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Friday, October 30, 2009

"JUAN DE LA CRUZ" (1976): GERRY DE LEON'S UNFINISHED MOVIE

A special screening of "Juan de la Cruz" was held in 1990 at CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) and hope FPJ Productions would again screen this unfinished masterpiece.


Toward the end of his life, filmmaking became an excruciating job for Gerardo ‘Gerry’ de Leon (or
Manong to his friends and co-workers). He was suffering from emphysema and was often bringing an oxygen tank to his set. He was not able to complete Juan de la Cruz, which he intended as a summation of all his knowledge about filmmaking.

Ever since childhood, Manong dreamt of adapting Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, the two novels of Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero, whose execution in 1896 signaled the end of the Spanish rule. The two novels span two generations and employ a cast of contrasting characters whose raw emotions are fused with the writer’s political aims. The works written in a Dickensian mold make for an incisive study of the oppressiveness of the Spanish colonial times.

According to Eddie Romero, Manong’s longtime collaborator, he imbibed this nationalist spirit from his father, who had written zarzuelas with anti-imperialist themes. Manong’s plan was to come out with a series of movies based on the novel’s important characters. He was able to realize only three: Sisa, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo with a fourth, Juan de la Cruz, left unfinished. He had a fifth, Elias, on the planning stage at the time of his death. Manong meticulously read the two novels, looking for clues that would lead to an understanding of the popular characters’ ancestry. For Juan de la Cruz, he enlarged a few passages on the parentage of Crisostomo Ibarra and Elias into a fully developed saga spanning three generations that was to serve as the prelude to Noli and Fili. Manong never invented wildly but kept the plot with dramatic incidents and baroque passions within the confines of Rizal’s objectives.
(Source: The Life and Art of Gerardo de Leon by Agustin Sotto)

FPJ could have hired and tapped another director to finish the project or he could have continued directing it, but he opted not to touch it to preserve the original work of the great master. The movie starred Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, Van de Leon, Johnny Delgado, Dranreb, Tony Carreon.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"GERON BUSABOS: ANG BATANG QUIAPO" (1964)


"Geron Busabos: Ang Batang Quiapo" (1964)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Imelda Ilanan, Oscar Roncal, Vic Andaya,Angel Buenaventura, Avel Morado, Bebong Osorio, Angel Confiado and Boy Alvarez/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Joseph Estrada earned his second Famas Best Actor award in 1964 playing the title role of Geron Busabos (Ang Batang Quiapo), protector and defender of the poor and the oppressed. As champion of
Quiapo street folks, Geron is well-loved as he helps and protects them from all sorts of harassments from gang and tong syndicates. The movie also won three more awards: Best Picture, Best Child Actor (Boy Alvarez) and Best Story (Augusto Buenaventura).

Here’s a short clip of one of the movie’s highlights with Joseph Estrada and child star Boy Alvarez (where is he now?) in a touching and moving scene ---


Courtesy of Emar Pictures

Actors Fernando Poe, Jr. and Bob Soler made a brief surprise appearances in the movie ---


Courtesy of Emar Pictures


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CHIQUITO IN A BRIEF HILARIOUS ROLE IN "PEPENG AGIMAT" (1973)



Top comedian and comic icon Chiquito had a brief but unforgettable appearance, as an unwilling victim of a 'mangkukulam' or witch, in Ramon Revilla's "Pepeng Agimat." I still remember that scene when I first saw the movie in 1973 and I still had a big laugh when I saw it again at local cableTV some months back. I terribly miss this guy! Here's that scene---


Courtesy of Imus Productions

Monday, October 26, 2009

YOUNG RENE REQUIESTAS IN ISHMAEL BERNAL'S "SALAWAHAN" (1981)


"Salawahan" (1981)- Stars Miss Rita Gomez, Jay Ilagan, Mat Ranillo III, Andrea Andolong, Mark Gil and Rio Locsin/ Directed by Ishmael Bernal

Funnyman Rene Requiestas first started his movie career as an extra in some of Ishmael Bernal flicks, before making it big in the 90s as Chee-ta-eh and in Pido Dida series. One of the early movies he did was the 1981 movie, Salawahan, where he played the role of a gay helper in a fashion store. You’ll find him here very funny and such incredible talent was only realized after 8 long years when he teamed up with Joey de Leon in Starzan in 1989.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

MANUEL SILOS' "BIYAYA NG LUPA" (1959): MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE TAGALOG MOVIE

BIYAYA NG LUPA (1959, Manuel Silos) – Winner of Famas Best Picture, the movie captures the authentic values, the hopes, the joys, the dreams and the sorrows of a Filipino family rooted in the land. It’s an uplifting movie of how a family overcomes the hardships and cruelties in life and how they survive and succeed in the end. This LVN Pictures' prized gem is my all-time favorite Tagalog movie.

