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

Friday, December 30, 2016

TSS' Stars of 1970s


1:00 PM Summer: 7 Stars in Special Sunday Session - Summertime. And Sunday too. So it started like a summer day. Casual yet exciting. Carefree and promising. With a lot of expectations for the moment ahead. So it was with having seven young stars around, TSS Stars '70: Vilma Santos, Tirso Cruz III, Nora Aunor, Eddie Peregrina, Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, and Hilda Koronel (in the order of their arrivals). There they were, prompt in their youth, bubbly in their youth, unassuming in their confident in their success amid an ancient backdrop, the UST Pharmacy Gardens. When age and youth meet in such a dramatic setting, there is bound to be communication, reaction, combustion. Effects! And what is a more fitting place to spend an early summer afternoon than staid, old UST with young, alive radiant stars for company and that peculiarly romantic, nostalgic summer air. And when the yound stars started posing, smiling, obliging and when the cameras went on clicking, popping shuttering and when scribes began talking, laughing directing, the summer day with its flair, laziness and air became an impromptu ball for all concerned. One fun-filled episode of a lifetime. A slice of real life to be kept in one's heart for the memory. Now, you may wonder why we have seven successful young star this issue when TSS launched only six last January?

Blame the whole mess on Ed Finlan. Blame it on his personality, his promise, his name that just can't be ignored. Blame it all on the zooming career of Edward Walter Valdes Finlan. So the special seven. On this photo-session hangs a story. A story of hope coupled with a little confusion from that time Kuya Bert planned to put out another issue as a follow-up. Timely enough. After all TSS started the whole pakulo. The session itself was postponed three times - just to be assured of the attendance of all - including Nora Aunor who missed it that first round. Every time it was moved to another date, we lost face some wasy, especially to Pip's Mommy Elma with whom we played ulianin by reminding her each time we met. That first time, it was called off. Edgar and Vilma were in Baguio City for shooting. The next date, everybody can't make it with TV programs and last time shooting to do. So it was finalized on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 piyem. It would have been Fort Santiago as rendezvous but Sunday is Sunday in the forth with the usual Sunday crowd being there. Why not a school campus since graduation and demos were in the air? And the stars came beyond modest expectation, ahead of schedule. Vilma Santos came with her Mommy Mila and Papa Amado. Tirso Cruz III came with uncle Joey and a group of friends while Nora entered the scene with a few fans.

A Mustang (aba, bago!) ushered in Eddie Peregrina with his man Friday. Edgar Mortiz with Dad Celso adn Mom Lucy with fans Angge, Mario Cay, Luz Orellano and Araceli Paraiso. Ed Finlan arrived with his usual confident self. And Hilda came with Mila Parawan to complete the magnificence. At little confusion resulted. It began with a comedy of errors. With Vilma, Pip, Nora and Eddie, there was only scribe Ched Gozales to entertain them and out they were in the Pharmacy Gardens before one one o'clock only to be told later taht the assembly point was the UST Arch along España. Under the heat of the summer sun, the group went to the Arch only to be told that the locale would actually be the Gardens. Since after all, a big number of movie fans and onlookers had already started to form at the UST entrance. The merry excited entourage made its way to the Gardens once again. Ed Finlan with his shocking humor and equally color-shocking attire of yellow shirt with loud-striped pants under the golden sun was summer in motion. Vilma on the other hand had a ball ribbing Eddie Peregrina for being "mayabang kasi Edong ka na ngayon." Edgar Mortiz was extra solicitous and ultra-PR conscious that time. Hilda did her thing - more of a girl, rather than woman with self-conscious laughter and sweet and pretty flair. Pip was surprisingly in his calm self and ruffled impeccable long sleeve shirt.

Eddie Peregrina was in paisley with that typical Peregrina grin. Nora, quiet and lady-like with a few smile here an a wave of hand there, was in a blue-orchid print. Hilda was the only one in pantsuit, a purple hablon, and she stood out really. Ditto with Haydee's make-up and hair color on Ed. Oh what they had to forego just to make it to the appointment on time. Edgar and Vilma came from ABS where they had My Love For You at noon. But before that, Edgar came from Sta. Teresita Church where he acted as baptism sponsor. Hilda and Ed came from the Haydee set and they were expected back there in two. Pip was in a rush too, from ABS and then to the bingo social of his fans at their compound and the photo session as far as he was concerned. Eddie Peregrina had an appointment at 2:30 and it was Nora it seems who took her own sweet time. The Gardens yielded an old well, a gazebo-like concrete structure for photographic effects and possibilities. At half-past one, the poses were planned, the shots called for and everyone appearing swell putting their best faces forward, looking deserving of the TSS choice. An old well, very symbolic really, for the first shot and when that first one popped, the sessions began. And for a good forty minutes, the cameras aimed to catch for eternity the faces, the stances, the poses with the smile and bravura of that early Sunday afternoon. After all, that was what the session called for! And after all, what are photos for but for catching, freezing, preserving what is today for tomorrow?

The atmosphere was kept livelieer, dramatic with some curiosity-seekign fans and a number of scribes and last-minute guests. There was Jusyo C. Justo popping out of nowhere with his OBBB, OBWB, CTS and BAB, Doddie Alvarez, Donnie Ramirez, Mercy Lejarde, Marina Reyes and Ched made their presence felt with summery get-up. Late arrivals were Rene Tiosejo for a look-see and Oskar Salazar with a brand new-opera glasses (but Romy Mallari and Roldan de Villa weren't around). Zeny Peralta of Roper's was there for someone's moral support. Two mothers managed to snae some attention - Lucy Mortiz in pink pantsuit and the latest Christian Dior hairdo and Mommy Milagros Tuazon Santos in blue pantsuit, with their respective male halves of course. At twenty past two, Ernie Alfonso had used u his one and half rolls of color film while Bert Verlidas had two black rolls. There was Fred Garces of Roper's jiving in. The session, the main part of it, was now over. After all the camera clicks, the 1-2-3 shots, the photographers' directions and the frozen poses were done and the thank-you's and see-you were said, still one is left with the thought that so far, so good. TSS Stars '70 are still unspoiled byt success and we hope as one that they all stay that way. And there is something more left in the memory, something better felt than described. For how can such feeling, or any feeling at all for that matter, be caught and pinned down as words in print? I am attempting to that now but I know that it would be the pictures of that special session which will speak a thousand words, a thousand feelings, a thousand hopes. Pictures, eloquent and feeling-filled, with a history of their own! - Billy R. Balbastro, TSS Komiks, 1970 (READ MORE)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Remembering Vic Vargas


Vic Vargas - (March 28, 1939 – July 19, 2003) was a Filipino film actor and a three-time Philippine judo champion at the age of 17. He starred in well over 60 films between the late 1950s and early 1960s to 2002. Due to his swarthy looks he was often typecast in action and sexy comedy films. He died on July 19, 2003 from a stroke aged 64.- Wikipedia




Monday, July 18, 2016

Vilma-Nora: May Bagong Dimensiyon Ang Pag-aartista!


