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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AN EMOTIONAL SCENE FROM 'ASEDILLO'

Received his second Famas Best Actor in 1971, for "Asedillo," a true-to-life story of Teodoro Asedillo, an idealistic schoolteacher who rebelled against the American colonial government.

FPJ as Asedillo, a schoolteacher turned rebel, entering the town of San Antonio.



















Asedillo addressing the people of San Antonio:

“Masakit para sa isang anak ng San Antonio na umuwi sa kanyang bayan para katakutan ng kanyang magulang at kapatid. Narito ako upang maghugas ng kamay sa mga pagkakasala na ibinibintang ninyo sa akin--- na ako ay magnanakaw."











"OO, ako ay magnanakaw…pero hindi ko ninanakaw ang mga butil ng kanin na isusubo na lang sa bibig ng mga mahihirap.Ang pinagnanakawan ko ay mga taong mawalan man ng kaning isusubo sa kanilang bibig ay mayroon pang isang dangkal na lupang pagtataniman ng palay upang may maisaing. Sila ang mga lihim na tagapagtaguyod ng aking simulain. Alam kong sila ay nagagalak sa ginagawa kong pagnanakaw sa kanila. At alam din nila na ako at ang aking mga tao ay di maaaring mabuhay sa bundok sa pamamagitan lang ng matibay na pananalig sa aming ipinaglalabang karapatan. Gusto nilang tumulong pero sila’y natatakot. Natatakot silang matulad sa akin na pinaghahanap ng mga constable sa kabundukan ng Sierra Madre… "







"…Ako raw ay pumapatay? OO, ako ay pumapatay. Subali’t ang pinapatay ko ang mga adhikain na kumikitil sa aking simulain na nagtatanggol sa mga karapatan ng mga mahihirap na katulad niyo."



"SAN ANTONIO!!! HINDI AKO MAARI MAGTAKSIL SA IYO... KAYONG MGA TAONG BATIS, ANG ILOG AT ANG DAGAT…AKO…AY ISDA!!! PAPAANO AKO MABUBUHAY KUNG WALA KAYO!”



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

LO' WAIST GANG: THE BARKADA YOUTH OF THE 50s


Fernando Poe, Jr. was barely 17 years old when he starred in the first of a series of highly successful “Lo’ Waist Gang” in July 1956. It jumpstarted his career after a below par showing of his first movie, “Anak ni Palaris” in 1955.


Below- Excerpts from the article 'Batang Taquila'
by Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin)
Philippine Free Press/ June 1, 1968

The public tended to see Lo-Waist Gang as a real-life gang that Ronnie, like any other members of the gang, often found themselves provoked and set upon by kanto boys wanting to test them out. Actually, says Ronnie, Lo’ Waist was a gang only onscreen; Zaldy Zshornack had his own barkada, and so did Boy Sta. Romana; and the only members that Ronnie moved around with after working hours were Berting Labra (because Labra worked for Poe senior) and Boy Francisco (because Boy and Ronnie were both courting Corazon Rivas at that time). “I didn’t become really close to Zaldy until after Lo’ Waist,” says Ronnie.


Lo’ Waist Gang was the big break, but Ronnie’s smile is rather sad as he reels off the once- famous gang’s names: Zaldy, Labra, Sta. Romana, Bobby Gonzales, Tony Cruz, Mario Antonio, Butch Bautista, Boy Francisco…”Let me see, have I forgotten anybody?” And melancholy does resound in the litany as one thinks of Boy Sta. Romana, violently dead; or of Zaldy, who soared and slipped and came back; or of the others for the moment of glory was as brief as youth, though the ‘50s are forever young in their faces.

For Lo’ Waist not only summed up a generation, the barkada youth of the 1950s; it was also a landmark in Philippine movies, as may be seen in Ronnie’s transformation. From the escapist unreality of the costume pictures he had been doing, he shifted, in Lo’ Waist, along with the Philippine cinema, to the contemporary world and became topical, wearing the look of the ‘50s, speaking the idiom of the ‘50s. It was the Santiagos who made Philippine cinema of our times.

