FAP Website trivia master Tante de Ramos writes about the actresses who glittered during the pre-war years of the 1930 and 1940s. Herein are 29 actresses listed alphabetically:
Alma Bella – She starred in Punyal na Ginto, one of the earliest talkie in the then fledgling Philippine cinema.
Norma Blancaflor – The country’s best actress awardee in 1940 for the film Dalaga, Isang Ngiti Mo Lamang with co-starred her with Ely Ramos.She also appeared in Binibini ng Palengke, Hatinggabi, Sa Dating Pugad and Bawal na Pag-ibig. In Binibiro Lamang Kita produced by Philippine Films and directed by Carlos Vander Tolosa, she again co-starred with Ely Ramos with a supporting cast othat included Narding Anzures, Lilian Velez, Nati Rubi, Florentino Ballacer, Pugo and Togo. In 1948, she appeared in Huling Dalangin for LVN Pictures Inc. She was one of the veteran actresses who were conferred the Walas Kupas award in 1982.
Elizabeth ‘Dimples’ Cooper – Famous for appearing in one of the first kissing scenes in Philippine cinema (with partner Luis Tuason in the film Ang Tatlong Hambog, produced by Jose Nepomuceno), Ms. Cooper starred in the silent movie Miracles of Love which was produced and directed by Vicente Salumbides, also her co-star in the film.
Naty Fernandez – She made Lilies of Benguet with co-stars Carlos Padilla Sr., Gregorio Fernandez, Salvador Tinsay, Nora Linda and Salud del Valle. The movie, produced by Malayan Pictures, was entirely shot in Baguio, the country’s summer capital. She also starred In The Miracle of the Virgin of Antipolo with Hector Nieto and Nena Warsan for Jose Nepomuceno.
Lina Flor – A radio-talent-turned-movie-actress, she starred in Kundiman ng Puso with Rudy Concepcion and Francisco Monroy, under the direction of Eduardo de Castro. The film was produced by Philippine Films.
Adela Flumkers – She starred in Diwata ng Karagatan, starring opposite Mari Velezano and the legendary Rogelio dela Rosa. The film was directed by Carlos Vander Tolosa for Parlatone Hispano-Filipino.
Arsenia Francisco – Known as the better half of Jose Padilla Jr., Ms. Francisco starred the the following films–Azucena, Ave Maria, Sa Oras ng Kasal, Pangako na Puso and Sa Hirap at Ginhawa. Her loveteam partner was no other than her real life partner Jose Padilla Jr. Her other films included the swashbuckling movie Guerrero (directed by Teodorico C. santos for Premiere Productions) with Johnny Montelro in the title role. The cast also included Eddie del Mar (who will portray the role of Jose Rizal later on) , Edna Luna, Ramon D’Salva, Ruben Rustia, Nello Nayo, Purita Alma and Vicente Liwanag.
Rebecca Gonzales- Another Walang Kupas awardee in 1983, Ms. Gonzales appeared in such films as Pista ng Nayon (with Jose Padilla Jr, Tessie Quintana and Victor Sevilla under the direction of Manuel Silos); Mutya ng Pasig; Waling Waling (with Jaime dela Rosa as her leading man); and Gitano (with Jaime dela Rosa again and Delia Razon under the direction of Manuel Silos again). All these films were produced by LVN Pictures,Inc.
Lucita Goyena –Her first film in 1937, Teniente Rosario, starred her with Rogelio dela Rosario. She also appeared in Leron-Leron Sinta and Dalagang Pilipina. In the film Punit na Bandila (1940), she co-starred with Fernando Poe Sr. Because of the film, she was Movie Queen while FPS was proclaimed Movie King. She also appeared in Pugad ng Agila, Palaboy ng Diyos, Duyan ng Magma-mahal, Alaalang Banal, Tinik ng Isang Bulalak, Alipin ng Alila, Vida Alegre and Biyak na Bato. She was also a Walang Kupas awardee in 1982.
Hanasan –This one-name actress was in real life Aurelia Hallado, a vodabil and stage actress who performed at the Savoy and the Manila Grand Opera House with Atang dela Rama. She appeared in the comedy movie Ang Landas ng Kayamanan with Enrique Davila, Atang dela Rama and Vicente Ocampo.
Amparo Karagdag – She debuted in Angel ng Tukso opposite Carlos Padilla Sr. and Nemesio Caravana, a poet-novelist-journalist-actor who appeared in a lot of swashbuckling films which mostly starred by Efren Reyes Sr. and Johnny Monteiro. Angel ng Tukso was produced and directed by Vicente Salumbides who took specialization courses in acting and directing in the United States.
