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Sunday, March 15, 2015


"A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino" (1965)
Diadem Productions
A Manuel de Leon Presentation
Story Nick Joaquin
Screenplay Donato Valentin and Trinidad Reyes
Music Mike Velarde, Jr.
Director of Photography Mike Accion
Producer and Director Lamberto Avellana
Cast Daisy H. Avellana, Naty Crame-Rogers, Conrad Parham, Vic Silayan, Sarah K. Joaquin, Nick Agudo, Pianing Vidal/ Also Starring Francisco 'Koko' Trinidad, Oscar Keesee, Veronica Palileo, Nena Perez Rubio, Manuel Ojeda, Rino Bermudez, Alfred Burgos, Nena Ledesma, Polly Anders/ Guest star- Miriam Jurado

Adapted from the famous play by Nick Joaquin, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, revolves around the lives of the Marasigan family--- Don Lorenzo (Pianing Vidal) and his unmarried daughters Candida (Daisy H. Avellana) and Paula (Naty-Crame Rogers).

The sisters blame their illustrious painter-father for their financial difficulties. Don Lorenzo keeps himself and his priceless creations secluded in his studio. Spurred by his daughters’ resentment, he does a self-portrait, which echoes a scene in Virgil’s Aeniad. Set against a burning city, the portrait presents two versions of Don Lorenzo--- one as a young man full of vitality and another as an old man in his decline. The painting is an expression of an artist’s anguish over the commercialization of himself, as represented by the city ravaged by flames. A despondent Don Lorenzo tries to commit suicide but fails.

This brilliant painting becomes the focus of contention. Tony Javier (Conrad Parham), the Marasigan’s boarder and Paula’s suitor, sees it as his ticket to riches. The daughters resist the temptation to sell father's self-portrait, which could fetch a small fortune, and ignore their siblings' coercion to dispose of the family house. In the end, an enraged Paula uncovers Tony’s scheme and destroys the painting. Paula’s act served as a catharsis--- healing the selfishness and pain in the family. The Marasigans begin a new life, coming together as one family. They celebrate the La Naval feast in honor of the Virgin of the Rosary with a nostalgic mood, unaware of the impending threat of was that will forever change the world as they know it.

Here’s that engrossing scene when Paula, after eloping with Tony, comes home after realizing her mistakes, destroys the painting, the object of greed that almost engulfs the family. An altercation occurs as soon as Tony finds out that the painting is gone. A first-rate and superb acting!!! Watch the clip below---

Courtesy of Diadem Production/ Manuel de Leon


TheCoolCanadian said...

Holy cow, Simon.

Where'd you get this clip from?

Gosh, most of the actors here were part of my learning experience in university. Sara K. Joaquin & Nick Agudo were my drama professors; Francisco "Koko" Trinidad was my broadcasting professor. Lamberto Avellana used to be a guest lecturer in our Cinema classes; Nick Joaquin (who was Sarah Joaquin's brother in law), would visit the department regularly to do some inspirational talks; Naty Crame-Rogers, Daisy Avellana & Ronie Palileo became regulars especially during rehearsals in plays presented by the Barangay Theater Guild at the FEU Auditorium.

I even remember an incident during a stage presentation, where Nick Agudo was supposed to strangle Ronie Palileo on the left stage, but when the lights went out, Ronie got confused and ended up on the right side of the stage. So when the lights turned on, Nick had to look around for Ronie and had to cross the stage to complete the scene.

Looking at the list of the cast here, only Rolando Tinio, Justo Montemayor & Soc Rodrigo are missing to complete the "barkada". Later on, Tommy Abuel became another "regular".

Is this film available somewhere?

Video 48 said...

JM, the movie is not available locally. It was given to me by a friend.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Simon, JM,
Vic Silayan is an actor that does not seem to be mentioned often nowadays, but he's won all of the major acting awards many, many times. One of his first award is something we share, the Araw ng Maynila, Patnubay ng Kalinangan Award (sort of a precursor to the National Artist Award) which we both won in 1974. He won for Film of course, and I won for Graphic Arts. Here's a picture with Vic Silayan (seated) and myself shaking Mayor Bagatsing wife.
Mr. Silayan was a soft-spoken, afable man, very courteous, as he talked to me and was genuinely interested in what I do.

TheCoolCanadian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheCoolCanadian said...

Rod & Simon:

Since he died, it is indeed true that nothing has been written about Vic Silayan. BTW, congrats for that award you received. I may have been late to congratulate you, but as the old cliché goes: better late than never.

This photo just triggered a lot of memories about the 1970's. I sure remember Annie Bagatsing. In the 1970s she was instrumental in making the City of Manila sponsor one of my stage plays for one whole year. The play is called Karimlan, a tragicomic depicting the extremes of human existence. It is about the emptiness, alienation, and disillusionment in the lives of male prostitutes in Manila.

When Annie Bagatsing contacted me to sponsor the play, I was actually shocked, as in... what? The City of Manila will sponsor a play whose theme is for adults only, and whose language was so frank, it would embarrass the prudish bunch. What's more, it had nudity as well.

But, it happened, indeed. And it run for a year. The consecutive 5 years was under the sponsorship of Seven Up.

But what really shocked me was the fact that Annie Bagatsing and Atang de la Rama would be in the audience, sitting on the front row every night, laughing themselves into stitches, especially during the scenes involving some gay characters who were picking up the Manila male prostitutes. I've never expected two well-respected ladies who belonged to an older generation to appreciate the play. Mind you, I went undercover to be able to investigate deeper and write this play as truthful and as frank as possible. But that's another story I should be writing about in my blog. He-he.

Lou Veloso, Angie Ferro and Caloi Pimentel were the actors who played the lead roles. Lou and Angie were so good. I put these two actors on top of my list of good Filipino actors, and Vic Silayan was also in the same list.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Thanks for the belated congrats. Roughly, 40 years late, hahaha.
Anyway, a play with nudity? In the 70s? And for a year too? I must not have been paying attention, cause I completely missed that. Really you should be talking about it in detail in your blog.

TheCoolCanadian said...


The nudity was done with subdued lighting and in very good taste.

However, one of the gay cast gave a copy of the play to a gay bar manager named Rudy Jackson, a young Amerisian guy who was managing a gay bar somewhere in the Ermita district. The guy took the liberty to interpret the play by showing it in his bar where the show added all the nude dancing and where his male cast were given fellatio by the gay cast – on stage!

The show was already running in the bar for two months before I was told by a female friend who happened to watch it in the bar.
I went to the bar that morning and saw the banners outside. And I saw my name above the title! I was furious and rushed inside to confront Jackson, but he had at least 5 huge bouncers who told me to scram, or else.

I had to get the help of someone really influential to shut down Jackson's show. The show lasted for 5 months and the bastard raked in the big bucks and dragged my name to the gutter without my permission.
After the show was shutdown, someone knocked on my door one evening. When I opened the door, it was Rudy Jackson with a bottle of champagne. I really thought of hitting him with the bottle in the head, but he was genuinely sorry and accepted his apology.

I tell you, this business sometimes, is like dealing with wolves and vultures.


Epoy Deyto said...

i could see that this film is not available here... we could at least make a copy right? for that instance, we could share treasures to the filipino film lovers here in the country

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have an idea where to find Sarah K. Joaquin?

Justo R. Montemayor said...

Sarah Joaquin died in the U.S. many years ago. The story of The CoolCanadian reminded me of good memories in my time with the FEU Theatre Guild.

Justo Montemayor

Unknown said...

what form of drama is found in this story?


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