Welcome to Pita Revilla's Paulinian Page!
Armando Goyena’s real-life dramas (Pita’s Dad in 2003 Manila Filmfest!) - Marites Revilla and daughter Bianca Araneta say it with beads (New photo) - Armando Goyena: FAMAS Best Actor '02 - Armando Goyena: What A Dad! - Armando Goyena: Then & Now - Chito Roño pays tribute to film icon Armando Goyena - Bernard Palanca: a good boy at heart - Miko Palanca: the other brother - Johnny Revilla: a beautiful person inside and out - Janet Basco: back in the scene - Paulinian Photos
Watch BJ Palanca on ABS-CBN/The Filipino Channel's Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, Mon-Fri, 440PM PT - ASAP, Sun, 12PM / 9PM PT - Masayang Tanghali Bayan, Mon-Fri, 1215PM PT ----- Miko Palanca on ABS-CBN/TFC’s Buttercup, Sat, 745PM PT - TFC's This guy's in love with you music video -- everyday!
The Revilla Sisters -- Paulinians all: Marites, Ross, Tina, Cecile, Cita and Pita. Not in photo is Malou who lives in Wash DC with her family.
Armando Goyena's real-life dramas
MOVIE actor Armando Goyena had to play a woman in the '50s before he could become a star.
The part was the title role in the 1953 comedy "Tiya Loleng" with Tessie Quintana, which was filmed at least three decades before Dustin Hoffman made "Tootsie" and Robin Williams played "Mrs. Doubtfire."
"They imitated us," Goyena chuckles. "The movie became a big hit, and that's how I made some money to marry."
Goyena, now 80, was married to Francisca Roses, also called Paquita, the first Camay soap model, with whom he had seven daughters and a son. Two of these daughters first became movie stars themselves-Maritess Revilla, who was also a soap model, and Tina Revilla, who later became a television host.
He has 28 grandchildren, four of whom have also become celebrities -- Bianca Araneta, her brother Carlo, Bernard "BJ" Palanca and his brother Mico.
A portrait of Paquita is prominently displayed in Goyena's suite in a condominium unit at the Ortigas Center. He gazes at his wife's face and sighs.
"She was beautiful," he says, almost in a whisper.
Paquita died from an obscure disease, whose name Goyena could not recall. He also could not recall exactly when she died, "oh, about four or three years ago," he says. How old was she when she died? "Let me see, she was 11 years younger than I am."
But he remembers how she suffered the pain of her ailment.
"She suffered. Four years of suffering. She was on a bed in that corner of this room." He points at a part of the suite where an antique cabinet holding his acting awards is now displayed.
"It's funny," he says. "All these awards came late in my life. I missed these when I was younger."
He has a total of five awards, mostly tributes from award-giving bodies that gave him recognition for his enduring popularity in an industry that thrives on youth power.
When asked for the names of his 28 grandchildren, he says, "Forget it." He tries to name his eight children, but starts to fumble with the sixth child, saying he has not seen her in 10 years because she lives in the States. He also refers to another daughter only as Mrs. Shultz.
"Why are you asking me these questions?" he blurts out.
Despite the memory lapses and the bags beneath his eyes, Goyena has the build of a 40-year-old man.
"I work out in the gym for two hours, twice a week," he says. "I have been doing this for six years, after I had two open-heart surgeries. I can lift free weights, but not sacks of rice. I have muscles in my arms and I am fit."
He thinks he's lucky he can still do many things, like run a restaurant in Makati and appear in the movies.
His latest role is in the December film fest movie "Captain Barbell," and he is anxious to learn his lines. This has become harder now, he admits, unlike when he played the title role of "Kapitan Kidlat" in 1953, the local version of Captain Marvel.
"It was very different then," he says.
The difference in the movie industry then was the studio system as opposed to the star system of today.
"There was no jealousy among us contract stars," he says. "We were all good friends."
He recalls that as a contract star of LVN, he was part of a big family. He was paid a salary, and a bonus if his movie made money, like "Tia Loleng."
"We were like a big family," he says. "We attended parties together. We were always together. My love team was Tessie Quintana, a very nice lady, a good person. Of the 48 movies I made then, 15 of them were with Tessie."
But his off-screen relationship with the actress is even more poignant than any movie roles the couple had played.
"Tessie died of cancer at the age of 38," he says. "At the time she was dying in a hospital, all the other LVN stars were gathered around her bed except for me. I was no longer in the movies then. I was already in business."
Goyena was attending a Rotary Club meeting when Tessie had her real-life death scene. He recalls that his wife arrived in his meeting and motioned him to come out.
"My wife told me, 'Tessie Quintana is dying and she's looking for you,'" Goyena says.
He rushed to be at her side, and just like in the movies, he arrived too late.
"She died five minutes before I arrived," Goyena says sadly.
He talks of the recent deaths of three veteran actors -- Vic Vargas, Oscar Moreno and Cesar Ramirez -- and says he went to the wake of Moreno.
"I thought to myself, 'Oh, God, there might be a fourth death,'" he says. "Then I thanked God I'm still alive."
As an actor, he considers the role of Tony Javier in the Nick Joaquin play "Portrait of the Filipino as an Artist" as his most memorable portrayal. For 70 runs, he explored the human condition through the Javier character as if he himself were the man trapped in the sordid reality of poverty, which only gentility (as personified by the spinster sisters Paula and Candida) could overcome. The play was staged by Lamberto V. Avellana's Barangay Theater Guild, and was directed by Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero.
"They tell me that not one portrayal was the same," says Goyena. "Even if Wilfredo was from the Ateneo and I was from La Salle, we became quite close. He was the one who tapped me to play Tony Javier. Every night, after a performance, he would tell me that I did something different again. He said, 'You're no longer Armando Goyena; you're Tony Javier.'"
The rogue role of Tony Javier jump-started his movie career, which holed him in swashbuckling roles if not in teenybopper love stories.
"I was 23 when I started, but they said I looked too young to play mature roles," he says. "They made me play roles of 16-year-olds. That was my difficulty at that time. I could not play mature roles, and I liked to play mature roles. Until I played Tony Javier on stage. Then they cast me in dramas."
His movie career peaked when he cross-dressed in "Tia Loleng," but his success came with some embarrassment.
