The industry is in mourning

STAR BYTES - Butch Francisco -
Although the Christmas season is upon us, the local entertainment industry is still in mourning after the successive deaths of four of its beloved people. Last Thursday, I ran the obituary of actor Zaldy Zshornack. This time, let us remember Chaning Carlos, Oscar Miranda and Rading Carlos who – within a span of two weeks – passed on into the other world.
Chaning Carlos
One of the finest writers and directors in the field of comedy, Luciano "Chaning" Balares Carlos never had any formal training in film. In fact, he was a chemistry dropout from UP when he decided to join the movies in the early ’50s.

Actually, it was sheer guts that served as his passport into the world of film. He wrote a letter to Dr. Jose Perez of Sampaguita Pictures one day asking if he, Chaning, could write scripts for the studio. Dr. Perez was impressed not only with the content of Chaning’s letter, but also with his handwriting (his penmanship was elegant – so swears Marichu Maceda).

Carlos was immediately summoned to the studio through director Nardo Vercudia, who turned out to be Chaning’s personal friend. His first job was to write dialogues for Tolindoy and Chichay in the movie Baguio Cadets. Later, he co-wrote with Tommy David the script of Huling Patak ng Dugo, which introduced Cesar Ramirez and starred Alicia Vergel and Pancho Magalona. Within a year, he was already doing full scripts for the studio – Tres Muskiteros (an adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ Three Musketeers) and its sequel, Tres Muskiteras, Dalagang Ilocana (which won for Gloria Romero her first acting trophy), Jack & Jill with Dolphy and Lolita Rodriguez, Mga Reyna ng Vicks, etc.

Eventually, he began directing for Sampaguita – with Eddie Loves Susie in 1963 as his first directorial job. This was filmed in the United States. His shining moment, however, was when he won the Best Screenplay award in the 1953 Asian Film Festival for Ang Asawa Kong Amerikana, which starred Oscar Moreno and Joan Page.

From Sampaguita, Chaning began to work for other movie companies. In the ’80s, he did a lot of films for Regal – a lot of which were Maricel Soriano starrers. He also accepted acting jobs – as a director who uses the casting couch to get his talents in Mario O’Hara’s Ang Babae sa Bubungang Lata, as a groovy lolo in the now defunct ABS-CBN sitcom Attagirls and as a loyal janitor in small shoe store in Jose Javier Reyes’ remake of Paraisong Parisukat.

I never had the chance to meet Chaning Carlos in my life, but he was said to have been a wonderful person and as funny as the scripts he wrote for films. Very artistic, he was quite good with his hands and even did those elaborate headdresses in the finale of The Big Broadcast, which, incidentally, is one of his most memorable films.

Survived by his wife Chet and their seven children, Chaning Carlos died of pneumonia last Nov. 21 at age 77, while visiting a daughter in Fullerton, California.

His body was flown back to Manila early this week and, quite fittingly, was brought straight to the chapel of the Sampaguita Pictures compound, which was home to him for many glorious years.
Rading Carlos
One of the first professional talent managers in the local entertainment industry, Rading Carlos actually started as a talent scout for LVN Pictures in the late ’50s. Rading, however, became a household name toward the late ’70s when his ward, Lorna Tolentino, became one of local cinema’s hottest properties. Later, he had a much-publicized rivalry with the late Dr. Rey de la Cruz, who was the manager of another emerging talent that time, Rio Locsin. In the early ’80s, Rading and Rey’s quarrels and bickering were even televised daily – in full costumes (often in Wonder Women attire) – in one of the segments of the noontime show Eat Bulaga.

In the ’90s, Rading stopped managing talents and shifted to another career – the food catering business, which also became a success. He died Nov. 16 of throat cancer.
Oscar Miranda
Although he was better known as an entertainment journalist than a movie scriptwriter, Oscar Miranda still contributed about half a dozen screenplays to the local film industry – some of which even won citations from the various award-giving bodies: Isang Gabi sa Iyo, Isang Gabi sa Akin, Best Screenplay in the 1978 FAMAS and Paradise Inn, Best Screenplay both in the FAMAS and the Metro Manila Film Festival in 1985. His other screenplays were Walang Katapusang Tag-araw, Swing It Baby, Home Sweet Home and Pag-ibig na Walang Dangal, the Charo Santos-Dindo Fernando starrer (produced by Armida Siguion Reyna’s Reyna Films), which also became a finalist for Best Screenplay in the 1980 FAMAS.

Born in Iba, Zambales on May 17, 1933, his parents were Casimiro Miranda and the former Segundina Talise. Oscar took up Liberal Arts at FEU and at the State University. He wrote several movie columns for various publications and was once the entertainment editor of The Philippine STAR’s sister paper, Pilipino Star.

On television, he produced the sitcom ‘Yan ang Misis Ko for Channel 13 and wrote teleplays for television dramas. He also spent some years in the field of advertising and did publicity work for different film outfits.

When he got afflicted with diabetes, Oscar went in and out of the hospital. During his last days, when his legs became numb, he remained calm all throughout the ordeal. But as a person who truly loved his profession, he began worrying when he started feeling that something was wrong with his hands. "Kinukuha na yata ng Diyos ang mga kamay na ginagamit ko sa pagsusulat," he told his loved ones. This was on Nov. 22. The good Lord didn’t make him suffer any longer after that. He died peacefully the day after. He was 75.











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