Tuesday, November 29, 2011


“Kuya Rod…ayokong magsisi ka…nasasaktan ako…basta’t mahal kita, mahal na mahal kita, basta’t mahal mo ako, hindi tayo dapat magsisi, hindi tayo dapat mahiya!” - Nanette

Basic Information: Direction: Celso Ad Castillo; Adapted screenplay: Mauro Gia Samonte; Original screenplay: Celso Ad Castillo; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher Deleon, Eddie Garcia, Lorli Villanueva, Joseph Sytangco, Joonee Gamboa, Alma Moreno, Rez Cortez, Odette Khan, Pedro Faustino; Original Music: Ernani Cuenco; Cinematography: Ricardo David; Editing: Augusto Salvador; Producer: Archipelego Films; Other Info: Celso Ad Castillo directed a similar titled film, “Tag-ulan, Tag-araw” starring Dina Bonevie and Mark Gil in 1992; Released date: 24 October 1975

Plot Description: A young co-ed (Vilma Santos) falls in love with her first-degree cousin (Christopher De Leon), who stays with her family while studying in Manila. Their forbidden affair, which they keep secret from their family, is revealed when she becomes pregnant. For the scandalized family, abortion is the only solution left, which the two lovers resist. - ABS-CBN (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: The very first film of Christopher Deleon and Vilma Santos, considered as one of the most successful love team Philippine cinema ever produced. As of 2008, Deleon and Santos has twenty-three films under their belt.

Film Reviews: The film “Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw” directed by Celso Ad Castillo started with Nanette (Vilma Santos) meeting Rod (Christopher Deleon) while vacationing in their rest house along the beach. It was clear to both that it was love at first sight but this instant chemistry ended when they discovered they are first cousins. Faith continued to play an important role to their initial attraction as Rod joined Nanette along with her parent to Manila where Rod was permitted by his parent to continue his study. Rod and Nanette at first decided to resist their feeling for each other by dating other people but their love for each other are more intense than what their mind dictates. The two started to have a secret affair culminating to a hot sex when they came back to the rest house when another summer arrives. As expected Nanette gets pregnant and the problem to expose, their taboo affair is ticking. Worst, Nanette’s morning sickness was noticeable to her suspicious mother played wonderfully by Lorli Villanueva.

When finally Nanette’s family found out her condition, she was beaten by her angry father but she remained tight lipped to tell who impregnated her. As Rod tried to remained his calm, Nanette’s family locked her to her room until she’s ready to talk. Rod climbed to the balcony to speak to her and that’s when Nanette’s family discovered who is the father. As Rod came down to the balcony, he was cursed by both parents and was beaten by them as Nanette beg for mercy. Rod was hospitalized as his parent came from the province and beg for forgiveness to the angry Julio (Eddie Garcia), Nanette’s father. Julio was fuming and throws the couple out the house. He also mentioned that they are planning to abort Nanette’s baby. When Rod found out from his parents the planned abortion, he left the hospital and went back to his uncle's house. Very timely, Rod arrives as Nanette together with her family was headed to the abortion clinic. With the help of two security guards, Rod was controlled as his uncle’s car passed him and Nanette cried for intervention. Rod followed the car and was almost successful as the car stopped for the traffic lights. But his attempt failed as the car continued its destination. The end.

The Catholic Church prohibits marriage between first cousins and it is considered a sin. Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw successfully tackles this topic with convincing scenarios and believable characters. Celso Ad Castillo’s style remained true to many films in the 60s with canned music and repetitive voice over by its two main characters. One scene you will hear Christopher narrates his feelings and the next scene it was Vilma’s turn to speak. Most of this narration or voice over while they are playing in the rain on the streets or on beach. This is the first film by Vilma Santos and Christopher Deleon and it was clear that the two have that chemistry on screen. The film ensemble was quite impressive starting with Eddie Garcia and Lorli Villanueva as Nanette’s parents. As Julio, Eddie Garcia was animated at times but his character balances out the mother role of Lorli Villanueva. Joseph Sytanco’s role as Nanette brother was minimal and he doesn’t have enough lines but his quiet scenes were effective. Johnee Gamboa and Odette Khan’s performance as Rod’s parents were excellent. The agony on Odette’s voice as Johnee, her husband begs for forgiveness on behalf of their son was very believable. The two main characters, Christopher Deleon and Vilma Santos obviously carried the film with surprising maturity. Considering this was their first team-up and both were very young. In 1975, both were still in transitions, from teenybopper stars of the musical era to serious actors.

Christopher Deleon’s performance was quite impressive as the apologetic Rod, except for some scenes where you can see his nostril moves, he gave a very affecting performance. Vilma Santos equally balance the equation with a touching show of emotions that we seldom see in her early films that are mostly musicals, fantasy or comedies. Three scenes stand out. First was in the bus where she confronted her “Kuya Rod” to not to give-up on their relationship. Second when her parents caught them in the balcony. She begs them to stop beating up her “Kuya Rod.” And then finally, the driving to the abortion clinic scene, she cried her heart out begging them to stop and cried for help to her “Kuya Rod,” who was running behind and trying very hard to stop the car. Celso Ad Castillo successfully gave us a very moving film. Even with the very annoying number of voice-over scenes, scenes that you will hear the two main characters talks but you will see them not opening their mouth, the film has so many good qualities that you will forgive these flaws. We probably attributed these flaws to the style of many films in the 60s and 70s. Ricardo David’s cinematography was excellent particularly the many scenes on the streets. You can see many spontaneous shots of people that were gawking at Christopher Deleon running like a maniac. David’s very intricate camera work inside the car, dinner table and at the living room while Nanette’s mother was playing piano adds to the intense mood of the film, this is despite some shot where you can see the shadow of the camera particularly when Christopher left the house because he can’t stand to see Nanette being slap repeatedly by her angry father. The film was fast paced, thanks to Augusto Salvador's editing. There are many scenes where the background music matches the mood like the choir/choral-like music at the very end of the film but Ernani Cuenco used so many canned music that sometimes it was very distracting. Like the voice over style used by Castillo, the musical score used in this film was typical of the 60s and 70s. Even the excellent Lino Brocka film, "Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang" used this kind of style. Overall, Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw was a superb film that highlighted the potential on screen chemistry and talents of the screen team of Christopher Deleon and Vilma Santos. For their fans, I would recommend to have a copy of this classic film. Special thanks to Liam Tayag for downloading this film via Youtube. – RV

Celso Ad Castillo: I see the movie in my mind even before I start shooting. I’m meticulous. I control everything on the set, even during post-production — from editing and music to sound. My audience knows my style. It’s like painting: You discover your style, then you do it. I caught “Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw” with Vilma Santos and Boyet de Leon on Cinema One the other day, and I clearly saw my own style, in terms of sensitivity, shots and drama. - Ronald Mangubat,“DIRECTOR’S CUT: Celso Ad Castillo goes digital,” Inquirer, 06/09/2007

Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw is the first screen team-up of Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon. That fact alone gives the film a unique importance. This partnership paved the way for a string of memorable films together. They played notable roles, shared celebrated scenes, delivered unforgettable dialogues, and reaped acclaim for their performances. Theirs is the ripest love team in Philippine cinema, transcending cheap romance in exchange of maturity, often appearing as a couple in the hardest of circumstances. In Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, they play cousins who fall in love with each other, and knowing it is socially unacceptable, they try to fall out of it. It seems awkward for a first team-up, considering its taboo subject, but seeing young Vilma and Boyet weep as they fight for their impossible love story, it only shows that they only get better the harder their roles are. It is already clear in the beginning that their romance is doomed. Rod and Nanette meet in a beach house owned by her parents, who bring Rod along to stay in their place in Manila to study. It is love at first sight—Rod sees her playing along with her friends in the beach and as she runs to get her dog, they exchange names, glances, and affection. Right that very moment, they are in love. They walk around the place, holding hands, sharing their surprise on how comfortable they already are with each other. There is nothing really malicious about it. We all know that their affection is sincere. They have longed for it—and it came. - Lilok Pelikula (READ MORE)

Noel insisted that I watch Tag-Ulan Sa Tag-Araw, a Vilma Santos-Christopher de Leon movie from the 70s. Hadn’t realized it was written and directed by Celso Ad. Castillo, the demented genius of Philippine cinema. I used to see the movie on TV ages ago, and I’ve never forgotten the final scene in which Vilma’s parents are taking her away, Christopher is chasing the car on foot, and at every stoplight he hurls himself at the car, smashing the windows and bouncing off the hood. It was intense and oddly, not laughable. Nenet (Santos) and Rod (De Leon) are cousins who fall in love at first sight before they learn that they are first cousins. Rod has come to Manila to attend university; he lives in the house of Nenet’s parents. The parents are played by Eddie Garcia and Lorli Villanueva, and their hamminess fits the movie perfectly. They’re not the villains: there is no villain, the culprit is passion. Rod does the decent thing: he avoids Nenet and tries to move out of the house. But this is first love of the hysterical kind, the passion that drives the young insane, and the actors are so committed to their roles that you believe every cheesy line they utter. Their love overrides all rational thought. In one scene Nenet confronts Rod on the bus—she always calls him “Kuya Rod”, reminding everyone of the incest—and in front of all the passengers, declares that she doesn’t care if they’re cousins, she loves him. Instead of eliciting giggles, the scene is genuinely disturbing. These young lovers are beyond silliness: they are in a delirium. Celso Ad. Castillo is a master at creating and drawing out emotional tension—as Noel pointed out, it’s almost like watching a horror movie. The lovers can’t abide parental counsel; what they need is an exorcist because they are possessed. There’s even a balcony scene, a demented reference to Romeo and Juliet. The copy is gray and brown with age, unrestored, lacks opening and closing credits, and don’t even mention subtitles or special features. We’re just glad it still exists. Tag-Ulan Sa Tag-Araw is available at video stores; Raymond found his copy on sale for 100 pesos. - Jessica Zafra (READ MORE)

"...Ad Castillo's Tag-Ulan sa Tag-Araw (Monsoon Rain in Summer, 1975) is about a young man (Christopher de Leon) who dorms with his uncle and aunt and falls in love with his cousin (played by a waiflike Vilma Santos). Ad Castillo tackles the sensational subject of incest by framing the two lovers' relationship as a kind of innocent affair, taking place in a countryside Eden. It's the kind of hackneyed concept that really shouldn't work; the result ought to be less like D.H. Lawrence and more like Emmanuelle. But Ad Castillo happens to have one of the most prodigiously talented eye in all of Philippine cinema, and the heedlessly lyrical manner in which he shot Tag-Ulan transforms softcore porn into something like art. Every rainfall, every shaft of light, every leafy shadow caught by his largely handheld camera makes you catch your breath; there is lovemaking without nudity, yet Ad Castillo shoots with such throbbing intensity you are nevertheless aroused..." - Noel Vera, Critique After Dark, 06 December 2012 (READ MORE)

