Spanning five decades, FAMAS has become a big part of VSR’s long career. Twelve Best Actress nominations (1972 – 1988) with five wins (1972, 81, 82, 87, 88) that earned her the Hall of Fame Award in 1989. The Hall of Fame award prohibits her to compete in consecutive years, which made FAMAS create a special award, called Circle of Excellence Award, aimed at recognizing the work of any artist inducted to the hall of fame which Vilma received in ’92 and ’93. Vilma also receive nominations in supporting roles in 1965 and 68, first at a very young age of 13 for her title role film Maria Cecilia and again as a sixteen year old for Kasalanan Kaya. She received her first win as a child actress in 1963 and continued to harvest FAMAS accolades as a leading actress from 1972 to 1988 and as a film producer in 1978. The recognitions climaxed in 1998 with a lifetime achievement award. FAMAS renewed their admiration this year by giving her again an equally important citation, the Exemplary Achievement Award as part of their 2008 winners. FAMAS unofficial web-site, featured a brief description of this recognition:
“The stellar achievement in politics, motion picture and television industries of Star for All Seasons and acknowledged Longest-Reigning Box-Office Queen Vilma Santos has necessitated the creation of yet another FAMAS special award: the Exemplary Achievement Award, an award given only to previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients who have shown continued blossoming and achievement in the movie industry, as well as in other fields. The actress, who is also the incumbent governor of Batangas province, was not able to make it to the Gabi ng Parangal due to short notice, but she was able to send a video message acknowledging her award. It can be remembered that the FAMAS created a special award for Vilma Santos’ portrayal in Sinungaling Mong Puso in 1992. By technicality as a Hall of Famer, she cannot receive a regular FAMAS Award, so she was awarded an accolade higher than the Hall of Fame: the Circle of Excellence. This year, that instance is again repeated, a testament to the Star for All Seasons’ durability and penchant for excellence and achievement. Santos is also the recipient of yet another special award this awards season, the Ulirang Artista (Lifetime Achievement Award) of the Star Awards for Movies.” Here are the highlights of her history with FAMAS.
The First: As Trudis Liit, the 9 years old Vilma Santos, earned her very first FAMAS. The 12th FAMAS Awards considered back then as Philippines’ equivalent of OSCAR and held at the Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel on March 21, 1964 proclaimed Vilma as their best child actress. Vilma is now a bubbly 11 years old. She joined a prestigious co winners, (her future leading man in so many box office hits) Eddie Rodriguez, best actor winner for Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang and Charito Solis, winner for Best Actress for Angustia.
Turn of Events – It took Vilma Santos five long years to get attention from FAMAS again. The reason mainly because she has concentrated to do more commercial films. Lipad Darna Lipad, Darna and The Giants, Dyesebel, Wonder Vi, Batya’t Palu Palo, Tagulan sa Tag araw were record hits, earning her box office queen titles. By 1977, a renegade group of critics, some were previously members of FAMAS formed their own award, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino was born, they called their award, GAWAD URIAN. FAMAS found a very resilient rivalry with the newly formed group. In the coming years, the new group will earn the reputation for being the most credible award giving bodies in the country. Sadly, and despite its long history, FAMAS is now considered only third or fourth in terms of importance or relevance. By having two award giving bodies, Vilma Santos doesn’t have the upper hand in terms of competition for the best actress. Nora Aunor has become the front runner, in fact the newly formed URIAN, graciously crowned her as their first best actress in 1977 for Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos. For their 26th FAMAS, Susan Roces (Maligno) reigned over Nora Aunor nominated surprisingly for Bakya Mo Neneng and Vilma Santos for her controversial film, Burlesk Queen. Probably, to compete with the newly form URIAN, FAMAS changed their top award, instead of one best picture, they handed out three, one for drama, comedy and musical. Despite this, Burlesk Queen, Vilma’s bet only earned nominations, including one each for Rosemarie Gil and Roldan Aquino for their supporting roles. On a lighter note, Mat Ranillo III, received his first FAMAS for best supporting actor in a Vilma Santos drama, Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig.
