Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lamasan's In My Life

"Huwag kang magmagaling! Dahil wala kang alam!" - Shirley

Basic Information: Directed: Olivia M. Lamasan; Story: Raymond Lee, Olivia M. Lamasan; Screenplay: Raymond Lee, Senedy Que, Olivia M. Lamasan; Cast: Vilma Santos, John Lloyd Cruz, Luis Manzano, Tirso Cruz III; Executive producer: Malou N. Santos; Original Music: Nonong Buencamino; Cinematography: Charlie Peralta; Film Editing: Marya Ignacio; Production Design: Elfren Vibar; Theme Song: “Something New In My Life” Performed by Sarah Geronimo; Official Web-site:

Plot Description: Santos plays Shirley, a public school librarian who wants to be in control of everything. Her unwarranted intervention in the lives of her children and their families leads to their emotional detachment from each other. Feeling she has lost her command over her children, she flies to New York to reunite with his estranged son, Mark (Manzano) only to find out that her son is gay and she has to live with him and his lover, illegal immigrant Noel (Cruz). As Shirley struggles to deal with the situation and with living in the Big Apple, she discovers that being gay is not the only huge secret that Mark is keeping. Discovering what this is will change Shirley’s life forever. –

Film Achievement: Gawad Tanglaw: Best Film, Best Actress - Vilma Santos, Best Actor - John LLoyd Cruz, Best Supporting Actor - Luis Manzano, Best Director - Olivia Lamasan; Gawad Suri: Best Film, Best Director - Olivia Lamasan, Best Actress - Vilma Santos, Best Actor - John Lloyd Cruz, Best Supporting Actor - Luis Manzano; PMPC Star Awards: Best Picture, Best Director - Olivia Lamasan, Best Actress - Vilma Santos, Best Actor - John Lloyd Cruz, Best Supporting Actor - Luis Manzano, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography; GMMSF Box-office Entertainment Awards: Best Actress - Vilma Santos, Best Actors - John Lloyd Cruz and Luis Manzano, Best Screenplay; MTRCB Film Awards: Best Actress -Vilma Santos, Best supporting actor - John Lloyd Cruz; Genio Awards: Best Actress - Vilma Santos, Best Actor - John Lloyd Cruz, Best Supporting Actor - Luis Manzano, Best Sreenplay

Other Achievements: Golden Screen: Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos, Best Actor Nomination – John Llyod Cruz, Best Supporting Actor Nomination – Luis Manzano; 2009, Best Motion Picture Drama Nomination – Star Cinema, Best Director Nomination – Olivia Lamasan, Best Screenplay nominations – Lee, Lamasan, Que, Best Cinematography nomination – Charlie Peralta, Best Editing Nomination – Marya Ignacio; 2009 Golden Screen Best Production Design Nomination – Elfren Vivar, Best Sound Nomination – Albert Michael Idioma, Best Musical Score Nomination – Nonong Buencamino; Gawad URIAN: Best Actress Nomination – Vilma Santos, Best Actor Nomination – John Llyod Cruz; FAMAS: Best Picture nomination – Star Cinema, Best Actor nomination - John Lloyd Cruz, Best Supporting Actor nomination - Luis Manzano, Best Director nomination - Olivia M. Lamasan, Best Cinematography nomination - Charlie Peralta, Best Sound nomination - Albert Michael Idioma, Best Screenplay and Story nominations - Raymond Lee/Olivia Lamasan, Best Musical Score nomination - Nonong Buencamino, Best Art Direction nomination - Elfren Vivar

‘In My Life’ Earns a Record P20M On First Day - Star Cinema’s “In My Life,” the ABS-CBN movie outfit’s grandest film offering for 2009, earned a record P20 million in ticket sales on its first day of screening on Wednesday. This was according to the data released by Star Cinema’s Booking and Distribution Department, “SNN: Showbiz News Ngayon” reported. Under the direction of well-acclaimed director Olivia Lamasan, “In My Live” is posing to surpass the total earnings of Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos’ 2002 Star Cinema film, “Dekada ’70.” “Dekada ’70″ was Santos last film project before she agreed to do “In My Life.” “In My Life” lead stars Luis Manzano, John Lloyd Cruz and Santos were grateful to all moviegoers who supported their film. “Maraming salamat po sa inyo. It’s a happy movie. Medyo may kurot sa puso. Buhay niyo po ito, iyong nanay niyo at kung paano magmahal nang unconditional,” Santos said. Cruz added: “Sa totoo lang hindi ako makapaniwala na natapos ko itong movie at naka-trabaho ko si Ate Vi, si inang (Lamasan). I will be forever grateful sa naabot kong ito.” Manzano also thanked all those who commended him for his genuine portrayal of a gay man. “Hindi po biro ang pinanggalingan naming lahat. So the fact na masabi iyon na I gave justice to Mark’s role, napakalaking bagay na po noon para sa akin. Thank you very much,” Manzano said. – 09/17/2009

In My life screened in selected cities in United States and Canada in October of 2009 with huge success.

Film Reviews: In My Life, which stars Vilma Santos as a librarian, opens on September 16 and, predictably enough, articles about the film are beginning to appear. In “Direk Olive’s ‘In My Life’ is bold and fresh,” by Walden Sadiri (Manila Bulletin, 2009), its director Olive Lamasan is quoted as saying that she helped Santos “rehearse how a librarian walks and looks ‘losyang.’” If this were an article for a scholarly journal, I suppose some questions that could be asked are: Is there such a thing as a “librarian walk”? Are all librarians losyang (Tagalog slang for unglamorous)? But it probably isn’t fair to ask such questions of an article that only seeks to promote the release of a soon-to-be shown film. I think it’s important to remember that Lamasan is talking about a specific character in a particular film. And that it would be a mistake to focus only on this one phrase in the 20-paragraph article or judge the entire movie based on how the librarian is portrayed. I don’t think there was any intention to characterize ALL librarians as losyang. But we also cannot deny that this stereotypical librarian exists. I look at the photo above and remember that more than a few librarians I’ve met dress exactly that way. Should the director perhaps have made sure that all kinds of librarians were represented in her film? It’s not her responsibility to do so and that’s not really how movies are made. Librarians can probably condemn the movie and/or call for a boycott, but what will that accomplish? I think it’s much better to take this opportunity to say that, yes, there is an existing stereotype, but there are so many different kinds of librarians AND promote what these librarians are doing that do not fit the stereotype. The reason the image of the losyang librarian persists is that people do not see any other kind of librarian in media.

This is the reason I always identify myself as a librarian AND started putting my photo on my blog. If we do not present alternative images of librarians, there is no way the stereotype will be replaced. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We can’t just leave it to others to tell the people who we are; that’s why the stereotypes about librarians continue to flourish. We have to be the ones to go out there and tell people who we are. It’s not enough to complain about inaccurate images of librarians; we must be able to present alternative, positive images in movies, books and, yes, blogs =) An article entitled “It’s hip to be a librarian” appeared in the same newspaper last month. A few weeks before that, the influence of Reynaldo G. Alejandro as a librarian on a young boy was specifically mentioned by the grown journalist who benefited from his guidance. It is my hope that more journalists will consider doing more stories about non-stereotypical librarians on TV and in print. And that librarians will be more conscious about promoting their profession as well. - Source: The Filipino Librarian

The best thing about it is that it got made. Star Cinema, the most mainstream of movie studios in the country, lagged behind the so-called gay bandwagon, perhaps by strict design: It’s not supposed to be their territory. Homosexuality, believed to be a niche concern, presumably falls outside the realm of Star Cinema’s broad, PG-13 market. Yet by some dint of miracle, it casts Vilma Santos, one of the biggest stars ever, and a present provincial governor no less, in the main role of a mother to a gay son, played by Luis Manzano, Santos’ real life son. And then, oh boy, in the role of Manzano’s lover, the country’s current most bankable romantic leading man, John Lloyd Cruz. It’s directed by Olivia Lamasan, whose female-centered melodramas have come to emblematize the Star Cinema brand. With such trusted names, is there still reason for the public to shy away from the gay topic? The uncanny hat-trick of In My Life is that the bandwagon it jumps is not the gay one, but still the female-centered family melodrama that Star Cinema helped galvanize, and also the OFW movie — a drama mapping the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers and their families — perhaps one of only two originally Filipino genres to emerge from our lifetime. (The other one is the macho dancer movie.) This one is largely set in New York City, and it’s centrally the woman’s story, with the gay elements tempered and almost subliminal. That is the film’s winning strategy, but also its debilitating blind spot. What suffers is specificity. What do we know of the two guys’ relationship? Most of it is left to the imagination, or, more accurately, to That Which We Know But Never Show Or Talk About. Is their relationship even sexual? The film’s one kiss, which arrives late in the movie, is a swift, barely-brushed lip-to-limp. It’s also meant to express apology and forgiveness — you know, the wholesome, Catholic facet of love. It’s hard for me to muster enough love for a movie that’s intentionally castrated and guilty.

