Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Thank you, Simon

The online blog of this legendary video rental/store started with it's firt post on July 1, 2007 with links of what's the blogger favourite films, etc...since then Video48 became arguably, the number one source of materials for atleast Filipino film buffs, including yours truly. This post is a way of thanking the blogger, Simon Santos (not related to my favourite artist, Vilma Santos) for his kindness of allowing hundreds of his followers to feast with hard-to-find materials on favourite local artists! As what the initial quote from the blog said, "Have you missed something or feeling nostalgic? Feel free to browse and navigate the site. Go to search or press or click the Archive/Vault, Categories or other thumbnails found at the right side of the page. Thank you for coming over!" No, Simon...THANK YOU.

About the Blogger and the blog - Video 48 opened it's door on October 19, 1988 (making it 30 years old!) and it's still located at 48 West Avenue Quezon City, Philippines (Phone: 373-2936), that explained the number "48." According to his profile, Simon loves FPJ, that is the late Fernando Poe Jr. which explained the banner to his blog featuring "da King." Also, a movie enthusiast and photo hobbyist, which also revealed the reason of so much collection of film memorabilias!

Bookmarked! - "This is no ordinary video rental store. Their clientele include university students, professors, filmmakers, and major broadcast network executives. They have collection of over 10,000 films, all in either Laser, VHS, DVD, or VCD format. They have the compilations Oscar Best Pictures (1928 to 2009), Golden Globe Best Foreign Films (1949 to 2008), and Oscar Foreign Language Films (1948 to 2008). Their standard rate is P30 for a VCD or VHS copy and P40 to P60 for a DVD copy. These rates changes depending on how many titles you borrow. Length of rental is five days. They also sell films such as original copies of The Imagination of Doctor Parnassus and other hard to find film gems. Best of all, Video 48 has copies of great Pinoy films most of us may never have heard of. If you're addicted to Filipino films, you definitely have to bookmark Video 48's blog." - Nicai de Guzman, "Top 10 Spots for Manila's Film Buffs," Spot, 01 June 2010 (READ MORE)

Vintage - "One of the best local blogs we’ve come across recently is the Video 48 blog by film enthusiast Simon Santos. Props to the guy for keeping the flame of classic Filipino movies alive and reintroducing these classic films to both local and foreign cinema buffs. His collection of movie minutiae, from vintage posters (such as those of the Eddie Garcia starrer Batuta ni Drakula) to film historical anecdotes, is both wonderful and entertaining, a trip back in time to when local cinema was at its peak..." - Karlo Samson, Maxim Magazine, February 2009 (READ MORE)

Deserves Recognition - "...Thanks to the Internet and the efforts of obsessive fanboys and girls – many of them outside the Philippines – these films are beginning to get some kind of recognition (“respect” may be too strong a word)...It is on the worldwide web, however, where these movies continue to live a preternatural half-life, as downloadable torrents, or legal online DVD purchases, and enshrined as the content of lovingly constructed websites and blogs, ripe for rediscovery...Thankfully, we have a local counterpart in video48 blog. Maintained by one Simon Santos, the site offers a somewhat more balanced view of Philippine cinema, including as it does more mainstream films and fewer of the more extreme type (although it has its share of Pinoy movie arcana, offering for instance, proof of the existence of a 1987 bold film actually titled “Diligin ng Suka ang Uhaw na Lumpia”). It also covers Tagalog komiks and other aspects of Filipino popular culture, with an equally obsessive attention to detail. With a wealth of archival material including news items, photographs, movie posters and scanned artwork, video48 is a true labor of fanboy love..." - Eric S. Caruncho, 05 July 2009, Sunday Inquirer Magazine (READ MORE)

Art Films - "...So why would the likes of Lino Brocka, Nick Joaquin, Lualhati Bautista, Ricky Lee, Laurice Guillen, Jeffrey Jeturian and other noted storytellers trek all the way to West Avenue just to rent a couple of videos? Geez, maybe because there’s something more to it than housing that, which you may have seen on Philippine silverscreen. Unknown to many is that this rare shop had been standing there for the past 15 years. The soft-spoken owner Simon Santos showed us around this haven. Video 48 (the name is culled from its address—48 West Avenue), a two-story unit where the popular titles in VHS, VCD and DVD are found in the first floor, while the laser disc and betamax copies are kept upstairs...It all began in 1988 when movie home viewing was only made possible by the betamax and then a little later by the Laser Disc. Santos, a film-lover himself, collected his favorite films in these formats. His early collection of 200 titles included the films of Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini, Kurosawa and Almodovar. When his friends began borrowing his copies, an idea fell on his lap and kindled the urge to put up a video-renting business. "My family was then growing and I needed extra jinglers in my pocket," he said. "But is was a risky venture. Back then, in the late eighties, video shops were opening all over the country. Also, cable television networks were being established and film piracy was becoming rampant. I had to be careful of how these might affect the business, but I chose to offer renters an alternative by making my own collection of classics and art films available..." - Iris Ayong, Manila Times, 7 May 2004 (READ MORE)

