Golden girl plays ‘Henyo’

/ 07:48 PM January 02, 2012

In one corner of the Tramway function hall, beside the buffet spread, stood a long table, teeming not with holiday dishes, but with various Vilma Santos memorabilia—specifically, old long-playing albums (“Sixteen,” “Sweethearts,” “Sing, Vilma, Sing”), wedding photos, movie posters and DVDs of classic movies (“Kampanerang Kuba” and “Dyesebel”), among others.

Displayed onstage were tarpaulin posters of the Batangas governor and award-winning actress, known as the country’s Star for All Seasons.


There was very little doubt as to who was the honored guest that night.

In spite of the hectic holidays, Gov. Vi squeezed in a Christmas party for her beloved Vilmanians, under the group Vilma Santos Solid International Inc. (VSSI), a few days before Christmas in a Quezon City restaurant.


Gov. Vi recalled that it had been two years since their last get-together.

Some of her fans had traveled from as near as Pampanga to as far as New York. “VSSI is an international organization. We have members from the Middle East, Europe and North America,” Gov. Vi explained.

One of the organizers said that they try to meet every year and that the star had been throwing Christmas parties for them since the late 1970s.

“The first one was held after the Metro Manila Film Festival … when she had Lino Brocka’s ‘Rubia Servios’ as entry,” a Vilmanian recalled.

For this year, she took the opportunity to “consult” her fans on planned undertakings in 2012 as well.

She announced that, in celebration of her 50th anniversary in show business, she has several projects in the works: including a movie (“The Healing” with Kim Chiu), a TV special and a landmark book on her life and career. “I wish I could accomplish them all,” she quipped.

Gov. Vi and her fans raised funds for our countrymen displaced by Tropical Storm “Sendong” in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, too.


There were fun and games, of course, with Gov. Vi joining the “Pinoy Henyo” contest.

Throughout the evening, Gov. Vi had a blast reminiscing with the Vilmanians—some of whom have been her friends since the late 1960s when her family still lived in “La Loma, Quezon City… when I was only 14 years old.”

An organizer pointed out that VSSI counts members from as old as 82 to as young as 22.

She handed out trophies to the “hardest working Vilmanians” who made the night possible.

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