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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Oh My Mama (1981)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ with Herbert Bautista, Hero Bautista, Harlene Bautista/ Directed by Tony Pascua

Pabling (1981)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ Directed by Ishmael Bernal

The Maricel Soriano- William Martinez love team, always funny, hilarious and riotous, is one of the well-loved, closely followed, and successful screen tandems in local cinema in the 80s.

Maricel Soriano was launched to full stardom in 1980 via Regal Films' Underage, while William Martinez got his biggest break in Ishmael Bernal’s City after Dark. Regal Films bigwigs found a right and perfect combination when Maricel and William were paired for the first time in the movie, ironically in a drama vehicle, Oh My Mama in 1981. The two young stars reminded me of the 50s screen favorites Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa. Regal Films could have patterned and packaged the two in the mold of these veteran thespians (Regal did a remake of 1954’s Galawgaw and a sequel to Waray and Manang Biday movies--- Anak ni Waray vs Anak ni Biday)..

While the Sharon- Gabby love team dwell more on the couple’s stormy personal love life, the Maricel- William, on the hand tackle on the funny and wacky sides of life. Both stars are comfortable with each other--- they blend well, they have the right chemistry, right timing, they can throw their lines with ease --- the elements of great comedy duo are all there. There was no stopping them as they churned out multiple box office hits especially in the genre of comedy

To this day, William, sad to say, was relegated and consigned to secondary roles, movie and TV roles came in trickles; Maricel, on the other hand, continue to mesmerize audiences with her versatile performances whether it be drama or comedy, or even action and horror. Regal’s top honcho, Mother Lily (Monteverde) once quip, "Regal without Maricel is nothing."

Summer Love (1981)- Stars Snooky Serna and Gabby Concepcion & Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ Directed by Elwood Perez

Galawgaw (1982)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ with Opalyn Forster, Bayani Casimiro/ Introducing Edgar MandeDirected by Ishmael Bernal

Boystown (1982)- Stars Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna & Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ with Edgar Mande/ Directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya

Mother Dear (1982)- Stars Charito Solis, Gloria Romero, Nestor de Villa, Snooky, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Albert Martinez/ with Joel Alano, Julie Vega, Edgar Mande/ Introducing Kristine Garcia/ Directed by Lino Brocka

Hindi Kita Malimot (1982)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ Directed by Ishmael Bernal

I Love You, I Hate You (1982)- Stars Maricel Soriano, William Martinez and Ronnie Ricketts/ Directed by Mel Chionglo

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1982)- Stars Robert Arevalo, Liza Lorena, Marissa Delgado, Raul Aragon, Alicia Alonzo, Mila Ocampo, Johnny Wilson, Tony Carreon, Bert Martinez, Joel Alano, Aiko Melendez & Kristine Garcia/ Together with Snooky, Gabby Concepcion, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Albert Martinez/ Directed by Elwood Perez

Story of Three Loves (1982)- Stars Snooky, Gabby Concepcion, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Albert Martinez/ Introducing Lani Mercado/ Directed by Joey Gosiengfiao

Minsan, May Isang Ina (1983)- Stars Nora Aunor, Charito Solis, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Bembol Roco, Manilyn Reynes/ Directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes

Parang Kailan Lang (1983)- Stars Charito Solis, Chanda Romero, Mark Gil, Peewee Quijano, Marie Romero/ with Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Edgar Mande / Directed by Emmanuel Borlaza

Summer Holiday (1983)- Stars Snooky, Albert Martinez, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Kristine Garcia, Edgar Mande, Lani Mercado, Joel Alano, Rey 'PJ' Abellana, Lito Pimentel/ Directed by Joey Mel Chionglo

To Mama With Love (1983)- Stars Gloria Romero, Snooky, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Janice de Belen, Julie Vega/ Introducing Manilyn Reynes/ Directed by Mario O' Hara

