More sex symbols who became good actresses
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - October 18, 2005 - 12:00am
This is a delayed feedback to Funfare’s list of sex symbols who turned into fine actresses, even winning awards. The list, which came out weeks back, included Elizabeth Oropesa, Daria Ramirez, Chanda Romero, Beth Bautista, Lorna Tolentino and Amy Austria. They were all built up and launched to solo stardom by producer Jesse Ejercito.

Readers send more contemporary names, sexpots who are following in the footsteps of Oropesa et al., starting with Ara Mina. She has two Best Actress trophies, Mano Po 1 and Huling Birhen sa Lupa. It will be recalled that Ara bested Vilma Santos at the Metro Manila Film Festival a few years back. The filmfest jurors chose Ara’s Mano Po 1 over Ate Vi’s Dekada ’70.

Glydel Mercado, who started in Kuya Germs’ That’s Entertainment, was launched to stardom by Papa Jesse in Mister Mo, Lover Ko, directed by Joel Lamangan. It was a remake of sorts of Oropesa’s starrer, Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko, also produced by Papa Jesse and directed by Ishmael Bernal.

The movie established Glydel as a sex symbol, but two other films, again produced by Papa Jesse, elevated Glydel to the list of serious actresses. Lamangan’s Sidhi, which gave her a grandslam (four Best Supporting Actress awards from the Urian, Star, Academy, and FAMAS), and Carlitos Siguion- Reyna’s Azucena, where she merited rave reviews.

Then there’s Assunta de Rossi, who won the Metro Manila filmfest and Urian Best Actress awards for Lamangan’s Hubog, produced by Regal. But then Assunta’s acting talent was already evident in her launching film, the sex-oriented trilogy Red Diaries, directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes and, like Hubog, produced by Regal.

By the way, Funfare hopes that Glydel (Mrs. Tonton Gutierrez) and Assunta (Mrs. Jules Ledesma) will get good roles in the days to come.

More sex symbols who became good actresses, as given by Funfare readers.

Ynez Veneracion, who used to be pito-pito (read: boldie, cheapie and quickie) queen, got a very good role in Maryo J’s Sa Paraiso ni Efren, produced by Regal, with Anton Bernardo in the title (whatever happened to him?). Ynez proved equal to the role and was nominated Best Supporting Actress. A little known group of film enthusiasts, PASADO, gave her an award.

A firm believer in Ynez’s talent is director Gil Portes, who cast her in the digital film Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, an entry to the CineManila International Film Festival. She plays the wife and live-sex partner (toro) of Neil Ryan Sese, another fine actor.

Ynez plays another challenging role in the sex comedy Private Parts to be staged Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Music Museum.

Well, Ana Capri has a Best Actress award from CineManila for Pila Balde, sexy and raw film directed by Jeffrey Jeturian and produced by Regal.

Jeffrey also directed Ina Raymundo (remember her as the daring and baring dancer in Burlesk Queen 2) in Tuhog, another Regal picture. Ina won the Star Best Actress award for Tuhog, incidentally shown at the Venice International Film Festival, competition category. Ina’s semi-retired from showbiz, concentrating on being wife and mother.

Remember Rita Magdalena, who was discovered by director Jun Posadas and named after the great Rita Gomez? Rita showed a lot of promise in a number of bold flicks but then she wasn’t focused on her career.

Come to think of it, there are bold actors and matinee idols who became good and award-winning actors. Jay Manalo and Wendell Ramos come to mind. Ah, but that’s another column.
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