Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos-Recto (born Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos November 3, 1953 in Bamban, Tarlac), commonly known as Vilma Santos-Recto or Ate Vi is a Filipino actress and box office queen for almost four decades. One of the original Philippine movie queens, she rose up to become the versatile actress that has been given the fitting title of “Star for All Seasons” because of her capacity to adapt to the changing mores and values of the Filipino woman, giving a face to their plight and struggles, albeit in success both critically and box-office wise in some of Philippine cinema’s classics such as Trudis Liit (1963), Lipad, Darna, Lipad (1973), Burlesk Queen (1977), Relasyon (1982), Sister Stella L. (1984), Alyas Baby Tsina (1984), Pahiram ng Isang Umaga (1989), Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Anak (2000) and Dekada ’70 (2002). She is currently the Honourable Congresswoman, Representative of Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines (2012)(Wikipedia).

For More Informations, Visit: Vilma Santos-Recto's Official Web-site

Friday, November 29, 2013

A woman of simplicity and contentment (Repost)

Vilma Santos will share who she is and what she went through in ABS-CBN’s Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons premiering tomorrow, Aug. 1 I have never been shy about my being a rabid fan of superstar Nora Aunor but neither am I coy about my being a great admirer of Vilma Santos, the Star for All Seasons. In my career as a TV talk show host, Vilma belongs to my Top 5 Best Interviewees. She is engaging, spirited, honest, intuitive, generous, vulnerable and powerful. She talks to you and the TV cameras seamlessly. Not many people understand this dynamics. You talk to her for hours and the sparkle doesn’t diminish a bit. And you realize humbly that you are in the presence of royalty. And what a privilege it is always to do a conversation with the queen. (I have no quarrel about the title, Star for all Seasons but with the cataclysmic global warming phenomenon, she deserves a more definitive title).  I will attempt to paraphrase some of her most interesting declarations and revelations from the conversation I had with her the other day at ABS-CBN. Read on.

On childhood. “As a child, I already loved to perform. When there were visitors in the house, mama and papa would make me sing and dance.”

On Darna and Dyesebel. “Darna (she did four Darna movies) and Dyesebel were very difficult to do. I wore body stockings underneath the Darna costumes. Just before I was presented to the press in my Darna costume, Douglas Quijano, Alfie Lorenzo and William Leary convinced me that the body stockings didn’t look good and there was nothing to be afraid of because, I had good skin. I took off the stockings and since then I wore the Darna costume without them. Dyesebel was harrowing. It took 10 people to help me into the costume and out of it. If I needed to go to the toilet, they created a hole on the costume to make my life bearable. When I did these movies, we weren’t as wired as we are today. In Darna, I was tied and lifted to simulate flying. It was physically punishing.”

On recording and dancing. “I recorded a couple of albums that spawned hits — one is the iconic Sweet Sixteen which I would still sing in private. My fans would still play my songs in the provincial capitol. I miss dancing.”

On Burlesk Queen. “Yes, I will never forget that seven-minute dance in the movie. I postponed the shoot of the scene five times. I was so afraid. I performed the dance in front of a real burlesk show audience.

I remember the controversy about the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards and the squabble between Rolando Tinio and Lino Brocka. They wanted us to return the trophies. I didn’t return mine. I deserved it. I worked hard for that trophy.”

On Relasyon. “I won my first grand slam with this movie. I shot this two months after I gave birth to Lucky. I was besieged with enormous financial problems. I owed the BIR, the banks. Thank you to Manay Ichu and Atty. Esperidion Laxa who guided me through this difficult phase in my life. My loans were re-structured. I produced five films which lost a lot of money. One was Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak which we did in three years. Life was miserable. Hinarap ko lahat ang problema ko. Everything that I earned went straight to the banks to pay off my debts. And I paid all of them. Thank God. "So when I was doing Relasyon, I was drawing a lot of emotions from the troubles, the pain I was experiencing. Yes, I will not also forget that tuhog scene I did with Boyet and his death scene. Ishmael Bernal our director was great. And Luis is really lucky.”

On Sister Stella L. “It will always be an important film. When I was doing this movie, I didn’t realize what it
meant to me and the Filipino people. I only started to understand it when I became Mayor of Lipa and if you listen to one of the lines of the movie, you will realize that it is still relevant today. ‘Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan?’”

On Nora Aunor. “Kami ni Nora ang unang mga artistang binayaran ng milyon. If we only knew how to manage our money we would have owned subdivisions. Before when we would talk, I would ask her, are you stable? Do you have a dollar account? But you know what? In spite of all these that we hear about her, I know she will survive because she is a fighter.”

On politics. “It was not written in the wall that I would get into politics. As a movie star, everything is given to you. In politics baliktad. You give everything. But it’s the fulfillment that you are able to make a difference. My focus is on Batangas. No, I am not entertaining thoughts about the Vice Presidency.”

On the men in her life. - Bobot Mortiz. "Young love. I knew he was going to be a director. He was very creative. He was also conservative.”
Edu Manzano. “He brought me to places I haven’t been to before like a pizza parlor.”

Boyet de Leon. “We never got into anything serious. Kasi lagi mali ang timing.”

Ralph. “He is the most secure man I have known. I want to grow old with him.”

Luis. “Who he is today, he worked hard for. I am proud of him.”

Ryan Christian. “He is very passionate. One time he told me he wanted to get into politics and showbiz. And I told him, ‘It’s hard anak’ and he shot back ‘Bakit ikaw mommy?”

On motherhood. “It’s true that you truly appreciate your mother when you become a mother yourself. Mama is 83. I will do anything to make her comfortable, to make her happy.”

On the hanky. “Oh yes, it’s a trademark. I use it for many things. Wipe my sweat, wave it when I’m happy. Madalas mahingi ng tao. So when people ask what we can give the governor, on her birthday... simple lang po akong tao pajamas, hankie or pagkain.”

On Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons. “This is a TV special that will air in ABS-CBN starting tomorrow, Aug. 1 and all the Saturdays of August. It’s sharing who I am, what I went through, how I got here, what I have become, the excitement of what lies ahead.
Kwentuhan with the public that has given me so much. Pasasalamat to Him up there who has blessed me with a wonderful life.”

I brought out my imaginary mirror and asked her to describe what she saw, she quipped, “A woman who is content, a woman who has remained simple.”
Long Live the Queen! Source: Written by Boy Abunda, The Philippine Star, July 31, 2009 Philstar

Vilma Santos recalls highlights of her career for Inside the Cinema (Repost)

On its 15th year of airing on cable television, Cinema One celebrates with the Star for All Seasons, Ms. Vilma Santos. Hosted by Boy Abunda, this special two-hour episode of Inside the Cinema (September 15).

The multi-awarded and four time Grand Slam Best Actress is one of the iconic women of Philippine pop culture, and a successful politician and family woman whose charisma never waned until this day. Maria Rosa Vilma T. Santos was born in Tarlac in September 1953. She instantly catapulted to fame when she displayed arresting talent in the '60s dramatic film Trudis Liit, allowing her to bag her first Best FAMAS Award as Child Actress.

After starring in over 300 movies, with most of them box-office hits and winning awards abroad, Inside the Cinema interviews the Star for All Seasons to allow her to share her thoughts about the evolution of her career from being an actress to public servant. Vilma points out: "Mahirap i-balanse noong una. In the long run napaghiwalay ko din kung ano iyong imahen ko bilang artista at ano naman bilang public servant lalo na when I'm with my constituents."

Ever aware of the undying rivalry between her and Superstar Nora Aunor, she answers why theirs is a rivalry that transcended their decade and at one point even became subjects of discussions between cinema aesthetes to bickering fans as to who is the better actress. "Pareho kami ng kumare ko na hindi naapektuhan nun."

