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

GOLD


Limang Makulay na Dekada

Paano mo babalikan ang limang dekadang hitik ng mga magandang ala-ala? Kailangan bang buklalim mo ang mga tinatagong baul ng mga larawan? Kailangan bang sulatin mo ang mga karanasang nagbigay sa iyo ng kaligayahan o kailangan bang tanungin mo ang mga taong nakasalamuha mo ng mga panahong iyon. Marahil nga ang lahat ng itoy dapat mong gawin. Nakakatawa ganito na ba ako katanda? Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko habang nagbabalik tanaw ako at napangiti na lang ako. Sa loob ng limang dekada, napakaraming magandang karanasan ang mga Vilmanians. Merong mga malulungkot pero ang karamihan kaligayahan. Sa ordinaryong tao isang hiwaga ang kanyang tinagal sa larangan ng pagganap. Paano mo mapapanatiling makinang ang iyong larangan. Ngayon nga'y patuloy mong sinasagupa ang larangan ng politika. At katulad ng larangan ng pagganap, hindi lang mga Vilmanians ang binibigyan mo ng ligaya kundi ngayon, ang buong Batangas. Sa pagbabalik ng ating nostalgia isyu halina?t bigyan daan natin ang limang makukulay na dekada ni Ate Vi...


ANG IYAKING SI TRUDIS - Ang pelikula ni Ate Vi na Trudis Liit ay tandang tanda ng maraming Vilmanians. Nagdulot ito ng unang karangalan para kay Ate Vi at sa murang edad ng siyam. Sa mga Vilmanians ang maraming madramang eksena ni Vilma rito'y natanim sa ating alaala. Ang sabi nga ng isa sa ating Vilmanian na si Henry Llaneza, the first movie I’ve seen in Black & White TV mula sa bintana ng kapitbahay ay ang "Trudis Liit" na napaiyak ang lahat ng nanonood dito nagsimula ang lahat... ng kanyang pagiging isang Vilmanian. Katulad ni Henry, dito rin nagsimula ang aking paghanga sa star for all season. Galit na galit ako nuon kay Bella Flores dahil sa pang-aaping ginawa niya kay Trudis. Sa pagkapanalo ni Ate Vi ng FAMAS Best Child Actress sa pelikulang ito, sinundan pa ng Sampaguita Pictures ang tagumpay nito sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang Ging. Dito makikita ang malinaw na talento ni Ate Vi. Hindi lamang sa kanyang hindi pilit na pag-iyak kundi sa pagkanta rin. Dito rin sa pelikulang ito'y nakipagsabayan siya sa pagganap ni Olivia Cenizal at sa pang-aapi ni Carol Varga. Ang dekada ng sisenta ay patuloy na nagbigay ng maraming pelikula kay Ate Vi magmula sa pagiging isang batang artista hanggang sa isang teenager. Umabot ito sa unang karangalan niya bilang isang hindi na batang artista sa pamamagitan ng pagkanominado niya sa Best Supporting Actress muli sa FAMAS at ang kanyang pagkapanalo ng parehong titulo mula naman sa San Beda College.

Nostalgic Moments of the 60s


MINI SKIRT AT FLATFORM SHOES - "Ding ang bato," "to Hell" at "Heaven!" -eto ang mga "expression" na binigay sa atin ng isang liberal na nagdadalaga sa dekada sitenta. Kasabay ng kanyang mga bulaklaking mini-skirts at makukulay na platform shoes ay ang kanyang matamis na pagkanta. Sinabayan niya ang mga kantahang pelikula at telebisyon, hindi alitana ang mabulusok na parang bagyong mga kalaban. Marahil ang saloobin niya ay darating rin ang araw na ako'y mapupunta sa itaas. Dala marahil ng katotohanang malalim ang kanyang talento kundi man sa pagkanta, sa pagganap. Pagganap na kailangang patunayan ng kanyang mahigpit na kalaban. Kundi man niya natapatan ang tagumpay sa pagkanta ng kanyang kalaban sa maraming sari-saring papel naman niya pinataob ang mga ito. Sa mga Vilmanian ang isa sa pinaka-nostalgic moment ng dekadang ito ay ang pagpapataob ni Ate Vi ng mga kalaban sa takilya sa pamamagitan ng super-blockbuster, "Lipad Darna Lipad." Ito ang nagumpisa ng kanyang pagiging "Box Office Queen" kahit na ang katotohanan patuloy na patok sa takilya ang mga pelikula niya lalo na ang mga ?pito-pitong? pelikula nila ng kanyang ka-love team na si Edgar Mortiz. Ang love-team nilang ito ang naghudyat ng pakikibaka ng mga Vilmanians upang maungusan ang team nina Guy at Pip. Karamihan sa mga teenager na Vilmanians ang pagsasalpukan ng dalawang love team ay nagbigay ng maraming alaala. Nariyan ang mangulekta ng mga balota para sa pakontes ng mga babasahin. Nagkaroon pa nga ng pagkakataon na pataubin ng mga Vilmanians ang kabilang love team dahil sa masugid na pangongolekta ng balota ng lahat para lang manalo sina Vi at Bot. Sa mga Vilmanians, maaalala ng lahat ang pagbili ng maraming sampaguita upang isabit sa leeg ni Vi at Bot. Nariyan rin ang pagbili ng mga larawan sa mga bangketa. Oo, ang mga photogragh ng mga teen stars nuon ay binebenta sa mga kalye ng Cariedo sa Quiapo at sa Avenida sa Recto. At sa mga masusugid ng tagahanga ng dalawa, ang paulit-ulit na pagpasok sa mga sinehan ay isang pangkaraniwang gawi nuon. Hindi lang dahil sa gusto ng mga ito na maging patok sa takilya kundi para maungusan ang katapat na pelikula ng kalaban. Hindi pa natatapos iyon, kadalasan ang mga Vilmanians ay parang mga langgam na sumusunod sa mga karosa sa parada kapag may kasamang pelikula si Ate Vi sa mga pestibal. Umulan man o umaraw, takbo rito, takbo ruon ang mga ito. Ganyan kalalim ang debosyon ng mga Vilmanians kay Ate Vi sa dekadang ito. Ito'y bilang sagot sa mga ligayang patuloy niyang binigay sa atin.

