JUST A THOUGHT: ‘The shortest distance between two people is a smile.’ – Victor Borge
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‘NATATANGI’ SI ATE VI: There is no doubt Vilma Santos deserves the Natatanging Gawad Urian, the lifetime achievement award handed out yearly by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino. She joins the ranks of other previous awardees such as Anita Linda, Mona Lisa, Nora Aunor, Nida Blanca, Rosa Rosal, Rogelio de la Rosa, Bert Avellana.
The recognition dwarfs a so-called issue, which is really a non-issue, concerning Urian’s non-inclusion of a Vilma Santos performance to the 2017 best actress list. It was for the film, “Everything About Her,” which Vilma did for Star Cinema in 2016.
Vilma, ’70s Philippine movie queen alongside Nora, has long ago, through more than five decades, established a formidable track record as an actor, producer, public servant. She has won honors from practically all the award-giving bodies in the industry, as well as some from international film festivals.
The Natatangi award is actually a belated recognition of Vilma’s immense contribution to Philippine movies and popular culture. It should have been given to her a long time ago.
The Urian awards will be held on July 20, for telecast later by ABS-CBN. Vilma is arriving July 17 in Manila from a long vacation in Los Angeles, California where she bonded with her US-based sisters and family members.
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EIGHT URIAN BEST ACTRESS WINS: On many counts, Vilma is indeed “natatangi,” meaning exceptional, the chosen one.
She has won eight best actress trophies from Urian, considered the most highly regarded award-giving body hereabouts. Just recently, on July 9, she was declared the first best actress winner by the Society of Philippine Entertainment Editors in its Eddys Awards for her bravado performance in “Everything About Her.”
As a public servant, Vilma is also “natatangi.” She clocked nine years as Lipa City mayor, another nine years as Batangas governor. She’s on her first term as Lipa congresswoman.
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OUTSTANDING – In his Highspeed column in Tempo, Ronald Constantino looked back at Vilma’s illustrious showbiz career, recalling some of her outstanding films.
Ronald notes the ones she did with National Artist Ishmael Bernal: “Relasyon,” “Broken Marriage,” “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” ( all with Regal Film), and “Ikaw Ay Akin” (with Nora, for TIIP).
Under National Artist Lino Brocka: “Adultery,” “Hahamakin Lahat” (for Regal Films) and “Rubia Servios” (MVP).
For Laurice Guillen, Vilma did “Ipagpatawad Mo” (Viva), “Dolzura Cortez” (OctoArts), “Kapag Langit Ang Humatol” (Vision Films).
For Elwood Perez: “Pakawalan Mo Ako,” “Nakawin Natin Ang Bawat Sandali” (MVP), “Pinay, American Style” (Regal Films).
For Chito Roño: “Bata,Bata… Paano Ka Ginawa?” and “Dekada ’70” (Star Cinema).
Marilou Diaz-Abaya: “Baby Tsina” and “Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan” (Viva).
Eddie Garcia: “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?” and “Sinasamba Kita” (Viva).
Mike de Leon: “Sister Stella L.” (Regal).
Danny Zialcita: “Karma” and “T-Bird At Ako” (with Nora).
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OTHER AWARDS – Ronald notes that aside from Urian, Vilma also received best actress awards from FAMAS, Star, Academy, Cinemalaya, and Metro Manila Film Festival.
The University of the Philippines also bestowed on Vilma the Plaridel Award for her achievements in cinema and public service as well.