January 30, 1982. Sabado. Sa Ermita. Ala-1:00 nang hapon ay nagse-set up na ang "whore house"na iyon. Thirty minutes later, dumarating si Nora Aunor. May dalang blazer at palinga-lingang hinahanap ang kanyang mga co-stars. Alas 2:00, sumunod na dumating si Vilma Santos. Go up siya sa one-roomer na bahay na iyon. Nagkatinginan. Ngitian. Hellos. Ngitian uli. Mainit ang panahon. Walang electric fan. "Wala pa sila?" tanong ni Vilma kay Guy. "Tayo pa lang yata,"sagot ni Guy. Wala pa si Director Danny Zialcita (ang sinasabing third superstar sa cast na ito). Sa gitna na maliit na silid na iyon ay may isang kama. Malapit sa pintuan, nakahilera si Guy at ang mga kasamahan. Sa kabilang banda, sa may bintana, magkatabi sina Vilma at mga kakampi. Ehe-man. Pakiramdaman. Bulungan. Wala pa si Direk. Ang init! Anong oras na? The two camps wouldn't know how to break the odd silence. They appeared like combatants in an open arena. Labasan ng Game & Watch. Sigarilyo. Panay ang palitan ng usok. "Anong oras kaya darating si Direk?" tanong ni Guy. "Kantýawan natin, ha. Pagdating niya, kunwari aalis na tayo," magandang salo ni Vilma. Tawanan. Ah...kahit na yata walang electric fan ay medyo lumalamig na nang konti. The smiles became warmer. O, walang lighter si Vilma. Kaya takbo si Shirley ni Guy para sindihan ito. Nauuhaw si Guy. Offer si Viring ni Vilma ng softdrinks. International ba ang dramatic entrance ni Zialcita sa first shooting day niya? Para magkapalagayan munang mabuti ang dalawang Reyna?

Kung sa bagay, hindi naman talaga "magkaaway"ang dalawang ito. Nagkataon lamang na magkaribal sila. At sa showbiz, if you are professional rivals, chances are you are not close to each otehr - may wall, may gap. Or sa interpretation ng iba, ini-expect na may cold war. Andún ang intriga. Kesyo sino kaya ang mas may malaking bayad? Balitaý one milyon ang ginasta ng Film Ventures sa dalawang ito. Meaning to say tigpa-five hundred? Neither Vilma nor Guy would confirm this. Or alangan namang isiping ang isa ay binayaran ng 600 and the other, 400. Ayawa ng fans ng ganyan. At ang billing? "Basta sabi nial, pantay kami. Okey lang," comment ni Guy. "Ayokong mauna. Ayoko ring mauna si Guy. Bahala na sina Ernie Rojas na mag-isip ng paraan," malinaw na statement ni Vilma. Noong una, matunog na ang titulo a plain "T-bird" lamang. Nang sinimulan na, naging "T-Bird at Ako." Whose idea? "Excuse me, it's not me who asked for that. Hindi sa akin galing, at huwag isiping ako ang nag-suggest. Nang tinanggap ko ang project, alamg kong title ay "T-Bird," mariin ang sabi ni Vilma at kapani-paniwala namang talaga. Nang lapitan ni Zialcita si Guy at inalok nito, he told Guy na "Pumayag na si Vilma. Pinangako niya sa akin ito right after she won the best actress award nitong filmfest." Hesitant si Guy na tanggapin sana ang proyekto. "Prangkahan, sige. Si Danny ay identified kay Vilma. Nagtrabaho na sila together. Kami ni Danny, ngayon pa lang. Kilalang-kilala ni Vilma ang grupo ni Danny - Ernie and company. Ako, ngayon pa lang...kaya andu'n din ang kaba. Andu'n ang duda. Tagilid kaya ako?...Pero sinasabi ko naman ngayon, fair sila. Okey lang!"

Teka balki tayo sa first shooting day. Hayun, dumating na rin si Zialcita. Aba ayaw patawarin nin Vilma at Guy. "Sorry, pero pangako, ibo-blow out ko kayo," pilyo niyang sabi as he stepped into the scene. Unang eksena pa lamang ay pinagsabong na niya ang dalawang bida. Malulutong na sagutan. May tulakan pa. Ngayon nga lamang nagkatapat sina Guy at Vilma nang "solohan." Ang ibig naming sabihin, nagsama na sila in the past, pero mayroon silang ibang support at bibihira ang mga eksena nila together. But this time, sila lamang dalawa ang naka-sentro. nagsasabong. At hindi na pakanta-kanta sa ilalim ng puno or pasayaw-sayaw lamang sa entablado. Sabungan na ito ng dalawang premyadong aktres. Ng dalawang marurunong at malalakas sa takilya. Sino ang mas mahusay? Ang masa star? Ang mas karapat-dapat? Sino ang tunay na Reyna? Ang tunay na superstar? Hayan. Hulyo na nga. Hindi pa rin tapos ang "T-Bird At Ako." Ba, nahihirapang pagtapatin ang schedules nina Vilma at Guy. At ano na nga ang nangyari between the two since their first shooting day? To the public, para bang mas magkaibigan na sila. The wall first started to crumble when Guy lost her Papay Tayoy. Vilma went out of her way not only to be among the first to send flowers, but also came to the wake. When Vilma's son Lucky celebrated his bday, Guy sent Ian and Lot-Lot to Vilma and Edu's home in Magallanes to bring their gifts. Edu later called up Guy to extend his gratitude sa regalong iyon. "Is this Miss Aunor?" tanong ni Edu sa kabilang linya. "Maraming salamat sa pinadala ninyong regalo at sa pagbisita nina Ian at Lot-Lot." When Vilma and Guy saw each other on the set again, Vilma reiterated her pasasalamat to Aunor. But wait...may panibagong round.

Entra ang Sunday program ni Vilma. "Vilma in Person." Halos katapat ng "Superstar"ni Guy. A new contest. Pero look naman, ang isa sa mga guest ni Vilma sa opening show niya ay si Guy. At di ba nagpunta rin si Vilma sa "Geym na Geyme" na isang produksiyon ng NV? When Guy celebrated her birthday on "Superstar," it was Vilma's turn to guest. Give and take 'ika nga. But people are wondering. At hindi ko maaalis sa mga tao ang mag-isip ng ganito - ggano kalalim ba or kababaw ang sinasabing friendship ng dalawa? Sa opinyon ko, they are not eh best of friends in the truest sense of the word. They are friends alright, at mas nagbabatian na sila kaysa dati. Pero mukha yatang malabo kung iisiping ang pagsasamahan nila will even go deeper. Unang-una, they don't exactly move in the same circles. While pareho nga silang superstars, parehong Reyna, mayroon silang sari-sariling kaibigan. Magkaiba ng hilig sa buhay. Magkaiba ng interes. Magkaiba ng ugali. Magkaiba sa maraming bagay. Sino ba yung nagsabing bibihirang nagkakasundo ang Scorpio (Vi) at Gemini (Guy)? Recently, tinalbugan ni Vilma si Guy nang nagkasunod ang dalawa nitong acting awards. After Vi's victory sa filmfest, sumunod naman ay sa FAMAS. The last award na natanggap ni Guy ay mula sa Catholic Mass Media for her outstanding performance sa "Bakit Bughaw Ang Langit." While sa FAMAS ay medyo tabla na sila ng labanan (tigda-dalawa na bilang best actress), sa Urian lamang na lamang si Guy. Vilma has yet to win an Urian award. Sa filmfest, mas marami rin ang recognition ni Guy. Sa box-office, statistic say na mas nakakalamang si Vilma. Her latest, "Relasyon" ay kumita ng more than one million sa first two days pa lamang. Now, people are curious at inaabangan kung madadaig ito ng "Annie Sabungera" ni Aunor.