It tells of a young couple, Jose and wife, Maria (Tony Santos and Rosa Rosal) who begin their married life by tending a lanzones orchard. They live the good life, taking care of their fruit orchard and raising their four children. All is well until Jose becomes the target of Bruno’s (Joseph de Cordova) envy and acrimony. Bruno is rumored to have killed his wife and his questionable reputation and mean streak terrify the village women so much that it is almost impossible for Bruno to find another wife.

Bruno decides to court Choleng, Jose’s goddaughter. In an attempt to evade Bruno’s advances, Choleng falls off a cliff and dies. Bruno flees to the mountains where he forms a group of bandits. Believing the villagers to be the cause of his misfortune, he plans to exact revenge on them, especially on Jose. Bruno rapes Jose’s daughter (Marita Zobel). Jose comes after him, only to meet his death at the hands of Bruno and his men.
The infuriated townsfolk organize themselves to hunt Bruno down.



Besides Bruno to contend with, there's also rift within the family, especially the feud between the two sons, the deaf-mute Miguel and Arturo (Leroy Salvador and Carlos Padilla, Jr.). The ambitious Arturo decides to try his luck in the city against the wishes of the family.

On the other hand, Bruno and his gang flee to another town where they are hired by a greedy landowner to sabotage Jose’s lanzones blooms. But the people readily repulse their evil plans. With Bruno gone and Arturo back, peace once again reigns and once more, people reap the blessings of their land.


Movie Review:
Thoughtless Thoughts On Manuel Silos' Biyaya ng Lupa (1959) by Richard Bolisay

Rich in Filipino values and traditions, the movie starts with a beautiful opening scene of a simple barrio wedding of newlywed couple, Jose and Maria, riding in a very attractive carriage accompanied by a big band and folks singing and dancing. This celebration is just the beginning of what could be the start of the many sacrifices and nightmares the family will be encountering
. Here's that scene---


Courtesy of LVN Pictures

Friday, October 23, 2009

LINO BROCKA'S "STARDOOM" (1971)

In 1971, Director Lino Brocka directs “Stardoom” for Lea Productions, his “indictment of the corruption of values in the local movie industry.” It tells of a frustrated and ambitious stage mother, Toyang (played by Lolita Rodriguez), who forces her son, Joey, into a showbiz career and ultimately ends up in a tragedy. 70s teenage heartthrob, handsome, clean-cut and the boy-next-door type, Walter Navarro starred as the son, Joey Galvez, who at the peak of his stardom was gunned down by his erstwhile girlfriend Nina (Lotis Key), in a fit of jealousy and anger.

Whatever happened to Walter Navarro? They say “life imitating art.” The young actor was on the height of his illustrious movie career when something tragic happened to his personal life. There are rumors of drugs that eventually ruined his life.
Movie Review: "Mag-ingat sa iyong Pagsikat...Stardoom!" by Jojo Devera


Here's a short film clip of the movie showing the young and handsome Walter Navarro doing a rehearsal for a musical number. A very young and beautiful Hilda Koronel was also in the scene and so with Lotis Key, her first movie appearance. Enjoy the song and the dance!




Courtesy of Lea Productions

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CHARITO SOLIS' CONTROVERSIAL SCENES IN "IGOROTA" (1968)


"Igorota" (1968)- Stars Charito Solis, Ric Rodrigo, Fred Galang, Cachupoy, Eddie Garcia and Mario Montenegro/ Directed by Luis Nepomuceno

Set on the mountains in Banaue Rice Terraces, award-winning actress Charito Solis essayed the role of a mountain princess who fell in love with a man (Ric Rodrigo) from the city. They eventually got married and lived in the city. It’s not all heaven for Solis as she was ridiculed, mocked and humiliated by the city folks. Things got worse when the daughter accidentally slipped down the stairs and died while trying to pacify her mother who was having a fight.

