MARTIAL LAW YEARS – Ironic as it may seem, Philippine cinema flourished during Martial Law years. In fact, the ‘70s up to the early ‘80s are considered the third golden years of the Philippine cinema.
Think of activist directors Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, who were anything but pro-Marcos. They were named National Artists later.
Lino’s masterpieces are: “Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag,” “Bona,” “Insiang,” “Kapit sa Patalim,” “Jaguar.”
Bernie’s classics: “Pagdating sa Dulo,” “City After Dark,” “Relasyon,” “Himala,” “Nunal sa Tubig.”
MORE FINE DIRECTORS – Needless to say, Brocka and Bernal were not only the fine directors of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Such names come to mind: Peque Gallaga, Mike de Leon, Marilou Abaya, Celso Ad. Castillo, Lupita A. Kashiwahara, Laurice Guillen, Mario O’Hara, Danny Zialcita, Gil Portes, Joey Reyes, Mel Chionglo, Willy Milan, Elwood Perez, Joey Gosiengfiao, Joel Lamangan, Eddie Garcia, Maning Borlaza, Leroy Salvador, Chaning Carlos, Tikoy Aguiluz, Ben Yalong, Totoy Buenaventura, Pablo Santiago, Pepe Marcos, Carlitos Siguion Reyna.
NORA-VILMA – The biggest and greatest actresses were Superstar Nora Aunor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos. They still are.
An equally fine actress was (still is) Hilda Koronel.
Other big names of the ‘70s and ‘80s: Gloria Diaz, Pilar Pilapil, Boots Anson Roa, Charo Santos, Gina Pareno, Pinky de Leon, Gina Alajar, Amy Austria, Lorna Tolentino, Beth Oropesa, Chanda Romero, Daria Ramirez.
ACTORS – Among the actors, outstanding were (still are), Boyet de Leon, Tirso Cruz III, Ronaldo Valdez, Phillip Salvador, Richard Gomez, Joel Torre, Ricky Davao, Albert Martinez, Ronnie Lazaro, Gabby Concepcion.
Not to forget, the late Dindo Fernando, Ricky Belmonte, Jay Ilagan, Ace Vergel, Eddie Rodriguez, Johnny Delgado.