Vilma Santos

The longest-reigning Queen of Philippine Cinema, also widely known as the Star for All Seasons and the QueenStar, Vilma Santos celebrates her golden anniversary in showbiz. She has starred in more than 200 films and has given the public some of the most memorable performances in Philippine motion picture history. An icon of film and popular culture, her magnetic screen presence has captured the hearts and minds of generations of Filipinos. Her enduring charisma and popularity have made her filmdom's most durable female superstar. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Friday, September 6, 2013

RP Cinema’s 'Best Actress of All Time'

By Nonoy L. Lauzon
From the collection of Willie Fernandez

Reel Pinoy, RP Real Pinoy
July 2005

One of the lingering showbiz debates concerns the choice for the greatest Pinay movie actress. The matter may now be settled with the Gawad Plaridel that the University of the Philippines bestows on outstanding Filipino mass media practitioners.

Established by the UP College of Mass Communication under Dean Nicanor G. Tiongson last year and derived from the nom de plume of Philippine hero and propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar, Gawad Plaridel is a form of lifetime-achievement honor with the recipient coming from any of the various fields that encompass mass media such as journalism, broadcast arts and, of course, cinema.

Recognizing Vilma Santos, the thespian and the nationalist: Star for All Seasons wins 2005 U.P. Gawad Plaridel Award

By Rome Jorge
The Manila Times
July 8, 2005

She is the grieving mother of sons to the struggle, linking arms and manning the front lines of a peaceful revolt. She is the mistress demanding the dignity deserving of a wife, a friend and a woman. She is the nun preaching the gospel of liberation against a dictatorship. She is the stripper dancing in tears as she lets go a love and a life never meant for one such as her. She is the single mom struggling to keep her wits amid domestic, financial and romantic dilemmas. She is the overseas worker facing down AIDS and its inevitable consequences. And she is Darna, a superhero fighting the giants, saving Ding and flying off to the stars.  Burlesk Queen, Relasyon, Sinasamba Kita, Sister Stella L, Imortal, Dahil Mahal Kita: Dolzura Cortez Story, Bata, Bata . . . Paano Ka Ginawa?, Dekada ’70, not to mention Darna at Ding are just some of her countless films.

Vilma Santos, Outstanding Woman in Film (Recipient of first Diwata Award)

“Outstanding women in film honored at International Film Festival—Four women who have made a mark in Philippine cinema are being honored with the first Diwata Awards in the 16th International Women’s Film Festival on March 8, 5 p.m. at the Cine Adarna.

EKSTRA: An Excellent Paradox!

By Fred Hawson, July 29, 2013

I had the opportunity to attend the Gala Premiere of "Ekstra" at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines during the Cinemalaya Film Festival. It was a full house despite the heavy rains and floods. The film was introduced no less than by the director Jeffrey Jeturian and the producer Atty. Joji Alonso.

"The Bit Player" Sketch by Sherry Coman

By Sherry Coman, a foreign blogger:

“Jeffrey Jeturian spoofs the Philippino film and television industry in Bit Player, a comedy about a woman who becomes a film extra, with a serious allegorical observation of what happens to societies where the lowest paid worker is the least valued. Starring the great Vilma Santos.”

EKSTRA (Jeffrey Jeturian, 2013)

By Macky Macarayan, July 30, 2013

Vilma Santos in her long and illustrious career in cinema has her playing a stripper (BURLESK QUEEN), a dying woman (DAHIL MAHAL KITA, PAHIRAM NG ISANG UMAGA), the other woman (RELASYON), a superhero (DARNA), a freedom fighter (SISTER STELLA L), countless mothers (ANAK, BATA BATA PAANO KA GINAWA, DEKADA '70, IN MY LIFE) and sometimes even a tormentor (SINASAMBA KITA) yet what EKSTRA, her new indie film offers is something we have never seen Vilma do- underacting. The role demands it, and Vilma more than handsomely gives her finest performance as a bit player.

Vilma Santos shines as extra (A Review of The Bit Player / Ekstra)

By Randy Renier I. Espinoza, Aug. 11, 2013

Vilma Santos is a screen legend and the country’s Star for All Seasons, whose career trajectory spans 50 years of playing lead roles which earned her box-office and critical successes. To cast her as an extra or bit player in a movie is almost unthinkable. Can she pass off as a bit player and effectively evoke the nuances of the role? Well, Ekstra (The Bit Player), the actress’s first foray into indie filmmaking, provides a more-than-adequate answer.

