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Thursday, September 27, 2012


Screen legend Rogelio dela Rosa played dual role in this exciting costume movie, as Felipe, a shipyard stevedore and as Haring Cobra, the deposed king. The scheming Haring Cobra hired the services of Felipe, his look-a-like, to double for him and devised a plan to reclaim his throne. Director Richard Abelardo, known for his terrific and superb camera works and visual effects, was able to put the two characters in a single frame perfectly. One wonders how he did it given the crude movie equipments he had during that time.

Haring Cobra" (1951)- Stars Rogelio dela Rosa, Lilia Dizon, Jose Vergara, Ven Medina, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Elena Acosta/ Directed by Richard Abelardo

The Story--- While working in a shipyard in Jolo, Felipe (Rogelio dela Rosa) is coerced by two henchmen of a deposed monarch, Haring Cobra, to accept a twofold mission - to impersonate him and kill the present usurper to the throne, his cousin, Rahmed (Jose Vergara) and thus stop the forthcoming marriage of Rahmed and the lovely Amahda (Lilia Dizon). In a short flashback, Haring Cobra relates the events that led to his overthrow - how he was betrayed by Rahmed and together with his loyal aides, set upon a raft and left to drift aimlessly at sea; how he lost his right arm and instead of a hand, now has grotesque sharp steel claws (see clip below).

Courtesy of LVN Pictures

The adventurer Felipe is intrigued by the prospects of a huge reward, and the chance of meeting Amahda. He receives a thorough training in impersonating Haring Cobra, including the trademark smirk that the deposed King is famous for. Arriving at this Balinese-type island not far from Jolo, Felipe, now as Haring Cobra, is smitten by the beautiful Amahda, who also feels an attraction to a man she knows to be an impostor.

Rahmed is also in love with Amahda, and wishes to make her his queen, but Felipe (as Haring Cobra), upon meeting Rahmed, is told another version of events that led to Haring Cobra's overthrow. Haring Cobra was the usurper, who grabbed power from his own father, Razul, and killed him. But only Haring Cobra knows that Razul is not dead, but locked up in the ruins of an ancient temple. Felipe is confused by the turn of events, but nevertheless engages Rahmed in a swordfight.

In the meanwhile, the real Haring Cobra arrives in the kingdom, and orders the murder of his own father. His men seize the palace, and Rahmed is killed. Haring Cobra's success is complete, save for one thing. One of his henchmen, Asaad (Ven Medina), reveals to the ruthless King that Felipe and Amahda are in love and plan to run away. The enraged Haring Cobra pursues them and is about to kill them when he himself is gunned down - by his own father, Razul, who managed to escape from his temple-prison. Felipe and Amahda finally leave the island, and Razul regains his throne.(Sypnosis: From Kabayan Central- LVN)

Courtesy of LVN Pictures

(Stills: LVN Pictures)


TheCoolCanadian said...


Just wondering whether Abelardo was involved in Gerry de Leon's SANDA WONG?

Indeed, the trick shot of dual exposure was done with finese, knowing that it was 1951.

However, the genre of seafaring Filipino adventures in the old RP movies seem to point towards Manong Gerry's SANDA WONG as the best. And the ending was truly poetic.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Simon, JM,
Another Rogelio dela Rosa movie!!! One I haven't heard about actually. Definitely, Mr. dela Rosa himself must have been responsible for many of his movies being saved and available today. He was, after all, after his movie days, a high profile politician, he was elected Senator, the first movie actor to do so paving the way for other actors like Ramon Revilla, etc, all the way to Estrada, and he would have been President had he not backed out of the candidacy and gave way to eventual winner President Macapagal). I was ready to vote for him then. As a Senator he was of course interested in issues relating to the film industry and co-authored a bill that would establish the Board of Censors for Philippine movies. He later accepted the position of Philippine ambassador to The Netherlands, a position he kept for a long time.

Just musing here, had Rogelio dela Rosa not backed out of the candidacy and became President, would we have GMA now?

TheCoolCanadian said...

"Just musing here, had Rogelio dela Rosa not backed out of the candidacy and became President, would we have GMA now?"


I guess your guess is as good as ours. He-he.

If Ninoy was not butchered in MIA tarmac – what could have happened to RP's political map?

It's almost thinking about the vastness of the universe, isn't it. Well, have a happy trip. Enjoy your stay in Manila. Be prepared to the noise, the hustle and bustle, and yes, the heat and dust.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Thanks, I guess this will be my last interaction, until I get back, but will definitely try a live physical confrontation with our friend Simon, brother Steve and dad Malang.
Simon, hope to see you. Leaving tonight, will be in Manila on Sunday.

Video 48 said...

Have a safe trip, Rod! Looking forward to seeing you!


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