Anak ni Waray, Anak ni Biday (1984)- Stars Nida Blanca, Gloria Romero, Nestor de Villa, Luis Gonzales, Snooky, Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion, William Martinez, Chichay/ Directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes

Kaya Kong Abutin ang Langit (1984)- Charito Solis, Ronaldo Valdez, Liza Lorena, Gina Alajar, Michael de Mesa, William Martinez, Arlene Muhlach and Maricel Soriano/ Directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes

Teenage Marriage (1984)- Stars Charito Solis, Gloria Romero, Mon Alvir, Albert Anido, and Maricel Soriano & William Martinez/ Directed by Mel Chionglo

Left- Inday Bote (1985)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez/ with Charito Solis, Gloria Romero, Christopher Palomo, Nova Villa, Chichay, Dely Atay-Atayan, Roderick Paulate, Balot, Palito and Max Alvarado/ Introducing Richard Gomez/ Directed by Luciano B. Carlos

Right- Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (1985)- Stars Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III & Maricel Soriano and William Martinez & Snooky and Gabby Concepcion/ with Gloria Romero, Mario Montenegro, Nova Villa, Lani Mercado, Gretchen Barretto, Nadia Montenegro and Chichay/ Directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes

- When I Fall in Love (1986)- Stars Maricel Soriano and William Martinez & Janice de Belen and Aga Muhlach & Richard Gomez and Jackie Lou Blanco/ with Gretchen Barretto, Albert Anido, Nadia Montenegro, Benedict Aquino/ Directed by Joey Gosiengfiao

Right- Inday Inday sa Balitaw (1986)- Stars Susan Roces, Eddie Gutierrez, Armida Siguon-Reyna, Roderick Paulate, Cynthisa Patag, Matet and Maricel Soriano & William Martinez/ Directed by Luciano B. Carlos

Left- Jack en Poy (1987)- Stars Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Roderick Paulate, Manilyn Reynes, Janno Gibbs, Nova Villa, Tessie Tomas, Caridad Sanchez and Chichay/ Directed by Luciano B. Carlos

- Maria Went to Town (1987)- Stars William Martrinez, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Maricel Soriano/ Directed by Luciano B. Carlos

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Did you know that multi-awarded actress Vilma Santos almost gave up and walked out of Burlesk Queen? Yes, Vilma almost backed out of the three-fourths finished movie when she learned about the finale sequence. No, she wouldn’t do it, she couldn’t do it. She ignored call slips and went into hiding. Poor Celso (Ad Castillo, the director), he was drowning in his own tears of desperation and banging his head against the wall. Burlesk Queen was his “last Card,” he wanted to retrieve his dwindling popularity, he wanted to save face and if he didn’t get what he wanted now, he would be finished. Finally, one day, he received a basketful of fruit--- “Peace offering,” Celso calls it, “from Vilma.”
“It took us almost seven nights, shooting straight to finish that sequence. I learned the dance from an expert real-life burlesque dancer. During shootings, palaging closed door. My God, I couldn’t have done it with so many people around.” She had to take several shots of brandy before the shooting. “Otherwise I would have died from nervousness.”

By Ricardo Lo/ Expressweek/ January 19, 1978

Burlesk Queen
went on to become one of the top films of the 70s and hailed and selected by the URIAN as one of the top 22 finest movies of that decade. It was one of the important films of Vilma Santos and director Celso Ad Castiilo.

To read the full text, click images to enlarge

Expressweek/ January 19, 1978

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MOVIE TRIVIA # 13: "W" (1983)

Did you know that "W" (1983) is the shortest movie title in the history of Philppine cinema? It's a futristic movie made in the mold of Mad Max. It stars Anthony Alonzo under Wilfredo Milan direction.

