Ateneo De Naga high school 1980

Those who do not remember history are bound to live through it again.

Monday, October 23, 2006

An Iriganian who became a superstar before Nora Aunor

Did you guys know that Nora Aunor was not the first Irigania that became a superstar? Check this article I found about a beautiful girl who studied in Iriga who became an actress.

Gilda Gales, 88, a Philippine movie star in the 1930s, died in Monrovia, California, June 16, from complications resulting in a stroke. Because she was, according to the newspaper of the day, gifted with that languorous look and peculiar drooping of eyebrows, Gilda was dubbed the Greta Garbo of the Philippines. It was noted that one had only to look at her picture to note the striking resemblance to the Swedish star. As a young girl studying at St. Anthony' Institute in Iriga, Camarines Sur, Gilda was called upon, from time to time, to participate in stage presentations during school programs and fiesta celebrations. She was so obsessed with acting that she vowed to go to Manila, at the earliest opportunity, and apply for work in the movie studios there. When her father, who was a traveling agent for Smith, Bell & Co., was transferred to Manila from the provinces, Gilda immediately approached Jose Nepomuceno for a job in the movies. She was given a screen test, successfully passed it, eliciting from Nepomuceno this tribute: I knew right away that I was looking at a girl destined to be a great actress. Gilda's first assignment was as supporting player in Malayan movies' Makata at Paraluman. This was followed by Liberty Cadet's Love and six other pictures. The crowning point of Gilda's brief career as a movie star came in 1937 when she starred opposite Eduardo de Castro in Brides of Sulu, a picture produced in the Philippines (actually filmed in Jolo, Sulu) with an all-Filipino cast, but which was directed by Hollywood's Jack Nelson. Released by Universal Pictures, Brides of Sulu featured, for the first time in local movie history, difficult underwater scenes. Gilda's performance in the picture was so remarkably impressive she was offered an important role in MGM's Mutiny on the Bounty. Unfortunately, she was ill at the time and could not stand the rigors of travel. Gilda's next big picture was Manila Talkatone's Andres Bonifacio, with de Castro again. Not long after, Gilda made her last picture, Susing Kalangitan. Then she retired from the movies for good. Gilda married Miguel Blanco, bar and restaurant proprietor in Manila (deceased in 1995), and they are survived by four children: Miguel and Jose in Australia and Marie Cruz and Tina in the United States. The family believes that all of Gales' movies were destroyed during World War II.


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