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Regal built and rebuilt, launched and relaunched stars


FATHER REMY – Two weeks ago, Highspeed promised to write about Regal’s Mother Lily Monteverde, the most important producer for many decades. She made movies big and small, some of them masterpieces. Some made money, big money, some flopped. Which Mother Lily took in stride, saying “win some, lose some.”

This is a good time to do so as her steady and silent Regal partner, Father Remy, celebrated his 80th birthday last Christmas, surrounded by family, friends, and other loved ones.

Father Remy took care of the business side of filmmaking (booking, marketing), while Mother Lily is focused on the creative side (casting, script, pre and post-production, choice of director and staff).

Mother Lily loves to recall that she ran after Father Remy, “Ako ang nanligaw, maraming babaeng gustung-gusto si Father, pero ako ang wagi. Ha, ha, ha!”

Then Father was one of the star players of San Beda varsity basketball team. “Ang guwapo niya,” says Mother. They were married even before she could finish college at Maryknoll, but no regrets.

THROUGH THE YEARS – Regal started in the ’70s by releasing a Hollywood tearjerker which broke box-office records, “All Mine to Give.”

From then on there was no stopping Regal, facing the ups and downs of moviemaking.

Through the years, Mother built and rebuilt, launched and relaunched actors and actresses. As they come to mind:

Gina Alajar in “Diborsyada,” Rio Locsin in “Disgrasyada,” Cherie Gil in “Problem Child,” Alma Moreno in “Nympha,” Maricel Soriano in “Galawgaw, “ Dina Bonnevie in “Katorse,” Snooky Serna in “Bata Pa si Sabel.”

Also launched to stardom were Aiko Melendez, Carmina Villaroel, and Ruffa Gutierrez, Janice de Belen, Gretchen Barretto, and Nadia Montenegro. Manilyn Reynes, Sheryl Cruz, and Tina Paner.

Not to forget the tragic Claudia Zobel in “Shame.”

And of course Kris Aquino in “Pido Dida.”

ACTORS – Aside from actresses, Mother Lily also built up actors. In no particular order:

Richard Gomez, Gabby Concepcion, William and Albert Martinez, Aga Muhlach, Lloyd Samartino, Ricky Davao, Herbert Bautista, Zoren Legaspi, Monsour del Rosario, Orestes Ojeda, Daniel Fernando, Vhong Navarro, Anjo and Jomari Yllana.

The late Alfie Anido, Jimi Melendez, and Joel Alano.

Even Jerry Codinera, Bong Alvarez, and Alvin Patrimonio joined Regal. Ditto Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano.

Eddie Gutierrez staged a comeback in Regal movies in the ’80s after residing in the US for many years.

By the way, Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Susan Roces, Rita Gomez, Charito Solis, Nida Blanca, and Gloria Romero also appeared in Regal films.