But it’s not just the sex that’s missing. I vaguely get to understand the lives of these two gay men in New York City. For example, what is Mark’s job and why is he so damn busy? There’s also a gay bar, but we barely see what goes on there, or what the interior even looks like. And the ultimate missing information: Is Noel gay, bi, confused, pretending, or maybe just another straight guy who happens to love a gay guy? It’s up to the viewer to decide; Your Mom might have a different opinion than you. Cruz’s family-friendly persona is spared of the damage. Not to give away spoilers, but he does end up quite a chaste man by film’s end. All’s well in the happy sin-free world, where only one of two things can happen to a gay man: He either dies violently or just stops being gay. Of course, John Lloyd Cruz as Noel is the archetypal leading man of Star Cinema: a man who loves unconditionally, who suffers for his love, who also happens to be devoted to his parents. He’s predictably given moments to bare his heart out. But Manzano as Mark is the more interesting creation. He’d rather go to the gym than spend time with his Mom, and he makes that strange proposal to her (I won’t give away the surprise), tapping into a son who’s both practical and caring, tough and sweet. Plus, with all that missing sex in the movie, Manzano manages to hint at someone who’s comfortable with it, next to Cruz’s somewhat frozen take on man-to-man touching.

But what little gay moments that are permitted to slip through are strong. In one scene, Shirley (Santos) complains that her son never even “came out” to her. In defense, Mark points out the double standard: If his straight siblings were never obligated to declare their straightness, why should he announce his gayness? Lamasan’s co-writers, Raymond Lee and Senedy Que, are minds behind two of the most progressive queer films of our time. (Lee produced Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros; Que wrote and directed Dose.) Like those films, In My Life belies a fierce intelligence, wisdom that comes from a place of experience, at least whenever it’s allowed. The film’s most special move is that it roots Mark’s anxiety — He’s never good enough for Mom — to that moment in adolescence when he felt his homosexuality was a disappointment. But the makers don’t know when to ease up on the melodramatic conventions, which stall the movie here and there. Shirley’s journey is marked with obvious, rigid plotpoints. She spends the first part whining about America with a capital A, then finds mini-success as a career woman, complete with feel-good montage. There’s an old-fashioned, weary mannerism to Lamasan’s approach, not helped by her visual team. New York is a flat, gray city in the eyes of cinematographer Charlie Peralta, and lifeless and generic according to production designer Elfren Vibar. Somewhere in this movie is a shining work of art, but it’s shrouded in mediocrity. GRADE: B – The Bakla Review - In My Life (Olivia Lamasan, 2009) October 10, 2009

It is easy to blame it on distance. They say distance kills families. Distance breeds rebellious children who account their parentless childhood for lack of love towards them. It breeds children who don’t finish school and do drugs instead. It breeds children who would rather party all night than call their parents and ask them how they’re doing. It breeds children who complain they can’t find time to call their parents because it’s so late, why don’t they just call me instead? And when the parents call, Oh, shit, tell them I’m busy. Studying. These children who have always thought that the lack of attention given to them, like Claudine Barretto’s character in Anak, is more important than the attention given to them. They don’t need material things, they don’t need tuition for school, they don’t need extra allowance, they don’t need a secure home and steady future: what they need is the only thing not given to them. Their parents rearing them, being with them, seeing them everyday. Like that scene, the best moments in the film are those which meld specific personal experience to the anyone-can-relate universal — which is really the aim of the genre of melodrama. Santos may be a mother to a gay son, but she’s really just any parent who wants to say sorry for her mistakes. Dimples Romana, in a great supporting performance, is any daughter (or son) who felt like a failure. That response to parental distance is not exactly wrong, but the movies made out of it make it appear that distance is the only reason why families break up, and why children lose their lines of communication with their parents. No one wants to go away, no one wants to work abroad and leave their children behind, no one wants to see them brought up by somebody else. But a family has to eat, kids have to go to school, young ladies need nice clothes for the prom, boys need boy things, the house must be repaired, your cousin Boyet has cancer, your Lolo Tasyo died and we have to pay for the coffin and the funeral parlor, and so on and so forth. Necessities pile up, so parents try their luck abroad and stay there for years. Children are left to stay with their lolos and lolas, or titos and titas. Parents send money once or twice a month, send boxes of imported goods, chocolates, clothes, love letters. Years go by. They go back. They see the worth of their sacrifice. Their children have all grown up. They don’t even recognize them, even if they send pictures once a year on their birthdays. But some things are lost, some things are left unsaid between them, or rather, some things are preferred not to be said. The distance mattered. From geographical to emotional, the distance continues to separate them.

But as I said, it is easy to hold the distance responsible. The homebreaker. The murderer of good relationships. We are so acquainted with these overseas worker stories that we tend to limit our understanding and segregate them into labeled “lucky” and “unlucky” boxes. In My Life closes the deal for me upon setting this matter straight. In this case, the son works abroad and the mother follows him, initially for a vacation. After mulling things over, or as it seems, she plans to stay for good. She thinks she has nowhere to go. Her daughter is migrating to Australia. Her former husband and her children prod her to agree to sell the house more than its worth. Staying in New York wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially that she is an American citizen by birth. The baggage of family problems she carries dents the narrative. Apparently, working in another country is an issue here. But it is not what keeps her family apart. For one, her daughter and her family want to stay in Australia holding on the promise of better life. Her son works in New York after an opportunity given to him by his employer. Or—he chooses to stay because he wants the hell out of his boring life in the Philippines. Or—sounding more judgmental, maybe he just wants to have fun, collect strangers, knit love stories out of them and make himself happy. Or—we just don’t know how many reasons we can come up with. But I wish to raise my tone here. Distance is not the problem. It is the mother’s failure to bring up her children well. As you see, the same producers who gave us Milan, Dubai, and Caregiver also made For The First Time and Love Me Again. Once love and work are set in another place, they become special. And In My Life is special in the virtue of the mother’s character as a failed one. She spent time with her children trying to raise them like any good mother does. She hardly listened to what they wanted because she thought she knew what’s best for them. She was there, as they all grew up. Along the way, her children made choices, and she was unaware that she was neglecting things that were important to them. Her son’s sexuality, her daughter’s dream of becoming a doctor, her husband’s unknown reason for splitting up. In defense of her character, she did her best. But she failed, and it took its toll on her. Gravely.

She had to realize it—so there goes the fish-out-of-the-water setup in New York. She meets her son’s partner who willingly guides her in the city. The partner is heavily used as a device to reveal her nature. Personally, it is the mother’s relationship with him—as opposed to the mother-son or mother-daughter or mother-herself relationship—that is integral to the film’s premise. The most beautiful part of the film is not when her son confesses to her about his childhood, but when she and her son’s partner exchange snide remarks after the wake, and they argue and throw rocks of guilt at each other. From then on the doubt we raised on her character becomes truth. She has no one to blame for her suffering but herself. The woman who plays the mother tries hard to be young, which might be the pattern of her recent films. It is not a bad path after all, for one has to graduate from doing the same things for a long time. She has comedic timing, and she has dramatic prowess. When she complains, “Ginagawa niya akong turista! Ikaw ang pinunta ko rito, hindi ‘yung tour!” we laugh because she is witty. When she throws a tantrum after getting lost in the subway, we hate her. Apart from knowing that it was her fault, we can’t stand the charming partner being blamed despite his niceness by an ingrate. It crossed my mind to call her character one of the weakest roles ever written for her, but that’s just because Shirley Templo isn’t too likable. She is repulsive most of the time. Reflecting, the actor has portrayed “unlikable” characters before, even taboo roles for that matter, yet we still like her. But in In My Life, her role tends to go beyond understanding; you just need to be her to understand her. Yet the actor delivers; she deceives us. But the blood of the film flows from the actor who plays the son’s partner.

Amid the histrionics and uneven noise of the film in general, he shows his restraint without fuss. Apparently the writers intend to make his character subdued. He exists in the periphery without losing his grip. When he cries at his partner’s back as he hugs him on the bridge, he is the equivalent of sacrifice. Never show the pain, never show the loneliness. That’s us, on the screen. The brief exposure of his family’s life is enough for us to connect with him. Contrary to the emphasis given to the mother’s family, we would like to know him more, know if the lump in his mother’s breast is just a false alarm, know if he’s just fine after crying overnight. We learn about his troubles in staying in the States, how he juggles work and hobby, how he struggles to earn for his marriage. God forbid, we don’t want him to fall into the arms of Pamela. His issues are more interesting, yet what makes him special is that like most people around us, we only get to know him up to a certain extent. He comes and goes. We miss him. We want to see if he’s fine. His distance unsettles us, in a good way. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that these locations that the producers choose are just a way to make more money. They could show it abroad and Filipinos there would flock to the theaters, filled with expectations of connecting with the film one way or another, see their lives projected on screen, see themselves in the characters. It’s some sort of self-discovery. They want to be intimate with themselves, see how it works, see their situations from afar, observe how other people react. Their identification with the characters is what they paid the tickets for. If they don’t shed a tear, that’s disappointment. But more often they just find ways to connect. They look at the nuances with affection, checking if the characters reacted the same way they did in similar situations. Audiences seek connection, and if they don’t find it, they create it. Even if the film is more of an examination of their faults as parents and children than the circumstances that brought them where they are. – Richard Bolisay, Lilok Pelikula (READ MORE)

