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Wealthy Noranians behind superstar’s grand 50th anniversary celebration

SCENES from Nora’s golden event: with Elwood Perez, Maricel Soriano, Lily Monteverde, Cocoy Laurel, Matet de Leon.

SCENES from Nora’s golden event: with Elwood Perez, Maricel Soriano, Lily Monteverde, Cocoy Laurel, Matet de Leon.

by Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. – Paulo Coelho

THANK YOU, NORANIANS: Never ever underestimate the power of love and devotion among movie fans.

The driving force of many an actor, they fuel careers of their idols, the wind beneath their wings.

In the case of Nora Aunor, she appears the most fortunate for having cultured an armada of fans and fanatics who go the extra mile to show their love and appreciation for the superstar, come hell or high water.

Such is what we witnessed recently, on the night of Oct. 14, when Nora celebrated her 50th anniversary as a singer-actor.

Set at the Sampaguita Gardens in Quezon City, now a sprawling 3-level events place, the celebration was a project of a consortium of wealthy Nora followers led by the International Circle of Online Noranians (ICON). Many flew home from all over the world purposely to attend the special milestone as far as they were concerned.

FOR THE LOVE OF NORA: Ces Valdez, one of the lead organizers, said that as members of a loyal troop of Noranians, they felt such a milestone in the veteran actress’ career should not be allowed to pass unnoticed.

The San Diego, California-based office manager said she worked long and hard in tandem with other officers of other Nora fan clubs worldwide to mount the dinner event.

They raised funds to finance the entire celebration, which came complete with a buffet dinner, a beautifully decorated venue (classy and expensive), adorned with larger than life posters of their idol in various stages of her life.

The wide hall reverberated with Nora’s beloved songs yesterday when she was young. Several wide screens, courtesy of UNTV, captured scenes from Nora’s life, then and now.

RIGHT THERE WHERE IT STARTED: Edgar B. Castro of ICON said it was the group’s idea to hold Nora’s golden anniversary in the month of October 2017, exactly 50 years since she won the grand championship on TV show, “Tawag ng Tanghalan” (1968). And what can be more fitting than holding the event right there at the Sampaguita Gardens where Nora started her movie career (“All Over The World”) in 1967?

Among those who celebrated with Nora were Lily Monteverde, Maricel Soriano, directors Elwood Perez and Maryo de los Reyes, Glaiza de Castro, Ricky Lee, Ian, Matet and Kiko de Leon. Victor ‘Cocoy’ Laurel, Nora’s leading man in two “Lollipops and Roses’’ movies back in the 1970s, serenaded her with the theme from their big box office hit.

In a brief testimonial, Elwood recognized Nora’s immense contribution to Philippine culture through her songs and acclaimed performances in hundreds of films. He called her a true national artist and treasure.

In appreciation of their overwhelming support, Nora gifted the Grand Alliance of Nora Aunor Philippines (GANAP), Federation of Nora Aunor Followers, and The Solid Noranians with a cash gift of 10,000 pesos each. She urged to groups to use the gift as seed money for livelihood projects.