"In the early days, it was unheard of for an actor to play a woman and wear women's clothes," he explains. "But I enjoyed doing that movie. It was a good role for me. Sometime after that movie, I was known as Tia Loleng. People would call me Tia Loleng in the streets."
Although he refused to name his favorite actors, he says he thought "Leopoldo Salcedo was good, and in a different style, so was Rogelio dela Rosa. I was pitted against them in some movies."
These days, he can only pit himself against himself.
"What else do I want to do? I can think of several roles. But I am limited by my age."
In one telenovela, the production staff had to whiten his hair for his role. "They told me I did not look old enough," he says, his eyes twinkling with glee.
Armando Goyena: FAMAS Best Actor of 2002!
famAnd the winners in the the 50th FAMAS are...
From Danny Vibas' Showbits, Manila Times, 16 Apr 02, http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2002/apr/16/enter/20020416ent1.html. (Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer, 16 Apr 02.)
On TV (specifically on RPN-9), the 50th FAMAS (Filipino Academy for Movie Arts and Sciences) Awards Night started at nine o’clock on Saturday night — and ended at dawn of the next day, specifically at 3:20 a.m.
It’s actually the long commercial breaks that primarily stretched the proceedings on TV and secondarily the many special prizes the awards-giving body gave away Saturday night at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel. Veteran actor Armando Goyena, 80, won best actor for his performance in MAQ Films’ Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure, and Lorna Tolentino best actress for her performance in Viva Films’ Abakada … Ina.
It was the very first FAMAS trophy of Goyena who was a matinee idol of the ’40s and early ’50s. Because of his already shaky legs, Goyena had to be accompanied all the way up to the stage by his lone son, Johnny Revilla (whose beauteous sisters, such as former commercial models Marites, Tina, Cita, and Pilar were also present), to whom the old man immediately handed the kinda heavy trophy.
Happily, even if his was a very straightforward speech, it wasn’t without a sense of humor. When he thanked producers Mother Lily and her daughter Roselle, and director Chito Roño for convincing him to accept the movie offer, Goyena quickly added as an aside, "I hope they will convince me again soon," we couldn’t help but giggle — even it if was already 3 a.m.
He revealed in his speech that his late wife, Paquita Roces, used to tell him that someday he would win a FAMAS trophy — and at that time, even he couldn’t understand how his wife could say such a thing when he was no longer active in the movies.
Right after reading his speech, he looked for Johnny aloud, and when Johnny almost instant moved beside him, the old man quickly grabbed the trophy from his son’s hands, raised the trophy, and triumphantly declared, "Paquita, this is for you!"
It was one of the night’s few touching moments.
What A Dad!
As patriarch of a famous family, erstwhile screen idol Armando Goyena remembers the "bedlam" of raising one son and seven beautiful daughters.
PEOPLE still stop him on the streets, movie fans from four decades ago who followed the all-too-brief 10-year movie career of this boyish mestizo with the killer smile. Then again, people from any generation would look twice at Armando Goyena even today, a distinguished, white-haired gentleman who remains impeccably groomed and nattily dressed at age 76. You know, the kind of gentleman who pulls a spotless white handkerchief from his pocket and who, as patriarch of a family of one son and seven--count 'em--daughters, would never allow his kids to leave the house looking sloppy. "You're my children, and I don't want you to be seen in public looking like trash," he would say.
Today, those eight children have given him 28 grandchildren who are so fond of their handsome lolo, one of them was in tears when she saw him shot dead on TV for the first time. "It wasn't enough that I talked to her on the phone," Goyena says. "I had to go and show myself to her!" The experience has made the already discriminating actor even more choosy with offers. "I have to ask, mamamatay ba ako diyan? If it's yes, forget it."
Goyena, Jose Goyena Revilla Jr. in real life, is a rare bird: someone who survived show biz without a taint of scandal to his name, retired in the prime of a hot career, and went on to become a successful businessman and quintessential paterfamilias. He and wife Paquita Roses would go on to become well-known parents to a generation of renowned Filipina beauties, including Camay Girls and cover girls Maritess, Rossi and Cita and TV personality Tina. As if there wasn't enough pulchritude to go around, only son Johnny had to go out and marry sultry singer Janet Basco.
"No, I didn't want a big family, but they just kept coming," chuckles the father of (in order) Maritess, Tina, Johnny, Ces, Pita, Rossi, Malu and Cita. "I tell people it was because there was no TV at that time." What of the joke that playboys find their karma in fatherhood to several daughters? "Well, they used to kid me about that, but I say, show me the record that I'm a playboy. Doña Sisang was very strict about that; you don't display yourself, or mapapagod ang tao. After my movies, I didn't go around with girls. Today, actors are on TV, everywhere. Well, people seem to like the exposure now."
Doña Sisang was none other than Narcisa De Leon of LVN Pictures, the studio that made Armando Goyena a star. Born in Manila to
Jose Revilla Sr. and Florentina Goyena, he lost his father during the last desperate days of the war in 1945, when retreating Japanese troops crammed some men into a public bathroom on Herran and threw in three hand grenades. The tragedy made the then 22-year-old Goyena head of a family which included a much younger sister and brother. "I was looking for all sorts of jobs after the war, as there was no business. All of my salary went to my mother."
One of those jobs was managing a coffee shop, where a playwright named Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero would often sit and chat with Pinggoy, as Goyena is called by friends.
Guerrero eventually cast him in a play--"But Freddie, I wasn't even in the debating or oratorical clubs in school," Goyena protested--and introduced him to acting. After that benefit premiere on the grounds of an army hospital that almost had him backing out from stage fright, Goyena went on to do "What A Guy!" in 1948, a one-actor play Guerrero wrote especially for him. He also worked with Lamberto Avellana's Barangay Theater Guild, playing Tony Javier in Nick Joaquin's "Portrait of the Artist as Filipino."
Sensing an opportunity, Goyena approached Doña Sisang, a one-time pangguingue playmate of his mother. "I had no manager, but I told her, gusto kong maging artista. My advantage was that she knew who I was, so I didn't have to audition." In two months, Goyena had been cast as second lead with Tessie Quintana in the 1948 film "Puting Bantayog," headlined by Leopoldo Salcedo and Norma Blancaflor and directed by Gregorio Fernandez. He borrowed a cousin's first name and his mother's maiden name, which was already the surname of a popular pre-war actress, Lucita Goyena. He went on to do 48 films from 1948 to 1957.