"...Luis Manzano has a memorable scene with his mom, Vilma. The picnic scene shows Mark with Shirley. They have a one-on-one talk about how Shirley began to distance herself from Mark because of his sexuality. Manzano was so gay-ingly good in this scene. He did not portray Mark as the swishy type but is still convincing as a homosexual. Manzano will figure in another memorable and well-directed scene. Nope, it is not the passionate scene but the one involving him and his preoccupation with his cellphone. The much-hyped passionate scene is a dud. If you blink, then you will probably miss it. The beautiful shot before the kissing scene is the one that should have been talked about. We see Noel hugging Mark while a tear drop rolls down his cheek. Now, that is a passionate person who is very much in love! There are directing and script flaws that bother me. The travelogue scenes diminish the impact of the fish-out-of-the-water concept. The initial scenes give the impression that Shirley is very much adapted to the city. Also, Shirley is not a bumbling moron. She is an educated person and a librarian at that. The wacky scenes are completely out of line. The film seems to be about how a mother comes to grips with her homophobia. Well, it turns out, that she is not only distant to her son but also to her two daughters. She is not homophobic. She is plainly a bad mother. How she ended up being a bad mother was not tackled at all. The film was so caught up with other topics such as marriage for convenience, and gay couples that it forgot the major topic..." - Film Angel (READ MORE)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Very Long Rivalry (Repost)

Vilma Santos’ triumph as Best Actress – for Mano Po 3 (My Love) – at the Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2004 parallels her greatest rival Nora Aunor’s similar feat at the Manila Film Festival last June, where Nora won for Naglalayag. So it goes without saying Nora and Vilma will once again be major contenders for the top acting honors in this year’s awards season. Nora, for the Maryo J. delos Reyes opus in which she portrayed a lady judge who fell in love with a man half her age; while Vilma, for Joel Lamangan’s romance-drama about a Chinese anti-crime crusader torn between her family and a past love. Nora versus Vilma. Their acting duel is never ending. All these years, their fight for the Best Actress plum in practically all the local award-giving bodies has been much anticipated since.

1972 - 1973

1972 - At the Quezon City Film Festival, then held every October, Nora’s entry was Sampaguita Pictures’ And God Smiled At Me (directed by Tony Cayado and Danny Holmsen); while Vilma’s banner vehicle was Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions’ Dama de Noche (directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza). And the winner was Nora! May die-hard Vilmanian kaming kaklase sa elementary, ang sabi: ‘Luto ‘yun, dahil malapit si Nora kay QC Mayor Norberto Amoranto!” Such loose talks were never confirmed to be true. Or as Tempo’s veteran movie columnist Ronald K. Constantino avers, ‘Nora never figured in any awards scam!”

1973 - Sa annual Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards Night, it was the Vilmanians’ turn to rejoice. Vi was ad-judged Best Actress for Dama de Noche, ka-tie ni Boots Anson-Roa (for JE Productions’ Augusto Buenaventura megger Tatay Na Si Erap). Nora wasn’t nominated for her award-winning starrer at the QC filmfest, but for The Gift of Love kung saan siya gumanap ng dual role: bilang isang cancer-stricken patient at ang kakambal na eventually ay napunta kay Tirso Cruz III. Dama de Noche, which paired Vi with Edgar Mortiz, also had her doing two parts: a baliw and a sane sister.

1974 - 1975

In the succeeding years, nagkatunggali sina Nora at Vilma, mainly for box-office supremacy. May point na parehong box-office hit ang mga pelikula nina Nora (her own NV Productions’ Banaue) at Vilma (Nakakahiya? for Virgo Films), at nagkalaban sila for Best Actress sa Bacolod City Film Festival in 1975. Si Vilma ang nanalo para sa dinirek ni Eddie Rodriguez (a.k.a. Luis Enriquez), but Nora’s entry – helmed by Gerry de Leon – won as Best Picture. In 1974, Nora did a major dramatic trilogy for Premiere Productions: Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, which was handled by Cirio Santiago, Lamberto V. Avellana and Gerry de Leon. (Avellana and de Leon were to be honored as National Artists for Film in the years to come.) Nora won a FAMAS Best Actress nomination for Fe, Esperanza, Caridad; tulad sa ibang pelikula na nagpamalas siya ng potential bilang mahusay na aktres early on, such as George Rowe’s Paruparong Itim in 1973. Nora, as a deaf-mute blind woman, was beaten by Gloria Sevilla (for Gimingaw Ako, a Visayan movie). Ang notable performances ni Vilma Santos that time were in TIIP films: Biktima and Karugtong Ang Kahapon (by Borlaza), na entries sa MFF in 1974 and the 1st Metro Manila Film Festival in September 1975.  At first MMFF, Nora’s entry, NV Productions’ Batu-Bato sa Langit (directed by Luciano B. Carlos), was a blockbuster and  won as 3rd Best Picture. Kapwa na-hone ang acting potentials nina Guy at Vi (sa tulong din ng kanilang TV drama anthologies – Ang Makulay na Daigdig ni Norang RPN 9 at Dulambuhay ni Rosa Vilma ng BBC 2 – pero sige pa rin ang paggawa nila ng mga pelikulang komersyal dahil sila ang mga reyna ng takilya noon.

1976 -1977

Nagkakalaban pa rin sina Nora at Vilma sa FAMAS, pero kapwa sila talunan. Especially Vilma, who didn’t win another FAMAS Best Actress trophy until 1982 (with Elwood Perez’s 1981 megger Pakawalan Mo Ako). In 1976, Nora Aunor’s “landmark performance ” in Mario O’Hara’s Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos won nods from the FAMAS voters as well as from the Gawad Urian critic-jurors bilang Best Actress. Hindi si Vilma ang naging mahigpit na kalaban ni Nora, kundi si Hilda Koronel (for Lino Brocka’s Insiang). Sa MMFF in December 1976, si Hilda ang Best Actress, but Nora’s performance in Lupita Kashiwahara’s Minsa’y Isang Gamugamo was equally acclaimed by the critics. (Minsa’y…won as FAMAS Best Picture in 1977.) It was the first year of the Gawad Urian (organized by film critics collectively known as the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino), at si Nora ang nag-buena-mano as Best Actress. Henceforth, hindi na lamang ang FAMAS ang kinilalang tagapagbigay-parangal sa industriya ng pelikulang lokal. Sa mga sumunod na taon, dumami ang award-giving body sa movie industry. Bukod dito, ang mga filmfest sa iba’t ibang siyudad outside Metro Manila; like in Davao City, where Nora Aunor once won as Best Actress for Tito Sanchez’s Ibilanggo si Neneng Magtanggol.

In 1977, it was apparent that the actress in Vilma Santos fully emerged when she won the MMFF Best Actress award for the controversial Celso Ad Castillo period drama Burlesk Queen. Unfortunately, her winning was marred by nasty talks (na kesyo binawi ang mga napanalunan ng pelikula, including Vi’s trophy or medallion.) It seems nakaapekto ‘yun sa awarding na pambuong taon: at the FAMAS, Vilma lost to Susan Roces (for Maligno, also by Castillo); and, at the Gawad Urian, to Daria Ramirez (for Eddie Romero’s Sino ’ng Kapiling, Sino’ng Kasiping?). As for Nora Aunor, matapos ang grand entrance niya sa big league bilang major award-winning actress (with a double victory, unmatched at the time), isang actionromance- drama ang kanyang nagging panlaban: Augusto Buenaventura’s Bakya Mo Neneng, which paired her off with Tirso Cruz III and Joseph Estrada. The film won as Best Picture sa FAMAS. Nora’s and Vilma’s starrers were big moneymakers at the 1977 MMFF.

1978, Sa dinami-dami ng natamong karangalan nina Vilma Santos at Nora Aunor, interesting point of discussion pa rin among their followers ang nangyaring acting duel nila in the 1978 MMFF. Vilma was handled for the first time by Lino Brocka in Rubia Servios, produced by Sampaguita-VP Pictures. Vi enacted a rape victim na naghiganti sa kanyang rapist (Phillip Salvador) at napawalang-sala. On the other hand, Nora had Eddie Garcia for her director in Atsay, a serious look on housemaids, as written by the award-winning Edgardo M. Reyes and lensed by ace cinematographer Romeo Vitug. Sa MMFF that year, walang ibang acting category na mapapagwagian maliban sa Best Performer award, na si Nora ang nagwagi. “The triumph of restrained acting!” ayon sa sumunod na ulat matapos ang Gabi ng Parangal. All the while, perhaps almost everyone thought it would be Vilma Santos who’d get the award, dahil si Brocka na ang director niya. May talk show (the late Inday Badiday’s Would You Believe?) na sadyang iniangat ang pag-asa at pag-asam ni Vi na siya ang mananalo. At the awards night, papasok pa lang daw si Vi sa CCP Main Theater (venue ng rites), nilapitan agad siya ni Marichu “Manay Ichu” Perez-Maceda (her producer, na kabilang sa MMFF committee) and whispered: “I’m sorry, Vi, it’s not for you …” Nag-stay si Vi hanggang matapos ang ceremonies; nakipalakpak siya when her rival was declared winner. Katabi niya sa upuan si Christopher de Leon (Garrotte: Jai Alai King), who also lost. Ayon sa grapevine, naglasing si Vilma sa tindi ng siphayo. “Ang sakit, Manay!” Vi reportedly told Ichu, who also produced many of Nora’s earlier movies which made millions of pesos. In the Gawad Urian and FAMAS, naparangalan naman si Vilma, bilang producer ng Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-Itim ng Tagak which won as Best Picture. That year, mayroong pinagsamahang movie since Nora at Vilma, TIIP’s Ikaw Ay Akin na dinirek ni Ishmael Bernal, for which they were both Best Actress nominees at the Urian, but lost to Beth Bautista (for Danny Zialcita’s Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Babyb Porcuna). Sa FAMAS, hindi rin para kina Vi (Pagputi) at Nora (Atsay) ang Best Actress statuette, kundi kay Susan Roces (for Brocka’s gothic drama Gumising Ka … Maruja!). Fair enough?

