By JULLIE Y. DAZA
Way back when. . . Movies were black and white, fantasmagical effects had yet to be born as computer generated images, and movie stars were much more proper (at least in public).
A world war and three generations later, Fernando Poe, Rogelio de la Rosa, Carmen Rosales, Rudy Concepcion, Leopoldo Salcedo are merely names that ruled the silver screen once upon a time. Yolanda Marquez would leave the reel world to become Mary Prieto in real life, and a certain Danny Dolor would graduate from movie fan starting at the age of 10 to keeper of Philippine cinema’s most precious memorabilia. You could say he’s the industry’s treasurer of memories.
On the May 8, National Heritage Month, Mr. Dolor cut the ribbon with Robert and Lorraine Sylianteng, owners of the 1928 award-winning Perez-Samanillo Bldg., now known as First United Bldg., to open Mr. Dolor’s exhibit of movie ads circa 1936 -1941. That period, as noted by the entertainment writer Ronald Constantino, is known as the first golden years of Philippine movies. “This year happens to be the 100th year of our movie industry,” enthused the 80-ish movie fan, “as it is also my 25th year as a chronicler in the Philippine Star of Filipiniana trivia.” In addition, 2019 is the 40th year of the Syliantengs’ acquisition of the pre-war building which they have carefully preserved/conserved to serve as a monument standing for the aesthetics of the past as well as a beacon with its spotlight on a progressive future.
Right on cue, the rhythmically titled “Alitaptap Kikilapkilap” (Flickering Fireflies) exhibit was held in a room that was once Nora Aunor’s office. Susan Roces, whom the collector considers the prettiest face ever to light up the screen, would have been a special guest, but as it was the last leg of the election race, she had to be with her reelectionist-daughter, Sen.Grace Poe, who has successfully combined showbiz and politics in a country that’s mad about both.