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.