Sa survey sa tv, still it's "Superstar"that's ahead of "V.I.P." Sa film offers, paramihan ang dalawa. Vilma has "Never Say Goodbye," "A Very Private Affair," "Haplos," "Once There Was A Love," two untiled pictures for Regal, another for Film Ventures and "Hiram" for Lea. Si Guy ay mayroong "Himala,"dalawang commitments kay Peter Gan, a possible movie with Rudy Fernandez, and "Black and White" with Redford White. Ang tanong ito nga magsasabi kung sino sa dalawa ang mas tatagal. Andýan na nga ang mga bagong mukha, mas aspiring young female star na mayroon na rin namang maipagmamalaking following. Are Vilma andGuy still good for another ten years? While it is true that Vilma will not be as interesting without Guy and vice-versa, puwede rin namang either magkahatakan sila paitaas or paibaba. One thing is definited though with the two: they have to survive together. Pag nawala si Vi, wala na rin si Guy. Pagum-exit si Guy, madadamay si Vilma. At ngayon ngaý inaabangan ang pagsasabong nila sa "T-Bird At Ako." Abogadang may identity crisis si Guy. Si Vilma naman ay isang prostiture na nakapatay. Their words clash when the lawyer offers her services to defend the killer. Vilma wonders why Guy is determined to win her case when they're not even friends. Vilma dances at a bar and Guy feels some attraction. Some kind of a love story na si Danny Zialcita ang inspiradong magpresent at mag-interpret in such a way na magkakabanatan nang husto and akting ng dalawa. Pero habang naghihintay ang publiko...Kami naman ang kinakabahan. Sa sarili namin, gusto naming malaman kung kailan pa kaya matatapos ang "T-Bird At Ako." - Baby K. Jimenez, Photos: Joe Claroniño, Jingle Sensation Magazine, 19 July 1982, re-posted at Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Patroness of Bicolandia) (1970)


Basic Information: Screenplay and Direction: Romy Villaflor; Cast: Ric Rodrigo, Zeny Zabala, Dindo Fernando, Rosa Mia/ Also Starring Joseph de Cordova, Cora Maceda, Willie Dado, Tibo Legaspi, Ven Medina, Jimmy Javier, Angel Confiado, Dante Rivas, Rolly Lapid, Vilma Santos, Pedro Faustino, Priscilla Ramirez, Jose Villafranca, Pablo Raymundo, Sabas San Juan, Priscilla dela Paz; Cinematography: Tommy Marcelino; Original Music: Prof. Felipe P. de Leon; Production Company: NGI Movie Productions, Inc.; Release Date: 1970

Plot Description: "...Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia in the Philippines, and Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia or Virgen de la Peña de Francia in Spain) is a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines patterned after the one in Peña de Francia (Salamanca, Spain). It is currently housed at the Basilica Minore. Millions of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists arrive in Naga City — also known as the Pilgrim City and the Queen City of the Bicol region — in the Philippines every September for nine-day festivities in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the Principal Patroness and Queen of Bicol who is endearingly addressed by Bicolanos as Iná (mother). The shrine in Naga gathers more than five million devotees every year and is known as one of the biggest Marian pilgrimage sites in the world. On 3 December 2015, a mosaic image of the Virgin Mary under this title was officially enshrined at the Vatican Gardens for the 14th slot at the pontifical mandate of Pope Francis. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III who was given the honor of unveiling the image as among the selected 14 Marian images from around the world..." - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...Please note, this film was posted by Video 48 blogsite and not previously listed in filmographies of any of the lead actors featured in this film, this include: Rosa Mia, Zeny Zabala, Ric Rodrigo or Dindo Fernando. The film poster credited Vilma Santos in special role..." - RV

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Political Roles


Release Dates 1960s Film Titles – Political Roles
  • Jan 20, 1964 Ging – Child Labour/abuse in the entertainment industry
  • Sep 07, 1965 Iginuhit ng Tadhana – First propaganda movie of the Marcoses; Vi portrayed Imee Marcos
  • Dec 30, 1966 Ito ang Pilipino – Fictional story about Spanish revolt of 1896
  • Jun 18, 1967 Longest Hundred Miles – Fictional story about Japanese invasion of the Philippines
  • Jul 27, 1969 Pinagbuklod ng Langit – Second propaganda movie of the Marcoses; Vi portrayed Imee Marcos for the last time
Release Dates 1970s Film Titles – Political Roles
  • Jun 14, 1970 Love Letters – Group of teens protested by picketing with placards against the parents of lovers Vi and Bot
  • Dec 22, 1973 Darna and the Giants – Superhero Darna fight an evil monster Helen Gamboa who wanted to mind control the masses
  • Jun 12, 1975 Dugo at Pag-Ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa – Vi was featured in one of the episode about young rebels who fights the establishment and seek refuge in the mountain provinces
  • Dec 25, 1977 Burlesk Queen – The disappearing art of burlesque in a moralistic elitist establishment who wanted to abolish it
  • Jul 14, 1978 Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak – Sneaky indention of the Hukbalahap story line as the back drop to the love story of the main characters
  • Jul 23, 1978 Kampus – liberation of Vi's character who doesnt want to be married tied into one conservative man
Release Dates 1980s Film Titles – Political Roles
  • Feb 22, 1980 Miss X – Vi played a deported prostitute from the Red District of Amsterdam
  • Dec 25, 1980 Langis at Tubig – Vi played one of the wife of a bigamist
  • May 29, 1981 Pakawalan Mo Ako – Vi played a prostitute accused of murdering a son of a powerful rich man
  • Jul 12, 1984 Sister Stella L. – Vi played a political nun
  • Oct 18, 1984 Alyas Baby Tsina – Vi played an ex-convict who fight the internal organization group in women's penetentiary
  • Jul 20, 1989 Rizal Alih, Zamboanga Massacre – Vi is the wife the government military's muslim enemy
  • Dec 25, 1989 Imortal – Vi played an escapist nun who was kidnaped by rebel groups in the provinces
Release Dates 1990s Film Titles – Political Roles
  • Aug 17, 1992 Sinungaling Mong Puso – Vi portrayed a wife of an abusive and psychopatic politician
  • Jun 24, 1993 The Dolzura Cortez Story – Vi portrayed the first Aids victim who came forward to the media in the Philippines
  • Sep 16, 1998 Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa? – Vi is a liberated mother with two kids from different man, a taboo in conservative Philippines
Release Dates 2000s Film Titles – Political Roles
  • May 12, 2000 Anak – Domestic flight of the OFW
  • Dec 25, 2002 Dekada’70 – Fictional story of the Martial Law years of the 1970s
Release Dates 2010s Film Titles – Political Role
  • Jul 26, 2013 Ekstra, The Bit Player – Senior Labour/abuse in the entertainment industry
For the complete Vilma Santos' 2010s' Filmography, click here

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vilma's Lucky One


Back in the 1980s, when she was hosting her weekly musical variety show VIP (Vilma in Person), the Star for All Seasons would give a flying kiss and a wave at the end of each episode, then shout, "I love you, Lucky!" Lucky, of course is the nickname of Vilma's firstborn, Luis Philippe Manzano. Although the 34-year-old TV host-Wikipedia ages him a year (We checked, Wikipedia has been corrected - RV), but Lucky himself says he was born on April 21, 1981, making him 34-would rather go by his first name Luis, he hasn't quite gotten rid of his childhood nickname. After all, his own mother still insists he will always be that-her lucky charm. In 1980, Vilma had gotten marriend to actor Edu Manzano, whom she lovingly called Doods. She soon found herself in the family way. "You know how it is in the industry,"Luis tells the story. "If a leading lady gets pregnant, sometimes the value [of the star] changes, the star power changes, because she's gonna settle down. She's no longer that available. In short, Ate Vi was a big, big star, but her pregnancy made her future uncertain. Add that to her growing financial problems, which had made her bankcrupt. "She was so in debt it wasn't even funny anymore."Luis explains. But when Luis was born, her bad luck started to turn around, things started to look up. Vilma having learned her lesson, vowed not to get mired in the same financial situation again. She worked like a horse. "I fully understood-If I don't see my mom, she's working because of me,"Luis recalls. "I know that every single time that she stays out late, it is because of me and the family."