Ekstra (Jeffrey Jeturian, Cinemalaya 2013 NETPAC Winner)

by .nel, Aug. 17, 2013

When my sisters asked me to buy two passes for Vilma Santos’ first indie film Ekstra, I thought to myself, 'Cinemalaya has made a mark on my siblings.' They are no longer contented to wait for commercial runs of Cinemalaya films. They also know what films to watch on their initial day-long Cinemalaya experience at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).


BY: ihcahieh July 28, 2013 

Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos) is a single mother who has supported her daughter’s education until college by being a bit player, or in other words, a TV or movie extra. In her latest project, she tackles several roles such as that of sugar cane farmer and house maid, the salary for which she is reserving for her daughter’s tuition fee payment. Aside from being her primary means of livelihood, acting has also been one of her life’s biggest passions, the culmination of which is a talking role in the finale of a soap opera where she gets to work with a has-been actress who has been her inspiration since she was young. Ekstra is a film within a film, a playful jab on the world of bit players, but more than that it is actually an interesting take on the life of just another human being striving to make ends meet by doing what she does best, or what she thinks she does best. It is an honest look on the lives of those nameless faces that you often see onscreen.

Ekstra (The Bit Player): Understanding people from behind-the-scenes

by normangat, Aug. 16, 2013

IN WHAT HAVE been a down-to-earth role for the Philippines’ “Star for all season,” Vilma Santos proves us that there is no such thing as Philippine cinema without her.

The Extra Stuff

by Philbert Ortiz Dy, Aug. 14, 2013

There can be no discussion of Ekstra without at least a passing mention of 2010’s Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay. The two share more than just the subject of the Filipino bit player experience. They share DNA with the involvement of writer and director Antoinette Jadaone, who gets a story and screenplay credit here. This could have turned out to be just a version of Lilia with a more famous actress in the lead role, which doesn’t sound like a promising concept. But thankfully, the films aren’t actually the same. Director Jeffrey Jeturian keeps the scale tighter, and uses it as an opportunity to aim his satirical sights on the absurdity of television production in the country. The film doesn’t quite reach the heights of the fomer picture, but it offers a different set of pleasures that are worth experiencing anyway.

Cynical Views

by Mek Torres, 20 August 2013

The title "Ekstra" seems to indicate that it's about a person who has an inspiring story of her years of being the extra role in every television show. The actual film is somehow different. While the main character do learns through her experience, the film mostly plays as a comedy for satirizing what's going on behind the scenes. It's ironically an entertaining cynical view towards filmmakers who make television episodes without any ambition except the income they would receive. With slick direction and great performances, Ekstra is an absorbing cinematic trip.

An Expose on the Life of a Showbiz Bit Player

by 3xHCCH, July 28, 2013

"Ekstra" is a very entertaining film that brings us into the world of a bit player or "extra" in the punishing world of television soap opera. This was more than just a glimpse. We get an in-depth, no-holds-barred, brutally frank expose on how bit players are treated on and off the set of a location shoot.

Ekstra: No small parts

By Paulina F. Ocampo, Aug. 7, 2013

It’s the extras that make Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra (The Bit Player) shine. The dramedy gives its audience a look at the not-so-glamorous life of film extras and crew members.


by christianjoyfreo, Aug. 9, 2013

The show business is a spectacle of gorgeous women and dashing men that competes for the limelight. More often than not, we put our attention too long on these people that we forget to recognize those people who may not be as beautiful as the others but also competes for the same spotlight. These people who have no names in the industry, fade in the background but complete every story on film and television deserve all the credits worthy of a rising star.

Movie Review: Ekstra The Bit Player

by MsMightyMau, Aug. 21, 2013

I had the chance to watch the award-winning indie film, released mainstream, Ekstra The Bit Player. This is through the kindness of the Vilmanians,VSSI (Vilma Santos Solid International) as they invited bloggers to a special block screening of the film along with some guests, the cast and the STAR FOR ALL SEASONS herself, Ms. Vilma Santos! So now, even though I know that a lot of movie reviews were released for this film that are even coming from legit movie critics, I would like to share my own personal movie review as the film is something worth it..