As a De La Salle Commerce graduate and the only other actor from an exclusive school (the other was Atenean Pancho Magalona), Goyena was considered a "Golden Boy" of Philippine cinema, perpetually cast as a rich city kid. In real life, he was still a regular sight at La Salle-Ateneo basketball games, which was where he first spotted "a pretty girl" named Paquita Roses. "I would stare at her from across the stadium, and she would get so self-conscious," Goyena recalls. Running into her with some friends at the Sky Room, the society hangout of the day, he would stretch out a foot every time Roses had to go to the bathroom, forcing her to say "Excuse me" each time. "Oh, she was mad," he chuckles.
He finally got formally introduced at a bingo social, which he attended because he knew she would be there with her mother. A few days later, he asked Paquita out on a date. They were married in 1951.
"By 1957, the studios were already looking for new and younger talents," Goyena explains why he retired. "Meanwhile, my children were coming one after another. I could not picture myself, at age 36, going from one studio to another asking for work. I could see the writing on the wall, so I quit while I still had a name and went into business."
First-born daughter Maritess made it to several magazine covers as the daughter of a celebrity, and Goyena soon learned how his daughters' great looks would take them places. "There were two Spanish nurses at the University of Santo Tomas hospital who would visit her every day and stare at her in the nursery. I could get anything I wanted--even a steak dinner from the kitchen!" Was he ready for fatherhood? "Yes, I wanted to have kids. Actually, I wanted a boy first, and thought we could have another one after Johnny came. We didn't quite expect that there would be five girls after him!"
Goyena describes himself as "strict. Ask any of them. There was a limit, especially when they were of dating age. The curfew was 12 midnight, and one sister would always have to accompany another." He recalls how Pita got permission to leave unaccompanied by just being at a friend's house, but when she wasn't home by 12, Goyena drove over and picked her up. "She said, 'Dad, that was so embarrassing.' I said, I'd rather you be embarrassed than sorry."
No, Johnny wasn't spoiled as the only son. "In fact, I was harder on him." Johnny was the only one to get a spanking from Dad, when he once snuck out and came home way past the curfew, leaving some propped-up pillows on his bed as a decoy. "I waited," Goyena recalls with relish. "I spanked him with my leather slippers. I said, 'This is for fooling me.' That was the only time, when he was around 15, but Johnny tells me that he has never forgotten it."
Another sacred rule? "You cannot go out dirty or gusot ang damit. Especially Maritess and Tina, who did movies and came out on TV. I told them, don't ever go to the supermarket wearing dirty clothes. You have a name to protect."
Goyena believes in having definite boundaries between parent and child. "They can talk to me, but they also know that when I say no, I mean no. There has to be some kind of respect and distinction, not just like barkada. But the youngsters today, you have to give and take, or they will rebel. I'm just grateful that I never experienced drugs or problems like that with any of my kids. My biggest fear then was cigarettes!"
Needless to say, it was "bedlam" raising a home of screaming women, Goyena smiles. "Of course, I had to temper myself and balance things. I'd tell my wife, you decide, you're a woman." Goyena remembers driving all seven girls to St. Paul's in the family Chevrolet station wagon, and getting wholesale perks in terms of tuition fees. "We only paid tuition for the first three. The fourth was half, and the remaining three were free."
Suitors were another issue. "Their first impression was always rejection," Goyena recalls. "They had to prove themselves to me." Because of another hard rule - no visiting on school nights - Goyena has sent many a hopeful beau home because there were classes the next day.
Today, Goyena is semi-retired and manages the Makati Medical Center's restaurant, Floating Island. With his wife recovering from illness, Goyena has moved her from their Parañaque residence to Maritess' home in Pasig to be more accessible to the children, who pop in regularly to check on Mom. "I have always been proud of my kids. I always had that worry that I'd have to be more careful of them because they're women, and I can't always be where they are. But they never gave me any headaches." The biggest pain of fatherhood? "Making a wrong decision. I worry, and that stays for some time, until I can get it out of my system."
The greatest lesson he has taught his kids, Goyena feels, is looking out for each other. "They're close, not jealous of each other. I told the girls, you will have seven different husbands, so don't expect them all to be in harmony. But don't let your husbands affect your relationships with each other. Always be conscious that you're one family. Nobody can be different or high-fallutin'." If that happens, Goyena assures, teary-eyed, "then I will be the one to dress her down. I will play my role."
Happily, they've taken this advice to heart. "So at this age, even if I go, I know they will always do that. Maritess is the mother hen. I tell her, you have to be the arbiter if anything happens. They look up to you. She's quite a sister, actually; they raid her closet anytime they want!"
Lolo is both "happy and annoyed" whenever the grandkids are unleashed, he says wryly. And although, like every grandparent, he is guilty of occasionally spoiling them, he doesn't interfere with raising them. The most Goyena says is, "If I were you, I wouldn't do that."
In times of crisis, Goyena tells his children to "remember the experience. It's done, you can't be thinking about it all your life." Nowadays, though, when it's Dad who's feeling sick, "everybody's there," he says in mock exasperation. "I tell them, don't bother me because I'm already old --but I let them do what they want." At this stage, Goyena sits back and evidently enjoys the fruits of his fatherhood. "I'm not a millionaire, but my children are my treasures."
(Paulinian webnotes: 1-All the Revilla Sisters are of course SPCM High School / Grade School alumnae. 2-Alya, the author, is known as Manila's "journalist with theater fever". A veteran stage actress, she's Senator Honasan's younger sis.)
Goyena: Then & Now
CONVERSATIONS with Ricky Lo, Philippine Star's Entertainment headline, 23 Dec 2001 ( http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200112231701.htm )
Let's take a trip down memory lane with Armando Goyena, star of Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure, MaQ Films' entry at the Metro Filmfest which starts on Tuesday, Dec. 25, and ends on Jan. 2, 2002. In the movie, directed by Chito Roño, Armando plays the character who holds the key (a diary) to the fabled treasure of Gen. Tomuyuki Yamashita (with Carlo Muñoz of the PLDT hit "Billy/Gracia" commercial as the young Armando).