1979 - 81

In 1979, 1980 and 1981, kapwa maningning ang mga pangalan nina Nora Aunor at Vilma Santos bilang box-office stars at awardwinning actresses. Pero hindi kahigpitan ang labanan nila sa iba’t ibang parangal. May panahong nananalo si Nora na ibang aktres ang mahigpit na kalaban; ganu’n din si Vilma. Nang ma-handle si Nora ni Brocka (in 1979’s Ina Ka ng Anak Mo, produced by Premiere Productions and written by Jose Dalisay Jr.), she was pitted with the formidable Lolita Rodriguez and it was to Nora’s credit na pumantay siya sa parangal – bilang MMFF Best Actress.  Sa 1979 FAMAS, Nora bested Lolita, who, with her performance in Brocka’s Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, beat Aunor in 1974. Ang “katapat” ng Nora-Lolita duo ay ang acting tandem nina Vilma Santos at Charito Solis in Bancom Audiovision’s Modelong Tanso, directed by Cirio Santiago. Sa 1979 Gawad Urian, it was neither Nora nor Lolita as Best Actress; the award instead went to Charito Solis for Brocka’s Ina, Kapatid, Anak.

In 1980, tatlong pelikula ni Nora Aunor ang maituturing na panlaban: two by Brocka (Nakaw na Pag-ibig and Bona) and the other by Laurice Guillen, Lea Productions’ Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo. She won the Gawad Urian for Bona. Ang panlaban ni Vilma was Zialcita’s Langis at Tubig. Hindi taon ni Vilma ang 1980, which saw the emergence of other young and talented actresses like Gina Alajar (Brutal), naka-tie ni Nora sa Urian, and Amy Austria, na tumalo kay Aunor sa Metro Manila Film Festival. In the 1980 MMFF, Amy won with a lone entry – Brutal – while Nora got nominated for Bona and Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo. (A case of split votes.) Sa 1980 Gawad Urian, nominated sina Nora, Gina (eventual winners) at Amy, samantalang si Vilma was “snubbed by the critics.” In 1981, nanalong MMFF Best Actress si Vilma for Zialcita’s Karma, besting Nora’s multi-character portrayal in Maryo J. delos Reyes’ musical-drama Rock ‘N Roll. Vi, however, failed to win any other nomination for that starrer, while Nora went on to win a trophy (Catholic Mass Media Awards) and Best Actress nomination (Gawad Urian) for Mario O’Hara’s Bakit Bughaw ang Langit?

1982, Nauso ang so-called Grand Slam Best Actress in 1983, nang manalo si Vilma Santos for Ishmael Bernal’s Relasyon. That 1982 film was a small, low-budget drama of a husband and his mistress. Nag-hit ang tandem nina Vi at Christopher de Leon, starting in 1978, with Sampaguita Pictures’ Masarap … Masakit ang Umibig and Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali (both by Elwood Perez), after their first pair-up in Celso Ad Castillo’s 1975 romance-drama Tag-Ulan sa Tag-Araw. For Relasyon, Vilma won as Best Actress sa CMMA, Gawad Urian, FAMAS and the debuting Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) Awards. Maging sa “minor” parangal, like the TV show Let’s Talk Movies ng RPN 9 (hosted by Armida Siguion Reyna, Behn Cervantes and Mario Bautista), si Vilma rin ang Best Actress for the Regal Films drama. With Nora Aunor as Vilma’s main competitor, it was an interesting, but utterly disappointing, acting duel. Sa FAMAS, Nora got nominated for Romy Suzara’s Mga Uod at Rosas – and lost. Sa ibang award-giving bodies, isang malaking pelikula at pagganap ni Nora – sa Himala, as the visionary Elsa – ang natalo kay Vilma. The Ishmael Bernal opus was produced by the Marcos government-established Experimental Cinema of the Philippines (ECP). Some were of the opinion na may bahagi ng pulitika sa pagkatalo ni Nora; marami raw sa movie industry ang anti-administration, kabilang ang sympathizers ng Free the Artists Movement na anti-censors. May malaking rally noon na hindi dinaluhan ni Nora, samantalang nakiisa sa protesta si Vilma. Gayon man, may parangal na natamo si Nora para sa Himala: the 1982 MMFF Best Actress, where it won 9 out of 13 awards, including Best Direction and Best Picture. Naging opening Film ang Himala sa 1983 Manila International Film Festival – organized by then First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos – at inilahok sa Berlin International Film Festival in February 1983. Ayon kay Bernal, Nora lost in Berlin to a Russian actress by a mere vote. Sa 7th Gawad Urian in 1983, nominated in almost all major and minor categories ang Himala but never won a single award. Ilang taon ang lumipas, sa tuwing titingnan ko ang Honor Roll ng Manunuri sa ipinamamahaging souvenir program, sadyang “walang Himala” na nagtamo ng parangal. But in 2002, sa 25th year ng Gawad Urian, kabilang ang Himala sa Pinakamahuhusay (Best Films of the past three decades) na naparangalan, with Nora Aunor personally receiving the overdue award para sa isang totoong klasikong pelikulang Pilipino. At bigla ngang naghimala ang Himala!

1983, Noong 1983 at 1984, nagkalaban uli sina Vilma at Nora, with Vi getting an edge. Bernal’s Broken Marriage won Vi her second Urian trophy, while Nora didn’t get a nomination (“Nora Out,” ayon sa introduction ng Highspeed column ni Ronald K. Constantino tungkol sa pagkaka-release ng Urian nominees for that year.) May drama starrer si Nora in 1983: Maryo J. delos Reyes’ Minsan, May Isang Ina, for which she got nominated sa FAMAS, where Charito Solis (Don’t Cry for Me, Papa) won and got elevated sa Hall of Fame. Taong 1983 nang makamit ni Nora Aunor ang TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) award for her contributions in media arts. Hindi man siya naka-Grand Slam as Best Actress, ang parangal ay natatangi at ipinagkakaloob hanggang ngayon sa outstanding women achievers in different socio-civic fields. Hindi dito natapos ang Nora-Vilma rivalry. Pero ang pagsasama ng dalawang aktres sa isang pelikula was not repeated after Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird at Ako (released in 1982). Their initial appearance together was in 1970’s Young Love; naulit in 1978, sa Ikaw Ay Akin ni Bernal; at mayroon silang tig-isang episode sa Dugo at Pag-Ibig sa Kapirasong Lupa in 1975 at Pinagbuklod ng Pag-Ibig, also released in early 1978.  At the height of the Nora-Vilma rivalry for acting supremacy, ang kanilang mga pelikula, magkahiwalay man sila o magkasama, ang may malaking kinikita for their producers. In 1982 and 1983, Vilma was Box-Office Queen and Urian Best Actress; while Nora did several blockbusters (like Beloved and Till We Meet Again). There was social unrest, following the Ninoy Aquino assassination on Aug. 21, 1983, pero masigla ang daigdig ng TV at pelikula. Sikat pa rin sina Nora at Vilma.

1984 - 1985

In 1984, Nora and Vilma each had three “pang-award” movies. Nora starred in ‘Merika by Gil Portes, Condemned and Bulaklak ng City Jail by Mario O’Hara. The latter was entry in the MMFF, winning Best Picture and Direction at nanalo ring Best Actress si Guy. Si Vilma was in Brocka’s Adultery: Aida Macaraeg, Mike de Leon’s Sister Stella L. and Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Alyas Baby Tsina. Noong 1985 unang nagbigay ng Star Awards ang Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC). Para sa taong 1984 ang mga parangal na ipapamahagi, at sina Nora at Vilma lang ang nominated for Best Actress: Guy for all her three starrers, Vilma for Aida Macaraeg and Sister Stella L. Mainitan umano ang nagging deliberation para sa kategoryang Best Actress, which earlier that year was bagged by Vilma (for Sister Stella L. sa Gawad Urian; her third straight win!) and by Nora (for Bulaklak ng City Jail sa CMMA). Sa 1st Star Awards for Movies, it was Nora Aunor who won for ‘Merika. The late movie scribe Frank Mallo, a self-confessed Noranian, fought hard for Aunor to clinch the Best Actress plum, especially for ‘Merika. He even wrote a letter (published in Constantino’s Highspeed column) disputing the Manunuri’s earlier choice of Vilma Santos as Urian Best Actress. Sa taong ito rin ng Gawad Urian nagtamo ng double nomination si Nora – for ‘Merika and Bulaklak ng City Jail. Sa pagtatapos ng award-giving season, si Nora uli ang Best Actress sa FAMAS (her third win) for Bulaklak ng City Jail. Dito niya unang naka-tie si Sharon Cuneta (for Borlaza’s Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin?). Pero hanggang ngayon, nakahihinayang na walang napanalunang award si Nora for Condemned, kung saan she was cited by Tempo entertainment editor Nestor Cuartero for that single scene in which she acted out a “cry of sorrow like no other” upon the death of actor Dan Alvaro who played her brother in that film which was rated “A” by the Film Ratings Board.

