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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


An unheralded and obscure movie, Patrolman was named Best Picture in the 1988 Metro Manila Film Festival. The lead star, unknown stuntman-actor Baldo Marro won the Best Actor award for his role as a dedicated policeman edging out the favored Christopher de Leon. Amy Austria won the Best Actress award for her convincing performance of a woman who led a life of crime in Bubbles: Ativan Gang. Other awardees are: Best Director (Laurice Guillen/ Magkano ang Iyong Dangal?); Best Supporting Actor (Dick Israel/ Patrolman); Best Supporting Actress (Jacklyn Jose/ Itanong Mo sa Buwan); Best Child Performer (R.R. Herrera/ Agila ng Maynila); Best Cinematography (Romeo Vitug); Best Screenplay (Carlo J. Caparas and Tony Mortel/ Bubbles:Ativan Gang); Best Story (Carlo J. Caparas and Tony Mortel/ Bubbles:Ativan Gang); Best Production Design (Manny Morfe/ Pik Pak Boom); Best Sound (Itanong Mo sa Buwan); Best Editing (Magkano ang Iyong Dangal?) Best Musical Score (Magkano ang Iyong Dangal?).

FPJ Productions'
Agila ng Maynila was the festival's top grosser. Only six entries participated in the 10-day film festival.

Philippines Daily Inquirer/ December 28, 1988
click image to enlarge

"Patrolman" (1988)- Stars Baldo Marro, Melissa Mendez, Sunshine, Raoul Aragonn, Dick Israel, Zandro Zamora, Odette Khan/ Directed by Cesar Abella

"Celestina Sanchez, Alyas Bubbles/ Enforcer: Ativan Gang" (1988)- Stars Amy Austria, Miguel Rodriguez, Jacklyn Jose, Isadora, Lola Rodriguez, Gina pareno/ Directed by Carlo J. Caparas

"Agila ng Maynila" (1988)- Stars Fernando Poe, Jr., Vic Vargas, Encar Benedicto, Paquito Diaz, Raoul Aragonn, Dencio Padilla, Vic Diaz, Charlie Davao, Lito Anzures, Lucita Soriano, Mario Escudero, Nello Nayo and Max Alvarado/ Directed by Pablo Santiago

"Itanong Mo sa Buwan" (1988)- Stars Mark Gil, Anjo Yllana and Jacklyn Jose/ Directed by Chito Rono

"Magkano ang Iyong Dangal?" (1988)- Stars Christopher de Leon, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Joel Torre, Jestoni Alarcon, Princess Punzalan, Michael Locsin/ Directed by Laurice Guillen

"Pik Pak Boom" (1988)- Stars Lea Salonga, Bing Loyzaga, Regine Velasquez, Lilet, Dingdong Avanzado, Richard Reynoso, Jayjay Salvador, Cathy Moira and Herbert Bautista/ Directed by Leroy Salvador

Sunday, August 29, 2010


The Society of Filipino Archivists for Film (SOFIA) will be screening Danny Zialcita’s 1967 film, “Masquerade” on September 11, 2 p.m. at Tanghalang Manuel Conde, Cultural Center of the Philippines. The second film in its "Overlooked Films, Underrated Filmmakers" series, the movie starred Bernard Bonnin, Marlene Dauden, Liberty Ilagan, Eddie Arenas and Vic Silayan. Ms. Ilagan will be the special guest at the screening, and Mr. Zialcita has also been invited although his attendance is not yet certain. For more information about SOFIA and its screenings, e-mail sofiaphils@gmail.com, call 0920-283-6393, or log on to www.arkivista.org.

"Masquerade" (1967)- Stars Bernard Bonnin, Marlene Dauden, Liberty Ilagan, Vic Silayan, Ben Perez, Alfonso Carvajal, Martin Marfil, Vic Andaya and Eddie Arenas/ Directed by Danny Zialcita

screencaps- Courtesy of SOFIA

Screening Schedule below
(click image to enlarge)


"Balik Tanaw: The Filipino Movie Stars of Yesteryears" by Romy Protacio is now available at all National Bookstore outlets nationwide at a very reasonable price. Grab your copies now! It is something worth owning!