Our "trip" is made memorable and nostalgic as we scan scrapbooks and albums of sepia photographs, still pictures from movies of long ago and clippings of magazine/newspaper stories which are testimonies to Armando's heyday as a matinee idol at the old LVN Pictures.
"These scrapbooks and albums were prepared by Paquita (Roses), my wife," Armando says, pointing to the neat pile at the sofa in his (actually owned by his daughter, Maritess Revilla) condo unit that occupies almost the whole of the 10th floor of a high-rise in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, where Maritess lives in another unit. "They are as precious to me as the treasure of Yamashita."
Paquita Roses, a great beauty, succumbed to ALS (an untreatable and unstoppably debilitating disease which attacks the nerves and the muscles of a person, thus sentencing him/her to a long, lonely, slow death) last March. But this afternoon, she seems to be present at the cozy condo unit which she shared with Armando until her death (spending the last months of her life bedridden). In fact, Armando keeps referring to her in the present tense.
"She is very beautiful," he smiles as he points to a framed photo of the late Paquita, showing her perfect profile. "Doesn't she look even more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor?" I nod in agreement.
We ascend to the second floor (of the condo to which the elevator directly opens - very private and very exclusive).
"That's my bed," Armando says. "Paquita used to sleep on a bed beside it. That was when she was ill already and couldn't get up. She's such a beautiful person inside and out."
Then we sit facing each other on the dining table, scrapbooks and albums between us, and embark on the trip down memory lane. You're invited to come along.
Is there really a (hidden) Yamashita treasure? Or is it all a myth?
"I was alive when the Japanese were here; I was 21 years old. I've been hearing that story ever since. Like many people, I'm not sure if it's true or not. I will have to see it to believe it."
In the movie, you as a young man are shown carrying gold bars (the Yamashita treasure) to the cave. It's fiction, I suppose.
"Oh, yes, it is. But if you see the gold bars and the Golden Buddha (to be displayed at the movie's float during the Metro Filmfest parade tomorrow afternoon), you would believe that there's really a Yamashita treasure. I'm the narrator in the movie."
I'm sure the movie brings back memories of the war...
"...it does, it does! Very painful memories."
Very painful memories?
"The Japanese killed my father."
How did it happen? Was your father, Jose Revilla (Armando's namesake), killed in front of you?
"It happened in 1945. We were living in a chalet in the Malate district. That night, the Japanese rounded up the men in our area, tied their hands at the back, marched them down the street and threw them, all 70 of them, inside the public toilet. How did I know? Well, I was one of the 70, including my father."
It's like that scene in Schindler's List - at the concentration camp.
"Sort of. You know what the Japanese did? They broke the two small windows of the toilet and threw three hand grenades inside, throwing the door open. Those who were not hit started scampering for safety. I could hear machine guns being fired all around. But many were killed, one of them my father. A grenade exploded behind him. I ran to him and I pleaded with him not to die, to be strong. I hugged my father while the Japanese were hitting the survivors with bayonets, especially those who refused to bow."
What happened to your father?
"He died two days later - at the hospital."
How did it feel being pierced with a bayonet?
"How do you think it felt? Hindi lang ako nabayoneta. I was also slapped several times for refusing to bow."
Were you still in school at that time?
"No. Schools were suspended for more than three years. I was then studying Commerce at La Salle. I was an ROTC and we were about to be sent to Bataan; we were already quartered in La Salle. I already said goodbye to my family. But that night, we heard the news that Bataan had fallen."
How long did the war years last?
"Let me see... The war broke out in 1941... Manila was declared an Open City in 1943 yata... Up to 1945... We were living in constant fear. And then that infamous rounding up of the men happened..."
You happened to come from a prominent family...
"...Well, yes, my parents belonged to the Manila high society even if they were not millionaires. At that time, money wasn't the basis for your membership in high society; it was whom you knew. The families of my father and my mother, Florentina Goyena, belonged to the Columbian Club and the Club Filipino."
How soon after the war did the schools reopen?
"In 1947. I continued my Commerce studies, still at La Salle where I studied from grade school. I graduated in 1948."
And how soon after graduation were you discovered for the movies?
"Right after the war, jobs were scarce. But I got a job as a night watchman in a big compound of heavy trucks. That was right after the war when everybody had to fend for himself, when everybody had to work. That was after the Liberation. I was getting P180 a month. And then, I worked for the Gregorio Araneta Inc. which had a small department store near Carriedo in Sta. Cruz (Manila). I was the manager of the department store with a coffee shop. Wilfrido (Ma. Guerrero) - you know him, the playwright? - would take coffee there every day. We would chat; we became friends. One day, he told me, 'Pinggoy, I am finishing a play; I want you to play the lead.' I said, 'What do you mean lead... appear on the stage?' Nabigla ako."
Why, didn't you have any experience in acting, maybe in school plays?
"I wasn't even a member of the debating team! I wasn't even a member of the oratorical team. So I told Freddie, 'Forget it!' But Freddie was persistent. Every day, he would pester me, until I finally said, 'Okay, I'll try it.' That was the start."
What was the title of the play?
"Women Are Extraordinary, an original play. I played the husband. After that, more plays followed. Freddie even wrote one play, called What A Guy, purposely for me. I was the only character in that play, alone onstage. No, it wasn't a soliloquy; it was a 35-minute one-character play. Doon kami sa Quiapo nagre-rehearse, near the store where I worked, and we did the rehearsals after my work."
How did that play come about?
"Everytime we did a play, it was hard to gather all the players for the rehearsals. So I told Freddie, as a joke, 'Why don't you write a play with just one character, so only one player will rehearse?' After two weeks, Freddie came to me, 'I'm halfway through.' I asked him, 'Halfway through with what?' Freddie said, 'With the one-character play.' My role was that of a married man na pilyo, babaero. The props were a telephone, a letter which I read at the start of the play, written by my wife (not shown onstage) who was leaving me because babaero ako, e."
(In stream-of-consciousness fashion, Armando then begins delivering his dialogue, word for word, without missing a beat, going through the same gestures he must have done half a century ago before a stunned audience. I am amazed by his sharp and photographic memory as he delivers his lines without buckling at all.)
So you didn't join the movies a greenhorn.