1986 - 1988

Sa mga taong 1986, 1987 and 1988, walang mainitang tunggalian sa acting sina Nora at Vilma. It was the period following the EDSA Revolution in February 1986. Nanamlay ang movie career ni Nora, na noon ay regular na naghu-host ng long-running Superstar show sa RPN 9. Manaka-naka’y she had hit movie – I Love You, Mama/Papa and Sana Mahalin Mo Ako in 1986 and 1988, respectively – and produced Halimaw (dinirek nina Mario O’Hara at Christopher de Leon), na Best Picture sa 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival. Papasikat noon ang mga anak niyang sina Lotlot, Ian Kristoffer, at ang child wonder na si Matet de Leon. Si Vilma ay mas pinalad kesa kay Nora sa awards in 1987 (Best Actress, for Maryo J. delos Reyes’ Tagos Ng Dugo, sa Catholic Mass Media Awards at sa FAMAS). Twenty-fifth anniversary sa showbiz ni Vi that year, at may grand celebration siya sa Vilma! With Nora Aunor as one of her special guests. In 1987, Vilma starred in Viva Films’ Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (penned by Armando Lao, megged by Eddie Garcia). The komiks melodrama won a string of Best Picture awards (Star, FAMAS, FAP) sa taon na hindi nagbigay-parangal ang mga Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Gawad Urian) sa alinmang kategorya “for lack of deserving winners.” In contrast, hindi markado ang performance ni Nora in the 1987 Mario O’Hara megger Tatlong Ina, Isang Anak, another vehicle for Matet, which pitted Guy against Gina Alajar and Celeste Legaspi.

In 1988, Nora did a guest role in Takot Ako, Eh! (topbilling her popular kids) and produced under her NCV Films outfit the ill-fated Greatest Performance (co-starring her were Tirso Cruz III and Julio Diaz), which was rejected by the executive committee of the 1988 MMFF. Nora then would have debuted as movie director, but unfortunately her Greatest Performance never got shown.

1989, A series of unfortunate events seemed to hound Nora’s career up to this point. October 1, 1989 was to be the last airing date of the 22-year-old musical-variety show Superstar on RPN 9. A month later, it was revived on IBC 13 with a new title, The Legend … Superstar, but this was short-lived lasting only up to early 1990. Naging mas masuwerte si Vilma Santos sa hinu-host na Vilma! on GMA 7, which started in 1981 as VIP (Vilma in Person) ng lumang BBC 2 (naibalik sa Lopez owners ang ABS-CBN after the EDSA Revolution). Nagbida si Vilma sa isa sa mga pinakaimportanteng pelikula ng Dekada ‘80: Regal Films’ Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (by Ishmael Bernal), na sinimulan in 1988 at ipinalabas in early 1989.

In December 1989, Vilma headlined a period romance-drama (Viva Films’ Imortal, megged by Eddie Garcia) at nanalo sila ng kaparehang si Christopher de Leon ng acting plums sa MMFF. Sa awardings for that year, si Vilma ang nanalong Best Actress sa Star Awards (for Pahiram), her first form the Philippine Movie Press Club. ‘Kumpletung-kumpleto na ang career ko!” nasabi ni Vilma as she accepted her trophy. Later, it was Nora’s turn to get a Best Actress trophy for the first time from the Film Academy of the Philippines, for Elwood Perez’s three-year-in-the-making Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit. ‘Kumpletung-kumpleto na ang career ko!” sabi rin niya in her acceptance speech.

Na-elevate si Vilma sa FAMAS Hall of Fame, for having bagged five Best Actress statuettes: Dama de Noche, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Relasyon, Tagos ng Dugo, and Elwood Perez’s Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos. Nora won her fourth Best Actress plum sa FAMAS, also for Bilangin. Walang itulak-kabigin sa dalawa, kaya marapat lang na mag-tie sila for Best Actress, as in the 1990 Gawad Urian, na ‘pantay na parangal ”ang ipinagkaloob ng Manunuri kina Nora (for Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit) at Vilma (for Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga).

1990, Dalawang malalaking pelikula ang tinampukan ni Vilma: Lino Brocka’s Hahamakin Lahat and Laurice Guillen’s Kapag Langit ang Humatol. Si Nora ay nakahabol sa MMFF with the low-budget social-realist drama Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina?, which she co-produced with an independent outfit, MRN Films, and was directed by Gil Portes based on a Ricardo Lee screenplay. Sa mga parangal para sa taong ito, si Nora Aunor ang nagwaging Best Actress sa ‘Movie Magazine” awards (ng GMA 7), Star Awards, FAMAS, FAP at Gawad Urian, making her a Grand Slam honoree. On May 22, 1991, Brocka’s sudden death in a vehiclar accident shocked the movie industry. Nora dedicated her FAP Best Actress award kay Brocka, na siyang dahilan upang maitanghal ang Bona sa Directors Fortnight ng Cannes Film Festival in 1981. May nagsasabing ‘hindi Grand Slam” ang pananalo ni Guy for Andrea dahil, sa CMMA, her costar Gina Alajar was declared Best Actress (with Nora as runner-up). But the CMMA was considered a minor award-giving body, at ‘yung apat na major ang ginagawang batayan for a Grand Slam win. Kaugnay rito, nagsimulang magbigay ng parangal ang UP-Young Critics Circle (YCC-Film Desk) at si Nora ang lone winner for Best Performance, also for Andrea. Hindi na nagbigay ng acting awards ang CMMA the following year, habang aktibo hanggang ngayon ang five major award-giving bodies, na nadagdagan ng iba’t ibang grupo. Nagkaloob ng Gawad Pandekada ang Manunuri – for achievements in acting – at sina Nora, Vilma, Vic Silayan, Phillip Salvador at Gina Alajar ang mga nagging karapat-dapat sa parangal (Nora having won Urian Best Actress trophies for Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Bona, Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit and Andrea; Vilma for Relasyon, Broken Marriage, Sister Stella L. and Pahiram ng Isang Umaga).

1991 - 1992

Exciting uli ang labanang Vilma at Nora, para sa masusugid nilang tagahanga, noong 1991. Viva Films’ Ipagpatawad Mo starring Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon was chosen as 1991 Gawad Urian Best Picture, with Vilma winning as Best Actress. Muli, nagproduce si Nora ng low-budget drama for MRN Films, Elwood Perez’s Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M., na entry sa 1991 Metro Manila Film Festival. Its awards included Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Actress for Nora Aunor.  In the award-giving season in early 1992, Nora won the Best Actress honors sa Star Awards and FAP, as well as the Best Performance award from the YCC-Film Desk’s 2nd Annual Circle Citations (with co-winner, Aga Muhlach, for Maryo J. delos Reyes’ Joeyboy Munti). Ang Pacita M. ay nanalo rin ng Best Picture and Best Direction among other awards as 1991 FAMAS. Nora scored three consecutive Best Actress triumphs sa FAP Awards: 1989 (Bilangin), 1990 (Andrea) and 1991 (Pacita M.). Ito bale ang katapat ng three straight victories ni Vilma sa Gawad Urian. Nora was elevated sa FAMAS Hall of Fame in 1991 for having copped five Best Actress statuettes: Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo, Bulaklak Ng City Jail, Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit and Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina? Later, nagtamo siya ng Circle of Excellence awards sa FAMAS apara sa mahusay niyang pagganap sa Pacita M. in 1991 at sa The Flor Contemplacion Story in 1995.

To mark her 25th anniversary in show business, Nora starred in PETA’s Minsa’y Isang Gamugamo sa una niyang pagganap sa entablado. The play, an adaptation of Lupita Kashiwahara’s film based on a screenplay by Marina Feleo-Gonzales, was directed by Soxy Topacio mula sa script nina Ricky Lee at Boni Ilagan. It had a successful run at the Tanghalang Raja Sulayman in Fort Santiago in February-March 1991. Nora further acquitted herself in theater in December 1992 (DH by Topacio-Lee) and in the mid-1990s (Trojan Women, na dinirek ng isang Griyego and was staged at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife). At tulad ng mga stage play na tinampukan, nagging malaking tagumpay ang unang major concert ni Nora (Handog ni Guy) sa Araneta Coliseum noong May 18, 1991.