Mona Liza – Originally known as Flor de Lis, Mona Liza appeared in the 1938 film Bahay Kubo with Fely Vallejo, Rogelio dela Rosa and Ernesto Vallejo. She also made Giliw Ko (1939) with Mila del Sol, Fernando Poe Sr., and Ely Ramos.
Luningning – She appeared in the films Ang Hinapon (produced by Parlatone Hispano-Filipino). Bayan at Pag-ibig (produced by Excelsior Productions) and Punit na Bandila (produced by Exotic Films where she co-starred with Fernando Poe, Sr..and Lucita Goyena). Her other films included Ang Lilim ng Lumang Simbahan, Siyudad sa Ilalim ng Lupa, Prinsipe Paris and Ang Kaban ng Tipan.
Ester Magalona – She first appeared in the film Ibong Adarna (1941) with co-stars Fred Cortes Sr., Mila del Sol, Vicente Oliver, Deanna Prieto and Ben Rubio. This was directed by Vicente Salumides for LVN PIctures. She also made Doon Po sa Amin(1946)—the initial presentation of Mabuhay Pictures under the direction of Manuel Conde—wiyh Carlos Padilla, Sr., Elvira Reyes and Leopoldo Salcedo She also appeared in Kayumanggi with Leopoldo Salcedo and Nora Madrid as produced by Premiere Productions,Inc, and directed by Pol Salcedo.
Rosario Moreno – She first appeared Diwata ng Karagatan which was produced by Parlatone Hispano-Filipino. This was followed by Luha ng Ina with Carlos Padilla. Other Parlatone Hispano-Filipino films starring her included Paanan ng Krus and Pusong Dakila. At Sampaquita Pictures, she made Inang Mahal, Alipin ng Palad and Mapait na Lihim (with Rudy Concepcion). She also starred in Dating Sumpaan and Mahal Pa Rin Kita for Excelsior Pictures. She married actor Fernando Royo.
Corazon Noble – Known as the mother of Jay Ilagan, Ms. Noble appeared in Kahapon Lamang, Mariposa and Estrelita with leading man Angee Emeralda, her reel and real life partner. She was the elder sister of another movie star at LVN Pictures, Carmencita Abad.
Elsa Oria – An actress-singer of the pre-war years, Ms. Oria starred in Madaling Araw and Bituing Marikit. Both films were later remade. Her perennial leading man was Ely Ramos.
Rosario Panganiban – A beauty queen, she appeared in The Soul Saver with Vicente Salumbides who later became her husband. The Soul saver was directed by her leading man for his own Salumbides films.
Paraluman – Active until the late 1950s, Paraluman appeared in such movie as Flores de Mayo in a supporting role opposite Fernando Poe, Sr. She also appeared in Huling Dalangin for Sampaguita Pictures. Her other films included Veronica, Baby Face and Lydia. Tweo generations of actresses followed her footsteps—her daughter Baby O’Brien and grand daughter Rina Reyes.
Deanna Prieto – She starred in Ibong Adarna (1941) with Mila del Sol, Fred Cortez Sr., Ester Magalona, Vicente Oliver and Ben Rubio. It was directed by Vicente Salumbides for LVN Pictures, Inc.
Atang Dela Rama – The original Queen of Kundiman, she appeared in Dalagang Bukid, a silent movie which was produced by Jose Nepomuceno who is acknowledged as the Father of Filipino Movies. She was also a stage performer in zarzuelas because of her good singing voice. After a long respite, she starred in Ang Landas ng Kayamanan with Vicente Ocampo and Hanasan. She also starred also in Mahiwagang Binibini where Carmen Rosales was introduced by Diwata Films. She also appeared in Mga Batong Buhay (with Leopoldo Salcedo and Paraluman), Siga-siga (in a mother role) and Ang Buhay at Pag-ibig ni Dr. Jose Rizal where she played the role of the mother of the national hero. She was made a National Artist for her cultural achievements and a Walang Kupas awardee in 1982.
Rita Rica – She appeared in the film Himala ni Bathala with Mary Walter, Gregorio Ticman and Pedro Faustino under the direction of Eduardo de Castro.
Her other film was Hagase Tu Voluntad with Norma del Rosario, Juanita Angeles and Domingo Prinsipe which was directed by Agapito Conchu for Philippine Films.
Rosita Rivera – Shortly before the War broke out, Ms. Rivera starred in several films that included Makiling, Namumukod na Bituin, Kalbaryo ng Isang Ina, Monghita, Ikaw ang Dahilan, Ang Magmamani and Bago Lumubog ang Araw. In the film Ilaw ng Langit, she co-starred with Jose Padilla Jr. She even made a comeback in the 1950s in Sapagka’t Mahal Kita where she again teamed up with Jose Padilla Jr. and a supporting cast that included Tessie Santos, Manuel Barbeyto, Consuelo P. Osorio, Metring David, Antonia Santos, Lirio Yabut and Ed Regal. It was directed by Consuelo P. Osorio for Fremol Pictures and was released through Deegar Cinema, Inc. Dina Bonnevie is her granddaughter.