Lo’ Waist Gang was such a huge box-office success and prompted the production of sequels all totaling 8 more (from 1956 t0 1960).It also started a fashion fad then: low-waist pants.

LO’ WAIST GANG MOVIES:

1. LO’ WAIST GANG (1956)
2. BAKASYON GRANDE (1957)
3. LOS LACUACHEROS (1957)
4. LUTONG MAKAW (1958)
5. LO’ WAIST GANG AT SI OG SA MINDORO (1958)
6. GABI NG LAGIM (1960)- cameo role
7. LO’ WAIST GANG JOINS THE ARMED FORCES (1960)

8. RANCHO GRANDE (1960)
9. NAGSASALITANG KALANSAY (1961)- FPJ didn't appear in this film

LO’ WAIST GANG (1956)


BAKASYON GRANDE (1957)


LOS LACUACHEROS (1957)



LO’ WAIST GANG AT SI OG SA MINDORO (1958)

LUTONG MAKAW (1958)

LO’ WAIST GANG JOINS THE ARMED FORCES (1960)


GABI NG LAGIM (1960)- cameo role

RANCHO GRANDE (1960)



NAGSASALITANG KALANSAY (1961)


Friday, October 19, 2007

THE DREADED "BIG FOUR" GANG SYNDICATE




In mid 1963, Fernando Poe, Jr., together with fellow star, Joseph Estrada, stood up and exposed the dreaded "Big 4" syndicate, a crime group that extort money from movie stars and threatened them with disfigurement. It was reported that both Poe and Estrada stocked up arms when they refused to give any money to the syndicate. Here's the full story, from the front page of The Manila Times.

ESTRADA ENDS SILENCE, TELLS ALL ON 'BIG 4'
Bares Threat to Life


Joseph Estrada, known for his tough roles in the movies, yesterday broke his silence and told the NBI everything he knows about the “Big Four” crime syndicate. Estrada, whose real name is Joseph Ejercito, 25, said he was “spilling the beans” on the syndicate to straighten the facts which led to the shooting incident at the lobby of the Phil-Am Life Building Sunday night. Wounded in the incident was Oscar Roncal, a movie actor who was previously arrested by the “Untouchables” on a robbery charge. Both Estrada and Roncal said that the shooting was accidental.


Estrada told the NBI that he wanted to expose the “Big Four” syndicate ever since he was threatened with disfigurement by the ring last year. He said the syndicate demanded php4,000 from him. A producer reportedly paid for him. He said he was first approached by the group of Edgardo ‘Ging’ Pascual, who has been charged with grave threats and illegal detention of movie director Armando Garces. Estrada identified Patrolman Lorenzo Meneses and Pedro Ramirez of the Quezon City Police as emissaries for Pascual in demanding money from him. He said that he was approached by Meneses and Pascual in the LVN studio.

When he refused to give to the group of Pascual, Estrada said he was “endorsed” by Pascual to Luis ‘Baby’ Asistio. Estrada said that he was on location on Obando, Bulacan, for the movie “Pulong Diablo,” when he was informed by Rolando Montes, Pedro Rebullo alias ‘Pita,’ and Restituto Santos alias ‘Resty, that Baby Asistio wanted to see him. He said that he saw Asistio in a house in Caloocan. He said that Asistio asked for php4,000 in exchange for an old car, but he told Asistio that he did not have that much money. Asistio then told him: “Kinakalaban mo ako.” (You are fighting me). Estrada said that Asistio then pointed to seven of his henchmen in the room who were all armed and told him to remember their faces because one of them would liquidate him if he continued to defy the “Big Four.”

Estrada said that from that time on he did not set foot in Caloocan City. He said he also refused to continue the filming of “Pulong Diablo” because he would be passing through Caloocan to go on location. To save the picture, Estrada said the producer forked over php4,000 to the group of Asistio. But this did not stop the harassment by the group, Estrada continued.

He said the men of Asistio continually passed by in a jeep in front of his house in San Juan, brandishing firearms and a branding iron. He said the group next turned on Fernando Poe, Jr. like him, Estrada said, Poe refused to give any money to the syndicate. He added that he decided to stay with Poe in the latter’s house. Estrada admitted that he and Poe stocked up arms in the house. He said he even made out a last will and testament saying that if he died, “only two persons (Baby Asistio and Pascual) were responsible. He said he had copies of his testament made out for President Macapagal, PC Chief Dominador Garcia, and other officials.

