From an Inquirer article yesterday, a 100-member panel selected the 15 Filipino Best Actors of ALL TIME. Of all time. I don’t agree with their list, as well as the article’s writer, Nestor Torre.
Torre cited some of his personal choices in that article and I’ll post my choices some other day when I have the time (I don’t agree with some of the choices).
The members of the panel are unnamed by the way. And the criteria were not explained.
In the meantime, here’s their list (in no particular order):
1. Vic Silayan
2. Dindo Fernando
3. Jay Ilagan
5. Cesar Montano
6. Christopher de Leon
7. Aga Muhlach
8. Eddie Garcia
9. Phillip Salvador
10. Michael de Mesa
11. Piolo Pascual
12. Johnny Delgado
13. Richard Gomez
14. Mark Gil
15. Bembol Roco.
Here are Nestor Torre’s comments, taken from his article and I quote:
“Very definitely, Ruben Rustia deserves to be cited as one of the best. In an impressively wide range of movie roles, he created textured characters of great subtlety and emotive power.
Tony Santos Sr. is another definite “should include.” As his lead roles in film classics like “Biyaya ng Lupa,” “Anak Dalita” and “Badjao” proved, he was vastly credible and empathetic in “everyman” roles that contrasted radically with the “tisoy syndrome” that ruled the Filipino movie industry’s star system from the ‘30s to the ‘60s.
In the same vein, how could we possibly leave out Jose Padilla Jr., who was known for his larger-than-life portrayals in movies like “Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo?”
Ditto for Van de Leon, who delivered powerful performances in “Roberta,” “Taga sa Bato,” and “Kamandag.” He won the Famas best actor trophy twice, and even in supporting character roles, he stood out because of the intensity and raw realism of his performances.
Let’s not forget Pancho Magalona, whose compelling performance in “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Daigdig” was truly memorable. He was also cited by some US critics for his gritty portrayal of a downed Korean pilot in a Hollywood film.
Similarly an outstanding thespian was Vic Vargas, whose versatility in the course of a long and varied career was impressive to behold. From action films to sex comedies, he could do them all to a fine turn!
We must also mention Ronaldo Valdez, whose own depth and range is exceptional. Some people may dismiss him as “just” a character or sitcom actor, but he’s really much more than that. Aside from his dramatic roles, we admire his truly witty gay characterizations on film, which benefit from his exquisite sense of comic timing.
It really is too bad that all that talent is being put to use mostly in undemanding cameo roles on TV — but then, Valdez isn’t the only competent thespian who’s being taken for granted by the entertainment industry these days.
In addition, we must also cite the power and versatility in the film roles essayed by Manuel Conde, Oscar Roncal, Tommy Abuel, Leopoldo Salcedo, Joel Torre, Ricky Davao and Nonie Buencamino.
So, why didn’t some of them get on the list of 15 best film actors? Partly because many of their movies are no longer available for viewing and reviewing. That’s a big tragedy that we continue to ignore — to our great loss.
Instead of coming up with lists, therefore, can’t we instead focus our energies on helping improve the miserable film archiving and restoration system of the Filipino movie industry?
What good are great actors if their work can no longer move, benefit, and inspire succeeding generations of film lovers?”