By Tante de Ramos
Trivia expert Tante de Ramos has come up with a list of 37 local actresses who made their mark in the decade that spanned the years from the mid-fifties to the early sixties. The actresses were as follows:
Aura Aurea—She was first introduced as Norma Reyes when she appeared in her first film, Laki sa Layaw, while still a starlet. She assumed the name Aura Aurea in her title role in Seksing–Seksi, her first film as a lead star. This was produced by Nolasco Productions.
Aida Cariño— She essayed the role of an Igorot maiden in the film Ang Nobya Kong Igorota. She also played the title role of Zorina.
Myra Crisol—In Fighting Tisoy, she starred opposite Zaldy Zshomack who portrayed the role of a boxer. It was directed by Pablo Santiago for Premiere Productions Inc. She also appeared in one episode of Gabi ng Lagim which also starred Sen. Ramon Revilla, Cecilia Lopez and Rodolfo Cristobal, produced by Larry Santiago Productions, Inc.
Marlene Dauden— She appeared in Mga Ligaw na Bulaklak with co-stars Susan Roces, Daisy Romualdez, Romeo Vasquez and Tony Marzan. She won the Best Supporting Actress award in Anino ni Bathala which starred Paraluman, Rio Rodrigo and Eddie Garcia. It was a love triangle story where two sisters fell in love with one man. Thew film was directed by Conrado Conde. She got her first starring role in Rosa Rossini where she played the character of a ballet dancer. Then she starred opposite comedy King Dolphy in Silveria (Ang KabayongDaldalera). Her other films included Kung Kaya Mo Kaya Ko Rin (with Christopher de Leon), Babae, Ikaw ang Dahilan (with Amalia Fuentes and Eddie Rodriguez), a film festival entry in which she won another acting award, and Siya’y Umalis, Siya’y Dumating, helmed by Mitos Villareal. She won another Best Supporting Actress award for Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang, a dramaticc love story (with Lolita Rodriguez and Eddie Rodriguez as directed by Armando de Guzman). Her best actress trophies were for Sa Bawat Pintig ng Puso (with Zaldy Zhorsnack) and Milarosa (with Eddie Rodriguez).
Josephine Estrada—A Miss Philippines beauty queen who vied for the Miss Universe contest, she appeared in Birds of Paradise together with two other beauty queens, Cynthia Ugalde and Sylvia Gumabao. She also appeared in Holiday in Bali. Both films were produced by Sampaguita Pictures, Inc.
Mona Fernandez—She got her first starring role in Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Daigdig which starred Pancho Megalona, Ben Perez, Gil de Leon, Shirley Dominguez and Loretta de Lara. This film was directed by the first national Artist for Film Gerardo de Leon for Pacific Movie Productions. Inc.
Amalia Fuentes—The reel and real sweetheart of Romeo Vasquez, she made so many films opposite this heartthrob, like Rodora, Fiesta South America, Ismol Bat Teribol, Aloha, Madaling Araw, Kung Kita’y Kapiling, Tawag ng Tanghalan, Bilanggong Birhen, Sa Hardin ng Diyos, Bobby and Pretty Boy. She also appeared in Yes I Do and Prince Charming with Ric Rodrigo and Gloria Romero, as well as Operetang Sampay Bakod with Jose Mari, Dolphy, Panchito and Boy Alano, and Baby Bubot with Juancho Gutierrez.
Celia Fuentes—Dubbed as the action queen during her time, she appeared in Sirkera and Prinsisa ng Kagubatan. Both action films were produced Bonifacio Ongpanco of Everlasting Pictures.
Helen Gamboa—A 1961 first runner-up of the Miss Pres Phtography of the Philippines, she was introduced in Gorio and His Jeepney with co-star Chiquito under the Larry Santiago Productions. She also appeared in Banda Uno which was produced by Virginia Montes and a Darna movie which starred Vilma Santos and where she played an arch enemy villainess as a planet woman. She is the wife of ex-Senator Tito Sotto and the mother of Ciara Sotto.
Rosemarie Gil—She was the first unanimous choice to appear as the saintly nun in Sta. Rita de Casia, where she co-starred with Lauro Delgado. He was married to Eddie Mesa with whom she has three acting siblings, namely Michael de Mesa, Mark Gil and Cherrie Gil. She appeared in Mga Hagibis with Eddie Rodriguez, Vic Vargas and Jing Abalos.
Elvie Gonzales—She was introduced in Together Again which starred Nida Blanca, Dolphy, Romano Castellvi and Jean Lopez. She then appeared in Dugay Na Sa Maynila, Tonto Ka Pa (with Anita Linda, Max Alavarado and Gina Laforteza). She was proclaimed Queen of Dance-o-Rama, was a fourth runner-up winner in a Binibining Pilipinas beauty contest of the prestigious Miss Press Photography of the Philippines. She is the mother of Richard Bonnin and Charlene Gonzales (both children of Bernard Bonnin), the wife of Aga Muhclach.
