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Vilma Santos makes Cinemalaya debut

It’s the star for all season’s first indie film


STAR of “Extra” meets with director Jeffrey Jeturian to discuss ground rules.

“I am so scared,” actress and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos whispered to executive producer Joji Alonso and director Jeffrey Jeturian at the end of her first day of work for the Cinemalaya entry, “Extra,” on Thursday.

Santos had just attended a production meeting with the film’s cast and crew and finished a camera test.

During the production meeting, Santos candidly asked for the cast and crew’s help. “I will be feeling my way around in the first few days. Please guide me. I need to familiarize myself with the indie way of filmmaking.”

Although she was nervous, Santos asserted that she was giddy with excitement as well. “In anything in life, you have to take risks. You need to keep challenging yourself.”

Ground rules

Alonso decided to hold a getting-to-know-you session with the entire cast, to set a few ground rules.

The No. 1 rule in the executive producer’s list? In true indie fashion, the “star for all seasons” should not be treated like a star on the set.

“She is not supposed to stand out. She needs to blend with the rest of the crowd,” Alonso explained.

Since she is playing an every woman in the film, co-actors should try not to get star-struck, too.

For her part, Santos was willing to look deglamorized for the part, Jeturian pointed out.

“She won’t wear as much makeup, unlike in her mainstream films. She is ready for a more natural style of acting, too,” said Alonso.

Certified Vilmanians

In spite of the uncertainty, Santos need not fret because Alonso and Jeturian are self-confessed Vilmanians.

Alonso said: “Jeffrey and I have always been her admirers. She has played so many roles and has delivered outstanding performances. But we both feel there’s still so much we can squeeze from her.”

EXECUTIVE producer Joji Alonso (left) has cast the star for all seasons as a movie bit player.

They’ve been presenting projects to Santos for the past three years, Alonso admitted. “Finally we found the right script for her with the help of our producer Ferdy Lapus.”

Santos so loved the script that she waived her talent fee for the film.

“When I was young, I used to cut classes in San Beda to watch her movies in (nearby theater) Cinerama,” Jeturian said.

When he became a production assistant, Jeturian worked with Santos in Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s “Alyas Baby Tsina” in 1984. Three years later, he was in charge of script continuity in Eddie Garcia’s “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-Ibig?”


“Working with her, I realized just how sincere she is,” Jeturian said. “Whenever we would see each other at awards shows, she would remind me about our plan to work together.”

Santos was quick to point out that she wasn’t going indie simply because it’s a raging trend in the movie industry.

“I’m not doing this for other people … I’m going indie for myself. For self-fulfillment,” Santos said.

Bit player

In the movie, Santos will portray the titular bit player. “I’ve never experienced being an extra. In my first movie, ‘Trudis Liit,’ I was already cast as the lead. I’ve always wondered what’s it like to be an ordinary movie worker.”

As a child actress, she remembered being awed with the glamorous stars of Sampaguita Pictures.

“My sister and I would sit on the sidewalk and watch as the actors entered the Sampaguita compound. The most beautiful star for me then was Gina Pareño,” Santos recounted.

It was serendipitous that she mentioned Pareño’s name.

Jeturian and Alonso were responsible for Pareño’s indie breakout movie, “Kubrador,” which won a slew of awards here and abroad.

“I bought a copy of ‘Kubador’ and it was an original DVD ha,” Santos quipped. “I always wanted to know how indie films are made. It looked as if the actor walked for 24 hours in those long takes. Lakad nang lakad (They kept walking and walking).”

Big crew

Upon seeing the “Extra’s” big crew, Santos likewise expressed surprise: “I didn’t know that there were a lot of people in the staff of an indie film. I thought there were only five people on the set.”

The team, which also includes executive producer JV Tence, hopes to finish the film by March, long before the election fever heats up in Batangas, where Santos is running for reelection as governor.

“I’ve already told Atty. Joji and Direk Jeffrey that the province is my priority. If there’s an emergency, I may need to rush back to the provincial capitol,” she said.

But surely they could shoot near her office? “One scene can be set in a sugarcane field in Batangas. I know the perfect location for it,” she remarked.

Looks like she could act as location manager for this movie, too.