Unfortunately, the long work hours took a toll on Vilma's marriage to Edu. By 1984, the two had separated. "You know, with some children, when their parents separate, they tend to be lost for a while-whter it be you know, in academics- or they tend to experiment too much. Ako when they broke-up, I fully understood that if two people can't be together, why force it? You know, if they try to force the issue, I would pay of for it." Again, Lucky for Vilma. Luis had a "gift of understanding." He accepted early on that his father might have a relationship with another woman and that his mother might get married again - and she did, to Ralph Recto, in 1992. He says he knew that "new people would come in our lives. I welcomed Tito Ralph with open arms." Despite having a different kind of family setup - separated parents, show business, then politics - luis is thankful that they tried to give him a semblance of a normal childhood. He spent weekdays with his mother and weekends with his father. Hi mom signed report cards, went to parent-teacher conferences, and attended basketball games in his school. Not only that, "When I was younger," Luis recalls, "maglalaro kami ng patintero sa labas ng bahay with whole family. Pagkagabi, patintenro kami, the whole family." he muses: "I think that's her parenting style. She wants to have this very casual relationship, yet you don't lose the respect. For her, she's one of the moms who believe in learning on your own- na life is not about spoon-feeding. There are certain aspects in life that you have to lear for yourself.

Like many a Pinoy Kid, Luis had his taste of corporal punishment. He was around three or four years old then. Ate Vi was entertaining visitors at home. Luis, who was probably seeking attention, was holding a toy and was threatening to throw it at the guests. Ate Vi warned him no to throw it. "Binato ko pa rin,"he recounts. "Binalik sa akin, 'Anak, papaluin na kita" Bato ulit! Hinabol daw ako sa ilalim ng mesa. E nahuli young paa ko. Wapak!" Luis got a slap on the hand. Fortunately, it was the first and last time he ever got corporate punishment. The rest of the time he proudly says, talking things out with his parents worked. But sometimes he brought out the dramatic actress in his mother. "Si Daddy, mas mahinahon." Luis tells us. "He's more of a two, three-liner type of guy. Monotone pa. Si Mommy 'yong puno ng emosyon. Medyo sigawan, medyo may gano'n." Life was so normal that Luis did not think much about his mother's celebrity status. He never realized how popular his mother was until, one day, when he was about six or seven years old, his mom decided to drive with him to a supermarket in Magallanes to buy ice cream. "Four steps upon entering the supermarket, wala na. Parang there was a mall show. That's when I realized na Ökay, my mom has this magic, this influence." So I think explanations were not needed. It was more of I got to witness it firsthand." He doubts that his mom really entered malls, except perhaps to attend movie premieres. There was a time, though when she tried to go to Shangri-La Mall in complete disguise, wearing a hoodie and big sunglasses.

But within minutes, a crowd gathered around her. Ate Vi had to go home without finishing her errands. "Parang she has a billboard on her forehead sayingÏ'm Vilma Santos," Luis jests. Of course, he also saw his dad Edu getting public attention when they went out , but it's different when you're a lady. It's different when you're a guy." He explains "Kasi, with my mom, she has to eat in a private room - plus, considering how big of a party we always are. But with my dad kasi we can randomly eat a restaurant, not a room. Hopefully, I still get to do that with my mom." Luis remembers, however, one time when he attended a wedding with his dad, and he saw how the guests started taking photos of Edu. His dad told Luis that they were leaving. Luis asked why. Edu answered: "This day is about the bride and the groom, not about us. Let's not steal the spotlight from the couple's important day." When Luis himself decided to enter showbiz, people close to the family including his parent's friends from the press, were shocked. "They would say na when I was younger, whenever they would visit my mom at home, I was the silent type. I'll be in one corner just looking at them with my glasses." But over the years, Luis transformed himself from the "silent type" to the wittty and gregarious talker that he is now. One time, during a guest appearance on The Sharon Cuneta Show with his dad, the then 22-year-old Luis just captivated the audience with his wit. Soon, TV executives offered him a job as VJ in the music cable channel MYX.

That was in 2003. At that time, Luis was studying hotel and restaurant management (HRM) at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. (he originally wanted to take a pre-medicine course, but "being a hopeless romantic got the better of me."He ended up in HRM because of a girl.) His parents allowed him try showbiz as long as his studies wouldn't suffer. He finished the course sometimes in the mid-2000s. As for hosting- well, he's still at it, and he's been doing a good job for the past 13 years. "People see me on TV na nangungulit, being crazy, being obnoxious, and they automatically think it came from my dad,"he says. "But not everyone know that my mom is equally crazy and obnoxious also behind camera... It's a fine mix of my mom and my dad." Luis' brand of humor - witty, satirical, and vain - has gained him a strong following, about a million, on instagram. Recently, he posted a photo of himself with teh caption: "Nung naglayas ako sa bahay, dun nauso and search for Mr. Pogi." Although he pokes fun at his good looks, we twll him that he has the right to be "feeling guwapo" because he is. He disagrees. "Ipanotaryo pa natin 'to; no talaga. Alam ko, mahaba 'young mukha ko. Makulit ako, that's my thing, e. I'm not even saying I'm funny. I'm not even saying that, kapal ko naman. I have my hits and misses when it comes to humor. Makulit ako. I guess people see that I have this positive outlook. Maybe that when they see, that aura. But being guwapo? Iwan mo na 'yan kina Piolo [Pascual], sila 'yan." We have to agree to disagree. As he says, he's a fine mix of his parents. What a truly lucky guy! - Text by Candice Lim-Venturanza, Photos by Ronnie Salvacion, Yes! Magazine, October 2015 (READ MORE)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

One More Time T-Bird At Ako


Starring: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Dindo Fernando, Tommy Abuel, Directed by Danny Zialcita

That Danny Zialcita's T-Bird at Ako is entertaining cannot be doubted. The plot situations are funny. The lines are witty. The pacing is fast. The lesbian love of Nora Aunor for Vilma Santos, moreover, is extremely clever, since the two superstars in real life would not be caught dead in such a relationship. Zialcita has made a career of doing impossible things. He made he-man Dindo Fernando a homosexual in the Mahinhin series. He now makes Aunor a lesbian. When he tries to make Santos a low-class beerhouse dancer, however, he fails. That makes his record two out of three impossible things, not bad for normally sedate local cinema.

This film shows Zialcita at his best - irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, unconcerned with larger themes, focused on obsessive sexual relationships. Let's take the dialogue first, which cleverly juxtaposes the fiction of the film with the reality of the careers of the two superstars. Thus references are made to Santos' being a "burlesque queen." One character is even named "Rubia," after Rubia Servios (1978), Santos' competition film against Aunor's Atsay (1978). More than these allusions, however, the film features sparkling exchanges between Santos and Aunor. Most impressive of all the lines perhaps are those in the court room sequence, since the opposing arguments are easy to follow, yet logical in structure.

