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, March 22, 2013

Vilma! The Most Successful Musical Variety Show on Philippine TV


The ‘80s saw the fierce battle among moviedom’s most luminous actresses who also graced primetime TV with their beauty and talent via their own variety/musical shows. Vilma Santos, the Star for All Seasons, danced and sang on her Vilma! show. Sharon Cuneta, the Megastar, sang her heart out on The Sharon Cuneta Show (TSCS); Nora Aunor delighted her fans with her golden voice on Superstar. And Alma Moreno, who was once called the “Shining Star,” wowed the viewers with her sexy dance numbers on Loveli-Ness. Those were shows that featured these superstars as hosts and performers. Those were the times when these showbiz dames, along with PBA cagers, were staples for the viewing public, just as soap operas are mainstays in Filipinos’ households nowadays.

Peak of the Musical Variety Show Format
The ascendancy of musical variety shows reached its zenith during the ‘90s. Nora’s show was already off the air, while Alma’s career took a backseat. Manilyn Reynes, whose veritable popularity during the early ‘90s prompted the press to accord her the tag “Star of the New Decade,” came up with her own show, “Manilyn Live.” Pops Fernandez, who was given the title “Concert Queen,” hosted a couple of short-lived shows with different networks. The rivalry, though, was between the two superstars who were the highest-paid most sought-after at the time: Vilma and Sharon. These mega-watt stars owned the decade. Their shows were both top-raters, and they became queens of their respective networks, which were also two of the top TV stations: Vilma on GMA 7 and Sharon on ABS-CBN 2. The shows were perennial competitors at the Star Awards for TV in the Best Musical Variety Show category, although Sharon’s was more musical and Vilma’s was more into dance. Vilma’s show garnered more recognition and was even a finalist for the Best Variety Show category at the New York Film & Television Award. While Sharon mainly sang and hosted on her show, Vilma hosted, did death-defying dance sequences, and also sang. Both shows were very successful, but Vilma! was viewed as a better, more structured show, always had the Araneta Coliseum as its venue for most of its anniversary shows, and went on to become Philippine TV's most awarded musical variety show.

By 1995, still at the top of its game, Vilma!‘s run ended as its star had to semi-retire to prioritize her family. It marked the abrupt decline of the musical variety show format. Vilma, after her childbirth with her youngest son, returned on TV and resurrected her show, this time rebranded as “Vilma, A Limited Engagement Only,” albeit, as the title suggested, only for a short duration.(RRI Espinoza)

(A rehash of a previous blog post. Click this to go to original post.)

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