Christopher de Leon hints at having a crush on Vilma Santos in the past: ‘Tayo sana noong panahon na iyon’
It’s been years since screen veterans Vilma Santos-Recto and Christopher de Leon have worked together as a love team, but the years did not seem to dull their close bond, and the pair has not lost their touch in titillating their fans.
De Leon and Santos were a popular onscreen match-up in the 1970s up to the 2000s, where they starred in more than 20 films together. Among their most notable works include “Haplos” (1982), “Broken Marriage” (1983), “Imortal” (1989), and “Dekada ‘70” (2002), to name a few.
But for the first time, the veteran actor admitted to having special feelings for Santos in the past, as seen in a clip of “Vilma, Anim na Dekada” 60th anniversary special hosted by TV host Boy Abunda, which was uploaded on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel early Monday morning. Feb. 20.
As the veteran actors looked back on their fondest memories together, Abunda asked Santos and de Leon to improvise a scene as a way of sharing why they never ended up together despite starring as partners in several films through the years.
“Alam ko na sana tayo, pero noong mga panahon na ‘yun, maraming nanliligaw sa iyo. Naging boyfriend mo si ganito, si ganoon,” de Leon began. “Ako naman, noong libre ka na, ang girlfriend ko na si ganito. Kung sana, pareho tayong libre noon or if you were free and we’re not engaged to anybody else, siguro I think, what do you think?”
(I know that we should have ended up together. But at that time, you had a lot of suitors. You got into a relationship with different people. Whereas for me, when you were finally single, I was already in a relationship with someone else. If there ever was that chance when we were both single or if you were free, and we’re both not engaged to anybody else, then perhaps, what do you think?)
The veteran actress noted that while she and de Leon ended up with their respective partners, they will always remain as good friends. Both of them are now happily married — Santos to former senator now Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto, and de Leon to actress Sandy Andolong.
“Alam mo, ‘Yet,” Santos said, addressing de Leon with the shortened version of his nickname, Boyet. “Pana-panahon lang ‘yan. Nagkataon lang na ‘yung time when we were close, we’re very happy together. It’s just that nagkaroon lang tayo ng commitments. But I still believe that the love and respect will stay. So, let’s just wait for the right time. And I also believe in, di man siguro nagkatuluyan, there’s such thing as platonic love, diba,” Santos said.
(It was a matter of time, Yet. We were very close and very happy together. It’s just that we had our own commitments. But I still believe that the love and respect will stay. So, let’s just wait for the right time. Even if we didn’t end up together, there is such a thing as platonic love, right?)
The “Batang Quiapo” star also praised Santos’ acting prowess, as he recalled the time when they were filming for the film adaptation of “Dekada ‘70”.
“Well, she’s a better actor than I am. But the thing is, I was involved with every character she plays. I can easily adapt to it. That’s how I do it, I can adapt to whatever you want and I can be whatever the situation requires us to be. So, si Vilma especially noong ‘Dekada ‘70’, she was great. And I was not. But she was great,” he said.
Despite de Leon’s praise, the seasoned actress noted that they were very supportive of each other during filming, especially when it comes to bringing kissing and love scenes to life.
“Hindi ko magagawa ‘yung magandang scenes kung wala si Boyet doon and vice versa. Some scenes na hindi mo rin magagawa and hindi ganoon maramdaman kung hindi ako naka-suporta,” Santos said. “Sa love scene namin ni Boyet, inaalagaan namin ang isa’t isa. Kapag may lips to lips, sinisigurado naming hindi naiipit ang ilong ng isa… Sa amin ni Boyet, chinecheck pa namin ‘yung itsura para hindi kami napapango. Kahit naglo-love scene [kami], dapat maganda pa rin kaming tignan. ‘Yan siguro ang [factor] sa chemistry namin.”
(I wouldn’t have been able to do those beautiful scenes if Boyet wasn’t there, and vice versa. There were some scenes that you wouldn’t be able to do without the support of your fellow actor. Whenever Boyet and I would do love scenes, we would take care of each other. If we have to kiss, we make sure that our noses won’t be crushed together. We make it a point to monitor how we look in order for our noses to not look flat. Even when we’re doing love scenes, we have to look nice. Perhaps, that’s the factor of why our chemistry works.)
Santos also advised younger actors to support one another, especially when it comes to their behavior during filming.
“The support is there sa mga actors, kahit di lang sa amin ni Boyet (not just with Boyet and I). Actors should support each other. Wag tayong pabida kasi lahat tayo ay bida rito (Don’t get to thinking that you’re the main character because we’re all main characters here). So, when it’s [the actor’s] scene, give it to him. And support him. When it’s my scene, then support me,” she said
De Leon said that he wanted to work with Santos again in the future.
“You’ve done so much for the industry, Vi. You’ve done so much for us. You’ve been the same person ever since I met you. Kahit na naging governor or congresswoman ka or mayor ka (Even if you served as a governor, congresswoman, or mayor), and now you’re back, you’re still the same. As friendly as sunshine, and you light up everywhere you go. Keep up the good work, I hope to work with you again,” he added.
Santos is considered as one of the most widely successful actresses in the local entertainment industry — even after 60 years. She had been referred to as the Star for all Seasons in the Philippines due to her portrayal of various characters through the years.
Among the veteran actress’ most popular films include “Anak”, “Dekada ‘70”, “Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?”, “Palimos ng Pag-ibig”, “Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe”, and “Darna and the Giants”, among many others.
On the other hand, de Leon is recognized as the “King of Philippine Drama” and has appeared in a vast number of films since his acting debut. He currently stars as Ramon Montenegro in the ABS-CBN teleserye “FPJ’s Batang Quiapo”. EDV