By Ronald Constantino
EARLY AWARDEES – Let’s continue with our “lessons in cinema history.”
The ‘50s was the second golden age of Philippine cinema, the first being the ‘30s. Gerry de Leon and Bert Avellana were the leading directors.
The movie queens of the ‘50s were Gloria Romero and Nida Blanca, contract stars of Sampaguita and LVN, respectively.
Like many of the stars of the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s, Gloria and Nida have foreign blood. Offcam, Gloria’s Gloria Borego Galla and Nida’s Dorothy Acueza Jones, American mestizas.
Early in their careers, they already won acting awards (FAMAS), Glo for “Dalagang Ilocana” and Nida for “Korea.”
RIVALS BUT – But then even during their golden or senior citizen years, they continued to win awards. In particular, “Tanging Yaman” for Glo and “Miguelito” for Nida.
To date, at 80-plus, Glo remains active, especially on television. Sadly, Nida was murdered years back, then member of the Movie & Television Review & Classification Board. Her brutal death still cries for justice.
Glo was so affected by Nida’s death that she couldn’t work for days.
Oncam they were rivals, but offcam they were good friends. They co-starred in several films.
‘ESCORTS’ – In the ‘50s, their favorite leading men (or “escorts”) were Luis Gonzalez for Glo and Nestor de Villa for Nida. The loveteams remained strictly oncam, “Sa pelikula lang at di sa totong buhay,” as they say.
Nida and Nestor were noted for their dancing, while Glo and Luis were associated with melodramas. Noted for her regal bearing, Glo portrayed former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos in two Marcos filmbios.
Glo was successfully paired with other actors, including the one she married, Juancho Gutierrez, Nida teamed up with Dolphy on the big and small screen.
They have one daughter each. Marites Gutierrez who made Glo a lola. Kay for the late Nida Blanca (father was Ruth Torres, whose family was associated with an optical company). Kay remains single.