1993, Hindi nagtapos ang labanang Nora-Vilma for Best Actress sa pagkaka-elevate nila sa FAMAS Hall of Fame. Dahil sa dumaming award-giving body since the mid-1980s, hindi nakuntento ang respective groups of fans nina Nora at Vilma sa pag-asam na patuloy silang gumawa ng magagandang pelikula na pagtatamuhan nila ng trophies. Sadly, dumating din sila sa punto ng kasalatan, careerwise.

In 1992, wala ni isang pelikulang tinampukan si Nora, samantalang si Vilma starred in only one: Maryo J. delos Reyes’ Sinungaling Mong Puso, na hindi niya pinagtamuhan ng anumang major Best Actress award. In 1993, gumawa si Vilma ng pelikula na ang kuwento’y base sa unang Pilipinang nag-reveal ng pagkakaroon niya ng AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), si Dolzura Cortez. Directed by Laurice Guillen for Octoarts Films, Dahil Mahal Kita (The Dolzura Cortez Story) won Vilma the Best Actress honors at the 1993 Manila Film Festival, Star, Gawad Urian and FAP. Si Nora ay gumawa ng Inay for Melanie Marquez’s MM Productions, by veteran megman Artemio Marquez (may-likha ng maraming box-office hit ni Guy sa Tower Productions in the early 1970s). Natalo si Nora sa MMFF at ibang major awardings ng taon, but she won the Best Performance award, again from the UP-Young Critics Circle (YCC-Film Desk’s 4th Annual Circle Citations), with Aga Muhlach (for Jose Javier Reyes’ Hindi Kita Malilimutan) as co-winner.

1994, Mula 1994 hanggang 2003 ay hindi na nagkatunggali sa Best Actress award sina Nora at Vilma. Early 1994 nang huling magkasabay as contenders for the acting plum sina Nora (Inay) at Vilma (Dahil Mahal Kita). For the whole year, Nora didn’t topbill any movie. She hosted Modern Romance sa Telebisyon on GMA 7 and the monthly special Superstar Beyond Time on RPN 9, and appeared on several telesines and a successful two-night concert at the Mandarin Hotel Ballroom. Naulit ang pangyayari noong 1992 na walang pelikula si Nora (she only appeared in her second stage play, DH, na nag-world-tour in 1993) and this will be repeated 10 years later, when she did the ABS-CBN 2 drama series Bituin that aired from September 2002 to May 2003 and several concerts. Vilma notched two films: Regal’s Nag-iisang Bituin (by Joey Reyes) and Golden Lions’ Lipa Massacre (by Carlo J. Caparas), which won as Best Picture sa FAMAS.

1995 - 1997

Sa mga sumunod an taon, parehong nag-achieve sina Nora at Vilma in local award-giving groups and international film festivals. Nauna si Nora, in 1995, for The Flor Contemplacion Story, kuwento ng Pilipina na nasentensiyahang mamatay by hanging sa Singapore. Late 1995 nang maiulat na si Nora ang nagwaging Best Actress sa Cairo International Film Festival sa Egypt for her performance in the Joel Lamangan megger, which also won as Best Picture. Nanalo si Nora sa YCC-Film Desk’s 6th Annual Circle Citations (Best Performer) at sa Star Awards, FAP at Gawad Urian (Pinakamahusay na Pagganap – Pangunahing Aktres; with co-winner Helen Gamboa for Tikoy Aguiluz’s Bagong Bayani, another Flor Contemplacion filmbio). Top box-office hit ang The Flor Contemplacion Story, for which the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (GMMSFI) chose Nora as Box-Office Queen, the same honor she received in the early 1970s and 1980s. Si Nora ang Best Actress sa 1995 MMFF for Viva Films’ Muling Umawit ang Puso. Sa international filmfests, Nora again won as Best Actress in 1997. She got the Golden Pearl Award in Penang, Malaysia, for Viva’s Bakit May Kahapon Pa? Para sa naturang Lamangan megger, Best Actress din sa Gawad Urian si Nora (with cowinner Sharon Cuneta, for Olive Lamasan’s Madrasta).

1998 - 2001

Ang international fame, bilang Best Actress, ay nakamit ni Vilma in 1999, when her Star Cinema headliner Bata … Bata …Paano Ka Ginawa? – directed by Chito Rono – was entered as competition entry sa Brussels Film Festival. Released in 1998, Bata won for Vilma the Best Actress honors at the Star Awards, FAP and Gawad Urian, as well as the Best Performance award from the YCC-Film Desk. Dahil nahalal na alkalde ng Lipa City sa Batangas si Vilma Santos-Recto (she married then Batangas Congressman, now Senator Rafael ‘Ralph” Recto in December 1992), naging mas madalang ang paggawa niya ng pelikula. Pero hindi pa rin magmimintis si Vilma na manalo ng acting trophy, kapag din lang may panlabang pelikula, as in 2000 when she did Star Cineman’s Anak by Rory Quintos. Nanalo siyang Best Actress sa Star Awards.

2002, Vilma failed to win as Best Actress sa 2002 MMFF para sa major film na Dekada ‘70, megged by Chito Rono and produced by Star Cinema. Hindi naman nabigo ang Vilmanians sa mga sumunod na awarding, in early 2003, dahil kay Vilma napunta ang Best Actress trophies na kaloob ng Star Awards, FAP at Gawad Urian. Pati ng minor award-giving body na binubuo ng mga academician, ang PASADO (Pampelikulang Samahan ng mga Dalubguro). At ang kanyang ikalawang Best Performance award mula sa YCC-Film Desk in its annual Circle Citations. Panlaban ng bansa ang The Seventies (Dekada ‘70) sa 4th Makati CineManila International Film Festival (organized by Direk Tikoy Aguiluz). The film won a special jury prize at Best Actress award for Vilma (her second claim to international fame). In contrast, malaon nang walang pelikulang panlaban si Nora at this point. After Bakit My Kahapon Pa? In 1996, Nora did minor starrers: MAQ Productions ‘Mama, Dito sa Aking Puso, screenwriter Frank Rivera’s directorial debut; and Lupita Kashiwahara’s megger under Premiere Productions, Babae, an entry to the 1997 MMFF, for which Aunor got several acting nominations. Her last major performance was in Seven Stars Productions’ Sidhi, released in February 1999. Walang napanalunang trophy si Nora for her fourth Lamangan starrer, which was also panned by Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Lito B. Zulueta. Both Nora and Vilma, however, were recipients of the Gawad Pan-Dekada (along with Richard Gomez) at the Urian rites in March 2001. Silang dalawa pa rin ang mga aktres na napagkalooban ng natatanging pagkilala ng Manunuri, para sa tigtatlong parangal na natamo nila – in the 1990s – sa kategoryang Pinakamahusay na Pagganap. Aunor won for Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina?, The Flor Contemplacion Story, and Bakit May Kahapon Pa?. Santos won for Ipagpatawad Mo, Dahil Mahal Kita and Bata … Bata … Paano Ka Ginawa?

2004, Kung susumahin, mahirap nang dagliang mabilang ang mga award nina Nora at Vilma, through the years, para sa mga pelikulang tinampukan nila. Ito rin ang puntong hindi ang pag-quantify sa mga natamong parangal ang mahalaga, kundi ang pagpapatunay na walang mintis sa kanya-kanyang laban, sa kahusayan, ang dalawang pinakamahigpit na magkaribal sa larangan ng pagganap pampelikula. The End. - William Reyes

As of 2012, Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor are very much in demand. Aunor finished a teleserye in 2011, "Sa Ngalan Ng Ina" and an unreleased movie with ER Ejercito. She secured a contract for several projects under TV5 that included television projects and two films.  She also had a voice treatment (ala-Brit singer, Adele) to restore her much-loved voice and completed an Indie film titled Thy Womb directed by Brilliante Mendoza.  Meanwhile Vilma Santos, remained politically involved with her job as the Governor of Batangas.  Also, she started a film with Kim Chiu titled "The Healing"  and slated to do another film.  A semi-biographical book is in the works to celebrate her five decades film career. - RV


Monday, February 27, 2012


Basic Information: Director: Mar S. Torres; Story and screenplay: Ading Bernando, Jose Leonardo; Cast: Dolphy, Chichay, Jose Mari Gonzales, Liberty Ilagan, Panchito, Aruray, Naty Santiago, Johnny Misa, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez, Vilma Santos, Herminia Carranza, Cora Maceda, Pepe Salameda, Naty Mallares, Apolonio Abadeza; Producer: Jose O. Vera; Original Music: Carding Cruz; Release Date:3 July 1963 (Philippines); Produced: Sampaguita Pictures; Film poster: Video48 - IMDB (READ MORE)

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: First movie with Dolphy and Chichay.