Shirley Gorospe—She was the reel and real life wife of Zaldy Zshornack and they starred in Shirley, My Darling and Hongkong Honeymoon which also starred Chiquito, Carol Varga, Celia Rodriguez and Teroy de Guzman under the direcyion of Ramon Estella and produced by People’s Pictures Inc. She also appeared in such films as Sweetheart, You’re My Everything, Ang Kanyang Kamahalan. Basta Pinoy, Once Upon A Time and Pitong Gatang which starred Fernando Poe, Jr.
Yolanda Guevarra—A singer, she appeared opposite former President Joseph Estrada in Asiong Salonga, a true-to-life bio-flick of a notorious Tondo kingpin during the 50s. She also appeared in one episode of Gabi ng Lagim.
Sylvia Gumabao—The 1963 Miss Press Photography pf the Philippines winner, she was introduced in Birds of Paradise with other beauty queens as her co-stars, like Josephine Estrada and Cynthia Ulgalde, both Miss Philippines beauty queens
Lita Gutierrez—The original Miss Alembong, she appeared in Tayo’y Magsaya with Nida Blanca, Pancho Magalona, Guy Donato and Bentot under the direction of Felicing Constantino. Her other movies included Ganyan Ka Pala and Medalyong Perlas (with Nida Blanca, Nestor de Villa and Willie Sotedo). But her box-office hit was Alembong, actually her first starring role. She also was in the cast of Teenage Crush (with Tessie Quintana Eddie Rodriguez, Manding Claro and Luz Veldez, directed by Tony Santos).
Liberty Ilagan—A member of the Ilagan family (with Robert Arevalo and Jay Ilagan), she was married to Rod Evans (or Rod Ongpauco, the son of Bonifacio Ongpauco of Everlasting Pictures). She gained stardom almost simultaneoiusly with Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes, Daisy Romualdez and their contemporaries). She appeared in Kaming mga Talyada with Juancho Gutierrez Jose Mari, Tony Marzan, Boy Alano, Charlie Davao, Rod Navarro, Bino Garcia as the gays, Barbara Perez, Daisy Romualdez, Meldy Corrales, Naty Santiago, Juvy Cachola and Nory Dalisay. Another film whe appeared in was Tindahan ni Aling Epang where she co-starred with Jose Mari and Matimtiman Cruz.
Imelda Ilanan—She starred in Bontoc, a film about a cultural minority. Her daughter Maricel Laxa (whose father is Tony Ferrer) also entered showbusiness.
Miriam Jurado—Another Miss PPP finalist (in 1958), she appeared in James Bandong with comedian Chiquito who portrayed a secret agent.
Adorable Liwanag—Initially carrying the name Liwayway Liwanag, she was introduced in Seksing-Seksi with Aura Aurea in a film produced by Nolasco Productions. She also appeared in Juan Tamad Goes To Society with Manuel Conduc and Tessie Quintana for MC Productions. She won a Famas berst supporting actress award in Ako ang Katarungan, a Fernando Poe, Jr. film. She was a 1961 candidate for Miss PPP, the year Cynthia Ugalde won the title.
Jean Lopez—She appeared in Tansan, a spoof on the popular Tarzan character opposite comedy king Dolphy and Barilan sa Baboy Koral, another spoof of a classic Americana western which starred Jose Mari and Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia. Her husband Romano Castellvi also entered showbiz.
Lily Marquez—Another Miss PPP (1958) winner, she appeared in Bon Voyage which was headlined by Fernando Poe, Jr. and Leonor Vergara, together with Bob Soler, Lani Oteyza, Eddie Mesa, Jose Romulo , Lauro Delgado and Lopito under the direction of Chat Gallardo for Premiere Productions Inc. Director Artemio Marquez discovered that she was perfect for playing the roles of villianess. She became the wife of actor Ronald Remy.
Lourdes Medel—She appeared in Walang Pangalan with Lilia Dizon, Bernard Bonnin, Robert Campos and Hector Reyes which was directed by Fred Daluz. She also appeared opposite Bernard Bonnin in Alyas Palos, a movier series about a porchclimber. Both films were produced by LVN Pictures , Inc.
Mila Ocampo—A 1959 Miss PPP winner, she appeared in Takdang Sandali with Amado Cortez, Gloria Sevilla and Von Serna whom she ould later marry. Her daughter Snooky Serna also entered showbiz.