Rich in cultural heritage, breathtaking views, the big budgeted melodrama won 8 Famas Awards and was best remembered not only of Miss Solis superb and award-winning performance but her decision to bare in front of the screen. She had two scenes where she had a breast exposure.



Courtesy of Nepomuceno Productions


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

JOSEPH 'ERAP' ESTRADA DOES A "DIRTY HARRY"



"Kill the Pushers" (1972)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Pilar Pilapil, Rosemarie Gil, Vic Silayan, Ruben Rustia, Romeo Rivera, Ruel Vernal, Zenaida Amador/ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura

Joseph Estrada was at his best appearing in ‘tough guy’ roles after striking it big as “Asiong Salonga” in 1961. He was rough and mean in movies like North Harbor (1961), Pulong Diablo (1963), Basagulero (1963); Geron Busabos: Ang Batang Quiapo (1964); Batang Angustia (1965); Batang Iwahig (1966) and many more where he essayed the role of a ‘kanto boy.’ However in the 70s and 80s, Estrada chose to do light-comedy films (remember the
Tatay na si Erap series, Erap is my Guy, Mamang Sorbetero, among others) and more of a Dirty Harry type of movies, where he portrayed a determined and dedicated law enforcer. He did quite a number of these movies starting with Kill the Pushers in 1972 and so on with Panic (1973), Ranson (1974), among others.



"Dragnet" (1973)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Eva Reyes, Tsing Tong Tsai, Grace Chua, Vic Silayan, Ruben Rustia, Romy Diaz, Subas Herrero/ Directed by Armando Garces



"Panic!" (1973)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Rosanna Ortiz, Liza Lorena, Dindo Fernando, Sonny Cortez, Ruben Rustia, Cristina Reyes, Romeo Rivera, Zenaida Amador, Subas Herrero and Jun Mariano/ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura



"Ransom!!" (1974)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Helen Gamboa, Eddie Garcia, Dindo Fernando and Rosanna Ortiz/ with Vic Silayan, Anita Linda/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo



Left- "The Manila Connection" (1974)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Rosemarie, George Estregan, Anna Gonzales, Paquito Diaz and Leopoldo Salcedo/ with Vic Silayan, Anita Linda, Carlos Padilla, jr., Ruben Rustia/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Right- "Counter Kill" (1975)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Tara Fonseca/ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura



Left- "Dateline Chicago: Arrest the Nurse Killer!" (1976)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Pilar Pilapil, Marilyn Herrs, Garret Blake, J.C. Marshall, Debbie Brinson/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Right- "Yakuza Contract" (1978)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Trixia Gomez, Charlie Davao, Martha Sevilla, Maricel Soriano/ Directed byCesar Gallardo



Left- "Warrant of Arrest" (1980)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Boots Anson-Roa, Paquito Diaz, Ernie Zarate, Ruel Vernal, Ruben Rustia, Nello Nayo/ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura

Right- "Order to Kill" (1985)- Stars Joseph Estrada, Vivian Velez and Eddie Garcia/ with Bomber Moran, Fred Montilla, Suzanne Gonzales, Nona Herrera, Angelo Castro, Jr./ Directed by Augusto Buenaventura

Saturday, October 17, 2009

GUESS WHO? THE YOUNG STARS OF THE 70s


Those who grew up in the 70s will probably remember them. Most of you, I guess, know the two young stars above, how about the two below?
---Answers Tomorrow---

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"CRISOSTOMO IBARRA AND ELIAS" IN "NOLI ME TANGERE"


Elias (Leopoldo Salcedo) and Crisostomo Ibarra (Eddie del Mar)

Crisostomo Ibarra and Elias are the two enigmatic and contrasting heroes of Rizal’s novel, “Noli Me Tangere.” Ibarra is rich and highly educated while Elias is poor and hunted by the authorities. They are both victims of injustices. Both love their native land and wish for her betterment. Elias sees hope in Ibarra and thinks that he will be able to uplift the country from its suffering. The two of them met on several ocassions and once have an animated conversation in which Elias tells Ibarra the following:

"Without struggle there is no freedom. Without freedom there is no light. You say that you know very little of your country; I believe you. You do not see the forthcoming struggle, you do not see the cloud on the horizon; the struggle begins in the sphere of ideas to come down to the arena which will be dyed in blood. I hear God's voice. Woe unto those who want to resist Him. History has not been written for them!"