Film Review: "...This movie was in tribute of the staff and crew behind the movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. They were played by Dolphy, Panchito, Chichay and other actors and actresses of the said film outfit. The title was about a popularity contest in the studio where some of the said staff and crew were the candidates. Here, the King of Comedy played a janitor named “Julio Antukin” who became involved in most of the hilarious situations in the movie studio premises like throwing the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade, when he replaced a bit player, at the site where a movie director, played by Ading Fernando, was standing giving instructions about a scene. Another one was when he was assigned in the sound room where his clumsiness in the operation of its equipment caused the switching of the male and the female voices of its contract stars, played by Jose Mari Gonzales and Liberty Ilagan, in a musical number scene. In the end, he redeemed himself, when he was able to help the studio from being robbed by a gang of criminals which made him the “King” while Chichay was the “Queen”. Vilma Santos appeared in this movie as Dolphy’s younger kid sister..." - Melcore’s CinePlex Blog (READ MORE)

"...Pangkaraniwang papel niya ang Everyman na mula sa karalitaan ay humahantong sa tagumpay - at lover boy pa, tulad sa mga sumusunod na pelikula: "King And Queen For A Day" (1963), "Rodolfo Valentino" at "Tayo'y Mag-Up Up And Away" (1970). Matagal siyang nakakontrata sa Sampaguita, pero nang magsara ang pangunahing movie company ay gumawa si Dolphy sa iba't bang studio, tulad ng Lea Productions at Regal Films, at sa sariling RVQ Productions..." - Mario A. Hernando (READ MORE)

"Chichay (born Amparo R. Custodio; January 21, 1918 – May 31, 1993) was a Filipino comedienne. Her short and stocky stature, scratchy voice and prematurely aged appearance allowed her to portray grandmothers while only in her thirties. She was born in Tondo, Manila, the daughter of a ship steward, Jose Pacifico Custodio and Maria Robles of Bulacan. In 1945, she married Hercules Saenz Moya of Iloilo. She entered showbusiness as a teen, joining the "Samahang Antonieta" as a singer with her sister Iluminada. She also appeared as a chorus line dancer at the bodabil shows of Katy de la Cruz. Soon a regular at the bodabil circuit, she received her stage name "Chichay" from Atang de la Rama. The name was a corruption of the Japanese word "Chiisai", meaning "short", in reference to Chichay's own short height and she got famous for her toothless appearance but in reality she still got 2 molars left. Chichay appeared in her first film, Sampaguita Pictures's Huwag Ka Nang Magtampo, in 1949. She became a star in 1953 after appearing in Gorio and Tekla, opposite Tolindoy. In the next decade, Chichay and Tolindoy became a popular comic duo, often paired together in films...." - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

"...Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula...“King ang Queen For A Day” (Hulyo 4 – 13, 1963) lumikha ng rekord sa takilya...Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon..." - Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

"...Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, who’s now identified with ABS-CBN, told the Inquirer: “The whole country is saddened by the news. He was simple but someone with a big heart for Filipinos. He entertained us for over 60 years.” The actress-politician recalled that she first shared the screen with Dolphy when she was a child star. “I worked with him and the late comedians Panchito and Chichay when I was 11 years old in the Sampaguita movie ‘King and Queen for a Day.’ That was 1963..." - Bayani San Diego Jr, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jul 12 2012 (READ MORE)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ang Duelo sa Sapang Bato (1963)

Basic Information: Direction, Screenplay: Jose Miranda Cruz; Cast: Vilma Santos, Ronald Remy, Willie Sotelo, Bert Silva, Oscar Keesee, Vilma Valera and Liza Moreno; Production Co.: Larry Santiago Productions; Release Date: July 13, 1963

Plot Description: Duelo Sa Sapang Bato was a DZXL radio serialized drama. Serious citations are needed to find basic information about this film. One writer cited FPJ was the lead actor but this was confusing since FPJ also has a film with similar title, Bandido ng Sapang Bato. Also, the director cited for this film was Jose Miranda Cruz who also has a similar film (another serialized radio drama), Hiwaga sa Bahay Bato.

Film Achievement: On march 21, 1964, The 12th FAMAS Awards Night was held at the Fiesta Pavillion of the Manila Hotel. Vilma Valera was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Duelo sa Sapang Bato. Unfortunately, she lost to Marlene Dauden for Sapagkat Kami'y Tao Lamang. The other Vilma won that night - Vilma Santos, the child star received her first acting award for her title role film, Trudis Liit.

Film Reviews: "...Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula...“Duelo Sa Sapang Bato” ng Larry Santiago Productions (Hulyo 13 – 22, 1963) lumikha ng rekord sa takilya...Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon..." - Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

"...Ang Duwelo Sa Sapang Bato (July 13, 1963) ay serialized sa DZXL Radio sponsored by PMC at prinodyus ng Larry Santiago Productions. Pinangunahan ito nina Vi, Ronald Remy, Willie Sotelo, Bert Silva, Oscar Keesee, Vilma Valera at Liza Moreno. Ang sumulat ng istorya at nagdirek ay si Jose Miranda Cruz...." - Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Citation Needed - Child star, Danilo Jurado's Wikipilipinas biography listed "Duwelo Sa Sapang Bato," directed by Jose Miranda Cruz and produced by Larry Santiago Production in 1963 as part of his filmography. - Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

Similar Title - "...Hiwaga sa Bahay na Bato (1962-63), written and directed by Jose Miranda Cruz, stars Dalton de Castro, Flora Cristobal, Eva Darren, Teddy Santos, Noel Nolasco, Estela Grande, Lita delos Reyes, Baby Bernardo, Ernesto Fajardo, Lina Chico and Ben David...You had your first television set sometime in 1961 or 62, a black-and-white RCA Victor (there's no color TV that time). You remember rotating the knob and tuning to Channel 3, watching old tagalog classics or Channel 7, with Uncle Bob’s Lucky 7 or reruns of Popeye animated cartoons. At this time, ABS-CBN Channel 3 premiered the first TV soap opera titled Hiwaga sa Bahay na Bato. It was aired from Monday to Saturday, 6:30 to 7:00 pm. That was in the latter part of 1962 and as a child, You were horrified seeing a monstrous and disfigured hunchback who lived beneath the stone house unknown to the owner, a filthy rich hacendero (played by Dalton de Castro). The hunchback was played by a radio talent, Ben David, who later became popular for being overacting or "OA." He was known portraying Judas or Hudas in Lenten plays and would burst with phrases like “O...Hindi...” or “ngingit ng mga pangit” Ben David’s love interest was the very young Eva Darren, who up to now is appearing in TV soaps (now called telenovelas or teleseryes). Darren is one of the pioneers as far as TV soap operas are concerned. Hiwaga ran for about 4 to 5 months, from September 1962 to January 1963. It was one of the most successful early soap operas and made unheralded Director Jose Miranda Cruz a household name. Cruz went on to do more soap operas--- Prinsipeng Tulisan, Hanggang May Buhay, Larawan ng Pag-ibig, among others. ..." - Missosology (READ MORE)

"...Hindi lang iyan. Maraming pelikula pa rin si Ronnie na pawang hit at ang ilan ditto, na akin pang natatandaan, ay ang Daniel Barrion, Baril na Ginto, Alupihang Dagat, Perlas ng Silangan, Duelo sa Sapang Bato, Manu-Mano, Magiting at Pusakal, Santiago at iba pa..." - Ely S. Sablan (READ MORE)

"Born in Sta Cruz, Manila on November 25, 1951 to Jose Jurado a stage comedian also known as "Bembot" and wife Lydia Galura He is popularly known in showbiz circles as Danilo or Danny Jurado, a former child star of the late 50’s until the 60’s era. He was one of the most promising young actors of his time, as an adolescent he became a radio talent in the 70’s hit musical-variety show Operetang Putol-Putol of Johnny de Leon which holds the stellar cast of Edgar Mortiz, Jay Ilagan, Richard Merk, Perla Adea, Tessie Lagman-Balboa, Dolly Favorito, Joe Alvarez, Elizabeth Ledesma, Esperanza Fabon Ben David at Danny Taguiam which is written and directed by Manolo Favis.." - Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

The Other Vilma "...Vilma Valera (her real name is Judy Johnson) is no exception. She is a “tisay” (short for mestiza). Her father, Vincent Johnson, is an American while her mother, Judy San Jose, is a Filipina from Bicol. She was born on July 2, 1945 in Bicol but she grew up in Manila. She spent many years in a convent in Quezon City which was ran by Irish sisters. She spent her years there until her third year in high school. Like many movie stars, she became preoccupied with her acting, which prevented her from finishing high school. It was when she moved to the United States, that she was finally able to complete high school and pursue higher education.  Vilma’s biggest break was in 1964 in the movie, “Salambao” with Eddie Rodriguez and Van de Leon as her co-stars..."

