By Ronald Constantino
REMARKABLE – The ‘70s produced two remarkable actresses, Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. Their reign and rivalry as movie queens are the longest-running in the history of the Philippine movies.
Nora and Vilma reigned as queens of the ‘70s and their rivalry – more reel than real – extends to this very day, especially in the hearts and minds of their loyal fans and followers.
One is either a Noranian or a Vilmanian…no “neutrals,” please.
Guy had Pip (Tirso Cruz III) and Vi had Bot (Edgar Mortiz).
GREAT DIRECTORS – The most acclaimed directors of the ‘70s – the 3rd golden age of local cinema – Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, were later proclaimed National Artists. Nora and Vilma were directed by those two great names.
Think Bernal’s “Himala” and Brocka’s “Bona” for Nora and Bernal’s “Relasyon” and Brocka’s “Rubia Servios” for Vilma.
Other greats megged their starrers. For Nora, Mario O’Hara’s “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” and Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb.” For Vilma, Celso Ad. Castillo’s “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” and Marilou Abaya’s “Baby Tsina.”
The list is by no means complete. It’ll take several columns to enumerate the great names who directed Guy and Vi.
ARTISTS, PUBLIC SERVANT – The two movie queens of the ‘70s tread different paths later in life.
Nora remains an artist – with the mood and temper of one, a free spirit. She was unfairly deprived of a National Artist Award, but she’s more than that. Nora’s a People’s Artist, a National Treasure. She continues to make indies – more for the sake of artistry than talent fee.
Her popularity remains unequalled to date.
Vilma is a public servant, an outstanding one. Incumbent Lipa congresswoman and former Lipa mayor and Batangas governor, serving for nine years in the last two positions.