But she becomes more animated when she describes the various leading men she shared the screen with. From Christopher de Leon to Edgar Mortiz, Matt Ranillo III to reel and one real-life partner Edu Manzano then to Albert Martinez and Ariel Rivera.

But when asked what her experiences were with the various directors who honed her acting skills, the Star for All Seasons becomes both serious and playful since here's where she makes them distinct in her words and with their directing style. From Rory Quintos to Chito Rono. Danny Zialcita to Eddie Garcia. Laurice Guillen to Olivia Lamasan who directs her in her latest and highly anticipated movie In My Life where she acts opposite for the first time with son Luis Manzano and multi-awarded actor John Lloyd Cruz. - PEP (

PEP: On its 15th year of airing on cable television, Cinema One celebrates with the Star for All Seasons, Ms. Vilma Santos. Hosted by Boy Abunda, this special two-hour episode of Inside the Cinema will air tonight, September 15, from 9:00 to 11:00 pm.

The multi-awarded and four time Grand Slam Best Actress is one of the iconic women of Philippine pop culture, and a successful politician and family woman whose charisma never waned until this day. Maria Rosa Vilma T. Santos was born in Tarlac in September 1953. She instantly catapulted to fame when she displayed arresting talent in the '60s dramatic film Trudis Liit, allowing her to bag her first Best FAMAS Award as Child Actress.

After starring in over 300 movies, with most of them box-office hits and winning awards abroad, Inside the Cinema interviews the Star for All Seasons to allow her to share her thoughts about the evolution of her career from being an actress to public servant. Vilma points out: "Mahirap i-balanse noong una. In the long run napaghiwalay ko din kung ano iyong imahen ko bilang artista at ano naman bilang public servant lalo na when I'm with my constituents."

Ever aware of the undying rivalry between her and Superstar Nora Aunor, she answers why theirs is a rivalry that transcended their decade and at one point even became subjects of discussions between cinema aesthetes to bickering fans as to who is the better actress. "Pareho kami ng kumare ko na hindi naapektuhan nun."

But she becomes more animated when she describes the various leading men she shared the screen with. From Christopher de Leon to Edgar Mortiz, Matt Ranillo III to reel and one real-life partner Edu Manzano then to Albert Martinez and Ariel Rivera.

But when asked what her experiences were with the various directors who honed her acting skills, the Star for All Seasons becomes both serious and playful since here's where she makes them distinct in her words and with their directing style. From Rory Quintos to Chito Roño. Danny Zialcita to Eddie Garcia. Laurice Guillen to Olivia Lamasan who directs her in her latest and highly anticipated movie In My Life where she acts opposite for the first time with son Luis Manzano and multi-awarded actor John Lloyd Cruz. This Star Cinema film will have two advanced screenings today: 5 pm at Trinoma and 7 pm at SM Megamall. The movie will open in cinemas nationwide starting this Wednesday, September 16.

Don't miss this two-hour episode of Inside The Cinema featuring Star for All Season Ms. Vilma Santos tonight, September 15, at 9:00 to 11:00 pm. Replays will be on September 19 at 2:00 am and 11:30 am and on September 20 at 10:00 pm. Cinema One is available on SkyCable Gold, SkyCable Silver and other quality cable operators nationwide.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Star For All Seasons (A Song)

Music by Louie Ocampo
Lyrics by Edith Gallardo
Sang by Pops Fernandez

No One Can Never Measure
How Much Your Heart Can Cope
The thousand Stories
Of Your Goodness Are Still Untold
You Are A Mother, A Leader,
A Real And True Friend
We Love You
Because You Love Us
Your Concern Has No End

You Are The Greatest Star
The Phenomenal Woman
So Brave To Face Any Challenge
The Woman Who Can
You Are A Lovely Star
The Star For All Reasons
You Are The Greatest Star
The Star For All Seasons

You Put A Dash Of Love
In Everything You Do
You Are The Wishing Star
You Made Our Dreams Come through
You Are A Shinning Star
The Star For All Reasons
You Are The Greatest Star
The Star For All Seasons

Just A Click Of Your Heels
Is Enough To Make Us Smile
How Lovely Woman
You Inspire Us
By The Grace Of Your Star
Your Star
(repeat ll and lll)
Source: Global Vilmanians

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Seasons in Vilma's life (Repost)

Vilma Santos (with husband Ralph Recto and son Ryan Christian, left) shares her life as a mother, performer and public servant in Vilma: A Woman for all Seasons

The camp of Gov. Vilma Santos credits movie journalist JC Nigado for giving the actress-turned-politician the tag Star for All Seasons. For the longest time — since the early ’70s, rival Nora Aunor was called Superstar. In 1986, Sharon Cuneta was built up as the Megastar and yet Vilma remained untitled.

In 1988, when Vilma marked her 25th year in show business in a PICC extravaganza put up by GMA 7 with the help of Chit Guerrero for her weekly variety show, Vilma!, Nigado wrote a series of articles where he called her Star for All Seasons. Other titles were coined for other stars after that, but only a few managed to maintain those titles and Vilma is undeniably one of them.

Tonight, after Charo Santos’ Maalaala Mo Kaya, ABS-CBN will start airing a five-part special called Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons, which will trace the various facets of her life and career as an actress (the only one with four grand-slam wins), as a TV host and dancer (her Vilma! show on GMA 7 that ran for nine years was the best-produced — without question), as a wife and mother (the first time she is showing her new home in Alabang — a must-see on Aug. 15) and as a public servant (her image as Lipa mayor first and now Batangas governor is untainted). For the final episode on Aug. 29, son Luis Manzano will show viewers some of the behind-the-scenes in the making of their movie All My Life, which will be shown by Star Cinema in September.

I had a reunion with Vilma recently and we both agreed that the title Woman/Star for All Seasons is so apt for her because she had been through all the seasons of life round and round. Together, we sat down to trace the various seasons of her life.
Happiest seasons

“When I gave birth to my son Luis/Lucky — lucky talaga siya.”

“When I evolved as an actress and, modesty aside, started getting those grand-slam awards.”

“When I was given a second chance at marriage. Imagine, si Ralph (her husband, NEDA chief Recto), binata and he inherited an instant family.”

“When I gave birth to my other son, Ryan and he grew up to be a healthy boy,” she still sighs with relief now. “That was a difficult pregnancy that made me stay in bed for months.” The truth is, practically the whole nation prayed for her successful delivery and we are all happy that Ryan has turned into a bright and intelligent teenager.

Saddest seasons

“When I discovered in the late ‘70s that financially I was negative P16-M.” This was due to failed investments and mismanagement, particularly of her movie production outfit, VS Films. “The interest of the bank loans I made, I didn’t realize I had already accumulated — from P2-M, it swelled to P7-M. When I woke up one day, wala na akong ari-arian. All my assets were frozen because I also had problems with the BIR.” To her credit, she slaved it out to be able to recover and pay her bank debts. She did films left and right, but she never enjoyed her talent fees from those blockbusters because all these went straight to the bank and to the BIR. For her upkeep (she had to eat, too, of course and maintain a staff), she accepted the offer to do the BBC-2 variety show V.I.P. (Vilma in Person) that aired live Sundays. Looking back, that contributed to the failure of her first marriage (to Edu Manzano) because she had to sacrifice her Sundays, which was supposed to be family day.

“Also sad was the passing away of my father in 1986.” Even local showbiz mourned the death of Amado Santos because he was a good man and was missed by all.

Frustrating seasons

“When my first marriage failed. But God is good. He gave me another chance — and may bonus pa na another son.”

