NOVA VILLA: A STAR IN ONE LEAF
by Amado Vinuya
Literary Song-Movie Magazine
December 1, 1964
Among the very young (those below 20), no one will likely be happier this Christmas than Nova Villa, of Jafere Productions. Not that she has found a beau or something. She is without any boyfriend, in fact, and it has to be that way," says Nova, says her Mom, says her Dad.
"I’m much too young for that. And right now, the only thing that matters is my career. I mean to reach the top, to be the brightest star, maybe next to Amalia Fuentes or Susan Roces.”
“Yes,” says her Mom, “my child will not entertain anything that will stand on the way to success. A boyfriend or anything of the sort will be bad for her and her career. Besides, she is only 18. If I know my daughter she will not be foolish enough to exchange what she has already found to something less rewarding."
Nova’s father, a chief of the property division of the GSIS, readily concurs with the wife and adds “Nova has wanted to act ever since she was in the grades. Now that she has found her mark I don’t think she will give it up easily. She knows the pitfalls of having her name associated with a boy.”
Yes, Christmas will be a happy one for Nova more than any other Christmas. It was this year when she was elevated to stardom in one leap in Daniel Barrion. And it was this year, too, when she was made to sign a contract, calling for a three-year guarantee of stardom with Jafere or the Ronnie stable.
A star at Jafere gets no less than P8,000 per picture. Nova, who never earned anything before her discovery, got this start right away last April as an inducement to sign up. She has been getting more since from her movie assignments as well as TV and radio stints.
Of course, money matter is not the only reason why Christmas will be happier this year for her. Jafere Productions is quite pleased to note that her fan mail has gone more than the 1,000-a-week mark. Her acting has elicited raves from the members of the press.
Nova has been in demand of late to stand sponsor to baptismal as well confirmation ceremonies not to say that she gets all sorts of invitations to attend parties as muse, guest of honor and the like. Nova is contemplating to hire a secretary to keep tract with her paperwork and varied activities.
Those are the things that will make her Christmas specially happy this year, besides, of course, being able to buy all the presents she would like to buy for her Mom, her dad and younger sister Vicky and only brother Ricky.
How did all this happen? It was not all by accident, for one thing. Ever since she was in the grades back home in Nueva Vizcaya, Nova Villa (born Novelita Villanueva) showed a penchant for drama. She studied very hard in order to earn a place in school plays. Through intermediate and high school, Nova managed to win medals in dramatics and the other arts (dancing and declamation). Two years ago, already known as an accomplished thespian, she was voted Miss Roosevelt High School. In the contest sponsored by the National Press Club in its search for a girl who best exemplified Liz Taylor in Cleopatra, Nova Villa was it.
Her projection to national prominence enabled the scouts of Ronnie Poe to discover her. Ronnie was so enthused with her height, her figure and her looks that almost at the time she was brought for a screen test, the youthful actor was telling his wards to sign her up. And she was signed up, just like that. Her first picture, Daniel Barrion proved an instant success both at the box office and with the guys of the press. Said one member of the fourth estate: “Nova is Amalia Fuentes and Charito Solis rolled into one. She has that magnetic appeal and that unmistakable talent for drama."
Nova Villa, much as she is pleased to hear such compliments, is not for allowing herself to be carried away. She believes in the age old formula of hard work as the sure secret of success. That is why right now, she buries herself in studies, she sees a lot of films and talks to a lot of people in the know in order to prepare herself for the harder grind.
Nova has no temper, and has no desire of developing one. “I suppose some people cultivate a temper to mark them off as highly gifted or something. I can assure you that whether I make it to the top or not, you will never catch me with a temper, much less a tantrum.”
Nova wants to finish a course in college which she started at the Centro Escolar University. But this is doubtful because much of her time is taken by her work. If she does not make it to the top in three years, she may find her way back to school - but then, this is held unlikely. For already there is talk of her winning a nomination in acting even this early of her career.