What do Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta have in common, aside from being married to senator-husbands (former Senator Ralph Recto and Senator Francis Pangilinan)?
The answers are as follows:
–Both Vilma and Sharon are the highest paid actresses of the Philippines.
–Both won the Brussels Independent International Film Festival best actress trophy (Bata, Bata…Saan Ka Ginawa? for Vilma and The Crying Ladies for Sharon ).
–Both were directed by award-winning directors Lino Brocka, Joel Lamangan and Olivia Lamasan, among others.
–Both were Urian best actress awardees, with Vilma having the most Urian ever, 8, to Sharon ’s one.
–Both shared Urian best actress honors with Nora Aunor (Pahiram ng Isang Umaga for Vilma, and Madrasta for Sharon ).
–Both were grand slam winners, with Vilma having a record 4, to Sharon’s one.
–Both had a slew of movie and box-office queen titles between them, but apparently Vilma seems to have an edge as the Philippines’ Longest-reigning Movie and Box-office Queen, given her longevity and continuing winning streak.
–Both were PMPC Star TV awardees for best musical-variety host and show, but records show that Vilma had the most awards from the PMPC group and the CMMA for her defunct musical-variety show Vilma!.
–Both had demonstrated excellent track records as two of the most disciplined, hard-working and professional entertainers in the business.
–Both had been successful in their married life (second chance), and as mothers. Interestingly, like Vilma, Sharon sacrificed her career in favor of motherhood, albeit temporarily, with fruitful results. Three beautiful daughters for Sharon and two handsome sons for Vilma.
–Both guested in and acted as substitute host for their respective TV shows Vilma! and Sharon .
–Both continue to rake in hefty talent fees for endorsing products.
–Both have graced the TV screen with memorable performances in Maalaala Mo Kaya.
–Both had numerous blockbuster movies from Viva Films.
–Both enhanced each others’ careers, directly or indirectly, such as when Sharon sang the theme songs for Vilma’s memorable and ever popular box-office hits Langis at Tubig and Sinasamba Kita.
–Both have handled their money well, based on published accounts of their ‘healthy’ and enviable net worth (source: the tabloids).
–Both figured in the top 100 Philippine Movers and Shakers based on public opinion and marketing research data, confirming the Filipinos’ high regard and admiration for the two charismatic celebrities.
And the list goes on.
Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta. Sharon Cuneta and Vilma Santos.
They are like two peas in a pod, like Yin and Yang, like Successful Twins, despite the age gap of thirteen years. It seems that the documented and observed Mutual Admiration, Respect and Friendship of the Star for All Seasons and the Megastar with each other are even more legendary than that of Amalia Fuentes and Daisy Romualdez and Thelma and Louis’ special bonds.
What are the divine secrets of the Vilma-Sharon Sisterhood, that it seems to grow sweeter and closer through the years?
It all began when the teen-age singing sensation and her Ate Vi were neighbors at the Dasmarinas Village in Makati . Sharon gushed: “Vilma has always been one of my favorites, from way back. Everybody knows that. When I was younger and not yet in the movies, our family used to live in Dasma, at the corner of Paraiso and Morado Streets. Vilma naman lived nearby, also on Morado St.
So I grew up passing by her house everyday and looking at it. Fan na niya ako!” (Source: Ricky Lo)
As Fate would have it, the two friends cum showbiz rivals have had inevitable collision courses, such as when their TV shows would compete for higher TV ratings and commercial endorsements, and when, at the height of their rivalry, Sharon ’s Bukas, Luluhod ang Mga Tala clobbered Vilma’s Sister Stella L. at the box office.
An old Movie Flash magazine review of both movies by Mario Bautista entitled Pinaluhod Talaga ni Sharon si Vilma had Mr. Bautista acknowledging Sharon’s clout at the box-office with the ‘bakya’ and comics appeal of Bukas, but praising to the hilt Vilma’s tour de force performance in Sister Stella L., the winner of most awards at the 1984 Urian, including Vilma’s historic third Urian best actress win for the classic movie.
Vilma and Sharon’s last ‘clash’ was at the 2002 Urian where Vilma made history (again) when she won her eighth Urian best actress trophy for Dekada 70, beating Sharon who was nominated for her heartfelt performance in Magkapatid.
Through the years and after equally successful film and TV careers for two of the most beloved Pinoy celebrities, Vilma and Sharon never seem to run out words of praise for each other.
Says Sharon on her role model in the latter’s 25th, anniversary in showbiz:
“Ate Vi, you know I love you. And I’ll always always look up to you.”
She continues: ‘I learned from the examples set by Vilma Santos. I learned to be an idol because my idol is a good one.’ I remember one time Vilma was asked how she felt about my winning, I think as Box-Office Queen and she said, ‘She deserves it!’ I’ll never forget that. That’s why I love that woman!”
Was there jealousy between the two?
“Never! I really look up to her. Time and again, I say I never wanted to take anybody’s place. I always wanted to take my own place in the business, but never to take somebody else’s place. I learn from Vilma’s examples,” Sharon concludes. (excerpts from Ricky Lo’s 1997 article, Sharon on Vilma).
Respect begets respect.
Vilma Santos’ humility and professional ways really impressed Megastar Sharon Cuneta, herself a successful multi-media artist.
Will they appear in a movie someday? What about the legitimate stage?
Will they, ehem, compete as Future First Ladies?
Will they interview each other on TV? Or co-host an awards show?
Will Sharon oblige to hand the National Artist Award to Vilma in the near future?
Will Sharon allow her Ate Vi to direct her in a movie? And vice versa?
The possibilities are really endless and mind-boggling… when Sharon meets Vilma.
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