Ekstra: A comedy worthy of the Star for All Seasons

by Zig Marasigan (Expert), Aug. 14, 2013

Vilma Santos makes her Cinemalaya debut in Ekstra, a light-hearted comedy that is both thoughtful and entertaining. The film proves that she is still one of the best acting talents the country has to offer.

Cinemalaya 2013: The Roundup - Ekstra

By Wanggo Gallaga, Aug. 5, 2013

Of all the films on this year's Cinemalaya, Ekstra by Jeffrey Jetturian is the one I wanted to see the most. I'm a huge fan of Jeffrey Jetturian's work having seen Kubrador and Tuhog and enjoying them immensely. When I discovered that he co-wrote the film with Antoinette Jadaone of Six Degrees of Lilia Cuntapay, it made me even more excited. I wasn't disappointed.

Movie Review: Ekstra

by Coolman0304, July 29, 2013

Ekstra (The Bit Player) is a socio-realist drama-comedy film, which follows a seemingly usual day in the life of Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos-Recto) as she embarks on yet another shooting day of a soap opera as an extra. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the truth in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation on the marginalized laborers like her.

Ekstra,” “Ekstra,” read all about it!

by alexyvergara, Aug. 3, 2013

THE lead star may not be as visible as she was during her heyday in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but the irony isn’t lost even among today’s generation of young moviegoers when director Jeffrey Jeturian cast movie queen-turned-Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to play seasoned bit player Loida Malabanan in “Ekstra,” the actress’ first foray into the wide and wonderful world of indie films.

REVIEW: Ekstra

by icol, Aug. 15, 2013

Director: Jeffrey Jeturian
Cast: Vilma Santos, Tart Carlos, Marlon Rivera, Ruby Ruiz, Vincent de Jesus
Written by: Zig Dulay, Antoinette Jadaone, Jeffrey Jeturian

Fresh from their 9th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival success earlier this month, it is no secret that Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra is one of the most buzzed about movies of the year. For one, it is the Star for all Seasons Vilma Santos’ first foray into indie filmmaking. Also, it gives us a glimpse on one of the most underrated people in the movie industry: the bit players. After winning five trophies last Cinemalaya awards night (for Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress among others) and an official participant at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, there is no doubt that Ekstra is one of the main movie events of this year.

Movie Review: Ekstra (The Bit Player)

by Contributor, Aug. 25, 2013

After winning five awards in the recently held Cinemalaya Awards and now our official participant in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Ekstra (The Bit Player) is one of the most buzzed local films of the year. It is a socio-realist drama-comedy that follows a seemingly usual day in the life of Loida Malabanan (played by Vilma Santos) as she embarks on yet another shooting day of a soap opera as an extra or bit player. As the shoot goes on, we get a glimpse of the reality in the ruling system of the production as well as the exploitation of the marginalized laborers like her.

Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Mabisa ang pagganap ni Vilma Santos bilang isang single mother na nagsusumikap magtrabaho para mapatapos sa pag-aaral ang kanyang anak. Relaxed ang kanyang body language pero on point pa rin ang performance, lalo na sa kanyang mga close-up scenes.” (Snipped)

Ekstra, The Bit Player Movie Review: A Loving Tribute To Extras With Great Performances

by Admin on Jul 31, 2013

DIRECTOR JEFFREY Jeturian redeems himself in “Ekstra, The Bit Player” after his last film, the obscure “Bisperas”. He obviously enjoyed himself here poking fun at the ins and outs of taping local soap operas, making it very informative for lesser mortals like us. Along with Antoinette Jadaone and Zig Dulay, they’ve written an observant and incisive script that exposes the behind-the-camera shenanigans of the milieu that is local TV production, along with all the headaches experienced by those involved in it. It will surely bring knowing smiles to all those involved in local TV production who will surely love it.

CBCP Cinema: Ekstra

"Hindi matatawaran ang pagganap ng isang Vilma Santos at isang salik ang pagiging bida niya sa pelikula para sa higit na “appreciation” ng mga manonood."

Review: Pains of a mom at #VilmaSantos' #Ekstra

by josephine bonsol, August 22, 2013
Imagine how painstaking it is for a single mom bit player strut all types of tricks to get roles to earn enough for her daughter's tuition fee? I've laughed hard and cried at the end of Star Cinema's Cinemalaya 2013 award-winning "Ekstra" (The Bit Player) last Saturday at Trinoma sponsored by Vilma Santos Solid International Inc.


