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‘Years of the nymphets’


FEEDBACK – Readers react to Highspeed’s previous item on stars “na walang pahinga, walang tulugan,” referring in particular to Alden Richards, Coco Martin, and Willie Revillame. Mentioned in passing was gay comedian Boobay.

The feedback is in the mid-‘70s and early ‘80s, lots of actresses were in the same boat. They were called “mga babaeng walang pahinga.”

Then, readers recall the likes of Mother Lily (Monteverde), Robbie Tan, Papa Jesse (Ejercito), Boss Vic (del Rosario) were launching and re-launching to stardom so –called nymphets…even if some of the stars were anything but.

“The years of the nymphets” that era was called. Filipino movies ruled the market.

NYMPHETS – Who were these nymphets?

In no particular order:

Alma Moreno, Gretchen Barretto, Rita Avila, Elizabeth Oropesa, Rio Locsin, Cherie Gil, Lorna Tolentino, Gina Alajar, Rosanna Roces, Barbara Luna, Amy Austria, Daria Ramirez, Beth Bautista, Emily Loren, Janet Bordon, Kristine Garcia, Gloria Diaz, Dina Bonnevie, Snooky Serna, Trixia Gomez, Carmen Ronda, Cristina Gonzalez, Chanda Romero, Maribel Lopez.

Alma and Oropesa were the most overworked, shuttling from one set to the other, hardly giving them a chance to rest. They slept in vans…on their way to the set, coming from another set.

At times, producers threatened to sue Alma and Oropesa for failing to fulfill their shooting commitments. But in the end, things were patched up.

STUDS – Playing leading men to nymphets – studs they were called:

Vic Vargas, Ricky Belmonte, Ernie Garcia, Orestes Ojeda, Michael de Mesa, Mark Gil, Dennis Roldan, William Martinez, Roi Vinzon, Archie Ranillo, Ronaldo Valdez, Phillip Salvador, Boyet de Leon, Cesar Montano, Gardo Versoza.

Directors who were much sought-after included Elwood Perez, Joey Gosiengfiao, Maning Borlaza, Fyke Cinco, Tata Esteban, Gil Portes, Mel Chinglo, Joel Lamangan, Leroy Salvador, Anthony Taylor.

Even the great Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal joined the so-called boldwagon. Lino directed Chanda Romero and Phillip Salvador in “Ang Mananayaw.” Ishmael directed the launching pictures of Oropesa (“Mister Mo, Lover Boy Ko”) and Alma (“Ligaw na Bulaklak”)

Well, in the ‘90s television ruled showbiz. Movies played second fiddle to TV. But then nymphets and studs managed to stay afloat, some of them becoming great actors.