Vilma: No more 'love teams' for me

Posted at 07/06/2012 11:44 PM | Updated as of 07/06/2012 11:46 PM

Star for All Seasons weighs in on today's courtship

MANILA, Philippines – Now marking her 50th year in the entertainment industry, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos said she has already "graduated" from being paired with actors to produce chemistry on-screen.

Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos. File photo

Santos said her latest project, horror-suspense film "The Healing," reflects that actors' chemistry on-screen comes in all forms and isn't particular to romantic portrayals.

The Chito Roño-directed film teams her up with young actress Kim Chiu, who Santos personally hand-picked to co-star with her in the film.

"Sa panahon ngayon meron ka namang ibang chemistry, hindi naman siguro uso ngayong kailangang may ka-loveteam ka pa. Kumbaga graduate na ako doon.

"Every time may ino-offer silang movie, unang-una ko munang tanong -- ano ba ang istorya? Pangalawa, sinong makakasama? Because at this point in time, it's not the love team eh. Ang importante, sino 'yung pwede kong makasama na magkakaroon ako ng chemistry," Santos said.

Love teams

During her heyday, Santos was paired on-screen with various leading men, most notably former actor Edgar Mortiz, with whom she starred in 25 films; actor Christopher de Leon, with whom she had 23 films; and former matinee idol Jay Ilagan, with whom she starred in 12 films.

Of her many "love teams," Santos and Mortiz famously became real-life sweethearts. The woman dubbed "Star for All Seasons" recounts, Mortiz was only one among her many suitors at the time.

"Nu’ng kabataan ko, siyempre maraming manliligaw, natural naman 'yon, kaya lang nasa sa'yo naman 'yun kung magpapaloko ka. Ibig ko sabihin, kasi lahat naman pwede kang ligawan, nasa showbusiness ako 'di ba, so nasa sa'yo 'yun kung, excuse the word, makakalusot.

"Pero kasi sa ganoon, conscious naman ako eh. Alam mo 'yung totoo't hindi, alam mo 'yung humahanga lang sa'yo dahil ka-love team mo or humahanga sa'yo dahil you're doing a film," Santos said.

Courtship today

Now, Santos observes that unlike erstwhile portrayals of "love teams" in films, as well as her personal experience, courtship and forming "chemistry" in real life seem to take less time nowadays.

Courtship in her time, Santos noted, took more effort and entailed sacrifices.

Developments in technology, Santos added, seem to have affected the way the youth nurture romantic relationships with others.

"Dati talagang makikita mo 'yung effort ng mga nanliligaw sa'yo, which is may weight sa babae 'yun. Eh ngayon, hindi eh, text lang ata pwede na. Ngayon, 'eyeball tayo.'

"It has something to do with technology, but I guess dapat even sabihin mong high-tech na ngayon, nandodoon pa 'yung moral values natin, dapat maiwan pa rin," Santos said.

With more than five decades of life experiences behind her, on and off camera, Santos said she prefers to stick to traditional courtship.

"Andidito pa rin 'yung pagka-Pilipina ko. I think ang true love, may kasama namang sakripisyo sa panliligaw. At naniniwala parin ako hanggang ngayon, sabihin niyo nang makaluma, na 'pag ako niligawan mo, hindi lang ako dapat, kasama dapat pati pamilya ko," she said.