Estrada said that he was despondent over the impotence of the police agencies to go after the syndicate until he learned that the “Untouchables” was formed to crack down the ring. When the drive against the “Big Four” started, Estrada and Poe were abroad working on a movie. Estrada said that the task force immediately contacted him at the airport on his arrival last week. He said he promised to testify. He said that when Montes learned that he had been contacted by the NBI, Montes --- in the company of Zaldy Zshornack, Gregorio and Cecilio Chico --- went to see him at the Phil-Am Life building last Sunday.

Estrada said Montes immediately confronted him and told him: “Siga ka na ngayon. Sinasalubong ka pa ng NBI.” (You are a big shot now. You are even met by the NBI}.Estrada said he told Montes that it was none of his business. An argument then followed, during which Montes made a move as if to draw something. Estrada said that he then pulled out his Magnum revolver, knowing that Montes was one of the lieutenants of Baby Asistio. Estrada admitted pointing the gun at Montes but he said that when he saw that Montes and his companions were unarmed, he just kicked Montes.

Estrada said he then handed his revolver to Roncal and challenged Montes to a square fight. He said that he was giving the gun to Roncal when it fell to the floor. The gun went off on hitting the floor. Roncal was hit in the left leg. The trajectory of the bullet, which was upward, confirmed Estrada and Roncal’s claim that the gun went off on hitting the floor. Estrada said that there was nothing between him and Zaldy Zshornack. He said that the only probable reason Zshornack testified against him before the police was that Zshornack was trying to protect Montes. Estrada also denied that the shooting was over a movie actress. Estrada called unfair the charges of grave threats and maltreatment filed against him by the police. He said the police did not even consider his and Roncal’s side.

The Manila Times
July 18, 1963


It was later made into a movie in late 1963

Sunday, October 14, 2007

THE "IMMORTAL" SONG OF "ANG DAIGDIG KO'Y IKAW"

ANG DAIGDIG KO’Y IKAW
Music by Tony Maiquez
Lyrics by Levi Celerio

Wala nang ibang ligaya pa sa buhay
Ang daigdig ko’y ikaw kailan pa man
Sana’y iyong dinggin
Ang daigdig ko’y ikaw
Buhay kong madilim
Ikaw lang ang ilaw
Nuong una pa ay aking nabatid
Na ang sulyap mo ay mayroong pagibig
Habang naninimdim lalung nagmamahal
Ang puso kong baliw
Ang langit ay ikaw
Wala nang ibang ligaya pa sa buhay
Ang daigdig ko’y ikaw kailan pa man
Huwag magtataka ang daigdig ko’y ikaw
At kung lilimot ka ako’y mamamatay
Wala nang ibang ligaya pa sa buhay
Ang daigdig ko’y ikaw kailan pa man





Flashback to 1964




Dealing what the local movie world later termed as a real “coup” and what the movie beat reporters pinned down as a “scoop,” Ronnie successfully made the first bid for Susan’s initial services as a freelancer. He did it by making a good offer, one of which was an astounding salary hike. The considerably measly fee per picture she formerly received from her home studio (Sampaguita Pictures) was multiplied by several times when Susan starred in FPJ’s “Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw.”
From: Screen Stardom/ 1964


Susan played the role of a heiress who ran away from her father who wanted her to marry someone she didn't like (similar to the storyline of 1934 classic "It Happened One Night"). She jumped off from a yatch where she was being detained, and swam nearby.

She was able to hide at the rear of Ronnie's delivery truck while Ronnie and his two buddies, Pablo (Virtuoso) and Dencio (Padilla) were busy doing some repairs on their always troublesome truck. Her presence was finally discovered and their (mis)adventures began.


Troubles began to pop up now and then when they were being pursued by Susan's father henchmen. This was aggravated more of the truck's mechanical troubles.


Ronnie found out her real identity.

Friday, October 12, 2007

THE LEGEND LIVES ON!