I just received a copy of a wonderful book from the author, Dr. Romy Protacio. The book, "Balik Tanaw: The Filipino Stars of Yesteryears, Volume 1" is a compilation of articles, snippets, anecdotes, quotes "from the stars themselves, talking about their past achievements, the love(s) of their lives, life lessons learned and thoughts on their lives today." Featured in the book are: Tessie Agana, Robert Arevalo, Perla Bautista, Bernard Bonnin, Robert Campos, Charlie Davao, Myrna Delgado, Lilia Dizon, Dolphy, Linda Estrella, Bella Flores, Amalia Fuentes, Eddie Garcia, Shirley Gorospe, Liberty Ilagan, Anita Linda, Mona Lisa, Liza Lorena, German Moreno, Oscar Obligacion, Paraluman, Barbara Perez, Delia Razon, Corazon Rivas, Boots Anson-Roa, Susan Roces, Pepito Rodriguez, Ramil Rodriguez, Gloria Romero, Rosa Rosal, Caridad Sanchez, Gloria Sevilla, Luz Valdez, Norma Vales, Nova Villa, Zeny Zabala and Marita Zobel.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The bloody Manila bus hostage drama last Monday (August 23) which claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong tourists brings to mind the many exploits of then SPO4 Jaime Santiago, a sharpshooter of the Western Police Department. Santiago was instrumental in many successful encounters with hostage takers during his stint with the WPD in the 80s and 90s.

A recipient of many awards, among them the Ten Outstanding Policemen of the Jaycees (1995), the Ten Outstanding Policemen of the WPD (1995); the Special Act of Heroism Award of the PNP Regional Command (1995) and Senior Officer of the Year of the WPD (1995), he became the chief of the MPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) from 1993 to 1998.

Santiago is now a presiding judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila.

His true-to-life story as a policeman was recreated in a movie, “SPO4 Santiago: Sharpshooter” starring Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. Two clips of the film can be viewed below on how SPO4 Santiago and his men were able to neutralize the hostage takers.

"SPO4 Santiago: Sharpshooter" (1996)- Stars Ramon 'Bong" Revilla, Jr., Dindi gallardo, Ina Raymundo, Tonton Gutierrez, Raymond Bagatsing, King Gutierrez, Atoy Co, Lito Legaspi/ Directed by Pepe Marcos

Courtesy of Mahogany Pictures and Viva Films

SPO4 Jaime Santiago receiving an award from then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim in 1995.

Santiago sharing his views on the recent Manila hostage crisis

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Olongapo...The Great American Dream was adjudged Best Picture in the 1987 Metro Manila Film Festival. It also won three other awards--- Best Supporting Actress (Susan Africa); Best Screenplay (Frank Vrechek, Alan Cummings and Ricky Lee) and Best Sound. Anthony Alonzo received the Best Actor Award for Anak Badjao and Melanie Marquez was awarded the Best Actress Award for The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez. Other awardees include--- Best Supporting Actor (Roderick Paulate/ 1+1=12+1); Best Director (Artemio Marquez / The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez); Best Child Star (Che-Che Sta.Ana/ Action Is Not Missing); Best Editing (Pio Salvador/ The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez); Best Musical Score (Marita Manuel/ The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez); Best Story (Melanie Marquez/ The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez); Best Cinematography (Apolinario Cuenca/ Anak Badjao); Best Production Design (Apel Salonga/ Huwag Mong Buhayin ang Bangkay).

Only six entries participated in the 10-day festival.

"Olongapo...The Great American Dream" (1987)- Stars Jacklyn Jose, Chanda Romero, Joel Torre, Susan Africa, Marilou Sadiua, Pete Cooper, Raoul Aragonn and Joy Virata/ Directed by Chito Rono

"The Untold Story of Melanie Marquez" (1987)- Stars Melanie Marquez, Caridad Sanchez, Tony Santos Sr., Rosemarie Gil, Rene Salud, Totoy Marquez and Maya dela Cuesta/ Directed by Artemio Marquez

"Anak Badjao" (1987)- Stars Anthony Alonzo, Charito Solis, Tony Santos Sr., Liza Lorena, Alicia ALonzo, Marithes Samson and Isadora/ Directed by Jose Antonio Alonzo and Jerry Tirazona

"Action Is Not Missing" (1987)- Stars Dolphy, Ricky Brown, Che-Che Sta. Ana, Pebbles de Asis, Atong Redillas and Francis Magalona/ Directed by Angel Labra

"1+1=12+1" (1987)- Stars Susan Roces, Eddie Gutierrez, Lotlot de Leon, Sheryll Cruz, Matet, Dranreb Belleza, Jigo Garcia, Jaypee De Guzman, Chuckie Dreyfuss, Katrin Gonzales, Isabel Granada, RR Herrera/ Directed by Mike Relon Makiling

"Huwag Mong Buhayin Ang Patay" (1987)- Stars Charito Solis, Ricky Davao, Pinky Suarez, Jestoni Alarcon, Rita Avila, Jojo Alejar, Romnick Sarmenta, Jennifer Sevilla/ Directed by Mauro Gia Samonte