"When I entered the movies, I had already done more than eight plays. You know where What A Guy was staged? In San Beda! I told Freddie, 'Why in San Beda? I'm from La Salle. The people there might throw tomatoes at me!' Luckily, no such thing happened. The play was staged for three nights at San Beda and all nights were full house."
You never left the theater when you were already doing movies, did you?
"I also did plays for Bert Avellana (who was then directing movies for LVN Pictures). With Bert, I did (Tennessee Williams') Summer and Smoke and also (Nick Joaquin's) Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, playing the male lead Tony Javier. I was the first who played that role, the original, when Bert wasn't shooting, when I wasn't busy doing movies, we were rehearsing for plays."
Bert Avellana did a movie version of Portrait. How come you were not in it?
(It was Conrad Parham who played Tony Javier.) "When Bert did the movie, I was already out of showbiz. I retired already."
That early? At your prime?
"I wanted to quit while the quitting was good. You know how it is in showbiz, then and now. I was getting older and younger stars were taking over. The turnover was fast, just like now. I entered the movies in 1948 and I decided to retire in 1957. I was active then for more than nine years only."
How did you get into LVN Pictures? (Armando was loyal to LVN; he didn't do any movie for other companies, such as Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions which, with LVN, composed The Big 3.)
"You know, I did those plays with Freddie for peanuts, usually for charity. If the gate was good, all of us would eat at the panciteria; if the gate was bad, we contented ourselves with siopao and siomai. Anyway, the theater wasn't my source of income. Remember, I had my own job - as supervisor of the department store."
So, acting was a craft that you learned how to love. You didn't really dream of becoming an actor.
"That's right. When I entered the movies, I was already confident because of my experience in theater."
Who discovered you for the movies? Who brought you to LVN?
"Oh, it was very easy. I went to Doña Sisang (the late LVN Matriarch). She knew me as a young boy. My mother used to play panggingge (a card game) with her. I would pick up my mother every afternoon from Doña Sisang's house and told her that I wanted to be in the movies, sabi niya, 'You wait until we do a big project.' So I waited."
What was your childhood ambition (if not to become an actor)?
"Nothing. Just to be successful. To be a businessman, that's why I took up Commerce in college. One day, almost two years after I started doing theater, I saw a big billboard of Pancho Magalona in a movie. That gave me an idea. I should also be in the movies, I told myself. So I went to Doña Sisang. The old woman said, 'Aber, tumayo ka nga. Marunong ka bang umarte?' I stood only 5'8" and I was up against the tall and big guys at that time, the likes of Leopoldo Salcedo and Rogelio dela Rosa. I waited and it took two months before I got a call, not from Doña Sisang but from Pancho Magalona (A high-society boy, like Armando, during those times - RFL). Pancho and I knew each other, maski Ateneo siya at ako La Salle. Pancho told me, 'O, Pinggoy, you better go to LVN; Doña Sisang is looking for you!' So I went to LVN. Doña Sisang told me, 'O, iho, I have a big movie for you. Puting Bantayog. Ngayon lang magtatambal sina Leopoldo Salcedo at Norma Blancaflor. It will be a hit, kaya mapapansin ka dito.' I was paired with Tessie Quintana who was also starting then."
You and Tessie were the loveteam, even if you also did several movies with other actresses, like Delia Razon (still active until now). You and Tessie were memorable in Tia Loleng where you dressed up as a woman so you could be close to her. (More than four decades later, Hollywood would do a similar movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, where Robin Williams played a similar role.) Were you and Tessie ever an "item," like loveteam-mates these days usually are, including your grandson Bernard Palanca and Rica Peralejo)?
"No, we were not. Tessie was already married at that time, to Johnny Reyes (a kontrabida) whose aunt was my aunt. You know how that happened? Johnny's aunt married my uncle. So Johnny and I grew up na parang magpinsan (cousins). I did more than 45 movies with LVN before I quit."
What do you consider as your most memorable movie?
"Tia Loleng. That's my movie that made the most money... the movie gave me the money to get married. My other memorable role was in Welga, a trilogy, where I played a pier hand. First time I portrayed a non-pretty-boy role. I was nominated for the FAMAS (Best Actor category) but on the morning of the awards night, they told me that I was disqualified because the movie wasn't full-length, part lang daw of a trilogy. So what? If an actor is good, even if he appears only a few minutes on the screen, he's still good. If he's bad, even if he appears from beginning to end, he's still bad. That's why until now, may tampo ako sa FAMAS."
Oh, yes, your ravishingly beautiful (late) wife, Paquita Roses (who starred in, among others, the Camay advertisement, along with Gloria Romero and other timeless beauties). How did the courtship go?
"Paquita was several years younger than me. Her two brothers were also studying at La Salle so I knew them. At the NCAA games, I would watch Paquita from afar, teenager pa lang siya noon. She was only about 13 then and I was 20. Her father was pure Spanish and her mother a mestiza. She studied in Assumption. Her mother didn't think much of artistas and I suspected that she didn't like me. But it helped that Paquita's two brothers were my friends, Gerardo and Gabriel. I was already in the movies when I started courting her. One night, we were celebrating at the Sky Room (The 'in' social venue at that time, located just adjacent to the old Jai Alai building on Taft Avenue. - RFL) after a movie premiere and I saw Paquita there with her friends. You know what I did?"
What did you do?
"Paquita and her group were seated at one corner and they had to pass by our table to go to the dancefloor. Everytime she'd pass by me, I would pretend to put my leg in her way so she would stop going to and coming from the dancefloor and would say, 'Excuse me!' and I'd say, 'Sorry!' When she passed again, she'd say, "Excuse me!' and I'd say again, 'Sorry.' I used to see her at the NCAA games but I hadn't really met her. That night at the Sky Room, I told Lota Delgado (wife of Rogelio dela Rosa), who was seated beside me, 'In six months, she will be my girlfriend.' True enough, in six months, girlfriend ko na si Paquita."
How did you finally meet Paquita - formally?