Nostalgic Moments of the 70s
  • Notable films: Burlesk Queen (directed by Celso Ad Castillo), Rubia Servios (directed Lino Brocka), Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz (with Charito Solis), and Lipad Darna Lipad (her first film as Darna).
  • Significant recognition: three best actress (Dama de Noche '72, Nakakahiya '75 and Burlesk Queen '77) and one best picture (Pagputi ng Uwak Pagitim ng Tagak '78), and several annual box office queen titles.
  • Vilma is the original fantasy-comics queen - Darna, Dyesebel, Wonder Vi, Phantom Lady, Vivian Volta, Kampanerang Kuba.
  • Vilma did 25 films in 1970, which means there were atleast two Vilma Santos films every month. Ironically, most of these films are musical where Vilma admitedlly singing is not her forte. As a proof of her tenacity as an entertainer, she recorded several music albums, some became golden and also resulted with her signature song, Sixteen.
  • The early part of the 1970s paved way to the Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz love team. Aside from their regular television work, they atleast did 25 films (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). Their last film, TIIP's "Karugtong Ang Kahapon." was an entry to the 1975 Metro Manila Film Festival.
  • On television, Vi did a drama anthology via "Dulambuhay ni Rosa Vilma" from BBC 2 and The Sensations with Edgar Mortiz, also from BBC 2. The Sensations later became an album and a movie. Aside from The Sensations album, Vilma also recorded, Sweethearts, Aloha My Love and All I See Is You with Edgar Mortiz and her solo albums, Sixteen, Sing Vilma Sing and Sweet Sweet Vilma.
  • In 1975, Vilma Santos did Tagaraw sa Tagulan, her first film with Christopher de Leon. The two, now considered the most enduring pair in Filipino film history did 23 films (Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig, Ikaw ay Akin, Disco Fever, Nakawin Natin ang Bawa’t Sandali, Magkaribal, Pinay American Style, Gusto Kita Mahal ko Siya, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Relasyon, Sinasamba Kita, Haplos, Paano ba ang Mangarap?, Broken Marriage, Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan ang Nakaraan, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story, Nagiisang Bituin, Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal, Dekada ’70, Mano Po 3: My Love, Karma).
  • Aside from Christopher de Leon and Edgar Mortiz, Vilma Santos managed to teamed up with other popular actors (films mentioned here are just one of maybe several films she did with each actor): Chiquito in Teribol Dobol; Romeo Miranda in Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe; Tirso Cruz III in Ding Dong; Paolo Romero in Ikaw Lamang; Manny de Leon in Teenage Senorita; Victor Wood in Little Darling; Walter Navarro in Sweet Sweet Love; Victor Laurel in Ophelia at Paris; Jay Ilagan in Inspiration; Meng Fei in Twin Fist of Justice; Jun Aristorenas in Mapagbigay ang Mister Ko; Philip Salvador in Rubia Servios; Mat Ranillo III in Masarap Masakit Ang Umibig; Romeo Vasquez in Dalawang Pugad Isang ibon; and Fernando Poe Jr in Batya't Palu-palo.
  • In 1978, Everyone was predicting Vi will win the acting honors for her most challenging role to date, Lino Brocka's 1978 film, Rubia Servios. But it wasn't meant to be as it was considered by many as her most painful lost in the award giving derby, "Ang sakit, Manay!" Vi reportedly told Manay Ichu, the producer of Rubia.
  • By later part of 1970s, Vilma Santos already experienced life-changing challenges with ended relationships being publicly scrutinized and sensationalized and a heated rivalry. She concentrated with her career and reinvented herself, accepting more mature roles, most notably Burlesk Queen and Rubia Servios. She also produced a film that was critically acclaimed but would contribute to her bankcruptcy, Pagputi ng Uwak Pagitim ng Tagak. Perhaps preparing herself to the incoming decade, of more challenges and career transformation.


MONEY CAN'T BUY EVERYTHING - Ang debosyon ng mga Vilmanians kay Ate Vi ay hindi natapos ng nakaraang dekada. Kasabay ng paglawak ng karanasan, ng kanyang larangang ginagalawan at ang paghahanap ng matibay na masasandalan ay naruon ang mga Vilmanians, bukas ang mga mata, ang puso at kaisipan. Hindi pa tapos ang laban ng mga Vilmanians dahil patuloy pa rin ang pag-ikot ng mundo ng reyna. Matapos ang magagandang pelikulang ginawa ng sarili niyang produksyon ay nagbunga na hindi magandang lagay ng kanyang pinansiyal na posisyon. Nang pinakasalan niya si Edu Manzano sa Las Vegas, hindi niya aakalaing ang pagsubok na ito ang sasalubong sa kanya. Sa kabila ng tagumpay ng kanyang mga pelikula ang mga kinita niya ay hindi dumaan sa kanyang mga palad. Diretso ito sa mga mambubuwis. Mabuti na lamang at nariyan ang kanyang matagumpay na programa sa telebisyon kung saan natulungan ang kanyang sitwasyon sa pananalapi. Ang "Vilma!" ay isa sa mga magagandang nangyari sa karir ni Vilma ng dekada otsenta. Nagbigay ito sa kanya ng napakaraming karangalan. Kasabay nito?y ay ang sa wakas, ang pagkamulat ng iba't ibang award giving bodies sa Pilipinas lalo na ang mga kritiko na hindi siya pinansin ng mga huling dekada ng sitenta. Sa pamamagitan ng mga matitinong pelikula nagbunga ang sunod sunod na best actress award ni Ate Vi tulad ng "Relasyon", "Broken Marriage," "Sister Stella L", at "Pahiram ng Isang Umaga". Ito rin ang dekadang nagbigay kay Ate Vi ng kanyang kauna-unahang best actress grand slam. Isang karangalang dulot ay kasiyahan sa mga Vilmanians. Ang dekadang otsenta'y naging taliwas ng kalungkutan ng mga Vilmanians kapag sasapit ang mga gabi ng parangal. Ito marahil ang panahong pagbabayad sa mga sama ng loob at hindi makatarungan panghuhusga. Kung iisipin ko, ang dekadang ito'y nagdulot ng kasaganaan kay Ate Vi kahit na nagkaroon siya ng problema sa BIR. Ngunit ang mga pera?t tagumpay niya ay hindi maikukumpara sa kaligayahang nadama niya ng bigyan buhay niya ang isang bata, si Luis "Lucky" Manzano. Patunay na hindi lamang pera ang puedeng magbigay ng ligaya sa sa mundo ito.