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


December 29, 1986--- The 1986 Metro Manila Film Festival was considered the worst in the 12-year history of the annual 10-day festival of local movies. For the first time, it did not give out the traditional first and second best picture awards. Two other categories--- best story and best screenplay were not also given. "No one of the seven entries deserved these awards," according to Tingting Cojuangco, one of the jurors. NCV productions' Halimaw romped away 10 of the 12 awards--- Best Director (Mario O'Hara/ Banga Episode); Best Actor (Mario O'Hara/ Banga ep.); Best Actress (Liza Lorena/ Banga Ep.); Best Supporting Actress (Maritess Gutierrez/ Banga Ep.); Best Child Performer (Ian Kristoffer de Leon/ Banga Ep.); Best Musical Score (Jaime Fabregas); Best Production Design (Frank Rivera); Best Editing (Efren Jarlego); Best Sound (Rodel Capule) and Third Best Picture Award. Romy Vitug won the Best Cinematography Award for Celso Ad. Castillo's Payaso and Chris Ad Castillo, the director's son received the Best Supporting Actor Award for Augusto Buenaventura's Bagets Gang.

For more insights on the awards night, click image below.

"Halimaw: Komiks and Banga Episodes" (1986)- Stars Liza Lorena, Gina Pareno, Michael de Mesa, Mario O'Hara, Ruel Vernal, Maritess Gutierrez, Ronel Victor, Jaime Fabregas and Ian Kristoffer de Leon & Lotlot de leon/ Directed by Christopher de Leon and Mario O' Hara

"Captain Barbell" (1986)- Stars Edu Manzano, Herbert Bautista, Lea Salonga, Dennis Da Silva, Bing Loyzaga, Nova Villa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez and Beth Bautista/ Directed by Leroy Salvador

"Payaso" (1986)- Stars German Moreno and All-Star Cast/ Directed by Celso Ad. Castillo

"Salamangkero: The Magician" (1986)- Stars Michael de Mesa, Gina Alajar, Liza Lorena, Armida Siguon-Reyna, Tanya Gomez, Dick Israel, Odette Khan, Ruben Rustia, Tom-Tom, Sunshine/ Directed by Tata Esteban

"Tuklaw" (1986)- Stars Charito Solis, Nadia Montenegro, Anjo Yllana and Richard Gomez/ with Janice Jurado, Zandro Zamora, Lucita Soriano, Jaime Fabregas, Robert Talabis/ Directed by Carlo J. Caparas

"Bangkay Mo Akong Hahakbangan" (1986)- Stars Dante Varona, Melissa Mendez, Paquito Diaz, Millicent Bautista, Aurora Sevilla, Fred Moro, Usman Hassim, Rocco Montalban and Joko Diaz/ Directed by Dante Varona

Saturday, August 21, 2010


50s local filmdom's top villain Carol Varga was in the middle of the limelight when she was caught in a love triangle in 1949 resulting into the murder of George Murray. Murray's mysterious death was front page news for months that baffled police authorities with twists and turns and even dragged top government and military officials to the case.

to read, click images to enlarge

The Manila Times/ August 21, 1949

The Manila Times/ August 24, 1949

This sensational murder case made it to the pages of Life Magazine.

Life Magazine/ 1949

On the fateful early morning of August 13, 1949, four shots rang in the residence of the Murray family. Sprawled inside the bedroom was the lifeless body of George C. Murray, a wealthy 30-year old ex-CID agent of the US Army, who sustained gunshot wounds. The whole place was in disarray when police authorities arrived. The wife, Ester del Rosario-Murray told the San Juan police that she was awakened by Murray when he arrived at 4 o’clock in the morning. She helped him undress and went down to the kitchen to make some coffee. Shortly after, four shots (which Mrs. Murray told the police sounded to her like the backfiring of a car) rang out. She went upstairs to find her husband shot and bleeding on his bed. According to the autopsy performed by NBI Dr. E. V. de los Santos later, Murray died almost instantly.

Initial investigations showed that the bedroom windows and door balcony were open and police probers were looking into the possibility that robbers might have sneaked into the room and shoot the victim. The police were desperately looking for more clues and evidences. Political angle was taken into consideration since Mr. Murray, from the documents found in his house, was into gun smuggling and gun running involving some top government and military officials.

The Murray murder case became front page news for weeks and months. A movie star named Carol Varga, Carolina Trinidad in real life, was invited by the police to shed more light since she was the last person seen with the victim. Murray had been deeply involved with Varga and he had even promised her marriage. Varga told the police that she was unaware of his marriage.

