The love triangle that started it all

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

It seems only yesterday (you know, parang kahapon lamang) when back in 1963 a love-triangle drama paved the road to what today are reinvented versions of the genre. That was 50 years ago, or didn’t you notice?

Remember Eddie Rodriguez caught between Lolita Rodriguez and Marlene Dauden in Sapagka’t Kami’y Tao Lamang, written by Mario Mijares Lopez as a serial novel in Literary Song-Movie magazine and directed by Armando de Guzman as Hollywood Far East Productions’ anniversary presentation? The movie, done in black-and-white, was a hit, running for weeks at the Center Theater (now a hotel) on Quezon Boulevard in Quiapo and the theme song of the same title became the convenient excuse of (especially) philandering husbands — you know, tunay kami’y nagmamahalan, kung kasalanan man ay sapagka’t kami ay tao lamang.

Since then, producers have been cranking out variations of the same theme, attracting record crowds and winning awards for the actors, some of whom (the current crop) were not even born yet half a century ago and may not even know who the original actors are. Lolita and Marlene are based in the US while Eddie passed away in 2001.

According to Celso de Guzman Caparas, Funfare’s “other beauty expert cum showbiz chronicler,” Eddie then directed two love-triangle movies, Kasalanan Kaya? and Ikaw!, using his real name, Luis Enriquez, which both gave him a Best Director trophy at the now-defunct Manila Film Festival (forerunner of the Metro Manila Film Festival). His wife-actress Liza Moreno (a.k.a. Louise de Mesa, also deceased) wrote the stories of Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan and Kasalanan Kaya?, winners of Best Story in both MFF and the FAMAS. The couple’s film outfit, Virgo Productions, produced four of the movies: Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan, Sino Ang May Karapatan? and Kasalanan Kaya? and Ikaw!

Here’s the triumvirate’s hit starrers with interesting information and their vintage ads, prepared by Celso:

 Sapagka’t Kami’y Tao Lamang, shown on July 3, 1963. It garnered seven FAMAS awards: Best Actor (Eddie Rodriguez), Best Supporting Actress (Marlene Dauden), Best Director (Armando de Guzman), Best Story (Mario Mijarez Lopez), Best Screenplay (Johnny Pangilinan), Best Theme Song and Best Musical Score (both for Tony Maiquez). Lolita was nominated for Best Actress and Nello Nayo for Best Supporting Actor.

 Kay Tagal ng Umaga, shown on Aug. 23, 1965. It was a DZRH radio serial sponsored by Darigold. Then child actress Vilma Santos co-starred in this movie, her first among the four films she appeared with the troika.

 Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit, shown on Jan. 19, 1966. The blurb says, “Local movies can be great again!...See this one…Probing deep into your hearts for the greatest experience in motion picture entertainment.”

 Saan Ka Man Naroroon, shown on June 19, 1966. It was serialized in Bulaklak magazine and was an official entry to the 1st Manila Film Festival.

 Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan, shown on Oct. 12, 1967. It bagged eight FAMAS awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Fely Crisostomo), Best Actress (Marlene Dauden), Best Story (Louise de Mesa), Best Cinematography (black and white, Ricardo Remias), Best Musical Score (Tony Maiquez).  Eddie Rodriguez, Renato Robles and Patricia Mijares were nominated for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. The CCMM Awards named it Best Picture of 1967.

 Kasalanan Kaya?, shown on June 16, 1968. An official entry to the 3rd Manila Film Festival, it won eight awards: Best Dramatic Picture, Best Actor (Eddie Rodriguez), Best Actress (Lolita Rodriguez), Best Director (Luis Enriquez), Best Child Actor (Roderick Paulate), Best Story (Louise de Mesa), Best Music (Tony Maiquez) and Best Sound (Flaviano Villareal). It also won three FAMAS awards out of eight nominations:  Best Cinematography (black and white, Ricardo Remias), Best Story (Louise de Mesa) and Best Musical Score (Tony Maiquez).  Other nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Luis Enriquez), Best Actor (Eddie Rodriguez), Best Actress (Lolita Rodriguez) and Best Supporting Actress (Vilma Santos). Vilma won Best Supporting Actress at the San Beda College Awards.

 Sino Ang May Karapatan?, shown on Nov. 7, 1968. The blurb says, “Ligaya sa unang pag-ibig sa dibdib ay natanim, nguni’t nang magkalayo ibang puso ang umangkin! Sino ang may karapatan, una o pangalawang damdamin, sa kaligayahang walang maliw?”

 Ikaw!, shown on June 15, 1969.  An official entry to the 4th Manila Film Festival, it won Best Dramatic Picture, Best Director (Luis Enriquez) and Best Screenplay (Max Rivera). The movie also scored five nominations from the FAMAS: Best Picture, Best Director (Luis Enriquez), Best Actor (Eddie Rodriguez), Best Actress (Lolita Rodriguez) and Best Supporting Actor (Renato Robles).

(Come to think of it, who do you think should play the roles of Lolita Rodriguez, Marlene Dauden and Eddie Rodriguez if ever, and it’s not far-fetched, a producer thinks of remaking Sapagka’t Kami’y Tao Lamang?)

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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