Nostalgic Moments of the 80s
  • Notable films with A-list directors: Relasyon '82, Broken Marriage '83 and Pahiram ng Isang Umga '89 (Bernal); Sister Stella L '84 (de Leon); Adultery: Aida Macaraeg '84 (Brocka); Alyas Baby Tsina '84 (Diaz-Abaya); Karma '81 (Zialcita); Imortal '89 (Garcia); Tagos Ng Dugo ' 87 (De Los Reyes); Ibulong Mo sa Diyos '88 (Perez).
  • Significant recognition: four Gawad Urian best actress thophies (three consecutive years 82-84), first best actress grand slam (FAP, FAMAS, CMMA, Urian), Also, she received several best actress from other, mostly newly formed award giving organizations, and several best actress nominations throughout the 1980s. Plus, she also receive several box office queen titles, trophies for her TV show, Vilma! and a hall of fame award from FAMAS!
  • Vilma cemented herself as director's first-choice actress (see notable films abouve).
  • There was social unrest, following the Ninoy Aquino assassination on Aug. 21, 1983. The following year Vilma did a socially relevant film, Mike De Leon's 'Sister Stella L." The film earned Vilma her third consecutive local critic's best actress and was an entry to the READ MORE1985 Venice Film Festival.
  • In 1989, Vilma Santos received FAMAS highest honor, the Hall of Fame award, for winning five best actress. She won in 1972 for Dama De Noche; 1981 for Pakawalan Mo Ako; 1982 for Relasyon; 1987 for Tagos Ng Dugo; and 1988 for Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos.
  • On television, Vilma managed to captured the viewers with high ratings of her musical variety show, Vilma! It was later revealed that all her film incomes went directly the government to pay her unpaid taxes and she was living with her television income.
  • On personal note, Vilma married the model turned actor, Edu Manzano in early part of this decade. The relationship ended by later part of the decade but produced a son, Luis "Lucky" Manzano, now also an actor and a television host.
  • Vilma Santos appeared in several cameo roles for her friends in their first leading/title role films: Sherryl Cruz' Candy 1980; Roderick Paulate's Charot 1984; German Moreno's Payaso 1986; Gabby Concepsion's Bukas Sisikat Din Ang Araw1988; and Lotlot de Leon's Tako Ako Eh! 1987.
  • Vilma Santos appeared in her first television movie, Lamat Sa Kristal in 1988, a tele-play based on American stage play, Extremities famously played by Farrah Fawcet. She will do another tele-movie in 2002 under the direction of Christopher de Leon, titled "Bugso."
  • Although she has never won a single best actress award from her movies directed by an ace director, the late and National Artist, Lino Brocka, he lamented while filming their last film together: “…she is very good, she is really big…by the time of Hahamakin Lahat there was the complete sensibility already – a difference in the way she expressed pain and hurt. Talent was welling out like spring water, and flowing from her most naturally.” In contrast, Brocka's stiff rival and also National Artist, Ishmael Bernal directed Vilma in several award winning films particularly Relasyon, Broken Marriage and Pahirma ng Isang Umaga. Before his umtimely death, Bernal emphasized Vilma's acting progression: “In Ikaw ay Akin, Vilma was already conscious of her own particular style of acting…which can be described as minimal, less is more. The fewer and simpler gestures, the greater effect…(Working in Pahiram Ng Isang Umage, Bernal said)…she had become an artist, no longer a movie star and just following the director’s instructions..”
  • Vilma ended the decade with a superb film, Bernal's "READ MOREPahiram Ng Isang Umaga" which earned her fourth Gawad Urian (from local critics) and her first READ MOREStar Awards (from local movie writers). By this time, it was clear that she became choosy with her film projects and now maturing into a more serious actress.


TAHIMIK NA PARAISO - Lahat yata ng tao'y nagnanasa ng tahimik na paraiso. Maging si Vilma. Matapos ang nakakapanghinayang na relasyon niya kay Edu Manzano?y nalagpasan niya ang mga pagsubok ng nakaraang dekada, lalo na ang kanyang sitwasyong pinansiyal. Ngunit ang lahat ng tagumpay ay hindi niya aakalaing mas mahihigitan pa ng mga sumunod na pangyayari sa kanyang buhay. Ito ay ang kanyang paglagay sa tahimik. Ito ang lalong ikinasaya ng mga Vilmanians. Maikukumpara sa ganda ang kanyang kasal sa isang simpatikong senador ng unang bahagi ng dekada nubenta. "Newsmaker of the Year" si Ate Vi ang pagkakaisang sasabihin ng mga Vilmanians. Matapos tumigil si Ate Vi sa kanyang programang pangtelebisyon, binigyan niya ng pansin ang katungkulan niya bilang asawa at binigyan niya ng anak ang matalinong senador. Binigyang buhay niya ang isang bibong bibong bata, si Ryan Christian. Sa mga Vilmanian na nagdarasal ng paraiso sa kanilang idolo ang dekadang ito?y nagbigay ng maraming kaligayahan katulad ng dalawang magkasunod na best actress grand slam ni Ate Vi para sa pelikulang "Dolzura Cortez Story" at "Bata, bata paano ka ginawa?" Ang "bata, bata" ay nagbigay rin ng karangalan kay Ate Vi sa ibang bansa mula sa Brussels International Film Festival. Naging masaya ang lahat ng Vilmanians sa mga naganap kay Ate Vi mula sa unang bahagi at kalagitnaan ng dekada nubenta. Ngunit ang kasiyahang ito?y hindi natigil dahil sumuong muli si Ate Vi sa panibagong pagsubok. Dahil marahil sa impluwensiya ng kanyang asawa, natutunan niya at namulat sa paglilingkod sa bayan. Nalaman niya na puwede rin siyang magsilbi sa mga nangangailangan. At rito sinuong niya ang larangan ng politika nang huling bahagi ng dekadang ito at hindi nabigo ang lahat, kasama ang mga Vilmanians dahil nanalo siya via "landslide' kungbaga sa pelikula, patok na patok. Tahimik na paraiso? Aakalain ng iba pero marami pang laban ang kasunod nito.

Nostalgic Moments of the 90s
  • Notable films: Ipagpatawad Mo '91, Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story '93, and Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa '98.
  • Significant recognition: several best actress from the above films and an international film festival best actress accolade.
  • In 1999, Vilma earned her first international best actress via Star Cinema's Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa directed by Chito Rono from the Brussels Festival of Independent Films.
  • Bata, Bata...Paano ka Ginawa? (Leah's Story) was also given a Special Jury Award for Women’s Awareness at the Asia Pacific Film Festival held in Bangkok, Thailand from Nov. 22-26, 1999. Vilma was a Best Actress nominee.
  • Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa or in the festival circuit entitled, Leah's Story also earned Vilma her fourth best actress grand slam, winning all best actress trophy in one year in 1998 following 1982 for Relasyon, 1991 for Ipagpatawad Mo and 1993 for Dolzura Cortez.
  • On television, she retired her musical variety show in the first part of the 1990s and married Senator Ralp Recto in a grand wedding in 1992 and produced second child, Ryan Christian Recto.
  • Although citation is needed on what exact year she did this telemovie, Vilma Santos' first driectorial job was Lazarito, with Dawn Zulueta, Ariel Rivera in lead roles and Ali Sotto, Bernardo Bernardo, Tom Taus, AJ Galvez and Armando Goyena in supporting roles, produced by Vilma Santos herself.
  • By later part of 1990s, Vilma Santos' career path took another transformation by deciding to become a politician. She was elected mayor of Lipa City, the province of Batangas in 1998.


PATULOY ANG LABAN - Sa mga Vilmanians ang bagong milenyo ay naghudyat ng patuloy na pamamayagpag ni Ate Vi sa kanyang piniling larangan. Iilan lamang ang kanyang nagawang pelikula ngunit ang lahat ay super-blockbuster sa takilya at mayroon pang regalong mga tropeyong best actress! Inumpisahan ito ng pelikulang "Anak' pagkatapos ay "Dekada 70" at ang pinakahuli'y ang "Mano Po 3: My Love." Tatlong pelikulang nagsalarawan kung gaano kalalim ang kanyang talento sa pagganap. Sa kanyang personal na buhay, patuloy na priyoridad niya ang kanyang tungkulin bilang asawa ni Ralph Recto at ina ni Ryan Christian at Luis. Sa larangan naman ng politika?y patuloy siyang nagbibigay ng gabay sa mga ordinaryong tao sa pamamagitan ng tapat na panunungkulan. Kung kaya naman tatlong ulit siyang binigyan ng termino ng mga taga-Lipa bilang kanilang mayor. Sa taong 2007 rin pinasok ni Ate Vi ang mas mataas na posisyon bilang public servant, ang pagiging gobernador ng buong probinsya ng Batangas at ang resulta? Muli ang panalo! Kaya ang mga Vilmanians ay patuloy pa rin ang pagsamba sa kanya dahil patuloy pa rin sa kanyang mga laban.

