Time Magazine Feb. 13, 1978 Vol. 111 No. 7
The Philippines: Let Them See Films. When politics became pretty much a one-man show in the Philippines, the people lost a prime source of entetainment. Part of the gap has been filled by a burgeoning home-grown film industry, which displayed nine of its new productions at the Manila Film Festival last month. Some 2 million moviegoers saw the films.
Some of the movies were historical dramas pointing up the search for a Filipino identity during the long years of Spanish rule. But the most acclaimed were contemporary stories with a heavy populist touch. The festival’s smash hit was Burlesk Queen, starring Filipino Superstar Vilma Santos. It tells the syrupy tale of a poor girl who turns to burlesque dancing to support a crippled father. She falls in love with the son of a politician, elopes with him, and then tragically loses him back to his possessive mother. The treacle is supplemented with some gritty argument about the rights and wrongs of burlesque, with a lefthanded dig at censors. Huffs the burlesque impresario at one point: “Who are they to dictate what the people should see?”