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"Da Best Show," the No. 1 ABS-CBN TV show in the 60s that made Oscar Obligacion a household name. It was made into a movie in 1965.
Comedian Oscar Obligacion, whose antics as a bumbling Japanese soldier made generations of Filipinos laugh in a career that spanned stage, radio, television and film, died Friday after a lingering kidney ailment. He was 86.
"Tuloy ang Ligaya" (1958)- Stars Nida Blanca, Leroy Salvador, Lita Gutierrez, Pugo, Oscar Obligacion/ Directed by Manuel Silos
Obligacion started his career onstage at the Manila Opera House and Clover Theater, according to his widow and former LVN Pictures actress Myrna Quizon-Obligacion. With singer Sylvia La Torre, he hosted popular TV programs like Channel 11’s The Big Show and ABS-CBN Channel 3's Da Best Show and Oras ng Ligaya in the 1960s. “His specialty was playing a comical Japanese soldier,” Myrna recalled. “He hosted a radio show called ‘Buy and Sell,’ too.”
Left- "Sakay and Moy" (1962)- Stars Oscar Obligacion and Cris de Vera/ with Ponga, Abe Tugak, Dely Aty-Atyan, Menggay and Sylvia La Torre/ Directed by Tommy C. David
Right- "Tacio" (1963)- Stars Oscar Obligacion (First solo starrer), Perla Bautista, Renato Robles, Martin Marfil, Vicente Liwanag/ Directed by Armando de Guzman
He also acted in 150 movies. “His biggest were Tacio with Perla Bautista and Dolfinger Meets Pantarorong with Dolphy,” said Myrna, his wife of 56 years. “Pantororong was his famous character on Oras.” “We met at LVN where we did movies like Luha at Musika, Tumbalik na Daigdig and Itinakwil,” she said.
"Dolpinger Meets Pantarorong" (1963)- Stars Dolphy and Oscar Obligacion, Aida Roxas, Toto, Martin Marfil, Boy Alvarez/ Directed by Nick C. Cacas
Obligacion parlayed his show biz fame into a successful business venture, Philippine Seating, which supplied theater seats to movie houses like SM Cinemas. “He was generous and loving. He was hardworking, a great provider,” Myrna said. Bautista recalled that “Oscar was funny and easy to work with.” “During a party last year, he surprised people because he arrived in a wheelchair but when the music played, he stood up and danced,” she recalled.
Obligacion had quadruple heart bypass surgery over a decade ago. In November, his health took a turn for the worse. He was confined in a hospital for two months before the family decided to take him home.He had been undergoing dialysis three times a week, until he succumbed to renal failure and pneumonia. Along with his wife, Obligacion is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
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.
Thanks to Nante Santamaria and to the staff of Status Magazine.
Private Show was made in 1984 and was released locally in 1985 and won the Star Best Actress Award for the young Jaclyn Jose. The movie was the directorial debut of Chito Roño, who used the pseudonym Sixto Kayco in the credits.
Chito Roño is the eldest of seven children of Jose Roño, the former Minister of Local Government of the Marcos regime. His decision to join show business came as a surprise to the Roño family. With a full bachelor’s degree in filmmaking at the School for Social Research in New York, he ventured into film directing.
“My mother was shocked when she saw my first movie, Private Show, which was about the lives of toro/torrera or live sex performers,” he said in a newspaper article. “Hindi niya ako mapatawad because she is very religious. I told her it’s be much better if she wouldn’t watch my films na lang. My father was more liberal. He explained to her that it was just an exploitation film kundi art din.”
Private Show tells of a seventeen-year old girl, Myrna (Jaclyn Jose) who is forced to work as a torrera (live sex performer) under Ador (Leopoldo Salcedo), owner and maintainer of the casa or toro house. She and her colleagues get free board and lodging in the casa and even alcohol which they use before and after the sex act. Myrna is attracted to her partner, Jimmy (Gino Antonio) which eventually becomes her boyfriend. After witnessing some deplorable scenes, Myrna decides to leave the casa and lives with Jimmy. They have a brief romantic interlude and, for the first time, their sexual trysts exude the true feelings of affection which are lacking when they mechanically perform their jobs at the casa. But, this short period of love and hope does not last. Myrna has grown dependent on drugs, Jimmy’s kidney trouble bothers him once more and they simply cannot make both ends meet. Myrna returns to the casa a broken individual, without the will to fight. She keeps popping in more prohibited pills and death comes quietly to claim her during a party that is meant to celebrate her maintainer’s expansion in the trade.