The next year, the 32nd FAMAS awards was held at the Metropolitan Theatre, Broken Marriage by Regal Films got nominations for best actor Christopher de Leon and best actress for Vilma Santos as well as best picture and best director for Ishmael Bernal. Eddie Garcia was co winner for best actor (for Vilma Santos’ Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan) with Fernando Poe, Jr. for Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko. Both Vilma and Nora failed to win the best actress, Charito Solis won for Don’t Cry for Me, Papa. A mixed of Vilma Santos starrer earned nods for different artists: best supporting actress nomination for Armida Siguion in Paano Ba Ang Mangarap, best child actress for Harlene Bautista in Broken Marriage, best director nomination for Eddie Garcia in Paano Ba Ang Mangarap. Technical awards went to Nerissa Cabral for best story, Andrea Benedicto and Orlando Nadres for best screenplay, best Cinematography went to Romeo Vitug, and best theme song went to George Canseco, all for Paano Ba Ang Mangarap.
The following year, Vilma Santos was not even nominated at FAMAS for her monumental role as the activist nun in Sister Stela L. The Manunuri gave Vilma her third consecutive best actress, a feat at that time. At the 33rd FAMAS, held at Araneta Coliseum, Sister Stella L was nominated for best picture against Nora’s Bulaklak ng City Jail. Both lost to FPJ’s Ang Padrino. Noranians did not mind the lost as their bet won the best actress tied with Sharon Cuneta for Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin. The consolation for the fans of Vilma was the number of recognitions earned by artists connected to her films. Philip Salvador got a best actor nomination for Alyas Baby Tsina. Best Actor nomination for Muling Buksan ang Puso and Best supporting actor nomination for Alyas Baby Tsina both for Dindo Fernando. Best supporting actress nomination for Laurice Guillen, Sister Stella L. and Caridad Sanchez, Alyas Baby Tsina. Best director nomination for Mike de Leon, and editing Jess Navarro both for Sister Stella L. The sole winner for Sister Stella L was for best supporting actor, won by Tony Santos, Sr. On a lighter note, Charito Solis was inducted to the HALL OF FAME as she won her fifth best actress the previous year.
1987 - New Dawn – The 36th FAMAS Awards (1987), held at Manila Hotel on May 6, 1988 earned Vilma her fourth best actress after ten nominations. She is now 35 and still making movies between Viva and Regal alternately. Her occasional outing outside the two major movie companies at that time rewarded her a breakthrough performance. Feminist said it was a gender-bending role. Little female character has graced the local screen more importantly those role of female serial killer. The Manunuri, was noticeably absent this year declaring no films deserve their citations. Vilma did three films. Two earned honours from this year’s FAMAS. Viva’s Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-Ibig won top honors in addition to best actress trophy for Vilma in VH Films’ Tagos ng Dugo. Vilma’s stiff competition wasn’t from her perennial rival Nora but from equally deserving Lorna Tolentino in Brocka’s Maging Akin Ka Lamang. Saan Nagtatago won best director award for Eddie Garcia, best story for Gilda Oblidado, best cinematography for Romy Vitug, best sound for Rolly Ruta and nominations for Gloria Romero and Tonton Gutierez for acting.
The following year, Vilma hit the jackpot. After 11 nominations with four wins, her twelfth nomniation produced her an unexpected win. It elevated her to the hall of fame status. All artist who wins five automatically put them to the hall of fame list. It is a big honour but prohibit any one on the list to compete in the future for the same category. Regal films’ Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos, directed by Elwood Perez was a surprised winner. Not only it earned Vilma her fifth award as best actress, it also gave the late Miguel Rodriguez a best supporting actor award and the best director for Perez. Technical awards were also given to Ricardo Jacinto, cinematography, Rey Maliuanag, production design, Gary Valenciano, theme song, and George Jarlego, editing. The late Nida Blanca was also nominated for best supporting actress.
The next two years, prevented FAMAS to honour Vilma even a guaranteed nominations as the URIAN did for Brocka’s Kapag Langit Ang Humatol and Guillen’s Ipagpatawad Mo. The only consolation was both films earned nominations for her fellow actors. In 1991, Jeffrey Santos, Snooky Serna and Terence Baylon earned acting nominations for Kapag Langit Ang Humatol. The following year, the 40th FAMAS Awards awarded Christopher de Leon as their best actor for Ipagpatawad Mo and nominations for Terence Baylon, best child actor and Laurice Guillen, best director.
Circle of Excellence – Relegated to hall of famer status, both Nora and Vilma were not allowed to compete for the acting awards in the coming years, a problem for FAMAS. Both actress were still active in making movies that deserve acting accolades. Two years after Vilma was acclaimed to the hall of fame status, she came up with performances that deserve praises, Kapag Langit Ang Humatol in 1990 and Ipagpatawad Mo in 1991. FAMAS can’t resist giving citation to Vilma anymore so they created a special award with a status higher than the Hall of Fame, hence the Circle of Excellence was born in 1993.