Or why Vilma Santos is Philippine Cinema's Greatest Thespian! One of the highest paid actresses in the Philippines. The Longest-reigning Box-office Queen and Dramatic Actress.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Vilma Santos, the phenomenal Star For All Seasons with superior caliber in acting and artistry, didn't just come out of woodwork. She started her acting career at the age of 9 and garnered her first trophy as FAMAS Best Child Actress for her very first movie, Trudis Liit. She then grew into a teeny bopper and was paired with heart throbs in the late 60's and 70's but it was Dama de Noche that paved the way to her first FAMAS Best Actress recognition in 1972. Her stellar and daring portrayal as a stripteaser in Burlesk Queen was a monumental box- office success in the 1977 Metro Manila Film Festival wherein she was conferred the Best Actress trophy. Many more relevant critically-acclaimed, box office movie hits ensued and she owned the title "Box Office Queen" for several years. Some of her unforgettable films are Sister Stella L, Broken Marriage, Pakawalan Mo Ako, Ipagpatawad Mo, Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga, Imortal, Karma, Alyas Baby Tsina, Tagos Ng Dugo, Anak and many, many more. To date, she has 8 Gawad Urian, 5 FAMAS, 7 Star, 4 FAP and 2 Catholic Mass Media Awards-all under Best Actress category. She also is a four-time Grand Slam winner for her movies Relasyon in 1982, Dolzura Cortez Story in 1993, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?, and Dekada '70 in 2002 - a feat far-fetched to others. In 1999, Vilma Santos' acting prowess earned the nod of the prestigious Brussels International Film Festival award-giving body as she was hailed the Best Actress for Bata, Bata...Paano Ka Ginawa. Another international Best Actress trophy was bestowed upon her in 2002 by Cinemanila International Film Festival for her exemplary performance in Dekada '70. As a producer, her movie, Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim Ng Tagak where she was also the main star, won Best Picture both in Gawad Urian and FAMAS in 1978. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Phillip Salvador mentions acting heavyweight THE VILMA SANTOS

"Asked what kind of acting training he culled from those times with direk Lino, Phillip said, 'He paired me off with the best' such as acting heavyweights VILMA SANTOS, Chanda Romero, Gina Alajar, Lolita Rodriguez, Charito Solis and Nora Aunor, among other notables."

EKSTRA Movie Poster & Cinemalaya Screening Dates


Cinemalaya Screening Dates:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Direk Jeffrey Jeturian confessed in a 2008 interview he's a Vilmanian and wanted to direct Vilma


“Who are the Filipino actors you want to direct?

“Vilma (Santos).

“Why her?

“Kasi Vilmanian ako (laughs). But don’t print it, baka magalit sa akin ang Noranians (laughs). 

“So why Vilma?

“Eh kasi nga Vilmanian ako! (laughs).

“Seriously, as an actress, she’s sincere and I want to see her in a different role. I also want to direct Maricel (Soriano), Sharon (Cuneta) and Judy Ann (Santos).”
(Silvestre, Edmund. “Jeffrey Jeturian: Brocka’s heir apparent,” Saturday, March 1, 2008)


From ‘Ate Vi’ to ‘Gov Vi’: The ‘star for all seasons’ is also the public servant for all times by Lito B. Zulueta

By Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 14, 2012

Monday finds Batangas City sodden and sullen from the early-morning monsoon drench, with motorists from Manila making their way toward the provincial capital, braving through the new road extension from the Southern Luzon Expressway, which has suddenly been enveloped by a thick fog, obscuring the way and raising fears of a road mishap.

Everything appears to indicate that it’s going to be a bad week ahead, but the provincial government driver tells us not to worry. “Whenever the Gov arrives,” he says in smacking Batangueño Tagalog, “the rains will stop and the skies will clear.”

“Gov” is Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, “Ate Vi” to the general masses, the actress and “Star for all Seasons” who has become probably the most successful and most admired actor-politician today.

FEATURE: "Vilma, the Glad Girl" by Quijano de Manila (pseudonym of the late National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin)

Unlike Nora la Dolorosa, the durable Vi Santos has made happiness her career.