“When my career went down in the late ‘70s and for that I only blame myself because those were the years I was being unprofessional. For example, there was this Christmas presentation I was supposed to do and I fled to Baguio. I did not show up on the set.” Now, I really salute her because it takes a big person to admit that mistake when she could have passed on the blame on other people and even the system. But that’s Vilma Santos.

Rebellious seasons

“When I put my personal life and happiness over my career. Height ng katigasan ng ulo ko ‘yun. I was doing five to six movies a year and maybe na-burn out din ako. I was looking for independence. I wanted my freedom.” She says that her rebellious years happened when she was between 24 to 27 years old. Actually, if you ask me, she started rebelling late. She must have really been up to here to rebel at that point of her life.

Scariest seasons

“If you want me to panic and get scared, tell me that one of my family members is ill. If one of my children is sick, I don’t work — I don’t even sleep. I stay beside my child all the time.” I witnessed that myself when Luis got sick (was it dengue?) before he reached his teens. Nothing and nobody could make Vilma get out of the hospital room (maybe not even an earthquake) because she wanted to stay with her first-born all throughout the ordeal. No tapings, no shoots. If only for that, she should have been awarded best mother of the year. “Even with Ryan now, kaunting lagnat lang, I take his temperature every hour — until he gets annoyed with me na. Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Most romantic seasons

“All seasons,” she says, letting out a hearty laughter. People have extolled Vilma Santos as a great performer and politician. But has anyone cited her for being witty, too? - Butch Francisco, The Philippine Star, August 01, 2009 READ MORE.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Family Photos and Ang Ate ni Ate Vi

Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto turned emotional as she revealed that her mother has been battling Alzheimer’s disease in a speech during a ceremony to honor the province’s 21 centenarians and other senior citizens. The teary eyed actress-turned-politician made the revelation during the Elderly Week celebration held at the Batangas Capitol on Monday. The governor, however, declined to give details except to say that her mother, Mila Tuazon Santos, now 85, has been doing well despite her ailment. “What is important to me now is that she is strong and we’re together,” Recto said. Recto honored 21 centenarians during the celebration, who were each given a certificate of “Natatanging Pangunahing Mamamayan” in Batangas and P5,000 as financial assistance. - Maribojoc Bohol (READ MORE)

"Very thoughtful ‘yan (Younger sis, Vilma). She always visited me in my class and shared her sandwich or allowance or any little things to show that she cared. Sometimes it’s the other way around, pupunta siya sa classroom ko “Ma’am pwede pong makausap ang sister ko” yun pala hihingi lang ng baon...(about Vi entering politics) Let’s be frank, gusto mo pa bang tumakbo si Ate Vi sa politics? Kung ano man ang plano ni Vi doon ako. I will support her all the way. Pareho namang maganda ang magiging resulta kung tatakbo siya o hindi. Kung itutuloy niya ang politics maraming matutuwa lalo na yung mahihirap. Minsan nga paglabas ni Vi sa city hall, may nag-aabang na matatanda, yung iba humihingi ng tulong, ‘yung iba naman nagpapasalamat. Nakakataba ng puso na makitang maraming napaligaya si Vi..." - Emelyn Santos READ MORE

Ryan Christian Santos Recto was born on 29 March 1996 at the Makati Medical Center. He was baptized on 29 June 1996 at the Sanctuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan. The sponsors were: Sen. Robert Barbers, Mr. Eduardo Ermita, Mr. Aga Mulach, Mr. Roderick Paulate, Mr. Eric Quizon, Mr. Gabby Concepcion, Sen. Manny Villar, Mr. Lynch Cervantes, Mr. Boy Umali, Mr. Michael Tan, Mr. Danny Dolor, Mr. Ramon Ang, Mr. P. K. Asuncion, Jr., Sec. Mar Roxas, Ms. Coney Reyes Nubla, Ms. Tina Revilla-Valencia, Ms. Plinky Recto, Ms. Aida Fandalian, Dra. Connie Argonza, Dra. Marilou Martinez. - Eric Nadurata (READ MORE)

Luis Philippe Santos Manzano was born on 21 April 1981 at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in San Juan, MM. He was baptized on 07 June 1981 at St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori Church in Magallanes Village, Makati. The sponsors were: Ms. Marichu Perez-Maceda, Ms. Emelyn Santos, Ms. Gigi manzano, Atty. Esperidion Laxa, Dr. Edwin Argonza, Mr. Noel Benitez, Mr. Jose Escaler. - Eric Nadurata (READ MORE)

FIRST PRIORITY – But above all these priorities, Vilma admits that being a wife to Ralph and mother to her two sons Luis and Ryan are still her number one priority. Still a woman devoted to her husband, Vilma always acknowledge Ralph’s help and inspiration in her career as a public servant. “Public service is Ralph’s life and I learned to embrace it through him. Though we have differences in ideas, sometimes we clash, at hindi naman ako magpapatalo (I will not give in without a fight), I listen to Ralph. After all, whatever I achieve as a public servant, I owe it to my husband who has been my mentor up to now,” Vilma enthuses. With Luis, Vilma is a doting mother who just listens to his son’s escapades and love life. “I don’t want to meddle with my son’s life. I just advice him to enjoy life and to do what is right so that he will not commit mistakes that he might eventually regret.” She also finds time to help Ryan in his studies. “I help him in doing his projects especially when there are art works and proud ako na honor student ang anak ko,” Vilma says. READ MORE

While in New York and everybody were so busy talking to Ate Vi, I had a chance to chat with Ate Emelyn, ang Ate ni Ate Vi.

How’s Vilma Santos as a sister?
Mabait siya. Wala na akong hahanapin pa kay Vi bilang kapatid. Sabi nga sa commercial niya noong araw "perfect."

How do you (Santoses) celebrate holidays?
We have a family reunion during Christmas.

Can you please tell us more about your experience with Ate Vi as a kid?
Very thoughtful ‘yan. She always visited me in my class and shared her sandwich or allowance or any little things to show that she cared. Sometimes it’s the other way around, pupunta siya sa classroom ko "Ma’am pwede pong makausap ang sister ko" yun pala hihingi lang ng baon.

Kelan mo nasabing proud na proud ka as a sister of Vilma?
Maraming beses na. Isa na doon yung Gawad Plaridel. Pero syempre mas proud ako sa pagiging mabuting tao niya, yung pagmamahal niya sa pamilya, yung pag-aalaga niya sa mga taga-Lipa.

What is your favorite Vilma movie?
Pahiram ng isang umaga. Siguro dahil mother din ako, kaya alam ko ang feeling ng isang ina na ayaw iwanan ang anak.

Nag-react ka ba nung tanggapin niya ang Burlesk Queen at nag-change siya ng image?
Alam mo napakatagal na discussion yan sa pamilya. Pero to make a long story short naayos din. Sabi ko nga career move naman yon eh at saka 23 na si Vi noon. Maganda ang project, matino ang story.

Let’s be frank, gusto mo pa bang tumakbo si Ate Vi sa politics?
Kung ano man ang plano ni Vi doon ako. I will support her all the way. Pareho namang maganda ang magiging resulta kung tatakbo siya o hindi. Kung itutuloy niya ang politics maraming matutuwa lalo na yung mahihirap. Minsan nga paglabas ni Vi sa city hall, may nag-aabang na matatanda, yung iba humihingi ng tulong, ‘yung iba naman nagpapasalamat. Nakakataba ng puso na makitang maraming napaligaya si Vi.

Paano kung hindi na siya tumakbo sa politika?
Marami pa ring matutuwa. Ang mga Vilmanians, ang mga producers. Alam mo may offer kay Vi ang Unitel, Violet at pati si Margie Moran ay balak ding mag-produce na si Vi ang bida. Pero sobrang busy niya, uunahin muna niya ang sa Star Cinema.

