhibited. It shows impassioned Filipinos marching in a the streets wearing yellow Ninoy T-shirts and carrying anti-establishment placards. We have seen this ending ourselves and we personally feel that it is indeed a more fitting, more apt, more accurate finale for the story of Stella L. 

"The Lakbayan ending is not originally in the script," Mike reveals. "But since the Lakbayan was then going on at that time and since I believe in it, I decided to film it. I think that with that in the ending, mas malinaw 'yung naging transformation ni Vilma. But when I shot it, Lily and I had an agreement that it is not going to be for local release. I was actually pushing for its inclusion intact in the local version but Lily reminded me of our government. But the print abroad has that ending. Is it true that the picture had rough sailing with the censors and this is the reason why the approval or permit was not released at once? "I went to the censors office together with a group of some fifteen nuns, priests, and pastors to inquire about the permit," Mike narrated. "Mrs. Maria Kalaw Katigbak said that the problems was procedural. There was a vote of four against two for approval without cuts and she admitted that. The permit was released in time for the premiere. But if some people intended to harass the film, we were determined to bring the matter in court, even to the supreme court." Mike was asked if the story was actually patterned after a real-life nun whose story ends with her being detained for eleven months in prison? "She is one of those interviewed by writer Pete Lacaba," Mike replied. "But this is not her story alone dahil malayung-malayo na ito doon. Naka-part four or part five na 'yon dahil namundok na 'on. Stella L, is mainly the beginning. Conscientization stage lang it." The formal open forum of the press conference ended with a touching pledge of allegiance to the movie by those who are involved. The staff of DZRH who were present promised: "We will be with you to the end."

The press people also said they would support the film, specially after a rumor that is broadcast advertisements have been stopped. But the most poignant testimonials came from the members of the cast themselves. Vilma Santos declared: "I will fight for the picture!" Pahayag naman ni Laurice Guillen: "I'll support whatever actions will be taken by the producer and the director." And from Gina Alajar: "Sama-sama naming ginawa 'yan, sama-sama din naming pagtutulungan." Mula kay Anita Linda: "Isang salita lang: laban!" And Tony Santos announces: "Kung saan sila naroroon, doon na rin ako." Pagkatapos nito'y nagtayuan na ang lahat. Namigay ng posters ng Stella L, at halos lahat nang nakatanggap ay nagpapirma kina Vilma Santos at Mike de Leon. Hindi namin ugaling magpapirma ng autograph sa movie celebrities pero this is one landmark film na we felt ay dapat lang na magkaroon ng more lasting memento with us kaya't iniladlad namin ang aming poster at lumapit na rin sa presidential table. Gulat na gulat pa si Vilma nang sabihin namin: "Puwede pong magpapirma?" Pinalo niya kami sa braso at agad siyang sumulat ng isang mahaba-habang dedication -na ang gamit ay isang pentel peng kulay pula. Sumunod naming nilapitan ay si Lily Monteverde na producer ng pelikula at pagkatapos ay si Mike na mismo na siyang direktor nito. By this time, kakaunti na lamang ang naiwan sa Mother China. Together with Ethel Ramos, binalikan namin si Vi na nakaupo pa rin sa presidential table. Nang umupo na kami'y sumunod na rin sina Mother Lily, ang father ni Vi, Ricky Lo, Tony Santos, and Liza Lorena, who came late dahil nagbenta pa raw siya ng mga kalamansi na siya niyang business ngayon. Mike has gone out too by that time.