The direction is tight and masterful. Although one always gets reminded in a Zialcita film of sequences from foreign films, there is a minimum of unmotivated blocking in this film. Each sequence contributes to the whole film (if there is copying, in other words, and I do think there is in this film, the copying is not done simply to be cute or clever, but in accordance with the logical requirements of the plot). The performances, as expected of a Zialcita film, are excellent. Aunor is more effective as the confused lesbian, primarily because Santos is not able to get the rough and ready quality of low-class hospitality girls. Tommy Abuel is terrific in his role as the patient suitor. Fernando is given too little space to develop his character, but what he has, he makes good use of. Captivating is Suzanne Gonzales, though she has to learn to use her face a bit more to express varying emotions. In their brief roles, Anita Linda and Odette Khan are delightful. - Isagani Cruz, Parade, 22 September 1982 (READ MORE)

“...The restoration campaign focuses on directors primarily. In the case of the 33-year old ‘T-Bird at Ako,’ it’s vintage Danny Zialcita with his snappy dialogue and witty repartee. It’s also the last time that Nora and Vilma co-starred in a movie and with such a daring theme for its time. “T-Bird at Ako” tells the story of a sexy dancer (Santos) accused of homicide. She is defended by a female lawyer (Aunor) who tries to keep their relationship professional as the latter struggles with confusion as to her sexual preference. T-Bird at Ako is among the 75 films restored by ABS-CBN Film Archives, in collaboration with Central Digital Labs, since it started its restoration project in 2011. Some of these restored films were already screened internationally via film fests, screened locally via red carpet premieres, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes..." - LionhearTV, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

"...The 1982 blockbuster T-Bird At Ako was not the first movie to star rival screen icons Nora and Vilma, but it played up the rivalry of the two, even coming up with a circular "billing" so you couldn’t tell whose name appeared first. It also has a titillating premise: Nora Aunor plays Sylvia, a successful lawyer who finds herself sexually attracted to Vilma Santos’s Isabel, a nightclub dancer/hostess accused of murder. The movie is absolutely delightful, and its two stars never looked better, but if you’re looking for a serious discussion of LGBT issues, look elsewhere. As writer Portia Ilagan said in her introduction, she and the director had a spat over the "redeeming" ending, which in the tradition of old Tagalog movies suggests that homosexuality is a temporary phase that can be cured...In T-Bird at Ako, every character is a character, and even the most minor characters get to unleash verbal zingers. Many of these zingers seem like throwaway remarks, so you need to pay close attention. "Saan tayo?" says the taxi driver. "Sa impyerno," says Vilma Santos, and the movie doesn't make room for the audience's laughter but barrels right into the next scene. It occurred to me that Danny Zialcita's movies, which were marketed as melodramas, are really screwball comedies, the genre I love most in the world. The plots are preposterous, the story is only loosely related to real life, and everyone is clever. It doesn't try to be like the actual world, it wonders why the world isn't more fun like a movie..."

"...Nora Aunor has the more difficult role. Her Sylvia is a cerebral woman who has never paid much attention to her feelings and suddenly finds herself swamped with them. Could she be a lesbian? The movie's timidity and its fear of offending the traditionalist audience doesn’t help her: she is reduced to being petulant and jealous when Vilma’s Isabel stays out late at night. But Nora uses her famous power of understatement to convey the confusion, discomfort, and amazement of emotional awakening. It's also refreshing to see her play an established, affluent character whom no one would think of oppressing. Make her api at your own risk. Vilma Santos is in her element playing the quintessential Vilma role: the woman of feeling who has no qualms about expressing them. She also has a nightclub dance sequence that, far from portraying her as a downmarket floozy, makes her look like she should be headlining a TV variety show. Oh right, she's done that. And her line readings are hilarious. Under cross-examination by Tommy Abuel, who asks if she can understand his questions in English, she says, "Opo, hindi naman malalim ang English niyo." Offhandedly, without turning it into a moment..." - Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

"...Ang husay talaga ng director na si Danny Zialcita. And the actors in the movie were equally good. Sa court scene, hindi nagpatalo sina Johnny Wilson at Tommy Abuel as the prosecutors. Ang gagaling nilang magbitaw ng mga dialouges. At hindi rin nagpatalo ang Superstar as the defense lawyer. Superb ang exchange words sa court room. We wondered kung sino ang scriptwriter ng pelikula. But Manay Ethel Ramos said na si Danny Zialcita is an expert on that area. Halos hindi maalis ang tutok ng lahat kay Ate Vi with her sexy dance number and she was in a red skin tight outfit with the lower part exposing very shapely thighs and legs. Sabi nga ng anak naming si Julienne who was with us during the viewing of the film, "Ang ganda ni Vilma lalo na 'yung ilong niya. Girl na girl talaga siya. Ang ganda rin ni Nora pero pang-masa talaga ang dating niya. Very convincing siya as t-bird. Paglabas ko, Mommy, ng film center, tumatak sa akin na t-bird talaga siya." Nandun sina Aiza Seguerra at Liza Dino to support the film since the film is about same sex relationship. Nandun din si Direk Perci Intalan who is, as everywone knows, married to writer Jun Lana. Kay Portia Ilagan (the right hand of Sen. Bong Revilla) pala ang kuwento ng T-Bird at Ako. Kuwento diumano ito ng buhay niya. Dahil yung same sex relationship ay hindi pa masyadong accepted nung time na ginawa ang movie, sa ending, hindi nagkatuluyan sina Vilma at Nora. May mga dialouges pa si Ate Vi na "Nandidiri ako sa 'yo." nung mag-attempt si Ate Guy na haplusin siya. So, sa ending si Nora ay napunta kay Tommy Abuel at si Vilma naman kay Dindo Fernando. Sey kuno ni Portia sa isa namaing kasamahan sa panulat na nag-interview sa kanya, ang ayaw niya sa ending ay pinag-bestida raw si Ate Guy. She accepted the ending na napunta si Ate Guy kay Tommy Abuel pero ang di niya nagustuhan ay pinagsuot ito ng bestida. In real life kasi, never sigurong nagsuot ng dress si Kabsat Portia..." - Len Ramos Llanes, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

"...Na-miss ng film critics at ng showbiz industry ang style ng yumaong Danny Zialcita sa pagdi-direk. Ilan sa kanyang mga obra ay ang Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi at marami pang iba tulad ng T-Bird at Ako na ipinalabas sa UP Film Center las February 25. Ang bida ng classic film na ito ni Danny ay ang dalawang superstars ng local film na sina Vilma Santos at Nora Aunor. Ang said film ay ilan lang sa mga restored film into its original na gawa ng ABS-CBN Film Restoration. Ang mga nauna nang restored films na ipinalabas sa said venue ay ang tatlong pelikula ni Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto like Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at Anak. Anyway, dumating si Nora sa UP Film Center nang mas maaga sa takdang oras ng palabas na 6pm. Unfortunately, walang Vilma na dumating although nagpasabi ito sa kanyang mga Vilmanians na hindi siya makakarating due to important committment sa Batangas. Bagama't wala si Ate Vi, kumpleto pa rin ang Vilmanians sa pangunguna ni Jojo Lim na siyang nag-asikaso sa mga press people na kanyang inimbitahan. Pagkatapos ng welcome speech ni Leo Katigbak, ang head ng Kapamilya Film Restoration, sumunod na nagpasalamat si Ate Guy sa mga dumalo sa event, maka-Nora man o Maka-Vilma. Nasa 4th row nakaupo si Ate Guy habang ongoing na ang viewing. Binulungan kami ng aming katabing isang radio host-columnist na "Tumatakas na si Nora." True, napansin ng lahat na nu'ng ipinapakita ng ilaw, bakante na ang kinauupuan ng Superstar. Tuloy, 'di na naman nakalusot sa intriga ang bulilit aktress at biro ng aming katabi, "Nag-walkout yat? e, kasi nga, kahit wala si Vilma, mas malakas ang palakpakan sa kanya,"sey ng aming katabi. Bago pa ang screening ng T-Bird at Ako sa UP Film Center, nagpaunlak ng pahayag si Nora at naitanong ng katotong Morly Alinio kung papayag ba ito sakaling magkaroon ng T-Bird At Ako part 2 kahit na pareho na silang may edad? Sagot ni Ate Guy, "Why not? Depende siguro 'yun sa istorya," sey sa amin. "Wala namang problema sa amin ng mare ko,"na tinutukoy ay ang Star for all Seasons..." - Ador Saluta, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

"...Ang kuwento ng T-Bird At Ako ay tungkol sa isang dancer (Vilma) na naakusahan ng homicide. Ipagtatanggol siya ng isang abogada (Nora) na susubukang panatilihing propesyunal ang kanilang ugnayan habang nilalabanan ang pagkalito sa kanyang sexual preference. Si Portia Ilagan ang sumulat ng script ng T-Bird At Ako at ayon sa kanya, magkakaroon daw ito ng remake. Ang gusto niyang magbida sa bagong version ng pelikula ay sina Angel Locsin (dancer) at Bea Alonzo (lawyer). Gusto rin niyang maging part ng pelikula sina Vilma at Nora, Aiza Seguerra at asawa nitong si Liza Dino..." - Leo Bukas, Journal, 28 February 2015 (READ MORE)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Everything About Her (Videos) 3/3