Born in Manila on August 20, 1939, his real name is Ronald Allan Kelley Poe (aliases, Fernando Poe Jr. and Ronwaldo Reyes). Reyes is the family name of his paternal grandmother, Martha Reyes. FPJ’s parents are actor-producer Fernando Poe Sr. and Elizabeth "Bessie" Kelley. The family name was originally spelled "Pou" from paternal grandfather Lorenzo Pou, a playwright, who migrated from Mallorca, Spain, to pursue mining and business interests here.

FPJ was second in a brood of six. He is the eldest son, coming after Elizabeth and before the late Andy, Jenny, Freddie, and Evangeline. He has a half brother, actor Conrad Poe, his late father’s son by actress Patricia Mijares. The Poes’ father died in 1951 when he let rabid puppies lick a wound he sustained during a shooting. Reports say he left his family in debt.

FPJ borrowed his screen name from his late brother Andy, the real Fernando Poe Jr. The senior Fernando Poe was the original "Palaris," who was considered a big star before and immediately after World War II. A graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP), the elder Poe became national artist Guillermo Tolentino’s model for the UP Oblation.

A high school dropout, he finished grade school in 1953 at San Beda College. Went to San Sebastian College and Mapua Institute of Technology in high school. But it was when he was in his sophomore high school year at the University of the East that he dropped out to join the movies.

He first worked as a messenger for a film exchange outfit earning P18 a week. He started acting in 1955 when he was only 15 years old. When director Mario Barri thought of doing a sequel to ‘Palaris,’ a movie produced and starred by Fernando Poe, he got the son for the title role, "Anak ni Palaris," and opted for the monicker Fernando Poe, Jr. as the new actor’s screen name.The movie, with Rosita Noble as Poe’s leading lady, was released in January 1955. It didn’t do well at the boxoffice. In early 1956, he was assigned a second lead role in Everlasting’s "Babaing Mandarambong," starring then Action Queen Celia Fuentes and Johnny Monteiro, and four days of work earned him P400. He was also asked to do a stunt in the movie "Simaron," (1956) starring Johnny Monteiro, Lilia Dizon and Celia Fuentes. He had to wear a skirt and a bandana as body double of actress Lilia Dizon who had sprained an ankle and couldn’t do a riding scene.

Reached fame and stardom via Larry Santiago Productions of "Lo’ Waist Gang," released in July 1956. The movie was such a hit that it started a fashion fad: low-waist pants. The industry took notice of the young Poe and considered his potential as an actor. The movie, "Kamay ni Cain," released in 1957, was his first acting nominated film where he played villain to lead star, Zaldy Zshornack. In 1958, he starred in two unforgetable action films, " Pepeng Kaliwete" and " Laban sa Lahat," which started his colorful acting career as an action star. Then in 1959, he got a big break in the film, "Tough Guy," but it was in the movie, "Markado," produced by a new outfit, Hollywood- Far East Productions, released in 1960, that marked and established him as a major action star, where he demanded a huge talent fee for his services. He quoted his talent fee at P8,000. Followed by series of box-office hits such as "Tatlong Baraha," "Kilabot sa Barilan," "Sakristan Mayor," "Walang Patawad," among others.

1960 to 1970 were his productive years, starring at least 7-10 films a year. Started directing films using the pen names of D’lanor (his first name spelled backward) and later, Ronwaldo Reyes.
In the early 60’s, "Apollo Robles" and "Ako Ang Katarungan" (considered one of his best films) were released, both directed by the great Gerry De Leon.

In mid 1963, together with fellow star, Joseph Estrada, they stood up and exposed the dreaded "Big 4" syndicate, a crime group that extort money from movie stars and threatened them with disfigurement. It was reported that both Poe and Estrada stocked up arms when they refused to give any money to the syndicate.

Established FPJ Productions in 1962 with its initial offering, "Batang Maynila." The movie, "Sigaw ng Digmaan," produced by his outfit was adjudged Famas Best Picture of 1963. Likewise, two of his other films, "Mga Anghel na Walang Langit" (1970) and "Ang Padrino" (1984) also won the Famas Best Picture Awards.He also organized sister companies D’Lanor, JAFERE, and Rosas Productions.