When everybody started ordering some coffee, natiyak naming magtatagal ang daldalang ito. Questions were started to be thrown towards Vi and Liza. Masarap ang kuwentuhan. Maya-maya'y lumapit si Viring, ang special alalay ni Vi. "Tinatawag ka na ni Mike," sabi nito kay Vi. "Kanina ka pa raw niya hinihintay sa ibaba." "Sabihin mo," ani Vi, "umakyat na lang uli siya rito and join us." Umalis si Viring at maya-maya'y bumalik uli. "Ayaw magpunta rito," aniya. Sabi naman ni Vilma: "Sabihin mo, sandali na lang." Maya-maya, bumalik na naman si Viring: "Ang tagal-tagal mo raw," anito. Tumayo na si Vi. "Sandali lang," aniya sa amin, "pupuntahan ko lang si Mike." Nangantiyaw si Ethel Ramos: "Uhum, para na kayong mag-boyfriend niyan, ha. Natawa si Vi. "Ito naman. Naging close lang talaga kami." Nang bumalik si Vilma sa mesa, kasama na nito si Mike. That was our first time to have a close encounter with the director. Although we have seen each other at previews of this and that movie several time, we never were really introduced to each other. We have asked him earlier kung bakit hindi naipalabas and Stella L. sa Cannes Film fest at ngayon ay mas nilinaw niya ito. "It wasn't shown simply because I withdrew it from the screening," he said. "To begin with, when I arrived in Paris, I learned that it was not subtitled at all. They had the print for almost a month but subtitling was not done. Then it was supposed to be shown in the directors fortnight section of the film fest. But the director general of the fortnight said he didn't like the film and he's not going to take it. A group of critics volunteered to sponsor its showing and I consented. Iniisip ko kasi baka makatulong. The film is facing a lot of problems in Manila and I was thinking that whatever favorable opinion it might got will help its release here.

But then I learned that while I was away, the film was shown to various audiences during several previews and we now have all the support we wanted, from the clergy, from the press, from the labor. And I felt that this is the more important thing. Without local support, no amount of international support will help the film. So I decided not to show it any more. What I did was I supervised the film's subtitling until it was finished. Now, there's a possibility that it might enter the Venice Film Festival which will be held in September." With all the acclaim that the movie is receiving from different quarters, how is he reacting personally? "Well, of course, I'm very happy. But more than anything else, I believe that people who saw the film liked it so much because of several factors. First, it's the first movie of its kind that tackled that sort of a subject matter. Napapanahon rin kasi ito, what with all the protests going on. So it's a congruence of these things that made viewers like it." Doesn't he believe in the inherent goodness of the film? " I do. Modesty aside, I think it can stand the test of time." Will he and Regal be making more films of this sort? "It all depends on how this film will be received commercially and otherwise. Up to now, there are still those who doubt that it's going to ever get shown in downtown theaters. Hinihintay muna namin ang resulta nito. But I have another movie intended for Vilma and this time she would be playing a journalist." We extended our hand to Mike and, for the first time, personally congratulated him for Sister Stella L. We honestly feel that the movie is a personal triumph for him, for Lily Monteverde and the rest of the people involved in making it. So much has been said about local movies being inane and trivial and worthless. Mike proved that local filmmakers can be socially aware and responsible, too. Those who have been avoiding local movies for years and years, we now strongly advise you to see Sister Stella L. I concerns our country, our people, and it most certainly concern you! - Mario E. Bautista, Movie Flash Magazine, July 19, 1984 (READ MORE)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DULCE CORAZON (1972)


Basic Info: Director: Leody M. Diaz; Story, screenplay: Pio Oreta; Cast: Edgar Mortiz, Scarlet, Nympha Bonifacio, Cloyd Robinson, Pons DeGuzman; Original Music: Danny Subido; Cinematography: Ben Lobo; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)...In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar "Bobot" Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office..." - Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

"...Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s..." - Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

"...The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon..." - RV (READ MORE)

"...Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the "Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag" loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s..." - Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Inspirasiyon/Inspiration


Inspirasiyon (1953) - Produced by Sampaguita Pictures; Released on October 27 to November 5, 1953 at Life Theater; Story: Mars Ravelo; Screenplay and Direction: Armando Garces; Cast: Carmen Rosales, Norma Vales, Vam de Leon, Katy de la Cruz, Rosa Mia, Pedro Faustino, Jose de Villa, Rebecca del Rio, Panchito Alba, Aring Bautista, Horacio Morelos, Pablo Raymundo and Introducing Ricardo 'Ric' Rodrigo. - Simon Santos, Video 48 (READ MORE)

