Amalia: Fondly remembered for both her award-winning performances and enduring beauty
Last misty-eyed look at Amalia Fuentes
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Curtain-raisers:

• Does this actor think that he is God’s gift to women? That’s what a Funfare DPA is asking even as he noted that the actor has the bad habit of bragging about his “conquests” — you know, kiss-and-tell. He is relentless. “Walang patawad,” said the DPA. “He victimizes even actresses committed to his fellow actors.” Clue? From the DPA: “He is ‘rowing’ along several streams; namamangka sa maraming ilog.”

• Is Piolo Pascual really so secretive about his love life? According to Funfare’s jet-setter DPA, Piolo actually has a non-showbiz girlfriend — “A flight stewardess of a foreign airline, a beautiful Turkish lady.” Is that why Piolo frequently travels around that part of the world? “Yes,” confirmed the DPA. “Usually to have a rendezvous with his girlfriend.”

• The same DPA shared the good news that Piolo’s son Iñigo is not really loveless, contrary to what he has been telling the showbiz media, especially after he and Maris Racal cut their “MU (Mutual Admiration)” ties. “Like his dad,” added the DPA, “Iñigo has a non-showbiz girlfriend, a pretty bank employee whom he met when he performed at the bank’s event.”

* * *

Amalia Fuentes was laid to rest beside the grave of her mother at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City last Tuesday, Oct. 8, after a three-day wake at Mt. Carmel, Quezon City, a stone’s throw from her house in New Manila. She died early morning last Saturday, Oct. 5, at 79.

Here’s one last misty-eyed look at “The Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines,” compiled by Funfare contributor Celso de Guzman Caparas:

• When Sampaguita Pictures opened its gates to the public for a one-day charitable event called “Trip to Movieland” in 1955, co-organized with LVN and Premiere Productions, Amalia along with her mother Concepcion toured Sampaguita’s various studios. Three personnel caught her attention when Amalia got frantic when she was separated from her mother. They asked her if she wanted to appear in the movies. Although hesitant, Amalia obliged to have her photo taken which was handed to Sampaguita Starmaker Dr. Jose Perez who hastily said, “This girl looks like Elizabeth Taylor. Get her at once.”

• She was crowned as “Miss Number One” after topping the Prince Charming contest, beating 200 hopefuls shortlisted from over a thousand who had their screen tests; among the finalists was Nori Dalisay. The contest was conducted by Sampaguita Pictures in search of 12 charming ladies who would be part of the entourage for a bridal sequence in Prince Charming that stars Eddie Arenas, Myrna Delgado, Ric Rodrigo, Imelda Concepcion, Zeny Zabala and Boy Alano. It led to Amalia’s signing an exclusive contract with Sampaguita Pictures from 1955 to 1962.

• Amalia was billed as “Miss Number One” in her first four films: Prince Charming, Lydia (with Carmen Rosales, Rogelio de la Rosa and Paraluman), Señorita (with Gloria Romero and Ric Rodrigo) and Emma (with Lolita Rodriguez and Ric Rodrigo. Amalia was paid from P1,000 to P2,500 as talent fees.

• She was finally named Amalia Fuentes in her fifth film, Rodora, with Paraluman, Van de Leon and Juancho Gutierrez. Amalia was promoted to full stardom in her sixth film, Movie Fan, opposite Juancho, and was P3,000. Both films were shown in 1956.

Amalia’s screen’s last name, Fuentes, was derived from her stepfather, Isagani, a church minister.

• In 1964, Amalia became the first-ever Filipina image model of Lux bath soap. The USA had glamorous actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Jane Wyman, Loretta Young, Debbie Reynolds and Marilyn Monroe, among others as Lux endorsers.

• She was named “Asia’s Most Beautiful Actress” in a survey conducted by Asia Magazine in the ‘60s.

• Amalia won FAMAS Best Actress for Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin (1966), and MMFF Best Actress for Pag-ibig Mo...Buhay Ko! (1973).

• She received eight other FAMAS Best Actress nominations, namely: Kulay Dugo Ang Gabi (1964), Sapagka’t Ikaw Ay Akin (1965), O! Pagsintang Labis (1967), Kapatid Ko Ang Aking Ina! (1969), Divina Bastarda (1971), Babae...Ikaw Ang Dahilan (1972), Pag-ibig Mo...Buhay Ko (1973) and Isang Gabi...Tatlong Babae (1974).

• Amalia wrote the stories of Tatlong Kasaysayan ng Pag-ibig (1966), a three-part film directed by Gerardo de Leon. She played the roles of Betty, Cynthia and Tina, opposite her then husband Romeo Vasquez. The story of Ito Ang Aming Kasunduan (1973) was Amalia’s idea, directed by Fely Crisostomo and topbilled by Eddie Rodriguez and Rosanna Ortiz. Both movies were produced by AM Productions, Amalia’s film outfit.

Incidentally, Tony Mabesa (photo), considered as one of the founding fathers of the Philippine University Theater (PUT), also died on the same day as Amalia did. She was 84. His last movie was Rainbow’s Sunset in which he plays the terminally-ill partner of Eddie Garcia who died three months before Tony did.

Here’s how Joel Lamangan, director of the movie, remembers Tony:

Of the movie we saw together, of our trips to international film festivals or just plainly gallivanting in a foreign land visiting museums, of me being directed by him in a play, of a role that he is to do in a movie with me at the helm! A beautiful assurance of discovering the many facets of arts and culture, the putting in a correct perspective the different artistic expressions encountered and giving life to them! A true renaissance man, my mentor, my father in the arts, my friend!

New full-service booking agency

Ranvel Rufino and lawyer Shy Sison-Vesagas: The brains behind Bookt Philippines, a full-service booking agency

Congratulations and good luck to Ranvel Rufino, son of Viva executive June Torrejon-Rufino, who recently put up Bookt Philippines with lawyer Shy Sison-Vesagas, a full-service booking agency offering professional celebrity and booking services, managed in-house for optimum efficiency.

Bookt provides clients the opportunity to book celebrities, artists, athletes, hosts, models, bands, speakers, performers and other personalities for all types of clients and requirements. From commercials, endorsements, live performances, print, digital, speaking engagements to simple appearances; whether for brand or product campaigns, corporate events, conventions, store openings, parties or other gatherings, no requirement is too big or small.

Both avid recreational marathoners and tri-athletes, Ranvel and Shy got the idea in a series of CrossFit sessions they shared with their CrossFit Coach.

“We saw an opportunity to bridge the gap between client’s needs and celebrities, artists and other talents and took it,” said Shy.

It took two CrossFit sessions to convince the dynamic duo that Bookt is a viable business opportunity that they wanted to do. “We have in our favor industry knowledge and genuine relationships nurtured throughout the years coupled with solid legal support, exceptional work ethic, and the rare capacity of understanding both the client’s and talent’s needs,” shared Ranvel.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

AMALIA FUENTES
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