Classic Filipino songs and films have co-existed through so many decades, even at the advent of filmmaking in the Philippines. Films have been inspired by or based on classic songs or current pop hits. Singers, especially the female ones, have become superstars, like Nora Aunor, Sharon Cuneta, Regine Velasquez and now, Sarah Geronimo. Movie trivia expert Tante de Ramos listed down below the many songs that became film hits through the years.
Ang Maya – This film was inspired by the song composed by Jose Estela of the same title. It was the initial presentation of Excelsior Films in 1938. It starred Consuelo Salazar who portrayed the role of a poor lass who loves music. Salazar was a coloratura soprano.
Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig – The soprano who sang this classic song was none other than the great Carmen Rosales, the perennial love team of Rogelio de la Rosa. The two starred in this 1955 Sampaguita Pictures film.
Arimunding – Munding – Carmen Rosales also sang this classic song composed by Constancio de Guzman. This was her first big break. She was chosen by Director Tor Villano to appear in this Excelsior Films movie. Her real name was Januaria C. Keller.
Awit ng Mangingisda – Produced in 1951, this film starred Annie Sales, dubbed as the Jane Powell of the Philippines.
Ay, Ay, Kalisud – This film based on a song composed by Francisco Santiago starred Fely Vallejo, a high caliber cinematic singer. Stage great Atang de la Rama also appeared in this film.
Bahay Kubo – The first Filipino film based on this popular song was directed by National Artist for Film Gerardo de Leon in 1938 for Parlatone Hispano-Pilipino. It starred Fely Vallejo as a poor girl who became a successful opera singer. Rogelio de la Rosa was the leading man. Fely’s brother, Ernesto Vallejo, portrayed the role of a violinist whose film love team was Fleur de Lis (or Mona Lisa).
Bituing Marikit – This film inspired by the immortal song composed by the great Nicanor Abelardo starred Elsa Oria (the Jeanette McDonald of the Philippines) who was then dubbed as the singing sweetheart of local films. Her co-star was Ely Ramos (then known as the Nelson Eddy of the Philippines). This film was produced in 1937.
Dalagang Bukid – This first film produced by Malayan Movies was a silent film starring the then Queen of Kundiman and National Artist Atang de la Rama. Shesang Nabasag ang Banga whi was composed by Leon Ignacio. Her leading man was Marceliano Ilagan. It was produced in 1919 and was directed and produced by Jose Nepomuceno, acknowledged as the father of Filipino Movies. Atang was the wife of Amado V. Hernandez, a journalist, poet and novelist.
Ibigin Mo Ay Pangit – This film starred rapper Andrew E. who made this popular rap song. The musical comedy film also starred a bevy of sexy starlets for Viva Films.
Kundiman – The great Fely Vallejo starred in this film which was produced in 1941.
Kung Kita’y Kapiling- This 1941, inspired by another song of Constancio de Guzman starred Arsenia Francisco.
Lady Be Good – This film was directed by Federico Elizalde in 1954 for Deegar Cinema. It starred soprano Letty Liboon who also sang the theme song. Tenor Rene Antonio was her leading man. The film also featured the Manila Little Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and two ballet ensembles. The movie was under the direction of Federico Elizalde done in 1954 for Deegar Cinema producer.
Maalaala Mo Kaya – Another film based on an immoral Filipino song by Constancio de Guzman, this one starred the tandem of Carmen Rosales and Rogelio de la Rosa. This drama musical film was produced by LVN Pictures in 1954. A remake starring Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III was produced in 1973.
Madaling Araw – Based on a song composed by Francisco Santiago, this film again starred singing sweethearts Elsa Oria and Ely Ramos. This was produced in 1938. A remake was also produced by Sampaguita Pictures years later.
Mahiwagang Binibini – This 1938 film featured the two songs Tayo’y Magsayaw Kalikasan and Aping-Api which were sung by Atang de la Rama. The cast also included Precioso Palma and Carmen Rosales who was introduced here as the year’s Bb. Radio winner. A sequel. Ang Kiri, was made in 1939 by Diwata Films which featured a song composed by Leon Ignacio.
Mamang Sorbetero – Celeste Legaspi sang the film’s title and theme song in this film which also starred President Joseph Estrada. It was produced by JE Productions.
Mutya ng Pasig – Another immortal Filipino song of Nicanor Abelardo inspired this film which starred Rebecca Gonzales and Jose Padilla Jr. It was produced in 1950 by LVN Pictures, Inc. A remake starred Geneva Cruz and Raymart Santiago. as her leading man.
Nasaan Ka Irog -Another Nicanor Abelardo song inspird this film which starred Elsa Oria in her very first lead role. This was produced in 1937. A remake starred Letty Liboon, a soprano, and Mario Montenegro who portrayed a pianist and Val Castelo who played the role of a guitarist. It was directed by Jose Climaco for LVN Pictures in 1957.
Now and Forever – This 1953 film starred the first ever Miss Universe, Armi Kuusela. Who also sang the song Minamahal Kita and danced the Tango Universe with Virgilio Hilario who be ame her husband. It was produced by Deegar Cinema. A 1973 remake starred Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz.
Pandanggo ni Neneng – This film starred Olivia Cenizal who sang this immortal song. It was produced by Premiere Productions, Inc. in 1955. Olivia She was the wife of composer Josefino Cenizal.
Paru-Parong Bukid – This 1938 film starred Elsa Oria.
Prima Donna – Produced in 1947 by Arvi Pictures, this film starred opera singer Jovita Fuentes.
Sa Kabukiran – This 1947 film starred Lilian Velez who sang the immortal composition of her father Manuel Velez. Her leading man was Narding Anzures. The film was produced by LVN Pictures.
Song of Santo Tomas –This film which was shot in 1950 at the Univesity of santo tomas campus starred Fara Lizardo, a coloratura soprano. It was produced by Lebran Productions. Her co-star was Ricardo Mentes who later became popularly known as Ric Rodrigo.
Takipsilim – Another Constancio de Guzman song inspired this movie which again starred Carmen Rosales and Rogelio de la Rosa. This box-office hit was produced in 1939 by Sampaguita Pictures.
The Pirates Go To Town – This film starred Lirio del Valle andFederico del Puerto who was dubbed as the Errol Flynn of the Philippines.
The Pledge Of Love – This 1970 film starred Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz who sang a duet for the title song. It was produced by Sampaguita Pictures.
Together Again – Another Sampaguita musical, this film starred Tirso Cruz III and Nora Aunor.
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