Januaria Keller (1918–1991) was a noted pre-WWII Filipina actress better known as Carmen Rosales and Mameng and is noted for her skill in acting and sweet voice. A native of Pangasinan born to American father and Ilocana mother, Rosales' film debut was in the 1938 movie Ang Kiri which she made a double to Atang dela Rama. When her friend brought her to Quisumbing the man rejected Rosales because the young woman did not have an aura of an actress. But she became the most famous Filipina actress of the 1940s and 1950s and rivaled Rosa del Rosario at the box-office. She is famous for her sweet voice and recorded numerous songs. Rosales made her first debut in Ang Kiri aka The Flirt under Diwata Pictures. She starred in her first leading role opposite Jose Padilla Jr in Arimunding-Munding 1939. She became the most bankable star in Sampaguita Pictures and the highest paid actress of the 1940s and 1950s. Her unforgettable roles as a martyr lover of Rogelio dela Rosa in Maalaala Mo Kaya 1954 and a club-singer in Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig. She got her first Famas Award in 1954 via Inspirasyon opposite Van de Leon and a strict auntie in 1960 movie Estela Mondragon. She garnered fame in a hacendera role in Pablo Gomez's version of MN. Her last appearance was in Inday Badiday's Eye to Eye. Arguably, she was the undisputed and lone reigning Queen of Philippine Movies in the 40s. Her films, topbilled by her, were once vehicles that ushered the emerging popularity of Gloria Romero, Amalia Fuentes and Susan Roces, who all later became movie queens themselves decades after. Her royalty has been immortalized by naming a barrio in Rosales, Pangasinan after her, now currently divided into two barangays, Carmen East and Carmen West. - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

"...Her career spanned five generations of stars and superstars, in this wise: pre-war years – Rosa del Rosario, Rogelio de la Rosa, Leopoldo Salcedo, Jose Padilla, Jr., Fernando Poe, Sr., Angel Esmeralda, Ely Ramos, Corazon Noble, Mona Lisa, Rosario Moreno, Arsenia Francisco, Elsa Oria, Rudy Concepcion, Norma Blancaflor and Paraluman; second generation – Anita Linda, Lilia Dizon, Celia Flor, Lillian Leonardo, Alicia Vergel, Erlinda Cortes, Linda Estrella, Rebecca Gonzales; third generation – Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Delia Razon, Nestor de Villa, Tessie Quintana, Charito Solis, Edna Luna, Ric Rodrigo, Rita Gomez, Eddie Rodriguez, Ramon Revilla; fourth generation – Amalia Fuentes, Susan Roces, Marlene Dauden, Barbara Perez, Lita Gutierrez, Mina Aragon, Daisy Romualdez, Romeo Vasquez, Eddie Gutierrez, Jose Mari, Liberty Ilagan, Bernard Bonnin; fifth generation – Josephine Estrada, Rosemarie, Gina Pareño, Blanca Gomez, Loretta Marquez, and others. Carmen’s last movie was Gintong Recuerdo produced in early 1965. She co-starred with the then “Stars ‘66” of SPI. She was still billed above the title, ahead of her co-stars. But Mameng’s most memorable movies, today considered as classics of Philippine movies, in point of prestige and box-office records are Arimunding-munding, Señorita, Probinsiyana, Ang Guerrilyera, Takip-Silim, Debutante, Maalaala Mo Kaya, MN, Kamay Ng Diyos (directed by Eddie Romero), Hindi Kita Malimot, Sandra and Inspirasiyon. The last-mentioned movie won her a FAMAS Best Actress trophy in 1953. Like most artists any where in the world, La Rosales also had a “temper” on the set. “I hate co-stars who arrive late on the set. I arrive early or on time fully made-up,” she said. “I also hate scene-stealers. Kapag frame mo, kahit extra ka lang sa pelikula, e ibibigay ko. Pero kapag frame ko na, you better give what is due me!” But she is a natural scene-stealer. She can steal a scene with just a wink or movement of her eyes – this according to the late Doc Perez..." - Manny B. Fernandez, Pelikula, Atbp. (READ MORE)

"...She quit toward the mid-’60s because she wasn’t getting any younger and had to throw in the towel (she had been on top since the pre-war). However, she kept the public interested in her by being a recluse, a la Greta Garbo and everyone kept speculating about her (did she age gracefully or was she in dire straits?). She refused interviews for both print and television and that all the more added to her mystique. For about a quarter of a century, she kept everyone guessing how she looked by hiding (no photographs, please!) from public view. Oh, she would be seen in Uni-Mart from time to time, but it was only people of her generation who recognized her, or maybe they didn’t anymore. The last image moviegoers had of her was when she was still a glamorous movie queen, and she kept it that way. She agreed to a VTR shoot for the FAMAS in 1983, but on the condition that it was just going to be a silhouette shot. But before she passed away in December 1991, she allowed herself to be interviewed by German Moreno and Inday Badiday in 1987 and the curious finally saw how age had caught up with her (she looked like a glamorous grandmother). But the mystery that she allowed to envelop her lustrous Carmen Rosales: First bona fide local movie queenname worked to her favor for more than 25 years and to this day, she is still regarded as the first bona fide movie queen of the local big screen..." - Butch Francisco, The Star, 09 Oct 2010 (READ MORE)

