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Lorli’s zest for life

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ZEST FOR – Lorli Villanueva may have some difficulty moving around, but her zest for life remains. She’s back for good, having retired as deputy chair of the graduate school of Touro University in New York. But real retirement – as in taking it easy – isn’t in Lorli’s vocabulary.

For a start, her two books which took some time to write and publish were finally launched last week in Limbaga 77 near Morato in QC.

The books in reference are “Dancing with the Dictator” and “Living and Experiencing Realms of the Unknown,” with an intro from no less than the country’s foremost paranormal expert, Jaime T. Licauco.

The Dictator in the book is, of course, President Ferdinand E. Marcos who had her “kidnapped” for…read the book to find out. But it turned out to be a pleasant experience as, in Lorli’s words, “Marcos was a very nice and kind man.”

But she hastened to add that she remained an activist, anti-Martial Law. And that she rejected the President’s job offers, including running a TV station.

Lorli intends to start painting and eventually mount a one woman exhibit. She’ll continue to sing and record albums, the proceeds of which go to Asilo de Molo in Iloilo, where Lorli comes from. By the way, Lorli is a very fine singer, placing second to Diomedes Maturan in “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”

COMEBACK – How about a showbiz comeback?

“Why not?” is Lorli’s quick reply. After all, she’s best remembered for her fine acting onstage and onscreen (both movies and TV).

At the book launch, Lorli recalled falling offstage in Fort Santiago in a scene in “Larawan”, where she was slapped hard by Dante Rivero. But the play must go on and she continued saying her lines even if her legs were bloodied.

Lorli narrated how she exposed her breast accidentally – for the whole world to see – in “Lunes, Martes…” directed by Lino Brocka. She, along with Lolita Rodriguez, Laurice Guillen” June Keithley, Mitch Valdes played showgirls in Olongapo. Lino asked her to remove her bra and then turned her back to the audience which included American soldiers.

But it turned out the back drop was composed of hundreds of mirrors.

Indeed, Lorli Villanueva’s accomplished as an all-around artist and academician, but she considers her seven children her biggest success, achievement. All of them have master’s degrees and excel in their chosen fields.

GUEST LIST – Friends from way back attended the book launch, emceed by Bernardo Bernardo, who urged Lorli to write her autobiography, “Pati na lovelife.” Musical members were provided by the Philippine Tenors, composed of John Ocampos, Sherwin Sozon, Kenneth Cataylo, Dondi Ong.

Seen were Cecile Guidote Alvarez with husband Heherson, Joel Lamangan, Tony Mabesa, Roselle Monteverde, Pempe Rodrigo with brother Atty. King, among others. Plus the entertainment press led by Tempo’s Nestor Cuartero.