All about movies

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By Max Sangil

For the Record

Sunday, March 2, 2014


DID you know that Hollywood produced more than 600 movies last year, and that the United States film market released these films in many countries around the world? And this year just as it was in 1929, the film academy will award today the Oscar Statuettes to film actors and others involved in movie making as recognition on their outstanding achievements, even as you read this column. It is also an effort to encourage excellence in all areas of film making - sounds, editing, music, design, etc.

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I am a film buff. Sometimes, my friends at Monday Club, particularly those much senior to me like Tang Fil Del Rosario, formerly general manager of Balibago Waterworks and retired police general Orly Macaspac do wonder how could I remember all those old movies.

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In my youth, I asked our neighbor Tatang Cosme Palo, a jeepney driver to take me in as his conductor. I was not really after the fifty centavos wage I was paid but by the fact that whenever I went to Angeles, I got free rides because I got acquainted to all the drivers plying the Porac-Angeles route.

A member of the Angeles police force, Tatang Dionisio Calma, father of the late radio broadcaster Pax Calma would asked the theater portera if I can get it in free. I was never denied entry if I was with him.

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Those early years, movies were yet in black and white and I preferred movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures of the Vera-Perezes. It was the home of beautiful actresses. From the time of Paraluman, Linda Esrrella, Tita Duran up to the beauties in the sixties, the likes of Liberty Ilagan, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes and many more.

Their romantic comedies starring love team Gloria Romero and Juancho Guttierez,with the tandem of Dolphy and Panchito in supporting roles will make viewing movies a real treat.

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The other major film studios in the early years of Philippine movie were Lebran, Premiere Productions of the Santiagos and LVN of the De Leons headed by their matriarch Donya Sisang.

Premiere Production produced more of the action type movies. I remember Cesar Ramirez starring in Bernardo Carpio. Jose Padilla Jr. in Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo. Efren Reyes Sr. in Banga ni Zimadar. The Zimadar movie was shot on location in our hometown in Porac. I still have in my mind the beautiful face and legs of the leading lady Edna Luna.

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LVN was more in musical extravaganza type of movies. The dancing love team of Nestor de Villa and Nida Blanca drew the movie going public, which was then called the “bakya crowd.”

Diomedes Maturan and Marita Zobel made musical movies, and our cabalen comedienne Patsy wowed the movie goers. Many romantics shed tears on the melodramas that starred the love team, Rogelio de la Rosa-Carmen Rosales pairing.

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The big three studios, Sampaguita, LVN and Premiere Productions stopped their cameras rolling when a lawyer from Macabebe, Espiridion Laxa ventured into film making and founded Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production.

His first movie was Baril sa Baril, shot entirely in our hometown in Porac in 1961, and it starred Fernando Poe Jr., Joseph Estrada, Perla Bautista and Mariquit Soliman. His brother Tony Ferrer was introduced in this movie.

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They don't do movies anymore like they used to. We have to contend with the likesEnteng Kabisote and Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 03, 2014.

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