Plot Description - Powerful but ill-stricken business woman, Vivian Rabaya (Vilma Santos) navigates her complicated relationship with her caregiver, Jaica Domingo (Angel Locsin) and her estranged son, Albert Mitra (Xian Lim) in this story about acceptance, love and forgiveness. - IMDB (READ MORE)








Friday, January 29, 2016

Everything About Her (Videos) 2/3

Plot Description - Powerful but ill-stricken business woman, Vivian Rabaya (Vilma Santos) navigates her complicated relationship with her caregiver, Jaica Domingo (Angel Locsin) and her estranged son, Albert Mitra (Xian Lim) in this story about acceptance, love and forgiveness. - IMDB (READ MORE)











Thursday, January 28, 2016

Everything About Her (Videos) 1/3

Plot Description - Powerful but ill-stricken business woman, Vivian Rabaya (Vilma Santos) navigates her complicated relationship with her caregiver, Jaica Domingo (Angel Locsin) and her estranged son, Albert Mitra (Xian Lim) in this story about acceptance, love and forgiveness. - IMDB (READ MORE)











Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Everything About Her (2016)

Pag nagkakamali ba ang nanay, di mo na siya nanay? Pag binigo ka niya, nababawasan ba ang pagkananay niya? Nanay pa rin kami. Nanay niya pa rin ako.” - Vivian Rabaya

Di mo naman sinabing impakta ang potah!” - Jaica Domingo


Basic Information - Direction: Joyce Bernal; Screenplay: Irene Villamor; Story: Mia Concio; Cast: Vilma Santos, Angel Locsin, Xian Lim, Michael De Mesa, Nonie Buencamino, Khalil Ramos, Devon Seron, Alexa Ilacad, Jana Agoncillo, Vangie Labalan, Buboy Villar, Niña Dolino, Dante Ponce, Bart Guingona, Sharmaine Buencamino; Executive Producers: Malou N. Santos, Charo Santos-Concio; Production Company: Star Cinema; Official music video of the movie ‘Everything About Her’ titled ‘Something I Need,’ performed by Piolo Pascual and Morissette, Arranged by Paulo Zarate, Mixed and Mastered by Dante Tañedo; Original Song from band, One Republic; Music Production by Jonathan Manalo; Language: Tagalog, English; Release Date: 27 January 2016; Country: Philippines; Also Known As: All of My Life

Plot Description - Powerful but ill-stricken business woman, Vivian Rabaya (Vilma Santos) navigates her complicated relationship with her caregiver, Jaica Domingo (Angel Locsin) and her estranged son, Albert Mitra (Xian Lim) in this story about acceptance, love and forgiveness. - IMDB (READ MORE)

Film Achievement - The film earned ₱15 million on its first day of release; As of February 5, 2016 the film has earned ₱100 million; The film is graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) and is rated PG (Parental Guidance) by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (Wikipedia); All-Time U.S. and Canada Box Office - Weekend of Feb. 12, 2016 -Feb. 14, 2016 Weekend Gross #32 $245,000; Cumulative Gross for two weeks: $1,248,700 (59,474,956.65 Philippine Peso); # of Theaters: 50 (NY Times); Star Cinema's most heartwarming movie of the season, "Everything About Her," has already earned P208M worldwide since it opened in cinemas. Star Cinema Ad Prom director Roxy Liquigan posted the good news via his Twitter account last February 16. (Star Cinema ABS-CBN)

Film Reviews - "...Please note that there may be other services under each category that you may be aware of. We recommend that this list be a starting off point to a more comprehensive search for services. The Housing Help Resource Tool Kit’s Housing Stability section has been updated to include these news resources as well. The story is simply told thus giving it a natural flow. The direction makes the film appealing for both millennials and non-millennials alike. You are almost tempted to wish and hope the film would end ala-Ishmael Bernal or ala-Lino Brocka. But Direk Bernal is into her own generation and knows her present audiences at the palm of her hand. Some dramatic scenes actually ended up funny but the actors were so versatile you end up laughing and in tears at the same time. Indeed, the performances of both lead actors and supporting cast were so compelling you felt almost everyone in the cast deserved an acting award. The surprise actor in the cast was Xian Lim who delivered not just a focused performance but a highly stirring one. His hospital scene with Vilma Santos was a stand-out one could hear people quietly sobbing behind me. Angel Locsin has no match as a supporting actress, the part of Nonie Buencamino (as the padre de familia) has all the hallmark of a good actor and the part of Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Vangie Labalan (no matter how brief) registered with layers of pathos. Most of all, this could be Vilma Santos’ best performance to date. The transition of her character from corporate mogul to repentant mother revealed the true artist in her. The musical scoring blended with the story but my favorite part is the household scenes with the character of Vilma Santos noting the significance of the chandelier in the living room with a movement from Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in the background. The grandness of the music matched the leading character’s grand ambition. It is also gratifying to find classical music find its way in a family drama..." - Pablo A. Tariman, Arts News Service, 6 February 2016 (READ MORE)