"One of those in Paquita's group was a guy who knew my younger sister. So I told him later on, 'Hey, I saw you with that beautiful girl the other night. How about introducing me to her?' He helped me draw up a strategy. My friend told me, 'You're from La Salle. Every Thursday, the Alumni Club holds a bingo social. If you're not shooting next Thursday, call me and we'll go to the bingo social. Paquita's mother will surely be there.' The mother was very strict, you know. So that night, I bought several bingo cards and I gave them to Paquita's mother who was crazy about bingo. And she won. That same night, I asked her permission to visit Paquita in their house. Soon, Paquita and I were going on dates, foursome with my friend and his girlfriend. The mother permitted Paquita kasi foursome date naman, e. We went steady for two years, but she was brought to the States para ilayo sa akin ng mother niya. But by then, we were in love with each other already. Every day, Paquita wrote letters to me and I would answer her once a week. Not a million miles could keep us apart."
It's a good thing she came back - still in love with you.
"You know, they came back by ship. The trip took them more than one month. Would you believe that even before the andamyo (gangplank) could be lowered, tumatakbo na si Paquita pababa. I was there. I was just as eager and excited to see her again. After three months, we got married already, in 1951. A year later, Maritess was born."
Your marriage was stable, unlike other showbiz marriages. What was your "secret formula," if any?
"I didn't womanize. I was faithful until her death. I was never rumored to be having an affair with any actress because there was none. Siguro, the actresses knew that I had a beautiful wife, so... With a beautiful wife like Paquita, how could you think of other women? We were together for 48 years. Those were very happy years. I was never unfaithful to her. Besides, I thought that if I played around, baka magbayad ako; baka ma-karma ako."
You have such sharp memory. Do you mind if I ask how old are you?
"I turned 79 last Dec. 7."
How do you keep fit?
(Joking) "Well, having seven girls bothering me all the time..."
Could you name your seven daughters and one son in chronological order?
"Of course! Maritess, Tina, Johnny, Cecilia, Pita, Rosario, Malu and Cita. I have 28 grandchildren."
What are your expectations after Yamashita?
"I hope this movie will open a new career for me."
A new career!?!
"Yes, as The Lolo of All Time. You know, after 1957 when I quit, I didn't do any movie for more than 30 years. I was working as accountant for the Yuchengcos. Then, in the late '80s, Regal got me for a role in Mahal Kita Walang Iba, the movie of Kris Aquino and Christopher de Leon. Yamashita is produced by MaQ Films, sister company of Regal, so it's like a homecoming movie for me."
I wonder, how does a 79-year-old look at life, after going through the war years, stardom, a happy and fruitful marriage, success as a businessman and all the luxuries other people can only dream about?
"Life's good. I have no regrets."
By Remy M. Umerez, Phil Daily Inquirer, 23 Dec 2002 ( http://www.inq7.net/ent/2001/dec/23/ent_3-1.htm )
ONE special treat MaQ's "Yamashita The Tiger's treasure" offers is the rare comeback appearance of film icon Armando Goyena.
Chito Roño who directs the multi-million war epic drama, had only Armando Goyena in mind to play Lolo Melo, the wartime witness to Japanese atrocities in the wake of the great Yamashita operation launched by retreating Japanese forces.
Goyena was a matinee idol during his time. He formed a love team with Tessie Quintana in their LVN days. He was a society boy, a dashing hero of countless romance and adventure pics.
One movie he loves to remember was "Medalyong Perlas," a trilogy. In the episode "Welga" he was nominated for best actor and lost because it was not a full-length feature. Five years later, when another omnibus film was produced, an actress was nominated and won. Armando felt he was cheated.
This is the second time for Chito Roño to work with Armando who turned 81 this month. The first time was in "Eskapo" which starred Richard Gomez and Christopher de Leon. It was a cameo role (he appeared in one scene only) unlike in "Yamashita" where the two lead stars are played by Goyena and teen heartthrob Danilo Barrios.
We asked Chito why he tapped Armando for themajor role. His answer: "I needed someone who lived in that era. In my conversation with Tito Pinggoy, he told me how at 21, when the war just broke out, he got slapped by Japanese sentries simply for refusing to bow to them. He will never forget the day he was thrown inside an old sinehan with his father and 50 other Filipinos for no real reason, and how they escape from the gunfired and grenades exploding in front of them.
"Running for their lives, they slid under a garbage van until the Americans rescued them. Tito Pinggoy never spoke to any Japanese since then. He showed the shrapnels embedded in his left arm as a reminder of the cruelties of war."
Goyena almost backed out from the role due to his vertigo. Chito reassured him, however, that he would be allowed to rest after essaying a grueling scene. On the other hand, Goyena's children feared for their father's health because of the risky scenes involved, like climbing up a mountain and cave spelunkings since Armando is already in his 80s and has undergone a triple bypass. But his love for acting prevailed in the end.
One of the highlights in the movie is the confrontation scene between Goyena and Vic Diaz, who excels in portraying a Japanese official. In "Yamashita," Diaz is the cruel Japanese officer who comes back 60 years later as a crime syndicate boss out to claim his stake on the loot he left behind, the Yamashita treasure.
Chito comments: "It was like re-living one magical moment. There they are on the screen, two senior actors, exchanging harsh dialogue. If you remember Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,' gano'n ang impact ng dalawa. I watched in awe because their lines were long, and yet no one made a mistake. They were so effective that the people watching couldn't help but be carried away."
In another scene, shot on location in the United States, Lolo Melo and his grandson Jobert (Danilo Barrios) takes a stroll and he imparts valuable lessons in life, and the sequence was so touching. "Para silang mag-lolo in real life and the bystanders cried," says Chito.
The director almost failed to convince Goyena to shed a tear in one dramatic sequence. "He was not in favor of a man crying because he says that, even when he lost his wife, he held back his tears. I presumed it has something to do with his macho image during his time. After much paliwanagan, however, I won."
For the first time and probably the last, Goyena's only son Johnny appears (in a cameo role) with his father, something which his daughters failed to do. Miko Palanca, a real-life grandson of Armando, is cast as a sci-fi and occult freak who offers solutions in finding the hidden treasure.
One hopes that the filmfest competition's sympathy vote will work to the advantage of Armando Goyena, who has yet to receive an acting trophy.
As far as Chito is concerned, trophy or not, Goyena's performance in "Yamashita" will register in the viewer's mind for a long, long time.
More "Y" articles: Doing Yamashita an 'adventure' for direk Chito -- Three generations of stars assembled in 'Yamashita' -- Three Generations in 'Yamashita' -- click here.