Starred for the first time with Susan Roces (Jesusa Sonora in real life) in "Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw" in 1965. They were later married in a civil wedding, then at the church wedding in December 1968. Among their sponsors were then President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. They have a daughter, Mary Grace.

Received his first Famas Best Actor in 1967, for his role as a fighting priest in "Mga Alabok sa Lupa."

In 1970, he starred in Lea Productions,"Santiago," a war film, his only movie with the late Lino Brocka. He portrayed the role of a conscience-stricken guerilla fighter who inadvertently bombed a schoolhouse where the Japanese garrisoned over a hundred civilians. He languished in a neighboring town and was branded a coward.

Received his second Famas Best Actor in 1971, for "Asedillo," a true-to-life story of Teodoro Asedillo, an idealistic schoolteacher who rebelled against the American colonial government.

Received his third Famas trophy for Best Actor in 1979 for his role as a streetfighter in "Durugin Si Totoy Bato."

In 1980, he starred in a 3-hour epic, "Aguila," a film directed by Eddie Romero, where he essayed the role of Daniel Aguila, head and patriarch of the influential and powerful Aguila clan.

Received his fourth and fifth Famas Best Actor trophies for his role as a vengeful cop in "Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko" in 1983 and as a Muslim cop assigned in the big city in "Muslim Magnum .357" in 1986. With his fifth Famas Best Actor trophy, he was elevated to the Hall of Fame.

Received FAP Best Actor Awards for "Umpisahan Mo, Tatapusin Ko" in 1983 and "Eseng ng Tondo" in 1997.

His last film was "Pakners," with Billiard King Efren 'Bata' Reyes.

In 2004, he ran for the Presidency against incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but lost by a mere 1.1 million votes. He filed an electoral protest accusing Arroyo of electoral fraud.

He died on December 14, 2004, after suffering a stroke. He was 65.

FPJ BILANG ISANG "DAKILANG" EXTRA


The young Poe, only 16 years old, had dropped out of second year high (the farthest he got in school) to work as messenger for a film exchange at php18 a week. Some friends of his at Everlasting Studio thought of him during a scene where a knife had to hit a leaf on a tree. Knives are usually wired for such scenes; but Ronnie was called in when the director heard he could hit the target with an unwired knife. He did---and got treated to a beer blowout by the crew. Markmanship and horsemanship were what really got him into the movies. Those childhood summers in Baguio when he rode the ponies on Burnham Park, all the riding lessons he ever had, stood him in good stead when he turned movie "double." It started when lead star Lilia Dizon, who was doing Simaron (1956) with co-star Johnny Monteiro, sprained an ankle and couldn't do a riding scene. Asked to do it for her, Ronnie put on a shirt, tied on a bandana, made like a girl on a horse, and exhibited such riding skill. He became a regular stuntman at Everlasting, where he doubled in riding and other action scenes.

From the article "Batang Taquilla"
by Quijano de Manila (or Nick Joaquin)



Thursday, October 11, 2007

FPJ BILANG ISANG "CONTRAVIDA"

Did you know that FPJ did a movie where he played the role of a villain to lead star, Zaldy Zshornack in the 1957 Gerry de Leon's "Kamay ni Cain." That time he had been somewhat in the shadow not only of Zaldy but of other big teen-age stars then, like Romeo Vasquez: but Cain was the last time Ronnie would get a part that of second lead or contravida. Under De Leon's direction, he was able to improve his craft. His performance on that movie earned him a Famas award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The award, of course, went to veteran actor Eddie Garcia for his convincing role in "Taga sa Bato."





Eddie Garcia's "Taga Sa Bato" (1957)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

TRIVIA ON FPJ AND DOLPHY

Did You know that sometime in the 60s, FPJ and Dolphy formed a movie outfit which they called RR Productions --- R and R stand for Ronnie for Fernando Poe, Jr. (nickname of FPJ) and Rodolfo for Rodolfo V.Quizon (real name of Dolphy). It produced and released 5 films, mostly starred in by the King of Comedy himself.





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