Forest of the Heart - “...The best way to learn how to write is to keep on reading and writing. That was the advice I got from the late Vicente Rivera Jr., Literary Editor of the Weekly Graphic Magazine in 1965. Evidently concerned that I might be getting discouraged by the avalanche of rejections of my contributions to his section, Vic would write me such notes and attach them to the manuscripts that he sent back. Finally out of school, having permanently aborted my engineering studies, I was then working as a stay-in janitor-messenger in a travel agency in Binondo. That stay-in status gave me whole nights of pounding the typewriter for churning out short story manuscripts so endlessly it must seem that a friend of the agency owner who was doing PR for a brewery company would taunt me with ridicule: “The only good thing you are doing is you are helping the paper industry.” I would gape at the remark, quite baffled. And he would blurt out in harsh laughter, saying, “Imagine the tons of bond paper that you consume with what you are doing.” “Just you wait, Jimmy Boy. Just you wait.” At this point, I am constrained to flash forward. The time was 1970. That guy Jimmy had been waiting at the editorial offices of the Makabayan Publishing Corporation, publisher of the Weekly Nation, one of three leading magazines during the period. He did take time to wait, three, four hours maybe, so as to get an appointment for Luis Nepomuceno, producer of the Nepomuceno Productions of which he was the PRO, with the entertainment editor of the Weekly Nation — named Mauro Gia Samonte. Vic Rivera’s advice had borne fruit. I had kept reading and writing until, at long last, in 1965 I had my first-ever short story published in the Weekly Graphic, “Forest of the Heart.” That story would, a decade later, form the core of the screenplay of “Tag-Ulan Sa Tag-Araw,” the Vilma Santos-Christopher de Leon blockbuster film that I would write for direction by Celso Ad. Castillo. And the performance of the movie would tee me off in a career, both in screenwriting and in film direction, successful enough for Tatay to say he had not waited in vain. He got the pleasure of being included together with Nanay in one of the movies I directed. But didn’t I say, “If I were a fish”? I did, indeed. And as a fish, I was gasping for breath when Henry Sy suddenly dealt the Philippine film industry a death blow by banning adult movies in SM theaters, which comprise 80 percent of movie exhibition outlets; and adult movies were what the Philippine cinema was mainly about..." - Mauro Gia Samonte, Manila Times, 11 October 2016 (READ MORE)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sixteen Album Songs (Lyrics)


Kissing On The Park
Hugging On The Phone
Holding Hand In Hand
Down The Avenue

Strolling Down The Land
With Castles In The Air
A Kissin’ a Lovin’
A Kissin’ a Lovin’
A Kissin’ All Night Long

They Say I’m Only Sweet Sixteen
I’ve Never Been Kiss
I’ve Never Been Love
And All I Want Is Candy
Ice Cream, Teddy Bear and Lollipop

Riding On The Sun
A Lot Of Things We Do
Whispering To My Ears ” I Love You So”
(Repeat II, III, I, II)
A Kissing, A Lovin’
A Kissing, A Lovin’
A Kissing All Night Long (Fade)


Dry Your Eyes
Have A Little Smile
Won’t You Let The Sunshine through Your Hair
Wipe The tears
Discard Away The Fears
Don’t Be Afraid , To Walk By Yourself
Don’t Be Afraid , To Be Alone

And All The Blows,
That She Gave To You
Somehow Would Disappear From View
Then You Could Face The World With No regret
Just Like Before

Look Around
Never Try To Run
For The Things To Come
Could Be Your Chance
You’re Still Young,
To Suffer And To Cry
Don’t You Deny
For I Know your Part
I Also Cry, But They’re Gone
(Repeat Refrain, I )


Raindrop Keep falling On My Head
And Just Like The Guy
Who’s Feet Are To Big For His Bed
Nothing Seems To Fit
Those Raindrops Are Falling On My Head
They Keep Falling
So I Just Did Me Some Talking To The Sun
And I Say I Didn’t Like The Way
He’s Got Things Done
Sleeping On The Job
Those Raindrops Are Falling On My Head
They Keep Falling
But There’s One Thing I Know
The Blues They Sends To Meet
Won’t Defeat Me
It Won’t Be Long Till Happiness
Steps Up to Greet Me

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
But That Doesn’t Mean My Eyes
Will Still Be turning Red
Crying Is Not For Me
Cause I’ll Never Gonna Stop
The Rain By Complaining
Because I’m Free
Nothings Worry In Me


When The Clock Strike One
We Gonna Have Some Fun
When The Clock Strikes Two
I’m Outing For Two
My Love It’s You And Me
Your Hand, Holding Mine
We’ll Start The Fun
When The Clock Strike One

Your Sweet, Sweet Lips
Your Eyes That Shine
Your Rosy Cheeks
I Know They’re All Mind
(repeat I )

I’m Feeling Fine
Having So Much Fun
I’m Feeling Alright
Just Holding you Tight

When The Clock Strike Three
Love For You And Me
When The Clock Strike Four
We Gonna Have a Tour
In The Outer Space Of Love
With Kisses, romancing And Hugging
We’ll Start When the Clock Strike One
(Repeat III, I )


Sometimes I wonder Why
You Couldn’t Love me
When You Could See From The Start
How Much You Mean To Me
So Darling Tell Me Now
If I Could Get Your heart
So I Could held Myself really Tough

Sometimes, When I Feel Sad
I Always Call Your Name
And These I Can’t Explain
Cause Your Driving Me Insane
So Darling Tell Me Now
If I Could Get Your Heart
So I Could Told Myself Really Tough

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
My Heart Is Aching
La, la, la, la, la, la , la,
I Think I’m Dying
(Repeat I, III, II)


Used To be Afraid
I’ll Never Find, A Boy To Love
Hopefully, Good And Kind
Always On My Mind
Used To be Afraid
I’ll Never Find, A Boy To Love
Good And Kind

Then Along Came You “Edgar”
And I Know You’ll Be My Star
Young and Very Handsome
Full Of Lovely Things To Say
As Along Came You “Edgar”
And you ‘re A Star, You are

Used To Be An Ordinary
Lonely Little Girl
Living In A Shell
Never Having Fun
Used To Be An Ordinary
Lonely Little Girl
Living In A Shell
Not Having Fun
(Repeat Refrain)

Used to Date a Boy Who Swept Me Off My Feet
Someone I Admit While Walking Down The Street
Used to Date a Boy Who Swept Me Off My Feet
One Admit While Walking Down the Street
(Repeat Refrain)


Though’ We Gotta Say Goodbye
For The Summer
Darling I Promise You This
I’ll Send You All My Love
Everyday In A Letter
Sealed With A Kiss

Guess It’s Gonna Be A Cold
Lonely Summer
But I’ll Find The Emptiness
I’ll Send You All Love
Everyday In A Letter
Sealed With A Kiss

I’ll See You In The Sunlight
I’ll Hear Your Voice Everywhere
I’ll Run To Tenderly Hold You
But Darling You Wont Be There
I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye
For The Summer
Knowing The Love We’ll Miss
Oh Let us Make A Pledge To Me in September
And Sealed With A Kiss


People Always Say
Love Is Blind
Around Your Eyes
You’ll See Tears And Clouds
Before Myself I Think
It is Nice
It is Wonderful To Be In Love

But If this Feeling Inside My Heart
But There’s A Room
Cause You’re Bt My Side
Before Myself
I Think It Is Nice
It is Wonderful To be In Love

I Wanna Tell YouI’m Satisfied
To Be In Love
With The Boy Like You
I Didn’t Know
That Love Could be
As Wonderful As You
(Repeat I, II, I )
It Is Wonderful To Be In Love
It Is Wonderful To Be In Love


(Bring Back Your Love 3x To Me)
You Used To Tell Me Honey ” I Love You So”
And You Make Me Believe, You’re always true
But One day, While I was Walking
I Saw You With My Best Friend
Sharing Laughs, While You Broke All My Dreams

Bring Back Your Love (3X)
You Once Gave To Me
Bring Back Your Love (3X)
To Me

I Hate To do, For What You Did
Still I’m In Love With You
Cause the Feeling I Used To Hide
Stronger Than My Pride
If You Could Still Remember It Right
What I Told You Before
No Matter How You Hurt me
I Will Love You More

(Repeat Refrain 2x)
Love, Love
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la (4x)
Yesterday I Found Myself
Crying Alone With A Broken Heart
All The Promise You Make to me
They Just Banish
When you said Goodbye
Love, Love
You Make Me Sad
Love Love
You Broke My Heart
When Will I Find
Someone To mend
The Things You Left in My heart

Was Left Alone And Blue
Crying Alone Over You
Since For Me
There’s No Regret
Though I Felt It Hurt Inside Of Me
(repeat refrain)
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
(Repeat Refrain, I, Refrain 2x)


You Boy, Say To Me
That You Care
That You Like To Be
My Only One Forevermore

And You Say
Though You Are Away
I’m Always In Your Mind
And Till The End Of Time
You Say That You will always be True
Never Leave Me Blue

(Now) It’s My Turn
To Say My Heart Burst
And That It Fits
For Only You
And As For all
The Things You’ve set
I Say, So With Me
So With Me
(Repeat III)


I’ve Been Alone For Long
I’ve been Crying, Over You
I Never Thought
You Leave Me Here
And Then You Run Away From Me

You’ve Been Playing A Game or Two
You’ve been Treating Me
So Bad When I’m With You
Baby, Baby, Baby
You (Don’t) Made A Fool
Out Of me

You Know It’s Wrong To Lie
Cause Someone
Will Surely Cry

Photos and lyrics transcription courtesy of Nar Santander

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Discography: Sing Vilma Sing Greatest Hits (2005)

                           40th Anniversary Vicor Re-issue
Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

Monday, November 21, 2011

Discography: Aloha My Love (1972)

Side A
Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos
1. Hawaiian Medley
2. Beyond The Reef
3. All Alone Am I
4. Why Don’t You Believe Me
5. Eternally
6. My World Is Your World


Side B
Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos
1. Aloha Oe
2. Seven Lonely Days
3. Mandolins In The Moonlight
4. Daddy
5. Seventeen
6. Two People In Love

Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

"...Sa tuwing sumasapit ang Christmas at valentine’s Day ay nagtatapatan ang mga pelikula nila. Nang ginawa nina Guy at Pip sa Hawai ang pelikulang Blue Hawai, hindi nagpatalo ang Vilma at Edgar. Nagtungo rin sila sa Hawai at ginawa nila ang pelikulang Aloha, My Love bilang pantapat sa pelikula nina Nora at Tirso. Ganyan talaga kainit ang labanan noon ng dalawang parehang ito. Pagkatapos ipalabasa ang mga pelikulang Blue Hawai at Aloha My Love na parehong kumita sa takilya, nagtungo rin ang dalawang pangkat sa USa para gawin naman nila ang pang-Valentine’s Day offering nila. Don’t Ever Say Goodbye ang kina Vilma at Edgar, samantalang ang kina Guy at Pip naman ay ang Gift of Love. Hindi lang iyan. Tuwing sasapit naman ang Metro Manila Film Festival ay nagkakaroon din sila ng kanya-kanyang entry under their respective production companies – ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang for Vi and Bot at Sampaguita Pictures kina Guy at Pip. Halos sila na lang ang siyang pinapanood at iniidolo ng fans..." - Ely S. Sablan (READ MORE)

