Monday, March 23, 2015


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 By Franklin Roosevelt Cabaluna

As published in The Weekly Nation Magazine
June 2, 1969 

SEX in yesterday's movies, compared to the stuff we get today from our neighborhood fleahouse, was decidedly a bore.  A bare ankle was considered sexy enough in those dreary times.  That was yesterday, the yesterday that's now buried under mountains and mountains of sexy films.

     Times have changed.  For one thing, the cinema is now the most alive and most lively of the arts.  It is also the most inventive, the most passionately versatile.  If one were to recall what Shakespeare had said of Cleopatra:  "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

     She, the cinema, has indeed an infinite variety, specially in depicting sex, in skinning the pussycat.  Yesterday's bare ankle has reached far above and the high neckline of yore has dipped so low that the twain do meet and the result is the -- "Bomba!"

     "Bomba" is the new nude wave that has, in blitzkrieg fashion, hit Philippine movie shores.  The meaning of this Now term is pretty obvious:  the "bomba" in contrast to that of politics' -- which is all sound and fury -- is a real live one:  it spells TNT at the box office.

     It was bound to come, this climate of sexciting happenstance:  money blues breed blue movies despite bluenoses.

     Some ten years after the Father of Philippine Movies, Jose Nepomuceno (father of the present Nepomuceno Productions' Luis), started his pioneering work in 1917 that a "Board of Review for Moving Pictures" was created.  Since the first board came into being, conflict resulted between Filipino moviemakers and the scissor-wielders, but it was a conflict that both sides eyed with something like grudging tolerance.

     It was not until the early 1960's that a bomb exploded -- and it blasted into smithereens whatever uneasy truce reigned between the board and the local moviemen.  This was the controversial Huwag Mo Akong Limutin, a Premiere production directed by ace megman Gerry de Leon from Jose Flores Sibal's "bold expose of human weaknesses, soul-consuming desire and earthly fulfillment."  The movie was initially banned by the board.

     The sizzler featured torrid lip service between the late Oscar Keesee and Arsenia Francisco, Arsenia and Ramon D'Salva and Cesar Ramirez and Cynthia Zamora.  Also, it was spiced with cloying clinches between the said couples, plus Robert Arevalo and Aura Aurea, and Aura and Cesar Ramirez.

     Previewed on June 7, 1960 by nine members of the board of censors, Huwag was highly impressed the scissor-wielders with its dramatic and technical qualities, but they rejected it for general exhibition for the following reasons:  (1)  it has adultery for a subject matter; (2)  it treats of abortion; and (3)  it features kidnapping.

     The board said:  ". . . the picture is of a very low moral character depicting all crimes against morality and even giving justification to many of these crimes by the treatment of the story."

     Two days later, Premiere's Cirio H. Santiago appealed for a reconsideration of the decision to the then Executive Secretary Natalio P. Castillo.  The latter replied after a week that he concurred with the board's findings:  ". . . the two cases that it (the film) shows, involving members of the same family, would, I believe, tend to make a mockery of the institution of marriage, which is highly regarded and held invaluable by our people. . . likewise, I find the picture objectionable on account of its portrayal of blackmail of the lowest order, the apparent impunity with which gambling is operated, and excessive drunkeness, all of which are susceptible of imitation."

     There was then still no talk about open nudity, the nudity cum passion which is the current "bomba" vogue's Spanish fly in the ointment.  (In Huwag, Aura bedizenned herself in none too diaphanous or negligent negligees.  Then, in a scene where she was chased by Robert, it was seen in their consequent struggle on the ground that she was wearing not sheer panties under her dress, but a cagey pair of shorts.)  Nonetheless, what was considered excessive nudity in the beginnings of the now perfected "bomba," cropped up not much later.

     Tagalog Ilang-Ilang entered the movie scene.  In its very first picture Kilabot Sa Barilan, Aura Aurea's rape by a band composed of, among others, Max Alvarado and Paquito Diaz (in the rape, Aura's dress was shredded from her back), that triggered Fernando Poe, Jr.'s vengeance binge.  Tagalog Ilang-Ilang, in its subsequent pictures, enlisted the talents of such passion flowers as Stella Suarez, Miriam Jurado, Mariquit Soliman and Rosario del Pilar.  The cuddlesome foursome indulged in lengthly kissing scenes with Romeo Vasquez, Joseph Estrada or Zaldy Zshornack (Mariquit however only did it once -- with Bobby in Tirador).  If they were not pasturing their kissable lips on their lovemates', they were displaying their bountiful charms in revealing getups.

     Still, there was no real nudity yet, no real "bomba."

     Memorable Caper

      That waited for Charito Solis -- in Zultana International's Tatlong Mukha Ni Pandora.  In the Ding M. de Jesus megger, Chato -- who before that made history by vamping it in Pauline Productions' Angustia -- went the way of all flesh for the first time in her career.  It is said that for the picture's publicity stills alone, she posed in bed raw for a well-known photographer who shot rolls and rolls of her in various stages of undress.

