A tribute to post-war (1946) actresses
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2014 - 12:00am

This tribute should have come out in March in time for the celebration of Women’s Month whose theme, Juana, ang Tatag Mo ay Tulong Natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong, was chosen by the Philippine Commission on Women as a nod to the strong and resilient Filipinas who brought changes in the country and around the globe.

“The theme also aptly applies to the actresses, including a lady director and story writers, who helped in rebuilding our film industry that literally died during World War II,” said Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas who compiled the vintage photos on this page from his treasured collection. “Best examples of the Filipino resiliency are the post-war actresses who lit up the silver screen in 1946, months after WWII had officially ended. They drew smiles from moviegoers and gave them hope.”

Lead Actresses and the films they starred in

• Mila del Sol – Orasang Ginto, Garrison 13, Alaala Kita, Prinsipeng Hindi Tumatawa and Dalawang Daigdig. (Note: Ginto was the first post-war movie shown March 4 to12, 1946, in Zest Theater. Garrison 13 was the screen adaptation by Consuelo “Ateng” Osorio.  Principeng Hindi Tumatawa was based on the story of Doña Aurora Aragon vda. de Quezon. The three films were produced by LVN.)

• Mona Lisa — Barung-Barong, Intramuros (The Rape of A City), Kalbario ng Isang Ina and Aawitan Kita.

• Rosa del Rosario – Border Bandits and Anna and the King of Siam (both are Hollywood productions, the latter competed in the Feature Film Category in the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946.)

• Carmen Rosales – Probinsyana, Sa Libis ng Nayon (Back to the Farm) and Guerilyera. (Note: Nayon was originally titled Tatlong Maria, shown on Oct. 12, 1944. It was released again after the Liberation with the new title on Oct. 3, 1946.)

• Norma Blancaflor – Death March, Victory Joe, Aladin, Voice of Freedom, Sa Libis ng Nayon (Back to the Farm) and Honeymoon (Pulot-Gata).

• Corazon Noble – Ang Tagala and Maynila. (Note: Tagala was originally filmed in 1942 but was shelved because of the Japanese Occupation. Remaining and additional scenes were shot after the war.)

• Arsenia Francisco – Tagumpay, Angelus and Ginoong Patay-Gutom (Ang Kasintahan ng Aking Kapitbahay). (Note: Angelus was an adaptation of the stage play Ave Maria.)

• Linda Estrella – Garrison 13, Dalawang Dambana, Voice of Freedom and Dalawang Daigdig.

• Elsa Oria (dubbed as The Singing Sweetheart of the Philippines) – Ulilang Watawat (the first post-war production of Sampaguita Pictures.)

• Tita Duran – Guerilyera and Maynila.

• Patricia Mijares – Dugo ng Bayan (I Remember Bataan), Labis na Pagmamahal, Ikaw Na! and Hanggang Pier.

• Elvira Reyes – Alaala Kita, Principeng Hindi Tumatawa and Doon Po Sa Amin.

• Flora Mirasol – Awit ni Palaris.

• Rosa Mia – Kalbario ng Isang Ina.

• Vida Florante – Fort Santiago.

• Luningning – Tepok Na!

• Rebecca Gonzales – Ligaya.

• Pacita del Rio – Ligaya.

• Lilia Vizconde – Aawitan Kita.

• Ester Magalona – Doon Po Sa Amin.

• Fely Vallejo – So Long, America (I’ll Be Seeing You, Everywhere, first working title was Kundiman ng Lahi).

• Lilian Velez – G.I. Fever (Ay, Kano!).

• Luz-V-Minda – Walang Kamatayan (They Died to Live).

• Katy de la Cruz – Multo ni Yamashita and Tomadachi Zona.

Supporting Actresses: Naty Bernardo, Rosa Aguirre, Erlinda Cortez, Lopita, Letty Perez, Amandita, Maria Cristina, Zony Quizon, Maria Lao, Charing Ong, Nita Carmona, Josefina Fajardo, Leonora Ruiz, Monang, Justina David, Gloria Garcia, Alma Bella, Naty Rubi, Isabel Ignacio, Vicenta Fernandez, Mengay, Cheding Mercado, Coring Cruz, Patsy Mateo, Liwayway Arceo (billed as The Only Star of the Occupation), Lupe Velasco, Azucena del Valle, Mila Cortez, Pilar Padilla, Nena Toy, Patring Carvajal, Aida Velez,  Conchita Tuells, Perla Garcia, Chuchi Hernandez, Baby Vivian, Rosario Lam, Nora Kizer, Africa dela Rosa, Virginia Warne, Lourdes Castellvi, Consuelo Sayson, Alicia Pastoral, Dolores Mojica and Nena Cardenas. Lead actresses Rosa Mia, Fely Vallejo and Pacita del Rio also essayed several supporting roles.

Introduced in 1946 were Elvira Reyes (Orasang Ginto), Rosita Montez (Barung-Barung), Lydia Amorsolo,  dubbed as “the most hateful woman of the screen” (Walang Kamatayan), Erlinda Cortez (Tagumpay), Cora Garcia and Fely Morena (Angelus), Lilia Dizon and Maria Luisa (Probinsiyana), Flora Mirasol (Intramuros, The Rape of A City), Baby Jane (Ikaw Na!) and Españita Vidal (Awit ni Palaris).

Susan C. de Guzman wrote and directed Probinsiyana (Premiere’s first film production), wrote Alaala Kita (serialized in Liwayway magazine) and co-wrote Guerilyera.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com.)

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