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Tags: Cinemalaya , Entertainment , Indie Films , Vilma Santos

  • regd

    The people she claimed to serve must be very proud of her spending almost her entire time acting!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronualdo-Gabaldon/100003280987870 Ronualdo Gabaldon

      Entire time? You must be kidding?

      • regd

        Yup, even in her sleep!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronualdo-Gabaldon/100003280987870 Ronualdo Gabaldon

    Hwag naman nating ipagkait sa isang magaling na artista ang magbigay ng kaligayahan sa kanyang mga tagahanga. Ano lang ba naman ang 10 days shooting ng pelikulang ito? Besides, marami naman na siyang sakripisyong ginawa para sa kanyang nasasakupan kapalit ng kanyang pag-aartista. Hindi pabayang public official si Governor Vilma at iyon ang maipagmamalaki natin sa kanya.

    • billbeneco

       huwag mo nila-lang ang 10 days….dapat ayusin niya schedule niya para hindi maapektuhan ang trabaho niya bilang gobernador…..proper scheduling lang yan.

  • billbeneco

    dapat ang shooting lang niya ay gabi at weekend para hindi mapabayaan ang kanyang tungkulin bilang gobernador…..at hello, ang kinakatakot ni tita vilma ay iyong wala siyang make up na humarap sa kamera…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7SFPQFWHHEAJ4IZKPD7OYJXVM Jabba

    Ito ang nakukuha natin sa pagboto sa mga artistang walang alam. Alam naman ng buong batangas na si recto ang nagpapatakbo hindi si viilma kaya ok lang na gumawa ng basurang pelikula in 10 days. Batagueno ako at nahihiya ako na ibinoto ng mga bobong kabayan ko ang walang pinag aralan na artistang ito. Pinagsasamantalahan sya ng mga kurakot nyang alipores sa kapitolyo na mga bata ni ralph santos.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LRMRM4IOT7EI55GGFN7DX4Q4O4 Andrealinda

      Bakit lahat ba ng politician nagugurakot magingat ka sa pagsasalita mo Hindi mo alam ang sinasabi mo, noranian ka Siguro kaya ganyan ka magsalita, that is not nice.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/BC2ZEPIUP7HA7K2MS4QABNLV3Q Octavia

        O wag mo nang kaladkarin pa pangalan ni nora, stick ka na lang sa isyu na binabato ng mga taga tanauan batangas sa idol mo. Sagutin mo at ipagtanggol si vilma ng hindi gagamit sa mga taong walang kinalaman sa isyu

      • batangsulpok

        Kailan ka pa ba ipinanganak?  Maaaring anak ka rin ng isang kurakot kaya on denial ka kasi kitang-kita ang pagnanakaw ng mga pulitiko sa kaban ng bayan pero maraming katulad mo ang bulag o nagbubulag-bulagan dahil nakikinabang din.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mauro.santos.5496 Mauro Santos

         puro “Noranian” ang inaakusa mo sa mga di gusto palakad ni Vilma.  Baka ikaw ang Vilmanian lang kaya akala mo showbiz lang ang pagiging governador!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JQZQEJUYXLJW5Z4Y2F65AA7RQE Francisco

    Hehehe Governor ng Batangas ayaw patalo kay Nora, daming problema na nga ang batangas gusto pa magshowbiz daming kwarta mahahakot diyan sa puesto niya, tanga lang ang hindi magsasabi na hindi siya kumikita sa puesto niya as Gov. Hehe bigay muna kay Nora yan showbiz at kay vilma bigay mo oras mo sa batangas. Pili ka showbiz o batangas?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LRMRM4IOT7EI55GGFN7DX4Q4O4 Andrealinda

      Noranian ka ano, tigilan na iyang awayan wala kayong mapapala diyan, if you have nothing nice to say just keep quiet and move on.

      • batangsulpok

        Nagsasabi lang ng tutuo si Francisco, dapat ang intindihin ni Vilma ay Batangas na maraming problema sa droga at jueteng, kaya nga siya nag-Governor ay para magsilbi sa probinsiya, hindi para mag-showbiz.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mauro.santos.5496 Mauro Santos

         and why should we keep quiet ANDREALINDA? ang mga ordinaryong tao na nagtratrabaho, kulang na kulang ang panahon, pero siya gusto pang umariba sa pag aartista porke bumalik si nora.  this is not about nora, this is about dedication as governor.  Dami mong oras para mag showbiz? maayos na maayos na ba ang batangas? try niya kayang lumabas ng opisina nya…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

         talaga? mag send ka nga ng proof na napabayaan ni Vilma trabaho niya?