     Portraying a woman of sin in Tatlong Mukha, Chato got in and out of her clothes; gamboled in transparent nighties and undies (mostly with no bra); had herself massaged by the gardener whose suggestive clip-clipping near her window aroused her nymphomaniacal urges.  In one stunning shot, she let the camera peep through the sleeves of her housedress at her naked breasts (the scene was shot from the viewpoint of Van de Leon who was watching her ironing clothes), and in every move of her arm thither, Van got a glimpse of her bosom, so much so that after a while he got excited and approached her and told her to leave her chore for a while.

     After Tatlong Mukha stormed the box office, came the deluge -- of more acres of flesh and sex.  More sex kittens joined the fray and, abetted by Chato's "retirement," were soon lording it on the skimpy celluloid.

     Divina Valencia, a virtual unknown, was an extra in her first picture, Tagalog Ilang-Ilang's Basagulero, a Joseph Estrada-Perla Bautista headliner.  But in her second film, Kardong Kidlat, she was promoted to full stardom together with the late Jess Lapid.

     It took a loud splash in a river scene to catapult her as movie Venus.  While Divina was enjoying the swim in her birthday garb, a group of villains was peeping and enjoying the view.  Jess saw them and taught them a lesson on how to respect the privacy of a bare lady.  Coming out of the water and donning her wet camisa, she was soon teaching Jess how to hold and kiss a dripping woman.  There and then, Divina proved that she was bold and good.

     In her next picture, Ito Ang Lalake, wherein she was a guerrilla and donned pants that clung too tight and hung so low that her midrib and bellybutton showed.  She was caught by the kempetai, disrobed of her garments at the garrison where she was made to hung by her hands.  Though the scene was mostly shot from the backside, daring angles were utilized to show brief glimpses of her bare breasts.  Bruno Punzalan, playing a Japanese officer, was gloating and making ready to paw her.

     Bessie Barredo, Gina Laforteza and Menchu Morelli tried to equal Divina's feats.  All belong to a rare breed of passion flowers, whose earthly fragrance never failed to incense the censors.  A vehicle where they all appeared in, Lovers' Street, got the ire of the "censors' censor," the CCMM (Citizens' Council for Mass Media).

     Sampaguita, the last of the strait-laced studios, joined the skin game by allowing peeks at such stars as Daisy Romualdez and Gina Pareno, and later importing Divina to give a bodily boost to some of its vehicles. 

     Thus, while 1966 started with a bang for local movies, it ended with a whimper.  The moviegoers got surfeited with the sexy purrings of pussycats galore, so it was back to soap operas, sagebrush sagas and ha-ha opuses.

     Except for the Django-type copies, local producers calmly breezed through 1967 and the first half of last year.  Occasionally, Divina, Gina and the others perked up the screen, Lucita Soriano and Stella Suarez livened the set with their real life bout, bu the "bomba" was kept under wraps.

The "Bomba" Explodes

     When the wrapper came off the bomba, the censors have by now obviously relaxed their prissy attitude toward sex and its variants, what with their passing such eye-poppers as Morianna, Flame Of Love, Onibaba and Woman And Temptation.

     Choice samplings of local "bombas":  In Honey And West, a ZZ production, "blue seal" Sonny March was bussed in the bust by Bernard Belleza; later, she took off her duds for a soapy bath.

     In Spy Killers, another ZZ film, actor-producer Zaldy Zshornack and Jaye Stevens were locked in a torrid embrace standing up an then lying down.  Zaldy and Jill Hamilton did the same for the flick, and one scene had them caught in a compromising situation by someone with a gun (very much like that scene in Point Blank wherein Angie Dickinson and her bedmate were disturbed at the height of their passion by a gun-totting Lee Marvin).  Carol Davidson, still another import in the ZZ movie, reclined by the telephone in a mini nightie and undies.

     In Gemini's Max Diamond, Alicja Basili was also at the phone, wearing less than Carol Davidson.  Max Alvarado, sharing a drink with her, moved in for the kill.  In another shot, Max rewarded Gina Stuart with a long, hot kiss after the latter gyrated through her act in a flimsy costume.  Leni Trinidad was another tempestuous kissing partner for Max in the opus.

     In Dirty Face Max, Max was again in a sizzling encounter with Alicja.  He came upon her coming out of the swimming pool with just her bikini bottom on.  He proved himself a gentleman by helping her dry herself with a towel.  Later, he proved himself a man by taking away the view-obscuring towel and locking her in a wet embrace.  Max had other steamy goings-on in the Mundial opus with Bessie Barredo, Marilou Ver, Gina Stuart and Carolyn Jones.

