Thursday, September 14, 2006


By: Blas F. Ople As Published In Panorama Magazine Windows Column January 7, 1996

Looking for a triumphal theme to highlight to positive for the new year, I found nothing very enticing or remarkable in the political scene; not even in the economic sector which has undoubtedly posted a modest upturn. Then I saw the newspaper photo of Nora Aunor holding the trophy for Best Actress in the Manila Filmfest awards night at the Philippine International Convention Center. I know then that my quest was ended. The triumphant story of the year was the strartling comeback of Nora Aunor, the darling of the Filipino masses.

She was written off as finished. She had no film in a long time. Her television show was unceremoniously scrapped. In her lovelife, she had endured betrayals, and she could feel the quiet contempt of those who thought her brilliant career had ended in disgrace. But Nora went on to collect herself, armored only by a touching faith in God, and she dazzled the nation by coming out Best Actress in the prestigious Cairo International Film Comepetition. The movie, The Flor Contemplacion Story, won the prize as Best Picture, prevailing over American, European and Egyptian entries.

Then came the Manila Filmfest. Nora had braced herself for losing to her friend Maricel Soriano, for how could such a long streack of blessings be sustained? But she still won the prize as Best Actress. Her movie, Muling Umawit Ang Puso (The Heart Learned To Sing Again) was adjudged Best Picture and its director Joel Lamangan, was Best Director, in addition to a whole passel of collateral prizes. Nora had won this trophy of Best Actress seven times before, more than enough to install her in any Hall Of Fame.

Nora may be a wisp of a woman, but she is all woman, and her type of beauty coincides with a historic break in the Filipino's Westernized stereotype of what is beautiful and true. The age of the Brown Madonna has arrived, and in filmdom, the willowy Spanish or American mestiza is no longer queen of all she surveys. It was as though the diminutive Bicolana beauty from Iriga has struck a mystical chord in her countrymen. People saw her as small, dark and beautiful and a lady of true grit besides.

I have known her only from afar (she came once to my birthday party in Hagonoy) but it is hard not to fall in love with Nora Aunor. She now defines for us the meaning of a true triumph of the spirit. No wonder she is much imitated bit never equalled. She has returned as, the song says, as Paraluman, Sa Kaharian Ng Pag-Ibig, Queen in the Kingdom of Love. May her countrymen emulate her example in indomitable hope, unparalleled resilience and a spirtual catharsis and transformation. Nora has become a symbol for us all, across the class divide, the uncrowned queen of of our affections.

With Special Thanks To Ken Gonzales


jeremiah said...

kay sarap mangusap ng mga mata ni nora. ang daming gustong sabihin.

isang eksena ni nora sa Flor ang gustong gusto ko, ang comfrontation scene. nung puntahan ni Flor sina neneng at efren. natural na natural ang tagpo. pati yung tagpong nagmamadali siya sa paglalakad at muntik pa siyang mahulog sa pilapil. sinadya man yun o hindi. sa buong pelikula parang si Flor ang nakikita ko kay nora at ang mga babaeng pinagtaksilan ng kanilang asawa at ng kanilang bayan.

Jojo Devera said...

her eyes truly say a thousand words... although i have to be honest i didn't like any of Ate Guy's movies in the 90's. in as much as she won numerous awards and garnered international acclaim. the only movie of her's that i loved was Bakit May Kahapon Pa? maybe because it was a totally different role for her. the annoying mannerisms were still there but it was much lesser compared to her performances in Flor, Muling Umawit and Sidhi.