Eddie “Manoy” Garcia, Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos still in fighting form


Since we all have an Oscars “hangover,” allow me to feature two of our own movie icons who could very well vie for an Oscar, given a chance: Vilma Santos and Eddie Garcia.

Ate Vi shares her thoughts on her foray into indie films via “Ekstra,” where she portrays a bit player. Tito Eddie (or Manoy) is ecstatic about his best actor nomination for “Bwakaw” at the Asian Film Awards to be held in Hong Kong on March 18.

Both can sit on their laurels but here they are, still in fighting form. Thank heavens for actors like them!

Ate Vi’s tribute

What did you learn about bit players while shooting “Ekstra”?

How hard it is for them… they are always last priority, especially those that are in “class B and C”— part of the crowd or passersby. Sometimes they stand in as doubles for the lead stars. No movie can be made without extras. They shouldn’t be taken for granted. We all start somewhere and work our way up. This movie is my tribute to bit players who have supported me in all my movies.

Any memorable moments with the extras you’ve worked with?

Oh, they love picture-taking! Sometimes they get so excited and forget that the scene is not yet finished, so they are reprimanded. Sometimes the food on the set is not enough so they don’t get to eat. I always made sure to have my staff buy food for them.

What’s your advice to bit players who yearn to make it big someday?

Never stop dreaming. Do your job well and be professional. Many big stars started with bit roles. Everyone has a fair chance. Persevere until Lady Luck smiles on you.

Are there plans to send “Ekstra” to international fests?

I don’t want to focus on competition. I just wanted to experience doing an indie film. I was always intrigued by how [indie filmmakers] did it in such a short span of time and with a limited budget—yet they have [scored] such big contributions to the artistic side of local filmmaking. In my own little way, I’d like to contribute to the indie world… even if it’s tiring and ngarag (hectic) mode ako shooting for 17 hours every day. It’s not easy dividing my time. Of course, my priority is my duty as a public servant in Batangas.

Manoy’s view

What’s more important—an acting award or box office success?

Box office success. It will encourage the producers to keep making movies. That keeps the industry alive. Although awards also matter, it’s not enough to sustain the industry. Both are rewarding in different ways.

Why do you think “Bwakaw” clicked abroad?

It’s a simple, well-written story, well-photographed and well-directed. It hits the right spot in your heart. It carries a universal message: love.

Do you ever plan to retire from show biz?

As long as I feel needed and wanted, I’ll keep acting. It’s my job and it’s an honest way to make a living.

Manila visit

Actress Troian Bellisario, a.k.a.  Spencer Hastings of “Pretty Little Liars,” will arrive in Manila on Wednesday. She’s the third actress from the hit TV series to visit the country.

Big surprises are in store for the show’s third season finale on March 23, 8 p.m. on ETC.

Things come to a fiery end, where much-awaited answers will be revealed and a new mystery unfolds. The show airs Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • trotskyshound

    That’s cute Dolly Anne I’m sure Vilma Santos is a very good Actress but the Academy award is a very distinguished and prestigious award giving body most of the actors they voted are established performers and has a long record behind them,that they knew off. having Vilma Santos as a nominee is like making Quavenzane   Wallis the 9 year old actress of Beast Wild win the Best actress category. Let’s be fair and realistic: Nora Aunor on the other hand might have a chance after all she won an award already in the CNN for her outstanding performance in Himala  she bested other asian actress for it.  If Vilma Santos can  convincingly portray characters that Nora Aunor  played much better than Ate Guy herself then we’ll talk. 

  • Jluvra

    Ms Vilma Santos is truly world class. She won in different international film festivals. She won in 21st Festival Internationale Du Film Independant in Brussels, Belgium. She was unanimously voted as Best Actress for the movie “Bata, Bata.. Paano ka Ginawa?” The movie also won the Best Director award for Mr. Chito Rono. The film “Bata, Bata.. Paano ka Ginawa?” was also given a Special Jury Award for Women’s Awareness at the Asia Pacific Film Festival held in Bangkok.  At the 5th CineManila International Film Festival, Ms. Vilma Santos won Best Actress Award for her film “Dekada’70”. The film was also given the NETPAC Special Jury Award.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos