Apr 16
REMEMBERING PARALUMAN by Tante de Ramos  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Apr 16, 2010

Paraluman—or Sigrid Von Giese in real life—was born on December 14, 1923. Her parents were Luther Von Geise, a German architect and Tecla de Torres of Tayabas, Quezon.

Coming of age in the late 1930s, Sigrid blossomed as a beauty when film producers were on the hunt for new faces, specially mestiza-beauty type who were almost always convent-bred students. It was really a time when producers were on the brink of discovering new talents with exceptional charms.

Sigrid was one of the girls who were offered a one-year build-up contract by Filipino Films. She quit her high school studies at the Assumption Convent and literally entered showbiz at the age of seventeen in 1940. She first appeared in a supporting role in the film Flores de Mayo. She was initially given the screenname of Mina de Gracia. She also appeared in Dalaga and Huling Habilin, both of which starred Rosa del Rosario and Leopoldo Salcedo and Hatinggabi.

When she appeared in Paraluman with Fernando Poe, Sr., her screen name adopted the film’s title as her one-word identity as actress. In 1944 as the Japanese Occupation was about to end, she married Yoshifume Abe, a Japanese army officer in Manila. She had a daughter, baby, but her marriage hit the rocks and ended in divorce. Her second husband was Tony O’ Brien, an American pilot.

When the war ended, Paraluman was offered a contract by Sampaguita Pictures. In 194, she made La Paloma with Fred Montilla as his leading man. Their co-stars included Lilian Leonardo, Eddie Magat (who later renamed Eddie del Mar), Jose Cris Sotto, Vicente Liwanag, Rico Romero and Rafael Jimenez. The film was directed by Tor Villano.

In 1949, she appeared in Sa Kabilang Buhay opposite Oscar Moreno; in Lydia 1956 where she co-starred with Carmen Rosales and Rogelio dela Rosa while Amalia Fuentes and Juancho Gutierrez (who won the Miss Number 1 and Mr. Number 1 contests) were introduced. The film was directed by Armando Garces.

Paraluman in Anino ni Bathala with Ric Rodrigo and Marlene Dauden, a Pablo Gomez story directed by Conrado Conde

Other films included Taga sa Bato (1955) with co-stars Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales, Van de Leon and Eddie Garcia, based on a komiks novel of Francisco Conching serialized in Espesyal Komiks, Veronica (1957) with Rogelio de la Rosa and Anino ni Bathala (1958), a love triangle story between two sisters and one man, starring Ric Rodrigo and Marlene Dauden written by Pablo S. Gomez and directed by Conrado Conde.

She won the 1957 FAMAS best actress trophy for her role in Sino Ang May Sala? which co-starred her with Eddie Garcia. Her other films included Baby Face (1961) with Jose Mari and Limos na Dalangin (1961). All these films were produced by Sampaguita Pictures.

But Paraluman also appeared in other film production outfits. Among these films were Sarawak (1954), an action picture shot in the jungle terrain of that place.
She was also a favorite of foreign movie outfits, appearing in Elephant Girl (1951) which was produced by Shaw Brothers of Hongkong, and Surrender Hell (1959) which co-starred her with Keith Andes, an American.

In 1967, she appeared in Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak where she co-starred with Charito Solis who was declared Best Actress in the 1967 Asian Film Festival. Their other co-stars were Ric Rodrigo and Jenina Basas who also won as Best Child Actress in the film produced by Nepomuceno Productions. Her latter films included Lilet, Nais Ko Pang Mabuhay and Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko (1975).

When her second husband Tony O’Brien died in Hawaii, she remarried, this time to Brigido Sibug. She was already retired from showbiz and 85 years old when her third husband died. She lived the final years of her life together with her daughter Baby and granddaughters Christy Gatmen and Rina Reyes. Rina also entered showbiz and later bore two daughters, Sofia and Katherine. Paraluman died last year.

Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/