Struggle – FAMAS struggled to maintain their hold as the top award giving body, questionable winners, allegedly award can be bought has milling around for years and unorganized awards ceremonies were mostly the reasons for its recent downfall. The organization remained standing despite recent legal battle between them and another renegade group. TV viewership is down because of the advent of so many award giving bodies, to this day now count around 10 (URIAN, FAMAS, STAR, FAP – LUNA, GOLDEN SCREEN, CMMA, YOUNG CRITICS, PASADO, TANGLAW and still counting).
The 43rd FAMAS surprised the local industry by giving their honours to a Vilma Santos smash hit, the massacre-crime story directed by pre-national artist director, Carlo Caparas’ Lipa Massacre. This film wasn’t even mention in the URIAN. Joel Torre won nomination for lead actor while Caparas won the director. Two more Vilma movies earned awards. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. won best actor for Relaks Ka Lang, Sagot Kita and Jose Javier Reyes won best screenplay for Nag-iisang Bituin. The following year, no mention of Vilma as she only did one film, the forgettable Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko with the late FPJ. Nora Aunor on the other hand, received a circle of excellence honour for Flor Contemplacion. The next year, Nida Blanca earned a deserving lifetime achievement award for her body of work in big and small screen.
By 2001, the 49th FAMAS Awards cited Anak, the Vilma Santos record-breaking film. Produced by Star Cinema, Anak earned nomination for best picture, best director for Rory Quintos, best cinematography for Joe Batac, and best musical score for Jessie Lasaten. Then in 2003, the 51st FAMAS created a controversy by bestowing their leading actress honour to an unknown Aleck Bovick for Tampisaw defeating the more deserving Claudine Barretto for Kailangan Kita and Sharon Cuneta for Magkapatid. If they didn’t give the best supporting actor to Piolo Pascual, winner for Vilma Santos starrer, Dekada 70, their list of winners would be more questionable. Dekada 70 earned nominations for best picture and best child performer to John Wayne Sace.
Vilma Santos FAMAS Recognitions:
- 2008 FAMAS Awards - Exemplary Achievement Award
- 1998 FAMAS Awards - Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1993 FAMAS Awards - Circle of Excellence
- 1992 FAMAS Awards - Circle of Excellence
- 1989 FAMAS Awards - Hall of Fame for Best Actress
- 1988 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress - Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos
- 1987 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress - Tagos ng Dugo
- 1986 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Palimos ng Pag-Ibig
- 1985 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Muling Buksan Ang Puso
- 1983 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Broken Marriage
- 1982 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress - Relasyon
- 1981 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress - Pakawalan Mo Ako
- 1980 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Langis at Tubig
- 1979 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Halik Sa Paa, Halik Sa Kamay
- 1978 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Pagputi ng Uwak,
- 1978 FAMAS Awards - Best Picture (VS Films) - Pag-Itim ng Tagak
- 1977 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress Nomination - Burlesk Queen
- 1972 FAMAS Awards - Best Actress - Dama de Noche
- 1968 FAMAS Awards - Best Supporting Actress Nomination - Kasalanan Kaya?
- 1965 FAMAS Awards - Best Supporting Actress Nomination - Maria Cecilia
- 1963 FAMAS Awards - Best Child Actress - Trudis Liit
Source: FAMAS - Vilma Santos
FAMAS – Hall of Fame Award: The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences bestows the Hall of Fame Award to individuals who have displayed mastery over their craft and artistry over their chosen fields in the Philippine motion picture industry. The Hall of Fame Award is a gold-plated FAMAS statuette with two semi-circles of laurel leaves anchored to each of her shoulders and her base. To win a Hall of Fame Award, one must have won five FAMAS Awards for a certain competitive category.
FAMAS – The Circle of Excellence: The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences bestows the Circle of Excellence Award to Hall of Fame inductees who have used their skills and craftsmanship to the best of their abilities for the development and creation of a Filipino motion picture. The Circle of Excellence Award is the highest award the FAMAS can bestow on an individual. The first Circle of Excellence Award was given out in the 41st FAMAS Awards (1992) in 1993 to honor Best Actress Hall of Fame inductee Vilma Santos for her performance in Sinungaling Mong Puso. At that time, the Circle of Excellence Award was a glass plaque. The current statuette was given the next year, also to Ms. Santos, at the 42nd FAMAS Awards (1993).
FAMAS – The Lifetime Achievement Award: The Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences bestows the Lifetime Achievement Award to motion picture performers and artisans who have made indelible and lifelong contributions to the development of the Filipino motion picture industry. – RV