News report says that a few hours before the murder, Miss Varga was met at her residence at 11 Pepin, Sampaloc, by Murray shortly after he left his own residence at 202 N. Domingo, San Juan, at 7 o’clock on the night of Friday, August 12. Murray took Miss Varga to the Marfusha nightclub on Dewey Boulevard, and later to The Tower (Majestic Arms Hotel) on San Luis and Dewey Boulevard, after which he took her home, and returned home at past 10 o’clock. Murray then left his house a few minutes later and went to the Riviera nightclub, also on Dewey Boulevard, where a Miss Velez, lady photographer of Bob’s Studio sold him for P8 two copies of a picture taken of him and Miss Varga at the Riviera last August 6 which was Miss Varga’s 20th birthday. Murray left the Riviera at closing time, and with an American friend passed by the Metro Garden at Port Area for a few drinks, after which he proceeded straight to his house in San Juan where he arrived about 4 o’clock in the morning (Saturday, August 13).

Miss Varga and Murray first met last May during the filming of the movie, “Sagur,” in which Miss Varga played a part. Murray had loaned his yatch, the 100-foot “Mistress”, for the movie. Their friendship developed.

"Sagur" (1949)- Stars Fernando Poe, Mona Lisa, Fernando Royo, Luningning, Bimbo Danao, Cris de Vera/ Directed by Mar Esmeralda

Initial break of the case came when a housemaid recalled the strange silence of the Murray’s three watchdogs. Despite their usual alertness, these dogs failed to bark at the supposed killer. Other clues turned up--- a woman’s left-hand glove which showed traces of gunpowder despite having been washed. Slowly, the angle of the Other Woman cropped up and Mrs. Murray was arrested. Police believed that jealousy drove Mrs. Murray to kill her husband.

Mrs. Murray was found guilty of parricide and was sentenced to life imprisonment. See Supreme Court Final Decision on the case.

Carol Varga continued in her acting career and appeared in many unforgettable movies. A contract star of Premiere Productions, Varga won the Famas Best Supporting Actress in 1954 in the movie, “Guwapo.” She died of cancer in 2008.

"Guwapo" (1954)- Stars Anita Linda, Reynaldo dante, Carol Varga, Lopito, Ramon D' Salva, Vicente Liwanag, Nello Nayo/ Directed by Teodorico C. Santos

Thursday, August 19, 2010


In 1950, a near fatal accident almost killed popular Hollywood actor, Tyrone Power while shooting the movie, "American Guerrilla in the Philippines." The movie, shot in Leyte, Pampanga and Subic in Olongapo, tells of an American soldier, Chuck Palmer (played by Tyrone Power), who fought in the country during the Second World War.

click image to enlarge

The movie, directed by Fritz Lang, starred a number of Filipino actors, led by Cris de Vera who played a Japanese kempetai. Others in the cast are Rosa del Rosario, Erlinda Cortez, Miguel Anzures, Berting Labra, Eddie Infante and thousands of Filipino extras.

click images to enlarge

click images to enlarge


April 14, 1950--- Tyrone Power and other members of the cast and crew of “American Guerrilla in the Philippines” narrowly escaped possible death yesterday afternoon during the filming of a mock aerial battle scene at Subic bay, Zambales, when a Philippine Air Force AT-6, simulating an attacking Japanese dive-bomber, crashed in the water 50 yards from the camera barge where Power and others were standing. The pilot, Lt. Roberto Garcia, 26, and his crewman, Sgt. Ernesto Madango, 25, both of the Basa air base in Pampanga, were rescued from their sunken plane by Sgt. Warren Osborne and Daniel Martin, technicians of the 20th Century Fox unit shooting the scene from the barge. The two airmen were rushed to the Subic naval base hospital where they were given artificial respiration and treated for injuries. They were transferred later to the Basa air base hospital.

The scene, an enemy air attack on an American motor torpedo boat, was being shot at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon near Moron beach, 10 miles off Subic Bay. Garcia’s AT-6 advanced trainer, one of the five PAF planes assigned to the movie firm by Secretary of National Defense Ruperto Kangleon to simulate Jap planes, was diving with the others on the PT boat speeding past the barge when it suddenly went out of control. It swooped down to the height of 75 feet above the sea, whizzed over the camera barge where Power and others stood and crashed and sank into the water 50 yards away. It was completely destroyed.

Brig. Gen. Pelagio A. Cruz, commanding general of the PAF, said an officialreport he received from the naval base stated Lt. Garcia and Sgt. Madango sustained “superficial injuries.” Another report aid Madango fractured his right arm and both were suffering from possible internal injuries, shock from water submersion, contusion, abrasion and fracture.

The sequence being filmed at the time of the near-tragedy was the attack by Japanese dive bombers on the PT boat in which Lt. David Richardson, hero of the book from which the film was adapted, was an executive officer. The planes forced the PT boat to run aground on Cebu from which Richardson made his way to Leyte where he joined the guerrillas under Kangleon. Tyrone Power portrays the role of Richardson in the 20th Century Fox movie.
(Source: The Manila Chronicle)


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