How’s Luis (Lucky) as pamangkin?
Mabait na bata. Hindi niya kami binigyan ng problema kaylan man. Everytime I see him, I realized that time flies so fast. Parang kelan lang ay kalong-kalong ko siya, ngayon ay malaki pa sa akin.

And finally, your message for Ate Vi?
Alam kong alam mo na pero uulitin ko pa rin na mahal na mahal kita. At kagaya ng nasabi ko sa iyo kanina Franco, kung ipapanganak ulit ako at papapiliin kung sino ang gusto kong maging kapatid....paulit-ulit kong sasabihin na si Vilma ang gusto ko. - Franco Gabriel, V Magazine, 2005 Global Vilmanians

Monday, November 25, 2013



By The Numbers: - Vilma Santos versus Nora Aunor

Here’s the ranking of the top 15 Greatest Filipino Actresses Ever (S Mag, 2006 survey):
1. Nora Aunor – 85 votes
2. Vilma Santos – 82 votes
3. Lolita Rodriguez – 57 votes
4. Charito Solis – 52 votes
5. Hilda Koronel – 50 votes
6. Gloria Romero – 45 votes
7. Nida Blanca – 40 votes
8. Jaclyn Jose – 40 votes
9. Gina Alajar – 40 votes
10. Sharon Cuneta – 37 votes
11. Maricel Soriano – 32 votes
12. Lorna Tolentino – 30 votes
13. Amy Austria – 25 votes
14. Rita Gomez – 23 votes
15. Cherry Pie Picache – 20 votes

Film Awards and Citations - Nora Aunor: Best Actress unless otherwise noted

Film Festival – International Best Actress
1. Cairo International Film Festival – 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story
2. East Asia Film and Television Award – 1997 – Bakit May Kahapon Pa?
3. Brussels Festival of Independent Films – 2004 – Naglalayag

Film Festival – Philippines Best Actress
1. 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival – Atsay (Best Performer)
2. 1979 Metro Manila Film Festival – Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo
3. 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival – Himala
4. 1984 Metro Manila Film Festival – Bulaklak sa City Jail
5. 1990 Metro Manila Film Festival – Andrea, Paano ang Maging Isang Ina
6. 1991 Metro Manila Film Festival – Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.
7. 1992 Metro Manila Film Festival – Gawad ng Natatanging Pagkilala
8. 1995 Metro Manila Film Festival – Muling Umawit ang Puso
9. 2004 Manila Film Festival – Naglalayag
10. 1972 Quezon City Film Festival – And God Smiled at Me
11. 1975 Bacolod Film Festival (?) – Banaue (Grand Buglas Award)
12. 1976 Davao City Film Festival – Ibilanggo Si Neneng Magtanggol

Philippines – Gawad Urian Best Actress
1. 1976 – Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos
2. 1980 – Bona
3. 1989 – Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit
4. 1991 – Best Actress of the Decade (1980s)
5. 1990 – Andrea, Paano ang Maging Isang Ina
6. 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story
7. 1996 – Bakit May Kahapon Pa
8. 2001 – Best Actress of the Decade (1990s)

Philippines – FAMAS Best Actress
1. 1976 – Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos
2. 1979 – Ina Ka ng Anak Mo
3. 1984 – Bulaklak sa City Jail
4. 1989 – Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit
5. 1990 – Andrea, Paano ang Maging Isang Ina
6. 1991 – Hall of Fame Award
7. 1996 – Circle of Excellence Award

Philippines – Star Awards Best Actress
1. 1984 – ’Merika
2. 1990 – Andrea, Paano ang Maging Isang Ina
3. 1991 – Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.
4. 1994 – Star of the Decade (1980s)
5. 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story
6. 2004 – Best Actress of the Decade (1990s)

Philippines – Film Academy of the Philippines Best Actress
1. 1989 – Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit
2. 1990 – Andrea, Paano ang Maging Isang Ina
3. 1991 – Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.
4. 1993 – Lifetime Achievement Award
5. 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story
Philippines – Catholic Mass Media Awards Best Actress
1. 1981 – Bakit Bughaw ang Langit
2. 1984 – Bulaklak sa City Jail

Philippines – Young Critics Circle Best Actress
1. 1990 – Andrea, Paano Ba Maging Isang Ina (Best Performer)
2. 1991 – Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. (Best Performer)
3. 1993 – Inay (Best Performer)
4. 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story (Best Performer)

Philippines – Pasado Best Actress
1. 2004 – Naglalayag

Philippines – Gawad Tanglaw Best Actress
1. 2004 – Naglalayag

Philippines – Kritika Best Actress
1. 1991 – Ang Totoong Buhay Ni Pacita M.

Philippines – Balatca Best Actress
1. 2004 – Naglalayag

Philippines – Ateneo Galian Best Actress
1. 1991 – Ang Totoong Buhay Ni Pacita M.

Philippines – People’s Choice, PPC Publications Best Actress
1. 1995 – The Flor Contemplacion Story
2. 1997 – Babae

Film Awards and Citations – Vilma Santos Best Actress unless otherwise noted

Film Festival – International Best Actress
1. 1999 – Brussels International Film Festival – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
2. 1999 – Asia Pacific Film Festival (Bangkok, Thailand) Special Jury Award for Women’s Awareness – “Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?”
3. 2002 – CineManila International Film Festival – Dekada ‘70
4. 2002 – Cinemanila Lifetime Achievement Award Centennial Feminist

Film Festival Best Actress - Philippines
1. 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival – Burlesk Queen
2. 1981 Metro Manila Film Festival – Karma
3. 1989 Metro Manila Film Festival – Imortal
4. 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival – Mano Po 3: My Love
5. 1981 Cebu City Film Festival – for Karma
6. 1975 Bacolod City Film Festival – Nakakahiya?
7. 1993 Manila Film Festival – Dolzura Cortez Story

Philippines – Gawad URIAN Best Actress
1. 1982 – Relasyon
2. 1983 – Broken Marriage
3. 1984 – Sister Stella L.
4. 1989 – Pahiram ng Isang Umaga
5. 1990 – Gawad URIAN AKTRESS ng DEKADA (Body of Works in the 80s)
6. 1991 – Ipagpatawad Mo
7. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story
8. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
9. 2000 – Gawad URIAN AKTRESS ng DEKADA (Body of Works in the 90s)
10. 2002 – Dekada ‘70

Philippines – FAMAS Best Actress
1. 1963 – Trudis Liit (Child Actress)
2. 1972 – Dama de Noche
3. 1981 – Pakawalan Mo Ako
4. 1982 – Relasyon
5. 1987 – Tagos ng Dugo
6. 1988 – Ibulong Mo sa Diyos
7. 1989 – FAMAS Hall of Fame
8. 1992 – Circle of Excellence Award – Sinungaling Mong Puso
9. 1993 – Circle of Excellence – Dolzura Cortez Story
10. 1998 – FAMAS Lifetime Achievement Award

Philippines – Star Awards Best Actress
1. 1989 – Pahiram ng Isang Umaga
2. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story
3. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
4. 1999 – Star Special Citation for winning at the Brussels Int’l Film Festival
5. 2000 – Anak
6. 2002 – Dekada ‘70
7. 2004 – Mano Po 3: My Love
8. 2004 – PMPC Star Dekada Award (Body of Works)

Philippines – Film Academy of the Philippines Best Actress
1. 1982 – Relasyon
2. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story
3. 1997 – FAP Lifetime Achievement Award
4. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
5. 2002 – Dekada ‘70

Philippines – Movie Magazine Awards Best Actress
1. 1987 – Tagos ng Dugo
2. 1989 – Pahiram ng Isang Umaga
3. 1991 – Ipagpatawad Mo
4. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story

Philippines – Catholic Mass Media Awards Best Actress
1. 1982 – Relasyon
2. 1987 – Tagos ng Dugo

Philippines – San Beda College Awards Best Actress
1. 1968 – Kasalanan Kaya? (Supporting Role)

Philippines – Let’s Talk Movies Awards Best Actress
1. 1982 – Relasyon (Body of works)

Philippines – Cinemascoop Awards Best Actress
1. 1987 – Tagos ng Dugo

Philippines – Channel 2 Viewers Choice Best Actress
1. 1989 – Imortal

Philippines – Intrigue Magazine Reader’s Choice Best Actress
1. 1991 – Ipagpatawad Mo
2. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story

Philippines – New Fame Magazine Reader’s Choice Best Actress
1. 1992 – Sinungaling Mong Puso
2. 1993 – Dolzura Cortez Story

Philippines – Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle Best Actress
1. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
2. 2002 – Dekada ‘70

Philippines – Gawad Sineng-Sine PASADO Best Actress
1. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?
2. 2000 – Anak
3. 2002 – Dekada ‘70

Philippines – Siasi, Jolo Critics Best Actress
1. 1998 – Bata, Bata…Paano ka Ginawa?

