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Monday, November 21, 2011


Santo Domingo was adjudged the top grosser in the 7th Manila Film Festival and child star Frankie Navaja, Jr. was awarded the festival's Best Child Performer. Based from a komiks serial created by Pablo S. Gomez, the movie starred Da king, Fernando Poe, Jr. under Celso Ad. Castillo direction.

Another in my wish list, this blockbuster hit of 1972 was shown a few days ago at Skycable Cinema One. Glad to see this again after almost 4 decades and really a big treat to all FPJ fans!!!

"Santo Domingo" (1972)- Stars Fernando Poe, Jr., Boots Anson-Roa, Alona Alegre, Paquito Diaz and Max Alvarado/ with Lito Anzures, Bruno Punzalan, Vic Varrion, Johnny Long, Robert talby, Belo Borja, Luis Benedicto, Nonoy de Guzman and Frankie Navaja, Jr./ Featuring Jun Mariano/ Directed by Celso Ad. Castillo

"Santo Domingo"
Nobela ni Pablo S. Gomez

Guhit ni Alex Nino

Serialized in United Komiks

Synopsis: A band of ruthless, marauding pirates led by Carbungco (Max Alvarado) and Tuta (Paquito Diaz) siege the monastery in the coastal town of Santo Domingo killing most of the priests except for three. The pirates temporarily took control of the place to cool off after a spate of killings and lootings.

Vener (Fernando Poe, Jr.), a fisherman in the nearby town, recovered a dead body of a slain priest and feared that something wrong was going on at the monastery. Vener had a score to settle with the pirates when his family and some of his town mates were brutally killed when he was young. He still vividly remembered the menacing face of Carbungco.

Vener sailed to Santo Domingo and was able to penetrate the island killing some of the pirates guarding the island. As he was hiding, he accidentally punched Loreta (Boots Anson-Roa) which he mistook her as one of the pirates. Loreta had a young brother named Punggi (Frankie Navaja, Jr.), a mischievous, wandering kid. Vener introduced himself to Loreta and Punggi and told them that the monastery was under siege.

Vener devised a plan on how to get inside the monastery. He needed the help of the town folks but with no guns and only bolos, he gave up the plan… and also help from the authority would take 5 days. He decided to do it alone.

Disguised as a priest, he entered the monastery. However, his plan backfired. He was nabbed and captured. Unknowingly, Punggi was in tow, and was able to enter the monastery in a secret passage.
With Punggi’s help, Vener was able to escape. He held Carbungco hostage and freed the priests and the women hostages. With Carbungco as hostage, they were able to get out of the monastery unharmed. Tuta was pleased of the result as he was able to get rid of Carbungco and assumed power.

On the other hand, Loreta was kidnapped by Tuta’s men and when Vener learned about this, he went back to the monastery. Punggi showed him the secret passage.

This time, the town folks, all armed with bolos, stormed the monastery. Fights ensued as the town folks subdued the pirates. Vener, in turn, was able to save Loreta from Tuta’s hands. However, Carbungco, at this time escaped, but the avenging Vener was able to corner him in the coastline and killed him.

The band of pirates headed by Carbungco (Max Alvarado) and Tuta (Paquito Diaz) landed at the monastery of Santo Domingo.

Carbungco grilled the monks at the monastery

Carbungco's men

The town folks of Santo Domingo led by Loreta (Boots Anson-Roa) paid a visit at the monastery bringing with them foods and offerings.

Vener (Fernando Poe., Jr.) recalled how his family were brutally killed by Carbungco and his men.

Vener explained his mission to Loreta

Vener and Punggi (Frankie Navaja, Jr.)

Loreta concerned on Vener's safety

The monastery located near the coastline of Santo Domingo

Vener, disguised as priest, went to the monastery

Carbungco and his men dressed in monk's attires

Vener is surrounded and captured...

and Loreta, too...

The fight to the end between Vener and Carbungco

---Lobby cards and stills from the movie---

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A very young FPJ and Amalia Fuentes in a publicity shot...

Thursday, November 10, 2011


FPJ All-Stars basketball team composed of Fernando Poe, Jr., Bob Soler, Andy Poe, Paquito Diaz, Romy Diaz, Lou Salvador, Jr., George Estregan, Pablo Virtuoso, Dencio Padilla, Jumbo Salvador, Jay Ilagan, Roberto Talabis and basketball stars Robert Jaworski, Alberto 'Big Boy' Reynoso, Francis Arnaiz, Elias Tolentino... who else? Is that Ramon Fernandez between Jaworski and Reynoso?

click image to enlarge

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Last shown in 1966, "Baril sa Aking Kamay" was finally reshown to the public last July during the Cinemalaya Film Festival, as part of the Ronwaldo Reyes Film Retrospective. Considered as lost and one in my wish list, (thanks to the late Fernando Poe, Jr., who was able to preserve the reels) it was shown in its pristine condition.