"...She was nominated as FAMAS best actress in “Salambao.” She was versatile as an actress that landed her in several roles in action, drama, comedy, musical with top actors at that time as her leading men: Ronnie Poe, Jr., Dolphy, Eddie Mesa, Eddie Gutierrez, among others. When LVN studio closed shop, Vilma signed a contract with Larry Santiago Production. She decided to join Larry Productions upon the invitation of Pablo Santiago, who was then the boyfriend of Vilma’s aunt Cielito Legaspi. Although Vilma had an exclusive contract with Larry Santiago Productions, she was allowed to do movies with other companies like Sampaguita Pictures and Sultana Productions. When we talked about the movie, “Pogi” (1967), which she did with Eddie Gutierrez, I couldn’t help but ask Vilma if there was any truth to the rumors back then that she got romantically involved with Eddie. She responded, “Nung magkasama kami sa “Stop, Look, and Listen,” naging close kami. Lahat ng problema ko, at kung ano-ano pa, siya ang binubulungan ko, Vilma continued. “Sa studio, laging naka-akbay sa akin si Eddie. Akala ng mga fans ko may affair kami. Hindi nila alam cover-up lang ako ng relationship nya kay Pilita Corrales. When Pilita needed to take a leave from her TV show, Eddie wanted her to take the place of Pilita. “Ako ang gusto ni Eddie na pumalit kay Pilita,” she added. “Nung pumalit ako kay Pilita, akala ng mga fans ko, kami na ni Eddie. Ang hindi nila alam, pakulo lamang namin yon...”

"...Among the movies she made where she had the title role were “Reyna ng Tundo” (1964), with Amado Cortez, Van de Leon, Charlie Davao, Vic Diaz, and Willie Sotelo; “Pitong Desperada” (1964) with Liza Moreno, Miriam Jurado, Stella Suarez, Mila Montanez, Juvy Cachola and Zeny Zabala; “Mamatay sa Laban” (1964) with Willie Sotelo, Cynthia Lopez, and Eddie Rodriguez; “Naligaw na Angel” (1964) with Willie Sotelo, Maggie de la Riva, Vilma Santos and Van de Leon; “Let’s Go” (1964) starring Eddie Mesa, Jose Mari, Helen Gamboa, Reycard Duet, Elizabeth Ramsey, and Jerry Pons; “Danilo Ronquillo: Cavite Boy” (1965) starring Jun Aristorenas, Van de Leon and Ponga; “Kay Tagal ng Umaga” (1965) with Lolita Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden, Eddie Rodriguez with special participation of Vilma Santos. “”Pogi” (1967) with Eddie Gutierrez and Nora Aunor as guest star; “Shake-a-Boom” (1997) with Dolphy, Merci Molina, Ike Lozada, and Norma Ledesma; “Way Out in the Country” (1967) with Bert Leroy, Jr. Blanca Gomez, Gina Pareno, Edgar Salcedo and Ricky Belmonte; “Batang Matadero” (1969) with Fernando Poe, Jr.; “Nardong Kutsero” (1969) with Fernando Poe, Jr., Paquito Diaz, Pablo Virtuoso, and Dencio Padilla’ “Boogaloo” (1968) with Helen Gamboa, Bobby Gonzales, and Roger Calvin..."

"...Vilma was not only a movie star but also a singer. She remembers well her years as a choir member while she was at the convent. That was how she developed her singing talent, which later on became part of her career. “I really wanted to be a singer, so I joined a band,” she said. She put up her own band, “R-Gents Band” (so named because all the names of the members of the band started with letter “R.” She studied how to play the drums. Eventually she was not only the band’s soloist singer but also a drum player. The band performed in Hawaii, Okinawa, and Asian countries. At one event, she had a concert with Eddie Mesa. In between her concert tours, she would make movies. Vilma recorded several albums before her retirement from show business. Her signature songs were “It Must Be Him” and “One Day...” - Romy R. Protacio (READ MORE)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Basic Information: Direction, story and screenplay: Jose Miranda Cruz; Cast: Ronald Remy, Willie Sotelo, Lourdes Medel, Renato Robles, Lydia Resma, Carol Varga, Martin Marfil, Eva Darren, Nello Nayo, Sammy Sarmiento, Bino Garcia, Vilma Santos, Cleng-Cleng Diaz, Oscar Staris, Pepito Garcia, Max Rojo, Louie Florentino, Armando Lucero, Nina Araneta, Seme Policarpio, Joe Constantino, Andring Asuncion, Ric Halili, Ernesto Del Rosario, Ernie Fajardo, Mario Savalsa, Armando Grisola, Marilyn Monje; Executive Producer: Vicente De Villa; Original Music: Pablo Vergara; Release Date: Oct 9 1963; Film poster: Video48 (IMDB)

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula...“Aninong Bakal” ng Vitri Films (Oktubre 9 – 28, 1963) lumikha ng rekord sa takilya...Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon..." - Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

"...Pinangunahan nina Vi, Ronald Remy, Willie Sotelo, Lourdes Medel, Carol Varga, Martin Marfil at Eva Darren ang pelikulang Aninong Bakal (October 9, 1965 ) na prinodyus ng Vitri Films. Ito ay serialized sa Radio sponsored by PMC at sa direksiyon ni Jose Miranda Cruz..." - Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Basic Information: Directed: Mar S. Torres; Story: Fausto J. Galauran; Screenplay: Medy Tarnate; Cast: Gloria Romero, Mario Montenegro, Rita Gomez, Tony Marzan, Eddie Garcia, Vilma Santos, Etang Discher, Maria Victoria, Ely Roque, Aring Bautista, Totoy Torrente, Nenita Navarro, Naty Mallares, Rosa Mia, Tony Cayado, Jose De Villa, Charlie Davao; Original Music: Dick Zamora

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews: "...Vilma has "two" mothers in Gloria Romero and the late Ms. Rita Gomez. Vilma’s name was itsy bitsy tiny in the theater marquees. She started her career right, to be acting with the brilliant and professional actors of the era..." - Mario Garces (READ MORE)

"Nakihalo lang ako doon sa mga nag-a-audition sa Trudis Liit [1963]," pagbabalik-tanaw ng aktres kung paano siya napasok sa showbiz at naging bida nga kaagad sa nabanggit niyang proyektong iyon. Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, 'Hindi ka diyan! Sabi ko, 'Andito na, e!' Makulit na ako no'ng time na 'yon! So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no'ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken. Every lunch talaga 'yon. Parang... Siguro bata, so ibibigay nila 'yong gano'ng ano sa 'yo. Parang may prize ka, gano'n. So, memorable sa akin iyon." - Vilma Santos (READ MORE)

"Rosita Quinto Stecza (1925–2006), known by her screen name Rosa Mia, was an award-winning actress and one of the few female directors in the Philippines. She was known as the "Queen of Tearjerker Movies" for her work mostly on the drama genre typified in motherly roles..." - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

"...Hindi ako dapat talaga doon [sa audition na iyon]. Nakipila lang ako. Pagpila ko, tinatawag ako ng mommy ko na, 'Hindi ka diyan!' Sabi ko, 'Andito na, e!' Makulit na ako no'ng time na 'yon!" natatawang kuwento pa niya sa PEP. Patuloy ni Ate Vi, "So, anyway, tinawag ako ni Doc Perez [of Sampaguita Pictures] at that time. Pinaarte ako. Nag-adlib-adlib pa ako. Nakuha naman ako. So, when I started, dalawa kaagad ang pelikula ko—Trudis Liit at Anak, Ang Iyong Ina [1963]. Ang naaalala ko lang tungkol sa maaga kong pagpasok sa pag-aartista, parang laro lang sa akin iyon. Parang naglalaro lang ako noon kaya hindi trabaho sa akin iyon, e. So, very-very memorable sa akin iyon. At saka no'ng Trudis Liit, every lunch, lagi akong may apple. Lagi akong may chicken..." - Ruben Marasigan (READ MORE)

"...Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula: ”Anak, Ang Iyong Ina” ng Sampaguita Pictures (Abril 5 – 13, 1963) lumikha ng rekord sa takilya...Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon..." - Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

"...Young and cute Vilma Santos is one of the few child stars who have hit the screen with continued success. Although not as well-publicized as the adult stars, she is gaining popularity with lot of fans who recognize her warm personality and talent. Her successful debut in Sampaguita Pictures' Trusdis Liit gave her more movie offers. Vilma, who just turned 13 last Nov. 3, has been in the movies for three years and already has 16 pictures to her credit. A talented youngster, she often steals the spotlight from her senior colleagues. In Ging, Naligaw Na Anghel, Anak Ang Iyong Ina, and many other films, she was a standout in tear-jearking scenes. As a result, she is always in demand for such roles. Despite her success, Vilma remains unaffected as a child. At the St. mary's Academy where she is a six-grader, she has more than her share of friends not because she is a celebrity but because of her natural chumminess. In fact, she is so fond of her friends that their house on Lunas St in La Loma, Quezon City is often filled with them. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Amado Santos, do not discourage her gregariousness and instead look upon it as part of her developing personality...Vilma's movie commitments don't prevent her from being a good student. She could have been easily way above average if only her shooting schedules sometimes do not prevent her from attending her classes. "Doing two tasks at the same time gave me a hard time at the beginning but I've adjusted to it now," said this youngster who still goes for lollipops, ice cream, toys, and play. Vilma, who spends her leisure hours listening to radio dramas, dancing and playing with her three other sisters, will be seen in her coming films, Sigaw Ng Batingaw of Argo Productions..." - Julio F. Silverio, The Weekly Nation, 31 December 1965, reposted at Pelikula Atbp blog (READ MORE)


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