Philippines – Gawad TANGLAW Best Actress
1. 2002 – Dekada ‘70
2. 2004 – Mano Po 3: My Love

Philippines – Cinema One’s RAVE Best Actress
2002 – Dekada ’70

Philippines – Critic’s Choice Best Actress
2002 – Best Performer – Dekada ‘70

Philippines – People’s Choice Best Actress
2002 – Best Performer for Dekada ‘70

Philippines – Gawad Suri Best Actress
1. 2004 – Mano Po 3: My Love
2. 2005 – Exemplary Film Practitioner and Public Servant

Philippines – Diwata
1. 2006 UP Lifetime Achievement Award

Philippines – Gawad Plaridel
1. 2005 for Outstanding Media Practitioner for Film

Conclusion: - Is there really anything that Vilma Santos cannot do, except sing (yet she has gold records and a hot-selling CD of her greatest hits), and to act on stage (too busy to say commit to oh so many tempting offers)? Fifty-three year old Vilma Santos’ outstanding record of achievements and awards in her dual career as actress and politician can easily land her in Guinness’ Book of Records. No other Philippine celebrity, male or female, dead or alive, can ever match this petite actress cum mayor’s formidable stature as the Philippines’ most awarded actress and politician. A high school graduate, a non-singer and only five feet tall, and an inexperienced mayor in her first of three successful terms, she practically is a David among the Goliaths such as Nora Aunor, FPJ (SLN), President GMA, Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, among others. As an actress, she played second fiddle to the CCP Centennial honoree and three-time International Best Actress Nora Aunor, an Urian favorite who would easily beat her in acting jousts via her signature soulful eye acting.

On TV, her then struggling VIP show would avoid competing with Nora’s Superstar to avoid being murdered in the ratings war, the barometer for popularity and advertisers’ nods. It is a different story though in the box-office arena where Vilma was crowned the champion many times over. In the late 70’s, just when people thought she was down and out with her so-so acting and TV careers and losing to her rival in awards nights (remember the 1978 MMFF best performer award?), her messy love life, and her in the red movie company VS Films, Vilma Santos, by some divine intervention, regrouped, took a breather and a crash course in counseling 101 with the industry experts. After soul-searching, making peace with God, listening to the advice of trusted friends, talent inventory, doing research/self- study, experimenting with movie roles and choosing her projects wisely (i.e. astute career management according to Nestor Torre), the New Vilma Santos was born. The rest is now history. Thanks to her Talent, Tenacity and Professionalism, and her many rivals’ complacency and misjudgments in life, Vilma Santos ’streaked’ past them, not easily though but through sheer True Grit. She earned her wings.

When the dust settles, Vilma Santos: Is probably the Philippines’ Best Film Actress. She is also the most awarded actress ever, 70 trophies in all and counting, the latest feat being her Best Single Performance Award from PMPC Star TV awards for her committed, focused, insightful and versatile performance (again, Nestor Torre’s remarks, not mine) in MMK’s Regalo. Her astounding range, equally at home in drama and comedy, earned her the most prestigious awards in the business: U.P. Gawad Plaridel, U.P. Diwata Award, a record 8 Urian best actress trophies, 6 from Star awards, two International Best Actress trophies, National Artist Award nominee, and the People’s Choice Awards (a record 14 movie fan-based magazine best actress awards), proofs that Vilma is both the critics and the paying moviegoers’ choice. Is one of the two highest paid actresses and top commercial product endorsers in the Philippines, along with best friend and soon costar in a Star Cinema project, MegaStar Sharon Cuneta, who, along with millions of Pinoys, including the Youth, look up to Ate Vi as a Positive and Inspiring Role Model. Is the Movie, TV and Stage Producers’ Choice based on published articles from various tabloids/journals.

She has to turn down juicy offers due to her commitments as Lipa city Mayor. Is the most awarded TV personality in the Musical-variety show genre, having won awards for Vilma!, from PMPC Star, CMMA, Dove Awards, among others. (Source: vilmasantos websites) Is the Philippines’ most successful and awarded Mayor ever, with such honors as Honoris Causa, PhD in Humanities, Outstanding Mayor, Unlad Pilipinas Award, Mga Munting Ngiti Award, among others,and even put Lipa city in the world map for winning Internationally for Mga Munting Ngiti project.(source: vilmasantos websites) Is the Longest Reigning Movie and Box-office Queen based on published/website data. Is a winner in the domestic front for helping her children Luis and Ryan excel in what they do, a real bonanza of priceless rewards for balancing parenthood and career, an almost impossible task which Vilma, Mother, accomplished, with aplomb, a Herculean task indeed, serving as Inspiration to all working mothers around the world. A consummate actress, an impassioned and hardworking mayor, a devoted wife and a dutiful mother, and a loyal and sincere friend to her fan base, Vilma Santos is indeed the Woman for All Seasons and Reasons. It’s all up to her. It is really between her and her Creator. We, her fans can only wish her the best, and respect and support her decision all the way, whatever that might be, whether it is politics or showbiz. As Mario Bautista sums up her many accomplishments: Incomparable. After all, either way, Vilma Santos is a Winner. The best is yet to come! - Mario O. Garces, Vilma & Nora, Rivalry No More, Special Issue Magazine, 2006

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Remembering Danny Zialcita

Danny's Film Style - "...Sabi ni Danny, marami siyang naririnig na takot ang mga artista sa kanya dahil sa kakaiba raw niyang working habits. "Iba akong magpatakbo ng set. For those stars I haven't handled yet, working with me will be like breaking old habits. It doesn't necessarily mean na ours is the better habit. Iba lang." Karaniwan, maraming hindi nakagamay sa style ni Danny na walang script. Kay Danny, the script should be just a guide for the sequence ng scenes. Sasabihin lang ni Danny ang situwasyon sa artista, bahala na ang artista sa interpretation at sa dialogue "I allow them to contribute to the interpretation of the story base on their everyday experience. Paglabas natural ang arte nila. Mahirap kung sunod lang nang sunod sa sinasabi ng isang papel," paliwanag ni Danny. "Ang importante lang," dagdag ni Danny, "ay alam ng direktor kung saan pupunta ang istorya." Isa pang style ni Danny na hindi nakukuha ng maraming artista ay ang mabilis na pacing ng kanyang mga pelikula. "Pag sa akin, no long pauses in between dialogue. Brief and concise ang takbo ng ma linya." Naniniwala si Danny na ang editing ang isa sa mga dahilan ng ikinagaganda ng kanyang mga pelikula. "I'm more of an editor than a director; more of a scriptwriter than a director," sabi niya. Ang editing ay isang aspeto ng paggawa ng pelikula na talagang pinagaralan ni Danny. Ipinagmamalaki ni Danny na hindi siya aksayado sa film. "I already edit my film while still on the shooting. Nandoon ang concentration ko as director. I hardly expose film." As a director, naniniwala si Danny na dapat, may malaki siyang papel sa pagpili ng final title ng pelikula. Binibigyan din niya ng importansiya ang music sa pelikual. "I love music, I give room for it in my films..." - Vivienne Rafael, Movie Flash Magazine, December 23, 1982 (READ MORE)

