|Jose Nepumuceno, Father of Filipino Movies|
We Filipinos love movies. This love for movies is something very interesting about the Philippines. For decades since the movie industry of the country started, it has been a great source of entertainment for both men and women of all ages in the archipelago. We laughed, we cried, we hated, we liked and we fell in love. Such is the power of film, media and the people behind it. Although immense is the influence, very few had taken a look as what you will find here.
It rarely gets brought up, things about the entertainment industry in general. We seem to take everything at face value. Here's something that takes a different look at things and tried to see which actors and actresses made the most films. Please note that the number of films and roles do not define an actor or actress. They are not a measure of success or the acceptance of Filipinos, although it can be an indicator. This is the list of the Most Exposed Pinoy Movie Artists.
Joseph Estrada. The 13th President of the Philippines used to be an active actor before his political career rocketed. He was present in the black and white films, he was also present in color. Up to date, his movie and TV roles had reached to 161.
Christopher de Leon. An intense actor, and mostly on the drama side of things, Christopher de Leon has teamed up with almost every award winning movie artist and directors to create award winning roles. The former spouse of Nora Aunor has been present in at least 169 on-screen productions.
Eddie Gutierrez. He's one of the pretty boys of Philippine cinema. It isn't a wonder that he had appeared in various roles of 179 movies and TV shows.
Nora Aunor. To be a "Superstar" in the Philippines, you gotta have at least 179 films and TV productions. Nora is one of the few people who have risen to the occasion and got wide acceptance. Being able to sing and act, "Ate Guy" is a great package for both film makers and cinema viewers.
Fernando Poe Jr. "Da King" should have been the 15th President of the Philippines according to some reports. Now why are we fond of action stars for president? No one can explain that. But the fact remains that FPJ was one of the biggest and the most loved in the Philippine movie industry. He had taken every Filipino with swash-buckling moves and trademark punches to bad guys earning him 194 on-screen appearances. I'm not sure if he did TV roles, but who cares, all I know is he did a lot and entertained a lot.
Vilma Santos. She is called the "Star for All Seasons," which is really weird considering the Philippines only has two seasons, rainy and summer. Nevertheless, Vilma is a premiere actress and won many awards in her roles. Up to date, her projects numbers to 216.
Dolphy. Almost everyone who watched him would love him. If FPJ is the King of Action, Dolphy is the King of Comedy. He shared laughter and entertainment to all Filipinos by being at movies and TV for over 227 roles.
Max Alvarado. Although he never was in a starring role, this Pinoy Cinema bad guy made success of action films possible. Without his protagonist roles, the legends of action stars in the Philippines cannot be made. The "bida" needs an opponent to beat and goons to eliminate. Max does it well in over 299 appearances.
Paquito Diaz. He's another henchman that made the Pinoy action movies thrive. A legend for being the bad guy on film, he has made over 387 films and other projects. Almost every action star has been beating this guy and his trademark look of moustache and intense eyes became a generic bad guy look in Filipino movies.
Eddie Garcia. He's done everything from being a good guy and bad guy. A very flexible actor, he can portray good and evil. His roles are from intensely dramatic to loosely comedic, thus being a favorite by both directors and writers for over 482 roles in TV and film.
Looking at the numbers, it seems that the life of Philippine cinema has been about action films. Year after year, there has been less and less of it. What could be happening? Are we running out of stories to tell? Are there no more action stars? Or no one's willing to invest anymore?
To many Filipinos, our homegrown films are the very reflection of our culture, our ideals and aspirations. That is why we enjoyed them so much. They may not be at par with Hollywood, but we have loved the people on our silverscreens. Call it entertainment for many, obsession and fanaticism to some, the admiration for these icons will continue as we look for someone or something to look up to. It is sad that few of the biggest and the best names are now just memories, but this is an opportunity to build a new ones.
Frankly, I think the reason why we go for action stars as president is because they are a symbol of hope. They are the epitome of who we are and what struggles we experience, which they overcome. It is only logical to think that these movie stars can make it happen for everyone, just as it happens in their movies. It is just disappointing to know that Erap and FPJ were never totally given a chance to prove that what happens in the movies can happen in real life.