"...Given that she plays a character that teeters towards caricature, Santos is tasked to humanize Vivian, which she does with astounding ease. She manifests a quiet understanding of the character, depicting the role of an uncomplicated woman without the histrionics that one often sees from comediennes who are required to portray dramatic roles and the discomfort that one often observes from serious thespians who are forced to be uncharacteristically comical. Locsin provides Santos more than ample support. She is charismatic and amiable but not to the point of patronizing a character that is written to champion the diligence of the working class, or in this film’s case, the members of the nursing profession. Their scenes together are mostly golden, with the two actresses effortlessly earning chuckles or tears from their innate understanding of their characters ludicrous situations. Lim plays the angst-ridden man-child well enough. The role only requires him to brood and be emotionally impenetrable. Unfortunately, when the story requires him to be softer, he persists to play the stoic son, squandering the opportunity to maximize a role that explores various spectrums of an adult who is still haunted by his childhood. Lim is simply unable to grant his character depth beyond calculated gestures, welling eyes and fumbled lines...It is a film that does not necessarily earn its fairy tale conclusion, but its efforts in allowing its audience to bask in feel-good escapism is not completely wrong. In the end, it deserves its rainbow, even though the rains that precede it is blanketed in all the conveniences formula affords. Bernal has the sense to treat all the tropes with levity, inflicting comedy when necessary, and then toning everything down when the story steers towards seriousness. This balancing act is commendable, as it results in a film that is initially silly and whimsical, but essentially heartfelt where it counts..." - Oggs Cruz, Rappler, 29 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Larger-Than-Life Portrayals - "...Vilma Santos’ latest starrer, “Everything About Her,” is a worthy addition to her pantheon of exceptional screen portrayals. Right from the get-go, she affirms her versatility by playing a “new” character for her, a powerful and abrasive property magnate who reduces her victims to quivering masses of protoplasm....the production’s thespic crown firmly rests on Vilma’s head, due to her daringly strong character choice and ability to come up with a suitable larger-than-life portrayal, despite her slight and light physical frame. Even more compellingly, Vilma is able to dig really deep and summon up the especially strong emotions needed to make her inordinately powerful character believable—while still being able to shift naturally and depict her at her most vulnerable. Finally, “Everything About Her” is a revelatory change of pace and tone for its director, Joyce Bernal, who’s usually identified with more light-hearted and “cheeky” film fare. Her adeptness at humor leavens this film’s tragic scenes, while not diluting them—a tough directorial feat to pull off! It’s a testament to Bernal’s maturing skills that she’s able to do it—and, in the process, show us a bracingly new facet and prism to her directorial scope and oeuvre..." - Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Generous to Co-stars - "...Vilma Santos diehards will not be disappointed as Ate Vi handles her role with much understanding. At first, the character is almost caricaturish, with people she interviews shown breaking down or throwing up after talking to her. But Ate Vi knows how to humanize her Vivian with little knowing nuances here and there. Even in her heaviest dramatic scenes, she shows an intrinsic understanding of Vivian by not resorting to histrionics. Hindi na niya dinadrama pa ang mga dramang eksena, even in that scene where Angel is expecting to be fired and she just says quietly: ‘Kunin mo ang putanginang gamot ko.’ And she is so generous to her co-stars in their scenes together, allowing them to shine on their own, especially to Xian Lim in that hospital scene where he delivers a long aria of how much he hates his mother. Honestly, we were feeling uncomfortable for Xian on how he’d handle that scene of a son haunted by an unhappy childhood, but in all fairness to him, he manages to acquit himself quite well. Since this is a production of Star Cinema, you can expect a feel good happy ending. There is the obligatory fairy tale romance between the caregiver and her boss’ son. In photos, they’re even shown being wed and having a baby. Needless, as far as we’re concerned but, hey, the movie has to be very family friendly. So give escapism a chance. We’re sure Director Joyce Bernal was told to treat it all with levity. And that’s exactly what she did. If you want a more serious film about a dying woman, watch Ate Vi’s similarly themed classic film directed by the other Bernal..." - Mario Escobar Bautista, Journal, 12 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Credit to Make-up Artists - "...That is where I found out from E.R. Tagle that the movie “Everything About Her” was showing at a nearby cinema house. He was all praises for it, so I told him that any movie starring Ms Vilma Santos was worth watching. I am happy to catch a few on TV. The following day, I had to drag myself out of bed, fearlessly cross our busy street, risking life and limb to see the movie. It wasn’t the last full show; it was only 12:15 noontime, and the movie was just starting. But already we had to rise for the Philippine National Anthem. I told our “street facilitators” from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (“The joy of being useful,” Opinion, 1/29/16) that anyone who can sing our national anthem and not choke up with emotions rising from their breasts and leaving a lump in their throats do not love their country enough. They agreed with me, but I have my doubts about the last sentence—about dying for my country. Well, if push comes to shove, maybe. As expected, the movie was excellent despite a few things, but the main thing was I enjoyed the movie, was fully entertained even if more than half of it had tears rolling down my cheeks and, to top it all, I didn’t have any tissues with me. I must say, the cinematography was something to rave about; the acting was superb, the leading man was handsome as he should be, and the two leading ladies’ acting skills were flawless. Some credit must go to the makeup artist whose skilled hands transformed Ms Vilma’s character into a tough and uncompromising business person. I regretted it had to end, and I stayed for the credits to find out who performed the theme song and to give a chance for the crowd in the ladies’ room to clear..." - Shirley Wilson de las Alas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Pinakamahusay na aktres ng bansa sa kasalukuyang panahon - "...Mahusay si Vilma Santos sa kanyang papel bilang pangunahing tauhan ng pelikula. Sino pa bang kukuwestiyon sa kanyang husay bilang aktres? Wala na. Maituturing mo siya talagang pinakamahusay na aktres ng bansa lalo na sa kasalukuyang panahon. Every inch, every scene napakahusay. Dahil sa husay ng kanyang performance, mahirap malimutan ang pelikula at maaaring siya na uli ang best actress ng 2016. Makatuturan ang pagbabalik ni Vilma sa napakatalino niyang desisyong piling-pili ang uri ng ginagawa niyang pelikula. Mas effective sa akin si Xian Lim. Mahusay! Nauunawaan niya ang role niya. Sumabay talaga siya kay Vilma Santos na generously ay sinuportahan siya. Sa lahat ng eksena nila, nilalamon ni xian si Angel ng buung-buo. Napakasinsero umarte dito ni Xian na kita mong bawat bitiw niya ng emosyon ay galing sa puso...Sa kabuuan, typical Star Cinema pa rin ang pelikula. Maganda na sana pero dahil kailangang bigyan ng resolusyon lahat sa ending, pilit na pilit; very unrealistic; pumangit lang tuloy ang dulo. Ganda na sanang sa party na nag-end ang movie habang nagsasalita si Vivian (Vilma) at may hope na tatagal pa ang buhay niya. Bakit kailangan pang ipakita thru collage photos na kinasal at naging mag-asawa sina angel at xian?! Yuck! Ok na sana kahit wala silang romantic angle tatayo ang pelikula. To beginwith, mukhang tiyahing tibo ni Xian si Angel. Pero dahil Star Cinema nga ito, kailangang babuyin ng ganun ang ending ng pelikula na sinasabi nilang pang masa, na sa tutuo lang, iniinsulto nila di lang ang masa kundi ang mga manonood na nasa matinong pag-iisip..." - Ronaldo C. Carballo, Facebook, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Symbolism of the Chandelier - "...The cinematic devices and motifs the film employs to drive its narrative have given it much advantage. Particularly noteworthy is the symbolism of the chandelier that Vilma is shown to gaze at in one of the many heartfelt moments of quiet drama the film boasts of. The convulsion scene is carried out in a single take that only an actress of Vilma’s caliber could ever pull off with much aplomb. Vilma proves her comic mettle and efficacy in at least two scenes. One is the long shot of an open field with her voice heard clarifying with her staff the exact number of executive people she is about to have an exclusive meeting with. Another is the one upstairs at her residence as she confronts Angel’s character with the latter’s wrongly sent phone text referring to Vilma’s character as a creature from hell and a whore..." - Nonoy L. Lauzon, Young Critics Circle Film Desk, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 - "...Indeed, the performances of both lead actors and supporting cast were so compelling you felt almost everyone in the cast deserved an acting award. The surprise actor in the cast was Xian Lim who delivered not just a focused performance but a highly stirring one. His hospital scene with Vilma Santos was a stand-out one could hear people quietly sobbing behind me. Angel Locsin has no match as a supporting actress, the part of Nonie Buencamino (as the padre de familia) has all the hallmark of a good actor and the part of Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Vangie Labalan (no matter how brief) registered with layers of pathos. Most of all, this could be Vilma Santos’ best performance todate. The transition of her character from corporate mogul to repentant mother revealed the true artist in her. The musical scoring blended with the story but my favorite part is the household scenes with the character of Vilma Santos noting the significance of the chandelier in the living room with a movement from Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in the background. The grandness of the music matched the leading character’s grand ambition. It is also gratifying to find classical music find its way in a family drama..." - Pablo A. Tariman, Arts News Service, 06 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Iconic Maternal Roles - "...Everything About Her has good and bad parts. This can probably be said about most Star Cinema movies — as the fulfillment of formula has made these qualities distinguishable, knowing where it goes well and where it nose-dives — but with Vilma Santos and Joyce Bernal, the desire to endorse it, and make a good case for it despite its inevitable shortcomings, is strong. It is convincing at first, from the start when the characters and conflicts are established and all the way through the piling up of challenges for both female characters. But in an effort to close it with something remarkable and leave the audience with warmth, it decides to be generic and resort to platitudes that dilute the inspired moments, in turn weakening what could have been a moving depiction of female (and maternal) strength. Ate Vi gets away with the many times she repeats herself (her approach and sentiment) from her previous movies, and this showcase of recognizable maternal roles makes her iconic in this regard. But Everything About Her does not find its soul in her but in Angel Locsin, delivering what could be one of the best Star Cinema characters in years..." - Richard Bolisay, Lilok Pelikula, 08 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Uber-Bitch - "...Vilma Santos has fun with her role, and she looks terrific. We do take issue with the scenes in which her character telegraphs to the audience that she's not as bitchy as they think she is. As one who is extremely familiar with the species, a bitch does not care whether you like her or not. In fact an uber-bitch would prefer to be loathed so that she doesn't waste time pandering to the tender feelings of people she doesn't give a shit about. You know what words a bitch finds irritating? "You're nice naman pala." "Hugot" lines do nothing for us, but there is one line in the movie we especially like. In one scene, Vivian gets nauseous and starts to throw up on her bed. Jaica grabs Vivian's designer bag and dives across the bed to catch it. "Kunin mo na rin yung Balenciaga bag ko," Vivian says, deadpan, "Doon ko gustong sumuka uli." Bitch, that's a bitch..." - Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 05 February 2016 (READ MORE)