Saying it with beads
MARITES Revilla's love affair with beads began when she was a young girl waiting for her mom to come out of a beading session with an old Spanish lady, who would teach her the art and craft of beading bags.
"After school, my sister and I would pick up my mom and she would show us all these beautiful bags that she had lovingly beaded by hand," Marites recalls.
Three years ago, Marites picked up the passion for beading when Swarovski crystals first came in vogue and she found herself making bracelets and necklaces. "I set them aside when they became so common, knowing that they would one day be uso again," she says.
A little over a month ago, only daughter Bianca Araneta, a model and VJ for MTV, came up to her with a photograph of a necklace she had seen in a magazine. "She said 'Mom, look how pretty!' It was also so simple pero a hundred dollars! I told her, I can make something like that," Marites says. "So she challenged me, sige nga, do it. So I looked for the materials and after a couple of days came up with her necklace for a fraction of the price!" she laughs.
From then on, Bianca would ask Marites to create necklaces and lariats for her with matching earrings. "Creating keeps my mind off things and I really derive great satisfaction from being able to make these pieces, and seeing my daughter and my sisters wear them," she smiles.
The pieces, which Marites fashions by herself with a little help from her girl Friday Cedes, are indeed lovely, fashionable and one-of-a-kind-each with its own unique story.
"I never make identical pieces; they may look similar from afar but up close, there is always a distinct feature to it," she explains.
The jewelry has grown in popularity solely by word-of-mouth. "It's not a business, at least that's not the intention," Marites says. "I made pieces for Bianca, then I made some for my sisters, who in turn, showed them to their friends, who would then call and ask about them."
Friends would come to the house looking for pieces for sale, but Marites would have none to show. "These are all from my personal collection, but people have already been placing orders through my sister Pita (tel. 724-0773), who has been helping me cost this whole thing," she laughs.
Marites would rather concentrate on the creative process and leave the business side to Pita. "I'm very critical about the pieces I create, so it really gives me great pleasure when the people who buy these pieces are appreciative and admire them, I'm happy na."
Marites sources her materials from all over - the malls, tiangge, stuff from her own personal collection that date back to the '70s and '80s. "I like taking things apart - a belt buckle, a striking piece from an otherwise baduy necklace, things like that," she explains.
She also doesn't stick to just one texture or color. For example, she mixes wood with crystal and silver, or semi-precious stones with coral in varying hues. She also admits that she takes a liking to ethnic-looking pieces but is the first to say that they don't seem to fit her mestiza features. "When I wear them, parang hindi ko talaga ma-feel," she says. (Left: Bianca wears dark onyx and old silver, while Marites wears a soft stone.)
What started out as a hobby and mother-daughter bonding activity is now on the threshold of a flourishing business. Marites is reluctant but as the popularity of the attractive accessories continues to grow, the calls have kept on coming.
"I don't want to stress myself," she says. Yet, this month, while on a vacation with her sisters, she intends to take private lessons in San Francisco from a beads and accessories shop. She also intends to source materials for her pieces, especially clasps, while in the US.
"Now Bianca is complaining that I no longer have time to make pieces for her!" Marites says.
But Bianca's dogs -Wrinky, a pug; Berry, a shnauzer; Truffles, a cocker spaniel; and Chewy, a Westhighland terrier - have benefited from Marites' craft. "They all have necklaces, too!" Bianca shrieks as she lovingly cuddles her wards.
"Initially, I used magnets for their clasps, but the poor things would get stuck on the refrigerator, so I had to change them to metal clasps instead," Marites says. Now, that's what one would call a dog's life with style.
By Mary Ann A. Bautista and Ricky T.
Gallardo, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 May 17
2002 : http://www.inq7.net/ent/2002/may/18/text/ent_7-1-p.htm
(photo from www.abs-cbn.com )
BERNARD Palanca usually plays bad-boy roles and gets snide remarks whenever he goes to malls, but he claims to be a good boy in real life.
"I'm such a baby. I can't even hurt a fly. But I think it's fun to play a bad boy because I play against who I am and what I stand for. I love life. After doing a mean scene, I really can't imagine someone being that bad! But I can get mad if anyone says something bad against my family and friends," Bernard shares.
Good actors draw from their own emotions and experiences to make a scene more realistic. How can he motivate himself to be so mean and cunning if he's not like that in real life? Where does he get his angst?
"I had a pretty rough childhood. When I was growing up, I had a lot of reasons to rebel. From 13 to 17, I was a bad boy! My friends influenced me then but I wasn't pressured to act that way. I chose to take the path of kalokohan. I grew up too fast. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life.
"When I need angst, I don't look at my past. My experiences help, but to act well, I think I should just do a scene based on what I feel at that moment," Bernard says.
Bernard considers his grandfather, Armando Goyena, his role model but he wants to be as good an actor as his idols, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro.
He's also a poet. He writes his best verses inside the bathroom. He was so inspired one day that he wrote verses with a pentel pen on the bathroom walls. "When my mom saw it, she got mad. But I told her not to erase it.
"Poetry and singing with my band, Bisquit Factory, is my life. My youngest brother also cheers me up. I treat him like he's my son. He's the only one who can wake me up even if I'm puyat and I'll still be smiling," he grins.
By Walden S. Sadiri, Manila Bulletin, 17 July 2002 : http://www.mb.com.ph/news.php?art=15363§=6&fname=EN02071715363o.txt (photo from www.pinoycentral.com )
With the rising popularity of The Hunks, it is not surprising for Bernard Palanca’s name to outshine his brother Miko. Besides, Bernard has been in showbiz longer than him to amass experience and clout to push his career to newer heights. His credit roll also includes a list of movies and television gigs that has made his name a byword in the industry.
Having a brother who is more popular than you in showbiz if you are in showbiz is intimidating especially to showbiz starters. It always brings comparison and scrutiny as to who is better and the pressure that comes along with it is sometimes distractive.
But twenty–four–year–old actor Miko Palanca sees it differently. His brother’s or any of his colleagues¹ achievements do not perturb him. For him it is all about timing and he knows he¹ll get there too sooner or later."I’m not going to say that I¹m not happy. I’m ok. They have been giving me work and I know there would be more to come. I’m just being patient," he expressed. "When I entered showbiz, I expected that this would happen. It is natural for people to compare us brothers. I guess eventually people will start to see the difference and stop comparing us. Our only difference is in our physical appearance, mas maitim siya, mas maputi ako."