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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Discography: The Sensations (1971)

Side A
1. Good Morning Starshine (Vi)
2. Spinnig Wheel (Bot)
3. To Love Again (Vi&Bot)
4. A Love Unspoken
5. Anywhere I Wonder
6. I Wonder Why (Vi&Bot)

Side B
1. You Don’t Love Me Any More (D. Subido/ T. Soriano)
2. How I Wish I Were A Model (F. Lozano/O. Salazar)
3. Do Re Mi Fa Sol I Love You (Freddie Lozano)
4. Better Than All
5. Your Kisses Are Losing Their Sweetness (R Medina)
6. My First Kiss (Freddie Lozano)

Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Discography: Sweet Sweet Vilma (1971)

Side A
01. Don’t You break My heart
02. Mama
04. Our Day Will Come
06. May This Dream Come True

Side B
09. My Promise To You
11. I Thought I Drop A Line

Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Discography: Sweethearts (1971)

                          Side A
      • I Love You Honey (Robert Medina)
      • I Believe (Drake-Graham)
      • Green Grass Of Home (Putman-Loose)
      • Always With You (D & M. Subido)
      • My Rosary
      • From The Bottom Of my Heart (Danny Subido)
                          Side B
      • Have A Goodtime (Vi)
      • Yeahoo… (Vi)
      • I Have Dream (Vi&Bot)
      • My Boy Lollipop (Vi)
      • Dream
      • Always (Vi & Bot)
Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Discography: All I See Is You (1971)

Side A
1. Ati-Cu-Pung Singsing
2. Baby Cakes
3. Little Brown Gal
4. Grown Up Like Me
5. Nine Little Teardrops
6. Jealous Heart

Side B
1. Wonderful World Of Music
2. El Condor Pasa
3. Hawaiian Wedding Song
4. I Understand
5. My Special Angel
6. Just Say You Be Mine

Photos and Text courtesy of Nar Santander

Friday, November 11, 2011

RP Cinema’s Best Actress of All Time

One of the lingering showbiz debates concerns the choice for the greatest Pinay movie actress. The matter may now be settled with the Gawad Plaridel that the University of the Philippines bestows on outstanding Filipino mass media practitioners.

Established by the UP College of Mass Communication under Dean Nicanor G. Tiongson last year and derived from the nom de plume of Philippine hero and propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar, Gawad Plaridel is a form of lifetime-achievement honor with the recipient coming from any of the various fields that encompass mass media such as journalism, broadcast arts and, of course, cinema.

The first Gawad Plaridel awardee, Eugenia Apostol, hails from print media. For this year, it has been decided by the Gawad Plaridel organizers to hand out the plum to a film artist. Many welcome the choice of Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos getting the Gawad Plaridel, and many more could not less agree.

With a screen career spanning five decades, Vilma outshines her peers. She has proven herself not only as a consummate actress but also more importantly, a role model and enduring inspiration. The Gawad Plaridel is just the latest in the string of lifetime achievement awards Vilma has received in the course of her stellar career. It was the Film Academy of the Philippines that first extended Vilma such great honor in the early 1990s followed by the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences later in the decade and then the Cinemanila International Film Festival a couple of years back.

On top of all these distinguished honors for lifetime contribution to motion-picture arts, Vilma has been proclaimed on various occasions as the country’s premier actress, sole screen diva (*Filipino cinematic diva* as Hollywood bible Variety Magazine exactly put it in 2003), most celebrated actress, best actress for all seasons and reasons, national actress, film actress par excellence, etc. – all in testament to the magnitude of the artistic legacy attributed to the actress-politician idolized by throngs of ardent admirers.

All in all, Vilma has amassed more than four dozen trophies for her sterling performance in a gamut of noteworthy films that automatically form part of the country’s cinematic heritage. She has worked with the best talents that Philippine cinema could boast of, and the Gawad Plaridel accorded to her is in itself an honor Vilma could share with these industry colleagues allied with her.

The Gawad Plaridel citation says it all. Part of it reads: “(The choice of Ms. Vilma Santos as this year’s Gawad Plaridel recipient was) among other reasons for building a brilliant career which saw her grow from popular icon to professional actor through self-discipline and tireless honing of her craft; for bravely using her popularity as an actress to choose roles which bring to the public attention as astounding range of female experiences, as well as an array of problems confronting women of different classes and sectors in contemporary Filipino society; and for bringing to life on screen characters whose stories have the effect of raising or transforming the consciousness of women, leading them a few steps closer to a deeper understanding of their situation vis-à-vis the patriarchy and to the ability to control their own lives and make empowered choices of their own.” - Nonoy L. Lauzon, "RP Cinema’s Best Actress of All Time," RP Real Pinoy, The Best of the Philippines, Vol. 1 No. 4, July 2005, Page 40-41

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Charmed Life of Maria Rosa Vilma

Isang Martes ng umaga, ika-3 ng Nobyembre, 1953, sa Trozo, Magdalena, Tondo, Maynila ay may isinilang na isang cute bouncing baby girl sa Galang’s Maternity Clinic. Ang batang ito ay ipinaglihi sa kesong puti at labis labis na pagmamahal. Ang ina ay nagsilang na din ng isang batang babae two years earlier pero dito sa pangalawang batang ito ay walang pagsidlan sa kaligayahan ang kanyang nadarama. May “premonition” siya na ang batang ito ay lalaking “somebody special” and that she will lead a “charmed life.” Pinangalanan ng mag-asawang Amado Santos at Milagros Tuazon Santos ang kanilang baby ng MARIA ROSA VILMA.

Ang ama, Amado Santos, na isang tubong Bamban, Tarlac ay dating isang bit player sa Premiere, LVN at Larry Santiago Productions. Lumabas siya kasama ang mga big stars ng mga nasabing produksiyon at ang pinsan niyang si direktor Felicing Constantino ang nagkumbinse sa kanya para subukan ang pelikula. Ang ina, Milagros Tuazon Santos, na isang tubong San Isidro, Nueva Ecija ay isang pharmacist by profession at eksperto sa sayaw nang kanyang kabataan. Sa MCU, kung saan siya nagtapos ng kanyang “degree” ay palaging may libreng costume para lang maipakita ang kanyang “terpsichorean talent” sa mga importanteng school programs. Sa pagkakataong ito, saan pa ba magmamana si Vi ng kanyang galing sa pagsasayaw?

Ang Santos family ay nakatira sa ground floor ng isang maliit na apartment at sa itaas naman ay ang isang close relative. Isang araw habang nasa kusina si Papa Amado ay bigla siyang nakarinig ng ingay na parang kalabog ng isang nahulog sa hagdanan. Dali dali siyang tumakbo papunta sa hagdanan at nagulantang siya nang makita niya na si Vilma pala ang nahulog sa hagdanan. Agad nila itong isinugod sa ospital, pina-xray at salamat sa Diyos dahil sinabi ng attending physician na very slight fracture lang ang nangyari sa bata. When Rosa Vilma was already of age, ipinasok siya sa St. Mary’s Academy at noong nasa kindergarten pa siya ay dito na umarangkada ang kanyang pagiging artista dahil palagi siyang kinukuha sa mga school play. Gustong-gusto niya yung ilang oras na nasa stage, behind gleaming footlights, in fancy costume and make-up. At pagkatapos ng “play” ay ang malakas na palakpakan at pagbati sa kanya ng publiko. Nakalimutan na niya ang title ng play at kung anong okasyon ng eskwelahan ito ipinalabas subali’t tandang-tanda pa niya na ang role niya dito ay isang madre na pagkaraan pala ng tatlong dekada ay lalabas din siya sa role ng isang nun-turned-radical film Sister Stella L na dinirehe ni Mike de Leon.

Noong anim na taong gulang pa lamang si Rosa Vilma ay sinabi niya sa kanyang magulang na magiging “painter” siya someday. Gusto daw niyang kunin ay “Fine Arts” sa University of Sto. Tomas, maging isang matagumpay na artist at maging mayaman. Mahilig siyang mag-drowing – crayon sketches of birds, flowers, trees, houses at kahit saan ay nagdodrowing siya pati na sa dingding ng kanilang bahay. Dahil dito, si Papa Amado ay palaging nag-a-apply ng coat ng pintura sa kanilang sala tuwing ikalawang linggo at hindi lang yun dahil binabantayan din niya ang batang si Rosa Vilma na baka mahulog sa baso ng gatas ang mga krayola niyang ginagamit. Si Mama Milagros naman ay nagtrabaho sa isang garment department ng Aguinaldo’s kasama ang hindi pa kilalang manlililip na si Rene Salud. Bukod sa pagkanta at pagsayaw sa mga school plays, ang batang si Rosa Vilma ay nagpakita din ng kanyang galing sa pag-iyak dahil sa pakikinig niya ng mga soap operas sa radyo. Mahilig siyang makinig ng mga drama sa radyo at doon ay tutulo na lamang ang kanyang luha. May mga okasyon pa nga na bigla na lang papasok sa kuwarto niya sina Papa Amado at Mama Milagros at nakikita nila na nasa salamin ang batang si Rosa Vilma at nagda-drama.

Noong later part ng 1962, nagkaroon sila ng family reunion sa nilipatan nilang apartment sa La Loma at ang isa sa mga naging bisita nila ay si Amaury Agra na isang cameraman sa Sampaguita Pictures. Si Amaury ay isang malayong tiyuhin ni Rosa Vilma, na ang asawa ay pinsan ni Papa Amado. Noong makita ni Amaury si Rosa Vilma ay agad niya itong tinanong kung gusto niyang mag-artista dahil ang Sampaguita Pictures ay naghahanap ng isang batang lalabas sa kanilang susunod na pelikula, ang Trudis Liit na sinulat ni Mars Ravelo at natutunghayan sa Liwayway Magazine. Noong una ay ayaw ng mag-asawang Amado at Milagros na pumasok sa pag-aartista ang batang si Rosa Vilma dahil pareho silang abala sa trabaho, bukod pa sa gusto nila na pag-aaral muna ang asikasuhin ng batang si Rosa Vilma, subali’t isang araw ay nakatanggap sila ng sulat mula kay Amaury at sinabing ipinalista niya ang pangalan ni Rosa Vilma para mag-audition sa Sampaguita Pictures kung saan si Dr. Jose R. Perez ang isa sa mga screening committees.

Dahil hindi nila mapahindian si Amaury kaya’t nag-day off muna si Mama Milagros sa Aguinaldo’s para samahan si Rosa Vilma sa Sampaguita studio. “Diyos ko po,” ang nasambit ni Mama Milagros dahil mahigit yata sa tatlong daan ang mga batang nag-a-apply, lima lamang ang magiging finalists at sa limang finalists ay dalawa lamang ang kukunin, isang batang babae at isang batang lalaki na gaganap na kapatid ni Trudis Liit. Ang suwerte naman, dahil ni-reveal ni Dr. Perez na bago pa sila nagpa-audition nang araw na yun ay meron na silang napiling limang finalists noong previous screening at inisip ni Mama Milagros na lahat ng nag-audition nang araw na yun ay wala ng pag-asa pero sinabi ni Amaury na gusto lang niyang mag-try out si Rosa Vilma para sa susunod nilang pelikulang pang-mahal na araw ng 1963 na pinamagatang Anak Ang Iyong Ina.