Nostalgic Moments of the 2000s
  • Notable films: Anak '00, Dekada 70 '02, Mano Po 3: My Love ' 04
  • Significant recognition: Several best actress and an international best actress plus some life time achievement awards
  • Vilma Santos received the highest honor from the University of the Philippines, the Gawad Plaridel Award for her lifetime achievements in showbuiness and politics.
  • Vilma was a recipient of the Gawad Dekada (along with Richard Gomez) at the Urian rites in March 2001 for "Ipagpatawad Mo," "Dahil Mahal Kita" and "Bata, Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?"
  • Vilma Santos received her first doctorate degree in Humanities from Lipa City Public College (LCPC) on November 10, 2005 and her second on November 20, 2009 from The University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP).
  • On television, Vilma won a best actress for television drama, "Regalo" which was an anniversary presentation of the drama anthology, "Maala ala Mo Kaya" hosted by Charo Santos.
  • Proving she is still a bankable star, her films, Anak (2000, co-starring with Claudine Barretto) and In My Life (2009, co-starring with John Lyod Cruz and Luis Manzano) both exhibited internationally were a box office record earner.
  • Vilma achieved a fifth Best Actress grand slam via 2002's Chito Rono film "Dekada '70," produced once again by Star Cinema.
  • Vilma was proclaimed the Best Actress from the 5th Makati CineManila International Film Festival for Dekada 70 and she also received the festival's lifetime achievement award along side Hollywood actors, Tia Carrere and Lou Diamond Philips.
  • The three term mayor of Lipa City seek higher office by later part of this decade. She became the first female governor of Batangas in May 21, 2007. - Written by RV (READ MORE)


Limang Dekada ng Reyna

Isa itong special edition ng ANB para sa V Mag at dahil ang theme ng V Mag ay nostalgia eh balikan natin ang limang dekada ng pagiging aktres sa tunay na kahulugan nito at isang mahusay na public servant ng ating pinakamamahal na idolong si Governor Vilma Santos.

Early ’60s nang magsimulang maging artista si Vi. Sa murang edad na siyam na taon ay nanalo agad siyang Best Child Actress ng FAMAS para sa kanyang unang pelikulang Trudis Liit. Dahil sa naging matagumpay ang kanyang unang pelikula kaya’t ito ay nasundan pa ng mga pelikulang Ging, Anak Ang Iyong Ina at marami pang iba. Nagpatuloy ang kanyang pagiging artista hanggang sa siya ay maging teenager na. Karaniwan na, sa mga artistang sumasapit sa alanganing edad ay humihinto muna sa paggawa ng pelikula subali’t sa kaso ni Vi, ito ay hindi nangyari. Gumawa pa rin siya ng mga pelikulang katulad ng Batang Iwahig, Ito Ang Pilipino, De Colores, Kasalanan Kaya?, Pinagbuklod ng Langit at Iginuhit ng Tadhana. Itinatambal pa siya noon kay Jay Ilagan. Noong huling bahagi ng Dekada ’60 hanggang sa pagpasok ng Dekada ’70 ay isinilang ang rivalry nila ni Nora Aunor. Sinasabing si Vi ay poor second lang kay Nora dahil noong panahong yun ay talagang malakas ang hatak ni Nora sa takilya dahil na din siguro sa mas marami siyang kasanggang movie writer at pinag-uusapan ang kanyang bawa’t kilos. Si Inday Badiday pa nga ay nagkaroon ng Operation Kumbento at si German Moreno naman ay ang Guy & Pip portion sa DZTR kung saan puro mga awitin ni Nora at Tirso ang kanyang pinapatugtog sa loob ng isang oras.

Samantala, hindi naman nagpahuli si Vi dahil kung merong pan de Nora, meron ding pan de Vilma. Kung merong Maria Leonora Theresa (isang manika) si Guy at Pip, may Honey (isang aso) sina Vi at Bot. Meron ding Superstar Magasin si Nora, si Vi naman ay Movie Queen Vilma Santos Magasin. Although hindi singer si Vi, nagkaroon siya ng dalawang Golden Record award mula sa mga awi-ting Sixteen at Palung-Palo Ako. Sa 1972 Quezon City Film Festival, ang "Dama de Noche." na dinerek ni Emmanuel H. Borlaza ni Vi at ang "And God Smiled At Me" ni Nora ay ilan lang sa mga kalahok na pelikula. Sa programa sa radyo ni Helen Vela sa DZTR ay nasabi niya na sa kanyang palagay ay si Vilma Santos ang tatanghaling Best Actress subali’t hindi ito nangyari dahil si Nora ang itinanghal na Best Actress pero nang sumunod na taon ay vindicated si Vi dahil siya naman ang napiling Best Actress ng FAMAS ka-tie si Boots Anson Roa para sa pelikulang Tatay Na Si Erap. Si Celia Rodriguez pa nga ang naging presentor ng Best Actress Award at ganito ang naging linya niya:."and the winner for Best Actress is Boots Anson Roa...and the lady of Dama de Noche, Vilma Santos!"

Sa 1973 Quezon City Film Festival, ang Ikaw Lamang ng Virgo Productions ang ipinanlaban ni Vi. Katambal niya si Paolo Romero (anak ni Liza Moreno) na nabalitang nanligaw din kay Vi at ito ay sa direksiyon ni Luis Enriquez aka Eddie Rodriguez. Ang pelikulang ito ang itinanghal na Best Picture (noong taong yun ang nanalong Best Picture ay nanalo na rin ng lahat ng acting at technical awards). Nang ginawa ni Vi ang Lipad Darna Lipad ay dito na nagbago ang ihip ng hangin. Nilampaso niya ang pelikula ni Fernando Poe, Jr. na may pamagat na Esteban at nang sumunod na linggo naman ay ang pelikula ni Nora at Joseph Estrada na Erap is My Guy. Ginawa rin nya ang pelikulang Dyesebel at Ang Mahiwagang Kabibe na ipinalaban pa sa Metro Manila Film Festival at ito ay naging box-office hit din sa takilya. Si Vi lamang ang tanging artistang nakaganap sa dalawang klasikong nobela ni Mars Ravelo na Darna (apat na beses via Lipad Darna Lipad, Darna Vs. The Planetwomen, Darna & The Giants at Darna at Ding) at Dyesebel. Nang maghiwalay sila ng landas ni Edgar Mortiz, ang kanyang perennial loveteam ay untiunting nagbago ang kanyang image. Itinambal si Vi sa mga artistang may edad sa kanya katulad nina Fernando Poe, Jr. sa Batya’t Palu-Palo at Bato Sa Buhangin, Joseph Estrada sa King Khayam & I, Dolphy sa Buhay Artista Ngayon, Eddie Rodriguez sa Nakakahiya at Hindi Nakakahiya Part 2, Chiquito sa Teribol Dobol, Jun Aristorenas sa Mapagbigay Ang Mister Ko, Romeo Vasquez sa Nagaapoy Na Damdamin at Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon at Dante Rivero sa Susan Kelly Edad 20. Gumawa siya ng mature role katulad ng Burlesk Queen na dinerek si Celso Ad Castillo at isinali sa 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival at humakot ng halos lahat ng awards. Itong pelikula ding ito ang itinanghal na Top Grosser.