Here’s the two exciting and pulsating film clips from Gerry de Leon’s award-winning masterpiece, “Noli Me Tangere,” showing the two protagonists, Ibarra (played by Eddie del Mar) and Elias (Leopoldo Salcedo), in a very vibrant, meaningful and spirited exchanges of ideas and dialogues.



Courtesy of Bayanihan-Arriva Productions


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

LINO BROCKA'S "TUBOG SA GINTO" (1971)

Tubog sa Ginto is a serialized komiks novel written by Mars Ravelo and was adapted into film by Lea Productions in 1971. Director Lino Brocka’s third movie and Eddie Garcia’s award-winning and favorite film, “Tubog sa Ginto,” tackles a very sensitive and controversial theme on homosexuality.

It tells of Don Benito (Eddie Garcia), a millionaire, who is married to Doña Emma (Lolita Rodriguez) and has a son named Santi (Jay Ilagan). Unknown to his family, Don Benito is a closet homosexual and was having a secret affair with his driver, Diego (Mario O’Hara). Don Benito tries very hard to conceal his true identity until Diego decides to blackmail him. He gives in to all of Diego’s demands until he gets fed up and eventually kills him. Before the horrifying eyes of his family, Don Benito turns the gun on himself.

Here's one of the movie's highlights when Santi discovers the shocking truth---


Courtesy of Lea Productions

Saturday, October 10, 2009

PUGO AND TOGO: FILMDOM'S ORIGINAL COMIC TANDEM


The comic duo Pugo & Togo with Jaime dela Rosa, Tessie Quintana, Lopito and Pablo Virtuoso in the 1949 movie, "Tambol Mayor."


Bald-headed duo, Pugo (Mariano Contreras) and Togo (Andres Solomon) were the comedy kings of the 40s and early part of the 50s and their comic tandem was the most popular during their time. Pugo and Togo started as vaudeville performers in the 30s and were a hit during the Japanese Occupation, where they poke fun of the Japanese. Their brand of humour consisted of short skits, slapstick, and funny dialogues where they performed live in Manila's theaters, most particularly Clover, Life and Avenue theaters. They changed their names to "Puguing" and "Tuguing" because Togo sounds similar to Tojo who was then the Prime Minister of Japan.

After the war, their career zoomed appearing in countless movies whether as lead or supporting roles, i.e, Ikaw Na (1946), Multo ni Yamashita (1946), Sekretang Hongkong (1947), Biglang Yaman (1949), Tambol Mayor (1949), Magkumpareng Putik (1950). Togo died on November 3, 1952 while shooting Dalawang Sundalong Kanin. He was only 47 years old. Pugo was in limbo for some time, but he was able to rebound and soon reasserted himself. He did several successful comedies (Sebya Mahal Kita, Nukso ng Nukso, Oh Sendang, etc.) for LVN before he ventured into television where he starred in Tang Tarang Tang (which later became Si Tatang Kasi), Wanted: Boarders, Alright, Okay, My Son, My Son and also as replacement of Lopito in Tawag ng Tanghalan. He died in 1978

From more than 10 movies the comic duo appeared, only three, Biglang Yaman, Kandidato and Kambal Tuko, have survived.



Courtesy of LVN Pictures

LVN produced a short film, on the life and death of Togo and showed it as an added “featurette” of the movie, Dalawang Sundalong Kanin (starred Pugo & Togo, Nida Blanca, Nestor de Villa) in December 1952. Only the second half of this short film survives--- showing the actor’s funeral. The film is narrated by Eddie San Jose.


Courtesy of LVN Pictures

Trivia/ Source: From WikiPilipinas:
In one skit,
Togo would ask what is the time and Pugo would hold up his wrist wearing four or five watches satirizing the Japanese soldier's fondness for watches. In another skit, Pugo would ask Togo who is he waiting and he would just answer "Si Uncle" meaning Uncle Sam which is the United States. In another skit, Pugo would give a monologue caricaturing a Japanese official proclaiming that he "loved the Philippines" but pronounces the word "love" as "rob" making fun of the Japanese people's mispronounciation of the letter "l" and "r."