Si Amaury ay nasa location shooting noong araw na yun. Samantala, nang si Rosa Vilma na ang nag-audition, sa harap ni Dr. Perez at ni Direktor Jose de Villa at nang ipinagyugyugan na si Rosa Vilma ni Bella Flores ay parang gripong tumutulo ang kanyang mga luha. Nakita ni Mama Milagros sina Dr. Perez at Direktor de Villa na nagtitinginan at pagkatapos ng screening ay sinamahan ni Direk De Villa ang mag-ina sa opisina ni Dr. Perez na nag-extend ng congratulations kay Rosa Vilma na siyang gaganap na Trudis Liit at yung limang finalists ay gagawin na lang supporting sa mga forthcoming na pelikula ng Sampaguita Pictures. Suot ng isang magarang damit, pumunta na ang mag-ina para sa isang screen test subali’t ang magandang damit ay pinalitan ng gula-gulanit, parang basahan. Inumpisahan nang lagyan ng make-up ni Jesse Lopez, ang make-up artist ng studio sapol pa noong era nina Carmen Rosales hanggang sa era ni Amalia Fuentes si Rosa Vilma. Nagtanong pa ang batang si Rosa Vilma kung bakit pa siya kailangang lagyan ng make-up at ang gusto lang daw niya ay huwag masyadong makapal at kung pwede ay pulbos lang. Gumiling ang camera…..sumigaw ang direktor ng” Action!” Nag-umpisang mandilat ang mata ni Bella at cry to death naman ang Rosa Vilma. “CUT!” sabi ng direktor. “Very good!”. Si Bella ay niyakap ang batang si Rosa Vilma at sinabing…. .Aba, first take lang nakuha mo kaagad. Ang galing. Congratulations, Trudis Liit. The whole set was no screen test, but an actual take. Si Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos ay isa ng ganap na bituin sa edad na siyam na taon.

May mga tanong noon kung ano ang itatawag nila kay Rosa Vilma onscreen. Ang mag-asawang Amado at Milagros ay gustong i-retain na lang ang pangalang Rosa Vilma subali’t si Dr. Perez ay nag-object dahil marami na daw Rosa sa pelikulang Tagalog, merong Rosa Mia, Rosa Rosal, Rosa Aguirre. Nag-suggest na lang si Dr. Perez na alisin ang Rosa at tawagin na lang na VILMA SANTOS. Sa Trudis Liit, ang batang si Vilma ay binayaran ng Php 1,000 sa isang kondisyon na sa susunod na pelikula ay lalabas ulit siya at ito nga ay yung Anak Ang Iyong Ina. Dito sa Anak Ang Iyong Ina ay Php 700 ang kanyang take-home pay. Bukod kay Bella Flores, kasama rin ni Vilma sina Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales at Connie Angeles sa Trudis Liit, “The Motion Picture That Will Tear Your Heart To Pieces” (as proclaimed by the film’s ad). Ito ay sa screenpaly ni Chito Tapawan. Nagkamit ng FAMAS Best Child Actress si Vilma dito sa Trudis Liit. Impressed na impressed si Direk De Villa sa batang si Vilma dahil sa isang explanation lang eh nakukuha na kaagad nito ang mga instructions. Sabi ng mga co-workers ni Vilma, si Vilma ay merong fantastic memory and can easily dish out even a kilometric dialogue. Pagkatapos ng Trudis Liit at Anak Ang Iyong Ina, sunod sunod na ang ginawa niyang pelikula katulad ng King and Queen For A Day, Aninong Bakal, Morena Martir, Iginuhit Ng Tadhana at Pinagbuklod Ng Langit.

Samantala, gumawa rin ang batang si Vilma ng isang weekly tv series sa ABS (the former KBS in Roxas Boulevard) sa direksiyon ni Jose Miranda Cruz na may pamagat na Larawan Ng Pag-ibig kasama sina Willie Sotelo at Zeny Zabala at tumagal ito ng dalawang taon sa ere. In between tapings of Larawan Ng Pag-ibig and schoolwork, siya ay gumawa rin ng mga pelikula sa iba’t ibang outfits katulad ng Ging, Naligaw Na Anghel at Sa Bawa’t Pintig Ng Puso. Later on, ginawa ring pelikula ang Larawan Ng Pag-ibig. Gumawa rin siya sa Larry Santiago Productions ng mga pelikulang Maria Cecilia, Kay Tagal Ng Umaga at Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit. Sa mga sumunod na taon ay ginawa rin niya ang mga pelikulang Ito Ang Dahilan, De Colores, Kasalanan Kaya?, Sino Ang May Karapatan? at Sa Baril Magtuos. Dito sa Sa Baril Magtuos ay kasama niya sina Ronald Remy at Romeo Vasquez. Noong 1967 ay ginawa ni Vilma ang The Longest Hundred Miles, isang war movie for international release sa pangunguna ng Hollywood actor na si Ricardo Montalban, Doug McLure at Katherine Ross.

Noong nagsisimula pa lang si Vilma sa Sampaguita Pictures, isa sa mga pelikulang pinanood niya kasama ang buong pamilya ay ang award-winning na The Miracle Worker. Ang role ni Patty Duke as the young Helen Keller ang kanyang pinakapaborito at ninais niya hanggang sa ngayon na makagawa siya ng pelikulang katulad nito. Sabi ni Papa Amado, si Vilma ay hindi “spoiled” dahil kahit artista na siya, pinapalo pa rin daw niya ito kung sa palagay niya ay may nagawang kasalanan. Sabi naman ni Mama Milagros si Vilma pag may isang bagay ng gustong gawin, ito ay kanyang itinutuloy. Sabi naman ng movie scribe na si Ched Gonzales, si Vilma daw ay katulad din ng isang ordinaryong tao na mahilig sa manggang hilaw na may bagoong at sa sitsirya katulad ng popcorn, pretzel, chicharon at butong pakwan. Gustong gusto daw nito na may kinukukut-kukut.

Noong 1968, si Vilma ay nominado ng FAMAS para sa best supporting actress category, kasama sina Lolita Rodriguez at Eddie Rodriguez sa pelikulang Kasalanan Kaya? Siya ang pinakabatang aktres an nominado sa kategoryang ito. Hindi man siya pinalad na manalo sa FAMAS subali’t ang San Beda College ay binigyan siya ng Best Supporting Actress award. Sa pagsasara ng dekada 60, si Vilma ay naging popular sa mga television shows kagaya ng Tinno Lapus’ Eskwelahang Munti sa Channel 7. Dito ay itinambal siya sa undefeated Tawag Ng Tanghalan champion for twelve weeks na si Edgar Mortiz. Ang unang pelikulang pinagtambalan ni Vilma at Edgar ay ang JBC Productions’ My Darling Eddie topbilled by the late Eddie Peregrina.

Noong 1970, ginawa in Vilma at Edgar ang pelikulang Love Is For The Two Of Us kasama sina Helen Gamboa at Ricky Belmonte. Sa telebisyon, si Vilma at Edgar ay may regular shows na Oh My Love at The Sensations sa Channel 2. Ang kanilang tambalan ay tinawag na “subok na matibay, subok na matatag.” Noong Enero 1, 1970, ipinalabas ang superhit na pelikula ng VP Pictures na Young Love kasama ang loveteam nina Nora Aunor at Tirso Cruz III. Dito na nagsimula ang rivalry ng Vilma-Edgar loveteam at Nora-Tirso loveteam. Noong 1971, ang tv show na The Sensations ay ginawa ring pelikula ng Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions sa direksiyon ni Tony Santos, Sr. Noong Nobyembre 1971, ang popular lovebirds ay pumunta ng Hawaii at Estados Unidos para gawin ang mga pelikulang Aloha My Love at Don’t Ever Say Goodbye. Marami pa ding mga pelikulang ginawa sina Vilma at Edgar at kabilang na dito ay ang mga pelikulang I Do Love You, From The Bottom of My Heart, Because You’re Mine, Eternally, Edgar Loves Vilma, Vilma My Darling, My Love At First Sight, The Wonderful World of Music, Remembrance, Renee Rose, Angelica, I Love You Honey, Our Love Affair, Mga Batang Bangketa, Baby Vi, Dulce Corazon, Anak Ng Aswang at ang inilahok sa 1972 Quezon City Film Festival na Dama de Noche kung saan hindi man siya ang naging best actress dito subali’t sa FAMAS nang sumunod na taon ay siya ang naging Best Actress ka-tie si Boots Anson Roa.

Samantala, Abril 28, 1974 nang maghiwalay ng landas sina Vilma at Edgar. Maraming Vilma-Edgar Fans ang nalungkot at inisip nila na magkakabalikan din ang dalawa subali’t hindi na ito nangyari hanggang sa si Vilma ay itinambal sa iba’t ibang leading men. Pero bago pa sila naghiwalay ay itinambal na din si Vilma kina Paolo Romero sa pelikula ng Virgo Productions na Ikaw Lamang kung saan nagkamit ito ng Best Picture sa 1973 Quezon City Film Festival, Manny de Leon sa mga pelikulang Teen-age Señorita at Cariñosa, Walter Navarro sa Sweet Sweet Love at Dalagang Nayon, Jay Ilagan sa Tsismosang Tindera, Ang Konduktora at Inspirasyon, Tirso Cruz III sa Dingdong, Nobody’s Child at Give Me Your Love, Victor Wood sa My Little Darling, Victor Laurel sa Ophelia At Paris, Prinsipe Paris Walang Kaparis, Jojit Paredes sa Tok Tok Palatok, Ronnie Henares sa Let’s Do The Salsa at nitong huli ay kay Christopher de Leon sa Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw. Talagang poor second lang noon si Vilma kay Nora Aunor, subali’t nang gawin niya ang trilogy film ng Sine Pilipino na Lipad Darna Lipad ay talagang lumipad ng husto ang kanyang box office appeal. Sinundan pa ito ng mga pelikulang Takbo Vilma Dali at Hatinggabi Na Vilma. Anupa’t itinambal din si Vilma sa mga matured leading man na katulad nina Eddie Rodriguez sa mga pelikulang Nakakahiya, Hindi Nakakahiya Part 2 kung saan nagkamit siya ng Best Actress Award sa 1st Bacolod City Film Festival at Simula Ng Walang Katapusan, Dante Rivero sa Susan Kelly Edad 20, Chiquito sa Teribol Dobol, Dolphy sa Buhay Artista Ngayon, Joseph Estrada sa King Khayan & I, Fernando Poe Jr. sa Batya’t Palu Palo at Bato Sa Buhangin, Jun Aristorenas sa Mapagbigay Ang Mister Ko, Dindo Fernando sa Langis at Tubig at Muling Buksan Ang Puso at Romeo Vasquez sa Nag-aapoy Na Damdamin, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pulot Gata Pwede Kaya at Pag-ibig Ko Sa ‘Yo Lang Ibibigay.