Related to Vi and Chato - "...Si Mameng ay Carmen Keller sa tunay na buhay, bunso sa apat na magkakapatid. “Ang mother ko ay Constantino ang apelyido kaya’t kamag-anak ko sina Charito Solis at Vilma Santos. Constantino ang lola ni Vilma at gan’on din ang lola ni Charito. Kamag-anak ko rin ang direktor na si Felicing Constantino.” Sa ngayon ay masaya na raw siya sa takbo ng kanyang buhay. “Kinatutuwaan ko ngayon ang mag-alaga ng mga manok,” aniya. May mga limang manok nga kaming nakita sa paligid. Parang pets ang pagtingin niya sa mga ito. Ang isang puting tandang ay mabulas ang tindig at pinangalanan niya ng Peter. “Mabagsik ‘yan,” kuwento niya. “’Yan ang watchdog ko rito.” Nang dumating nga kami ay agad itong sumugod at akmang manunuka kundi pinigilan ng katulong. Busy rin si Mameng sa pagtatatag ng bible reading at charismatic movement sa pook nila. “Satisfied ako sa buhay ko at masaya ako sa paggawa ng mga gawaing bahay,” dagdag pa niya. Hindi na ba siya muling magka-comeback sa pelikula? “Last year, may offer sa ‘kin si Atty. Laxa ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang. Pero tinaasan ko talaga ang presyo ko. Sabi naman niya sa ‘kin, “I cannot blame you, Mameng. You really deserve that much.” Pero ngayon, naisip kong ayoko na talagang bumalik pa sa pelikula. I retired while I was still on top at mataas pa ang rate ko. Gusto kong maging maganda ang alaala kong maiiwan sa publiko. Wala na naman akong dapat pang patunayan kahit kanino..." - Mario E. Bautista, Jingle Extra Hot Magazine (READ MORE)


Inspiration (1972) - Directed: Ishmael Bernal; Story, screenplay: Nestor Torre Jr.; Cast: Vilma Santos, Jay Ilagan, Carlos Salazar, Merle Tuazon, Geena Zabian, Lilian Laing, Richard La Torre, Mercy Sta Maria; Original Music: Danny Subido; Cinematography: Avelino Peralta (READ MORE)

"...In a musical era of 1970s, “Inspiration” was quite an experimental film, with no musical numbers, better screenplay, well-written characters. Nestor and Bernal works well in establishing the character of Jay and Vilma. Their dialouges are not “corny” and very realistic. There is no over the top dramatic scenes inserted between musical numbers here. The parent played wonderfully by Merle Tuazon and Carlos Salazar were convincing. Although both Vilma and Jay played their roles effectively, Lilian Laing steals the film as Lola Jane. She was bubly and funny, a sex-starved, karate black belter, polo game afficianado, who loves life and considering she playing the old grandma who is also the solution to all the complication in life. Bernal was on his element here, a good story teller, pre-”Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga and Relasyon.” Although he is directing a light comedy, written by Nestor Torre Jr., he managed to established all the characters without relying on corny dialouges common in this era..." - RV (READ MORE)



Monday, May 20, 2013

Outrage Magazine: VSR Gay Icon


Forget that after separating from hubby fellow actor Edu Manzano (who fathered Lucky) she’s now married to former Senator Ralph Recto, Vilma Santos (born Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos on November 3, 1953) is, sans her men, a star in her own right through and through – and that’s not just in the entertainment industry (where she made over 190 films from 1963 to 2002, alone), as she was also the first female mayor of Lipa City, and now first female governor of the Province of Batangas (where Lipa city is). No wonder she is also called the Queen Star. Everything started for Santos when she was nine years old, after she bagged the title role for Trudis Liit (she won her first acting trophy, FAMAS Best Child Performer for the same). But even after the child start Santos even starred in the 1967 Holywood produced The Longest Hundred Miles (starring, among others, Doug McClure, Katharine Ross, Ricardo Montalban, Vic Silayan, and Berting Labra), even early on, she was groomed as a lead actress. First teaming up with Edgar Mortiz, they, especially initially, rivalled the Nora Aunor/Tirso Cruz III partnership, producing the likes of Edgar Loves Vilma and My Darling and Baby Vi (these happen to be films that carried her real name, too, aside from Takbo Vilma Dali, Vilma and Beep Beep Minica, Vilma Veinte Nueve, and Wonder Vi, among others). Interestingly, Santos shared top billing with Aunor in four films – Young Love, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, Ikaw Ay Akin, and T-Bird at Ako.