Sa 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival, ang Rubia Servios, na dinerek ni Lino Brocka naman ang kanyang ipinanlaban at marami ang humuhulang siya ang makakakuha ng Best Performer Award subali’t si Nora ang itinanghal na nanalo na may patutsada pa sa kanyang speech na... "mamay, mali ang hula." Dinamdam ni Vi ng husto ang kanyang pagkatalo at nang mag-blow out si Manay Ichu Maceda sa Palamigan Restaurant na pag-aari niya (Manay Ichu) sa may Greenhills ay mahigit na isang oras silang nagkulong sa banyo at nag-iiyak. Bakit kaya mailap sa kanya ang acting award? Samanta, sa tv program ni Joe Quirino na Seeing Stars with JQ ay sinabi niya (JQ) na si Vilma Santos ang kanyang ibinoto bilang Best Performer (si JQ ay isa sa mga jurors sa MMFF). Noon ngang manalo si Nora ay si Vilma ang binati ni Eddie Garcia, ang direktor ng pelikula ni Nora. Eniwey, after nang awards night ay vindicated (na naman) ang pelikulang Rubia Servios dahil pila balde sa lahat ng mga sinehan ang pelikulang ito, samantalang ang pelikulang Atsay ni Nora ay nangangamote sa takilya. Sa totoo lang, talagang pinagkakagastusan ng mga Vilmanians ang mga pelikula ni Vi dahil pag pasok nila sa isang sinehang pinaglalabasan ng pelikula ni Vi, titingnan lang kung puno ng tao tapos lalabas na at lilipat sa ibang sinehan. Ang mga Noranians naman ay may mga dalang pagkain sa pagpasok sa sinehang pinaglalabasan ng pelikula ni Nora at doon ay maghapong kakain at panonoorin ang pelikula ni Nora.

Sa huling bahagi ng Dekada ’70 ay nakapag-produce si Vi (VS Productions, Inc.) ng mga pelikulang Pagputi Ng Uwak Pagitim Ng Tagak, Halik Sa Paa Halik Sa Kamay, Mga Rosas Sa Putikan, Apoy Sa Ibabaw Apoy Sa Ilalim, Coed at iba pa. Ang klasikong pelikulang Pagputi Ng Uwak Pagitim Ng Tagak na dinerek ni Celso Ad Castillo ay naging Best Picture sa Urian at FAMAS Awards nang taong 1978. Taong 1978 din nang mabalitang may Betamax sina Vi at Romeo Vasquez pero ito ay hindi napatunayan. As a matter of fact, sinabi ni Manay Ichu Maceda na kung sino man ang makakapagbigay sa kanya ng Betamax copy ay bibigyan niya ng pabuyang Php 1,000,000 pero walang nangahas na makapagbigay. Sa totoo lang din, ang Betamax issue na ito ang lalong nakapagpaningning ng bituin ni Miss Vilma Santos. Taong 1980, sa FAMAS awards, may nakapagsabing si Vilma Santos daw ang nanalong Best Actress para sa pelikulang Langis At Tubig pero ito ay may bura at napatungan ng ibang pangalan. Si Dindo Fernando ang presentor sa Best Actress at ibinigay pa nga niya kay Vi ang nasabing papel. Sa 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival, humakot ng maraming awards ang pelikulang Kisapmata nina Charo Santos, Jay Ilagan at Vic Silayan. Sa tatlong artistang nabanggit si Charo lang ang hindi nanalo. Si Eddie Rodriguez ang presentor ng Best Actress Award at ganito ang pagkakasabi niya:."and the winner is...your favorite and mine...Miss Vilma Santos para sa pelikulang Karma." Nagwala si Jay Ilagan dahil sa hindi pagkakapanalo ni Charo. Si Chanda Romero, na isa sa mga kasama niya sa nasabing pelikula ang tumanggap ng award para kay Vi dahil hindi nakadalo si Vi at ganito ang naging dialog ni Chanda..."mabuti pa si Vi, may Edu na, may Lucky pa (dahil kapapanganak lang ni Vi kay Luis) at may best actress award pa."

Kinabukasan, lalong pinilahan ang pelikulang Karma. Kasama ko ang aking mga kaibigang pumila at nanood ulit ng Karma sa dating Quad (ngayon ay Glorietta 1 na) sa Makati City. May isang babaeng nakapila sa likuran namin ang nagsalita ng... "pinipilahan na naman ang Best Actress." Dahil dito ay ilang taong din siyang naging Reyna ng Takilya pero iba’t iba ang hari katulad nina Fernando Poe Jr, Eddie Rodriguez, Dolphy at Ramon Revilla. Sa pagsapit ng dekada ’80 ay dumating sa kanya ang isa sa pinakamalaking dagok sa kanyang buhay dahil hindi niya namalayan na baon na pala siya sa utang. Si Manay Ichu Maceda at Atty. Esperidion Laxa ang kanyang naging adviser. Gumagawa siya ng pelikula nang hindi sumasayad sa kanyang palad ang mga kinita niya dahil deretso agad ito sa bangko. Kapapanganak pa lang noon niya kay Lucky subali’t naging hit sa takilya ang kanyang mga pelikula katulad ng Ex-Wife, Hiwalay, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Karma, Relasyon, Sinasamba Kita, Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan, Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? at Adultery: Aida Macaraeg Case No. 7892 Noong Dekada ’80 pa rin, si Vi lang ang tanging artistang nakakuha ng may pinakamaraming acting at box office awards. Matatandaang si Vi ay nakakuha ng tatlong sunod-sunod na Best Actress award mula sa Urian (1982, 1983 at 1984) sa mga pelikulang Relasyon, Broken Marriage at Sister Stella L. Nakakuha rin siya ng apat na Best Actress Award mula sa FAMAS (1981, 1982, 1987 at 1988) sa mga pelikulang Pakawalan Mo Ako, Relasyon, Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos at Tagos Ng Dugo dahilan para nang sumunod na taon ay tanghalin siyang Hall of Famer sa FAMAS. Si Vi pa rin ang kaunaunahang Best Act ress awardee ng Film Academy of the Philippines para sa pelikulang Relasyon, kung saan si dating First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos ang nagabot ng tropeyo kay Vi. Ilang box-office awards din ang >>nakuha ni Vi at siya pa din ang kauna-unahang Hall of Famer Box Office Queen. Si Vi pa rin ang kauna-unahang Grand Slam Queen ng Best Actress kung saan sa kanyang tv show na Vilma In Person ay binigyan siya ng Walis award dahil winalis niya lahat ng Best Actress award sa iba’t ibang award giving bodies noong 1983. Sa huling bahagi ng dekada ’80 at sa pagpasok ng Dekada ’90, ang kanyang Vilma Show ang isa sa pinakamatagumpay na tv show sa buong kapuluan. Palagi itong number one sa tv rating at si Vi ang highest paid tv star noong mga panahong yun. Binigyan siya ng Star Awards ng Best Musical Variety Show Host at ang Vilma Show ay ilan ding beses nanalo ng Best Musical Variety Show. Sa Catholic Mass Media Award, ang Vilma Show ay binigyan ng Hall of Fame at nanalo din ito ng Golden Dove Award at naging isa sa finalists sa US TV awards.