Nagkasunod sunod na ang kanyang box office hit movie, hanggang sa inoperan siya ng Ian Films ng pelikulang Burlesk Queen kasama si Rollie Quizon kung saan hinakot nito ang halos lahat ng award including the Best Actress Award sa 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival. Hindi lang awards ang nakopo ng pelikulang ito dahil ang Burlesk Queen pa rin ang itinanghal na Top Grosser sa nasabing pestibal. Gumawa rin siya ng mga pelikulang siya mismo ang prodyuser katulad ng 1978 FAMAS and Urian Best Picture na Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak katambal si Bembol Roco, Halik Sa Paa Halik Sa Kamay kasama si Ronald Corveau at Eddie Rodriguez, Coed kasama si Jay Ilagan at iba pa. Noong taong 1978, ginawa ni Vilma ang isang pelikula kung saan lumabas siyang isang rape victim kasama sina Philip Salvador at Matt Ranillo III ng Sampaguita VP Pictures na pinamagatang Rubia Servios. Hindi siya pinalad na maging Best Actress sa pelikulang ito, si Nora Aunor ang nanalo sa pelikulang Atsay, bagama’t marami ang humuhula na siya ang tatanghaling Best Actress dahil kahit ang direktor ng pelikulang Atsay na si Eddie Garcia ay si Vilma ang hinalikan at binati subali’t kinabukasan ay lalong lumakas sa takilya ang Rubia Servios at tinalo nito ang Atsay. Talagang iniyakan ni Vilma ang kanyang pagkatalo. Taong 1978 din nang lumabas ang betamax issue sa kanila ni Romeo Vasquez subali’t sa halip na kumulimlim ang kanyang pagkabituin ay lalo pa siyang pumaimbulog paitaas at sa bandang huli ay hindi naman napatunayan ang balitang ito. Noong July 19, 1980 ay nagpakasal si Vilma kay Edu Manzano sa Las Vegas, Nevada habang ginagawa nila ang pelikulang Romansa at April 21, 1981 nang isilang ni Vilma si Luis Manzano. Gusto ni Edu na maging plain housewife lang si Vilma subali’t hindi ito nangyari dahil sa natuklasan ni Vilma na baon na pala siya sa utang kaya gumawa siya ng mga pelikula.

Talagang puro good karma ang dumating sa buhay ni Vilma dahil after niyang makapanganak ay gumawa siya ng sunod-sunod na mga box-office hit na pelikula katulad ng Ex-Wife, Hiwalay, Sinasamba Kita, Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan?, Paano Ba Ang Mangarap?, Relasyon, Tagos Ng Dugo, Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? Yesterday Today & Tomorrow at iba pa. Sunod-sunod rin ang kanyang Best Actress award katulad ng kanyang grand slam sa mga pelikulang Relasyon, Dahil Mahal Kita: Dolzura Cortez Story, Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa? at Dekada ’70. Naging best actress din siya sa mga pelikulang Broken Marriage, Mano Po 3: My Love, Sister Stella L, Tagos Ng Dugo, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos, Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga, Sinungaling Mong Puso at Anak. Sunod-sunod rin naman ang kanyang Box Office Queen award. Hindi lang best actress at box office queen award ana kanyang natanggap kundi nagwagi din siya ng 2005 Gawad Plaridel. Samantala, sa pagsasara ng ABS CBN dahil sa martial law, ay nagsara din ang tv show ni Vilma na The Sensations datapwa’t may mga humalili din dito katulad ng Santos, Mortiz & Associates, Ayan Eh, Vilma Santos Very Special at Vilma In Person (VIP) sa BBC 2. Ang VIP ay lumipat sa GMA 7 at ito ay ginawa nilang VILMA. Ang VILMA ay nagtagal ng labinglimang taon at sa loob ng mga taong ito ay consistent top rater ito kaya naman siya ang highest paid tv star nang panahong iyon.

Noong December 12, 1992 ay ikinasal naman si Vilma sa noo’y congressman ng 2nd District ng Batangas na si Ralph Recto. Bumaha ang taong dumalo at nanood ng kanilang kasal sa San Sebastian Church sa Lungsod ng Lipa at noong March 29, 1996 ay ipinanganak si Ryan Christian Recto. Noong 1998, hinikayat siya ng iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan para kumandidatong punong-bayan ng Lungsod na Lipa at matapos niyang gawin ang pelikulang Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa? ay miniting niya ang mga Vilmanians at sinabing humihingi lang siya ng isang “sign” para matuloy siyang kamandidatong mayor ng Lipa at ito ay nangyari. Naging punong-lungsod siya ng Lipa at sa loob ng siyam na taong panunungkulan ay masasabing ang Lungsod ng Lipa ang isa sa mga pinakaprogresibong lungsod sa Pilipinas. Noong May 14, 2007, siya ay nahilingan naman na kumandidato bilang gobernador ng Batangas at dahil sa kanyang magandang nagawa sa Lungsod ng Lipa, siya ay pinalad na manalo sa posisyong ito. Katatapos lang iselebreyt ni Governor Vi ang kanyang 100 araw na panunungkulan bilang gobernador ng lalawigan ng Batangas at nagkaroon siya ng State of Provincial Address nitong nakaraang October 8, 2007. Sabi nga ni Governor Vi, sa nagayon ay prioridad niya ang kanyang pamilya, pangalawa ay ang pagiging gobernador ng Batangas at pangatlo na lamang ay ang kanyang pagiging artista. Maraming movie offers ang kanyang natatanggap katulad ng pagsasamahan nila ni John Lloyd Cruz, meron pang digital film na La Independencia ni Raya Martin na automatic na ilalahok sa Cannes Film Festival kung magagawa niya (sana lang!). Meron ding offer na stage play (pero malabo na ito dahil maraming oras ang kakainin nito lalo na sa rehearsals). Meron ding mga commercials at marami pang iba. Ano pa kaya ang naghihintay sa isang VILMA SANTOS-RECTO? Marami pa, marami pa, di ba Governor Vi? Happy 54th Birthday Governor VI! - Alfonso Valencia, ALAM NYO BA? Part 41, VS Yahoo E-group 2007

Monday, November 7, 2011

Memoirs of Vilmanians 2/2

Tinatawag natin ang ating sarili bilang Vilmanian. Paano tayo naging ganito? Eto ang ating mga alaala…ng ating pinamulan.

Eddie Lozano - Simula sa pagkabata at matutong humanga, siya lamang talaga ang una at wala nang iba pa. Noong elementary ako ay picture ni Ate Vi as in picture talaga ang nasa cover ng notebook ko, mostly nga black and white pa. Dahil ang aming ama ay hindi mahilig sa mga palabas na tagalog, ang aming tv ay laging nasa may English na palabas. Kaya kadalasan, kapag palabas na ang D’ Sensations, ay nakikipanood ako sa kapitbahay, maliban na lamang kung nasa duty si ama. Hindi nga ba’t mayroon pa siyang Dulambuhay ni Rosa Vilma, at yung sitcom with Nida Blanca and Rod Navarro, yung Kelan Pa? Remember ba ninyo yon? Kahit pa noon sa D’ Sensations, ang most awaited na portion ay ang dance number ni Ate Vi. Doon ko siya nakitang sumayaw ng singkil, Tahitian at kung anu-anong sayaw pa, pero ang talagang nagaya ko ng husto ay yung ‘penguin’ na hanggang ngayon ay sinasayaw ko pa rin, kahit na nga tumatalbog-talbog yung tiyan ko. Nung mabuwag ang love team na subok na matibay, subok na matatag, kay Ate Vi ako pumanig, dahil kahit na sino naman ang ka-partner niya ay okay lang sa akin, I realized then na Solid Vilmanian ako. Those were the days na wala akong pakialam kung maganda o hindi ang pelikula ni Ate Vi, ang importante sa akin ay enjoyment at makita siya sa wide screen at sa pagbabaka-sakaling mag-theater tour siya, kaya most of the time, ay sa opening day ako nanonood. Nag-aaral pa man ako hanggang sa magka-trabaho ay ganun pa rin ang aking naging routine kapag may pelikula si Ate Vi. Ilang beses ko na rin siyang nakita ng personal, malapitan man o malayuan pero hindi ako nagkalakas ng loob na batiin siya, hanggang tingin na lamang ako’t nagpipigil ng damdamin at baka bigla akong mapatili. Katulad ng mga nabanggit ko noon, yung makita ko lang siya ng personal ay nangingilid na ang luha ko sa sobrang kasiyahan, ano pa kayang mangyayari kung ma-experience ko ang katulad ng kay Kuya Father J and bespren Charls, to name a few? Remember Kuya Father ang experiences natin kapag nanonood tayo ng parade of stars sa Roxas Boulevard? Hindi man tayo magkakilala at magkasama, pero iisa ang ating ginagawa, ang humabol sa karosa ng Reyna Vilma na talaga namang may magnetic charm.

Aries Rollon – Ano ba, wala ka na bang gagawin maghapon kundi gumupit ng mga articles at pictures ni Vilma Santos? That was my mother always asked me more or less 20 years ago . But what can I Do? I really admired Vilma Santos. Minsan tinatanong ko ang sarili ko kung normal pa ba ang ginagawa ko? Wala bang mali sa inaasal ko? Bakit ako ganito? Bakit sobra sobra ang paghanga at panahong inuukol ko kay Vilma Santos? Ako lang ba ang ganito? Na-addict ako kay Vilma Santos. Natatandaan ko noong high school pa lang ako, hindi naman ako actually ganoon ka devoted as Vilma Santos fan. But I really admired her dahil na rin sa impluwensya ng mother at mga pinsan ko. Yes napaanood ko na ang mga pelikula nya sa TV and to think na ang first movie na napanood ko sa sine ay ang LIPAD DARNA LIPAD. Sometimes sinasabi ko rin sa Nanay ko na nahawa lang naman ako sa kanya. Kaya lang mas naging malala lang ang Vilma fever ko. Actually hindi nga ako mahilig sa showbiz at wala akong panahon sa mga artista. But when I started watching Vilma on television and started watching her good movies, nagsimula na ang hysteria sa buhay ko. Ano ba ang meron si Vilma na wala ang iba? Well, hindi ko na siguro kailangang isa-isahin ang mga achievements niya. Tanging manhid at walang pakiramdam ang hindi nakakaalam. Personally, of course hindi ko siya kilala at hindi rin ako interesado sa pinagdaanan niya. Ang alam ko lang, heto nalulong ako kay Vilma. Vilma, Vilma puro na lang Vilma. Bakit pati sa panaginip Vilma pa rin. Nasasaktan ako kapag mayroong hindi magandang sinasabi kay Vilma. Nagmumura ako at nakiki-pag-away kapag may pumipintas kay Vilma. Naghahanap ako ng mapapangasawa na kamukha ni Vilma. But of course, my wife for the past thirteen years ay hindi naman kamukha ni Vilma. Iisa lang si Vilma Santos and she’s incomparable. Nobody comes close to the One and only Star For All Seasons. She was branded as poor second sa tinaguriang phenomenal Star. Marami ang nooy nagsasabi na siya ay hanggang doon lang, laging sunod lang ang pangalan sa nag-iisang Superstar. Ngunit ang panahon ay sadyang nag-iiba, ang poor second nasa TOP of the World na ngayon. Sa tatlong dekada na nagdaan walang nakahadlang sa kinang ng Bituin ng lahat ng panahon. Pinataob niya ang lahat ng bituin na minsay kuminang at nabigyan ng pagkakataon…I got married on the same year that Vilma got married to Sen. Ralph Recto. Medyo nag lie low na ako sa pagiging Vilma fanatic, but still hindi pa rin nagbago ang paghanga at pagmamahal ko kay Vilma.

