Wednesday, August 09, 2006


As I rummaged through my movie memorabilia, I came across these still photos from two of my most favorite Nora Aunor movies. The Superstar only did two films in 1983. Her cameo appearance in Bad Bananas Sa Puting Tabing (Vanguard Films) which was enetered in that year's Metro Manila Film Festival and Maryo J. de los Reyes' underrated film Minsan May Isang Ina (Regal Films) which was shown earlier as the film outfit's annual Mother's Day presentation. Nora Aunor co-starred with dramatic great Charito Solis and Maricel Soriano. I saw this film several times in the theaters. The Superstar played Ruth, a young submissive wife who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with Allan (Bembol Roco). This scene shows Ruth slowly losing her sanity. Another triumph for the Superstar. The film was suffered severe cuts from the censors when it was shown theatrically. I was glad to have seen the complete version on video years later with the rape scene intact. It was a crucial scene to Ruth's ultimate breakdown. Nora Aunor's performance was cited by the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino and garnered a FAMAS nomination.

The Manila Zoo childbirth sequence in the Mario O'Hara masterpiece Bulaklak Sa City Jail (Cherubim Films, 1984) maybe a bit too theatrical according to some critics, but is the single most powerful scene in Philippine Cinema. Once again Nora Aunor's brilliance is in full display here. As Angela Aguilar was being hunted by the police, she desperately hides in a place surrounded by savage beasts. She has nowhere to go. Finally giving birth inside an empty cage, Angela pleads for her newborn child. The anguish and despair, all these emotions registered in one facial expression. For her sterling performance in Bulaklak Sa City Jail the Superstar was named that year's Best Actress at the Metro Manila Film Festival, the Catholic Mass Media Awards and the FAMAS.