By Quijano De Manila, Phil. Graphic Magazine, November 5, 1990

Publisher’s Note:  Our cover story is about the indestructible and unfading screen beauty, Vilma Santos, who has become even more accomplished and seductive as the years pass. Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin in journalistic disguise) captures the secrets and the charms of this enduring beauty, a triumph of art over time. - Juan P. Dayang 

Durable is a word that shifts nuance when applied to Vilma Santos. Yes, you can say that, for instance, Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca and Charito Solis are durable because they are still on view as performers, if no longer at center stage. But when you say that Vilma Santos is durable you mean she is still at center, in front, on top.

Now that’s phenomenal because in Philippine cinema 10 years seems to be the limit for female stardom. After 10 years you slip to character and supporting roles. But Vilma is on her 28th year in showbiz and the spotlight is hers yet as leading lady, the only one to match the record of Dolphy and Ronnie Poe.

FEATURE: Vilma Santos (Film Actress)

By: Justino M. Dormiendo, Best of the Philippines

In the fickle and uncertain world of showbusiness, there is one name that has remained consistently on top fro the past two decades: Vilma Santos. Hers is an altogether exceptional case as her movie career has brought Santos both popular and critical acclaim. Even more amazing is her star continues to shine more brightly.


The Making of the Queen...

At the age of 9, Vilma was tapped to star opposite Gloria Romero & Rita Gomez in the movie “Anak, ang Iyong Ina.” She was discovered by her uncle Mr. Amaury Agra, who was a cameraman at the Sampaguita Studios. When she, together with her mother went to the Sampaguita compound to report, an audition was going on. Seeing the more than a hundred kids auditioning, Vi went and watched. Dr. Jose Perez, producer of Sampaguita, saw the little Vi and asked her to join the audition. Vi was hesitant because she know that she’s there for a different movie, but she was prodded to join. When her turn came, she acted with veteran Bella Flores. All the people were impressed, much more Dr. Perez! Vilma got the title role for the movie “Trudis Liit.” So, that at age 9, she was making two movies at the same time!

BIOGRAPHY: Wikipedia

Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos-Recto (born November 3, 1953) commonly known as Vilma Santos-Recto or Ate Vi is a multi-awarded actress and politician. She is known as the Star for all Seasons for her longevity in showbiz and holds the titles of Grand Slam Queen and as the longest box office queen of Philippine cinema. Santos is also a politician, currently serving as Governor of Batangas Province  and once as mayor of Lipa City.

ARTICLE: Vilma Still a Youthful Movie Queen at 32

By Mega Mendoza, Prime Magazine, November 14, 1985

WHEN Vilma Santos marked her 32nd birthday recently (Nov. 3) she was exactly 22 years, 8 months and 12 days in the dog-eat-dog world of showbusiness. Her very first movie as a waif in Trudis Liit (the same movie that gave her a best child actress award in the FAMAS) was shown in Manila on February 21, 1963 where all in all she made five films including Anak, Ang Iyong Ina, King and Queen for a Day, Duelo sa Sapang Bato, and Aninong Bakal in that same year.

ARTICLE: Queen Vi (Or how Vilma Santos came out of the doldrums and reasserted herself at the Box Office) by Ricardo F. Lo

By Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek Magazine, January 19, 1978

Scene: struggling with her emotion, she kneels beside the bed where her father lies dead. The crippled old man couldn’t accept the fact that his daughter was dancing for a living. Earlier, they had a quarrel and when she left the house, the old man had killed himself. “Bakit naman hindi n’yo ako hinintay?” she’s now whispering to him in remorse, “hindi naman talaga ako galit sa ‘yo, a. Di ba kayo rin kung minsan nakapagsasalita kayo ng masakit sa akin pero naintindihan kita dahil alam ko galit ka at hindi mo sinasadya. Dapat naman sana naintindihan mo rin ako,” she continues, breaking into sobs, “dadalawa na nga lang tayo sa buhay iniwanan mo pa ako. Hindi naman tama ‘yon!” And with the camera fixed on her in a semi-closeup shot, she weeps through her kilometric dialogues with startling spontaneity, the scene lasting all of ten minutes.

ARTICLE: The Superstar at 18: Vilma Blooms by Ricardo F. Lo

By Ricardo F. Lo, The Sunday Times Magazine - Dec. 5, 1971

Ay naku, musmos pa ‘yan talagang mahilig na sa drama!

And Mrs. Milagros Santos (or Mommy Santos, as she is fondly called by die-hard fans), mother of Superstar Vilma, proceeds to relate how her darling daughter religiously followed her favorite soap-operas on the radio in her off-school hours, imitating the airlane actresses later on when the family gathered at the sala.