Man starts and God finishes - "...Perhaps, it was because we were his most recent contact from media if one could call five years recent. At that time, he agreed to an interview, asked that we see him at his home and spoke of a project for Gabby Concepcion, which we filed for The Philippine Star. At that time, we wrote: “Gabby’s father Rolly was on the phone talking with Danny and he hands us the phone. Apparently, Rolly has a story for Gabby he wants Danny to direct. Zialcita’s mind was not only as sharp as it was in the past; his excitement at reappearing once again on the scene was infectious. He told us of how God had been guiding his every move in the past. Man starts and God finishes, he stated. He felt this during the peak of his career when he was churning out movie after movie… Nine hits in a row? That couldn’t have been possible without Divine intervention,” he interjects. Upon his death Sunday, we were told his body was cremated and no wake was scheduled. It seemed to us that Danny had directed his final movie. And we remember “Man starts and God finishes..." - Bibsy M. Carballo, The Philippine Star, March 15, 2013 (READ MORE)

Beautiful Women and Cool Wife - "...Zialcita is a son of a banker whose wife took care of the kids and the home. If he had a knack for narrative, it must have come from his paternal grandmother who wrote short stories for Liwayway Magazine. Danny studied at the Ateneo de Manila up to high school before he was sent by his dad to the Sophia University in Japan to take up business management—and to cut the budding romance between his son and the actress Charito Solis. While he was indeed enrolled in a business course in the beginning, he was soon moonlighting in the film editing classes, and ended up just focusing on the latter. He wasn’t able to finish his studies and at 19, got married to Leonor Vergara, a favorite leading lady and then girlfriend of Fernando Poe Jr. Despite Danny’s reputation for being a playboy, the two have been married for 47 years now, and have three grown children. “Ask the girls,” says Mark Gil, with a knowing laugh when I ask him to comment on the director’s ladies’ man image. And Zialcita always had the most beautiful women on the set: Lyka Ugarte, Dang Cecilio, Pinky de Leon, Rio Locsin, Hilda Koronel, and Gloria, of course. “My favorite is still upstairs,” he tells me when asked who among the actresses was his favorite. “I believe in duty, responsibility and continuity…I have a way of hiding what is important.” And then he adds, “Mapagbigay ako.” “He loved women,” says Gloria. “He is very cariñoso, very touchy, laging nakasampay sa’yo. Even with the men.” But Danny never made a move on her. “How can he? We were always shooting in his house; his wife was upstairs.” The Zialcita movie atmosphere, they say, is always relaxed. Mostly because he is the producer of most of his films he can take his time, and he was usually shooting at home, in the old Zialcita mansion on Lee Street in Mandaluyong. “Basta may painting at may salamin, it was shot in Danny’s house,” Mark Gil says. “Kaya ‘yung mga walls namin puro butas,” says daughter Beth. He would just change the paintings and the look of the house for every film. They would also shoot in the house across owned by a relative. “Even while he was doing his bomba movies, he would do it here,” adds Beth. “I would come home from school and see people in the house na walang damit.” While he did collect many paintings, ivories and sculptures not only for his films but also as a personal hobby, Danny also collected still photographs of scantily clad women whose blown-up incarnations Beth would see posted in his private den. His wife Leonor, says Beth, never seemed to mind. “She is a very cool wife..." - Jerome Gomez for Metro Him, ABS-CBN News, 03/12/2013 (READ MORE)

Danny's Vi and Guy - "...Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos told the Inquirer: “I learned a lot from him. He popularized crispy, witty dialogue that sounded very natural. He was intelligent and clannish. He liked working with the same set of actors. I felt privileged to be among his regulars.” Santos starred in Zialcita’s biggest 1980s hits: “Langis at Tubig,” “Karma,” “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan” and “T-Bird at Ako.” The last one also top-billed Nora Aunor. Told about the news, Aunor said that, apart from “T-Bird at Ako,” she guested in a Zialcita movie that launched singer Kuh Ledesma in 1982, “Tinimbang ang Langit.” “We also have an unfinished movie ‘Sa Dulo ng Panahon’ (produced by Regal Films in 1988),” said Aunor. “Mahusay siyang direktor. Mabilis mag-isip at magaganda ang mga dialogue namin lagi. He was a great director, quick-witted. He always gave us beautiful lines to deliver..." - Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 14, 2013 (READ MORE)

Dear Sharon - "...None at all. My first single, Tawag ng Pagibig (by Rey Valera), didnít click. It was my second, Mr. Deejay (also by Valera), released six months later, which did. When I was 14, I rode on the float of the movie Langis at Tubig during the parade at the Cebu Film Festival. I sang the theme song of that movie (directed by Danny Zialcita). Ate Vi (Vilma Santos), one of the stars, was pregnant with Lucky so I kind of pinchhit for her. Direk Danny was very impressed by the public reaction. After the parade, he talked to my Mom about the movie Dear Heart. Hindi daw niya itutuloy if he couldnít get me to star in it...Direk Danny wanted my character in the movie to be close to my real self para daw hindi ako mahirapan. So in the movie, I had bodyguards and my father was strict and crazy over me; I even had a yaya who called me Miss Universe. Very real life, di ba? I had crushes and puppy loves even before I met Gabby. Before I joined showbiz, ang crush ko noon ay si Dondon Nakar. But before Dondon, there was Bruce Lee, and now Jet Li. I did have a crush on Albert (Martinez) but not on Gabby. I thought Gabby was mayabang; so among the Regal Babies, mas gusto ko sina Alfie Anido at Jimi Melendez (both dead). In fact, when they asked me who I wanted as my leading man in Dear Heart, I said, "Anybody but Gabby Concepcion.í I found out na mabait naman pala siya when we started shooting..." - Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star, August 11, 2002 (READ MORE)

Comatose - "...Atenean, Danny Zialcita, passed away Monday, March 11 after more than a year of being comatose. He was 73. Director, producer and writer, Zialcita was legendary. He was revered for his glossy movies that often showed middle-class characters delivering witty quips and kilometric dialogues that he often wrote and re-wrote on the set itself. “Lady Killer” was made in 1965 and he went on to make 52 movies, most of which he himself wrote. Among his most famous are “Bakit Manipis ang Ulap,” “Nang Masugatan ang Gabi (1984), “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi” (1983), “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?” (1982), “Langis at Tubig” “Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna,” “Ikaw at ang Gabi” (1979). He was credited for plucking the teen recording artist Sharon Cuneta and making her into a star via the teen romance “Dear Heart” (1981), which paired her with Gabby Concepcion. Zialcita and Cuneta would later reunite in 1983 for “To Love Again.” He was also the director of “T-Bird at Ako,” which has the two most awarded Filipina actresses Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. He was married to former actress of Premiere Productions Leonor Vergara with whom he had a daughter..." - Malaya, March 17 2013 (READ MORE)