Willie Fernandez - May simula pero walang katapusan hanggang sa kabilang buhay. Yes, I breath and exist for Vilma. All my waking hours, si Ate Vi lang yata ang laman ng puso at utak namin. Maging sa pagtulog ay dala-dala namin sa diwa ang ala-ala ng aktres. Kesehodang nakatira kami sa bahay ng kaibigang aktor na si Daniel Fernando, na ngayon ay senior Board Member ng Bulacan. May pagkakataon pa ngang nagseselos ang actor – pulitiko kay Ate Vi sa tuwina’y siya ang paksa ng aming usapan. Alam ni Ate Vi ang tungkol sa sakit ko, hypertension (high blood pressure: 190 over 120). Hindi namin malilimutan ’yumg pagtulong niya nang kami’y ma-confine sa hospital. What a big surprise when she gave me a call at nangumusta. Tinanong niya kami kung ano pa ang mga pangangailangan. Siempre, tameme ang inyong lingkod for her nice gesture. Nang lumabas na kami ng hospital, at minsan nang dumalo kami sa shooting ng kanyang pelikula, in one of our friendly tender moments, sinabi ng butihing aktres na siya ang bahala sa mga gamot na kailangan for my continuous medication…Iba ang “magic” na nagagawa ng pagmamahal, lalo na kung ito’y nangagaling sa isang minamahal at iniidolo pa. There were times, halos hindi na kami makatulong at makakain nang maayos sa kaiisip at kapapangarap sa aking idolo for all seasons. Lalong tumingkad ang katuparan na lubos namin siyang “makilala” nang kami’y pumasok sa showbiz media. Inamin na “i will not grow as a writer” dahil talagang laging nananaig ang aking pagiging Vilmanian sa lahat ng oras. Hindi maalis sa amin ang “fan mentality”. Pawang maganda at positibo ang sinusulat namin sa aktres sa aming kulom sa mga diariong pinagsusulatan. Madalas kaming sermonan ng editor sa tuwing mag-submit ng artikulo na si Ate Vi ang nilalaman. Katuwiran niya, wala na nga bang kaming alam isulat kungdi ang aktres. Basta naman kasi ang subject namin ay si Ate Vi, walang duda, napakapositibo namin. Hindi dahil mahal namin siya at nagiisang idolo na hinahangaan sapul sa pagkabata, kungdi dahil ang sarap-sarap niyang iluklok sa pedestal dahil lahat ng bagay sa kanya ay positibo.

Julie Ouano Haglund - Well what more can one say about Vilma Santos, it’s not enough to say that she is the best. I haven’t met her personally but I have loved her and admired her ever since i was a little kid. I remember waiting every friday just to watch “VILMA” in GMA7 and that 2 hours of pure entertainment makes me kilig and proud at the same time that it’s her I idolized. I’ve watched the Vilma movies that is being shown on Tv as well as in the movie theater, laugh with her when she’s happy and cry as well when she’s hurt. There was a time that I was so closed in meeting Ate Vi when my best friend who is Chit Guerrero’s niece April and I were in Manila for a job interview in Cathay Pacific as a flight stewardess, we asked tita Chit if maybe just maybe we can visit Ate Vi and to finally meet her in person but unfortunately at that time she was pregnant with Ryan Christian and the pregnancy was difficult that Tita Chit has to begged off we were disappointed but pray for her that everything is gonna be fine. After many years of working and living abroad nothing has changed I’m still an avid and true Vilmanian in fact I’m still watching her old movies now and then even if I have seen it like a thousand times and still buying and ordering the ones that I don’t have. I want to thank this group for giving me the opportunity to know some of you ( VILMANIANS) all over the globe and really hope to meet some if not all of you in person one day. To you Ate Vi I love you so much and that you are an inspiration to everyone who loves you. I really wish you all the best and my prayers for you and to your family.

Jeannie Wong - I first saw Ate Vi in person at the Manila International Airport. She was still sporting shoulder-length hair, ka-loveteam pa niya si Bobot Mortiz. I think they were having a show there. I went to the MIA’s ladies room and few minutes later Ate Vi and two ladies came in. Ate Vi was in front of the mirror touching up her make-up and the two ladies were helping her get ready for the show. Only 4 of us were in there and yet all I did was stare at her. I didn’t even get enough courage to approach her. If only I can rewind it back, it would be different approach this time around. Magawa ko kaya yon? The second time I saw her was at the theater showing of her movie with Manny de Leon. My friends (Ana, Mitzi and I) went to watch the movie. The movie theater was SRO even lodge section, grabe ang dami ng tao. All of the sudden, everyone watching were rushing outside instead of watching the movie. Know why? Ate Vi and Manny de Leon dropped by to greet their supporters. Everyone crowded around them. I lost one of my earring that my mom just gave me sa dami ng tao.

I had that earring only for 3 days yata. Well, anyway that’s not the first time I lost my earring. There were other occasion isang araw pa lang (baka nga ilan oras lang) sa akin nawala ko na. Mabuti na lang hindi nagalit ang mother ko sa akin. Ate Vi and Manny de Leon didn’t stay long, pupunta pa sila sa ibang sinehan. After they left, everyone went back in and continued the movie. That was an added bonus watching the movie and seeing Ate Vi in person. HEAVEN! The third time I saw Ate Vi was in California, USA. The year was 1980. I was in America for a month long vacation. My aunt told me that their church planned a Great America trip for the youth with special price of only $4.00 per person including admission entrance to the park and bus ride from the church to Great America and back to the church. I asked my cousin to go with me nilibre ko siya. We went on so many rides, believe me I’m not crazy with wild rides. Should I say, super takot ako sa mga wild rides! When we were on queue for the log ride (not a wild ride) on the upper section. Guess what? I saw Ate Vi with Edu Manzano, they were in the lower section, it was their turn to hop in the log for the logride. Nakasandal si Ate Vi kay Edu. SUPER BEAUTY si Ate Vi, she must have only very very light make-up on parang wala pa nga pero ang GANDA-GANDA niya. From the upper section, I wanted so much to call out her name sa tuwa ko, kaya lang natulala ako! Guwapo ni Edu kaya lang mukhang masungit. Like the first time, the only thing I managed to do was my eyes following them until I couldn’t see them anymore. All that time, I didn’t see Edu smile at all, serious looking siya! Masungit nga! Si Ate Vi was wearing jeans and high heels, diyan ka bibilib kay Ate Vi! Ate Vi and Edu weren’t holding hands, bakit kaya? May sompi yata si Edu kaya hindi siya ngumigiti. I can’t get that picture off my mind. Again, if I can rewind it back, the approach would be different. Siguro kung kasama ko ang mga Vilmanians dito sa egroups lalakas siguro ang loob ko. August 21, 2005, Sunday around 11:00am. Our TV was on cable channel 8, the program was MMK. Our home phone rang, Alan T. called (Thanks, Alan!) and passed the phone to someone and guess who was on the other end? Si Ate Vi nga! Naka-usap ko si Ate Vi. She was having lunch with the Vilmanians at the Radisson Hotel, NY. I must have ESP and stayed home that day kung hindi na miss ko ang chance na maka-usap si Ate Vi. That moment was Heaven! Parang mayroon MAGNET at MAGIC si Ate Vi. Lalong lumalim ang pahanga ko sa kanya ngayon. That was my fourth encounter with Ate Vi. Ano kaya ang susunod? I hope to meet and bond with her. That would be HEAVEN!

Mario O. Garces - I am a baby boomer and come from a large family. The seventh of 11 children (5 boys and 6 girls), with one breadwinner, my Tatay, I knew what poverty was like. Dad was only a high school graduate but he was smart. He was the eldest of 8 children. They started rich: they had a big house, a car, and he enrolled at the U.P. College of Fine Arts. He painted/ drew well and was a great writer. His father, a church deacon, led a double life. He was a compulsive gambler. He forgot his marriage vow and covenant with God to serve His people. He died a pauper. From rags to riches. In his deathbed, he called all of his children to swear not to do what he did. “Isumpa ninyo ang pagsusugal. Malas iyan sa buhay. Sa demonyo iyan.” How I wish I could tell this story to some celebrities I truly admire and respect. Dad had to stop studying and started doing odd jobs to support his mother who had TB. He cried when his younger brothers lied about their age to be able to work as ’kargador’ in the public market. His strong belief in his Creator helped him move on. He dabbled in self-study oil painting, wrote some zarsuelas, even wrote for Tiktik and Liwayway magazines. He ended up being employed by a printing company and served as its lead writer and lay-out artist. My mother only finished the second grade but she knew how to sew clothes and manage our little tienda or sari-sari store. Dad won in some oil painting contests. National Artist Fernando Amorsolo was his role model. All of us 11 children had to help with the family business, household chores and must be at the church every Sunday. Dad’s orders. We had our first black and white Radioweatlh television set and we, eleven siblings would all fight for our favorite channels. Dad preferred to watch stuffs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Rifleman, Combat or Bonanza. Mom would settle for Mga Aninong Gumagalaw (she swooned over Carmen Rosales and Rogelio De La Rosa), and Oras ng Ligaya with her favorites Chi-chay, Sylvia La Torre and Oscar Obligacion. But all of us younger kids were unanimous that Popeye is forever.

We would all watch the very slim Pilitia Corrales sing the Pilita Corrales ’patuwad’ way: “the day you came along, with your song, my heart began to sing dear, a million thanks to you my love.” Not to be outdone, Carmen Soriano sang and sashayed to televiewers on Carmen on Camera. We would imitate Joe Quirino’s accent and ’take it away’ lines in Seeing Stars with Joe Quirino. Before Penthouse Live with Martin and Pops, there was Dance-O-Rama with Pete Roa and Baby O’Brien and later replaced by the new U.P. graduate Boots Anson. Yes, we were all hungry for local entertainment. There were no cable, TFC, or the Internet at the time. The proverbial Tagalog weekly comics were our other source of ’escape.’ Kalabog en Bosyo. Booma. Tanikalang Apoy. Gumuhong Bantayog. On radio, Sebya, Mahal Kita and Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang were on our must listen to list. On weekdays, my Mom’s day would not be complete without listening to her favorite Dear Abby counterpart, Dely Magpayo. Coming from school, I could hear these lines: “Alas tres na naman po ng hapon. Ito po ang inyong Tiya Dely.” And then there were Nora Aunor and Edgar Mortiz in Tawag ng Tanghalan. I never saw anyone sang People better than Nora. I noticed something different about her eyes. They looked sad yet hopeful. When she was declared champion, I knew something was set free from our masses. There were Vilma Santos and Connie Angeles in Eskuwelahang Munti. Vilma Santos made everybody cry as a hostage victim who softened bad boy Martin Marfil’s heart of stone in the original teleserye of all teleserye, Larawan ng Pag-ibig on ABS-CBN. Some episodes were live but the audience did not notice. I did. The Gripo Princess, Vilma Santos, was on everyone’s lips as Trudis Liit, Ging and that ’cry me a river tot’ in that high rating TV soap tearjerker. Tirso Cruz III in pre-Aunor era was a hit in Nine Teeners. Elvis hairdo, matchstick thin and all. He could hit the high notes of such love ballads like My Cherie Amor by Stevie Wonder. Dad would require us to read Bible verses aloud some days of the week so we could practice our English.