Sa personal na buhay ni Vi ay naging Mrs. Vilma Santos Recto siya noong December 11, 1992. Libu-libong tao ang sumugod sa Sa San Sebastian Cathedral, Lipa City para saksihan ang pag-iisang dibdib nina Vilma at Ralph. Ang kasalang Vilma at Ralph ay isa sa masasabing Wedding of the Year dahil laman sila ng iba’t ibang magasin at pahayagan nang sumunod na araw. Sa acting awards naman, isang dekada din bago naagaw kay Vi ang Grand Slam Best Actress at ito ay nakamit ni Lorna Tolentino para sa pelikulang Narito Ang Puso Ko subali’t nang sinundang taon ay nabawi agad ni Vi kay Lorna ang Grand Slam Best Actress (pangalawa na ito ni Vi) dahil sa pagkakamit niya ng awards mula sa Famas, Star, Urian at Film Academy of the Philippines para sa pelikulang Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story na dinerek ni Laurice Guillen. Mula naman sa Star awards ay nabigyan si Vi ng Darling of the Press at nasabi nyang ito ang isa sa pinakamimithi niyang award. Ang Quezon City Jaycees ay nabigyan din si Vi ng COYA award. Taong 1999, nang muling makuha ni Vi ang pangatlong Grand Slam Best Actress para sa pelikulang "Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?" ng Star Cinema na dinerek ni Chito Roño. Ang "Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?" rin ang una niyang International Best Actress award mula sa Brussells International Film Festival at nakakuha ng Special Jury award mula sa Asian Film Festival. Sa huling bahagi ng Dekada ’90 rin ay nagpasya si Vi na kumandidatong mayor ng Lipa City dahil na rin sa paghihikayat sa kanya ng iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan. Nanalo siyang mayor ng Lipa City at sa loob ng siyam na taong paglilingkod ay nagkaroon siya ng "legacy" sa kanyang mga constituents >>hanggang sa naging governor na siya ng probinsiya ng Batangas. Sa pagpasok ng bagong milenyo ay wala pa ring sawa ang pagkakamit niyang mga awards. Naging Box Office Queen si Vi noong taong 2000 para sa pelikulang Anak. Ang Anak ang number one box-office champion in terms of audience. Natanggap muli niya ang kanyang pangapat na Grand Slam Best Actress Awards mula sa pelikulang "Dekada ’70" na dinerek pa din ni Chito Roño. Sa “Dekada ’70” rin niya natanggap ang kanyang pangalawang international best actress awards mula sa Cinemanila Film Festival. Noong July 4, 2005 ay binigyan si Vi ng Gawad Plaridel Award mula sa UP College of Mass Communications. Si Vi ang pangalawang recipient ng Gawad Plaridel. Ilang beses din siyang ginawaran bilang Most Outstanding Mayor ng Lipa City mula sa iba’t ibang sektor. Talagang napakakulay ng buhay ni Vi, mula sa pagiging Trudis Liit, Darna, Dyesebel, Burlesk Queen, Sister Stella L, Dolzura Cortez, Baby Vi, Wonder Vi, Mayor Vi at ngayon naman ay Governor Vi. Abangan na lang natin ang mga susunod na kabanata ng kanyang buhay. Mabuhay ka Governor Vi! Isa kang ehemplo ng isang taong dapat idolohin hindi lang bilang isang mahusay na artista kundi isa ring tapat na public servant. We are proud of you! Bow!!! - Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos, Through the Years
(or Why She Is Still on Top)

Philippine movie queens, superstars and so-called divas have come and gone. They are either dead, in total or semiretirement, relegated to supporting roles, or had a reversal of fortune. Forty-two years in the acting business and fiftysomething, a death knell for any movie queen, Vilma Santos, the Philippines' Star for All Seasons, remained formidable in her enviable stature as the country’s highest paid, most awarded dramatic actress and perhaps the longest reigning movie and box-office queen title holder. Known as Baby Vi, Ate Vi, or Vi to her fans and colleagues, the unsinkable Queen Star is not only known for her acting prowess but also, to the surprise of doomsayers and detractors, a very capable and effective Mayor of Lipa city, Batangas. Having no college degree nor experience in governance and public service, three-term elected Mayor Santos has turned husband Sen. Ralph Recto's town as one of the most progressive cities in the country. Balikbayans, visitors, tourists and the curious have only but praises for the changes in Lipa, its growth and development since Mayor Vilma took charged. For her excellent governance and management of Lipa, she has received various recognitions/citations/awards from both the public and the private sector. And in two national surveys, Vilma came out on top, number 6 and 86, as the country's most influential/admired people.

Fifty plus acting awards, and still counting, the most for any Filipino actor, including two international trophies from the prestigious Brussels and Cine Manila film festivals, a record four Grand slams for best actress, the most awarded actress in the Urian (8), PMPC Star (6), PASADO (4) and Tanglaw (2), several Lifetime Film achievement trophies, a FAMAS Hall of Fame recipient, several movie queen and box-office titles, countless awards and citations for the most-awarded TV musical-variety program in Philippine TV history, Vilma!, and still collecting honors for her shrewd and savvy approach to city management, the diminutive and youthful-looking Vilma Santos is not content with her rich and enviable resume of accomplishments on film, TV and politics. Not that she is being selfish or obsessed, it is destiny! From her Trudis Liit days, her fist FAMAS, her collaboration with Lolita Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden and Eddie Rodriguez, to her teen-age salad days as second fiddle to then superstar Nora Aunor, to her love affairs, a failed first marriage, to a producer who lost her shirt in the ungrateful showbiz, and going home a loser to Nora Aunor in acting jousts failures have only honed Vilma to become the number one actress and mayor of the land. She learned from her mistakes, sought the advice of the knowledgeable supporters, and regrouped herself to fight on!