It was during the earlier part of her career that Santos started becoming an icon, playing other icons as Mars Ravelo’s Darna and Dyesebel. A big change came in Santos’ career when – and this is even if Vilmanians, as her fans call themselves, disagree – Aunor beat her in popularity (based on box office response to their films competitively released). Santos started making films with social relevance (the earlier ones also classified as burlesque), e.g. Burlesk Queen, Rubia Servious, Relasyon, and Sister Stella L (and later, Dolzura Cortez, Dekada ’70, Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?, and Anak). For films, Santos remains the only actress who worked with the following award-winning Filipino directors: Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Celso Ad Castillo, Gil M. Portes, Danny Zialcita, Mike de Leon, Marilou Diaz Abaya, Laurice Guillen, Maryo J. de los Reyes, Chito Roño, Jose Javier Reyes, Rory Quintos, and Joel Lamangan. Throughout her career, her awards received include eight URIANs, five FAMASs, five Star Awards, four FAPs, three MMFFs, two CMMAs, and two Pasado Awards, among others. International awards include the Brussels Independent Film Festival for Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?, and Cinemanila International Film Festival for Dekada ’70.

Santos’ career isn’t limited in films, however. Aside from earning gold record awards for singing (Sixteen given by Willears Records in 1970, and Palong-Palo given by Vicor Records in 1974), she also once hosted the top rating The Sensations, and then VIP, and Vilma. An even bigger change in Santos’ career came when she ran, and won, as mayor of Lipa City, winning three consecutive elections by landslides. Fortunately – especially for the people of Lipa City – Santos was no politician wannabe who relied only on her fame to get elected, but failed to deliver her promises. In fact, she was given the 2000 Outstanding Mayor in Region IV by the Asosasyon ng Komentarista at Anaunser sa Pilipinas, 2000 Outstanding City Mayor given by the Civil Service Commission, 2001 Sandugo Outstanding Local Executive Award given by the Department of Health, and 2006 Outstanding City Mayor Award from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, among others. Under her leadership, Lipa City received the 2002 Presidential Award as the Cleanest and Greenest Local Government Unit in Region IV, and the 2005 IAPD (International Association of Pediatric Dentistry) Bright Smiles Bright Futures Award (her handling of the Philippines’ dental health program Mga Munting Ngiti in Lipa City bested other finalists from Scotland in the UK, Australia, Rumania, China, and Mexico), also among others. In 2007, Santos ran – and again won – as the first female governor of the Province of Batangas.The 2005 Lifetime Centennial Feminist Award winner is, without a doubt, living to her moniker not just as a star for all seasons, but one that glimmers wherever she goes. - Outrage Magazine (READ MORE)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2000 GAWAD DEKADA


Gawad Dekada "...The Gawad Dekada will also name the top actors and actresses of the '90s. In the running are the Gawad Urian best acting winners in lead and supporting roles. They include Vilma Santos ("Ipagpatawad Mo," "Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story," and "Bata, Batra")...Expect the Nora Aunor-Vilma Santos rivalry to heat up to the Gawad Dekada. It is without question the two dominated the '90s as far as the Gawad Urian was concerned, with each winning three best actress plums that decade. It is notable, however, that on two of those three occassions, Nora had to share the trophy with another actress - in 1993 with Helen Gamboa, who essayed Flor Contemplacion in Tikoy Aguiluz's "Bagong Bayarni" (quite an irony sice Nora won her trophy for playing the same role in Joel Lamangan's "The Flor Contemplacion Story), and in 1996 with Sharon Cuneta, who won for Madrasta (Nora won for "Bakit May Kahapon Pa?"). In contrast, Vilma did not share her trophies with anyone. But as one critic of the critics said, those were the rare times when the Manunuri made up their minds. In most instances, they couldn't. That's why the Gawad Urian has become noted for its surprising ties, which aren't surprising anymore..." - Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 18, 2001 (READ MORE)