Miko has endured a number of mistaken identities as some would sometimes mistake him for Bernard. With much brotherly love between the two actors, this didn’t bother him nor did it frustrate him. He is happy for whatever achievements his brother has achieved and he would always be supportive.
Coming from a regular television-acting job in "Tabing Ilog," Miko has also done rounds of television appearances in ABS-CBN and GMA-7. He has also bagged, however small, roles in three movies, his last one being Chito Roño’s "Yamashita."
Currently, he plays Derek, the elder brother of Shaina Magdayao in ABS-CBN’s latest youth-oriented show "K2BU."
"My role here is a little serious and but comic too. My character might eventually evolve and have a love interest in real life I¹m also a kuya (to his stepsister) so I fit in the role pretty well. And like my TV character and any normal kuya, I’m also protective of my sister," he quipped.
Growing up as the youngest, he never thought that he would one day be in the position of a kuya. All he knew after becoming one was that he has responsibilities like being the arbitrator when his younger siblings who would get into petty fights. His role as he described it was "tagasaway!"
"My sister is very proud of my brother and I," he described fondly. "Every time may concert ang Hunks, gusto niyang sumama and I’m happy enough to see her happy. But if ever she wants to join showbiz, for me it’s ok but she is still young. I think it’s better if you are not so young when you join showbiz."
Education was Miko’s priority. He was already invited to join Talent Center while he was still in high school but he opted to finish school. He earned for himself a Business Administration degree in college.Graduating from college at the age of 19, he was still then a restless teenager who didn¹t know what to do with his life. He didn¹t want to get a regular job yet so he decided to stay at home and work as a ramp and commercial model. But his career as a model didn’t last long. It was his brother Bernard who finally convinced him to try out showbiz.
"When I agreed to give showbiz a try, I told them that I didn’t want to enter showbiz without knowing anything. So I attended acting, hosting and voice workshops just to get used to the whole thing. Then after a while sabi ko ok naman ito so tuloy tuloy na," he related.
Although he admitted to not really knowing how he was packaged when he started in Talent Center, he was just confident of what he would be molded into. And up to now, he doesn’t mind if he still didn’t know where his career would go.
"I’m still very young. The way I think is parang marami pa akong mararating.You just can’t take things seriously. Right now, I’m just having fun. I guess I’m getting the hang of it and I’m having fun acting. I like the people I work with so I don’t think I can see myself in the office as yet. I like the fact that I don’t have to work everyday."
As an actor, Miko is certain that he already matured and has given more effort in his acting craft. He would always be in front of a mirror perfecting his delivery and actions before the actual take of whatever project he would be working on. He is more determined than ever."If I really want something, I’ll go and get it," declared the determined actor.
When asked what important lesson he has learned so far from his showbiz career, he simply replied "being careful on whom to trust!"
Miko Palanca showed potential when he was launched before in a Star Circle Batch. And now with a rekindled spirit and with his passion in acting, Miko is one contender On The Rise!
DIRECT LINE by Boy Abunda, Philippine Star, 6 June 2001 (hwww.philstar.com/philstar/archive.asp?archive=true&category_id=17&content_id=44479)
Johnny Revilla is famous for many reasons. He is
the only son of famous parents Armando Goyena and the original Camay girl
Paquita Revilla. His sisters are all smart and beautiful. His wife is gorgeous
and talented Janet Basco. But I like Johnny because he is a beautiful person -
inside and out.
What a pleasant evening it was when Johnny invited me to dinner at Fernando, a fine dining restaurant at the Rockwell Club where Johnny works as PR consultant. Johnny, Bettina Aspillaga (my production manager) and I talked about politics, food, friends, women, men and gays. As we talked, there was political chaos brewing at the venerable EDSA Shrine. Our conversation swayed like a wild pendulum - we would talk about the senatorial candidates in an instance and before I could finish a sentence, we were already talking about the most beautiful women in the country. And Johnny would get a text message from his youngest daughter and after reading it, someone said that Janet, his wife, is sexier now than 17 years ago. What a relaxing dinner it was!
And Johnny Revilla looks younger and better now. Just before dinner, he brought us to a cheese and wine tasting affair at the mezzanine of Fernando. Everything was good - conversation was excellent. After dinner, he brought us to the spa, the gym and to the other food outlets - The Blue Shade by the pool, Palm Grove Coffee Shop. Oh, Rockwell Club's pool is part of paradise. There's a lap pool that is four to five feet deep, a kiddie pool and a 12 feet deep pool. There's also a children's center where kids can play computer games and playstation. There's also a beauty salon and Planet shop - a sports shop beside the gym.
God, no wonder Johnny looks so good. We agreed that some of my Private Conversations can be done at the Rockwell Club.
Rockwell is fabulous. It's more fabulous because of Johnny!
(Paulinian webnote: Janet Basco, Johnny's better-half with whom he proudly has 1 girl, 1 boy, 1 girl, 1 boy, is a noted SPCM alumna, like her sisters-in-law.)
Pita and classmates got together with vacationing SF resident Cecile Lozada in Nov 2001. Photo on the left was taken at the Alabang Town Center (l-r: Cecile, Zamby Arnaiz, Sunny Escareal, Beth Reyes, Beth's daughter Trish, Cecile's daughter Kathy, Pita and Sherry Fernandez). Other photo was shot at Beth's AA garden. That's Malu Santos beside Cecile.
Ces '74 (2nd from left) with Sunny Escareal '75, Doris Teruel '75 and Geri Crespo '77 -- lectors at St Jerome - Sta Susana Church in Alabang.
Pita '75 (l) with batchmate Lia Jovellanos (Kapelikula '01).
Rossi '76 (far rt) hosts her class reunion (Kapelikula '99).
Cita and Pita (standing) entertain Paulinians and friends (Kapelikula '00).
Janet Basco (l) in concert with Joey Albert (r) and Rachel Alejandro in Washington DC, Mar 00. A year later, Janet released her first record in 17 years, Star Records' best-selling "Love is Right" album. Check out her "Kiss Me Goodbye" music video on ABS-CBN's The Filipino Channel. Sweet!
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Latest page update: 8.16.2003
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