The Heart of the Story - "... Speaking of Albert, Xian Lim’s character was the central source of drama in the movie. The scenes of Vivian and Jaica were mostly comedic and amusing, but it was the introduction of Albert that brought more heart to the plot. Albert’s character is what drives the conflict - with Vivian struggling to re-establish ties with her son, and how Jaica’s job seemed to get more complicated with her feelings for Albert. Xian was definitely revelatory in this film, and my initial doubts of having him as the leading man faded with my impression that he’s only good for rom-coms. Surprisingly, he had great chemistry with Vilma Santos an Angel Locsin, and he was able to add more dimension to his otherwise uptight character by being emotional when needed. This and the fact that he had similarities with the features of Vilma Santos made it hard for me to think of anybody else more perfect for the role...Vilma Santos still has her charm and her performance was nothing short of remarkable. She was able to fuse the two sides of Vivian seamlessly together – one was this terror business magnate who’d go out of her way and ride a chopper to Tagaytay just so she could fire someone personally, and the other was this loving mother who longs for the forgiveness and embrace of her son. The role allowed her to once again showcase her versatility as an actress, and the heart and dedication that she gives out to every scene transcends effortlessly to the audience...Angel’s role was what brought comic relief and lightness to the story. She no doubt demonstrated her flexibility as an actress in the film however, there were several unnecessary comical moments from her character..." - Geoffrey Ledesma, GeoffReview, 03 February 2016 (READ MORE)

Biggest revelation - "...The iconic actress (Vilma Santos) embraces her character’s flaws and fortitude with affecting clarity in a superlative portrayal that is passionate but never coercive. Her meticulous insistence on honesty guarantees that no tear is unearned—and no emotion manipulated...Angel also comes up with a focused performance that, for the most part, benefits from the film’s propulsive dramatic proceedings...Xian may not have Angel’s earnestness or Vilma’s finely calibrated bravado, but he is the movie’s biggest revelation. He figures in some of the film’s most gripping dramatic sequences—and delivers his moving moments with aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that Xian is cast in a role that fits him to a T: Albert is distant, guarded and spiteful, and is armed with an emotional axe to grind! Bernal makes clever use of those elements to thrust the heretofore phlegmatic performer outside his self-limiting comfort zone. Result: Xian’s finest portrayal to date!..." - Rito P. Asilo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 30 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Affectionate Charm - "...Whereas the film’s proceedings come across as yet another orchestration of a familiar film cliché, it strikes a chord by remaining adherent to a formula, that maybe too predictable at times, but nonetheless works because of its relatability. There is an affectionate charm in its humor and subtle comic attempts, and it massively works when injected on the film’s emotional moments. It is barely a surprise how Santos pulled off Vivian with undeniable credibility here. She delivers her character and its layers with profound depth, believability, and artistry that probaly only someone with her caliber, could do. On her character’s most heartbreaking moments, Santos delivers exactly what a woman faced with the wrath of death, while also struggling to reach out for a son she might probably don’t have enough time to spend together with, would feel and look like, an act she easily carried out with searing capacity. Locsin, on the other hand, has an equally impressive maneuver of Jaica, who on most occasions, is presented as the film’s comic effort, acting as one of the narrative’s heart and its very symbol of hope. The character is commendably pulled by Locsin with irresistible charm and affection, a capacity she maintains even on the character’s very own moments of breakdown. But the biggest commendation, perhaps, should go for Lim, who emerges here, with an unfamiliar but convincing versatility. This is probably the actor’s strongest performance yet, having gotten across with the necessary power required by his character, whose wounds and struggles are equally as deep and excruciating as his mother’s...Rating: 3.5 out of 4..." - LionhearTV, 27 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Most Effective Actress - "...The film highlights the importance of family during hard times and how these obstacles bring forth understanding and forgiveness. I find myself crying at times and relate to scenarios that, we somehow deny or refuse to accept...Vilma Santos kept her promise and profile. She remains one of the most effective actress for all season. Her execution brought tears to every single scene. Bernal successfully defined her character at the beginning of the movie. They approach Vivian as a figure in a time-honored character template in which a convenient plot mechanism allows the bitch to revisit sad chapters in her life so that we can understand that it was quite a life, indeed. But she failed to understand motherhood that her son suffered from missed opportunities being with her because of her profession. It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters...9/10..." - Rod Magaru, Rod Magaru Show, 28 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Familial Attachment - "...Innate to Bernal as a filmmaker is her unmistakable grasp in comedy. On crucial points where comic relief might not be necessary, her cast carries out effectively—not just to call for laughter but to keep the audience drawn to these characters, their motivations as well as their individual dilemmas. It is just nice to laugh it all off and see how these characters react and clash with one another. Aside from the kinky Balenciaga scene (“Kunin mo na rin ang Balenciaga bag ko. Do’n ko gustong sumuka ulit”), notable is that one where Jaica, after getting confused with the text message from the hospital head doctor, mistakenly sends a hate text message to Vivian. “Di mo naman sinabing impakta ang potah!” is such a winning line (or at least a memorable one at that)...In spite of the predictability of the story right from the very beginning, the entire ride is memorable, granted how the story is weaved without compromise—without fear that the audience would not stay put. As it wants to stir up sadness towards its ends, it controls itself by giving into the tested formula of the outlet. True enough, it works fine on that note. There is a stinging sensation at the end of the line but happy thoughts prevail and make use of its impact. Before the last frame, Vivian cries, “But in the end, even if we die alone, we need other people.” As we hold onto her last words, there is really much to relate to in her story as there is much to believe in ourselves. Familial attachment is everything about her. And we are more than familiar with that..." - J Bestillore, Cinemabravo, 27 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Final Title - "...Everything About Her ang final title ng pelikula nina Batangas Governor Vilma Santos at Angel Locsin. Hindi natuloy ang balak ng Star Cinema na lagyan ng salitang “life” ang pamagat ng pelikula dahil sa paniniwala na masuwerte kay Vilma ang mga project na may title na “life..." - Nitz Miralles, Pilipino Star Ngayon, 07 January 2016 (READ MORE)

Theme Song - "...Ayan, may playdate na ang All of My Life movie ni Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos sa Star Cinema at kung hindi magbabago, pang-opening salvo raw ng Star Cinema ang nasabing pelikula for 2016. Mula sa hit song ni Diana Ross ang All of My Life na ang theme song ay kakantahin ni Kyla. Teka, parang si Kyla na ang favorite ng Star Cinema at ABS-CBN na kumanta ng theme songs ng kanilang movies at teleserye. Anyway, marami na ang excited sa All of My Life dahil for the first time ay magkasama ang future magbiyenan na sina Gov. Vi at Angel Locsin. Wise decision ang pagba-backout ni Luis Manzano sa movie, iwas kontrobersya dahil tiyak na uusisain sila ni Angel sa kanilang relasyon..." - Nitz Miralles, Pilipino Star Ngayon, 21 October 2015 (READ MORE)





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