W (1983)- Stars Anthony Alonzo, Anna Marie Gutierrez, Alicia Alonzo, AdaAlberto, Jonee Gamboa, Renato del Prado, Edwart Bronet, Paul Vance, Al Alonzo, Linda Castro, Den Montero, Rommel Valdez, Robert Miller, Jimmy Santos/ Directed by Wilfredo Milan

Friday, March 27, 2009


Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon (1983)- Stars Hilda Koronel, Dindo Fernando, Lorna Tolentino, Jay Ilagan and Anthony Castelo/ Introducing Maria Isabel Lopez/Directed by Romy Suzara

For her final question, she was asked by a judge, the late actress Ms. Rita Gomez—if she was still a virgin at that time and she replied by asking back, "Will it make me win the crown if I said yes?" The contestant, Maria Isabel Lopez, was proclaimed the 1982 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe. Lopez, one of the most vocal, articulate, liberated and controversial celebrity figures, was almost disqualified from representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe Pageant for being a former Gerard Peter model. She did not win the title but went on to become a most sought after actress in the 80s.

Ms. Lopez, who hails from Cagayan de Oro, made her grand entrance to the movie world in 1983 on her launching film, Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon. It’s a big movie with a big cast headed by Hilda Koronel, Dindo Fernando, Lorna Tolentino, Anthony Castelo and Jay Ilagan. The following year, she made a daring career move by appearing in a very controversial movie directed by Celso Ad Castillo. Isla, A ECP production, installed Ms. Lopez as the new bold star. There’s no turning back from thereon.

Left- Isla (1984)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez/ Directed by Celso Ad Castillo

Right- Working Girls (1984)- Stars Hilda Koronel, Rio Locsin Chanda Romero, Carmi Martin, Maria Isabel Lopez, Baby Delgado and Gina Pareno/Directed by Ishmael Bernal

Left- Hubo sa Dilim (1985)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Chanda Romero, Michael de Mesa, Lito Gruet, Isadora, Tony Carrion, Jaime Fabregas/ Directed by Tata Esteban

Right- Escort Girls (1985)- Stars Amy Austria, Ann Villegas, Liz Alindogan, Jacklyn Jose, Armi Quintana, Vicky Varga and Maria Isabel Lopez/Directed by Tony Cruz

Left- Hello Lover, Goodbye Friend (1985)- Stars Dindo Fernando, Romeo Vasquez, Alma Moreno, Lorna Tolentino, Maria Isabel Lopez and Alona Alegre/ Directed by Ma. Lourdes Salvador

Right- Heartache City (1985)- Stars Chanda Romero, Barbara Luna, Ma. Isabel Lopez, Lyka Ugarte, Liz Alindogan and Tanya Gomez/ with Tommy Abuel and Ronaldo Valdez/Directed by Danny Zialcita

Unang Gabi (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Vida Verde, George Estregan, Cristina Crisol and Orestes Ojeda/ Directed by Anthony Taylor

Silip (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez and Sarsi Emmanuelle/
Directed by Elwood Perez

Left- Kapirasong Dangal (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Raoul Aragonn, Dick Israel, Tani Cinco, Gino Antonio, Emily Loren, Mina Mirasol and Dante Rivero/ Directed by Nilo Saez
Right- Isang Kumot Tatlong Unan (1986)- Stars Jun Aristorenas, Paquito Diaz and Maria Isabel Lopez/Directed by Jose 'Pepe' Wenceslao

Huwag Pamarisan: Kulasisi (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Anna Marie Gutierrez, Raoul Aragonn, Jun Santiago, Tani Cinco, Emil Sandoval, Ursula Marquez, Maureen Mauricio/Directed by Nilo Saez

Hayok (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, George Estregan, Susan Bautista, Manny Luna, Albert Eugenio, Maureen Mauricio/Directed by Anthony Taylor

Dingding Lang ang Pagitan (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Olivia Ortiz, Orestes Ojeda, Albert Eugenio/ Directed by Ruben S. Abalos

Left- Bakit Naglaho ang Magdamag (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Manny Luna, Ike Lozada, Lucita Soriano/Introducing Theresa Morena/ Directed by Ronnie San Juan