Danny Zialcita and Vilma Santos
  • Langis at Tubig (1980) - Zialcita's first collaboration with Vi. She played the other wife of Dindo Fernando who was had a shotgun wedding to a provincial naivette, played by Amy Austria who he impregnated.
  • Karma (1981) - After the hit, Langis at Tubig, zialcita did Karma with Vi. The film was one of the top grosser in the December festival. It also earned Vi another best actress. Manny A. Valera, writer for Jingle Extra Hot Magazine wrote in December 28, 1981, Vi was so proud of this Zialcita's directed film she explained: “…Masaya ako ngayon. Sa darating na Filmfest kasi, maganda ang panlaban kong pelikula. Kung nagustuhan ng mga manonood ang Langit at Tubig last year, mas magugustuhan nila ang Karma. Hindi kiyeme-kiyeme ang sinasabi ko. Nakita ko na kasi ang mga rushes, “I consider Danny as one of the best among our movie directors. Pulido siyang magtrabaho. Pari iyong mga bold scenes namin, talagang artistically done. All praises ako sa kanya. Nakasama ko na rin siya before and because of that, may inter-action kaming dalawa. Vibes na vibes kami. Sure ako, hindi ako mapapahiya sa filmfest entry ko. “Karma will be my Christmas gift to all my fans who, until now, have not stopped loving me. Ang pagtingin ko sa kanila ay extra special kaya naman, extra-special ang regalo ko…”
  • T-Bird at Ako (1982) - Aside from several guest appearances in all star cast films like Dugo at Pag-ibig sa Kapirason Lupa, Happy Days Are Here Again and other forgetable films, this is the fourth films that Vi and Guy did together. Zialcita masterfully directed the two and despite the unequal weight in terms of roles, Vi gamely faced Nora in several memorable confrontation scenes that include witty/crisp dialouges, slapping and a kissing scene (well, almost lips to lips, a kiss in a cheek). Art immitating life? We all know that Guy had a rumour gay wedding in the U.S. that she herself briefly discussed in an article years back. And she also candidly admitted several times, she's also a Vilmanian. Zialcita was way ahead of his time, creating one of few Filipino films about a career minded and succesful lawyer who happens to be a lesbian. Seldom we see such characters in Filipino local films and he has done this several times in films like Mahinhin vs Mahinhn. Despite the dissappointing ending where lesbian Nora agreed to be with her patient suitor, played by Tommy Abuel, instead of Vi, the film has answeared what both Vi and Guy's fans has been expecting since Bernal's Ikaw Ay Akin, the typical battle confrontations. It may come probably too late as the film was not as successfull commercially.
  • Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (1982) - Zialcita and Vi's last film together. Hilda was originally cast in Langis at Tubig in 1980 but he took out Hilda and cast Amy Austria instead. He then make-up for this decision by giving Hilda one of the lead in this drama that reminds local film buff of the Lolita-Eddie-Marlene troika in 60s. In an interview by Jerome Gomez, for Metro in 2008, "...From 1979 to 1986, Zialcita was on a roll, doing one film after another, pulling off nine hits in a row beginning with Gaano Kadalas in 1981 up to his sex comedies that include May Lamok Sa Loob ng Kulambo. He could demand anything from a producer and his wish would be granted. When Viva Films asked him to do Gaano Kadalas, he told Vic and Mina del Rosario that he will only do it if they get George Canseco to write the theme song (most of his popular films had songs by Canseco), and that Hilda Koronel would be one of the leads. Viva granted him both, even if it had to pay more for Hilda than for Vilma. “May utang ako kay Hilda eh, I took her out of Langis at Tubig..." Gaano Kadalas broke box office records set by another Vilma starrer, Sinasamba Kita released few months eartlier, it grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982, equivalent to 17.4 millions to today's money.

Danny Zialcita (November 24, 1939 - March 10, 2013) is a fun-loving gifted and colorful filmmaker who left his mark as one of the best in the stimulating era of the ’60s and ’70s. Then without any warning he left the industry. Stories of drug addiction, withdrawal from the world, and worse, loss of sanity dogged his absence until even his colleagues lost touch with him and didn’t know what to believe. Zialcita is a master of improvisation on the set, he also had the knack for casting the right actors, choosing the right material, and pleasing his producers. One of his favorite actors was Dindo Fernando whom he termed “the complete actor” and cast him in such movies as Langis at Tubig, Karma, Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan, Mahinhin at Mahinhin, its sequel Malakas, si Maganda at si Mahinhin and Ikaw at ang Gabi which gave Dindo his first Urian Best Actor trophy. Other favorites were Vilma Santos cast in Karma, T-Bird at Ako, Langis at Tubig; Pinky de Leon; Laurice Guillen; Ronaldo Valdes; and Beth Bautista who won Best Actress award in Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo Baby Porcuna. - Bibsy M. Carballo (READ MORE)

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tribute to Atty. Espiridion D. Laxa

Revenue and Prestige "...Former movie producer, lawyer Espiridion Laxa explains that, during the festival, since no foreign movies are shown, Philippine movies invariably rake it in. Laxa is the MMFF executive committee's chair on legal affairs and rules and regulations. Production costs are huge, especially for ambitious films shot on locations abroad, or those employing expensive digital effects. "For example," Laxa recounts, "for the air raid scene in Regal Films' 'Yama$hita,' they had to digitally create the airplanes. The scene lasted six minutes on screen, but the effect alone cost P14 million." But the investment paid off, he said, since "Yama$hita" was named Best Picture of the 2001 MMFF. The trophy came with a hefty cash prize. Besides, just being included in the festival lineup already earns much-needed subsidy for the producer. "The festival committee gives the subsidy so that better-quality films will be made," said Laxa. "President Gloria Arroyo gave P50 million in 2002. Out of that, P4 million went to the producers of each of the film entries. Last year, the film producers received P1 million each from what was left of the 2002 subsidy." This year, producers received a subsidy, too, but Laxa did not disclose the amount. Finally, producers are after the prestige. Being included in the MMFF's lineup puts the movies, and the producers, way ahead of the pack. In short, Laxa says, "It's image-building. Producers want the honor of being included in the filmfest. The perception is that (if your movie is in the MMFF) you're good..." - Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec 15, 2004 (READ MORE)

Laxa on FPJ's death on films: "...When an owner of several theaters in Mindanao learned that Fernando Poe Jr. was making a movie for Atty. Espiridion Laxa, the owner immediately called the respected producer to ask what will happen to FPJ at the end of the movie, will he live or die? When Atty. Laxa answered that FPJ will live when the movie ends, the theater owner heaved a big sigh of relief. He was doubly glad to learn that the King of local movies is playing a Muslim cop in said movie, “Muslim Magnum 357.” Why is it important for the theater owner to know if FPJ is going to live or die in his latest movie? Well, you see, several years back when an FPJ film in which he died at the end was shown in one of the theaters of the said owner, the patrons, which were mostly Muslims, almost created a riot, threw things at the moviehouses’ screen, destroyed the seats and stopped other moviegoers from entering the theater...In fact, it’s not only his Muslim fans who don’t want to see FPJ dead in his movies, but almost all his followers all over the country. But why? Here’s how Atty. Laxa explained this sort of FPJ cult: “In real and reel life, FPJ epitomizes the champion of the small people, the common tao, especially the underdog, who are victims of injustice and abuses. It is as if they see in him, on-and-off screen, their own dreams and aspirations. To the youth, he is a living idol. For almost three decades, FPJ has become a folk hero and heroes don’t die.” - Tony S. Mortel (READ MORE)