Freedom of Expression - While the country's film critics protested the current clampdown on freedom of expression, movie stars, led by the inimitable Rosanna Roces, had a ball poking fun at the system during the recent Urian awards night. Osang, the evening's lone female host, brimmed with naughty retorts and double entendres on and off the air while hosting the five-hour show with filmdoms's leading heartthrobs led by Richard Gomez. Goma also expressed his indignation by wearing a black armband like the rest of the members of Manunuri. Other hosts in the stellar lineup were Diether Ocampo, Rustom Padilla and Dingdong Dantes. "Do you want me to stage a live show, Diet (Ocampo)? Osang, clad a revealing white gown by Maxi Cinco, asked in Filipino. "Please, no," said Diether, feigning alarm. "Let's just introduce our next set of nominees who are good at cutting films. And they're not from MTRCB, Osang." Diether was acturally referring to contenders in the best editing category. Speaking of cuts outrageously high to reveal her ample waist and thighs. A thin rhinestone-studded belt held the dress together. Photographers scrambled for the best positions as Osang emerged in Cinco's creations. She earlier wore a more decent red gown by Rajo Laurel that covered her vital statistics. But trust Osang not to let the ngiht past without ruffling the feathers of "moral terrorists," as former MTRCB chair and Manunuri member Nicanor Tiongson described his detractors. Osang tried to appear nonchalant at first, but seeing the swarm of photographers pointing their cameras her way during a commercial break, she gamely tilted her body to one side to reveal her flawless gams. "O, sige na nga," she giggled, before a burst of flashbulbs greeted her. "This is waht you call freedom of expression," she winked, as she leaned again to reveal her other side. Richard, who was beside her, could only smile and shake his head.

Five-minute break - Members of the Manunuri deemed it wise to give themselves and their guest a five-minute break halfway into the nearly five-hour show. It was the first time in our long years of covering such marathon events that both fans and celebrities received such courtesy. All of them, of course, show a deep respect for Filipiniana and the performing arts. This was literally reflected in a stage featuring a Filipino-Spanish inspired home, garden and trellis covered with real and artificial greens. Gardeners later took advantage of a lull in the show to sprinkle the plants. A number of the Manunuri members reportedly protested the producer's choice of Ruffa Gutierrez, who annotated the Gawad Dekada in taped snippets during certain portions of the show. Principled souls were said to have deemed Ruffa, who was embroiled in theinfamous Manila Film Festival scam seven years ago, unacceptable. Lorna Tolentino, also a taped annotator like Ruffa, was said to have declined the job soon after learning that she wasn't in the best circle. Friends and supporters reportedly prevailed upon her to put her tampo aside.

Noranians vs Vilmanians - As usual, die-hard Noranians and Vilmanians managed to sneak in despite the presence of ushers and usherettes. Their admiration for their respective idols again degenerated into a shouting match. Both Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos were recipients of the Gawad Dekada for winning the highest number of best actress awards during the past decade - three each. Vilma caused a pandemonium as her eager fans cheered her arrival. Vilmanians positioned themselves on the left side of the theater, while Noranians, wearing identical aqua T-shirts, later occupied the other side. Richard egged them on. "Don't worry, the other camp (Nora) is expected to arrive, too," he said in Taglish. Rustome further fanned the rivalry by asking each of them to make their presence felt as he pointed from one group to another. Ofcourse, they lost no time shouting at the top of their lungs. Talent manager Douglas Quijano was rudely interrupted when Nora, wearing a black suit, marched into theater followed by her rowdy band of loyalists. They shouted and waved aqua banners at the mere mention of Nora's name. A big placard held by one of the Superstar's supporters screamed, "We love you, Ate Guy!!! - GANAP." "Nora! Nora! Nora! they chanted like a mantra as she went up the stage to recieve her Gawad Dekada. Vilmanians didn't take things sitting down. They also carried a set of similar posters that formed their idol's name and a tagline, "D Real Queen." Several diehards even held aloft campaign posters of senatorial wannabe Ralp Recto, Vilma's better half. Noranians were stilled as Vilma, in a semi-beaded aqua gown that ironically matched the T-shirts worn by her archrival's admirers, went onstage. It was the Star for all Season's fans' turn to chant her name: "Vilma! Vilma! Vilma!" For a few moments, members of the Manunuri dropped their clenched fists as people inside the theater became too enthralled by the spectacle. Not even Osang's glib tongue and outrageous outfit could probably match that. - Alex Y. Vergara, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 02, 2003 (READ MORE)

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