Pre-war screen legend Rosario Moreno on the cover of Literary Song-Movie magazine dated August 1938 for the movie "Alipin ng Palad" opposite Rudy Concepcion.
Rosario Moreno (1916-45), dubbed as the era's “Queen of Tearjerkers,” started her movie career as an extra in Nepomuceno Productions’ Diwata ng Karagatan in 1936. Showing her dramatic potential, she was immediately launched to stardom in Luha ng Ina opposite Carlos Padilla, a phenomenal success that reset many box-office records that time. More movies followed: Sa Paanan ng Krus (1936), Anak-Dalita (1936), Ang Kambal (1936) and Pusong Dakila(1936).
One of the most memorable segments in her illustrious career was her successful teamup with screen heartthrob Rudy Concepcion in Alipin ng Palad (1938). It was a huge hit and a love team was born. The two appeared in three more movies--- Mapait na Lihim (1938), Tunay na Ina (1939) and Pakiusap (1940). However, their screen tandem abruptly ended with the untimely demise of Rudy Concepcion (due to pectic ulcer) in 1940 when they were working on their fifth movie, Mahal Pa Rin Kita (1940).
Rosario Moreno, on the hand, who was pregnant, died in 1945 (January 9) when a Japanese bomb directly hit their residence in Sampaloc in the Battle of Manila during the waning days of World War II. She was only 29 years old.
Most of the Tagalog movies made before the war were either lost or destroyed. Only five survived--- 1. Zamboanga (1937); 2. Tunay na Ina (1939); 3. Giliw Ko (1939); 4. Pakiusap (1940); and Ibong Adarna (1941).
Tunay na Ina, directed by Octavio Solis, once known as the "Dean of Tagalog Movie Directors," tells of a mother's search for her lost daughter. Here's a rare clip of that movie---
Courtesy of Excelsior Films
Synopsis: Magdalena (Rosario Moreno) becomes pregnant because she was raped by Antonio (Exequiel Segovia). Before his death, her father (Precioso Palma) gives up the baby for adoption, thinking that no man can ever understand her past. Magdalena is engaged to Roberto (Rudy Concepcion), a decent, well-off young man. Haunted by her conscience, Magdalena writes Roberto a letter, admitting her past. Her aunt, afraid that the wedding may be called off, intercepts the letter and hides it. Assuming that Roberto has accepted her in spite of her past, she marries him.
Magdalena later becomes increasingly aware that Roberto does not know the truth about her. She tries to locate her lost child. Eventually, she sees a child that she thinks is her missing daughter. The child, Tita (Tita Duran), recognizes Aling Andang (Naty Bernardo) as her mother. The story of how Tita came to Andang matches the story of how Magdalena’s baby was given away. Magdalena is now sure that Tita is her child.
Meanwhile, Antonio comes back and blackmails Magdalena. When Magdalena later refuses to give him more money, Antonio tells Roberto the truth. Roberto throws Magdalena out of the house. She goes to Andang and Tita to spend time with her daughter, not knowing that Junior, her son by Roberto is gravely ill. Junior dies. Magdalena is only redeemed in Roberto’s eyes when the aunt produces Magdalena’s letter. After Andang almost comes to death on Christmas Eve, Magdalena decides to adopt both Tita and Aling Andang into their homes.
The Philippines has lost another of its B movie legends.
Andrew and Bobby at the Suarez residence in Bulacan - January 2008
Australian filmmaker Andrew Leavold, a huge fan of Pinoy cinema, just relayed this sad news that Bobby A. Suarez (b. 1942) passed away last February 7 due to cardiac arrest. He was 67. Suarez was in and out of the hospital due to his heart condition. He also underwent a kidney operation.
Suarez, a film producer, director and screenwriter, was best remembered for his works in the 70s and 80s in B-movie action films like the The Bionic Boy (1977), They Call Her…Cleopatra Wong (1978), Dynamite Johnson (1978), One-Armed Executioner (1980), Searchers Of The Voodoo Mountain (1985), American Commandos (1986), among others.