     In Eagle Commandos, an Aladdin production that had the censors blowing their cool, Max hit the hay anew with the nude Alicja this time in just his jocks.  In that eye popping footage, he kissed and feeled her all over.

     The same kind of spirited happening happened to Alicja in Bayanihan's Bino And Clayd.  Megged by Luis San Juan, who's currently dubbed the "king of the 'bomba,' "  Bino Garcia, who has reportedly been refused lip service by several cuties finally got a chance to express himself with by this time over-exposed Alicja.

     In AM Productions' Escarlata, Max and Myra Luna, the new sexation, got down to their bare essentials for a boudoir scene.  Later, Myra was enjoying a smoke as Max gathered her in his brawny arms once more, for a soulful kiss.  Max also nearly kissed Amalia Fuentes, whom he attempted to do wrong while she was dressed in a revealing low neckline outfit.  Max likewise pastured his voracious lips on Bella Flores.

     Max had a bout with Alicja again in Esmerald's Pussycat, wherein a flourish of strippers did their thing.  Divina Valencia and Myra Luna added to sexplosion.

     In the otherwise drab war opus that was Aladdin's Liquidation Squad, director Chat Gallardo concocted a molotov cocktail by having a bit player in the buff make raw romance to an equally willing and bare bit player, Anita Mallari.  Anita also shed her apparel to accommodate the advances of character actor Sancho Tesalona in Esmeralda's Gun-Runners.

     More Delectable Scenes

     Paquito Diaz, straight from Emar's Anim Ang Dapat Patayin! where he and his band (including FAMAS best actor awardee Eddie Garcia) raped Imelda Ilanan to death and attempted to do the same to Gina Laforteza and a barrio lass enacted by an unnamed bit player who had her dress ripped in front and her front bared), ran away with a completely undressed girl -- newcomer Helen Gomez -- in his arms in Perlas' Ang Lupang Ito Ay Akin.  The Eddie Fernandez starrer marked the screen comeback of Anna Gonzales, who went into temporary retirement after she got too hot for the censors with her sizzling river bath in ZZ's Tierra Santa.  In that film, Mona Morena had her share of the hi-jinks:  she and Nort Nepomuceno whipped up quite a rumpus in bed!

     Myra Luna kept her clothes in that opus.  However, in Jacros' Ronquillo Brothers, she shed her bra and lolled around in her sheer nightie and panties for a sultry bed scene with Roberto Gonzales.  Also, Lana May Wong dropped every stitch for an unblushing nightclub sequence.  Susan Oswald put one over Lana in SS Films' Palos Fights Back, wherein she played an ecdysiast who was made to perform tricks for the boys!

     In Ronquillo Brothers, Fred Galang stepped out of his jocks to do a heated love scene with Alicja.  When that footage was about to be shot, the Italian goulash was said to have teased the FAMAS best supporting actor:  "No bra, no panty, no nothing.  Everything go.  I do it.  You do it.  Everythig go, ok?"  Blushing, Fred agreed after some time (after all, the film was his brother (Atty. Romy Galang's second production).

     Some hitch developed when the still photographer, excited, later found out that no pictures of that sequence came out okay in his camera.  Fred and Alicja had to go back to the drawing board for the benefit of the stillman!

     Fred, for that matter, is now quite used to it.  In Nepomuceno's Igorota he peeled to his bare skin for a smoldering clinch with Anjelica for an additional "for export only" scene.  Since Fred, in that scene, imagined his rape victim to be his former betrothed (Charito Solis), he also reportedly did another scene in the nude with Chato for the intercutting shots!

     Ang Pulubi, his current film for Nepomuceno, Fred again uncovered himself for the foreign version.  Here, he made effusive love to Verna Gaston who, in the role of his girl, likewise divested her clothes for her nude embrace with Fred.  (This was the first time that Verna went for the altogether bit.)  The scene had Fred supposedly paying lip service to Verna all over!

     The same film, at the rate it is going, may yet prove to be the biggest "bomba" of 'em all.  Besides Fred's scenes with Verna and Chato, there are allegedly other nude worthy sequences; nude footage of Chato and Gloria Sevilla as they were being inspected by Correctional authorities; the communal bath scene where most of Chato's and Gloria's co-inmates -- among them are Eva Darren, Cora Varona, Rebecca Rocha and Nora Nunez -- join them in the shower; Chato's giving birth to twins a la-Right To Be Born (a PGH patient "performed" the actual birth for her); the nude lesbian love scenes between Eva and Chato a la-Susannah York and Coral Browne in Robert Aldrich's The Killing Of Sister George; and the naked dance of Chato when they (the inmates) were told that they were already being freed since war has broke out.  Reportedly, there are two other "controversial" scenes:  one allegedly has Chato breast-feeding her twins a la-Jean Seberg in Paint Your Wagon, and the other is said to have the inmates readying themselves for bed and Nora Nunez opted to sleep in the raw!

     "Bomba," anyone?

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