Sampung Libong Pisong Pag-Ibig (1957)
Directed by Gregorio Fernandez
Story by Angel Fernandez, Jose D. Karasig, serialized in Liwayway
Screenplay by Consuelo P. Osorio
The first film of Joseph Estrada,
starring Charito Solis & Eddie Rodriguez
It is tempting to conclude that the only significance this film would have today is the presence of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, whose first film this was. He had been given what showbiz people call a bit role in another 1954 LVN movie, Kandelerong Pilak, but all traces of that film are gone, save for a few photos, and he isn't in any of them. Therefore his first major film was Sampung Libong Pisong Pag-ibig (P10,000 Pag-ibig).
And his first screen name was his real one, 'Introducing Jose Ejercito,' it says on the credits. The 'Estrada' persona had not yet been invented, a screen personality that was totally alien to Sampung Libong Pisong Pag-ibig, which was a melodrama. More specifically, a love triangle.
But it was not a minor film, as far as the studio-turned-film factory was concerned. 'Erap's co-stars were Charito Solis and Eddie Rodriguez, by this time formidable dramatic actors. And the film was directed by no less than Gregorio Fernandez, a major director who, perhaps, deserves the same recognition already given his contemporaries, like Lamberto V. Avellana, Manuel Silos, Manuel Conde, and Gerardo de Leon.
Don Artemio (Oscar Keese) approaches Claudio (Eddie Rodriguez). a waiter at the Manhattan Club. Don Artemio makes him a strange proposal. It seems his young son Fred (Jose Ejercito) is quite infatuated with a provincial girl, Loida (Charito Solis), but Fred is already engaged, by family arrangement, to Marietta (Luisa Montesa), a girl from Fred's own social class.
Two new faces in 1957 - Jose Ejercito & Luisa Montesa
Don Artemio offers Claudio P10,000 (a fortune in those days) to 'accidentally' meet Loida and actually court her. Perhaps the competition would compel Fred to give up on Loida. After all, Claudio was not bad-looking himself. All he needed was a new personality, some nice clothes, and he could pass himself off as a man of means, who needs to get out of the city for a much-needed rest in the province
Claudio arrives in Loida's barrio
It doesn't take long for Claudio and Fred to meet. The scenes in which the two prospective suitors try to outdo each other in courting Loida are treated with a humor and lightness that is a perfect counterpoint to Loida's more serious concerns.
Claudio chops firewood for
Loida. Being rich doesn't
stop Fred from doing the same.
When the two men find out that Loida has vowed never to marry a man above her station, Claudio suddenly finds himself burdened by financial problems, and even his car is repossesed by creditors. He admits he was living beyond his means, and this endears him to Loida. Claudio now faces a new dilemna because he finds himself really falling for Loida
Loida accepts Claudio's love
Fred finally concedes defeat but the unexpected happens. Fred accidentally learns about the P10,000 deal between his father and Claudio and tells Loida about it .
"Erap's" self-conscious performance in the movie is quite understandable. After all it was his first long exposure on camera, he was working with experienced actors and a demanding director, the dialogue was in formal Tagalog, and melodramatic, and sometimes even kilometric.
Erap while in a break in the shoot
But Sampung Libong Pisong Pag-ibig gave him a taste for the movies that he could never shake off. Soon he would find his own style, genre, and film persona. He would realize that his talents were not in melodrama, but lay elsewhere We know that now.
NOTES: DVD is a burned
copy only but guaranteed copied from the only existing master
Copying is done entirely by LVN Pictures.
This vintage video is not a restored version.
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