Carmen Rosales – One of the greatest superstars of Philippine cinema, she was the other half of the greatest loveteams that ever graced Philippine screens. Her equally great loveteam partner was Rogelio dela Rosa. They co-starred in such films as Colegiala, Lambingan, Senorita, Tampuhan, Panambitan, Ang Tangi kong Pag-ibig, Lydia, Takipsilim and Diwa ng Awit. Her other films included inspirasyon (with Norma Vales, Van de Leon, Katy dela Cruz and Ric Rodrigo who was introduced), Si Si Senorito (with Oscar Moreno and Fred Montilla) and MN (with Cesar Ramirez, Alicia Vergel and Oscar Moreno). All three films were produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc. She was proclaimed Miss Radio of 1938. In 1939, she made films for Excelsior Productions like Arimunding-Munding She also made Gerilyera (with Celso Baltazar). During the war, she even shot a movie for the Japanese, Tatlong Maria. National Artist for Film Eddie Romero directed her in Hindi Kita Malimot and Kaaway ng Bayan with Leopoldo Salcedo as her co-star. She also made such outstanding films like Maalala Mo Kaya?, Kampanang Ginto, Camella and Batalyon Trece (with Jaime Dela Rosa). She teamed up with Ely Ramos in Palikero in 1941 and Selosa in 1948. She also co-starred with Jose Padilla Jr. in Sipag at Yaman and Probinsiyana for Premiere Productions, Inc. She was a Walang Kupas awardee in 1982.
Rosa Del Rosario – She first appeared in the silent movie Ligaw na Bulaklak. She formed a loveteam with Leopoldo Salcedo and they made such films as Biyaya ni Bathala, Kalapating Puti, Ligaw na Bituin, Ang Kumpisalan at Ang Batas, Dalagang Silangan, Neneng Ko, Walang Sugat, Magpakailanman, Tandang Sora, Kundiman ng Luha and Panata ng Puso. She co-starrewd with Regelio dela Rosa in Bulaklak at Paruparo for Premiere Productions, Inc. She also starred in Ilang-Ilang for LVN Pictures, Inc. in 1941. She was the first actress to portray the role of Darna with Cristina Arayon as Valentina, (the snake woman) under the direction of Fernando Poe Sr.. Her second Darna film was Darna At ang Babaing Lawin with Elvira Reyes (as the hawk woman) uinder the direction of Carlos Vander Tolosa. The films were both produced by Royal Productions of Fernando Poe Sr.. She also appeared in foreign films like An American Guerilla in the Philippines, Anna and the King of Siam and Border Bandit. She was also acknowledged as the Queen of the Philippine Movies.. In 1980, she was conferred the Walang Kupas award. Her other films included Lantang Bulaklak (with Rogelio dela Rosa), Zamboanga (with Fernando Poe Sr.),Ang Birheng Walang Dambana, Dr. Kuba and Walang Sugat.
Consuelo Salazar – A natural soprano, she made Ang Maya, the initial presentation of Excelsior Film.
Mila del Sol – In 1939, she appeared in Ang Giliw Ko opposite Fernando Poe Sr., Ely Ramos and Fleur de Lis (Mona Liza). She also appeared in the 1941 version of Ibong Adarna with Fred Cortez Sr., Ester Magalona, Vicente Oliver, Deanna Prieto and Ben Rubio under the direction of Vicente Salumbides. She also made Sawing Gantimpala (1940). All these films were produced by LVN Pictures, Inc. She was a Walang Kupas awardee in 1982.
Fely Vallejo – Another actress who could sing, she appeared in Bahay Kubo with Rogelio dela Rosa, Fleur de Lis (Mona Lisa) and Ernesto Vallejo (her real-life brother) under the direction of National Artist for Film Gerardo de Leon for Parlatone Hispano-Filipino. She also appeared in Ay,Ay Kalisud where she also sang.
Mary Walter – She was busiest as a lead actress of silent pictures which included Don Juan Tinoso, Ang Lumang Simbahan, Dimasalang and Ang Gayuma with Gregorio Fernandez as her loveteam partner. Gregorio Fernandez (father of Merle fertnandez and Rudy Fernandez) later became a prolific director for LVN PIctures. Up to the 1960s, she was still appearing in grandmother or mother roles or family matriarch. She was a 1982 Walang Kupas awardee.
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