"Baril Sa Aking Kamay" (1966)- Stars Fernando Poe, Jr., Helen Gamboa, Eva Montes, Lito Anzures, Victor Bravo, Manol Robles, Vic Varrion, Mario Escudero, Jay Ilagan, Nello Nayo, Pedro Faustino/ Directed by D'lanor

Baril sa Aking Kamay, one of the best Pinoy westerns I’ve seen, is a combination of “Shane” and “The Fastest Gun Alive.” As film historian Teddy Co puts it, “the last 25 minutes is a ‘tour de force’ of choreographed shootouts... one of the high points of this genre.”

The movie tells of a mysterious stranger named Ariel, pursued by two groups--- the first one, a group of three notorious gunslingers headed by Rufo (Victor Bravo) and his two men, Labuyo (Lito Anzures) and Mario (Mario Escudero). The fanatical Rufo was too obsessed to face Ariel to determine who between them was the fastest gun in the land after Ariel gunned down Diegong Kidlat, known for his fast draw; the second one, a posse led by a sheriff named Hepe (Nello Nayo) also keen to find and arrest him on Diegong Kidlat’s death. Diegong Kidlat was the one responsible for the death of Ariel’s wife named Erlinda. Ariel had Erlinda’s name engraved on his gun and vowed vengeance and justice.

However, Ariel’s face remained unknown to his pursuers and the only identity that would pin him down was the name “Erlinda” engraved on the barrel of his gun.

Ariel ended up in a small ranch owned by Mang Pedro (Pedro Faustino) with children, Luisa (Helen Gamboa) and Boy (Jay Ilagan). He disguised himself as Abel to avoid detection. He applied for a job and is accepted with reservation.

Things went smooth at first but get complicated when Boy discovered the gun and his real identity exposed to the family. As when Ariel decided to leave the town, Rufo and Lupo arrived.

One drizzly day--- While most people in the town were inside the church attending mass, Rufo and Lupo were having a drink inside a bar nearby. Boy, who was in the church with the family, slipped out and went to the bar. He noticed Rufo and Lupo, who were new in the town, and approached them. Lupo told Boy that Rufo was the fastest gun alive which Boy refuted. He said he had a friend who was faster than him. When Rufo asked if his friend had a gun with a name Erlinda engraved, he nodded immediately. Realizing his mistake, Boy tried to recant his statement but Rufo held him hostage. He sent Lupo to the church to announce his demand--- Ariel in exchange of Boy.

Upon hearing the demand, Luisa hurriedly left and went home to inform Ariel who was then finishing his tasks in the ranch and about to leave. Luisa told Ariel about Rufo and his demand.

Lupo, who earlier killed Mario in a gun duel after a heated argument, also had a verbal argument this time with Rufo. A gun duel ensued. A much faster Rufo gunned down Lupo. At this time, Rufo went out of the bar with Boy in tow and demanded for Ariel.

A few minutes later, Ariel arrived and engaged Rufo in a gun duel. Seconds later, Rufo was laid dead after a series of gunshots.

Hepe and his men arrived. He heard the shots and asked for the whereabouts of Ariel but the town folks were silent and mum about it. Hepe felt that there might be a compelling and valid reason why the people were trying to cover up or hide the man. Dismayed, the group left town, never to return.

Victor Bravo as Rufo, the gunslinger

Nello Nayo as Hepe, the sheriff

Fernando Poe, Jr. as Ariel/ Abel and Helen Gamboa as Luisa

Eva Montes, the storekeeper who knows Ariel's identity

As Ariel, trying his hand at target shooting

Jay Ilagan as Boy, discovers Ariel's gun

Ariel advises Boy (Jay Ilagan)

Ariel explains his side and his true identity

Boy tells Rufo and Lupo (Lito Anzures) that he knew who the fastest gun alive

The gun duel between...


and Rufo

The aftermath... Hepe arrives and receives negative results of Ariel's whereabouts.

Hepe tells the town folks including Ariel that he will be leaving town never to return.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


FPJ and Amalia Fuentes shared light moments during a party, probably shot sometime in late 1967. The two then were making a movie, "Baril at Rosaryo" shown in January 1968.