My Place Under The Sun

Friday, January 07, 2005

Visayan Film Industry: A Retrospective Part II

Mutya and VM Productions (formed by Natalio Bacalso - former Cebu assemblyman) entered Salingsing sa Kasakit (Partner in Pain) - directed by Bacalso in the 1955 FAMAS derby and won the "Best Child Actor Award" for Undo Juezan. These movie outfits also produced some memorable features such as Ungo Sa Parian (Witch In The Parian); Remember Erlinda;Rosita;Politika (Politics); and Mutya sa Saging Tindok (Muse of Saging Tindok). Garbosa (Proud), 1957 and Matam-is Ang Pagpaubos (Too Sweet To Suffer), 1957 were also released during this time.

Mat ang Gloria finally got married off-screen (in real life) and formed S-R Productions in 1954. The company's initial projects were Paradista, 1955 and May Luhang Nahabilin sa Baybayon (A Tear Fell on the Shore), 1955 and even as they moved on to make Tagalog movies in Manila, they still continued producing Visayan movies like (It is the Palm That Commands) with Flash Elorde and Edita Clomera; Palad Ta Ang NagbuotLungsod Sa Buenavista (Town of Buenavista), 1969 and Hain Ang Langit (Where is Heavean?), 1969 with Gloria Sevilla and Mat Ranillo and Von Serna - this was Mat's last movie. Badlis sa Kinabuhi (The Line of Life), 1969, was entered in the Famas Derby and got 12 nominations out of 14 categories. Gloria Sevilla won best actress, Frankie Navaja, Jr., best child actor, and the late Mat Ranillo got a posthumous award (Mat Ranillo had earlier died in a plane crash in 1969). The film (Badlis) was the Philippine entry to the ASEAN Film Festival in Indonesia, and was showcased under the informative division of the Berlin Film Festival (the film was dubbed in English in Hongkong and retitled "Destined"). In 1970, Badlis Sa Kinabuhi and Palad Ta Ang Nagbuot were released in their original Visayan versions in Metro Manila and made good at the box office. Ang Bayan (The Country), 1970 was also produced at this time.

The 1970s saw the emeregence of more Visayan talents in the Tagalog film industry. Actresses such as Chanda Romero, Caridad Sanches, Alma Moreno, Tessie Sevilla, Rebecca Torres, Aurora Villa, Eva de Villa, Rosita Fernandez, Virgie Postigo, Virgie Solis, Olivia Solis, Cora Real, Diana Arong, Luz Celeste, Annabelle Rama, Suzette Ranillo, Lady Ramos, Pilar Pilapil, and others stepped into the limelight. Male leads (to name a few) were Bert Nombrado, Ber Lopez, Tony Delgado, Riel Ylaya, Lino Ramas, Arturo Blanco, Arturo de Castille, Frankie Navaja Jr, Tony Cruz, Undo Juezan, Felix de Catalina, Arsie Roa, Warfi Engracia, Kadyo Roma and Romy Kintanar (who is now a sports commentator). Directors Leroy Salvador, Fernando Alfon, Talyo Bacalso, Sat Villarino, Gene Labella, Leox Juesan, Cesar B. Cesar and Emmanuel H. Borlaza also originated from the south. Borlaza directed Alma Bonita (with Chanda Romero and Ernie Garcia) and Paypay Placid (Fan of Placid), Diadem Films, (with Pepito Rodriguez, Lilian Lain, Alice Mendez, and Justo C. Justo). Other films that were produced at this time were Medalyon Nga Bulawan (Medalyon Na Ginto), produced by Annabelle Rama, starring Bert Leroy, Gina Pareno, Jerry Pons, Charlie Davao, Johnny Delgado, Raul Aragon, Alice Mendez, and Yoyoy Villame; (with Nobo Bono, Jr. and Tessie Sevilla); Mayor AndalBatul of Mactan (Battle of Mactan), JRJ Productions, starring Chanda Romero, Eddie Peregrina and Alice Mendez; Anino sa Villa Lagrimas (Shadow of Villa Lagrimas), starring Chanda Romero and Ernie Garcia; Bulawan Sa Lapok (Gold in the Mud), starring Alicia Alonzon, Bert Leroy Jr., Tommy Abuel and Dindo Fernando; Antonio Solitaryo and Mga Milagaro sa Santo Niño (Miracles of Sto. Niño), Magnolia Films both directed by Sol Gaudite. Other noted films were Aliyana - 1974; Ikaduhang Bathala (Second God), 1974


  • Being a Cebuano from a far far away place and have been away for over 20 years, I am really glad that someone took the initiative to re-kindle one of our culture's pride: the Visayan Film Industry.

    This blog brings back memories, reminds me of a legacy of Cebuano artists and Cebu's beatiful talents. I will be checking this blog pretty regularly as this place helps me get informed about our culture, history and all about Cebu and its beautiful people. More power to you Benjie!!!

    By Blogger SunRiser, at 8:42 AM  

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