Lani Oteyza—She was cast as Tipin, the favorite teenage character created by Larry Alcala. She also appeared in Bon Voyage with Fernando Poe, Jr., Leonor Vergara, Eddie Mesa, Bob Soler, Lily Marquez, Jose Romulo , Lauro Delgado and Lopito. She later became the wife of TV Director Al Quinn who directed the last Luna Awards show.
Cristina Pancho—A Miss Philippines in the mid-50s, she starred in Saigon with Leopoldo Salcedo, Ben Perez and Ghoonk Cof, a Vietnamese. It was filmed in Vietnam in 1956 and produced by Lebran Productions.
Barbara Perez—She was called the country’s Audrey Hepburn. Some of her films included Tatlong Ilaw sa Dambana, Pagdating ng Takipsilim, Chabacano, Pampanggenya and Dewey Boulevard. She appeared with real life husband Robert Arevalo in Daigdig ng mga Api which garnered for the couple the Best Actor and Best Actress awards.
Corazon Rivas—She appeared in Ha Cha Cha with Jose Padilla Jr. Olivia Cenizal and Jose Romulo for Premiere Productions. She was considered as one of the favorite leading ladies of Fernando Poe, Jr. and they appeared together in Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak? and the Lo Waist Gang series topbilled by FPJ, Zaldy Zshornack, Berting Labra, Tony Cruz, Paquito Toledo, Boy Sta. Romana, Boy Francisco, Butch Bautista, etc. She became the wife of Paquito Toledo.
Susan Roces—She was introduced in Boksingera where she co-starred with comedy king Dolphy. Then films came one after another, including Handsome. Mga Anghel ng Lansangan (with Jose Mari), The Big Broadcast (with Amalia Fuentes), Prinsesang Gusgusin, Sa Hardin ng Diyos, Bandana and Maruja (both with Romeo Vasquez). She appeared in many films with reel and real life husband Fernando Poe Jr. These included Ang Daigdig Koy Ikaw, Pilipinas Kong Mahal, Langit at Lupa, Divina Grasya, Salaginto’t Salagubang, Sorrento and Karnabal. The couple also poularized the box-office series of Manager-Kumander films.
Daisy Romaldez—Another Sampaguita Pictures stalwart, she appeared in such films as Salamat Po Doctor, Rosana, Katawang Lupa, and Mga Ligaw na Bulaklak with Susan Roces, Malene Dauden, Romeo Vasquez and Tony Marzan. All movies were produced by Sampaguita Pictures.
Aida Roxas—Here first film was Sosayting Dukha a film that starred the legendary Carmen Rosales. She played the lead role in Gahaman. But after this movie, she entered a convent in the Visayas to become a nun.
Chiqui Somes—She appeared in Hangga’t May Hininga opposite Eddie Mesa and Ronald Remy. She joined the Bb.Pilipinas Pageant Search in 1964.
Cynthia Ugalde—The 1961 Miss PPP winner, she appeared in Birds of Paradise. The film which also starred tow other beauty queens—Josephine Estrada and Sylvia Gumabao– was produced by Sampaquita Pictures Inc. She represented our country in the Miss International contest.
Luz Valdez—She appeared in such films as Chinita. Navy Blues (with Pancho Magalona and Nida Blanca), Tatlong Kumando (with Pancho Magalona, Leroy Salvador, Robert Campos and Carmencita Abad), Teen Age Crush (with Tessie Quintana, Eddie Rodriguez, Lita Gutierrez and Manding Claro) and Detective Maturan (with Diomedes Maturan, Pugo, Lopito, Patsy, Liza Moreno and Caridad Sanchez. All films were produced by LVN Pictures. Actor Robert Campos became her husband.
Vilma Valera—She was introduced in Bakit Ka Nagtampo which starred Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa under LVN Pictures, Inc. She won as FAMAS best actress in Salambao. She was the 1961 Miss Press Photography of the Philippines second runner-up winner.
Leonor Vergara—The early loveteam partner of Fernando Poe, Jr., she was paired with him in Laban sa Lahat which was directed by Cirio Santiago. The loveteam also appeared in Bon Voyage (with Lani Oteyza, Bob Soler, Eddie Mesa and comedian Lopito) and May Pasikat Ba Sa Kano with Ruben Rustia and Jose Garcia uinder the direction of Nemezio Caravana for Premiere Productions, Inc.
Edita Vital—Another Miss PPP beauty queen (1960), she portrayed the role of Maria Clara in both Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which were directed by Gerardo de Leon for Arriva-Bayanihan Films.
Marita Zobel—She appeared in Marita At Ang Pitong Duwende with Robert Campos, Caridad Sanchez and Perla Bautista in a film directed by Susana de Guzman. She also appeared in Botika sa Baryo (with Diomedes Maturan, Patsy, Lopito and Rufina Esperancilla) and Tres Rosas which was directed by Natoy Catindig.