I was the champion. I memorized Psalm 23. The winner got to join him and Mom to a double feature in nearby Scala theater. Not that he did not like Tagalog movies. His goal was to teach his kids literature, art and movie appreciation. He was different from other fathers. He would rather tinker around the house, read Time magazine, the Bible or write sermons from an old Underwood typewriter, rather than dwell on idle talk and drink beer like those big-bellied gents at a corner barber shop. To augment family income and help support our tuition and pang-sine, my sisters and brothers would sell ’jewelries’ made from Meycauayan and our house to market stalls in Central and Bambang markets. The boys would trek to Daniel Barrion by FPJ or an Erap action movie. We would save money to be able to watch James Bond’s new movie every Christmas season. Or patiently wait for it to run in double feature theaters. The girls swooned over Rock Hudson and Doris Day, Amalia Fuentes, Susan Roces, Gloria Romero and Nida Blanca. But my favorite was Lolita Rodriguez. She is ahead of her contemporaries. She reminds me of Liv Ullman and today’s Michelle Williams. Oh the power and triumph of restraint. Nora, Vilma, Charito, Hilda, Gina Alajar must have taken a cue from this great actress. Less is more. Where the hell is she? And Vilma Santos? There’s something that’s different about her. I loved Ging but I loved her more in the company of Marlene Dauden (Sa Bawa’t Pintig ng Puso) and with Lolita/Marlene/Eddie R. menage a trois like in Kasalanan Kaya? I didn’t know she won the best supporting actress award from this movie until I was older. All I knew was she is pretty, cute and always cries in her movies. The 70’s I knew that Vilma can act but Nora can sing. U.P. was split between Nora, (Turn to next page) Hilda and Vilma. Communism and the status quo. The avant garde and the weirdos went gaga over Hollywood and European films, especially France’s Truffaut and Company. Movie appreciation started with my Dad and encouraged by the U.P. system. My eyes popped out watching foreign flicks like Fritz Lang’s Birth of a Nation, and some classics like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Seventh Seal and La Strada. I knew my Truffaut from Bergman and Kurosawa. Even the Apu Trilogy. Over at nearby Delta theater, I saw intriguing avant-garde movies like the one with Glenda Jackson in Women In Love, from hardearned money. I would walk miles to save on U.P. Ikot jeep and bus fares and spend it on movies. I was paper thin. I was addicted to the movies and reading. Since money was tight, I would wait long lines and wake up early to get an expensive reserve book, a required reading in school. I would bring itlog na maalat and rice as baon, and spend lunch money on film retrospective festival tickets at the school and other venues in Makati. My PETA acting experience taught me a lot about how difficult and disciplined stage acting is. One summer before Martial Law was declared, I appeared as one of the angry market vendors in Nikolai Gogol’s drama-comedy five act play, The Inspector General, presented by Campus Crusade for Christ and PETA.

Fellow schoolmates Lutgardo Labad and Maryo J. De Los Reyes were at the helm. I didn’t have a clue on what to expect as I never acted on stage before. PETA stalwarts Soxy Topacio, Angie Ferro, even Lino Brocka were happy and generous to teach us acting 101. My parents almost disowned me as I came home late and hungry from rigorous rehearsals at the Raha Sulayman Theater in Fort Santiago. I saw Dama De Noche with Vilma in a dual role. I thought her breakdown scene in this Nestor Torre scipted movie, akin to her similar and memorable role in Ikaw Ay Akin would win her a grand slam in the Quezon City Film Festival and the FAMAS. Well, at least the FAMAS chose wisely. And then, when Vilma donned the Darna costume, there was no looking back. There I was at the jampacked Grand theater in Cubao, a witness to history when the New Box-office Queen was born. All of Metro Manila citizens trooped to the theaters and witnessed the Longest-Reigning Box-office Queen Vilma Santos kicked the bad guys’ ass as the flying super heroine in Lipad, Darna, Lipad. Up, up and away and Vilma took off. Bye-bye, forever, arch-rivals! Ecu tatakot, keka pa, ne? At the height of the Vilma-Nora rivalry, I didn’t sleep when Vilma didn’t bring home the trophy in the 1978 MMFF. I was one of the millions who went to bed depressed, maybe along with Manunuri Isagani Cruz (who thought that Vilma’s role in Rubia Servios was more complex and difficult to do). The whole brouhaha was, I believe an offshoot of Vilma’s earthshaking win in the 1977 MMFF where she made the greatest career turn via Burlesk Queen. At last, the box-office queen and overshadowed Actress found her niche in Philippine Cinema. From Burlesk Queen to Relasyon, Dekada ’70, and Mano Po 3, on one end, and from Minsa’y Isang Gamugamo to Sidhi on the other side of tinseltown, someone had to win the prestigious U.P. Gawad Plaridel Award. Overnight, the 1972 QCFF and the 1978 MMFF nighmares were erased. It was more than revenge, it was poetic justice. For Vilma, these words of wisdom ring true: “thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” “And he who perseveres to the end will be…saved.” Flash forward to August 19 and 20, 2005. At long last, Vilma In Person. A dream come true. The object of my inspired articles, movie-going life and movie reviews stood beside me and my wife. She shook our hands. Now I know why she is still what she is then and now. You would forget she is the greatest actress of the Philippines, or a surprisingly capable Mayor with a PhD degree in Humanities. The Queen is indeed charming, pretty, humble, down to earth, funny and smart. From reel to real, Vilma Santos is God’s gift to the Filipinos. May she live long and healthy to continue to inspire us all.

John Agra Amauri - Lumaki ako sa kapaligirang baduy ang humanga o umidolo sa artistang lokal. 1970’s: Noong mga panahong ito, malaki at matindi ang tunggaliang Vilma-Nora kung kaya’t hindi mo ito matatakasan. Laman sila ng halos lahat ng balitang pangartista at sa aking murang pag-iisip, marami akong katanungan. Sinagot yun isang hapon ng isang aleng maglalako. Nakiusap ito sa aking mga magulang kung puwede siyang pumuwesto sa gilid ng aming ng aming bahay at magtinda ng iba’t-ibang gulay at prutas na may kasamang paarkilahan ng mga Komiks/Magasin. Pinayagan naman siya at bilang pasasalamat, inaabutan niya kami ng pinakasariwa niyang paninda paminsan-minsan. Pinayagan rin niya akong arkilahin ng libre ang mga Komiks/ magasin niya at iyon ang naging simula ng isang hindi inaasahang mahabang sikretong ’relasyon’ at tumulong sa paghugis ng aking pagkatao magpahanggang ngayon. Patago kung basahin ko ang mga Komiks at Magasing balitang artista. Istrikto kasi si Itay, napakarami niyang hirap na dinanas sa pagtaguyod sa aming pamilya at para sa kanya, walang maidudulot ang mga artista, lokal man o banyaga, kundi ang pagtatapon ng oras at pera. Ilang ulit din akong nahuhuli ng aking ama at napapagalitan ngunit hindi talaga ako mapigilan. Panahon iyon ng pamamayagpag ni Nora ngunit mas nahulog ang loob ko sa naaapi. Ang naaalala ko ay ang husay ng pagdala sa sarili ng puma-pangalawang labtim ni Vilma at dito ako unang humanga. Sa aking panakaw na pagbabasa, sa bawa’t tagumpay na tinatamo niya, patago akong ngumingiti sa aking sarili. At sa bawa’t dagok na dumadating sa kanya, patago rin akong nagdadalamhati. Maging sa paaralan, bihirang mapagusapan ang mga kuwentong artistang lokal sa aming grupo. Ang kinagigiliwan noon ay mga pelikulang aksiyon mula Hollywood. ’Colonial mentality’ ngang tunay. Dahil dito, marami akong pinalampas na pelikula ni Vilma. Maliban sa mga aguinaldo, tuwang tuwa ako sa pagsapit ng Pasko at Bagong Taon dahil sa MMFF. Pelikulang Pilipino lamang ang mapapanood at pelikula ni Vilma ang pinapanood namin kapag kasali siya.

Ngayon ko lang napag-isip, hindi kaya secret Vilmanian rin ang mga barkada ko noon? Panahon ito ng Lipad,Darna, Lipad. 1980’s: Kolehiyo. Sa unang pagkakataon, ako ay lumisan ng bahay upang tumira sa kampus ng Pamantasan. Dito naman, mas lalong hindi pinapansin ng akademya ang mga artistang lokal at bagkus, mababa pa ang tingin sa kanila kung minsan. Hindi rin nakatulong na dormitoryo ng mga dayuhang estudiante ang napili kong tirahan. Subali’t nakamtan ko naman ang sariling laya sa mga panahong ito. Para akong ibong nakawala sa hawla at natutung maging magsarili. Mag-isa kong pinapanood ang mga pelikula ni Vilma at masaya na ako sa ganoon kahit na papaano. Pero hindi pa rin ako matatawag na ’die hard fan’ dahil hindi lahat ng Vilma Santos movie ay aking pinapanood tulad ng Doctor, doctor…at Ayaw kong maging Kerida. Namimili pa rin. Ang dalawang pelikulang hinding hindi ko nakakalimutan at lalong nagpahanga sa akin ay ang Pahiram ng Isang Umaga at ang makabuluhang Sister Stella L. Dito na nag-iba ang pagtingin ko sa kanya. Artistang may ’social at political relevance’ sa mga trabaho niya. Matapang. Noong mga unang taon ng dekada ’80, ako’y nagumpisang mangolekta ng mga librong Anthology ng Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature na bigay ng La Tondena Distillery. Dito ko unang nakilala si Lualhai Bautista at nabasa ang Dekada ’70. Mainit ang librong ito noong panahong iyon. Nangarap akong sana’y isapelikula ni Vilma ito. May matinding mensahe at ang babae dito ay ayaw nang magsawalang kibo sa nangyayari sa kapaligiran niya. Vilmang Vilma. Ito, sabi ko ang kasunod ng Sister Stella L. Nang sumunod naman ang nobelang Bata-Bata, Paano ka Ginawa noong 1984, nangarap uli ako at pumasok talaga sa isip ko ang padalhan si Ate Vi ng dalawang aklat na ito at imungkahing gawin niya. Nabanggit ko ito sa aking matalik na kaibigan at ako’y tinawanan lamang at sinabing ako’y nahihibang. Siyempre, Isa ako sa unang labis na natuwa at nagalak nang ito ay natupad pagkaraan ng halos dalawang dekadang paghihintay. 1990’s-2003: Memoirs of Buhay ’Merika. Malayo man ako sa inang bayan, balitang Vilma pa rin ang aking unang hinahanap. Ilang minuto lamang ang Hollywood mula sa trabaho o tirahan at naglilipana rin ang mga babasahin at balita tungkol sa mga bituin ng Hollywood pero wala pa rin. Merong Kulang. Paminsan-minsan ay merong balitang Ate Vi sa mga diaryong Pilipino dito at nakaka-dulot na ito ng saya ngunit bitin pa rin. Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa internet at naging mas madali at mabilis ang paghanap ng mga balita tungkol kay Mayor Vi. Palihim at panakaw akong naghahanap ng balita sa net kapag nasa trabaho ako. Sa internet ko nalaman ang unang pagkapanalo niya sa eleksiyon. Ganoon din ang pangalawa at ang pangatlo. Sa mga panahong ito, ako ay sumaludo at naging 100% Vilmanian at taas noong pinagmamalaki siya noong pinatunayan niya ang pagiging epektibo niya sa kanyang panungkulan bilang Mayor. Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, may ’clippings’ ako ni Ate Vi at iyon ay pinamagatang Starring: Vilma Santos sa Newsbreak ng Inq7 (Oct. 27, 2003).