Pillar of Local Movies - "...If Jose Nepomuceno was acknowledged the Father of Philippine Movies, Atty. Espiridion Laxa became the Pillar of Local Movies since the mid-50s. At the time LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions were about to cease from producing films, Atty. Laxa founded Tagalog Ilang Ilang outfit. He re-established Fernando Poe Jr., Joseph Estrada, Jun Aristorenas, Jess Lapid Sr., Tony Ferrer in starrers Mga Tigreng Tagabukid, Suicide Commandos, Kardong Kidlat, Dugong Tigre and Leon at Tigre. Atty. Laxa launched his brother Tony Ferrer as the local James Bond via the blockbusters Sabotage and Crisis which were critically acclaimed also. The reteaming of top love team then Amalia Fuentes and Romeo Vasquez came to the fore through Atty. Laxa’s project Ako’y Iyung-Iyo which was the top moneymaker then. His firm launched sexy stars to stardom, the foremost were Divina Valencia and Stella Suarez, highlighted by their team up in Labanang Babae, a box office hit. That ushered in the popular song about the duo. In the tune of Hard Day’s Night, with the lyrics Divina Valencia, Stella Suarez nagbu-burlesk. That even kids loved to belt that time, much to the chagrin of elders. However, Atty. Laxa became more respected as adviser, legal counsel . trouble shooter of problems existing within showbiz people. It ignited when Amalia was sued by Sampaguita Pictures’ Jose Perez for breach of contract. With his therapeutic words Atty. Laxa was able to iron the kinks between them out of court. From then on, practically everyone would love to seek his assistance and advice whether personal or about local movies. Not surprisingly, he was chosen the president of the Philippine Motion Pictures Association for decades. Later, then president of the country Joseph Estrada appointed Atty. Laxa the chairman of the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation (Mowelfund), showbiz’s counterpart for SSS. The more he turned out to be a pillar of the movie industry. One of those who had categorically benefited from Atty. Laxa’s fold was Vilma Santos. She rose from a sweetie type of star into a highly respected and controversial figure off-screen. Her private life had been guided with care by no less than Atty. Laxa. The reason why Vilma considered him a second father to her. Exactly the same treatment showered to him by most of the stars and movie people, led by FPJ, Erap, Amalia and others. When given a chance to work as his firm’s publicist starting with the FPJ starrer Mabuting Kaibigan, Masamang Kaaway in the ‘90s, this writer was boggled with his big-heartedness and extreme compassion for his workers. Sadly, I was already in Canada during his demise and in his wake some years back. Nonetheless, the legacy Atty. Laxa left behind in showbiz will be instilled not only in my mind but to everyone connected in showbiz or those who had capacious time spent with him..." - Paul F. dela Cruz (READ MORE).

Produced atleast 100 films - "...Laxa’s Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions Inc. and EDL Productions produced some 100 films that were headlined by the action stars of Philippine cinema like Fernando Poe Jr., ex-President Joseph Estrada. Jess Lapid Sr. and Jun Aristorenas. He encouraged his lead stars to put up their own film companies. His films also included drama films that starred Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. He was responsible for casting together the superstars of Philippine cinema during the 60s to the 90s. Some of the TIIP films included FPJ starrers like Hari sa Barilan and Fandong Asintado, Sabotage with Tony Ferrer as Agent X-44, Markang Rehas with Joseph Estrada, the Nora Aunor-Vilma Santos film Ikaw ay Akin and several Darna films with Vilma Santos. At the time of his death, he was also the chairman of the Movie Workers’ Welfare Foundation (MOWELFUND) and the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council, Inc. He was also a director of the board of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Atty. Laxa hailed from Macabebe, Pampanga and took his law studies at the Far Eastern University and Philippine Law School. He passed the bar examinations in 1955. He was co-founder with the late Mayor Antonio Villegas of the Manila Film Festival in 1966 where he served as co-chairman for the periods 1966-69, 1972-74 and 1992-99. He was the chairman of the Rules and Regulations of Legal Affairs Committee of the Metro Manila Film Festival since 1998. Laxa was given the Lifetime Achievement Award of the FAP in 1993, the same year he was awarded the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan for Film by the City of Manila. In 2004, he was given a special recognition award by the Metro Manila Film Festival. For the years 1987 to 1990, Atty. Laxa was the president of the ASEAN Movie Producers’ Association..." (Film Academy of the Philippines, Sep 16, 2009)

Si Falcon at si Darna "...First to speak was Tony Ferrer, the younger brother of Atty. Laxa who used to play the role of Agent X-44 Tony Falcon, our local James Bond. He thanked the people who supported them in their time of bereavement. Tony reminisced the days when his elder brother reprimanded him. “Pumuti ang buhok ko hindi dahil sa trabaho. Ikaw ang nagpaputi ng buhok ko, Tony, kaya itigil mo na ang mga kalokohan mo.” Tony couldn’t control his tears when he said, “Hindi lang ako nawalan ng kapatid. Nawalan din ako ng ama.” Atty. Laxa had taken care of his siblings in the absence of their parents...Marichu Maceda talked at length on the accomplishments of Atty. Laxa in the movie industry. “Pag may taong kakausapin, hinahatak ko siya (Atty. Laxa). Siya kasi ang pambato ko sa casting.” Manay Ichu and Atty. Laxa were the prime movers in the establishment of the Film Academy of the Philippines. Manay Ichu also mentioned the time when Vilma Santos was having a problem with the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). “Inabot ng one and a half years ang pag-audit kay Vilma. Si Attorney ang taga-busisi, taga-double check ng mga figures.” MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando also took the podium. Before handing an envelope as his donation of sympathy to the family of the late FAP chairman, BF took a one last look at the coffin. Atty. Laxa was a member of the Metro Manila Film Festival’s executive committee of which BF heads. BF made a reference to the issue of the MMFF execom giving him a birthday gift (monetary) every year. And since the funds came from the MMFF coffers, it is now the subject of a senate committee inquiry chaired by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. The corruption issue is being aimed at Atty. Laxa because, it seemed that, he instigated the gift-giving.  Ric Camaligan, the SVP of SM Entertainment, rectified that notion. “Hindi po si Atty. Laxa ang pasimuno ng regalo. Kami po ang talagang may idea noon,” Camaligan stressed in taking the blame away from Atty. Laxa...First to be seen that night was Vilma Santos who went straight to the coffin. She had many films with TIIP (Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions), the production outfit of Atty. Laxa. Incidentally Vilma’s latest movie, In My Life, was said to have earned 20 million on the first day of showing..." - Alex J. Socorro, FAP, Sep 23, 2009 (READ MORE)

Espiridion Laxa (December 18, 1929 - September 15, 2009) was a Filipino lawyer, film producer, Metro Manila Film Festival executive committee member. He was also Chairman of the Film Academy of the Philippines. He also founded the now defunct Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions,[1] which produced Ibigay mo sa akin ang bukas (1986) Boy Tornado (1987) Alyas Pogi (Birador ng Nueva Ecija) (1990) and Mabuting Kaibigan, Masamang Kaaway (1991). A lawyer by profession, Laxa served as senior partner at Laxa, Mapile & Associates. He was best known as a film producer and official of various movie organizations, such as the Film Academy of the Philippines, Philippine Motion Picture Producer Association and the Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council Inc (Wikepedia).

  • Member (Integrated Bar of the Philippines)
  • Senior Partner (Laxa, Mapile & Associates Law Office)
  • President (Soliman Lawyers)
  • Legal Adviser (Kapisanan ng mga Sinehan sa Pilipinas)
  • Legal Cousel (Several Corporations)
  • President (Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production Inc. / EDL Prod)
  • Chairman (Film Academy of the Philippines)
  • Chairman (Philippine Motion Picture Producer Association)
  • Chairman (Motion Picture Anti-Film Piracy Council Inc)
  • Director (Premiere Entertainment Productions Inc)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (Film Academy of the Philippines)
  • Dr. Ciriaco Santiago Memorial Award (FAMAS)
  • Manila’s 1993 Awardee (Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan)
  • Awardee for Flavio Macaso Memorial Award (FAMAS)
  • Outstanding Manilan
  • Manila’s Diwa ng Lahi Awardee
  • FAMAS President’s Awardee
Source: FAP

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