Filipinos are sports-loving fans and our local film industry has through the years churned out movies with athletes as the main characters, specially boxers. And there were films which starred actual athletes or movie personalities who excel in sports one way or another. Movie trivia expert Tante de Ramos makes his own list of such films:
Ang Pagbabalik – Made in the mid 1930s, this movie starred Angel Esmeralda as a boxer. In the remake which was produced by Sampaguita Pictures in the early 1950s, Fred Montilla assumed the leading role.
Ang Kampeon – Fred Montilla again portrayed the title role of a boxing champion and legend. The film was also produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Apollo Robles – The king of Philippine Movies, Fernando Poe. Jr., portrayed the role of another fictional boxer in this Premiere Production, Inc. film.
Awat na Adiang – The cast of this film was haded by Mona Sulaiman who was once tagged as fastest woman in Asia. She was ably supported by big stars in this early 1960’s flick.
Bad Boy from Dadiangas – This was the real life story of Rolando Navarete, the colorful world champion who hailed from Dadiangas. Navarete portrayed himself in this movie.
Basagan ng Mukha – This film starred the Pambansang Kamao and the acclaimed greatest Filipino boxer today, Manny Pacquiao, who appeared together with Ronald Gan Ledesma. It was directed by Jose ‘Kaka’ Balagtas for MMG Production Inc.
Basta’t Isipin Mo, Mahal Kita – Eugene Torre, one of the first Filipino chess grandmasters, starred opposite now Batangas Governor Vilma Santos in a film produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Boy Tornado – A komiks character, Boy Tornado, was protrayed by now Senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. in a film produced by his later brother producer Ramon N. Bautista’s RNB Films outfit.
Buhay Kamao – It was Robin Padilla’s turn to portray a boxer. The story revolves around the challenges a boxer faces in and out of the ring.
Fighting Tisoy – Another boxing story, the title role was played by Lo Waist gang member Zaldy Zshornack who starred opposite Myra Crisol. The film was directed by Pablo Santiago for Premiere Productions, Inc.
Forever – Sportswoman and leading equestrienne Mikee Cojuanco starred in this love story opposite heartthrob Aga Muhlach.
Hawaiian Boy – FPJ played another boxer in this film where he co-starred with rock and roll king Eddie Mesa and Leonor Vergara and Eddie Mesa. Produced by Premiere Productions, Inc., the cast also included Oscar Keese, Pablo Virtuoso and Ben ‘Boyet’ Mercado.
In Dis Corner – A boxing story directed by the late Lino Brocka, this film included a stable of good actors who played boxers, including Phillip Salvador, Vic Vargas and Paquito Diaz. m directed by Lino Brocka,
In This Corner – A comedy boxing film, this starred funny man Bentot. It was produced in the mid-1950’s.
Kamay ni Kain – Rudy Fernandez portrayed a boxer who was haunted by his past and the sad truth that he accidentally killed his own brother. He co-starred with Alice Dicson and Aiko Melendez.
Kambal ng Kamao – Another Rolando Navarete starrier, this film was made in the late 80’s about the story of a boxer’s ups and downs in his turbulent life.
Kid Kaliwete – Directed by Manuel ‘Fyke’ Cinco, the boxer character was portrayed by Bembol Roco who played a fighter with a devastating left fist that brought him to the peak of his career.
Matador – This time, it was Jose Padilla, Jr. who played a boxer. In real life, Pempe actually represented our country in boxing tournaments, including the 1936 Berlin Olympics. This film was made in the early 1950s.
Medalyang Ginto – Asia’s sprint queen, Lydia de Vega herself, portrayed the story of a runner who scaled sporting glory in the track and field arena.
Pakners – FPJ co-starred with world billiard champion Efren ‘Bata Reyes’ in a film directed by Tony Y. Reyes which was produced by FPJ Productions, Inc.
Pamatay Kaliwa’t Kanan – 1964 Tokyo Olympics boxing silver medalist Anthony Villanueva played a boxer and co-starred with the late Nida Blanca.
Pito Sila, Walo Kami (Tour of Luzon ) – A film based on the Tour of Luzon, this film starred real cyclists, including champion Jose Moring Jr. who headed pedal-pumping cast.
Rocky Four–Ma – Another comic boxing film, this one starred funny man Chiquito in a mid-1980s production.
Rocky Tu-log – Chiquito played another funny boxer in this Rocky spoof.
Sparring Partner – Bentot played another boxer character and Oscar Obligacion played his sparring partner and trainer. This was produced in the mid-1950s.
Tatlong Patak ng Luha – Dramatic king and the Great Profile Leopoldo Salcedo portrayed a boxer in this dramatic rendering of a pugilist’s life. He was ably supported by Ramon Revilla Sr, Gil de Leon and Ben Perez.
The Big J – Basketball legend starred in this film which was produced in the late 1970s.
The Flash Elorde Story - The legendary Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde appeared as himself in this bioflick of the greatest Filipino boxer before the coming of Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao. This was produced in the early 1960s.
The Mansueto Velasco Story – Like the Flash, Onyok Velasco portrayed himself in the story that traced his life up to his winning an Olympic Games boxing medal.
The Pedro Adigue Story – Pedro Adigue also portrayed himself in his own biopic. This was produced in the late 1970s.