Sa tuwa ko ay gumawa ako ng maraming kopya at pinamudmod ito sa mga kaibigan kong pinoy na gustong makinig. Kasabay sa isyung ito ang artikulong The Bad Mayor na si Joey Marquez. Tunay nga siyang kahanga-hanga. Hindi na isang artista lamang ang tingin ko sa kanya mula noon. Role Model at Inspirasyon. Magaling na aktres, marunong bumangon sa pagkadapa, maganda at mabait, mapagkumbaba, kagalang-galang at mas may bayag pa kesa sa ibang lalaki. Sa mga iilang taong iniluluklok ko sa pedestal na nabubuhay pa ay pawang mga lalaki iyon at maituturing kong malaking karangalan at pasasalamat at nakaharap ko sila sa magkakaibang okasyon. Sina Noam Chomsky, Warren Buffett at HH the Dalai Lama. Ikinagagalak kong sabihin na si Ate Vi ay kabilang na ngayon sa mga ito. Sana ay makadupangpalad ko siya. Sa pamamagitan pa rin ng internet, nalalaman ko ang mga bago niyang pelikula at aking inaabangan sa mga tindahang Pilipino sa may Vermont St., Temple St. at sa Glendale kung saan pugad ng ang Pinoy. Kasama ang kaibigan kong Vilmanian at ang buong pamilya niya, sabay kaming manonood ng mga pelikulang Vilma sa kanilang bahay tuwing linggo habang kumukukot ng cornicks, Chippy o V-Cut, chicharon na may suka o di kaya ay manggang hilaw at bagoong at minsan naman ay caramel pop-corn at pulvoron ng Goldilock’s. Kahit papaano, nasa Pilipinas uli kami sa mga sandaling iyon. Panahon naman ito ng mga Ipagpatawad mo, Dolzura Cortez, Sinungaling mong Puso at Bata-bata. Halos linggu-linggo kung dalawin ko ang aking nakababatang kapatid at kalapit nito ang West Covina. Sa aking pagkaka-alam, dito nakatira ang pamilya Santos.

Minsan ay nababasa ko na lamang na nasa California si Ate Vi at nagbabakasyon. Natutuwa naman ako at alam kong naririyan lamang siya sa malapit ngunit wala naman akong maisip na paraan kung paano siya makaharap. So near and yet so far nga. 2004 noong una kong matunghayan ang ibat-ibang website ni Ate Vi. Nagmamasid lamang ako noon at naglakas loob lamang sumali noong 2005. Nasa ibang bansa na uli ako at malayo pa rin sa sariling bayan ngunit hindi na ako pipi ngayon bilang Vilmanian. Salamat sa grupong ito at nabigyan ako ng boses bilang isang Vilmanian. Nang dumating ang UP Gawad Plaridel ay hindi ko maiwasang mapaluha sa galak. Gustong gusto kong maging bahagi sa okasyong ito na handog ng sistemang aking pinagmulan subalit sadyang hindi nauukol. Hindi pa rin ako mapakali at nakadalawang tawag ako sa kolehiyo ng Mass Comm noong araw ng parangal upang makibalita. Madaling araw man dito noon ay hindi ko ininda. Ito kasi ang itinuturing kong pinakamahalagang parangal na natamo niya sa buong buhay niya. Bindikasyon ito sa lahat ng nagawa at nai-ambag niya sa sining at taong bayan. At nagpapatunay lamang ito na hindi nga ako nagkamali sa pagpili ng hinahangaan. Ngayon, dito sa grupong ito ko na kinukuha ang mga pinakasariwang balita tungkol kay Ate Vi at ang magbigay o makinig ng opinyon. Dito ako nakatagpo ng maraming kapwa Vilmanian na hindi ko naranasan noon. Ang unang-una kong pakikipag-tanggol at pakiki-pagsagutan sa kampong mapang-away kahit man lang sa pagsulat. Unti-unti ko ring hinahasa dito ang kinakalawang kong pag-sulat sa Ingles man o sariling wika. Dito ko naranasan ang pinakamalapit kong pakikiharap kay Mayor Vi sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pagbati at pagsulat. At siya, bilang aking inspirasyon, ang nakapag-udyok sa aking makagawa at maibahagi dito ang kauna-unahang ’haiku’ sa tanang buhay ko na hindi ko inaasahang mangyayari. Salamat, Ate Vi. Agra Amauri, n.b. Ang paggamit ng pangalang ito ay pagbibigay pugay sa isang taong naging tulay upang madiskubre ang isang munting Vilma Santos. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, ang ’uncle Amaury Agra’ ni Ate Vi ang unang nagdala at nagprisinta kay Doc Perez sa Sampaguita Pictures. After that, the rest is history. Ano na kaya ang nangyari sa kanya? Wala akong nababasa tungkol sa kanya. Kung saan man siya naroroon, maraming salamat.

R Viray - Maliit pa akong bata, mulat na ang kaisipan ko tungkol sa mga bagay bagay tungkol kay ate Vi. Madalas yung mga amiga ng auntie kapag nagmamadjong, isa sa mga usapan nila lagi ay nauuwi sa mga maiinit na debate tungkol kung sinong mas mas maganda, kung sinong mas magaling kumanta, sumayaw. Kadalasan ang kinauuwian nito’y ang pagliliparan ng mga “tiles” ng madjong. Ang mga amiga ng tita’y ang mga makukulay na karakter sa aking kabataan. Nakasanayan ko nang manood ng mga pelikula ni Ate Vi mula pa sa aking kabataan. Mayroon kaming kamaganak na takilyera kung kaya madalas ang pagpasok namin sa mga sinehan na walang bayad. Ilang sa mga pelikulang napanood ko na nagbigay sa aking ng ilang bangungot ay ang mga pelikula ni Ate Vi na kakatakutan. Katulad ng Lipad Darna Lipad, Hatingabi na Vilma at Anak ng Aswang. Kung sa gabi’y banungot ang lagi kong nararanasan salamat naman kay Darna at ang kapatid niyang si Ding laging nasasagip ako sa ending ng bawat masamang panaginip ko. Sa tuwing hapon matapos ang aking klase, takbo ako ng takbo, kalaro ko ang aking pinsan.

Ako si Darna at ang pinsan ko naman ang babaing ahas! Labanang umaatikabo. Takbo kami sa bubong hanggang sa silong na aming bahay. Sigaw ng sigaw si inay lalo na nang marumihan namin ang puting kulambo na kakaalmirol lamang niya’t nakasabit kisame ng aming sala. Takbo rito, takbo ruon habol na rin si inay sa amin. Kapag dumarating na si tatay na lasing, naiisip ko lagi si Max Alvarado sa Darna and the Giants. Dahil sa mga yabag niya, nabubugabog ang buong bahay namin. Kapag dumarating rin si tatay ay laging napuputol ang panonood ko sa tv. Taong 1973, gabi ng parangal ng FAMAS. Nominado si Ate Vi. Nakatutok ako sa telebisyon habang nanahi ang nanay ko ng mga belong itinitinda niya sa Quiapo. Hating-gabi na pero dahil sa kaabalahan ay hindi ako pansin ni inay. Malapit nang i-proklama kung sino ang best actress. Hanggang sa dumating si Itay, si Max. Bakit raw gising pa ako! Inutusan akong bumili ng kanyang lapad. Nagdadabog akong tumakbo sa tindahan. Malayo-layo rin ito. Mabilis akong kumilos dahil sa banta ni itay na kung hindi ako kikilos agad papatayin niya ang telebisyon. Mga sampung kanto rin ang tindahan mula sa aming bakuran. Ilang araw na ulan kung kaya ang lupa sa aming bakuran ay basa’t maputik. Sa tindahan magsasara na si Aling Toyang mabuti na lang at naabutan ko kung hindi’y ang lalakbayin ko’y dagdag na anim na kanto, duon sa susunod na tindahan, kay Mang Tomas. Kapag kuha ko ng lapad ay takbo na ako. Sigaw ako ng Darna at ang pakiramdam ko talaga’y lumilipad ako. Malapit na ako sa aming pinto’t tumatakbo ako sa aming bakuran ng marinig ko ang mga kahol ng aso ng aming kapitbahay. Sa tako’t ko’y lalo ko pang binilisan ang pagtakbo hanggang sa madapa ako sa gitna ng putikan. Galit na galit ang tatay ko. Bakit raw puro putik ang lapad niya, pero mabuti raw at hindi nabasag. Galit na galit ang nanay ko at nag-umpisa na silang mag-away dahil ang sabi ni nanay mas mahalaga pa raw kay Max ang lapad niya. Naligo agad ako’t nagbihis at bumalik sa harap ng telebisyon habang patuloy na nagaaway ng tatay at nanay ko. Malapit nang sabihin kung sino ang mananalo nang bigla na lamang akong sigawan ng tatay ko’t ibig paalisin sa harap ng telebisyon. Napatingin na lamang ako sa nanay ko upang humingi ng saklolo. Hatak hatak ako ng tatay ko pero nakatutok pa rin ang mga mata ko sa telebisyon. Iprinoklaman si Ate na ka-tie ni Boots Anson Roa bilang best aktres! Habang paakyat ng entablado si Ate Vi, nakangiti ako, hindi ko alam na pinapalo na pala ako ng tatay ko ng kanyang sinturon. Nang patayin ng tatay ko ang telebisyon ay saka ako napasigaw sa sakit, latay latay na pala ang katawan ko hindi ko pa pansin dahil sa epekto ni Ate Vi sa akin. Bata pa ako nuon hanggang sa lumaki ako, lahat ng sakit sa puso at kung ano anong problema hindi ko naaalintana dahil nariyan si Ate Vi. - Unang nilathala nuong 2005 sa V magazine at VS Yahoo e-group


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