Before we know it, she has embraced change for the better. She chose her movies and directors well (Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Chito Rono, Mike De Leon, Joel Lamangan and Laurice Guillen, among others) and won a phalanx of Best Actress awards. She reinvented herself in movies that are now classics. Her daring turn as a stripper in Burlesk Queen was a major turning point in her otherwise predictable, ho-hum acting career. Her first Grand slam foray via the mistress with a difference in Relasyon. The activist nun in Sister Stella L. The timid at first but turned activist Mother Courage in Dekada 70. The unforgettable AIDS victim in Dolzura Cortez. Her engaging role as Lea, the liberated single mother in Bata, Bata. Her memorable, intense and confident Lillia Chiong character in Mano Po 3, her latest triumph, is further proof of Vilma’s reputation as the most versatile actress of the Philippines. Writes one movie critic: It is to Vilma Santos’ credit that she managed to survive her rivalry with Aunor by taking on unusual, gutsy roles. Revered movie critics such as Nestor Torre and the international community of film cineastes have had positive reviews of her legendary film roles. Variety magazine, Hollywood entertainment bible, has coined a most appropriate title for the Drama Queen, the Filipina Cinematic Diva. Says Mr. Torre of Vilma’s acting style verus Nora: Vilma is more structured and plotted which enables her to come up with more focused, textured and thematically insightful performances. Whether it is the acting business, the entertainment business (she, along with the late Nida Blanca, are perhaps the two actresses who are endowed with tripping the light fantastic at their dancing best) and politics, the quintessential Ms. Vilma Santos has come up to the challenge. Her contemporaries are neither here nor there.

So what's next for the Philippines' most successful cinema legend and effective mayor, adoting mother of sons Luis Manzano and Ryan Christian-Recto and loving wife of Senator Ralph Recto? Governor? Senator? Directing? The stage?. Personal appearances abroad? More movies? (The acting diva is currently wrapping up a two-part "Maalaala Mo Kaya" TV special about cerebral palsy, and will soon starts a new movie with a gay theme, Flores De Mara). The possibilities are endless for the Victorious Vilma. Like Midas who has a golden touch in most everything she does, the Vilma mystique lives on. TV remakes of her gigantic fantasy classics (she is the original fantaserye Queen, as if you didn't know) such as Darna, Dyesebel and Kampanaerang Kuba are but coattails of a glorious, colorful and successful movie career. Her inclusion as one of the three finalists of the U.P. Gawad Plaridel for Film is another feather added to her cap. (As of press time, she has added this recognition to her feather cup! - editor) Can the National Artist Award be far behind then? It is up to the critics? the public and history. After all, Vilma Santos has done her best. Movies. TV. Public Servant-hood. Wife. Mother. Armed with a deep spiritual faith that strengthens her, a keen sense of perfection and competition, humility in triumphs and losses, an innate charm that is her trademark and a nerve of steel, professionalism and hard work in juggling her multilayered roles as wife, mother, actress and mayor these traits are what makes Vilma Santos the success that she is. No one comes close. With a little bit of luck, prayer and support of her loyal fans and admirers, her winning streak continues. And her best is yet to come! You ain't seen nothin' yet! Vilma Santos...The Eternal Philippine Movie Queen! Ang Nag-iisang Bituin! - Mario O. Garces, RN, BSN, MBA (READ MORE)


Golden Moments

If Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos were to write her autobiography, she would need more than three volumes to include all the interesting aspects of her life which has been a journey that slipped to the depths of despair and sprang back to heights of ecstasy. And if her life story were to be filmed, she would need a series of trilogies (to surpass Shake, Rattle & Roll which is now on its 14th edition) to cover her showbiz and political career and, lest you forget, her checkered love life. Asked how many leading men there would be, Vilma said in jest, “Basta, marami! All-star-cast, hehehehe!” This year, Vilma is celebrating her 50th year in showbiz and Star Cinema has seen it fit to mark the milestone with the movie The Healing, Vilma’s second time to work with director Chito Roño (the first was in Dekada ’70) and her first time to work with Kim Chiu in a story about a faith healer who brings not just healing but also a curse to a community. Opening nationwide in more than 100 theaters on Wednesday, July 25, The Healing also stars, among others, Janice de Belen, Mark Gil, Jhong Hilario, Allan Paule, Daria Ramirez, Cris Villanueva, Ces Quesada, Ynez Veneracion, Martin del Rosario, Chinggoy Alonso, Pokwang, Carmi Martin and Joel Torre.

Oh wait, when she turns 59 on Nov. 3 this year, Vilma will indeed release her biography. Asked if somebody, anybody, would scream “Ouch!” when he (or she) read it, Vilma broke into her Star For All Seasons smile, “Wait and see!” Meanwhile, to celebrate her 50th year in showbiz, Conversations asked Vilma to make a list of the “golden moments” in her life.

Nov. 3, 1953, the day I was born. In 1962 when I was eight years old, I went with my uncle, Amaury Agra (a cameraman) to Sampaguita Studio to watch a shooting. (Dr. Jose) “Doc” Perez, the Starmaker and head of the company, saw me, and there and then let me play one of the two kids in Anak, Ang Iyong Ina, starring Lolita Rodriguez and Luis Gonzales. I didn’t even have a screen test. A few days later, during a shooting lull I wandered around the huge studio and found myself in the office of Doc Perez where some 800 tots were auditioning for the title role in Trudis Liit, the next Sampaguita tearjerker. Join ako sa audition bigla! Doc Perez said, “Cry!” I cried. He said, “Laugh!” I laughed. He made me do other things. Next thing I knew, bida na ako sa Trudis Liit, where I won Best Child Actress (for Trudis Liit), my first award.

My full name is Rosa Vilma Santos. Doc Perez said, “Ang dami nang Rosa…may Rosa Rosal, may Rosa Mia, may Rosa Aguirre.” He dropped Rosa and that’s how I became known as simply Vilma Santos. My next movie was Ging (Premiere Productions) where I played a child actress. When I saw it in the theater, I cried and cried dahil naawa ako sa sarili ko. Another movie that made me cry was Love Story (Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw) and my own movie Anak where I played an OFW back from years in Hong Kong only to find that my daughter (played by Claudine Barretto) has grown estranged from me.

When I developed a crush (my first) on my classmate in elementary school. I wonder, nasaan kaya siya ngayon? I reached the so-called “awkward stage”…too old for child roles but too young for adult roles. My first team-up with Bobot (Edgar Mortiz) was in Young Love (Sampaguita Pictures) in 1970, kasama namin sina Tirso (Cruz III) at Nora (Aunor). Soon, we became known as Vi & Bot and Guy & Pip. Uy, baka hindi n’yo alam, naging recording star din ako, hehehe! Remember Sweet Sixteen (you know, never been kissed, never been loved…)? Kinareer ko talaga ang pagka-singer ko.

I signed a contract with Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions (TIIP) owned by (the late) lawyer Espiridion Laxa who became like a second father to me. My 18th birthday (Nov. 3, 1971) was a whole-day celebration. Fans from as far north as Ilocos and as far south as Cebu came to greet me. The day was capped by a formal ball at The Plaza with then senatorial candidate Manda Elizalde as special guest. My philosophy in life is: Make hay while the sun shines. Did you know that I’m afraid of snakes, especially the long and big ones? That’s why when I go to the Manila Zoo, I stay away from the snakes. You can just imagine how traumatic it was when as Darna (Lipad, Darna, Lipad) I had to fight with snakes. Hindi ako nakatulog ng ilang gabi. I had nightmares about snakes.