Right- Mga Nakaw na Sandali (1986)- Stars Maria Isabel Lopez, Al Tantay, Liz Alindogan, Ronaldo Valdez and Stella Suarez, Jr./Directed by Nilo Saez

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Dear Heart (1981)- The movie that started it all

Sharon Cuneta was only 15 and Gabby Concepcion, 18, when both made their first movie together. The movie, Dear Heart, started their reel and real love story. It made a killing in the box-office in 1981 and significantly paved the way for more Sharon-Gabby screen tandems. The love team proved to be a winning combination and eventually secured the movie careers of the two young teen stars. In a span of 11 years, from 1981 to 1992, the two made a total of 10 movies together. The screen romance, welcomed by fans, turned real as Sharon and Gabby were wed on September 23, 1984 at the Manila Cathedral with then President Ferdinand Marcos as one of the principal sponsors. They were blessed with a wonderful baby girl, Maria Kristina Cassandra Concepcion, or popularly known as KC Concepcion (now 23). Their marriage though was short-lived. “I was 21 and she was 18. We were both young then. And you know when you’re young, you’re vulnerable to failure," says Gabby in a published article.

It’s a very turbulent relationship especially on the part of Sharon. Their experiences, pains and trials however, made them strong and tougher individuals. Gabby figured in the 1994 filmfest 'envelope switching' scandal, went to the United States for a self-imposed exile. He returned after 13 long years primarily for his dear father who was suffering and struggling with serious illness. He resumed his acting career with a teleserye on ABS-CBN, Iisa Pa Lamang. Sharon, on the other hand, is now happily married with Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan.

Both have already put their differences behind them. Gabby is looking forward to the day that he and Sharon will be able to work together on a movie project again.

"Dear Heart" (1981)- Stars Sharon Cuneta And Gabby Concepcion/ with Eddie Garcia, Liza Lorena, Ting Jocson, Rosemarie Gil, Ronaldo valdez, Johnny Wilson, Winnie Santos, Wendy Villarica/ Directed by Danny L. Zialcita

"P.S. I Love You" (1981)-Stars Sharon Cuneta And Gabby Concepcion/with NovaVilla and Lampel Luis/Directed by Eddie Garcia

Left- "My Only Love" (1982)- Stars Amalia Fuentes, Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion, Jackie Lou Blanco/ with Liza Lorena, Mario Montenegro, Tessie Tomas / Directed by Eddie Garcia

Right- "Sa Hirap at Ginhawa" (1984)- Stars Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion, Nida Blanca, Leroy Salvador, Vic Silayan, Marita Zobel, Cherie Gil, Sandy Andolong, Ronnie Ricketts/ Directed by Leroy Salvado

Left- "Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin? "(1984)- Stars Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion, Celia Rodriguez, Chanda Ronmero and Vic Silayan/ Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza

Right- "The Best of Sharon & Gabby" (1984)- Stars Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion/ Includes Exclusive Wedding Coverage

"Pati Ba Pintig ng Puso?" (1985)- Stars Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion, Charito Solis, Eddie Garcia, Dina Bonnevie, Edu Manzano, Rey 'PJ' Abellana, Jobelle Salvador, Joel Alano/ Directed by Leroy Salvador

"Bakit Ikaw Pa Rin?" (1990)- Stars Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion/ with Gloria Romero, Cherie Gil, Laurice Guillen, Chanda Romero, Rey 'PJ' Abellana, Richard Reynoso, Nanette Medved/ Directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza

Una Kang Naging Akin (1991)- Stars Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion/ with Dawn Zulueta, Charito Solis, Eddie Gutierrez, Michael de Mesa, Armida Sigoun-Reyna/ Directed by Laurice Guillen/ Movie poster and photo- Courtesy of Sharon Cuneta Website

Tayong Dalawa (1992)- Stars Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion/ with Nida Blanca, Anita Linda, Bing Loyzaga, Mary Gail Marner, Barbara Perez, Eric Quizon/ Directed by Laurice Guillen/ Movie poster and photo- Courtesy of Sharon Cuneta Website


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