Disciple of the Cinema - "...Everyone who enters Video 48 is welcomed to a celebrity corner, where the icons of Philippine cinema have etched their musings. Celso Ad Castillo, for instance, declares: “To whom I pin my aesthetic hopes.” Luciano “Chaning” Carlos ushers in the visitor with the statement: “Enter the dazzling world of the past through Video 48. Truly entertaining coupled with warm reception and friendly persuasions.” For his part, Maryo J. de los Reyes pays tribute to the man behind Video 48: “A great disciple of the cinema! See you always at the movies!” Conceived during the betamax craze in 1988, Video 48 sprang from the collection of owner Simon Santos. “Watching movies is my favorite pastime,” he says. “My inventory grew gradually and friends started to rent from me.” Starting with two favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa, Simon’s compilation has reached to thousands of movie titles, from classics to new releases, from common to rare ones, from art to foreign language films, from documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters, from Tagalog films to several other genres. Available in VCD and DVD formats, and yes even in VHS, these titles are either for rent or for sale. Among its cult followers are film students, collectors and enthusiasts, including the late National Artists Lino Brocka and Nick Joaquin..." - Ieth Inolino, Sense & Style, September 2009 (READ MORE)

Dawn of Various Formats - "...Almost 21 years after its debut, Video 48 has proven its mettle. While local rental shops have come and gone, the shop has witnessed the dawn of various formats: Betamax, VHS, laser disc, VCD, and DVD. Some have thrust into oblivion, but surprisingly, these formats share a roof in Video 48. Though the influx of cable television and piracy somehow challenged Video 48’s success, Mr. Santos has managed to keep things exciting. “Sometimes I have to add some interesting titles to my existing inventory, like art films, operas, documentaries. I now sell movie posters, magazines, movie memorabilia, movie related toys and action figures to complement my existing business,” he says. Notwithstanding, the minor changes in the shop, it still looks like an old school video shack--- the kind that people flock to for weekend movie marathons. There is recognizable delight in combing the familiar-looking aisles for remarkable titles. Perhaps that’s what kept Video 48 rolling all these years, nostalgia." - Kristy Ann Texon, Sidetrip Tarvel magazine!, July - October 2009 (READ MORE)

Film is Life - "...Way before YouTube and pirated DVDs, there were video stores that provided the common person’s movie needs. Video 48 was and continues to be one of them. Founded by Simon Santos in 1988, it became home to hundreds of films in different media through the decades--- from betamax and VHS tapes, laser discs (yes, they still exist), VCDs, and DVDs. In the mood for a James Dean’s bad boy marathon or maybe some Kurosawa/Hitchcock/Bergman classics? How about a taste of local films starring FPJ and Dolphy from the 70s? Video 48’s extensive line-up of hard-to-find films has attracted a myriad of excellent directors like the late Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, writers Nick Joaquin and Pete Lacaba. Toys adorn the white walls and wooden shelves as much as posters. A life-sized model of Master Yoda even takes the space at the store’s entrance, as if inviting passers-by to come inside and join the Force. Because as Simon has proven, watching films is more than just a fun activity you do to get away from real life. It is life..." - Nante Santamaria, Status Magazine, March 2010 (READ MORE)

FPJ Fanatic - "...Simon's main reason for putting up Video48 back in October 19, 1988 involved his need to support his family and to end his dependence on his parent's business. Having a strong interest in movies, he decided that a video rental store would hit two birds with one stone; it would fulfill his family's everyday expenses, as well as his own appetite for cinema. "I had a seven year old and a nine year old daughter that time, and Betamaz was all the rave. So I decided to put up Video48," he said. "At the same time, I also like what I do."...I grew up during the 60's, during the time of FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr), Joseph Estrada and Jess Lapid," he said, "Brocka and Bernal also started during the 60's."...Video48's clientele is usually comprised of film enthusiast who, like Simon grew up during the time when the internet was still nonexistent and FPJ, Estrada and Dolphy (Rodolfo Quizon) ruled the cinemas. As proof, Simon (a self-confessed FPJ fanatic) even posted autographs he had collected over the years of his favorite movie actors, the most prominent of which is FPJ's on the door of Video48. "Maraming nagpupunta sa akin, lalo na 'yong mga balikbayan na naghahanap ng lumang pelikula ni FPJ, Joseph Estrada at Dolphy. Added revenue 'yon sa part ko. Nakakatuwa na nakakagenerate siya ng income para sa akin," he said...However, Video48 is not without its struggles: "Nung 1990s nagkaroon ng Cable TV kaya medyo bumagsak iyong video industry noong time na 'yon." The spread of piracy in the country has also taken toll. "Biro mo nagbabayad ka ng license at bumibili ng original 350 person ang isa tapos paparenta mo lang ng 30 pesos. Ilang beses mo ipapa-rent 'yun? 10 times bago ka kumita. Pero kapag pirated, 30 pesos lang para mabili mo 'yong pelikula." Simon said..."Gusto ko talaga ang ginagawa ko dahil worth it naman. Hindi ka naman magsusucceed sa ginagawa mo pag di mo gusto..." - Raydon Reyes, Photo: Katrina Lucano Fudge Magazine, August 2008 (READ MORE)


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