More often than not, the Japanese Kempetai would haul the two comedians to
Fort Santiago for interrogation. After two or three days with bruises and cuts incurred from the Kempetai, the funny thing is that the Japanese always let them go.



Left- "Ikaw Na!" (1946)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Tito Arevalo, Pugo & Togo/ with Rogelio Nite, Rosa Mia/ Directed by Moises Caguin


Right- "Hanggang Pier" (1946)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Tito Arevalo, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Oscar del Rosario




Left- "Multo ni Yamashita" (1946)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz/ with Consuelo Sayson, Oscar Keesee, Batotoy/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario

Right- "Ang Estudyante" (1947)- Stars Lilian Velez, Narding Anzures, Pugo & Togo/ with Rosa Aguirre, Miguel Anzures, Angelo Castro/ Directed by Fermin Barva




"Sekretang Hongkong" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Anita Linda, Domingo Principe/ Directed by Moises Caguin


Left- "Noong Bata Pa si Sabel" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz, Gregorio Ticman/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario

Right- "Tomadachi- Zona" (1947)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Domingo Principe, Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario



"Sorry Na Lang" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz, Baby Jane/ with Rolando Liwanag, ALfredo de Lara, Batotoy/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


Left- "Biglang Yaman" (1949)- Stars Jaime dela Rosa, Rosa Rosal, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Joe Climaco

Right- “Kandidato” (1949)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Tony Arnaldo, Vida Florante/ Directed by Joe Climaco



Left- "Magkumpareng Putik" (1950)- Stars Lilia Dizon, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Manuel Silos

Right- "Dalawang Prinsipeng Kambal" (1951)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Teody Belarmino, Milagros Naval/ Directed by Manuel Silos





Left- "Pulo ng Engkanto" (1951)- Stars Lilia Dizon, Pugo & Togo, Alfonso Carvajal/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


Right- "Kambal Tuko" (1952)-
Stars Pugo & Togo, Carmencita Palma, Inday Jalandoni, Eddie San Jose, Gil de Leon/ Directed by F.H. Constantino

Filmography/ Partial:


1."Ikaw Na!" (1946)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Tito Arevalo, Pugo & Togo/ with Rogelio Nite, Rosa Mia/ Directed by Moises Caguin


2. "Hanggang Pier" (1946)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Tito Arevalo, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Oscar del Rosario


3. "Multo ni Yamashita" (1946)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz/ with Consuelo Sayson, Oscar Keesee, Batotoy/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


4. "Ang Estudyante" (1947)- Stars Lilian Velez, Narding Anzures, Pugo &
Togo/ with Rosa Aguirre, Miguel Anzures, Angelo Castro/ Directed by Fermin Barva

5. "Sekretang Hongkong" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Anita Linda, Domingo Principe/ Directed by Moises Caguin


6. "Noong Bata Pa si Sabel" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz, Gregorio Ticman/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


7. "Tomadachi- Zona" (1947)- Stars Patricia Mijares, Domingo Principe, Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


8. "Sorry Na Lang" (1947)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Katy dela Cruz, Baby Jane/ with Rolando Liwanag, ALfredo de Lara, Batotoy/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario


9. "Biglang Yaman" (1949)- Stars Jaime dela
Rosa, Rosa Rosal, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Joe Climaco

10. “Tambol Mayor” (1949)- Stars Jaime dela
Rosa, Tessie Qintana and Pugo & Togo

11. “Kandidato” (1949)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Tony Arnaldo, Vida Florante/ Directed by Joe Climaco


12. "Magkumpareng Putik" (1950)- Stars Lilia Dizon, Pugo & Togo/ Directed by Manuel Silos


13. “Edong Mapangarap” (1950)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Eddie
San Jose and Joan Page

14. "Dalawang Prinsipeng Kambal" (1951)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Teody Belarmino, Milagros Naval/ Directed by Manuel Silos


15. "Pulo ng Engkanto" (1951)- Stars Lilia Dizon, Pugo & Togo, Alfonso Carvajal/ Directed by Oscar Del Rosario

16. “Kambal Tuko” (1952)- Stars Pugo & Togo, Carmencita Palma, Inday Jalandoni, Eddie San Jose, Gil de Leon/ Directed by F.H. Constantino


17. “Dalawang Sundalong Kanin” (1952)- Stars Pugo &Togo, Nida Blanca, Nestor de Villa/
Togo’s last unfinished movie

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