My first TV show was D’Sensations. Bata pa ako noon. Marami kami roon. Then, I hosted my own show, VIP (Vilma In Person). My first time to visit Disneyland with my mom. We both cried because we missed my siblings. How we wished that they were with us. A few years later, our wish came true when we all traveled together and visited Disneyland.

Being paired with top actors like Dolphy, Fernando Poe Jr. (Bato sa Buhangin) and Eddie Rodriguez (in Nakakahiya). Nakakalungkot isipin na wala na silang lahat. In 1972, I won my first FAMAS Best Actress award (for Dama de Noche). I never thought I would win, kasi ang bibigat ng ibang nominees including sina Pilar Pilapil and Amalia Fuentes (for Uliran). Nag-tie kami ni Boots (Anson-Roa, for Tatay na si Erap).

Working with top directors like Lino Brocka (Rubia Servios, Aida Macaraig, etc.), Ishmael Bernal (Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, etc.), Mike de Leon (Sister Stella L.), Celso Ad. Castillo (Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak), Laurice Guillen (Ipagpatawad Mo, etc.) and others. And then, na-direk na rin ako ng new breed of directors like Rory Quintos (Anak); Olive Lamasan (In My Life); and Chito Roño (Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?; Dekada ’70; and now, The Healing).

I met Edu (Manzano). We got married in Las Vegas. Luis Philippe (Manzano) was born on April 21, 1981.

Did you know that I am hypochondriac? When I read or hear about symptoms, the next day parang nararamdaman ko na at nag-e-excuse ako sa shooting. When I was declared the first Best Actress Grand Slam winner (for Relasyon). My team-up with Boyet (Christopher de Leon). I have lost count. I think more than 20 ‘yon. Uy, never lumigaw sa akin si Boyet, ha! Never talaga, hehehehe! (Note: Cineaste Mario E. Bautista very kindly furnished Conversations the complete list of the 22 Vi-Boyet films: Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig, Relasyon, Pinay American Style, Magkaribal, Broken Marriage, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali, Ikaw ay Akin, Disco Fever, Sinasamba Kita, Haplos, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Karma, Minsan Pa Natin Hagkan ang Nakaraan, Paano Ba ang Mangarap, Imortal, Ipagpatawad Mo, Dolzura Cortez Story, Nag-iisang Bituin, Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal, Dekada ’70 and Mano Po 3: My Love.)

I signed a contract as endorser for Lux in a commercial, and then for Eskinol. In 1985, I met Ralph (Recto) in Hong Kong. He was then a student. We got married on Dec. 10, 1992. Then, he won as congressman of Batangas. Then he became a senator. When Ralph and I had our first LQ (Lovers’ Quarrel). It was an ordinary misunderstanding. When Ralph was gone for almost one month, Luis approached me and said, “Mom, I miss Tito Ralph!” Ralph and I kissed and made up. Ryan Christian was born on March 29, 1996.

Looking back, my career took a sharp turn when I played the title role in Burlesk Queen, directed by Celso Ad. Castillo. It was a very controversial film that won awards at the Metro Filmfest and the awards were later taken back. I also did a landmark sexy role in Miss X, directed by Gil Portes, shot in the Red District of Amsterdam. Years back, I went bankrupt. Ang dami kong utang! All my earnings went straight to payments for my debts; hindi ko nahahawakan ang pera ko. I didn’t lose hope. Finally, I was able to settle everything. I learned a lot from that episode in my life — that is, to save and to spend wisely. In 1998, I was elected Mayor of Lipa City. My critics were saying na wala akong magagawa dahil artista lang ako but I have proven them wrong. I’m grateful to my constituents in Batangas for trusting me enough to vote for me as the first lady governor of the province after I served three terms as Lipa mayor.

How different is winning a Best Actress award from winning in an election? Magkaibang-magkaiba. You win an acting award for a done job. Sa politics, you win and you have to prove that you are worth it by doing your job well. When I delivered by first SOPA (State Of The Province Address) as Governor of Batangas. I am liberal as a mother, pero may limitations. Kami nina Luis at Ryan, para lang barkada. Did I ever spank them? Never! Wait, I did spank Luis, but only very mildly, when he was two years old kasi he had this bad habit of throwing away toys handed to him. That was the first and the last time I did it to him. Later, I explained to him why. My annual vacations with my family and close friends. This year, we’ve been to Singapore and other Asian countries, and then to Hawaii. During these vacations, I can relax and be myself, no pressure. I feel recharged when I return to work.

My most painful and saddest experience was when my father (Amado Constantino Santos) died in 1984. I still miss him so much that I can’t help but cry. My most joyful experience was when I gave birth to Luis and Ryan. Heaven! I couldn’t believe na may dalawang nilalang na nanggaling sa katawan ko. The experience was incredible! I used to be an insomniac. I would stay awake until the early morning hours. No, hindi ako nagpa-treat or nagpa-therapy. Basta na lang nawala when I started observing regular working hours as public servant. Now, I can sleep like a log. No, I’m not afraid of growing old. I believe that life would be much easier if the emphasis is on how to grow old gracefully rather than on how to look young forever.

What’s the best thing about me? I’m a simple person. If you know me well, I am a good friend. And the worst thing about me? Don’t push me too hard because I know how to fight back. I have nothing against people who undergo cosmetic surgery. No need for me — so far. Well, I guess I won’t mind kung kinakailangan na. Hindi pa naman. I think that being happy is the best beauty regimen. It lights up your life, it makes your complexion glow, it makes you look at the positive side of life.

Do I have regrets? Yes, I have, including not having finished schooling but I tried to make up for it by self-study. Marami din akong natutuhan through experience. Sabi nga ng song na My Way, “regrets I have a few but then again too few to mention…” The best lesson I learned from showbiz? People say that showbiz is the most ungrateful profession but I beg to disagree. I owe showbiz a lot. I am what I am today because of showbiz. I am blessed in this industry. Malaki ang utang na loob ko sa industriya at sa madla, at sa aking Vilmanians.

My dream roles? To play Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, my role model. Mother Teresa never preached; she just did her work, helping the sick and the poor. I really admire people who do missionary work. Yes, I believe in the afterlife. What would I tell God when I meet Him? “Please allow us, most especially my family, to be with You in Paradise!” - Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star, July 27, 2012 (READ MORE)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to preserve the film legacy of actress, Vilma Santos, and to make her career information available to future generations. We believe this is NOT an infringement of any such copyrighted materials as in accordance to the fair dealing clauses of both the Canadian and U.S. Copyright legislation, both of which allows users to engage in certain activities relating to non-commercial/not for profit research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting. We are making an exerted effort to mention the source of the material, along with the name of the author, performer, maker, or broadcaster for the dealing to be fair, again in accordance with the allowable clauses. For more info: Wikipedia: Fair Dealing

PLEASE NOTE: Paid advertising on Star For All Seasons may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied. The owner of this web-site is not earning any revenue from advertising posted in this site. This is in connection to the “not for profit/commercial use” fair use notices the site owner have been disclosing to this site’s readers.