ACADEMIC PAPER: Si Vilma Santos Bilang Madre, Ang Babae Bilang Lunan at Katauhan, at ang Talaban sa Pagitan ng Postmodernismo at Postkolonyalismo

"Matatandaan natin kung papaanong sa pelikulang “Sister Stella L” na idinirihe ni Mike De Leon at pinagbidahan ni Vilma Santos mababanaag ang sala-salabid na mga usaping madalas maisantabi tuwing lumulutang ang tunggalian ng mga liping “mayroon” at “wala.” Lumalabas din ang katanungan kung paanong magagawang mapagsama-sama sila sa iisang laban upang makamit ang kanilang parehong mga layunin. At sa pagsusumikap nating kilalanin ang pagbabanyuhay ng katauhan at papel ng babae sa kanyang lipunan, mapagkikita natin na ang karakter ni Sister Stella L ay maituturing na isang babaeng postkolonyal, kabahagi ng isang mamamayang postkolonyal, at nagsisikap magkaroon ng identidad sa isang postmodernong kalagayan ng lipunan..."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

“Sister Stella L.,” Vilma At Her Finest

One of the most important Filipino films, Sister Stella L (1984), is about a nun's political awakening amid a labor uprising. Directed by master auteur Mike De Leon, it showcases Vilma’s restrained, unadorned acting. The final scene where Stella gives a speech, without background music to heighten the emotive atmosphere, and delivers the unforgettable line “Katarungan para kay Ka Dencio!” (“Justice to Ka Dencio!”) is purely stirring. Vilma was conferred the Best Actress plum by the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the country's most respected critics group. The film was selected for competition at the 1985 Venice Film Festival.

The First Filipino Actress To Be Featured in TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine writes:                                                                 “The festival’s smash hit was Burlesk Queen, starring Filipino Superstar Vilma Santos.”

Monday, April 8, 2013

“Relasyon”: First Grand-Slam Best Actress Victory in Phil. Film History!

Vilma's tour de force performance as a sympathetic mistress in the 1982 film Relasyon (The Affair), helmed by the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal, gave her a sweep of the Best Actress awards from all the major award-giving bodies at that time:  FAMAS, URIAN, Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP), and the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA). Vilma bested her longtime rival, Nora Aunor, whose film entry that year was Himala. Her grand-slam win is recognized as the first ever in local film history.

The death scene towards the film's end, where Emil (Christopher de Leon) dies from an aneurysm attack in front of Marilou (Vilma), is one of Philippine cinema's most unforgettable moments. Shot in one continuous take or what's called "tuhog" in local film lingo, it showcases the breadth and depth of Vilma's acting. Without musical scoring to boost the pathos of the scene, Vilma relied on her masterful grasp of human emotions to come up with an intense portrayal that can only be described as realistic and truthful. Marilou's frantic movements and utterings of Emil's name, the panic that strikes her, her anguish all mirror the immediacy and urgency of the situation. Vilma makes great use of her body, her eyes, her voice, everything, to realistically depict a woman's helplessness in the middle of her beloved's seizures, and then her pain upon his death.

The scene triumphs as a prime example of realistic cinematic acting, not just cinematic acting. The type of acting that not just mesmerizes, but involves the audience and lets them dig deep in their emotions. The brand of acting that people, whether they have undergone a similar experience in their life or not, can relate to and say to themselves, yes, that's how real people react to a real-life emergency situation and to a loss of a significant other.

The box-office success and the awards are a testament to Vilma's triumph.

“Burlesk Queen”: Vilma Sheds “Sweet” Image To Become a Certified Dramatic Actress

 1977 was a turning point in Vilma’s career as an actress as it marked her graduation from teeny-bopper movies to more mature vehicles via Celso Ad Castillo's masterpiece, Burlesk Queen. It was the top grosser at the Metro Manila film fest and romped away with all the major awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.

"Ekstra" T-shirt Study

Tentative/preliminary design for  Ekstra T-shirt: The design shows the different roles that Loida (Vilma) takes on as a bit player:  a sakada (sugarcane plantation worker), house help, a stand-in who receives the torments supposedly intended for the "real" teleserye actress, and a "double" attorney.

Photo Courtesy of:  EKSTRA/The Bit Player’s FB Page