Sunday, June 13, 2010


It is a long weekend celebration of the 112th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence (no work on June 14 since the 12th fell on a Saturday). Philippines and the Filipino community all over the world made some sort of celebrations by their own way in this historic landmark of the brown race's winning against the foreign rule.

There is also a landmark in the Philippine entertainment industry's historical account when the kayumanggi (the shade of brown that is typically associated to the native Filipino's skin color). It is the rise of the Philippine's one and only super star Miss Nora Aunor, she's the one who remarkably defied the definition of an industry's star.

Before her, the typical goddesses that decorated the country's entertainment scene then was much more of having Western features, resembling themselves to Hollywood actors and performers. Statuesque "white" (referred as mestizas) beauties were the staples of the silver screen and the stage. Likes of Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes were on the spotlight of the movies while Pilita Corales reigned in music scene, all are quintessential mestiza entertainment performers. They were all blessed with European features, fair skin and colossal height, attributes that are not common to the majority of Filipinas then.

The conventional faces of Philippine entertainment industry before Nora, on top are Ms. Amalia Fuentes and Ms. Susan Roces. Above is Asia's Queen of Songs, Ms. Pilita Corrales.

Then here comes a frail girl possessing the kayumanggi complexion and a presidential height (in today's standard, President Arrroyo stands 4'11). A water vendor, this 12 year old girl tried her luck in an amateur singing contest in Naga. From then on she made several victory on various singing contest, most notable was in Tawag ng Tanghalan.

Early days of the Super Star, on top when she was very young and thin, above with her love team Tirso "Pip" Cruz III with their "baby" (a doll gift from Pip to her) named Maria Leonora Teresa.

The rest is history. She recorded and sold more than 500 songs. As per , Noras's cover "Pearly Shells", is one of the biggest selling singles in the Philippines.

Before Sarah and Charice, there was a Nora.

She starred in 160 films and won recognitions for her acting locally and in major International Film Festivals. Her classics like Himala and Bona are still being shown internationally through major cinema events until this day. The expressiveness of her eyes is her most notable attribute in acting as per her fans (well Tyra, before you, there was Nora). They also say that whenever Nora plays for a screen play, even if it's not that well written, her interpretation of the piece does the magic touch.

Nora's immortal portrayal of Elsa, a big factor why "Himala" was chosen CNN APSA Viewers Choice Award for Best Asia-Pacific Film of all Time.

Arguably, no mestiza in the Philippine entertainment industry came as far as Nora's achievements, as critics say.

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