  • tra6Gpeche

    Isa baga ito sa mga dahilan kung kaya maraming kabataan sa aming baryo sa Tanauan  ang lantarang nagbibili at gumagamit ng iligal na droga at ang dahilan ng ilang nakawan? Kaawa-awa naman ang aming bayan at napapabayaan. Sa panahon ngayon ay mas kailangan ang seriosyo, masipag at tunay na malasakit ng isang Gobernador sa kanyang Probinsya dahil sa pesteng iligal na droga at sa mga baril na nagkalat. Nuong panahon ni Mr. Feleciano Leviste ay hindi uso ang iligal na droga at puedeng magtamad-tamaran. Ngayon kailangan ang paglilingkod ng beinte kuwatro oras araw-araw!

    • batangsulpok

      Kabayan, ang dapat sisihin ay ang mga kababayan nating mga BOBOTANTE dahil ibinoto si Vilma dahil sikat na artista, keso naging Mayor ng Lipa pero may nagagawa ba siya?  Mahusay lang si Vilma sa showbiz pero nakita ba siya na nagpupunta sa buong Batangas para makita ang problema, siguro hindi dahil gusto laging nasa air-con o nagpupunta man kung imbitado ng malalakas sa kaniya?  Sa atin sa buong Tanauan ay alam ng mga local officials ang droga at jueteng pero tahimik din sila, parang si Vilma, dahil nakikinabang kaya kung gustong mabago ng mga Batangueno ang Batangas, dapat ang iboto ay yun mga taong magseserbisyo sa kanila, hindi sa sarili para magpayaman.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

       Talaga? Bat di mo yan isumbong sa NBI ng ma raid? Kung may pruweba ka ilabas mo. hindi yung dito ka post ng post!

      • tra6Gpeche

        Kabayan, pakisumbong mo na lang at sabihin mong sabi ni tra6Gpeche. Sabihin mo ay mag pasyal-pasyal si Ms Vilma Santos sa mga baryo ng Tanauan. Katungkulan niyang alagaan ang mga kabataan at kaligtasan ng mga mamamayan tulad ng pag-aalaga niya kay Luis at sa isa pa niyang anak na di ko alam ang pangalan.Sinusuwelduhan siya ng mga taga Batangan. At saka nga pala, pati na jueteng ay hindi niya pinapansin.Takot ba si Ms Vilma Santos? O, nalalagyan siya? Subalit hindi lang siya ang sinisisi ko. Ang malaking sisi ay sa mga walang isip na Batanguenyong bumoto sa isang Gobernador na tulad ni Ms Vilma Santos na tamad, walang pakialam sa mga kabataan sa Tanauan, nagpapaganda lang, walang interes na bumuti ang buhay ng mga tao at takot lumaban at sugpuin ang droga at jueteng sa Tanauan. Basahin mo rin ang isinulat ni batangsulpok. Anong pruweba ang kailangan? Ang kailangan ay ang pumunta siya sa Tanauan at maglakad siya sa mga nayon-nayon upang makita niya ang nangyayari. Kailangan ding magtanong-tanong siya sa mga bahay-bahay. Tungkulin niya ito! Nagkakaintindihan ba tayo Manuel?

  • julymorning


    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

       O ikaw ang bobo? maglabas ng pruweba hindi yang post ka ng post ng wala ka naman pruweba? Sige maglabas ka maghintay kami.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

    Eat your heart out! Mga bitter. Mag labas kayo ng pruweba hindi yang puro satsat! Kabahan na kayo!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

     don’t spend so much time with this person Ronualdo! This is a concrete example of Adikians who are still leaving in the 19th century. Naka drugs ka?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EHSCV7QYOLHTHLWOX3ENSY3ZHM Manuel

    Magreklamo kayo! magrally kayo nobody is stopping you to do it? Show proof puro kayo dakdak na nangurakot! Hello maglabas kayo ng proof. Ibig lang sabihin na mas maraming matatalino na bumoto kay Vilma sa Batangas. 

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